We need Cholesterol

Recently, American Heart Association has lowered the landmark of cholesterol level. People who are in good range of serum cholesterol level will be labeled having high cholesterol overnight. What is the truth behind cholesterol? According to English (1997), Cholesterol is not a primary risk factor for Cardiovascular disease. Instead, Cholesterol is an essential substance. Our brains and nerves are made of cholesterol. Our bodies use cholesterol to make our important sex hormones. Without cholesterol, we could not absorb fat-soluble vitamin like Vitamin A and E. Every single cells of our bodies are surrounded by a membrane containing cholesterol. Our liver produces 2000 mg of cholesterol every day. When following a low cholesterol diet, our liver makes up the difference by producing more cholesterol. High blood cholesterol doesn’t come from eating foods high in cholesterol; it comes from a metabolism that is not efficient at handling the cholesterol we need. So, what is primary cause of heart attack or stroke? It is triglycerides. Eating sugar increases level of triglycerides. Besides, consumption of excess dietary polyunsaturated fats such as soybean oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil have been shown to contribute heart disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, weight gain. These oils will raise bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol (HDL). Heart attack is also caused by consistent level of stress hormone that have damaged the inner lining of the arteries. Plague starts to build up along damaged arterial walls lead to complete blockage.

English KM, Steeds R, TH Jones, Channer KS. Testosterone and coronary heart disease: is there a link? QJM 1997;90:787-791


We need Cholesterol, Wai Acupuncture & Integrative Chinese Medicine in Longwood, Florida

Very Berries

We should increase the daily intake of fruits and vegetables of diverse colors. These colorful fruits and vegetables are rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols were discovered in 1938 by Hungarian scientists. They used “vitamin P” to describe them. In vitro and in vivo studies, polyphenols have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, chemo preventive and neuroprotective activities.

Polyphenols are categorized into four different groups: Flavonoids, Phenolic acids, Stilbenes and Lignans (aka FLPS) The top three fruits with large amount of Flavonoids and Phenolic acids are blue berries, black berries and cranberries. Sources of Lignans are cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. They are classified as phytoestrogens which are estrogen-like substances. They are good for menospausal women’s health and protect against cancer. However, compared to others, Stilbens are not as abundant in foods. Stilben is found to be rich in red wine. There are two types of Stilbens: Resveratrol and Pterostilbene. Resveratrol is very potent anti-oxidant and anti-aging agent. We should consume polyphenols rich diet because it provides significant protection against development and progression of many chronic pathological conditions including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular problems and aging. Plan to make a very Berry salad this weekend. Mix equal amount of trimmed strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with little amount of honey. Then, dazzle the salad with lemon juice, garnished by chopped fresh mint leaves.


Very Berries, Wai Acupuncture & Integrative Chinese Medicine in Longwood, Florida

Sweet Watermelon

In Chinese medicine, foods and herbs have their energetic properties that have healing capacities. Summertime, watermelon is more than popular treat. It is a medicinal food actually. Watermelon effectively quenches thirst and help replacing electrolytes because it has high level of Carotenoids such as vitamin A and C. In Chinese medicine, watermelon is cold in nature and it clears heat. It nourishes the bodily fluids and help to promote urination. Heat can cause constipation. Therefore, watermelon is wonderful antidote for this ailment. Watermelon also has properties of calming effect and helps to ease frustration and worry. The watermelon seeds also have medicinal properties too. Dried seeds can be boiled in water and consumed as a tea. It helps to promote urination and thought to be a vasodilator to lower blood pressure. However, for those having weak digestive system or have cold feet and hands, they should enjoy watermelon sparingly and serve them at room temperature.


Sweet Watermelon, Wai Acupuncture & Integrative Chinese Medicine in Longwood, Florida

Lime Water is the Best

As heat waves become more intense, the risk of heatstroke continues to rise. Exposure to hot sun for a long-period of time cause dehydration, excessive loss of minerals through sweating and breathing difficulties. It is the leading cause of weather-related death in United States. Instead of drinking soda or Gatorade, there is another healthy drink alternative that we can make it at home – Lime water with cucumber slices. Limes can boost the immune system. It also helps you look and feel younger because of its rich vitamin C. Vitamin C is required to produce collagen. Drinking lime water can also help to lower inflammation all throughout your body. Add some cucumber slices into lime water keeps you hydrated. Cucumber delivers antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that help prevent and delay cell damages from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to chronic condition such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease. Try to make this tasty drink today. Making lime water is a breeze. Prepare a clean half-gallon size of pitcher, put 2-3 medium sliced fresh lime in the jar with several cucumber slices, then fill it up with water. Add several mint leaves to garnish. Leave the jar in the refrigerator overnight. Enjoy this delicious drink the next day.


Lime Water is the Best, Wai Acupuncture & Integrative Chinese Medicine in Longwood, Florida

Circulating sugar cause blocked fat usage

For those people who consider shedding extra pounds must understand the biomechanism of digestion and stay away from any foods of high glycemic carbohydrates. Different carbohydrates have different effects on the body’s blood sugar level. We are not as physically active as decades ago. If we are sedentary and sit at computer all day, our energy needs are not the same as the carpenters in building house.

The most important point is that we need to provide our body with good quality carbohydrates with low glycemic carb index. Unfortunately, the carbohydrates are so refined today. We are ingesting way more sugar than our body can process. We should limit processed carbohydrates, especially starchy ones, e.g. lasagna, bread, cookies, pizza, crackers and cereals. It is because high glycemic carbohydrates are converted into immediate glucose upon ingestion. As our blood sugar levels rise, insulin is produced by the pancreas instantaneously and signals the cells to absorb blood sugar to be used for energy. However, if the sugar level is way beyond the limited capacity of liver and pancreas can handle, this sugar overflow will make our bodies becoming fat-storing machine, especially the waist area. High glycemic carbs not only cause an unnatural surge in blood sugar but they also cause prolonged surge, stimulating the pancreas to secrete large amounts of insulin. These excessive release of insulin makes us fat and blocks the use of fat to be used for energy.


Circulating sugar cause blocked fat usage, Wai Acupuncture & Integrative Chinese Medicine in Longwood, Florida

Soul organs for digestion

Our digestive system is very important along the healing journey. In Chinese medicine, digestion means “to disperse and to transform”. Stomach and spleen works hands in hands to extract nutrients from the ingested food. These nutrients are regarded as Pure substances, to be dispersed to other parts of the body for muscles build up and keep homeostasis. Those impure substances are being dumped out of the body after transformation completed. The stomach and spleen are Yin Yang pair. Stomach is yang and Spleen is yin. All physiological transformations require warm environment. Stomach is like the pot and spleen is like the fire under this pot. Ingested foods and liquids “ripen” within the stomach. Pure and impure part of the foods and liquids are separated. Spleen is responsible to send the pure part of foods up while the stomach sends down the impure parts of food to be further transformed by large intestines. If we drink cold or iced drink with our meals, we are impeding the warm transformation of digestion. Cold negates heat. Coldwater puts out fire. Stomach and spleen fail to transform foods adequately. A sludge tends to accumulate. It is like an incompletely combusting automobile engine. this sludge cause food stagnation or dampness in Chinese medicine.


Soul organs for digestion, Wai Acupuncture & Integrative Chinese Medicine in Longwood, Florida

Trans Fat is the villain

Trans fat has been causing lots of harm and is toxic to our bodies. Many processed foods, even some that are claimed to be healthy, are loaded with trans-fatty acids (TFAs). Structurally, trans-fatty acids are closer to plastic than fat. Have you ever wondered how a box of crackers has shelf life of a few years? It is because of like plastic, trans-fat is very stable and will not easily rotten. It has been discovered by changing the chemical configuration of oil, we can prevent them from going rancid. This oil can then stay longer without refrigeration. Manufacturers make trans-fat by simply heating the cooking oil under extremely high temperature (over 400 degree F) and adding hydrogen atom to it. This process changes the oil molecules into a shape that disrupt the human body chemistry. Trans-fat damages the body’s ability to properly metabolize cholesterol. High LDL is not caused by butter, cheese, eggs, red meat and margarine. The villain is TFAs. It creates High LDL. TFAs consumption has been linked to heart disease, cancer, creates weight gain, elevated cholesterol levels and lower your metabolism. TFAs also impair the body’s ability to process low-density cholesterol (LDL, bad cholesterol), and eventually causing elevated levels of LDL in the blood.


Trans Fat is the villain, Wai Acupuncture & Integrative Chinese Medicine in Longwood, Florida