How to Use Nutrition to Help Combat Addiction

Though the rates of cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, and cocaine use have declined in recent years, addiction to these and other substances continue to be a serious problem.

Sometimes addiction can even start with a prescribed medication that may have been very beneficial to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life at the time. 2.5% of the population uses prescription drugs non-medically, such as pain killers, tranquilizers, and stimulants which can lead to a dependency and difficulty discontinuing. In an effort to end one addiction, people may jump to other substances in attempts to control cravings. What started as taking a prescription to control pain can end up in a cycle of dependency and drug use.

Nutrition is often not emphasized as a foundation of addiction treatment, but it should be seriously considered as a tool to provide comprehensive support and better recovery outcomes. There are many connections between substance abuse and nutrition, and if utilized correctly, diet can play a vital role supporting people in recovery. Continue reading “How to Use Nutrition to Help Combat Addiction”

10 Things You Can do to Help Control Healthy DNA Expression

If you have a parent or other family member with a health condition like high cholesterol or cancer you’ve probably considered you may have a genetic predisposition for those conditions. Though this may be true, it doesn’t mean you can’t influence your risk. It’s no secret that diet and exercise can have positive influences on your health and risk for disease, but now we know it is even affecting how your DNA is expressed.

A little DNA refresher…

You inherit your DNA from each of your parents. Your DNA carries the instructions that determine your growth and development, and produces proteins that are necessary for everyday functioning. Genes are basic units of DNA that interact with each other and the environment.

Epigenetics & Why Your DNA Isn’t Your Destiny

Your DNA isn’t necessarily your fate when it comes to health and disease. The way our DNA is expressed depends on certain modifications that determine if the gene is turned on or off. These are called epigenetic modifications which occur “on top of” the DNA, not to the DNA itself. Diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors can influence genetic expression through epigenetic changes. Continue reading “10 Things You Can do to Help Control Healthy DNA Expression”

Getting the Most out of Weight Lifting: An Introduction to Protein, BCAAs, and Nutrient Timing for Optimizing Athletic Performance

 

This article was originally published at Whole Health Associates’ website

By Aylah Clark, ND

The exercise supplement industry is thriving as the popularity of weight lifting in particular has increased. I love that weight-lifting is becoming more popular, especially among women, but there is a lot of misinformation out there. This doesn’t mean you should avoid exercise supplements completely however because some do have a lot of evidence behind them.

Although getting nutrients from food is ideal, sometimes supplementation around exercise can actually be very helpful in optimizing the right nutrients at the right time. If you are supplementing are they working for you? Are you taking the right ones? Are you taking enough or even at the right time?Weight Lifting

Foundationally, the right diet with appropriate proportions of macronutrients (protein, fats, carbs) in the form of healthful foods, adequate sleep and recovery, and good exercise techniques are essential. As we get those ducks in a row, we can also move toward optimizing specific nutrients and their timing which I focus on here. Continue reading “Getting the Most out of Weight Lifting: An Introduction to Protein, BCAAs, and Nutrient Timing for Optimizing Athletic Performance”

5 Nutrients for Men’s Health You Don’t Want To Miss

This article was originally published on Whole Health’s website.

Men’s health can mean a lot of things but this discussion will primarily center around 5 key nutrients that support cardiovascular health, sexual health, and muscle mass– topics we find are important to many of our male patients.

When we talk about men’s health, it’s worth mentioning vascular health for a few reasons. One reason is to support cardiovascular function for a healthy heart, but also to address and prevent erectile dysfunction which can be caused by sub-optimal health of blood vessels. The cells lining blood vessels are called endothelial cells. Endothelial cell dysfunction is a primary contributor to atherosclerosis (plaque forming in blood vessels). Endothelial dysfunction increases with age but can be exacerbated by high blood sugar, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

Effects from nitric oxide will come into play below so here’s a little background. Nitric oxide is released from the endothelial cells lining your blood vessels and results in vasodilation. In men who have erectile dysfunction associated with arterial origins, increasing nitric oxide and therefore dilating blood vessels can result in improved erectile function. These effects on blood vessels can result in other cardiovascular benefits and potentially play a role in exercise performance.

Now let’s get on with it! Continue reading “5 Nutrients for Men’s Health You Don’t Want To Miss”