Pycnogenol for ADHD Brain

Pycnogenol and Proanthocyanidins

Most people probably have not heard of pycnogenol. But I’m sure you have heard of the heart health benefit of red wine. “Ahhh”. But, wait a minute. It’s not that simple.

Let me back up a little.

Pycnogenol is not the substance or chemical in red wine that is linked to lower cardiac disease risk. In fact, it is a US registered trademark of the maritime pine tree bark extract from France.

So, how are pycnogenol and red wine related?

Simple. The active ingredient in pycnogenol is proanthocyanidins, also known as OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins). The same flavonoids found in red wine. It is proanthocyanidins in red wine that helps to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and varicose veins.

Proanthocyanidins are also found in many other plants beside maritime pine bark. It can be found in apples, cinnamon, aronia fruit, cocoa beans, grape seed, grape skin and red wines. However, bilberry, cranberry, black currant, green tea, black tea, and other plants also contain these flavonoids. Cocoa beans contain the highest concentrations.

RELATED ARTICLE: Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Proanthocyanidins’ antioxidant effects are 20 times more potent than Vitamin C and 50 times more potent than Vitamin E.

Proanthocyanidins found in French maritime pine bark (or pycnogenol) and grape seed extract work directly to strengthen the blood vessel walls to improve blood flow and oxygen supply to the tissues.

In children with ADHD, this mean better blood flow and oxygen supply to the ADHD brain, which is thought to have a poor blood flow.

See also: Gingko biloba and Ginseng

It can potentially stimulate the immune system to help with detoxification, which is an area that children with ADHD needed assistance with. As an antioxidant, pycnogenol reduces oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals from the environment. These free radicals damage cells and can contribute to many diseases.

OTHER USES

Pycnogenol is also used for treating circulation problems, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure, muscle soreness, pain, osteoarthritis, diabetes, endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, painful menstrual periods, erectile dysfunction (ED), and retinopathy.

Get high quality Pycnogenol here…

Detox with Epsom Salt




Epsom salt’s main component is magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). It is harvested from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets non-porous London clay. It is named after an English town, “Epsom” in Surrey, England, from which this salt originates.

Epsom salt is traditionally used as a bath salt. It has many beneficial properties, such as relieving muscle aches/pains, insect bug bites, sunburns, replenishing youthful skin and detoxification. The detoxification property of Epsom salt is what we are most interested about here for children with ADHD and/or autism.

The chemical symbol of magnesium sulfate is MgSO4. Thus, it contains one molecule of magnesium, one molecule of sulfur and 4 molecules of oxygen. When it dissolves in water, it dissociates into an positive ion magnesium (Mg+) and a negative ion of sulfate (SO4-).

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Sulfate is needed in the phase 2 liver detoxification process for sulfuration. Phenol-sulfotransferase (PST) detoxifies excess hormones, phenols, amines, and toxins produced by intestinal yeast. It facilitates the transfer of sulfate molecule from sulfate-donor to phenol compounds, resulting in a soluble complex that can easily be excreted by the kidneys.

Sulfur-containing amino acids, such as cysteine, methionine and taurine are major sulfur-donors in the body. However, children with ADHD are thought to have suboptimal phenol-sulfurotransferase system due to inadequate sulfate intake. Because of this limitation, the body cannot eliminate toxins efficiently.

Furthermore, heavy metals, such as mercury, lead and cadmium from the environment attach to the sulfur group of protein, inhibiting the release of sulfate from the amino acid complex.

Phenols occur naturally in many of our common foods, such as bioflavonoids, carotenoids (carotene, lutein, lycopene, xanthophylls, and zeaxanthin), phytoestrogen (estrogen-like substances in plants) and salicylates (salts of aspirin) in our colorful fruits and vegetables. Yeasts or candida in the intestines also produce phenol.

The inadequate intake of sulfur-containing amino acids, excessive overload of heavy metals, and excessive intake of dietary phenols, phytoestrogen and salicylates work together to sabotage the phenol-sulfotransferase system. Thus, toxic compounds build up in the system resulting in the notorious ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity, lack of focus, irritability, aggression, etc.

Symptoms of PST or sulfate deficiency include reddened ears, hyperactivity, inappropriate laughter, night sweats, dark circles under eyes, excessive thirst, aggressive behaviors, head-banging, eczema, facial flushing, and trouble falling to sleep, disturbed sleep and odorous bed-clothes.

Diets limited in salicylates and phytoestrogen,such as Feingold diet, and diets that eliminates intestinal yeast overgrowth, such as Body Ecology diet or Specific Carbohydrate diet, may reduce the workload on the already suppressed PST enzyme.

FOOD SOURCES OF SULFATE

Remember. Source of sulfate for PST is sulfur-containing amino acids, such as cysteine, methionine, and taurine. My suggestion would be a healthy balanced diet with high biological value animal protein, such as animal protein. Besides, children with ADHD need to start the day with a good high protein breakfast. If you are looking for a source of sulfate, you will be disappointed because sulfate is found mostly in processed foods as additives.

SUPPLEMENTATION

Sulfur is poorly absorbed orally as supplement. The best route to supplement sulfate is with Epsom salt bath. The magnesium sulfate salt in Epsom dissolves into a solution, and is readily absorbed into the body through the skin.

HOW TO USE THE SALT?

Most people do a bath or foot soak. But I make a topical paste that works wonderfully. It saves time, energy and water. Best of all, my daughter stops having that funny smell when she sweats, and wakes up in the morning.

Simply dissolve about a 1 teaspoon of the salt with about 1 teaspoon of water enough to dissolve most of the salt. As the salt dissolves, you’ll notice the water thickens slightly. It’s okay if not all the salt is dissolved. It just means that solution is saturated with Epsom salt.

Now you can apply this solution onto the skin with a make-up brush or cotton balls. I usually do this on my daughter’s legs right before she goes to bed. It is best to do this at bedtime, I have a parent who told me that the Epsom salt makes his son sleepy. This is because magnesium helps calm the ADHD brain.

You will notice a thin layer of white salt on the skin as the water evaporates. The salt will continue to be absorbed as long as it stays in contact with the skin. You can leave that on, because the salt usually gets rubbed off during the night. The sulfate is thought to circulate in the body up to about nine hours.

If you prefers the good old Epsom salt bath, simply fill a bath tub with hot water and add 2 cups of Epsom salt. You may also add 1 cup of baking soda and some lavender oil for additional soothing effects. Soak for about 20 minutes.

You may read to your child during this time. Be sure to not leave little children unattended in the bath tub filled with water. The bath is best taken prior to bed time at night to wind down.

Some children may become agitated after taking Epsom salt bath. It is suggested that you start the bath with 1/4 cup of Epsom salt first, and then slowly increase over several weeks.

People frequently have the misconception that toxins are being drawn out of the skin pores into the bath water. Soaking in the salt bath, allows the body to absorb the magnesium and sulfate through the skin into the body’s detoxification system.

Besides a full bath, you can also do a foot bath for 15 minutes while doing homework or reading. Of course, you’ll save a lot of water and use a lot less salt.




Specific Carbohydrate Diet




The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is another diet that aims to eradicate intestinal yeast infection by carbohydrate restriction. Elaine Gottschall introduced the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in her book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health through Diet”.

It was originally introduced to treat many severe gastrointestinal problems, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, etc.

Over the years people have also find other uses of the Special Carbohydrate Diet, such as treating autism, ADHD, dyslexia, oppositional defiant disorder, speech and language delay, etc.

The Specific Carbohydrate diet suggests that many body ailments, such gastrointestinal diseases are caused by the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and yeast/Candida in the intestine. These harmful residents thrive on carbohydrates that are not completely digested.

Complex carbohydrates in our diet take longer to digest, and end up further down to the large intestines where bacteria and yeast lives. These undigested carbohydrates provide a good source of nutrients for these harmful bugs.

The more yeast are in the body, the more toxins the yeast produces, which are the causes of many of the behaviors we see in children with ADHD, autism, and other developmental disorders.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet works by eliminating all complex carbohydrates and polysaccharides (multiple-molecule sugars, such as lactose, sucrose, starch, etc) to minimize any undigested carbohydrates from entered the lower portion of the intestines where these harmful bacteria and yeast reside.

In the SCD only monosaacharides, which are single molecule sugars, such as glucose, fructose, galactose are allowed. It is speculated that these single-molecule sugars, because of their simple structure, are easily absorbed in the upper intestine, leaving no undigested carbohydrates that would enter the lower intestine to be used by harmful bacteria or yeast/Candida. As a result, starving the harmful organisms to death and putting a stop to toxin production.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet emphasizes on carbohydrate restriction to eradicate the harmful toxin-producing organisms in our intestines. At the same time, good beneficial bacteria is introduced through SCD’s homemade goat’s milk yogurt and aged cheeses.

Hallmark of the Diet:

1. Avoid all polysaccharides, such as lactose, sucrose, and any complex carbohydrates. Polysaccharides are molecules made up of two or sugar units. These require special enzymes to break down the chain into single sugar units.

2. Allow only monosaccharides, such as fructose, glucose, and galactose. Monosaccharides are single unit molecules.

3. Only carbohydrates from fruits and non-starchy vegetables are allowed.

4. Honey and saccharine are the only allowed sweeteners. Saccharine is an artificial sweetener.

5. Only meats in pure unprocessed form are allowed.

6. Homemade goat’s milk yogurt and aged cheese are allowed as a way to introduce good bacteria into the intestines. As you know dairy products are good sources of lactose, which is a two-molecule sugar (galactose and glucose). However, the fermenting processes breaks up the lactose molecules into one unit each of galactose and glucose, both of which are monosaccharides, which are allowed on this diet. Recipes are provided in the book.

WHAT TO EXPECT?

When starting this diet, you will not feel great instantly. In fact, you will start feeling really sick, which is a good sign. Yes. That’s right. “It’s a GOOD SIGN”. This is a sign that the diet is working because the yeast/Candida is dying.

Remember there is an excessive amount of yeast in your body, so when they die, all the toxins from the yeast are being released, and that’s what’s making you sick. This is called “toxic die off“.

Besides, the fact that you’re missing your sugar and carbohydrates can make you feel cranky too. Expect some ADHD-related behaviors or symptoms to worsen during “toxic die off” and there may be regression in younger children. Don’t be discouraged. After the yeast/candida and their toxins are eradicated, you will discover the improvements.

For people who are allergic to cow’s milk protein, the goat’s milk may or may not be well tolerated. Be cautious about following the Specific Carbohydrate diet if you are sensitive to cow’s milk protein. There are alternatives yogurt that can be made from non-dairy beverages, such as coconut or rice milk.

Saccharine is an artificial sweetener that some of you may avoid due to its synthetic nature. You may use honey instead.

WARNING

This is a very restrictive and regimented diet to follow. What I have here is just the surface of the diet. There are more to this diet than just avoiding sugars and carbohydrates, and eating yogurts. You’ll probably need some kitchen skills to maneuver around with some recipes.




What is Candida Die Off Symptoms?




What is Candida Die Off Symptoms?

Ever since I started on the gluten-free diet, that’s when I realize how heavily my diet (in fact, most Americans’s diet) has relied on carbohydrates. I soon realize I have nothing to eat for snack except fruits and vegetables, cheese sticks, gluten-free cookies (loaded with sugar).

Anyway, my point is our diet is loaded with carbohydrates, which eventually turn to sugar, that feeds not just our brain, but some unwelcome guest in our intestine – yeast or candida. And we wonder why we’re always dealing with chronic illnesses and symptoms like allergies, chronic inflammation, joint problems, mood disorders, digestive symptoms and more.

Good news a strict elimination diet that avoids all kinds of carbohydrate may help to treat candida overgrowth. There are many different diets and strategies to accomplish this candida elimination mission.

They all serve the same purpose via a slightly different approach. Diets like body ecology, specific carbohydrate diet and FODMAP diets, all do the same thing with their own littler tweak. These are very restrictive diets and are usually meant for short duration just to clear the body of the offending yeast.

These yeast elimination diet is an endeavor of and by itself. Eating no sugar and carbohydrates for days or up to weeks are unimaginable to many of us. Many people quit in the middle of the diet because of the restriction foods choices. But even more people quit these diets because of the “side effects”.

That’s right. Isn’t it funny that diets have “side effects”?

Actually, these are good “side effects”, unlike those from drugs or pharmaceuticals. These “side effects” mean the diet therapy is working. Many people do not understand these “side effects” and automatically think that they’re not tolerating the diet change and quit.

What they’re experiencing is actually called “Herxheimer reaction” or simply, candida die off symptoms or toxic die off symptoms.

When your candida elimination treatment is working, candida starts dying due to lack of food (carbohydrate restriction), increasing population of other organism in the intestine through probiotics supplementation, and antifungal medication or herbs that kill yeast.

When this happens, yeast is killed rapidly while releasing loads of metabolic toxic byproducts, which include ethanol (alcohol) and acetaldehyde (toxic byproduct after breaking down alcohol).

It’s like cleaning house, it has to get messy first, then the clean and fresh will come.

At this point, many may complain of:
Nausea
Headache, fatigue, dizziness
Swollen glands
Bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea
Increased joint or muscle pain
Fast heart rate
Chills, or cold feeling in extremities
Skin itchiness, hives or rashes o breakouts
Sweating
Fever
Recurring vaginal, prostate and sinus infections

Relieving Candida Die off Symptoms

Candida Die-Off symptoms vary from person to person. These symptoms usually clear up within a week or so without intervention, but could last a little longer. There are a few strategies that can help minimize the symptoms by slowing the release of toxins and/or speeding up the detoxification system.

Try Molybdenum or Milk Thistle. The liver is your main pathway for eliminating toxins, which means your liver is overwhelmed during the toxic die-off. Molybdenum converts the neurotoxin acetaldehyde into acetic acid, which is a harmless substance. Silymarin in the milk thistle supports the detoxification process in the liver.

Temporarily reducing or discontinuing antifungal supplements.
Reducing your antifungal dosage will slow the release of toxins into your system. When you feel better, you can start to increase it again.

Increase water intake to flush out the toxins faster.
If you want to feel better, all those byproducts that are released by the Candida yeast need to leave your body. You can give them a push by drinking more water.

Relax and rest a lot.
Relaxing, meditating and taking some personal time will help your immune system functions better and staffs off infection.

Try saunas, massage or contrast showers.
These help to increase circulation and stimulate the lymphatic system, which help you to excrete the toxins released from the dying yeast bodies.

Take 1000 mg of Vitamin C twice daily.
This multi-purpose vitamin boosts your adrenals and immune system to health.

Take two activated charcoal capsules every four to six hours during the day.

Take a soluble fiber supplement that contains guar gum, alginates, psyllium, or pectin before bed. These fibers bind to yeast toxins and are helpful in reducing the “die off” symptoms.




Candida-Free diet

Get Rid of Candida or Yeast Once and For All…

To successfully treat candida, you need to do three things: stop the yeast from getting out of control, build up the friendly bacteria, and heal your gut.

1. Avoid taking antibiotics, steroids, or hormones unless absolutely medically necessary.

2. Eat a diet that doesn’t feed yeast in the gut (low sugar and refined carbohydrates, and low mold and yeast in food (see below). First step: getting rid of the candida overgrowth, which mainly requires switching to a low-carbohydrate diet.

Sugar feeds yeast. So start by eliminating sugar in all of its simple forms — such as candy, desserts, alcohol, and flours. Limit to 1 cup a day of complex carbohydrates, like grains, beans, fruit, bread, pasta, and potatoes. The yeast will starve and eventually die.

I also recommend eliminating all fermented foods. That’s because, while it’s common knowledge that fermented foods help to feed the good bacteria, most people don’t realize that bad bacteria feed off of these foods as well.

Finally, heal your gut by eliminating inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract and introducing foods that help. Having a strong gut will prevent candida from working its way through your body, and dramatically improve your overall health.

3. Take probiotics to repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria to keep your candida population under control. I suggest anywhere from 25 to 100 billion colony forming units (CFUs)of probiotics daily of lactobacillus and bifidobacter species. A special “yeast against yeast” probiotic called saccharomyces boulardii can be very safe and effective in controlling yeast.

Sometimes dietary changes may not be enough to reduce the yeast overgrowth to resolve your symptoms. Then you may need to proceed to the next steps with medication or non-prescription treatments. They’re often needed to treat more resistant cases of yeast for either the short or long term — and in some cases can be miraculous in their results.

4. Take antifungal medications and herbs when indicated. Diet and probiotics alone could take up to three to six months before the candida is under control. Sometimes, anti-fungal medication, such as Diflucan or Nystatin, is introduced.

Nystatin is the most common antifungal drug and is often used to treat thrush in babies. It is not absorbed by the intestinal tract and has no systemic effects. Unfortunately, many fungal organisms are resistant to nystatin and you may need stronger medications. I say “unfortunately” because these drugs are generally processed by the liver and occasionally can cause reversible elevation of liver function tests. They also may have serious interactions with other medications.

People with liver or heart diseases often cannot take these drugs. If you do take Diflucan, Sporonox or Lamasil, you have to have your liver function checked every six weeks. For all of these reasons, you should only take prescription antifungals under the supervision of an experienced and qualified practitioner.

Using herbal antifungal therapies such as herbs and other naturally occurring compounds can be very helpful in controlling yeast. The dose for all of the following herbal remedies is generally two pills with meals, three times a day for two to three months. You might need less or more based on your response and symptoms. Sometimes these remedies can be combined for better effect. Below is a list of some common antifungal herbs.

• Oregano — Oil of oregano has many antibacterial and antifungal properties.
• Garlic — Fresh, crushed garlic is a potent antimicrobial and immune booster.
• Citrus seed extract — The phytochemicals in citrus seeds have been found to have potent antimicrobial properties.
• Berberine — This potent yellow plant extract comes from goldenseal and barberry
• Tannins — These are the astringent compounds found in tea and the bark of trees.
• Undecylenate — This chemical compound is a potent antifungal.
• Isatis tinctoria — This Chinese herb can be a useful adjunct to treating intestinal imbalances.
• Caprylic acid — comes from coconut oil. It is a powerful anti-fungal, which literally “pokes holes” in the yeast cell wall, and kill it.

5. Identify and remove potential environmental toxic fungi and molds in your home or workplace.

6. Reduce stress by practicing yoga and meditation, being mindful and daily physical activities. Don’t let sweat about small stuff.

By keeping the yeast under control in the gut, the brain starts to clear up and be able to focus and concentrate again.

READ NEXT: Candida Die-off Symptoms

Benefits of a Plant Based Diet





 

Watch Rip Esselstyn’s (author of Engine 2 Diet) TEDTalk on how the Plant Strong Diet improved the health of his fire house.

 

By the way, Rip Esselstyn is the son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. Dr. Esselstyn has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic since 1968. He was studying about how a plant-based diet can reverse chronic diseases, such as heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc.

No kidding…we have cures for these common killers already?! Pharmaceutical companies are not advertising it. Doctors are not believing it, because they’re trained to prescribe medications.

Anyway, watch “Forks Over Knives” documentary in Netflix, and you’ll know who Dr. Esselstyn is and what the China Study discover.

BENEFITS OF A PLANT BASED DIET

Lower Oxidative Stress & Inflammation

Studies show that high intake of whole plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, tea, coffee, red wine and olive oil, decreases levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, which are associated with the development of chronic disease. (Nutrition, 2004 and JACC, 2006)

In the Adventist Health Study II, a vegetarian diet was linked to lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, a marker of inflammation. (Ethn Dis, 2011)

Healthy Gut/Immune System

Increasing evidence fiber-rich, plant-based diet promotes healthy gut microbiota, linked to immune support and digestive health.

EPIC study found lower rate of hospital admissions and risk of death from diverticular disease among vegetarians. (BMJ, 2011)

Brain Protection

Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress lead to development of Alzheimer’s. Adherence to Mediterranean, plant-based diet linked with lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (Archives Neurology, 2009)

I recently attended a nutrition conference called “The Pharmacy in Your Kitchen” presented by Dr. Michael Lara, who is a neuropsychiatrist. There was a lot of great information about “medical food” that are used for treating many conditions. One of the things that I learn is that the ADHD brain and Alzheimer’s brain behave very similarly. Dr. Lara explains that ADHD and Alzheimer’s is like diabetes of the brain cells. Because the brain cells are not able to use glucose efficiently for energy similar in diabetes where tissue cells are not able to use glucose. The alternative source of energy, fat, which bypass the defects, seems to work very well in patients with ADHD and Alzheimer’s.

The fat of interest is short-chain fatty acid in coconut oil, specifically caprylic acid.

Environmental Working Group

All meat is not created equal. Lamb, beef, pork and cheese generate the most greenhouse gases. They also tend to be high in fat and have the worst environmental impacts. Meat and dairy products requires large amount of pesticides, chemical fertilizer, fuel, feed and water and generates greenhouse gases, toxic manure and other pollutants that contaminate our air and water.

Challenges of a Plant based Diet

  • Misperceptions, such as getting adequate protein and calcium intake.
  • More food preparation required.
  • Lack of cooking skills regarding beans, whole grains, tofu.
  • Unfamiliarity with new foods, such as tofu, tempeh (Indonesian fermented soy), seitan.
  • Meeting nutritional needs.

Developing and Planning a Plant based Eating Style

Include more whole plant foods, such as plant proteins:

  • Legumes (beans, lentils, and peas)
  • Whole Soy Foods (tofu, tempeh, soy milk)
  • Nuts and Nut Butters (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, macadamias, Brazil nuts, peanuts)
  • Seeds and Seed Butters (sunflower, sesame, hemp, chia, pumpkin seeds) walnut, hemp and chia good source omega-3 FA.
  • Whole grains (quinoa, wheat berries, oats, brown rice) can be good protein source (up to 11 g protein per cup, i.e. Kamut)
  • Vegetables, such as peas, spinach, and broccoli (can contain up to 6 g protein per cup)
  • Plant proteins, such as legumes, nuts and seeds, are excellent “protein packages”—packed with fiber, micronutrients, phytochemicals.

Calcium

  • If no dairy, choose total of two servings per day of calcium-fortified foods, such as plant-based milk alternatives, tofu, or orange juice.
  • Choose more dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Calcium supplement to meet daily calcium needs.

Related article: 15 Non-Dairy Plant based Sources of Calcium that Will Surprise You

Vitamin D

Ten minutes of sunlight exposure a day.

Consume vitamin-D-fortified foods, such as soy milk and orange juice, and consider a vitamin D supplement.

Vitamin B12

Available only in animal foods: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.

Also available in nutritional yeasts and fortified products, such as cereal and soy milk.

Vegans should take a vitamin B12 supplement daily.

How to Start Plant Based Eating Style

Start the day right. Go veggie at breakfast or fruits and veggie smoothie.

Join the Meatless Monday bandwagon.

Shop for plants first. Instead of planning your menu around meat, plan it around plants.

If you eat meat, use it as a seasoning. Cut down on animal food intake while pushing plants by using meat as a flavoring in dishes instead of main event. Idea from indigenous diet. Great ways to reduce meat intake, but not completely giving up.

Create a plant-based pantry list. Many plant based foods like beans and whole grains are shelf-stable, convenient, and economical.

Get cooking! Plan at least one night a week to try a new vegetarian recipe. Do it with Meatless Monday night.

Keep it simple. Not every meal has to involve cookbooks and cutting boards; it can be as easy as black bean burritos, vegetarian chili, or hummus pita sandwich.

Try ethnic flair. Some cultures know how to do vegetarian meals right!

Convert your favorite dishes. Turn your favorite meat-based recipes veggie for an easy dinner solution. New family favorite.

Dust off your slow-cooker. Just throw in veggies, herbs, vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, whole grains, and dried beans; then turn the dial on.

Try plant-based dairy products. Try more plant-based alternatives for milk, yogurt, and cheese. Popular as there are many alternative choices available.

Think “yes”. Don’t dwell on what you can’t have, think about what you can have! There are thousands of choices.

Helpful tips

1. Puree, chop, or dice vegetables into smaller pieces to hide them in dishes and stuffed foods to increase taste and nutrition without the family noticing.

2. I recommend green smoothies as a way to include vegetables in diet. The chlorophyll in green vegetables and spirulina are particularly cleansing.  For convenience and cost, use frozen vegetables and add juice.

Here’s my recipe: 1-2 handful of frozen mixed greens or fresh spring salad mix, frozen strawberries, frozen mango, frozen acai, 1 tbsp spirulina, 1 tbsp chia seed, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tbsp raw honey and water. Since I use frozen fruits and veggies, I don’t add ice. Blend until smoothie. I found that the VitaMix is indeed the best blender. Because when I first started making my smoothie with the chased or flaxseed, the smoothie was grainy and I would choke on the seeds. Then, my mom bought a VitaMix for $400. I was like why does a stupid blender cost so much. When I made my first SMOOTHie (real smooth smoothie) that’s not grainy, I agree that’s $400 well-spent.

3. Warn patients that not all meat-free vegan foods (especially the packaged products) are healthy. Many are highly processed food with little nutrients. Focus on wholesome natural food made the way God intend for human consumption.

4. I always recommend my patients to eat fruits and vegetables at each meal and snack. And the portion of food from fruits and/or veggies must be greater that the starch and protein. This way you’ll be should to have a plant-based meal or snack every time.

5. Add veggies to your traditional recipes. Try adding a can of pumpkin puree to your favorite chili recipe. You can’t taste the pumpkin at all, but it boosts the nutrient profile and gives it a fabulous texture! Be creative, make homemade veggie noodles in place of traditional grain noodles. You’ll reduce your carbs intake and increase your veggie intake – killing 2 birds with one shot.

6. Buy in bulk. Purchase more when there is a good deal or when something is especially delicious. Most fruits and vegetables keep well in the freezer and then you will always have them on hand. I buy my gluten-free pasta by cases from Amazon.com. It’s a lot cheaper than buying from local grocery stores.

7. Be adventurous and try different spices and herbs! Every day is a mini food adventure trying new foods and flavors while becoming healthier.

8. On Sunday afternoons, turn on some good music and invest an hour to chop up veggies and prepare “food for the week”…This way you have “ready to go” options to get you through the week for lunches, meals and side dishes!

9. No time to slice fresh veggies for a salad? Add frozen peas or frozen mixed veggies instead. They will be defrosted by lunch and ready to top with your favorite dressing.

10. Start your grocery store trip in the produce isle. Only shop on the outside of the store. This helps eliminate most processed foods and helps your cart contain fresh foods. Fruits and vegetables should fill up the bottom of your cart.

Sign-up for iBotta and get rebates on everyday purchase…sign-up today to get $10 welcome bonus cash. 

Essential amino acids in plant-based diet:
Complement plant food. Plant protein always missing a few amino acid (soy, spinach and quinoa). New idea is the amino acid intake throughout the day, not focus in a meal. Plant protein with lower digestibility, thus recommend increasing intake about.

Allergy to soy, nut, legumes, peanut:
Consider if true food intolerances. May introduce dairy product to meet protein needs.

 

Watch these amazing documentaries to learn more…

Food Matters

Fork Over Knives





 

Heal Your Leaky Gut

Journey to a Happy Healthy Gut

Now that we have more understanding of what leaky gut is and what the causes are, let’s explore the journey to healing.

Notice that I use the word “journey”…meaning healing is a process and will take time.

Remember the vicious cycle of leaky gut did not happen overnight and so is the healing process.

Are you ready for a change for the better?

Here are the critical steps toward a healthy and happy gut.

We know the gut is very delicate and sensitive, and so the first order of business is to stop putting toxin in your body.

Translation: Change your diet.

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As Michael Pollan eloquently states “Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants” in his book “Omnivore Dilemma”.

Researches, studies, multiple counts of experiences point toward the beneficial effects of an anti-inflammatory plant-based diet.

I recommend eating an plant-based diet that is rich in essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids and gamma linolenic acid GLA, and insoluble fiber.

Many naturally occurring substances from plant-based foods help repair the intestinal mucosal surface or support the liver when stressed by enteric toxins.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are the substrates for prostaglandin synthesis. Fish oil has been shown to resolve intestinal mucosal injury and stops the systemic response to endotoxin. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) promotes the synthesis of E-series prostaglandins, which decrease permeability.

Our body can make GLA from linoleic acid via an enzymatic reaction catalyzed by deta-desaturase (D6D). However, this reaction is limiting and consumption of excessive vegetable oils may increase the free radical content of bile and exacerbates the effects of endotoxin.

EFAs should be consumed in the most concentrated and physiologically active form to avoid exposure to large quantities of polyunsaturated fatty acids from dietary oils.

Good dietary sources of GLA are evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, hemp seed oil and borage oil.

Insoluble fiber has been shown to decrease permeability. So eat a diet rich in insoluble fiber or supplement with pure cellulose or rice bran. An added benefit of rice bran is gamma oryzanol. It is an antioxidant in rice bran that has healing effects in gastric and duodenal ulceration.

Soluble fiber, on the other hand, increases permeability, and should be consumed in limited amount.

Avoid any foods that you’re allergic and/or sensitive to as allergic reactions increase gut permeability. When taken before eating, Quercetin may help to stop the release of histamine and inflammatory mediators in an allergic reaction.

Chewing your food well may actually help to nourish your gut with salivary Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF). It is a polypeptide that stimulates growth and repair of epithelial tissue. It is found throughout your body, with high concentrations in salivary glands, prostate glands and in the duodenum.

Take a probiotics supplement containing Lactobacillus GG may help repopulate the good bacteria population that is the result of the leaky gut, and reverse bacterial dysbiosis.

In addition, supplementing your diet with glutamine can be beneficial. Glutamine is an important substrate for the maintenance of intestinal metabolism and integrity. Glutamine supplementation has been shown to reverse intestinal mucosal injury, resulting in less villous atrophy, increased mucosal healing and decreased passage of endotoxin through the gut wall.

Support your liver with glutathione (GSH), which is an important component of the anti-oxidant defense against free radical-induced tissue damage. Hepatic GSH is a key ingredient for reducing toxic oxygen metabolites and oxidized xenobiotics in the liver. When the liver is working overtime trying the get rid of the toxic waste in the leaky, the demand for glutathione is high because the liver is using it up very quickly.

The most effective way to increase glutathione level in liver is to supplement with its dietary precursors, cysteine or methionine, such as N-acetylcysteine. Flavonoids in milk thistle (silymarin) and in dandelion root (taraxacum) also help to support the liver by protecting against reactive oxygen species.

An additional step to support and nurture your liver is to let it rest, as in stop ingesting more toxins from processed foods, fast foods, food colorings, food additives, pesticides, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, medications, legal drugs, etc.

And of course avoid alcohol even if it’s red wine.

Sorry…I know it’s confusing. One says red wine is good for you and another says alcohol is bad for you. If you have a leaky gut, alcohol is definitely bad for you. So sober up, at least until your leaky gut is under control.

And did you know…you can get the same resveratrol from a supplement and minus the alcohol and save your liver.

NSAIDS are all your pain-killers. They are known to cause GI bleed. I know you need them to control your pain. Did you know most of your aches and pains are the result of systemic inflammation caused by all the toxins you put in your body?

That’s why I put this step last. Because when you start doing all the things listed above, your body is slowly healing itself and recovering, and the inflammation eventually stops and so will your aches and pain. And when that they comes, you’ll not need your pain killer anymore.

Bone broth is supposed to be good for leaky gut. A colleague buys “chicken feet” from Whole Foods and boils them with some vegetables for 24 hours in a slow cooker to get all the gelatin out of the bone. Just flavor with a little salt and you have a yummy broth for your tummy.

Relaxation helps lower stress hormone. Activities like yoga, meditation, walk in the nature, hiking, exercise, etc. These activities not only reduce your stress hormones, but they can also increase your feel good hormone – endorphins.

When you follow these steps, your gut will start feeling better, aches and pain will disappear, brain fog will clear up, and ADHD symptoms will improve.

Return to What You Need to Know About Leaky Gut





Juicing Recipes for Kids




Kids love juice. No doubt about it. Look at all the brand-name juices that have popped up in recent years – Jamba Juice, Naked Juice, Lanikai Juice, Odwalla, Bolthouse Farms.

Fruits and now even vegetables are getting a lot of attention.

Over my career as a dietitian I have been telling everyone to eat the fruits and vegetables instead of drinking the juice. Even though I see the benefit of juicing, I still uphold my advice because not all juices are created equal.

We’ve been drinking Tropicana orange juice fortified with calcium for years thinking it’s the greatest thing on earth. Then one day, I realized that the orange juice are at least days old or even weeks old by the time I get it from the store, which means it is processed and pasteurized. Basically, I’m buying dead juice.

So you see why it’s better to eat a piece of fresh fruit or vegetables. They are still alive with all the vital nutrients, antioxidants and enzymes. Without all these good stuff, the dead juice basically is just sugar water. The same reason why raw milk and raw honey are better.

On the other hand, if you make your own juice from fresh organic produce, that’s a totally different story.

See, fruits and vegetables are best consumed in their whole natural form or in juice form. But I’m sure if you’re reading this because you want your child to expand his/her taste buds to more fruits and especially vegetables.

In my practice, I frequently explain to parents the reason why children dislike fruits and vegetables is more about the look than the taste.

Eating is a very sensory-involved process. It involves all five senses – look, touch, smell, taste and hearing. Fruits and vegetables by nature have very sharp colors and everyone of them have very different shapes. For some children, the shape/color can be overwhelming. Have you notice your picky eater’s preferred foods are all bland colors? –white, brown, beige, yellow.

Anyway, back to juice recipe for kids. This is where juicing comes in handy to solve your problem. You make fruits and vegetables juice, you solve the problem of vision, touch and hearing. If you mix the new fruits/vegetables with their favorite, you solve the other problem of taste and smell.

Parents would always say, “But I want Junior to eat a real fruit or vegetable.” Well, that will come later. By introducing new fruits/vegetables in a subtle way, you child is also subtly expose to the smell and taste of that new fruits/vegetables without the usual big ordeal at the dinner table. Over time, he/she will associate the taste/smell of the new fruits/vegetable in a more pleasant way. One day, he/she may ask for a piece of broccoli from your plate.

 

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First and foremost, no juice fast for the young ones. Period.

To make it more fun to drink juice, have your child help picking the ingredients, and help in the processing of juice. Kids love to help in the kitchen. Look at all those kids’ kitchen, baking set, cooking set, and toy foods.

Start with fruits and vegetables that your child already enjoy, and add new ones in small amount to the mix, so it does not alter the taste too much. Make is like a fun experiment.

My daughter the other day asked if she could bring a jar to Nutella to school. Out of curiosity I asked why because she does not eat Nutella or anything with nuts or nut-flavor. She told me she and a bunch of her friends at school are going to sample a “homemade” concoction of theirs. They are going to each contribute a food to the mixture. When I picked her up from school that day, I asked her what they made. The girls basically mixed all kinds of food that each brought, and they mixed Nutella, rice soup, fish, ginger, avocado, lemonade. Sounds nasty, right? Well, they all tried it and all agreed that it tasted “disgusting”.

My point here is: if it’s fun, they’ll try anything even if they know it does not taste good.

You can easily mix a small amount of vegetables with sweet fruit juices in a 3 to 1 ratio. Vegetable juices such as those made from spinach, watercress, kale, parsley, celery, tomato and beets are strong tasting juice. These are good for children too. If they generally don’t prefer vegetables in their diet, juicing is a great way to include vegetables in the diet.

Give fresh citrus juice during an illness, such as cold or flu. Whenever my daughter is sick from whatever bugs she gets from school, and she would not want to eat. So I would give her lots of orange juice and rice soup, just to keep her hydrated. You can try different kind of citrus juice, such as orange, lemon, lime, Satsuma, grapefruit, tangerine, etc.

These are ideal choices to get some calories in her sick little body, but also some immune boosting power of vitamin C.

You may start offering fresh juices as early as when you first introduce solids to your baby. You start with only a small amount fresh fruit or vegetable juice maybe 1oz diluted with an ounce of filtered water. It does not have to be much. Just enough for the taste.

Once your child turns 1 year old, you may offer undiluted juice. Generally, children can tolerate undiluted juice in very small amount. I would prefer that you keep your child’s juice consumption to no more than 4-8oz a day, along with consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables as main source of micronutrients.

Simple juicing recipes for kids to get started. These recipes make about 1 cup juice each.

Apple juice: 3 to 4 medium
Apple-carrot juice: 2 red apples and 1 medium carrot
Apple-grape juice: 2 apples and a handful of grapes
Orange juice: 2 medium oranges
Orange –carrot juice: 1 orange and 1 medium carrot
Pear juice: 2 medium pears
Pineapple-carrot juice: 3 spears of pineapple and 1 medium carrots.

Combining different fruits and vegetables are great way to maximize nutritional value of the juice. I know parents can go crazy with making GREEN JUICE, but Junior may not be as adventurous as you might want him/her to be. So start easy, and go slow.

Enjoy this new adventure with your family.

All these recipes yields about 8-12 ounces of juice.

Power Green Juice

– 1 handful of Swiss chard, kale, spinach or a combination
– 1 pear
– 1 cup strawberries
– 1/2 lemon, unpeeled
– 1 apple, cut into chunks

ABC Juice

– 2 apples
– 1 beet
– 2 carrots
Yields one 8-12oz serving

Morning Juice

This super juice is just what busy moms and their little munchkins need to get their day started. Since pears are less allergenic than other fruits, they are great for infants and the littler set, while still delivering a daily dose of vitamin C and fiber.

– 1 pear
– 1 handful kale
– 1 apple
– 2 stalks celery

Orange Jubilee Juice

Your kids will hardly notice the carrots through the natural’s sugars from the orange and apple.

– 1 orange
– 3 carrots
– 1 apple

Shrek Juice

– 2 stalks celery
– 1 handful kale
– 2 apples

Sunrise Juice

– 1 apple
– 1 orange
– 2 carrots
– 2 celery stalks
– 1/2 lemon

Find more Juicing Recipes for Kids.




Juicing for Detox




I was introduced to the idea of juicing as a nutrition therapy after watching Beautiful Truth and was fascinated with the idea that cancer cure exists.

After I saw the movie “Beautiful Truth”, I decide to investigate more into juicing. I realize that the juicing here is very different from the regular juice we drink daily. You know the ones that we told our children not to drink.

I chose to write an article about juicing because I found this therapy very fascinating.

I’ve been asked gazillion times about juicing in my career: “What do you think about juicing?” I have repeatedly told everyone the same thing: “It’s better to eat the whole fruit then to drink the juice, which is just sugar and water from the fruit. You’re missing all the good nutrients and fiber from the whole fruits or vegetables.” That was my typical response then.

Today, many people juice for health reason. There are many alternative therapies and detox programs that advocate juice fast. Interest in juicing has exploded in the last decade due to a number of books, videos that claims the extraordinary healing power of juicing or juice fast.

Documentary such as Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Beautiful Truth have increased the awareness that many diseases can be cured by simply changing one’s dietary habits. In these cases, it is juicing.

Beautiful Truth introduced the Gerson Therapy which involves daily juicing to cure many currently considered “uncurable” diseases and illnesses, such as cancer (including end stage), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue symptoms, etc.

The idea of juicing sound really simply for most, because many Americans consume significant amount of juice or soda daily. They’re already large volume of liquids a day, might as well be something good for the body. So the idea of “drinking juice” to promote health sounds really realistic and easy, right?

Not so soon to judge. There’s no such easy deal in life.

We’re not talking about drinking couple glass of Tropicana orange juice or Naked Green Machine juice here. The juicing we are talking about is juice freshly made from wholesome organic fruits or vegetables, which you will be making the juice daily yourself, not from a carton you pick up from the store.

If you want to see result faster, you may try a juice fast challenge. A juice fast as its name implies is a fast, which means no food. The idea is going on a diet that consists of nothing else but juice. However, these therapies only works IF the person is discipline enough to follow the fast for a whole two weeks, AND does the juice correctly.

Gerson Therapy: Green Juice FOR BEGINNERS + Gerson Basics

Juicing is a nice supplement to add to anyone’s diet. It adds nutrients from the fruits or vegetables that you or your child normally wouldn’t eat and, at the same time, introduce valuable nutrients that are only found in fruits and vegetables. It can also add some variety to your child’s diet, especially if you have a very picky eater.

I’m not too comfortable at this point advising people to stop eating completely and go on a juice fast. I’m not going to talk about fasting here. That’s another topic of itself. There’s not much research out there to show that juicing is healthier or better for the body than eating the whole fruits and vegetables.

Here, the keyword is “research”. Who’s going to benefit from the result of showing that juicing helps. No one, maybe the farmers who grow all these delicious nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. But, bottom line is no one can patent that information and turn it into a 10-year monopoly, like all these pharmaceutical companies has been doing for years with new drugs.

I still believe in the benefit of eating whole fruits and vegetables to get all the benefits. And juicing is a great way to help picky eater ease into new vegetables or fruits.

Cook books, such as Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious have recipes for basic juices, such as green juice, white juice, etc. They use the fruits and vegetables juices as ingredient in cooking some common kid’s friendly foods, such as brownie, mac n cheese, smoothie, muffins, etc.

Doesn’t it make you feel good that when your child is eating mac n cheese, they’re also eating cauliflower? Or black beans in their brownies?

Fresh fruit and vegetable juices retain most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that would be found in the whole versions of those foods. These nutrients can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and various inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. Valuable compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in a variety of fruits and vegetables and guard against oxidative cellular damage, which comes from everyday cellular maintenance and is exacerbated by exposure to chemicals and pollution.

Some advocates for juicing may claim that your body absorbs more nutrients from juices than the whole fruit because the fruit’s fiber gets in the way. However, there isn’t much research out there that supports that claim. Your digestive system is designed to handle fiber and extract nutrients from a variety of foods. Plus, fiber is important for digestive function and has a multitude of health benefits.

Anyway, the juicing that’s been popularized recently as alternative therapy is not the same as buying a carton of juice from the store. The juices discussed here are freshly made raw, unpasteurized juices that retains majority of its nutrients and live enzymes. Yes, fruits and vegetables are living things with live enzymes. That’s the difference. Commercially processed fruits or vegetables are processed in factory probably about a week ago before you get it in the store. They’re pasteurized, just like milk, to kill bacteria, which also inactivates all the vital nutrients and enzymes. Not to mention the fruits and vegetables used for making processed juice are not your fancy choices. These are usually bruises and blemish produce that orchid cannot sell to stores.

So you decide where you want your juice to come from.

That’s right. The best place to get your juice from is your own home. Use organic produce as much as possible. Local farmers’ markets are great place to shop for local produce in season. You can talk to the farmers to find out about their farming practice, whether any pesticides or GMO seeds are used. And you’ll be able to buy produce in season from local market, skipping the long distance transportation. All this mean cheaper cost for you as a consumer.

Related article: Plant-based Diet

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  • Dual-stage juicing system; quiet operation.




Detox with Glutathione




Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant made up of three amino acids – cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid. It is naturally produced in our body. It plays an important role in supporting the immune system by boosting levels of white blood cells production to fight off infection and foreign substances. It is a cofactor of the glutathione s-transferase enzyme, which function to detoxify chemical toxins.

High levels of glutathione maybe found in the liver, spleen, kidneys, pancreas and stomach lining, organs that are frequently exposed to toxins. Our body’s level decreases with age. Diseases, such as cancers, liver diseases, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and HIV/AIDS have been linked to low levels. Stress, excessive exercises, poor diets and toxic overload increase its demand.

How does it work?
Hepatic GSH is a key substrate for reducing toxic oxygen metabolites and oxidized xenobiotics in the liver. Depletion of hepatic glutathione is a common occurrence in Leaky Gut Syndromes contributing to liver dysfunction and liver necrosis among alcoholics and immune impairment in patients with AIDS.

Toxic chemicals, such as those from our environment – pesticides, heavy metals (lead, mercury, and cadmium), preservatives, PCBs, and medications are first neutralized by the liver. Then glutathione in the liver binds to these toxic chemicals and eliminates them from the body safely. This is what happens when the body’s detox system is functioning well and all nutrients needed for detox are adequate.

It has been suggested that toxic metals, such as mercury, inhibit the production of glutathione in the body, sabotaging the body’s detoxification system. As a result, toxic chemicals accumulate, affecting brain functions, resulting in behaviors frequently seen in children with ADHD.

This maybe reversed by limiting your child’s exposure to toxic substances and heavy metals through diets and supplementing your child’s diet with detox supplements, such as alpha lipoic acid, carnosine, n-acetylcysteine (NAC), trimethylglycine (TMG) or dimethylglycine (DMG).

Where to find GSH?

Glutathione is found in both plant and animal sources. Fresh fruit and vegetables, cooked meat and fish contain about 25 – 750 mg per pound. Processed foods, dairy products, most nuts, grains and legumes are not good sources.

Glutathione Food Sources

Glutathione supplement itself is poorly absorbed since the stomach acid would have digested most of it. The most effective way to raise hepatic glutathione is to administer its dietary precursors, cysteine or methionine.

Its precursors, N-acetylcysteine, glycine, L-cysteine and methionine supplements are more effective in increasing glutathione levels in the blood.

L-Cysteine supplement should not be used in children. However, NAC is a safer alternative. High doses of NAC may cause headaches and dizziness.

Silymarin, the active substance in milk thistle, may increase glutathione levels in the liver up to 50%.

There are also transdermal and intravenous glutathione available. However, these options will require special prescription through physicians who are familiar with their use.

Another less pleasant but likely very effective way of increasing hepatic glutathione is “coffee enema“, which is described in the “Beautiful Truth” as part of the Gerson Therapy for cancer cure.

As always consult a registered dietitian and/or physician who are familiar with dietary or nutritional supplements and working with children with developmental disorders. Avoid implementing trials of these supplements on your own. Some of these supplements may interact with your medication and some require closing monitoring of a pair of experienced eyes.