Complete Natural Health Care

Is Alcohol a Detriment to Your Health?

 
A glass of wine with dinner. A beer after a hard day of work. It’s not hard to integrate an occasional drink with a healthy lifestyle. Or is it?
 
In recent years, we’ve read that red wine is rich with antioxidants, and that an occasional beer can raise “good” cholesterol. But results from a new study suggest that even moderate alcohol consumption – the kind we tell ourselves is healthy – may actually be detrimental to our health. In other words, the much-heralded health benefits of drinking don’t outweigh the risks. As a result, there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.

A recently published research study looks at data collected in almost 700 studies, spanning 195 countries and territories. Some of the findings are startling:

●  Alcohol is the leading risk factor for death in the age 15 through 49 age group.
●  Alcohol use was responsible for 2.8 million deaths worldwide in 2016.
●  For women in particular, the health risks increase with age. Alcohol was responsible for over 27 percent of cancer deaths in women over 50.

The authors of the study are firm in their conclusion: “By evaluating all associated relative risks for alcohol use, we found that consuming zero standard drinks daily minimizes the overall risk to health.”

In other words, the only safe amount of drinks is none at all. This finding differs from many earlier studies, which often concluded that moderate drinking was the best approach.

Why did this study reach a more decisive conclusion than previous examinations of alcohol’s effect on health? Several factors come into play. This study was careful to consider the ways they measured consumption. For example, researchers looked at regional variations in alcohol consumption that could be attributed to things like tourism. In addition, the study looked at alcohol’s impact on 23 different health-related problems. For some of those problems (such as heart disease), mild alcohol consumption had a positive effect. But that positive effect was balanced by a greater negative impact on other health issues. Cancer is a strong example of this.

What does this mean for you? If you drink, should you stop? Alcohol consumption is a very personal decision. This study looked at the picture, worldwide. It was not studying individuals, but rather analyzing vast amounts of data previously collected, specifically looking at the risks for the 23 health issues. That data was conclusive. But it’s up to you how you apply it to your own life. This latest study can’t, for example, tell you if it’s OK to have some wine for New Year’s given your own unique genetics and other lifestyle factors.

One thing is clear: If you’ve told yourself that drinking is healthy, you may want to reconsider that rationale. That doesn’t necessarily mean you must immediately quit. However, in deciding whether or not alcohol is something you want in your life, it’s best to be realistic about the health risks.

If you’re wondering about alcohol, talk to a healthcare practitioner. And be upfront about your drinking during the visit. Many people under report how much they drink, but it’s best to be honest. You want to have an open discussion about all of your health concerns. Remember that healthcare providers aren’t looking to judge you: they want to work with you to create your best life.

You also want to look at your own medical history and perhaps check out more specific studies. For example, another recently published study concluded that alcohol is the biggest controllable risk factor for dementia. If you have other dementia risk factors that are out of your control, such as a genetic history, you may want take action on the things you can control.

Similarly, if you have a history of depression, consider alcohol’s impact on mental health. If you are trying to control your weight, the extra calories of alcohol aren’t going to help. Alcohol can also lower your judgment and keep you from making your best decisions.

Whenever you’re confused about a health issue, the best approach is to consider it from a sample study of one: yourself. That means talking to a healthcare provider about your own personal history and choices and your current health concerns. We can help you sort through all of the information you face every day and figure out what’s best for your unique body- in fact we are experts in doing just that! Give our office a call, we are here to help!
 
Sources: Source #1 Source #2 Source #3

Is a Myer’s Cocktail IV Right for Me?

This well-known formula provides 100% absorbable vitamins and minerals that quickly boost energy and immunity. The core nutrients of the Myer’s cocktail are vitamin C, magnesium and B vitamins. Depending on your specific needs, more vitamins, minerals and amino acids can be added to your formula for even more benefits.

The Myer’s cocktail usually takes twenty to thirty minutes to infuse. Many patients report feeling relaxed and reenergized after the very first treatment. For lasting benefits, most patients will have a Myer’s cocktail weekly for four weeks, and then once or twice a month afterwards.

Consider the Myer’s cocktail if you have:

  • Low immune function or if you will be exposed to illness (for example, going on a long flight)
  • Have low energy and adrenal fatigue
  • Experience frequent migraines
  • Have severe menstrual cramps
  • Want rapid recovery from athletics
  • Suffer from allergies or asthma
  • Have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue
  • Are recovering from surgery, dental procedures or prolonged illness

The Myer’s cocktail is a very safe and effective treatment.  If you would like to experience the benefits of IV therapy, please book an appointment with Dr. Baron.  A significant portion of the cost of treatment is covered by most extended health benefits.

5 Signs You Need New Orthotics

  1. Your​ ​foot, ​ ​knee​ ​or​ ​back​ ​pain​ ​has​ ​returned. ​ ​If you originally got your orthotics to treat a certain issue and they helped, but now the pain is returning, it’s a sign that your orthotics are worn out and are no longer doing their job.
  1. You​ ​have​ ​NEW​ ​foot, ​ ​knee​ ​or​ ​back​ ​pain. ​ ​This is a sign that your feet have changed and a new prescription is needed.
  1. They​ ​are​ ​cracked​ ​or​ ​falling​ ​apart. ​ ​If the plastic has cracked the orthotic is definitely not doing what it was meant to and could even cause problems.
  1. They​ ​are​ ​more​ ​than​ ​2​ ​years​ ​old. ​ It depends on the type of orthotic you have and how often you wear them, but on average you should replace orthotics every 2-3 years, more often if you are an exercise enthusiast.
  1. You​ ​had​ ​knee​ ​or​ ​hip​ ​surgery​ ​or​ ​broke​ ​a​ ​leg​. Any of these can alter the length or alignment of your legs and may necessitate a change in your orthotic prescription.

Give us a call to book an appointment with our chiropodist Meredith Cossitt, BSc, DCh

Have you tried ART®?

Active Release Technique® is a hands-on treatment that has become very popular with elite athletes and sports teams due to its ability to produce fast results. Fortunately it is also effective in treating many of the following conditions such
as:

  • Carpal tunnel
  • Rotator cuff sprain/strain
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Sciatic nerve symptoms
  • Tendonitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • TMJ
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Tennis elbow

Active release Technique® treats these conditions by restoring proper sliding of muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons in areas that have become injured. In an Active Release treatment the practitioner will shorten the muscle, tendon or ligament and then apply a very specific pressure with their hands as the patient actively moves the body part. This treatment in motion allows the certified ART® practitioner to assess the area and 1) break up restrictive adhesions 2) reinstate normal tissue flexibility and movement and 3) restore better biomechanics and function of the area.

Certified ART® practitioners are required to re-certify once a year and demonstrate their technique and skill level. Dr. Carla Inoque is a chiropractor at the North Toronto Natural Health Clinic who is a full body certified ART® practitioner and has found it be a great help in treating a variety of sports and repetitive strain injuries.

Brought to you by Dr. Carla Inoque DC, Certified ART® Practitioner

Understanding B12 Status

What do all of these conditions have in common?

  • Cognitive decline and memory loss
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders
  • Depression, anxiety, and psychosis
  • Developmental disorders in kids
  • Autoimmune disease and immune dysregulation
  • Female and male infertility

ANSWER: They all mimic signs and symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency.
 
B12 deficiency is not a mysterious disease. Its effects are well established in the medical literature. However, B12 deficiency is far more common than most people realize. A recent study suggests that 40% of people between the ages of 26-83 have plasma B12 levels in the low range – a range at which many experience neurological symptoms. Most surprising was the fact that low B12 levels were as common in younger people as they were in the elderly.
 
Why is B12 deficiency so under diagnosed?
Firstly, it’s not routinely tested by most doctors. Second, the lower end of the normal range is just too low to feel good. In Japan and Europe, the lower limit for B12 is between 500-550 pg/ml but in Canada accepted “normal” levels are much lower. B12 lower than this level is associated with memory loss, cognitive decline and dementia. Willingness to treat with B12 injections in Japan at this level may explain the low rates of Alzeimer’s in that country.
 
Why is B12 deficiency so common?
The absorption of B12 is complex and involves several steps – each of which can go wrong. Causes of B12 mal-absorption include:

  • Intestinal dysbiosis
  • Leaky gut
  • Low stomach acid
  • Use of stomach acid lowering drugs
  • Alcohol use
  • Pernicious anemia

This explains why B12 deficiency can occur even in people eating large amounts of B12-containing animal products. Please note that up to 50% of long-term vegetarians and 80% of vegans are deficient in B12. There are no plant sources of B12.
 
THE SOLUTION: Diagnosis and treatment of B12 deficiency is easy and inexpensive. If you are concerned you may have B12 deficiency, the first step is to be tested to establish a baseline. If your levels are below optimum, treatment with B12 can be remarkable – better energy, brighter mind, feeling rejuvenated – almost immediately!
 
Please call us to get started.

Key Lime Chia Pudding

Key Lime Chia Pudding

I first tried a version of this at Summerhill Market where they sell little chia pods for a small fortune. So, I scoured the web looking for an EASY version to make on my own. This is a recipe I have adapted from a parfait I found online. 

It includes spirulina as an option. Spirulina will give the pudding a vibrant green colour. It is also a powerhouse of nutrition and high in protein, B12, iron and antioxidants. 

If you don’t like the flavour of coconut, use almond milk and top with crushed nuts or seeds.  

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup almond or milk

1 whole avocado

¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tso lime zest (optional)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

¼ tsp spirulina (optional)

Shredded coconut, granola and sprig of mint (optional toppings)

Preparation: 

  • Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until avocado is smooth.
  • Let the mixture set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Top with unsweetened shredded coconut, a fresh lime wedge and sprig of mint. 

Serving Ideas:

  • You can simply have as a meal or in a small bowl as a treat – top with granola and coconut if you feel like it
  • If serving guests, make a parfait! In a clear, short glass, use a few tablespoons of granola at the bottom, add chia pudding and garnish with shredded coconut. 

 

Brought to you by guest post Vanessa Bond, CNP

Baked Oatmeal

These icy winter mornings make it hard to get out of our cozy beds! It’s nice to have an easy, warming breakfast ready to go! Try making a batch of yummy baked oatmeal ahead of time. You can easily reheat it for a quick hot breakfast any day.

Baked oatmeal is made by layering fruit, oats, nuts & spices in a casserole dish, then pouring liquid and a beaten egg over everything. Bake it until it is crisp & golden. It tastes great fresh out of the oven and just as good the next day. 

Use about ¼ cup oats per serving. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and a generous pinch of sea salt. I find 2 cups of oatmeal to be the right amount for an 8×8 dish. Add ½ cup walnuts, pecans or almonds if you like. Chia or flaxseeds also boost the nutritional content.

Measure 2 cups liquid – it can be almond milk, apple juice, kefir, or any liquid you prefer. Add 1 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil for richness. Now whisk in 1 egg.

Next measure out 2 cups of fruit. Frozen blueberries, diced apples, sliced peaches, with some raisins or chopped dried fruit are all good. Spread the fruit on the bottom of your dish. Sprinkle the dry mix over the fruit, and then the egg & liquid over all.

Bake at 350⁰ for 30-40 minutes. This recipe will keep in the fridge for 5 days and makes 8 portions. Enjoy!

Brought to you by Dr. Ruth Anne Baron, ND

Take Care of Your Feet!

Here are a few tips to guide you on your way to happy feet:

  • Shop at the end of the day because your feet may swell
  • If one foot is larger, buy shoes to accommodate the larger foot
  • Ensure there is about 1 cm of space beyond the longest toe
  • Try walking in the shoes to ensure your heels do not slip
  • Choose a shoe with a thick, rubber sole for extra cushioning
  • If you have pain in the arches or heels choose something with a built-in arch, like Birkenstocks, or add an arch support or orthotic
  • Most importantly, choose something comfortable 

If you have any further questions, or if you think you may need custom orthotics, please book an appointment with our chiropodist, Meredith Cossitt, BSc, DCh today!

Sinfully Delicious Baked Apple Oatmeal

Sinfully Delicious Baked Apple Oatmeal

Apple pie for dessert? YES YOU CAN.

This recipe is taken from Oh She Glows and is one of my children’s favourite oatmeal blends. Try as I might, they aren’t keen on steel cut oats, so this is a great alternative that is full of fruit, fiber and oats to help balance blood sugar throughout the day.

And seriously, it is so good and low in refined sugar that you can indulge for breakfast, snack or even dessert with no guilt. How delicious is that?

You can make this the night before and let sit overnight, baking in the morning if you have an hour to spare on a weekday morning. Otherwise, I recommend you bake it the night before and simply heat it up in the morning with some almond, coconut or rice milk.  Add a dollop of yogurt or chia pudding for the taste sensation of “apple pie and ice cream.”

This oatmeal will refrigerate for up to 3 days.

For a nut-free and school-safe option, use coconut or rice milk. And if you are gluten-sensitive, make sure you use gluten-free oats to avoid cross contamination.

 

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 35-35 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp coconut or brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax (optional)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups almond or coconut milk
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 apples diced (skins on or off)
  • 1 cup blueberries (or another fruit of your choice – pear, apricot, peach, nectarine)

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish with coconut oil.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats, sugar, chia, flax, dry spices and salt).
  • Mix all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl (milk, apple sauce, syrup, vanilla).
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry. Stir well.
  • Fold in the apples, berries or whatever mix of fruit you choose).
  • Pour the mixture to the greased casserole dish and bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes.

 

Brought to you by guest post Vanessa Bond, CNP 

 

What You Eat Impacts How You Feel

More than ever, people are courageously coming forward to talk about their struggles with depression, anxiety, stress and mood thanks to stigmas being erased around mental health.

However, People often don’t realize mental health requires a whole body approach for prevention and treatment, and nutrition plays an important role.

Depression. Anxiety. Stress. Mood. All of these can be linked to the health of your Enteric Nervous System – also known as your gut, your digestive system or your “second brain”.

You see, the human body is so amazing that we actually have two nervous systems. The Central Nervous System is the one we are most familiar with. It includes the brain and spine, and is responsible for the majority of your conscious thinking as well as the automated functions of your organs, reflexes, body metabolism and more.

The Enteric Nervous System (ENS) is found in your gut. Here, over 100 million neurons live within your intestines. Not only do they control the digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, they also produce hormones like serotonin (a precursor to happiness), cortisol (stress), grehlin and leptin (hunger), insulin (blood sugar balance) and more.

When the ENS is out of balance, we can experience imbalances elsewhere in the body – including the brain – because we are not breaking down and absorbing vitamins/minerals/proteins/fats we need to thrive. The body enters a state of inflammation, which undermines our performance, our mood, our relationships and our ability to think clearly.

Symptoms of imbalances include a white coated tongue, bad breath, burping, gas, constipation, diarrhea, undigested food fragments in stool, weakened immunity, lack of energy, poor concentration, irritability, pain and inflammation, weight gain or loss and food or chemical sensitivities. Indicators of good digestion? One to two well-formed, chestnut-brown bowel movements a day (that don’t smell) and NO undigested particles.

The path and protocol to improving and supporting mental health is not straightforward – it differs from person to person, depending on your overall health history. Nutrition alone is not a substitute for professional counselling. Sometimes medication or natural supplements are absolutely necessary to keep us on track. However, good nutrition should be a no brainer for those looking to fuel their emotional well being.

• Opt for a daily tea over coffee. Recent studies show the natural combination of L-theanine and caffeine naturally found in tea improves mood and productivity. L-theanine has a calming effect while the caffeine provides a natural perk. Tea also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 86% for those with genetic preconditions (National University of Singapore).

• Avoid processed foods and food marketed as “diet”. They can contain excitotoxins used as flavour enhancers, like MSG, hydrolyzed proteins, aspartame, cysteine, aspartic acid, and up to 65 other known substances. They basically “excite” neurons in our brains to death. Yes, neurons die all because we want the ultimate taste experience from mass marketed food, leaving the rest of our brain to pick up the pieces.

• Omega 3s (healthy fats) feed the brain and nervous systems, skin health, energy, heart and more. Good quality sources include cold water fish, flax oil, nuts/seeds, chia, hemp hearts, avocado, olive oil and leafy greens.

• Lean, quality protein provides the building blocks to essential amino acids – precursors to mood regulating hormones. Turkey, chicken, cold-water fish, Greek yogurt, beef, lamb, lentils, beans, etc. are all good choices.

• A diet high in vegetables, fruit and fibre keeps the “pipes clean” and avoids the build of bacteria and toxins in the gut that can hijack health and mood.

• Probiotics and probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut and kimchi help keep the enteric system populated with good bacteria to ensure optimum health.

• Be mindful of HOW you eat. Digestion begins in the mouth, so slow down and CHEW your food to the consistent of peanut butter. If you swallow pieces whole, you are not setting yourself up for success – only digestive distress.

Want some specific help with issues of mental health? Please contact Dr. Ruth Anne Baron, ND or Vanessa Bond, RNCP for individualized support.