Julia Fountain ND
One of the patterns we see through live blood microscopy is cellular damage due to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a result of healthy metabolism, exercise and environmental exposures such as pollution, radiation, sunlight and toxins in the air, food and water. Good health depends on a balance between oxidative stress and the antioxidants (from the diet) that neutralize the effects. High oxidative stress levels lead to cell damage and pre-mature aging of the cells.
The natural colour pigments in plants adapted to protect the plant from UV damage from sunlight and are our primary source of the anti-oxidants that protect us. There are 2000 known plant pigments with anti-oxidant effects. The two largest categories: flavonoids and carotenoids.
These plant pigments are found in teas, herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, beans, grains. Each colour represents a unique range of anti-oxidants, which in turn neutralizes a unique profile of free radicals.
The FLAVONOIDS include anthocyananins, isoflavones, resveratrol. They are the red, purple, blue pigments found in foods such as berries, apples, red grapes, plums, prunes, elderberry, kidney beans, pinto beans, adzuki beans, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, beets, eggplant, peppers, teas, chocolate, red cabbage and many others! the FLAVONOIDS are associated with reducing oxidative stress in the nervous system, brain, cardiovascular system
The CAROTENOIDS include beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin They impart the red, orange, yellow pigment found in foods pumpkin, squash, mango, tomatoes, cantaloupe, papaya, carrots, split peas, sweet potato, grapefruit, curry, turnip and many others! The CAROTENOIDS are associated with reducing oxidative stress in the immune system and eyes.
Chlorophyll is the green pigment associated with photosynthesis. Don’t let the green fool you! While chlorophyll is not an anti-oxidant, many green vegetables contain other colour pigments also. For example, kale, collards and broccoli contain a healthy dose of orange-yellow carotenoids!
How much colour is enough?
-Aim for 10 servings per day (5 cups) per day of colourful produce
-5 colours at every meal to ensure a range of anti-oxidants. This includes the produce and plants you’re eating, the herbal teas you drink, the herbs and spices you use in food prep
-enjoy a balance of raw and cooked plant-based foods. While cooking can decrease levels of Vitamin C, some studies have shown that carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, spinach, asparagus, cabbage supply more antioxidants to the body when cooked. Boiling or steaming breaks down the thick cell walls which allow uptake of nutrients bound to these cell walls.
Amelia Fratnik, DC
Most of us would agree that we have been experiencing a “true” winter this season so far! For some, that means outdoor fun like skating and skiing. For others, that instills fear of slipping on ice, or back pain due to shovelling. Let’s talk about how to safely and effectively prepare ourselves for outdoor chores and recreation.
Stretch and Skate or Ski:
Always warm up before you stretch. In an arena or at the chalet, climb stairs or go for a 2-3 minute brisk walk around the facility before stretching. Stretching should involve the following: hamstrings, groin, hip flexors, quadriceps, gluteal, and hip muscles.
Remember that equipment is just as important as safety while on the ice or slopes. Keep skates and skiis sharpened and serviced regularly, and wear a helmet (with a visor for hockey). Replace any worn or broken pieces of equipment. If you feel pain that persists beyond what is normal “post-exercise soreness” (for some people, this could last up to 2 days), then you should consult a chiropractor or your health care practitioner for an evaluation. Have fun!
Use the Shovel, Not Your Back!
Don’t forget to pick up road salt the next time you are at the grocery or hardware store. Keep sidewalks and driveways salted when temperatures fall between 0 and -10 degrees Celsius.
To help keep your back in shape and your driveway clear, follow the following preventive tips:
1. Warm up. Before beginning any snow removal, warm up for five to 10 minutes to get the joints moving and increase blood circulation. To do this, march on the spot, climb the stairs, or go for a quick walk around the block. Follow this with some gentle stretches for the back (knee to chest), arms and shoulders (body hug), and legs (forward bends from a sitting position). This will ensure that your body is ready for action.
2. Don’t let the snow pile up. Removing small amounts of snow on a frequent basis is less strenuous in the long run.
3. Pick the right shovel. Use a lightweight, non-stick, push-style shovel.
4. Push, don’t throw. Push the snow to one side and avoid throwing. If you must throw, avoid twisting and turning – position yourself to throw straight at the snow pile.
5. Bend your knees. Use your knees, legs and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.
6. Watch the ice. Coarse sand, ice salt, ice melter, or even kitty litter can help to give your walkways and driveways more traction, reducing the chance of a slip or fall.
7. Wear proper footwear. Shoes and boots with solid trends on the soles can help to minimize the risk of slips and falls.
8. Take a break. If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Make it a habit to rest for a moment or two for every 10 or 15 minutes during shovelling. This is especially important if the snow is wet and heavy. Stop shovelling immediately if you feel chest or back pain.
If you feel pain that persists beyond what is normal “post-exercise soreness” (for most people, this could last up to 2 days), then you should consult a chiropractor or your health care practitioner for an evaluation.
Carolyn Dew RAc
Dark days, inactivity, and fewer opportunities for social interactions can make this time of year challenging for people’s mental health.
A growing number of people suffering from depression are looking for other therapies to help support their standard treatments of counselling and medication. Others are seeking alternatives to antidepressant medications.
Recent research suggests that acupuncture can be a promising option. One study found the traditional Chinese practice to be as effective as antidepressants, and another study found that acupuncture can help treat the medications’ side effects.
According to TCM theory depression is seen as an imbalance in the liver organ system and works to correct this by improving liver circulation and boosting the spirit.
Science understands that acupuncture helps improve the mood by releasing natural feel good chemicals in the brain, called endorphins. In addition, acupuncture increases oxygen to the tissues and cycles out stress hormone. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes tense muscles.
For chronic pain sufferers, acupuncture can be effective at both reducing chronic pain and addressing the depressive emotional component that comes along with pain.
For further information, please go to “www.carolyndew.ca”