The Health Benefits of Turmeric

If you haven't heard of turmeric, you could be missing out on its vast health benefits. This spice comes from a perennial plant of the ginger family that is native to southern Asia and is commonly used in Asian foods and cooking. Turmeric is the main spice in curry, giving the spice its bright yellowish-orange color! It has a unique warm and mild bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustard, butters, and cheeses.


The root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine. It contains a yellow-colored chemical called curcumin, which is often used to color foods and cosmetics. The active compound, curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory effects. This can be used as a supplement to potentially help alleviate pain, arthritis, and inflammation in the body. However, it's probably best to consume turmeric orally as a spice as part of a healthy and nutritious diet. It is also advised that piperine, a compound in black pepper, is taken with turmeric to increase its absorption.

How Probiotics May Be Beneficial for Your Health

Have you heard of probiotics but aren't really sure what they are or how to use them? Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in our gut. They are good for our health and digestive system. They are naturally found in our body and can also be found in certain foods and supplements. They can help you digest and absorb nutrients from food. Additionally, they can help boost the immune system to fight off infections due to the fact that 60-80% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract.


Probiotics can be found in certain foods such as fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and yogurt. You can also find them in pill or powder form as a supplement. Generally, when taking a probiotic as a supplement, follow the instructions on the bottle as the dosage may vary by the specific brand. However, taking them daily can have profound effects on your digestive system.


Certain things can deplete our body of sufficient probiotics. Today's foods can contain antibiotics that kill off the good bacteria. Taking antibiotics as medication when sick can also harm our probiotic supply in our gut. GMO foods, sugar, and grains are also common culprits that can kill off probiotics in our system.


There are many types of bacteria that are classified as probiotics but there are two common strains you should look for; lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.


By taking a probiotic supplement and eating foods that are high in probiotics, you could possibly see the following benefits:

  • better oral health, because probiotics destroy candida
  • stronger immune system, preventing allergies and colds
  • improved digestion
  • relief from diarrhea and constipation
  • increased energy from production of vitamin B12
  • healthier skin, because probiotics can help eczema and psoriasis
  • relief from leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease


Kiefer, David MD. (2015 Dec 14) WebMD. What are Probiotics?

Axe, Josh. Dr. Axe Food is Medicine. Probiotics Benefits, Foods and Supplements.

How Emotional Stress Can Affect Your Health

In today's busy world, we all encounter different types of emotional stress each day to a differing degree. We all have worries and stress related to relationships, friendships, family, work, finances, dealing with illness either ourselves or a loved one. The list could go on and on. This type of stress, can add up and accumulate over time. When our bodies are in a heightened emotionally stressed state, it leads to chronic inflammation in the body which has dire consequences to our health and well-being.


This type of stress response that we deal with day in and day out, activates a part of our body called the Sympathetic Nervous System. This system is also known as the “fight or flight” response. An example of when this type of response is beneficial would be if you encountered a bear in the wild while out hiking! What happens to your body in this specific instance? Your heart rate and breathing increases dramatically, there is constriction of blood vessels in many parts of the body, but also a dilation of blood vessels that are for muscles. You may get dry mouth and your pupils will dilate. You may notice a temporary loss of hearing and experience tunnel vision, and start to tremble or shake. Now this is an extreme example, but when we are in a state of chronic stress, all of these things simply happen to a milder degree. This still affects the proper functioning of our body.


When we experience this low-grade, chronic type of stress our body secretes the stress hormone cortisol from our adrenal glands. Our body gets tense and muscle tone increases. This hyper-arousal state leads to a weakening of other bodily systems, most notably the Immune System. The dysfunction of the Immune System over time can lead to increased susceptibility to illness and disease. This is meant to be a temporary response to help with survival, but when it becomes chronic, it can wreak havoc on your gut and digestive health as well.


So how does stress actually impact your gut? It can cause detrimental events in your gut, including: decreased nutrient absorption, decreased oxygenation to your gut, and as much as four times less blood flow to your digestive system, which leads to decreased metabolism. It also decreases enzymatic output in your stomach, making it harder for your body to process and breakdown food into nutrients.


It is imperative that we try to minimize our daily stress. We must figure out ways to help cope with emotional stress. Getting active and doing things that you truly enjoy can help calm down your nervous system. Eating a nutritious and balanced diet is of utmost importance. Furthermore, supplementing with probiotics and foods that are rich in these healthy bacteria such as fermented foods, yogurt, and kombucha can help diminish the effects that stress has on the gut and digestive system.

Tribune Profle: Dustin Sonday

Dustin Sonday knew from a very young age that he would one day become a chiropractor. After suffering a neck injury while playing hockey in middle school, he visited a chiropractor to deal with the pain. That particular doctor not only helped him with his injury, but also provided some great lifestyle advice regarding health, nutrition, stretching, and strength training. He said that experience really piqued his interest in this field, and several years later he would fulfill his dream of becoming a chiropractor as well.

He has been working with Dr. Paula Lee at Waunakee Chiropractic since September of this year and is really enjoying it. He said that the clinic has been in the Waunakee area for 70 years at various locations, but is now situated on Quinn Drive.


Sonday is a strong advocate of not only chiropractic care, but also of living a healthy lifestyle.

"Chiropractic has a lot of health benefits in addition to just pain relief," he said, adding that it can also provide better immunity and sleeping, as well as more energy.


He also provides preventative care, noting that your spine and posture are the "windows of your health," and he recently completed a nutrition certificate through the state of Wisconsin, which allows him to offer nutritional advice and provide dietary supplements to those patients who may be interested. The oldest of four children, Sonday grew up in Sun Prairie, where he played football and ice hockey for the high school, and graduated in 2003. He met his future wife, Laura, when she transferred to Sun Prairie during their senior year of high school.


After graduation he attended UW-Milwaukee, where he majored in biological sciences and was involved with the Student Association of Pre-Professionals, a group that met monthly to discuss the healthcare field in general. And at the recommendation of a professor during his freshman year, he became a peer mentor, helping those in a classroom-type setting with a wide array of issues, whether it was with their homework or with time and money management.


Laura attended UW-Madison her first year, but then transferred to UW-Milwaukee, and the two of them graduated in 2008, with Laura pursuing a degree in elementary education. They married shortly thereafter at a destination wedding in Riviera Maya, Mexico, and then in the fall of 2008, moved to Davenport, Iowa, so that Sonday could begin his studies at the Palmer College of Chiropractic.


He said he had looked at other schools, but this was his first choice. He added that it was the first chiropractic school founded, and "Palmer" is the last name of the father and son who actually discovered and developed chiropractic.


It was a rigorous program involving 10 trimesters that go year round, and he did quite well, graduating magna cum laude. He was also one of a select few nominated for the "Clinical Excellence Award," and although he did not win it, he was honored that the staff doctor he was working under nominated him.


While at Palmer, he and some other students traveled to Brazil for three weeks, and under the direction of doctors, provided free chiropractic care and humanitarian work to those in need. It was an eye-opening experience though, as he witnessed some tough spinal conditions due to their lack of access to health care. The patients treated were so appreciative that they often brought the doctors and students gifts, and on their last day there, those same patients clapped and cheered for the students when they walked into the clinic, he said.


After passing the necessary exam through the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, as well as a licensing exam to practice in the state of Wisconsin, he was ready to begin his career. He got his start with the Chiropractic Company, which had several clinics within the Milwaukee area. He started out at one clinic, working under the doctor there, but when the company purchased another clinic in the Third Ward, Sonday became the clinic director.


"It was invaluable experience," he said, adding that not only was he providing care for patients but was also learning the ropes as it relates to insurance and billing. Sonday and Laura have a little girl, Charlotte, who is now 17 months old. While living in Milwaukee, they started to think about moving back to the Madison area to be closer to family. Looking for positions closer to home, he found the opportunity at the Waunakee Chiropractic and is very happy there.


Laura mainly stays home to take care of Charlotte, but is working as a barista at Starbucks a few evenings per week. Sonday said that she one day plans to get back into teaching when their daughter gets a little older.


He enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities including snowboarding, volleyball, running, hiking, and biking, and he still plays ice hockey in an adult league. And he added that Laura is also very active, and that the two of them, along with Charlotte sometimes, enjoy going to Badger sporting events together.


They live in Sun Prairie, but are looking forward to moving to Waunakee one day for a variety of reasons, including his practice, the schools, and the fact that it is a little smaller community. He likes the tight-knit feel of Waunakee, and believes it would be a great place to raise a family and continue to grow his practice.


[The Waunakee Tribune]


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