Diet, Weight Loss & Nutrition

How I Treat My Own Family

Doctor Treating His Own Family

 

Someone recently asked me, “Dr. Ryan, you’re so knowledgeable about health, wellness, and medicine. What do you do to treat your own family when they get sick?” The short answer is that I don’t. When anyone in my family gets sick, they go to the doctor just like everyone else. The long answer is that I do try to educate and inspire them, and because of that, my family is extraordinarily healthy.

Doctor Treating His Own Family

If you’ve read some of my other posts here on the blog, you may already know I have two small boys. I try to teach them that life is made up of your thoughts and internal images expressed to the extent you believe them. I also teach them to focus on positive thoughts and feelings. I know this sounds overly simplified, and that’s because it is.

As adults, we tend to complicate things, doubt our dreams, and fail to believe in ourselves. Sometimes we’re unclear about what we want and we’re inconsistent in how we go about achieving it. All of this slows us down or stops us from the health, wellness, and happiness we really want. The answer is always within ourselves, our genetics, and the decisions we make to move towards good health.

basket of tropical fruit including pineapple, mango, and papaya

My boys were originally raised in Hawaii so they were always exposed to delicious tropical fruits, vegetables, fish, and other seafood. They’ve learned to eat whatever mom and dad eat, so their palates are extraordinary. They’ll happily eat fresh produce, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and proteins. Maybe it’s because my wife and I are lucky, but maybe it’s because we inspire them to make good choices about how to take care of themselves. When it comes to snacks, my boys enjoy all kinds of healthy options. They’ll eat fruit salad, hummus and carrot sticks, apple slices with nut butters, and even nuts, seeds, and edamame.

Even though the boys consume a healthy diet, they still take three daily supplements. One is an omega fatty acid because research has shown that developing brains require essential fatty acids. They also take a multivitamin-mineral because some of the most common deficiencies in growing children are minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc. The third supplement they take is probiotics because it’s important to influence healthy gut bacteria in children.

herbal tincture for a healthy immune system

I’m blessed because both of my kids understand the importance of education and inspiration. When they get sick, they visit a doctor like anyone else. At the first signs of sniffles or stomach troubles, I may give them a herbal glyceride tincture to help boost their immune systems. The kids take great care of themselves though but eating a healthy diet and constantly playing to stay physically active. As young kids, they may not yet understand mindfulness and connectedness, but it is something we are starting to teach them because it creates happiness in life.

If you have kids in your family, I know it can sometimes be a struggle in terms of education and inspiration. There’s a lot to be mindful of including boosting their immune systems, expanding their palates, and making sure they’re constantly playing to avoid being sedentary. You can use the information here on the Zenith Labs website to learn how to create health and wellness in your life and the lives of your family members.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

Top 7 Liquids You Can Drink While Intermittent Fasting

Top 7 Liquids You Can Drink While Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends. People are using is to lose weight, improve their health, and simplify their lifestyles. Many studies have shown that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain, possibly even helping you live longer.

Top 7 Liquids You Can Drink While Intermittent Fasting

What is Intermittent Fasting?

intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting doesn’t specify which foods you should eat, but when you should eat instead. It’s not a diet in the conventional sense, but more accurately described as an eating pattern. Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours twice a week, and lots of patients in my own practice have followed these methods.

Fasting has naturally been a practice throughout human evolution. Ancient hunters and gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators, or food available year-round, so sometimes they simply didn’t have anything to eat. As a result, humans evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods.

In fact, fasting from time to time is more natural for our biological process than eating every three or four hours throughout the day. Fasting is also done for religious reasons, often practiced by those following Islam, Christian, Jewish, or Buddhist faiths.

7 Liquids You Can Drink While Intermittent Fasting

While fasting, it’s important to take in enough fluids for your body. There are seven different fluids you can use to support the benefits that intermittent fasting brings you.

1. Water

young woman drinking glass of water

The first and most obvious fluid to consume while fasting is water. Wondering how much water you should drink each day? Here’s a simple formula to use: Take your body weight in pounds, divide that number by two, and that’s how many ounces of pure water you should drink every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, your minimum goal would be 75 ounces.

2. Green Tea

glass mug of green tea outside

Green tea is known for supplying powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols, catechins, and epicatechins. It does contain some caffeine, but those antioxidants are important for brain health and liver detoxification. As a bonus for some, studies have shown green tea may aid in weight loss.

3. Kombucha

two glasses of kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented drink made tea, typically green or black tea. Kombucha contains the same powerful antioxidants as green tea, but since it is fermented, it also contains probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that are necessary for good gut health.

4. Detox Tea

looking down at a mug of detox tea

There are many brands of detox tea here in the United States, such a Yogi Tea or Traditional Medicinals. Detox teas contain herbal agents that help your body get rid of built-up toxins, so it’s recommended to have at least two or three cups of detox tea while you’re fasting intermittently.

5. Green Drink

glass of green drink with green fruits and vegetables

A green drink contains extracts from herbs, mushrooms, fruits, and veggies. A good green drink combines all kinds of nutrients in one beverage, so consuming one every day while fasting can be very helpful.

6. Vegetable Juice

beet juice with carrots

Though it’s not part of a strict fast, vegetable juice is a good beverage to consider during intermittent fasting. A vegetable juice made from root vegetables, like carrots and beets, is a powerful tool during a weight loss program like intermittent fasting.

7. Epsom Salt

epsom salts in a wooden dish

The last liquid to consider contains Epsom salt. You could consume Epsom salt diluted in water but it usually acts as quite a laxative in most people. Instead, take a hot Epsom salt bath. Simply fill the tub with hot water, add about a cup of Epsom salt, and then soak in it. Epsom salt baths have been used for centuries to help with aches, pains, muscle and joint relief, and detoxifying the liver.

bottle of pure greens superfoods supplement

These seven fluids are important to include during intermittent fasting. To help you out, Zenith Labs has created a green drink called Pure Greens. It contains 57 superfoods in one delicious beverage. It’s so tasty that even my two young sons drink it, calling it their ‘special juice.’


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

mineral

Top 6 Mineral Deficiencies You Likely Have

 

If you’re struggling with a general sense of not being well, or you have poor health and it has not specifically been diagnosed as an underlying medical condition, you should read on. One of the potential contributing factors to why you may not feel at the top of your game has to do with mineral deficiencies.

Mineral deficiencies affect every system in the body and it’s important because it is actually rather common. We’ll be exploring the top six mineral deficiencies, seeing how and why those deficiencies can contribute to poor health, and the basic steps to take to correct mineral deficiencies.

What are minerals?

When we think about nutrition, there are basically two categories:

  1. Macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber
  1. Micronutrients: vitamins, minerals

fresh fruits in a transparent vitamin pill capsuleWhen we think about micronutrients, we tend to think about the importance of vitamins. Whilst vitamins are critically important for the body to work well, minerals are equally important and frankly, often overlooked and underappreciated.

Minerals are coenzymes required for your body to work. Enzymes basically control everything in every system in your body, from hormones to neurotransmitters, muscles and heart health to blood pressure. Every system in your body basically runs and churns on enzymes, and nearly all enzymes require minerals to work. If enzymes are deficient in those minerals, they do not work properly.

How to spot mineral deficiencies

scientist looking down a microscope doing micronutrient testingHow do you diagnose a mineral deficiency? The first step is just to learn about what the symptoms of deficiencies are. The second step is to get some laboratory testing to confirm those deficiencies.

Some mineral deficiencies are fairly straightforward and easy to diagnose. Examples include deficiencies in iron, iodine, calcium, and potassium. These minerals are tightly regulated in the body, and there are conventional standard lab testing that can help you find out the levels of these minerals in your body.

Other mineral deficiencies are more difficult to diagnose because they’re within the cells. They’re not freely floating around in the bloodstream so a typical phlebotomy or blood test may not pick them up as easily. There are specialty labs which take samples of your cells and grow them in a lab to help determine if you have micronutrient deficiencies of minerals, specifically minerals like magnesium and zinc. Micronutrient testing measures how micronutrients are actually functioning within your cells. These tests allow nutritional assessments for clinical conditions, general wellness, and the prevention of chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular risk, diabetes, immune system health, and metabolic disorder.

The top 6 minerals

1. Ironiron-rich foods like spinach, eggs, red meat, and liver

Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world. It affects more than 25% of the world population, which is approximately 1.6 billion people worldwide. This figure rises to about 47% in preschool children. 30% of menstruating women may be deficient as well due to monthly blood loss, and up to 42% of young pregnant women may also suffer from iron deficiency.

Iron is an essential mineral. It’s the main component of red blood cells which binds with hemoglobin and transports oxygen to every cell in your body. It’s important for the electron transport chain (which involves energy production in the body), the production of thyroid hormones, and the production of dopamine in the brain.

There are two sources of dietary iron. The first is heme iron. This is very well-absorbed and it’s only found in animal foods. Red meat, in particular, contains high amounts of heme iron. The second source is non-heme iron. This type of iron is much more prevalent and common in our food chain, however, it is not as well absorbed as heme iron. Non-heme iron is found in vegetables and fruits.

The most common consequence of iron deficiency is anemia. The quantity of red blood cells is decreased and the blood becomes less able to carry oxygen to every cell in the body. Symptoms of anemia are fairly well known. They include tiredness, weakness, a weakened immune system, impaired brain function, and blue sclera.

Contributing factors of iron deficiency

  • Hypochlorhydria: Also known as having low stomach acid. Stomach acid is required to absorb iron.
  • Medications: Certain medications can inhibit the absorption of iron.
  • Over-supplementation: Over supplementation of other minerals like zinc, copper, or manganese can also inhibit the absorption of iron.
  • Large intake of various foods: A large intake of beans, legumes or grains can inhibit iron absorption due to phytates and lignans found in these foods. Hence, vegetarians and vegans have an increased risk of iron deficiency.
  • Beeturia: If you’re an individual that consumes beets, have a look at your urine the next time you pee. If it has a red tint to it, it may be a sign of iron deficiency.

Best sources of iron

The best dietary sources of heme iron include meats, organ meats, fish, shellfish, canned tuna, and canned sardines. The best sources of non-heme iron include beans and legumes. However, note that if you over-consume beans and legumes, the phytates and lignans found in beans can inhibit the absorption of non-heme iron.

Vegetarian sources include broccoli, kale, and spinach. In fact, one ounce of kale provides about 5-6% of your recommended dietary intake. However, you should never supplement with iron unless you truly need it. Too much iron can be pro-inflammatory for the body and frankly, may increase your risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and other health conditions. Additionally, vitamin C can enhance the absorption of iron, so eating vitamin C rich foods like oranges and kale and bell peppers during the consumption of iron-rich foods can be beneficial.

The best way to take iron is in small doses throughout the day. The recommendation is 30 milligrams, three times a day. It may take six to nine weeks before you see improvements within your body.

2. Iodine

iodine food sourcesIodine is an essential mineral for normal thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are involved in many processes in the body, such as growth, brain development, metabolic rate regulation, and bone maintenance. Think of the thyroid as the accelerator in your car. If you’re pushing the accelerator too much, you reach that red line and the engine (i.e. your body) will be running too fast. If you press too little on the accelerator, you don’t go anywhere. Physically, your body will feel fatigued and possibly see weight gain.

Iodine deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world. It affects nearly one-third of the world’s population. The most common symptoms of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland, also known as “goiter”. It contributes to an increased heart rate, shortness of breath, and weight gain. Severe iodine deficiency may also include serious adverse effects, especially in children.

Deficiencies can result in dry mouth, dry skin, lack of sweating, weight gain, enlarged thyroid gland, increased heart rate, shortness of breath.

Contributing factors of iodine deficiency

  • Excess intake of selenium, calcium, and vitamin A may inhibit the intestinal absorption of iodine.

Best sources of iodine

  • Dietary sources include eggs, fish, dairy, spirulina and sea vegetables such as kelp, kombucha and other seaweeds.
  • Iodized salt

Be aware of the potential serious side effects or risk factors of taking too much iodine. The recommendations for iodine intake tend to be in the range of about 75 to 150 micrograms per day. It’s a mineral that you have to supplement with caution because too much can cause problems.

3. Calcium

calcium-rich food sources such as milk, spinach, cheese, and yoghurtCalcium is essential for every cell in the body. It mineralizes bone and teeth, especially during times of rapid growth and development. It’s also helpful for the maintenance of heart health, immune health, and insulin control.

One survey in the US found that less than 15% of teenage girls and less than 10% of women over the age of 50 met the recommended daily intake of calcium. In the same survey, less than 22% of young or teenage boys and men over 50 met the recommended intake. Symptoms of severe deficiencies in calcium include osteoporosis and rickets.

Contributing factors of calcium deficiency

  • Lack of vitamin D
  • Certain medications
  • Over-intake of phosphorous can inhibit calcium intake. Phosphorous is found in canned soda, bottled soda, and cola products.

Best sources of calcium

The effectiveness and safety of calcium supplements have been somewhat debated in the last few years. Some studies have found that over-intake of calcium can lead to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. It is still recommended to get your calcium intake from foods rather than supplements.

Dietary sources of calcium include boned fish, dairy products, dark lean, dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, bok choy, and broccoli. Vitamin D and magnesium are required for good calcium absorption so make sure you have a healthy intake of these.

If you’re over the age of 50, the recommended total intake of calcium daily is about 1,200 milligrams.

4. Magnesium

food products containing magnesiumBetween 2004-2007, it was found that 48% of the US population consumed less than the required amount of magnesium. Low intake of magnesium has been associated with several diseases including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Low magnesium is particularly common among hospital patients and individuals over the age of 50.

Magnesium is a key mineral in the body. It’s essential for bone and teeth structure, and it’s also involved in more than 300 enzyme reactions. It is also important for muscles, nerves, and for activating ATP or adenosine triphosphate (which is basically the energy producer in the body). Furthermore, magnesium helps digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It also serves as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis, and it acts as a precursor for many neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

Because magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body, a deficiency can wreak havoc on your entire system. The fact that researchers have detected more than 3,750 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins should give you a sense of how important the mineral is for your body’s optimal functioning.

Contributing factors of magnesium deficiency

  • Certain prescription medications
  • Low levels of stomach acid
  • Stress
  • Processed foods
  • Fertilizers in the production of produce

Deficiencies of magnesium can cause constipation, eye twitches, muscle spasm, headaches and migraines, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, irregular heartbeats, coronary spasms, low energy, fatigue and loss of appetite. More subtle long-term symptoms that you may not notice include insulin resistance and high blood pressure.

Best sources of magnesium

The best source of magnesium happens to be the magnesium salt, magnesium aspartate. Other dietary sources of magnesium include avocados, nuts and seeds, brown rice, dark leafy green vegetables, oily fish, raw cocoa, and seaweed. Include these as part of your healthy diet.

Intake over the age of 40 is suspected and recommended to be above 420 milligrams for males and 320 milligrams for females. What seems to help magnesium absorption is calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin B1, also known as thiamine.

5. Potassium

foods containing natural potassium such as bananas, broccoli, kiwi, walnuts and grapefruitPotassium is mostly inside cells. Sodium is mostly outside cells. Now the ratio of sodium to potassium has changed dramatically since the hunter-gatherer days because potassium is mostly in hunter-gatherer Paleo-type foods. Recent research shows that about a third to as much as half of individuals presently are consuming far less potassium than they need to be.

Contributing factors of potassium deficiency

  • Certain prescription medications like antibiotics and diuretics

Potassium deficiency can contribute to cardiovascular disease, fatigue, muscle cramps.

Best sources of magnesium

The best source is potassium aspartate, however food sources are always the best for these minerals. There are high levels of potassium in veggies, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, meats, and dairy. An interesting fact about potassium is that there is a difference in potassium levels between boiled and steamed foods. With boiled foods, about 10 to 50% of potassium is lost compared to steamed foods where only three to 6% of potassium is lost.

The FDA has limited the potassium of supplements to 99 milligrams per serving.

6. Zinc

foods highest in zincAt least two billion people worldwide are thought to be zinc deficient. It’s due to a number of reasons, our processes of farming and our changes in dietary habits.

Zinc is important for DNA and protein synthesis, vision, hearing, taste, sexual development, wound healing, immune function, and skin health.

Zinc is thought to be an aphrodisiac and help sperm production in men, but it will only raise testosterone levels if the user is deficient in zinc. In very high doses zinc can act as an aromatase inhibitor in females and reduce estrogen levels, so use with caution if you’re menopausal or postmenopausal.

Contributing factors of zinc deficiency

  • If you’re an alcoholic, vegetarian, pregnant, or lactating
  • If you have a digestive disorder
  • High levels of sweat (athletes should be cautious)

Best sources of zinc

Dietary sources of zinc include dairy products, nuts, red meat, eggs, and seafood. Plant sources of zinc are slightly less well absorbed than animal sources.

If you’re over the age of 20, the recommended daily intake for males is about 11 milligrams, and 8 milligrams for females. The maximum daily dose of zinc supplementation is around 40 milligrams per day and it’s actually important to take copper along with zinc because excess intake of zinc can actually cause copper deficiency.

When you’re taking a mineral, it’s important to look at what salt it is. It’s always zinc with a salt. So it may be zinc sulfate, zinc gluconate, zinc methylthionine, or elemental zinc. All of these are absorbed very differently and affects the quantities you should take. Some examples:

  • Zinc sulfate – as much as 220 milligrams
  • Zinc gluconate – as much as 380 milligrams
  • Zinc methylthionine – 230 milligrams

It’s important to note that supplementation and recommended dosages should be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on pre-existing medical conditions and other minerals you might be taking. As you’ve learned, if you take too much of any one mineral, you can disrupt the absorption of other minerals.

The team at Zenith Labs have created a supplement called Pure Greens, which is a green powder high in minerals but well-absorbed because they’re complexed with their original foods. It’s a safer way than taking mega doses of individual minerals so do check it out and let us know what you think!


dr ryan shelton of zenith labsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

fasting

Intermittent Fasting for Longevity

 

If you’re looking for the perfect meal to roll back the clock, stop embarrassing aging symptoms, and make you feel younger at the cellular level, this is it! You don’t have to give up your favorite foods for good, but if you’re looking for a way to ease aching joints, reduce fine lines and wrinkles on your face, and turn your body’s metabolism back up to where it needs to be to lose weight and reclaim your mental sharpness, then fasting should be a part of your diet. You should incorporate it now as part of your yearly routine.


thin woman trying to stop an overweight woman from eating a burgerStudies show that fasting — when done right — can actually stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce body fat, and combat inflammation. In fact, many cultures attribute their long, healthy lifespans to regular fasting. Here’s the catch: You can’t just stop eating. There’s a very specific and measured way you need to incorporate fasting to get the best results.

That’s exactly what is revealed in this brand new, Anti-Aging Masterclass. When you claim your spot for this master class, you’ll learn how to start reaping the rewards of fasting without going hungry or giving up your favorite foods, all while rolling back the clock naturally to make you look and feel younger.

We’re offering unlimited access to this Anti-Aging Masterclass for free if you claim your spot today. Click the link right now to get started! Bon appetite!


dr ryan sheltonIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

Antioxidants The Good, The Bad And The Ugly!

Antioxidants: The Good, The Bad (And The Ugly!)

You’re probably like over two-thirds of American who take at least one dietary supplement every day, and if you look at the ingredients of that supplement, it probably contains at least one antioxidant. However, if you take just one antioxidant or the wrong kind of antioxidant, it may cause more damage than good.

Antioxidants: The Good, The Bad (And The Ugly!)

How are Free Radicals Affecting You?

word cloud of free radicals and health We are constantly inundated by free radicals from our environment and within our bodies. We each have over 37 trillion cells, plus bacteria and microbes, but free radicals are always stealing electrons in an attempt to stabilize themselves. In doing so, they begin a chain reaction which can damage cell membranes, mitochondria, and alter your DNA. If left unchecked, it can wreak havoc on your body, affecting your immune system, accelerating aging, and making you more vulnerable to chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and vision and hearing changes.

Our bodies can counterattack by generating antioxidants to extract free radicals and help protect us. We also have enzyme systems like catalysts, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione paroxetine, and thioredoxin. There’s a catch though. Those electrons have to go somewhere out of the body so they’re not causing damage.

array of foods high in antioxidants

Consuming an antioxidant-rich diet full of fruits and vegetables, essential fatty acids, and functional foods can play a positive role, but many of us need additional support from dietary supplements. The buzz around antioxidants took off in the early ‘90s as the connection between oxidative damage, chronic inflammation, and chronic disease became increasingly clear. Additionally, studies came out showing that individuals who consumed a high content of antioxidants in their diet through fruits, vegetables, and fatty acids were at a lower risk of chronic disease than those individuals who did not.

Marketers began adding antioxidant-related claims to all sorts of foods and beverages, so in 1997 the FDA introduced rules about having to be specific with labeling. Companies had to list the antioxidants specifically as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, lycopene, polyphenols, proanthocyanidins, quercetin, or catechins.

Antioxidants don’t work in the same ways but rather work together as a matrix, always regenerating and recycling. For instance, if your cellular membranes are being attacked by free radicals, essential fatty acids and vitamin E can help rid your body of those electrons while quercetin or ubiquinol can take care of those free radicals. Each antioxidant has its cycle of regeneration so if you’re taking just one antioxidant, you’re not paying attention to all the different pathways and cycles. Instead of relying on marketing claims, you need to figure out which supplements are worth your money and time.

What Kind of Antioxidants Should You Take?

senior woman struggling with joint pain in her knees

You should take a specific supplement based on your individual health goals. A 60-year-old with joint pain has different needs than a 30-year-old who’s struggling with sleep and insomnia. Looking specifically at mitochondria, which are in every cell of your body and are the energy producers. When mitochondria are damaged by free radicals, you experience changes in your sleep, muscle strength, aging, thyroid, and lipids. You can experience diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. One in 5000 individuals are affected by free radical damage to mitochondria, and making sense of all the information out there can be overwhelming.

breakfast foods with antioxidants and supplements

There’s a ton of conflicting information online and much of it is pushed by people trying to sell you specific supplements. It’s important to remember that antioxidants work as a team and if you’re not getting the full team, you may be causing more harm than good. When it comes to your diet, focus on eating the rainbow – eat nine servings of five colors of fruits and vegetables every day.

You should feel empowered on your journey to better health and part of that is taking the right supplements. Be sure to take a multi-antioxidant supplement so it can protect you from the damaging effects of free radicals.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

The Single Best Daily Habit To Prevent Obesity

The Single Best Daily Habit To Prevent Obesity

If you’re struggling with an increased BMI (body mass index), elevated waist circumference, increased skinfold thickness, or if you’re overweight or obese, then read on. There’s one simple daily habit to incorporate into your life to help prevent weight gain. Dozens of studies have shown how effective this one habit is.

Daily Habit To Help with Obesity

Don’t overlook a healthy diet and regular exercise

three people walking down a dirt trail Now, that’s not to overlook how important daily movement and therapeutic exercise is to the prevention of weight gain. Simply walking for 20 minutes a day, three to five times a week is highly recommended. If you’re able to incorporate more vigorous exercise in your routine, that’s even better.

You can’t overlook how important a healthy diet is either. Try replacing the bad fats in your diet with healthy fats like omega-3s, -7s, -9s, and eating more fruits and vegetables. In order to get enough micronutrients and macronutrients, it’s recommended that you eat nine servings of fresh produce in five colors every day.

One simple tip to prevent weight gain

skillet of eggs and other healthy breakfast foodsHowever, there’s one simple tip that dozens of studies have shown will help prevent weight gain: don’t skip breakfast! Let’s take a look at six of the most impressive studies.

  1. The first study was done with 272 individuals over the age of 60, comparing those who ate breakfast to those who skipped breakfast. The individuals who skipped breakfast were 44% more likely to have obesity affect their lives.

    It’s already clear how important eating a good breakfast is. The gold standard is to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.

  2. two women enjoying conversation over breakfast mealsThe second study showed that obesity was 1.5 times higher in individuals who did not consistently eat breakfast.
  3. A third study showed that individuals who skipped breakfast had lower energy levels, but individuals who did eat breakfast could engage in more physical activity throughout the day.
  4. In a study done with adolescents, skipping breakfast was associated with a worse lipid profile. These individuals had worse cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome.

    Clearly eating breakfast is important for weight management in both the young and old!

  5. The fifth study showed that breakfast significantly contributed to the daily micronutrient intake by providing an average of 24% more dietary fiber, 32% more iron, 30% more calcium, 32% more folic acid, and 37% more of a B vitamin called riboflavin.
  6. The last study showed that habitual breakfast skippers are at an increased risk for the development of cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure. This study was conducted in India, and the consistent breakfast skippers were more overweight and more obese.

Trim-14 supplement by Zenith LabsDozens more studies that show the importance of eating breakfast daily. It’s a simple habit you can incorporate in your life, starting now! Remember, simple changes can affect the trajectory of your entire life moving forward. Incorporating breakfast in your daily routine is important for maintaining a healthy weight, and will reduce risk factors like cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and more.

At Zenith Labs, we have developed a supplement call Trim-14. When you pair this supplement with good habits like eating breakfast daily and getting in healthy movement, it can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.


dr ryan shelton of zenith labsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

will fruit

Will Fruit Make You Fat?

 

Have you ever wondered if eating fruit will make you fat? If it could cause weight gain? Because of the high sugar content and high carbohydrate content in fruits, many researchers have looked into just this question.


You’ll find the answer here. Scientific research has shown that eating more whole fruit will not cause weight gain. In fact, just the opposite is true. Incorporating more whole fruit into your diet may help with weight loss.

bowl of fresh fruit salad with strawberries, bananas, kiwis, and oranges in a glass bowlHistorically, our hunter and gatherer ancestors ate a tremendous amount of fruit. Today, it’s estimated that less than 10% of most Western populations consume adequate amounts of whole fruits and dietary fiber. The recommended daily intake is 40 to 50 grams of fiber every day. Yet only about 3% of men and 6% of women habitually consume over 14 grams of fiber per day. This intake is about half of the recommended levels.

Fruit fiber is a relatively small component of the total dietary fiber consumed in populations eating Western diets. Between the years of 2015 and 2020, dietary guidelines for Americans named fiber as a major shortfall nutrient and it became an important public health concern. The low fiber Western diet has contributed to an increased risk of weight gain, inflammation, chronic diseases, and other health concerns. There is also an increased risk of colonic, or intestinal micro bacteria dysbiosis causing the growth of bad bacteria in your gut, and reducing the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. A growing number of human trials support the prebiotic effects of whole fruit and fruit fiber in promoting a healthy microbiome in the gut for gut health, for brain health, for immune health.

fresh vegetables and fruits laid out on a tableIn 2016, a dose-response randomized control trial with 122 individuals consuming fruit found that the fiber content of fruit and vegetables was more important than the polyphenol (or antioxidant) content found in those fruits and vegetables.

A number of protective cohort studies have observed associations between diets containing fruits and vegetables, and weight control, weight loss, and risk of obesity. A study in 2015, systematically reviewed a meta-analysis 17 studies of over 500,000 participants showed that fruit intake was associated with modest reductions in body weight, waist circumference, and a reduced risk of obesity by about 17%.

top down view of a breakfast bowl full of fresh berries in yoghurt

In 2016, a review article concluded that consumption of increased levels of whole fruit was uniquely protective against weight gain and obesity. Pooled data from three United States protective studies, including nurses health studies and health professionals, showed that over 100,000 men and women showed improvement in weight and reduced risks for obesity.

There was a longitudinal study done in Australia on women’s health. Over six years with a group of 4,000 women, the study found that women who consumed 117 grams of fruits and vegetables gained less weight than those consuming fewer fruits and vegetables.

Health Benefits of Fruit

woman holding up fresh strawberries and smiling

Evidence of the health benefits of consuming adequate levels of whole fruits has been steadily growing, especially regarding their bioactive fiber, prebiotic effects, role in improving weight loss, weight control, wellness, and healthy aging. Whole fruit contains water, fiber, and powerful antioxidants important in a healthy diet. The beneficial health effects of consuming whole fruit include:

  • Improving gut health
  • Lowering elevate LDL cholesterol
  • Reducing the risk of excessive weight gain and obesity
  • Decreasing risk factors for cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and mortality risk
  • Reducing risks of several types of cancers, stroke, and type II diabetes

Eating whole fruits is the best way to get the nutrients you need. However, you could try to get your intake through juices too. Although most of the fiber from whole fruit is removed from fruit juice processing, 100% fruit juice should contain similar levels of other healthy vitamins and minerals.

Fun Fact: Frozen fruit may provide more bioavailable proanthocyanidins than even fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is still recommended but frozen fruit are an acceptable alternative in a healthy diet. Avoid dried fruit because it removes water and degrades some of the powerful antioxidants contained in the fruit.

frozen berriesNow, there are a few caveats you should know about. There are high glycemic fruits and low glycemic fruits. These are different and can impact blood sugar control and risk factors for obesity, risk factors for diabetes. High glycemic fruits include bananas, pineapples, watermelons, dates, raisins, passion fruit, and mango. Lower glycemic fruits include cherries, berries, apricots, pears, apples, grapefruits, plums, and peaches.

Another caveat is that there are some fruits that are listed to be at risk for pesticides. For these fruits, you want to try to make sure to go organic as often as you can. These are fruits like strawberries, nectarines, apples, peaches, cherries, and pears.

Let us know what your favorite fruits are and how they have impacted your health and wellbeing!


dr ryan shelton of zenith labsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

Vegan Diet Benefits and Risks

Vegan Diet Benefits and Risks

 

People around the world implement a variety of dietary and nutritional plans to achieve and maintain their health and wellness. Often, these choices can vary from one culture and set of traditions to another. Some dietary strategies focus on fats or other trending topics, and as a result, they come and go quickly. Other dietary strategies, such as the vegan diet, have more staying power.

vegan wrap with avocado and carrots

We’re going to talk about the potential benefits and risks of choosing a vegan diet. People choose to be vegan for a variety of reasons such as tradition, culture, ecological reasons, or ethical beliefs. Some people choose to be vegan simply because, based on several studies, it’s good for your overall health.

Vegan Diet Benefits and Risks

My Experience as a Vegan

man chopping vegetables on a cutting board

I personally have experienced being a vegan. 25 years ago, when I was a freshman in university, I went through a personal tragedy that made me want to be a vegan. My grandfather died of a heart attack much too early in his life. I had watched him eat a lot of fried foods and meats, and as an aspiring scientist, my first instinct was to look up dietary research. Sure enough, I found several articles that showed how being a vegetarian or vegan can reduce major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.

I was only a vegan for one year because as a freshman in college, I found it difficult socially to keep up with. My friends wanted to go out to eat hamburgers and hot wings, so I often found myself on the outside looking in. I chose to gradually reintroduce meat in a responsible way and that choice has stuck to this day. I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy proteins, and healthy fats. When it comes to protein and dairy products, I make smart and ethical choices around what I choose to consume.

Being a Healthy Vegan

vegan protein sources like tofu, beans, and nuts

There is a healthy way to be a vegan as well as an unhealthy way. Some people switch to veganism and end up consuming primarily refined carbohydrates, thinking they’re making healthy choices. Unfortunately, that can lead to deficiencies in micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, and macronutrients like essential proteins.

If you’re not mindful of your food choices as a vegan, you may become deficient in calcium, iron, or zinc. It’s important to eat dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds for calcium and iron. Amino acid deficiencies can be common if you’re not eating enough nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes. The vegan diet also does not contain any natural vitamin B12 so it’s recommended that you use a supplement.

Beans and legumes tend to be low in an amino acid called methionine but high in lysine, both of which are essential amino acids. Grains are the opposite though, low in lysine but high in methionine. Therefore, it’s important to get both beans and grains in your diet, which will help you maintain good health on a vegan diet.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

long life

The 5 Commandments Of Eating Healthy To Live A Long Life

If you’re feeling inundated, overwhelmed, and confused about the best dietary nutritional program that you should eat to reduce your risk factors for chronic health conditions – you’re not alone. There’s tons of information online and tens of thousands of scientific research articles to examine just this topic.

Fortunately, there are a few common trends that come up over and over again, and the medical scientific community (for the most part) are behind these recommendations because they consistently show that they’re successful in reducing risk factors for chronic health conditions and promote optimal health and wellness. For the sake of this post, we’ll call them the Five Commandments of Healthy Eating.

I’ve made some other posts about foods to avoid. And if you haven’t seen them, I encourage you to check them out. And again, the scientific community is, for the most part, agreed upon these, like avoiding or limiting trans fats, avoiding or eliminating fried foods and fast foods, avoiding or eliminating refined sugars, and avoiding any kind of food allergy or food sensitivity that you may have. Some research articles show that Americans may have as many as one to three food sensitivities or food allergies in as many as 25 to 33% of Americans.

The five commandments of healthy eating

1. Increase fruit and vegetable intakes

various fresh fruits and vegetables laid out on a table

Research has shown that as few as 10 to 15% of Americans are consuming adequate recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. Fruits contain important macronutrients and micronutrients, complex carbohydrates, protein, essential fatty acids, and fiber.

Fiber is an important macronutrient that is severely under-consumed by Americans. It’s recommended that you take in roughly 40 to 50 grams of fiber a day. Fiber is only found in the vegetable/fruit kingdom where we get those insoluble fibers, which research consistently has shown may reduce risk factors for the development of certain kinds of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Plus fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, polyphenols, and proanthocyanidins, that are important for every cellular function in the body. It is recommended to have nine servings of five colors each and every day.

2. Get sufficient essential fatty acids

different omega 3-and essential fatty-rich foods such as salmon, eggs, nuts and seeds

A report in 2010 showed that most Americans were not getting adequate amounts of essential fatty acids. The recommended intake is one gram per day (of both EPA and DHA), and even higher amounts if you have a pre-existing medical condition such as cardiovascular disease, or if you’re pregnant or lactating. Essential fatty acids can be found in seafood, nuts seeds, avocados, olives, and olive oil.

 

3. Plan meal schedules

a breakfast table with salad, fresh juice, eggs, fruits, croissants, and a cup of coffee“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”. Most individuals are backward to that. They have a scant breakfast or they skip breakfast altogether. They have a modest lunch, and they have a huge dinner. This can be detrimental for blood sugar control and cardiovascular disease. Make sure to get most of your calories in the morning, have a modest lunch, and fewer calories for dinner.

4. Include cruciferous vegetables

top down view of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sproutsCruciferous vegetables are high in indoles, sulforaphane, DIM, and kaempferol. Each of these components have been independently studied to reduce risk factors for the development of certain types of cancer. We also know that cruciferous vegetables are very helpful for both phase one and phase two detoxification pathways in the liver. We’re all carrying chemicals so we could do with a little help in detoxification. Include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and chard in your diet.

5. Eat organic

woman carrying a large wooden crate of fresh organic vegetablesIf possible, wherever possible, eat organic. They contain higher amounts of essential vitamins and minerals than non-organic produce. In addition, non-organic produce has been shown to contain a higher level of pesticide, herbicide, and fungicides. There are 12 foods that are particularly high in these chemicals: strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes. If eating organic is too expensive, try to just eat organic for these 12 foods at least so as to avoid the consumption of these chemicals. Plus, organic foods inherently contain higher amounts of essential probiotics, the healthy bacteria for our gut, for our brain, for our immune system.

So, there you have it – the five commandments to healthy eating! Let us know what rules you abide by for a healthier life and your experiences with these five commandments.


dr ryan shelton of zenith labsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

keto

The Ugly Truth About The Keto Diet

 

If you’re on a low carb ketogenic diet for weight loss, or if you plan on going on this diet or know of anyone who plans on going on this diet, you should know that there are hazards associated with being on a ketogenic diet, especially long-term. One of the most common problems to arise from being on a low carb ketogenic diet is nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies can have chronic impacts on your health and body.

Low Carb Diets and the Ketogenic Diet

There are three versions of a low carb diet:

  • lean meat next to a pink measuring tape and a sign that says low carb diet Eating less than 50g of total carbohydrates a day. This is also classified as a “ketogenic diet”. Apart from nutrient deficiencies, adopters of this diet may also experience “keto flu”, especially during the first two to three weeks of the dietary transition. Keto flu symptoms include low energy, fatigue, malaise, sore muscles, and trouble sleeping.
  • Eating less than 150g of total carbohydrates a day. Your liver stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. When you’re eating a low carb diet, your liver can generate some glucose or carbohydrates, and 150 grams is about what the liver can produce for you. You may feel kind of crummy, find yourself craving more carbs, or even experience keto flu even if you’re not in ketogenesis or producing ketone bodies. If you’re eating less than 150 grams of carbs a day, try eating more protein calories to balance it out.
  • Eating less than 250g of total carbohydrates a day. The average American eats a little over 300 grams of carbs, so if you’re eating less than 250 carbs, that’s also considered a low carb diet, although it’s not considered a ketogenetic diet.

Nutrient Deficiencies on a Ketogenic Diet

ketogenic diet foods A large study done back in 2010 showed that out of the 27 essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals that are typically included in a well-balanced whole food diet), six micronutrients plus four minerals can become deficient on a ketogenic diet. In the study, they were all identified as being consistently low, and they have a high likelihood of continuing to be low the longer that you’re on a ketogenic diet.

 

The four minerals that tend to be deficient on a ketogenic diet are:

  1. Sodium: If you’re on a ketogenic diet, make sure that you’re getting enough sodium. It’s important for so many processes in the body. Whilst an excess of sodium may be harmful, there is still a minimal amount that you should intake. Target about 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of sodium intake a day. You can easily achieve this through seasoning foods with pink Himalayan or Celtic salt, using broth or bullion, or eating shellfish.
  2. spinach, pumpkin seeds, avocado, nuts, and tomatoes on a tablePotassium: Potassium-rich foods include spinach, chicken breast, salmon, beef, avocado, broccoli, asparagus, and mushrooms. Eat these foods while you’re on a ketogenic diet.
  3. Magnesium: Magnesium is important for over 350 enzymatic or enzyme processes in the body. It can become deficient when you’re on a ketogenic diet. Magnesium-rich foods include spinach, dark leafy green vegetables like Swiss chard and kale, pumpkin seeds, oysters, yogurt, and avocado.
  4. Zinc: Zinc is high in red meat, shellfish, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and eggs. It is one of the four important minerals for you to pay attention to if you’re on a ketogenic diet.

There are also six micronutrients that can become deficient when following a ketogenic diet:

  1. Vitamin B7 foods such as green peas, eggs, cheeseVitamin B7: Also known as biotin, vitamin B7 can be found in meats, eggs, nuts and seeds, salmon, dairy, avocados, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, and dark leafy green vegetables.
  2. Vitamin D: Vitamin D has had a tremendous amount of research of late because of its negative associations with chronic health disease, chronic cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Vitamin D is a unique vitamin that most people don’t get enough of. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 40% of American adults have a vitamin D deficiency. This vitamin is made from cholesterol in your skin when it’s exposed to the sun. That’s why getting enough sunlight is very important for maintaining optimal vitamin D levels. At noon, the sun is at its highest point and the UVB rays are most intense. That means you need less time in the sun to make sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Many studies also show that the body is most efficient at making vitamin D around noontime. For example, in the UK, 13 minutes of midday sunlight exposure during summer three times per week is enough to maintain healthy levels among Caucasian adults. Another study found that 30 minutes of midday summer sun exposure in Norway was equivalent to consuming about 10,000 to 20,000 international units of Vitamin D.

back of a woman in a bikini with sunscreen spelling the word sun on her backThe commonly recommended dose of Vitamin D is about 600 IUs if you take it as a supplement, but natural sunlight is always best. Not only is getting vitamin D around midday more efficient and more effective, but it might also be safer than getting some later in the day. One study found that afternoon sun exposure may actually increase your risk for dangerous skin cancers. Some scientists recommend exposing only around a third of your body area to the sun.

According to this recommendation, wearing a tank top and shorts for 10 – 30 minutes a day, three days per week, should give you adequate amounts of vitamin D. Just make sure to prevent burning if you’re staying in the sun for a long time. Instead, try going with some sunscreen after you have your 10 – 30 minutes of exposure.

  1. foods with vitamin E such as nuts and seeds on a round wooden trayVitamin E: Another vitamin that can become deficient on a keto diet. Make sure you get enough of these vitamins in your diet. Vitamin E rich foods include nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, seafood, avocado, bell peppers, mango, and dark leafy green vegetables.
  2. Chromium: Chromium can also become deficient in a ketogenic diet. Chromium-rich foods include those dark, leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, red meat, green beans, and eggs.
  3. Iodine: Iodine can become deficient in a ketogenic diet, but can be replenished by consuming seafood and iodized salt.
  4. a bunch of green beansMolybdenum: Molybdenum is rich in beans and legumes, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds, dark, leafy green vegetables, eggs, and tomatoes.
  5. Essential fatty acids: Finally, essential fatty acids can become deficient in a ketogenetic diet if you’re not choosing the right kinds of protein that are rich in omega-3, omega-7, or omega-9 fatty acids. You can find these in nuts and seeds, seafood, and avocados.

Nutrient deficiencies tend to be problematic when you’re on a ketogenic diet. You should consider supplementation if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you’re an adult over the age of 50
  • If you don’t get enough sun
  • If you’re not getting enough calories on the ketogenic diet
  • If you’re not eating a wide variety of foods, including vegetables, meats, and fish
  • If you’re a vegetarian
  • If you have a medical condition that affects your health otherwise

Omega 3-7-9 + Krill by zenith labsThis does not make the ketogenic diet a bad diet to be on, it just means you have to be aware of your intakes. If you’re on it long-term (i.e. more than four to six weeks), know that there is a real chance you may become nutrient deficient if you don’t pay attention to your specific food intakes. Consult with your physician before starting any diet.

We’ve actually created a tremendously physician-grade effective omega supplement. It’s called Omega 3-7-9 plus Krill. It contains adequate amounts of omega 3-7-9, plus krill oil. Check it out because essential fatty acids is one of the deficiencies you may experience on a keto diet.


dr ryan shelton of zenith labsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

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