On January 19, we commemorate one of this country’s greatest icons Martin Luther King, Jr. King states that his true contribution wasn’t a messiah of civil rights, but as an organizer of people and causes. Many believe in the “great man” concept of leadership, but in reality, change comes from the mobilization and action of citizens. Below we consider the legacy of this great man and what we can learn from his work.
“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – MLK
King knew that you need to count on every person to create the change you want to see in the world. We all must become the leaders that we desperately lack.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”– MLK
We are in need of change. We can still accomplish great things and take control of our own health.
“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.” – MLK
The solution is not as far away as it seems — it’s you. Improving your daily choices in regards to lifestyle factors such as nutrition, exercise, mindset, and healthy neurology is attainable. You need to take action and be the leader of your own health to live a longer, fuller life.
Be the leader and mobilize your family and loved ones to transform their health. If we are looking for change in this world, it starts with you.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”– MLK
Choosing healthy food is important if you want to feel great and stay well, but equally as important are the beverages you choose to consume.
But with so many supposedly health-enhancing beverages to choose from today, how are you to know what really are the healthiest beverages?
From stevia-sweetened sodas and waters with “natural flavors,” to coconut water and kombucha, it can be confusing to figure out the best choices.
If you really want to boost your health, what does the science reveal about the healthiest beverages?
Let’s take a look …
We all know proper hydration is important. But did you know that many people live in a state of chronic, low-level dehydration that can affect every part of their health — even the ability to think clearly?
In a recent study at the University of East London, more than half of school children tested were found to be in a state of mild dehydration at the beginning of the school day. Children were given a test to measure cognitive performance, and then were given glasses of water and retested. In nearly every measure, including happiness, visual attention, and visual search, their scores increased.
Similar studies with both children and adults have confirmed the findings that proper hydration is essential for cognitive performance and mental health.
If you’re a soda addict and are having difficulty switching to water, try sparkling water. A Soda Stream™ machine is more eco-friendly and more affordable in the long term than buying bottled sparkling water. Plus, carbonated water has been shown to relieve dyspepsia (pain, bloating and nausea) as well as constipation.
If you prefer drinking flavored beverages rather than water, you might try infusing drinking water (sparkling or not) with a slice of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit. Fresh mint leaves, cucumbers, sliced strawberries, or sliced ginger are also delicious. To infuse water, you can try an infusion bottle or simply make up a pitcher and chill it in the refrigerator for a refreshing treat anytime.
Water is the most natural beverage on the planet, and ideally, we should consume an abundance of fresh, clean water every day. But unfortunately, much of our water is polluted. Find out more about water pollution, and about water filtration options, here.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is widely reported as one of the best beverages for cancer prevention, but did you know that green tea has also been found to improve artery function, thus reducing the risk ofcardiovascular disease?
Our blood vessels are lined with the endothelium – a thin, protective lining of cells. The endothelial cells produce a gas called nitric oxide which helps our blood flow smoothly. These precious cells only live for about 30 years. As these cells die and are replaced, people in their 40s and 50s often experience a decline in endothelial function. This decline in endothelial function is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and more.
However, a decline in endothelial function is not inevitable. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that Chinese adults were less susceptible than white Australians to endothelial dysfunction and, in fact, the older Chinese studied had the arterial function of Australians in their 20s!
What was their secret? Researchers believe it was participants’ traditional Chinese diet, including green tea – rich in flavonoids.
In another study, adding milk – whether cow’s milk or soy milk — was found to dramatically reduce the bioavailability of the antioxidants in tea.
Adding lemon, however, was found to increase levels of antioxidants. These antioxidants help prevent the damaging effects of oxidation on cells throughout the body.
3. Hibiscus Tea
In 2010, an extensive study was conducted on the total antioxidant content of more than 3,100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs, and supplements used worldwide. This study included 283 beverages. Of all beverages included, hibiscus tea was found to be highest in antioxidants.
(Editor’s Note: In the study, hibiscus is mentioned under the name “Flor de Jamaica.” Also, as Dr. Greger says in the comments here, the measurement of antioxidants is per unit weight. A serving of prepared tea, such as hibiscus, weighs 245 grams. It’s important to look at whether the researchers are talking about 100g of prepared tea or 100g of the leaves themselves.)
Hibiscus leaves are what make Red Zinger™ tea “zingy,” and they can be quite tart. One way to sweeten this ruby red herbal tea is by making a variation of the classic Mexican drink, called Agua Fresca. This is traditionally made with watermelon, lime, and sugar, but you can leave out the sugar. This Hibiscus Agua Fresca takes advantage of the natural tartness of hibiscus and blends it with the sweet flavor of watermelon to create a delicious flavor combination.
From a health perspective, the dietary flavonoids in watermelon have been shown to be anti-inflammatory and reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Watermelon is also rich in citrulline, which is metabolized into arginine, an essential amino acid. The consumption of citrulline has been shown to help improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction in men.
So, if you’d like to sweeten your hibiscus tea — and perhaps even add a little vitality to your love life — try my healthy, three-ingredient, naturally sugar-free version of this summertime classic.
4. Water with Apple Cider Vinegar
A glass of water with the addition of apple cider vinegar has long been used as a folk remedy for many ailments.
Recent studies have confirmed that consuming vinegar with a meal reduces the spike in blood sugar, insulin, and triglycerides. It also increases satiety – the feeling of being full after a meal.
In a recent Japanese study, vinegar intake was found to reduce body weight and body fat mass. During the 12-week trial, study participants were randomized into three groups and given similar vinegar beverages to drink each day – a high dose group, a low dose group and a control group, which was given a vinegar flavored drink containing no vinegar at all (a placebo).
The high dose group was given a beverage containing 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day and the low dose group was given a beverage containing 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a day. Both vinegar groups saw a reduction in weight and fat mass over the course of 12 weeks, while the control group gained weight. The high dose group lost more weight and fat than the low dose group – an average of 5 pounds and one inch of abdominal fat!
If you’d like to make your own vinegar beverage, simply add 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 8 ounces of water.
*Note: Don’t drink vinegar straight. The acetic acid in vinegar can burn your esophagus.
5. White Tea
White, green, oolong, and black teas all come from the same tea plant – Camellia sinensis. But they differ in how they are processed.
White tea is the least processed, followed by green, then oolong, then black, which is the most processed. The leaves and buds of white tea are simply steamed and dried. White tea also has a light, delicate flavor. It’s my personal favorite. I drink a cup of this white tea every morning.
Green tea has the highest level of antioxidants of the camellia sinensis teas at 5.73 mmol/l Fe2+ and once lemon is added, the levels of antioxidants are slightly increased to 6.39. White tea, however, begins at 4.02 mmol/l Fe2+ but adding lemon more than triples its antioxidant levels to 15.2!
So, white tea with lemon is by far the tea highest in antioxidants.
What if you are especially concerned about cancer prevention and survival? A recent study at Oregon State University suggested that “The degree of protection by tea appeared to be related to the extent of processing since green was generally more effective than black tea in vitro and in vivo. This suggested the possibility that higher antimutagenic or anticarcinogenic activity might be expected from teas that have undergone the least amount of processing.”
This means that white tea might be even better at fighting cancer than green tea. Researchers put this to the test by testing green vs. white tea against heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (powerful, yet common carcinogens found in cooked meat). Both the green and white teas reduced levels of mutations and DNA damage, with green tea dropping levels of DNA damage by half, but white tea dropping levels nearly 100%!
What Is The Best Way to Make Tea? Besides adding lemon juice, here’s another way to get the most out of tea.
Scientists in Italy studied the effects of cold-brewing — adding tea to cold water and steeping it for at least 2 hours. They found that contrary to what you might think, brewing tea in cold water rather than hot, increases levels of antioxidant activity – presumably because some of the catechins, the antioxidants in tea, may be destroyed by hot water.
So, rather than brewing a pot of tea using the traditional hot water method, consider simply throwing a few tea bags in a pitcher of cold, filtered water at night, putting it in the fridge and drinking it cold in the morning!
ConclusionHydration is critical to every function in your body. Water is essential. Tea, hibiscus, and vinegar add antioxidants, flavonoids, and other potent nutrients that can give your health a powerful boost.
Tea is made from leaves. Vinegar is made from apple juice or grape juice. What do these beverages have in common? They are made from two of the world’s healthiest foods – leafy greens and fruit!
So find healthy drinks you love and make it a habit to enjoy frequently with friends!
Prepare time: 10 min
Cook: 8 min
Ready in: 6-24hrs
Yumm the best chocolate cheesecake i have found, under 5g of carbs per serving. Make sure you use Lindt 90% Dark Chocolate for best results. Pecan flour was used in this recipe, but you could substitute it with almond flour too.Macros4.8g carbs, 37.2g fat, 5.8g protein, 380 calories (Per Slice – Recipe makes 10 slices)
To make the crust
This might come as a surprise, but do not underestimate this common household herb. It is actually among the most effective herbs for ridding the body of any unwanted organisms. Garlic is able to slow and kill over 60 types of fungus and 20 types of bacteria, as well as some of the most potent viruses.
Garlic has a history of killing parasites and controlling secondary fungal infections. It also detoxifies while gently stimulating elimination, and has antioxidant properties to protect against oxidation caused by parasite toxins. The active components in garlic that kill parasites are allicin and ajoene. (1) These compounds can kill amoebas including one-cell varieties, as well as pinworms and hookworms.
Allicin is not present in garlic in its natural state. When garlic is chopped or otherwise damaged, the enzyme alliinase acts on the chemical alliin, converting it into allicin, the active component contributing to its success for killing parasites.
To get the most out of garlic, be sure to use it crushed or juiced. Start off with 1 clove and work your way up to as many as you can stomach. (2)
Cucumber seeds have been used as an all-natural treatment to remove tapeworms within the digestive tract. The powder of cucumber seeds can be used to treat tapeworms but also consumed even if you do not have a parasite, as a preventative measure.
That is because cucumbers are of course are also a vegetable. They are effective due to enzymes within the cucumber and seeds that kill tapeworms. Look for heirloom cucumber seeds, grind into a powder and add 1 tsp. to a smoothie daily during your cleanse. (3)
Sugary, tropical fruit is typically not advised when dealing with parasites. However, this particular fruit has a strong ability to destroy many parasitic worms, including most intestinal worms and tapeworm. The most powerful part of the fruit is actually the seed.
The University of Maryland Medical Center advises a mixture of honey and papaya seeds, which has been found to clear stools of parasites. If you are going to consume the fruit for its benefits, it is best to remove the skin and ferment in apple cider vinegar for one day. You will want to eat eight ounces of the cultured papaya and drink 2 ounces of the brine for 4 days.
When it comes to papaya, the most powerful part of the fruit is actually the seed.Chaudhary MD, a neurologist and practitioner of Ayurveda, suggests this papaya smoothie recipe: Take the seeds from an average-sized papaya and grind them in a coffee grinder. Next, add a tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil. Then add about a cup of coconut milk and the rest of the papaya; finally, blend until smooth. Drink the smoothie each morning for at least 7 consecutive days.
Naturally green and ultra-creamy, this avocado and spinach smoothie is sure to be your family’s year-round favorite. This healthy green shake features peppermint oil for a delicious minty twist. For an added delicacy, blend in some cacao nibs — healthy green smoothies have never tasted better!
Core Plan approved
Advanced Plan approved
Perfect for sharing and entertaining, this salsa recipe uses fire roasted tomatoes to give it a rich and flavorful taste. Our homemade salsa is versatile for any occasion — use it as a dressing over taco salad, serve with guacamole and red pepper strips for scooping, or as a condiment for steak and hamburgers. Try roasted tomato salsa with your breakfast as a topping over eggs of any style! Create your desired spiciness by adjusting the amount of serrano peppers.
Core Plan approved
Advanced Plan approved
These blueberry muffins have just the right amount of sweetness — without any added sugar whatsoever. Made with coconut flour, this muffin recipe is gluten-free and high in fiber. The muffins also contain just 9 grams of carbs and 10 grams of healthy fat. These easy blueberry muffins will fill you up plus give you an energy boost without tiring you out. Try them out today for a convenient dessert, breakfast, or snack!
Core Plan approved
Makes 10 muffins
Your child often exhibits rambunctious, restless behavior that sometimes includes anxiety, aggressiveness, and inability to concentrate.
His teacher requests a conference. When you meet up, she mentions your child often gets distracted, says he needs frequent reminders to finish his homework, and interrupts other classmates. She even calls him hyperactive.
Your question becomes, is this normal behavior for children his age, or could this indicate a deeper underlying problem?
What is ADHD?If a child exhibits these behaviors nearly constantly, your doctor might diagnose him or her with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Characterized by hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity, ADHD is one of the most common childhood disorders that, left unchecked, can continue into adolescence and as adult ADHD.
“Everyone has trouble at times with paying attention, listening, or waiting,” says an article on Kids Health. “But people with ADHD have trouble with these things almost all the time. They’re not doing it on purpose. ADHD is a medical condition that affects a person’s attention and self-control.”
Experts aren’t entirely sure “what is ADHD” (or what causes ADHD). Some suspect genetics, environment, or some combination of these and other factors contribute to this condition. Like any disorder, multiple factors probably contribute to signs of ADHD; what we call a multifactorial problem.
Regardless, how ADHD symptoms can impact social interaction and wellbeing are vast and differ dramatically among children. ADHD-related symptoms include learning disabilities, depression and anxiety, antisocial behavior, bipolar disorder, and sleep disorders (including bed-wetting problems).
By the way, people often confuse ADHD with attention deficit disorder (ADD), but there’s a difference that’s worth mentioning. ADD is a type of ADHD that doesn’t involve constant movement and fidgeting, but the definitions aren’t entirely clear-cut.
“The confusion dates to 1994,” says WebMD. “That’s when doctors decided all forms of attention-deficit disorder would be called ‘attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder,’ even if the person wasn’t hyperactive.” Throughout this article, we’ll use ADHD.
ADHD in Children: Troubling StatisticsThe American Psychiatric Association argues about five percent of children have ADHD. Other studies show higher numbers: According to the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about eight percent of children were diagnosed with ADHD in 2003. By 2012, that number grew to 11 percent and will likely continue to rise.
An increase in ADHD medications accompanies that diagnosis. (More on those in a minute.) The percent of children ages four to 17 using ADHD medications increased from 4.8 percent in 2007 to 6.1 percent in 2011. About three in four children aged two to five with ADHD – in other words, ADHD in toddlers or in that age range – received medication, based on healthcare claims data from 2008-2014.
ADHD doesn’t discriminate: ADHD can impact anyone regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic class. At the same time, males have three times the risk compared with females. One particularly alarming statistic: The rate of ADHD among non-Hispanic black girls increased a whopping 90 percent from 2001 to 2010.
Actually, that isn’t the only alarming statistic. ADHD symptoms include difficulty focusing and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity. Other statistics equally troubling include:
“While ADHD medications do not always work perfectly for everyone, in many cases they take effect almost instantly,” says Ariana Eunjung Cha in The Washington Post. “Behavior therapy, on the other hand, can take many months to have an impact and often requires significant trial and error to figure out which strategies work.”
Medications to treat ADHD include methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamines (Adderall). Some researchers believe that physicians are more likely to prescribe medications to those with more severe ADHD compared with those exhibiting milder symptoms.
Regardless of who gets them, as Cha notes, “the long-term effects of those drugs on a young brain and body have not been well studied, and the side effects can be numerous, including poor appetite, sleeplessness, irritability and slowed growth.”
And they’re heavily prescribed. Government statistics in 2016 found about 75 percent of young children with ADHD received medications – that’s three out of every four children showing signs and symptoms of ADHD! – leading U.S. health officials to urge parents try behavior therapy first before trying drugs.
But drugs are also a big business. In a 2014 Psychology Today article, Dale Archer, MD, notes that the sale of these medications is now five times what they were in 2002, with revenues exceeding $8 billion per year.
Many parents don’t want to keep their child on a drug with side effects, which can be vast and in the bigger picture exacerbate ADHD-related problems. According to Roy Boorady, MD, sleep problems, moodiness and irritability (especially once the medication wears off), headaches, and delayed growth are just some of the side effects with ADHD medications. Others includedecreased appetite, weight loss, increased blood pressure, dizziness, and nervousness.
A Different Approach to ADHDEveryone is different; a concept called biochemical individuality. It likewise makes sense that every child with ADHD, rather than lumping everyone into one category, will exhibit different behaviors and symptoms.
According to Mark Hyman, MD, every case of ADHD is unique, with different imbalances that require different diagnostic tests and therapies.
“We give names to disease like depression or ADHD,” he says in his book The UltraMind Solution, “but that just helps us group people together who have the same symptoms for the purposes of giving them all the same drug therapy.”
In other words, you go to your doctor, who diagnoses your child with ADHD, writes a prescription, and makes a referral to see a behavioral therapist. That might be oversimplifying the process somewhat, but that becomes a typical experience many parents have.
Practitioners like Hyman take a different approach to disorders like ADHD: Rather than assign a label onto the problem and write a prescription or make a referral, they determine what might be creating that problem to begin, and set about correcting it.
That often takes time, trial-and-error, and effort, but ultimately it becomes a far more effective approach to remedying ADHD.
At the same time, research shows some simple but powerful dietary and lifestyle modifications can have a profound effect on ADHD. Food often becomes the place to begin. What your child eats can profoundly influence behavior including attention, conduct disorder, and mood.
All-Natural Strategies for Dealing with ADHDADHD can be a complex disorder that requires multiple approaches to remedy, but taking the right steps can help your child become a more confident person and a more focused student. Armed with the right tactics, they can grow into healthy, happy, well-adjusted adolescents and adults. These strategies can help.
1. Cut the sugar.The link between sugary processed foods and ADHD is less than conclusive, but any parent knows how overeating sugar can leave any kid – especially a child with ADHD – feeling jittery, rambunctious, and overly energetic. “Numerous studies have looked at the relationship between refined sugar and ADHD,” says Archer. “Most indicate sugar does not play a role, while mothers in the trenches with children bouncing off the walls often disagree.” Archer recommends letting your child eat sugar and monitor his or her behavior in a written log for one week. Then remove sugar the following week. Repeat until you have four weeks of data and compare the results.
2. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods.Foods like wild-caught fish and freshly ground flaxseed (in protein smoothies) are great, but if your kid won’t touch those, supplements can also help. One systematic review and meta-analysis found omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, particularly with higher doses of the fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), could modestly help treat ADHD. Researchers concluded “given its relatively benign side-effect profile and evidence of modest efficacy, it may be reasonable to use omega-3 fatty supplementation to augment traditional pharmacologic interventions or for families who decline other psychopharmacologic options.”
3. Increase antioxidant intake.One study with 76 children found significantly increased oxidative stress in those with ADHD. Foods high in antioxidants include berries and other fruits and a colorful assortment of vegetables. Give your kids as many varieties of these as he or she can eat, and make them fun with snacks like organic apple slices with almond butter. Load up their smoothies with organic berries. Dark chocolate is also rich in antioxidants. Look for a low-sugar dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao.
4. Address nutrient deficiencies.A nutrient-poor diet high in sugar means many children aren’t getting optimal nutrients, and many medications can further deplete those nutrients. Take vitamin B6: The body needs this vitamin to convert tryptophan into your feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, and insufficient serotonin can manifest as mood disorders including ADHD. Other research shows kids with ADHD have significantly lower levels of vitamin D. A full spectrum of nutrient deficiencies is beyond this article’s scope. Please work with your chiropractor or other healthcare professional to test for nutrient insufficiencies and address supplementation to optimize those levels.
5. Eliminate food sensitivities.Elimination diets have been used for decades to treat ADHD. They typically demand at least a two-to-four-week period where someone strictly adheres and completely avoids potentially problematic foods. Researchers connect gluten sensitivities with ADHD, and dairy can also create problems. Consider pulling the usual suspects – including dairy, gluten, and added sugars – for at least three weeks (maybe longer or even permanently) and see if ADHD symptoms don’t improve.
6. Mind the gut.Researchers speculate dietary components that modulate gut microbiota might also influence ADHD development or symptoms. Because dopamine (your “reward” neurotransmitters) are abnormalities and deficits in reward processing are hallmarks of ADHD, researchers believe the microbiome might contribute to ADHD development via the gut-brain axis. Further studies will elucidate those and other gut-brain connections, and researchers believe a better understanding about the gut microbiome might provide new possibilities for ADHD prevention and treatment.
7. Implement regular exercise.Exercise has a powerful effect on your body but also your brain, and research shows it can impact structural brain growth and functional neurocognitive development, benefiting children with ADHD. What becomes important is finding a type of exercise your child enjoys and will actually stick with consistently. That might mean team sports, lifting weights, or yoga.
8. Get sufficient sleep.Sleep problems and sleep disorders go hand-in-hand with ADHD. A vicious cycle occurs as poor sleep impacts behavioral issues and other ADHD symptoms, and ADHD can subsequently interfere with sleep levels. Researchers recommend good sleep hygiene as a first line of therapy here. Ensure your child has a set bedtime each evening, find rituals to help him or her unwind before bed, and minimize stimuli like TV watching or video games. Some children with ADHD might require nutrients like melatonin to fall and stay asleep safely. Speak with your chiropractor or other healthcare professional to discuss non-invasive sleep options.
9. Incorporate mind-body therapy.Research shows yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation are among the many tools that can significantly improve symptoms of ADHD among children. These therapies provide a wide range of effects on psychosocial, emotional, and neurobiological functioning, and one study found they can also reduce costs over a 10-year period compared with medications. (Never mind that techniques like medication carry no side effects, unlike medication.) Find something your child will do. If yoga classes are akin to a dental visit, those feelings could amplify ADHD symptoms. At the same time, giving your child an opportunity to try these mind-body therapies could yield improvements in mood, behavior, and other factors.
10. Visit a chiropractor.With growing concerns about medications, more people are seeking alternative approaches to treating children with ADHD. One review among four males, (nine to 13 years old) found improvement in ADHD symptoms including hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness, as well as behavioral, social, or emotional difficulties who received chiropractic care for at least five months. A chiropractor can also help you further address a dietary and lifestyle protocol that addresses the specific needs of your child.
With these strategies, you can naturally address ADHD whether you or your child is taking medication or not. Patience and time are keywords here. Every situation will be different, so slapping a label onto a child and then medicating him doesn’t look at the underlying factors that could contribute to ADHD.
That’s why I encourage you to work with your chiropractor and/or your team of healthcare professionals to address your body’s whole health. And please, never ever take anyone off ADHD medication or discontinue any protocol without permission of your qualified practitioner.
This creamy avocado chocolate pudding is so decadent, you may forget that you’re also getting so many health benefits! With less than one gram of sugar per ounce, avocados have the least amount of sugar per serving of any fruit, and they act as a nutrient booster by helping the body absorb fat-soluble nutrients. This healthy dessert contains no added sugars and is even better with a scoop of chocolate Grass-Fed Whey Protein. If you’re looking for a sweet treat that’s also good for you, try out our healthy chocolate pudding!
Core Plan approved
Advanced Plan approved
1 avocado, soft and ripe, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup cocoa powder
Stevia, to taste
6 tablespoons coconut milk or water
¼ cup of ice
Optional: 1 scoop Grass-Fed Whey Protein - Chocolate
Cut avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out flesh and put in the blender along with remaining ingredients.
Process until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Ice keeps it from getting hot in the blender so you can eat it right away.
Chiropractor @Main Health Solutions Meridian