June 2011
Pamela Nathan

How to Know if You are Omega 3 Deficient?

Although the body voluntarily makes most of the fat that it needs from dietary starch or sugar, humans lack the ability to make essential fatty acids (EFAs) and must get them from dietary supplements or food.

Indications that you are EFA deficient or an EFA imbalance is present are: dry skin; the need to use moisturizing creams and lotions; "chicken skin," the presence of tiny rough bumps, usually on the back of the arms; dry hair; dandruff; fraying or brittle nails; premenstrual breast tenderness and menstrual cramps.

Essential fatty acids come in two distinct families, based upon their chemical structure. The two EFA families are not interchangeable and, in fact, tend to compete with one another in the body's metabolic pathways. Read more

Introducing Probiotics to Babies

In the first critical days after birth, one of the most important steps you can take that will determine the health and long-term wellness of your baby will be to ensure the proper development and maintenance of her inner ecosystem.

A healthy inner ecosystem is when your baby's intestines have the proper balance of beneficial microflora (good bacteria and beneficial yeast). Microflora play an important role in conquering pathogenic viruses, yeast and bacteria. This is Mother Nature's way of really "vaccinating" your child and building her immunity so she can live safely in this world. Read more

Aspirin Therapy: Safe for Sensitive Stomachs?

Doctors have suggested low-dose aspirin for some people to lower their risk of stroke and heart attack. Aspirin has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, and it interferes with blood clotting action. Dr Tracy Stevens, a cardiologist at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. explains that 'a clot at the site of plaque rupture is what triggers a heart attack or stroke.'

Several studies have found that taking aspirin daily for 5 years or longer reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. In a new study from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, suggests this may be because people at risk for colorectal cancer have elevated levels of a particular inflammatory factor in the blood, findings that may be useful in deciding who should take aspirin to reduce their cancer risk, notes study leader, a gastroenterologist at Mass General Hospital, Dr. Andrew Chan.

In the meantime, another new study from the University of Oxford in the U.K. found that people who took aspirin regularly had a 21% lower risk of dying of any form of cancer, and the longer they took aspirin, the greater the benefit. Read more

Did You Know???

Protecting Your Teeth

To protect teeth from cavities, don't eat one piece of candy or sweets now, then another piece an hour later and so on.

After eating just one piece of candy, your mouth becomes acidic and it can take up to an hour for the mouth's pH balance to return to normal. The longer the teeth are exposed to acid, the greater the chance of cavities.

If you choose to eat sweets: Limit treats to one after-meal serving, the increased production of saliva during and after a meal helps to wash away acidity. Also, try to brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth with water after eating sweets.

Even in its purest form, the potato sometimes gets a bad rap, but did you know the potato provides numerous health benefits?

Potatoes are the most commonly eaten vegetables in the U.S.

Unfortunately, they are often deep fried, over processed and stripped of their nutrients. Truth is, potatoes are highly nutritious and are a very good source of potassium and vitamin C, as well as fiber, magnesium, copper, manganese, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate.

The other good news is that a medium potato has only 163 calories and 0 grams of fat. The potatoes cousin, the sweet potato, is even more nutritious. So there's no need to shy away from potatoes as long as they are baked, roasted or boiled. Be sure to skip the butter, sour cream and cheese toppings. Salsa, low-fat cheese or sour cream, and light or fat-free plain yogurt are much healthier topping choices.

Milk Cures Garlic Breath

Drinking milk while eating raw or cooked garlic neutralizes much of garlic's sulfur odor.

Full-fat milk is more effective than skin milk- the fat seems to play a significant role in the deodorizing. Drinking milk after eating garlic is less effective.

Fluffier Rice?

For fluffier rice, rinse raw grains before cooking to remove surface starches and allow water to adhere to cooked grains. After the rice has cooked, pull the pot off the heat and drape a clean, dry kitchen towel over the top of the pot and place the pot lid on top of the towel.

Let sit for 10 minutes. The towel will absorb the steam and help prevent rice grains from sticking together.

Instant Oatmeal is as Healthy as Slow-cooked Oatmeal

All types of oatmeal contain about the same amount of cholesterol-lowering fiber-four grams per cup of cooked oatmeal.

The only difference is that instant oatmeal is processed differently so that water can penetrate it more easily, allowing it to cook faster.

Raynaud's Phenomenon

Swedish researchers have concluded that magnesium plays a significant role in Raynaud's phenomenon.

Raynaud's phenomenon is a condition in which cold temperatures or emotional stress triggers vasoconstriction of the fingers and toes. They turn white or even blue and become painful with exposure to cold.

Cinnamon extract or astragalus root can ease the symptoms of Raynaud's. Taking a supplement might help too. Whole grains, leafy green vegetables (spinach, chard), nuts and blackstrap molasses are good sources of magnesium.

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