Why Avocados are Amazing

By Shannon Morehouse MA, CHHC

Avocados are high in oleic acid (also known as Omega-9), a mono-unsaturated fat that research indicates may help prevent heart disease and even cancer! As if that isn’t enough good news, avocados can actually help increase the absorption of nutrients from other vegetables! This is a concept known as nutrient fusion. For instance, a salad with lettuce, carrots, some spinach, and salsa is rich in carotenoids such as beta carotene, which are extremely health-promoting. Add an avocado in your salad, and you automatically increase your body’s ability to absorb those nutrients! Why? Because these carotenoids are lipophilic (which means they are soluble in fat, not water); if you eat them along with a healthy fat, like avocados, you enhance their bioavailability!

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Nutrition proves this point. Adding avocado to a salad increased absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these carotenoids absorbed when an avocado-free salad was eaten. Amazing, isn’t it!?

If you are not a big fan of the avocado texture, try avocado in other forms. Avocado oil is great to use in cooking. If you haven’t the time to cook, try some healthy snacks made with avocado oil. All of the following are available at Natur-Tyme.  I love good health’s Avocado Oil kettle chips! And when I watch a movie at home, it is usually with a bowl of Lesser Evil’s Buddha Bowl Avocado Oil popcorn. Sandwiches are so delicious with a thin spread of Chosen Foods’ Avocado Oil Mayo.

If you are a dessert lover like me, you must try Avocadough cookies. You would never guess that avocado was hiding in these treats! Made locally in Central New York, the cookies are amazing. They are all-natural with a mixture of whole grains, sugar (or cane juice), egg, butter (or healthy oil)…and avocado, of course. In the mood for Oatmeal Raisin, try “Raisin the Bar.” Looking for a chocolate fix, try “Peanut Butter Me Up” or “Choc it Up.”

How will you incorporate avocados into your diet?Avocado_group_shopt

 

 

Address Health Concerns with Apple Cider Vinegar

By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC

 

Some health trends last forever and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is one of them! Its benefits are numerous!

Taking a tablespoon of ACV before meals can help stabilize blood-sugar levels, which is very useful for digestion of high-carbohydrate meals, especially for those who have diabetes.

One of the benefits of ACV is that it can ease an upset stomach. Are you feeling bloated? Nauseous? Simply add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a small glass of water to solve your discomfort. The stomach discomfort is typically because of bacteria and the vinegar contains pectin, which has soothing properties.

ACV can also help with a variety of cold symptoms. Gurgling with two ounces of apple cider vinegar mixed with two ounces of warm water will soothe a sore throat. Along with alleviating a sore throat, ACV will clear your nose of congestion and stuffiness. The potassium in the vinegar makes your mucous thinner, while the acid reacts with the bacteria. This can relieve your stuffy feeling almost instantly.

Not only can ACV help with your cold, but also, it can help in the cold months with dry scalp. You may experience dandruff, which can be embarrassing. Mixing the vinegar with water and then with your shampoo will help your dry scalp. Again, the acidity in the vinegar prevents germs from invading your skin and prevents a dry scalp.

You are probably recognizing a trend; ACV helps almost any condition that is bacterial in nature. It can even be helpful in treating acne. It kills the bacteria on the surface of your skin and leaves you with clear, smooth skin that will be sure to make you happy.

Falling asleep during work? Instead of grabbing another cup of coffee, try grabbing some ACV. Having one tablespoon of vinegar gives you the same amount of energy as a cup of coffee.

The most effective ACV is in a glass bottle, organic, and unfiltered, such as Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. Natur-Tyme sells the 32-ounce Bragg’s ACV for 30% off MSRP everyday; it is one of our customers’ favorite L.E.A.N. (Lower Everyday at Natur-Tyme) products!

Natur-Tyme Employee Profiles

 

As a way for you to get to know our friendly staff members, we are going to start posting some profiles of the Natur-Tyme Family on our blog. What better of a person to start with than the owner, Wendy Meyerson.  And what better of a day to post it than the day of Natur-Tyme’s 16th annual health fair at the New York State Fairgrounds. This is CNY’s premier health and wellness event. Come on out and join us! Mention this blog to get in the door for $7.00 (the price of our advanced sale tickets) instead of $10.00 (our “at the door” price).

Here are Wendy’s answers to a variety of thought-provoking questions

Wendy
Wendy Meyerson
Natur-Tyme Store Owner
With the business for 20 Years

Q: Where were you born and raised?
A: Syracuse, New York

Q: If there is one piece of advice that you think applies to most people, what is it?
A: Always follow your gut! It will never fail you!

Q: If you won 10 million dollars, what would you do with the money?
A: Pay off our business loans but still keep doing what we are doing!

Q: What are your favorite local hangouts?
A: Natur-Tyme of course!

Q: If money was no object, what would you do all day?
A: Exactly what I am doing today!

Q: For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
A: Of course my family’s health and happiness, but also the wonderful community support we have had for the past 30 years!

Q: Who’s your personal hero?
A: Not one, but all the Natur-Tyme employees who are committed everyday to uphold our mission while juggling his or her own life challenges. They are inspiring!

 

Lifestyle Factors to Keep in Mind for Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

Losing Brain FunctionBy Jennifer Morganti, ND, Needs Director of Education

 

As Alzheimer’s disease (AD) rates continue to rise, many of us are wondering what our own risk is of  becoming a statistic. Current data says your chances are one in nine if you are over 65 years old, and if you’re over 85, it’s one in three. With such high risks, wouldn’t it be great to better understand what we can do to prevent it? There isn’t a good treatment to reverse AD and we still are not clear what causes it. Genetics and lifestyle factors seem to play in to the scenario, but the picture is fuzzy at best.

A recent study was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, which may help provide clues as to which lifestyle risk factors can be modified to help decrease the chances of developing this devastating disease.  This study was a meta-analysis of other studies that contained data about AD risks. The diligent researchers initially browsed through almost 17,000 relevant studies, then narrowed it down to 323 which were appropriate to include in the review. There were over 5,000 patients included in the 323 studies.

The review of these 5,000 patients brought to light some interesting findings. They found a strong protective effect from five dietary factors: coffee intake, light to moderate drinking (alcohol), vitamin E, vitamin C, and folic acid. They found a significantly increased risk of developing AD when homocysteine levels were high or if a person was depressed. Risk also increased in the presence of other health conditions such as obesity (in middle age), atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and having type-2 diabetes. Interestingly, the study found a seemingly contradictory risk factor; a “low” BMI (being underweight) also is a hazard. Smoking or having a lower education level increases a person’s risk. Frailty (lacking strength and not exercising) puts a person at risk as well.

Some of the results were surprising and all in all, some were familiar. Although nothing is conclusive from this one review, the information is useful.  I think it does help point us in the right direction to make smart lifestyle choices for AD prevention, and those choices are also generally wise recommendations for overall health and wellness. 

Reference:
Xu W, Tan L, Wang H, et al: Meta-analysis of modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2015;August 21, 2015.

Make your Own Antioxidant Tea

By Sam Derbyshire

One thing I love about Natur-Tyme is the bulk department. We carry more high-quality herbs than any other place in CNY.

I rely on the bulk department for ingredients for my immune-boosting tea:
– 1-part hibiscus
– 1-part rosehips
– 1-part red tea

Lay out a tea ball and fill half of one side with red tea and half of that same side with hibiscus, then on the other side, fill half way with cut/sifted rosehips. Hang that tea ball in a gallon pitcher of cold water. Let it steep overnight in the fridge.

The rosehips have lots of vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and carotenoids, making them great antioxidants.

The hibiscus also has a lot of vitamin C, is a diuretic, and is great for high-blood pressure. Studies have also shown it to be helpful in atherosclerosis, reducing triglycerides, LDL, and overall triglycerides.  It is an overall antioxidant, contains phytosterols, and vitamin E.

The red tea (or Rooibos tea, or red bush tea) has the same antioxidant and polyphenol qualities as green tea, but without the caffeine and with much lower tannins.

The combo is a great option as a cold summer tea, which, in my opinion, needs no sweetener.  It is also great as a warm tea with just a dash of honey.

How to Go Organic Affordably

Excerpt from Jordan Rubin’s book, Planet Heal Thyself

Organic fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products are more expensive, generally anywhere from 20 percent to 100 percent more than conventionally grown and raised groceries. [However], there are ways to get a lot of organic bang for your buck:

  • Stock up at sale time. Yes, even organic products go on sale at health-food grocery stores.
  • Shop at farmers markets. Food that’s grown, produced, and sold locally is a great way to help the planet heal itself, and without middlemen between you and the grower, the prices can be excellent. Farmers market produce tastes better than fruits and vegetables that have traveled thousands of miles from farm to plate.
  • Eat organic food instead of going out to a restaurant. Yes, this means time spent preparing and cooking organic foods, but eating organic food is cheaper than taking the family to a fast-food place or “fast casual” restaurant—and much healthier, of course. A family of four would have to pay a minimum of $20 to $25 for a meal out, but you could pay for a wonderful home-cooked meal, complete with organic, grass-fed beef or wild-caught fish for that amount—even less. [However], if you are interested in eating out, search for local organic restaurants as more and more of them are opening their doors in major and even smaller cities all across the U.S.
  • Eating organic is cheaper than going on a special diet. And there’s a good chance you’ll lose extra pounds that wouldn’t come off with any other diet.
  • If you’re taking nutritional supplements, shop organic as well. Surveys suggest that 40 percent to 70 percent of Americans consume nutritional supplements, so look for products that are certified-organic (Check for the USDA seal) as more and more leading brands are taking the giant leap and producing nutritional formulations using organic ingredients.

When you get down to the nitty-gritty, the decision to eat organic foods boils down to what’s important to you. What you spend your money on shows where your [interests lay] and where your heart is.

Do you want to live a healthier life and leave a smaller footprint on the planet? Do you see organic foods as a down-payment for your future and your health?

Let me leave you with this little saying that puts everything in perspective:
You can pay the farmer now, or you can pay the doctor later.
GetReal_andrew_2If you would like more inspiring healthy-living tips from Jordan Rubin, be sure to attend his April 10th lecture from 2:15-3:45 at Natur-Tyme’s 15th annual health fair, held at the New Your State Fairgrounds. Tickets are available on our website.

The Microbiome: A Key to Your Health

Abigail McShinsky
MegaFood Training and Education Specialist

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of probiotics. Perhaps you even take them, as a supplement, yourself. The research and information demonstrating their vital importance to our health is growing, and it’s remarkable. Probiotics comprise what we refer to as the human microbiome – the vast collection of beneficial bacteria that inhabit, and form a deeply symbiotic relationship with, us.

Our digestive tracts are home to over 5,000 different species of beneficial bacteria, all of whom perform specific functions within our body (LiveScience). In addition to aiding in the digestion of food and nutrient assimilation, they are our biggest defense against illness – over 70% of our immune response resides within our gut!

Beyond this role, however, science continues to link the health of our microbiome to things such as allergies, and even lend credence to the phrase “gut reaction,” demonstrating a link between the health of our friendly crusaders and the brain! It begins to make sense, then, why these helpful bacteria, so important to our health and well-being, are called what they are – probiotic – literally meaning for life!

Unfortunately, modern diet trends and a focus on refined foods do not make for a strong microbiome. The Standard American Diet lacks diversity and an emphasis on fresh, whole, and fermented foods that nourish and grow our probiotic army. In addition, our frequent antibiotic use decimates these good guys and lowers our defenses further.

There is, of course, good news at the end of all of this. There are great ways to get probiotics back into your diet, and of course, into your gut, where they belong!  One thing to consider is foods that are rich in probiotics. Traditionally, fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, and pickles are great options to start including in your daily diet. Just be sure they are the real deal – look for the words ‘fermented’ or ‘traditionally fermented’ on the label, and make sure they come from the refrigerated section, as probiotics are living, and many strains require cooler temperatures to stay alive (they can actually be damaged by heat!)

There are, of course, less-familiar options to look into as well – foods such as kimchi, kefir, and kombucha are delicious and healthy ways to get probiotics into your child’s diet, not to mention helping them create healthy eating habits for years to come.

In addition to fortifying the diet with these good-for-the-gut foods, a probiotic supplement is another convenient choice. Seek formulations that deliver a wide-range of flora strains rather than just one or two, and one that requires refrigeration, to ensure you are getting viable, living strains.

The ABCs of Cleansing

By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC

It’s that time of year when you are probably consuming more sugar and alcohol than usual. Detox the toxins as much as possible through the holiday season so that you don’t have so much work to do come the New Year.

Natur-Tyme has plenty of detox supplement formulas, which can give you the extra detoxification boost you need. If you are a customer, you may want to consider using our free wellness consultation services. Our Integrative Dietician, Laurel Sterling, can provide guidance on the perfect supplements for your detoxification needs.

Here are the ABCs of a few of my favorite cleansing foods:

Almonds:

High in fiber, calcium, and magnesium, as well as vitamin E, almonds help to purify the blood and work well in cleansing the intestines of impurities.

 Before hitting up your next holiday party, grab a handful of raw almonds. They’ll fill you up so you’re less likely to indulge in the heavy finger foods and alluring sweets.

Apples:

Apples have an abundance of powerful nutrients. They contain phenomenal fiber, many vitamins and minerals, and helpful flavonoids, such as phlorizin, which increases bile production, helping to detox the liver. Apples also contain pectin, a fiber, which helps to detox metals and food additives from your body through your intestines.

 Slice up some apples for a fulfilling snack. Dip them in almond butter if you need a more satiating snack.

Avocados:

Avocados lower cholesterol and dilate blood vessels, helping to block toxicity from your blood. They contain a nutrient called glutathione, which blocks at least 30 different carcinogens, while helping the liver to detoxify dozens of synthetic chemicals.

 Make guacamole for a holiday party; try sliced avocado on whole grain toast for breakfast!

Beets:

Beets contain a unique mixture of phytochemicals and minerals that make them superheroes when it comes to detoxification; these compounds purify the blood and help assist the liver in ridding toxins. They actually help improve the functionality of the liver, which is awesome news for those who have liver disease or who have spent many decades over-consuming alcohol.

Try my delicious Borscht recipe, a fitting color for Christmas.

Bodacious Borscht

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 medium size carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small parsnip, cut into thin 2-inch strips
  • 3 medium size beets, cut into thin 2-inch strips
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 small cabbage, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 3 medium size potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Herbamare and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic or red wine vinegar

Directions:

  • In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onion, carrots, parsnip and beets until onion is translucent.
  • Stir in the garlic and bay leaf and cook for 30 seconds. Add broth, cabbage, potatoes, Herbamare and pepper.
  • Simmer, covered until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.

Cruciferous Vegetables:

Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, and cabbage are all part of the cruciferous vegetable family. These vegetables contain sulfur and other phytonutrients that do a phenomenal job at clearing toxins out of every pathway in your body. These amazing veggies help to jumpstart the liver’s production of cleansing enzymes as well.

Be sure to include cauliflower and broccoli on your holiday veggie tray. Consider hummus or a yogurt dip, which are both healthier than most commercial dips.

Three Tips to Survive the Holidays

By Jen Morganti, ND, NEEDS Education Director

The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends and create lovely memories, but do you ever feel like it’s all too much? Sometimes an excessively packed schedule and juggling family events can just cause too much stress! Then there are the challenges of resisting abundant unhealthy food choices, lacking time to exercise, and maybe not getting enough sleep. All these factors pile up and can throw off your mood, energy, and weight. There are a few simple tips you can try to minimize the unwanted side effects of the holiday season to help make it the fun and enjoyable season that it was meant to be.

TIP 1 Maintain your Outstanding Self-Discipline

Let’s face it, even the most disciplined person will feel challenged by the delicious treats that are kindly left on every table you pass during the holidays. Beautifully decorated holiday cookies, sweet and creamy eggnog, or rich and cheesy dips with crisp crackers tempt us as we go through the day. There’s a good trick to help dampen these temptations: if you don’t let yourself get hungry, you are less likely to indulge. So keep a stash of fresh veggies on hand and use them to prevent hunger. Filling up with low-calorie, high- fiber, healthy snacks will at least cut back the amount of treats you want to reach for. If you’re going to a holiday party, you can also take a natural appetite suppressant such as Hoodia to prevent overindulging.

Also, make sure you keep enzymes on hand wherever you go, to help deal with digesting large quantities of foods or foods you might be sensitive to.  Use a high-quality general enzyme formula, and  if you have a sensitivity to gluten, you might benefit from an enzyme formula that contains the Glutalytic enzyme to help break it down more effectively.

TIP 2 Maximize your Opportunities for Rest

Staying out too late, drinking too much alcohol and caffeine, or staying up wrapping gifts all night can interrupt your much needed sleep, leaving you groggy, fatigued, and possibly grouchy. Do your best to get eight hours every night, and if not, at least try to squeeze in a quick cat nap—they really do help! But if you have trouble sleeping and find yourself tossing and turning all night, herbs like valerian or hops will provide a relaxing sedative effect. If anxiety and excessive thoughts keep you awake, try anxiolytic herbs and nutrients such as holy basil, kava, GABA, and               L-theanine to calm your mind and prepare for rest. These are also great for daytime use because they do not have sedative properties.

TIP 3 Take Time for YOU 

If you find that you have too many social activities planned to the point of exhaustion, be sure to balance it with a little alone time too. Go for a walk, or sit and meditate to rebalance, or just take some time to appreciate all the blessings in your life. After all, isn’t that what the season is really all about?   

Brain Function Informed Mental Healthcare Available in Syracuse

Submitted by Syracuse Neurofeedback

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“Brain dysfunction is the number-one reason people fail at school, at work, and in relationships,” states bestselling author Dr Daniel Amen. “When the brain is ineffective, so are we.”  The brain, he points out, “is the super computer that runs your life.” A highly organized spider web of pulsating activity with a consistency like Jell-O, the brain is easily injured by a bump to the head, toxins in our environment, and stress in our lives. You may have never thought of it this way, but anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia, and ADD/ADHD are clear signs of brain dysfunction.  Medications are designed to reduce symptoms, but do not resolve the underlying cause of these life-altering conditions.

Syracuse Neurofeedback and psychiatric nurse practitioner, Alex Eller, are teaming up to bring cutting-edge, brain function-informed mental healthcare to Central New York. By bringing together Syracuse Neurofeedback’s 14 years of experience optimizing brain function through neurofeedback training and Alex Eller’s expertise in diagnosis and medication management, we aim to offer the highest quality mental healthcare. Psychiatric medications have unpleasant side effects and many studies show that they are often no more effective than placebo. Alex Eller plans to help his patients avoid, reduce, and eliminate psychiatric medications. He will also be offering a new approach to diagnosing ADHD which utilizes a new FDA-approved test, NEBA, which analyzes brainwave patterns to help clinicians determine if symptoms are due to ADHD or another condition.

Neurofeedback, which was originally developed by NASA, is a relaxing game-based learning process that enhances the function of the Central Nervous System by training the brain to self-regulate. New discoveries in the field of neuroscience have revolutionized our understanding of brain development. We now recognize that the brain is able to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life; this is called neuroplasticity. Neurofeedback is an exercise for the brain that harnesses that potential. Impact the function of the brain and you can impact everything from sensory processing to behavioral and emotional control, sleep, movement, pain perception, and learning. The response to this training is often quick and profound. With adequate reinforcement, the effect can last a lifetime. For more information, go to Syracuseneurofeedback.com or call 315-492-3789 to schedule your free consultation.

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