What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

July 24, 2012

The Benefits of Breakfast

Filed under: Feature Articles, Healthy Living tips — Tags: , , , , — Sigona's @ 9:18 am

Tips for Healthy Living

Geri Wohl is our latest and greatest Tips for Healthy Living writer. Geri is a Bay Area-based Certified Nutrition Consultant and Educator with extensive training in holistic and whole foods nutrition focused on emphasizing positive lifestyle changes. Her articles are sure to educate, engage and entertain. Feel free to contact her over at Better Eating Coach. – Carmelo Sigona

The Benefits of Breakfast

By Geri Wohl

Do you start your day with a bowl of cereal? Maybe it’s a bagel and cream cheese. Some people may begin with pancakes or French toast. Perhaps your breakfast begins with a cup of coffee and nothing else. Or are you part of the 44% of the US population that has no breakfast at all?

What’s in a good breakfast? Are there ways to start our days with vigor? While some of us don’t pay attention to our morning meal either because we’re not hungry or we lack time, we all need to jump-start our metabolism by providing our bodies with the fuel needed to be more effective at work or school. Breakfast provides fuel after an 8-12 hour fast.

Eating breakfast signals the body that the day is beginning and the appropriate hormones and enzymes need to get ramped up for the day ahead. As the brain is highly dependent on glucose (sugar), carbohydrates which break down to sugars are an important component of our morning meal. But having a heavily carb-rich meal will result in blood sugar spikes. Have you ever wondered why you’re ravenous at 10:00 am after eating a bowl of cereal? Sugar is used by the body as a quick source of energy. But once it is used, the body craves more sugar, resulting in continued hunger. In addition, sugar requires insulin to bring it into the cells. With increased consumption of sugary foods, the body may eventually develop insulin resistance.

Geri Wohl

Geri Wohl, Certified Nutrition Consultant

Skipping this meal can be just as problematic as having a carbohydrate-rich breakfast. No food signals the body to go into “starvation mode.” Without nourishment,the body tries to hoard every calorie possible until the food crisis has passed. Just like bears and whales put on fat and blubber to deal with the winter months of little food, so too our bodies have an inherent mechanism to protect us from periods of minimal food. The end result is extra fat and weight which most of us would rather avoid.

Eating a balanced breakfast has been shown to help with weight loss. Wholesome breakfasts help reduce hunger throughout the day. When people eat only two meals per day (lunch and dinner), they typically will eat more calories because those hunger pangs are so strong.

So what should be in that morning meal? I always recommend to my clients to start the day with a balanced breakfast including some form of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.

So what are these different pieces? Proteins are broken down into amino acids, the building blocks for cells, hormones and enzymes. Proteins also help regulate blood sugar to prevent blood sugar highs and lows. In addition, they provide us with longer periods of energy so that we don’t get as hungry. Examples are eggs, vegetarian protein like lentils or beans, tofu or tempeh, fish, poultry or meat. Carbohydrates are any food that breaks down into sugar. Complex carbs are those that take longer to break apart, and are better for you as they have more dietary fiber. Vegetables, grains, legumes, and fruit fall into this category.

Eating foods that break down into simple sugars too quickly – which is what most Americans eat for breakfast – provide little nutritional value because they are “naked” carbs with none of the necessary fiber, vitamins or minerals. Part of your meal should contain high-fiber and low-glycemic value foods so that your blood sugar remains at a relatively constant level. If you want more information about fiber-rich and low-glycemic foods, please contact me through my website, www.bettereatingcoach.com.

Finally, fat should be included. You don’t need a lot and small amounts of the right fats won’t necessarily make you fat. But you do need to choose quality fats. Some examples of healthy fats are olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds and avocados.

I want to address one food that has been controversial – eggs. Some of us are very concerned about cholesterol. Some new research has shown that consuming eggs in moderation is not responsible for high cholesterol levels. According to the American Heart Association, healthy people can eat an egg per day. One egg has about 70 calories. If you buy pastured eggs, these eggs have many wonderful nutrients that are anti-inflammatory and rich in protein as well. For a delicious vegetable frittata recipe, visit my website, www.bettereatingcoach.com/recipes.

So remember to begin your day right and allow your body to be at its maximum potential! Bon Appetit!

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July 11, 2012

A Peach a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Filed under: Healthy Living tips — Tags: , , , , — Sigona's @ 9:21 am

Tips for Healthy Living

I’m incredibly excited to announce Geri Wohl as our newest Tips for Healthy Living writer. Geri is a Bay Area-based Certified Nutrition Consultant and Educator with extensive training in holistic and whole foods nutrition focused on emphasizing positive lifestyle changes. Her articles are sure to educate, engage and entertain. Welcome aboard Geri! – Carmelo Sigona

A Peach a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

The Nutritional Benefits of Fruits and How to Select Them

By Geri Wohl

Now I know that the saying is actually “an apple” but let’s look at the beneficial qualities of peaches and other similar stone fruits, including nectarines, plums, cherries, apricots and their associated hybrids and why they keep us away from the doctor’s office.

Summertime isn’t typically associated with sickness, but is it because the germs are fewer, we spend more time outside or we consume foods that are immune supporting?

I love this time of the year with all the juicy, sweet stone fruits. Their aromas waft through the air as I enter into their section at Sigona’s Farmers Market, beckoning me to pick them and savor their incredible flavors. One of the ways I choose my produce is by a fruit’s smell. But more about choosing ripe stone fruit later in the article. Eating these fruits also requires a bit of a carefree attitude as the juice just drips as you bite into them.

All these fruits are classified as stone fruit due to the hard pit in the center. Also called drupes (pretty strange name), they have a single seed that is encased in a stony, hard shell. The hard pit protects the seed and allows it to be scattered as droppings by our avian friends. These fruits are all in the genus Prunus and family Rosaceae or rose family. These fruits are at their peak of ripeness between May and September (or October if we’re lucky). If you buy these fruits in the winter, they are typically from South America and will have the transit issues that were discussed in the last article (http://www.bettereatingcoach.com/62212-eating-with-the-seasons.html).

Geri Wohl

Geri Wohl, Certified Nutrition Consultant

All of these fruits are low in calories due to their high water content. The high-water composition (87% in peaches) helps suppress hunger. Anyone trying to lose weight may want to grab these as a great snack. Furthermore, your body actually uses more calories digesting the fruit than the fruit has so it is a negative calorie gain. In addition, all these fruits have high levels of vitamins A and C. These vitamins are beneficial for a variety of reasons, including immunity, heart health, joint support and eye health. These fruits also enhance our digestive system, as they all are good sources of dietary fiber. Did you know that plums act like their dried counterparts, prunes, against constipation?

Each of these fruits has high levels of potassium (and of course, no salt) so they’re good for anyone on a low-salt diet or with cardiac issues. Potassium is essential for heart health, kidney function and digestion. Most of these fruits also contain iron, which is necessary for red blood cell formation, nervous system function and immune health to name a few. As vitamin C enhances absorption of iron, these fruits are chalk-full of nutrients that work together to enhance our well-being.

Other important components of these fruits are antioxidants such as beta carotene (which creates the deep colorful skins), lutein and lycopene (important for our eyes). These antioxidants work on cleaning up the toxic compounds in our bodies as well as the by-products of our metabolism. They are linked to cancer prevention and are extremely important for optimal body functioning.

So how do you pick the best stone fruit out there? The fruit should have a bit of give when you press the skin—not too hard and not too soft, but just right. After pressing the skin, I always pick up the fruit and smell it to see if it has that wonderful aroma I spoke about earlier. If it doesn’t, find another piece that does. Or you can put it out on the counter for a couple of days to ripen and then savor.

Be aware that conventionally grown stone fruits typically have a lot of pesticides. If you can buy these fruits organically grown, you will be better off. If not, just rinsing in water isn’t enough to remove the pesticides. Instead, try filling your sink or a large bowl with cold water. Add 4 T salt and the juice of half a fresh lemon. Soak fruits and veggies for 5-10 min. (for leafy greens 2-3 min.; for berries 1-2 min). Rinse well and enjoy. For another nontoxic and inexpensive cleaning method, combine 1 T lemon juice, 2 T distilled white vinegar and 1 cup water in a spray bottle. Spray the fruit or vegetable, wipe and then enjoy!

Savor these wonderful fruits because the season goes by quickly. For a delicious blueberry and peach crisp recipe, go to my website at http://www.bettereatingcoach.com/recipe-summer-2011.html.

June 27, 2012

Eating with the Season

Filed under: Feature Articles, Healthy Living tips — Tags: , , , , — Sigona's @ 10:15 am

Tips for Healthy Living

I’m incredibly excited to announce Geri Wohl as our newest Tips for Healthy Living writer. Geri is a Bay Area-based Certified Nutrition Consultant and Educator with extensive training in holistic and whole foods nutrition focused on emphasizing positive lifestyle changes. Her articles are sure to educate, engage and entertain. Welcome aboard Geri! – Carmelo Sigona

Eating with the Season

Health and Environmental Benefits of Eating with the Season

By Geri Wohl

In our global economy, when we can buy anything at any time, is there any good reason to eat seasonally? In fact, there is.

Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables is more economical. Have you ever looked at the price of asparagus in the fall and then in the spring when it’s in season? Obviously spring is the time to buy those tender stalks.

Local, seasonal produce provides us with optimal flavor and maximum nutrients. The reasons are multifold:

  • The produce is harvested when it’s at its peak of readiness. The ripened produce has the full complement of vitamins and minerals that allow our bodies to thrive! In contrast, food grown remotely has to be picked well before ripeness to account for extra transit time. By picking too early, the produce doesn’t develop its full array of nutrients.
  • The length of time for food shipment affects the vitamins and minerals by allowing break down. Once produce arrives at a typical supermarket after being shipped across the country, it has lost about half of its vitamin C levels, as an example.
  • Seasonal foods taste better. Have you ever bit into a tomato (shipped from South America) in the winter? It has no taste and it’s usually mealy. Compare that to local tomatoes picked at the height of summer when their natural flavors are at their maximum. Delicious! The reason is the same as before — produce picked too early hasn’t had the time to develop all hte nutrients. These nutrients give the produce the flavor that we all cherish.
  • Buying seasonally and locally allows us more variety of plants species. We can buy varieties that are optimized for flavor and nutrition rather than transit robustness.
  • When we buy in the season, we reduce our carbon footprint. Food harvested locally doesn’t need to be shipped across the country and refrigerated extensively; each of us is in effect reducing the emissions into our environment.
Geri Wohl

Geri Wohl, Certified Nutrition Consultant

Our bodies are designed to obtain the maximum benefits of eating foods that are in season. Have you ever noticed that you crave certain foods during certain times of the year? Our family loves all the summertime fruits (right now) that are sweet and juicy. But usually during winter, we want warming foods that can be classified as “comfort foods.” Let me explain:

  • As the seasons rotate, so too do our bodies need to adjust. Before refrigeration, our ancestors had to rely on what was seasonal because they had no means of storing foods for long periods of time.
  • During the fall (which is a transition period), the body is preparing for winter. The body will start to transition to wanting more warming foods (think soup for those cooler nights). You will most likely be eating fruits and vegetables that are orange or yellow in color. These foods, high in vitamin A, will support our immune systems for the upcoming winter colds.
  • Winter is a time when the earth takes a rest. With the cold temperatures, our bodies look for warming foods (i.e. stews and hearty soups). Most fruits are not as available. Root veggies (carrots, potatoes, turnips, and parsnips, for example) are at their peak and provide us with their stored energy supplies.
  • With spring comes the rebirth of the earth, and to a degree, our own rebirth. The body needs to be cleansed of the heavier winter foods. Fortunately, the springtime bounty is full of light, green, leafy veggies (examples include lettuces, kale, spinach, chard, and dandelion greens) that will cleanse us and prepare us for the coming hot, summer months.
  • And finally we have summer. The warm summer days encourage us to be outside. Foods that will nourish us are ones that are refreshing and have a high water content. These replenishing fruits and veggies will cool us down from the hot summer days. It’s also the perfect season to enjoy fruits and veggies in their raw states, which will provide us with a full complement of nutrients. So now that the summer solstice has just past, stock up on your favorite summer produce and enjoy. For a few summer recipes, click on the link http://www.bettereatingcoach.com/recipes.

In future columns, I will focus on various aspects of good and wholesome food ranging from specific foods to generalized nutrition tips. A whole foods diet provides us with the building blocks to health and wellness.

© Geri Wohl, Better Eating Coach

June 13, 2012

Seven Sensational Scientifically Supported Suggestions to Seek Summer’s Super Fruit (Part 2)

Tips for Healthy Living

We’ve partnered with Dr. Doug Husbands of Holistic Health Bay Area to bring you a new set of Tips for Healthy Living. Dr. Husbands is a functional medicine doctor, clinical nutritionist, anti-aging health practitioner and doctor of chiropractic. I appreciate that he encourages visiting the doctor to focus on staying healthy instead of only visiting when you’re sick.– Carmelo Sigona

Cherries Should be Enjoyed with Great Gusto

Scientifically-Supported Suggestions to Seek Summer’s Super Fruit (Part 2)

By Dr. Douglas Husbands

In the previous edition of Healthy Living Tips, we reviewed three of the seven health-promoting reasons to enjoy cherries. Those three reasons we discussed are below. In this edition, we’ll look at four more sensational scientifically supported suggestions to seek summer’s super fruit. — cherries!

  1. Anti-Inflammatory/Pain Relief Effects
  2. Very Powerful Antioxidant Effects
  3. Promotes Deep Restful Sleep and Brain Cell Repair
  4. Anti-Cancer Compounds: Cherries also contain ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is a naturally occurring plant phenolic known to have anti-carcinogenic/anti-mutagenic effects. Research studies presented in John Boik’s 2001 book titled “Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy” indicate that ellagic acid may be the most effective way to prevent cancer. Cherries are also high in perillyl alcohol (POH). POH is an extremely powerful substance decreasing the occurrence of all types of cancer (1). POH inhibits cancer cell growth by depriving them of the proteins they need to grow.
  5. Protection of Arterial Walls: A “side benefit” of the powerful antioxidant effects of cherries is you get decreased oxidation of the “bad” cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL). Oxidation of LDL (oxoLDL) cholesterol leads to the damaging effects on the inner walls of the arteries which induces plaque formation, with narrowing and hardening of the arteries (2). The importance of decreasing oxidation of LDL cannot be overemphasized, as it is one of the fundamental processes involved in heart disease development and progression (see article “The Case Against Lowering Cholesterol For Decreased Risk of Heart Disease”). With an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of 3622 for either 8 ounces of cherry juice or 1 ounce of cherry juice concentrate, the high ORAC accounts for the decreased levels of oxoLDL.
  6. Improved Athletic Recovery and Performance: Researchers at the University of Vermont gave 12 ounces of unsweetened, tart, cherry juice or a placebo twice a day for eight days to 14 college men. After 4 days the men were instructed to perform a strenuous weight lifting exercise of 2 sets for 20 repetitions each. Loss of strength after exercise was 22% in the placebo group, and only 4% in those drinking the cherry juice. Post-exercise pain was also significantly decreased in those who drank the cherry juice. The researcher’s conclusions: “…consumption of tart cherry juice before and after eccentric exercise significantly reduced symptoms of muscle damage.” (3).
  7. Healthy-Aging: When you have a food that provides powerful anti-inflammatory effects, anti-oxidant properties, promotes deep restful sleep, anti-cancer compounds, protects the arterial walls, and improves athletic recovery and performance, consuming that food as much and as often as possible will give you healthy-aging effects.

So while cherries are in season during these summer months, eat-up abundantly of this summer super fruit!

References

1. Greenwald P. Clinical trials in cancer prevention: Current results and perspectives for the future. J Nutr 2004;134:35075-35125.
2. Atherosclerosis 2010;208:396-405
3. Connolly D, McHugh M, Padilla-Zkour O, et.al. Efficacy of tart cherry juice in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage. Br J Sports Med 2006;40:679-83.

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May 30, 2012

Scientifically-Supported Suggestions to Seek Summer’s Super Fruit (Part 1)

Tips for Healthy Living

We’ve partnered with Dr. Doug Husbands of Holistic Health Bay Area to bring you a new set of Tips for Healthy Living. Dr. Husbands is a functional medicine doctor, clinical nutritionist, anti-aging health practitioner and doctor of chiropractic. I appreciate that he encourages visiting the doctor to focus on staying healthy instead of only visiting when you’re sick.– Carmelo Sigona

Cherries Should be Enjoyed with Great Gusto

Scientifically-Supported Suggestions to Seek Summer’s Super Fruit (Part 1)

By Dr. Douglas Husbands

Cherries are a summer treat that should be enjoyed with great gusto. Not only for their sweet and tart juiciness, their deep dark and bright reddish colors, and their versatility for use in salads, pies, other desserts, but also for their myriad of health benefits.

In fact, cherries have so many health benefits, listing them will require a 2-part article. In part 1 of this 2-part Sigona’s Tips for Healthy Living article, I’ll give you three of the seven health-promoting reasons to enjoy this super fruit.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory/Pain Relief Effects: If you suffer from any joint or muscle pain, including arthritis, muscle pain or gout, then tart cherries are the fruit for you. The Montmorency or Balaton species of cherries are the more tart ones. The sweet Bing cherries also appear to have anti-inflammatory effects. A study (1) performed at UC Davis found that when healthy women ate about 9 ½ ounces of Bing cherries after an overnight fast for 6 days, they showed a 15 percent reduction in uric acid levels and C-reactive protein levels for 5 hours after eating the cherries. C-reactive protein and uric acid are objective markers of inflammation seen on laboratory tests. Other studies seem to confirm the findings of the anti-inflammatory effects of cherries.
  2. Very Powerful Antioxidant Effects: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial studies using the tart Montmorency or Balaton cherries have indicated they provide very powerful antioxidant effects. In a study featuring older adults between 61 and 75 years old, they drank 8 ounces of a commercially available cherry juice twice daily for 14 days. This resulted in a significant decrease in oxidative stress (2). One of the objective indicators for decreased oxidative stress in the study, 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine, is an indicator for DNA oxidative damage. The study showed decreased 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine levels in the cherry juice drinkers. The significance of this finding is that in only 14 days of drinking an 8-ounce glass of  tart cherry juice twice a day, older adults showed a statistically significant decrease in the damage to their DNA! As I’ve written about in other articles, what you eat affects your genes!
  3. Promotes Deep Restful Sleep and Brain Cell Repair: Cherries, in particular the Montmorency and Balaton species, are high in the antioxidant hormone melatonin. Both these species contain significant amounts of melatonin, but according to an article published in the October 2001 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Montmorency cherries contain 6 times the amount of melatonin than Balanton cherries. Research studies confirm that melatonin is readily absorbed by our body when taken by mouth. Melatonin is not only an important powerful antioxidant for our brain, but also it also regulates our ability to attain restorative and deep sleep. It helps repair our brain during sleep as well.

As you can see from just these three reasons, cherries are a super fruit you should take advantage of, especially while the fresh fruit is in season. I recommend you buy only organic cherries, because they hold onto pesticides very tightly compared to some other fruits. I also recommend you consume fresh whole cherries more so than the juice alone because of the fiber and other components in the whole fruit that can be missing in the fruit juice.

Stay tuned for the next Sigona’s Tips for Healthy Living issue to find out what the other four “sensational scientifically-supported suggestions to seek summers super fruit” are! Or if you can’t wait, and want to find out more tips to improve your specific health issues using a Functional Medicine approach, contact my office at 650-802-8700 extension 0 to schedule.

References:

  1. Jacob R, Spinozzi G, Simon V, et. al. Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women. J Nutr 2003;133:1826-29.
  2. Traustadottir T, Davies S, Stock, A, et. al. Tart cherry juice decreases oxidative stress in healthy older men and women J Nutr 2009;139:1896-1900

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May 16, 2012

5 Reasons to Enjoy Strawberries

Tips for Healthy Living

We’ve partnered with Dr. Doug Husbands of Holistic Health Bay Area to bring you a new set of Tips for Healthy Living. Dr. Husbands is a functional medicine doctor, clinical nutritionist, anti-aging health practitioner and doctor of chiropractic. I appreciate that he encourages visiting the doctor to focus on staying healthy instead of only visiting when you’re sick.– Carmelo Sigona

5 Reasons to Enjoy Strawberries

By Dr. Douglas Husbands

Strawberries, like other berries, have many nutritional benefits.

Number one, strawberries have high-water content and are low in calories. A whole cup of strawberries is only 45 calories.

Second, they contain an antioxidant flavenoid compound called fisetin. Fisetin may have health-aging benefits due to research studies pointing to it influencing how the cells genetic material (RNA and DNA) are read. Research has implicated that fisetin may be a promising substance in Alzheimer’s disease prevention. Now, I’m not saying that you should expect to eat a bunch of strawberries each day to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s, but just know that there are some beneficial compounds in this food as you enjoy their sweet, juicy flavor.

Third, one cup of strawberries has an average of about 80 mg of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and a key nutrient necessary for proper immune system function. To get the greatest amount of vitamin C from strawberries you buy at the store, they should be picked no more than a couple of days before being placed for sale and consumed within two days of bringing them home from the store. They should be stored in the vegetable and fruit bin of your ‘frig for correct humidity to maintain the highest nutrient levels.

Forth, strawberries contain anti-inflammatory compounds called anthocyanins, flavonols, terpenoids, and phenolic acids. In fact, some studies indicate that consuming about a cup of strawberries three times a week has beneficial lowering effects on C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator in the blood for chronic inflammation.

Fifth, like other berries, strawberries have a low glycemic load. Glycemic load is a number given to foods that estimates how much a given amount of a food will raise your blood glucose (blood sugar). Glycemic loads of 10 or less are considered low. The glycemic load of a whole cup of strawberries is only three.

Lastly, a caution when buying strawberries: They tend to concentrate pesticides easily so you should always buy organic strawberries.

So next time you’re at the store, load up on strawberries for you and your loved ones health!

About Dr. Doug:
Dr. Douglas Husbands is a Functional Medicine Doctor, Clinical Nutritionist, Anti-Aging Health Practitioner, and Doctor of Chiropractic. As a health advocate and coach, he is dedicated to achieving optimal health through resolving the underlying disease processes through diet, nutrition and lifestyle modification. To contact Dr. Doug, call 650-394-7470 or visit http://www.HolisticHealthBayArea.com

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May 2, 2012

What Does “I3C”, “DIM” and “SGS” Have To Do With Broccolette?

Tips for Healthy Living

We’ve partnered with Dr. Doug Husbands of Holistic Health Bay Area to bring you a new set of Tips for Healthy Living. Dr. Husbands is a functional medicine doctor, clinical nutritionist, anti-aging health practitioner and doctor of chiropractic. I appreciate that he encourages visiting the doctor to focus on staying healthy instead of only visiting when you’re sick.– Carmelo Sigona

How Broccolette is Good For You

By Dr. Douglas Husbands

Broccolette, also known as broccolini, is a hybrid vegetable that is a hand-pollinated cross between gai lan (a.k.a. Chinese kale) and broccoli. Now from a nutrition viewpoint, it is one of my favorite vegetables, and here’s why: both broccoli and kale are very high in some components that help balance hormones and decrease cancer development!

As I’ve talked about in a previous Sigona’s Tips For Healthy Living, vegetables in the brassica classification have some special nutrient components. Both broccoli and kale are in the brassica class. This vegetable classification has significant amounts of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), diindolylmethane (DIM) and sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS).

One of the greatest benefits of I3C, DIM and SGS are that they act to decrease a process called “aromatization” of testosterone produced in the body to harmful metabolites of estrogen. The harmful metabolites of estrogen, the 4-hydroxyestrones and the 16-alpha-hydroxyestrones, encourages tumor development.

By the way, these harmful estrogen metabolites can be objectively measured in the urine to see if your body is producing too much. Contact me to find out more about this if desired.

Another benefit of regularly eating broccolette is that I3C, DIM and SGS also promotes your body by making an estrogen metabolite that inhibits tumor growth. This metabolite, called 2-hydroxyestrone, helps to decrease the growth of cancer cells, according to numerous research studies.

For more detailed information of how I3C, DIM and SGS used in an effective concentrated therapeutic dose can significantly decrease cancer cell growth, see some articles in my newsletter archives and in my blog. For those of you who are not so intensely concerned with how broccolette can benefit your health, but just want to enjoy it, look for the cooking tips and recipes contained elsewhere in this issue of the Sigona’s newsletter!

About Dr. Doug:
Dr. Douglas Husbands is a Functional Medicine Doctor, Clinical Nutritionist, Anti-Aging Health Practitioner, and Doctor of Chiropractic. As a health advocate and coach, he is dedicated to achieving optimal health through resolving the underlying disease processes through diet, nutrition and lifestyle modification. To contact Dr. Doug, call 650-394-7470 or visit http://www.HolisticHealthBayArea.com

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April 4, 2012

Tips for Healthy Living: Easy, Relaxing, Non-Stressful Secrets for Losing Fat

Tips for Healthy Living

We’ve partnered with Dr. Doug Husbands of Holistic Health Bay Area to bring you a new set of Tips for Healthy Living. Dr. Husbands is a functional medicine doctor, clinical nutritionist, anti-aging health practitioner and doctor of chiropractic. I appreciate that he encourages visiting the doctor to focus on staying healthy instead of only visiting when you’re sick.– Carmelo Sigona

Easy, Relaxing, Non-Stressful Secrets for Losing Fat

By Dr. Douglas Husbands

Unstable insulin levels promote fat deposition. Since sleep is such an important component for stabilizing insulin, we’ll discuss safe and effective non-drug methods for improving sleep. Also, some tips on safe-for-almost-everyone nutritional substances and homeopathics for assisting getting a better night’s sleep.

Be Like a Vampire

No bright light source shining into the eyes 30 minutes or less before bedtime. This includes avoiding computers and the “boob tube” right before bed. Light coming in through the eyes suppresses the rise of melatonin, a hormone which prepares our body for sleep. For some, even the teeniest little emission of light from the phone console or a night-light can disrupt sleep. Wearing a face mask can be helpful for some. Have the bedroom as dark as possible for a good and deep night’s sleep.

Protein Fed, But Not Full

Don’t go to bed hungry – but don’t try to sleep right after a heavy meal. Have a protein source right before bed to help you sleep, like a small piece of turkey or chicken, or a small glass of coconut or goat’s milk. For convenience, you can use a scoop of whey protein powder in a glass of coconut or goat’s milk and chug that down 30 minutes before bed. This keeps your blood sugar more stable during the night without interfering with nighttime growth hormone output. (Less nighttime growth hormone output equals less recuperation and repair.) Warning: A cracker, cookie, bread or starchy carbohydrate right before bed raises insulin and blunts growth hormone output – and is a great way to slowly get fat!

No Caffeine Near Bedtime

This is a no-brainer, but many people don’t realize they are sabotaging their sleep by doing this so we’re mentioning it here. No caffeine less than three hours before bedtime!

Watch the Alcohol

Some people benefit from a small glass of wine one hour before bed to help them sleep but more than that will hinder your sleep. Alcohol is sugar and too much sugar will raise insulin and suppress growth hormone output during the night.

Calcium/Magnesium

Taking a capsule of 500 mg calcium citrate with 500 mg magnesium citrate without food right before bed not only helps you get to sleep, but also can help you sleep more deeply.

Homeopathics

Coffea cruda (30 c concentration), about 4 pellets (without food or water) every 20 minutes until you get to sleep is often effective for insomnia. Chamomilla, Aconite and Nux Vomica (6 c or 30 c) can also be helpful for sleep.

About Dr. Doug:
Dr. Douglas Husbands is a Functional Medicine Doctor, Clinical Nutritionist, Anti-Aging Health Practitioner, and Doctor of Chiropractic. As a health advocate and coach, he is dedicated to achieving optimal health through resolving the underlying disease processes through diet, nutrition and lifestyle modification. To contact Dr. Doug, call 650-394-7470 or visit http://www.HolisticHealthBayArea.com

Subscribe to the Holistic Health Bay Area Newsletter.
Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter

March 21, 2012

Tips for Healthy Living: Artichokes – Take Them To Heart

Tips for Healthy Living

We’ve partnered with Dr. Doug Husbands of Holistic Health Bay Area to bring you a new set of Tips for Healthy Living. Dr. Husbands is a functional medicine doctor, clinical nutritionist, anti-aging health practitioner and doctor of chiropractic. I appreciate that he encourages visiting the doctor to focus on staying healthy instead of only visiting when you’re sick.– Carmelo Sigona

Artichokes: Take Them To Heart

By Dr. Douglas Husbands

Artichokes originated in southern Europe near the Mediterranean region.  Botanically they belong to the thistle family of Asteraceae, of the genus Cynara.

Health Benefits

High Fiber: Artichokes are a rich source of dietary fiber, providing 5.4 g per 100 g. Dietary fiber helps control constipation conditions, decrease bad or “LDL” cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines and helps prevent colon cancer risks by preventing toxic compounds in the food from absorption.

High Antioxidant Capacity: The antioxidant capacity for artichoke flower heads is one of the highest of all vegetables!  Anti-oxidants such as silymarin, caffeic acid and ferulic acid help body protect from harmful free-radical agents which age your cells.  It also contains adequate levels of anti-oxidant flavenoid compounds like carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin.

High Cholesterol Reduction: Scientific studies have shown that bitter principles, cynarin and sesquiterpene- lactones in artichoke extraction have overall cholesterol reduction action in the body by inhibiting its synthesis and increasing its excretion in the bile.  It inhibits the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which some of you may recognize is the enzyme cholesterol-lowering drugs inhibit to lower cholesterol.

Protects DNA: Fresh artichoke is an excellent source of vitamin folate; providing about 68 mcg per 100 g. Folate is an essential co-factor for enzymes involved in the synthesis of DNA.  Scientific studies have proven that adequate levels of folate in the diet during pre-conception period and during early pregnancy help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn baby.  Of course, being in the plant, it is in the active form of folate called L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate.  Therefore your body does not have to convert it and can readily use it.  I’ve discussed the importance of this in detail in this prior blog article.

Assists Optimal Cellular Metabolism: It is also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate), thiamin, and pantothenic acid that are essential for optimum cellular metabolic functions.

About Dr. Doug:
Dr. Douglas Husbands is a Functional Medicine Doctor, Clinical Nutritionist, Anti-Aging Health Practitioner, and Doctor of Chiropractic. As a health advocate and coach, he is dedicated to achieving optimal health through resolving the underlying disease processes through diet, nutrition and lifestyle modification. To contact Dr. Doug, call 650-394-7470 or visit http://www.HolisticHealthBayArea.com

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