Many of us have experienced leg cramping in our lives. Often referred to as a “Charley Horse”, leg cramps generally occur at night while sleeping, but can occur more often or at different times of the day. The pain is excruciating as the muscle seems to pulsate with burning and stabbing. The pain can last for seconds, but sometimes longer. No position seems to improve the pain and often times all one can do is wait it out and breathe through the pain.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a concerning topic that affects many of us inadvertently or directly. A TBI can occur in any number of ways: sports, motor vehicle collisions, even falls. Only ten percent of the time does someone actually lose consciousness, the other 90% of the time the person who suffered the TBI, stayed awake2.

As far as sports go, football is usually the first that comes to mind, but hockey, soccer and baseball also have their share of TBIs in the form of concussions.

Those in a Motor Vehicle Collision usually sustain a TBI due to the acceleration and deceleration forces being put on the neck and head2.

Mercury:

There are many different heavy metals that we are constantly being exposed to. A few of the more dangerous heavy metals include arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, chromium and of course mercury. For today’s article, we are going to investigate mercury more indepthly. Mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive element known and unfortunately many are exposed to it through things as simple as drinking water and eating marine animals ie fish. Mercury is released into the environment by the activities of various industries such as pharmaceuticals, paper and pulp preservatives, agriculture industry, and chlorine and caustic soda production industries (Morais et al., 2012)1. Mercury is extensively used in thermometers, barometers, pyrometers, hydrometers, mercury arc lamps, fluorescent lamps and as a catalyst. It is also being used in pulp and paper industries, as a component of batteries and in dental preparations such as amalgams1. Mercury poisoning can come in many different side effects and because of this diagnosing mercury poisoning is actually quite challenging. Side effects of mercury exposure can vary anywhere from shyness, tremors, memory problems, irritability, and changes in vision or hearing1. Exposure to metallic mercury vapors at higher levels for shorter periods of time can lead to lung damage, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, skin rashes, increased heart rate or blood pressure1. Symptoms of organic mercury poisoning include depression, memory problems, tremors, fatigue, headache, hair loss, etc1. Many of these can be associated with other types of diseases or issues and saying that they are strictly from mercury poisoning is challenging to say the least. One question as to why there are so many types of side effects is because mercury directly relates to the nervous system. The nervous system is very sensitive to all types of mercury1. Exposure to elevated levels of metallic, organic and inorganic mercury can damage the brain, kidneys and the developing fetus (Alina et al., 2012). Mercury is present in most foods and beverages in the range <1 to 50 μg/kg1. The body tries to do its very best of getting rid of these heavy metals and mercury in particular can be excreted from the body via sweat, urine, feces, saliva and bile1. Therefore staying hydrated with clean water, sweating through exercise and or use of a sauna and having normal bowel and bladder functioning can help combat these deadly metals from accumulating in the body.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4427717/ Opens in new window

Scientists have been wondering this for quite a while. Why does a tiny bird who beats their beak and in turn their head repeatedly against hardwood not get whiplash or a severe brain injury and die from multiple concussions inflicted from its crazy pecking lifestyle?

According to scientists there are a multitude of reasons woodpeckers’ brains are protected but before we go into that let’s review what happens in to the brain a whiplash injury.

Entertaining a large group of people can be challenging there are many with special dietary needs, no sugar, low carb, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, food dye sensitive. Therefore here are alternatives to traditional pie recipes to keep everyone’s happy and still have a delicious dish to share. We’ll start with Apple. Granny Smith, the green apple, Golden Delicious, the yellow one, Gala a multi colored reddish yellow apple and even Fuji work well. This list goes from tartness to more sugary therefore depending on preference one can choose which they would prefer2.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using an Apple Peeler and Corer is easiest as it not only cores the apple but peels it as well. It makes the apple slices thin and decorative, they lay flat and more apples may be needed (6-8).

Another easy way to prep apples, is to leave the skin on and quarter them, but make sure they are clean. Washing fruit is important as it can help remove any residuals or pesticides that may still be on the apple skin, but a good cleaning agent may also be needed. Many options are available online or in a grocer. An article recently published offered baking soda as a possible alternative as well1. Make sure the cleaning agent is organic and clean water is used when washing your food.

Once the apples are cleaned and dried (be careful when cutting) slice the apples into halves, quarters, eighths and if large enough sixteenths. These larger chunks versus the flat curled apple slices offer a fun alternative to shapes and are easy to spear with a fork. Approximately 3-4 apples work as more space is being taken up and the apples don’t lay flat as when peeled and cored.

Next take 3 tbsp of cinnamon, 2 tsp of nutmeg and mix together. If one is not avoiding sugar then 3 tbsp of organic sugar, coconut is quite tasty can be mixed together here as well. There are also health benefits to cinnamon6&7. After these are coarsely mixed set aside.

Place the cut or peeled and cored apples in a large bowl and drizzle them with two tbsps of coconut oil or melted butter. Coconut oil gives more of a sweeter taste and if sugar isn't being used in the recipe this can be a nice alternative. Coconut oil is also a nice butter alternative if one is vegan or dairy sensitive and has some possible health benefits as well3. If using butter make sure it is organic and grass fed as this means the cows the butter comes from were given real food4&5.

Once the apples are fully coated add the spices next. The best way to do this is to slowly add in about a tablespoon of the spice mixture and then mix this in to the apples by hand preferably with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle in another tablespoon and mix continue this until all has been mixed in.

Using a pie tin- ceramic is preferable or pan pour the apple mixture into it. These are ready to be placed into the oven. If there is more apple mixture that doesn’t fit it can be cooked at a later date and placed in the fridge covered with a bit of lemon juice spritzed on it so the apples don’t oxidize and begin turning brown.

Place the apple pie into the oven and cook for twenty minutes. There should be mild bubbling, but nothing overflowing. Remove carefully from oven and let cool before serving up.

References:

  1. https://www.consumerreports.org/pesticides-herbicides/easy-way-to-remove-pesticides/ Opens in new window
  2. http://www.hessbros.com/All-About-Apples/Apple-Reference-Chart Opens in new window
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil#section10 Opens in new window
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/grass-fed-butter-superfood-for-the-heart Opens in new window
  5. https://draxe.com/grass-fed-butter-nutrition/ Opens in new window
  6. https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-cinnamon Opens in new window
  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-cinnamon Opens in new window