Kombucha

Kombucha is made from sweetened tea (green or black) that’s been fermented by a colony of bacteria and yeast. A “SCOBY”, a.k.a. “mother” because of its ability to reproduce, or is often referred to as a “mushroom” because of its appearance). Kombucha didn’t gain prominence in the West until recently even though it has been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of health benefits like preventing and fighting degenerative diseases.

One of the main ingredients found in all fermented foods and beverages are probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria necessary for adequate digestion and absorption of nutrients. Probiotics are viable microorganisms that improve gut microflora by secreting enzymes, organic acids, vitamins, and nontoxic anti-bacterial substances once ingested. Kombucha is also rich in antioxidants, which also helps to strengthen your immunity and enzymes that promote detoxification. Most of us don’t get enough enzymes these days because we don’t eat enough raw food. The role of digestive enzymes is to break down the foods that we eat into smaller compounds so the nutrients can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. The vitamins produced by probiotics are: many B vitamins, biotin, inositol and choline and vitamin K, to list a few. Kombucha tea can contain up to 1.5% alcohol (1/3 of what beer contains), vinegar, and some caffeine, which explains the increased energy reported by consumers.

Non-GMO Project

The NON-GMO project

For those of you new to this debate, GMO’s (Genetically modified organisms) have come under scrutiny as being a current culprit of chronic diseases, from cancer and infertility to diabetes and allergies to name a few.

In Canada the main GMO crops are: Soy, corn, wheat, sugar, canola and cotton seed (used to feed livestock). One of the issues is that the label “certified organic” does not guarantee the product to be “GMO free”.

One of the arguments is that current product labeling is not sufficient to give Canadian consumers the informed choice in selecting what to feed themselves and their families.

On this website: www.nongmoproject.org you can find a complete list of the hundreds of products that have been verified to be free of genetically modified organisms.

It is easy to become incapacitated by the overwhelming task of confronting multi national corporations, but what you can do is speak with your purchasing power by selecting products labeled with the NON-GMO project designation.

NON-GMO

Our hope is that you become empowered to embrace the changes you CAN make instead of becoming overwhelmed by the ones you can’t.

Naturopathic solutions – Hair Analysis

Hair Analysis

Hair can be used to gather information about heavy metal toxicity and mineral levels. Hair is an excretory tissue rather than a functional tissue. As protein is synthesized in the hair follicle, elements are incorporated permanently into the hair with no equilibration with other tissues.

Extensive research has shown that scalp hair element levels are related to systemic levels. Unlike blood, hair is not controlled by homeostatic systems/mechanisms. Thus, deviations in hair often appear prior to overt symptoms and can thereby be a valuable tool in predicting the development of physiological abnormalities.

Hair analysis is not diagnostic in and of itself, but when used with symptoms and other lab values, it can help diagnosis, monitor treatment and or prevent deficiencies.

Scalp hair is easy to sample (even in infants or toddlers), the cost is $90, and gets sent to a lab in Calgary.  This test is a valuable and inexpensive screen for physiological excess, deficiency or mal-distribution of elements.

Here is an example of how it can be useful. A pediatric patient with excessive dental cavities (4 extractions and 4 fillings at age 2) was tested and revealed high heavy metals and deficiencies in 3 essential bone-building minerals (but not calcium, magnesium or other typical ones). This helped tailor the treatment specifically to his needs and his body. He is now 4 and at the last check up had 2 minor fillings. I expect this to continue to improve as treatment progresses.

I have used this test with fertility issues, pregnancy preparation, osteoporosis and bone building programs. If you haven’t gotten answers to your health questions, keep asking and seek other testing alternatives.

 

Naturopathic – Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a learnt skill and can be difficult for some women – help is available…

It often takes 4-6 weeks to feel confident breastfeeding – be patient

 

This handout covers the most frequently asked questions about breastfeeding and resources.

Contact your local Naturopath, Midwife, or Lactation Consultant for personalized assistance.

 

Why Breastfeed? Nursing is convenient, cheap, your best means of bonding and the perfect food for your child even if you are sick or on medication.

 

Why Breast milk?

  • Specific to our species
  • Less digestive upset, diaper rashes and constipation is rare. Your child will have fewer or less severe colds, ear infections, and allergies. Breast milk protects from viruses and bacteria because the mother quickly develops relevant antibodies, passing resistance to the baby through the milk. Baby can still get sick but the immune system will be supported and thus hasten recovery.
  • Better jaw development and optimal teeth positioning because breastfeeding is harder than drinking from a bottle. Children show fewer cavities if nursed longer than 4 months.
  • Better brain development and higher IQs.
  • Essential nutrients: milk will change with your diet (i.e. garlic can be found in milk)
  • Protein is easy to digest = 60% whey protein and 40% casein (Cow’s milk is 20:80 respectively). Protein is lowest in AM and highest in PM.
  • Fats (60% of calories needed in first year) – especially DHA which promotes brain, nerve and intestinal health
  • Lipase – an enzyme that keeps the fats (most efficient energy source for baby) easy to digest
  • Lactose – a sugar important for brain and central nervous system development. Also helps absorb calcium and promotes overall growth. (Lactose is higher in human milk vs. cow’s milk). Lactose is higher in the afternoon.
  • IMMUNE FACTORS: Antibodies, White blood cells, Cytokines, Interferon, and Lysozymes – relevant to local bacteria, viruses and fungi – hours after exposure milk will change to suit mom and baby’s health
  • Bifidus and Oligosaccharides – both aid in intestinal health and colonization
  • (attacks bacterial cell walls) for immunity
  • Water – all that baby needs till solids are introduced (baby should be sitting unassisted, showing curiosity in foods, have a good pincher grasp and teething, ~6 mos).
  • Vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Vitamin D and iron levels are low but absorbed easier than iron in formulas or supplements. If your stores are low talk to the appropriate health care professional. Going outside for 5-10 minutes at least twice a week (face and arm exposure) can help establish vitamin D levels.
  • Hormones and enzymes promoting healthy intestinal tract and ensures protective organisms dominate in the digestive tract.
  • Formula has no immune factors like breast milk

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