Health Hack #6 – The Benefits of the Sunshine Vitamin – Vitamin D

Health Hacks

 

 

Health Hack #6 – The Benefits of the Sunshine Vitamin – Vitamin D

Think about vitamin D when you’re catching up on summer rays. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3. It can affect as many as 2,000 genes in your body.

Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.

Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.

If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as soft bones (osteomalacia) or fragile bones (osteoporosis).

  1. Vitamin D fights disease

In addition to its primary benefits, research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in:

  1. Vitamin D reduces depression

Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.

  1. Vitamin D boosts weight loss

Consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent heart disease.

In one study, people who took a daily vitamin D supplement didn’t lose a significant amount of weight, but were able to improve their heart disease risk markers.

In another study, people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo supplement. The scientists said the extra calcium and vitamin D had an appetite-suppressing effect.

 

Beware of “D-ficiency”

Many lifestyle and environmental factors can affect your ability to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D

through the sun alone. These factors include:

  • being in an area with high pollution
  • using sunscreen
  • spending more time indoors
  • living in big cities where buildings block sunlight
  • having darker skin

These factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency in an increasing number of people. That’s why it’s important to get some of your vitamin D from sources besides sunlight.

The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include:

  • tiredness, aches and pains, and a general sense of not feeling well
  • severe boneor muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair, or cause you to walk with a waddling gait
  • stress fractures, especially in your legs, pelvis, and hips

Doctors can diagnose a vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test.

If you’re diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will likely recommend you take daily vitamin D supplements. If you have a severe deficiency, they may instead recommend high-dose vitamin D tablets or liquids. You should also make sure to get vitamin D through sunlight and the foods you eat.

Food sources of vitamin D

Few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Because of this, some foods are fortified. This means that vitamin D has been added. Foods that contain vitamin D include:

  • salmon
  • sardines
  • egg yolk
  • shrimp
  • milk (fortified)
  • cereal (fortified)
  • yogurt (fortified)
  • orange juice (fortified)

It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help.

How much do you need?

There has been some controversy over the amount of vitamin D needed for healthy functioning. Recent research indicates that you need more vitamin D than was once thought. Normal blood serum levels range from 50 to 100 micrograms per deciliter. Depending on your blood level, you may need more vitamin D.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences reports new recommendations based on international units (IUs) per day. IUs are a standard type of measurement for drugs and vitamins. IUs help experts determine recommended dose, toxicity, and deficiency levels for each person.

One IU is not the same for each type of vitamin. An IU is determined by how much of a substance produces an effect in your body. The recommended IUs for vitamin D are:

  • children and teens: 600 IU
  • adults up to age 70: 600 IU
  • adults over age 70: 800 IU
  • pregnant or breastfeeding women: 600 IU

 

So, remember to get outdoors and soak up that Vitamin D! Until next time….

 

 

 

Health Hack #5 – The Miracle of Metformin

Health Hacks

The MIRACLE of METFORMIN*

(*The Confessions of a Chiropractic Heretic)

 

Chiropractors aren’t supposed to like drugs… many even say they NEVER take medications or get VACCINES. I agree that “Big Pharma” has hijacked the medical treatment of America and that WAY too many drugs are consumed by Americans. But at our clinic we strive to NEVER prescribe drugs unless and until we correct the CAUSE of the problem that calls for them.  Why? Because ALL drugs have side effects (or so I thought).  Recently, I discovered I was wrong. ONE drug has been found to have an ASTOUNDING effect on aging AND has no known side-effect except when taken in excess (which ANYTHING can do, even water). Here’s the story…

Here’s the part where our lawyers make me say NONE of what you are about to read is    meant to diagnose or treat ANY health condition.  Consult a health-care provider before making any of the changes listed here.

Anti-aging science’s best kept secret.

Sugar is the key to your metabolism.  When a perfect blood level is maintained your body functions at its highest level and stays DISEASE FREE. If there is an imbalance you have destruction and early death of tissue cells.  This is what happens in diabetes.

Diabetes treatment is all about balancing blood glucose.  Metformin is a drug that does that.  Metformin has been used for years and has NO side effects when used correctly.  Now here’s where it gets interesting.  This year, Nir Barzilai, MD, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said “Metformin may influence fundamental aging factors that underlie many age-related conditions, including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.”

A study published in the National Institutes of Health in 2015 said: “…metformin may influence metabolic and cellular processes associated with the development of age-related conditions, such as inflammation, oxidative damage, diminished autophagy, cell senescence and apoptosis. As such, metformin is of particular interest in clinical translational research in aging since it may influence fundamental aging factors that underlie multiple age-related conditions.”

So what does all that mean?  That your body can not just age slower but (with Metformin) can actually REVERSE the aging damage of some cells.  Now, before you envision Benjamin Button (I know, too late) this is not going to make you LOOK 20 years younger.  It may however take years off the age of your heart, liver, lungs and other tissues and THAT can make you FEEL that much younger.

How I learned to stop worrying about prescription drugs and LOVE metformin.

Right now a huge study is underway to PROVE that Metformin works. It should be out soon. As for me the verdict is already in.  Here’s how I found out:

Before introducing ANY new program in our Anti-aging practice I ALWAYS experience it for myself (if possible).  Why? I want to be the last guinea pig tested BEFORE I recommend something to my patients.  So, since my blood glucose has run a little high for a while, I decided to try Metformin myself.  About a month ago I began taking 500 mg. a day.  The first day or so I didn’t notice anything.  Then on the third day at about 10 PM, while I was reading in bed, I suddenly sat up and realized I WASN’T TIRED. I mean, I was COMPLETELY alert and awake.  Now you may think, “What’s the big deal” but, YOU probably aren’t 63.  As many seniors friends will tell you, it’s NORMAL for older people to fall asleep early.  (That’s why restaurants in Florida have early bird specials at 3 PM). So, was I excited about being wide awake at 10 for the first time in years?  Hell yeah I was!  Not only that, I stayed up reading until almost 1 and THEN only went to sleep because I had work the next day.

The next day I was so eager to get up and start my day it took a little while to realize the other major change in my sleep pattern since Metformin… I wasn’t waking up at 3 AM and having a hard time getting back to sleep anymore!  I felt better rested than in YEARS.

I couldn’t wait to get to work and share my experience with my co-workers.  I asked our nurse Cindy what she had noticed with her Metformin experience (she and I started it together) and she said almost the same thing.  That’s when it dawned on me!!  HEY! I HAVEN’T TAKEN A NAP FOR THREE DAYS.  I was astounded.  My sleep patterns that had gradually become those of an old man had COMPLETELY reversed to how I was in my 20’s.  Even BETTER when I thought about it.  I liked naps even then.  I hadn’t gone ALL day until late at night without a hint of fatigue since I was a teenager.

The NEXT day I noticed I wasn’t having any more ‘senior’ moments.  You know when you walk into a room and say to yourself “What the HELL did I come in here for??” and then convince yourself that, whatever it was, it wasn’t important anyway.

So THAT’S when I realized the stories about Metformin were really true.  It DOES reverse some of the effects of aging.  And the best part is NO SIDE EFFECTS.

 

But you don’t have to wait that long.  Advanta Total Health’s anti-aging program now offers Metformin as one of our anti-aging tools.

 

(Yes, that last part was shameless self-promotion).

Yours in Health,

 

Dr. Richard Schuyler DC

PS.  Next time we will talk about weight-training, body building and more.  See you soon.

Health Hack #3 – All Fat Is Not Created Equally

Health Hacks

 

All Fat Is Not Created Equal


by Dr. Richard Schuyler DC

 

 

Science tells us there are Three Kinds of Fat in our body. Some fat is needed to help us stay healthy but ABNORMAL fat causes inflammation and makes us sick. The three kinds of fat are:

  1. Structural Fat – around muscles, skin and organs. It gives them support and padding.
  2. Normal Fat – under the skin. It insulates us and fuels our bodies when we don’t eat enough.
  3. Abnormal Fat – grows under Normal Fat especially in the abdominal and buttocks areas.

 

How does Abnormal Fat cause inflammation?  Young people burn fat in this order: Abnormal >Normal>Structural.  This is why abnormal fat doesn’t form in kids (except in certain circumstances, but that’s another article).

 

How does Abnormal Fat form?  Many of us consume toxic food and chemicals. Why? Because the food industry teaches us too.  How they do that is another story.  We eat high calorie-low nutrition food (like fast food).  We consume alcohol, drugs (prescription and otherwise) and chemicals.  Toxins build up in our bodies.  This causes toxicity especially in the hypothalamus which is the part of our brain that tells us when to eat.  Our hypothalamus goes haywire and stops telling us when we are full.  We eat more than we should AND we start preferring toxic food (like fast, fatty, sugary, salty food) over low calorie-high nutrition food.  Now, we start forming abnormal fat.

 

Why does Abnormal Fat cause inflammation?  Two reasons:

 

  1. FREE-RADICALS.  Fat is broken down by your body to produce energy.  Remember free-radicals from our last article?  Well whenever you break down or METABOLIZE food and other substances you produce free-radicals.  Fat metabolism creates more of them than almost any other metabolic process.
  2. Toxin storage. Toxic chemicals cause inflammation.  Guess where you store the most toxic chemicals…in FAT. Fat stores WAY more toxic chemicals than any other tissue. So instead of toxins leaving your body like they should when it’s working well, a fatty body KEEPS the toxic chemicals so they make us sick, form free radical and cause inflammation. What does this do to our bodies?  It makes us have….

DISEASE and PAIN!!! Cancer, Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and joint pain are just a few of the products of abnormal fat and toxicity. More diseases are linked to abnormal fat every year.

 

So what do we do?  We’ve become fat, toxic and sick.  When we try to lose weight by dieting and exercise we feel pain and hunger.  We lose muscle instead of fat because our hormones are depleted by abnormal fat.

 

Functional Medicine to the RESCUE!!!

 

Functional Medicine corrects the CAUSES of disease NOT just the symptoms.  A good function medicine doctor will First, find out what weaknesses your body has developed from abnormal fat.  Then, you can start correcting them starting with the most serious problems first.

 

 

Here’s an example of what NOT to do. 

 

A 45 year old man has fatigue, joint pain, high blood pressure, low sex drive, enlarged prostrate, esophageal reflux, hemorrhoids and obesity. He can’t sleep because of pain and having to urinate three times a night. He’s 50 pounds overweight. His marriage is on the rocks, he’s irritable and sick all the time. He sees a psychiatrist for depression and because his marriage is terrible. He takes Zoloft. His family doctor tests him for high triglycerides, high sugar, high PSA. He puts him on blood pressure meds, Celebrex, Lipitor, oral insulin and Ambien.

 

A month later he comes back with the same problems he had before PLUS has to use the bathroom more from the blood pressure meds (which work mainly by making you lose water which makes your blood pressure drop but also causes dehydration), worse depression and fatigue, a fatty liver from the Lipitor and stomach cramps from the Celebrex. Soo…..the doctor gives him Nexium for his stomach, Flomax for his bladder and takes him off Lipitor before it can destroy his liver completely. He fiddles with the other drugs to lessen their side-effects. He tells him to come back in a month. Again!

 

Can you see where this is going?  Have you been there?  Patients treated by doctors like this aren’t getting better. But the drug companies are getting richer. They keep on doing the same stupid things (treating symptoms not causes) until it kills their customers and makes them rich. They aren’t crazy but YOU are if you keep on doing this over and over expecting a different result.

 

So what does a Functional Medical doctor do?

 

The same patient would be: tested for hormonal levels, food sensitivities, allergies, nutritional deficiencies and genetic problems.

 

Results? His good cholesterol is low and his bad one is high.  He’s deficient in many vitamins and nutrients and sensitive to several foods. He’s allergic to pollens and grasses.  His testosterone and estradiol is low. His Functional Medicine doctor puts him on testosterone.  Saw palmetto and ashwa gandha herbs take away his prostate inflammation. He stops needing to urinate so much AND feels sexual desire too.  Within a week he begins to sleep great, his mood and energy improves and he gets back his sex drive. The testosterone also helps his joint pain so he can exercise without if hurting.   He starts an hCG weight loss program. He takes nutraceutical nutritional supplements and takes two table spoons of olive oil with raw garlic a day. This boosts his good cholesterol and lowers the bad.  He starts eating raw aloe daily which heals his reflux AND his hemorrhoids!!

 

In one month he loses 25 pounds (very doable with hCG).  Now his body fat is lower so he doesn’t need as much testosterone. His blood pressure is normal.  He gets treated for his allergies which caused a lot of his fatigue.  Now he’s got lots of energy because of this PLUS he can sleep again. His glucose returns to normal. He stops taking the Zoloft, Ambien, Celebrex, Nexium, blood pressure meds and insulin. (Aww! The poor drug companies are losing HUNDREDS of dollars…)  He starts exercising and keeps losing weight. Is he happy?

 

Equally important….Is his wife happy?

 

Seeing people get back their lives is the greatest feeling in the world.  Seeing them get back their marriages is even better.

 

This is functional medicine at its best.  It doesn’t happen to EVERY patient but it happens a LOT.  This is what we do.

 

Stay tuned for more adventures in good health.  Until then,  be happy and be healthy.

 

Dr. Richard Schuyler

 

Health Hack #2: Secrets* to Controlling Inflammation

Health Hacks

 

(FREE!!!) SECRETS* TO CONTROLLING INFLAMMATION
*What The Drug Companies Don’t Want You to Know

by Dr. Richard P. Schuyler DC, BCAO, MS

 

Last time we talked about how ALL disease causes inflammation.  Today, we’ll talk about controlling inflammation YOURSELF without a doctor and CURING YOURSELF OF ALMOST ALL DISEASES.

First let’s go over the WRONG ways to control inflammation.   Why? Because my first vow as a doctor is to do no harm. What you are about to read is NOT KNOWN by most people but it could save your life!!!

You may think “Why not just take over-the-counter drugs to control inflammation?”.  This is what millions of Americans do every day.  Why? Because they are taught to.  How? Just count the number of TV drug commercials.  Over 50% of commercial ads are for drugs OR insurance companies.  (I’ll get started on insurance companies another time).   Why?  Because the drug companies make HUGE profits from them.   For aches and pains to deadly diseases they sell you more drugs every day.   That’s why every second commercial is for Tylenol, Tylenol PM, Advil, Advil Cold, Nyquil, Dayquil, AfternoonQuil, WeekendQuil (ok I made up the last two).  I can’t resist poking fun at the “Snifflying, Sneezy, Coughing, Drowsy, Sleepy, Stumbling around till you pass out and fall flat on you face Medicine”.  Here’s how they do it:

  1. They get you to think you need them.
  2. They get you to think they are safe and….
  3. They get you to think you should take them ALL THE TIME.
  4. They get you ADDICTED to them so you go through misery if you stop them.

Not only is this wrong, it can KILL YOU.  So let’s look at what YOU can do to not become a victim of the drug companies.

There’s one class of drugs sold more than any other, NSAIDs-Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatories.  You get them without a prescription so… they must be harmless right?  (Read on).

What are NSAIDs?  They are drugs that stop inflammation without steroids.  Everybody knows that steroids should be used RARELY.  Unfortunately, everybody SEEMS to think NSAIDs are FINE to use all the time.  NSAIDs include: ibuprofen, acetaminophen, Tylenol, Advil and Aspirin.  They are fine to take every day right?  WRONG.

You see commercials that say ridiculous things like “For the NORMAL HEADACHE take (whatever NSAID)” or “For EVERYDAY ACHES AND PAIN take (Blah Blah drug)” as if you not only can but should take them daily.  This is SO wrong for TWO reasons:

  1. Ignore pain at your peril! HEADACHES ARE NOT NORMAL.  DAILY PAIN IS NOT OK!!.
  2. Drugs (even NSAIDs) can KILL you.

Why endure pain?  Nobody likes it so why put up with it?

Because PAIN IS YOUR FRIEND!!

You may think I’m crazy but, pain is GOOD!  Pain is the friend who never lies. Have you ever had a friend like that? Like the one who tells the truth when you ask “Does my butt look big in these pants?”.  But seriously, ignore your honest friends at your peril.

Here’s why Pain is your best friend!  Pain ONLY happens when tissue is being damaged and destroyed.  Sometimes this is good like when you work out and your muscles get sore then get stronger.  But other times it means you are losing parts of you that you want to keep.

Arthritis is an example of bad pain.  Arthritic pain means your joints are breaking down.  Headaches are bad too because they mean brain tissue is being damaged.  I don’t know about you but, my brain is one of my favorite organs.

So, what do we do when we cover up pain instead of listening to it and correcting it’s cause?  We damage and destroy important parts of our body.

It’s like covering up the light on your car dashboard that says ENGINE HOT.  Would you keep driving and ignore it?  If it bothers you would you put tape over it so you can’t see it?  If a buzzer came on would you turn up the radio so you wouldn’t hear it?   That’s how stupid it is to cover up your body’s pain.  Your body is trying to tell you it’s being damaged and breaking down.  When you ignore it your body just falls apart and the side effects of drugs speed up the process.

Next week we’ll give ways to get rid of your pain without harmful drugs. But now I want to get across why drugs are bad.  In fact don’t take my word for it.  Just read the warnings that that the FDA MAKES the drug companies put in the boxes with NSAIDs.  They’re on a tiny square of paper.  When you open it you’ll see it has TEENY TINY words on it that you need a magnifying glass to read.  Like this writing only smaller.  BUT, when you unfold it, the paper opens into a document the size of a road map (if you’re old enough to remember those).

Quiz:  What was the FIRST NSAID??  (Hint, it comes from the bark of the willow tree, it was first patented by a German company in Bavaria over 100 years ago and was used for over 2000 years before that).
Answer: it’s Aspirin

Guess what was the BIGGEST cause of death from drug overdose in the 1950s and 60s? Aspirin!! Then, when research showed how dangerous it was the drug companies started pushing  NEW NSAIDs like Tylenol and Ibuprofen.  So now guess which drugs cause the most deaths from overdose?  You guessed it!! It’s the NEW NSAIDS….. not crack, not heroin, not cocaine!!!

TRUE STORY: I had a patient once who came to me for chronic pain.  She took Ibuprofen every day.  I was helping her by correcting the misaligned bones in her spine that had caused her decades of suffering.  She was starting to feel better but still had terrible painful flare-ups.

One day my nurse told me she had missed her appointment because she was in the hospital.  I called her to find out what was going on and she said she had kidney failure and was ON DIALYSIS!!!!. Now here’s the really shocking part:

Her kidneys failed after she took TWO Ibuprofens with a glass of wine.  Can you imagine how I felt?  So I’ve been on a crusade for SAFE ways to control inflammation ever since.  You can too!!

Read those warnings next time you get a chance.

Next week we’ll cover how to get rid of THE CAUSE of pain and NOT cover it up.

Stay tuned for more adventures in health!!

Until then be well and do good.

 

Dr. Richard P. Schuyler

Health Hack #1: The Cause of All Disease

headache-1428019-639x469

Migraine Relief Through Your Nose?

 

 

Do you ever feel like that crippling headache will never end? You’re not alone.

As a matter of fact, about 14 million people experience headaches on a near-daily basis.

The most common treatment approaches for migraines are OTC medication and “sleeping it off”…

But, if you have experienced one of these depleting migraines, then you know these are not viable options if you are planning on functioning like a normal human being.

But alas, there is a solution! It’s called Sphenocath.

Sphenocath is an immediate & sustainable relief treatment for migraines. It is a quick, no needle, procedure. You will be able to resume normal activities [migraine free] in as little as 10 minutes. Better yet? It is covered by most major insurances!

What is Sphenocath?

Sphenocath is a simple, pain free, in office procedure. It provides immediate relief by delivering anesthetic through your nasal passage.

When the local anesthetic is applied to the area, nerve impulses can be temporarily blocked, providing relief from pain.

You can also expect the relief to be sustainable and take preventative measures to treat the migraine.

Benefits: Opposed to Pills/Other Treatments

Unlike needles, pills, or other treatments, Sphenocath relieves pain on the spot, comfortably.

The low risk procedure is effective in patients of all ages (adults and children), and even safe for pregnant women.

Low Cost & Covered by Most Insurance Companies

We pride ourselves on improving the quality of your life while keeping costs affordable. You will find that Sphenocath procedure is covered by most major insurance companies.

Eventually, Sphenocath may replace the costs of medications you are currently taking for your migraines.

Mitigate Your Chances of Getting a Migraine, and/or Come in for Immediate Treatment

The procedure itself takes 2-3 minutes to administer. We recommend the patient remain lying back for approximately 6-8 minutes. In all, the procedure can take less than 15 minutes to provide prompt relief.

Due to its effectiveness, you can expect the relief to be long-lasting. On average, patients may need 3-4 treatments in the first year, assuming the effects will sustain longer between each treatment.

Get in touch with us at Advanta Total Health Care so we can discuss pain levels and prior management approaches to make sure Sphenocath is fit for you.

AdvantaLP

Get Your Bounce Back With A Myers Cocktail

Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures giving you the winter blues?

Looking to boost your energy or enhance your vitality?

It can be tough to find preventive measures that are covered by insurance, but we have an option for you today…

You can utilize a form of intravenous vitamin/mineral therapy called a Myers’ Cocktail.

Vitamin Infusion Therapy

First off, you might be wondering what vitamin infusion therapy (also known as IV Therapy) is.

Quite simply, it is a vitamin or vitamins mixed with minerals that are administered intravenously.

IV Therapy has been featured on the Dr. Oz show  and has been used for preventive and reparation purposes.

Why not just go to the vitamin store and grab your favorite gummy vitamins?

  • Faster Results: Results of IV Therapy can be nearly instant! The results from a single infusion can even last weeks or months.
  • Higher Vitamin Levels: IV Therapy of Vitamin C can raise blood levels 50 – 100 times higher than oral supplements.

How Will You Benefit

IV Therapy isn’t  a new-fangled idea. Dr. John Myers treated patients with a multitude of problems for over 25 years with what is now known as a “Myers Cocktail”.

Vitamins and nutrients (Vitamins C, D, B, Magnesium, etc), or the lack there of, are intertwined with many health problems.  Check out this list of useful scenarios where the Meyer’s Cocktail can provide benefit:

  • Feeling fatigued or have chronic fatigue syndrome? IV therapy can give you the boost you’ve been looking for.
  • Feel a cold coming on? 50% of those treated for oncoming cold and flu’s experience immediate relief and resolution of symptoms. Others see a significant decrease in the length of illness.
  • Help with Fibromyalgia: some experience immediate results and others require 3+ sessions.
  • Magnesium is one of the main ingredients in the Myers Cocktail and is useful in treating high blood pressure, acute migraines, cancer prevention and heart attack prevention. Again, regularly scheduled treatments may be required for optimal benefits.
  • Going out the night before your wedding or an important business meeting? Try a Myer’s Cocktail for that hangover cure in the morning!

Learning More

Contact Advanta Total Health to learn more about IV Therpay or schedule your appointment.

Myer’s Cocktail (IV Therapy) from Advanta is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare.

 

Active Minds: Keep Your Brain Sharp as you Age

Active Minds: Keep Your Brain Sharp as you AgeDo you find that more and more you’re forgetting the simplest things? Do you go into a room and forget why you wanted to be there? Or do you have a problem with people’s names? Forgetting things and having problems concentrating is common – particularly as you get older. But aging does not have to be associated with memory problems. It is possible to keep your mind sharp and quick as you get older, which will give you a better quality of life and a lower risk of dementia. Take a look at these ways to train your brain to stay in shape.

1. Give your brain a workout

You need to exercise your body so you keep your muscles strong and your heart healthy, and you need to exercise your mind if you want to be thinking clearly throughout your life. Many people get into the habit of doing things in the easiest possible way, which does not help when you are trying to keep your mind active. Complete some mentally challenging activities every day such as crosswords or puzzles, and vary the way you do things so you are forced to pay attention to your activities and your surroundings. Drive a different way to work, read an article you wouldn’t normally read, or eat your dinner using the opposite hand to hold the fork. Use your brain, don’t lose it.

2. Organization is key

Give your brain a fighting chance and make sure you are as organized as you can be. If all your documents and items are in the right place you won’t waste time looking for things and you will also be able to focus your mind on more important matters. Make use of all the things at your disposal to become better organized so you don’t forget important dates and facts – use apps for your phone, a traditional desk diary, planners, and notebooks.

3. Your diet helps your brain

It is important to eat a healthy diet so your brain and your body are fit and well. Cut out saturated fats and include plenty of lean meat and fish, wholegrains, vegetables, and fruit. Drink plenty of water as dehydration can contribute to poor concentration and memory lapses.

4. Sleep well

Set your neural pathways and repair your brain functions with a good rest overnight. Sleep is important in many ways, not least because it helps you function better mentally during the day.

4 Reasons Why Fruits and Vegetables are Good for You

4 Reasons Why Fruits and Vegetables are Good for YouA balanced and healthy diet is essential for everyone, whether you want to lose weight, have more energy, keep well, or get fit. And a balanced diet is not complete without the addition of plenty of fruits and vegetables. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis offers many different health and wellbeing benefits, including heart protection and protection against disease. Choose a variety of different types of vegetables and fruit for the optimum nutritional benefit. You should try to eat between 3 and 6 cups of vegetables and fruit each day – if you can eat more, all the better. Fruit and vegetables should make up the bulk of your meals as they are low in calories and packed with nutrients.

Here’s why fruits and vegetables should occupy an important place in your diet.

  1. Fruit and vegetables offer heart-healthy benefits. Studies show that the people who eat the most vegetables and fruits have the lowest risk of suffering from heart disease and stroke. With heart disease and stroke the biggest killers in America, it is important to lower your risk in any way you can. Fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables at every meal. You can also lower your blood pressure by eating more fruit and vegetables.
  2. You can lower your cancer risk with fruits and vegetables. Certain forms of cancer can be avoided, experts say, when you enjoy a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and citrus fruits, are particularly useful for protecting against lung cancer, stomach cancer, mouth cancer, and throat cancer.
  3. Fruits and vegetables improve your digestion. Get a healthy digestive system by eating fruits and vegetables. These foods reduce the risk of constipation and help you avoid disease by clearing blockages and keeping your digestive system healthy. It is the fiber in fruits and vegetables that makes a difference – choose whole fruits and not juice as this is where the fiber remains.
  4. Eating fruits and vegetables can even help protect your eyes. Vitamin A, which is found in many different fruits and vegetables including carrots, cantaloupe, and sweet potato, helps night vision and you can also protect against macular degeneration and cataracts with fruit and veggies.