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JUNE 2016

JUNE 20162018-08-08T13:46:36+00:00

WHAT’S NEW

Smoking can not only cause early menopause in women, but it can also make menopausal symptoms more severe compared to women who don’t smoke.

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT: IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?

When experiencing menstrual changes – from PMS to menopause –  women are often confused about the differences between natural, synthetic and bioidentical hormones. With more than 48 million women going through The Change at the same time, it’s important for them to understand their choices and whether or not they need Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are beneficial for preventing or treating certain health conditions, including heart disease and depression.

2. Mucilage refers to water-soluble, gel-forming fiber that can provide special support to the intestinal tract. This makes flaxseed an excellent support to digestion and relief of constipation.

3. Lignans provide fiber-related polyphenols that have two important health benefits. They provide antioxidants, which help prevent damage to other cells in the body and are associated with preventing disease. Additionally, polyphenols in lignans influence hormone metabolism.

PURCHASING AND STORING FLAX

Raw flaxseed ranges in color from amber/gold to tan/brown. White or green flaxseed has been harvested before full maturity; black flaxseeds were likely harvested after full maturity. To reap the full health benefits, select the amber or brown variety. If possible, purchase the whole seed in bulk, store in the freezer and grind only the amount needed for immediate use. Flaxseed can be ground, sprinkled on cereal, added to baking mixes and used as a thickening agent in many recipes.

REFERENCES

FOOD FOR THOUGHT. . .

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”

– C.G. Jung

FLAXSEED (Linum usitatissimum)

While research results are mixed around flaxseed and its ability to reduce menopausal symptoms, there are enough positive findings to support use of this nutrient-rich herb. For many women it has made the difference between comfort and discomfort when it comes to reduction of hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings. Here are three nutrients unique to flaxseed, all of which play a role in supporting good health.

The health benefits of dates are plentiful. A rich source of carbohydrates, mostly from natural sugars (66 g per 100g / 3.5 oz. serving), they contain vitamins A and K, as well as many of the B vitamins. The minerals copper, selenium, magnesium and manganese contribute to their preventive health benefits. Just one serving provides seven grams of dietary fiber, which supports healthy gut function. Eating dates in moderation can protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, and that’s good for the whole body.

Dates are used in vinegars, chutneys, butters, paste, and as a natural sweetener. Dates satisfy a sweet tooth without adding fat to your diet. When eating raw dates, mix them with raw nuts and seeds or add to a raw cream cheese – spread it on brown rice cakes for a yummy, nutritious snack. They’re the perfect snack to take on a long hike or for one of those days when you’re on the run and might need a quick pick-me-up.

REFERENCES

RECIPE: GLUTEN-FREE FLAXSEED APPLE MUFFINS

Whether you’re serving breakfast on the deck or packing a picnic lunch, these muffins add a perfect combination of sweetness and nutrition to your meal. Enjoy them plain or topped with preserves.

Makes 6 muffins.

  • 2 medium apples
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 cups flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole flaxseeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a six-muffin tin with large paper cups and set aside. Peel and puree the apples in a blender or food processor. Set aside (mixture will turn brown).

In a large bowl, mix flour, flaxseed meal, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well, and slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring. When wet and dry ingredients are combined, add the apple puree; stir to combine.

Using a measuring cup or scoop, evenly divide the batter between the muffin cups. Fill nearly all the way to the top; because these are gluten-free, they won’t rise very much. Sprinkle flax seeds on top of each muffin. Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tin for 5 to 10 minutes.

Muffins will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.

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COULD DIINDOLYLMETHANE (DIM) PROTECT AGAINST CANCER?

Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a compound found in “cruciferous” vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. Scientists think these crunchy vegetables may help protect the body against cancer because they contain diindolylmethane and a related chemical called indole-3-carbinol (I3C).

Dim helps balance the sex hormone estrogen and testosterone. When the body breaks down estrogen, for example, it can form either a harmful or beneficial metabolite. DIM, in some clinical and animal studies, has been shown to help the body form the more beneficial estrogen metabolite and reduce formation of the harmful metabolite. The beneficial estrogen metabolites can have many positive effects, including reducing the risk for some types of cancer. DIM may benefit patients with certain types of prostate cancer and may help reverse abnormal changes in cells on the surface of the cervix. Some scientists think DIM will be useful for preventing breast, uterine and colorectal cancer. However, because of the variability in types of cancer and the sensitivity of the estrogen system in the body, DIM and I3C supplements may not be appropriate for everyone.

REFERENCES

NATURAL SOOTHING FOR MENSTRUAL DISTRESS: BLACK COHOSH (Actaea racemosa)

There’s a long history to the medical uses of black cohosh. Native Americans have used it as a diuretic and to treat fatigue. European settlers used preparations of the roots to treat fever, menstrual problems, and pain following childbirth. Into the 19th century, black cohosh became a staple ingredient in medicines for “women’s complaints.” Over time, it faded from use in the U.S. while still being used in Europe. New studies in the U.S., however, are investigating the safety and long-term effectiveness of black cohosh and there’s an almost mainstream resurgence of its use for treatment of women’s health concerns.

Black cohosh is considered a menopause tonic for a number of reasons. It can improve mood and soothe anxiety. Also, herbal practitioners recommend it for taming hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. It’s commonly prescribed for women who –  for medical reasons – don’t take conventional hormone replacement therapy.

Tinctures, capsules and standardized extract are available for medicinal use. The specific dose of this herb will depend on your individual needs and health concerns. Black cohosh should not be used during pregnancy or nursing. It is not recommended for persons who have a heart condition or liver disease. Always check with your holistic health practitioner before using an herbal remedy.

REFERENCES
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “Black Cohosh.” Accessed on March 23, 2016.
  • Johnson, R.L., S. Foster, Low Dog, T. and Kiefer, D. “Black Cohosh” in National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World’s Most Effective Healing Plants. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic. (2012.0. pp. 277-281.
  • Mars, Bridgitte & Fiedler, Chrystle. Home Reference Guide to Holistic Health & Healing. (Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press. (2015) pp. 183.
  • HerbWisdom.com. “Black Cohosh.” Accessed on March 23, 2016.

ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture is likely the most recognized and widely practiced modality in Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Over the past 25 years, the most dramatic increase in use has been in America, second only to China where it’s a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

According to TCM, when you experience illness, it’s because there’s an imbalance in your life force, or Qi (pronounced “chee”). Acupuncture involves stimulating the energy pathways (called meridians) by applying slim needles to the surface of the body. Stimulation of the meridian points is believed to re-balance Qi.

Many of the energy pathways identified in TCM correspond with known neurological and electrical pathways that are organized throughout the human body. These pathways connect with muscles, connective tissue, organs and other physiological systems in the body. Scientists believe this is the foundation for how acupuncture works.

A VISIT TO AN ACUPUNCTURIST

Based on your primary concern, an acupuncturist will assess your lifestyle habits, energy level, emotional state and medical history. You’ll also be evaluated regarding body temperature, the condition of your tongue, and strength of your pulse, all of which indicate where your Qi/energy may be blocked. Your practitioner will then describe a course of treatment, including the use of extremely thin needles, which can be placed anywhere on the body to stimulate healing.

While many people are relaxed during treatment, some experience a dull ache or numbness around certain needles. This is an indication that “healthy flow of qi” is being restored. Generally, there is no long lasting sensation during or after an acupuncture treatment.

HOW TO FIND AN ACUPUNCTURIST

In the U.S., specialized training and certification is required to practice acupuncture. This includes years of study, practical experience, and an examination for licensure. Your state professional acupuncture association website can help you locate a qualified practitioner

REFERENCES

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

First Do not Harm

Identify and Treat the cause

Healing Power of Nature

Doctor as Teachers

Treat the Whole

Prevention is best Medicine

The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.

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