Candice Csaky, INHHC

3 Supplements You Should be Taking if You're Over 45 Years Old


While I always say that it's better to get your nutrients from food first, sometimes supplements are a necessary part of a healthy diet. With factory farming and huge deficiencies in nutrients and minerals in our current food supply, getting the right supplements in is key. 
 

Unfortunately there are just some all-too-common nutrients that we simply don't get enough of.  And they're absolutely critical to optimal health and wellness.  Especially as we age.
 

Here I sifted through the supplements that are available on the market and boiled them down to three that can have the best effect for us.

 

Supplement #1: Vitamin D

 
If you live in North America or the UK or even much of Europe, chances are you are low in vitamin D.  It's the “sunshine vitamin” and we just aren't able to hang out in shorts every day of the year.  Even if we did, we'd wisely use a bit of sun protection too. I've linked my favourite one for you here. 

 
Vitamin D is very important for everyone but especially women over 45.  Want to know why?
 

It helps to protect our bones!

 
Vitamin D helps our body absorb and keep the calcium we get from our food and drinks.  And we all know that calcium is one of the main things our bones are made of.


Want to know something funny about vitamin D (but it's true, I swear)?


People who get enough vitamin D tend to fall less frequently.  Especially as we get older.

 
Seriously!


Vitamin D can help your bones stay strong and help you fall less.  Win-win!  My number one favourite supplement and recommendation for my clients for their Vitamin D source is CytoActives by Isagenix. CytoActives contains 4,000IU of Vitamin D and most (if not all of my new clients when they first come to see me), are deficient in this important nutrient!


This particular supplement also contains an age-defying formula of CoQ10, Vitamin D3, and resveratrol that promotes heart, brain, kidney, liver and muscle health.* CytoActives uses technology making their CoQ10 800% more absorbable than dry powder. Isagenix lipid-solubilized stable CoQ10 had a 12-fold increase in bioavailability.* 


Supplement #2 - Magnesium

 
Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for over 300 reactions in your body.

 
Yes, 300!

 
As with vitamin D it's very common for us to simply not get enough.  Not even the 320 mg per day that's recommended.

 
Low levels of magnesium have been linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, low bone density, heart disease and even migraines.

 
Magnesium is found in so many healthy whole foods like beans, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables.  In fact, the magnesium element is central to a plant's chlorophyll – it's actually what causes green plants to be green!  And most of us just don't get enough green plants into our bodies on a regular basis.  (You know I have a recipe with green leafies for you below, right?).

 
Magnesium is a very common supplement and is often added to multivitamins.

 
Supplement # 3 - Omega-3s

 
We've all heard that we need to get more omega-3 essential fatty acids, right?  They're good for our hearts, brains, and help to reduce inflammation.

 
These are all good things when it comes to our health and wellness.

 
But not all of us are ready, willing, and able to eat fish three times per week.

 
While fish oil supplements contain the “brain healthy” fats called EPA and DHA, those two are not technically the “essential” fats.  The plant omega-3 known as ALA is essential and that is because our bodies can convert ALA into EPA and DHA when necessary.


Omega-3 supplements can be found in forms of flax oil, algae oil, fish oil, or even fish liver oil. Our number one recommendation for a good, cleane and pure fish oil that has been extensively tested for purity and potency is the Isagenix, IsaOmega Fish Oil Supplement. Each batch is third-party tested to ensure it's free of heavy metals, PCBs, and dioxin. Isagenix fish oil is sourced from the deep unpolluted waters in Norway and goes through a molecular distillation process that creates one of the most concentrated oils available.  I've personally used and recommended this oil to my clients for years.   There is absolutely NO yucky after taste with this and the results are noticeable.


Pro Tip:  Fish liver oil (e.g. cod liver oil) also contains vitamin D so check your labels and add the amounts together to know how much vitamin D you're actually getting.


Conclusion:


Three supplements to consider now that you're 45 are: vitamin D, magnesium, and omega-3s.

 
Always read the supplement labels to see if there are warnings that would make them inappropriate for you.  And, of course if you have any medical conditions or take medications or other supplements it's always a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting anything new. 


Recipe (Vitamin D, Magnesium & Omega-3s): Salmon Quinoa Buddha Bowl

quinoa



Serves 2


4 cups baby spinach

1 cup quinoa (cooked)

1 can wild salmon

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

½ red onion (diced) (optional)

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

dash salt and pepper

 
Split spinach, quinoa, wild salmon, sesame seeds, and onion (if using) between two bowls.

 
Mix sesame oil, rice vinegar, and lemon juice together and pour on top of prepared Buddha bowls.

 
Add salt and pepper to taste.


Serve & Enjoy!

 
Tip:  When looking for canned salmon try to get the ones with the most vitamin D and make sure cans are BPA-free.  Good quality canned fish is usually in the “natural foods” section of many large groceries.


* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


References:
 

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-natural-menopause-tips/

 
https://examine.com/supplements/Vitamin+D/

 
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/

 
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Lost Your Sex Drive?

Libido is such an interesting (and complex) experience.  Because of this it can be affected by so many things.  And we're not just talking about the obvious sex hormone testosterone here.

 

Although testosterone levels can have a big (yes BIG) effect on sex drive there are a lot of subtle things that can be going on too. 

 

In this post we'll dive into a bunch of key diet and lifestyle factors that have been shown to increase testosterone and libido.

 

Body fat:

 

Did you know that low testosterone is linked with high body fat?

 

Particularly visceral fat which is associated with a large waist circumference.  You see, with more fat there is more of an enzyme called “aromatase” that converts testosterone to estrogen.  And what you want is to keep that testosterone not convert it.

 

Losing excessive weight and keeping it off has so many health benefits including increased libido!

 

Diet:

 

Certain nutrient deficiencies can contribute to low testosterone.  Not only zinc and vitamin D but if you're not eating enough protein and healthy fats that can also have a negative impact too.

 

Not to mention eating way too few or way too many calories.  These aren't going to help you in the bedroom department either. 

 

So make sure you're eating enough food to sustain your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and that you're getting enough protein and healthy fats; not to mention the essential vitamins and minerals too.

 

Exercise:

 

Did you know that men can experience increased blood levels of testosterone after a bout of intense exercise? 

 

For some reason this doesn't seem to be the case after endurance exercise and endurance exercise may actually reduce the levels of circulating testosterone.  Nor do women seem to have this increased testosterone after a workout.

 

For a temporary boost men can try some weight lifting or a HIIT workout.

 

Sleep:

 

Sleep is critical for just about everything our bodies do.

 

If you're not getting 7-9 hours each night you're going to want to prioritize that for your health (and sex drive).  Try it.  You just may thank me.

 

Stress:

 

No one can deny that your moods can affect your sex drive, right? 

 

Too much stress, sadness, and worry can take over your mind and push that drive to reproduce right to the backburner.  So you want to try to minimize that stress hormone cortisol.

 

How about some tips?  Make time to do things you love, workout, spend quality time with your family and friends, meditate, relax with a great book, or take a long bath.  And don't forget to laugh.

 

Consider maca:

 

Have you heard of the Peruvian herb called “maca” (Lepidium meyenii)?

 

It's a plant in the cruciferous family (think: broccoli) and its root has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac.  It's usually ground into a powder and dried.

 

Believe it or not there are a few studies that actually show an increased libido for those who supplement with it.  Scientists don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to work for both men and women and it doesn't seem to impact your hormones (not even testosterone). 

 

Maca is an antioxidant and seems to be protective of mens' prostate.  New research suggests it may also be helpful for our brains and bones.

 

It has a bit of a “dirt” flavour so most recipes don't call for the same amounts as in the supplement.  But trust me, you'll love the recipe below and if you're considering supplementing you should know:

 

●     Maca (as do many supplements) interacts with some medications so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking maca supplements.

●     Because it can affect your moods you should be very careful taking maca if you have anxiety or depression.

●     It's not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

 

Recipe (libido-enhancing): Maca Hot Chocolate

 

Serves 2

 

2 cups almond milk

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder

1 teaspoon maca powder

½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

4 dashes cinnamon

1 dash sea salt

1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)

 

Heat almond milk and coconut oil in a saucepan.

 

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until frothy.

 

Serve and enjoy a cup with your significant other!

 

Tip:  Adding cayenne pepper is a traditional South American way to add a bit of spice to chocolatey foods and drinks. 

 

References:

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/doctor-detective-low-libido

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-testosterone

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/8-ways-to-boost-testosterone/

 

https://examine.com/supplements/Maca/

 

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=1903&lang=eng

 

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Hey Men, Lost Your Sex Drive? This Could Be Why


Libido is such an interesting (and complex) experience.  Because of this it can be affected by so many things.  And we're not just talking about the obvious sex hormone, testosterone here.
 

Although testosterone levels can have a big (yes BIG) effect on sex drive there are a lot of subtle things that can be going on too.  
 

In this post we'll dive into a bunch of key diet and lifestyle factors that have been shown to increase testosterone and libido.
 

Body fat:
 

Did you know that low testosterone is linked with high body fat?
 

Particularly visceral fat which is associated with a large waist circumference.  You see, with more fat there is more of an enzyme called “aromatase” that converts testosterone to estrogen.  And what you want is to keep that testosterone not convert it.
 

Losing excessive weight and keeping it off has so many health benefits including increased libido!
 

Diet:
 

Certain nutrient deficiencies can contribute to low testosterone.  Not only zinc and vitamin D but if you're not eating enough protein and healthy fats that can also have a negative impact too.


Not to mention eating way too few or way too many calories.  These aren't going to help you in the bedroom department either.  
 

So make sure you're eating enough food to sustain your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and that you're getting enough protein and healthy fats; not to mention the essential vitamins and minerals too.



Exercise:



Did you know that men can experience increased blood levels of testosterone after a bout of intense exercise?  
 

For some reason this doesn't seem to be the case after endurance exercise and endurance exercise may actually reduce the levels of circulating testosterone.  Nor do women seem to have this increased testosterone after a workout.

 

For a temporary boost men can try some weight lifting or a HIIT workout.



Sleep:



Sleep is critical for just about everything our bodies do.



If you're not getting 7-9 hours each night you're going to want to prioritize that for your health (and sex drive).  Try it.  You just may thank me.
 

Stress:



No one can deny that your moods can affect your sex drive, right?  

 
Too much stress, sadness, and worry can take over your mind and push that drive to reproduce right to the backburner.  So you want to try to minimize that stress hormone cortisol.



How about some tips?  Make time to do things you love, workout, spend quality time with your family and friends, meditate, relax with a great book, or take a long bath.  And don't forget to laugh.



Consider maca:



Have you heard of the Peruvian herb called “maca” (Lepidium meyenii)?



It's a plant in the cruciferous family (think: broccoli) and its root has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac.  It's usually ground into a powder and dried.



Believe it or not there are a few studies that actually show an increased libido for those who supplement with it.  Scientists don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to work for both men and women and it doesn't seem to impact your hormones (not even testosterone). 



Maca is an antioxidant and seems to be protective of mens' prostate.  New research suggests it may also be helpful for our brains and bones.



It has a bit of a “dirt” flavour so most recipes don't call for the same amounts as in the supplement.  But trust me, you'll love the recipe below and if you're considering supplementing you should know:

 
●     Maca (as do many supplements) interacts with some medications so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking maca supplements.

●     Because it can affect your moods you should be very careful taking maca if you have anxiety or depression.

●     It's not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

 
Recipe (libido-enhancing): Maca Hot Chocolate

maca hot chocolate



Serves 2

 
2 cups almond milk

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder

1 teaspoon maca powder

½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

4 dashes cinnamon

1 dash sea salt

1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)

 
Heat almond milk and coconut oil in a saucepan.

 
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until frothy.

 
Serve and enjoy a cup with your significant other!

 
Tip:  Adding cayenne pepper is a traditional South American way to add a bit of spice to chocolatey foods and drinks. 



References:

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/doctor-detective-low-libido

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-testosterone

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/8-ways-to-boost-testosterone/

 

https://examine.com/supplements/Maca/

 

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=1903&lang=eng

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Schizandra: Nature’s Hormone Food


When it comes to hormone health, picking key foods that have multiple benefits for balancing hormones is helpful. Schizandra berry is just such a food and may be a true anti-aging food as well.

In China it is known as a “five-flavor fruit,” because it contains the flavours sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent which, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, all represent various health properties. This may also explain its funky taste.

Schizandra-3

Research has confirmed that compounds found in the berries, called schisandrins, help with supporting nervous system issues, liver issues and coughs. Much of this research, which includes controlled clinical studies with humans, is in China, unfortunately.

Even more specifically, with regard to supporting the nervous system, animal studies have found that schizandra can counter the stimulating effect of caffeine.

Taking schizandra, while either cutting down on coffee or going cold turkey, lessens the nervous, shaky and anxious symptoms that come with withdrawal. It also helps keep the blood sugar stable and lessens the severity of the headache that always accompanies caffeine withdrawal.

It further supports the nervous system by supporting the adrenals. It is a known adrenal adaptogen, making it a perfect food for the body during times of stress.

As for the liver, schizandra can protect it from toxic substances in a similar manner to milk thistle, the most well-known liver protective supplement. It may be helpful in the recovery from hepatitis and acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory to help protect the liver. One double-blind placebo study looked at 12 racehorses, all of similar age, weight, temperament and training and all with high liver enzymes and low performance issues. After fourteen days, the horses on schizandra had lower liver enzymes in comparison to the placebo. Fifty percent of the horses on schizandra also had improved appearance and performance. And while we are not race horses, we certainly often conduct our lives like we are.  So some schizandra could really help us with our performance issues.

Digestively, it may be helpful for proper peristalsis (gastric muscle contractions), stress-induced gastric ulcers and regulating stomach acid. It can also help with diarrhea.

But for many of us, the number one benefit for schizandra may be the research that states it has anti-aging properties. This would include the fact that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities, two important elements in preventing age-associated issues.  Studies have also shown it may help with age-related memory loss, and act as a tonic for the heart. It can supply us with more energy, help with depression and help support the immune system.

And finally, for the vanity in all of us, schizandra may help our appearance by giving us a clearer complexion, improved skin elasticity and diminished the appearance of scars or wrinkles. Does it get any better than that?

What is the issue? Getting a good source of the product may be difficult. Harmonic Arts is a great Canadian company that you can get the powdered form from and they have free shipping on orders over $100 within Canada (if you wanted to stock up on some other goodies).  Nature’s Way has a great capsule that is available in the US only right now and can be found in most health food stores or on Amazon. St. Francis makes a good tincture. Organic Traditions has a dehydrated powder in a jar that is 6x concentrated. You can also find loose berries in health food or Asian stores. These can be ground in a coffee grinder and added to a smoothie or made into a tea. 

If buying a supplement, watch out for standardized extracts. Although many science types might recommend this as the preferred version, a standardized extract is usually just one phytochemical found in a plant and does not represent all the chemicals found in the whole plant or in this case, the berry. There are 40 different phytochemical compounds in schizandra – there would have to be for it to do all the amazing things it is credited for. This is what we should be consuming – the whole berry – if we want to get the most from it.

References:

Hancke, J., et al. “Reduction of serum hepatic transaminases and CPK in sport horses with poor performance treated with a standardized Schisandra chinensis fruit extract.” Phytomedicine 1996, 3 (3):237–240.

Ip, S. P., et al. “Effect of a lignan-enriched extract of Schisandra chinensis on aflatoxin B1 and cadmium chloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.” Pharmacology and Toxicology 1996, 78 (6):413–416.

Ko, K. M., et al. “Effect of a lignan-enriched fructus Schisandra extract on hepatic glutathione status in rats: Protection against carbon tetrachloride toxicity.” Planta Medica 1995, 61 (2): 134–137.

Lu, H., and G. T. Liu. “Anti-oxidant activity of dibenzocyclooctene lignans isolated from Schisandraceae.”Planta Medica 1992, 58 (4):311–313.

Nishiyama, N., Y. L. Wang, and H. Saito. “Beneficial effects of S-113m, a novel herbal prescription, on learning impairment model in mice.” Biological Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1995, 18 (11):1498–1503. Song, W. Z., and P. G. Xiao. “Medicinal plants of Chinese Schisandraceae and their lignan components.” Chinese Traditional and Herbal Drugs 1982, 13 (1):40–48.

 

 

 

 

 

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Men and Women are More Different Than We Knew

Do you think the differences between men and women is just about X and Y chromosomes and estrogen and testosterone levels? Well, science is starting to shed even more light on the subject and it seems our gut bacteria are different, too.

Current research is focusing on learning the connection between gut bacteria and various health conditions. The goal is to learn how to use the new understanding about different strains to develop strategies to help people recover from health conditions. Inflammatory conditions including IBS, colitis as well as diabetes, heart disease and depression are just a few conditions that can benefits from healthy gut flora.

One key area of focus is looking at diet to help manipulate the gut microbes to help these conditions. And here is where a monkey wrench has been thrown into the process. Apparently, the gut microbes of males and females react differently to the same food.

In a recent study published in Nature Communications, researchers found several key pieces of information:

For too long, the influence of the diet has been assumed to be the same for men and women.

Sex hormones may be influencing gut microbes and directing the preference for one strain over another.

This new information means it is no longer as simple as telling people to eat more vegetables.

Research is going to have to focus on genetics, environment, diet and now hormones and how they all interact. Normally research looks at each of these one at a time. This is no longer enough.

And finally, in looking at mice studies, it was found that diet does not vary gut microbes between sexes the way it does in other species such as humans. Since most research is done initially on mice, we must not take any results regarding diet as gospel and wait for the human studies.

That being said gut bacteria from males can make a difference when transplanted into females, according to mice. In a study, female mice, with a 90 percent risk of developing Type I Diabetes (the autoimmune condition), were given gut bacteria from healthy adult male mice.

The females saw increased testosterone, yet their levels did not reach that of males. However, the increase in testosterone did deliver enough active testosterone signaling the ability to prevent Type I Diabetes.

This makes the issues of what to eat more confusing. It certainly should make you think twice the next time you pick up a book that is trying to tell you what is right or wrong about food. And it definitely means we should reconsider a lot of the information we have received in the past.

We know we need nutrients for our body and for our microbe friends. However, we need to develop more intuition for listening to our body and apparently, to our microbes, which are working hard to communicate with us, about what we should eat.

References:

 

Individual Diet Has Sex-Dependent Effects On Vertebrate Gut Microbiota, Daniel I. Bolnick, Lisa K. Snowberg, Philipp E. Hirsch, Christian L. Lauber, Elin Org, Brian Parks, Aldons J. Lusis, Rob Knight, J. Gregory Caporaso, Richard Svanbäck, Nature Communications, 2014; 5

Sex Differences in the Gut Microbiome Drive Hormone-Dependent Regulation of Autoimmunity, Janet G. M. Markle1, Science 17, Jan 2013

 

 

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Three Must Eat Breakfast Foods

Do you love your breakfast?  Do you have a short list of “go-to” recipes?  Do you need a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast again?

Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss.  This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolize it.  So I'm going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats for your soon-to-be favourite new “go-to” breakfasts.


Breakfast Food #1: Eggs



Yes, eggs are the “quintessential” breakfast food.  And for good reason!

No, I'm not talking about processed egg whites in a carton.  I mean actual whole “eggs”.  

Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses.  Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.

Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin.
 
Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” breakfast when you're running short on time.

And...nope the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases. 

One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high of a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidized.  It's the oxidized cholesterol that's heart unhealthy.
 

Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast.

You won't be fooled by “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – you know I'm talking about the real, whole, unsweetened food here.

Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you're running late in the mornings.  Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds as you're running out the door; you can nosh on them while you're commuting.

Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie.

Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter.  Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter into your blender & blend until frothy. I personally love blending a Rooibos Chai Tea with 1 spoonful of Raw Tahini and 1 spoonful of almond butter.  Delicious and caffeine free!  


Breakfast Food #3: Veggies

Yes, you already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast; but this also applies to veggies.  You know I would be remiss to not recommend veggies at every meal, right?  
 
Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and water.  You can't go wrong adding them into every single meal of the day so if you don't already you should definitely try them for breakfast!  

And no, you don't need to have a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast if you don't want to but you totally can!  You wouldn't be breaking any “official” breakfast rules or anything like that.

Adding some protein to leftover veggies is a great combination for any meal.  Including breakfast.

I've included a delicious recipe below for you to try (and customize) for your next breakfast.


Recipe (Eggs & Veggies): Veggie Omelet

omelettes

Serves 1

1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 or 2 eggs (how hungry are you?)
¼ cup veggies (grated zucchini and/or sliced mushrooms and/or diced peppers)
dash salt, pepper and/or turmeric

Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans are preferred).

In the meantime grab a bowl and beat the egg(s) with your vegetables of choice and the spices.

Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil.  Pour egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.

When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until white is no longer runny.

Serve & Enjoy!

 
Tip:  Substitute grated, sliced, or diced portion of your favourite vegetable.  Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli or diced tomato.


References:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/eggs-worse-than-fast-food
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/encyclopedia/food/eggs/
https://authoritynutrition.com/eating-healthy-eggs/
https://authoritynutrition.com/12-best-foods-to-eat-in-morning/