One reason to be as healthy as possible before you give birth is that your newborn will continue to be largely dependent on mom’s immune system while his or hers is still developing. The more normal your weight, blood sugar, and inflammatory markers are during pregnancy, the better the chances that your breast milk will contain the optimum nutrient levels for your baby’s health at birth and throughout life. Not only will particular compounds in your breast milk (which are not found in formula) help your baby to avoid infection, allergies, and asthma-like symptoms, they will also reduce his or her chances of developing serious autoimmune diseases, including type I diabetes. In fact, breast-feeding has been shown to protect babies from a wide range of potential diseases and developmental issues, including obesity.
To make sure that you pass along optimum immunity and a chance to achieve a lifetime of great health for your infant, it is important that “mom” consume as many health-promoting nutrients (including vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients) as possible.
Breastfeeding is also good for mom. Not only does it speed up the loss of post-pregnancy weight, is has also been shown to reduce mom’s stress level, and risk for developing future heart disease and breast cancer.
Babies were exclusively breast-fed for thousands of years. It is only as formula has become more readily available and societies have become industrialized and affluent that women have even had the ability to choose whether to breastfeed. In fact, in some instances choosing NOT to breastfeed has become a socioeconomic status symbol. Unfortunately, this is one instance in which modernization and “freedom” is not an improvement. There are, of course, some instances when a mom cannot breastfeed, and we are all blessed that companies have developed formula. For more on breastfeeding, you can purchase on Amazon my book: SuperFoods Rx For Pregnancy-The Right Choices for A Healthy, Smart, Superbaby, John Wiley & Sons, 2013.
TEN TIPS FOR THE PREVENTION OF MIGRAINE HEADACHES
90% of all headaches are either migraine or so called tension headaches, or a mixture of the two. 25% of Migraine headaches occur with an aura. -16% of women and 6% of men suffer from migraine headaches in the United States -Migraine headache TRIGGERS -menstruation -strong smells -gum chewing -teeth grinding (night) -dehydration -lack of sleep/insomnia -rapid weather changes -alcohol, especially red wine, dark beers -low blood sugar -aspartame -dietary -processed meats -MSG (monosodium glutamate) -aged cheese -chocolate -caffeine -Possible: imbalance in essential fatty acids, with too many omega 6 fats and not enough omega 3 fatty acids. Ideal ratio is somewhere between equal CONSUMPTION of omega 3’s and omega 6’s up to about 4 to 1 omega 6’s over omega 3 fats. Restricted n-6 consumption and or increased n-3 EPA and DHA intake seems to increase the abundance and subsequent metabolism of EPA and DHA metabolites with proven analgesic/anti-inflammatories properties (omega 6 = n-6 and omega 3 = n-3) *dietary triggers can act 1-2 days after consumption *8-20% of patients with migraine headaches report a dietary trigger -PREVENTING MIGRAINE HEADACHES THE “NATURAL WAY” **The ENTIRE “program” should be DAILY, “FOREVER” **A thorough Ophthalmological exam is part of a medical headache evaluation. As a result, over the last 40 years I have examined “headache patients” 100’s of times. The following prevention program has been an important part of my recommendations to patients. In most cases, the number and severity of migraine headaches has been significantly REDUCED. It may take up to THREE months to MAXIMIZE the reduction in headache numbers/severity.
1. avoid dietary triggers
2. 7-8 hours of sleep nightly
3. 45-60 minutes of physical activity most days
4. breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner
5. hydrate ! Your pee should be “clear”, unless yellow from B-vitamins
6. 1-2 cups of berries most days (all berries are great, but be sure and include blueberries in the “mix” multiple times weekly). ALSO, purple grapes, Concord grape juice, pomegranates/pomegranate juice, raisins, eggplant, Tart cherry juice, cherries, and Cherry juice. All juices should be 100% juice.
7. aim for a BMI (body mass index) of < 25
8. Go organic when possible, and use paraben/phthalate free products. No pesticides!!
9. BECOME A “SEAFOOD LOVER”: 3.5-4.0 ounces of fish 2-4x weekly. The following seafood have always been on my SuperFoods list: Wild Alaskan salmon-Sockeye being my favorite, Herring, Albacore tuna (6 ounces/week), Oysters, Clams, Arctic Char, Halibut, Sardines, Crab, Mussels, Mackerel.
10. SUPPLEMENTS -Metagenics PhytoMulti, one with breakfast and one with dinner. www.phytomulti.com -Natural Factors Turmeric & Bromelain 450 mg: 2 with breakfast, 2 with dinner. -KAL Magnesium Glycinate 400: 1-1.5 tablets-take with meals 2x daily. www.kalvitamins.com -Bilberry Extract: one 2x daily with food (any mg “dose” will do, there are multiple companies and products. Bilberry = European blueberry. -Nature’s Way Standardized Cinnamon: 500 mg with food 1x daily. www.naturesway.com -Trunature Grape Seed & Resveratrol: ½ tablet 2x daily with food www.costco.com -Vitamin D3: dose/day depends on your 25(OH) vitamin D3 level. Aim for a blood test result of 50-75 ng/ml. See your healthcare professional for guidance as to your individual dose to achieve the aforementioned level. -CoQ10: There are many brands, and a wide variation in price. My favorite is Kirkland Maximum Potency CoQ10 300 mg. Take one with breakfast daily. www.costco.com -Probiotics. Since 75% of our immune system is in our GI tract (the so called “Galt”) Inflammation plays a role in headaches, and since our immune system is the primary regulator of inflammation throughout the body, probiotics play a role in headache prevention (by promoting GI/immune system health). My favorite combination: Nature’s Bounty Ultra Strength Probiotic 10 –one capsule with breakfast (www.NaturesBounty.com), and Metagenics UltraFlora Spectrum- 1 capsule with dinner (800 692 9400) -Alpha-Lipoic Acid. There are many brands and strengths of this potent antioxidant and mitochondrial “booster” (mitochondria are the energy production centers in our cells). My favorite supplement: Jarrow Formula R- Lipoic Acid + Biotin. Take one capsule with breakfast daily. www.Jarrow.com This product has 100 mg of R Alpha Lipoic Acid and 150 mcg’s of d-Biotin. -Taurine. 500 mg one to two times daily, with breakfast and or dinner. Solgar Taurine 500 mg. www.solgar.com -Omega 3 fatty acids. My two favorite supplements are Metagenics OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 720: for men and women- two with breakfast and one-two with dinner. 800 692 9400 OR Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega 1280 mg Omega-3: for men and women-take two with Breakfast and one-two with dinner. www.nordicnaturals.com -There have been studies reporting the efficacy of two botanicals: Feverfew and Butterbur. I have no experience with these two products. As a result, I cannot recommend their use in the prevention and or treatment of headaches. “The Natural Way” does not discuss the prescriptions used for Migraine or other Headaches. . The “Natural Way” CAN BE USED in conjunction with more traditional medical therapies -ALL PATIENTS WITH HEADACHES SHOULD BE EVALUATED BY A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL TO BE SURE A LIFE-THREATENING MEDICAL CONDITION DOES NOT PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR HEADACHE
Also known as germ cell tumors (GCTs): In general, divided into seminoma or non-seminoma GCTs – Accounts for only about 1% of male cancers in the United States – The most common malignancy in young men, 15-35 years old – Median age at diagnosis= 34 – In 2007 there were 8,820 new cases of testicular cancer, while only 340 (4%) of these patients died of their cancer • incidence of GCTs, especially in Caucasian populations, is increasing globally • lifetime risk in U.S. Caucasian men about 1 in 230, with rates in African American men and Hispanic men living in the U.S., although less than U.S. Caucasian men, also increasing • lifetime risk in Danish men exceeds 1% • rates of testicular cancer in industrialized nations about five times higher than in less developed regions of the world • Life expectancy of men diagnosed with testicular cancer, beyond the second year post-diagnosis, is nearly identical to the general population – As with many other cancers, the incidence of non-GCTs is increasing following successful treatment of testicular cancer • the 40 year cumulative incidence of a 2nd malignant neoplasm is about one in three • treatment related complications such as delayed cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, kidney-hearing-pulmonary related toxicity, have been reported • sexual dysfunction and fertility “issues” are also common post treatment – About 1.4% of men with testicular cancer have a positive family history – sons of men with testicular cancer (GCTs) have a 4-6 fold increased risk – siblings of men with testicular GCT have a 8-10 fold increased risk – Therapeutic Options: treatment options beyond the scope of this review, but they are successful in most instances- CONSULT WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL
TIPS FOR BREAST CANCER PREVENTION
Have a yearly mammogram starting at age forty and a clinical breast exam every year as well. Start breast self exams at the age of twenty.
If you are planning on having children, speak with your health care professional about strategies to keep your weight under control durning the pregnancy. Breast feed for six to twelve months to help ensure a lifetime of SuperHealth for your child and help decrease your risk of breast cancer.
Avoid alcohol if you have a family history of breast cancer. If you don’t, then you should have no more than three drinks per week.
Choose healthy fats such as: first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, fat from nuts and seeds, avocados, whole grains and wild alaskan salmon.
Watch your weight and waistline.
Be physically active.
Eat plenty of vegetables.
Make sure you are not deficient in Vitamin D. Talk to your physician about a blood test.
Find a way to enjoy 10-15 grams of soy protein from whole foods such as, soy, soy milk, tofu, edamame and soy nuts, per day. (breast cancer survivors should check with their health care professionals) Also enjoy legumes. (lentils, chickpeas, black beans, green pees and pinto beans.
Consume plenty of fiber from whole fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals, and brown rice. Avoid refined grains.
Time to protect your skin and prevent skin cancer through the foods you eat.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers in the United States. If your younger than age sixty and diagnosed with skin cancer, your risk for multiple systemic cancers is significantly increased. Therefore, healthy skin equals healthy immune system which equals decreased risk for not only skin cancer, but also for systemic cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, and Leukemia.
Not only do you want to use a good sunscreen but you want to eat foods that significantly lower your risk for cancer. (These can be found in my Superhealth Book) Be sure to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours. Pay careful attention to your nose, lips, ears, chest and face. These are the places where the most dangerous skin cancers are likely to form. You should avoid the sun between 10am and 3pm. What my wife and I do everyday is we have about 4ozs of carrot juice in the morning and 4ozs of RW Knudsen Very Veggie Vegetable Cocktail in the evening before dinner. This will offer some protection from the sun. Within 4-6 weeks you will also notice your skin will have a natural tan.
Have a happy, healthy summer!