Archives ~ February 2013 Entries
High fiber foods balance blood sugar and regulate insulin by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates into the body. High fiber foods such as apple, greens, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds can give essential nutrients and healthy fats, while improving the cleansing facilities of the intestines and colon. Fiber is a great way to improve your health and balance your blood sugar!
Insulin Regulating Fiber Blast
1-2 cups SuperGreens
2 tbsps pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
Add water, and blend!
Ingredients for High Fiber Blood Sugar Balance Blast
Trying the High Fiber Blood Sugar Blaster #2
Chia has been used by the Natives of the Southwest and Mexico for thousands of years. Chia is the Mayan word for strong and just a handful of chia was said to fuel a man for one full day of hard work. Full of fiber and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, chia is a great food to help detoxify the colon and build bones. It's most notorious call to fame (besides the Chia pet:) , is its high essential fatty acid content. With 2 tbspoons of chia having 5.5 mg of polynsaturated fat- ALA, it makes it the highest non-marine source of Omega 3 fatty acids on the planet.
When added to water, chia swells and becomes a mucilaginous hydrator. It's very low sodium per serving (.5 mg) vs its super high pottassium (140 mg)make it a great vasodilator, improving blood circulation to all parts of the body, including the brain. Too much salt can cause restriction and constipation, pottassium opens and allows flow. This along with it's hydrating effects, may be why the Indians of Mexico can run for days, literally, only consuming chia.
Chia is also phenomenal for weight loss and blood sugar balance, because of it's fiber content. Basically small amounts of chia will fill you faster, so adding the meal to your salads, soups, smoothies and water will defenitely decrease cravings and overeating. These seeds are also very high in protein, and contain all of the essential amino acids. There are different types of chia, black and white, but most are sold as a mixture, and there isn't much difference nutritionally between the two.
Here is a great Chia breakfast:
1 bowl of Chia- add water and let sit until the water is all soaked in.
1/2 apple- gala or granny smith chopped up
handful of raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp of butter or coconut oil
After the chia has soaked up the water, add the apples and raisins, and then SLOWLY heat up in a saucepan, on low simmer the mixture until the apples and raisins are semi soft. Add cinnamon and oil and eat! Serves 3-5 depending on how much you eat. The lovely part is it's so filling, and perfectly sweet, you won't need to eat much!
There are over 43 different hormones in the body, all working in perfect harmony to signal thousands of functions in your body at any given moment. Functions such as growth, waking, sleeping, blood sugar control, energy, libido, reproduction, digestion, brain function, and immunity are just a few. When you support the endocrine system, you are actually supporting every organ system in your body.
Diabetes: A Preventable Epidemic
In all BUT low income countries, Diabetes Type 2 is in the top 10 causes of death. Known as a disease of excess, diabetes is unheard of in countries where processed foods are not staple. Excess sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and a sedentary lifestyle can stress the pancreas causing over secretion of insulin, with an eventual decrease of insulin once the system gets worn out. Insulin is vital for pulling glucose (sugar) into the cells, and with the help of exercise decreases blood levels of glucose. If this excess sugar is not burned off, the pancreas gets "tired" decreasing insulin production while the bodies cells become insulin resistant and the glucose just floats around in the blood depositing itself in small blood vessels of the eyes, kidneys, and feet. It makes for a slow deadly recipe.
Diabetes Type 2 (not Type 1) is completely preventable and I believe reversible. The first choice is to eat a low carbohydrate diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fat. Exercise is key and should be a daily activity. Low duration, high intensity such as sprinting, plyometrics, or circuit training decreases fat while building muscle. Sleep is essential for proper blood sugar control, and its well known that tired people crave carbohydrates, eat more, and consume excess caffeine. Caffeine intake alters blood sugar by inhibiting the action of insulin. Also, I know from my clinical experience that blood sugars can be higher when allergens are being consumed. Example: If you are Celiac or Gluten intolerant, gluten can actually alter the way you metabolize sugars, so all food allergens should be sought out and avoided.
Sweet Potato Smoothie
Today I decided to start with Diabetes because it affects SO many people, and with millions walking around with undiagnosed Diabetes Type 2, I figured I do my part to share some Insulin Balancing Drinks. And besides, I had half a sweet potato left from dinner last night, so this was a perfect way to use it up!
2 cups SuperGreens
1/2 large sweet potato
3 tbsps shredded coconut
2 tbsps raw pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
Almond milk- unsweetened to top off.
Makes 2-3 servings.
Options: Add protein powder and drink after a workout. A great source of carbohydrate to pull protein into the muscles after a workout to aid in recovery!!
Blend all together until smooth. May need to add more water or milk. This is very tasty, mildly sweet, and very filling!
Sweet potato: Many people think this is like a white potato, but its a great low glycemic complex carbohydrate with a little sweetness and high in chromium. Chromium is a mineral needed for proper blood sugar control.
Pumpkin seeds: High in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for blood sugar metabolism, and most diabetics (and others) today are deficient.
Greens: I like any of the Organic Mixes: Supergreens, Kale, Powergreens, Spinach
High in Vit C, Vit K, magnesium, potassium, and fiber greens just go good in everything. Greens of all kinds should be a staple part of the diet of diabetics!
Coconut: A super food with Medium Chain Triglycerides which helps insulin function and gives it a nice taste with the sweet potato.
Cinnamon: A super herb, cinnamon is great for blood sugar control by helping the body produce insulin.
I like the Nutribullet: (thats because I don't have a Vitamix, which I just haven't splurged on) It blends it all together into a smoothie like consistency. You'll notice in some recipes I like to juice parts and then blend, its really all a personal preference!
Nutribullet: Natural Healing Foods Book
High in the Andes mountains of Peru grows Maca, a Superfood with the secrets of ancient civilizations going back nearly 2600 years. Cultivated first by the Pumpush warriors of the Amazon, the Yaro tribe of the Andean highlands, and then the Incan Empire, Maca root has been a symbol of stamina, virility, and performance for centuries. Today the Quecha tribes of Peru continue the legacy of cultivating Maca, the highest altitude crop in the world. ( Altitudes range 9,000-14,000 ft)
An Adaptogen for All Ages
As a member of the cruciferous plant family, Maca root (Lepidium meyenii or idium peruvianum) also known as Peruvian ginseng, has relation to broccoli, cabbage, kale, and radishes. The root grows in a variety of colors( red, black, yellow) and has a multitude of medicinal actions. Classified as an adaptagen, Maca aids the bodies immune and endocrine systems to adapt to its environment. Maca grows in a harsh environment, adapting to extreme temperature changes, wind, and sun. Due to this “signature” Maca is excellent for those who live in high, dry, cold climates, are extreme athletes such as climbers, mountaineers, or skiiers, and is perfect for alleviating altitude sickness. ( Maca increases the use of oxygen by red blood cells.) If you don’t live in these conditions, don’t despair, Maca can adapt to your needs.
Balance and Energy
When consumed Maca targets the hypothalamus in the brain, which regulates the pituitary, and thus all hormones in the body. It’s many actions affect the endocrine and immune systems and as if a bookshelf with books missing, Maca knows exactly how many books are needed to fill the shelf back up, without over stocking. If I could pick any word for Maca it would be BALANCE.
Maca provides sustained energy over time by improving balance of multiple systems. Targeting the adrenals through the pituitary, it improves energy by helping the adrenal glands adapt to stress. Many people have burned out adrenal glands due to chronic and prolonged stress, over stimulated fight or flight signals, and the use of stimulants. Maca’s qualities do not create the crash like caffeine or amphetamines, improving the adrenal glands and providing NATURAL sustained energy.
Centuries ago, the Incan warriors were fed Maca before battles, as it provided them with energy, however once enemy tribes were conquered these warriors were forbidden from eating Maca, as it was said to “spare” the women of the conquered tribe. Maca, coined by David Wolfe, as the Andean Aphrodisiac, is attributed to balancing hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone thus increasing libido. Studies also show that Maca increases sperm count and motility in male rats, and egg maturation in female rats- all within 72 hours of feedings. These two things together- increased libido and higher chance of egg fertilization = increased fertility. With current rates of infertility equaling breast cancer rates, Maca is a perfect superfood that can be added to improve hormone status, sexual interest, and performance, all WITHOUT side effects. These results can vary depending on the type of Maca (black, red, yellow), so it’s important to know what effect you are looking for and to take that kind.
Peru Holds on to Ancient Traditions by Banning GMO’s
There is so much wonderful research and information on Maca, it’s impossible to put it all here without writing a book. If you want to read a book on it, Superfoods by David Wolfe, is where I referenced much of this material, and is a fabulous way to get information on many amazing Superfoods, including Maca. Recently, Peru became one of only a few countries in the world to completely BAN GMO seeds and farming. The farmers who grow and cultivate Maca and many other ancient foods in Peru were listened to by their government, and for the next 10 years, no GMO crops will be grown in Peru. These farming practices should be supported and introducing Maca into your diet, could be a great way to start!
Learn more about Super Duper Foods with Dr Hillary.
A fabulous source of daily Maca can be found here.
The average American consumes over 90% of their diet as processed foods. These refined foods are high is simple sugars, salt, and trans fats, stripped of natural nutrients, then fortified with synthetic vitamins and minerals to replenish what was destroyed. At the same time we see catastrophic increases in cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few, all of which are categorized as diseases of inflammation.
Inflammation is a natural process that occurs within the body when there is cellular damage. Over time, chronic inflammation can cause DNA damage, thus promoting the most popular diseases in our culture and accelerating aging. Adding superfoods to your daily diet can play a great role in decreasing chronic inflammation and aiding in cellular regeneration. Unlike processed food, which creates more free radical inducing inflammation, superfoods provide ample amounts of essential nutrients and antioxidants to squelch these harmful molecules, assisting in disease prevention and anti-aging.
First, all whole unprocessed foods could be called superfoods. Organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, herbs, spices, grass-fed and free range meats, and wild fish are all superior to refined foods, and are the base of every clean, healthy diet. However, there are foods that are so nutrient dense they have gained the notority of what I call a SUPER DUPER food (SDfoods- my fancy term for reference). Smaller amounts of these SDfoods can be eaten with greater overall effects, truly packing
that superhero punch. Science is now helping us understand the biochemical makeupof these foods, letting us prove what ancient civilizations have known for centuries: SDfoods are nutrient dense, full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and essential fatty acids, and are low in calories.
Hailing from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, SDfoods have much toteach us about harnessing the forces of nature to improve vitality. Consider Maca, a root vegetable grown 9,000-10,000 feet in the Andes of Peru for over 2600 years. It takes 7 to 9 months to mature in intense sunlight, high winds, and extreme temperature changes, but Maca's ability to adapt to it's environment, makes it a great immune and endocrine adaptogen. Adaptogens bring the body into balance, and whether low or high, they balance the body's response to stress. The relationships between the food and it's environment, can signal what type of systems the SDfood will nourish in our bodies.
These fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, seaweeds, leafy greens, and bee products may be less known than walnuts or spinach here in the Western world, but without a doubt are gaining ground in nutrition and health improvement, not because they are fads, but because they work! Adding SDfoods to your diet is one of the simplest but profound ways to improve your health. Benefits such as immune enhancement, hormone balancing, weight management, glowing skin and hair, less aches and pains, improved sleep and more stimulant free energy are all results of decreased inflammation and improved cellular nutrition. Harness the power of these foods, and discover what puts the SUPER DUPER in superfoods!
Dr Hillary’s favorite SUPER DUPER foods:
Fruit and Nuts:
Camu Camu, Purple Corn, Coconut, Cacoa, Acai, Goji Berry
Blue Green Algae, Chlorella, Spirulina, Marine Phytoplankton, Green leafy vegetables,
Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen, Propolis
Arame, Wakame, Kelp, Nori
Root and Herbal:
Maca, Turmeric, Garlic, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Ginseng, Ginger. Aloe
Shitake, Reishi, Cordyceps. Maitake
Want more Super Duper food choices? Read Dr Hillary's blog on Camu Camu
Interested in learning how to improve your Nutrition? Make an appointment with Dr Hillary via phone, Skype, or in office.