Natural Health News and Articles

Supplements for Micronutrient Deficiencies

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

Not everyone can eat nutrient-dense foods for every meal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American consumes only one fruit and one or two vegetables per dayi. This may be one reason why millions of people do not meet the daily intakes, known as Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), for some vitamins and minerals provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)ii. If individuals fall short of RDA values, dietary supplements may help provide vital micronutrients required for optimal health that are not consumed through a daily diet.

Micronutrients, including vitamins and trace minerals, support a variety of physiological functions within humans and other living things. Vitamins are complex organic moleculesiii, and minerals are mostly inorganic chemical materials that can be found in nature in the form of deposits or salts. Both are needed for biological processes.

While there are several important vitamins and minerals to the body, 13 vitamins, are considered “essential,” for normal cell function, growth and developmentiv. These include four fat-soluble vitamins– A, D, E and K, and nine water-soluble vitamins – C, B1(thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), Pantothenic acid, Biotin, B6, B12 and Folate (folic acid). There are 15 minerals that are considered “essential” for proper bodily function, and they include calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, copper, potassium, sodium, chloride, sulfur, iodine, fluoride, cobalt, selenium, manganese and zincvi.

In rare instances, states of clinical (“true”) deficiencies occur with the extended avoidance of certain vitamins or minerals; such conditions include deficiencies like Scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) or Rickets (vitamin D deficiency). Conversely, extremely high levels of vitamins and minerals that exceed recommended intakes, are not necessarily beneficial for the human body and may actually be harmful. For example, people with Wilson’s diseasevii,a rare genetic disorder that causes excess copper to accumulate in vital organs like the liver and brain, require a lower intake of copper from daily nutrientsviii. Similarly, too much vitamin A can cause birth defects, and excess amounts of vitamin E may increase the risk of hemorrhagingix.

On a more positive note, recent studies have shown how consuming dietary supplements can assist the absorption of vitamins and minerals found naturally in foods. One study, by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, points to the way dietary supplement use is linked to higher intakes of minerals. In the study, individuals who took mineral-containing supplements had higher mineral intakes from food sources in the diet than did non-users.x

Although supplements may provide a greater intake of valuable micronutrients, the question remains as to whether there is adequate absorption of these nutrients and exactly what benefit they may add. Recent investigation of this question includes results from a studyxi published in the Journal of Pediatrics, which assessed the effects of dietary supplements on vitamin absorption in children. In children older than 8 years, dietary supplements were shown to add micronutrients to diets inadequate for crucial vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, C, and E. Children 2-8 years old, on the other hand, had nutritionally satisfactory diets regardless of supplement use.

This new bulk of literature examining the effects of vitamins and minerals may help redirect current thinking on the use of dietary supplements for children and adults. Often, supplements are used in an attempt to increase life expectancy, however a more immediate goal may be to provide individuals with micronutrients that are often lacking on a daily basis in typical diets. To ascertain key deficiencies or overabundances of vitamins and minerals for an individual’s daily dietary needs, a blood test can be administered by a medical practitioner.

Since everyone’s nutritional requirements are unique, it may be beneficial to monitor one’s diet, observe how it affects one’s health, and identify where supplements may be of use. Using the recommended micronutrient intake ranges provided by the USDAxii will help increase mindfulness of the essential vitamins and minerals needed for an optimal diet. Deficiencies or excesses can then be targeted through diet first, and secondarily with supplements, if needed.


Natural Health News and Articles

Natural Treatments for Motion Sickness – Acupressure, Aromatherapy, and Nutrition

Motion sickness is a condition where one’s brain confuses visual and sensory stimuli, resulting in feelings of nausea and imbalance. Feelings of nausea may be caused by acceleration and deceleration while traveling by car, train, sea, air, or by other means.

When suffering from motion sickness, one’s inner ear (vestibular system) senses motion, but the eyes inform the brain that things are stationary. The resulting discordance causes one’s brain to conclude that one of the senses is hallucinating and that this hallucination is a result of ingesting poison. In response, the brain responds by inducing vomiting, to clear the supposed toxin.

Common initial symptoms associated with motion sickness are nausea, headache, and general uneasiness. Symptoms may progress in severity and include vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, excessive yawning, inability to concentrate, excessive sweating and salivation, pallor (when one turns white), and severe distress.

Conventional treatments include over-the-counter or prescription medication, and natural remedies include dietary and herbal treatments. Common over-the-counter products used to treat and prevent symptoms associated with motion sickness include antihistamines like dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), and meclizine (Antivert and Bonine, for example).

While there are various ways to alleviate symptoms like nausea and dizziness, natural treatments may have fewer side effects and can work preventatively. Acupuncture, aromatherapy, and ginger supplements are gentle and effective ways of treating motion sickness.

Acupressure for Motion Sickness

As a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture supports the idea that our bodies, out of balance due to years of stress and unhealthy lifestyle choices, can be brought back to equilibrium through the practice of needling points on energy channels (located throughout the body) called meridians. Acupressure, or shiatsu, works with the same system of meridians and points but does not use needles. A shiatsu practitioner uses his or her fingers to hold down acupressure points on the body, therefore rebalancing one’s chi, or life force, to promote health.

Sufferers of motion sickness can self-apply acupressure to key areas of the body. Use the point below to combat any symptoms of motion sickness.

  • P6 – Nei Guan – Inner Pass (Pericardium Meridian)
    Location: On the palmar side of the forearm, about two finger-breadths above (away from the hand) the wrist crease.
    Purpose: Treats stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. Helps with clarity of thought and suppressing pain.

To implement a self-treatment at home, hold down the Nei Guan acupressure point and massage gently for several minutes. Alternate so that both arms have been treated.


Aromatherapy uses the medicinal properties of essential oils drawn from plants and herbs to combat a variety of conditions ranging from skin disorders and infections to stress and immune deficiencies. Each essential oil emits a biofrequency that is sensed by the body. Imbalances in the body and symptoms associated with motion sickness can be “tuned” as the body responds to the oils with respect to its own biofrequency. Because of this specificity, each individual responds differently to an essential oil. Therapy is best when customized by testing essential oils and gauging the body’s response, however, some key essential oils universally assist in relieving motion sickness, one of which is peppermint oil.

Peppermint Oil
At the onset of nausea or motion sickness, open a bottle of peppermint essential oil and inhale the odor. Breathe deeply until symptoms have subsided.

Diet & Nutrition

Ginger is often recommended for preventing seasickness 2, and is found to be better than dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or placebo at combatting symptoms of motion sickness (Mowrey and Clayson 1982).3 With the benefit of not causing drowsiness like other motion sickness medications, ginger helps to alleviate symptoms of nausea.

To use ginger to avoid motion sickness while traveling, take the following steps.

To combat motion sickness while at home, you can also make ginger drinks at home.

  • Make fresh ginger juice or a fresh infusion of ginger tea. Ginger tea can be made by putting one teaspoon of ground culinary ginger into a cup of boiling water, letting it steep for 5-10 minutes, and drinking as often as needed.

The wonderful thing about these therapies is that they are preventative and can be used while traveling anywhere. As always, before implementing any natural treatments, please consult a physician for safety information.

Written by Nicole Kagan

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

  2. Schmid R, Schick T, Steffen R, Tschopp A, Wilk T. Comparison of seven commonly used agents for prophylaxis of seasickness. J Travel Med. 1994;1(4):203–6. [PubMed]
  3. Mowrey D. B, Clayson D. E. Motion sickness, ginger, and psychophysics. Lancet. 1982;1(8273):655–7. [PubMed]

Natural Health News and Articles Video

Food Scores

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Their mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.

EWG has introduced a new online tool, Food Scores, that scores food on three factors: 1.) Nutrition, 2.) Ingredient Concerns, and the 3.) Degree of Processing. Details on the methodology can be found here.

Food Scores includes 80,000 foods, 5,000 ingredients and 1,500 brands, and has taken more than 3-years to produce. Foods are rated on a 1 to 10 scale, with the best foods scoring 1 and the worst foods scoring 10.

This video explains how consumers are now empowered to make healthier food choices.

[themedy_media type=”youtube” url=””]

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Holistic Nutritionist Offers 10 Tips on How to Eat and Live Better

Sally Kravich, a holistic nutritionist based in New York and Los Angeles, uses food and thoughts to nourish the body and soul.

Sally, 60 years old, began taking an interest in food and diet at age 12 after suffering from several allergies and chronic asthma bronchitis. In 1963 her family moved to Switzerland where she was surrounded by various cultures. She explored these cultures and their diets and discovered ways to eat better.   Eating cheese by itself caused congestion for Sally. She noticed that the Portuguese ate fruit and cheese together. She then realized she could tolerate cheese and yogurt in limited amounts when she combined them with fruit.

She also took note of the South American diet, which included lots of garlic and hot peppers.   “People ate real food,” she said. She began to understand just how much food companies in the U.S.tamper with food and how U.S.diets are dominated by fake food.

Wheat is everywhere in the U.S. diet, she said. Wheat leads to mucus in the body, wheat turns into sugar and wheat builds fat. She said the quality of nutrients in wheat compared to other grains is similar to the nutrient quality in iceberg lettuce compared to arugula.  

By eliminating wheat and cow milk from her diet as a child she was able to rid herself of her congestion. She then taught her kids what she learned.  “When my children were little I taught them about wheat and white flour and we used it to make paper-mache,” she said.   Sally emphasized the importance of eating well throughout pregnancy and educating children early about how to eat.  

“Children’s taste buds start in the womb,” she said, adding that what we eat when we’re pregnant and when we’re breastfeeding has an effect on how children eat later.  

Sally, who established her holistic health practice more than 25 years ago, said many of her clients come to her after they have exhausted their options with doctors. She cited a client who had Stage 4 Lymphoma and had received surgery and chemotherapy.  

Sally, who works together with clients’ doctors, said this doctor gave her permission to change his diet and give him supplements.   She analyzed the client’s diet and created an eating plan that allowed him to keep all elimination channels clean. That way, his body could flush out the waste from what the chemotherapy was killing off, as well as other toxins.  

The client adopted the healthy diet and lifestyle that Sally taught him. He stopped consuming candy, soda and other junk food. He maintains that healthy lifestyle today, 15 years later.  

“I’m an educator of my clients. I like to teach them how to take care of themselves,” Sally said.   Below are 10 tips Sally offers to nourish the body and soul.  

1. Drink one to two glasses of water first thing every day.  

2. Do not skip breakfast.   If you don’t have time to eat, drink something nutrient-rich before you head out the door, Sally said. Try to avoid eating breakfast on the run because you’re more likely to eat something unhealthy.  

3. Nourish your mind before beginning your day.   Don’t turn on the news immediately after you wake up. Instead, exercise or read something inspirational to feed your mind and body.  

4. Don’t use coffee to amp yourself up.   If you drink coffee, try to slowly reduce what you consume, going from two cups to one cup a day, for example, Sally said.  

5. Eat healthier by being prepared.   If you’re in a hurry, don’t just go to a store and buy a bar or other food you rip open from a package. Carry food such as an apple, raw nuts, a hard-boiled egg or a smoothie in a thermos so that you’re prepared in an emergency.   “Cheap food is expensive in the long run,” she said.  

6. Eat a salad that includes protein for lunch.   The protein-packed salad will help maintain your energy throughout the afternoon more than pizza or a sandwich.  

7. Avoid white flour.  

8. Drink real water or fresh vegetable juice. Don't drink soda or vitamin water.   Your kidneys need to be filtered and real water does it best, Sally said.  

9. Teach kids early about how to eat healthy.   Let them cook healthy meals with you, Sally said. “Kids love jobs, especially if you make it fun.”  

10. It’s not selfish to be selfish.   Moms and dads must do something to take care of themselves every day to perform their best as parents, Sally said. She noted that exercise or meditation takes as little as 15 minutes. “You can’t give from an empty well,” she said.   

For more information about Sally Kravich (M.S. Holistic Nutritionist), including tips, recipes and more, visit her website at

Natural Health News and Articles

The Most Important Nutrients for Women

With all the fad diets targeted at women, healthy eating has become a perplexed concept. This is because the diets confuse what nutritious eating really means. The following are the most important nutrients for women's health.


Women need an adequate amount of calcium for breast and bone health. Osteoporosis is common in women because they typically do not get enough calcium. The best way to get calcium, and all nutrients for that matter, is through the food that is consumed. Low-fat and low-sugar dairy products, such as milk (or soy milk), yogurt (namely Greek yogurt), and cheese are all high in calcium. Women should also make sure they take a multivitamin daily that has a high percentage of calcium, especially if they do not eat and drink dairy foods every day.

Pure Water

Drinking lots of water every day is recommended for several reasons. For one, it is hydrating, which keeps people alive and healthy. It also flushes toxins out of the body, which prevents sicknesses and encourages well-being. It is theorized that it also prevents types of cancer, such as breast cancer. Pure water is the best, and either spring or filtered water will suffice. When pure water is consumed, the body gets what it needs in the exact form it needs it in, and that is best for bodily functions. More activity and/or a larger body require more water.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates provide the most vitamins and fiber, satisfy hunger for the longest length of time, and are low in calories. Vegetables and whole grains are the best sources of complex carbohydrates. As far as vegetables, green – and especially, leafy – vegetables are the most beneficial. With grains, whole wheat is the most nutritious. Complex carbohydrates are filling and satisfying, because the body is getting substantial nutrients, so it stops sending signals to the brain that it is hungry. This is good for weight management, which prevents heart disease and other conditions.

Protein and Iron

Women naturally have less muscle mass than men, so in order to preserve their muscle, enough protein must be consumed. The best sources are fish, chicken, pork, eggs, nuts, beans, and tofu. Vegetarians must put extra effort into getting sufficient protein in their diet. Additionally, meat has a large amount of iron in it, which is especially important during menstruation.

Those are the most vital nutrients to include in a woman's diet. Although there are others, those four are the most significant and important. Eating and drinking nutritiously will guarantee a healthy body and mind.

Author Resource:-> Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about women's health, please visit Article From Holistic Health Articles

Natural Health News and Articles

Are You A Sugar Addict?

A study performed on rats determined that rats who were being given cocaine eagerly switched to sugar when given the opportunity, yet the rats already on sugar didn’t make the switch to cocaine. A scary prospect, but yes, sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Some people have said that if sugar were bought onto the market today it would be classed as an illegal substance because of its addictive quality. So, what does this mean for you and your health?

Having too much sugar can cause many different health concerns, from weight issues, obesity, diabetes, fatigue, depression, kidney and liver stress, skin problems, mood swings and digestive problems and much more. In fact sugar (sucrose) is known to cause over 70 different illnesses and diseases including many forms of cancer.

Mental illness such as depression and schizophrenia has also been shown to have a sugar connection. It has been found that just 8 tablespoons of sugar, equivalent to a can of soft drink, is enough to deplete the immune system by 40% for up to 5 hours. However, before you reach for the ‘sugar free’ products, think again. These products are even more toxic to your body, linked with cancer, multiple sclerosis and many other serious health conditions.

Refined sugars are the sweetest poison of all. The science behind all the flavours and additives in our foods today is a multi million-dollar industry. These flavours and fragrances are often made up of a chemical concoction, trying to imitate Mother Nature, while being addictive at the same time. The purpose of the additives? To create more sales for the food industry. When you are in the shops next, take a look at all the numbers on the back of a packet, it can be a little overwhelming, but it is something that everyone should be aware of. So, what should you do if you feel like you are addicted to sugar?

There are several great steps that you can take which will definitely reduce or remove your cravings. The key is once this is done, to find healthier alternatives to the foods you are addicted to, so your body doesn’t depend on them day in and day out to survive.

  • Consider planning a detox: a detox is a great way to cleanse out the hundreds of potential chemicals and toxins built up in your system over the years. It could be 5-7 days of just eating nothing but fruits and vegetables, you may also want to do a juice fast, or you can also incorporate a herbal cleanse to really detox the body as deeply as possible.
  • Look at taking a quality Pro-biotic: if you have a build up of sugars and ‘yeast’ in your digestive system, otherwise known as ‘Candida’ the bacteria can cause sugar cravings. By taking a quality pro-biotic such as NuFerms 2012 Organic Pro-biotic, you will assist in bringing back a healthy balance of good bacteria to your digestive system, which will in turn decrease the sugar cravings.
  • Go Raw: if you must have sugar, stop using the highly processed and refined ‘white death’ and start to use an organic brown raw sugar. This is sugar closer to its natural state, which is far better for you. You can also find evaporated sugar cane juice in some health food stores, which is an even better alternative. Other products available are Stevia, an herbal extract, containing no calories or chemicals. Honey and maple syrup are all more natural options that refined sugars.
  • Go Natural: instead of going for a carbonated sugary drink, try switching to a mix of mineral water and fresh juice. It still has a great refreshing flavour, but minus all of the chemicals and additives. Craving a chocolate bar? Why not go for a mango or a peach instead, just as sweet, yet natural and delicious.
  • Drink Up: did you know, that most of the time when we think we are hungry we are actually dehydrated? So if you want to kick the sugar habit, always have a bottle of water by your side.
  • Do a specific Candida Cleanse: there are some great products out there, such as Candaplex, which will enable you to assist in cleansing ‘Candida’ the bacteria that can cause you to crave more and more sugar.
  • Try Something New: there are plenty of yummy and healthier alternatives to the foods that you may find yourself craving. So whatever it is for you, why not plan to take it one step in the healthier direction. If you love chocolate, switch to a raw or 80% cacao blend – this will be far better for you. If you love deserts such as cheesecake, try some different recipes such as our delicious raw raspberry cheesecake, which uses either maple syrup or agave as a sweetener. If you add sugar to a coffee or a tea, try adding honey or stevia instead. Making these little changes consistently over time will have a big effect on your health.

Whatever you do, make sure it is something you can keep to consistently. At the end of the day, the less processed foods you can ideally consume, the more water rich and alive foods you can consume the better. Take small steps now proactively, so you don’t have to be reactive because of your health choices in the years to come.

Author Resource:-> Kate Golle` is co-founder of Body Brilliant Chiropractic & Wellness Centre. A sought after speaker on natural health, and women and children‘s health. Visit for our FREE newsletter, or follow Body Brilliant on Facebook. Article From Holistic Health Articles

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Surprising Advantages to Including More Folic Acid in Your Diet

Modern medicines come with some pretty harmful side effects and this has caused people to have a more preventative approach toward holistic health. The best offense is a good defense, and that is true with health and nutrition as much as with anything else.

Folic acid, also known as folate or vitamin B9, comes from numerous foods, most commonly broccoli, and is sold as a supplement predominantly used by pregnant women. Vitamin B9 plays an important role in cell reproduction, which is why women with developing fetuses in their womb usually take it as a supplement.

Though the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) says you should get 400ugs daily, a study by Pamela Egan, a board certified adult and family nurse practitioner, shows that an increased amount of folate could benefit one's health exponentially.

According to her study, an increased amount of folic acid may help depressive disorders and cardiovascular disease. Many people suffer from poor heart health, perhaps because they aren't getting enough exercise. Because of this, along with poor nutrition, people accumulate homocysteine in the blood, which leads to blood clots.

Vitamin B9 has been shown to effectively deconstruct the homocysteine buildups and comfortably help regulate proper blood flow. For years people have been studying the effects of folic acid on cardiovascular health, but only recently have researchers put forth effort to see the effects it has as an antidepressant. Research shows this substance to be an augmenting mediator in standard antidepressant treatments, meaning that depressive symptoms are most commonly neuropsychiatric manifestations of folate deficiency.

Clinicians believe that people with low amounts of folate in their blood plasma respond poorly to antidepressant treatments. This leads research to conclude that folic acid plays a major role in regulating emotion and mood. Instead of investing in psychiatric medications, just try eating better.

It could astound you how much changes with a little nutrition. Accordingly higher doses of folic acid could potentially change the world, even if it is one person at a time. Supplements are convenient and conventional, but they do not have the same benefits as nutrition from raw foods.

It is best to try to get your vitamins and minerals from the foods that you eat. Folic acid is easy enough to consume by eating broccoli, spinach, whole wheat tortillas and other delicious foods.

Start preserving your health and body by eating healthier foods today. Investing in healthy whole foods could be the best decision of your life. 


Author Resource: Destry Masterson is a health and nutrition expert. She publishes articles about health, nutrition and Daily Bread Food storage. She can be reached at or on Twitter:  @DestryMasterson. Article From Holistic Health Articles

Natural Health News and Articles Video

Fire your Doctor?

Dr. Peter Glidden says that it is time to fire your typical medical doctor. In his opinion, MD’s are not qualified to treat chronic diseases.

[themedy_media type=”youtube” url=”″]

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A Teenager’s Struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Maya Schlesinger began her battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis at 14 years old, having noticed twinges of knee pain in the fall of 2012. After a visit to a pediatric rheumatologist who discovered high inflammatory markers, Maya embarked on a months’ long roller coaster ride of uncovering potential (and frightening) diagnoses and hours of physical therapy that did nothing to ease her mounting pain. Three months after her initial appointment with a pediatric rheumatologist, Maya was officially diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Following a conventional treatment plan, she was given a cortisone shot and put on a regiment of prescription NSAID’s.

Despite her diagnosis and medication, Maya’s pain continued to worsen. The ache in her knees spread to the rest of her body seemingly overnight. “I couldn’t hold a pencil in class to do work, or open doors without feeling like my wrist was going to give out, or sit up to study for exams for more than half an hour without my back making me feel like an old woman,” Maya recalls. Her rheumatologist offered anti-TNF’s to combat the pain, but Maya was hesitant to take additional medication. She continued her regiment of NSAID’s, despite the extreme fatigue they caused, and battled through the pain.

It wasn’t until the spring of 2013 that Maya’s mother, finding mounting evidence online of the effectiveness of an anti-inflammatory diet in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis, decided to take Maya to see a nutritionist. Under the nutritionist’s care, Maya began a gluten and dairy free diet. Within 6 weeks of her dietary overhaul, Maya stopped taking the NSAID’s and experienced a significant reduction in her pain symptoms. After three months of following an anti-inflammatory diet, Maya “cut out major inflammatory foods and commonly genetically modified foods such as gluten, dairy, nightshade vegetables, eggs, corn, and soy. Overtime we learned my four major sensitivities were gluten, dairy, eggs, and yeast.”

Maya’s anti-inflammatory diet, coupled with a regular exercise routine of yoga and weight lifting, keeps the majority of her RA symptoms at bay without the use of any prescription medication.

Now 16, Maya enjoys a typical teenager’s life in spite of her early diagnosis. Maya’s journey to better health has inspired her to share how a gluten, egg, dairy, yeast, and GMO-free diet has transformed her life with RA. She has created and manages a Facebook page dedicated to better GMO labeling across her home state of New Jersey, the United States, and the world.

In her words, “Under the direction of a certified (and wonderful) nutritionist and a few integrative and alternative medicine doctors, I’ve found myself feeling better than ever.”

Written by Kristin Accorsi


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Is Your Diet Causing Your Headache?

Chronic daily headache, a condition marked by recurrent migraines and severe pain, can be extremely difficult to treat with conventional prescription drugs. For those suffering with Chronic daily headache (CDH), day-to-day activities and interactions become increasingly difficult to navigate while experiencing excruciating pain. This debilitating condition markedly alters the sufferer’s ability to enjoy their life while suffering headaches 15 days or more a month.

A 2013 study, conducted by PAIN online journal, has revealed that the headache remedy you seek can be found in the aisles of your local grocery market. After introducing a dietary change that increased amounts of Omega-3 fatty acid and decreased amounts of Omega-6 fatty acid, the test population experienced a reduction in symptoms associated with CDH. The healing properties found in an appropriate balance between the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids helps to reduce inflammation in the system, and in turn, extreme headache pain. In the study, participants experienced a significant reduction in headache hours and severe pain symptoms, as well as an improved quality of life.1

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health, but do not naturally occur in our systems. Because of this, we must intake our Omega-3 fatty acids through food or supplements. Wonderful Omega-3 rich foods include grass fed beef, eggs, walnuts, edamame, black beans, flaxseed, and fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for brain functioning, normal growth and development, have an anti-inflammatory effect, and are powerful agents in lowering the risk of cancer and other diseases.2

Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential for our health, but must be consumed through food or supplements as they are not naturally occurring in our bodies. However, high levels of this fatty acid will have a reverse effect in treating disorders and will actually cause inflammation in the system. Unfortunately, our modern diet has overloaded us with Omega-6 through the influx of processed foods and various types of vegetable oils. Food sources that you want to regulate in your diet in order to reduce your intake of Omega-6 fatty acids include refined vegetable oils (those commonly found in processed foods, cookies, and sweets), avocados, pine nuts, and pumpkin seeds.3

An easy way to increase your intake of Omega-3 and decrease the levels of Omega-6 in your system is to eliminate heavily processed foods from your diet and begin to include Omega-3 rich foods and supplements. This simple dietary change, corroborated by the 2013 randomized trial in the treatment of chronic headaches, can transform the lives of an estimated 10 million adults in the United States who suffer from Chronic Daily Headache and other chronic pain conditions.4

Written by Kristin Accorsi


  • 1PAIN journal. Targeted alteration of dietary n-3 and n-6 fatty acids for the treatment of chronic headaches.
  • 2 Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • 3 Understanding the Omega Fatty Acids.
  • 4 PAIN journal. Targeted alteration of dietary n-3 and n-6 fatty acids for the treatment of chronic headaches.
  • photo credit:

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6 Ways to Fight Osteoarthritis with Food

Move over, apples, it’s time to start sharing the spotlight.

We’ve all heard “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” but more and more research is showing health benefits of a variety of other foods too. Especially when it comes to osteoarthritis.

As the approximately 27 million Americans who suffer from it can attest, it often begins slowly with stiffness and soreness that is uncomfortable but not seemingly serious. Some lucky people stay at this level while others have it grow increasingly painful and debilitating to the point simple tasks like walking and sleeping are difficult. It can affect a variety of joints but the knees, back and hips are frequent victims.

A number of factors can cause it ranging from being overweight and/or older to overusing the joint or having a previous injury to simply being unlucky genetically-speaking. While there is no cure, maintaining a proper weight and staying active are key—as well as eating nutritious foods.

Inflammation in particular is a big enemy when it comes to keeping osteoarthritis at bay as it creates free radicals which can damage the cushions between joints (as well as various other body tissues).

Foods that can help fight against inflammation are some of the following:

  • Antioxidants—Antioxidants are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables including strawberries, apples, onions, kale and blueberries among others. Green tea and cocoa powder contain them as well.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids—This nutritional powerhouse is common in fish such as salmon, tuna, trout and sardines so aim for at least two 3-ounce servings a week. Walnuts and omega-3 fortified eggs are other options.
  • Olive Oil—Olive oil contains the compound oleocanthal which acts similarly to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Next time instead of popping a 200 mg pill, try 3-and-a-half tablespoons of olive oil instead. (When possible use it instead of butter and other fats as olive oil is relatively high in calories.)
  • Spices—Spices especially turmeric and ginger also seem to have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Getting enough of certain vitamins is also critical. For example:

  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C can be found in everything from oranges, strawberries and kiwi to tomatoes and bell peppers to broccoli and kale and is important in maintaining cartilage health.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D may also help keep cartilage healthy so eat fortified milk and eggs, wild-caught salmon and shrimp and various Vitamin D and calcium-fortified foods like cereal and orange juice.

Finally, it’s important to avoid a few things too. Saturated and trans fats, excess salt and sugar should all be consumed in moderation if at all. Also, watch out for AGEs or advanced glycation end products which can end up in foods that are cooked at high temperatures and lead to inflammation. Examples include fried, grilled and broiled meats as well as some processed foods.

So go ahead and eat those apples…but make sure to add some of these other powerhouses to the plate as well.

by Kristen Stewart
Kristen is a freelance writer specializing in health, nutrition, parenting and lifestyle topics. To learn more, visit her website at




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The Challenge of Treating Pain “Traditionally” when there is Heart or Kidney Disease

Pain is one of the most common reasons that people go to see their doctor. Developing the right treatment plan can be challenging, but this task becomes especially daunting when other medical conditions are present, including heart and kidney disease. Many of the commonly prescribed medications used for pain need to be used with caution if you have either of these conditions. Heart disease represents the number one killer in America and Congestive Heart Failure represents the most common reason that people are going to the hospital. Kidney disease affects approximately one in eight individuals, with approximately over thirty million people diagnosed with kidney disease.

One of the most common classes of medications used to treat pain include the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS. The side effect profile of this class of medications makes them almost intolerable for someone with heart disease. They may antagonize the effect of aspirin and other blood thinners patients may be on which can increase their risk of developing a heart attack. NSAIDS can raise blood pressure as well. If you have kidney disease, the increase in blood pressure is detrimental to your well-being. NSAIDS also increase the risk of bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract; blood thinners such as aspirin or Plavix further increase this risk. Furthermore, NSAIDS significantly elevate your potassium levels which can affect your heart, can cause your body to retain salt and water, and have the potential to cause worsening of kidney function.

Acetaminophen is a commonly prescribed medication for pain. It is known to be toxic to the liver, but long-term chronic exposure, especially at higher doses, may affect kidney function. The use of narcotics also needs to be monitored closely in the setting of kidney disease. Morphine needs to be dosed carefully as the metabolites of morphine can “hang around” longer in the body as they are not eliminated by the kidney as quickly when kidney disease is present. This increases the potential of developing side effects including depression of the respiratory drive and increased lethargy and confusion.

The alternative is to develop a holistic treatment plan in treating chronic pain. Eating a diet that is alkaline and anti-inflammatory, promoting the use of nutrients that reduce inflammation and pain provides significant benefits to your heart and kidneys.

by Rich Snyder, DO


  • Kuo HW, Tsai SS et al. “Analgesic use and the risk for progression of chronic kidney disease.” Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 2010 Jul;19(7):745-51.
  • Ray WA, Varas-Lorenzo C. “Cardiovascular risks of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs in patients after hospitalization for serious coronary heart disease.” Circulation, Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2009 May;2(3):155-63.

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