What You Eat Can Impact Your Stress Level

In challenging times like these when stress and worry are peaking don’t forget to look at what is at the end of your fork for some help.  You can get a lot of support from the meals that you put together.

Let’s take a look at ideal inclusion and needed exclusions.

What You Eat Contributes To Your Stress Level

Food that contains a lot of sugar can cause a roller coaster ride for your blood sugar and this can cause you to feel jittery and to have mood swings.  Best to stay away from foods in this category.

Keeping in line with the thought of controlling blood sugar, complex carbohydrates, foods high in fiber, are an important inclusion in a diet focusing on stress busting.  Fiber slows down the speed that sugar enters into your blood stream, so it helps you to avoid those sudden spikes and drops in your blood sugar levels, balancing your mood and easing your stress.  Foods high in fiber include cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, celery, berries, leafy greens, beans and whole grains.

Fiber is also key for your gut microbiome health and because your brain and gut are connected a healthy, happy gut microbiome leads to a happier you.

And if we are talking about creating a happy gut, we can’t forget fermented foods that are a good source of probiotics. So, we are talking about things like kefir, kombucha, apple cider vinegar and kimchi.

Some studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for improving mood.  One possible reason is that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain cell structure and function.  Another could be that they provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support.

Food sources of omega-3’s include wild caught salmon, sardines, flax seeds and chia seeds.

Magnesium is a go to supplement for improving sleep, quelling stress and calming nerves but why not get it from the food that you eat?  Foods naturally rich in magnesium are leafy greens, such as spinach and Swiss chard and dark chocolate.

Adaptogens

Finally, I want to mention that you can incorporate adaptogens to help you handle stress.

Adaptogens such as Ashwagandha and Holy Basil and some mushrooms including reishi and cordyceps are known to support the body’s ability to handle stress.

These can be easily included into your diet as teas or added into smoothies, salads and soups.

Here is one idea for you!

 

Stress Busting Hot Chocolate Recipe

Ingredients & Directions

Add to your blender and combine:

1 cup non-dairy milk (I love cashew for this one)

1 TBSP cacao powder

1 tsp maple syrup (or to taste)

1 tsp Ashwagandha powder

1 tsp Reishi mushroom powder

After you blend the ingredients add them to a pot and warm up. ⁠

Top with cinnamon if you like⁠

References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/fish-oil-supplements/faq-20058143

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC538287/

 

Next Week on The Health Hub…The Link Between Diet Culture and Health with Erin Holt

Erin Holt is a board-certified integrative and functional nutritionist helping people re-energize and find real health without restriction. After suffering health issues (chronic digestive problems, eating disorders, anxiety, autoimmune disease) for most of her life without any conventional answers, Erin turned to alternative medicine and functional nutrition for her recovery. Erin couples deep science research & functional testing with holistic healing modalities when working with women to get to the root cause of their health issues. She works with women all over the world through private consultations and online nutrition programs. Her nutrition practice honours the indissoluble link between mind and body.


Learning Points:

  • What a diet culture is
  • Connection between diet culture and Autoimmunity
  • The impact of Food Fear

Social Media


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Every Tuesday from 11am -12pm I host The Health Hub, an interactive, forward thinking talk show on Radio Maria Canada.   Call, tweet or email your questions as together we explore health issues that are relevant to you from new and innovative points of view.


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If you have a health topic that you would like us to discuss or are a health care specialist who wants to be a guest on our show let us know!

Here is our email.  We would love to hear from you! thh@radiomaria.ca

 

 

 

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer Facts & Tips for Prevention

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world⁠.

In 2015, it was estimated that approximately 26,600 Canadians would be diagnosed with lung cancer.  That is more than any other type of cancer.

In addition to this, more people die from lung cancer than breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer combined.

There are two major types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC)⁠.

Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for about 85 percent of lung cancers, small cell lung cancer about 15 percent.⁠

NSCLC usually starts in glandular cells on the outer part of the lung. This type of cancer is called adenocarcinoma. Non–small cell lung cancer can also start in flat, thin cells called squamous cells. These cells line the bronchi, which are the large airways that branch off from the windpipe (trachea) into the lungs. This type of cancer is called squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. Large cell carcinoma is another type of non–small cell lung cancer, but it is less common. There are also several rare types of non–small cell lung cancer. These include sarcoma and sarcomatoid carcinoma.  SCLC usually starts in cells that line the bronchi in the centre of the lungs. The main types of small cell lung cancer are small cell carcinoma and combined small cell carcinoma (mixed tumour with squamous or glandular cells).

Anatomy & Facts About Our Lungs

 

 

Did you know?

  • In proper anatomy our right lung is shorter and wider than our left.  Our left lung is narrower and more oblong
  • The anterior border of the left lung is marked by a deep cardiac notch while the right lung is straight
  • Our left lung is smaller than our right lung because our heart occupies space on the left side
  • Our right lung consists of 3 lobes.  Our left lung has 2
  • Our right lung connects to the trachea by two bronchi while the left lung connects to the trachea by a single bronchus

Possible causes of lung cancer

🔹Cigarette smoking causes most lung cancers.  Of note however many patients who are diagnosed with lung cancer have either never smoked or are former smokers.

🔹Exposure to high levels of pollution⁠

🔹Exposure to radiation and asbestos may increase risk of lung cancer⁠

🔹Genetics

Common symptoms of lung cancer

✔️A cough that doesn’t go away and gets worse over time⁠

✔️Constant chest pain⁠

✔️Coughing up blood⁠

✔️Shortness of breath⁠

✔️Fatigue⁠

Help lower your risk of lung cancer by incorporating the following tips

☑️Stop Smoking:⁠

Smoking is responsible for the majority of lung cancers. If you are a smoker it’s never too late to quit. For those who have been diagnosed with lung cancer, by stopping your smoking habit you can make cancer treatment more effective

☑️Limit Your Chemical Exposure:⁠

Chemicals in the workplace and at home can contribute to lung cancer

☑️Reduce Your Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke:⁠

Exposure to second-hand smoke increases your chance of developing lung cancer

☑️Consume Green Tea and Black Tea:⁠

Studies have shown that consuming Green & Black tea are associated with a reduced lung cancer risk⁠

As well as the above, proper sleep, exercising regularly and eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies are very important habits for cancer prevention as a whole.⁠


References

 

6 Health Habits to Learn Before Turning 60 by Dr. Patsi Krakoff

By Dr. Patsi Krakoff, author War on Aging

Dr. Patsi Krakoff is a retired psychologist with 30 years’ experience in behaviour modification and health and wellness coaching. She is a life-long writer having been published in Paris, France where she lived for 20 years. She founded Content for Coaches, a writing service providing leadership articles for executive coaches. War on Aging was written with her husband Robert Krakoff to help healthy seniors live longer through better exercise and nutrition. 

6 Health Habits to Learn Before Turning 60

In my 70s, I have become a health nut. I’m always talking about better health habits for seniors. While others my age are remodeling kitchens and becoming gourmet cooks, I talk about the latest trends in diets, cardio workouts and high intensity interval training.

I’m not sure anybody listens anymore, and I don’t mind, as long as they keep inviting me to lunch. I try not to talk too much about nutrition when they do.

I wasn’t always this way. Like other women my age, I spent a lot of my life indulging on junk food and desserts, then yo-yo dieting to keep the weight off. My idea of working out was shopping all three floors of Nordstrom’s with a credit card.

Genes Aren’t Everything

I was lucky in some ways. I was blessed with small bones and a thin frame, meaning I could pass for healthy even when carrying 20 unnecessary pounds. It wasn’t until I turned 50 that I realized I was aging. I woke up in pain with a collapsed disk and an irregular heart rhythm.

The doctors prescribed medications and surgery. They explained, “You’re just getting old. Not to worry.”

I was angry and wanted to prove them wrong, only they were right. A hard look at my family history ruined it: everyone in my immediate family ̶ mother, father, sister ̶ died in their 50s and 60s. I was 64 at the time. It was time to tackle my health.

Behold, the Way Forward

I wasn’t on the Road to Damascus, but I imagined a shining white light pointing in the direction of the gym. I would go forth and sweat. I wasn’t ready to fast, but I’d throw out all junk food.

Today, at 74, I’ve settled into a life of exercise, good nutrition, and a commitment to healthy habits. I no longer struggle to keep these goals; it’s a way of life.

It didn’t happen overnight, it took persistence. I came to terms with aging and the fact that̶̶ like most seniors ̶I don’t have time left to get it right. Life and health are not a dress rehearsal.

Advice to a 50-Year-Old

The other day a friend asked me what she should tell her daughter ̶ who’s turning 50 ̶ and who isn’t taking good care of herself.

The midlife years are especially hard for working parents who are perpetually out of time and energy. But here’s what health habits I wish I had learned earlier in my own life.

  1. Eat for health. Good eating habits will ensure you avoid some of the diseases of aging, or at least slow them down (heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and dementia.) Starting in midlife, your cells don’t perform as well, meaning they become sensitive to the wrong foods and need more of the good stuff: vitamins, proteins and minerals. Cut down on portions and lose excess weight for good. It’s easier to attain a healthy weight in your 40s and 50s than in your 70s.
  2. Increase your exercise. Do more of what you love, be it sports, dance, yoga, Pilates, etc. Be consistent, never give up, even when sick or injured. The body can always do something while rehabbing. Include time for recovery and stretching and balance. The more you develop muscles at 40 and 50, the better you will look and feel at 70. And the easier an exercise habit will be as you turn 60 and 70.
  3. Don’t skimp on sleep. Remember to get 7-9 hours each night. Your brain needs it to preserve memory functions. Insomnia can lead to obesity, heart disease and dementia. The high rates of cognitive impairment in seniors can be diminished by attention to brain health in your 50s and 60s.
  4. Manage stress and emotions: Pay attention to moods and reach out to friends and others when needed. Nearly every 50-year-old has stress from family, relationships, work, and money periodically. Without stress management tools, it’s easy to let anger or sadness take a hold of you. Those tools will be essential to meeting the challenges of old age.
  5. Maintain good relationships and social connections. Stay in touch with loved ones and cultivate close friends. You’ll need them more than ever as you age. Social relationships contribute to good health and mental acuity.
  6. Find a sense of purpose. Don’t let others dictate what you ‘should’ be doing. Find your passion and focus time and energy doing what you love. While we can’t ignore the pressures of making a living and working, cultivate what you enjoy most. Prepare for the day when you will have more time for what you love.

You are never too young to get healthy. Start now in midlife, and you’ll be ahead of the game as you become a senior. You will look and feel ten years younger, and truly enjoy those golden years.

 

The Forgotten Function of Food

There are many functions of food within a cancer protocol. A well structured diet helps to strengthen and prepare a cancer patient’s body before surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation. It provides key nutrients for patients going through treatment, helps to lower the risk of infection and it helps to detoxify, strengthen and repair a cancer patient’s body post treatment[1].

https://www.cathybiase.com/5-tips-start-cancer-prevention-diet/

But as important as these functions of food are, often missed or overlooked is the function of food to bring joy and joy can be a hard thing to find when you are going through a cancer diagnosis.

The heart of a house is the kitchen. It is where our bodies and our soles are nourished. It is where we succeed in plating a great meal or laugh at a recipe gone wrong. Food brings families and friends to the table and science shows that eating together has great benefits including greater happiness and healthier food choices[2].

Eating meals together offers an opportunity to reconnect to those that are central to our being, to those that give our lives meaning. Food is a part of our history. It is a part of the essence of who we are and where we come from. It evokes memories and makes memories.

Gathering in the kitchen and sitting around the table can bring back life as it was before cancer. And although this may only be for a brief time each day, these moments can invigorate and strengthen a cancer patient enough to help them to move forward when the road ahead can seem so hard.

I have done the schooling, the certifications and I will forever continue to expand my knowledge of Nutrition Oncology to better serve the cancer patients that I work with. But to this day I feel that the greatest thing that I have to offer to cancer patients, their family and friends lies not in my book knowledge but in my personal experience with having had cancer. I cherished moments of normalcy, those times when I was just mom again and not a cancer patient.

Many of those moments were in my kitchen. Not when I was using food as a tool in my protocol but when my food was a meal.

_________________________

References:

[1] https://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-treatment/staying-active/nutrition/nutrition-during-treatment/benefits.html

[2] https://www.goodnet.org/articles/9-scientifically-proven-reasons-to-eat-dinner-as-family