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Diet & Blood Sugar Regulation

As a follow-up on last week’s post about regulating blood sugar and diabetes, we are going to talk about how to build meals and snacks that will help to stabilize your blood sugar.

You might be thinking that this isn’t relevant to you because you are a healthy weight and do not have pre-diabetes or any family history of diabetes. This is still relevant for you though.

Why is blood sugar regulation important for everyone?

Diabetes is not a “fat person” disease, even though an increase in body weight is a risk factor for developing diabetes. Blood sugar dysregulation, or dysglycemia, is a general term describing when blood sugar levels are too low or too high. This can happen to people who have a healthy weight. To summarize the content from last week’s post, when an individual has type 2 diabetes, the cells in their body that usually take glucose from the blood in response to insulin no longer do so like they should (this is called insulin resistance). The cause for this isn’t completely known but it is likely multifactorial. The body is supposed to regulate the hormones involved in blood sugar (insulin and many others) in order to maintain a balanced blood sugar that isn’t too low or high. A number of factors are associated with high blood sugar and the body’s regulation of blood sugar that can lead to insulin resistance and then diabetes. Physical factors such as eating too many carbohydrate-rich foods that raise your blood sugar, chronic stress, illnesses, gut health, presence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (refer to this blog post about EDC’s), and lack of physical activity can affect blood sugar. Other factors such as genetics and family history of diabetes and excess weight can also affect the development of diabetes.

We can do a lot with our diet and lifestyle to help our body out so it doesn’t have to work so hard to manage our blood sugar levels!

In last week’s blog, we talked about picking the right kind of carbs and incorporating a balance of fiber, protein, and fat along with your carbs. Let’s dive more into that!

Components of a blood sugar-balancing meal/ snack:

  • Complex carbs: 
        • Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and whole-wheat breads and pastas provide extra fiber and nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, and other important minerals.
              • It should be noted that most plants (grains, fruits and vegetables, beans, etc.) have chemicals we classify as “anti-nutrients” that can bind up the nutrients in the grains so that we can’t absorb them.
              • Preparation method greatly affects the availability of these nutrients such as soaking, fermentation (sourdough bread), or boiling. 
        • Fruits and vegetables provide beneficial fiber, complex carbohydrates and starches, water, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds that help to manage blood sugar.
        • Legumes (peans, peas, and lentils) are another great complex carb choice if they don’t cause any digestive distress.
  • Nutrient-dense simple carbs:
        • Simple carbs don’t necessarily need to be completely avoided, but you can pair them with other slower digesting foods to balance your blood sugar.
        • Dairy:
              • High quality milk (organic and/ or non-homogenized if you can)
              • Yogurt with live cultures (these provide beneficial probiotics for your gut)
              • Ice cream with simple ingredients for a special treat (cream, milk, sugar, egg yolks, salt)
        • Some fruits and vegetables:
              • Fruits with more simple sugars and other nutrients: bananas (less ripe bananas have less sugar and more fiber), watermelon, mango, raisins, dates, etc.
              • Fruits with more starch: carrots, potatoes, corn, squash, etc.
              • Try to pair these items with a healthy protein or fat source.
  • Healthy fats:
        • Foods high in healthier fats:
              • Avocados, nuts and nut butters, olives, seeds (flax, chia, pumpkin, sesame). 
        • Oils:
              • The quality of the oil is almost as or more important than the oil itself. The unsaturated fatty acids present in oils are highly susceptible to damage from heat, oxygen, and other environmental factors that destroy the health benefits of the oil .
              • Good oil sources: cold-pressed oils such as avocado oil, coconut oil, and olive oil (they will have more enzymes and nutrients).
                  • Avoid cooking with olive oil though as it has a low smoke point. Use olive oil in dressings or drizzling it on freshly made foods such as bread or soup.
              • Try to limit/ avoid: fried foods (the high heats can destroy the oils), rancid oils, and poorly stored oils (store in a dark, cool room in a darker glass bottle with a tight lid).
  • Protein:
        • Meat is one of the most abundant sources of protein:
              • High intakes of red meat are associated with health risks; however, meat is one of the main sources of the B vitamins and it is the most highly absorbed form of iron. 
                  • Aim for 2-3 servings a week of lean red meats such as beef and pork
                  • Try to get organic and/ or grass-fed if you can
              • Poultry: lean cuts of chicken and turkey are great sources of protein and nutrients
              • Fish: fatty cuts of fish such as salmon, sardines, oysters, and trout are great sources of healthy omega 3’s and other nutrients
              • Organ meats such as liver are a nutrient powerhouse! Try mixing it with ground beef or turkey for extra nutrition.
        • Other nutrient-dense sources of protein: eggs (opt for “free range”), dairy (refer to the list above), and lean cheeses (feta, ricotta, mozzarella, etc.)

Tying all of this information together, you want to try to incorporate elements of all of these types of foods into your meals and snacks. This will help to balance your blood sugar. 

Other lifestyle changes to help manage blood sugar:
  • Find a way to manage the stress in your life whether that’s seeking help from a counselor, adding in stress-reducing practices, journaling, etc. 
  • Increase your overall physical activity by aiming to be physically active at least 3- 5 days a week doing something you enjoy
  • Go on a walk about a bigger meal
  • Try to eliminate endocrine-disrupting chemicals in your life such as BPA (switch to using glass storage containers and water bottles instead of plastic), phthalates, sulfates, and more (these chemicals are often present in beauty products, self-care products, and cleaning supplies)
Ultimately, you cannot always control the other factors in your life that may lead to diabetes, but there is strong evidence to show that implementing a healthy diet and exercising regularly can drastically help to decrease your risk of developing diabetes.

Please talk to your doctor if you suspect you have diabetes or if you gave diabetes and want to make some diet and lifestyle changes!


Food Portioning

How do you portion your food correctly?

I have been told many times that one of the hardest things in regard to nutrition and eating a healthy diet is the portioning. The idea that the American public has about the amount of food that we should be eating has become based on the amount of food that is given at restaurants. However, the average food portions in American restaurants have doubled or even tripled in some cases over the last few decades. Furthermore, we read on the internet that you should be eating a certain amount of calories or a number of grams of carbohydrates or protein but we have no idea what that actually translates to for food.

Maybe a personal trainer or another health professional has told you how many calories you should be eating or has told you something like “you need to eat 100 grams of protein per day”. What does that actually mean though? How do you figure out how many calories and amounts of carbs, protein, and fat are in the food you are eating?

This blog post below is a great place to start to help you learn how to read a nutrition label so that you can understand what is in the food you’re eating:

However, most of the time, people are not going to measure out their portions or weigh out other foods like chicken or fruit that don’t have a nutrition label on them. Additionally, most people are not trying to hit a perfect number of calories and are just looking to estimate the amount of food they’re eating so that they don’t overeat.

Here are some quick tips for estimating the nutrient content of common foods*:

– 3 oz of protein (chicken, steak, salmon, etc.) is about the size of the palm of your hand and has approximately 25 grams of protein
– 1/2 cup of most carbohydrate sources (pasta, oatmeal, crackers, etc.) is roughly the size of a cupped handful or a tennis ball and contains roughly 15- 25 grams of carbs
– 1 cup of fresh fruit is roughly one serving and is the size of a baseball or a closed fist and has roughly 15 grams of carbs
– 1 teaspoon of oil or solid fat is the size of a postage stamp and is roughly 5 grams of fat
– 1 tablespoons is about the size of your thumb and is the approximate serving size of peanut butter (or other nut butters)
* These are very rough estimates
Reach out to a health professional for more help with figuring out how much food you should be eating to stay healthy!


How to Read a Nutrition Label

How do you read a nutrition label? What information can you obtain from it?

Reading a nutrition label can be so overwhelming! You might just want to know if this food is healthy for me or not. I want to help simplify the process for looking at nutrition labels and offer some tips!

Tips for analyzing the label:
  1. Ask yourself, “What am I trying to figure out about this food item?” For example, do you want to know if it has a lot of added sugar? Or do you want to know if it is rich in nutrients such as vitamin D or iron? Is this food going to spike my blood sugar?
         – Focus on one part of the nutrition label and compare it to other similar products to get a feel for which one is better suited for your needs.
  2. Look at the serving size (they’re often smaller than you might think) before analyzing the amount of a certain nutrient in the food item (for example, 13 grams of sugar may not seem like that much for M&M’s until you realize that’s only 16 pieces)
  3. Look at what is actually in the product verses nutrient claims on the outside of the package such as “less fat” or “lower sugar”. These products still may be high in saturated fat and sugar.

Things to keep in mind about a nutrition label:

  •  The order in which the ingredients are listed in descending order based on weight (for example, the first ingredient has the highest weight and the last ingredient has the lowest weight compared to all other ingredients)
  • The percentages on the nutrition labels are all based on someone eating a 2,000 calorie diet. Therefore, unless you are certain you eat that many calories every day, the percent of your daily value might not be an accurate measure to go by. 

– Percent Daily Value (% DV) is a measure of how much of a particular nutrient you are consuming in this product compared to the recommendations for an average American consuming 2,000 calories.

  • The only additional nutrients that are required to be on the label are vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. Just because another nutrient isn’t on the label doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist in the product (folate, vitamin A, etc.). 
  • Ingredients that are in “incidental amounts” or have “no functional or technical effect in the finished product” do not have to be included on the ingredients list.
  • “Common names” can be used on the ingredient label for things such as flavorings, colors, or spices unless otherwise regulated. 
Tips for picking a good snack:
  1. A food item that has similar ratios of carbohydrate, protein, fat, and fiber will help to stabilize your blood sugar and provide lasting energy.
  2. Foods high in added sugars or carbohydrates (without fiber) will generally provide a higher spike in blood sugar without helping you feel full.
  3. The simpler and shorter the ingredient list, the better. Honestly, if a food doesn’t have a food label, then it might be the best choice yet (i.e. fresh fruits and vegetables)!



How Do I Stay Hydrated?

What functions does water perform in the body, what harm can dehydration do, and should I take electrolytes?

With the blazing sun and high temperatures here this week, now is a good time to talk about the immense importance of staying hydrated.

We all know that we must drink a fair amount of water each day, and we also know that we probably do not drink enough water. Water is not often seen as a “nutrient” because it does not offer our bodies any energy; however, it is one of the most crucial nutrients because we can only live about 3 days without it.

Other than the fact that our bodies are roughly 60% water, there are many other important functions that water performs. The one that most people are aware of is the fact that water makes you pee. About 90% of your blood plasma is water which is important for the filtering process that occurs in the kidneys. Sufficient water intake is important for removing wastes out of your body through the kidneys into the urine or through bowel movements.

Another important function of water is temperature regulation. We all know that when our bodies get warm, we sweat. Sweat is produced by glands in the skin and is composed of mostly water, small amounts of various mineral salts (electrolytes) and other chemicals like ammonia and urea. The sweat vaporizes on the skin’s surface, cooling the body down. Similarly, when the body is overheated, the heat gets transferred to the blood which gets taken to the blood vessels under the surface of the skin where the heat can be transferred to the air.

You might have experienced a dehydration headache in the past as well. Even a 1 – 2% loss in body weight due to mild dehydration can result in loss of concentration and other cognitive symptoms such as headaches or short-term memory issues. The brain needs hydrated blood in order to deliver oxygen and other nutrients that are essential to its optimal functioning. Therefore, adequate hydration is essential for brain health.

A few other important functions that water performs are blood pressure regulation and heart health, transportation of nutrients, oxygen, proteins, hormones, etc. in the body, digestive health, and lubrication for muscles and joints. 

Once you become dehydrated, your body begins to lose its ability to tolerate the heat stress. Therefore, it is important to stay on top of hydration especially when you are spending long periods of time in the heat, performing intense exercise, or in an area of higher elevation.

What’s the way to hydrate yourself, especially when dehydrated?

One of the signals our body has to tell us we are dehydrated is thirst. We’ve all been in the situation where we are hot and dying of thirst, and we finally get the ice cold water bottle and chug it all down in 3 seconds. However, this often results in the water getting quickly excreted in the urine instead of staying in the body to do its jobs.
There is not a standard recommendation of water for everyone because our needs change based on variables such as the weather, activity level, the presence of a virus, etc. You should be able to tell whether or not you are hydrated though.

Here are some tips for good hydration:
– Drink small amounts of water throughout the entire day instead of large amounts at a time
– Consume foods with more water in them such as fresh fruits and vegetables (dehydrated fruits and vegetables have lost most of their water content), soups, smoothies, etc.
– Carry around a glass or stainless steel water bottle during the day so you don’t forget to drink water (avoid plastic if you can as chemicals from the plastic can leech into your water- especially with acidic beverages)
– Add a slice of lemon, lime, or other types of garnishes (strawberries, basil, oranges, etc.) to improve the taste of the water
– Drink an entire glass of water when you first wake up in the morning and before you go to bed

What are electrolytes and should I take extra electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals in the body that have an electric charge. We need these minerals in our bodies because they help maintain our body’s pH, allow nerves, muscles, heart and brain tissue to function properly, and move nutrients into and wastes out of the cells. Parts of the water molecule have a partial charge and therefore cause it to be attracted to things with a charge like electrolytes. Therefore, the presence of glucose and electrolytes in a water solution (like in a gatorade or another sports drink) help to further increase water absorption in the GI tract. When we sweat, we lose a small amount of these essential minerals. This is the idea behind sports hydration drinks. If you are only sweating a normal amount, you are likely replenishing those electrolytes with your normal food (sodium from salt, and potassium from bananas, potatoes, cantaloupe, etc.).

However, if you are losing larger amounts of these minerals (during strenuous exercise, or with vomit or diarrhea), then you probably do need to consume additional electrolytes when rehydrating. Make sure to check with your doctor before supplementing with electrolytes as it is possible to consume too many electrolytes and your body likes to keep an equilibrium to maintain proper functioning. 

In most situations, all you need to do to stay hydrated is drink plenty of water and be aware of when you may need to consume more electrolytes. 

Visit to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today!


Seasonal Allergies

What causes my seasonal allergies and what can I do to suppress the symptoms?

Many people suffer with seasonal or year-around allergies and know the all-too-familiar feeling of the tightness in your chest, the itchiness around your eyes, and the constant stuffy nose. Many people I’ve talked to have said that their allergies have been worse this season. What causes seasonal allergies and is there a way that you can support your body and suppress the allergic reaction?

With any sort of allergy- pollen, food, medications, etc. – the body has the same reaction. Our body’s immune system is designed to recognize foreign substances known as antigens that it recognizes as potentially harmful. It then launches an attack on that substance by releasing a series of chemicals that result in the symptoms associated with a sickness (fever, cold symptoms, etc.). This is good when we encounter viruses and bacteria that are not welcome. However, when the immune cells in our body mistakingly identify a normal substance as a harmful, foreign invader, it launches an attack when the substance itself may not be harmful. An allergy is an overactive immune response to a substance that it determines is harmful but is not to the normal person. 

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, it is likely due to the pollen released from trees, grasses, and weeds. There are a number of things you can do like monitor pollen counts or avoid going outside or being near plants you know you’re allergic to in order to control symptoms. For mild allergies, doctors will often prescribe antihistamines or nasal decongestants to manage symptoms. In more severe cases, your doctor may give you a stronger medication or give you shots to reduce the severity of the reaction.

What can you do to support your body and improve its immune reaction?

There are a number of nutrients (not limited to the ones listed below) that are essential in a properly functioning immune system. Supporting your body’s own immune system might help to lessen the reactivity that you might be experiencing.

– Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays an important role in many body functions including the immune system. Vitamin D helps to prohibit the action of pro-inflammatory chemicals that are key players in allergic reactions. 
– Vitamin C: While vitamin C is known for its role in the immune system, studies are showing that vitamin C may help reduce symptoms of allergies: decreasing oxidative stress, inflammation, and slowing the release of histamines. 
– Omega 3’s: It’s not surprising that omega 3 fatty acids make this list as we have talked before about their anti-inflammatory properties. However, omega-3’s have also been shown to decrease the risk of seasonal allergies. 
– Vitamin E: Vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory properties, and has been shown to help suppress overactive immune responses. 

While there are other supplements that are showing promising results for treating and managing allergies, starting with making sure your diet is providing adequate nutrients to supports its systems is always a good place to start. 

Visit to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today! 


Heavy Metal Toxicity

What are “heavy metals” and why does everyone want to detoxify them?

Heavy metals are naturally occurring metallic elements that are “heavy” because they have a larger atomic weight and density compared to water. There are some heavy metals such as copper, zinc, and iron that are essential for human health in the correct amounts but can be toxic when consumed in larger amounts. Other heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic are highly toxic and poisonous even in trace amounts. These metals are considered poisonous, carcinogenic (cancer-causing), and can cause serious health issues in humans and in plants.

Most of our exposure to excess heavy metals comes from environmental exposure (usually by direct contact or inhalation) as a result from human and naturally-occurring activities such as mining, industrial production, metal corrosion, soil erosion, volcanic eruptions, etc. In additional to environmental exposures, we are also exposed to these metals through our water, food, commercial products.
Heavy metals are being increasingly used because of industrialization and therefore our environmental exposure has been steadily increasing. While heavy metal exposure is regulated in foods and medicine to fit under the daily dosage limit, these foods and medicines are not our only exposure to these metals. There are efforts to decrease and eliminate exposure in the wastewater treatment facilities; however, environmental exposure remains.

How do they cause harm?

As they are metals, they have electrical conductivity and are willing to lose their electrons which produces cations that become free radicals and can cause damage by interacting with and changing proteins, DNA, and other cells in the body. Refer back to our post on oxidative stress (link) to see what harm this can cause. These metals are also able to easily bind with certain molecules like proteins, DNA, and enzymes in our body and disrupt their function.

Essentially, these metals can cause oxidative stress and damage, disrupt proteins structure and function, disrupt DNA synthesis and repair, suppress antioxidants, cause cell damage and death, etc. All of these things can cause issues in the body such as neurotoxicity and neuropsychiatric diseases, anemia, infertility, metabolic abnormalities, immune system dysfunction, osteoporosis, and affect the function of major organs such as the brain, lungs, kidney, liver, etc.

How can I decrease my exposure and promote heavy metal detoxification?

The absorption of heavy metals has in part to do with the conditions of the gut microbiome. When there is bacterial imbalance in the gut, the permeability of the lining of the gut often suffers which can increase the absorption of the heavy metals being consumed instead of excreted.
Additionally, the overall nutritional status of a person greatly affects the observed toxicity in a particular individual. Therefore, paying special attention to getting adequate iron, calcium, and zinc is important as well as consuming adequate amounts of all nutrients in order to optimize your body’s inherent detoxification systems.
To decrease your exposure, you can avoid certain foods that are common culprits for higher levels of heavy metals such as farmed fish (especially from another country that is less regulated), dairy with hormones, non-organic foods which can expose you to other chemicals as well, and other foods such as alcohol that can put extra load on your liver.
You can also incorporate certain foods to help support your body’s detoxification systems and may help in detoxifying heavy metals. These foods would be cruciferous vegetables (broccoli sprouts, Brussel sprouts, etc.), sulfur-containing vegetables (garlic and onions), and fiber-rich fruits and grains. Chlorella (a type of green algae) and activated charcoal (particularly of coconut shells) are both known to help bind heavy metals to increase detoxification. Make sure to drink adequate amounts of water when attempting any sort of detoxification. However, make sure you first talk to your doctor before adding a supplement into your diet.
Schedule an appointment with one of our doctor’s today at!

Why do Headaches/ Migraines Hurt So Bad?

What causes headaches/ migraines and why do they hurt so bad?

This really is the million dollar question. June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness month, so we’re going to talk about headaches and migraines. Headaches are a common reason for someone coming into a chiropractic office, or just to the doctor’s office in general. 

First though, we are going to distinguish between a headache and a migraine.

A migraine is a distinct subclass of neurological disorder- a sensory processing disorder. A person experiencing a migraine “episode” often has other sensory symptoms such as visual disturbances, nausea, light and/ or sound sensitivity, and weakness- or even symptoms like digestive issues. Migraines are usually characterized as more of an “attack” lasting for longer periods of time if not treated. Though the cause is less known, the mechanisms by which pain is caused is pretty similar and usually involves some sort of hyperactive or hypersensitive component which can exacerbate or prolong symptoms. 
Headaches usually have more of a known cause than migraines and occur when the pain-sensitive areas of the brain are activated. Headaches are classified into types based on their cause such as tension, allergy, caffeine, etc. They are usually characterized as more of a symptom with pain somewhere on the head being the pain complaint. Pain can be mild or debilitating, and can also accompany other symptoms like nausea or light/ noise sensitivity. 

It might surprise you to figure out that brain tissue itself cannot feel pain. The pain is caused by pain-sensitive nerve endings in the body that react to certain stimuli or triggers (like muscles in your head or neck, nerves or blood vessels surrounding, brain chemical activity, certain foods, medications, etc). The trigeminal nerve (the 5th cranial nerve) is the largest of the cranial nerves and provides sensory information from the head and neck like pain, temperature, and touch to the brain. It has three branches that send nerve signals to the thalamus which is the part of the brain that receives these signals, processes them, and sends the information to other areas of the brain to become aware of the pain, manage emotional responses, and create other responses like nausea, vomiting, and other neurologic symptoms. 

When you or someone you love suffers from recurring migraines and/ or headaches, you can often feel very powerless in helping them. Since the causes of headaches and migraines, and therefore the best treatment for their specific kind of headache/ migraine are often hard to pinpoint, I am going to give you some ideas for things you can do to help improve things that typically worsen or stimulate headaches:

– Eat 3-5 meals daily at regular times: Having a low blood sugar or skipping meals can be a trigger, so try to eat at least 3 full meals a day with proteins, carbs, and fats and mix in healthy snacks to keep you going
– Monitor your intake of beverages: Dehydration is a common trigger. Additionally, alcohol and caffeine (or lack of) can also be triggers
– Food as a trigger: foods such as chocolate, aged cheeses, fermented goods, artificial sweeteners, or processed/ cured meats can be triggers, so it is a good idea to keep a food journal to rule out a particular food or drink as the cause
– Avoid environments with loud or sudden noises, bright lights, or strong odors as they can also be triggers
– Incorporate regular stress-reducing activities such as stretching/ yoga, exercise, or breathing exercises to help manage stress, depression, anxiety, etc. 
– Establish a regular sleeping pattern so that you go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. Getting too much or too little sleep can be a trigger

All of this being said, there are still things out of your control that can be triggers such as medications, weather changes, hormonal changes and much more. Therefore, it is a good idea to establish a good foundation by eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise as tolerable, drinking plenty of water, and getting a good amount of sleep. Reach out to your doctor and ask about lifestyle changes that can help you manage your migraines and/ or headaches.

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Exercise and Bone Health

How can exercise improve my bone health and help be age better?

One of the hallmarks of aging is decreasing bone density. You reach your peak bone density around the age of 30, and it decreases a certain amount every year after that. Our bones are always going through a renewal process involving removing old bone cells and regenerating new ones. Both of these processes are going on at the same time, but as you age, the process of regenerating bone decreases resulting in an overall decrease in bone density instead of maintaining or increasing bone density. The cells that regenerate bone make collagen and other non-collagen proteins. The collagen is what provides bone its strength and resistance to deformation. There are also changes in the structure of the collagen in the bone as we age that lead to increased stiffness and brittleness. Lots of other factors such as genetics, hormones, peak bone mass earlier in life, drugs or medication use, other medical conditions, nutrition, and yes, even physical activity can impact bone mass.

We all know that our bones get more brittle and are more likely to fracture as we get older which is why so many people shy away from physical activity as they get older because they don’t want to hurt themselves.

The question is, how do you prevent further excessive loss in bone mass as you age?

You can’t control all of these factors leading to where you are now, but you can do something moving forward!

Exercise is a great way to help increase bone density as you age. Certain kinds of exercise can help to stimulate the generation of new bone cells. Bone responds to something called “mechanical loading” (which is muscle contraction or bearing weight) by increasing bone formation. The increase in bone formation is proportionate to the amount of mechanical loading or strain put on the bone. Furthermore, including rest periods in-between the periods of time where strain is present (more of a dynamic workout situation) increases the bone formation even more. Exercises that induce strain that is unlike normal strain put on the bone (think multidirectional jumping or versus walking or running) induces the formation of bone. Another reminder, like all processes in the body, certain nutrients are necessary for optimal function. Therefore, adequate protein, calcium, and vitamin D is necessary to experience the full benefits of exercise for bone health. Furthermore, hormonal status and function is important to maintain good bone health. 

Here are some tips for maintaining bone health as you age:
– Maintain a healthy body weight: a body weight that is too high or too low can negatively impact bone health. Many don’t think about low body weight but that can negatively impact bone health as much as a higher body weight.
– Eat a healthy diet with adequate protein, calcium, and vitamin D. An adequate vitamin D status is required for optimum absorption of calcium in the gut, so it doesn’t hurt to eat both at the same time.
– Incorporate light weight-bearing aerobic activity: jumping, tennis, volleyball, hiking, etc. Remember to always start light and slowly increase.
– Incorporate light weight-bearing resistance training: Grab some small weights or use your body weight and do various exercises to increase your muscle strength and stability. Remember to always start light and slowly increase.
          – Here is a website with some great exercises for increasing strength while maintaining stability:

– Mix up your movement: Like we discussed above, dynamic exercise is best for increasing bone density. Create a workout plan with your doctors that changes up the types of exercises you are performing.

Remember to always talk to your doctor if you have or are at risk for a bone-related disease, are at risk for falling or fractures. It is always a good idea to run ideas past your doctor before trying to implement your own workout or diet plan.


Nutrition + Gut Health

How important is gut health and can diet really play a large role in my gut health?Your gut, also known as the entire human intestinal tract, is home to over 100 trillion microbial cells. That’s more than the estimated number of cells that the average man has in his entire body! This complex community of microbes can influence physiology, metabolism, immune function, and synthesize certain vitamins and essential amino acids. Consequently, they are also involved in modulating diseases such as type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. It has been documented that drastic diet changes can induce large, temporary shifts in the gut microbiota in as little time as 24 hours.

What can happen when many factors such as poor nutrition, stress, heavy alcohol use, and heavy metal toxicity damage the intestinal lining? The junctions between the cells of the gut lining are supposed to be tight, but they begin to spread apart and allow microorganisms to pass through into the blood. This is known as leaky gut syndrome. Altered gut microbiota, otherwise known as dysbiosis, is linked with this increased permeability of the intestinal lining. Studies have also linked intestinal dysfunction and gut dysbiosis to traumatic brain injuries such as a concussion. It is not clear the exact correlation, but a correlation is present.

What can you do to improve your gut health?

  • Eat a diverse diet of fresh fruits and vegetables (these are rich in fiber and essential nutrients)
  • Opt for whole carbohydrate sources such as potatoes, whole grains, and root vegetables instead of eliminating carbs completely (rich in fiber and beneficial carbohydrates)
  • Avoid processed foods that contain simple sugars, inflammatory fats, and additives
  • Consume probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt with live cultures, sauerkraut, kombucha, and pickled vegetables
  • Consume probiotics and enzymes in supplement form to fill the gaps in your diet
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