mixed nuts and dried fruit

Nuts Improve Quality and Function of Sperm

Male fertility is not often discussed. As we all know, it takes two to tango, so it’s a vital part of the process. Optimizing health helps increase chances of fertilization. Recently researchers found a diet rich in nuts can improve sperm DNA as well as sperm motility, count, and shape. Link here.

healthy diet plus exercise optimizes weight loss. With that in mind, it’s reasonable to suggest that improving health can optimize sperm. The more healthy routines added the better. Thus, a diet rich in nuts is very doable. 4 parameters exist for sperm which are count, shape, vitality, and motility. The study includes 119 healthy men (18-35). The only difference in diet is the addition of hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds. Not only did the parameters improve, but sperm DNA damage was less likely.

Other studies show that omega-3, antioxidants, and folate improve the sperm parameters. Small dietary changes over a long period of time make big changes. It’s reasonable to suggest that exercise or less of a dietary guilty pleasure will improve chances of fertility. Improvements in health do take time. The first study took 14 weeks total. Thus, an increase consumption of nuts a week before conception will not help as much.

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Stave Off Aging Coffee Tea and Chocolate Plus Zinc

As we age, our bodies begin a slow process of break-down. The combination of zinc and tasty treats like chocolate, coffee, and tea can combat this break-down. Link here. Zinc activates hydroquinone in chocolate, coffee, and tea. Also, it’s a trace material found in the body for optimal immune function.

Aging and Superoxide

Simply, most things will not work as well with age. A brand new 2019 car will inevitably need more check-ups in 2026. It’s a natural process. Small healthy routines or diet changes can combat the natural decline in our bodies, like skin aging or muscle fatigue. Superoxide is a compound found in the body that causes this natural break down. Furthermore, superoxide plays a role in aging, inflammation, illness, and neurodegenerative diseases.

cup of coffee on a plate

Zinc With Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate

Hydroquinone combined with zinc creates superoxide demutase enzyme (SOD). As a result, this compound protects the body from superoxide and oxidative stress. Therefore, SOD acts like an antioxidant found in many colorful fruits and vegetables. Researchers believe that coffee, teas, and chocolate could be enriched with small amounts of zinc in future products.

Sources of Zinc

Zinc is found in meats, shellfish, beans, nuts, and whole grains. Thus, if you eat a balanced diet, meeting the normal amount is definitely obtainable. I recommend decaffeinated coffee and tea after 12 PM. Drinks with caffeine, especially after 12 PM, can disrupt sleep. Also, I recommend a chocolate that is at least 75% dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has more healthy cocoa and less sugar.  Lastly, drinking alcohol will destroy any benefit of SOD. Sorry, folks.

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variety of sushi rolls on a platter. Fresh fish is good for the heart.

Heart Health And Omega-3 Fats

Heart function is of utmost importance. There is no debate. Exercise is good, but most forget a key component of heart health which is omega-3 fatty acid. Recent studies show participants in the upper echelon of omega-3 blood levels have a 39% lower risk of a cardiovascular disease. Additionally, participants have a 34% lower risk of death from any cause.  

Usually, there are no warning signs for most cardiovascular events. Unfortunately, CVD is abrupt and potentially catastrophic. Thus, eating fish or supplementation will improve omega-3 levels. Interestingly, there is no association from the above-mentioned lower risks with omega-6. Omega-6 is commonly found in vegetable oils and nuts. Usually, most western diets do not have a balanced omega-3 and omega-6 ratio. Typically, the ratio is closer to 1:10. This leads to inflammation and other health hazards.   

variety of sushi rolls on a platter. Fresh fish is good for the heart.

Instead of vegetable oil or olive oil to cook, I recommend coconut oil or grass-fed butter. Both are solid at room temperature and hold up to heat. Therefore, olive and vegetable oil work great with cold applications like salad dressings or marinades.  

Even the FDA recommends 3.5 oz servings of fish per week. Lastly, if eating fresh fish, I recommend smaller types of fish rather than larger ones. Large fish like swordfish and tuna can have higher levels of mercury.  

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nutritional label

Fat The Good and Bad Guide For Optimal Health

There is a lot of bad information about dietary fat. Many believe it’s awful and only increases the waistline. As a matter of fact, it’s essential for health. Good fat keeps skin, organs, blood and muscles functioning properly. Most importantly, nerves have a fatty protective layer to ensure proper function. It’s similar to the covering of wires to a bulb. 

close nutritional label with fat and carbohydrates

Of course, not all fat is the same.  Differences exist. Some are far more beneficial for your body than others. Thus, learning the difference between good and bad fat is important for optimal health. 

Trans Fat Is Bad

By far, the most dangerous is trans fat which is a byproduct of hydrogenation. The process turns liquid oils into solids to improve shelf life of packaged foods. On labels, you’ll see them as “partially hydrogenated oil.” Found primarily in processed foods, even small amounts can increase your risk of chronic disease. 

Eating foods with trans fat directly increases the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your bloodstream. Increases in LDL can lead to inflammation, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other conditions. Research shows every 2% of calories from trans fat increases risk of heart disease by 23%. Link here

Good Fat Equals Optimal Health

Foods like nuts, seeds, and some vegetables contain good fats. Monounsaturated fat includes common oils like olive, peanut, and canola while polyunsaturated fats are known as omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 and 6  can be found in eggs, fish, organ meats, and nuts. Keep in mind that omega-3 is the best type. 

Your body can not make mono or polyunsaturated fatty acids. Thus, you must obtain them from your diet. When eaten in moderation, both mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids help optimize health. 

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cheeses in foreground

Probiotics Could Improve Overall Health

Boost your probiotic levels from beverages, food, or a natural supplement. The use of probiotic capsules, tablets, and powders contain a variety of bacterial strains. Subsequently, a product with an extensive bacterial strain is best for health. 

cheeses probiotics

Not All Products Are The Same

There is large body of evidence that show various benefits of supplementation. Link here. With so many choices, follow these general rules.    

    • Check the CFU (Colony Forming Units). This number will be on the front of the box and usually ranges from 3-50 billion CFU. The larger the number, the more potent the product 
    • What strains are present? Everyone’s body reacts differently to bacterial strains. Therefore, a supplement with a wide variety of bacteria is more likely impact health
    • What is the shelf life? Probiotic supplements contain live bacterial colonies. Thus, buying supplements directly from the manufacturer is ideal. Furthermore, products bought from a big box store has the chance to be stuck on a shelf closer to expiration.  

Natural Forms Of Probiotics

Fermentation is the result of the food breakdown and bacterial growth. Kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, some cheeses, and yogurt use fermentation to produce the final product. Similarly, kombucha is a popular drink with live bacteria.

How Long Does This Take?

Most noteworthy,  products will use the terms raw or unpasteurized to denote live bacteria. In conclusion, the use of probiotics takes time and consistency to build good bacteria. Consequently, 4-6 months is a fair amount of time for colonization to take place. 

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cinnamon sticks spices

Cinnamon Powerful Health Punch

Cinnamon’s potent health benefits derive from the Cinnamomum tree. The bark, specifically, contains several compounds responsible for its health-promoting properties. The compounds include cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, and cinnamate. Together, these compounds make cinnamon one of the most beneficial spices. Therefore, it’s rich with antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, and immunity-boosting abilities.  

cinnamon sticks spices

 How Much Can I Use?

The best part? Even a little goes a long way. Just a half teaspoon can have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, and immunity, among other benefits. Stronger doses can improve heart disease while curbing users’ risk for diabetes, cancer, and degenerative diseases.

Use and Find Cinnamon

What are some simple ways to get cinnamon in your diet?  For instance, sprinkle cinnamon on top of oatmeal, cereal, or toast in the morning. Also, add a teaspoon to your protein shake or smoothie. Lastly, stir in a teaspoon into a glass of herbal tea. Alternatively, cinnamon is available in supplement form. It can be picked up at any pharmacy or drugstore. It’s commonly packaged as a solo supplement or as a component in blood sugar support supplements.  Most importantly a balanced diet with healthy fats and proteins goes a long way to optimal health. 

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Nose-Breathing Aids In Memory

Nose-breathing affects the ability to memorize. The study cites improvement in memory consolidation or recall when breathing through the nose. Additionally nose-breathing provides more oxygen than mouth-breathing. Also, mouth breathing exposes the body to more air pollutants.
Let’s get real though… breathing through your nose is more attractive too. You look smarter! The electric wiring of your body takes in different sensation from touch, sight, and smell. When a sensation is received, it’s expressed as a thought or reaction.
Since evidence shows that nose-breathing can aid your memory, researchers will look at the parts of the brain that react to a smell. Link here. There are 3 types of nerves. Nerves connect to muscle, organs, and to the brain. Subtle shifts of the spine can obstruct these connections. This will block connections to the muscle, organs, and brain.

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abdominal fat

Vitamin D Use for Abdominal and Belly Fat

Increased fat mass and metabolic syndrome is a worldwide problem. Increases in weight have a higher incidence of joint and skeletal disorders, kidney disease, cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease. Mounting evidence shows a link between vitamin D levels and weight.

abdominal fat

Preliminary studies show that vitamin D supplementation improves total fat mass and body mass index in obese children. Link here. Children took 1,200 IU of vitamin D 3 for 26 weeks. All children had blood levels under 30 ng/ml. Also, high levels of abdominal fat or larger waistlines show low levels of vitamin D. Link here. Scientists believe that it’s hard to metabolize or use with excess fat mass.

Other Uses For Vitamin Supplementation

Other uses for supplementation besides bone maintenance exist. For instance, I wrote about low levels of vitamin D and folate relates to first incidence of psychosis. Link here. Other studies include heart health, cancer rates, and immune system health. Link here.

How Much Do I Need?

Above all, it’s important to supplement in the fall and winter months. Sunlight is less intense and the day is shorter. With the advice of your general practitioner, 1,000 IU of Vitamin D3 with K2 is recommended. Lastly, studies need more research to help create baseline levels. A set baseline will establish better usage and dosages.

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black and white hand

Healthy Skin with Great Sleep and Melatonin

The pursuit of healthy, ageless skin is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Products are abundant. Advertisements for laser surgery, Botox, creams, and fillers run rampant across TV screens. Actors and actresses push age-defying products every day to their audiences. If they work for you, great, but let’s get down to a few basics that you can add to your daily routine. Melatonin and restful sleep play an important role in skin aging. Link here.

healthy skin

Skin Health Basics with Melatonin

Melatonin is produced in the absence of light exposure. Natural occurring melatonin is an antioxidant which prevents cell and protein inflammation. Less cellular and protein damage promotes healthy skin cells. Also, melatonin is shown to keep collagen and elastin producing cells at optimal levels. Collagen and elastin contribute to strong and resilient skin. Topical melatonin could help prevent further damage described above. Link here.

Perception of Your Skin with Sleep and Melatonin

Studies show that skin will lose some of its restorative powers with less sleep. They call it beauty-sleep for a reason. Link here. With less sleep skin perception is more negative, skin water loss is apparent, and skin repair is less productive after damaging light exposure. Lastly people who slept more had higher ratings for physical attractiveness and skin perception. Amazing how a good night’s rest will do for one’s psyche. Without any fillers etc., sleep obviously plays a pivotal role in skin appearance.

There are many products that promote healthy skin, but remember the basics. Good sleep, water, and a healthy diet will go a long way in keeping skin healthy. For an extra boost topical melatonin and other vitamin creams could help repair and rejuvenate skin.

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carrots prostate

Foods You Must Eat for a Healthy Prostate

Prostate cancer affects nearly 3 million people a year. Lifestyle-factors play a large role in cancer incidence. Consequently, it’s important to have a healthy diet of foods. Difficulty upon urination, bladder issues, and erectile dysfunction are a few warning signs of prostate cancer. Research shows that 4 foods can keep the prostate healthy. By no means is this a treatment for prostate issues. Above all, eating these foods is a means of optimizing health and risk reduction.

Watermelon is Tasty and Good for the Prostate

watermelon prostate

Watermelon is a good source of lycopene.  Link here. Lycopene is an antioxidant which serves to protect cells against cancer. Due to high blood levels of this antioxidant, risk of chronic disease is reduced. Not a fan of watermelon? Try red berries or tomato. Similarly , red berries and tomatoes are a great source of lycopene. The common thing among all of these foods is the color red. Sorry, this doesn’t include red meat.

Crunchy, Colorful, and Healthy Carrots

carrots prostate

Carrots’ active compound is carotenoid. Link here. Carotenoid is the pigment found in carrots that protect it from natural decomposition. The pigment is sort of a natural sunscreen for carrots. Similar to lycopene, carotenoids protect cell from stress. Do you find carrots flavorless? Try sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, plums, mangoes, or spinach.

Tumeric Powerful Powder

Also, tumeric is an extremely healthy root used mainly as a spice. Tumeric is a root from the ginger family which houses a powerful compound called curcumin. Link here. As I mentioned before, eating deeply colored foods is ideal. Tumeric is a bright yellow and highly anti-inflammatory. When using tumeric powder, par it with black pepper. Black pepper will increase its absorption levels. Thus, enhancing it’s benefits.

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