Suicide Prevention Hotline

Suicide, especially amongst young adults, is rampant in today’s society, all around the world.  My nephew in Texas asked his Facebook friends to post this number, (the words below the number are his) which inspired me to write this post.  Please share this number, it is operational in both the US and Canada.

 Suicide Prevention Hotline (USA and CANADA)
1-800 273 8255
It’s OK not to be OK
22 a day is too high

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Omega 3 vs omega 6 fatty acids

 

When researching a previous post about healing fats, I learned that the balance between omega 3 fats and omega 6 fats is another health concern.

First of all, you have to know the difference between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Both are important for maintaining a healthy body and neither are manufactured by our bodies, so must be obtained from our diets. While omega 6s are found in the foods within a common modern daily diet, omega 3s are usually supplemented.

omega 3s:

  • cold water fish (sardines, salmon, herring etc) and fish oil
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • garlic, flax seeds,  walnuts
  • extra virgin olive oil

pictures from Pixabay and Pexels

 

omega 6s

  • wheat, whole-grain bread, and cereals
  • grain fed chicken and their eggs
  • refined vegetable (soy, corn, sunflower, safflower) and grape seed oils
  • nuts
  • meat from grain fed animals
  • processed and fast foods

 

pictures from Pexels and Pixabay

 

Both omega 3s and omega 6s have health benefits and drawbacks.  While omega 6s are helpful in treating the symptoms of arthritis, diabetic nerve pain, menopause,  high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, eczema, and even allergies, too much omega 6s can cause depression, dyslexia, obesity, hyperactivity, and other health problems.

Omega 3s are crucial for our brain, hormone, and immune function,  good vision and hair, skin, cell and tissue growth.  They are helpful in treating symptoms of lupus, asthma, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, breast and colon cancers and irritable bowel disease.  A deficiency in omega 3s can result in conditions such as depression and mood swings, poor memory, fatigue, poor circulation, dry skin and more.

The problem comes when too much omega 6s, especially from vegetable oils and grain fed (as opposed to grass-fed) meat, outweigh and overtake the benefits of omega 3s.  This happens because the omega 3s and omega 6s compete for the same enzymes to aid in their metabolism.  Although a ratio of 1:1 between omega 6s and omega 3s is the ideal balance to strive for, studies have shown modern diets to be as high as 16:1   This higher proportion of omega 6s is leading to the increase of many disease states within our modern societies including arthritis, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and other inflammatory processes, as well as numerous types of cancer.

Start paying attention to the ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids in your diet and make some changes before your health takes a turn for the worse!

The many benefits of coconut oil

Coconut oil has many benefits, some well known, some not so much.  I have read about its wonders in the weight management/diet category recently, but when I researched further I found lots of other great reasons to use it.

photos by pixabay

 

Coconut oil contains healthy saturated fat and three medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) called capric, caprylic and lauric acid.  Upon ingestion, instead of being stored as fat, MCFAs are processed by the liver immediately forming ketones which supply energy.

Research is hopeful that this energy from the ketones can actually help repair brain function in Alzheimer patients whose brains have lost the ability to produce insulin which formerly supplied the energy.  Another interesting and hopeful theory is that this energy produced by the ketones cannot be used by glucose dependant tumors in cancer patients.

The MCFAs in coconut oil also exhibit anti-fungal, anti-microbial, analgesic (pain killing) and antioxidant properties.  These properties are beneficial in the treatment and prevention of many health issues including:

  • stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, digestion problems
  • urinary tract and yeast infections
  • kidney stones
  • arthritis
  • skin problems like eczema, rashes, psoriasis, cradle cap, dandruff, dermatitis, burns
  • high blood pressure and heart disease
  • tooth decay and gum disease*
  • liver damage
  • thinning hair or hair loss
  • osteoporosis.  coconut oil reduces bone loss and increases bone volume
  • type II diabetes
  • anti-aging and hormone balance
  • weight loss, losing body fat, building muscle, improving energy and endurance
  • low milk production in breastfeeding moms

*Oil pulling is a simple detoxification procedure used in the treatment and prevention of tooth decay and gum disease that involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes before spitting it out.

A simple way to add coconut oil to your daily routine is to replace the sugar in your diet with coconut oil, especially when you are fighting a cold or infection.  Remember, sugar is your enemy!  It enhances and encourages the growth of bad bacteria, viruses, fungus and even parasites while coconut oil shuts them down. Buy some coconut oil and try it, let me know what you think.

 

Sciatic nerve pain

Sciatic nerve pain, AKA sciatica, happens when the sciatic nerve is pinched, inflamed, or compressed.  The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back at the base of the spine down both legs (pale yellow in the picture)…

Sciatic_nerve2

picture from Wikipedia

Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by traumatic injury (like a car accident), pregnancy (fetus putting pressure on the nerve), spinal disc herniation (most common), tumors and even carrying a thick wallet in your back pocket! (piriformis syndrome)

There may be others, but these are the ones I read about when I googled “why do I have deep pain in my legs between my hips and my knees?”  I vaguely remember having the same problem when I was pregnant years ago, but sometimes I get this pain for no apparent reason.

My sciatic nerve appears to be affected by cold temperatures, cool and damp weather as well as swings in temperature.  The pain usually only lasts for a day, but last weekend I was miserable from Friday to Monday.   Advil helped, but as soon as it wore off the pain was back.  A topical cream containing capsaicin helped,  and I hear creams containing arnica do too but I have yet to try that .

Bonding over the flu bug

What do bonding and the flu bug have in common?  Not much, except when you and your family members spend 24 hours looking after each other.

My son started feeling the flu bug symptoms first in this household.  Around 9pm he complained that his stomach felt bad after an evening snack.  He started vomiting violently shortly after.  I had gone for our usual one hour walk with my husband, but could not muster the energy to complete the usual trek half way through.  I guess my body’s energy level was being used up trying to fight off the flu bug.

I had gone for our usual one hour walk with my husband, but halfway through could not muster the energy to complete the usual trek.  I guess my body’s energy level was being used up trying to fight off the flu bug.

Although I did not understand why I was so tired at the time, it quickly became apparent on our return home.  If my other son, his girlfriend and her 3-year-old daughter had not been sick with the flu the previous week, I would have attributed our illness to the salmon the members of our household ate for dinner a few hours earlier.

I went to bed exhausted around 1130 pm, and soon after the vomiting started.  My husband started vomiting around 2am.  Luckily we have enough bathrooms to accommodate three sick people at the same time; it was not a pretty site.

A kind neighbour brought (left it on the doorstep and rang the bell) over Pedialite freezies, Gatorade and gingerale to keep us hydrated throughout the 24 hour ordeal.

I posted a similar story a few years ago.  When I worked in the health care industry, the flu shot was mandatory each year.  The occupational health nurse went around the hospital I worked in, inoculating members of each department.  It was quick and convenient.  Since retiring, I see the advertisements for free flu shots at local drug stores here in Ottawa each fall, but never seem to find the time to stop in to get one.

After this ordeal, I will make sure I get my flu shot next year!

20170315_112055

Healing fats

Have you ever heard of healing fats?  I had not until recently when I came across an article that intrigued me.  It was about healing fats and the Shepherd’s Diet.

The Shepherd’s Diet is based on the theory that the human body is a fat burning machine designed to burn (lose) more fat by eating more fat.  The catch is the fats you consume should be healing, healthy fats (supposedly mentioned in the Bible, hence the name “Shepherd’s Diet) and not the unhealthy, man-made, fake (trans) fats so popular today.

The fact is that obesity has become a bigger problem (pun intended) since fat-free diets became popular and recommended.  Why?  Because most fat-free and low-fat products are loaded with addictive sugar, now known to override the fat burning machine.

Sugar and fake (man-made) fats promote bloating and slow the metabolism.  They also cause brain fog and raise our bad cholesterol levels.  The fast food industry is saturated with these fake fat products, but the most popular one, margarine, is a staple in most of our homes.

What are the healthy, healing fats recommended in the Shepherd’s Diet?  This list names a few to start with:

  •  unrefined sesame, extra virgin olive, walnut, coconut oils
  • flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds
  • hazelnuts, macadamias, peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts
  • trout, mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines
  • avocados
  • butter or ghee (clarified butter)

 

Try switching to these healthier healing fats, but remember, they are all high in calories.  Limit your fat intake to 30 percent of your daily calories.

photos from Pixabay

Next generation antioxidants

Move over first generation antioxidants, next generation antioxidants are taking over in scientific research and our hopes for healthier lives.  First generation antioxidants, all the rage at the turn of the century, have proven to have fallen short of their miraculous promise to prevent and erase many diseases. Vitamins C and E, as well as selenium, were included in this group.

Think of oxidation as rust in our bodies.  Just as rust on our possessions (cars and tools etc) affects their appearance and function, oxidation in our bodies is not a good thing. We all know that plaque buildup in our arteries restricts the flow of blood throughout our bodies.  Oxidation of this plaque can cause brittle and sharp chunks of it to fall off damaging and even tearing our arteries.

Antioxidation means the prevention of oxidation over time. Anti-oxidants, therefore, are targeted at diseases associated with aging such as neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases and even cancer.

Next generation antioxidants are proving to be much more effective at preventing oxidation.  They prevent oxidation and more.  This new group includes:

  • PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinoline quinone) is found in parsley, green tea, green peppers, kiwi, spinach, and peanuts.  PQQ also provides cellular energy.
  • CoenzymeQ10 is found in spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • Glutathione  also cleanses the body of toxins such as pollution, antibiotics, medicine etc.   Organic whey (cow and goat), asparagus, okra, rice bran, turmeric, cinnamon, curcumin, milk thistle, avocados, red beets, peaches, watermelon, and brazil nuts as well as sulfur-containing vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, garlic etc, all increase our glutathione levels.
  • EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) is found in green tea.
  • Astaxanthin is 500 times more powerful than vitamin C.  Although shrimp, trout, and Pacific salmon contain some Astaxanthin from the algae they eat, its most powerful form is in capsules.

 

pictures from Pexels.com

 

My theory is that these antioxidants are best consumed in our daily diets.  As with everything else, moderation and a healthy balance are the keys here.  If your diet is rich in the “super foods” listed above, supplements are not necessary.