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Margaux’s Nutrition Tips for Migraines

If you have ever had a migraine, even the thought of these powerful headaches will make you cringe. Migraines are severe, throbbing headaches that can be accompanied by nausea, visual disturbances, fatigue, and dizziness. An estimated 25 to 30 million people in the United States suffer from them. Three out of four of these people are women. Just before the headache begins, many people will see lights or experience numbness of the hands or mouth. This is called an aura and it can be extremely debilitating. Many things can trigger a migraine including allergies, constipation, stress, liver malfunction, too much or too little sleep, emotional changes, sun glare, flashing lights, lack of exercise, and changes in barometric pressure. Here are some natural remedies you can use the next time one of these vicious headaches attacks you!

  • Adopt a diet that is low in simple carbs and high in protein.
  • Include almonds, almond milk, watercress, parsley, fennel, garlic, cherries, and fresh pinapple in your diet. Make sure that you are buying all organic foods to avoid pesticides and other dangerous toxins.
  • Avoid foods with the amino acid tyramine. Such foods include aged meats, avocados, bananas, cabbage, canned fish, dairy products, eggplant, hard cheeses, potatoes, raspberries, red plums, tomatoes, and yeast.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol.
  • MSG and nitrites (preservatives found in hot dogs and lunch meats) can trigger a migraine.
  • Get regular exercise. Go for a nice morning walk!
  • Massage your neck and back of your head daily
  • Avoid salt and acid-forming foods such as meat, cereal, bread, and grains.
  • Acupuncture and acupressure have helped many people control the pain of a migraine.
  • Music has a calming effect and can help to relieve migraines. You could turn on some nice classical music, close your eyes, and breathe deeply.

 

It’s Clear to See that Nutrition Works- Foods for Eye Health

It’s been said that eyes are the windows to the soul. I think that they are the windows of good health! Having healthy eyesight is extremely important. There is nothing more frustrating that having to whip out your reading glasses every time you want to read something. Here are some foods that can help keep your vision healthy.

  • Increase your intake of protein from sea and soy foods (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), whole grains, dairy foods, eggs, sprouts and seeds.
  • Vitamin A is important to maintaining good eye health. Eating foods like kale, arugula, and chard are important components of an eye-healthy diet.
  • Bilberries are powerful little berries that are highly regarded for their positive effects on eye health. British Royal Air Force pilots who consumed jam made from bilberries during nighttime raids reported that they had better nocturnal vision.
  • Orange and yellow vegetables, broccoli, seafood, pumpkin seeds, green peas, and parsley have been shown to improve eye health.
  • Apricots may help to protect eye health since they are a concentrated source of vitamin A, which can protect the lens of the eye from free-radical damage.
  • Bell peppers may have a protective effect against cataracts, possibly due to their vitamin C and beta-carotene content. They also contain the carotenoid phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin which have been found to protect against macular degeneration.
  • Take a vision drink two times a week! 1 cup carrot juice, ½ cup of Eyebright Tea, 1 egg, 1 tbsp. wheat germ, 1 tsp. rose hips powder, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp. sesame seeds, 1 tsp. nutritional yeast, 1 tsp dulse powder.
  • Reduce your intake of sugar and avoid foods that have been treated with chemicals.

References

Page, Linda. (2006). Healthy Healing. Healthy Healing Inc.

Nutritional Remedies for Troubled Skin

There is nothing more frustrating than that untimely zit. Why is it that breakouts always seem to occur the night before a photo shoot, wedding, or speaking engagement? Fortunately, there are some natural ways to curb the symptoms of troubled skin simply by paying attention to your diet. Here are some nutritional remedies for dealing with those pesky breakouts!

  • According to Ray Sahelian, M.D., eating fish can help tame the inflammation at the root of acne. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids and Ray recommends specifically eating halibut, salmon, tuna, and sardines.
  • Increase your intake of quality water. When you wake up in the morning, start your routine with two glasses of water. This will help move your bowels and flush your body of toxins.
  • Try to eat a lot of fresh veggies such as broccoli, spinach, carrots, red peppers, and sweet potatoes. These are high in vitamin A, an antioxidant that can protect body cells from disease and free radical damage.
  • Some experts believe that zinc is a good nutrient in helping control acne. It is used in cell reproduction and tissue growth. Zinc is found in meat, seafood, and liver.
  • Common culprits for breakouts include peanuts, almonds, and peanut butter.
  • Stay clear of processed food, refined foods, and any foods high in sugar. This includes fruit juices and soda.
  • Limit your intake of fried and greasy goods.
  • The connection between chocolate and acne has never been scientifically proven. That being said, some people swear that their acne is aggravated when they eat chocolate!

Natural Healing Therapies for Dry Skin

We don’t know about you, but our skin gets super dry at times! During the winter months, the skin on our hands can sometimes look like coarse sandpaper.  A balance of oil and moisture is crucial for healthy and attractive skin. There are two types of dry skin- simple dry skin and complex dry skin. Simple dry skin results from a lack of natural oils. Complex dry skin lacks both oil and moisture, and is characterized by fine lines, brown spots, discolorations, enlarged pores, and sagging skin. Here are some natural healing therapies that have been shown to help with dry skin.

  • Aloe Vera has excellent soothing, healing, and moisturizing properties. It also helps to slough off dead skin cells.
  • Calendula and comfrey have skin-softening properties. Comfrey has been known to reduce redness and soothe irritated skin.
  • Eating a balanced diet that includes fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, and nuts can help reduce the dryness of your skin. Try to increase your intake of raw foods.
  • Eating foods that are high in sulfur can help keep the skin smooth and youthful. Some good food sources of sulfur include garlic, onions, eggs, and asparagus.
  • Drink at least 2 quarts of quality water every day to keep your skin well hydrated.
  • Avoid fried foods, animal fats, and heat-processed vegetables. Use cold-pressed oils only.
  • Avoid alcohol and coffee as they have a diuretic effect on the body. It can cause your skin to lose a lot of water and essential minerals.
  • Use a humidifier to keep your environment humid and moist, especially in the winter.
  • Try not to use very hot water when bathing or showering.

References

Balch, P. A (2006). Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York, NY: Penguin Group

 

Nutritional and Natural Therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s becoming more common with our older community. Alzheimer’s disease now effects over 4 million Americans. As many as 10 percent of senior citizens over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s and 50 percent over the age of 85 are affected. It has been predicted that by 2014, as many as 14 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s.  It is a progressive and degenerative condition that attacks the brain. Memory loss and disorientation are some of the first symptoms. This is a very serious condition and should never be taken lightly. Here are some nutritional and natural therapies that may be helpful for Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Avoid foods that are linked to brain dysfunction like trans fats in fried foods, bakery goods, and snack foods. Also avoid chemical sweeteners and MSG.
  • Adding high fiber foods and essential fatty acids to your diet has been shown to be extremely helpful. Foods like sea greens, seafood, flax oil, chicken soup, ginger, nuts, eggs, and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and great to eat for Alzheimer’s therapy.
  • Try to avoid red meats. They have been linked to amyloid neuro-fiber tangle build-up. Alzheimer’s has also been linked to synthetic estrogens injected into some red meats and in pesticides.
  • Curry has been known to be an anti-inflammatory food and beneficial for Alzheimer’s.
  • Vitamin B foods have been shown to deter aluminum toxicity (which has been linked to Alzheimer’s).  Foods rich in B vitamins include brown rice, whole grains, nutritional yeast, molasses, liver, fish, and wheat germ.
  • Vitamin C foods are also beneficial for Alzheimer’s. Great sources of vitamin C come from oranges, broccoli, kiwi, and tomatoes.
  • Studies have shown that diets low in tryptophan is related to Alzheimer’s disease. Eating foods that are rich in tryptophan such as avocados and poultry are beneficial.
  • Daily exercise and fresh air are important for those with Alzheimer’s. Deep breathing exercises have also been shown to be beneficial for energy and well-being.

References

Page, L. (2006). Healthy Healing. Healthy Healing, Inc.

Do-it-Yourself Stress-Busting Tonic

Are your nerves getting the best of you? Do you need a natural and healthy way to relax and unwind? Try out this healthy tonic to calm your nerves. Sip it as a tea during times of extreme stress. Enjoy!

Do-it-Yourself Stress-Busting Tonic

  • 1 tsp powdered ginseng
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 C hot water

Mix the ginseng and honey together and add hot water. Allow to stand for at least 1 minute before drinking.

References: Fleetwood, Jenni. The Book of Honey, 2009.

Photo from okinawaprogram.com

Natural and Nutritional Therapies for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

When people first hear about IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), some tend to laugh at the name. Unfortunately, there is nothing funny about IBS and 45 million Americans will attest to that! IBS is the most common digestive disorder seen by physicians. Twice as many women suffer from the condition as men. The symptoms include abdominal pain, anorexia, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea (often alternating), gas, intolerances to certain foods, mucus in the stools, and nausea. Most often the pain is felt after eating and sometimes severe headaches can accompany this condition. Fortunately, there are natural ways to soothe the symptoms of IBS. Here are some of the natural and nutritional remedies we recommend.

  • Alfalfa contains vitamin K which is needed to build intestinal flora for proper digestion. It also has chlorophyll for healing and cleaning the blood stream.
  • Aloe Vera juice is very healing to the digestive tract. It helps to keep the colon walls clean of excess mucus and slows down food reactions.
  • Peppermint aids in healing and digestion. Invest in a good peppermint tea to drink when your symptoms appear.
  • Some herbs that are beneficial for IBS include chamomile, fenugreek, ginger, goldenseal, rosehips, and lobelia.
  • Eat a diet that is high in fiber. Be sure to include lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Avoid animal fats, butter, and all carbonated beverages. Also avoid coffee, candy, chocolate, dairy products, fried foods, ice cream, and junk foods. Spicy foods and sugar also do not mix well with IBS.
  • Limit your consumption of gas producing foods such as beans, broccoli, and cabbage.
  • Chew your food well. Never eat in a hurry.
  • Do not eat right before going to bed. Wait a few hours before lying down.
  • Practice deep-breathing exercises.
  • Invest in a good probiotic supplement to increase the healthy bacteria flora in your intestines.
  • Make sure you are always drinking lots of good, clean water!

References

Yu, W. (2007). What to Eat for What Ails you. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press.

Balch, P. A (2006). Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York, NY: Penguin Group

Nutritional and Natural Therapies for Infertility

Infertility is a serious issue these days. It has been estimated that some 6.1 million American couples are impaired in their ability to have children. 2.1 million of these couples are infertile. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause of infertility because ovulation, fertilization, and the journey of the fertilized ovum through the fallopian tube to the uterus is a very intricate process. Many events must work together perfectly for pregnancy to occur. For men, infertility is most often the result of a low sperm count or anatomical abnormality. A variety of factors can result in low sperm count including alcohol consumption, endocrine disorders, exposure to toxins, radiation, recent acute illness or prolonged fever, and more. In women, the most common cause of infertility includes ovulatory failure or defect, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. It has also been said that psychological issues such as stress may play a role in infertility as well. Here are some natural and nutritional therapies that may help with lessening infertility.

  • Avoid all alcohol because it has been shown to reduce sperm count in men and prevent implantation of the fertilized egg in women.
  • Boost adrenal energy with brown rice.
  • Do not smoke and avoid being around cigarette smoke.
  • Eat magnesium-rich foods like almonds, green salads, avocado, carrots, citrus fruits, lentils, salmon, and flounder.
  • A balanced diet is incredibly important! Avoid fried foods, sugar, and junk foods.
  • Heavy use of Echinacea, gingko biloba, and St. John’s wort may cause infertility in men.
  • Astragalus extract has been reported to stimulate sperm motility.
  • Investigate the possibility of heavy metal intoxication which may affect ovulation. Hair analysis can reveal heavy metal poisoning.
  • It has been said that caffeine consumption may prevent some women from becoming pregnant.
  • Soy foods offer a natural estrogenic effect for women. Cruciferous vegetables may help metabolize “bad” estrogens.
  • Eat foods rich in essential fatty acids such as seafood, sea greens, leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
  • Get plenty of zinc from foods such as liver, oysters, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Resources

Page, Linda. (2006). Healthy Healing. Healthy Healing Inc.

Balch, P. A (2006). Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York, NY: Penguin Group

Nutritional and Natural Therapies for Varicose Veins

For many women, varicose veins are an everyday fact of life. These are abnormally enlarged, bulging, and lumpy-looking veins that are often associated with dull, nagging aches and pains. This is the result of malfunctioning valves inside of the veins. Because poor circulation contributes to the formation of varicose veins, they are more common in people who sit or stand in one position for prolonged periods of time. They can also happen to people who sit with their legs crossed and those who lack proper exercise. Excess weight, heavy lifting, and pregnancy put increased pressure on legs, increasing their likelihood of developing varicose veins. Here are some nutritional and natural therapies that can help reduce the appearance and presence of varicose veins.

  • Bilberry supports the health of connective tissue, including that of the veins.
  • Bromelain can reduce the risk of clot formation in the blood vessels.
  • Cayenne helps to relieve pain and inflammation while expanding blood vessels, reducing stress on the capillaries. It is available in capsule and cream forms.
  • Eat a diet low in “bad” fats and refined carbohydrates. This includes plenty of fish, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
  • Eat as many blackberries and cherries as you would like! These may help prevent varicose veins or ease the symptoms if you already have them.
  • Include garlic, ginger, onions, and pineapple in your diet.
  • Dandelion alleviates tissue swelling by reducing water retention.
  • Avoid processed and refined foods, sugar, ice cream, tobacco, and alcohol.
  • Maintain a healthy weight by getting good exercise. Walking, swimming, and cycling all promote good circulation.

References

Balch, P. A. (2006). Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York, NY: Penguin Books Ltd.

Nutritional Remedies for PMS

“Oh great, it’s that time of the month!”

This statement usually generates a series of groans from everybody in the room. It’s the time that a woman just doesn’t feel like herself. Some women only experience abdominal cramps and a cranky mood. Others feel horrifically bloated, overly tired, and irritable to the point where they want to go into hibernation for a week! PMS occurs in the week or two before women get their periods. Symptoms include mood changes, lethargy, loss of concentration, breast swelling and tenderness, fatigue, trouble sleeping, upset stomach, diarrhea, headache (or migraine), changes in appetite, and weight gain. With the onset of menstruation, PMS symptoms usually disappear. Nobody knows why some women are more prone to PMS symptoms than others. It’s believed that some women are more sensitive to the hormonal upheaval that occurs during the menstrual cycle. If you experience PMS symptoms, try some of these nutritional remedies to help make “that time of the month” more manageable.

  • Start with a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of organic fruits, organic vegetables, and whole grains. According to Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., these types of foods will help stabilize blood sugar levels and provide plenty of fiber, which may help even out hormone levels.
  • Try eating lean meats that include chicken and fish, which contain vitamin B6. This vitamin has been shown to tame the symptoms of PMS.
  • Increase the amount of protein in your diet. It may help in resisting those pesky cravings women tend to get (especially for chocolate and salt).
  • Try eating foods made of soy. Soy products act as natural estrogens. A small study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that women who ate soy were able to reduce breast tenderness, headaches, cramps, and swelling.
  • Eat fewer dairy products as they block the absorption of magnesium, and increase its urinary excretion.
  • Drink 1 quart of distilled water daily, starting a week before the menstrual period and ending one week after.
  • Try to limit your intake of foods that are too salty and sweet. They will worsen your bloating.
  • Foods high in sugar may exaggerate mood swings.
  • If possible, try to eliminate caffeine, which will only worsen anxiety, tension, or irritability. Also abstain from drinking alcohol which can worsen your mood, especially if you feel depressed.
  • If you take supplements, Pyridoxine helps the body convert tryptophan into serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter. Keep the dose low (50 to 100 mg, Minkin says), since too much can cause nerve damage.
  • Get regular exercise. Walking even one mile a day can be very helpful.

References

Yu, W. (2007). What to Eat for What Ails you. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press.

Balch, P. A (2006). Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York, NY: Penguin Group