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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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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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Fasting Breast Cancer Re-occurrence

Fast? A Simple Way to Reduce Cancer Re-occurrance

We fast every day. Hence the word, breakfast.  Whether you break your fast at 7 or 11 AM, it may be good to track the amount of time between dinner and breakfast. The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study involving 2413 women diagnosed with breast cancer. Data shows the mean fasting time (time between dinner and breakfast) averaged 12.5 hours.

Fast Breast Cancer Re-occurrence

 

How Long Should You Fast?

Fasting less than 13 hours increases chances of cancer re-occurrence by 36%. 36%!  A simple change like eating one day’s ration of food within a 10-11 hour period could reduce chances of cancer by 36%. That’s eye opening. Not to mention, 13 hour fasting reduced HbA1c (diabetic marker) and increased nighttime sleep. What does this mean for those who haven’t been diagnosed with breast cancer?

Fasting With Other Studies

Studies involving mice and humans have also shown positive effects. Patients with relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS) followed prolonged fasting and ketogenic diets. The article cited “clinically meaningful improvement” on MS Quality of Life- 54 scores.
Mice showed improvement of MS symptoms by undergoing a fasting mimicking diet. The diet lowered the number of damaging immune cells and regrow the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is the protective covering for nerve communication. The sheath is similar to the plastic covering of a power cord.
These studies have sparked larger clinical trials looking into an array of health issues that can be improved by fasting. I believe these studies are fascinating given the ease of application and the potential health benefits. Can you eat all of your calories within a 10 hour time frame? Definitely.

How Does Fasting Work?

Why do these trials show so much promise? Scientist hypothesize that cells under a fasting state will undergo cellular protection or death. Cells that are abnormal/damaged are more apt for death in a fasting state. Therefore a cellular reduction from apoptosis (cellular death), will stimulate stem cells (parent cells) to make new healthy cells.
With modern day food science, calories are plentiful. Maybe we need to take a longer break for our body to metabolize calories. It’s seems reasonable because a constant or excessive feeding of our cells is unhealthy. In conclusion if you plan to change your diet, please consult your physician especially if you have a preexisting condition.
For more information about Structural Chiropractic in Birmingham, Alabama, click here.

For more health news, click here.