Monday, August 26, 2013


Most of us, if not all, have experienced the mild to excruciating effects of a migraine headache.  Migraines can be a moderate to severe headache which occurs on one side of the head at a given time. This usually lasts from hours to days and is often accompanied by nausea or vomiting.

Dr.Pamela Smith, in her book What You Must know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & More, enumerates the various triggers of migraine headache:
  • Hormonal changes
  • Aged cheese
  • Wine
  • Chocolate
  • Fermented and marinated foods
  • Mono-sodium Glutamate
  • Stress
  • Sensory stimuli such as bright lights or sun glare
  • Changes in the sleep-wake cycle
  • Changes in the weather, humidity
  • Use of certain medications
If you suffer from migraine headaches, try to avoid potential triggers. She further suggests the following supplements to treat migraine headaches:

B-complex vitamins   50 mg twice a day
Calcium                    500 mg once or twice a day
Carnitine                  1,000 to 3,000 once a day
Coenzyme Q10         100 mg twice a day
Magnesium               600 to 800 mg once a day - Consult healthcare
                                provider if you have kidney disease
Probiotics                 20 billion units once a day
Selenium                 200 mcg once a day
Vitamin C                 500 to 1,500 mg twice a day
Vitamin E                 400 to 800 IU once a day
Zinc                         25 mg once a day

(Reference: "What You Must Know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & More," Square One Publishers,  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hunza Health Secrets

The Hunzas who live in the north of India, follow the principles of sound nutrition and with amazing results.

Dr. Sir Robert McCarrison, C.I.E., M.D., D.Sci., L.L.D., F.R.C.P., one time physician to the Viceroy of India, gives the following report on the Hunzas and furnishes us with the following description of their magnificent physical condition:

“The diet of these people corresponds in many ways to that of the Sikhs, but they eat less meat, and, their stock being limited to goats, their consumption of milk and milk products is less than that of the Sikhs.

“But they are great fruit-eaters, especially of apricots and mulberries, which they use in both the raw and the sun-dried state.  

“The power of endurance of these people is extraordinary: to see a man of this race throw off his scanty garments, revealing a figure which would delight the eye of a Rodin, and plunge into a glacier-fed river in the middle of winter, with as much unconcern as many of us would take a tepid bath, is to realize that perfection of physique and great physical endurance are attainable on the simplest of foods, provided these be of the right kind.

“These people are long-lived and vigorous in old age.  Among them the ailments too common in our own people – such as gastro-intestinal disorders, colitis, gastric and duodenal ulcer and cancer – are extraordinarily uncommon, and I have no doubt whatever in my own mind that their freedom from the scourges of modern civilisation is due to three things:

“(1) Their use of simple, natural foodstuffs of the right kind; (2) their vigorous outdoor life, and (3) their fine bracing climate.

“It is some years now since I drew attention to the freedom of these people from any of the maladies which so commonly afflict our own people, and found a reason for it in their use of simple food-stuffs...

“With the Hunzas, resistance to infection is remarkable... Cancer is so rare that in nine years’ practice I never came across a single case of it.”

(The McCarrison report titled, “One example of a Properly-Fed People,” originally published in 1958, was printed and distributed by Science of Life Books Pty. Ltd., Box 4397, G.P.Q., Sydney, Australia – J.P.)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Iron Deficiency

Today let’s talk about Iron. As much as we want to be as strong as Iron Man, unfortunately, he’s just a fictional character. But we can be as healthy as any superhero if we watch our diet and have sufficient vitamins and minerals in our body. Interestingly, one of the most common nutritional deficiencies is iron deficiency

According to Pamela Smith, MD, MPH in her book What You Must Know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & More, The micromineral iron is key to good health because it is involved in many important functions in your body.”

Iron is indeed a very important mineral in the body as it carries oxygen to the tissues from the lungs in the form of hemoglobin, transports electrons within the cells, regulates cell growth, is involved in immune system efficiency, and is an integral part of enzyme reactions in different tissues.

Iron deficiency, also called sideropenia or hypoferremia, is common and is caused by many factors, some of which are mentioned in Dr. Smith’s book:
  • Black tea
  • Bleeding from any part of the body
  • Calcium
  • Coffee
  • Green tea
  • Menstrual Cycles
  • Partially-digested proteins
  • Phylates (which are found in pita bread, wheat germ, cacao powder, oats and nuts)
  • Polyphenolic compounds (which are found in certain plant foods)
  • Problems in the small intestines or gastrointestinal tract
  • Red wine
  • Soy products
  • Vegetarian diet
  • Zinc
Probably the most common nutrition fact about iron is that meats are rich in iron. While this is true, it is also true that a number of plant foods are also rich in iron. It may come as a surprise that researchers have found that some plant foods are even richer in iron than meat. And, you'll see that our list of excellent iron sources is actually dominated by plant foods. Below are the top 10 foods rich in iron, with the corresponding number which describes how many milligrams of iron are in 100 grams of food:
  1. Kelp                                         100
  2. Brewer’s yeast                          17.3
  3. Blackstrap molasses                 16.1
  4. Wheat bran                               14.9
  5. Pumpkin and squash seeds       11.2
  6. Wheat germ                              9.4
  7. Beef liver                                   8.8
  8. Sunflower seeds                        7.1
  9. Millet                                        6.8
  10. Parsley                                     6.2 
According to Dr. Smith, the daily recommended dosage of iron for males is 10 milligrams per day, 30 milligrams for pregnant women, and 15 milligrams for pre-menopausal women.

(Reference: "What You Must Know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & More," Square One Publishers.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Being Conscientious For Better Health

People who do what they say they are going to do tend to be healthier than people who don’t follow through.  Develop a long-standing habit of reliability, and benefits for your health and your life will follow,” advises author David Niven.

Niven cites psychology professor Alan Christensen of the University of Iowa as having said that our attitudes and approaches to life matter to our health.

Professor Christensen explains: You will be better off if you’re conscientious.  Conscientiousness refers to diligence, a strong sense of personal control, and a willingness to take on personal challenges. In short, it is a commitment to follow the course you set yourself on without reluctance.

Christensen (further quotes Niven) says that it may be as important to think about how patients approach the world and themselves as it is to consider their physical state.  There is reason to believe individuals can alter their degree of consciousness. Moreover, doctors should be able to use information about how their patients‘ personalities may be putting them at risk to judge how closely they need to be monitored and how aggressively to treat them.

In Niven’s study of those suffering from a chronic illness, University of Iowa researchers found that those who tended to be highly conscientious, goal-directed, and dependable were 36 percent less likely to die prematurely.

An interest in health is a very useful thing. An obsession with health is, however, a dangerous thing. Having a few health concerns at any given moment is normal. The best approach to health is to minimize health problems, not eliminate them.

Emory University researchers found that less than 19 percent of Americans could be classified as completely healthy (with high levels of physical and mental health and low levels of illness) at any given moment, cites Niven.

So what’s health all about? It’s all about life. Niven puts it this way:

We see stories on the news about the latest pill, the latest treatment, the latest and most expensive remedy for whatever ails us. The health story we don’t hear is that the route to a healthy life is not found in doctors’ offices or hospitals.  It is found in our home and in our daily life. Enjoying your life and the people around you will contribute to your health and reduce the effects of aging.