baby sleeping on a blanket

Pink Noise Improves Sleep and Memory

Studies show pink noise (listen here) improves deep sleep and memory. As we age, especially during our 50s and 60s, deep sleep declines. Researchers believe reductions in deep sleep can contribute to dementia.

pink noise baby sleeping on blankets

Noise Differences

Pink noise is different from white because each sound wave is equal in energy. Pink is similar to ocean tides and rainstorms. White noise, on the other hand, is a mixture of frequencies from low to high. White noise similar to an unused TV or radio station.

Deep Sleep and Memory

Multiple studies show a correlation between deep sleep and word recall. A German study shows longer periods of deep sleep equate to improvements in word recall. Study participants using pink noise recalled twenty-two words, whereas, the control groups recalled thirteen words. Additionally, participants with mild cognitive impairment see similar results between deep sleep and word recall.

Pink Noise: Where Can You Find ?

Many phone apps are available for sound stimulation. Sound machines are popular as well. Just make sure you are getting a sound machine with pink noise rather than white noise.

What Are Other Tips For A Good Nights Rest?

Try to reduce all light from electronics at night. Blue light from electronics will drop normal levels of the hormone melatonin. Naturally, the body will increase the levels the darker the day gets.

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box of tissue on sofa

Humidity Could Keep You Well This Winter

It’s no secret that people are more prone to contract illnesses during the winter months. According to researchers, one of the main reasons for this is low humidity. Anyone who lives in the South knows humidity is lower when it’s cold outside, but how does cold air affect our immune system?

box of tissue on a sofa

Effects of Cold Winter Air

Low humidity causes three changes in the respiratory system.  First, microscopic hair cells in the lining of the airway do not catch viral cells and mucus as effectively. Second, low humidity reduces the ability of the body to repair respiratory cells in the lungs damaged by viruses. Lastly, the immune system is unable to communicate properly via interferon cells. Interferon cells communicate threats of foreign bacteria or viruses. Without optimal communication from the nervous system, each of the mechanisms above will suffer even more. Thus, it’s important to remove Structural Shifts off the nervous system.

Find a Humidifier for More Humidity

There are other factors in play when people get sick, but there is typically and increase in illnesses as the humidity drops. In addition to proper hand washing and coughing techniques, the use of humidifiers in schools, workplaces, and home could help.

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a bucket of blueberries

A Cup Of Blueberries Per Day Reduces Heart Disease

Everyone knows that fruit and vegetables are part of a healthy diet. However, some fruits and vegetables may be more beneficial than others. Research shows that a cup of blueberries a day reduces risk factors of cardiovascular disease heart disease.

large bucket of blueberries

Blueberries and Metabolic Syndrome

Researchers set out to see how blueberry consumption affects Metabolic Syndrome. Diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome is when a patient meets 3 of 5 criteria. The criteria include: high blood pressure, excess fat around the waist, high triglycerides, low levels of good cholesterol, and high blood sugar. 1 out of 3 people have Metabolic Syndrome. In this study, researchers followed 138 obese and over-weight participants. Participants were given one of the following: a placebo, ½ cup blueberries, or 1 cup blueberries. 

Drops In Cardiovascular Disease Rick

The results show cardiovascular disease risk dropped 12-15% when participants consumed 1 cup of blueberries.  Unfortunately, consuming ½ cup of blueberries does not show any improvement. Anthocyanins, a compound responsible for berries color, is the main reason for the reduction in cardiovascular disease.  Certainly, powerful anthocyanins will be in cherries, blackberries, pomegranate, and raspberries. In addition to healthy fruits and vegetables, a balanced diet of lean protein and whole grains is important too.

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kettle bells in a line

Quicker Weight Lifting Could Mean Longer Life

The weight lifting industry views muscle strength as more important than muscle power.  However, a new study has found that muscle power may be the best indicator of life expectancy. Muscle power is essentially the ability to produce force and velocity while also coordinating movement. They best way to increase muscle power is weight lifting, but a specific weight lifting method must be used.   

kettle bells on a glass surface

Heavy weight may be beneficial, but more weight usually means slower repetitions. In most cases, a slow repetition equals low power. Muscle power comes from an increase of speed during a lift. First, pick an appropriate weight. The weight should not be easy to lift but also not too heavy that you can barely lift it. Then, do multiple repetitions lifting the weight as fast as possible. During the lift, make sure the movement is smooth and coordinated. It is important to remember that even though muscle power is important, it is necessary to remain in proper form during any weight lifting exercise.

Of 3,878 study participants, the 3rd and 4th lowest quartile of muscle power had a 4-to-5 and 10-to-13 times higher risk of dying than those with maximal power. That’s such a large discrepancy. Additionally, these participants are non-athletes. Muscle power is attainable for everyone. More research needs to be done to assess the connection between muscle power increases and health to determine the full benefit.

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Close up picture of berries

Increase Immune System Efficiency with Elderberry

Flu season: no other virus has a season named after it. It’s a massive health concern potentially affecting millions of people per year. Studies show that elderberry has long had a negative effect on the flu virus. Elderberry contains a phytochemical that inhibits the virus before and after a person is infected.

Elderberry Effects

Specifically, the elderberry phytochemical blocks the virus from attaching to and entering a host cell. This is important because once the virus enters the body via the host cell, it will infect other cells. The infected cells then break causing more cells to be taken over by the virus. This happens in the lining of your nose, throat, and lungs. Additionally, the infection spreads to the blood stream causing muscles to ache.

Structure and Immune System

In addition to homeopathic remedies, structural correction can also help boost immune support. It is important to have any obstructions removed from the nervous system for our cells to communicate properly. A shift of spinal segments cause a disruption of communication between cells. When cells communicate properly, our entire body including the immune system functions better.

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Smoothie with a straw

Too Much Protein? Optimize Diet and Function

Protein is vital for optimal performance and health maintenance. The main sources of protein in our diet are meat and dairy. As a result, many companies have even started to highlight the amount of protein in their products. However, with these high-protein optional available, how much protein is too much?

Strawberry Smoothie in a glass diet

Excess Protein In Diet

Research shows that excess amounts of protein, specifically branched chain amino acids, may be harmful. Furthermore, excess branched chain amino acids decreases the amount of serotonin levels in the blood. Serotonin is important for sleep and a positive mood. It’s commonly referred as the ‘happy’ hormone. Serotonin is decreased when excess branched chain amino acids block tryptophan. Tryptophan stimulates serotonin production.

Vary Your Sources

Based on these findings, it is important to vary your protein sources to make sure you are not getting excess branched chain amino acids. Soy, lentils, edamame, chickpeas, nuts, quinoa, and chia seeds are great sources of plant-based protein. Even more so, a balanced diet of vegetables and fruits is of equal importance.

Are You Active?

It is important to remember; the amount of daily protein required varies in everyone. Consequently, an active individual will need more protein than a sedentary person. The recommended baseline without variables amounts to .36 grams of protein per pound.  One egg is 6 grams of protein while 1 cup of chicken is 38 grams of protein. Most of all, it’s important to vary your sources of protein for optimum health.

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tomatoes in a row

Tomato Compound Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer

A tomato is a tasty and versatile food. It happens to have many healthy compounds that negatively affect free radicals. Subsequently, free radicals and inflammation can cause many diseases

A large study shows that participants measuring in the highest range of lycopene levels have a 64% lower risk of colorectal cancer. This group is compared to the lowest quarter. High lycopene levels have shown to reduce the risk of other cancers like ovarian and skin.

tomato compound in rows

Tomato Compound Lycopene Reduces Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men. Many studies show that lycopene, found in tomatoes, reduces the risk of prostate cancer. In many cases, the first treatment is hormone suppression. Hormones play a role in the growth of cancer cells.

Signal Disruption

The most abundant male hormones are testosterone and androstenedione. Lycopene reduces the risk of prostate cancer, but it also reduces the hormone signaling to normal prostate tissues.

Similarly, this is the same case for breast cancer and the hormone estrogen. After a biopsy, the breast tissue will be tested for estrogen receptors. For instance, receptors signal hormones to attach to a receptor site on tissue. If hormones attach to receptors on tumors, the tumor will grow. Lycopene disrupts this signal.

Lycopene Filled Varities

Different varieties of tomatoes will have more lycopene. Thus, if you have a green thumb plant Health Kick VFFA Hybrid, Tangerine (heirloom), and Jet Star VF Hybrid. Finally, if you don’t have the ability to plant, grocery store varieties will do.

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coconut with hole in middle

Coconut Oil, Butter, or Olive Oil?

What type of fat should I cook with? That may depend of a few variables. Does the recipe require a baking, sauteing, or searing? Each one has its pros, but there is one that is the healthiest. The best fat to cook with is coconut oil. Why?

Coconut with hole in middle

Coconut while solid at room temperature like butter is mostly made up of saturated fatty acid. That’s not good, right? Not necessarily. Coconut oil’s saturated fat is made up mostly of small to medium chain fatty acids. Long chain fatty acids can increase cholesterol levels. Despite its wonderful flavor, butter, is made mostly of long chain fatty acids.

The Best Types of Fat

A recent study shows coconut oil increases HDL-cholesterol and does not raise LDL-cholesterol compared to olive oil. LDL-cholesterol is the bad cholesterol while HDL-cholesterol is good. High levels of LDL-cholesterol is a potential risk for heart disease. Also, coconut oil decreases C-reactive protein levels. C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation and potential disease.

Heat or No Heat

Olive oil is best used in cold applications. Olive oil is good for dressings and a finishing-oil on top of cooked foods. Coconut oil is more versatile for high heat cooking. Thus, it can be used in sauteing and baking.

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swimming in a pool

Exercise or Diet to Maintain Weight?

Diet or exercise. Which one is better at maintaining weight loss? There is much in question about which is best to keep weight off. Studies show it’s more important to stay active than count calories. This according to a new study. 

Physcial Activity and Weight

Certainly, diet is always important for health and optimal weight. There is no debate. This study stresses the importance of physical activity after weight loss. There is nothing more frustrating than losing weight only to gain it back. Similar results are correlated in the ‘Biggest Loser’ study, the hit television show.

Steps Matter In Weight Control

Successful participants maintained a reduced body weight of 30 pounds or more over one year. That is a lot of weight. Interestingly, weight-loss maintainers burned more calories than normal body weight controls. Also, weight-loss maintainers’ step count is significantly higher than overweight/obesity and normal weight participants. 12,000 steps compared to 9,000 and 6,500 respectively.

Exercise Over Calories

Weight-loss maintainers consume an equal amount of calories to overweight/obese participants, but activity levels remain higher. The study includes an interesting way to measure energy expenditure as well. The hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the water were ‘labeled.’ This is the gold standard of energy expenditure measure. Lastly, don’t ask me how they ‘label’ the water.

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bread with sesame seeds

Increase Metabolism By Fasting

We have always been told to eat three full meals a day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, some studies show a simple break from eating (i.e. fasting) can improve your health. A recent study shows that fasting can boost metabolism, but what does that really mean for our health? Link here

Fasting Breaks Down Nutrients Faster

Fasting increases the process of energy utilization or breakdown. In short, boosting metabolism. When you increase your metabolism, your body will burn carbohydrates, fats, and protein faster. The body prefers to burn carbohydrates for energy or activity. However, in the absence of carbohydrates, the body will burn fat stores and proteins. Without carbs, the cells do not work as hard. When the body uses fat as energy, the breakdown of fat is more efficient.

Fasting Increases Anti-aging Compounds

Fasting has other health benefits in addition to an increased metabolism. Researchers have found certain antioxidants and muscle-maintaining compounds can appear. Because muscle mass declines as you age, this suggests that fasting could increase longevity. Antioxidants are also beneficial because they keep cells healthy.

Important Notes Before Fasting

If you are considering fasting, check with your primary care doctor. Certain conditions contraindicate fasting. The benefits detailed above were tested at a fasting length of 34-58 hours. The study did not report what participants drank during the fast.  

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