I Want a New Drug!

Yes that’s right, I said it, a new drug! This statement is meant to be an eye-opener for all who don’t believe FOOD is a drug. Just like a drug you take that makes you feel good, bad, sluggish or energetic, food effects on your body can be immediate or take a toll on you 2-3 days later. Your body must have all the necessary components to process everything in the food you ingest. You need powerful enzymes from the mouth to break down carbohydrates, while the stomach produces acid and enzymes to break down proteins. Then there is insulin, glycogen and enzymes from the pancreas that break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins while enzymes from the small intestines are secreted to break down fat and lactose. Not to mention the regulation of alkaline-acid ph by the kidneys, the liver’s role in detoxifying the food you eat as well as producing bile for fat assimilation. The intestines require just the right mix of bacteria to digest and assimilate the by-products of the broken down food. Whew, that’s a lot! And these are just some of the functions needed for a healthy assimilation of foods. Digestion is like a fine tuned orchestra with just the right amount of coordination from the strings and percussion sections!

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Food, like everything in life, is complex and contains many different components. There are literally hundreds of naturally occurring chemicals in just about every type of food you can think of. Natural chemicals exist in food to impart color, flavor, nutrition, and natural toxins for protection from predator attacks or unhealthy microbes.  We all know by now, unfortunately, there are many man-made chemicals in our food but this article will focus on some of the natural chemicals and how they may affect your body function. You might be surprised to know that many of these naturally occurring chemicals if ingested in excess amounts could be considered poisonous!

Many of these natural toxins contribute to symptoms of pain, fatigue, brain fog, and digestive upsets. Most people don’t recognize how much food contributes to how they feel minute-to-minute. Food can make or break your day by dictating what kind of mood you are in and whether you will have body pain today or not.  The best advice I can give you is the next time you have sudden shoulder pain, migraines, knee pain, low back pain, gas, bloating, feeling grouchy, sluggish, angry or anxious, PLEASE look to the meals you ate in the last 24-48 hours as a major culprit. It may be a simple change in diet that changes a chronic symptom you have suffered from for years. Here are some of the chemicals more commonly involved in typical problems that I see.

SOLANINE

Solanine is a non-protein compound containing nitrogen. It is a chemical called a glycoalkaloid. In certain vegetables, it is found in all parts of the plant, including fruit, leaves and tubers. It has pesticide properties and is one of the plants naturally occurring defenses. Solanine blocks the enzyme that allows muscles, tendons, and ligaments to return to rest after activation. It can remove calcium from the bones and deposit it in any genetically weak or injured area of the body, including joint spaces, arteries, kidney and gallbladder. Unfortunately, in many people solanine causes increase in muscle pain and tightness, morning stiffness, joint pain, inflammation, osteoarthritis flare-up, autoimmune dysfunction, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and other neurotoxic properties.

In the medieval times, the majority of nightshades were not considered edible and they were used in witchcraft and shamanism. The Romans gave them the name “nightshades” because it was put in your enemy’s drink and when the person went home that night, the shade came down and they died! Solanines are not water soluble, aren’t destroyed by cooking and cannot be broken down in the body. So think wisely before you make your loved one their next meal!

Solanine is found in all “deadly nightshades”.  Nightshade foods are potatoes including white, red, yellow and blue-skinned (not sweet potatoes or yams), tomatoes, eggplant, paprika and all peppers, excluding black pepper. This brings a new and scary meaning to “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!”  Other foods which are not nightshades but contain solanine are blueberries, apples, cherries, beets, artichoke, gogi berries, okra and ashwagandha.

LECTINS

Lectins are a type of protein found in many plant foods and can interfere with your metabolism, clump red blood cells as well as adhere to your gut epithelial tissue and break down the small intestinal lining creating further leaky gut. Damage to the absorptive intestinal fingerlike microvilli, reduces the small intestines capacity to absorb vital nutrients needed for immunity and repair. Lectins in plants exist for pest and insect protection. They can enter our blood unchanged because they are indigestible to humans. Because we don’t break down and digest lectins, often we create antibodies to them–almost assuring that our bodies are having some kind of harmful immune reaction every time we eat them.

Genetically modified foods can be especially problematic because “splicing lectins” from one plant family to another occurs frequently.  Therefore, if you know you react to a particular plant lectin and that lectin has been genetically transferred to a different plant you may become symptomatic and not even be aware as to the cause. Soaking, sprouting, fermenting and cooking will reduce the amount of lectin content in your foods, so you may consider this as a way to process foods you want to eat without much gastrointestinal distress.

Lectins are found in all dried beans including kidney, soy and peanuts, nuts, seeds, wheat, wheat germ, oats, barley, quinoa, rice, millet, buckwheat, corn, potatoes, dairy and again the “deadly nightshade” family. So beans may be more than just a magical fruit!

 

OXALATES

Oxalates naturally occur in plants to help get rid of additional calcium by binding to it and preventing its absorption. It can be made by the human body from Vitamin C. Which is why kidney stone formers are asked to reduce their Vitamin C intake. When too many oxalates are consumed it can combine with calcium and the body can form painful calcium-oxalate crystals which can lodge in the kidneys as stones or get deposited in any body tissue and cause pain and inflammation as well as free radical damage and depletion of glutathione, a nutrient needed for many detoxification processes.

Oxalates have the ability to bind to the minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper in our intestines creating a mineral deficiency. There is a genetic tendency in some people, depending on your D.N.A., as to whether you are able to detoxify the substances that produce extra oxalates in your body. This genetic variable give you the ability to produce an increased level of oxalates even when you are not eating foods high in oxalates. Anyone with kidney or gallbladder disease, certain autoimmune conditions, or gout, should avoid these foods in high doses. My recommendation is to not use spinach or other high oxalate foods everyday in a smoothie or as a meal. Rotate or divide your meal in half with high oxalate and low oxalate foods to avoid any problems with mineral absorption or deficiency.

Oxalates are found in the Amaranthaceae family of spinach, beet tops, swiss chard, amaranth, and sorrel, rhubarb, parsley, okra, berries, kiwis, figs, grapes, cocoa, chocolate, almonds, cashews, peanuts, soy and tea. Oxalates level increase as food matures, so young fresh spinach is likely to have less oxalates. Boiling and steaming reduce the amount of oxalates as well.

Low oxalate greens are lettuce, celery, chickweed, watercress, escarole, asparagus, dandelion, and some of the cruciferous vegetables such as kale, bokchoy, collards, mustard greens, turnip tops, cabbage and arugula.

 

GOITROGENS

Goitrogenic basically means foods that are what I call “nasty pie” for the thyroid. In other words, they slow or block thyroid function by blocking iodine uptake. Iodine is what makes your thyroid metabolism work. Goitrogens can lead to hypothyroidism and goiters. When someone is diagnosed with a “goiter”, it means your thyroid grows more cells and is enlarged. This enlargement may be to compensate for the reduction in thyroid hormone levels. A goiter is usually felt as a soft swelling on one or both sides of the neck that is 2-5 inches in diameter.

Many goitrogenic foods are considered diet foods, so when trying to lose weight you may feel as if you are doing everything right but the pounds aren’t moving. I would suggest eating no more than 3-4 cups of these raw vegetable per week if you feel that this may be creating an issue for you. Cooking these foods at high temperatures inactivates the glucosinolate, the chemical responsible for the goitrogenic effect in foods with the exception of soy which has its own very big issues.  If you do have known thyroid problems, you may want to remove these items from your diet altogether.

Known thyroid goitrogens are cruciferous foods such as bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish, turnips, as well as, soy, peanuts, and canola oil.

I have said many times, “Patients would rather change their religion than change their diet”. I am writing this article to pass on information not to scare you but make it so that you can be more present, conscious and proactive in taking control of your health. Many times, the answer lies within us and not in a doctor’s office.  Pay attention to what you use to nourish your body, the quality of your life may depend on it!

Is Your Mattress Secretly Out To Kill You?

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Have you considered that one of the most consistent places you ever will be, for at least 8 hours every day of your life, is in your bed? You probably don’t realize this but next to your family, your bed is possibly one of the most important things in your life! Many studies now show as a society we get at least 1-2 hours less sleep than in the 1940’s. The CDC in 2009 reported nearly 9 million people take sleeping pills for insomnia, disrupted sleep, or painful sleep. Sleep problems are becoming epidemic along with the rise in illness and autoimmune disease, diabetes and toxicity.

Throughout the years, mattresses have seen a huge metamorphosis from just a regular box spring made of woods, coils and cottons to synthetic plastics, latex, elastic and foams. The evolution of new mattresses with new material means additional chemicals to be aware of. We as consumers are taught to look for mattresses that can enhance deep sleep, give our spines proper support and relieve painful pressure for 8 hours. We generally assume most mattresses are environmentally safe, but a major concern with the new and improved mattresses are fumes and chemicals that come from the synthetic material in our modern plastic world.

The top part of the mattress is meant to be supportive and comfortable.  This support layer for your spine and bones can be comprised of a core made of air, foam or innerspring unit. The comfort layer is meant to create air circulation and remove pressure from your body and is made of a combination of synthetic latex (rubber), memory viscoelastic, soy, and polyurethane foams. These synthetic materials have replaced the old steel springs and cotton used in the “old days”. In addition to these synthetic compounds, in 2006 the federal government passed a law that required mattresses to contain enough Fire Retardant to withstand a 2 foot wide blowtorch open flame for 70 seconds.

Here are some of the problems with today’s modern mattress:

Off-gassing

The use of petroleum based products are what causes off-gassing. Carcinogenic and harmful, Volatile Organic Compound (V.O.C.) are of concern like formaldehyde (a preservative), chlorofluorocarbons (blowing agents), and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers/PBDEs (fire retardants). These chemicals may present a problem in people with sensitive respiratory systems or chemical sensitivities. It is quite common to see eye, nose and throat irritation, nausea, and headaches that may develop with exposure. Studies have been linked to longer-term effects like central nervous system damage, organ damage, and cancer. The fastest growing segment of the mattress industry is memory foam made from polyurethane foam and additive chemicals. Polyurethane foam is highly flammable and therefore many flame retardants are usually added to the mix.

 

Alignment and Pressure Support

The synthetic support from the new foam materials in latex and memory foam wears with use quicker than with cotton or natural rubber. As chiropractor I know the importance in having firm support for the neck and shoulders and the low back and hips. This requires proper pressure to hold up these body parts against gravity. The new synthetic mattress material softens with repeated use and you begin to see body indentations, impressions and dips due to the materials inability to rebound over time. The life of a new mattress is only 3-8 years compared to its old cotton counterpart of 20 years.

 

Fire Retardants

Fire retardants are chemicals of all sorts including, methylene chloride, heavy metals, phthalates and formaldehyde. Without having to pull out an encyclopedia of sources proving the dangers in sleeping and breathing in chemicals, I think it’s safe to say, “THIS JUST CAN’T BE GOOD!” Personally, I wouldn’t want my baby, loved one or myself breathing chemical soup all night, every night. Talk about nightmares! Mattress producers are required by law to prove to the federal government that their products can extinguish an open flame but not required to tell the consumer what materials they are using.

So by now you are saying to yourself, “What alternatives do I have?” When looking for a new mattress, I would look for one that is organic and natural. They are generally a bit more expensive but worth the cost in that the natural rubber material they use will last the 20 years you are looking for and especially because they have no out gassing or flame retardants in them. They embed their mattresses with wool (which is a natural flame retardant) therefore, no harsh chemicals are used in the making and most come with a 30 year warranty. If you are looking for a quality mattress that you don’t have to be worried about being poisoned while sleeping, here are a few references:

In Vienna, VA there is Savvy Rest Natural Beds (www.savvyrest.com); they offer a 10% discount in store to anyone who mentions Dr. Seleme. At Urban Mattress (www.urbanmattress.com), they have various discounts on their items and even sometimes a free pillow—just ask! Tell both of them Dr. Seleme sent you to receive the discount offer.  You can go to their websites to look at mattresses or go to their store in Vienna to try it out. Another great source is www.cozypure.com, although they don’t have a store in the area, you can always take a drive to their warehouse in Norfolk, VA and try out one of their natural rubber mattresses.

I believe staying informed and aware of your environmental surroundings is one of the best ways to protect you and your family from unseen chemicals and toxins in our everyday lives. If you are looking for a better way to get a safe and peaceful sleep you make want to look into these organic, natural mattresses for your bed. Here’s to getting all the comfy zzzzzz’s you deserve. See you in the morning!

How to Avoid the Tens of Thousands of Chemicals in Your Food!

 

Did you know…
 chemicals
More than 10,000 chemicals in the form of emulsifiers, solvents, and preservatives are used in food processing and storage? 
Below are a few of the many produce and foods with high pesticide or chemical content.

 
Celery
Celery is one of the most pesticide-laden vegetables  with a high content of the pesticides chlorantraniliprole and spinosad, which are very high in its toxic effect.

Potatoes
Unfortunately for you potato lovers there is a very high pesticide content such as that of chlorpropham and o-phenylphenol  that can actually increase the toxic impact of potatoes as well as, disrupting the endocrine balance of your body.

Lettuce
Research shows that a typical lettuce produce has been treated with 9 different pesticides before actually reaching your supermarket store. Research reveals often lettuce is coated with some pesticides such as DDT and Lindane.

Chemicals-and-Vegetables-Cartoon-200x200
When was the last time you saw Benzimadazol,  Dieldrin, Maleic Hydrazide Thiabendazole, Methylparaben, Dimethyl polysiloxane growing in a farm field or your back yard?

To help you avoid these dangerous chemicals, print and keep this handy list of high and low pesticide produce in your purse or wallet when you go grocery shopping!

Wash Away Pesticides, Waxes, and Chemicals – Naturally!
We know that it’s not always feasible to buy organic all the time, so here are 3 natural methods for properly wash produce to remove pesticides and waxes.


–  Soak 
produce in 1 part white distilled vinegar and 4 parts warm water for 30 to 60 minutes


–  Soak produce in a sink full of cold water and a few drops of essential oils (e.g. Lemon, Lime, or a germ-killing/purifying blend)

–  Spray a mixture of 1 TB lemon juice, 2 TB baking soda, and 1 cup water onto produce and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Rinse off and enjoy!  

Commercial fruit and vegetable washes can also be used, just make sure that the ingredients are all natural and free of harsh chemicals.

Counter Chemicals by Choice
Besides buying organic produce and carefully washing them, here are other ways you can avoid harmful chemicals from food in your life.
Perfluorooctanoic acid, aka “PFOA.”

The lining of microwave popcorn bags contain PFOAs.   The high heat created in the Microwave can convert this harmful chemical into vapors that spread throughout the popcorn. They steam given off as the bag is being opened immediately after heating can cause harmful fumes to the body as well.  PFOA toxicity has been linked to thyroid disease in humans. 
What to do?

Air pop non-GMO popcorn yourself.  If you don’t have an air popper you can use kernels in a paper bag in the microwave.  Simply add about 1/2 cup of popcorn to a brown paper bag, twist the top then microwave listening carefully for when it’s finished popping or snack on some healthy chopped vegetables or fruits.
Benzoate Preservatives, aka “BHT, BHA, TBHQ.”

A chemical are used to help keep fats from going rancid.  They’ve been linked with serious concerns like increasing asthma, hives, cancer risk, and disrupting estrogen balance.  Read your packages carefully – it’s often hidden in cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat, dehydrated potatoes.
What to do?

  • Use a dehydrator to make your own veggies and fruits!  So easy and inexpensive and chemical free!
  • Only chew gum from health food stores WITHOUT aspartame and other additives.
  • Mix your own nuts – get a variety of raw nuts and roast them with spices or raw. Remember nuts are a healthy fat but still a fat and will add weight especially to the waist line. No more than 6-8 per serving.
Bisphenol-A, aka “BPA.”This is one found in canned foods, such as tomatoes, beans, fruits and vegetables. It is an estrogen-like chemical that is pervasive in canned foods.  BPA has been linked to diabetes, ADHD, reproductive cancers, and thyroid disorders like hypothyroidism and obesity. The acidity in canned tomatoes can pull even more of this chemical into the food.
What to do?

  • Never heat or freeze plastic containers, including leaving them in your car during a hot day or at night.
  • Make big batches of fresh tomato sauce and freeze in glass containers.
  • Make beans from dried beans and store for later use.
  • Choose frozen fruits and veggies (not canned) when fresh is not available or in season.
  • Look for tomato and other packaged products in glass jars.
Top Signs Your Body is Toxic
Across the United States, the EPA took samples of people’s fat cells (adipose) and analyzed the samples for the presence of various toxins. In 98% of the samples they found many toxins, including benzene, PCBs, DDE (a metabolite of DDT pesticide), dioxins, toluene, and chlorobenzene, all of which are highly damaging to the immune system and compromise every tissue in the body. Once these chemicals and metals create a “home” for themselves in you fat and nerve cells, it can take years, if ever to have them removed on their own.

These are only a very few examples of the barrage of chemicals or bodies struggle to remove every day from typical foods that are eaten.  Our bodies are like any other machine you know of…if you don’t clean it, eventually it will break down in the form of autoimmune disease, cancers, arthritis you name!
Here is a brief list of known symptoms often related to toxicity:

• allergies
• acne
• anxiety
• burning skin
• brain fog
• chronic fatigue
• chemical sensitivities
• depression
• eczema
• frequent colds or flu
• feeling “sick all over”
• insomnia
• loss of dexterity
• low body temperature
• memory loss
• mood swings
• muscle and joint pains
• poor concentration
And the list goes on and on…..

When the amount of toxins exceed the body’s ability to excrete them, our body will begin to store these toxins. The accumulation of toxins can seriously impede our physiological health and lead to chronic disease.

If you identified having some of these health symptoms, consider detoxifying your body with help from us at Seleme Health Center.  We use 2, 4, or 6 week specific protocols to remove these harmful heavy metals and chemicals from your body using Frequency-modulated Low-Level Laser protocolsFar Infrared Saunas, nutritional supplements and homeopathic remedies, just to name a few ways to help eliminate the toxic influences that block your body’s ability to completely heal.

 

Call us today at (703) 273-0573 for more information or to customize your detoxification protocol!

Call Us Now! 703-273-0573