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RECIPE OF THE MONTH:
Oatmeal Apple Muffins
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour*
1 Cup Rolled Oats
1/2 tsp. Salt
3 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. STEVIA
3/4 Cup Milk or Nut Milk
1/4 Cup Oil (or 1/4 Cup Applesauce)
1 Medium Apple Cored and Course Chopped
3/4 Cup Raisins
* Gluten-free option: Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour with 1 TB Xanthan Gum per cup of flour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix first seven ingredients thoroughly. In separate bowl mix remaining ingredients. Gradually mix dry ingredients into moist ingredients. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.
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This newsletter discusses how to maintain strong immune function with food, how to keep the sweet but lose the sugar (known to decrease immune function), the power of Vitamin C, the health benefits of cinnamon and the every day benefit of using essential oils.
The most important thing you can do to ensure that you have the option to choose a Naturopathic Doctor as your health care provider is to tell your legislator that you would like him or her to help bring a licensing law for NDs to FL. The next most important step to see this happen is for you to join our Association. For more information, please visit www.FNPA.org.
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Immune Boosting Foods
With kids getting ready to go back to school and the fall flu season around the corner, here are some simple ways to start boosting your family's immune system throughout the day.
Adding a healthy source of probiotic to breakfast is a great way to boost your family's immune system. One specific strain within yogurt, Lactobacillus reuteri, improves immune function, can eradicate the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers, helps fight gingivitis and other oral bacteria, can help heal food allergies in those able to consume dairy, and improves other digestive issues. This specific strain of probiotics is abundantly found in Stonyfield Farms Organic Yogurt. Kefir is another high powered source of probiotics that can actually help heal your gut along with boosting your immune system. Pair them with high Vitamin C fruits like mangos, kiwi, or oranges for even more immune boosting power.
* For those with a dairy sensitivity, coconut kefir is a refreshing beverage that contains all the beneficial kefir strains without the dairy base. It can make a great morning beverage with some fresh fruit added for flavor.
Make a super powered lunch by adding in foods rich in beta-glucan such as oats and barley. Barley can be added to soups and stews, used as a replacement for rice, or be paired with lean proteins like salmon or tuna. Toasted oats can be added as a topping on salads or in yogurt. Beta-glucan improves immune function and helps feed probiotics in the gut. In animal studies, beta-glucan boosts immune function and speeds wound healing.
* For those with a gluten sensitivity, try amaranth instead. Add an amaranth cereal or bread, cook it up like oats, or even pop it like popcorn.
Selenium is a nutrient that is essential to immune function and can be found in tuna, salmon, sunflower seeds, and Brazil nuts. Try adding a handful of nuts or a healthy organic trail mix to your diet as a mid-day snack.
A Norwegian study showed that canned pre-made chicken soups can help boost the immune system. For your family, skip the cans and make your own immune boosting soup with fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients. Celery, carrots and onions are rich in immune boosting Vitamin C. Garlic is rich in allicin, an immune boosting compound that is also antiviral and antimicrobial. Chicken is a wonderful source of lean protein and selenium, both of which support the immune system. Throw in some barley and you will be well on your way to heading off the fall flu season.
- Cevikbas1, A. et al. (1994). Antitumoural antibacterial and antifungal activities of kefir and kefir grain. Phytotherapy Research 8 (2): 78-82.
- Hertzler SR, Clancy SM. (2003).Kefir improves lactose digestion and tolerance in adults with lactose maldigestion. Journal of the American Dietetic Assocoation 103(5):582-7.
- Kresser, C. (2012). Kefir: the not-quite-Paleo superfood. ChrisKresser.com. http://chriskresser.com/kefir-the-not-quite-paleo-superfood (accessed July 2012).
- "Lactobacillus reuteri good for health, Swedish study finds." ScienceDaily, 2 Nov. 2010. Web. 10 Jul. 2012.
- MacMillan A; Schryver, T. (November 2011). 9 Power Foods That Boost Immunity. Prevention.com November. http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/9-power-foods-boost-immunity/2-oats-and-barley (accessed July 7, 2012).
- Miura, NN; Ohno N, Aketagawa J, Tamura H, Tanaka S, Yadomae T (January 1996). "Blood clearance of (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan in MRL lpr/lpr mice". FEMS immunology and medical microbiology 13(1): 51-57.
- Saggioro A, Caroli M, Pasini M, Bortoluzzi F, Girardi L, Pilone G (2005). "Helicobacter pylori eradication with Lactobacillus reuteri. A double blind placebo-controlled study". Digestive and Liver Disease 37 (Suppl 1): S88.
- Tubelius P, Stan V, Zachrisson A (2005). "Increasing work-place healthiness with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri: a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled study". Environmental Health 4: 25.
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A high sugar diet will take a toll on your family's immune system. Resist using treats, fruit juices and other sweets in back to school lunches. Instead, try using snacks sweetened with Stevia instead of sugar. Stevia is a South American native plant that can be used as a sweetener that does not affect blood sugar or suppress the immune system. Because there are many different varieties of Stevia plants and many different ways of processing the herb, it can be trial and error finding the brand of Stevia that best suits your family. Make sure to try different preparations such as liquid extract, powdered preparation or even glycerites. It is important to note that Stevia is sweeter than sugar, so read the instructions carefully when replacing sugar in recipes. Some brands, such as Truvia, combine Stevia with sugar alcohols. To follow a whole foods diet, try to use a brand that is the purest form of Stevia with the least amount of added chemicals as possible.
Here are some Stevia resources to help you make the switch:
- Curi R, Alvarez M, Bazotte RB, Botion LM, Godoy JL, Bracht A (1986). "Effect of Stevia rebaudiana on glucose tolerance in normal adult humans". Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. 19 (6): 771-4.
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Vitamin C has a long history as an immune boosting supplement dating back to the 1970s. Research has continued to prove the connection over the years. Adding it to your diet at levels above the RDA can help shorten healing times during colds and flus. This is especially true for children, who use up their Vitamin C levels rapidly. Because it is water soluble and cannot be made by the body, we must ingest Vitamin C every day to receive it's immune boosting properties. It also helps skin health, iron absorption, hormone synthesis, detoxification, and acts as an antioxidant. It is best to supplement your Vitamin C levels by eating fruits and veggies like pineapple, cantaloupe, mangos, tomatoes, banana peppers, chives and red cabbage. If you cook your foods by boiling and draining, you will lose the Vitamin C because of its water soluble nature. For optimal absorption, simply wash and cut the produce right before eating. If you are supplementing Vitamin C, the optimal intake is between 1 - 9 grams per day. However, start at lower doses and work up. Taking Vitamin C at too high a level can cause loose stools.
- MacKay, D. (2003). Can CAM therapies help reduce antibiotic resistance? Alternative Medicine Review Feb 8(1):28-42.
- Marz, R. (1999). Medical Nutrition. 2nd Edition. Omni-Press. Portland, OR: 235-241.
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Cinnamon has many antimicrobial properties that make it a great addition to your family's diet as we head into autumn. It has been shown effective against many yeast, fungi and bacteria strains, including those that cause thrush and bad breath. In addition, it is highly effective against the antibiotic resistant strain of Staph called MRSA. The food industry has taken note of Cinnamon's properties and is starting to incorporate cinnamon oil as a food preservative. Research has also shown it is an effective blood sugar stabilizer, making it a good supplement for those with type II diabetes. There are many ways to add cinnamon to your diet. You can chew cinnamon gum, add cinnamon to your food, or drink cinnamon tea. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cinnamon is used for its warming abilities and given at the onset of a cold or flu to provide relief.
- Ouattara B, Simard RE, Holley RA, et al. (1997). Antibacterial activity of selected fatty acids and essential oils against six meat spoilage organisms. Int J Food Microbiol 37(2-3):155-62.
- Quale JM, Landman D, Zaman MM, et al. (1996). In vitro activity of Cinnamomum zeylanicum against azole resistant and sensitive Candida species and a pilot study of cinnamon for oral candidiasis. Am J Chin Med 24(2):103-9.
- VanderEnde DS, Morrow JD. (2001). Release of markedly increased quantities of prostaglandin D2 from the skin in vivo in humans after the application of cinnamic aldehyde. J Am Acad Dermatol 45(1):62-7.
- Zhu M, Carvalho R, Scher A, Wu CD. (2011). Short-term germ-killing effect of sugar-sweetened cinnamon chewing gum on salivary anaerobes associated with halitosis. J Clin Dent. 22(1):23-6.
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Essential oils are the isolated aroma compounds from plants. There are many ways to extract the oils, resulting in different grades or qualities. For example, some essential oils are food grade, meaning that you consume the oil in food and beverages. Essential oils have many uses. For example, an aromatherapist will use essential oils in salves, lotions, sachets and nebulizers to help boost mood, calm nerves, or stimulate healing in the body. Herbalists might use essential oils in teas, salves or humidifiers to relieve symptoms of illness. Massage therapists often use essential oils in their massage oils. Various essential oils will have different uses depending on their properties, which is why it is a good idea to work with a licensed and experienced practitioner. For example, cinnamon oil is best consumed in food or drink, tea tree oil is best used topically, and lavender is most potent when smelled. Most essential oils need to have a carrier oil such as Almond oil to dilute their intensity at full strength.
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We are looking ahead to meeting with our local state legislators, building relationships with community leaders and helping keep our neighbors healthy.
Join a local ND on a visit to your representative's office! It is an exciting event that helps you take full advantage of being an active participant in your community.
Want to help fund raise? Let us know what you are interested in!
We appreciate your support in making Naturopathic Medicine available to all of FL.
Judith Thompson, ND
FNPA VP & Legislative Chair
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Florida Naturopathic Physicians Association