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Stress Fighting Fat Reducing Foods

Cortisol-avoidstress

Many people already realize that what we eat has a profound influence on our level of health. Enormous research reveals how using dietary discretion to balance your body chemistry has a great impact to produce wellness and increase longevity.

With today’s arduous lifestyles, we can all gain a significant advantage by including certain foods in our diet and avoiding others.

Recently for example, I was reading through various articles one of which was published on WebMD which had a list of foods that diminish cortisol, the stress-related hormone that tilts metabolism toward fat storage, especially belly fat. Deciding to eat better is a simple and sane solution, available to almost everyone. It doesn’t have to be extreme, just sensible.

Foods can help tame stress in several ways. Comfort foods, like a bowl of warm oatmeal, boost levels of serotonin, a calming brain chemical. Other foods can cut levels of cortisol and adrenaline, stress hormones that take a toll on the body over time. A healthy diet can help counter the impact of stress by shoring up the immune system and lowering blood pressure. Do you know which foods are stress busters?

Not surprisingly, most of these foods are fruits and vegetables, since the primary cortisol antagonist is the plain old magical molecule known as Vitamin C, present in a wide variety of plant foods. Each delicacy offers its own menu of molecular assets, inviting you to explore, make some choices, and of course pass these distinctions along to those around you.

For example, cherries are mostly water, so they’ll fill you up without packing on the calories – a cup has a quarter of your daily Vitamin C requirement, and they also provide melatonin, which helps you sleep. Blueberries stimulate your brain function, attack belly-fat, lower blood pressure and corral free radicals that disrupt your physiology.

Strawberries and tomatoes have high levels of polyphenols, which not only fight disease but also prevent fat from forming. Turnips combat body fat with a rich storehouse of phytochemicals and glucosinolate, which reduces inflammation and lowers the risk of cancer. Sweet potatoes stabilize blood sugar levels, which reduces cravings and lowers insulin resistance, which drops fat conversion.

Pineapple contains bromelain, which breaks down foods and reduces bloating, while broccoli’s cancer-fighting sulforaphane boosts testosterone and interferes with body-fat storage. Red peppers offer dihydrocapsiate, which drives metabolism and burns fat, while green peas plunge cortisol levels. Raspberries, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, guava, bok choy, melon, kale, oranges – Nature gives us what we need, we just have to pay attention and respond accordingly, and we can be thinner and less stressed when we are more discerning about what we put in our mouths.

Some may look at this list, scratch their head and shudder – and that’s the point. It’s the main reason we have such a cultural issue with obesity, that many of us simply haven’t yet learned to enjoy at least some of these delicious foods. When the standard nutritional fare is mostly processed meats, processed grains, unhealthy fats and empty carbohydrates, what could we expect besides an overweight public?

Fortunately, the opposite is also true – the more we incorporate healthy foods into our daily routines, the less we’ll suffer the onslaught of cortisol-induced stress, the slimmer we will be, and the happier overall our society will become.

All that from eating more fruits and veggies? It may seem simplistic, but eating nutrient dense foods has a tremendous impact on our health in a very positive way. Try it and see how it works for you and your family – it’s a personalized “things natural” habit that is likely to reward each individual many times over, while moving our world toward wellness.

#PremierHealthCareWellness #drshapero #foodstoburnfat #loseweight #stress #burnfat

Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero
EXPECT MIRACLES – WE DO
www.premierhealthcaresc.com

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The Curcumin Puzzle – Turmeric Effectiveness and Dosage

Ground and mashed turmeric

There’s a problem with Curcumin as it is known to have a low bioavailability.

What has made this so confusing for many is that there are many misleading articles on this substance.  Just as with many natural products there can be a large discrepancy in the potency and health benefits when commercially processed and mass produced.  Here are some things I thought were interesting regarding Curcumin which has gained much publicity in recent years regarding inflammation and pain reduction.

In volunteers and patients who swallowed curcumin or curcuminoids, only a very small amount, if any, made it into the blood and tissues. The low bioavailability is at least partly due to poor absorption, rapid metabolism and rapid clearance from the body. This means when curcumin is swallowed, either as Turmeric rhizome or isolated curcumin, most of it is not used by the body, so all these amazing benefits cannot be efficiently utilized.

The absorption and bioavailability of the unique curcumin-fenugreek fiber extracted formulation has been compared to unformulated curcumin (in other words, typical brands found on the market) in several studies with healthy volunteers. Fifty healthy volunteers randomly received a single dose of either unformulated curcuminoids or a dose of curcumin-fenugreek fiber extracted formulation. After at least 10 days they received the other treatment. The amount of curcuminoids in their blood plasma was measured over time. At a dose of 1000 mg, the curcumin-fenugreek fiber extracted formulation had 45.6 times the bioavailability of an equivalent amount of unformulated curcuminoids (391 mg). At a dose of 250 mg, the curcumin-fenugreek fiber extracted formulation had 24.8 times the bioavailability of an equivalent amount of unformulated curcuminoids (97.7 mg). The increase in bioavailability was also shown in a study where the curcumin-fenugreek fiber extracted formulation was taken daily for 30 days. This means that by taking curcuminoids in the form where it is combined with the fenugreek fiber, more curcuminoids make it into the blood. Often, this allows for a smaller dose of curcuminoids to be taken. As can be seen, this is far superior to straight Turmeric/Curcumin products available on the market.

This is an example of more not necessarily being better.  Rather than taking large amounts of a substance that is not well absorbed.  It is easier and more economical to take a smaller quantity of a product which is effective.

#DrShapero #PremierHealthCare  #Turmeric  #Inflammation #Curcumin

Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero
EXPECT MIRACLES – WE DO
www.premierhealthcaresc.com

Sore Throat ??? – Natural and Effective Remedies

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What Causes a Sore Throat?

A sore throat is painful swelling or irritation in the throat that can be caused by a number of different things. Sore throats are often triggered by the common cold or a viral infection; however, laryngitis, mono, mumps, the flu and bacterial infections such as strep throat can also cause a sore throat. Other possible causes include infection or inflammation of the tonsils, irritation due to environmental factors such as smoke and allergies.

Whatever the cause when a sore throat arises most are eager for some fast relief.  In today’s chemical filled world it is better and usually quicker to give the body what it needs naturally.

Over the last 28 years of practice I have been asked dozens of times each year about how to quickly remedy a sore throat.  There are many natural and effective remedies.  However, as I have mentioned in other articles the effectiveness of herbs will vary greatly depending on the growing and harvesting techniques, source and handling during manufacturing as well as storage.  In this article I will include many herbs and remedies.  However, I have placed what I have seen to be as very effective and readily available remedies in the first three on the list.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This common household item is a favorite among many quickly curing a sore throat. Sore throats are particularly common during winter and cold weather, but a sore throat can appear any time of the year. Whenever a sore throat strikes, people want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Learn about the benefits of using hydrogen peroxide to cure your sore throat.

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful germ fighting agent. When you use it to gargle, it kills off germs in the throat and the mouth that are causing the irritation. Likewise, hydrogen peroxide helps to eliminate inflammation, relieving pain.

Use and Safety

  • First, you have to create a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide (brown bottle from the pharmacy) with 4 tablespoons of water. Some people use mouthwash instead to disguise the taste.
  • Use this solution to gargle several times a day.

As with any remedy, you must take care when using hydrogen peroxide as a treatment option. Be sure to dilute the hydrogen peroxide, and do not swallow even the diluted solution. You may want to cleanse the mouth with several gargles of fresh water following treatment as well.

Treating a sore throat can be difficult; however, with this natural remedy, you can treat your ailment safely, naturally, and quickly. Give this natural remedy a try, and let us know how it works for you.

Pineapple

Fresh pineapple will certainly be the best.  Cut into slices including the core and puree.  This is not only tasty but very effective.

Bromelain, an enzyme that pineapple is rich in, has anti-inflammatory properties that combat infection and destroy bacteria. It also helps in decreasing the irritation at the back of your tongue and in your voice box. It helps in soothing airways that are irritated. This powerful enzyme is so beneficial that it has even been approved as a supplement to treat swelling of the nose and sinuses and inflammation caused by surgery or injury.

Pineapple also has antiviral and antibacterial properties. When they work together, they are effective in soothing a cough by calming the airways in your respiratory system. This fruit is also an excellent source of Vitamin C that helps in boosting your immune system. When your immune system is strong, it keeps away cough and cold as well as a wide range of other diseases and ailments.

Pineapple juice is highly effective in helping the body expel mucous and providing relief for sore throat. Thick mucous that stubbornly stick to your sinuses or lungs can cause painful infections as well as endless coughing and sneezing spasms. In a recent study, it was found that fresh pineapple juice mixed with pepper, honey and salt given to tuberculosis patients every day helped in dissolving the mucus in their lungs. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4009199/)

Subsequent research showed that raw extracts from this delicious tropical fruit could reduce mucous five times faster when compared to over-the-counter cough syrups. It was also found that patients recovered 4.8 times faster and they experienced a reduction in all symptoms that come with coughing including hacking

Although, pureed pineapple is the best one may use pineapple juice as well.  In addition I have included a recipe for a sore throat remedy including pineapple juice which is very effective.

As you have learned, pineapple juice is a wonderfully effective natural remedy for cough and sore throat. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3271691/)

You can make this remedy at home with a few simple ingredients. All you need is:

  • Fresh pineapple juice – 1 cup
  • Fresh lemon juice – ¼ cup
  • Ginger – 1 3-inch piece
  • Raw honey – 1 tablespoon
  • Cayenne pepper – ½ teaspoon

Once you have all the ingredients, combine them all together and blend well. Take ¼ cup of the mixture 2 to 3 times a day. Continue drinking it until your sore throat is gone. Always make sure that you use fresh pineapple juice and not canned products. Processed pineapple juice does not contain bromelain and its nutrient content is significantly lowered during the manufacturing process.  They are also typically packed with sugar and other unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258310/)

If you have a sore throat, forget about cough syrups, throat sprays and lozenges. Just make yourself some fresh pineapple juice to gain relief and alleviate the pain. Pineapple juice, as well as the fruit, is a great remedy for this problem as it tastes better than syrups and sprays and does not contain aspartame like so many lozenges do. Since it is all natural, you gain many other health benefits as well, including relief from constipation, indigestion, arthritis, etc.

The next time your throat starts to hurt, eat some fresh pineapple or drink its juice. You will feel better in no time as this natural remedy actually works. There is scientific evidence to prove it!

Tahini

Tahini is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds.  Although, little in the literature about Tahini it is my feeling that along with a coating effect some of the other properties have to do with the way it is prepared.  One popular Tahini-based sauce common in Middle Eastern restaurants as a side dish or as a garnish, usually including lemon juice, salt and garlic, and thinned with water.  What we do know about it is a rich store of calcium, zinc and fiber. Tahini also contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15, all of which play an essential part in the running of the body. They support our metabolism, enhance immune and nervous system function, and—my favorite—help to maintain healthy skin and muscle tone.

SoreThroatRemedies

Other natural remedies and herbs

Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is used as a natural ointment for wounds of all kinds. It has been hailed as a go-to germ fighter in an age of resistance to conventional antibiotics. Proponents also claim that Manuka honey can treat other conditions from acne to sinus issues.

Manuka honey hasn’t been used very long as a traditional remedy. It’s the product of the New Zealand scrub plant that gives it its name. European honey bees introduced it to the area in the early 19th century. When bees pollinate from this plant, their honey is more potent than standard honey bee honey. This is because it has a higher concentration of methylglyoxal (MGO).

When it comes to superfoods, raw honey is associated with health benefits. Manuka isn’t a raw honey, but it is specialized. It’s antibacterial and bacterial resistant. This means that bacteria shouldn’t be able to build up a tolerance to its antibacterial effects.

Manuka honey is said to be effective for treating everything from a sore throat to clearing up blemishes on your skin.

Salt Water

Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a sore throat and break down secretions. It’s also known to help kill bacteria in the throat. Make a saltwater solution with a half-teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water. Gargle it to help reduce swelling and keep the throat clean. This should be done every three hours or so.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is naturally soothing. It has long been used for medicinal purposes, like soothing a sore throat. It’s often used for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and astringent properties.

Some study reviews have shown that inhaling chamomile steam can help relieve symptoms of a cold, including a sore throat. Drinking chamomile tea can offer the same benefit. It can also stimulate the immune system to help your body fight off the infection that caused your sore throat in the first place.

Peppermint

Peppermint is known for its ability to freshen breath. Diluted peppermint oil sprays may also relieve sore throats. Peppermint contains menthol, which helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs. Peppermint also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which may encourage healing.

Never use essential oils without mixing them with a carrier oil such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, or softened coconut oil. For peppermint oil, mix five drops of the essential oil with one ounce of the carrier oil of your choice. Never ingest essential oils.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek has many health benefits. It also has many forms. You can eat fenugreek seeds, use the topical oil, or drink fenugreek tea. Fenugreek tea is a natural remedy for sore throats.

Research demonstrates the healing powers of fenugreek. It can relieve pain and kill bacteria that cause irritation or inflammation. Fenugreek is also an effective antifungal.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggests that pregnant women avoid fenugreek.

Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow root contains a mucus-like substance that coats and soothes a sore throat. Simply add some of the dried root to a cup of boiling water to make tea. Sipping the tea two to three times a day may help ease throat pain.

People with diabetes should talk to a doctor before taking marshmallow root. Some animal research shows it may cause a drop in blood sugar level.

Licorice Root

Licorice root has long been used to treat sore throats. Recent research shows it’s effective when mixed with water to create a solution for gargling. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid this remedy, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Slippery Elm

Like marshmallow root, slippery elm has a mucus-like substance in it. When mixed with water, it forms a slick gel that coats and soothes the throat. To use, pour boiling water over powdered bark, stir, and drink. You may also find that slippery elm lozenges help.

Slippery elm is a traditional remedy for sore throat. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it may decrease the absorption of some medication if you are taking any.

Garlic

Garlic also has natural antibacterial properties. It contains allicin, an organosulfer compound known for its ability to fight off infections.

Studies have shown that taking a garlic supplement on a regular basis can help prevent the common cold virus. Adding fresh garlic to your diet is the best way of gaining its antimicrobial properties. Your grandmother might have told you to suck on a clove of garlic to sooth a sore throat. Because garlic has many healing actions, you might try this, though you may want to brush your teeth afterward to protect your teeth from enzymes and improve your breath.

Cayenne Pepper or Hot Sauce

Often used as a pain reliever, cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, a natural compound known for blocking pain receptors.

Although not scientifically proven, ingesting cayenne mixed with warm water and honey can help with pain relief for sore throats. Remember that an initial burning sensation is common. Cayenne should not be taken if you have open sores in your mouth. Start with just a few drops of hot sauce or a light sprinkle of cayenne, as both can be very hot.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has many natural antibacterial uses. Numerous studies show its antimicrobial effects in fighting infections. Because of its acidic nature, it can be used to help break down mucus in the throat and stop bacteria from spreading.

If you sense a sore throat coming on, try diluting 1 to 2 tablespoons of ACV in one cup of water and gargle with it. Then take a small sip of the mixture, and repeat the whole process one to two times per hour. Make sure to drink lots of water in between the gargling sessions.

There are many different ways of using ACV to treat sore throats, depending on the severity of the illness and also your body’s sensitivity to vinegar. It is best to first consult your healthcare practitioner.

Sore throat remedies for infants and young children

Sore throats in infants and young children definitely aren’t fun, but the good news is that they’re rarely the sign of a medical emergency on their own. Still, treating sore throats may be different for infants and children. Here are a few tips and remedies:

  • Add cool mist or a humidifier to your child’s room. Moisture in the air can help relieve pain from a sore throat. Particularly when central heating is used which dries the air.
  • Keep children hydrated by encouraging them to drink as much as possible. Avoid juices or popsicles with lots of citrus.
  • Children under 5 years should not be given hard candy cough drops or anything else that might pose a choking risk. Use caution when giving cough drops to children under 10 years.
  • Don’t give honey to children who are younger than 1 year.

Chicken Soup

Grandma was right on this one! It’s warm and helps moisten the throat. Just like drinking hot tea, hot soup can be soothing on a sore throat and can help thin sinus mucus. It also helps keep you hydrated (but stick with low sodium soups) and according to a study in the Chest Journal, it may even contain anti-inflammatory substances that could help reduce cold symptoms.  If you make it with celery, carrots, onions, a little potato and garlic this will certainly help feed the body along with many good nutrients to fight infection.

For more complete healing . .  .

Keep in mind that the nervous system is the control system of the body.  Getting run down along with stress can put a strain on your immune system.  Your family chiropractor can help keep your body in top shape.  Keeping the spine working well will enhance the function of the nerve system.

Yours for Better Health,
Dr. Shapero
EXPECT MIRACLES – WE DO www.premierhealthcaresc.com  

Ten Top Tips for 2018

1 “Avoid the processed white foods.”  Food stuff which is processed white carbohydrates such as white bread, bagels, rice, pasta and pizza abnormally raise blood sugar and have very little nutrients. A better choice would be whole-grain products such as whole-grain bread, brown rice – or try pasta made from quinoa or brown rice.  However, even these should be in limited quantity.
Top-10-Health-Challenge-Tips

#2 “Drinking your fruit may be in vogue but it’s far better when you can eat your fruit.” Fruit in its natural form is healthiest. It is filled with fiber and antioxidants with their inherent benefits. When fruit is liquefied, you lose much of the fiber and antioxidants which are in the pulp, also, it increases the concentrated sugar load on your body. An apple a day will keep the doctor away, but a glass of apple juice might not.

#3 “I have hear it said, sitting is the new smoking.” Increase your daily physical activity by moving more every day. Keeping active has many hidden benefits.  Aim for 10,000 steps per day – no excused, just as the famous Nike slogan, “Just Do It”.

#4 “Give your body enough sleep.” Aim for seven to eight hours per day. This will allow your body to function, repair and regenerate more effectively.  Allowing you to be at your best and ward off many illnesses that are associated with sleep deprivation.

#5 “Cultivate and maintain an attitude of gratitude daily.” Looking at life with a positive attitude can help you deal better with everyday hassles.  Sew the crop you want to yield.  Remind yourself that from challenges, come opportunities.

#6 “Don’t waste time and energy on the small stuff.” Rather than getting upset over minutia in life; focus on the big-ticket items – health, family, work, religion.

#7 Taking steps to avoid toxins such as GMO’s, tobacco, excess alcohol, BPA, and whenever possible harmful chemicals. Take care of the environment and the environment will take care of you.

#8 “Common sense and prevention is the best intervention.” Vaccinations, such as was seen with the most recent flu vaccine can cause problems and compromise your immune system even further.  Contrary to what some of the media hype might lead you to believe.  However, there are many natural remedies which are much more safe and extremely effective.  The natural or natures method may not be foolproof, but they are very powerful in preventing common illnesses such as influenza, pneumonia, HPV, hepatitis, shingles, diphtheria, etc. Remember these ‘bugs’ are devilishly clever.  In fact that is why we now have available a very effective “Stealth Pathogen Program”

#9 “Control the things that are controllable.” Much energy can be spent worrying about those things that are out of our control. If we focus predominantly on the things that are actually within your control, we will be able use our energy more productively.

#10 “Don’t take your work so seriously that it is no longer fun, and don’t take yourself too seriously.” As the inimitable Charlie Chaplin said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero
EXPECT MIRACLES – WE DO
www.premierhealthcaresc.com

Hangry is a Real Thing

hangry-cat

When the body is deprived of blood glucose (which tends to happen when meals are skipped) the brain receives all kinds of signals to behave aggressively. Snapping out at partner or in some cases strangers happens because aggressive and violent behaviors are restrained by self-control. Self-control consumes a lot of glucose in the brain, suggesting that low glucose and poor glucose metabolism are linked to aggression and violence. A low blood sugar supply to the brain has other negative side effects.

The strain of exercising self-control all day long uses a lot of energy, using a lot of glucose. When there is a lack of food to be broken down there is a shortage of glucose, but there is more to it than that. The body tries to compensate when blood glucose decreases by releasing certain hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline (which can increase aggressiveness).

Fatigue and impaired concentration is also a side effect, which doesn’t necessarily need to have an aggressive response to low blood sugar. If getting “hangry” is a real problem for some people they should stay on top of their hunger pains, and try to eat regularly. Healthy snacks like fruits offer the body lots of easily accessible sugars and have other nutritional benefits.

Source: “The Science Behind Why You Get Hangry.” The Science Behind Why You Get Hangry. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.

Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero

EXPECT MIRACLES – WE DO
www.premierhealthcaresc.com

Happy Valentines Day 2016

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February 14th is probably the sweetest day of the year—and we’re not only talking about sugary candy hearts and boxes full of chocolate truffles. Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate all kinds of love and appreciation with friends and family.  Sending Love to that special person who has forever captured MY heart.

There are many people such as our armed forces for example who for one reason or another are unable to be with their one true love.  May you soon be with those you love in health and joy.

Fun History of Valentine’s Day:

  • Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone on February 14th, 1876.
  • Cupid, the little cherub that shoots love arrows on Valentine’s Day, is the son of the Roman god of love and beauty, Venus (whose favorites flower was a red rose).
  • England’s King Henry VIII declared February 14th an official holiday in 1537.
  • In the 1800s, chocolate was considered a cure to calm medical patients’ pining for lost love.
  • To find their Valentine during the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl and wore the name on their sleeves for one week, coining the expression “wear your heart on your sleeve.”

Traditions Around the World:

  • The U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Australia, and the U.K. are the only countries that celebrate Valentine’s Day.
  • In the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes place, about 1,000 letters arrive every Valentine’s Day addressed to Juliet.

Gifts:

  • Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards every year. Next comes children, mothers, wives, and significant others.
  • About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year. Only Christmas tops that number.
  • About 3 per cent of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
  • Richard Cadbury made the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800s.
  • 12.8 million stems of roses, making more than one million bouquets of a dozen, were produced in Canada in 2009.

Some healthy Tips for Lowering Blood Pressure:

Before resorting to medication here are some simple tips for lowering blood pressure.  Lifestyle changes are largest most effective way to lower blood pressure along with helping many other health problems.

1. Lose Weight

Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight also can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which further raises your blood pressure.

Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help reduce your blood pressure.

Besides shedding pounds, you generally should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.

In general:

  • Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters).
  • Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 centimeters).

These numbers vary among ethnic groups. Ask Dr. Shapero about a healthy waist measurement for you.

2. Exercise Regularly

Regular physical activity — at least 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It’s important to be consistent because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again.

If you have slightly high blood pressure (prehypertension), exercise can help you avoid developing full-blown hypertension. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.

The best types of exercise for lowering blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. Strength training also can help reduce blood pressure. Talk to Dr. Shapero about developing an exercise program.

3. Eat Healthy

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. If you are not sure of what changes to make or where to start Dr. Shapero can help tailor a plan that is right for you.

4. Reduce Salty Foods

Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg.

The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies among groups of people. In general, limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less. However, a lower sodium intake — 1,500 mg a day or less — is appropriate for people with greater salt sensitivity, including:

  • African-Americans
  • Anyone age 51 or older
  • Anyone diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease

To decrease sodium in your diet, consider these tips:

  • Read food labels. If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy.
  • Eat fewer processed foods. Only a small amount of sodium occurs naturally in foods. Most sodium is added during processing.
  • Don’t add salt. Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices to add flavor to your food.
  • Ease into it. If you don’t feel you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.

 5. Alcohol in Moderation

Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. In small amounts, it can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg.

But that protective effect is lost if you drink too much alcohol — generally more than one drink a day for women and for men older than age 65, or more than two a day for men age 65 and younger. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.

Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

 6. Quit Smoking

Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Quitting smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal. People who quit smoking, regardless of age, have substantial increases in life expectancy.

7. Cut Back on Caffeine

The role caffeine plays in blood pressure is still debated. Caffeine can raise blood pressure by as much as 10 mm Hg in people who rarely consume it, but there is often little to no strong effect on blood pressure in habitual coffee drinkers.  Which is thought to be due to the taxing effect on the adrenal glands.

Although the effects of chronic caffeine ingestion on blood pressure aren’t clear, the possibility of a slight increase in blood pressure exists.  It also affects other glands adversely.

8. Reduce Your Stress

Chronic stress is an important contributor to high blood pressure. Occasional stress also can contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking.  This area can be an entire article in itself.  If you have more stress than you feel your can deal with Dr. Shapero can help you with a customized program to help you manage or eliminate stress that is affecting you.

9. Monitor Your Blood Pressure

If blood pressure is a concern for you, home monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure, make certain your lifestyle changes are working, and alert you and your doctor to potential health complications. Blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription. Talk to your doctor about home monitoring before you get started.

10. Help Is Here for YOU

Not sure where to start or what the next step is for you?  Dr. Shapero is here to help and if you are not sure about taking blood pressure just call our office and Dr. Shapero will reserve a time for you to have it checked for FREE.

Wishing you all a healthy and Joyous Valentine’s Day.

Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero

EXPECT MIRACLES – WE DO
www.premierhealthcaresc.com

DARK CHOCOLATE IN MODERATION


Good news for chocolate enthusiasts. I have been asked this question about chocolate many times over the past few years.  I decided to post something to close out the holidays.  Dark chocolate has been found to help significantly lower cardiovascular mortality thanks to the high content of polyphenolic flavonoids.

Polyphenols are chemical compounds found in fruits, vegetables, teas, cocoa and other plants that have certain health benefits such as being antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and other properties. They can also help protect from oxidative stress and some diseases.

Flavonoids are within the polyphenol family but while all flavonoids are polyphenols not all polyphenols are flavonoids. Plants produce flavonoids as protection against parasites, injury and harsh climatic conditions.

Cardiovascular disease can be caused by stress. The study tested healthy non-smoking men between the ages of 20 to 50 and assessed stress reactivity over a 6 week period of regularly consuming either flavonoid-containing tea or flavonoid-free placebo tea. It showed a faster decline in cortisol levels (stress levels) in the active tea group.

The test administrating dark chocolate was more in depth but showed similar results meaning that in certain doses dark chocolate can help assist a healthy lifestyle. Here is how it can affect the body in a positive way.

    Improves blood flow and protects arteries. A 2007 Swiss study of heart transplant patients found that the diameter of their coronary arteries was significantly increased after eating a single dose of dark chocolate. Which means that dark chocolate has a healthy effect on these important arteries that supply life-sustaining oxygen to the heart. A 2007 study by Chinese researchers found that participants who ate approximately 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily for two weeks significantly improved coronary blood flow. “Blood flow is vital to heart health because the blood carries oxygen, and oxygen is fuel for cells,” explains Tom Morledge, MD, of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. Consider that the heart pumps 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it’s easy to see why an optimum source of energy is important to its function. On the other hand, eating a fast food hamburger with all the trimmings can cause the arteries in our bodies to have impaired function within an hour.

  Prevents blockage of the arteries. LDL, or “lousy,” cholesterol becomes harmful if it is damaged by free radicals, which changes the structure of the LDL, causing it to become oxidized LDL cholesterol. Oxidized LDL cholesterol is then taken up by inflammatory cells that are in the lining of the arteries. The more accumulation, the more likely it is to form blockages that can impede blood flow or clots that can rapidly form, which trigger a heart attack. “Many studies suggest that the flavonoids in dark chocolate decrease the free radical damage of LDL cholesterol,” Dr. Morledge says. In addition, the flavonoids have a similar effect to aspirin. “Flavonoids are a natural blood thinner and affect platelets which can cause clots that lead to heart attacks.” We don’t know yet whether dark chocolate can actually prevent a heart attack, but some recent studies suggest that this might be the case.

  Raises levels of good cholesterol. HDL, or “healthy,” cholesterol works to moderate overall levels of cholesterol, and even small increases in HDL can lead to significant reduction in risk of developing heart disease. “For every 1 milligram improvement in HDL cholesterol, you get a 2 percent reduction in the risk of a heart attack,” Dr. Morledge says. Although studies present conflicting evidence about the full impact dark chocolate on HDL levels, several studies have linked dark chocolate consumption with higher HDL.

How Much Is Healthful?

Most of the research recommends a serving of about 1.5 ounces or less.  Although chocolate devotees won’t be at all surprised to hear it, research has also shown that dark chocolate can enhance mood and promote cognitive function: A 2004 study from British researchers found that participants who ate dark chocolate performed significantly better on visual tests that required quick reaction times and reported a noticeable uptick in their mood and energy levels.

Let’s keep in mind that chocolate still has calories so we do not want to eat so much we add to the caloric load or cause an imbalance by tipping the scales.

Perhaps the best way to add dark chocolate to your diet is as a replacement for other sweets you may be consuming — you’ll likely be eating fewer calories, consuming substantially fewer grams of sugar and sodium, and getting a lot more fiber if you opt for more traditional desserts. Not convinced? Compare the numbers on dark chocolate, carrot cake, a chocolate chip cookie from Starbucks, and a 1.5 ounce of Hershey’s milk chocolate for yourself:

Serving Size Calories Sugar Sodium Fiber
Dark chocolate 1.5 ounces 220 12 grams 5 mgs 5 grams
Milk chocolate 1.5 ounces 210 24 grams 35 mgs 1 gram
Carrot Cake 1/6 cake 300 27 grams 320 mgs 2 grams
Chocolate chip cookie 1 cookie 350 34 grams 300 mgs 3 grams

When you are shopping for a dark chocolate bar, let the cocoa content be your guide — it is typically listed prominently on the label, and you want a bar with at least 70 percent cocoa beans. The higher the percentage, the more antioxidant content. If you really want to prioritize the antioxidant content, consider buying cocoa powder — it has the highest concentrations of flavonoids of any dark chocolate product.

Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero

EXPECT MIRACLES – WE DO
www.premierhealthcaresc.com

Source: Perani, Clara, Inga Neumann, Stefan Reber, and David Slattery. “High-fat Diet Prevents Adaptive Peripartum-associated Adrenal Gland Plasticity and Anxiolysis.” Scientific Reports. Nature Publishing Group. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.

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