Fruit for Breakfast: Benefits and Ideas

One of the most common tips you’ll ever hear about nutrition: “have good breakfast”, “don’t skip breakfast” or the classic “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”. I agree, you should never ever skip breakfast, and believe me as a former breakfast hater I understand the struggle. When I was in school I use to skip breakfast every single day, but over the last few months I have started to realize how important it is for my body and my mind to have a nutritious breakfast. Not only to be healthier, but to function better. There is a lot of debate on what you should be having for breakfast and whether or not it should be packed with animal proteins or with carbs. In this post I will write about my approach: a whole lot of fruit.

I will start by telling you the benefits of a fruitful breakfast and then I will give you my favorite recipes. So here are some of the reasons you should start having fruit for breakfast:

  • Enhance the Detoxification Phase:

Between 7 and 11am, the body is going through the heaviest phase of detoxification. Eating fruit will help contribute healing energy to this detoxification process, instead of hamper it by filling your body with anti-detox foods like fatty animal products that are hard to digest.

  • Stimulate the Digestive Track:

Eating fruit for breakfast infuses the body with beneficial enzymes, fiber and probiotics that help stimulate digestive juices in the stomach and push out old waste matter from the day before. Fruit fiber cleans the colon like a broom, leaving you feeling light and refreshed.

  • Wake Up the Body:

Natural fruit sugars are just the thing the body needs upon waking up. Instead of reaching for your coffee, trying making a coffee replacement smoothie that will help keep the brain sharp and energized. Remember, the brain runs off glucose, so if you want to stay focused throughout the day, then eat a nice big water-dense fruit meal for breakfast

  • Excess-Weight Loss

Fruit provides the body with quality nutrition and also helps release excess toxins by pushing out old waste matter from the intestines. Eating plenty of fruit in the morning (and throughout the rest of the day) gets rid of excess toxicity and waste storage, which ultimately leads to weight loss in the end. Most people think that if they eat a heavy animal-protein rich meal in the morning that they will eat less later in the day – but this, in fact, has not been found to be true. People who consume a heavy meal in the morning also tend to eat heavier later in the day too, which contribute to inevitable weight gain.

  • Boost your Immune System:

A smoothie for breakfast compared to eggs or bacon is a lot better for your immune system and overall health. Fruit is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which strengthen the immune system and ward off any invading bacteria and microbes.

  • Create an Alkaline Environment for the Body:

The first thing people think when they eat fruit is that it is too acidic – this is in fact not true. Lemons are actually one of the most alkaline fruits on the planet. They may be acidic in form, but once they reach the stomach, the minerals (like potassium and sodium) disassociate to make it alkaline (via a variety of metabolic processes). All fruit is alkaline, so make sure you eat plenty of it in the morning.

  • Strengthen the Heart:

Fruit is packed with beneficial vitamins, minerals, crucial phytonutrients and antioxidants that contribute to lower cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure – both of which contribute to a healthier, stronger heart and prevent against cardiovascular disease.

Read more at https://livelovefruit.com/eating-fruit-for-breakfast-completely-transform-your-health/#k7x56URkYqhtEM8W.99

These are all benefits I saw in myself after weeks of having fruit filled smoothies every morning. But more than anything it just tastes so good! I used to have a lot constipation and bloating and it is gone now, I got a flatter tummy and loads of energy.

If your concerns when having a fruitful breakfast are not eating protein, then fear no more. people don’t usually have protein deficiency, we spend far too much time worrying about our protein intake when we really don’t need as much as advertised. Fruit has protein and so do other plant-based foods. There is no need for you to have yogurt, eggs or dairy to get that protein. Everything is better in moderation. Eating too much protein also isn’t good, it has been linked to kidney disease, cancer, osteoporosis and kidney stones. http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vsk/vegetarian-starter-kit-protein

The Focus should be switched from protein to fiber, we are not getting enough fiber and that is causing us to have more stomach problems. Fiber is good, fiber is your friend! obviously don’t go overboard here either, fruits have calories so check that, but don’t fear fruit. So okay we must eat fruit everyday but why for breakfast?

Fruit should be eaten alone or with other fruit on an empty stomach.

This is because when fruit is eaten, the digestive process works very quickly and our body uses different enzymes to digest the fruit. The simple sugars contained in fruit need time to be completely absorbed by your body. When fruits are eaten alone, your stomach can more easily process all of the nutrients, fiber and the simple sugars contained in the fruit. This is the optimal ‘proper way’ to benefit from the fruit you eat. If you eat fruit close to a meal, especially right after a larger meal and combine with other foods, it’s held in the stomach too long along with other foods and will rot and ferment in the gut. If you experience indigestion, heartburn, burping and other digestive discomforts and you blame on the meal – it could be the combination of the food, the fermentation with fruit that causes your upset stomach. If left uncontrolled it could lead to other health problems that stem from the digestive tract.

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4970/The-Major-Rule-for-Eating-Fruit.html

According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should consume between five and 13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This is equivalent to about 2 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups daily, depending on the amount of calories you need to consume for your weight and level of activity. On a recommended diet of 2000 calories a day to maintain my weight (if you want to lose your diet should be of fewer calories) this are my ideas for a fruitful breakfast:

My go-to Smoothie (420 – 462 calories) or approx. 7 servings

  • 2 ripe medium bananas (210 calories)
  • 10-15 frozen strawberries (40 – 60 calories)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of blueberries (41 – 63 calories)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (approximately 112 calories)
  • 1 passion fruit without seeds (17 calories)

*sometimes I add a few pieces of pineapple or a peach if I don’t have blueberries

Fresh Fruit Bowl (470 calories) or approx. 7 servings

  • 1 cut up medium banana (105 calories)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (53 calories)
  • 1 cup of raspberries (65 calories)
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries (41 calories)
  • 1 cup of pineapple chunks (82 calories)
  • 1 cup of grapes (62 calories)
  • 1 cut orange (62 calories)

As for now these are my go to recipes for breakfast, I’ve been having them every morning for the last month and somehow I still wake up excited to have my fruit every day. I will eventually come up with more fruity breakfast ideas, and write a follow up post on that, and if you have any suggestions for me to try I’d be very happy to do so and maybe feature them in my next post. Thank you for reading and I hope you go fruit yourself!

Love, Knowledge Empress

 

 

 

 

Why I Quit Drinking Cow’s Milk and Eating Cheese.

Have you ever wondered why humans drink something designed to be baby calves growth food? Why don’t we drink… I don’t know… giraffe milk instead? Why don’t other animals go to cows and drink their milk? Why is it that our stomachs should be prepared to digest a milk that comes from an animal, when human mothers produce their own milk?

Well, if I’m writing this post you can guess I have asked myself those questions and I have done some research to try to find answers. Was that liquid they make us drink as kids, really providing my bones with the calcium they needed, and thus making them stronger? Or was this some weird thing we picked up a long time ago that really has no health benefits whatsoever? What if it is actually bad for me?

Now this post isn’t a request for you to stop eating dairy, I just thought I would share some of the reasons I personally have decided not to consume it anymore.

Cow’s milk is custom-designed for calves:

Thanks to our creative ingenuity and perhaps related to our ancient survival needs, we adopted the dubious habit of drinking another species’ milk. Nobody can dispute that cow’s milk is an excellent food source for calves. Weighing around 100 pounds at birth, a calf typically gains approximately eight times its weight by the time it is weaned. But unlike humans, once calves are weaned, they never drink milk again. And the same applies to every mammalian species on this planet.

So yeah humans don’t need cow’s milk any more than they need a giraffe’s milk.

(https://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/)

Most people are lactose intolerant:

Nearly three quarters of the world’s population are estimated to be lactose intolerant after the age of weaning and therefore do not tolerate the consumption of milk and other dairy products well.

(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1602030/)

Approximately 70 percent of African-Americans, 90 percent of Asian Americans, 53 percent of Mexican Americans, and 74 percent of Native Americans were lactose intolerant.1-4 Studies showed that a substantial reduction in lactase activity is also common among those whose ancestry is African, Asian, Native American, Arab, Jewish, Hispanic, Italian, or Greek.

(http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/what-is-lactose-intolerance)

Milk increases the risk of fracture:

“Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years, was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in old age. (“Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Hip Fractures in the Elderly”. American Journal of Epidemiology. Vol. 139, No. 5, 1994).

And the 12 year-long Harvard Nurses’ Health Study found that those who consumed the most calcium from dairy foods broke more bones than those who rarely drank milk. This is a broad study based on 77,761 women aged 34 through 59 years of age.

Populations that consume the most cow’s milk and other dairy products have among the highest rates of osteoporosis and hip fracture in later life. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1602030/)

Dairy is linked to many different types of cancer, especially those associated with your hormones:

Harvard’s Physicians’ Health Study followed 20,885 men for 11 years, finding that having two and one-half dairy servings each day boosted prostate cancer risk by 34 percent, compared to having less than one-half serving daily.

Milk does other mischief. Its load of calcium deplete the body’s vitamin D, which, in turn, may add to cancer risk. Most dairy products are also high in fat, which affects the activity of sex hormones that play a major role in cancer.

(http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/milk-and-prostate-cancer-the-evidence-mounts)

The following Data shows how dairy is linked to increasing risk of colon and breast cancer.

(http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1002/ijc.29466?r3_referer=wol&tracking_action=preview_click&show_checkout=1&purchase_referrer=onlinelibrary.wiley.com&purchase_site_license=LICENSE_DENIED_NO_CUSTOMER)

For women who have had breast cancer, just one serving of whole dairy a day can increase their chance from dying from the disease 49%, and dying from any disease 64%

(https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/105/9/616/986948/High-and-Low-Fat-Dairy-Intake-Recurrence-and)

It is dangerously addictive:

Cheese is made mostly of casein, where most of the liquid whey found in milk has been filtered or strained out. But all dairy products contain casein, not just cheese. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, says through his studies he has found casein to be the most relevant cancer promoter ever discovered.  Because casein digests so slowly, natural morphine-like substances in casein known as casomorphins, act like opiates in the body as they enter the bloodstream. Just minutes after you eat a dairy-based food, the casein protein begins to break down. This releases the drug-like casomorphins, which attach to opiate receptors in the brain, and cause severe addictions to dairy products (hence the reason they keep people coming back for more.) Casomorphins trigger such an addictive response that they’ve been compared to heroine in terms of their strength to cause food addictions and mood disorders.

(http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/casein-dairy-protein-and-your-health/)

Opiate-like casomorphins liberated from the cow’s milk protein, casein, are accused of participating in the cause of such conditions as autism, crib death, type I diabetes, postpartum psychosis, circulatory disorders, and food allergies.

(https://nutritionfacts.org/video/cows-milk-casomorphin-and-autism/)

Human breast milk also has casein but only 2.7 g per liter, when cow’s milk has 26 g casein per liter. that is almost ten times more. If human breast milk was custom-made for humans how come we are drinking a substance with nearly 10 times as much casein?

To be totally honest with you I still eat an occasional ice cream or chocolate that contains milk, but for all these reasons I have stopped cooking with dairy products or adding milk to my cereal. I have started using unsweetened almond milk and it is delicious! It really tastes good.

I hope you liked this post and you are considering alternatives to a dairy filled diet. If you can’t get rid of dairy, I do recommend you start lowering the amounts you are consuming. You might notice benefits like less acne and constipation which are always a plus. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Love, Knowledge Empress

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hydrogenated Fats: The Horror Story

We’ve all at some point seen the words “Trans Fat” in the nutrition facts of food. We associate the word “fat” with unhealthy and we completely ignore the “trans” part and what it stands for. In this post I would like to raise awareness about partially or entirely hydrogenated fats, which have been deeply integrated in the food industry today. And as much as there have been new regulations to cut them out they are still hiding in our everyday diets.

Food fats naturally occur in three general types:
1. Saturated (e.g., butter, lard, coconut oil)
2. Monounsaturated (e.g., olive or canola oils)
3. Polyunsaturated (e.g., omega-6 oils like sunflower or safflower oil, or omega-3 oils like fish and flaxseed oils)

Hydrogenation (or, more accurately, “partial hydrogenation,” as the process is incomplete) is the forced chemical addition of hydrogen into omega-6 polyunsaturated oils to make them hard at room temperatures, primarily as a cheaper and less perishable substitute for butter in crispy bread products. Common hydrogenated fats include hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated cottonseed, palm, soy, and corn oils, but theoretically almost any polyunsaturated oil can be hydrogenated.

The chemical structure of artificially hardened hydrogenated fat is, however, different from either that of a naturally hard saturated fat or naturally liquid unsaturated (mono- or poly-) oil. For this reason, hydrogenated fats are difficult for the body to “grab onto” and metabolize, and can neither be incorporated into cell structures nor excreted in the normal fashion. Thus, hydrogenated or “trans-” fats tend to remain “stuck” in blood circulation, becoming oxidized and most importantly, contributing significantly to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and possibly also cancer.

Trans fats work against the body in many ways. They increase bad cholesterol –low-density lipoprotein, or LDL — and decrease good cholesterol — high-density lipoprotein, or HDL. Furthermore, they block the production of chemicals that combat inflammation and benefit the hormonal and nervous systems, while at the same time allowing chemicals that increase inflammation. This means that trans fats promote inflammation and negatively impact cholesterol levels.

Harvard School of Public Health notes that trans fats promote immune system over-activity and inflammation and are linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes, among other chronic diseases.

The FDA labeling Loophole

In 2015 the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) recognized the dangers of partially hydrogenated fats, and they ordered food processors to cut it out, but the agency has given food processors three years to transition to other ingredients. What a lot of people don’t know is that there is a loophole in the rules that allows processors that include 0.5 grams (or less) of this synthetic trans fats, to label their foods “Trans Fat Free” or have a 0g of trans fat in the nutritional facts. This means that a lot of food labeled free of this poison, actually contain a small amount of them that adds up through the consumption of more than one of this products a day. Partially hydrogenated oils will usually still be in the ingredients list, this is why it’s important to read both the food label and the ingredients list.

Also, The FDA rule does not prevent food processors from using other hidden sources of trans fat, such as refined oils, fully hydrogenated oils, emulsifiers, flavors and colors.

The Common Trans Fatty Foods:

  • margarine
  • vegetable shortening
  • packaged snacks
  • baked goods (especially premade versions)
  • ready-to-use dough
  • fried foods
  • coffee creamers (both dairy and non-dairy)

Hydrogenated oils go hand in hand with food preservation, so hydrogenated fat often ends up in packaged foods.

The EWG Food Score Solution.

As always at the end of my posts I like to offer viable solutions for the problems I present you with, in this case I found an initiative by the Environmental Working Group. During the phase-out period and afterwards, consumers should use EWG’s Food Scores to search for foods that are truly free of trans fats. Food Scores highlights foods that contain ingredients likely to carry trans fat and warns consumers when an item may harbor hidden trans fat.

The EWG Food Scores are available online and in app form. Besides helping you detect hidden trans fats, it also gives you an overall rating of over 80,000 products with detailed health concerns. I have found it very helpful so far and I definitely encourage you to give it a try at:  http://www.ewg.org/foodscores or download the EWG’s Healthy Living app in your app store of preference.

Sources

 

 

Liver Loving

Most people who have spent time with me would know that I love talking about the liver. Whenever this obsession started, it came with a lot of consciousness about what I was eating, putting on my skin and surrounding myself with. In this world of increasing toxin levels everywhere we turn, I have become petrified of the future of our generation.

The liver is a vital organ that is located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, below the diaphragm. The liver has a wide range of functions, including detoxification of various toxins, protein synthesis, and the production of biochemicals necessary for digestion. It also plays a role in metabolism, regulation of glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells and hormone production.

In other words your liver is awesome and it’s vital, meaning you cannot live without it.

So now let’s see how exactly your liver cleanses your bloodstream and why it doesn’t automatically cleanse itself.

There are two mechanisms the liver uses to cleanse your bloodstream:

1. It is a mechanical filter consisting of spaces (sinusoids) lined by the fenestrated endothelium. As the blood flows through the liver sinusoids, the toxins pass through the fenestrated endothelium into the space of Disse and then into the liver cells.

2. The phase one and two detox pathways. A series of enzyme reactions in your liver cells convert toxins into a less harmful state, so that they can be excreted.

So if the liver can cleanse the bloodstream, the liver should be able to cleanse itself and is in no need of extra help – right? Or is the liver filter like the air and oil filters of an engine which need regular cleansing and maintenance. If these filters become dirty, blocked and over worked they malfunction and eventually the engine breaks down.
Well this is what happens in the body and eventually an overloaded or “dirty liver filter” can cause wide ranging symptoms of poor health in the body.

What is it that can overload or impair the liver’s ability to detoxify?

1. High exposure to environmental toxins, alcohol, heavy metals, and/or certain medications – there is an unprecedented amount of chemicals that are integrating themselves into our environment – dyes from printing, hair colors, plastics, alkyl-phenols, PCBs, phthalates, paints, insecticides – thousands of tons of these chemicals go into the environment around the world every year and get into the food chain. The effects of these chemicals are not fully studied. An enormous amount of research literature associating toxin exposure to disease has been published and current estimates suggest that up to nearly $800 billion is spent in  the US and Canada every year on toxicity-related diseases.

2. Generation of excess free radicals from immune complexes or viruses. People with allergies and autoimmune diseases have an immune system that is continually spilling out inflammatory chemicals. These chemicals and immune cells eventually make their way to the liver where they can overwork it. Infection with viruses, bacteria or parasites also places a strain on the immune system. Plus these infectious agents release a number of their own toxins.

3. Fatty infiltration of the liver, and we all know that the condition fatty liver is now an epidemic. When fat infiltrates the liver it can displace healthy liver cells. Fat in the liver can damage liver cells, promote inflammation in the liver and cause raised liver enzymes. The majority of toxins are fat soluble; if you have a fatty liver it is like a magnet for toxins.

4. Nutritional deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and sulphur-bearing amino acids that are required for the detox pathways in the liver. Poor diet, trans fatty acids & excess sugar can inhibit phase one and two pathways. Excess caffeine stimulates too fast phase one detoxification; this is a problem because free radicals build up in the liver before they enter the phase two pathway.

5. Enzyme polymorphisms. These are genetic conditions where there is a deficiency or abnormality in an enzyme required for proper detoxification.

6. Leaky gut syndrome. This is an extremely common condition whereby the intestinal lining becomes more permeable than it should be, allowing bacteria, toxins and undigested food into the bloodstream. These substances then pass directly to the liver.

7. Medications. Several medications can either inhibit or modify detox enzymes.

You could be wondering why does this matter or why should you care. Here’s why:

So we said your liver detoxifies the body, but it is also the one organ in your body that can metabolize fat. So if your toxins build up in your body your liver will be overworked trying to filter and your metabolism will slow down significantly and that will cause you to gain a lot of weight (and not from the good one). Besides the whole fat gain, your liver health deteriorates giving you more chances of developing one of many liver diseases over time.

I could end the post here but I don’t like leaving you without some solutions. Luckily there are numerous strategies to improve the health and detoxification abilities of your liver. So let’s now look at how you can cleanse your liver:

1. Your liver cell membranes are largely composed of fatty acids. These fats are delicate and fragile, and easily damaged by chemicals that act as free radicals. It is important to avoid hydrogenated vegetable oil and all food that is fried in vegetable oil, because you don’t want these damaged fats making up your liver cells.

Taking omega 3 fish oil and vitamin E in supplement form can protect and repair liver cell membranes. Increasing the quantity of antioxidants in your diet, through eating more fruit and vegetables will also protect your cell membranes from damage.

2. Correct leaky gut syndrome (if you have been diagnosed with it).

Nearly everyone with leaky gut syndrome has one or more food allergies or intolerances; these will need to be identified and avoided. Herbs with natural antimicrobial properties help to reduce the levels of harmful bacteria, yeast, fungi and Candida in the bowel; these herbs include wormwood, thyme and barberry. Garlic and onion also help to control harmful microbes in the gut.

Glutamine and slippery elm help to reduce inflammation and irritation to the intestinal lining and make the gut lining a stronger, healthier barrier. A probiotic supplement, containing beneficial bacteria such as acidophilus is also essential in correcting leaky gut syndrome.

3. Support and facilitate the phase 1 and 2 detox pathways. The efficiency of these pathways is highly dependent on your nutrient intake. There are also specific nutrients and herbs that improve the activity of phase 1 and 2 liver detox pathways. Many of these also act as antioxidants, to mop up the free radicals generated in the liver during detoxification. Some of these substances include:

St Mary’s thistle: This herb is also known as Milk thistle and it contains the powerful liver protector silymarin. This compound can protect the liver cells from toxic damage, enhance repair of liver cells and it is a strong antioxidant. Silymarin increases levels of glutathione in the body; this is the body’s most powerful antioxidant. Clinical trials have shown that the most effective dose of silymarin is 420 mg per day.

Green tea:  It contains a group of antioxidants known as catechins, of which the most powerful is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Catechins are thought to be a 200 times more powerful antioxidant than vitamin C. Along with reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, green tea improves the efficiency of phase two liver detoxification reactions.

Turmeric: This is a plant in the ginger family. The active component of turmeric is curcumin; it is a powerful antioxidant, raises levels of glutathione in the body and may offer protection against cancer.

Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds contain sesamin, a compound that protects the liver cells from damage. It is a powerful antioxidant and reduces the breakdown of vitamin E in the body, thereby increasing levels in the body. Sesamin particularly protects the liver cells from the effects of alcohol.

Watercress: This herb is in the same family as cabbage and broccoli. It promotes the excretion of cancer causing substances and may particularly protect against lung and colon cancer. Watercress enhances phase two liver detoxification pathways. Try to include some watercress in your salads and vegetable juices.

Limonene: This is a compound found in the rind of citrus fruits, particularly lemons. It is responsible for much of the smell of lemons. Limonene is a powerful antioxidant and is capable of blocking the harmful effects of many different free radicals. You can include some citrus rind in your raw vegetable juices and salads, but only if it is organic.

Other foods that help your liver in its missions: grapefruit, beets, carrots, avocados, apples, olive oil and walnuts.

Other things to consider are the pH levels of the water you are drinking. your blood pH is (supposed to be) neutral and any water with an acidic pH (bellow 7 in the pH scale) is harmful to the whole functioning of your body. Oh and try to only drink water or completely natural fruit juices, it’s one of the best things you’ll ever do to yourself.

Sources:

  • liverdoctor.com
  • Globalhealingcenter.com
  • Wikipedia.org

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you treat your liver with love.

love, Knowledge Empress

 

Alzaimer’s: The Loss of Self

As someone who values knowledge, I find the brain fascinating. I always tell people to prioritize learning, because the only thing you truly own and no one can take away is what you got in your brain. I still stand by this, but there is an antithesis to my statement and it’s name is Alzheimer’s.

The choices that we make, our past experiences, the people we meet, our mistakes and lessons are ultimately what shapes our personality. Who we are is deeply defined by these abilities to remember and the loss (or shut down) of them is simultaneously the loss of self. Alzheimer’s is not uncommon at all, at some point in our lives we all come across someone who is suffering from it, and it is devastating to witness the loss of self in such a way.

June is Alzheimer’s and brain awareness month, so I found it fitting to raise awareness on the topic. (And most likely will be running a fundraiser for the Alz Association very soon, stay tuned)

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.

How long can someone live with Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions.

Numbers regarding dementia:

– 1 to 1.5 % of the general population suffers from dementia
– Average lifetime following a diagnosis of dementia : 5 years for males and 6 years for females
– 70 % of all dementias are Alzheimer’s

Risk factors associated to the onset of Alzheimer’s

– Age
– Hippocampus vulnerability to aging
– Environmental aspects: stress, nutrition, cholesterol, trauma (surgical type)

Protective measures

– Eating healthy food (vitamin E, C, tannin (red wine in moderation))
– Maintaining brain activity (mental stimulation)
– Natural molecules such as Gingko Biloba (leaves that improve blood flow to the brain and acts as an antioxidant)

Does Alzheimer’s have a cure?

Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

For more information regarding symptoms and treatments available (or just about the disease in general) visit alz.org

If you are interested in helping fundraise to find a cure and to make the quality of lives of those suffering a bit better, leave me a message in the contact section and I will let you know very soon.

Sources:

  • alz.org
  • Tania Lecomte PhD in clinical psychology and post doctoral diploma in psychiatric readaptation. Profesor at UdeM.

Thank you for reading, I hope you found it meaningful and have the desire to help.

Love, Knowledge Empress

Safe in the Sun

As the summer starts we can’t help but picture ourselves sunbathing and finally getting that gorgeous tan. We’re all constantly planning trips to the beach and looking out for good moments to tan. However when it comes to the topic of sunscreen, no one wants to even hear about it. I’ve heard it all, from “I don’t tan with sunscreen” to “I just honestly can’t be bothered”. But let me get into I’m-your-mother mode for a second and tell you “put on sunscreen! It’s for your own good” or “don’t come crying when you’re burnt and sore”

UV radiation is the major cause of premature ageing, eye damage and skin damage that can lead to skin cancer. However it is the best natural source of Vitamin D. I’m not gonna tell you to avoid the sun but it is wise to protect your skin against it.

In this post I want to discuss the importance of not only wearing sunscreen, but wearing the right kind of sunscreen. Conventional sunscreens have chemicals that might protect you from the sun but they have counterproductive effects on the skin you’re trying to protect and on your overall health.

How does sunscreen work? (classic and mineral)

Classic and Mineral Sunscreens are differentiated by their active sun protection ingredients. Classic sunscreens use chemical (also commonly referred as “non-mineral” or “traditional”) active ingredients designed to absorb and dissipate UVA/UVB rays, while Mineral sunscreens use mineral (also commonly referred to as “physical”) active ingredients such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to scatter and reflect UVA/UVB rays.

 Why broad spectrum?

UV rays are split into two categories. UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer. Unprotected exposure can lead to premature skin aging and wrinkling, and suppression of the immune system. UVB rays will usually burn the superficial layers of your skin. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer. for this reason it is important that your sunscreen is broad spectrum (designed to cover you from both)

What to avoid in sunscreen?
The main things you should avoid in sunscreen are:

Oxybenzone: a synthetic estrogen that penetrates the skin and can disrupt the hormone system. Look for products with zinc oxide, 3 percent avobenzone or Mexoryl SX. They protect skin from harmful UVA radiation.

Vitamin A: Eating vegetables that contain vitamin A is good for you, but spreading vitamin A on your skin might not be. Government data shows that tumors and lesions develop quicker in vitamin A coated skin. It is also called retinol or retinyl palmitate so look out for it, and don’t buy it!

EWG has a guide to sunscreens complete with a list of sunscreens that are safe to wear.
I personally have been using Bare Republic 50 SPF natural mineral sunscreen. I got it at Target but it can also be purchased online. It smells incredible and I really like it. Only observation is that it’s a bit more on the creamy side and it takes quite a bit to apply. I will however be repurchasing because it’s worked out really well for me.

EWG Guide to Sunscreen: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/

My sunscreen: https://www.barerepublicnaturals.com/

Sources:
ewg.org
coolasuncare.com

Your skin wants you to take all this into consideration. I hope you have an incredible summer and get all that Vitamin D in a healthy way.

Love, Knowledge Empress