Heart Palpitations and Magnesium

Hi Dr. Ben,

Question:I am currently pregnant and have been experiencing heart palpitations. My midwife told me to take magnesium. I have been taking a drugstore brand of magnesium oxide 250mg pills, but I don’t think I’m absorbing as much as I should because I am still having palpitations before my next dose.

So, my question is which of your products will best suit my needs? Thanks so much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Answer: Magnesium is a tricky one and companies typically use poor forms of magnesium as it is less expensive to produce. Many magnesium drugstore products contains poor ingredients. Magnesium Oxide , Cellulose Gel , Croscarmellose Sodium , Magnesium Stearate.

Magnesium Oxide is the worst form of magnesium to take as it has the least absorption. To make it worse, the magnesium is in tablet form making absorption even less.

You may consider doing a few things to enhance magnesium absorption:

  • Mag Phos 6x 1000 tab cell salt works on a more cellular level than the typical magnesium supplement. It is easiest to put 25 tablets in 1 liter of water and drink throughout the day – every day. This way you are getting water and magnesiumm – both key to proper health.
  • Low electrolytes may cause numerous symptoms and taking the full range may assist in reducing palpitations. The recommended dosage of E-Lye Electrolyte Concentrate is ½ an ounce of concentrate to 8 oz. of water, or 8 ounces into 1 gallon of water or milk. Drink an 8 oz. serving 1-2 times daily, or as directed by your physician or HCP.Add this to the 1 liter of water and drink throughout the day along with the Mag Phos cell salts making it easier for you to remember.
  • Taking additional Magnesium of one type will likely lead to diarrhea or GI upset. So it is recommend to take a product with 3 forms of magnesium in it for optimal absorption. Tri-Magnesium offers this. Recommend dose is 1-2 caps per day.
    I would use this product over the drugstore product. I would actually throw the other product  in the trash. I do not see how it can provide much benefit given the ingredients and tablet form.

These three may reduce your heart palpitations if it is due to a magnesium deficiency.

Also increase green vegetables in your diet, as the chlorophyll molecule is rich in magnesium. Read “America’s #1 American Mineral Deficiency.”

One thing to keep in mind:

Magnesium and Calcium compete with each other. So make sure you are consuming products high in Calcium – like Organic dark leafy greens and Chia Seeds. Just two ounces of Chia seeds contain 600 mg of Calcium, compared with 120 mg for milk.

If you’ve further questions, please do inquire.

Have a healthy pregnancy and enjoy your little one when they arrive :)

In health,

Dr Benjamin Lynch CEO of  www.HealthEGoods.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 ™

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 ™

Cholesterol Diet

PhotobucketThe good news is there are many lifestyle changes that will lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The combination of a low-saturated-fat, total-fat, and low-cholesterol diet, physical activity, and weight control can have many positive effects on overall health.

In addition to lowering the “bad” LDL cholesterol, they can raise the “good” HDL cholesterol.

The body naturally makes cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol is found in foods that contain animal products (butter, milk, cheese, chicken, beef, eggs, etc.). Plant products do NOT contain cholesterol. There are many good things cholesterol does in the body, including:

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 ™

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 ™

Foxglove: Poisonous or Life Saving?

foxglovedigitalis.jpgDid you know those pink and white “Gnome Hats” lining our roadsides in the Pacific Northwest can either kill you or save your life?

Formally known as Digitalis purpurea, this beautiful plant contains a powerful herbal medicine that saves lives every single day for those with heart disease.

Now, one should never make any medicine on their own with foxglove, as it can kill you. Foxglove is a poisonous plant. However, the poisonous mechanism that the cardiac glycosides from Digitalis exhibit to cause cardiac arrest, actually improve contractility in the heart of those with congestive heart failure.

In small controlled doses, the medicine of this plant has smartly been synthesized by scientists to create the drug Digoxin, a pharmaceutical derivative of Digitalis. Digoxin is used to improve contractility of the heart in those that have congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, and paroxysmal atrial tachycardia.

Anyone doubting that plants contain medicine should in addition avoid the use of prescription pharmaceuticals, as many drugs that we commonly use such as aspirin also originate from nature. If you doubt herbs have medicine in them, then you should doubt the pharmacology of the prescription drugs you take as well.

Try arguing with a willow tree about its salicin and salicylic acid constituents. The salicylic acid found in willow bark was simply synthesized and buffered into “acetyl salicylic acid” which is what we commonly use as the drug “aspirin” for just about everything that ails us. The buffering agent was simply added to protect the stomach lining.

Aspirin is just glorified herbal medicine at its finest! Herbs are the original medicine. Money drives the bottom line behind the domination of pharmaceutical agents used by our country. A willow tree cannot be patented, but a buffered form of its derivative certainly can! Yet another reason why America spends the most money on health care, yet we are still only second to Finland as the unhealthiest people in the world.

*Dr. Nicole looks around, paranoid that she may be offed by a drug rep and their donuts*

Some herbs such as foxglove contain powerful medicines that can do a great deal of harm. But, when used appropriately and with the correct wisdom and intentions, herbs can also do a great deal of help. What we need to do with alternative medicine is quit wasting time arguing about whether or not plants can be used as medicine. Herbalists, scientists, naturopaths, MD’s, and pharmaceutical companies need to instead combine their intelligence to create more helpful drugs such as Digoxin.

If something as common as foxglove growing like a weed around us can save a patient with a weak heart, just think of what kinds of cures for cancer, AIDS, or other incurable diseases that we might be able to develop from the plants around us!

Who knows? Maybe the cure for the common cold is growing in your backyard right now; it has just yet to be discovered.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table.

~Dr. Nicole

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 ™

Fish Oil vs Flax Oil? The Great Debate

shutterstock_4806400.jpgOne of the greatest flaws in the Standard American Diet (SAD) is a lack of omega-3 fatty acids.

Repleting this deficiency typically improves memory and mental functioning as well as corrects a gamut of other annoying health problems.

The reason for this is that these essential oils are necessary for proper brain functioning, immune function, hormonal balance and skin integrity as they are the necessary building blocks for the cellular membrane of every single cell in our body. Wow just ONE thing for all SIXTY TRILLION cells in your body!

This must be pretty important then… 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 ™

Butterfish: Better than Salmon?

black codYou have probably been buying and eating salmon for years, knowing that its omega-3 fat content is nice and high to help protect you against heart disease. However, have you heard about wild Alaskan black cod (also known as sable, butterfish or bluefish)?

By my book, anything that is known as butterfish has to be good.

This fish can contain as much as 50% more omega-3 fats than salmon and has a very mild flavor (as opposed to salmon which can be too fishy for some tastes).

For anyone who is concerned about fish populations (and that should be everyone who likes to eat fish!) this is an abundant and sustainable fish because it has been well managed. 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 ™

Smile to prevent Heart Disease!

PhotobucketAs I look outside today, it is a typical winter day in Seattle: cold, damp, and overcast with a light drizzle. The last thing I feel like doing on a day like today is smiling. However, it may be just the thing that helps me feel better in the here and now, and helps my heart in the long-run.

The act of smiling is known to release endorphins, hormones which make you feel, well, fabulous. Things that have made me smile include The Simpsons circa mid-1990s, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (especially read aloud), 30 Rock (love Alec Baldwin), and any stand-up by Amy Schumer.

Think of something that makes you smile, and keep reading!

Now that those endorphins are working for you, you will be pleased to read that in 2001 researchers from Johns Hopkins found that a positive attitude is the best prevention for heart disease. Good attitudes were shown to cut in half the risk of a heart attack, regardless of age, race, and gender of those with more pessimistic attitudes.

So smile today and your heart will love you for years to come!

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 ™

Garlic’s Many Uses

February 5, 2008 by Kitchen Table Medicine  
Filed under Heart Disease, Herbal Medicine

PhotobucketGarlic, botanically known as Allium Sativum, is used for reducing high blood pressure, preventing age-related vascular changes, reducing reinfarction and mortality post-MI, decreasing LDL (bad) and VLDL cholesterol, and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol for coronary heart disease.

Garlic is also used in Chinese medicine for diarrhea, amoebic and bacterial dysentery, tuberculosis, bloody urine, diphtheria, whooping cough, scalp ringworm, hypersensitive teeth and vaginal trichomoniasis.

Traditionally, garlic has had many other uses as well, including the treatment of colds and flu, fever, cough, headache, stomach ache, sinus congestion, athlete’s foot, gout, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, asthma, bronchitis, shortness of breath, arteriosclerosis, low blood pressure, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, cancer, old ulcers, snakebites and as an aphrodisiac. In foods and beverages, garlic and its components are used for flavoring.

Effectiveness

The bulb and clove are the applicable parts of garlic. Garlic has proven effects that include antibacterial, antihelmintic (worms), antimycotic (fungal), antiviral, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, fibrinolytic, hypotensive, promoting leukocytosis, lipid-lowering (total serum cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides) and inhibiting platelet aggregation.

Possible Mechanism of Action and Active Ingredients

An odorless amino acid, alliin, is contained in intact garlic cells. When the intact cells are broken, alliin comes into contact with an enzyme called allinase and produces an unstable and odiferous compound called allicin (antibacterial). Further conversion of allicin yields the components E-ajoene and Z-ajoene (antithrombotic). Another constituent, allylpropyl disulfide, can reduce blood sugar while increasing insulin.

Safety

Typically, garlic is taken orally as a component of food or as a dietary supplement. This would be the equivalent of 1 clove fresh garlic taken 1-2 times daily. Garlic is safe in adults when ingested in amounts commonly found in foods and when used orally and appropriately in medicinal amounts. In larger amounts and topically, it is possibly unsafe. In children, large amounts taken orally can be dangerous or even fatal. There is insufficient reliable information available regarding topical use in children or in pregnancy and lactation. During pregnancy, when used in amounts typically found in foods, it is likely safe. However, larger amounts might predispose the onset of menstruation or uterine contractions. In lactation, it is contraindicated in amounts greater than is typically found in foods.

Adverse Reactions

Garlic has dose-related effects when taken orally that include breath odor, mouth and gastrointestinal burning or irritation, heartburn, flatulence, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It can produce changes in intestinal flora. There is one report of spinal epidural hematoma and platelet dysfunction with ingestion of fresh garlic and one report of post-operative bleeding and prolonged bleeding with high dietary garlic consumption. Topically, exposure can result in contact dermatitis and blistering.

Possible Interactions with Herbs and Other Dietary Supplements

EPA (Eicosapentanoic acid) in fish oil, when taken concomitantly with garlic, can enhance antithrombotic effects. The concomitant use of herbs that affect platelet aggregation and could theoretically increase the risk of bleeding in some people include angelica, anise, arnica, asafetida, bog bean, boldo, capsicum, celery, chamomile, clove, danshen, fenugreek, feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, ginseng (Panax), horse chestnut, horseradish, licorice, meadowsweet, prickly ash, onion, papain, passionflower, poplar, quassia, red clover, turmeric, wild carrot, wild lettuce, willow and others.

Possible Interactions with Drugs

ANTICOAGULANT DRUGS – can enhance the effects of Coumadin (warfarin)
ANTIPLATELET DRUGS – concomitant use may increase risk of bleeding with these drugs
HYPOGLYCEMIC DRUGS – concomitant use may increase the effects and adverse effects of these drugs
INSULIN – insulin dosage adjustments may be necessary

Possible Interactions with Lab Tests

BLOOD GLUCOSE – can lower blood glucose levels resulting in lower test results
BLOOD INSULIN – can increase blood insulin levels resulting in higher test results
INTERNATIONAL NORMALIZATION RATIO (INR) – there are two cases of increased INR associated with concomitant use of garlic and warfarin

Use garlic with caution in bleeding disorders, diabetes and infectious or inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions.

Note: The effectiveness of garlic dietary supplements is determined by their ability to yield allicin (which leads to the production of other active principles). To be effective, dried garlic preparations should be enterically coated to protect the constituents from stomach acid. Some products do not generate the amount of allicin equivalent to one clove of fresh garlic or contain no active compounds at all.

Resources

  1. Blumenthal, M., et al. ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines.
  2. Trans. S. Klein. Boston, MA: American Botanical Council. 1998.
  3. Brinker, F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 2nd edition. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998.
  4. Foster, S and Tyler, VE. Tyler’s Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies, 3rd edition. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1996.
  5. Garty, BZ. “Garlic burns.” Pediatrics, 1993 Mar; 91: 658-59.
  6. Gruenwald, J. et al. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 1st edition. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 1998.
  7. Incorporated Society, Nittendorf, West Germany. “Hypertension and hyperlipidemia: garlic helps in mild cases.” Br J Clin Pract Suppl, 1990; 69:3-6.
  8. Jellin, JM, Batz, F, and Hitchens, K. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 1999: pg. 407-409.
  9. Leung, AY and Foster, S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics, 2nd edition. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
  10. McGuffin, M, et al., ed. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997.
  11. McMahon, FG and Vargas, R. “Can garlic lower blood pressure? A pilot study.” Pharmacotherapy, 1993; 13(4): 406-407.
  12. Newall, CA, Anderson, LA and Philpson, JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1994.
  13. Robbers, JE, Speedie, MK and Tyler, VE. Pharmacognosy and Pharmabiotechnology. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins, 1996.
  14. Silagy, CA and Neil, HA. “A meta-analysis of the effect of garlic on blood pressure.” J Hypertension, 1994; 12(4): 463-68.
  15. Sunter, WH. “Warfarin and garlic.” Pharm J, 1991; 246: 722.
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 Mediterranean Diet

PhotobucketThis diet is based on the diet typically consumed on the island of Crete that is high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, healthy protein sources (fish, legumes, etc.) and complex carbohydrates. Fat calories account for 35-45% of total calories.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids have the potential to block and prevent all of the steps of the genesis and evolution of heart disease and heart attack: damage to the arterial wall, inflammation, plaque formation via oxidized LDL cholesterol, plaque accumulation, final blockage of the coronary artery and arrhythmia.

They will also assist in reversing the process that may already be advanced.(1)

Clinically speaking, this amounts to lowering blood levels of total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, maintaining or raising blood HDL cholesterol levels, improving blood insulin and glucose levels and decreasing blood pressure. Proof of the diet’s efficacy comes from two main studies: the Lyon Diet Heart Study and the Diet and Reinfarction Trial (DART). (2, 3)

In the 1989 DART study in England, two thousand men who were recovering from recent heart attacks were assigned to one of three quite different diets:

  1. High fiber
  2. Low saturated fat and high in omega-6 oils (standard heart diet)
  3. A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish or supplements.

The patients on the high omega-3 fatty acids diet had a 29% lower death rate, which at the time was the greatest reduction in mortality from any heart diet.(4)

In a study of heart attack patients, those on the Mediterranean diet had a 76% lower risk for major cardiovascular events (subsequent heart attack, unstable angina and stroke) compared to a similar group of heart attack patients on a standard American diet.(5)

Concerns regarding the Mediterranean diet are the extra calories from the high olive oil intake, decreased iron and decreased calcium because of decreased dairy intake. Cooking in cast iron pans, consuming foods high in iron, calcium and Vitamin C or supplementing these nutrients will avoid these deficiencies.(6)

Note: The following dietary guidelines may include foods to which some individuals may have allergies, sensitivities or intolerances and in those cases those foods should be avoided. Dietary choices should be made according to your own individual needs.

Consult your physician for nutritional information pertaining to your specific medical condition(s). In the case of patients with heart disease, your naturopathic team will design a comprehensive treatment protocol that will likely include diet, exercise, stress management, supplements and other modalities.
Photobucket
DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN (OMEGA) DIET

  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna, trout, herring, mackerel), walnuts, canola oil, flaxseeds and green leafy vegetables. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be supplemented.
  • Use olive oil and canola oil as your primary fat sources.
  • Eat seven or more servings of fresh vegetables and fruits daily.
  • For protein sources, rely on fish and vegetable protein including legumes, beans, peas and nuts.
  • Avoid saturated fat by choosing lean meat over fatty meat. Eat red meat only a few times a month, if at all.
  • Choose nonfat or low fat over full-fat dairy products.
  • Avoid oils that are high in omega-6 fatty acids including corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean and cottonseed oils.
  • Minimize your intake of trans-fats by avoiding margarine, vegetable shortening, commercial pastries, deep fat fried foods and most prepared snacks, mixes and convenience food.
  • Season with garlic, onions, herbs.
  • Focus on high fiber from whole fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Enjoy a glass of red wine occasionally.

Resources
1. Simopoulos, Artemis P. MD and Robinson, Jo. The Omega Diet: The Lifesaving Nutritional Program Based on the Diet of the Island of Crete. 1999. HarperCollins, NY.
2. Renaud S and Paul T. “Cretan Mediterranean diet for prevention of coronary heart disease.” Am J Clin Nutr, 1995; 61 (supp) 1360S-7S.
3. Burr ML, Gilbert JF and Deadman NM. Effects of changes in fat, fish, and fibre intakes on death and myocardial infarction: Diet and Reinfarction Trial (DART). The Lancet, 1989. September 30, 1989: 757-761.

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 ™

High Blood Pressure Diet

PhotobucketHypertension is another name for high blood pressure.

It is a condition that occurs when the pressure inside of your arteries is too high. Because it is a silent disorder the only way to detect hypertension is to have your blood pressure measured.

Hypertension is a very common problem that affects about 50 million people in the United States alone.

That’s about 1 out of every 4 adults. It is more common as people grow older and is more common and more serious in African Americans.

What do the numbers mean?

Blood pressure measures the natural pressure created by blood pumping through your veins and arteries. Blood pressure is read as two numbers, one over the other. The top number, or systolic blood pressure, measures the blood pressure when the heart pumps. The bottom number, or diastolic blood pressure, measures the blood pressure between heartbeats when the heart rests.

Hypertension is blood pressure that is over 140/90

Optimal blood pressure is under 120/80

Risk factors you can control

9 out of every 10 people who have hypertension do not have a known cause for their condition. A family history of hypertension is a risk factor for developing the condition. With or without a family history, you have a chance of avoiding or controlling hypertension by:

• Keeping your weight under control
• Keeping physically fit
• Eating a healthy diet low in sodium and rich in nutrients potassium, magnesium and calcium
• Limiting alcohol intake (no more than 2 mixed drinks or two 12 oz. cans of beer or two 6 oz. glasses of wine daily)
• Never smoking or quitting immediately
• Avoiding medications that might increase your blood pressure:
o Decongestant nasal sprays and pain medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)

Therapeutic foods

• Increase consumption of vitamin C-rich foods (citrus fruits, strawberries, red peppers, dark green leafy vegetables)
• Increase consumption of vitamin E-rich foods (almonds, hazelnuts, wheat germ, peanut butter)
• Increase consumption of magnesium-rich foods (soybeans, tomatoes, beans, nuts & seeds, squash, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables, tofu, wheat germ, halibut, swiss chard)
• Increase consumption of potassium-rich foods (grapefruit, grapes, tomatoes, beans, apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, corn, cucumbers, dates, salt-water fish, lamb)
• Increase consumption of calcium-rich foods (yogurt, sardines, salmon (canned with bones), milk, cheese, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli)
• Try cooking with less salt. Experiment with spices such as, parsley, basil, oregano, ginger, sesame, dill, cilantro, curry, pepper, and thyme to reduce the amount of salt used in cooking
• Cut back on sodium, including that in processed foods and in many drugs (check labels for soda, sodium, or salt). Avoid commercial sauces like soy or Worcestershire and commercial salad dressings (check labels for sodium content)
• When eating out, ask for your food cooked without added salt

Physical Activity

Start slowly and build up gradually. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 20 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity 3 to 5 days per week. Aerobic activity will strengthen your heart and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It will also help to control your weight. Try brisk walking, jogging, biking, hiking, group exercise classes (water aerobics, kick-boxing, judo), running stairs, rowing, and team sports (football, soccer).

Hypertension can lead to other serious health problems:

Routinely monitoring your blood pressure is important. Hypertension has been called a “silent killer” because it has no specific symptoms and it can lead to death. People who have hypertension that is not treated with lifestyle modifications and medications (if necessary) are likely to experience one or several of the following conditions:
• Coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure, or abnormal heart beat.
• Kidney failure
• Peripheral vascular disease, hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) that supply blood to the arms, legs, and other parts of the body
• Retinopathy, or damage to the tiny blood vessels that supply blood to the light-sensitive lining of the back of the eye
• Stroke

Sources:
American Heart Association. “Why Should I Care?” http://www.americanheart.org/hbp/care.jsp
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Publication 03-5232, 2003.

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 ™

Helpful Tips to Reduce Sodium

shutterstock_1134393.jpgSodium, a component of table salt, is a mineral found naturally in most foods. Everyone needs some sodium but most people get much more than they need.

In some people sodium causes water retention that leads to swelling. Besides the discomfort this may cause, it can lead to high blood pressure that increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney damage.

Decreasing the amount of sodium in the diet helps reduce extra fluid and swelling which allows the blood pressure to begin to return to normal. Most Americans should consume no more than 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams) of sodium a day. That is about 1 teaspoon of table salt a day. For someone with high blood pressure, the doctor may advise less.

Tips to Reduce Salt and Sodium

  • Buy fresh, plain frozen, or canned “with no salt added” vegetables.
  • Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat, rather than canned or processed types.
  • Use herbs, spices, and salt-free seasoning blends in cooking and at the table.
  • Cook rice, pasta, and hot cereal without salt. Cut back on instant or flavored rice, pasta, and cereal mixes, which usually have added salt.
  • Choose “convenience” foods that are low in sodium. Cut back on frozen dinners, pizza, packaged mixes, canned soups or broths, and salad dressings – these often have a lot of sodium.
  • Rinse canned foods, such as tuna and beans, to remove some sodium.
  • When available, buy low- or reduced-sodium or no-salt-added versions of foods.
  • Choose ready-to-eat breakfast cereals that are low in sodium.

Experiment with seasonings

  • Thyme, sage, parsley, or Tabasco
  • Basil, mint, bay leaves, or vinegar
  • Oregano, rosemary, chilis, cayenne, or fresh tomatoes
  • Saffron, curry, onions, or lemon juice
  • Dill, fresh garlic, or dry mustard
  • Fresh ginger, cumin, sesame seeds, tahini, or Vegit

**Consult with a medical doctor (MD) before using salt substitutes**

Foods to Avoid that are High in Sodium

Avoid the following high-sodium foods, or look for low-sodium or sodium-free versions.

  • Meat, fish, poultry and other high-protein foods
  • Salted or smoked meats and fish, bacon, ham, luncheon meats, sausage, salt pork, hot dogs, canned tuna, salmon, sardines, anchovies, meat and shrimp, Canadian bacon, corned beef, processed cheese, salted peanut butter, soy meat substitutes

Snack foods

  • Potato chips, corn chips, pretzels, cheese doodles, salted nuts, salted crackers, salted popcorn, party dips, Gatorade

Vegetables

  • Canned tomatoes, paste, sauce, and juice, olives, pickles and relishes, sauerkraut
  • Convenience and processed foods
  • TV and packaged dinner dishes, canned/frozen soups, commercial broth, Cup-a-Soup, gravy mixes, sauce mixes, stuffing, breaded entrees, bread mixes, dehydrated soups, bouillon cubes, instant and ready-to-eat cereals

Seasonings and condiments

  • Garlic, onion, and celery salt, meat tenderizer, steak sauce, chili sauce, soy sauce, tamari, tartar, and barbecue sauce
  • Commercial salad dressings, ketchup, seasoned salt substitutes, horseradish, prepared mustard, lemon pepper, and sea vegetables

Avoid added salt when cooking and eating out

  • When a recipe calls for salt, cut the amount in half as a first step. Gradually reduce salt further as taste tolerance adapts.
  • Be aware that restaurant food is often salty- choose dishes and restaurants that provide low-sodium options and/or eat out less often

NOTE: Some prescription, and over-the-counter medications do contain sodium that may contribute to increases in blood pressure. Ask a doctor or pharmacist for the names of specific medications that may be an issue.

Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Your Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure, 2003 & Swedish Heart Institute, A Patient’s Guide to Heart-Healthy Nutrition, 2002

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 ™

Magnesium and Cardiovascular Health

January 10, 2008 by Kitchen Table Medicine  
Filed under Heart Disease, Minerals

PhotobucketA strong connection has been drawn between magnesium deficiency and cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension, ischemic heart disease, mitral valve prolapse, irregular heart rhythms, and fatal heart attacks.

The role of magnesium in the following processes is well documented:
• Maintains regular heartbeat and muscle tone, and prevents muscle spasms of the arteries.
• Prevents the loss of potassium.
• Decreases serum triglycerides and increases the “good” cholesterol known as HDL.
• Prevents the harmful effects of stress on the heart.
• In some people it is able to decrease the blood pressure.
• Prevents the “stickiness” of red blood cells, allowing the blood to flow much easier.

The United States Recommended Daily Allowance for adults of magnesium is 400mg. It is estimated, however, that the typical American diet provides only 120mg./1000Kcal. At this level the average American is receiving approximately half of the RDA for magnesium.

Proper magnesium intake is vital for the growth, development, and maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system. The following checklist can be used to assess one’s need for greater magnesium in the diet.

FACTORS ADVERSELY AFFECTING THE MAGNESIUM LEVELS IN THE BODY

• High dietary concentration of refined, processed, or cooked foods. (Magnesium is refined out of foods during processing and cooking removes magnesium).
• History of chronic diarrhea and/or vomiting.
• Presence of any of the following diseases: Diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney malfunction, arteriosclerosis.
• Poor thyroid function.
• High dietary intake of fats.
• High blood cholesterol with high dietary protein.
• Use of diuretics.
• Consumption of alcohol.
• High dietary intake of calcium, phosphate, and lactose (lactose is the sugar found in milk). Milk and magnesium-rich foods should not be consumed together.
• High stress lifestyle.
• Intake of “soft” drinking water.

FOODS CONTAINING  MAGNESIUM FROM HIGHEST TO LOWEST

Peanuts
Beans
Shrimp
Whole-wheat bread
Crabmeat
Bananas
Beef
Broccoli
Potatoes
White bread
Ham
Chicken
Milk
Eggs

Reference: Reed, P.B. Nutrition – An Applied Science, West Publishing Co., L.A. 1980, pg. 343

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.
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