Kale Recipes and Benefits

kale, greens, health, detox, weight loss

kale

If you like to eat healthily and have a lot of variety in your diet, you are probably familiar with kale and all of the fantastic benefits that go along with eating it. If you typically don’t make the healthiest food choices but know you should probably start, kale is a wonderful way to introduce a healthy choice into your diet.

Kale has recently gained notoriety for its leafy green goodness and its huge nutrient content. Thanks to the surge in popularity there are all kinds of tips for how to eat kale, as well as readily-available healthy kale recipes.

If you are looking for something easy and beneficial to help achieve a healthier lifestyle when it comes to your diet, reach out to us here at Balanced Care. One of our naturopathic doctors will be happy to help you with ideas on healthy food choices.

Health Benefits of Kale

kale

You can get so many fantastic benefits from kale that you might wonder why you haven’t yet added it to your diet. Kale is one of the world’s healthiest foods, and it is easy to include it in your diet so that you can reap the many rewards it has to offer.

Full of Nutrients

Kale is a nutrient-dense super-food containing vitamins A, C, K, and B-6. It also has good amounts of calcium and potassium. Just one serving of kale can deliver a huge and healthy package of nutrients that will help your body’s cells function effectively.

Antioxidants

Not only is kale full of nutrients, but it also contains powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene, and vitamin C.

Antioxidants have many fantastic abilities, such as helping to lower blood pressure, help to protect the heart, and even working as antidepressants.

The antioxidants found in kale may help establish lower glucose levels in type 1 diabetics and reduce the risk of heart disease. They may even have some anti-cancer effects.

Digestion

Kale can aid in digestion because it is high in fiber and water which help prevent constipation and keep you regular.

The List Goes On

There are many other excellent benefits of kale; the list goes on and on. The nutrients in kale impact everything from healthier hair and skin, to increased bone density, to anti-viral protection. This potent, nutrient-packed food can provide a considerable boost to your health and wellness routine. With so many benefits, you will be happy when you finally take the plunge and learn how to eat kale and make it a regular part of your diet.

Also Read: Healing Benefits of Garlic

Different Types of Kale

kale

With more than seven varieties of kale, you will easily be able to find this leafy green and add it to your diet. The most common types of kale are Tuscan, red, curly and baby. Each variety has a unique taste, from slightly bitter to sweet and tender.

You can enjoy trying different types and seeing what works best in the dishes you plan to prepare. You can’t go wrong with mixing it up and experimenting with different varieties

Tasty Ways to Add Kale to Your Diet

Now that you know how wonderful kale is for your body, you may be wondering which healthy kale recipes are worth trying. The good news is, kale’s popularity lends itself to a vast selection of recipes. It seems that everyone has a healthy kale recipe to share.

Kale Smoothies

Kale Smoothie

Many people throw a handful of spinach to their morning smoothies. How about also incorporating a serving of kale? When your smoothie includes delicious fruits, you won’t even realize you’re drinking your vegetables. It’s also a great, discreet way for kids to get their leafy greens.

Also Read: How to Prevent the Flu Naturally

Salads

Salads are one way to make adding this healthy food to your lifestyle a breeze. Try this Mediterranean Lentil and Kale Salad for a bold and tasty lunch. This simple but delicious Kale Salad with Beets and Wild Rice will make a wholesome meal with varying textures that will surely hit the spot.

Soups

A hearty and filling soup is a perfect way to use kale. Zuppa Toscana is a favorite soup that you might enjoy at your favorite Italian restaurant. It is sure to delight with its creamy and flavorful goodness. Another Italian favorite, Vegan Gnocchi Soup, is also a delicious way to enjoy kale.

Entrees

Meal

There are many fantastic ways you can enjoy kale in main dishes, too. The more you experiment with this powerhouse, the more you will discover how delicious it is. The benefits of this superfood soon will come second to the amazing taste and flavor you’ll enjoy.

Grilled Salmon with Kale Saute is a simple, yet tasty and healthy dish that is easy to prepare. You can also try this delicious Sweet Orange Chicken Over Kale to enjoy a yummy dinner served on a bed of kale and mushrooms. If you love pasta, you’ll be thrilled with this Scallop, Mushroom and Fennel Campanelle.

Enjoying Kale is Easy

With all of these fantastic recipes and more at your fingertips, you will love experimenting with kale in your meals and enjoying the powerful benefits. There are many choices available, so you won’t have to work too hard to add kale to your diet.

Make a Healthy Lifestyle Change Today

Change

The numerous health benefits of kale are clear. This great veggie allows you to add valuable nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins to your diet. And with all of the healthy kale recipes that are readily available, you can’t go wrong.

Adding kale to your diet several times a week can improve your health and also add some variety to your meal planning with new ideas. The health benefits are well worth the simple addition of this nutrient-packed food.

If you are still wondering how kale can benefit you, and how to eat kale, reach out to Balanced Care, and we will be happy to guide you in your healthy eating journey. We believe that food is medicine, and we love to join our patients as they boost their food know-how and expertise.

Where to Find Locally Sourced Honey

allergies

Honey for Allergies

There’s a more natural and delicious way to help your body through your seasonal allergies: Honey. Yes, honey for allergies.

allergies, natural treatment, histamine, local honey

Last week you were looking out your window at the doom and gloom of the winter. You longed for warmer weather as you added another layer just to head outside.  It has been a long, harsh, and cold winter, but there are hints of spring everywhere you look.

While you are out shopping, you notice the displays around the stores are decked out in floral patterns with clever, cheery sayings, and the end caps have fun outdoor items like herb gardens and gardening tools. You are feeling excited and refreshed with the change in season.

You continue walking along and you also notice the allergy medication has dominated one of the end caps. Then you remember: You love the idea of spring, but with all the new blooms comes all the pollen. With all the pollen comes all the sneezing. Oh, the sneezing. And that’s just the half of it.

You contemplate stocking up because you know how miserable you get. However, as you stand there with the medication in your hand you wonder: Am I going to be on allergy medication for my whole life? Is there an alternative option? Lucky for you, there is a more natural and delicious way to help your body through your seasonal allergies.

It’s honey. Honey? That’s right, honey for allergies. Perhaps this doesn’t come as much of a surprise because you might already use honey for other medicinal purposes, such as soothing your sore throat when you have a cold. Honey has a host of other benefits that help more than your cold.

Continue reading to learn about the benefits of using honey for allergies.

allergy, pollen, edina, woodbury, naturopathic doctor, natural treatment

What are Allergies and What Do They Do To Your Body?

Seasonal allergies, also called Allergic Rhinitis (nasal allergies), trigger your immune system to respond when a foreign substance like pollen is introduced to it. For some people, the response is mild, while others experience a more severe response. Allergies can affect all people from all different backgrounds, races, and genders. This can be  upwards of 50 million people each year. Just because they are common and affect so many people doesn’t mean allergies are any less annoying to combat.

The most common type of allergy is a seasonal pollen allergy. When things are in bloom, pollen is everywhere. When the wind blows, it carries the pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds long distances which will cover anything in its path. During allergy season it seems as though nothing is safe.

Your immune system must work so hard to keep your body functioning normally.

Common symptoms include

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Congestion
  • A sore throat

There are other symptoms, such as fatigue, that aren’t as commonly talked about but can throw your whole body through a loop. It makes sense when you think about it. Your body is working tirelessly because your immune system is on overdrive. No wonder you are feeling so exhausted.

In addition, people can experience irritability, low productivity, and memory loss when they are in the midst of allergy season.

Seasonal pollen allergies are common, but it doesn’t mean you have to live with this discomfort the rest of your life.

Continue reading to understand the benefits of raw honey, and how it can help your allergy symptoms.

Honey, local, allergy, asthma, natural medicine, botanical, naturopathic, edina, mn, woodbury

Benefits of Raw Honey

Some experts believe that pollen from bees ends up in the honey. If people consume this honey, they will slowly build up immunity to and therefore be able to tolerate the pollen. While this might help slightly, this isn’t the main reason why local honey is beneficial for allergies.

Here is the deal with raw honey: It is packed full of nutrients, enzymes, sugars, minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and let’s not leave out its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Best of all, it’s jam-packed with polyphenols (infection-fighting antioxidants). So what exactly does all of this mean?

It means that honey can help your immune system which, as stated above, is working extra hard and causing you to be miserable, irritable, and exhausted. If honey can help your immune system, it can also help fight your allergies.

Additionally, honey can help with hay fever symptoms which tend to go hand in hand with allergies.

Local Raw Honey vs. Processed Honey

So what exactly is the difference between local raw honey and processed honey? For one, the look of the two kinds of honey is very different. Processed honey is very clear while raw honey is cloudy. This is because raw honey has not been heated or filtered.

When you buy local honey, you know exactly where it comes from because the farmers are local, and the bees are local. In addition, the pollen that ends up in the honey is from the local area, so you could be introducing small amounts to your body. As stated previously, the local pollen in the honey isn’t necessarily what helps your body with your allergies, but it is an added benefit that processed honey doesn’t have.

You just read about all the fantastic health benefits that raw honey has. While processed honey might have some of those benefits, most of them have been destroyed during the pasteurization process.

You will be doing your body a huge favor by using local raw honey instead of processed honey. You can generally find raw honey in your local grocery stores or specialty health food stores, but you will find that using locally sourced honey will be the least processed and you will get the most significant health benefits.

How Local is Local Honey?

In general, to be considered local honey it should be from your state. Use this search to find local honey near you.

At Balanced Care, we would like to provide you with the care you deserve to manage your chronic illnesses and seasonal allergies. Please contact us to find out how we can help you start feeling better today.

6 Health Benefits Of Sesame Seed Oil and How to Use it to Improve Your Health

health benefits of sesame seed oil

Sesame seed oil has been used through the ages in many Asian cuisines. It is high in nutty flavor and brings so much joy to those who eat it. It’s no wonder it has infiltrated Western culture in more recent years. People are using this small seed oil as an alternative to vegetable oil in their cooking. Do you know the health benefits of sesame seed oil?

Benefits+of+Seasme+Seed+Oil

6 Health Benefits of Sesame Oil

1. Healthy Skin and Hair

Skin: Sesame seed oil is loaded with zinc which means it’s incredibly good for your skin. It can be used to treat a plethora of different kinds of skin ailments. Sesame seed oil is useful for treating inflamed, irritated and damaged skin because it is high in antioxidants and antibacterial properties. The oil penetrates deep into the derma, fighting bacteria and leaving your skin vibrant and detoxified.

Reasons to use sesame oil on your skin include:

  • Fights and prevents bacterial infections (including acne)
  • Repairs skin cells
  • Soothes eczema and psoriasis
  • Reduces the appearance of age spots
  • Natural moisturizer and sunscreen
  • Helps with diaper rash in babies

How to use as a moisturizer

Apply liberally to your skin after a hot shower, and leave it on your skin for 10 minutes or so. Thoroughly rub it in after the 10 minutes. Apply more as needed.

How to Use to Detoxify

Before your bath or shower, apply and let it soak into your skin. This will allow the oil to have time to penetrate your skin and target the toxins deep within your skin. Finally, wash the oil away along with the toxins.

Hair: Sesame seed oil is high in vitamins and minerals which your scalp loves. From soothing a dry, flaky scalp to getting rid of lice, there are so many different ways to use this oil on your hair.

Reasons to use sesame oil on your hair include:

  • Deep conditioning
  • Lice treatment
  • Soothes and calms a dry and flaky scalp
  • Adds shine
  • Treats dandruff
  • Treats premature graying

Human Body

2. Improves Bone Quality

Sesame oil is used to help promote active bone growth. It is high in copper, zinc, and calcium, all minerals that are necessary for bone growth. It can be used by people to mitigate the effects of osteoporosis and other bone-weakening diseases brought on by age. In addition, it can be used to speed up the regrowth and healing process of damaged bones.

3. Oral Health

Many people don’t realize that brushing and flossing can cause micro-tears in their gums, which can open a gateway into the rest of your body for infections. While brushing your teeth is an essential practice for good oral hygiene, you might also benefit by giving oil pulling a try.

Reasons to use sesame oil in your oral care:

  • Fights oral infections
  • Prevents plaque build up
  • Prevents gum/mouth diseases like gingivitis and cavities
  • Fights bad breath causing bacteria

How to Oil Pull

  • Swish oil gently for about 15-20 minutes
  • Make sure it is reaching all parts of your mouth
  • As it pulls out toxins, the consistency will change
  • Once it reaches a thick consistency that is milky white, spit out before toxins are reabsorbed
  • Rinse well with water
  • Repeat a few times a week, or daily if you prefer

Note: Spit out oil in the trash so you don’t clog your pipes

running

4. Boosts Heart Health and Improves Circulation

Sesame seed oil is high in zinc and copper, which by now you probably know has many benefits to your body, including your heart and your blood.

Your heart will benefit because sesame oil contains lignins which contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are micronutrients that can prevent diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Lignins are known to help lower cholesterol levels naturally.

Your circulation will improve after you start using sesame oil. The additional zinc and copper will enable your body to begin functioning at optimal levels for the production of new red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells in your tissues mean healthy organs, which means a healthier you. Not only that, but sesame oil is touted for its ability to lower blood pressure which will improve blood circulation.

5. Helps Manage Anxiety, Depression and Stress

Sesame seed oil contains an amino acid called tyrosine. This is great news for people who are dealing with chronic stress, depression or anxiety. Eating foods that contain the amino acid tyrosine will directly affect your serotonin levels which signal an increase in your mood.

6. Anti-Cancer Properties

Some of the chemical compounds in sesame oil, such as sesamol and sesamin, have been found to reduce certain types of cancer cells. This means that the growth of the cancer cells was slowed down or stopped altogether. Additionally, sesame seed oil stimulates antibodies which are your body’s natural way of attacking cancer cells.

There you have it: 6 key health benefits of sesame seed oil.

What Kind of Oil Works Best?

There are different kinds of sesame oil. To get the most health benefits, look for cold-pressed or organic sesame oil. These are the least processed options, and they contain the most nutrients compared to any other type of sesame oil out there. Organic and cold-pressed sesame oils can generally be found in specialty grocery stores or online.

If you are considering adding sesame seed oil to your everyday life, contact the experts at Balanced Care. We are a wealth of knowledge and would love to help you make the right decisions that fit your lifestyle. Contact us today.

New Weight Loss Plan with Dr. Rachel

weight loss plan and exercise

Are you, a loved one, a close friend or coworker looking for a solution to weight problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, or chronic fatigue? Maybe you’ve tried diets, detoxes, exercise plans and either can’t take it off or it comes right back after the program? We have a weight loss plan for you!

I have recently been trained and certified to offer the TRANSFORMATIONS®-360 Program and WICO® Score to my patients. This is an incredible technology that empowers people on how to take control of their health by learning to control blood sugar and body composition (healthy weight) for life!

The program has an incredible safety and efficacy record as close to 1,000,000 patients have used this program successfully since it was developed 15 years ago.

Patients lose weight faster, more easily and don’t have to take bars, shakes and pills. People eat real whole foods, and feel better than they normally do, as their body is bio-chemically set to burn belly fat not muscle mass. In this way, they can attain their goal weight without feeling hungry or having cravings, as they typically lose between 18-22 pounds every 5 weeks.

Most importantly, people learn correct food habits so as to not only maintain their weight loss over time, but to also be in control of their blood sugar to prevent diabetes. The program is very structured and simple to follow which means you will not have to keep calling with questions.

For those who like to have accountability, you can come in for a weekly appointment to be weighed and measured, and have any needed discussion. Otherwise, you will come back when you are within 5 pounds of your goal weight to be placed on a well-balanced maintenance program.

I will also be able to pinpoint the main food allergies or sensitivities you may have, and show you how to eat everything to keep your weight off for Lifetime success. This is critical, as maintaining a healthy body composition is perhaps one of the most important steps you can take to be preventative and wellness oriented with your health.

The cost is a function of how much weight you want to lose; however it is very affordable as people save between 30-50% of what they typically spend on food. This could mean just the food savings alone could cover the cost of the kit. To get started, call my office and tell them you want to see me for the TRANSFORMATIONS program. We will email you a questionnaire to complete and schedule your visit.

Once at the office we will do a body comp test, weigh and measure you and provide instructions on how the program works. You will leave with the kit, and start immediately with foods already in your kitchen. If you are ready to lose belly fat, look younger, learn how to NEVER become a diabetic, and feel better than you have in years, call the office ASAP at 612-564-2218.

You can also listen to some real patient testimonials at this link:
http://transformationsclinic.com/testimonials
As a gift to you we are offering a New Year Special of $200 off the regular price for the first 5 participants who sign up for the TRANSFORMATIONS 360 Program before February 28, 2018! Click here for more information on the program and how to sign up!

Five Places to Purchase Locally Grown Produce

locally grown produce

Most of us are aware that apples and pumpkins are abundant this time of year, but so are beets, Brussels sprouts, green onions and so much more. There are many places in the Twin Cities where you can find locally grown produce that is picked at its prime.

woman-selling-fresh-local-vege

Farmers Markets

The Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area is home to over 70 Twin Cities farmers markets. With so many markets to choose from, chances are high that you’ll find a market with an array of locally grown produce near you.

Farmers markets ensure that you are buying the freshest locally grown produce around. In addition to purchasing the most nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, shopping at farmers markets also keeps money in the local economy, encourages you to talk to those who grow the food you eat, and provides you with a sense of community. You can find farmers markets in your area through the Minnesota Grown Directory.

Food Hubs and Community Supported Agriculture

A food hub is a business or organization that actively manages the collection, distribution and marketing of local and regional food. Food hubs can vary in size, but their main goal is to provide the appropriate infrastructure and support for small and mid-sized farmers.

The Good Acre [i] is a non-profit food hub in Falcon Heights, MN that provides space and the infrastructure necessary for farmers to wash, process and store produce fresh from the field. Additionally, The Good Acre purchases seasonal produce from its network of growers and distributes these in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes to its 450 members.

As a CSA member you pay an upfront fee. In return you receive a box of fresh picked produce every week, typically from mid-June to mid-October. Minnesota is home to a number of CSA programs. You can search for a CSA in your area through the Minnesota Grown Directory.

Food Co-operatives

Food co-operatives or food co-ops are food distribution channels that can sometimes look like a smaller version of a large supermarket. What makes a co-op grocery store different from the typical grocery store is that the co-op is usually member-owned and frequently purchases its products and produce from local sources. Often times, co-ops will detail where exactly its produce came from.

Normally, you do not have to be a member of a co-op to shop there. Being a member, however, may provide you with benefits not available to non-members, such as specials and discounts. Minnesota is home to a number of grocery co-ops. You can find a list of them here: http://bit.ly/2z4gL3J.

Grow Your Own

If you are completely committed to the benefits of locally grown food, why not experiment with growing your own? Plant and garden centers like Mother Earth Gardens [ii] , with two locations in Minneapolis, are committed to providing plants and products that have been grown in a sustainable way. At Mother Earth Gardens you can find seeds, fruit trees, plant starters and bulbs to help you prepare for next year’s harvest.

There are plenty of resources throughout the Twin Cities including The Good Acre, Mother Earth Gardens, grocery co-ops and more that can help you with tips and advice for cooking locally, and how to start an organic garden.

The health benefits of locally grown fruits and vegetables should help build up your immune system during this cooler season. However, if you find yourself or your family members feeling ill, please reach out to the naturopathic doctors at Balanced Care. We can run tests to determine the root cause of your illness and provide you with natural treatments for all of your ailments.

Drs. Katie and Rachel are wishing you a spooky Halloween!! They see patients in Edina and Woodbury, MN serving the Twin Cities. Their goal is to address the root cause by using natural medicines and nutrition. They offer complimentary 15 minute consultations if you would like to learn a little more. 612-564-2218

[i] www.thegoodacre.org
[ii] http://www.motherearthgarden.com

Treating Adult Acne Naturally

treating adult acne natually

Facial

A shocking 45% of people over the age of 21 have acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, most being women. There are many causes for adult acne including lifestyle, diet, stress, family history, side effects of medications and hormone imbalance, but what about treating adult acne naturally?

Before we talk about treating adult acne, let’s first look at a few common causes.

Stress

We all have stress in our lives, some more than others, but how do we cope with the stress? When under chronic stress there is an increase in androgens like cortisol and testosterone. Research shows that cortisol and testosterone increases acne and breakouts. Incorporating stress-relieving strategies into our daily life can help maintain normal androgen levels which is important for sleep, skin, mood, and so much more.

Exercise

Your metabolism increases during and after a workout which helps rid the body of excess sebum production that causes acne. On the other hand, hormones can become stagnant with a lack of exercise which leads to hormonal acne. Maintaining an exercise routine at least 3 days per week can help prevent adult acne. Your pores open during a workout so be sure to rinse off as soon as possible to prevent them from filling with sweat and bacteria and causing a breakout!

Diet

Conventional chickens and beef are given hormones that large-scale companies use to increase size and output of animals. These same animals are also given antibiotics to prevent infections that spread rapidly in small living spaces. The hormones and antibiotics end up in the meat and milk we consume if we are not careful. If your acne is hormonal in nature, it may be caused by the animal products you are eating or drinking. To prevent this, purchase your meat locally from farmers who do not use hormones and let their animals graze. Look for grass-fed beef and free range chickens that are hormone and antibiotic free. As for dairy, choose organic and/or switch to a plant-based milk like almond or coconut milk.

Additionally, be wary of the types of oil you use. Peanut and vegetable oils are highly processed and could be contributing to your breakouts. Cook with olive oil or avocado oil instead, or even sauté in water or broth instead!

If meat or dairy is not be the cause of your acne, gluten, nuts or other food sensitivities may be the culprit. Whatever we put into our body will affect the outside of our body too.

Here are a few suggestions for naturally avoiding acne and breakouts:

  1. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits, veggies, fish and humanely raised lean meats. Choose organic when possible and try out plant-based milks.
  2. Exercise! Yoga, walking, swimming all help boost your metabolism while allowing you to de-stress your body and mind. Find something you enjoy and then do it at least 3 days per week.
  3. Be sure to have a good cleansing regimen both mornings and evenings. If hormones are causing your acne, balancing hormone levels naturally is crucial.
  4. If you aren’t sure what is causing your acne, book an appointment with Dr. Rachel or Dr. Katie. We can help determine what foods or hormones may be causing your acne.

Written by: Dr. Rachel Alioto

Dr. Rachel and Dr. Katie are Naturopathic Doctors in Edina and Woodbury, MN. We offer natural treatments to your health issues. Call us today for your complimentary 15 minute consultation 612-564-2218. We hope to hear from you soon!

Sunscreen & Vitamin D

sunscreen, skin care, acne, vitamin D

sunscreen, skin care, acne, vitamin DThe official start of summer in Minnesota is only a couple of weeks away, so it is probably safe to say that the sun is finally here to stay – for the next few months at least.  With that said, we should all be thinking about and protecting our bodies’ largest organ – our skin. More time outside means more sunscreen for a lot of people. With hundreds of brands on the market, how can we determine which one is best?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. They recommend that sunscreen should be used as a last resort. Dressing properly and spending time outdoors in the early mornings or late evenings when the sun is not at its peak are more natural ways to avoid sunburn. Most sunscreens contain an abundance of chemicals. The effects of many of these chemicals on human health have not been studied well enough to deem them truly safe for use.

The EWG’s Guide to Sunscreen

Each year, the EWG publishes a sunscreen guide. The guide offers the general public information on specific sunscreen brands. The guide also provides the EWG’s picks for best and worst brands. Brands are chosen based on their ingredients, consideration of potential health hazards, and how well they actually work.

According to this year’s Guide to Sunscreens, one chemical that we should all avoid when purchasing sunscreen is oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is a common active ingredient that was found in over half of the sunscreens that the EWG studied this year. Oxybenzone is known to cause allergic skin reactions. It has also been linked to hormone disruptions such as altering sperm production in men. Additionally, it has been associated with endometriosis in women. Given these findings, when considering your sunscreen purchases you should avoid those that contain oxybenzone.

On top of the endless list of chemicals in most sunscreens, some individuals must be even more cautious because of their higher risk of getting sunburn. These include women on birth control, babies and toddlers and individuals with fair skin. These individuals should be especially careful with their sun exposure and would probably benefit the most from using natural holistic remedies for sunburn and sun protection, such as monitoring the amount of time spent in the sun and finding and using shade often.

The toxins and chemicals from sunscreen can be absorbed through the skin.

The Sunshine Vitamin

Despite the fear of the sun that has been instilled upon most of us, the sun is not all bad. It is the source of almost all of the earth’s energy and can provide humans with the vitamin D we require.  Spending a short amount of time in the sun each day can give our bodies the vitamin D we need. This is why vitamin D is referred to as the sunshine vitamin. This is also one of the reasons why it feels so good to step outside after many hours indoors. The sun’s rays are a providing us with an essential vitamin.

Vitamin D, depression, anxiety

Unfortunately when sunscreen is applied it prohibits the skin from absorbing the sun’s rays and producing vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is vital to regulating and absorbing certain minerals such as calcium. Vitamin D deficiency can cause soft bones in children and bone loss in adults. On top of the physical detriments, vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to depression here.

According to a 2009 study, about three-quarters of teens and adults in the U.S. are vitamin D deficient. At the same time, the use of sunscreen has increased dramatically. Because there are many factors associated with getting vitamin D from the sun, it is often hard to measure.

What Can You Do?

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms range and many are vague. Common symptoms include: fatigue, aches, pains, and pain and weakness in the bones, depression, decreased immunity. Some people may not have symptoms at all.

If your skin isn’t getting daily exposure to the sun without sunscreen, vitamin D supplements can be taken. I recommend having your vitamin D tested through a simple blood test. As naturopathic doctors in MN, Balanced Care offers testing for vitamin D deficiency. If you do not fall in the optimal range we will use natural treatments to increase your vitamin D up to its appropriate level.

Did you miss a spot? Aloe to the rescue!! Apply aloe vera right away and continue applying for a few days. Skip the green goo and go for the organic stuff 😉

Katie Corazzo, naturopath, naturopathic doctor, holistic, homeopathWe offer naturopathic medical services in Minnesota. Located in Edina and Woodbury. Dr. Katie specializes in addressing the root cause using natural medicines and nutrition. For a complimentary 15 minute consultation you can schedule online here.

Could You Be Suffering From Candida?

candida overgrowth, digestion, IBS, celiac, colitis

Candida Overgrowth (Or Candida Albicans)

The weather is finally warming up. For most of us this means that plenty of get togethers and an abundance of decadent food and drinks are right around the corner. For those of you struggling with digestion issues, however, just thinking about the food and beverages probably has your stomach churning. Digestive disorders can take the fun out of our most enjoyable moments. They don’t have to however. The faster we can pinpoint the cause, the sooner you can enjoy life normally again.

One disorder that has been getting a lot of attention lately is candida overgrowth or candida albicans, its official term. Candida is a type of yeast, or fungus, that is found naturally in the body. For the most part when the bacteria in your body is balanced, candida is not a cause for concern. However, if you are living with an overgrowth of candida or a lack of good bacteria in your gut, you may experience one or a number of symptoms that can wreak havoc on your body and spoil the fun at your future gatherings.

Digestion, IBS, celiac, colitis

Symptoms and Causes of Candida

Symptoms of candida can vary, but include anxiety, depression, yeast infections, diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, foggy thinking, fatigue, and skin issues. Like most ailments candida overgrowth can make you feel terrible. If you find yourself enjoying a couple of beers or other delights this season only to be followed by bloating and digestive discomfort, you may be suffering from candida.

Other common symptoms of candida include severe allergies, sugar cravings, and respiratory problems. Whether you are experiencing one or a few of these issues, candida can truly interfere with your quality of life.

So, what causes candida overgrowth? Eating a standard American diet that includes a lot of carbohydrates and highly refined foods is one of the many causes of candida. Candida feeds off of sugar and processed foods, allowing it to grow and take over your intestinal tract. Another cause of candida overgrowth includes the heavy use of antibiotics, which may have killed off the good bacteria while treating the bad. Birth control pills, stress and even chemotherapy are additional common causes.

Natural Treatment for Candida?

If you suspect that you may be suffering from candida, one of the simplest things that you can do is to change your diet. Eat a diet without sugar or yeast and full of fresh produce and quality protein.

Candida cleanses and diets are currently being marketed everywhere. Some cleanses include the use of probiotics. Although these diets may be beneficial to some candida sufferers, they might not work for everyone. The best thing to do is to work with your physician to determine what will work for you. This could save you money and possible disappointment.

Given the varying degrees of symptoms, candida affects its victims in many different ways.

Diagnosis

Sometimes candida overgrowth can appear visually on the tongue. If you take a look at your tongue and notice white coating it is likely that you have candida overgrowth. However, the only way to know is to get tested by a doctor.

Many candida overgrowth symptoms can be vague. Therefore, it can be hard to determine whether you are actually dealing with candida. Testing will help you determine and confirm whether candida is the true cause of your discomfort.

At Balanced Care we offer specific testing in order to find out whether or not you are truly suffering from candida overgrowth. If it turns out that you have other ailments but have misdiagnosed yourself as suffering from candida, this could potentially lead to more health problems. Testing positive, we will use natural remedies for candida or yeast overgrowth that are best for you.

 

naturopath, natural medicine, holistic, edina, woodbury

Sugar Free February

sugar free diet, weight loss, health, insulin, stress

Motivation for a One-Month Sugar Free Diet

Say it with me “I am so done with the sugar!” Yep, you said it, it’s time to cut out the sugar. The holidays can do a number, not only on our waistline, but our health too. You know sugar isn’t good for you, but you eat it anyway because you can and because it tastes good and because you deserve it and because your coworker brought it to share and the list goes on. Here is your chance to join me in saying “no” to the sugar this February.

Sweets, sugar, weight loss, health, insulin, stress

Need motivation? Here are a few good reasons to ditch the sugar in favor of a sugar free diet:

  • Low energy and fatigue. Feeling exhausted?
  • Inflammation. That is not water retention, but swelling from the inflammation sugar causes. I had it too and guess what? It goes away quickly once the sugar is gone!
  • That spring break trip coming up…swim suite required
  • Prevention (and treatment!) – why wait until you have a serious or uncomfortable health concern like diabetes, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, constipation, or reflux just to name a few.

According to the American Heart Association, American consume “20 teaspoons of sugar a day according to a report from the 2005–10 NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) database. Teens and men consume the most added sugars. Average daily consumption for men: 335 calories, women: 230 calories, boys: 362 calories, girls: 282 calories.” That is almost 3 cups of sugar per week! No wonder cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the US.

Mobile, app, nutritionListen, your body deserves better than a few cups of sugar each week to help deal with the fatigue, stress, or (insert sugar craving cause). Follow along with me on Instagram @balancedcare and Facebook @Dr. Katie Corazzo throughout the month of February. I will offer tips, inspiration, and recipes to help you quit the sugar and begin feeling light and health again.

 

naturopath, natural medicine, holistic, edina, woodburyDr. Katie is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Woodbury and Edina, Minnesota. With a focus on addressing the underlying cause using natural medicines and nutrition, Dr. Katie can help you too. Appointments can be made online here.

Optimize Your Insulin and Prevent Diabetes

insulin, cortisol, blood sugar, stress, adrenal

Insulin has been a popular hormone recently. I keep talking about this because it is so important. There is a big focus on sugar, but the real problem is what sugar does to insulin. Insulin resistance and diabetes are big problems in our culture today. In 2014, the CDC reported that 29.1 million people have diabetes and 8.1 million of those people are still undiagnosed.(1) 1.7 million adults were diagnosed in 2012 alone.

insulin, cortisol, blood sugar, stress, adrenal

Insulin resistance occurs when more and more insulin is needed to “unlock” the glucose channel seen above. The insulin receptor is no longer as sensitive to the insulin.
Don’t let yourself become part of the statistic. Here are a few natural ways to prevent diabetes and improve your health:
  1. Eat only 3 meals per day with 1 optional snack. This goes against contrary beliefs that we need to eat least 6 meals per day, I get it. But, how does that make sense when you look at it from an insulin’s point of view? Every time you eat a carbohydrate/sugar, insulin increases and your body goes into a “fat storage” mode. So do you want to do that 4 times per day or 6 times? I’ll let you be the judge!
  2. Do not eat past 7 PM. I mean who hasn’t heard this? This will help improve your sleep too.
  3. Eat your carbohydrates earlier in the day.
  4. Exercise – Studies show that even if you do not lose weight, exercising will still improve insulin resistance. The longer you exercise, the more sensitive your insulin becomes at a moderate-to-vigorous pace. Work up to this if you are just beginning an exercise program. (2)
  5. Limit or avoid processed foods – this includes chips, candy, crackers, pasta, baked goods, bread, and even processed meats. Opt for foods like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, steel-cut oats, free range chickens, grass-fed beef, and more and more veggies.
  6. Sleep at least 7 hours per night – even just 1 night of sleep deprivation causes insulin resistance! (3)
  7. Manage your stress – if we can’t avoid stress, then we need to learn how to deal with stress. This means developing healthy coping mechanisms. Make it a habit by practicing when you are not feeling stressed. Create a list of 10 things you can do – reading, going for a walk, taking a bath, mediation, grabbing coffee with a friend, writing, painting, reflect on what you are grateful for, stop to breathe and refocus for 5 minutes, yoga, exercise. What is on your list?

If you are unsure if you have insulin resistance or diabetes or you are struggling to control your blood sugars, Dr. Katie can help. She uses natural treatments for insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. You do not need to do this alone.

dr-katie

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/statsreport14/national-diabetes-report-web.pdf
  2. http://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1479-5868-10-10
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20371664