Food cravings and Body Messages

Ever experienced food cravings? That feeling where you KNOW the potato chips are calling you from underneath the seat in your car and now YOU MUST EAT THEM or you might die?? Well food cravings are a way your body tells you what you need to survive. Sadly, many of these “organic” cravings are disguised in junky, nutrient poor processed foods. However, listening to your body and understanding food cravings can help you get the nutrients your body desires in a healthy way!!

Cravings are usually a symptom of poor diet, dehydration, excessive stress or poor digestion. Fixing these issues for the long term will reduce the cravings overall.

Do you crave Salty Foods?

Craving salty foods can indicate that you are suffering from adrenal fatigue or trace mineral deficiencies.

These craving can indicate a potential for chemical imbalances which alter many metabolic processes that keep your body working optimally.

Satisfy your cravings with:

Bone Broths: which are an excellent source of the minerals calcium, magnesium, sulfur, silicon and phosphorus that your body can easily absorb. Prepare your broth with pink or black salt to increase the amount of minerals your body desires.

Pink Salt: The flavor and trace minerals in pink salt will have you requiring less salt for your desired flavor. Pink salt contains zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium, and a 100 or so more useful minerals that the body needs.

Sea Vegetables: Contains vitamins and sea minerals like iodine, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus.

Do you crave Sweets?

Often people who crave sweets have issues with blood sugar balance. Diets high in carbs and simple sugars are addictive and cause insulin spikes which trigger the release of a feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.  However, later there is a crash, which encourages the consumption of more sweets and carbs.

Satisfy your cravings with:

A low glycemic lifestyle like the Paleo diet. The Paleo diet is rich is chromium and other essential minerals which help stabilize blood sugar and reduce insulin spikes and crashes.

Do you crave Chocolate?

Chocolate cravings generally indicate a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiencies are one of the most common and overlooked nutrient deficiencies affecting an approximately 80% of Americans. Magnesium is essential for approximately 1000 metabolic processes in the body.

Satisfy your cravings with:

Eating DARK, organic chocolate to quench your craving is generally not an issue. The problem exists when we grab the low cacao high sugar varieties and then trigger sweet cravings, insulin spikes and blood sugar problems. Choose chocolate treats low in sugar (and fake sugar) and with greater than 70% cacao. These treats contain more than half of the recommended daily value of magnesium in a single serving.

Other delicious suggestions to boost magnesium include almonds, pumpkin seeds and avocado!!

Do you crave Dairy?

If you are craving a cheesy pizza you may be lacking essential fatty acids like EPA, DHA, ALA, and GLA. These dietary fats are critical to the health of your nervous system and brain function.  The problem with commercial dairy products is they are processed and pasteurized beyond what the human body can digest and assimilate.

Satisfy your cravings with:

If you start craving dairy, try eating healthier selections of foods rich in omega 3. Such examples are wild caught fish, 100% grass-fed beef and lamb, wild game and pasture raised eggs. This will keep you healthy, full and craving free.

Do you crave Red Meat?

Craving red meat is common during menstruation and pregnancy because the body is depleted in energizing nutrients like iron, vitamin B-12, zinc and the amino acid acetyl-L-carnitine. These 4 critical nutrients help the body produce balance blood production, energy uptake, and support immunity.

Satisfy your cravings with:

Eating red meat can be beneficial and healthful. Choose the highest quality you can purchase, grass fed, organic, free range and local if possible. This signal is one you should listen to, but be sure to not over indulge. Other foods high in iron and zinc include swiss chard, spinach, figs, prunes and almonds.

Always remember to listen to your body it gives you the right information to be the healthiest you!!

 

references

The Healing Center: Food is Your Best Medicine: The Benefits of Bone Broth
Drake SL and Drake MA. Comparison of Salty Taste and Time Intensity of Sea and Land Salts From Around the World. J Sensory Studies. 2010 Nov; 26(1): 25-34. DOI: 1111/j.1745-459X.2010.00317.x
Head KA and Kelly GS. Nutrients and botanicals for treatment of stress: adrenal fatigue, neurotransmitter imbalance, anxiety, and restless sleep. Altern Med Rev. 2009 Jun; 14(2): 114-40. PMID: 19594222
Anderson RA. Chromium and polyphenols from cinnamon improve insulin sensitivity. Proc Nutr Soc. 2008 Feb; 67 (1): 48-53. PMID: 18234131
Klutsky I, Abumaria N, Wu LJ, et al. Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium. Neuron. 2010 Jan 28;65(2):165-77. PMID: 20152124
Koleva PT, Bridgman SL, and Kozyrskyj AL. The Infant Gut Microbiome: Evidence for Obesity Risk and Dietary Intervention. 2015 Apr; 7(4):2237-2260. PMCID: 4425142
Hunt JR. Bioavailability of iron, zinc, and other trace minerals from vegetarian diets. Am J of Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep. 78 (3): 6335-6395. Link Here

 

Antibiotics and The Gut…again.

In society today antibiotics are overly prescribed. Most patients receive the advice to “take all medication as prescribed” however, in some cases that not be the case. It is ALWAYS imperative to discuss with the prescriber when changing a treatment plan but there may be more occasions than not, to discontinue antibiotics before the “last pill was taken”.

The failure of the medical community to appropriately utilize antibiotics in the 20th century has left us with many antibiotic resistant microbes plaguing patients at younger and younger ages.  Many prescribers prescribe to a “quick fix medicine” and in many cases abused and misused antibiotics in the name of “protocol”.  Of course this comes back to the fundamental disconnect between pharma and health. So it is imperative patients and parents advocate for themselves in these sorts of situations.

Antibiotics, like food are broken down and digested by the body. Long term or frequent use of antibiotics alter the proper digestive bacteria in the gut and reduce the digestion and assimilation of these pharmaceuticals. This means that active and Un-Metabolized antibiotic by-products, which retain antimicrobial activity, will be excreted into the environment compounding our issues with antibiotic resistance.  Even though an antibiotic is prescribed an for 7 days, does not mean that “bad bacteria” are only exposed to it for 7 days; normal gut flora (and potentially the pathogen) will continue to be exposed to the antibiotic and it’s by- products for some time after completion of therapy. The US contributes more than 17,000 tons of antibiotics into the environment every year in the United States alone (80% for agriculture, 20% for human use).

Compounding this issue is the antibiotics found in our food. This too builds resistance to microbes and accelerates the problems with prescribing. Be a savvy consumer and choose with your dollars. Buy local, organic and avoid processed or packaged products. Ultimately your gut and the rest of your body will thank you for it.

There is a time and place for all things medical, however the research over and over has shown that antibiotics as a first line of treatment may not be as effective or useful as previously revealed. Any and all pharmaceuticals will disrupt normal function of the gut, temporarily or permanently. Be sure to utilize them wisely and replete the gut with beneficial probiotics after use, discuss with your provider the shortest most optimal course of action for your condition and your lifestyle.

For more information and healthy recipes to heal the gut check out my book

 

 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/871856?src=WNL_infoc_161120_MSCPEDIT_TEMP2&uac=127670EJ&impID=1238355&faf=1

http://dhs.unr.edu/Documents/dhs/chs/NVPHTC/The%20New%20Antibiotic%20Mantra%E2%80%94%E2%80%9CShorter%20Is%20Better%E2%80%9D.pdf

Autism and the other A’s (allergies, asthma and atopy/eczema)

the-atopid-triad

Why is it that many autistic children struggle with a lot of other “A”s?

  • Statistics show 25% of kids with autism has asthma too.
  • Statistics show 60% of kids with autism has eczema too.
  • Statistics show 8% of kids with autism has anaphylactic allergies and 40% have seasonal allergies.

Although there are multiple mechanisms for these conditions individually, the focus for this article is the global impairment of the immune system that predisposes kids with autism to other conditions.

The research shows that autistic kids are overburdened with all kinds of immune imbalance. This immune system imbalance initiates improper reactions to toxicity and how the body attempts to make every effort toward elimination (of toxins). Autistic kids have impaired detox mechanisms and altered methylation pathways, which are integral for detox of harmful substances the body comes in contact with frequently. Methylation is an important step in the detoxification of the body, and requires active forms of certain B vitamins in order to function optimally. When methylation is impaired detoxification is impairs and the body is overburdened, sending out signals that the immune system must be prepared for attack. “Attack Mode” for the immune system causes a overwhelming immune response to a normal circumstance.

Allergies…It is not biologically normal to react to food. Food is nourishment and provides the body with essential building blocks for all components to body function. When the body starts to react to its environment (and food) MAST cells are released. MAST cells release histamine, a chemokine that activates gut and brain neurotransmitters resulting in an “ITCH”. Histamine’s job is to activate white blood cells (WBCs) to stop foreign invaders, but when histamine is released by MAST cells that are activated in the absence of pathogens, the body begins fighting its environment. This rebellion causes global histamine imbalance in the body which sends the “ITCH” everywhere!

Imagine if you had an itch in your brain or gut that you couldn’t scratch..that’s how I imagine autistic kids feel every day!

When histamine is high, life altering symptoms can occur, and let’s not discount that histamine has a very vital job in the immune system, but;

  • If histamine is high in the skin >> eczema
  • If histamine is high in the lungs >> asthma
  • If histamine is high in the brain >> mood changes
  • If histamine is high in the gut >> allergies

STOP THIS MADNESS and heal the gut!!

  • Start by removing any chemicals or foods that trigger imbalance.
  • Consider probiotics (but discuss which strains or formulations are best for you).
  • Consider the removal of any and all potential allergens like molds, yeasts, preservatives, chemicals and sugars (which paralyze the immune system, later causing an over shoot and furthering improper balance), for the environment. Of course in most cases this cannot be done overnight but slowly phasing out will improve symptoms quickly!

Once the body is healed, as each healing process is different; many previously offending agents may be able to be reintroduced back into the environment! Make simple and effective changes, support body balance and start your healing today.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24997632

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/721702_2

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/912781-treatment#d10

 

 

 

 

First Foods for Babies with MTHFR

 

In conventional medicine there is a gross disconnect between our health and our food.  It is always important to remember each and every thing we consume affects us in some way. This is ever so apparent in our babies, who have immature detoxification systems and immune systems. So why is the “general consensus” to offer complex nutrient poor foods, often times before the baby is even ready to digest them?

First foods are so important for baby! But “offering food before age one is just for fun” which means that the bulk of nutrients for babies under 1 year of age should be from breast milk (The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months and then concomitantly with nutrient dense food until the age of 2). Formula in many cases poses a problem for families affected by MTHFR, as most formulas are fortified with folic acid. Folic acid should be avoided in all individuals with MTHFR, since individuals with MTHFR lack the proper functioning of their enzyme to properly convert the synthetic folic acid into usable folate for the cells.  

Always look for signs of readiness in a baby to be sure their digestive system is ready for food.

A-Baby-Sitting

Be sure baby is:

        • sitting up nearly unassisted
        • Has teeth or is actively teething
        • Shows an interest in food or chewing
        • Has begun to develop a pincer grasp

Some of the best recommendations for first food are avocado and sweet potato. Avocado is a folate rich food, which helps the body methylate properly. Generally parents will alternate these foods for up to 3 months before introducing other foods. When a baby is teething or gets a cold they may lose interest in food and prefer to just nurse for a while. If baby is voracious and very interested in food then parents may consider advancing the diet slowly.

General rules of thumb for food introduction include:

  • Introduce one food at a time with at least a week in between new foods.
  • Be an example for your baby by also choosing these foods or offering them off your plate so baby feels included.
  • Start with Orange veggies followed by Yellow veggies followed by green veggies; fruits can be introduced as well after this time, avoiding the most acidic fruits such as oranges.
  • Of course, when the time is right lots of green, folate rich veggies can be delicious and nutritious for baby, Folate stores help the body methylate properly, reducing the complications with MTHFR.                                                                                                                 squash

Most babies tolerate high quality meats and fish with scales by around a year of age, which is perfect timing as iron stores drop as baby lays down muscle and brain tissue quickly during development; This can lead to a diagnosis of anemia.

With MTHFR food introduction may be a bit more complicated if a tongue tie has gone undiagnosed. These babies may show little interest in food or eat a lot and then appear to be in distress. It is always wise to have a tongue tie issue assessed and addressed as early as possible. Remember, tongue tie and lip ties are midline defects, defects that should be “prevented” with proper folate dosing, however in individuals with MTHFR, or who have been counselled that folic acid and folate “are the same” may experience these issues with a higher incidence; people with MTHFR have trouble converting their folate into a useable form.

In general supplements are not recommended for babies under the age of 2, however speak with your provider about individual needs.

What foods to avoid?

  1. Avoid offering any processed foods, many of which have added synthetic folic acid.  Instead eat  and offer whole foods to your baby with no added chemicals or preservatives.
  2. Avoid using plastics if possible, BPA is banned in baby products but that doesn’t mean it disappeared. It has been found in breast milk in multiple scientific studies.
  3. Babies with MTHFR often get diagnosed with reflux and are prescribed proton pump inhibitors, this depletes minerals, vitamin d and essential Vitamin B12 absorption. Visit your local chiropractor to get adjusted or visit your local holistic provider to have baby evaluated.
  4. If you do not have a MTHFR mutation but your baby does, parents should avoid synthetic folic acid and processed foods too. Folic acid can functionally cause you to have all the same problems as someone with a MTHFR mutation.

In closing, our genes (or mutations) do not define us; nothing beats a good diet, exercise, quality sleep and kindness, show this to your kids and your parenting investment will be returned in spades….

this information is never to replace the advise of a qualified medical provider. Consult your physician before making any changes to your healing regime