We all know how important it is to get enough exercise both for our physical and mental health. But how much is “enough?” The standard recommendation is to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week.

Moderate aerobic activity is defined as activities like walking at a brisk pace and swimming. Vigorous aerobic activity is defined as activities like running, cycling, and dancing.

But we all have busy lives and even when we make exercise a priority, we sometimes just don’t have the time. Luckily, there is a solution that will give you the results you want in a fraction of the time. How? Advanced Vibration Technology.

What is Advanced Vibration Technology?

Advanced Vibration Technology (AVT) consists of sitting or standing on a machine that features a vibrating platform. As the plate vibrates, it transmits energy to your body making your muscles contract and relax dozens of times per second mimicking the effects of exercise but in a very condensed span of time.
The technology behind AVT evolved from scientists who were looking for a way to help astronauts combat the effects of zero gravity on the body as zero gravity can cause the muscles to atrophy and a decrease in bone density.
There are many AVT machines that have a single motor. The machine our office uses is a dual motor model. It has an Oscillation motor and a Triplanar motor. The Oscillation motor creates a see-saw motion, one foot moves up as the other foot moves down. This type of vibration has been shown to improve lymphatic drainage, weight loss, and to improve our fast-twitch muscles, the muscles we use for the short, fast bursts of energy required to do things like sprint or power lift.

Benefits

  • Efficiency: In just 15 to 30 minutes a week, you can reap many of the benefits you would get from much longer exercise sessions. 
  • Increased muscle strength: Hundreds of muscle contractions per minute help build and tone muscle. 
  • Weight loss: Building muscle makes our body more fuel-efficient. Muscle burns calories throughout the day even when we’re at rest, not just during exercise. 
  • Reduced cortisol levels: AVT helps to reduce the stress hormone that contributes to the accumulation of belly fat, the most dangerous area to accumulate fat. 
  • Strengthens the core: AVT helps tighten the core muscles which means more prominent abs, better posture, and reduced back pain. 
  • Increased lymphatic flow: AVT stimulates our lymph system which helps remove waste from the body and can improve the appearance of cellulite. 
  • Increased collagen production: Collagen helps keep our skin taught and smooth. 
  • Increased circulation: This improves cardiovascular health.
  • Improved flexibility and range of motion: The vibrations increase flexibility and reduce stiffness in not only the muscles but in the joints and ligaments as well so you have more freedom of movement.
  • Increased stability and balance: As we get older, we begin to lose our balance which can result in falls that cause serious injury. AVT helps to improve our stability and balance. 
  • Increased bone density: Bone density is something else we lose as we age. The combination of poor balance and decreased bone density can result in fractures that can seriously reduce our quality of life. 
  • Reduces the chance of injury: Most forms of exercise come with a risk of injury and for most of us, the risk is small and well worth the gamble. But that isn’t true for everyone. If you have balance or mobility issues, AVT can be a safe form of exercise for you. 
  • Speeds healing: AVT helps to increase HGH levels that can help your body repair itself after an injury or surgical procedure. 
  • Increased levels of serotonin: Serotonin is our “feel good” hormone and is released during exercise. This release improves our sense of well-being and relaxation and reduces stress.

Who Can Benefit From AVT?

The simple answer is, “Anyone!” AVT has benefits that can help people of all ages, fitness levels, conditions. But there are some groups for whom AVT is especially beneficial.

  • Busy people: I don’t give many people a pass when it comes to not finding time for regular exercise and one of my favorite ways to help people realize they do have the time is this: “Rather than saying you don’t have time to exercise, phrase it as I don’t prioritize exercise.” Hearing it put this way is often enough for people to find that time they claimed they didn’t have. But in some cases or for periods of time, there are people who genuinely don’t have those 150 or 75 minutes per week. For them, AVT can be the difference between maintaining fitness and losing ground. 
  • Those with flexibility or mobility issues: When your body is stiff, even performing a gentle exercise can be painful. And of course, the less we do, the worse our flexibility and mobility become. AVT can help people dealing with those issues get the movement all bodies need in a safe, painless way while improving those conditions. 
  • Those with balance issues: When your balance and stability are compromised, exercise can be dangerous but exercise is an important part of regaining those abilities. AVT can help you do so safely. 
  • Osteopenia and osteoporosis sufferers: Bone density peaks around age 35. After that, we can be at risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise can improve this but those types of exercise are not possible for everyone. For those people, AVT can help improve their bone density.

Schedule Today!

I’m happy to announce that we are now offering this exciting technology! Each ten-minute session is $15 and you can purchase a package of ten sessions for $100.

You can call us or come in person to the front desk to purchase and schedule these sessions.  Use them whenever you wish during normal business hours. To schedule, call, or text us at 646.436.5311

Is Wine Good For You or Bad For You?

It’s a question that comes up a lot because wine can be a delightful part of life but there is a lot of information about its effects on your health, much of it conflicting.
 
So let’s get to the veritas of the matter and find out the truth about wine.

The Benefits of Wine

Even if you’ve not read much about the benefits of wine, you’ve probably heard of resveratrol.  It’s a polyphenol found in red wine that is responsible for many of wine’s health-giving benefits.

  • Resveratrol protects and improves our mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are part of your cells that are responsible for creating energy. We can also enhance mitochondrial function via regular exercise, a colorful, whole foods diet, supplementing with acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, Co Q 10, n-acetyl-cysteine, NADH, D-ribose, and magnesium aspartate, and increasing consumption of omega-3 fats.
  • Wine contains antioxidants that protect us from free-radical damage; this damage can lead to cancer.
  • Wine consumption can improve the immune system and protect us from infections.
  • Red wine has high levels of silicon, which can help increase bone mineral density protecting us from osteoporosis.
  • The phenols in red wine contain tannins that help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, and resveratrol can do the same while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • The phenols in red wine can help thin the blood, which can help prevent strokes.
  • Tannins contain procyanidins that enhance blood vessels’ health and improve blood circulation, improving cardiovascular health.
  • Resveratrol improves our insulin sensitivity which can help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
  • Chemicals present in red wine can improve brain function and may protect against dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
  • Red wine is a part of the diet in most of the world’s Blue Zones, areas where people have robust health well into their 80s and beyond.
  • Resveratrol inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes acne, and happily, it’s been shown that ingesting it is more effective than topical application. The same is true of the bacteria that causes dental plaque.
  • A Spanish study found that people who drank two to seven glasses of wine each week were less likely to suffer from depression than those who drank less, not at all, or to excess.
  • Overconsumption of alcohol contributes to fatty liver disease. But modest wine consumption may decrease the incidence of Non-Alcoholic- Fatty Liver Disease.
  • Resveratrol may help treat diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

The Risks of Drinking Wine

Overconsumption of wine can undo all of the benefits listed above, so like with many things, the poison is in the dose. Too much wine can be especially dangerous for women. Overdoing it means your liver can’t metabolize estrogen as efficiently, and increased estrogen levels can lead to breast cancer. 

Too much wine has also been linked to an increased risk for other types of cancer, including mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and rectum. 
What is considered a “medicinal” amount of wine? One five-ounce glass up to three times per week.

Choosing the Right Wine

Not all wines are created equal when it comes to quality and health benefits. Mass-produced wines can have more than 70 different additives and chemicals, and the vineyards are typically sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. 

The polyphenols in wine are produced by the grapes to protect them from bugs and other poor growing conditions. When sprays are used to mimic those same protections, the grapes produce fewer polyphenols which means the wine they make has fewer health benefits for us.

And because grape skin is so porous, the grapes absorb these sprays. This is why grapes are always on the Dirty Dozen list of produce that should be bought organically. Look for natural, organic, or biodynamic wines.

Sugar is something most of us could stand to have less of, but of course, without sugar, there is no wine (or any other alcohol). Sugar is a critical ingredient in the production of alcohol. During the fermentation process, naturally occurring sugars are converted to carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol.

Some winemakers add sugar before or during fermentation, not to add sweetness but to increase the alcohol content. To find a lower-sugar wine, avoid cheap, mass-produced wine, choose a wine with an ABV (alcohol by volume) of around 10-12%, and choose drier wines like Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sangiovese as opposed to sweeter wines like Merlot and Grenache.

Dry white wines are lower in sugar still, but reds have more of the health benefits we’ve discussed.

It can be a lot of work to source wines that meet all of these criteria yourself but the good news is, you don’t have to! Dry Farm Wines has done all of the research for you to find the best tasting, most healthful wines available. Even better, they are delivered right to your door!

Todd White, founder of Dry Wine Farms travels the world looking for only the best wines that must meet the following criteria:

  • Natural, organic, or biodynamic.
  • Grapes grown from old-growth vines with roots deep enough to draw moisture and minerals from the soil. (The vineyards don’t require irrigation, relying only on rainfall, hence the name Dry Farm).
  • Wines are made from grapes that are low yield and harvested by hand. 
  • Wines fermented with wild yeast, not commercial. 
  • Wines produced with no additives, preservatives, clarifying agents, colors, scents, or sugar.

Once Dry Farm Wines has selected wines that meet those criteria, each one is tested in an independent lab to ensure they are:

  • Statistically free of sugar and carbs.
  • Naturally low in sulfites.
  • Naturally lower ABV.

Only after clearing all of these hurdles are the wines made available to Dry Wine Farms customers.

Here’s To Your Health!

So what’s my verdict?
Wine is a wonderful addition to your health and life as long as you drink it in moderation and choose natural, lower sugar varieties.

Cheers!

No, it’s not a colorful bunch of bananas.
No, it isn’t a representation of the LGBTQ rainbow flag.
My logo isn’t just something I hired a graphic artist to design for me. Within that logo is the philosophy upon which I’ve built my life and my practice.

Unlocking the secrets within my logo can unlock the secrets to a vibrant, open-minded, Harmonious Life!

Colors

Chakras are petal-shaped vortexes of energy that lie across seven different points on our spinal column. Each chakra is represented by a color and represents various aspects of life and health. When our chakras are in balance, we can live a Harmonious Life. The colors in my logo are an echo of the colors of our chakras.

Spirals

Spirals have always had special meaning to me as a practitioner of holistic medicine. Spirals connect the six branches of life vital to living a Harmonious Life, and in holistic medicine, everything is connected; everything affects everything.

When someone comes to me with a single, specific concern, I still give them a comprehensive, total body system assessment; head to toe, touching on every possible aspect of their health. From the skin to hormones, from vision to allergies, from immune function to cognitive function, from sleep to stress and so many more! Everything is connected.

The spiral is an ancient symbol of eternity, renewal, and energy. I have many spirals in my office, and it’s become a little game to go on a “spiral hunt” to see how many can be found.

All of the following can have a direct or secondary effect on your well being:

  • Nutrition & Health
  • Relaxation & Rest
  • Relationships & Social Life
  • Spirituality & Inspiration
  • Action & Physical Activity
  • Career & Professional Growth

All of these things are connected and the reason I inquire, touch on, and work with you on so many different aspects of your life.

Six

For those familiar with the concept of chakras, you know there are seven, not six. But I have six spirals and six colors in my logo. Yes! I very deliberately omitted the Third Eye chakra. The Third Eye represents tapping into and trusting your intuition. I didn’t omit the Third Eye because it’s not significant but because during our relationship, I am creating a space and environment for your intuition to flourish as I guide you on your personal path to wellness.

The number six has always been special to me. I was born on April 6. Six is a harmonious number representing friendship, love, union, health, beauty, and wisdom. Six is the perfect number of the key elements that define a Harmonious Life. So six spirals in the logo!

Mystery Solved!

I hope you enjoyed learning the little secrets and codes lurking within my logo. I enjoyed sharing them as my logo doesn’t just represent my practice; it represents me, my philosophy, and my life!

A Potent Weapon Against Aging

No matter how well we take care of ourselves, the aging of our bodies will start to impact us eventually. Every minute of our lives, our bodies have been waging a war we can’t see; the war to protect and heal us from environmental factors, a bad diet, germs, viruses, injury, stress, and everything else that comes with life. Inevitably, our bodies start to lose some battles and, eventually, the war.

But what if there was something that could ease the burden on our body’s natural defenses and help fight against the things that happen as we age and push back the burdens that come with age? An emerging branch of anti-aging science may have found something that does just that.

What Are Senolytics?

Proper cell regeneration is the cornerstone of health and health aging, impacting every area of our bodies. Our healthy cells continuously divide, regenerate, and are replaced by new cells and stem cells.

Senolytics is a branch of medicine that targets senescent cells. When we’re young, senescent cells are efficiently removed from the body by our immune system or through apoptosis, a process of programmed cell death. As we age, our immune system becomes less able to eliminate these cells.

Senescent cells linger and increase in number. These unhealthy cells emit substances that cause inflammation, the root of many diseases, and turn healthy cells senescent, which eventually leads to tissue damage in the body. Think of them as zombies, they “bite” a healthy cell, and it too becomes a zombie, just like in a horror movie!

These accumulated cells can be the start of many age-related maladies and diseases, including cancer. Ridding the body of these cells can significantly improve our health and lifespan. Senolytics hunt down these faulty cells, stopping their accumulation, thereby slowing down the process of aging at the cellular level.

The Benefits of Senolytics

The potential application of Senolytics is almost endless, treating dozens of age-related illnesses and conditions most people face eventually including:

  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Sarcopenia (loss of muscle)
  • Diabetes
  • Emphysema
  • Obesity
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Vision loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Disk degeneration
  • Liver steatosis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis

Senolytic Supplementation

Unsurprisingly, the best source of senolytics can be found in food compounds.

  • Fisetin is a polyphenol found in foods like strawberries, apples, persimmons, and cucumbers.
  • Quercetin is a polyphenol found in foods like red onions and kale.
  • Resveratrol is a phenol most commonly found in red wine.
  • Pterostilbene is a stilbenoid related to resveratrol and is found in almonds, blueberries, and grape leaves.
  • Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by plants, primarily found in turmeric.

Should you eat the foods containing all of these compounds? Yes! But you’d have to eat a lot of them, more than any human could eat, to get the senolytic benefit. Luckily you can get all of the benefits with a supplement, Tailor Made Health Senolytic.

Walk down any grocery store aisle or even down the aisles of a convenience store, and you’ll see lots of gluten-free options. Even products that never contained gluten will proudly proclaim their gluten-free status. 
Not only are these products often more expensive than their gluten-containing counterparts, but they’re also usually just straight-up junk food. And if you are not part of a tiny segment of people who really must follow a gluten-free diet, going gluten-free can actually be harming your health. 

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a sticky protein found in grains like wheat, rye, spelt, and barely. The two main proteins in gluten are glutenin and gliadin, gliadin being responsible for most of the ill effects of gluten consumption.

When gluten-containing flour is mixed with water, the gluten proteins form a sticky, glue-like substance. This stickiness is desirable; it gives dough the ability to rise when baked and gives bread the chewy texture that we like. For the vast majority of people, eating gluten has no ill effects.

Who Should Avoid Gluten?

The only people who really have to adhere to a gluten-free diet are those with celiac disease. Celiac disease is an immune response to eating gluten that creates inflammation and damages the lining of the small intestine. How many Americans have celiac disease? Only about 1%.

Some people with a less severe condition known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity may feel better after adopting a gluten-free diet as may those who have a wheat sensitivity. 

Possible Problems of a Gluten-Free Diet

There is no reason for the rest of us to avoid gluten, and there can be dangers of doing so. 

Gluten is Everywhere! 

If you’re considering going gluten-free, you probably already know you’ll need to avoid or find gluten-free versions of things like bread, cereal, pasta, and beer. But those are far from the only sources of gluten.

Gluten is also found in things like pre-sauced frozen vegetables, vitamin supplements, some medications, and even toothpaste! You’ll also have to know all the various names gluten hides behind on labels, including Triticum Vulgare, Triticale, Hordeum Vulgare, Secale Cereale, and Triticum Spelta. 

You had better warn your wallet before going gluten-free. Overall, gluten-free products are 183% more expensive than similar gluten-containing products. That means your morning bagel will go from costing you $1 to costing you $2.83. Maybe just go, Paleo! 

Tummy Trouble

Vegetables and fruits are a great source of fiber, but the fact is, many of us get the bulk of our fiber from eating grains. Reducing or eliminating grains without upping your fiber intake from other sources can leave you constipated and bloated. 

Too Much Arsenic

If you’re looking to go gluten-free but not give up grains entirely, you may add more rice to your diet as rice is naturally gluten-free. But rice naturally contains arsenic, and the levels are increased by pollution. Yes, that arsenic, the method of choice for 19th Century poisoners!

Eaten occasionally, the levels of arsenic in rice and rice products are not that concerning, but when rice becomes a big part of your diet, as it might when going gluten-free than yes, you can be ingesting unsafe levels of the stuff. 

Gluten-Free Junk is Still Junk

A lot of products that are gluten-free are nothing more than processed junk food. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Pirate’s Booty, Sour Patch Kids, and Cheetos, for example, are all gluten-free. Just because something is gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s healthy. 

Dietary Deficiencies 

Some gluten-containing foods are good sources of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin B, Folic Acid, Iron, Zinc, Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Calcium, and Phosphorus. You can make up for those deficiencies with gluten-free foods and supplements (that you know are gluten-free), but it will take some dedication and research to make sure the replacement foods are giving your body what it needs and in the right amounts. 

What is Removed Must Be Replaced

When the low fat craze started in the 1980’s loads of new products, hit the shelves that were low in fat. But if you take out fat, the food doesn’t taste as good, so the fat had to be replaced with something else. In the case of low fat, the replacement was usually sugar. We now know that sugar is very detrimental to human health and the right fats are good for human health.

The same is true for gluten. Gluten gives foods a nice, chewy texture. When the gluten is removed, it’s often replaced by things like inflammatory processed industrial oils like corn, soybean, and sunflower. Those omega-6 fats are not only inflammatory, but they block the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. 

It Makes Traveling Tough

We’re lucky here in New York City. We have plenty of choices for gluten-free restaurants (and really any kind of restaurant). But if you travel (When we can travel again!), staying gluten-free can be challenging. It can be incredibly tough if you’re in another country and facing a language barrier. 

Should You Go Gluten-Free?

Unless you suffer from celiac, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or have a wheat sensitivity, there is no reason to adopt a gluten-free diet. If you have health or weight concerns, we can better address them through other methods that aren’t so strict, expensive, inconvenient, and potentially harmful. 

The Sweet Life

By now, we are all aware of how detrimental sugar is to our health. Ingesting too much sugar can cause higher blood pressure, inflammation, Type II diabetes, fatty liver disease, and of course, weight gain.   

But what would life be without a little sweetness? Let’s take a look at some of the sugar alternatives that are available. 

Fruit

When we’re used to eating foods, even savory ones like bread and tomato sauce, that have added sugar, our tastes change. We are used to overly sweet tastes, and something like a piece of fruit can taste downright sour. 

The trick is to reset your tastebuds by eliminating all added sugars for a time. When you do that, your tastebuds are suddenly awakened to how sweet a good, ripe piece of fruit can taste. Adding a banana to a mostly vegetable smoothie will provide plenty of sweetness to mask the greens in your drink. A handful of berries will taste like the perfect sweet contrast to tangy Greek yogurt. A juicy peach will make the perfect after-dinner dessert. 

Raw Honey

Raw honey does have several health benefits. It contains antioxidants, has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and can ease a sore throat, allergies, and coughs. Be sure to purchase local, raw honey for the most benefits. Much of the honey that is mass-produced is adulterated with other substances to make it cheaper to produce.

Maple Syrup

Real maple syrup is high in antioxidants and contains riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and potassium and has fewer calories than honey. But just ⅓ of a cup contains a whopping 60 grams of sugar. 

If you do use maple syrup occasionally, be sure to buy only 100% pure maple syrup. If it’s not labeled as such, it probably mostly consists of corn syrup, caramel coloring, and artificial maple flavoring. 

Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses contains iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and vitamin B6. This molasses is a byproduct of the sugar cane refining process. The cane is crushed to create juice, boiled to make cane syrup, boiled again to create molasses, and boiled a third time to create blackstrap molasses. 

This kind of molasses has the lowest sugar content of any cane-based sweetener, but it has something of a strong, distinctive flavor that will not be to everyone’s liking. 

Stevia

Stevia is extracted from the Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni plant, which is native to South America. Stevia is sweet, about 200 times sweeter than sugar, but it has no calories and no carbohydrates and little to no impact on blood sugar. It also doesn’t have the bitter aftertaste many sweeteners do. 

Stevia has been found to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. 

Xylitol

Xylitol comes from birch wood and sometimes corn. Like erythritol, xylitol has dental health benefits and is a better option for diabetics. Xylitol has a similar level of sweetness as regular table sugar but 40% fewer calories. Unlike some of the other sweeteners on our list, xylitol does not contain vitamins, minerals, or protein, so the calories it contains are all empty calories. But it does help feed the good bacteria in your gut so can help improve overall immunity and gut health. 

Monk Fruit Extract

Monk fruit is a small, round fruit native to Southeast Asia. Monk fruit extract is made by juicing the fruit and drying that juice into a powder. The extract contains a component called mogroside which has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Monk fruit extract contains no calories or carbohydrates so will not raise blood sugar levels. The sweetener is 100-250 times sweeter than table sugar.

Coconut Sugar

All things coconut, water, oil, milk, flour have something of a health halo around them but that halo doesn’t extend to coconut sugar. While the sugar does contain some iron, calcium, potassium, and inulin, which is a fiber your healthy gut bacteria love, it has almost the exact same chemical makeup as white table sugar. 

Agave 
Agave nectar or syrup is often touted as a diabetic-friendly sweetener that doesn’t spike blood sugar levels. Still, agave contains as much as 90% fructose, the worst sweetener when it comes to metabolic damage. Plain old white table sugar, on the other hand, is about 50/50 fructose and glucose.    Agave is far from a health food, so diabetic or not, walk past this sweetener in the grocery store. 
No Such Thing as Perfect
While some sweeteners have more health benefits than others, there is no such thing as the perfect sweetener. If you’re spending a lot of time trying to find that one sweetener that tastes great and won’t have “too much” impact on your health, you need to rethink your overall diet.    There is nothing wrong with the occasional sweet treat. But, occasional should mean that you are having them so infrequently that whatever sweetener you use, even regular old table sugar, is not going to impact your overall health in any meaningful way. Because as with anything that is not “good” for us, the poison is in the dose. 

Sweet, sticky, golden honey. Honey has endless uses; it sweetens our tea, soothes sore throats, moisturizes our skin, and is the only foodstuff that never, ever goes bad. Sure, it may crystallize in the jar, but a soak in some warm water will fix that. Not only is honey extremely versatile, but it also has impressive health benefits. Let’s take a look at what nature’s sweetest gift has to offer us.

The History of Honey

Bees produce honey by collecting nectar from flowers and then regurgitating that nectar. As the water evaporates from the nectar, what we know as honey is left behind. Honey has been around for thousands of years. The oldest surviving record of honey dates back to 2100 BC in Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform tablets. Honey is mentioned in sacred texts in India and Egypt.

Honey was so coveted and valuable that is was sometimes used as currency and was frequently offered up to the gods as an offering. It was also used in things like furniture polishes and varnishes and for medicinal purposes.

As long as honey is stored in a lidded vessel and no water is added, it will never spoil. The oldest jar of honey to be found to date was discovered in ceramic jars inside the tomb of a noblewoman outside of Tbilisi, Georgia. The honey was 5,500 years old.

The Benefits of Honey

If humans have been using a substance for thousands of years, there must be many benefits to it, right? Definitely!

Honey Contains Antioxidants
We usually associate antioxidants with vegetables and fruits, but honey contains them as well. Antioxidants help protect our bodies from the damage caused by free radicals. This damage contributes to the aging process and may contribute to chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. The antioxidants compounds in raw honey are polyphenols and may help protect us from these and other conditions.

Honey is Antibacterial and Antifungal
Some types of honey can kill bacteria and fungus as it naturally contains hydrogen peroxide. In fact, Manuka honey has been shown to be effective in killing antimicrobial-resistant bacteria by 39% compared to 29% for antibiotics in cystic fibrosis research. Another study showed that Manuka honey may help prevent bacteria colonies from growing in medical equipment, particularly catheters. It has also been shown to kill very dangerous bacteria strains like MRSA and MSSA. There were nearly 120,000 MRSA infections and 20,000 associated deaths in the United States in 2017. Given its antibacterial and antifungal properties, it’s unsurprising that honey can also help heal wounds, burns, and ulcers.

Honey is a Cough Suppressant
A study showed that children aged 1 to 5 suffering from upper respiratory tract infections who were given two teaspoons of honey at bedtime reduced nighttime coughing and improved their sleep.
The honey remedy seems to be as or more effective as a cough suppressant than OTC cough remedies containing the cough-suppressing ingredient dextromethorphan.

Honey Can Improve Sleep
Honey causes a small spike in insulin levels and releases tryptophan in our brains. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, which then converts to melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycles.

Honey Can Decrease Allergy Symptoms
Locally produced honey may contain pollen spores from local plants. Consuming this honey can act similarly to a vaccine; you’re ingesting a small amount of the allergen, which allows your body to fight against it and build up a resistance to it when encountered in larger quantities.

Honey Can Improve Cholesterol Levels
Honey has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol, while significantly raising HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol.

Honey Can Help With Weight Control
When used as a replacement for sugar, honey can activate appetite-suppressing hormones.

Honey is Fuel for Athletes
When you’re on a long run, hike, or bike ride, don’t reach for artificial sports gels; reach for honey! Honey has been shown to perform on par with glucose, which is the sugar most of those commercial gels use.
Honey is the perfect fuel before, during, or after your workout.

Honey Can Improve Gut Health
Lots of us understand how important probiotics are for gut (and overall health), but we may not be as familiar with prebiotics. Prebiotics are the food source for the healthy bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics feed those bacteria and allow them to flourish.
Raw honey contains natural prebiotics to feed your good bugs!

Not All Honey is the Same

There are more than 300 different varieties of honey in the United States. Each has its own unique color and flavor determined by the types of blossoms the bees that made the honey visited. Single varietal honey like Manuka is so designated because the bee producers only gather nectar from one type of plant. Manuka honey is made in Australia and New Zealand by bees that only gather nectar from the manuka bush, a bush native to those countries. Another distinction is that between raw honey and regular honey. Raw honey is not processed in any way. The honey is harvested by the honeycombs in the beehive and strained to remove things like bits of beeswax and dead bees. The honey is then bottled and sold. That’s it! Nothing is added or subtracted. Honey, being commercially produced on a large scale, like the honey you might see in plastic bear-shaped bottles on grocery store shelves, goes through many more stops before being
poured into those cute bottles. The honey may be pasteurized and filtered. Pasteurization destroys yeast naturally found in honey through high heat. This gives the honey a longer shelf life and makes the texture smoother. Filtering removes things like beeswax and dead bees and described above, but the commercial filtering also removes air bubbles, so the honey looks clear and not “cloudy” as raw honey appears. These processes can remove the beneficial compounds in raw honey like antioxidants and local pollen. And then there is the possibility of adultered honey. In 2018 a study found that 27% of commercial honey brands were watered down with sugar cane, corn syrup, or other products in
a money-saving scheme by producers. There is a simple test to find out if your honey has been adulterated. Put a spoonful of honey into a glass of water. Adulterated honey will dissolve while pure honey will settle at the bottom of the glass in lumps. The safest bet is to buy honey from a local, small-batch producer.

Cautions for Honey
If you aren’t allergic to bee pollen, raw honey is safe to consume. But infants under the age of 1 should not be fed honey, raw or regular due to the risk of infant botulism. Honey is safe for children older than 1 year.

Here’s To Honey!
Honey has many wonderful health benefits, but it does have a high sugar content and is calorie-dense. So enjoy honey and reap the benefits but do so in moderation.

I love to cook, and I love kitchen gadgets. But like most New Yorkers, I have limited storage and cabinet space, so I have to choose what kitchen appliances I buy wisely. If you have even a passing interest in cooking, you’ve probably heard of air fryers. They’re something of the gadget du jour right now. But is air frying as great as some people are claiming, and does an air fryer deserve space on your kitchen counter? Let’s take a more in-depth look. 

What Is Air Frying?

An air fryer is a small countertop-sized convection oven. A fan circulates hot air at high speed to simulate deep frying foods in oil without having to submerge the food in oil. The process gives you a crisp, brown layer like you’d get with a deep fat fryer or frying on the stove top via the Maillard reaction and leaving the inside moist and juicy.

The Benefits of Air Frying

Air frying can be pretty great for several reasons.

Calories

When trying to simulate deep frying, you only need about a tablespoon of oil for air frying compared to a cup or more in a deep fryer. This means calories are greatly reduced. A serving of air fried chicken breast has about 163 calories, while a deep-fried breast has about 250! 

Time

You can cook a chicken breast in the air fryer in about 10 minutes compared to a deep-fryer or oven, which takes about 20 minutes. 

Odorless

The smell of food cooking in a deep fryer smells good, but the oil’s lingering smell is not exactly pleasant! You won’t have that used-oil smell in your home when using an air fryer.

Picky Eaters Love It!

Give a kid a stalk of steamed asparagus, and they might turn up their nose. But give them an “asparagus fry” crispy from the air fryer, and they’ll be asking for more! 

Fewer Carcinogens

Compared to deep-frying, air frying produces far fewer harmful compounds called acrylamides that are formed when the amino acids in foods are heated to very high temperatures. 

Safety

I’ve never deep-fried anything. Not because it isn’t a tasty cooking method but because it’s terrifying! I don’t feel comfortable heating up a big pot of scalding hot oil and standing over it while the food cooks! And how do you get rid of all of that oil once you’re done? You don’t have either of those worries when using an air fryer. 

The Dangers of Air Frying

Air fryers do have some downsides.

It’s Fast! 

Yes, I listed the air fryer’s ability to cook things quickly as a benefit but it has a downside too. Because they cook food so quickly, there is little margin for error. If you leave a chicken breast in the oven 5 minutes longer than you supposed too, it won’t burn. It might be a little drier than it would have been had you taken it out on time but it will still be perfectly edible. 

If you leave something in an air fryer 5 minutes too long (or even just a minute or two in some cases) the food will likely be scorched. It won’t be edible and could even be dangerous to eat. There is some evidence to show that burnt food is carcinogenic. 

If you’re using an air fryer, don’t get distracted and lose track of the time. 

Small Capacity

Most air fryers can hold between 1 and 3 pounds of food so if you’re cooking a meal for a group, it may not be a practical option. But if you’re making appetizers or something like that for a party where you’re not trying to get everything on the table at once, air fryers are a good option. They cook so quickly that it won’t take long to cook a few batches of something. 

Air Fried Does Not Equal Healthy

Just because you air fry something does not automatically make it healthy. Fried ravioli is not a health food no matter how they’re cooked! 

Best Foods To Air Fry

You can air fry dozens of different foods but some things don’t come out markedly better than if you’d cooked them on the stove or in the oven. A chicken breast for example. Air fryer, stove, or oven, it tastes about the same. The air fryer will save you about 10 minutes so if you’re in a rush, by all means, fire up the air fryer! 

But really, I think the best use is for things that do come out appreciably better when air fried. Sweet potato fries are a good example. They never really get crispy in the oven but will in the air fryer! The same is true for brussel sprouts. Noodles are great in an air fryer because all of the water they release ends up in the basket, away from the noodles so they aren’t waterlogged as they often are when you cook them on the stove. Vegetable chips come out nearly as crispy as store-bought chips, and now that it’s pumpkin carving season, save those seeds! The air fryer is great for making crispy pumpkin seeds. 

Should You Get An Air Fryer?

If you eat a lot of fried foods currently and are looking for a healthy alternative, buying an air fryer can be a great investment in your health. And if you have a big kitchen and like to experiment, an air fryer can be a fun toy to have. 

What Air Fryer Model Can We Recommend?

We recommend the Philips TurboStar Airfryer, Avance Digital.

This is the best overall air fryer currently on the market. It has a thinner, compact footprint and shorter stature than the other models, but it still has a roomy basket that holds a full pound of food. This machine is easy to clean, its digital controls and dial-operated menu are intuitive to use, and it is also safe: Its drawer-like design allows to remove food without exposing your hands to the heating element. You can find it here on Amazon.

Many of us are familiar with the medical terms Type I and Type II diabetes but lately, it is becoming more and more prevalent and evident within the scientific and medical communities that there is a new type they are talking about; Type III diabetes, previously called Alzheimer’s disease. It turns out that Alzheimer’s disease is strongly associated with insulin resistance in the brain.

Foods to Improve Brain Health and Memory
We can make various changes to our lifestyle in order to prevent this effect but largely it is our diet that has the largest impact on our brain’s health.
Changing our diet will have the largest preventative impact.  Various lifestyle changes simply are not enough.  It isn’t just about calorie counting. Our macronutrient ratio (fat, protein, carbohydrate), significantly impacts our brain’s health. Studies have shown that people who eat a diet high in carbohydrates have an 89% increased risk of developing this disease while those who eat a diet high in healthy fats reduce their risk by 44%.  The ideal diet to help avoid this disease must include foods loaded with antioxidants, healthy fats, and foods that have powerful anti-inflammatory properties while at the same time are also low in carbohydrates.  If you want to build a brain-boosting and memory protecting diet, your diet will include a variety of foods that are nutritious and are also delicious.  Take a look at some of the wonderful things you can indulge in!

Nuts
Nuts contain a number of nutrients like Vitamin E, omega-3 fats, copper and manganese that are shown to protect brain cells and can also prevent, reverse and even improve cognitive decline. The most healthful choices include walnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts.  Nut quality varies widely. Choose nuts that are organic and GMO-free.

Plant-Based Oils
Specifically, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil both have terrific brain-boosting potential. Olive oil is loaded with polyphenols, robust antioxidants shown to reverse cognitive decline caused by normal aging and disease.  Coconut oil contains polyphenols and can improve the ability of neurons and brain cell membranes to conduct cellular functions. Be sure to buy high-quality oils certified organic and GMO-free. For those with smell or taste concerns who don’t like the smell or taste of coconut, look for certified organic, GMO-free labels that are also labeled double or triple filtered.  Extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil should be your go-to culinary oils. Avoid seed and vegetable oils like corn and soybean which are high in pro-inflammatory polyunsaturated fats.
 
Wild-Caught, Oily Fish Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies are great sources of DHA, an omega-3 oil which is instrumental in developing and protecting brain cells. Regularly consuming oily fish can potentially make dramatic improvements to memory and cognition.  If mercury is a concern, these fish are low on the risk level. Be sure your fish is wild-caught and not farmed. Farmed fish has less of the beneficial nutrients and can be contaminated by bacteria and other toxins.

Eggs
Eggs took an undeserved beating for years but eggs are one of the healthiest foods we can eat. Eggs are rich in choline which plays a role in relaying messages between cells and is required for memory and cognition.  Eggs provide cholesterol which despite its bad reputation makes up part of the membrane of brain cells and protects them from oxidative damage. Choose pastured, organic eggs. The yolks are healthier than those in battery eggs containing higher levels of Vitamins A, D, E, and K, omega-3 fats, and antioxidants.

Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are the current darling of the health and nutrition world. The fermentation process creates good bacteria known as probiotics which keep your gut healthy. And science is just beginning to understand how vitally important gut health is to overall health including brain health.  Fermented foods include kimchi, kombucha tea, sauerkraut, and pickled fruits and vegetables. In order to maximize gut health, it’s also important to consume foods rich in prebiotics, a type of fiber that feeds good gut bacteria. Prebiotic-rich foods include dandelion greens, sunchokes, garlic, onions, and asparagus.

Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy greens should make up a large portion of any diet but this is especially true for those who want a diet that supports brain health. Vegetables like dandelion greens, kale, and spinach contain nutrients like Vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, iron, and folate that our brains need for optimal function.  They are also powerful anti inflammatories and contain the prebiotics our gut bacteria need to flourish. 

Avocado
Avocado is the do it all food. Its high levels of monounsaturated fats may reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce blood pressure, and improve insulin sensitivity. A single avocado also contains 13 grams of fiber.  Avocado is another superstar in the health world at the moment. Not only does it have many health benefits but it’s very versatile too because it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are full of choline and B Vitamins, both important for brain development. Broccoli is an anti-inflammatory vegetable that helps your body eliminate toxins.  A study has shown that women who consume the most cruciferous vegetables showed slower cognitive decline than women eating the least.

Berries
Berries are low in fructose compared to other fruits and loaded with phytochemicals linked to improvements in learning and memory. Wild blueberries, in particular, can protect against Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases and can even reduce some of the impact of a poor diet like elevated blood pressure and inflammation.
Women consuming half a cup or more of blueberries a week for 15 weeks showed slower cognitive decline than women not consuming the berries.

Turmeric
Turmeric, particularly when mixed with black pepper, is a potent anti-inflammatory. Curcumin is a component of turmeric responsible for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin supports memory, calmness and helps cope with mental stress.  

Coffee
Good news for those of us who start the day with coffee. Those who drink the most coffee are 91% less likely to suffer a glioma brain tumor than those who drink the least. The wonder drink may also lower the risk for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia as well as cognitive decline and impairment.  Coffee can also increase attention and decrease depression. It’s a balance though. Consuming too much can have adverse effects.

A Glass of Wine
Particularly a single glass of red wine a day. Red wine contains catechins that have been shown to stop beta-amyloid proteins from killing brain cells. Red wine also contains resveratrol which has brain health benefits. But there is too much of a good thing when it comes to wine. Drinking in excess is toxic to the brain.

It’s not only what you eat that matters to your brain — your environment matters, too. The largest organ that we have is our skin.  Interestingly, one of the most restorative environments for your brain, according to research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, is the beach. The best atmosphere for psychological restoration when visiting the beach or, as the study called them, “coastal parks,” is a combination of mild temperatures and low tides. There are a number of factors that make the beach an ideal locale for your brain, including:

Sun exposure: This is important for optimizing vitamin D, as low vitamin D levels are linked to a risk of cognitive decline in the elderly. Beyond this, sunlight affects your mood and mental health through a number of mechanisms, including affecting your vitamin D, serotonin, endorphins, nitric oxide levels and mitochondrial energy.

Walking barefoot on the sand: When you put your bare feet on the ground, a process known as earthing or grounding, you absorb large amounts of negative electrons through the soles of your feet. These free electrons act as antioxidants in your body and help to reduce chronic inflammation, the root of many chronic diseases.  Grounding also thins your blood, making it less viscous, and your zeta potential quickly rises, which means your red blood cells have more charge on their surface, forcing them apart from each other. This action causes your blood to thin and flow easier. If your zeta potential is high, which grounding can facilitate, you not only decrease your heart disease risk, but also your risk of multi-infarct dementias, where you start losing brain tissue due to microclotting in your brain.

Swimming in the ocean: Ocean water is a unique source of important minerals like magnesium, potassium and iodine, whereas swimming provides physical activity. Physical exercise, in turn, decreases risk of age-related brain shrinkage, and increases cognitive abilities by promoting neurogenesis — your brain’s ability to adapt and grow new brain cells.