Have Sugar But Not Too Much

Introduction

A week or 2 ago we mentioned diabetes and ways we could help prevent it. The best and most effective way is to cut sugar out. The recommended amount of sugar consumed on a daily basis should be no more than 9 teaspoons. Just a can of soda has 8 already. So you see for the sweet tooth’s out there (including me) we should really watch out how much sugar we consume every day as it can be very easy to consume more than recommended. There is no doubt that sugar can definitely give us more energy instantly every day and make us feel happier but there are more serious side effects apart from diabetes when consuming too much sugar on a regular basis.

 

Sugar and the issue of weight gain

Sugar has been shown to lead to weight gain. This is because sugar is an empty calorie. Despite it having so many calories it is not high in nutritional value at all and is not very filling. A higher calorie intake equates to more weight gain. Another reason why sugar leads to weight gain is that it is the first source of fuel the body uses. As a result, they do not offset hunger for very long in the stomach. This leads to more regular eating thus increasing the calorie intake. Sugar also has the ability to affect biological pathways that regulate hunger. Our body produces a hormone to regulate hunger depending on energy output. This hormone is called Leptin. Studies have shown that excessive sugar intake disrupts the function of Leptin in our body by making our body more resistant to it. This means we end up consuming way more calories than we need in order to meet our body’s fulfillment.

 

Sugar and the issue of obesity and heart diseases

Consuming too much sugar on a regular basis increases the likelihood of some sort of heart disease. One reason as to why it increases the chances of heart disease is that excessive sugar causes obesity. Sugar leads to obesity due to the increased intake of calories. Obesity is one of the main causes of heart disease. Sugar also stops triglycerides from breaking down. This puts more pressure on the heart as there would be more blockages. This will cause the heart to pump harder leading to high blood pressure. Another reason why sugar leads to high blood pressure is that it increases LDL while decreasing HDL. LDL is known as bad cholesterol. This is because it sticks to your arteries leading to narrowing of the artery. While HDL is known as the good cholesterol and it removes all other bad fats such as triglycerides and LDL that’s floating in the bloodstream. As the artery is narrowed there will be less blood being able to flow through thus leading to increased blood pressure.

 

Sugar and the issue of oral and dental health

Finally, too much sugar leads to poor oral and dental health. As you’ve probably heard every mother says ‘stop eating sugar it’s bad for your teeth. There is plenty of bacteria that live inside the mouth. Some of the bacteria are good and protect your oral health but some are not. These bacteria thrive off sugar. They love it as much as you do. But as these bad bacteria grow out of control they release acids. These acids released can dissolve the enamel of your teeth leading to cavities. This acid also causes bad breath. This is why it’s important to brush your teeth and decrease the amount of sugar to stop these bacteria from taking over your mouth.

 

Conclusion

Sugar is great, it tastes great, makes you have more energy, and helps you out mentally. However, they have so many side effects if over consumed. Weight gain, heart disease, and poor oral health are just some of them. Make sure to cut out as much sweet food as you can and try to keep under the recommended daily amount!

 

Negative effects of sugar on kids

 

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5 Reasons to go to the Child Chiropractor

Are you a parent and want to know how a child Chiropractor can improve your child’s posture, overall health and well being?

No parent wants to see their children in pain or constantly sick, but it does happen from time to time.  Children occasionally get headaches, suffer from allergies, get earaches, have back pain and most have terrible postures.  Basically, the list is endless.  As a parent, you know that children are like magnets to injuries, pain, and illness.  Although most are minor, care should be sought, but where should you turn?  Instead of heading to your child’s GP, head to a local chiropractor for chiropractic care.  Why?

1 – A Child Chiropractor can Safety Treat Your Child

Chiropractic care is gentle, natural and non invasive.  A child chiropractor knows and has several tools and techniques to adjust your child’s spine ever so gently. For that reason, it is safe.  If your child experiences pain and discomfort, their primary care physician is likely to suggest over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribe prescription medication.  This may work, but the pain usually returns.  Why?  They only mask the problem.  Yes, some forms of pain and discomfort may disappear on their own with time and self-care, but there may be a more serious underlying issue.  You will not know unless you turn to a chiropractor.  Their job is to treat the pain by going directly to the source and fixing the problem.

Chiropractic care involves manual, hands on, therapy.  Since medications are not prescribed and the hands provide treatment, it is safe for individuals of all ages, including children.

2 – A Child Chiropractor Can Treat a Wide Range of Problems

Many adults mistakenly believe that chiropractors only treat spinal, back, and neck problems.  Yes, this is their specialty, but more is offered.  For example, did you know that a chiropractor can treat and lessen the onset of earaches and ear infections?  They can.  Blocked draining pathways cause most ear infections.  Chiropractic adjustments are used to open up those pathways and promote the proper flow of fluid.  Basically, if your child is experiencing pain, no matter how often or severe, a chiropractor can provide relief and that relief is usually long-lasting.

3 – It Is Easy to Find a Child Chiropractor

If you are unfamiliar with chiropractic care, you may have not given any thought to the offices in your area.  You may have driven past one each day on the way to work.  A standard google internet search can find you a local chiropractor. Be sure to check out their google reviews. Call and schedule an appointment for your child.  It really is as easy as that!

4 – The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Your Child

There are many benefits to chiropractic care.  As previously stated, medications are not prescribed.  Treatment is natural and safe.  It is also long-lasting, as chiropractors do not mask the pain, they treat it.  As a parent, this should be very important.  Successful chiropractic care can allow your child to return to their happy normal self.  Reduced pain and increased mobility means more fun and less suffering even into their adulthood.

Potential benefits of Chiropractic care for babies and kids:

  • Encourages good neural plasticity (brain and nerve development).
  • Supports overall health and well being.
  • Helps strengthen immunity and potentially reduce the incidence of colds, ear-aches and general illness.
  • Assists with colic and Irritable Baby Syndrome.
  • Helps with asthma, breathing difficulties and allergies.
  • Encourages good spinal posture.
  • Helps improve concentration.
  • Assists with behavioural disorders.
  • Helps alleviate digestive problems.
  • Assists with bed-wetting and sleep issues.

Check out the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association website and the articles below for some great information.

5 – Some Health Insurance Policies Cover Chiropractic Care

It is no secret that raising kids is expensive.  Add in the cost of medical care, and the overall cost soars.  Luckily, many insurance providers extend coverage for chiropractic care.  If your family is not covered by medical insurance, there are still benefits to seeking care.  Just look for a chiropractor with affordable rates or one who is willing to set up a flexible payment plan.

 

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 4 Immune System

By Dr. Jennifer Barham-Floreani: Tip # 4: GET DIRTY – Benefits to the Immune System

Many of us have been led to believe that germs are the root of all evil. And that we should go to great lengths to avoid them…

Anti-bacteria hand creams, sprays, and wipes, fill our handbags and counters. Yet, compelling research tells us that we have gone too far. Some exposure to pets, dirt, and other children, for example, are vital for stimulating the immune system to work effectively. In experiments where we grow animals in completely sterile (germ-free) environments, their immune systems do not develop normally. In a conclusion, they develop severe immune diseases, including allergy and autoimmunity.

When our “microbiome” (our internal network of helpful and harmful bacteria) becomes imbalanced, our digestion, immune function, state of mind, and general health and wellbeing in time become compromised. Scientists now believe, an imbalanced microbiome to be one of the primary causes of several diseases and disorders. Such as:

  • Chronic infection
  • Inflammation
  • Autoimmunity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Cancer
  • Neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s, autism, and schizophrenia.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal just a few months ago stated that “the disruption of the gut balance [is linked] to an increasing number of diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, allergies, and asthma.”

Studies now tell us that exposure to dirt and germs is incredibly essential. We need regular exposure to bacteria and viruses to strengthen our immune system. In our own homes, among our own families, we want to take the opportunity to build up our immune systems.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Letting children crawl on the floor is fine, playing in the dirt is a good thing; we encourage having family pets and sharing a spoon with your sister is, again, fine.
  • Cleaning away visible dirt or grime on any surface — sinks, floors, or door handles with thorough washing and cleaning products that are free of harsh chemicals — is usually enough without constant sterilizing. And also using disinfectants such as bleach (which probably kills everything in the air around it, too!).
  • Washing our hands with simple soap dislodges and removes surface particles without stripping everything on the skin. Antibacterial soaps kill both good and bad bacteria. They also strip the skin of the environment it needs to sustain good bacteria.
  • Be less concerned about germs but instead focus more on considering how strong is your child’s digestive power and immune system.

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Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 3

By Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani: Tip # 3: TOUGH LOVE

Many parents lament that they can’t get their children to eat certain foods or meals that they prepare…

Despite their best intentions, many parents today arrive at a stand-of with their children; the children dictate what they will and won’t eat, and then the parents become distressed when their kids fall ill with frequent colds and flus, ear infections and asthma, to name but a few repercussions of poor diet. Or in ever-growing cases, children acquire seemingly mysterious behavioral disorders with long labels that require medication. Even then, the link is often not made between diet and health.

Sometimes it seems a whole lot easier to just give into children and throw into their lunchboxes that vegemite, peanut butter or jam sandwich, a packet of chips, or a cupcake. There is no doubt that this type of approach to lunches is quick, simple, and easy. But the question is:

Is life simple and easy when we have hyperactive, angry or unwell children?

NO, it isn’t…full report

 …Life is draining physically, emotionally and financially.

 

We cannot pour soft drinks or additives onto a potted plant and expect it to survive… the same applies to our body.

There is a direct relationship between what we eat and our quality of life and health. In Lunchbox Solutions, I discuss a variety of approaches to retraining fussy eaters.

Every family must negotiate guidelines and boundaries around many facets of lifestyle and behavior, but there are none as important as diet, because what your children eat has an ENORMOUS IMPACT on the whole family. It’s exhausting when they are chronically unwell when they are irritable and friends and family don’t want to spend time with them. So I’d encourage you to pick your battles and be clear that the “food battle” is one you want to win!

Even if your child appears quite healthy, remember that the impact of poor food choices may have a long-lasting effect on their health as adults. The cumulative damage of refined sugars and processed foods can be an enormous contributor to illnesses including diabetes and heart disease. It is our role as guardians to empower our family with proactive and positive habits. 

Since my boys were very little they learned that they need to eat primarily wholesome foods and at times “sometimes foods.” It is vitally important that children learn how they can strengthen digestive power through eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible including a wide variety of fresh organic vegetables and fruits, raw or organic nuts and seeds, beans, whole grains; you get the idea.

Foods Cont.

Foods should nourish and heal the body. Eating foods in their most natural state ensures we receive the highest nutritional content. Whole foods contain naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Consuming food shouldn’t be a toxic event. By eating “whole foods” we also help our family to reduce their intake of harmful chemicals. Such as preservatives, synthetic nutrients, and other additives that are considered non-foods (which are added to most all processed foods.)

If you can — try to eat organic foods whenever possible. This will help to ensure you avoid harmful toxins such as antibiotics, synthetic hormones, pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, and synthetic fertilizers. Purchasing organic food is not a luxury but rather an integral step in securing our health. Pollutants in our modern environment—for example, pesticides, heavy metals, herbicides and fumigants—have been linked to abnormalities in behavior, perception, cognition, and motor ability during early childhood, even when exposure is at so-called harmless levels.

The goal is to teach the child to make these good decisions themselves

Where possible encourage children to help you shop and prepare meals and take the opportunity to highlight the pros and cons of different foods and false foods.

Encourage your children from a young age to also be open to having supplements or “vitamin boosts” from time to time. For example, smoothies and homemade juices are a great way to add multi-mineral powders and probiotics into their weekly diet. High-quality probiotics can provide the necessary bacteria for a healthy gut, and they are an essential aid to digestive health for all children — I would recommend taking these a few times a week. It’s also a great habit to encourage them to randomly have zinc and vitamin C powder drinks or multi-mineral drinks particularly if they have been really busy or had a few late nights.

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Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 2 How?

By Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani: How? Take an audit.

Whenever we want to set ourselves a new goal we have to know where we are starting. This allows us to look back in 6 and 12 months time and celebrate how far we have come. It’s hard work being a parent and it’s harder again to a parent who’s committed to healthy habits and rituals. So, it’s important to take stock and appreciate your efforts.

So let’s begin how to audit.

Q: How Much Sugar Do You Each Consume Daily

Without realizing it, most adults and children eat refined sugar for breakfast, lunch and dinner via processed cereals and grains. Most of us consume an average of 53 kg of sugar each year (approximately
29 teaspoons of added and natural sugar each day), and 75 percent comes from the packaged and convenience products we eat and drink.

I’d encourage you to investigate the health risks associated with eating too many sugars (in Lunchbox Solutions I discuss the dangers of sugars and outline what are healthier ways to sweeten recipes, so that’s a great place to start).

There are several reasons should we should avoid sugars, including that they raise our insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone
that our pancreas produces and its main function is taking up blood glucose (sugar) into the cells for energy. High insulin levels are thought to contribute to multiple health issues but for this post where we are focused on raising the health status of our children — let’s keep to three main issues.

Key issues with sugar

1 High insulin levels can depress the immune system weakening our ability to fight disease. This occurs because white blood cells need stacks of vitamin C to kill bacteria and viruses. So our white blood cells work to accumulate
and store vitamin C within the cell. The problem is that vitamin C and glucose have similar chemical structures so they then compete to enter the white blood cells. Guess what happens when we have lots of glucose in our blood from eating lots of foods that contain processed sugars? Glucose wins and our white blood cells become deficient in vitamin C compromising our ability to fight bugs.

2 Too many sugars also upset the integral balance of good and harmful bacteria in the gut. When we consume too many sugars we can create an overgrowth of harmful yeasts and bad bacteria which override our helpful “disease fighting” helpful bacteria — hindering our immune system.

3 Refined sugars also provide us with no vitamins or minerals. In order for them to be metabolized, they draw on the body’s reserves of vitamins and minerals, depleting our body’s nutrients.

ACTION: Start a food diary and observe just how much sugar find there way into your daily diet. Here’s a tip for when looking at products and packaging — sugars tend to be any ingredient ending in “ose” — sucrose, fructose, dextrose, lactose etc. Try it — it will shock you!

Drastically reducing sugar (initially this is not an easy task) not only lightens the load on your child’s immune system it also allows your children to get off the ‘blood-sugar rollercoaster’.

Here’s another tip — cutting back sugar … life just gets better. Sugar highs and lows, make us all irritable and grumpy.

Audit Cont.

Q: How many processed foods are in your pantry, fridge and child’s lunch box?
-Literally count the number of packaged items and take an audit. If a food item has more then 5 or 6 ingredients you can bet it’s refined, altered and damaged. If you can’t pronounce the names of the ingredients in the food item, mostly likely it’s full of chemicals. I’d encourage you to become a food critic and learn what all those numbers and complex sounding ingredients really mean. Please see “Become a Food Critic” and the “Poor Choice, Better Choice and Fabulous Choice” Table in “Empower Their Choices” in Lunchbox Solutions.

Q: How many pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables are you all currently consuming each day?

-Daily consistency is key here.

Q: How many glasses of water do you drink?

Q: What sort of water do you drink?
-And I don’t mean the wet kind. One of the simplest and most important things you can do is invest in a water filter to protect your family against chemically-treated water. Most of our drinking water today contains chlorine and chlorination by-products, as well as numerous other contaminants. Drinking good quality water via a high quality filter system — promotes detoxification, enhances nutritional uptake and ensures optimal hydration.

Help your children develop the habit of drinking water throughout the day rather than juices and soft drinks. A mere two per cent drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen. Many children are frequently dehydrated, suffering with concentration issues, constipation and digestive problems.

Q: How many prescriptions has your child had in the last twelve months and over their lifetime?
-With regular chiropractic care and addressing these other tips for raising healthy children, many parents delight in no longer relying on antibiotics and instead being able to rely on their child’s own immune strength.

Q: How many sessions of sweaty exercise would each family member perform each week?
-Ideally each of us should be raising our heart rate 5 times a week.

Q: How many harmful chemicals are in your personal care and cleaning products?
-Source brands that are genuinely wholesome — free of nasty chemicals and toxins which are readily absorbed through the skin and tax our body and its defence system.

It can be a “reality slap” to take an audit and look at where you currently sit along the “healthy” and “not so healthy” scale. Where you sit on the “fresh” and “disastrously preserved” scale. Remember though that every moment we make choices and have the opportunity and capacity to influence both our child’s — short and long-term health.

 

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Meal Prep 101

Life happens. And one of the best ways to make it through successfully is to make sure you’re prepared.

Meal prepping saves you time, energy and serves as your friend on the days when you get home late and every fibre of your being is against you making food. In turn, you end up spending less on eating out and having more energy by eating home-cooked, delicious meals.

Whether you’re keto, paleo, low-carb, or standard NZ diet, this simple guide will serve you well to have a fridge full of healthy meals for the week.

 

Prep steps:

 

  1. PLAN: Meal prepping starts on the weekend. Look at the week ahead of you and figure out the busy days for which you’ll need meal-prepped meals. Even if you don’t want to meal prep for the entire week, make sure that you schedule some time the day before to prepare a meal.
  2. THINK: Open notes or find a pad and pen to write some healthy meal ideas. Nothing fancy, keep it simple. For example, you could have some one-pot recipes on hand that can make huge batches like chilli, grilled chicken, roast veggies, and stir fry.
  3. SHOP: From that simple menu, create an ingredient list and go out to buy your meal prep ingredients. If you don’t have the memory of an elephant, be sure to bring a note pad with you or have your list on your phone notes to tick off as you go.
  4. COOK: Schedule one or however many days out of the week to cook. This could be every Sunday that you plug your headphones in with a good podcast and go hard at your meal prep for an hour and a half. Be sure to cook all the things that take lots of time to cook like your chicken, veggies, and potatoes. Prepping in bulk is best because it saves you heaps of time. Slicing a few carrots is as fast as slicing one, so make sure to prep everything you can in that set time.
  5. STORE: Finally, store your meal-prepped food in containers and make them accessible in the fridge. Be sure to also put the appropriate items in the freezer if you know you won’t be eating it before it goes bad.

And most IMPORTANTLY, don’t forget to make meal prepping fun and a regularly weekly ritual of yours. Throw on some music, watch a show or just chat if it’s a team effort.

Apply these meal prep principles and your future self will thank you immensely.

This blog is sponsored by Priorityfitness.

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What You Need To Know About Sugar

Is sugar bad?

 

Should you avoid it? This is possibly one of the most controversial topics in diet and health, but today, we’re going to tackle it with hard-core science and unveil the facts you need to know.

First, let’s define exactly what we mean by sugar. Is it the white stuff you scoop into your coffee? Well it can be, but that’s only one type of sugar, called sucrose. Sugar is actually a group of molecules that share a similar structure, so it’s actually more appropriate if we refer to them as sugars. Sugars are a type of carbohydrate known as “simple carbohydrates”, which means they digest more quickly.

You have taste receptors on your tongue for sugars that tell you “this is delicious” because naturally, sweet foods like fruits are full of vitamins, minerals and energy. Nowadays, there are some not-so-nutritious foods that are packed with sugar. The tricky part about this is that everyone reacts to sugar differently. Genetically, some of us want it more, some of us like it in small doses and some of us like it so much that the more we eat, the more we want.

 

What does the data say about sugar’s link to weight gain?

 

Well no single thing – including sugar – causes weight gain. A study was conducted comparing the low-carb diet to the low-fat diet when the calories were kept the same and the researchers concluded that there was no advantage to either diet over the long term.

One thing that definitely contributes to weight gain is an increased caloric intake. So if you’re one of those people that loves sugar so much that it always leaves you wanting more; then it’s a good idea to restrict yourself from sugar because eating it will most likely make you eat more of it and that will increase your overall caloric intake, which can lead to weight gain. It’s all about experimenting with your body and finding what works.

 

What does the data say about sugar’s link to diabetes?

 

 The short answer for this one is that managing sugar intake is just one piece of the diabetes-prevention puzzle. The biggest change you can make to prevent or reverse diabetes is to limit your fat intake that comes from all the animal products you eat such as red meat, pork, cheese, dairy milk and eggs. Research has shown that these types of fats are actually the biggest culprit driving diabetes. For more info watch the documentary ‘What The Health’ on Netflix.

This doesn’t give you permission to have fizzy drinks with your meals (bad idea). What it does is give you more insight on what you SHOULD focus on when looking to prevent diabetes, which is weight and body fat management. This is backed up by a LOT of research.

 

So… How much should I eat?

 

The point of this article is not to remove your guilt of eating sugar.  It’s not a health food and it doesn’t even add a whole lot of nutrient value like protein or omega-3 fatty acid does. But you can’t blame one thing for all your health problems. Being aware of your sugar intake is probably a good idea. As a guideline, limit sugar to 10% of your intake. But ensuring that you’re eating real whole foods for proper nutrients and finding a way to move and exercise more often has far greater benefits. Focus on the big rocks before the pebbles, and you’ll find navigating health a whole lot easier.

 

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How Smartphone Time Is Harming Your Children

At Revolution Chiropractic we take a structural correction approach to your spine and one of the big indicators of spinal dysfunction is forward head carriage. The head is basically a bowling ball balanced on the top of your spine and every inch it moves forward causes an exponential increase in how hard the muscle must work to continue to hold it up. The issues go much deeper than neck discomfort, this poor postural position increases the tension on your spinal cord, puts you at greater risk of a strain injury to your neck, speeds up the degenerative process of the spine and can cause nerve root impingement, which let me assure you is not fun at all.

What is really concerning is the number of children we are seeing with this postural issue. Chiropractors are seeing more and more children as patients with issues linked to forward head posture and a HUGE contributing factor is the amount of time they are spending on handheld screen devices. I have personally seen many children with their necks bent to 90 degrees as they stare at a tablet or phone on their lap.

According to the NZ Ministry of Health children age 5-17 should spend less than 2 hours per day sitting and using screens, and this time should not be continuous but rather broken up throughout the day.

 

Cont.

 

On top of smart devices creating postural problems, they are also reducing the amount of physical activity that kids are getting. Which reduces the creativity of tactile play. For the health of your children, we strongly recommend you reduce the amount of time they spend on devices, perhaps reward them with some screen time after some physical activity. It is much easier to raise strong children than it is to fix broken adults! Remember that kids imitate those around them, especially their parents, and let’s face it, we could all benefit from spending less time on our mobile devices.

When you are using your phone or tablet make sure you keep it at eye level for healthy posture. Your arms getting tired from holding them up is a great reminder to take a break!

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5 pieces of Fruit and/or vegetables a day!

Introduction

We always hear that we should be consuming at least 5 fruits or vegetables a day. Have you guys ever stopped and wondered why? They are vital in keeping a balanced diet. Studies have shown that consuming 400g of either fruits or vegetables can have significant benefits for one’s health.

 

Here are 5 top reasons why you should be eating at least 5 pieces a day.

1) Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges and strawberries all contain high fiber.

Fiber is important in maintaining a healthy gut. Healthy guts can prevent constipation and many digestive problems. Consuming a high fiber diet can also reduce the chances of bowel cancer. AWESOME!

 

2) Fruits and vegetables can help you maintain a healthy weight.

They can help fill up your stomach quick. But, because they are low in fat and calories it can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy

 

3) Eating a lot of vegetables and fruits has shown a decrease in blood pressure.

They contain many important vitamins and minerals. One important mineral that directly affects blood pressure is potassium. Potassium has shown to negate the effects of salt which has a direct correlation to high blood pressure.

 

4) Fruits and vegetables all contain high amounts of zinc, lutein, vitamins C and E.

These all help to ward off degenerative problems in the eye. Foods such as kale, spinach and oranges can help prevent eye disorders that arise from degenerative processes.

 

5) For pregnant women 5 a day is just as important.

Folate, which is a mineral found in many fruits and vegetables such as; broccoli, beetroot, citrus fruits and bananas have shown to decrease birth defects in newborns

 

Conclusion

There are so many other benefits that come from consuming a lot of vegetables and fruits. Different fruits and vegetables contain different sources of vitamins and minerals. To get the most out of 5 a day, you should try to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables.

 

Fruit and vegetables

 

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The Effects of Fizzy Drinks on Children

Introduction

Carbonated drinks also known as fizzy drinks are consumed by a large majority of the population in New Zealand. In 2006 New Zealand was placed 6th as the highest consumer of sugar globally. The American Heart Association has recommended that children should be consuming no more than 3 teaspoons per day. However, Kiwi children are consuming 26 – 33 teaspoons of sugar per day. A large portion of this is from drinking fizzy drinks. How is this sugar-loaded beverage affecting our community and our children? We will look into the dire effects it has on our children and other alternative drinks that are healthier for the community.

 

1) Obesity

For starters, kiwi children are battling against obesity. With 1 in 8 children being obese and a further 21% of children being overweight, New Zealand is the third most obese nation in the world. Over the years the kiwi diet has seen an increase in energy-dense, a poor nutrient diet with little change in physical activity. Fizzy drinks are high in sugar and are used for quick energy when consumed. However, when sugar isn’t used up they get stored in our body as fat. Another research has shown that carbonated drinks increased the production of ghrelin. Ghrelin, also known as the “hunger hormone” is a hormone that increases the urge to eat. Due to the increase in this hormone people are more likely to eat therefore, we can see an increase in weight.

Children obesity

 

2) Caffeine

Sugar in these beverages isn’t the only problem we need to look at. Sodas have a lot of chemicals that affect the physiology of a child dramatically. One common toxin in these beverages is Caffeine. For adults, the effects of caffeine can be very mild in moderate consumption. However, it is not the same for children. Some research has shown children who drink caffeine regularly had decreased attention spans. Caffeine can also affect children’s sleep drastically affecting their studies.

Adverse effects of caffeine on children

 

3) Bone density

Another reason why children should stay away from carbonated drinks is that it can weaken their bones. Phosphoric acid is a chemical used to enhance the flavor of carbonated drinks. But due to the properties of this chemical, the minerals instead of reaching your bones leave out your body. Ultimately we will have low calcium levels in our bones or weakened bones. The research shows a correlation between having weak bones as a child and bone-related problems as an adult.

Fizzy drinks can weaken bones of children

 

Conclusion

Adults have the biggest influence on children when it comes to diet and the food children consume. Adults must be aware of the consequences it has on children in the long run. Fizzy drinks may be more delicious for kids due to all the sugar. But adults must educate children about the importance of health if we want to get healthier as a nation.

Parents as role models for their kids

 

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