The Truth About Eggs: Part 2...How To Tell the Good From the Bad

As last week’s blog started the conversation about eggs and cholesterol, this week’s post will dive into if all eggs are created equal. As mentioned previously, this information is taken from an article called The Truth About Eggs: How To Tell The Good From The Bad by Health Realizations.

Some things that can affect the quality of the egg include production methods and feed for the chickens, which can drastically differ with different brands. The majority of eggs produced in the United States (95% or more) come from giant factory farms housing 75,000 laying hens or more. These major industrial operations result in poor conditions for the chickens and inferior-quality eggs as a result.

According to the American Egg Board (AEB), most facilities keep their chickens entirely indoors in crowded conditions and feed them genetically modified soy and pesticide-laden grains, whereas their natural diet includes seeds, plants, insects, and worms naturally foraged from pasture.

Eggs from hens raised on pasture compared to eggs from commercial farms were found to contain 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3’rds more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene (2007 Mother Earth News egg testing project). A separate study found that over 23% of hens from caged farms tested positive for salmonella compared to just over 4% in organic flocks and 6.5% in free-range flocks. It also found that salmonella was much more common in large flocks, and with 30,000 birds or more having over 4 times the average compared to smaller flocks.

So is organic better? I personally buy only organic eggs, but a new report from the Cornucopia Institute reveal that many organic farming operations are actually very similar to the large-scale industrial factories. Many “organic” companies only feed the chickens with organic feed, so you must look for a USDA-certified organic logo which follows federal organic regulations which requires access to the outdoors and smaller flock numbers. The study also found that many of the family-scale farms were adhering to organic standards and allow hens access to pasture. For more details, go to www.cornucopia.org, but it seems to mostly be American brands.

So for the most nutritious and most humanely produced eggs, buy from a small local farmer either directly or through a farmer’s market or food coop near you.

The Truth About Eggs: Part 1... Are They Really High in Cholesterol?

The amount of cholesterol in eggs has been a controversial one for decades now. What really is the truth about cholesterol in eggs? Should we be concerned? This excerpt is taken from the article “The Truth About Eggs: How To Tell the Good From the Bad” from Health Realizations 2019.

Are Eggs Healthy?

Eggs have been demonized for years because they contain a lot of cholesterol (about 212 milligrams in an average large egg). But eating eggs is not likely to send your cholesterol levels soaring, or cause you to develop heart disease, as many fear.

Cholesterol is actually an essential part of your body, used to produce cell membranes, steroid hormones, vitamin D and the bile acids your body needs to digest fat. Your brain needs cholesterol to function properly, as does your immune system, and if a cell becomes damaged, it needs cholesterol in order to be repaired. So cholesterol is not only beneficial, it is a vital part of your body.

Further, eating cholesterol is not what gives you high cholesterol. According to the Harvard Heart Letter, it’s a myth that all the cholesterol in eggs goes into your bloodstream and arteries. “For most people, only a small amount of the cholesterol in food passes into the blood. Saturated and trans fats have much bigger effects on blood cholesterol levels”, the Heart Letter states. “The only large study to look at the impact of egg consumption on heart disease-not cholesterol levels or other intermediaries-found no connection between the two.”

Eggs are also an excellent source of healthy nutrients, including choline, a B vitamin that may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more. Egg yolks also provide the most readily absorbed form of lutein, a yellow-hued carotenoid that may help to fight everything from cancer to cataracts to macular degeneration and aging.

As Jen Allbritton writes for the Weston A. Price Foundation:

“Besides providing all eight essential protein-building amino acids, a large whole fresh egg offers about six to seven grams of protein and five grams of fat…, which comes in handy to help in the absorption of all the eggs fat-soluble vitamins. One egg also serves up about 200 milligrams of brain-loving cholesterol and contains the valuable vitamins A. K, E, D, B-complex and minerals iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium. Choline, another egg nutrient, is a fatty substance found in every living cell and is a major component of our brain. Additionally, choline helps to break up cholesterol deposits by preventing fat and cholesterol from sticking to the arteries. So the bottom line is, don’t be chicken about eating eggs, especially the cholesterol-rich yolks!”

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I will talk about different types of eggs and organic versus non.

The Benefits of Turmeric

There has been a lot of talk lately about turmeric and it’s health benefits. I thought to break some of it down and explain why it is good for us and how we can add it to our diet. I will include a recipe for Golden Milk which is a lovely warm drink that is delicious and super good for you!

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and strong antioxidant. Since the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high (only about 3% by weight), many experts say you get the best bang for your buck taking it in a supplement form. Also, another thing to note is that it is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, so taking it with black pepper in your recipes will increase the absorption by 2000%! Curcumin is also fat soluble which means it will be absorbed better with some fat in your meal.

It’s anti-inflammatory properties are important since chronic, low-level inflammation plays a role in almost every chronic Western disease such as heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions.

It’s antioxidant properties decrease oxidative damage at the cellular level which basically ages the cells including the DNA, and works by decreasing free radicals.

You can easily add turmeric to your foods without really noticing it much. Try adding it to scrambled eggs, soups, rice, steamed or roasted vegetables, smoothies, or curries.

Golden Milk:

1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp fresh ginger chopped finely or 1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

2 pinches of ground cardamom

1 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk

dash of black pepper

raw honey to taste

Blend everything together and simmer in a small pot for 3 minutes and enjoy!

Chiropractic Journey into Motherhood

Chiropractic represents a new current for maternity care. It is the promotion of health with an emphasis on safe outcomes through alignment of the spine for greater nervous system function. One can think of chiropractic care during pregnancy as an assurance for the nervous system—that miraculous conduit of intelligence—to be working to its fullest potential. One important outcome of this form of care is improved physiological function working on behalf of the pregnant and birthing woman. With normal physiology being the single greatest aid toward achieving a desired birth outcome, chiropractic offers a reassurance that is unparalleled.

Chiropractors have served as a preferred choice for many mothers who recognize its benefits, values and freedoms. Some of the benefits include an increase in physical ability and physiological well-being referred to above, but there is also the support and trust offered by the community of like-minded mothers and the collaborative network of experienced birth professionals aligned with the chiropractor. In an environment of trust without negative judgment, a woman has the room to find her own autonomy as she transitions into motherhood. To inspire this end, chiropractors inform us of the innate intelligence within every cell of the body, and work to align the nervous system with it.

Some chiropractors understand that this living intelligence influences biological function only, while others see it affecting the very decisions and actions we take in life. Regardless of this distinction, chiropractic represents a truly holistic approach to health, with a global perception of what causes well-being. The chiropractor focus on salutogenisis, a word that translates as the 'origins of well-being' offering pregnant women an important alternative to the pathogenic-centric care most often seen today.

The reality is that culture has successfully relegated pregnancy to the status of a disease requiring technocratic intervention. But even with very limited recorded improvements to birth outcomes, and sometimes even increased risks, provided by many of these interventions, millions of women are still led to give over their autonomy to the authority of technocratic procedures. Pregnancy should be a time to become informed. This does not mean new fears or authorities must dominate your life or informed conscious decisions.

Pregnancy is something quite different than a disease, (perhaps it’s exactly the opposite of it) and there should be no doubt about this in the mind of any pregnant woman under any form of care. Birth is at once a socio-cultural, biological, emotional, and spiritual event. And it gives any women undergoing it a unique opportunity to positively impact future generations instantaneously.

Mothers who are given the confidence and support to give birth without looming fears or unnecessary interventions are on a path of well-being that transcends the individual, culture, and time itself, affecting nothing less than the whole world for the better.

With the integration of the nervous system and with the support that honors a woman’s strengths and autonomy, we can harness the birth experience, “take birth back” so-to-speak, and become the natural guardians of the future of our family and the human family at large. It’s time that women reclaim this power.

Chiropractic care that focuses on the natural power and ability of the birthing woman inspires the pathway forward into motherhood. Pregnancy can be a time of building confidence and trust in the body. It can be a time for positive emotional and physical well-being.

*This article was taken from Pathways To Family Wellness Magazine September 12 2018

Surprisingly Simple Ways to Detoxify

In this day and age, we are well aware there are toxins we are exposed to in our food, water, and air. We need ways to detoxify the body and here are a few easy things you can do.

  • Take A Probiotic

A high quality daily probiotic supplement is a great way to get a huge number of the essential good bacteria we need to keep our gut healthy and happy. But, you don’t need to take a pill to do that. There are many cultured foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt, and kombucha that you can include in your diet to promote a healthy microbiome. Probiotics actually help us break down food such as gluten (in wheat) and casein (in dairy), and chemicals such as pesticides.

  • Breaking A Sweat

Exercise is essential to release uplifting and regenerative hormonal and neurochemical secretions, as well as activating the lymphatic system. Although you don’t need to actually sweat to have a benefit, sweating does have a great benefit by eliminating various heavy metals and chemicals to help detoxify the body. Antiperspirants and deodorants block that channel of detoxification, so when you can, do a workout without using them so your body can sweat the toxins out!

  • Fasting

This one seems intimidating, but in reality a fast can be as simple as not eating after sundown and skipping breakfast. A period of 10 to 12 hours overnight is a good way to rest the digestive system and help boost your metabolism. Some people do it daily, others once a week or for a determined period of time, depending on your goals and overall health. Fasting has been around for thousands of years, but it seems to be gaining popularity more recently as we are learning ways to use ketones as the body’s fuel source instead of glucose (the keto diet, as an example). I’ll write more about that in an upcoming blog post.

  • Spice Up Your Life!

There are spices you probably have in your cupboard or ingredients commonly found in your kitchen that can be added to many dishes to stimulate bodily detoxification. Things like garlic, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon and ginger, among many others, are amazing at naturally detoxifying the body and adding beautiful flavour to meals.

  • Avoid Chemicals

This seems obvious, but often we do things that directly put harmful chemicals in our body without even knowing it! Anything you put on your skin like lotions, sunscreens, and cosmetics are full of toxins that are absorbed directly into your bloodstream through your largest organ…the skin. I use coconut oil as a moisturizer, avoid sunscreen unless I absolutely have to, and buy organic products without parabens, chemicals, mineral oils, etc. to put on my face.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I wanted to bring some awareness of some of the little things we do that we can do better. Health comes in many facets, so keep it simple and change the easy things you can first and the rest will follow.

Some of this information is taken from an article “8 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Detoxify” written by Sayer Ji of Green Med Info.

Seven Tips to Boost Your Child's Attention Naturally!

With back-to-school time fast approaching, kids will be transitioning from the freedom of the outdoors to the confinement of a classroom. This would be a hard transition for anyone, so here are a few tips taken from Dr. Elisa Song, MD to help your kids with their concentration this September.

#1: Take Out the Wrong Foods

Avoid artificial dyes, flavours, and preservatives in processed foods. This will require you to read labels. If you can't pronounce it, don't buy it! And if it says "natural flavours", put it back on the shelf since this can be a code word for monosodium glutamate or MSG. Aim for whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. 

#2: Keep That Blood Sugar Balanced

Think proteins, healthy fats, complex carbs. Start kids off right with a healthy breakfast to avoid blood sugar spikes like seen with simple carbs and sugar (pancakes and maple syrup, cereal, etc.). Try eggs, or pancakes made with a scoop of protein powder and topped with nut butters instead of syrups, greek yoghurt with fruit, or smoothies/protein shakes. Proteins and fats slow down how sugar is absorbed in the body and will even out those sugar/insulin spikes. Healthy whole food snacks like fruit/veg and nuts will fuel the body between meals as needed.

#3: Load Up on Good Fats

Fat is good for the brain! Great sources in our diet can be salmon, eggs, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Consider supplementing your child's diet with an omega 3 essential fatty acid (fish oil). Studies show this can decrease ADHD by as much as 50%! 

#4: Boost Dopamine

Children with attention deficit issues have lower levels of dopamine (neurotransmitter or brain chemical that helps us focus, feel motivated, and find pleasure in activities). ADHD meds target dopamine, and behaviours like "thrill-seeking" or addictions to things like video games stimulate dopamine. The amino acid Tyrosine boosts dopamine levels naturally, so include foods like egg whites, meats, cheeses, nuts, seeds, beans, avocados, spinach, bananas, leafy green vegetables, and colourful fruits in your child's diet. Remember to eat the rainbow!

#5: Get Some Sunshine!

Kids with attention deficit are most often deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D affects the brain, immune system, mood, and hormones, so get in the sun when you can without sun screen and supplement in the fall and winter with Vitamin D3.

#6: Daily Exercise

We all need to move, but even more importantly children with attention deficit need to get their wiggles out. Exercise boosts dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, which enhances the growth of new brain cells at any age! Even something as simple as a 10 minute run around the block or a session on the trampoline show significant benefits.

#7: Go To Bed

Lack of sleep decreases levels of neurotransmitters in our brain, including dopamine. Sleep deprivation can impact cognitive and motor performance similar to alcohol intoxication! Children especially need more sleep as they are developing both physically and neurologically. It takes kids longer to settle down and actually fall asleep, so start bedtime rituals early and allow enough time for a good night's sleep aiming for 10 hours by the time that alarm goes off in the morning.

The body is an amazing healing machine, so try these seven tips to naturally boost your child's attention and aim for a successful and happy school year.

 

Facts About Teething

For parents out there, we know every child goes through periods of growth and development at different stages. Some of these stages can be quite difficult and trying for parents. Teething is one of those stages.

Teething usually begins at four to five months, but can be as early as three months of age. Teething can last different lengths of time, from three hours to three weeks, so it can be easily misdiagnosed as other things such as cold or sinus infections, ear infections, cold or flu, or stomach/digestive disorders.

Symptoms that you typically see when your baby is teething are runny nose (but with clear mucous), irritated ear, mild fever, picky or fussy eating, disrupted sleep patterns, or irritated bowel.

We want to be careful about misdiagnosis, especially if an incorrect ear infection diagnosis is given and antibiotics are prescribed since bacterial resistance and disruption of gut flora is prevalent in our modern society. The best approach is a watch-and-wait approach.

Remember,  children benefit from chiropractic care, not only for wellness, but as a major support to the immune system. So get your child checked on a regular basis.

Earth Day - April 22nd 2018

It is our responsibility to be respectful to the Earth that we live in, and part of that respect includes awareness of some of the small things we can do to help maintain and restore our environment.  Let’s make the effort to add these little changes to our daily or weekly schedule to give many generations to come a beautiful and clean world.

Did you know that residential water consumption in BC is an average of 490 litres per person per day, not including industrial or agricultural water use? 

Turn the faucet off while brushing your teeth and fix any leaky faucets in the kitchen and bathroom.

Give up plastic (and paper) bags...millions of barrels of oil are used every year to produce plastic bags, and it costs 4 times the energy to produce paper bags.  Keep a few reusable cotton or nylon bags stored in your car or purse to use at the grocery store.

Did you know it takes 25 bottles of water to produce the plastic needed for a 1 litre bottle of water?  Buy reusable water bottles made of aluminum or stainless steel, or if you have to use plastic, choose plastics numbered 1,2,4 or 5 as they are less harmful.

Only 10% of the energy used by a typical washing machine powers the motor...90% goes to heating the water!  Most clothes will come clean in cold water.  For heavily soiled clothes, change it from hot to warm.

Use household items to clean with...baking soda’s mild abrasive action and mild deodorizing properties make it a powerful replacement for harsh commercial scouring powders.  Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge for bathtubs, vanities, kitchen sinks, etc.  For tougher stains, make a paste of baking soda and water, apply to the area and let it stand for 10-20 minutes before washing.  For slow-running drains, pour 1/2-3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, and dribble just enough hot water to wash the solution down.  Let stand for 2 hours to overnight and flush thoroughly with hot water.

I know most of us, especially those living in Whistler, are very conscious of making good choices when it comes to our environment, but let this be a friendly reminder we can always do more.  Happy Earth Day!

The Benefits of Bone Broth (& Recipe)

Bone broth has been getting a lot of press lately and you may think it's a new fad, but in reality, bone broth has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years!  Bone broth is basically homemade chicken soup, but can be made with beef bones as well.  You can buy it in powdered form if you don't want to make it, but the following recipe you'll find to be very simple and easy to make.  Give it a try!  

Bone broth is rich in nutrients like gelatin and glycine, it helps to protect and heal your gut lining, skin and digestive tract, supports the immune system, boosts detoxification, and aids metabolism.

Vietnamese Pho Recipe

For the broth:

  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1" piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 chili pepper, chopped finely

In a slow cooker, add the ingredients above and fill with water allowing to cook for 8-10 hours.

To serve:

  • 8 ounces dried rice noodles
  • 3 scallions or green onions, chopped
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 eggs

Boil the noodles and add the raw egg into the boiling water to cook for a few minutes.  Add with the above ingredients to a large bowl of broth and enjoy!

There are many variations of this recipe, but this is a beautiful marriage of big flavours that work wonderfully together.

Rebooting Your Nervous System!

Have you ever seen a healthy newborn baby appear bored? Of course not. Babies radiate awe, joy, wonder, vitality, energy, life, and rejuvenation. It’s their natural state. But it’s your natural state, too. You are always in touch with the vitality of life. As long as there’s life, there’s still a spark of this healing vitality.

This incredible ability you have to heal and auto-regulate body functions is due to an inner intelligence that you are born with. According to Lewis Thomas, M.D., “…a kind of super intelligence exists in each of us, infinitely smarter and possessed of technical know-how far beyond our present understanding.” This is your innate intelligence, the inborn wisdom of your body. This intelligence allows your body to constantly adapt to its ever-changing environments. For example, it knows how to digest your food after you’ve eaten. You don’t have to think about it. It also heals the cut on your finger. It keeps your heart beating, and it kicks your immune system into high gear when your body requires it.

Innate intelligence resides everywhere in your body. It is mediated by your brain, which communicates with every muscle, gland, organ, and cell in your body via your nervous system. Chiropractors are the only doctors who, as a profession, formally recognize this inborn wisdom or intelligence. They work on, and with, the body so that our innate intelligence can express itself as near to 100 percent of its capacity as possible. And that’s where the practical foundations of chiropractic come in.

Because your brain and the rest of your nervous system mediate your innate intelligence, it stands to reason that this system must be optimized to its highest potential if true health is to be achieved. Your nervous system really is your master computer. It regulates all functions of the body every second of your life. When it’s out of sync, you’re out of sync.

The Value of Chiropractic Adjustments

Your brain communicates vital messages to all systems in your body through the primary conduit of the spinal cord. Your spinal cord is protected by 24 moveable vertebrae. Spinal nerves exit between vertebrae and branch out to deliver the messages sent from your brain through your spine to each muscle, gland, organ, and cell of your body. And through the same system, messages are returned.

Your spine is the most likely place for nervous system interference to occur. If your spinal vertebrae get out of alignment, even slightly—which injuries, poor posture, and many other life stresses can cause—the vertebrae may act as resistors to the distribution of your nervous system energy. The misalignments interfere with the transmission of nervous impulses and diminish the body’s ability to stay healthy. Chiropractors call these vertebral misalignments, or displacements, subluxations. When a vertebral subluxation impairs a spinal nerve, it only takes a pressure as light as the weight of a quarter for three minutes to reduce the function of that nerve by 60 percent. Moreover, degenerative changes in the nerve begin to take place within three hours.

My responsibility as a doctor of chiropractic is to locate subluxations in your spine and gradually coax your vertebrae back into place so that normal nerve function is restored and other damaged tissues in the region can begin to heal. This will allow the nervous system to effectively communicate with and control bodily functions once again. Greater health and wellbeing is the result.

by Bradley Kobsar, DC Pathways magazine