Heart Disease Fighting Foods

As mentioned in my previous blog, cholesterol is just one factor in a comprehensive approach to managing risks for heart disease. Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, alcohol, smoking, and toxins/pollution have a significant impact on our vascular health. So in this blog, I will highlight some superfoods that you can incorporate into your diet to keep your arteries in tip-top shape.  Avocados and avocado oil Avocados are nutrient dense and packed with healthy, monounsaturated fat. In this study, participants who ate an avocado daily had significantly lower levels of oxidized LDL (the kind that clogs up your arteries). Avocado oil is mild so it doesn’t impart flavor to the food and comes with a high smoke point (over 500F) so it’s a great option for cooking and stir-frying all types of food. I no longer use olive oil for frying as the high cooking temperature can damage the oil. In general, the safest way is to stir-fry the food in water or some broth and then add in oil towards th...

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Best Exercises for Diabetes & Pre-Diabetes

If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, you’ve probably heard from your physician about the importance of a good diet and regular exercise. Consistent body movement (which goes beyond walking to the fridge) will help boost energy, better manage blood sugar levels, reduce insulin needs, manage stress, improve your mood and promote better sleep. If you’re like me and have glucose management issues, the temptation to sit on the couch after a long day is often overcome by my uplifted mood and energy level after a brisk walk or workout. So here are some of the best exercises to engage in. Aerobic dance Dancing not only provides a physical workout but boosts your memory with the mental work required to remember steps and sequences. Have you tried Zumba? It’s a form of dance that’s a fun way to increase physical activity, lower blood sugar and reduce stress. In this study, a 16-week Zumba dance class program improved markers of health and fitness in Type 2 diabetic or overweight women. Here’s a...

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Mastering Diabetes Naturally

I have been listening to the Food Matters Total Wellness Summit online and one of the interviews was with the two authors of the New York Times bestselling book Mastering Diabetes. Cyrus Khambatta and Robby Barbaro have degrees in nutritional biochemistry and public health (respectively) and are both Type 1 diabetics with firsthand experience on the nutrition protocol they researched and found to be optimal for reversing insulin resistance. Based on their research, the authors promote a primarily plant-based diet with emphasis on whole foods with nominal good fats. Here are the highlights: Key contributing factors for diabetes in the western world, especially for Type 2 diabetes:There is a lot of misinformation and also too much information that is conflicting which breeds apathy for the consumer and lack of motivation to make changes. It’s important to note that both forms of diabetes (Type 1 or 2) are unified by insulin resistance.The American living environment is not set up for suc...

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How to Prepare for the COVID Vaccine

With vaccine availability now broadening to more groups, you may be wondering what steps you can take to prepare yourself for the shot(s). In this blog, I’ll describe some do’s and don’ts to consider. It’s important to note that these are not short-term solutions but ways to reach optimal health which will support the vaccine response and also protect you from illness.  

Stay away from processed foods

In this peer-reviewed study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, it’s been shown that a food preservative known as tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), commonly used in packaged foods like Pop-Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats, Cheez-Its and over 1,000 processed foods, has been found to harm the immune system. Unfortunately, chemicals like TBHQ were approved by the FDA decades ago and there has been no re-assessment of the safety of food chemicals. So, it’s “buyer beware” and all the more reason to stay away from processed foods and eat WHOLE.   

Eat an...

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Inflammation and How to Reduce it with 9 Super Herbs

In some of my previous blogs, I noted the importance of inflammation and how it impacts our health including heart disease, diabetes/obesity, pain, insulin resistance and even skin conditions. In this blog, I’ll share some natural ways to manage inflammation so our body has just enough (but not too much) to support our well-being.  

First, what is inflammation? Inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect itself against harm, and there are two types: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation happens when you cut your finger or bruise your elbow and your immune system kicks in to protect the area with white blood cells which can cause swelling and/or redness. This type of inflammation is essential as it protects your body from infection or further damage. Chronic inflammation is also a response to unwanted attacks but is the more insidious type as it could evade detection for a long time and can manifest in a wide range of symptoms. For starters, you may have chronic low-grade i...

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Cómo afecta el intestino a la fatiga

Hace poco escuché una entrevista en un seminario web con el Dr. Michael Ruscio, que ha realizado una gran cantidad de investigaciones clínicas en el área de la digestión y ha publicado ampliamente en revistas especializadas. Es el autor de Healthy Gut, Healthy You y es orador invitado en el Fatigue Super Conference. Habla de la importancia de una buena digestión y de las formas de conseguir una salud óptima a través de un intestino sano. Desde mi propia experiencia personal con la fatiga y los problemas de energía, me alegró que validara mucho de lo que he pasado y de la investigación que he hecho hasta la fecha. Aquí hay algunos puntos clave de su entrevista: La energía y el estado de ánimo están inextricablemente unidos. Cuando uno está cansado, se siente deprimido. A mí me pasa que, cuando tengo buenos niveles de energía, siento que puedo conquistar el mundo. Cuando estoy cansada y fatigada, me deprimo y siento que el peso del mundo está sobre mis hombros. Esto tiene que ver con la inflamación y el intestino...

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More Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure

According to the latest statistics from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), if you have high blood pressure, you are among almost half of all American adults. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, stroke and vision impairment and increases mortality by over 200% compared to those who don’t have high blood pressure.  So, as a follow-up to my previous blog on the subject, I’m going to share some more evidence-based tips on natural ways to keep your blood vessels healthy and strong.  Beetroot Juice Beets get their beautiful red color from the plant pigment known as betanin which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beets are not only delicious but rich in nitrates which get converted to nitric oxide (NO). NO helps maintain healthy blood pressure, is important to vascular dilation and also plays a role in strengthening the immune system by protecting the lungs and lowering the risk of respiratory infections. Bee...

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Heart Disease and the Role of Cholesterol

Cholesterol has certainly gotten a bad rap over the years – remember the low fat craze where butter and eggs were considered ‘bad’ for vascular health? Fortunately, medical organizations have reversed their position on cholesterol but many of us are still not looking at the whole picture.

In an interesting podcast by Dr. Elizabeth Boham on the Doctor’s Farmacy, she discusses how cholesterol is only one factor in cardiovascular disease and in lieu of looking at cholesterol as a symptom of heart disease, we need a more comprehensive and balanced approach in considering all the risk factors. So in this two-part blog, I’ll highlight: 1) factors that contribute to heart disease and cholesterol’s role in it, and 2) natural ways to manage heart disease risk factors.

Cholesterol is critical for our body to function – it not only makes essential hormones to keep us alive but one quarter of the body’s cholesterol is in our brain so it’s what keeps us mentally sharp. In fact, several stu...

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11 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure

The American Heart Association estimates that over 100 million American adults have high blood pressure or hypertension. If left untreated, this can lead to serious health conditions. There is evidence that suggests that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles for each additional 20 mg Hg systolic and 10mg Hg diastolic reading above 115/75 mm Hg. So getting blood pressure under control may be one of the best ways to protect your health.
Blood pressure is measured as the force that is exerted by the blood on the artery walls. The systolic reading (top number) indicates the force of each heartbeat and the diastolic (bottom number) indicates the force in between the heartbeats. The clinical guidelines for “elevated” blood pressure is above 120mm Hg systolic over 80 mm Hg diastolic.
In this two part blog, I’m going to share some evidence-based tips on natural ways to manage blood pressure. 

Bay Leaves
Bay leaves are popular herbs to include in recipes such as soups and stews but d...

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El cáncer y el huésped - Una perspectiva de medicina funcional

Hace poco escuché una fascinante serie de podcasts llamada The Longevity Roadmap ("La hoja de ruta de la longevidad" en español), ofrecida por el Dr. Mark Hyman y su Centro de Ultrawellness. En un episodio en particular, el Dr. Hyman y otros especialistas hablaron sobre el enfoque específico que la medicina funcional (MF) tiene sobre el cáncer. Aquí presento lo más destacado: La obesidad superó al tabaquismo como primera causa de cáncer en todo el mundo y, en Estados Unidos, hasta dos tercios de los adultos y un tercio de los niños tienen sobrepeso u obesidad (IMC superior a 25), lo que contribuye al crecimiento de muchos tipos de cáncer. Se sabe que la obesidad y las toxinas de los alimentos y el medio ambiente crean inflamación y cambian nuestro microbioma, lo que puede desencadenar el crecimiento del cáncer. El azúcar es un desencadenante de la inflamación y no solo alimenta la obesidad, sino que también aumenta el riesgo de padecer 13 tipos de cáncer. Cada vez es más conocido que la principal causa subyacente de todas las enfermedades relacionadas con la edad (incluido el cáncer) es la resistencia a la insulina, que incluye...

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