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06/Nov/2023

In the wake of the pandemic, many of us find ourselves living in unprecedented times that have altered our daily routines and disrupted our sense of normalcy. With the pandemic came educational uncertainties, financial insecurity, and health issues, among other things. It’s safe to say we are all feeling an unbearable amount of stress, especially with the current situation in the middle east. But don’t worry, stress is entirely normal—even healthy—it’s how we react to it that matters. Today, we’re going to discuss some proven ways to manage physical, mental, and emotional stress.

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Exercise Regularly

Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, neurotransmitters in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. These are often referred to as ‘feel-good’ hormones because they can induce feelings of happiness and relaxation. Additionally, regular exercise improves your overall mood and serves as a natural way to manage anxiety and depression.

Physical activity also influences the body’s stress response system. It reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Regular exercise increases the production of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), especially in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays a crucial role in stress regulation.

Moreover, exercising regularly helps to improve sleep quality, enhance self-confidence, and increase relaxation, all of which are beneficial in managing stress levels.

Evaluating Different Types of Exercise

From aerobic exercises like running and cycling to resistance training like weight lifting, and calming practices like yoga and tai chi, different forms of exercise have been found to provide stress-relieving benefits. While high-intensity workouts may help to rapidly reduce stress hormones, low-intensity activities such as walking or stretching can also be effective, particularly for those new to exercise or with physical disabilities.

Frequency and Duration of Exercise

While any amount of exercise is better than none, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week for optimal health benefits. Consistency is key; it’s better to exercise regularly throughout the week than to condense all activity into one or two days.

Positive impacts on stress levels can be noticed within just five minutes of aerobic exercise. However, the reduction in anxiety and improvement in mood may be most noticeable about an hour after exercising, often referred to as the ‘exercise afterglow’.

Practical Advice

The key to reaping the stress-reducing benefits of exercise is to make it a part of your daily routine. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start small: If you’re new to exercise, start with just a few minutes each day and gradually increase the duration as your fitness level improves.
  • Choose activities you enjoy: You’re more likely to stick to an exercise routine if you love what you’re doing. Whether it’s dancing, hiking, or practicing yoga, choose something that makes you happy.
  • Mix it up: Varying your workouts can prevent boredom and keep you motivated. Try combining cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises throughout the week.
  • Make it social: Exercising with a friend or group can make the activity more enjoyable and provide a sense of community and support.
  • Listen to your body: Rest when you need to and adjust your workout plan to fit your needs and capabilities.

Light Therapy

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that involves focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment.

Mindfulness is all about being fully engaged in the here and now. It’s about paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judging them as good or bad. When you practice mindfulness, you’re not trying to achieve a certain state or feeling. Instead, you’re simply observing and accepting what is happening in the present moment.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Research indicates that practicing mindfulness regularly can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve sleep, increase focus and concentration, and enhance overall well-being. Physically, mindfulness can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Your 10-Minute Daily Mindfulness Protocol

1. Find a Quiet Space: Choose a spot where you won’t be disturbed for the next 10 minutes.

2. Sit Comfortably: You can sit on a chair or cushion on the floor, keeping your back straight but relaxed. Rest your hands on your lap.

3. Close Your Eyes: This can help limit visual distractions and make it easier to focus.

4. Focus on Your Breath: Pay attention to the sensation of your breath coming in and going out. Notice how your chest rises and falls, and how the air feels as it enters and leaves your nostrils.

5. Observe Your Thoughts: If your mind starts to wander, that’s okay. That’s just what minds do. Simply notice that your mind has wandered, without judgment or frustration, and gently bring your attention back to your breath.

6. End Your Session: After 10 minutes, slowly open your eyes and take a moment to notice how you feel before getting up.

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Your Daily Routine

Mindfulness isn’t just for meditation – you can practice it throughout your day:

  • Mindful Eating: Pay attention to the taste, texture, and smell of your food. Notice how it feels as you chew and swallow.
  • Mindful Walking: Focus on the sensation of your feet touching the ground, the rhythm of your steps, and the feeling of the air against your skin.
  • Mindful Breathing: Take a few moments throughout your day to focus solely on your breath.

Further Resources

To deepen your understanding of mindfulness, consider these resources:

  • Books: “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh.
  • Apps: Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer offer guided meditations and mindfulness exercises.
  • Courses: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program is an eight-week course that’s highly recognized in the field of mindfulness.

Remember, the key to mindfulness is regular practice. It might feel strange or difficult at first, but with time, you’ll start to experience the benefits. Happy practicing!

Reach Out to Friends and Family

Studies reveal that social support can significantly decrease stress hormones and inflammation in the body, and lower blood pressure and heart rate. Frequent communication with loved ones can help reduce any isolation or loneliness, bring an outside, and provide a much-needed emotional support system. Social support can aid recovery from stress, particularly emotional stress.

Kids nutrition

Eating Healthy

Proper diet and nutrition play a crucial role in maintaining mental health, and they can significantly help in reducing and preventing common mental health issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety. A balanced diet rich in certain nutrients can aid in maintaining a healthy mind and body.

Some of the key nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, which are known for their brain-boosting properties. B vitamins, particularly B12 and folate, are essential for brain function and can be found in foods like eggs, meat, leafy greens, and beans. Complex carbohydrates, found in whole grains and vegetables, can help regulate blood sugar and mood. Also, proteins rich in amino acid tryptophan, such as turkey, eggs, and cheese, support the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that aids in maintaining mood balance.

On the other hand, foods and drinks high in processed sugars, caffeine, and alcohol should be avoided as they can spike blood sugar levels and may exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.

The Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, has been associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. This diet emphasizes the consumption of nutrient-dense, whole foods that provide steady energy and a wide range of nutrients, supporting overall brain health.

Research indicates a strong correlation between diet and mental health. For instance, a study published in the “American Journal of Psychiatry” found that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean protein, and fish was associated with a reduced risk of depression.

In addition to a balanced diet, lifestyle changes such as regular physical activity, adequate sleep, and mindfulness practices can further enhance mental health. Remember, professional help is crucial when dealing with mental health issues, and dietary changes should complement, not replace, professional treatment.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is not only a basic need but also a vital component for maintaining good mental health. It acts as a natural stress-reliever and plays a crucial role in reducing anxiety, depression, and stress levels.

When we sleep, our bodies enter a state of restoration where they repair muscles, consolidate memories, and release hormones that regulate growth and appetite. This restorative process directly affects our mood, cognitive function, and overall mental health.

Scientifically, sleep deprivation can lead to hormonal imbalances that affect both our minds and bodies. Lack of sleep disrupts the balance of key hormones, including cortisol, serotonin, and dopamine, all of which play significant roles in regulating mood. For instance, increased cortisol levels can lead to heightened stress, while imbalances in serotonin and dopamine can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Sleep is divided into several stages, including REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM stages. During these stages, particularly REM sleep, our brains are active and working on repairing brain cells, consolidating memories, and regulating mood. Disruptions in these sleep stages can lead to mood disorders and impaired cognitive function.

To harness the benefits of sleep for mental health, it’s important to implement healthy sleep habits. Establish a consistent sleep schedule, aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Reduce screen time before bed as the blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Make your sleep environment comfortable, quiet, and dark to promote better sleep quality.

For more Naturopathic tips on establishing healthy sleep Click Here

Conclusion:

Everyone experiences stress in their daily life, but it’s essential to learn how to cope with it effectively when it seems to become overwhelming. This doesn’t mean you should avoid stress entirely, but instead, focus on creating strategies to manage the negative effects it has on your physical, emotional, and mental health. The above-listed techniques can drastically improve your overall wellbeing in stressful times. Remember, managing stress is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Experiment with different methods and see what works best for you. Whatever steps you take, remember to prioritize your wellbeing and give yourself the time and space needed to take care of yourself.


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26/Sep/2023

Cooking with oil is one of the most common techniques used in the kitchen. Whether you’re baking, frying, sautéing, or roasting, using the right oil can make a significant difference in the flavour and health of your food. However, it’s crucial to know how much heat a particular oil can handle and how to choose the best oils for your health. In this blog post, let’s dive into the world of cooking with oil and discover the best techniques and tips for healthy and delicious meals.

Not all Oils are Created Equal

Not all oils are created equal when it comes to cooking. Different oils have different smoke points, which affect their stability and overall health benefits. The smoke point is the temperature at which an oil starts to smoke and break down, producing harmful compounds that can be harmful to your health. Therefore, it’s essential to use oils with a high smoke point for high-heat cooking methods such as roasting, frying, and grilling. Examples of oils with high smoke points include avocado oil, peanut oil, canola oil, and vegetable oil.

Common cooking oils and their smoke points:

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): With a smoke point of 325-375°F, EVOO is best suited for low-heat cooking like sautéing, baking, and roasting. It’s packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and lends a robust, fruity flavor to dishes.
  2. Canola Oil: Canola oil’s smoke point is around 400°F, making it versatile for medium-heat cooking methods. It’s a good source of monounsaturated fats and has a neutral taste that won’t overpower your dish.
  3. Coconut Oil: This tropical oil has a smoke point of 350°F. It’s ideal for baking and adds a sweet, subtle coconut flavor. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, but it’s also rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can boost energy levels.
  4. Avocado Oil: With an impressive smoke point of up to 520°F, avocado oil is excellent for high-heat cooking techniques like frying and searing. It’s rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, plus it adds a creamy, buttery flavor to dishes.
  5. Peanut Oil: With a smoke point of 450°F, peanut oil is a great choice for frying, sautéing, and grilling. It’s high in monounsaturated fats and adds a nutty flavor to dishes.
  6. Sesame Oil: This oil has a smoke point of 410°F, making it good for medium to high-heat cooking. It’s rich in antioxidants and adds a powerful, nutty flavor, especially when used in Asian cuisine.
  7. Grapeseed Oil: With a smoke point of 420°F, grapeseed oil is suitable for medium-high heat cooking. It’s high in polyunsaturated fats and vitamin E, and offers a mild flavor that won’t compete with your dish.
  8. Butter: Real butter has a low smoke point of 300°F, so it’s best for baking or low-heat cooking. It’s high in saturated fat, but also contains beneficial nutrients like vitamin A.
  9. Lard/Tallow: These animal fats have a smoke point around 375°F (lard) and 400°F (tallow), making them suitable for medium-heat cooking. They are high in saturated fats, but also contain monounsaturated fats.

However, not all high-smoke point oils are healthy. Vegetable oil and canola oil are often highly refined and processed, leading to the depletion of nutrients and a high amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which can induce inflammation. Remember to also include unrefined oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids like flaxseed oil, hemp oil, walnut oil, or extra virgin olive oil. These oils have lower smoke points and are best used in low-heat cooking methods like sautéing, dressing, or drizzling.

Another essential factor when choosing oils for your health is their composition. Saturated fats like coconut oil and butter have traditionally been considered unhealthy, but recent research suggests that they might have health benefits too. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are easier to digest and absorb.

Medium Chain Triglycerides

Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, are a type of fatty acid that can work wonders for your health. They’re easily digested and absorbed, providing a quick burst of energy that can fuel your brain and body. MCTs have been linked to numerous health benefits, from enhancing brain function and boosting heart health, to aiding in weight management and even improving exercise performance.

Olive Oil

Additionally, olive oil holds many benefits, including protecting against heart disease, cognitive decline, and even cancer. It’s crucial to balance your intake of saturated fats with unsaturated fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetable oils to promote optimal health.

Extra virgin olive oil is a powerhouse of health benefits, making it an essential addition to your daily diet. Rich in monounsaturated fats, it promotes heart health by reducing levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL). The high content of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties found in extra virgin olive oil contribute to strengthening bones and muscles, helping to prevent osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, it aids in weight management due to its ability to provide satiety and control cravings. What sets extra virgin olive oil apart is its rich flavor profile and high phenolic content, which has been associated with fighting cancer cells and improving brain function. So why not make the switch? Incorporate extra virgin olive oil into your meals for a delicious and nutritious boost to your health.

When it comes to cooking, the right technique significantly affects the final result. Instead of pouring too much oil in the pan or deep-fryer, use a smaller amount and distribute it evenly. Experiment with alternative cooking methods like broiling, baking, or steaming to create delicious and healthy meals without the need for high amounts of oil. You can also swap oils for other types of fats like avocado or tahini to add an explosion of flavour without high-heat cooking.

Conclusion:

Now that you know how much heat and which oils to choose for your health when cooking, go ahead and experiment with different oils and cooking techniques. Opt for high-smoke point oils for high-heat cooking methods, and unrefined oils with lower smoke points for low-heat cooking and dressings. Make sure to balance your intake of saturated and unsaturated fats to promote optimal health. Remember that cooking with oil is all about balance, moderation, and flavour!

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22/Aug/2023

For many people, non-alcoholic beer represents the best of both worlds. They can enjoy the classic taste of beer without the lingering effects of alcohol on their body. However, is non-alcoholic beer actually healthy? Or is it simply a waste of money? In this article, we will explore the potential health benefits of non-alcoholic beer and break down whether or not it is a smart choice for your health.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Indeed, research has shown that non-alcoholic beer can have a beneficial effect on blood pressure. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry indicated that non-alcoholic beer decreased systolic blood pressure, suggesting that it can be a part of a healthy diet for those with cardiovascular risk (1).

The presence of polyphenols in non-alcoholic beer plays a significant role in these health benefits. Polyphenols are plant-based compounds known for their antioxidant properties. They help to combat oxidative stress in the body which is a key factor in the development of chronic diseases like hypertension.

Additionally, the absence of alcohol in non-alcoholic beer removes the diuretic effect commonly associated with alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can cause the body to lose more fluid through urine production, leading to dehydration which can increase the workload on the heart and raise blood pressure. By opting for non-alcoholic beer, this risk is significantly reduced.

It’s important to note that while non-alcoholic beer can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, it should not replace a balanced diet and regular exercise. These factors remain the cornerstone of maintaining optimal blood pressure levels and overall health.

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Can Help with Exercise Recovery

Non-alcoholic beer can indeed serve as an effective post-workout recovery drink. After a strenuous workout, your body’s stores of glycogen, the stored form of glucose, are depleted. Consuming carbohydrates after exercise helps replenish these glycogen stores, promoting faster recovery and preparing the muscles for the next workout.

Non-alcoholic beer is a carbohydrate-rich beverage, which makes it a suitable choice for post-workout recovery. The carbohydrates in non-alcoholic beer are quickly absorbed by the body, providing immediate fuel to repair and rebuild muscles. This rapid absorption can help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue, enabling you to recover more efficiently from your workouts.

Moreover, non-alcoholic beer is high in electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. These electrolytes are crucial for maintaining fluid balance in the body and are often lost through sweat during intense workouts. Replacing these lost electrolytes is essential to prevent dehydration and facilitate muscle function and recovery.

In addition to its hydrating properties, non-alcoholic beer also contains beneficial nutrients such as B vitamins, which play a role in energy production and muscle recovery. For instance, vitamin B12 aids in red blood cell formation, which is crucial for delivering oxygen to the muscles.

While non-alcoholic beer can contribute to post-workout recovery, it’s worth noting that it should not replace a balanced, nutrient-dense meal. Consuming a mixture of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats after a workout is vital for optimal recovery and muscle growth. Also, keep in mind that everyone’s nutritional needs can vary, so it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your intake accordingly.

May Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Non-alcoholic beer, containing key components like hops and barley, could potentially aid in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is primarily due to their capacity to increase insulin sensitivity, which is a crucial aspect of regulating blood sugar levels.

Hops, a primary ingredient in beer, are known to contain a variety of bioactive compounds, such as iso-alpha-acids, which are derived from the hops’ bitter acids during the brewing process. Some studies suggest that these compounds have a positive effect on glucose metabolism, improving insulin sensitivity and thus helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin sensitivity refers to how responsive your cells are to insulin. Higher insulin sensitivity allows the cells of the body to use blood glucose more effectively, reducing blood sugar.

Barley, another primary ingredient in beer, is a rich source of dietary fiber, particularly beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a type of soluble fiber that has been shown to slow glucose absorption into the bloodstream. This slower absorption rate prevents spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby increasing overall insulin sensitivity.

Furthermore, barley contains a type of resistant starch that is not digested in the small intestine but instead ferments in the large intestine. This fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids, which are thought to increase insulin sensitivity and may help lower blood sugar levels.

Can Be High in Calories

While non-alcoholic beer may have many potential health benefits, it is important to note that it can be high in calories. A typical non-alcoholic beer has anywhere from 50 to 150 calories per serving, which can add up over time. For those who are watching their weight, opting for a lower calorie beverage like seltzer water or tea may be a better option.

May Trigger Cravings

If you are someone who has struggled with an alcohol or addiction in the past, non-alcoholic beer may not be the best choice for you. Some people may find that drinking non-alcoholic beer can trigger cravings for alcohol, leading them to fall off the wagon. As a result, it is important to talk to your doctor or addiction counselor before incorporating non-alcoholic beer into your diet.

The question of whether non-alcoholic beer is healthy can be viewed from a positive perspective. Indeed, it offers several health benefits such as aiding in lowering blood pressure, bolstering exercise recovery, and potentially reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. While it’s true that it can be higher in calories than some other beverages and could trigger cravings for those in recovery from addiction, moderation and balance are key. For many people, an occasional non-alcoholic beer can be a delightful addition to their diet without adverse effects. It’s all about understanding its nutritional content and how it fits into your overall health objectives and lifestyle. In essence, the decision to enjoy non-alcoholic beer can be a beneficial one when made with mindfulness and consideration of your personal health journey.

  1. Chiva-Blanch, G., Urpi-Sarda, M., Ros, E., Valderas-Martinez, P., Casas, R., Arranz, S., … & Andres-Lacueva, C. (2014). Effects of alcohol and polyphenols from beer on atherosclerotic biomarkers in high cardiovascular risk men: a randomized feeding trial. Nutrition, metabolism and cardiovascular diseases, 24(1), 33-45. Link

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06/Jul/2023

We all love basking in the sun and getting our daily dose of Vitamin D, but long-term sun exposure can cause severe skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. Your sunscreen is your go-to weapon for protecting against UV rays, but did you know that there are also several foods that can help protect you from sun damage? From watermelon to sweet potatoes, read on to find out the top ten foods that will help protect you from the scorching heat of the sun!

1. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, which has been linked to a reduction in skin damage caused by sun exposure. Eating cooked tomatoes or tomato-based products like tomato sauce can help increase your lycopene intake. For more information about the health properties of tomatoes click here
2. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes contain high levels of beta-carotene, which can help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Beta-carotene also helps to make your skin more radiant.

3. Watermelon: Watermelon contains antioxidants like lycopene, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C, which makes it an excellent food to eat when you’re spending time in the sun.

4. Green Tea: Drinking green tea regularly can also help protect your skin from sun damage. Green tea contains catechins, which have antioxidant properties that help prevent skin damage and reduces the risk of skin cancer.
5. Fish: Fatty fishes like salmon, sardines, and tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids that can protect your skin and reduce inflammation caused by sunburn. Omega-3s can also help your skin better retain moisture.

6. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is packed with flavonoids, which is a type of antioxidant that can help protect your skin against sun damage. Eating a square or two of dark chocolate each day can provide sufficient protection.
7. Carrots: Carrots are another excellent source of beta-carotene, which can help prevent sunburn and sun damage. Eating carrots can help improve the overall health of your skin.
8. Almonds: Almonds contain Vitamin E, which is an essential nutrient for preserving healthy skin. Vitamin E prevents UV damage and helps to maintain the natural oils on your skin.
9. Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are rich in Vitamin C, which can help prevent sun damage and can also improve your skin texture.
10. Spinach: Spinach is high in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help prevent damage to your skin by neutralizing free radicals caused by the sun.
Eating a well-balanced diet is essential, not just for overall wellness but also for protecting your skin from the sun. Consider incorporating these ten foods to your daily nutrition to help protect your skin from sun damage, in addition to wearing sunscreen and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun. Stay healthy and enjoy your time outdoors! For more articles on sun-blocking foods click here

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07/May/2023

Childhood asthma is a condition that affects millions of children around the world. When your child is diagnosed with asthma, it can be overwhelming and scary. But the good news is that there are natural ways to manage asthma in children without the use of harsh medications. By making some lifestyle changes and natural remedies, you can help to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. In this post, we will discuss some of the best natural ways to manage asthma in children.

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is one of the best natural remedies for managing asthma in children. Studies have shown that a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help reduce the incidence of asthma in children.
According to a paper published in the Journal of Asthma and Allergy Educators, a balanced, diverse diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk for asthma among children and adolescents. A separate study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity found that children who consumed more fruits and vegetables had fewer asthma symptoms.
In particular, nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids appear to be especially beneficial for children with asthma. One review of several studies, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that higher intakes of vitamin C, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids were associated with better lung function and fewer asthma symptoms in children.
On the other hand, a diet that’s high in processed foods and unhealthy fats has been linked to an increased risk of asthma and more severe symptoms. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet high in saturated fats, trans fats, and refined sugars was associated with an increased risk of asthma in children.

2. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is very important for a healthy immune system and body. Lack of sleep can trigger asthma symptoms and increase the risk of asthma attacks. Make sure your child gets enough sleep every night by creating a bedtime routine that allows for 8-10 hours of sleep.
Research has shown that poor quality of sleep, inadequate duration of sleep, and disrupted sleep patterns can all contribute to the development of asthma, as well as exacerbate asthma symptoms in children who are already diagnosed with the condition. According to one study, children with asthma who had poor sleep quality were more likely to report asthma-related symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath, compared to children who had good sleep quality. Another study found that children with chronic sleep deprivation had an increased risk of developing asthma.
Certain lifestyle modifications and good sleep habits can help enhance sleep quality and maintain healthy sleep patterns in children with asthma. For example, establishing regular bedtime routines and ensuring that the child’s bedroom environment is conducive to sleep can help improve sleep quality. Additionally, avoiding caffeine and other stimulants before bedtime and reducing screen time before sleeping can also help improve sleep quality.

3. Stay Active

Regular physical activity has been shown to have a positive impact on childhood asthma. Research studies indicate that engaging in regular exercise can help improve lung function and reduce the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms in children. Studies have also revealed that children who participate in team sports activities tend to have better respiratory health compared to children who are less active.
Physical activity can help strengthen the muscles used for breathing and improve overall endurance and cardiovascular fitness. A study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that children with asthma who participated in a six-week physical activity program saw significant improvement in lung function and reduced the need for medication compared to those who did not participate in the program.

4. Supplementation

Certain natural supplements have been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of childhood asthma. Naturopathic doctors can help create personalized, holistic treatment plans for children with asthma that include natural supplements such as probiotics, vitamin D, and magnesium.
Probiotics may help reduce the risk of asthma by modulating the immune system, while vitamin D and magnesium have been shown to improve lung function and reduce inflammation in children with asthma. A review published in the World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics found that probiotics could be a promising intervention for asthma prevention and management, and a study published in the Journal of Respiratory Research found that vitamin D supplementation improved lung function in children with asthma.
Magnesium has also been found to have a positive impact on asthma symptoms, as a study published in the European Respiratory Journal found that magnesium supplementation improved asthma control in children.

5. Keep The Air Clean

Poor air quality can trigger asthma symptoms in children. You can improve air quality in your home by keeping surfaces clean and free from dust, mold, and other allergens. Keep windows and doors open to allow fresh air in. Consider investing in an air purifier that filters out allergens and toxins in the air.

Conclusion:

Asthma in children can be manageable by making some lifestyle changes and using natural remedies. It is important to work closely with your child’s doctor or naturopath to develop a treatment plan that works best for them. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, enough sleep, clean air, and supplementation are just some of the natural ways to manage asthma in children. With proper management, your child can live an active and healthy life.

References:

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01/May/2023

More and more families are choosing to adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet. According to a recent study published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, plant-based diets can meet all nutritional needs for infants and children. However, parents must be mindful about the potential nutritional deficiencies that may arise with these diets. In this blog post, I will discuss the most common nutrient deficiencies that vegan and vegetarian kids might experience and provide tips on how to ensure they get enough nutrients.

1. Vitamin B12

Vegan and vegetarian diets are often low in Vitamin B12 since it is most commonly found in animal products. This nutrient is necessary for healthy brain function, red blood cell production, and DNA synthesis. Fortunately, several vegan sources of B12 are available, including fortified foods such as plant-based milks, cereals, and nutritional yeast. Parents can also give their kids a B12 supplement or buy a vegan B12 supplement spray.
Some common symptoms of B12 deficiency in kids include:
  • Delayed development
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Poor appetite
  • Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
  • Difficulty walking and balancing
  • Behavioral changes
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Mouth ulcers or sores
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)

Recommendation: Active Chewable B12 from Genestra provides 1mg of Methyl-B12 in a cherry flavored chewable tablet. It is vegan, gluten, dairy and soy free.

2. Iron

Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency is common in vegan and vegetarian kids because plant-based sources of iron (such as beans, lentils, and leafy greens) are not as easily absorbed as animal-derived iron. To increase iron absorption, parents should pair iron-rich foods with vitamin C foods such as citrus fruits. When iron deficiency is present it can be difficult to raise levels sufficiently with diet alone. Iron supplementation can be useful, however, it is important to do so under the care of a family physician or naturopathic doctor. Too much iron can be as problematic as too little.
Some common symptoms of iron deficiency in kids include:
  • Pale skin or lips
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Irritability or fussiness
  • Poor appetite
  • Decreased growth and development
  • Increased infections
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Brittle nails
  • Headaches

Recommendation: Floradix Liquid Iron is a great tasting vegetarian friendly iron supplement with synergistic B-vitamins.

3. Protein

Many people wonder whether a vegan diet can provide adequate protein for growing kids. The answer is undoubtedly yes! Plants like beans, lentils, tofu, and quinoa pack significant protein. However, it is essential to combine these protein sources with whole grains to create complete protein. It is also okay to offer plant-based protein sources throughout the day and not all at once. Edamame, nut butter, and vegan protein shakes are excellent options. Check out my article on Nutritional Requirements for kids to gain an idea of how much protein your child requires. If a protein deficiency in suspected, using a protein supplement can be an easy way to boost your child’s daily protein consumption.
Some signs and symptoms of protein deficiency in kids include:
  • Edema or swelling in the feet, hands, or belly
  • Slow growth or failure to thrive
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Weak or brittle hair and nails
  • Loss of appetite or difficulty eating
  • Irritability or mood changes
  • Lowered immunity, leading to increased infections

Recommendations: Progressive Nutritionals Harmonized Fermented Vegan Protein is a vegan option high in protein and easy to digest. It is available in vanilla and chocolate.

4. Calcium

Calcium is critical for strong bones, muscles, and teeth. While dairy products are the most common source of calcium, vegan kids can get enough calcium from plant-based sources like fortified non-dairy milk, broccoli, bok choy, and kale. Parents can also offer vegan calcium supplements.
Some common signs and symptoms of calcium deficiency in kids include:
  • Delayed development and growth
  • Weak bones that are prone to fractures
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Numbness and tingling in the fingers, toes, or face
  • Weak and brittle nails
  • Tooth decay and other dental problems
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability or mood changes
  • Loss of appetite

Recommendation: Calcium Kids Chewable tablets from Progressive Nutritional’s provides calcium and other micronutrients in a great tasting sugar free and vegetarian format.

5. Zinc

Zinc is essential for growth and development, immune system function, and wound healing. Zinc can be found in nuts, seeds, and legumes, and fortified cereals. Parents could also offer vegan supplements to ensure adequate zinc intake. it is important to note that long term zinc supplementation can cause copper deficiency. Therefore, it is important to supplement under the supervision of a physician, nutritionist or naturopathic doctor.
Some common signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency in kids include:
  • Delayed growth and development
  • Poor appetite and weight loss
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Diarrhea and other digestive issues
  • Increased infections
  • Skin rash or dry skin
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Difficulty concentrating or memory problems
  • Mood changes, such as irritability or depression

Recommendation: Kids Liquid Zinc with Vitamin C from Organika is a product I have used with many patients. It provides 3.5mg of zinc with 200mg of vitamin C in a great tasting easy to use liquid format.

Conclusion:

If done right, a vegan or vegetarian diet can provide all the nutrients necessary for growing kids. However, it is essential to be mindful of potential nutrient deficiencies and incorporate nutrient-rich, plant-based foods into meals. If parents choose to offer supplements, it is best to talk to a healthcare professional first. With the right approach, vegan and vegetarian diets can be healthy and satisfying for kids.

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25/Mar/2023

As parents, we all want the best for our children, and that includes making sure they’re getting the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and strong. Proper nutrition is crucial to a child’s physical and cognitive development, and it can be challenging to navigate the world of childhood nutrition. But don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. In this brief guide, I will discuss the essential nutritional requirements for kids.

1. Carbohydrates

One of the most critical components of a child’s diet is carbohydrates. They give kids energy, so it’s essential to choose the right carbs – complex carbohydrates are the way to go. These are found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and they provide kids with long-lasting energy throughout the day. Avoid processed or refined carbohydrates, like white bread or sugary cereals, as these can cause an energy crash later in the day.
The amount of carbohydrates that kids need for optimal health depends on their age, gender, and physical activity level. However, as a general guideline, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children between the ages of 4 and 18 should get 45-65% of their daily calories from carbohydrates. For most children, this translates to about 130-200 grams of carbohydrates per day. Once again it is important to note that not all carbohydrates are created equal, and kids should focus on getting carbohydrates from nutritious sources such as: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes rather than from processed or sugary foods.