March 2014 
How To Not Get Sick This Winter
 
The flu season is already in full gear.

Here are my top five tips for avoiding the dreaded virus this winter:

  1. Keep your gut healthy. 80% of our immune system's first defense lies in the gut so it's imperative that you keep the bacterial balance in your digestive system tipped in the right direction. Studies show us that probiotics help fight infection; take some every day and load up on fermented foods (see my favorite one in Something I Love below.)
  2. Arm your body with herbs. Instead of the flu shot, give your immune system a serious leg up with my favorite wintertime supplement Superbiovegetarian by Priority One. All of my patients who are moms, teachers and doctors take this and don't get sick. Add it to your arsenal. 
  3. Sleep. Think you can skimp on sleep during the holidays and not get sick? Think again. Getting less than seven hours of sleep on a consistent basis was found to deeply impair the immune system. Make sure you're getting between seven and nine hours a night. 
  4. Skip the sugar. Sugar lowers the functionality of the body's white blood cells-the immune cell powerhouses-by 40%. Skip the regular sweet consumption and your immune system, and waistline, will thank you.
  5. Eat to beat the flu. My top three favorite foods for flu season? Garlic, bone broth and green tea. 
Talk to me if you want a more personalized approach to healing your gut, choosing supplements or improving sleep to get you in tip-top shape for the long winter.

Health News You Need To Know
Birth Control News: Multiple Sclerosis Linked to the Pill

What: A study just released by Kaiser Permanente found that woman on birth control pills containing norethindrone or levonorgestral had a 57% increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis. 

Recommendation: This information, combined with a previous Kaiser study that found a 35% increased risk of MS with all oral contraceptives, signals that woman should strongly consider other forms of contraception. Dr. Maura would be happy to discuss these with you at your next visit.

Nutrition News: Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Risk Factor for Diabetes

What: Zero-calories sweeteners like saccharin, sucralose and aspartame were found to alter gut bacteria and trigger higher blood glucose levels. Authors of the study are cautioning a widespread public reassessment of the massive use of artificial sweeteners.

Recommendation: Artificial sweeteners have been the subject of scrutiny for years and have been linked to, among other things: depression, memory loss, seizure and brain cancer. Be safe and stick to stevia. 

Pregnancy News: Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Increases Rate of Birth Defects, Autism

What: Three new studies coming out of Harvard, Johns Hopkins and a Norway show that antidepressants that alter serotonin, which crosses the placental barrier, affects fetal development such that babies born to mothers who take these drugs have much higher rates of autism, ADHD, congenital heart defects, pulmonary hypertension as well as decreased cognitive function.

Recommendation: Consider naturopathic therapies for depression in place of medications. A qualified ND can speak to you about a plan that can include supplements, proper exercise, diet, forms of meditation and other bodywork like craniosacral therapy. 
Featured Expert: Susan Wallmeyer, Fertility Acupuncturist
I love working with women prior to conception, as well as during and after pregnancy. It's such a transformative time in a woman's life. The road to pregnancy isn't always straight, though, and helping increase fertility is something for which naturopathic medicine is integral. As an adjunct, acupuncture is essential. This is where my colleague, Susan Wallmeyer, comes in. 
A graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, she specializes in women's health and fertility, having honed her skills administering to women undergoing IVF at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital.
Better yet: she's right next door in my office suite.
Click over to Susan's quick and informative read about how exactly acupuncture helps with fertility.
Contact her at susan@nychi-acupuncture.com

Bubbies
Something I Love
Bubbie's Sauerkraut
I've been talking to my patients for years about the benefits of fermented foods, particularly sauerkraut. Bubbie's is the freshest you can find, barring making it yourself. The process of lactofermentation creates lactic acid, which preserves the food. Byproducts of this process include: b-vitamins, beneficial enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, and, of course, probiotics. What are the benefits? Improved bowel health, increased immunity and increased digestive capacity. Find it at Whole Foods and take a couple forkfuls a day. Easy. 
In This Issue
Know someone in need of naturopathic medicine who lives outside NYC? 
I love to treat people via Skype and have patients from everywhere from Australia to Texas. If you have a friend in need of natural care, don't hesitate to send them my way! Your referrals are greatly appreciated.

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Dr.Maura, ND | | maura@drmaura.com | 1133 Broadway
Suite 1023
New York, NY 10011

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