Vanadium: Beautifully Beneficial

Flickr/Kathy Sunderman

Flickr/Kathy Sunderman

Is Vanadium right for you? It seems from its discovery that it was destined to color your health.

Vanadium is a trace mineral originally discovered in the 1800’s in Mexico.

It was named after the Scandinavian goddess of beauty, Vanadis, because of the many beautifully colored compounds it produces.

How does it help? Vanadium has been used for medicinal purposes for many years. Scientists aren’t sure about exact mechanisms, but your body may need vanadium in tiny amounts particularly in relation to normal bone growth.  There is evidence it mimics the effects of Insulin and helps to keep healthy levels of sugar in blood, which has made this supplement a popular choice to support healthy blood sugar levels.

Where do we find it? Vanadium is an essential trace mineral. It is found in nature in the soil and in many foods. The richest sources of this micronutrient are found naturally in sunflower, safflower, corn, mushrooms, shellfish, black pepper and olive oil, as well as buckwheat, parsley, oats, rice, green beans, carrots, cabbage, and dill.

The good news is you don’t need the Scandinavian deity to ensure Vanadium goodness in your diet…you can try a good source supplement! Surely healthy levels of blood sugar will boost your beauty from the inside out!

-Dr. Jackie Miodownik-Aisenberg M.D. PhD – Internist

For more healthy living tips and info please follow us on Twitter @miami_nutrition

5 Slimming Foods

Chicken and Salad

Can it be true? Are there actual foods that can help you slim? We all know that weight management is an ongoing issue throughout the United States and perhaps other parts of the world too. For keeping a healthy weight the easy part to understand is that one needs to manage the calories in (from food and beverages) versus calories burned (from physical activity and daily living). However, this is not always so easy to eat less and move more. This being said, there are tricks that one can use to help keep the food intake part of the equation in check. The purpose of this article is to point out foods worthy of including in your daily fare to help with maintaining a slimmer you.

 

  1. Green or Oolong Tea – These two teas are typically found in Japanese and Chinese restaurants. They come from the same plant it is only the aging of the plant that makes the difference in tea color and taste. Studies have shown that when one drinks these teas and especially five glasses per day (total of 40 ounces), it makes the body burn an extra 90-100 calories per day. This is due to the special kind of polyphenols (catechins) that are found in the tea. Drink up to lose weight!
  2. Fiber – Fiber can be soluble or insoluble. Soluble fibers help with cholesterol management while the insoluble help with maintaining regularity. Studies show that meals that include fiber help a person feel full and feel full longer. Thus fiber can help with slimming as it helps you feel full so you will eat less food over a 24-hour period. Fiber intake for men and women is recommended to be 35 and 25 grams per day respectively. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are good sources of natural fiber. Have fiber at eat meal and snack. Read food labels and look for at least 3 or more grams fiber per serving.
  3. Mixed Greens Salad – Research has shown that when people dine out and they have either a salad or a piece of bread (roll) before the main meal, they eat less and feel fuller with a salad as the appetizer or starter. Lettuce and other greens used in salads contain water, some vitamins and minerals. The water content of foods can help with the food having a slimming effect. Aim to have a salad before your meals though do ditch the full fat dressings for more natural “vinaigrette” type dressing if you need one at all.
  4. Chicken and Fish – We are not saying that you must have chicken or fish with every meal, however research shows us that when the diet is higher in protein at the expense of some carbohydrate, that weight loss becomes easier. Diets that contain somewhere between 23 and 28 percent protein aid thermogenesis and satiety, so one burns more calories over a 24-hour period and feels less hungry. The tip is to always include protein in every meal or snack of the day. Protein foods include fish, chicken, turkey, fish, lean red meat, eggs and so forth.
  5. Plectranthus barbatus – is a plant that grows in India and other arid areas of the world. The common name for this food is Coleus Forskohlin (which has many spellings). Coleus (the root) is typically eaten as a pickle. Include it daily in your plan. Believe it or not, many medicines can be made from this plant. People also make tea from Coleus. Look to include this Indian and African botanical in your food meal or as a tea. It is also currently available in dietary supplement form with early evidence showing a weight loss effect.

 

Some say it is the small things that one does over time that can have a big impact. For slimming or weight management, this most certainly this is true. We believe including the aforementioned foods and themes in your diet is one sure way to help with weight and waist management. For great recipes to get you started see this link: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20678467_3,00.html

 

To Your Health!

– Douglas S. Kalman PhD RD

For more great health tips and advice, please follow us on Twitter at the following “handles”

 

@Miami_Nutrition and

@dougkalmanphdrd

Three Tips to Avoid Binging

Wine Glass

Every now and then do you enjoy a glass of wine with your dinner? Or perhaps, do you and your significant other sit, open a bottle of wine, enjoy some food and relax with each other? All of these aforementioned things can be fine and healthy and certainly are commonplace in adult society. So, should one worry if you like to include wine in your lifestyle?

 

Experts say that when it comes to food, to eat all things in moderation. However, how many moderates do you really know? Look around you with two-thirds of American society either overweight or obese, clearly the word moderation is not well understood. Yes, one can argue that weight status has nothing to do with enjoying the seasonal varietal, however such an argument might be short sighted. Weight status is related to how many calories we eat (consume) and how much we burn throughout the day and more importantly, over time. Can a single night of having perhaps instead of one glass of wine, but now three negatively affect you?

 

A new research study has found that having three glasses of wine can alter brain chemistry and decision making over the next 24-hours. In this study survey of over 2,000 adults, more than 50% said whenever they had three glasses of wine or more, within the next day, found themselves binging on food. The binge resulted in anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 calories being eaten within the 24-hour period. As you might guess, the majority of people in this study also did not exercise the day after they binged (meaning the day after just having three glasses of wine).

 

So if you know that you might be having more than three glasses of wine and do not want to suffer all of the consequences possible from this, what might you do?

 

  1. Do not drink on an empty stomach. Make sure to eat food throughout the day and of course, to keep it low sodium. Extra salt makes you thirstier, salting foods is a great bartenders trick to make you buy more drinks.
  2. For every glass of wine ingested, drink an equal amount of water. Have an extra glass of water before going to sleep. This can help offset the diuretic effects of alcohol and prepare your body for a healthy tomorrow.
  3. The next day, when you awake, have a big glass of water, stretch and have a healthy breakfast. Within an hour, go for exercise or at least a long walk of at least 45 minutes. This helps to maintain a great metabolism and promotes healthier digestion. In addition, the exercise and healthy eating helps set your brain for a great day.

 

No one purposely wants to overeat when knowing that they can end up overweight and unhealthy. Drinking three or more glasses of wine can affect thinking and other mental processes. Being aware of this when just enjoying a bottle of wine with a friend or a mate can help you prepare for success the next day versus overeating or binging on extra food. These three little steps can help protect you from unwanted next day and longer effects of a nice evening.

 

To Your Health!

– Douglas S. Kalman PhD RD

 

For more great health and lifestyle tips, please follow me on Twitter:

@Miami_Nutrition

@dougkalmanphdrd

 

Reference

 

1. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-27124357

Five Ways to Burn Extra Calories Without Trying

weight loss

Achieving and maintaining weight loss is not always so easy. Foods, snacks, beverages and more are constantly being advertised. It might now be more of a rarity to drive and not see a fast food restaurant and yet other places that sell or retail foods and beverages. Technology has opened up new ways of working and living to help us be more efficient with our time. One end result of these improvements is we are less active in general than in years past. Frustrations with weight can also result. Thinking about nutrition or health interventions that may be helpful, I examined the most current medical and scientific research as published by the National Library of Medicine. The tips are summarized below.

  1. 36,500 extra calories burned, just like that! One recent study found that by drinking extra tea one may burn about up to an extra 100 calories per day. Try drinking five cups of either green or oolong tea in order to enjoy this benefit (1,2).
  2. Might there be a treatment for cellulite? The answer is yes! In fact, it appears that Johnson & Johnson has a formula in mind, from what they recently tested in France, described as “topical cosmetic slimming product combining tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine, caffeine, carnitine, forskolin and retinol.” (3) Read your favorite product labels, if you see these ingredients, chances are, you have the product that was effective in the referenced study.
  3. Berberine, an alkaloid found in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has weight loss effects while also supporting healthy cholesterol (lipid) levels. (4)
  4. A new B-like vitamin positively influences energy metabolism and reduces inflammation. This vitamin is known as PQQ. Research dosage found to be beneficial in humans was about 20 mg (5).
  5. Whey for weight loss? Whey protein combined with glucomannan fiber aids in feelings of satiety. In fact, the reduction in want to eat correlated with hormonal indicators of the same. The dose needed of both ingredients was small, 8 grams whey plus 1-gram glucomannan (6). This is easy to find in the health food store or online.

Today’s blog goal was to share evidence-based, referenced modern scientific solutions to help you obtain your goals. The evidence shared on this blog is meant to be used as simple tips that may help you in weight loss support. Nutrition is an evolutionary science, we are always learning more. Hopefully this blog serves you well in helping you to achieve your health and fitness goals.

 

To Your Health!

 

– Douglas S. Kalman PhD RD

 

 

For more great health and lifestyle tips, please follow me on Twitter:

@Miami_Nutrition

@dougkalmanphdrd

 

References:

 

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=oolong+tea+and+thermogenesis
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20156466
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21564138
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22739410
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24231099
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24319546

Five Things You Did Not Know About Vitamin C

 

Citrus ImageVitamin C is a very popular vitamin, perhaps even the best known and selling vitamin worldwide. We are told from the time we are children that vitamin C is good for you, that we need to make sure to get enough vitamin C for health, strength and our immune system. Some people claim vitamin C can prevent colds (it cannot), cure cancer (it does not, but under certain circumstances may aid treatment to work better), and that vitamin C is the strongest antioxidant (it also, is not).

 

Historically vitamin C is best known for its ability to cure scurvy. Scurvy at one time was a prevalent disease in sailors. In probably the first clinical trial to ever happen on the open seas, James Lind in 1747 took 12 sailors who had scurvy and treated them with six different interventions. The only intervention that was effective for scurvy was oranges and lemons. This discovery, later validated via repeat work, was the start of the discovery of one property of vitamin C.

 

  1. Has vitamin C always been known as vitamin C? NO! In fact, vitamin C was first called “hexuronic acid”. Vitamin C did not become an official name for the vitamer until 1933.
  2. Humans can synthesize their own vitamin C. In fact, this is also NOT TRUE! For humans, vitamin C must be obtained through the diet, through foods or beverages that we eat. The closest things to a human, which synthesizes vitamin C internally and does not need it from the diet, are canines (dogs).
  3. Pasteurization is safe for vitamin C. No, No, No! Not true! Pasteurization while needed for food safety from a public health standpoint, actually destroys any naturally occurring vitamin C in the food that is about to be pasteurized. Any vitamin C you find in a pasteurized food is added after pasteurization, thus is supplemental, not natural.
  4. Smoking depletes the body of vitamin C. Yes this is true. Each cigarette or equivalent depletes the body of about 25mg of vitamin C. This is also one reason why health professionals recommend extra or higher amounts of vitamin C for people who smoke. Another reason smoking is no good for you.
  5. The current recommendations for daily vitamin C dietary levels are from 90 mg per day to no more than 2 grams per day. One orange typically can supply the days need for vitamin C. There are great many foods which are rich in vitamin C, to learn more, click on this link: http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=109

 

The above “fun facts” are designed to teach a little about vitamin C while also providing some guidance on how much to aim for daily through your diet or diet plus use of supplemental nutrition.

 

To Your Health!

 

-Douglas Kalman PhD, RD, FACN

 

For more great health information – please follow us on Twitter

@Miami_Nutrition

@dougkalmanphdrd

 

References:

 

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_C#cite_note-US_RDA-81
  2. http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=109

 

 

Ancient Science for Modern Health

Mountain Tea

Have you ever wondered whether there might be a higher power out there? No, I am not meaning to engage all of us in a discussion of religion, but rather a discussion about the evolution of nutrition. We are all aware that from the dawn of the human race, food was needed for survival. Without food, there is famine and ultimately no life. So, how did our very ancient forefathers and mothers realize just what to eat versus what not to have? As time and the Earth evolved, so did the advent of religion(s) and thus written dietary laws that helped steer people about foods. The point of this article is focused on what foods, herbals and botanicals ingested as food or drinks were commonly used in ancient times that are worth rediscovering now. Be prepared to learn about a few foods, spices and special beverages that might just be able to do more for you than promote generalized health.

 

  1.      Quinoa – Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is an ancient grain first brought to nutritional prominence by the ancient Andean population (about 4,000 years ago). This cereal like grain is most popular in Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, with it now becoming a worldwide superstar. Quinoa contains 14% protein (nearly the highest of any cereal-grain), B-vitamins, is high in minerals such as potassium, magnesium and iron, and also is rich in fiber. This is one ancient cereal-grain worth having in your diet. For great quinoa recipes, see http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/cooking-with-quinoa-00412000073996/
  2.      Wheat Berries -A wheat berry is the entire wheat kernel, including the bran, endosperm, and germ, meaning it is a whole grain. The third most abundant crop worldwide, following rice and corn, wheat berries are a great source of healthy carbohydrates. Nutrient count varies depending on the type of wheat berries you select. They can be soft or hard and come in a variety of colors. Overall, wheat berries are high in fiber and protein and contain a variety of nutrients including vitamin E, calcium, B vitamins, folate, and potassium. Eat wheat berries in place of pasta, rice, and other grains, or use them in salads and side dishes. They’re also a great alternative to oatmeal when blended with fresh fruit and nuts. Awesome wheat berry recipes can be found at http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/easy_wheat_berries_recipes?slide=1#leaderboardad
  3.      Shepherd’s Tea – Shepard’s tea is from ancient Greece. It is also known as Mountain tea, since the magic botanicals that are use to brew it only grow in select mountains above certain altitudes. The botanical name for this tea is Sideritis syriaca.  This tea is a stimulant and it is known to aid the immune system, while also promoting digestion. The tea is now being investigated for it’s anti-inflammatory effects, as well as ability to relieve anxiety. The ancient Greeks were certainly onto something with this tea! Learn about this tea here http://greekfood.about.com/od/mezethesdrinks/a/tsaitouvounou.htm
  4.      Boswellia serrata – Indian frankincense is also known as shallaki. It is found almost only in India. This botanical is considered a staple of Ayurvedic medicine. It has a wealth of naturally occurring pharmaceutically active components. Extracts have been studied for osteoarthritis, joint function, chronic inflammatory diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis, and so much more. Boswellia seems like a natural alternative to NSAID medications, which is quite safe and growing in popularity. Look for it to be standardized for the boswellic acids content. This botanical is more popular in dietary supplements versus the spice aisle at your local supermarket. No matter where you get your Boswellia, it is just plain good for you.
  5.      Cynomorium Root – this parasitic perennial flower is also known as the Maltese mushroom and the desert thumb.It grows in dry, rocky or sandy soils as well as in salt marshes. This rare flower is found in Europe, Arabia and throughout Asia. It has no chlorophyll and has to be dug out of the ground to be chosen for food. As this flower is pollinated, it has a sweet like odor. Classic ancient medicine used this flower as a sexual tonic, to treat iron losses and in the 9th century it was also used as a salve for skin conditions. This botanical can be eaten as it is “fruit like” or made into standardized extracts. One great resource is http://www.itmonline.org/arts/cynomorium.htm

 

It is my pleasure to share nutritional topics and insights that might be of interest to you and certainly this info is meant to be used for health promotion. Today’s blog was written with the goal of sparking your interest in some nutritional aids that you may not have heard of yet or ever tried. We hope that this information is useful to you – as we know you can apply these tips starting today, for a healthier and more diverse tomorrow.

 

Vida MD – To Your Health!

 

– Douglas Kalman PhD RD FACN.

 

For more great health tips, please follow us on @Miami_Nutrition and also @dougkalmanphdrd

Spirulina: The Superfood

 

spirulina

It’s not easy being green…but if you want to add color to your life some under the sea algae may help. Could we call algae “food”? You bet…and if there is such thing as superfood it can be applied to Spirulina. This algae (cyanbacteria) is incredible high in protein, essential aminoacids and nutrients, rich in Chlorophyll, and known for its high B-12 and iron content.

Does it taste good? On its own probably not unless your taste runs on the fishy side…but think about its great nutrition content. Spirulina has high content of protein and contains all essential amino acids. It is particularly rich in the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which has gotten a lot of attention as an anti-inflammatory. Spirulina is rich in Omega-3s and  Chlorophyll, it has a high concentration of bio-available iron.  Spirulina is a great source of vitamins B-1(thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (nicotinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E. It is also a good source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc. Spirulina is also very high in calcium even more so than milk.

So go ahead take the green splurge without diving into the ocean and add some Spirulina to your smoothies. Fish should not be the only ones to benefit from its goodness!

 

-Dr. Jackie Miodownik-Aisenberg M.D. PhD – Internist

For more daily health enhancing tips, please stay plugged into to this blog and follow us on Twitter @Miami_Nutrition

The Life Giving Fruit: Pomegranate

Flickr/Negin A

Flickr/Negin A

The pomegranate fruit (punica granatum) is believed to be native of Persia and has enjoyed great popularity through the ages. The fruit and its ruby-like seeds (arils) defines the Middle East and has been used for medicinal purposes for millennia. Believed to be the original fruit of temptation from the Garden of Eden it is also mentioned in ancient Babylonian texts, the Homeric Hymns, the Quran and Greek and Egyptian mythology.

 
This antioxidant rich nutritious fruit has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and life. The Greeks called pomegranates the “fruit of the dead,” referring to Hades tricking Persephone into eating its seeds to delay her departure. Ancient Egyptians saw the pomegranate as a symbol of prosperity as does the Judaic tradition which also views its multiple seeds as a representation of fruitfulness, and in Hinduism it embodies well being and fertility.

 
Modern science seems to back up the life giving properties of pomegranate. Its jewel-like seeds packed with powerful antioxidants and vitamins have been used for a variety of conditions including stomach upsets, hot flashes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and inflammation. Several studies have recently showed it may reduce risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol. It has been shown that the combination of the family of pharmaceutical drugs that lower cholesterol, known as statins, and pomegranate concentrate helps delay risk factors affecting the onset of atherosclerosis and its consequences – heart attack and stroke.

 
Go ahead and take the challenge. This tart and sweet fruit is a tasty and nutritious snack. And if purple-tinted fingers are not your fashion style you may choose to drink a delicious fresh pomegranate juice!

-Dr. Jackie Miodownik-Aisenberg M.D. PhD – Internist

For more daily health enhancing tips, please stay plugged into to this blog and follow us on Twitter @Miami_Nutrition

The Health Benefits of Black Pepper

Flickr/Brandon Grasley

Flickr/Brandon Grasley

One of the most popular spices, black pepper, has often been misunderstood as the pauper of the spice world.  An equal opportunity culinary player, paper packaged for fast food consumption and freshly grounded in haute cuisine, as it turns out it not only spices but also heals.

Is it possible to consider a spice as medicine? Different cultures have used their native plants for their botanical pharmacological healing properties for millennia. Ancient Indian Ayurvedic tradition has used Piper nigrum for centuries particularly to help with upper respiratory infections, improve breathing, help with cardiac health, gastrointestinal issues and diabetes.

Modern medical research findings seems to align with these findings, as some research has shown that a water extract of black pepper has potential immune-modulating and anti-tumor activities in vitro and other studies showed that an oil extract of black pepper had strong antioxidant effects.

Include pepper in your next culinary adventure and it will not only invigorate your taste buds but possibly benefit your health!

-Dr. Jackie Miodownik-Aisenberg M.D. PhD – Internist

For more daily health enhancing tips, please stay plugged into to this blog and follow us on Twitter @Miami_Nutrition