Smoothie Recipe

berriessmoothierecipe.jpgRecently someone told me that they “don’t have time to eat breakfast”.

I replied “you don’t have time to NOT eat breakfast. Not eating breakfast is killing you slowly. Your lifespan will be shortened by not taking care of yourself properly, therefore if you don’t eat breakfast you will REALLY be short on time.”

As much as some people don’t always enjoy my tongue in cheek responses to their bad cases of the “I cants”, not eating breakfast simply should just NOT even be viewed as an option.

From start to finish my smoothie recipe takes me all of 5 minutes and 38 seconds to make, including clean up time! This is the five minutes that will SAVE your entire day. Plus, all the cool kids are doing it (ie: my sister). Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

My Basic Vitamin Program

“What Vitamins Should I Take?”

Is the most common question I get as a Naturopathic Physician.

I typically believe the average person that doesn’t eat “perfectly” ie:

  • Eats the “Basic American Diet” (BAD) of white refined, processed foods
  • Doesn’t consume 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies daily
  • Eats Fast Food several times a week Read more
Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Superfoods! Superfoods? And Superfood Supplements?

By Dr. Jody Stanislaw, Naturopathic Physician

shutterstock_11241226Superfoods! I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz. But what exactly is the buzz all about anyway? What are superfoods? Do you really need to eat superfoods? What are the benefits? How do you choose which superfoods are best for you? Well, wonder no longer. Lets get right to the answers…

No surprise to anyone is the fact that humans today are busier and have more on their plate, so to speak, than ever before. We eat on the run, often literally standing up. We grab ready made meals as we rush to our next appointment. We finish meals in minutes, gulping down food that not only have we not been fully present for as we chew but have barely even chewed fully before swallowing. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Super Foods!

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

Introducing favorite superfoods and their recipes is an occasional feature here at the Kitchen Table. By gradually “making friends” with the most healthy foods from nature and learning how to incorporate them in to your diet you should notice a remarkable improvement in your health.

Most superfoods are simply high in anti-oxidants and thus slow down the natural destructive process of the tissues in our bodies. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants will help to prevent aging as well as a myriad of other chronic complaints and inflammation.

Other superfoods are super because they are rich in certain vitamins, minerals or other nutrients that benefit the body in a significant way.

Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Why Pomegranate Juice is Wonderful

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By Dr. Nicole Sundene

When the Pomwonderful people asked me if they could send me some of their juice to taste and report on, I was thrilled because I am already a huge fan, as I mentioned in my articles on “How to Make Your Own Sports Drinks” and “Healthy Herbal Cocktails.”

Plus all my readers know how I shamelessly love free stuff.

Heck even Oprah loves free stuff.

Although I don’t typically recommend any juice in lieu of whole fruits, a few juices such as pure pomegranate, blueberry, and cranberry and such are my exceptions to that rule.

The reason is that they are magical juices chock full of antioxidants. Now, be sure to read the labels and make sure they are PURE and not diluted with apple juice or grape juice, or even worse, the evil High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Pomwonderful is 100% pomegranate juice and thus does not contain the evil HFCS.

As I discussed in my article, “Trifecta of Red Wine, Tea, and Chocolate Shown to Improve Cognitive Function in the Elderly,” we need as many flavonoids in our diets as possible because these antioxidants fight the daily damage caused by free radicals that age us.

PhotobucketAlthough I was aware that pomegranates were a potent inhibitor of cardiovascular disease and a therapeutic food for gingivitis through its antioxidant mechanism (more potent than red wine or green tea according to the ORAC). After reading the literature, I learned that it also is important in prostate health and erectile dysfunction.

Antioxidants are the key to men’s health as I stated in my diatribe, “Chocolate Chips Better than Viagra?” The key to preventing disease is drinking pomegranate juice, and eating a diet rich in whole foods and other antioxidants.

When I asked my “normie tester” aka “normal person that doesn’t typically like ‘Bastyr Fear Factor’ healthy stuff I eat”, to taste the juice for me he said, “It tasted healthy and refreshing, but still had some sweetness to it. It didn’t have that “bitter” taste to it that other pure juices sometimes have. The bottle could be bigger though.”

I informed him that eight ounces was the therapeutic dose stated in the research trials was all he needed daily to prevent cardiovascular disease, prostate problems, and erectile dysfunction he said, “Give me 16 ounces a day!”

Try my PomWonderful challenge: 30 days of 8 oz of pomegranate juice daily and let me know how you feel.

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PomWonderful is the only juice company that has invested $25 million in medical research. You may find the juice to be a bit expensive but it is really worth every cent. And if you are already paying $40 a bottle for Mangosteen Juice, you should switch to Pomegranate or blueberry to save you money.

They actually make a pomegranate blueberry blend that is my personal fav.

My only complaint with Pomwonderful is that I can’t seem to find the green tea/pomegranate juice glass jars anywhere anymore and those make for the best travel jars for hot beverages, soups, and such.

My mom even came over and said, “Where did you get these great glasses?” And I replied, “Free with my Pomwonderful Iced tea!”

Pomwonderful juice is available in nearly every grocery store, and if you are looking for the fountain of youth I suggest you pick some up. This is one of my favorite healthy indulgences to recommend! It is 150 calories per 8 oz so keep in mind that this healthy “vice” doesn’t come without calories, but in my weight loss lifestyle plan I use it as the rewarding healthy indulgence that it is.

For more information about the research discussed visit: Pomwonderful.com
If you have a healthy product you would like me to taste and report on please contact us to make arrangements.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Huge Whole Food Multi Year End Sale!

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Hi Whole Food Friends!

Thought I would pop in and share with you that my favorite multi is on sale for about 70% off right now!

Stop by and check out this awesome sale at Whole Food Nation:

Pops Bare Bones Special!

Just thought I would update everyone on the huge sale going on for just the next five days. This is a great opportunity to try this multivitamin/antioxidant/weight loss/natural healing system and see if it works for you.

A few quick answers to questions I have received about this whole food multi system:

  • Yes, I recommend taking BOTH the purple and green. Start with 1 purple with breakfast and 1 green with lunch or dinner, and work up to two purples with breakfast and 2 greens with lunch or dinner.
  • Yes, I recommend stocking up with this BIG year end 70% off sale. Not every supplement is the best thing for every person, but I usually recommend trying something new for about three months before deciding if it useful. At $15 bucks a pop you can easily grab three months worth and save a ton of money on this fantastic healing whole food antioxidant formula.
  • Yes, The purple pills have natural metabolic enhancers that are beneficial for those wanting to lose weight, but no, you don’t have to worry that you are going to waste away on these if you are trying to put on weight, because you want to put on lean muscle mass not fat. This is a great system for athletes to protect their joints from the destructive free radicals created by intense exercise. The weight loss mechanism that seems to help me with the purple pops is that they give me a ton of awesome healthy caffeine free energy that motivates me to run around more and work out that much harder. To get the best benefit I take two purples in the morning with my pre-work out snack or smoothie.
  • Yes, the green pills help to “calm” us down and that is why you are now sleeping better at night. Greens are rich in minerals especially calcium and magnesium, and most Americans do not get enough greens in their diet which is why I recommend taking a daily whole food multi for those of us that don’t eat perfectly and need a bit of damage control (I mean we do need to enjoy life every now and then right?)
  • No, the whole food pops are not designed for children under the age of 14, although I plan to test them on my 11 year old golden retriever after I get the approval from his vet (have to be careful because some herbs safe for humans can kill animals so I always check with my naturopathic vet first.) This rich antioxidant formula translates in to anti-aging, and I want my senior dog to be healthy and active for as long as possible.
  • Yes, the antioxidant rich formula is likely what has already improved your chronic joint pain, fatigue, and fibromyalgia. Don’t forget to take some glucosamine sulfate and omega 3 oils for your joint pain as well. The joints are “avascular” meaning that they don’t have a direct blood supply and get their nutrients via simple diffusion down a gradient. We thus need to feed the joints with a constant supply of nutrients for both prevention and treatment of joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It is important to decrease free radicals by increasing antioxidants in the diet so that the joints do not degrade any faster than they already do. To increase antioxidants you can try juicing, eating more raw foods, and/or take a whole food multi.
  • Yes, I recommend replacing your traditional multi with a whole foods multi as you will gain all the nutrients found in nature that scientists have yet to discover. However, keep in mind that you are taking a daily dose of nourishing nutrition (which most Americans are deficient in) and not a standardized dose of specific nutrient isolates. Nutrients you specifically take to address or prevent a health condition should be taken additionally such as vitamin D for seasonal depression, calcium for osteoporosis prevention or treatment (most multi’s don’t contain enough calcium so you should already be doing this anyways), folic acid for women of child bearing age (if you are trying to get pregnant you should be on a prenatal vitamin though and this formula is not recommended for those pregnant or breastfeeding), omega 3 oils (most multis don’t contain these) and so forth. Always check with your naturopathic doctor before discontinuing a supplement you have been prescribed. With that being said, I was able to swap out the whole food pops for five other products I was taking, and have never felt better. I am all about efficiency! Yeah.
  • Yes! This fantastic whole food multi system is a great way to stay energized through the winter blahs, and gear up for weight loss and your next New Year’s resolution for the new year. Now is the time to get excited and geared up for your future fitness goals.

To take advantage of this special sale visit Whole Foods Nation.

If you don’t have a New Year’s Resolution established yet how about going on a sugar free and strictly whole foods diet for 2009?

Dr. Scott Olson author of “Sugarettes” will be personally coaching us off sugar with his “30 Day Sugar Free Challenge” and I will be blogging over here about going whole foods and sugar free as well, pre-registration is FREE if you sign up before Jan 1st at www.OlsonND.com.

Related Reading:
Best Whole Food Multi 2008
Antioxidants
Weight Loss
Best Omega 3 Oil
Best Glucosamine
Best Chewable Fiber for Weight Loss

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Best Multivitamin 2008

PhotobucketThe Best Multivitamin for 2008 Kitchen Table Award is granted to Whole Food Nation!

Congratulations for formulating a fantastic whole food multivitamin at a reasonable price we can afford!

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Today I will be discussing why I chose the whole foods “Purple and Green Pops” as the best, so that everyone can understand what key features to address while shopping for a multivitamin.

“Do I need a multivitamin?”

Everyone that doesn’t eat perfect, or is under stress, or has a chronic disease should be on some form of a multivitamin. First of all, our soil is not as nutrient dense as it once was, second of all I don’t know anyone that eats perfectly every single day, and at every single occasion, and is never under any form of stress.

Drinking alcohol, stress, and eating white refined foods actually depletes our bodies of vital nutrients.

Most importantly though a high quality whole foods multi is a great “insurance policy” that all of our necessary vitamin and mineral cofactors are always topped off for optimal biochemical functioning.

For most patients I recommend a standard wellness program that includes a whole foods multi, Omega 3 oils, enzymes, probiotics, and glucosamine for older and more active folks.

The nice thing about “Pops” whole food multi is that it comes complete with enzymes and probiotics, so my wellness program just got that much simpler. I don’t know about you, but I hate taking pills so prefer efficiency when at all possible.

Without vitamins and minerals our bodies can’t do the work they need to do each day. Most people aren’t actually deficient in one or two nutrients, most people are deficient in a myriad of nutrients because what they are REALLY deficient in is nutrition, and that deficiency of whole food nutrition is compounded by the fact that most Americans are not properly digesting their nutrients.

What features should a great whole food multivitamin contain?

  • Organic and pesticide free or eco-harvested whenever possible.
  • No tablets! Capsules are the best and help us avoid chemical binders and fillers.
  • No food coloring! If your multivitamin has food coloring in it, it is hype, or it is garbage. Phase it out and find a food coloring free alternative.
  • Minimal excipients and stabilizers. Check the labels and see if there other artificial ingredients such as food coloring. These are typically the last ingredients listed.
  • A full spectrum of all the colors found in nature. We need to “eat by the rainbow” to get the full spectrum of nutrients found in nature. The most important colors being green, purple, and the yellow/oranges found in the carotenoid family.
  • No synthetics or synthetic isolates. I am obviously not a fan of synthetic vitamins, as the biochemist in me knows to only trust nature and never man, but I am also against the consumption of isolated nutrients taken in high quantities. Nature intended for us to get our vitamin C from foods like oranges and broccoli, not chewable candies. Whole foods come complete with bioflavonoids that further help vitamin C work to heal and repair damaged tissues. While a synthetic vitamin can promise you 1333% of the USRDA, it can’t promise you a dose of healthy nutrition that your diet is likely lacking. We don’t just need vitamins, we need nutrition. Obviously children and pregnant women need standardized doses of specific vitamins and minerals, but the majority of us looking to prevent disease, just need a comprehensive spectrum of daily nutrition to cover up for those inevitable times that we fall off the whole food wagon.
  • No plastic bottles. In an effort to reduce the amount of plastics that are added to our environment annually, I will avoid recommending products that are packaged in plastic bottles when there are better alternatives such as glass bottles, and blister packs that minimize plastic waste put in landfills.

Why are Whole Food Nation “Pops” a great choice?

  • Potent antioxidants. The formulators of this product have smartly taken all of nature’s finest superfoods and placed them in to two blends. An AM energizing/weight loss/antioxidant herbal blend or “Purple Pops” and an evening calming herbal food blend found in the “Green Pops.” Antioxidants are the foundation to every healing and anti-aging program.
  • What they DON’T have: No food coloring. no sugar, no synthetic product stabilizers, no binders (easily avoided by purchasing only capsules.) Regardless of what multivitamin you choose to use, you should never be taking a daily dose of these artificial chemicals.
  • Natural vitamins. These are not synthetic vitamins, or even vitamins isolated from foods. These are whole food nutrient concentrates, brought to us by nature’s finest superfoods, and in the form that nature intends that we take them. With that being said be sure to take this supplement with food so that the vitamins and minerals can be properly digested and utilized.
  • More than just vitamins. Do you get confused about the latest new hot nutrient that scientists have “just discovered?” Well these nutrients have existed in nature for centuries, and just because a scientist discovers them in a lab, doesn’t mean that we need to suddenly start taking them in a high dose supplement. We should be taking these healing plant pigments, cofactors and coenzymes in our food on a daily basis, and if we don’t eat perfectly we should supplement with a whole food multi, not one that contains only the vitamins that scientists are currently capable of recognizing. Twenty years ago we only recognized about twenty vitamins and minerals as “essential,” but think forward to the next twenty years. The best way to ensure you have everything in your system that is “essential” is to take a whole food multivitamin, or start juicing. Or if you really want to feel awesome-BOTH!
  • Enzymes aid digestion. You aren’t just getting whole food nutrients, you are getting plant enzymes that will help you digest, break down, and absorb your food better.
  • Probiotics. Acidophilus helps us digest our food, metabolize hormones and vitamins, and is killed off by antibiotic use. Most cooked and processed foods we eat are deficient in probiotics and is vital to our health that we supplement them daily or consume in yogurt, kim chee, sauerkraut, kefir and other fermented foods.
  • You Need Greens! Have you had 2-3 servings of leafy green vegetables today? Greens are important because they are rich in magnesium. The chloryphyll molecule is shaped just like the hemoglobin in our red blood cells, the only difference is that an iron molecule sits in the middle of the hemoglobin ring, and magnesium sits in the center of a chlorophyll ring. This is why all green foods are particularly healing to those on the Standard American Diet (SAD), as the SAD diet is deficient in minerals such as magnesium found in green foods.
  • You Need Purples! If you peruse all of my treatment plans you will see that a cup of frozen blueberries a day is recommended pretty consistently throughout, as blueberries are a featured food on the anti-inflammatory diet. In addition to fighting inflammation, purple plant pigments known as proanthocyanins are especially healing to the skin, blood vessels, and cardiovascular system. Be sure to eat a cup of purple/red/blue foods everyday!
  • No Plastic Bottles! Plastics are destroying our ecosystem, and we need to use glass and paper alternatives when available.
  • Capsules NOT Tablets: To form tablets natural ingredients have to be attached to binders and mechanically pressed in to a tablet which may alter their molecular stability and thus efficacy. Avoid tablets and take capsules. You will have to take a couple more capsules to equate what is super-compressed in to tablets, but it is well worth it.
  • Great Environmental Shipping. My product arrived within two days, was packed in recycled boxes and recycled paper. I can’t tell you how many times I have stopped purchasing a great product because my values did not align with their shipping methods. Kitchen table only promotes companies with firm environmental efforts.
  • Great Company Business Model. You know something is good when you ask to try it for free and the company is happy to send you free samples. A company confident in their product knows you will become a customer, and they were right. This is the multivitamin that I have chosen to take myself every day. I also signed up for their mailings, and couldn’t agree more with the great advice from the Harvard grads that put the whole food “Pops” together. I typically find companies that oversell annoying, but the weekly newsletters are clearly designed to educate. Really a good product sells itself, and the formulators of this whole food multivitamin are smart enough to know that.

PhotobucketTo read more about Whole Foods Nation you can visit sign up for their free report:

“Are Your Vitamins Safe?”

or visit www.WholeFoodsNation.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Chocolate Chips Better than Viagra?

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Are chocolate chips better than Viagra? According to Journal of Nutrition’s latest September and October issues, chocolate has some pretty exciting therapeutic potential.

If you want to avoid being on “the little blue pill” you should consider taking a daily dose of the little brown pill.

That’s right—50-200 chocolate chips a day may prevent the cardiovascular damage that is a leading cause of erectile dysfunction. 1

According to recent studies, the flavonoids in dark chocolate naturally enhanced natural nitric oxide levels. The drug Viagra works mechanistically as a phosphodiesterase inhibtor to enhance nitric oxide. Our bodies also synthesize nitric oxide, and nitric oxide works on our blood vessels to dilate them and increase blood flow. With psychogenic etiologies ruled out, erectile dysfunction is typically an issue of blood flow. Increasing blood flow is how Viagra manufacturers have made a fortune.

In September of 2008, Journal of Nutrition published an Italian university study investigating the therapeutic potential of chocolate and found that, “Flavanols from chocolate appear to increase nitric oxide bioavailability, protect vascular endothelium, and decrease cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors….our findings suggest flavanol-rich, low-energy cocoa food products may have a positive impact on [cardiovascular disease] risk factors.”


Now as a women’s health physician, I typically avoid topics such as erectile dysfunction like the plague, so I am going to drop my men’s health commentary today and then run for dear life… Photobucket Working as a family practice medical assistant for eight years throughout medical school taught me an important early lesson about men’s health. Most men simply DON’T care about cholesterol, blood pressure, atherosclerosis, diabetes, blood sugar, antioxidants or inflammation.

The second you start to nag about this stuff their eyes just glaze over. You can nag and nag and nag about cholesterol and blood sugar lab values, and still no changes will be implemented.

Eventually I realized the secret to men’s health while working as a urology assistant, the only way to get men to care about their health is to hit them below the belt with the facts that matter. Women are typically all about vanity and men are all about virility. These are the motivators I rely on to market and sell my preventive medicine concepts.

PhotobucketDoctors know that all of the aforementioned health issues contribute to erectile dysfunction. But, what most men don’t know is that without a properly functioning cardiovascular system, things below the belt aren’t going to function either.

It’s all about blood flow and elasticity. Photobucket We would never leave our garden hoses to freeze out in the cold of winter, we instead take the time to properly care for them to insure they don’t harden and become permanently dysfunctional. Although garden hoses cannot auto-repair, our arteries do by making scar tissue, and the similar type of destruction from high blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation, and diabetes is repaired by the body by throwing down scar tissue and inflammation.

The more scar tissue and inflammation in your arteries the less elastic they are, and thus the narrower their diameter. Blood pressure just continues to escalate and the damage to your arteries continues in a vicious cycle. Viagra and similar medications such as Levitra and Cialis all work to enhance blood flow.

They are designed to promote the elasticity of those frozen old er…stiff garden hoses. Viagra is a phosphodiasterase inhibitor which increases levels of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes our blood vessels to EXPAND. Eventually arteries become damaged and hardened to the point where they will no longer respond to nitric oxide. Photobucket Keep in mind though that a “garden hose” left out in extreme harsh “winter conditions” will inevitably lose it’s elasticity, and the hose will have to be replaced. How many “winters” have you left your body out in the cold, not caring about diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation? This is why many men with erectile dysfunction don’t find benefit from Viagra. Blood vessel expansion is the premise of which Viagra has made millions.


I am going to instead give away my natural medicine tips for free, and if the Toll House Chocolate Chip Company wants to send me a billion dollar thank you check, they are more than welcome. What is more important to me is that TODAY you feel inspired and motivated to prevent problems that will inevitably occur down the road TOMORROW.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”—right?

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If you don’t have erectile dysfunction now wouldn’t you like to prevent it from happening? Medicine’s used to treat ED are expensive, have multiple side effects and drug interactions, and are not as well tolerated as the commercials on television make them out to be.

When I worked as a Urology assistant the main complaint was always headaches and that “it just didn’t work”. Well after a while when disease has advanced too far, no medication will be able to work. Think back to the garden hose example. You want your arteries to be elastic and healthy, not hardened from the “harsh winter conditions” of sub-optimally controlled high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol.

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So why chocolate chips?

Well chocolate chips are fantastic prevention because they are DARK chocolate and the darker the chocolate the more nitric oxide enhancing flavonoids.

A study was done on Italian men and found that Italian men that ate an ounce of dark chocolate had healthier lab markers.

Keep in mind that 50 chocolate chips or roughly an ounce of dark chocolate is the minimum amount needed to prevent disease according to that study.

I weighed them out and found that 48 chocoalte chips= 1oz. But you have my permission to throw in two extra chips for preventive measure!

Another study cited previously, showed therapeutic benefit with 100 grams of dark chocolate which is about 200 chocolate chips! Is this not the best news ever for chocolate lovers?

Remember though that chocolate as a medicine is not free of calories, cocoa butter, or refined sugar. Pure cocoa products are a great alternative as an ounce of chocolate chips have 140 calories. While 200 chocolate chips pack a whopping 500 calories!

But, for those of you that are already eating too much sugar and saturated fat, chocolate chips are a fantastic way to transition to a healthier dessert diet. I know most of you are probably eating fattening desserts anyways (I mean we do have to enjoy life a little bit right?) so dark chocolate chips are a healthier alternative and I like that they conveniently come in little bits that can be savored throughout the day.

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But, chocolate chips are not the only foods that contain disease fighting flavonoids. So here is the bait and switch. Most fruits and vegetables are also rich in flavonoids.

Berries are chock full of proanthocyanins, citrus is a fantastic source of hesperidin and rutin, and onions are an excellent source of quercetin. Fruits and vegetables are likely going to prevent the need of Viagra too!

Yes–really this is just a giant strategically planned nag on my part to inspire the consumption of more whole foods, especially those rich in flavonoids. And yes it really was too easy to grab your attention with chocolate chips and Viagra and then turn this in to a fruit and veggie nag. But, my point with this “gotcha” is that preventing disease is where it is at when it comes to ED. Winter is coming, and it is time to think about your preventative plan for your “garden hose.”

A healthy dose of fresh fruits, raw or lightly steamed veggies, raw nuts and seeds, and chocolate will work synergistically to prevent the cardiovascular damage that causes disease.

I think any man suffering with ED reading this article would absolutely agree that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

For diabetics that want to gain the flavanol benefits of chocolate chips, simply enjoy them with a small handful of raw almonds to decrease the glycemic load and increase phenolic compounds (anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory/anti-cancer). Almonds are also high in fiber, and fiber consumption also is protective to the cardiovascular system. So add about ten raw almonds to your 50 chocolate chips or make a healthy trail mix with your other favorite raw nuts and seeds.

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I don’t want to leave women out of this nag, so chocolate chips are good news for women too as Dr. Christiane Northrup in her latest book “The Secret Pleasures of Menopause” also emphasizes the importance of naturally enhancing nitric oxide levels through diet and lifestyle to improve sexual function. Grab the book through Amazon, if you care to learn more about ways to naturally enhance nitric oxide.

Those in need of losing weight should also benefit from this simple chocolate chip tip as eating a few chocolate bits throughout the day should help you feel satisfied for sweets and prevent those binges brought on by extreme deprivation and yo-yo dieting that sets the stage for binge eating.

Stick with me, subscribe to my feed, and I will teach you how to be healthy & enjoy life.

Dr. Nicole Sundene

Want more tips for preventing and treating erectile dysfunction through diet and lifestyle?

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Try: Exercise, The Low Glycemic Index Diet, The Anti-Inflammatory Diet, Kegels for Men, Cholesterol Lowering Diet, Hypertension, Low Sodium Diet, Antioxidants, Anti-Inflammatory Diet and subscribe to my feed as we discuss the therapeutic potential of other healing foods and natural supplements for cardiovascular health and erectile dysfunction.

References

1. Grassi D, Desideri G, Necozione S, et al. “Chocolate and Blood Pressure” J Nutr. 2008 Sep;138(9):1671-6.

2. Romina di Giuseppe, Augusto Di Castelnuovo, et al. “Italian Men that eat Dark Chocolate are Healthier” J. Nutr. 138:1939-1945, October 2008

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Sauteed Spinach Recipe

Today’s featured healing recipe is provided by ZestyCook.com!

Spinach is an especially healing food as it is rich in folic acid and beta carotene.

The root of folic acid comes from “foilage” and leafy greens are chock full of this nutrient shown to prevent cervical cancer and birth defects.

Folic acid also has been shown in research to make anti-depressants more effective. You will also be happy to know that it is OK to eat a little bit of fat with your vegetables. Fats paired with veggies help us better absorb the fat soluble vitamins they contain. Those on the Mediterranean Diet or Anti-Inflammatory Diet can substitute the low fat cream for olive oil.

Zesty has provides us with a SIMPLE five minute spinach side dish packed with flavour. Give this a try – you will be very glad you did! Feel free to get creative and substitute your favorite seasonal greens: Bok Choy, Swiss Chard, and Kale are also excellent healing choices.

Sauteed Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cups Spinach
  • 1/4 Cup Low fat Cream
  • 2 cloves Garlic crushed and made into paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • Handful of chopped Fresh Basil
  • Organic sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat pan and add olive oil.
  2. Add spinach and allow to wilt down. Stirring for 1 minute.
  3. Add garlic, cayenne, black pepper. Stir for 2 minutes
  4. Add Low fat cream
  5. Top with Pine nuts and fresh basil

Zesty Tip: To make garlic paste, add a bit of organic sea salt to your cutting board and crush the clove of garlic on top. Then using your knife to smear the garlic back and forth into the salt mixture. The salt will help form a paste and you are ready to go.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Olive Oil: New Research Shows it Prevents DNA Damage

Wow! Olive oil prevents DNA damage, how exciting.

Why should we care about this?

Because DNA damage caused by inflammation is essentially the biochemical mother of all disease.

In an article recently published in the August 2008 “Journal of American Nutrition”, researchers concluded that olive oil likely prevents cancer and aging by protecting DNA from damage.

The “phenolic compounds” in olive oil were studied and determined to inhibit the initial stages of cancer formation caused by “oxidative stress” (unstable molecules in our bodies that destroy healthy tissues resulting in inflammation and disease).

Damage to our DNA is exactly what causes both cancer AND aging, along with a myriad of other chronic conditions. The phenolic compounds in olive oil are shown to have a protective effect in vitro to our DNA. The more antioxidants we can include in our diet, the more we can PREVENT disease.

The good news about this “in vitro” or test tube study is that researchers believe that the amount of olive oil needed to prevent cancer is easily achievable in “in vivo” or real life doses!

Researchers concluded that, “Overall, these results suggest that [phenolic compounds] may efficiently prevent the initiation step of carcinogenesis in vivo, because the concentrations effective against the oxidative DNA damage could be easily reached with normal intake of olive oil.”

Hooray! What a wonderful, delicious cancer fighting treat for us to include in our diets. We already know that olive oil in the diet is important for preventing cardiovascular disease and inflammation, now we have yet another reason to make olive oil a major source of fat in our diet.

So how can you get more olive oil in your diet?

First of all, I always recommend buying extra virgin olive oil, the greener the better.

Next, keep in mind that olive oil is not good for baking as much as it is good for drizzling on already cooked foods such as breads, steamed veggies, salads, soups, and popcorn (yes it is delicious with organic sea salt and nutritional yeast).

To achieve the maximum anti-cancer and anti-aging benefits be sure to keep the temp below it’s smoking point of 350F. Best yet, avoid cooking it when at all possible.

Today’s Kitchen Table Fix: Put olive oil on your bread and veggies instead of butter. Always make your own salad dressing with olive oil and lemon or balsamic vinegar.

Reference: “Oxidative DNA Damage Is Prevented by Extracts of Olive Oil, Hydroxytyrosol, and Other Olive Phenolic Compounds in Human Blood Mononuclear Cells and HL60 Cells” J. Nutr. 138:1411-1416, August 2008.

What is your favorite use of olive oil? Feel free to leave your links and ideas in the comments section.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Heart Healthy Herbal Cocktail

pomegranategreentea.jpgBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

With the hot summer months upon us (well not so much in Seattle today), I thought I would share my favorite herbal iced tea recipe to help you “Unleash your inner fabulosity”.

Mixing fat burning green tea with pomegranate juice is a most delicious delivery system for the heart healthy antioxidants, proanthocyanins, bioflavonoids, and polyphenols that protect our cardiovascular systems from the ravages of inflammation.

Ultimately these gifts from nature work synergistically to preventing heart disease and aging. Green tea is also a known fat burner, and can be consumed copiously by dieters for its thermogenic properties.

Ingredients:

  • 8 bags of Green Tea.
  • 1 cup pure Pomegranate juice (Trader Joes has a great organic one that I like).

Directions:

  • Steep eight tea bags with seven cups of boiling water for about 15 minutes in a Pyrex container.
  • Remove tea bags.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Add 1 cup of pomegranate juice (Or to taste).
  • Chill and serve over ice cubes.
  • Drink several glasses daily to prevent heart disease, and increase fat burning.
  • One eight ounce glass is only about 20 calories! If you are trying to get off diet soda, a Villain of the Kitchen Table, this Whole Foods cocktail should be your new best friend! Diet pop actually makes you fat, this recipe will burn fat.

Variations:

  • For parties add some festive garnishes: Mint, lemon balm, lavender, fruit, and edible flowers will surely make you look like Martha Stewart gone on a health rampage. Plop a few frozen blueberries or raspberries in there as well to make it look interesting, or chop a bunch of fruit and create an herbal non-alcoholic “sangria” for your guests.
  • Black tea is also high in polyphenols for those that don’t care about burning fat, you may also use Oolong, White Tea, or any herbal tea. Have fun with the ingredients you have readily on hand.
  • For stress relief, grab a box of herbal stress relief tea like Celestial Seasonings “Tension Tamer” or a “Night Night” tea and enjoy iced with your favorite fruit juice.
  • For diarrhea, mix heavily steeped black tea with blueberry juice. The tannins have an astringent quality on the gut that serve to stop diarrhea. For extra tannins, try a bit of cinnamon too if you like!
  • Add a pinch of sea salt and you have yourself an herbal fat burning organic sports drink! For long work out sessions you may also want to increase the amount of juice in the recipe.
  • For sick children, mixing pure juice and prescribed herbal teas (not caffeinated!) prevents dehydration while also treating illness. Add a pinch of sea salt for electrolytes.

If you have your own favorite herbal iced tea recipe, feel free to share it in the comments section.

Isn’t being healthy so much fun?

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~ Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician
www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

img_7478.jpg

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

The Best Wild Berries to Grow

wildberry.jpgBerries are super food at its finest! If you have a large backyard you can easily let some berries run wild to help cut organic costs in your kitchen.

Plant them around the perimeter of your property. Harvest them in the summer months and freeze for year round use.

This is a great way to reduce kitchen costs for eating a whole foods, organic diet. Use your berries liberally in smoothies, desserts, or enjoy them on their own. Berries truly are the best friend of the kitchen table!

The pigments in berries are actually shown to become more bio-available with freezing and cooking. An exception to the rule that “fresher is better”.

Berries to let Run Wild:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Huckleberries
  • Marionberries
  • Gooseberries
  • Loganberries
  • Salmonberries
  • Thimbleberries

Berries are high in proanthocyanins the bioflavanoid pigments that protect our cardiovascular systems from destruction by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Berries are not only delicious; they are the fountain of youth as they prevent heart disease and protect us from inflammation!

From a botanical standpoint, berries naturally have to be full of antioxidants because otherwise they would not be able to protect themselves from the sun. The leaves of the plant use the sun to create energy, but the delicate berries of the plants would be destroyed by the sun if it weren’t for the dark antioxidant pigments that are protective of its harmful rays. Some nature fanatics say you can even use berries as a form of sunscreen (I would only do this in an emergency situation!)

Berries are truly the fountain of youth with an anti-aging program. The high anti-oxidant capacity will surely keep you looking your finest and most fabulous.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician

www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Rosemary for Remembrance

rosemaryforremembrance.jpg

Rosemary is a great herb for memory.

Rosemary is often added to recipes dedicated to those that did not survive breast cancer for “remembrance”.

William Shakespeare even wrote in the play Hamlet, “There is rosemary, and that is for remembrance”.

Not too long ago we had some random spring snow here in Seattle, and whenever the sun is not shining (almost all the time) I am drawn to the garden for some sort of UV-free inspiration. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Rosemary Salmon Recipe

img_7478.jpgIf I can make this recipe, then ANYONE can make this recipe. Combining the simple whole foods ingredients of salmon with rosemary is not only great for the cardiovascular system, but memory and concentration as well.

The omega-3 oils combine nicely with the anti-oxidant and circulatory properties of the rosemary to give your brain a much needed mental boost! This is brain food at it’s finest people! Try eating this salmon for lunch to have a productive afternoon. This is the perfect recipe for someone with ADHD.

Dr. Nicole’s Rosemary Remembrance Salmon Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

The Healing Power of Mexican Food

mojito.jpg Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

Since many of you are going out for Mexican food today, I thought I would talk about all the great super foods abundant in traditional Mexican fare.

Mexican food can be extremely healthy if prepared properly, try to avoid the greasy dishes in lieu of the lighter ones with veggies.

Fajitas and burritos are much better choices than nachos and tacos, and just as delicious. Especially AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE those nasty things that are deep fried (um… can someone tell me how to spell chimichanga?)

Keep in mind that tonight you may also want to avoid drinking your calories. The average margarita or daiquiri runs around 1000 calories!

If you have two of those that is the amount of calories you need for the whole day! Yikes.

Let’s not drink our calories. I know strawberry daiquiri’s are delicious but before you decide to have one ask yourself whether or not you want to be drinking all that sugar, food coloring and calories. Save making drinks like that at home with REAL fruit. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

anti-inflammatoryfactory.jpg

Who should be on the anti-inflammatory diet?  Well– just about everyone!

Anyone with arthritis, chronic pain, chronic disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or sjogrens, as well as those looking to slow the aging process and disease prevention will benefit from an anti-inflammatory eating plan. Eating healthy is the gift that keeps on giving!

My first day in Human Pathology class back in med school I learned about how inflammation led to cellular destruction and that cellular destruction was ultimately the root cause of disease. Little did I know at the time that it was just about everything I needed to know for treating disease. Many years later, as I watch most chronic disease clear up if not vastly improve just from the implementation of the anti-inflammatory diet, I am consistently reminded of the importance of treating the inflammatory load in the body.

To understand the detriments of inflammation on a cellular level, imagine that your body is a factory.

Now let’s pretend that the cells that make up all your tissues are simply the product of an assembly line in this factory. The factory is required to produce a certain quantity of functional cells every day, regardless if cells are destroyed or made improperly. Every time the factory loses cells, or makes dysfunctional cells, the assembly line will then need to speed up that much more in order to achieve that day’s production quota.

I’m sure you can quickly see that the faster the line speeds up the more room for error there then becomes.As the line speeds up to max capacity quality goes down and quantity of error goes up.

In order to manage the “factories” called our bodies properly we must learn how to keep the assembly line running at a nice steady consistent virtually error free rate.

So what causes these errors?

Arachidonic acid is the biochemical “mother of all evil” when discussing inflammation.

Most pharmaceutical medications as well as anti-inflammatory herbs work to inhibit the enzymes like cycloxygenase and lipoxygenase that convert this bad fat in to the inflammatory products that cause us pain, destroy our joints, and ultimately make us sick. Most physicians heavily rely on anti-inflammatory meds like “COX Inhibitors” also known as “NSAIDS” that are either prescription or over the counter pain relievers for treating a myriad of complaints. COX just stands for cycloxygenase. COX is the enzyme that converts arachidonic acid in to inflammatory products that cause us pain or make us sick.

Why depend on taking a daily drug to reduce inflammation when you can simply achieve the most of it through diet?

Arachidonic acid (AA) is the fat found primarily in animal fats. The body can still produce AA on it’s own from vegetable fats in the event that we do need some inflammation to help the healing and remodeling process that is necessary for short term illness and injury. However the body tends to REALLY overshoot when it comes to inflammation.Anyone that has had some very painful swelling from an injury can understand how unnecessary most of the inflammatory response actually is. When dealing with chronic inflammation however, we need to do the best that we can to tone down this overshooting of the inflammatory response.

Fried foods are just like throwing gasoline on the inflammatory fire.

The unstable molecules in the fried foods just contribute to the chaos.

  • The best thing you can do for your long term health is to get fried foods out of your diet. Do not use butter or margarine.
  • Please never use shortening!
  • Olive oil should be used at all times unless cooking over 350F which then cold pressed canola or rapeseed oil should be used.
  • Flax seed oil should not ever be used for cooking due to it’s low smoking point, but can be used as salad dressing, or drizzled over steamed veggies for a nutty flavor.

The other most important step is to reduce if not eliminate animal fat consumption. This is why many people do well on a vegan diet (no animal products at all). You should check with your doctor to determine if a vegan diet is the right choice for you, as it is not the easiest to follow and may not be recommended for your particular body type and metabolism. At the very least you can eliminate red meat from your diet, all processed meats like hot dogs and sausages should absolutely be avoided as the nitrates in them particularly increase inflammation, as well as the ridiculously high fat content. Eggs have a high AA content and thus are best to be avoided or consumed in moderation.

Remember: Animal fat=Inflammation.

Eat lean poultry, fish, and plenty of wild Alaskan salmon.www.ewg.org to find a list of low mercury content fish that are not endangered. Fat free organic dairy products may also be acceptable for those without severe disease.

Although consuming omega 3 fats in the form of Alaskan salmon is most optimal, I understand it is not always practical.Those with severe inflammation will benefit from adding cod liver oil or fish oil in to their diet. Check with your naturopathic doctor to determine the dose that is appropriate for you. Those with bleeding disorders and on anti-coagulant medications should not take fish oil. The reason that fish oil is so anti-inflammatory is that it competes with arachidonic acid for the same enzymes to produce opposing products.In the presence of fish oil, arachidonic acid has less raw materials to produce inflammatory products. The average daily dose of fish oil is about 1tsp to 1 tbl daily. Be sure to take it with food. I like the lemon flavored cod liver oil by Carlson in the green bottle. It can be found at any health food store.

Other substances in the diet aside from arachidonic acid can also lead to inflammation.Anytime you have food allergies or intolerances, you will have an increased level of inflammation in your body as your immune system is forced to work overtime.You can do an ALLERGY ELIMINATION DIET to determine which foods you are most sensitive to.Most patients are triggered by a favorite food. Not typically what anyone ever wants to hear, but that is why I get paid the big bucks to be the bad guy. Aside from favorite foods top inflammation offenders are: Wheat, dairy, soy, citrus, peanuts/nuts, corn, chocolate, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, bananas, and beef.

Now at this point after I recite such a list most patients will look at me and say “But Doc that is my entire diet!” which then I will be forced to respond “Well no wonder you are so sick…”It may seem tough at first, but giving up foods that make us sick means giving up disease, and ultimately being healthy is what makes us the most happy and productive. Nothing should be more important to you than your health.Especially not a silly little food! If you are having a difficult time with these changes, and demonstrating to yourself this level of care and self love, please work with a therapist to sort out the issues surrounding making the necessary health improvements.

Some patients will notice a marked improvement in their arthritis by avoiding the night shade family, some will not.

The “night shade” family is comprised of potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers.The chemical solanine is thought to specifically cause pain in some individuals although it is not specifically researched.

You can try a 2 week elimination of the nightshade family with a re-introduction challenge as explained on the ALLERGY ELIMINATION DIET page and see if these foods are problematic or not. You will simply need to play around with all these foods that typically cause allergies and irritations and figure out which if any are causing you trouble. Typically after a week you should notice a marked improvement without that food in your diet, more severe disease may require two to three weeks without the food. Children respond faster and will typically resolve in 3 to 4 days.

Reducing sugar consumption is also key to reducing the inflammatory load.

Sugar basically “rusts” our system. Sugars in our system get stuck to healthy cells and basically “tags” them for destruction.A process called “glycosylation”.To prevent this inflammatory/aging process start with eliminating all white refined sugars and flour products like white breads, bagels, white rice, and other “evil white foods” from your diet.Find substitutes whenever possible, and enjoy your favorites judiciously. Follow the LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX DIET and learn how to appropriately pair high protein and high fiber foods with your carbohydrates to reduce the total glycemic load, which will stop your system from prematurely “rusting”.

Learn to eat more cleanly by adopting a WHOLE FOODS DIET.

Getting processed foods out of your diet is extremely important.So now that we have discussed the bad stuff in the diet that needs to go, let’s talk about the good foods that should be eaten liberally. Certain foods have magical anti-inflammatory properties. The more you can learn to use foods as medicine, the less medication you should inevitably be required to take.

Foods as medicine are great for people that already are on medications as they are less likely to have negative interactions than herbs and other natural supplements.

Please however always check with your doctor before making any changes to your health care routine.

My favorite anti-inflammatory food is BLUEBERRIES

I prescribe one cup of frozen blueberries daily to all my patients with inflammation, heart disease, or diabetes. Most people are happy to add such a delicious food in to their diet, but occasionally I will have a patient balk at the cost of eating so many blueberries each month.If you are already taking medications or other supplements, you are clearly paying quite a bit for your health already so adding a superfood in like blueberries is well worth the $30 a month. You could buy a bottle of some herbal product for that same price, or you could just enjoy eating blueberries.

  • Blueberries are highly anti-inflammatory and their proanthocyanin behavior is fundamentally protective to our cardiovascular system.
  • In my opinion there is not a more delicious, advantageous way to improve your health than by eating a cup of frozen blueberries a day.
  • I like to enjoy them as an evening snack, and let them sit out and thaw about 20 minutes before eating.
  • You can also add them to smoothies or your morning cereal.
  • Cooking them does not destroy their important pigments, and the freezing process actually makes these proanthocyanins more bioavailable for absorption. A rare exception to the rule that fresh is best!

Green leafy vegetables should also become your new best friend as they are an important anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant food.

Greens are chock full of magnesium a nutrient that most of us are typically deficient in anyways, eating as many servings of green vegetables daily as possible will serve you well. A diet of brown rice, vegetables, lean meats, non-citrus fruits, water and green tea is the ultimate goal to work towards.And honestly, it is the basis of nearly every “therapeutic diet” that we prescribe for just about every disease out there. No wonder treating inflammation is so fundamentally important!

If you add in some turmeric (found in curry spice), ginger, and green tea you should do really well with reducing your total inflammatory load.

Turmeric is a natural COX2 inhibitor and is a better anti-oxidant than vitamin E. Ginger is highly anti-inflammatory as it inhibits phosopholipase which then has the dual effect of inhibiting both COX and lipoxygenase .The catechins in green tea are shown to be anti-oxidant and inflammatory modulating. These can be enjoyed as foods or taken in supplements. Again if you are on any medications please check with your physician before using any herbs or making any changes to your health care routine.

Last but certainly not least is my plug on addressing your emotional state.

Toxic emotions such as anger, depression, and excessive worry or anxiety can lead the body out of balance. A new exciting research field on the forefront is “Psychoneuroimmunology” this is the study of how our emotional state affects our nervous system and how that in turn affects our immune system.The immune system is largely responsible for most inflammation.Having a positive mind set and letting go of past issues is as important as diet in experiencing optimal wellness!

So that is my simple anti-inflammatory formula for success.

Follow the recommendations in order systematically making one change at a time, or start with the changes that will be the most simple for you to build up your confidence and energy to deal with some of the tougher ones. If you are doing all of that and still noticing symptoms after some marked improvement you should continue to work with your Naturopathic Physician or other healthcare provider to determine what other dietary modifications or alternative medicines will benefit you.

Please do drop me a comment if you have any questions!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene
Naturopathic Physician
www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

REFERENCES

“Biochemistry” Fifth Edition by Berg, Tymockzko, and Stryer. “Herbal Medicine: From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. “Medical Herbalism” by David HoffmanEastwood MA. Interaction of dietary antioxidants in vivo: how fruit and vegetables prevent disease. QJM 1000;92(9):527-530 Hidaka H, Ishiko T, Furuhashi T, et al. Curcumin inhibits interleukin 8 production and enhances interleukin 8 receptor expression on the cell surface: impact on human pancreatic carcinoma cell growth by autocrine regulation. Cancer. 2002;95(6):1206-1214John JH, Ziebland S, Yudkin P, et al. Effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on plasma antioxidant concentrations and blood pressure: a randomized controlled trial. Lancet. 2002;359(9322):1969-1974. Kremer JM. N-3 fatty acid supplements in rheumatoid arthritis. AM J Clin Nutr. 2000;71:348-351.McDougall J, Bruce B, Spiller G, et al. Effects of a very low-fat, vegan diet in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. J Altern Complement Med. 2002;8(1):71-75Seaman DR. The diet induced proinflammatory state: a cause of chronic pain and other degenerative diseases? J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2002;25(3):168-179.Stark AH, Madar Z. Olive Oil as a functional food: epidemiology and nutritional approaches. Nutr Rev. 2002;60(6): 170-176. Kawachi I, Sparrow D, Spiro A III, et al. A prospective study of anger and coronary heart disease. The Normative Aging Study. Circulation 1996;94(9):2090-2095Kawachi I, Sparrow D, Vokonas PS, et al. Symptoms of anxiety and risk of coronary heart disease. The normative aging study. Circulation 1994;90:2225-2229. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, McGuire L, Robles TF, Glaser R. Emotions, morbidity, and mortality: new perspectives from psychoneruoimmunology. Annu Rev Pschol. 2002;53:83-107

A user friendly book I recommend on this topic is “The Inflammation Cure” by William Joel Meggs, M.D., Ph.D. if you would like to read more on the biochemistry of what I have discussed here.


Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Pomegranate Juice and Heart Disease

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket So, I had basically banned juice in our house for years either because of its high-fructose corn syrup content or because it is always a better idea to just drink water and eat a piece of fruit.

However, this has changed recently in regard to one particular fruit: the pomegranate. The pomegranate, when transformed into juice, does some amazing things for the body, and in particular, the cardiovascular system.

First and foremost it has been shown to lower blood pressure, and inhibit the formation of plaque along artery walls (aka atherosclerosis). Not only has it been shown to inhibit new plaque formation, but it also can reverse the atherosclerosis that has already occurred!

This last result is pretty amazing. The study was done in Israel and involved ten patients taking 50 mL of pomegranate juice every day for a year, after which a doppler ultrasound of the carotid artery showed up to a 30% decrease in the thickness of the artery. Patients who did not take the pomegranate juice showed a 9% increase in the thickness of their carotid arteries. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Blueberries and Antioxidants

February 27, 2008 by Kitchen Table Medicine  
Filed under Antioxidants

blueberries

So by now everyone knows that blueberries are good for you. In fact, not only are they good for you, they have been found to be the fruit highest in antioxidant activity in a recent research study done at Cornell University.

Why is antioxidant activity important to you?

Well, one of the main ways in which our cells are destroyed or damaged is through the activity of free radicals, which the antioxidant power of blueberries can halt. Also, blueberries have been found to be as effective in preventing urinary tract infections as cranberries. Fresh or frozen wild blueberries are your best bet and at 1 cup a day, an easy and tasty way to work towards your 5-9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables!

Wolfe KL, Liu RH. Cellular Antioxidant Activity (CAA) Assay for Assessing Antioxidants, Foods, and Dietary Supplements.J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 31;55(22):8896-907.

Schmidt BM, Howell AB, McEniry B, Knight CT, Seigler D, Erdman JW Jr, Lila MA. Effective separation of potent antiproliferation and antiadhesion components from wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) fruits. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Oct 20;52(21):6433-42.

Author: Dr. Emily Gonzalez, Naturopathic Physician

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Coenzyme Q10

PhotobucketCoenzyme Q10 or “CoQ10”, also known as ubiquinone, is an anti-oxidant that is essential for mitochondrial energy production and may play a role in cellular defense against oxidative damage.

A growing body of research shows that using a coenzyme Q10 supplement alone or in combination with other therapies may be beneficial in the treatment of several health problems, including cardiac conditions and diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breast cancer, diabetes mellitus, immune deficiency, muscular dystrophy, and periodontal disease.

Dietary Sources
Most coenzyme Q10 is believed to be synthesized inside the body. Normal dietary intake is minimal, though primary food sources include oily fish, organ meats (such as liver), nuts, and whole grains.

Supplementation with higher doses of CoQ10 can be helpful in individuals with certain health conditions, and in the elderly, because levels can decline with advancing age. If taken as a supplement, coenzyme Q10 should be taken with a meal containing fat or oil since it is fat-soluble. The body does not absorb it as well in the absence of oil.

Consult your physician for specific recommendations CoQ10 supplementation.

Precautions
Coenzyme Q10 appears to be safe with no significant side effects. However, the safety of supplementation during pregnancy and breast-feeding is unknown.

Possible Interactions
Certain medications such as Adriamycin, lovastatin and other HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors, gemfibrozil, beta-blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, and phenothiazine may deplete the body of coenzyme Q10.

Resources
1. Combs, G.F., The Vitamins: Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health. 2nd ed. 1998, San Diego, Calif.: Academic Press. xxii, 618.
2. Gaby, A.R. and J. Wright, Nutritional Therapy in Medical Practice. 2001, Seattle, WA: Nutrition Seminars.
3. MD Consult, Patient Handouts. 2002, http://www.mdconsult.com.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Juicing For Health

 Raw vegetable and fruit juices are said to be the richest available sources of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. They also contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that have significant medicinal value. Drunk as raw juice, they pass rapidly into the bloodstream because they require very little digestion. Juices seem to radiate and transport with them pure life force or the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae).

Preparation of Raw Vegetable and Fruit Juices

• Use freshly squeezed or extracted juices whenever possible.
• Use fruit juices sparingly. When you drink fruit or sweeter vegetable juices (like carrot or beet juice), dilute them 1:1 with filtered water to prevent both a glucose/insulin spike and to avoid the diuretic effect of the sugar.
• Drink any type of juice immediately to derive maximum benefit.
• Select a variety of raw, fresh, unblemished vegetables or fruits. Choose organic whenever possible.
• Clean and wash the produce thoroughly with an organic soap. (Dr. Bronner’s soap, for example, diluted as directed).
• Use a juicer, not a blender.
• Prepare the produce by removing tough, inedible peels, stems and seeds. Cut the produce into pieces. Juice the pieces and mix the various juices together.
• The pulp is full of fiber and can be used in soups, stews, etc. or to make excellent garden compost.
• Start out juicing one ounce of each of five or more vegetables (or fruits). If the taste is unfamiliar, add some apple, carrot or tomato. Gradually increase the amount of combined juices up to one pint per day. One serving is ½ cup fruit juice or ¾ cup vegetable juice. Vary the juice types daily, not only to benefit from a wider range of nutrients, but also to reduce the risk of developing allergies to the individual vegetables and fruits.

Cabbage and Carrot Juice: ½ cup cabbage juice, ¼ cup carrot juice, ¼ cup celery juice, chopped fresh cilantro leaves to garnish.

Beet Borscht Cocktail: ½ cup beet juice, ½ cup carrot juice, 6 Tablespoons cucumber juice, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon plain yogurt. Blend together.

Carrot and Rosemary Juice: ½ cup carrot juice, ½ cup celery juice, 3 soft sprigs rosemary, freshly ground pepper. Blend together.

French Potassium Juice: 1 bunch watercress, 3 large carrots, 3 large sticks celery. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Chinese Waterfall: ¼ cup grape juice, ¼ cup pear juice, ¼ cup melon juice. Blend together. Dilute with ¾ cup filtered water. Serve over ice. Garnish with ground ginger.

Resources
McIntyre, Anne. Drink To Your Health. 2000. Gaia Books Ltd.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

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