I’m sure you’ve all heard the latest about Omega 3’s and their importance to your health. well, let’s make this a bit more interesting than the typical “fish oil helps clear up your eczema” article. By the way, that is true, it does do that. There are countless other benefits that come from omega 3’s though. We often hear about how bad fatty foods are for us, but what you don’t hear about enough is how there are healthy fats.
Certain foods contain the right kind of fats; the fats that our bodies actually need for optimal health. When we take in the right foods, we feel better. How? I’m getting there. Healthy fats (especially omega 3) are extremely important for cell membrane health, heart health, brain function and maintaining healthy joints. Not only that… they can help with depression, skin health, and even support blood sugar and insulin metabolism.
Here’s a short list of foods that are high in healthy fats for us! Extra virgin olive oil, ground flax seeds, raw almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, avocados, and extra virgin coconut oil. The best source of EPA and DHA (Omega 3 fats) is wild-caught fatty fish, such as salmon. If you’re not a big fan of fish, then you’re still in luck because most people would benefit from taking a fish oil supplement (generally 1000-2000mg per day of EPA/DHA).
Let’s make sure we all start the New Year off right! Are you looking to feel better overall? Have you noticed that your energy level just doesn’t seem to be where it was before? Believe it or not, the reason could be as simple as “you need to drink more water”.
Now, let’s be clear here… Fluids are good, yes, but nothing can replace that beloved water our bodies crave so much. Not soda, not juice, not alcohol, but water! It’s recommended that you drink half your body weight in ounces per day. I’ll wait, go ahead and do the math. When you think about it, it’s actually not that much. A person weighing 150 pounds would drink about 75 ounces or 9 cups of water per day.
What’s amazing is to think about all of the ways we can feel better if we make sure we’re drinking enough of this stuff! Lack of water can have so many effects: lack of energy, indigestion, headaches, high blood pressure, aches and pains, dry skin, and the list goes on…
Before you go out and buy cases and cases of bottled water from the grocery store, let me fill you in on a little secret; it’s expensive! Besides that, it’s not even necessarily the best water for you (unless you’re in a third-world country). The best and cheapest way to get quality H2O is by using a home water filter (for instance, an under the sink filter or a counter-top unit). Filtered tap water is ridiculously cheap, easily accessible, and it doesn’t carry the potential bacteria that some bottled waters can be home to.
So, that’s your health tip for this week. Let’s make it a great year!
After a tough day, relaxing in a sauna sounds like the perfect way to unwind for a lot of people. There’s something about it that has a natural “calming effect”, but believe it or not, relaxation is only one of many benefits an infrared sauna can offer you. You’re about to learn why these glorious wooden rooms are becoming evermore popular in homes and health-care facilities.
Your body needs a number of things to continually function properly. It needs things like food, water, sleep, exercise, sunshine, and the list goes on. With the exception of the UV rays, an infrared sauna can actually play the role of the sun in a number of ways. Instead of warming the air around you like a traditional sauna does, infrared heat warms your body, just like the sun does. This means that in order to get the same benefits as those traditional saunas, the temperature in the infrared sauna doesn’t need to be as high, thus allowing more people to tolerate the warmth.
Infrared saunas offer an abundance of health benefits, some of which I am sure you would not have ever guessed. In no particular order, here we go:
Detoxification – Sweating is the body’s safe and natural way to heal & stay healthy. Infrared saunas heat the body directly causing a rise in core temperature, resulting in a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level, where toxins reside. This is great for those who suffer from heavy-metal intoxication or poisoning.
Weight Loss – Studies have shown that a 30 minute infrared sauna session can burn upwards of 700 calories while you relax! As the body works to cool itself, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate, causing the body to burn more calories. What happens when we start burning calories? We start shedding the pounds.
Relaxation – Unlike traditional saunas which operate at extremely harsh temperatures, infrared is a gentle, soothing and therapeutic heat that promotes relaxation and improved sleep. Infrared sauna therapy helps you relax while receiving an invigorating deep tissue sweat, leaving you fully refreshed after each session.
Pain Relief – Infrared heat penetrates tissue, joints, and muscles to relieve anything from minor aches and pains to chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. Pain management professionals incorporate infrared heat therapy into treatment plans to decrease pain and muscle spasms and to speed up recovery time.
Lower Blood Pressure – Infrared saunas induce a deep sweat to make the heart pump faster, which in turn increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure and helps circulation. Scientific evidence shows that using an infrared sauna a couple times a week lowers blood pressure.
Improved Circulation – Heating the muscles with infrared rays produces an increase in blood flow similar to that seen during exercise. Regular infrared sauna use—especially in the mid IR range—can significantly stimulate blood flow up to twice the normal rate.
Anti-Aging and Skin Purification – The near infrared wavelength (sometimes referred to as Red Light Therapy) is the most effective wavelength for healing the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin. Near infrared treatments stimulate collagen production to reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin tone.
Wound Healing – Scientific research has concluded that near infrared therapy greatly enhances the skin’s healing process by promoting faster cell regeneration and human tissue growth. Human cell growth increases to repair wounds and prevent infection.
Cell Health – Near infrared therapy stimulates the circulatory system and more fully oxygenate the body’s cells. Better blood circulation means more toxins flow from the cellular level to the skin’s surface to improve cell health, aid in muscle recovery and strengthen the immune system.
Amino Acids. Not a lot of us know what those two words together mean, but something worth knowing about them is how important they are when it comes to our mood! What we end up eating has a tremendous effect on our mood, whether we want to believe that or not.
Amino Acids are responsible and essential for the formation and function of our neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are actually what regulate the chemicals in our brain and have the ending effect on our mood. Without the right nutrients and with an overload of stress, we deprive our brain of its needed amount of chemical regulation, which can ultimately lead to illnesses, both mental and physical.
Serotonin, catecholamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and endorphins are the brain chemicals that are directly associated with our every-day moods. Deficiencies in these chemicals can cause an annoying array of symptoms, most of which we would more commonly attribute to a poor night’s sleep, the common cold, or other viral infections like the flu. However, when in good balance, these neurotransmitters have the ability to keep us cool, calm, and collected. We stay more positive, more relaxed, more alert, and more resourceful.
What is odd is that rarely do we associate a good diet with our mood. We get cravings for foods we desire, and while we temporarily feel good when we eat what we crave, if the food we eat is not what our body needs, we suffer from it in the end. Poor diet and digestion, stress, and prescription drug use can all lead to an imbalance, leading us to feeling “under the weather”.
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that has natural calming effects. This helps to regulate our mood, sleep and appetite. When our levels of Serotonin are low, we are more likely to experience trouble sleeping, anxiety, panic attacks and cravings for certain foods.
Tryptophan is the amino acid responsible for the production of our serotonin. Food sources high in tryptophan include brown rice, cottage cheese, meat, peanuts, and soy protein. Amino acid supplements are available to assist in increasing serotonin levels as well. The two most common and popular supplements are L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP. Since we all have a different body chemistry, some foods or supplements may work better for different individuals.
We naturally have a “caffeine-like” chemical in our bodies. Catecholamine acts as a natural mild antidepressant for us, and when our bodies are low on it, we can feel the effects of it through a lack of energy, drive, and focus. L-Tyrosine is the amino acid necessary for catecholamine production. Not only is L-Tyrosine the precursor to thyroid hormones, but supplementation of it will have a tendency of increasing your energy level.
GABA is a natural relaxant. It is derived from glutamic acid and can be supplemented directly. Symptoms of low GABA include stiff and tense muscles, stress, feeling burned out, and inability to relax.
Endorphins are the chemicals that help us feel good. An interesting study showed that those who are low in endorphins are considerably more sensitive to pain, both emotionally and physically. They had a tendency to cry more and craved comfort from people, foods, or other things around them. It is more common for someone low in endorphins to crave foods and alcohol.
Endorphins are metabolized from phenylalanine. The best supplement form is the DL-Phenylalanine form which is used to elevate mood, decrease pain, suppress the appetite and aid in memory and learning.
Another amino acid helpful in balancing brain chemistry is L-Glutamine. Supplementation with L-Glutamine stops carbohydrate cravings and moodiness by preventing low blood sugar in the brain.
There are certain conditions in which taking amino acids would be contraindicated so check with your health care practitioner if you are considering taking any of these supplements. If you need assistance in this area, feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help.
Yours for Optimal Health,
Dr. Tom Rofrano
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Content on this website is based upon the opinions of Thomas Rofrano, D.C. and is not considered medical advice. It is designed to be a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Rofrano and his community. Dr. Rofrano encourages you to make your health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Dr. Rofrano is a chiropractic physician and offers physical and nutritional support and guidance to those seeking alternative or complementary care to traditional medicine. His care is not meant to replace that from your primary doctor and specialists but rather to help you on your path to achieving life-long vibrant health.
Regarding any supplements mentioned: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.