Fats - Good or Bad

Fats: Good or Bad?

Fats - Good or BadThe answer is both!

Not all fats are created equal! Highly processed, hydrogenated fats which are used in packaged foods are extremely dangerous to our bodies. These bad fats can lead to problems with your immune system, cardiovascular system, and even your behavior and mood. They contribute to weight gain, skin conditions, high blood pressure, and liver damage. Unhealthy fats includes trans-fat and inflammatory vegetable oils. Unfortunately, these fats have increased in our diet as they make us fatter and contribute to inflammation, which plays a role in nearly every chronic disease on the planet.

So, Where is the Good Part?

Well, our body needs healthy fats for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, organ protection, and most importantly for brain health. These fats can steady our metabolism, maintain hormone levels, nourish our skin, hair and nails, and provide lubrication to keep our body functioning properly.

Healthy fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bone as key bone-building vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they rely on fats to be absorbed and transported within the body. In order to have proper lung function, the airspaces of the lungs have to be coated with a thin layer of lung surfactant, which is 100 percent saturated fatty acids. Your brain is mainly made of fat (60%) and cholesterol (40%). A diet without healthy fats robs your brain of raw materials it needs to function optimally. A diet with healthy fats supports memory and is critical for overall brain function. Certain healthy fats, such as coconut oil and oily fish are necessary for proper nerve function and protection. These nerves influence everything in the body from metabolism and muscle movement to the appropriate release of insulin.

What are the Healthy Fats?

  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Coconuts
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Nut Butters (such as, almond butter and tahini)
  • Wild-caught salmon and cod
  • Organic pasture-raised eggs
  • High quality organic oils: Organic cold-pressed extra virgin and unrefined (such as, olive oil and coconut oil)

There are so many benefits for including more healthy fats into your diet, therefore, it’s important to include a variety of sources as they all offer a variety of benefits. The right fats can improve your mood, skin, and hair, while protecting you against diabetes, dementia, cancer, and much more. Try a new fat today!

Tips on How to Use Healthy Fats

  • For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying or baking) use coconut oil.
  • For sautéing, use olive or coconut oil.
  • Use avocado as a wonderful dressing to a salad or a spread on a sandwich.
  • Add a spoonful of coconut oil to a smoothie.
  • Cook eggs in coconut oil for the ultimate healthy fat dish.

If you have any questions, contact our office by emailing blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com or calling 727-498-5643.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding?

Benefits of Breastfeeding

According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, breast milk is thought of as nectar and breastfeeding is considered the primary method of giving love to your child. It is through breastfeeding that the child forms his/her first understanding of, and bond, with the mother – a relationship that will impact all that follows. Fortunately, breastfeeding does more than create a connection between mom and baby.

A mother’s milk is one of the most precious sources of vitamins for mammals. Breastfeeding assists in the development of an intricate immune system and most importantly, a healthy gastrointestinal tract, which houses 70% of our immune system. Breast milk is easier to digest than formula. The proteins in formula are made from cow’s milk, and it takes time for babies’ stomachs to adjust to digesting them. Moreover, by holding and breastfeeding your baby, you are teaching him/her how to regulate their body temperature through your breath and heart beat.

Tips for Breastfeeding:

  • Breastfeed for at least 12 months.
  • Breastfeed as soon as possible and often, and as long as your baby needs to.
  • Don’t feel like you have enough milk? Breastfeed more often! Breast milk is supply and demand.
  • Food before one is just for fun. It is encouraged to be exclusively breastfeeding for the first year.

The body develops a miraculous predecessor called colostrum, also known as liquid gold, during pregnancy and just after birth for the baby. This substance is super-rich in antibodies, protein, and minerals, all which lead the baby’s immune system off to the best possible start. The immune system is the body’s best defense mechanism for maintaining a healthy body; therefore colostrum promotes a strong immune system that is equipped to fight against cancer. Colostrum contains antimicrobial properties, which aids in reducing the frequency of infections and respiratory problems.

Breast milk changes as your baby grows. Colostrum changes into what is called mature milk. By the third to fifth day after birth, this mature breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow.

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding:

  • Protects your baby from a long list of illnesses
  • Protects your baby from developing allergies
  • Lower your baby’s risk of SIDS
  • Boosts your child’s intelligence
  • Protects your child from obesity
  • Reduce your stress level
  • Reduce your risk of postpartum depression
  • Reduce your risk of some types of cancers and diabetes

For more information about the health benefits, common questions, and learning to breastfeed, visit womenshealth.gov or breastfeedingusa.org, or speak to your local Birth Doula or Lactation Counselor.

Birth Center of St. Pete and Breath of Life Women’s Health Center are great local resources.

Tampa Bay Birth Network is a great support and educational resource.

Different Name For Sugar

What Are The Different Names For Sugar?

Text Neck

Text Neck – A New Epidemic

Text NeckWhen you walk around town, how many people do you notice walking around while looking down at their iPad or iPhone? The other night my husband and I went out for dinner and noticed seven children playing games on an iPad and ten adults checking email or texting.
It is estimated that the average child spends 7 hours a day on some sort of media device while teens and adults spend approximately 9 hours per day. With an increase in technology, what impact is this having on the spine and nervous system? And, is the “text neck” caused by constantly looking down at devices becoming an epidemic?

Effects of Increased Usage

When children are born, they spend the first few months trying to lift and hold their head up. This is a critical time during development because this action forms the C-shaped curve in the neck. This C-shaped curve is designed to support the weight of the head.

When or your child looks down at the computer, iPad, phone, etc. this reverses the c shaped curve that we developed as an infant, and places stress onto the nerves going into the neck and upper back. Overtime, this can lead to headaches, sinus/allergy issues, decreased immunity, neck pain, back pain, stiffness, carpal tunnel, or arthritis.

Impact of Heading Being Forward

In fact, research has shown that for every inch forward that the head goes, the weight on the upper back is increased by ten pounds. So, if your child’s head is looking down at the iPad, and the head is positioned two inches forward, this adds 20 pounds of additional weight onto their developing spine.
As a chiropractor, I am seeing individuals in their 20’s come in with massive amount of degeneration and arthritis forming in the neck because of this new epidemic of “text neck”. Think about it- Millennials are the first generation to grow up with technology in front of them!
Since we become more dependent on technology as time evolves, here are top 2 tips to maintain your spine and nervous system:

  1. Hold the technology at eye level so that you and your kids are not looking down
  2. Get under chiropractic care from an early age! Gentle and specific chiropractic adjustments allow you to maintain the C-shape curve in the neck, and relieve any stress that is placed onto the nervous system, and prevent future health challenges from occurring!

If you know anyone with “text neck”, have them contact our office by emailing blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com or calling 727-498-5643. We can help!

Breakfast Options for Kids

The Best Breakfast Options For Kids

Breakfast Options for KidsIt’s the first week of school and life is chaotic! With all the new school year excitement, nutrition can easily be overlooked. However, proper food choices are crucial for these busy periods. After all, the food we put into our kids’ bodies is the fuel that gives them energy throughout the day. Should our children be running on sugar and processed foods? No, these nutrient deficient foods leads to energy crashes and developmental challenges. So, lets talk about some healthy breakfast options for these busy mornings!

When thinking about fast, easy, and nutrient dense meals, here are a few guidelines…

Guidelines:

  • Include healthy omega-3 fats (i.e. Avocado; coconut milk, coconut oil; organic grass fed meats; seeds). These fats support the brain and cellular function, and keep us full longer!
  • Include some type of protein source (i.e. organic, pasture-raised eggs; chia seeds; hemp seeds; grass fed meat). Protein helps to rebuild tissue, support the immune system, and hormone production.
  • Avoid processed grains. They are inflammatory to the body and have detrimental effects on the body and brain!

Here are my favorite breakfast recipes that are fast, easy, delicious and nutritious!

Paleo Pancakes:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add butter
  • Mash banana chunks in a bowl using a fork until it becomes a wet consistency. Add egg and whisk mixture until batter is smooth.
  • Drop batter into the hot butter to make 2 pancakes. Cook for 3 minutes, and then flip for 2 minutes.
  • Add organic, pure maple syrup for a sweet treat!

Smoothie:

  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of berries
  • 2 cups of raw, organic spinach
  • Blend and enjoy!

Eggs & Avocado:

  • Scramble organic, pasture-raised eggs in coconut oil or grass fed butter
  • Slice up avocado and sprinkle some Himalayan sea salt on it
  • Toss the avocado on top of the scrambled eggs and eat!

For more easy breakfast options, check out one of my favorite bloggers, Paleo Mom. Here is one specific article with tons of information and resources on foods for kids!

http://www.thepaleomom.com/paleo-for-kids

Tips for staying healthy throughout the school year

3 Tips For Keeping Your Family Healthy Throughout The School Year

Tips for staying healthy throughout the school yearWith summer coming to an end, kids are going back to school….and we all know what that means, GERMS! First your little one comes home with a snotty nose, then mom gets it, then dad. It’s a family affair!

There are several things that I recommend families in my practice do when trying to stay healthy throughout the school year. Here are my top 3 tips.

1) Get Plenty of Sleep

Research now shows that sleep directly affects the immune system. When we sleep, our body creates and releases certain disease fighting substances. Our bodies needs these hormones, proteins, and chemicals to fight off disease and infection. Sleep deprivation decreases the availability of these substances and leaves us more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. If we are sleep deprived and become sick, we will stay sick for a longer period of time because our bodies lack the resources to fight off the bad guys!

Here is a guide as to how much sleep you and your family should be getting each night based on age:

  • 1-4 weeks: 15-16 hours per day
  • 1 -12 months: 14-15 hours per day
  • 1-3 years: 12-14 hours per day
  • 3-6 years: 10-12 hours per day
  • 7- 12 years: 10- 11 hours per day
  • 12- 18 years: 8-9 hours per day
  • 18 years- adulthood: 7-9 hours per day

2) Take A Vitamin D Supplement

Vitamin D plays a HUGE role in your health, influencing nearly 3,000 of your genes and playing critical role in your immune response. Vitamin D is being called a “miracle nutrient” for your immune system because it enables your body to produce over 200 anti-microbial peptides (these peptides help to fight a wide range of infections)! In fact, a recent Japanese study showed that school children taking vitamin D3 supplements were 58% less likely to catch the flu.

I recommend that all members of the family take a daily D3 supplement. My favorite brand is the liquid D3 drops from Innate Choice. Innate Choice is a quality, affordable brand developed by a fellow chiropractor, scientist, and nutrition expert, Dr. James Chestnut. My husband and I have been taking this for years to keep healthy!

3) Get Adjusted Regularly!

The nervous system controls every system in our bodies including our immune system. When the spine is misaligned, it places stress on our nervous system and our immune system is weakened. Research shows that chiropractic adjustments increase white blood cell counts and boost overall immune function by 200%. In order for us to be as healthy as possible, we need regular chiropractic adjustments to ensure that our body is functioning optimally.

Probiotics While On Antibiotics

Taking Probiotics While On Antibotics

Probiotics While On AntibioticsWhenever we feel sinus or cold like symptoms start to kick in, many people turn to antibiotics to clear things up. While antibiotics destroy the harmful bacteria that is intruding our system, they also destroy the healthy bacteria that keep our gut and immune system strong. In fact, if we break down the word antibiotic, “anti” means against and “biotic” referring to living organisms. So, antibiotics fight all bacteria (both the good and the bad)!

What Happens In Our Gut While Taking Antibiotics:

  1. Antibiotics wipe out all the good and bad bacteria in our gut/li>
  2. There is no good bacteria left to fight off the viruses/ disease/li>
  3. Our immune system is compromised/li>
  4. Bacteria becomes stronger and resistant to future antibiotics

Don’t get me wrong- I believe antibiotics are a good thing in emergency or life threatening situations. However, when we take them, we should be intentional about replenishing the good gut bacteria with probiotics (“pro- in favor of and “biotic”- living organisms).

Since 70% of our immune system lies within our gut, our bodies depend on good gut bacteria to stay healthy. In addition to decreasing inflammation, balancing gut flora, and supporting our gut’s natural ability to fight illnesses and disease, probiotics also line the intestinal walls to ensure that harmful bacteria cannot escape to the rest of our body! They act as our body’s own shield!

Probiotics naturally occur in fermented food/drinks like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha. However, many Americans need a little extra intestinal support and take a probiotic supplement. When taking a probiotic supplement, you will want to ensure that it is a good quality product that is actually supporting your gut. Brands that I recommend to my practice members include: Klaire Labs (infant probiotic) and Standard Process’s Prosymbiotic (for adults).

If you have any questions regarding your families health, please contact our office at blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com or call us at 727-498-5643.

Chiropractic Care, Just like Brushing Your Teeth

Chiropractic Care, Just like Brushing Your Teeth

Chiropractic Care,     Just like Brushing Your TeethThe majority of people know how important proper dental hygiene is. From a young age, we have been taught to brush our teeth twice a day, floss, and visit the dentist twice a year. This ensures that we have bright white smiles, that we prevent cavities, and tooth decay. We know that in order to keep our smile perfect, it requires maintenance.

What About Spinal Hygiene?

We all understand the importance of oral hygiene….but what about spinal hygiene? Do we give our spine the same attention that we do teeth? Most individuals have never thought about spinal hygiene, what it means, or how it can affect our body. However, if we can understand how important our spine is, we will understand EVERYONE should be under regular chiropractic care throughout his/her life.

Your spine is incredibly important because it houses the nervous system which controls virtually every aspect of your body’s ability to function. In the same way that you get your oil changed, or your teeth cleaned, your spine requires the same maintenance with chiropractic adjustments. While you don’t need to be adjusted twice a day, you should be adjusted routinely to keep your spine in the proper alignment so that your body can function optimally!

When misalignments (subluxations) occur in your spine, it places stress onto your nervous system and can not only cause pain, but other health conditions like migraines, sciatic pain, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, digestive problems, dizziness, etc. Just like brushing removes unwanted particles from your teeth, chiropractic adjustments remove these unwanted subluxations. By placing the spine into the correct alignment, your body is able to function properly, and prevent many health conditions from ever occurring!

Being Proactive vs. Reactive

It is important to keep proper spinal maintenance in mind when it comes to being proactive with your health and taking care of your body. Many people will wait to visit a chiropractor until they are in pain, only to find that they have multiple subluxations and issues that could have been prevented with regular chiropractic care. Often times, if people wait until they are in pain, they have already done a great deal of damage to their spine; some that may not be reversible.

Last year, I had a woman come into the office with severe neck pain. She told me that the pain had only started last week after she slept funny. However, when we took an x-ray of her spine, she had stage 4 degeneration. The disc spaces were severely narrowed, she had massive amounts of arthritis formed, and her neck was fused together due to the massive amount of bone spurs. Although she only started feeling pain the week before, she had waited too long to come into the office. There was nothing chiropractic could do to help. At that point, she was facing surgery. After I explained that the degeneration started when she was a child, the woman cried and said that she wished she had come into the office 20 years earlier.

If people came to see a chiropractor at the same age they started taking care of their teeth (as an infant), many of these issues could be prevented. Just like your teeth, car, or relationship, if we don’t maintain our spine, it will fall apart.

If you are ready to take control of your health and see how your spine and nervous system are functioning, contact our office to schedule a new patient appointment at blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com or at 727-498-5643.

Your body will thank you 🙂

Best Way to Treat a Fever

The Best Way to Treat a Fever

Best Way to Treat a FeverWith school starting back soon, parents fear their child coming home “sick”. These kids go back to school, start playing with their friends, and share everything (including viruses and bacteria)! First comes the sniffle, then the cough, then the achy-ness and fever. Sound familiar?

As parents, we want to do everything in our power to get our child healthy again. To accomplish this, most parents rush for medication to try and “break” the fever when it strikes. However, research has shown that these medications are doing more harm than good. Studies have found that Tylenol and other fever-reducing medications actually suppress the body’s production of antibodies which causes the infection to last up to 50% longer.

So Is Fever A Good Or Bad Thing?

Many people are surprised to hear that fever is actually our friend! Fever is the body’s natural response to fight off infection. In fact, our bodies are so intelligent that when they detect a “bad guy”, our internal temperature rises to kill of the invading bacteria or virus. When the body’s immune system is able to go through this natural defense process, it creates a stronger and quicker immune response the next time that your child comes in contact with nasty viruses or bacteria.

If your child has a fever, there are several things that you can do to boost his/her immune system to give him/her the best chance at fighting an infection:

1) Get Adjusted

The Nervous System is the air-traffic controller for our body. It controls and coordinates all systems in our body, including our immune system. By getting adjusted, it ensures that our nervous system is working optimally so we can fight the infection as fast as possible! Research shows that chiropractic adjustments boost the immune system by 200%. Who doesn’t want to heal quicker?

2) Breastfeed

If you are able to breastfeed your child, do so! Mother’s milk contains antibodies that will help to fight your baby’s infection.

3) Lots of Sleep

Encourage your child to stay home and rest. Instead of expending energy on activities, sleep so that your body can concentrate on fighting this infection by letting the fever run its course.

4) Avoid Sugar

Sugar suppresses the immune systems’ ability to fight the infection. Try to avoid sugary liquids (i.e. Gatorade, Orange Juice) and foods. Avoid trying to force your child to eat as they will eat when they are ready. A good made chicken broth is a great alternative full of pro-biotics and easily digestible!

So, instead of thinking your child is “sick” when he/she has a fever, have faith that his/her body is expressing health optimally! The body is doing EXACTLY what it needs to do to rid the body of the infection quickly, safely, and effectively. Let’s take confidence in our body because the best way to treat a fever is to let it run its course!

Natural Ways to Help Infertility

Natural Ways to Help Infertility

Natural Ways to Help InfertilityIn the United States, nearly 13% of couples struggle with infertility. This heartache and emotional turmoil continues to effect more and more people every year. As society becomes more focused on health and wellness, many couples are steering away from conventional medical treatments and looking for holistic or natural options, like chiropractic care, to become pregnant.

The conventional medical management of fertility includes medication (clomid or letrozole), IUI, or IVF options. Although these treatments yield a 10-35% success rate, many couples worry about the unwanted side effects and the chemical influence from the medication, and the significant cost involved for conventional treatment. With medical costs ranging from $6,000 – $20,000 per menstrual cycle, costs can add up quickly and make these treatment options unaffordable for many couples. Due to these circumstances, many couples have turned to chiropractic care as a viable and natural alternative for infertility. In fact, research proves that traditional medical care is no more effective than chiropractic care for the treatment of infertility.

How can Chiropractic Help Infertility?

Chiropractic care works to restore proper nerve function between the brain and the body, which is essential for good health. The spinal cord, which transmits these nerve impulses, is protected by the spinal column. When spinal misalignments or subluxations are present, they disturb normal nerve function and cause dysfunction within the body. This dysfunction can appear as pain, hormonal imbalances, high blood pressure, infertility, etc. Chiropractic adjustments restore proper alignment to the spine, and increase the ability of your nervous system (master control system) to adapt and function optimally. Although chiropractic is not specifically designed to “treat” infertility, many couples are able to conceive naturally as their body functions properly.

With my specialty in pre-conception, and passion for infertility cases, I have noticed a common theme among the majority of women struggling with infertility. They are usually successful women who have a high standard of self-achievement, put other’s needs ahead of their own, and are constantly on the go! These women’s lives are so fast paced, that they do not even realize how much emotional stress that they are constantly under. This constant level of stress puts their nervous system into “fight or flight” or survival mode. The problem is, the body cannot be in survival/stress mode while also growing and developing a baby. Chiropractic adjustments combat this stress by activating the part of the nervous system that is needed for conception and growth of a baby.

In our office, many women who have struggled with infrequent or irregular periods have been able to establish a regular period under routine chiropractic care. After restoring normal ovulation, many of those women have been able to conceive naturally without the use of drugs or surgery.

Recent research documented two case studies in which patients presented to the chiropractic office with complaints of infertility. Both women saw positive physiological changes, with one case resulting in a healthy pregnancy. Although chiropractic was never intended to “treat” the infertility, the adjustments restored proper neurological function and allowed the body to adapt to various chemical, physical, and emotional stressors the women were dealing with.

In our office, we joke that when couples are under regular chiropractic care, pregnancy just happens. When stress on the nervous system is removed, the body is able to function the way it was designed to, allowing for proper hormone regulation, ovulation, and reproduction function.

If you are preparing for pregnancy, or have been struggling with infertility issues, give your body the best chance at conception by getting your nervous system checked. Our office, Blossom Family Chiropractic, focuses on pre-conception, pre-natal, post-partum, and pediatric care, and provides quality chiropractic care to those in the Saint Petersburg, Tampa, and Clearwater areas. If you have any questions regarding infertility and chiropractic, or if you would like to make an appointment, please contact our office at 727-498-5643 or email blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com.