Here are 3 more of our trend predictions!
Plant-based Paleo Diet
Dr. Mark Hyman, MD, a well-known author who we credit for popularizing Functional Medicine and bringing it into the consciousness of the mainstream, recommends a plant-based paleo diet for optimal health. Recently, he blogged about what he calls the “pegan” diet (a vegan paleo diet). We’d be surprised if that name catches on, but more people are beginning to realize that a paleo diet does not have to be high in meat. Dr. Hyman eschews all meat, fish, dairy, and eggs because he is a vegan. But for individuals who are not vegan, but only consume animal products that were obtained in a humane way — such as grass-fed beef, pasture-raised eggs, and wild caught salmon — these nutrient-dense foods can be a part of a healthy diet. When the paleo (grain-free, real food) diet first became popular several years ago, many believed it was a meat-based diet. In 2015, we’ll begin to see a growing number of individuals on a paleo diet who eat real foods diet consisting of mostly plants, healthy fats, and only 4 – 6 oz. of meat per day.
2. Tracking heart rate variability
Several weeks ago, we blogged about one mechanism in which acupuncture has been shown to work. Acupuncture in Del Mar, CA increases heart rate variability, the difference in the length of time between heartbeats. It is well-recognized among scientists, meditation experts, and elite athletes that a healthy heart should not beat in a steady rhythm like a ticking clock. When the mind or the body is overly stressed by racing thoughts, overtraining, illness, lack of rest, poor diet, or other factors, the variability in the length of time between heartbeats decreases. Meditation, good health, adequate rest, good nutrition, and the optimal amount of exercise each day results in an increases in heart rate variability. By tracking your heart rate variability either on a daily basis or continually all day, you can become aware of whether your health regimen is hurting or hindering you. If you’re training for a triathlon, for example, if your heart rate variability decreases for two days in a row, this is a sign that you need to take a day off from training. Heart rate variability trackers vary in price from $35 up to $200, which is easily affordable to most people.
3. Chinese herbs
Chinese herbs have been safely used for centuries, as described in ancient Chinese Medicine textbooks. In Japan, Taiwan, and China, hospitals have herbal dispenseries where patients can get raw or powdered Chinese herbs that are combined in a highly sophisticated way referred to as polypharmacy. Herbs are combined in a way that personalizes the prescription to the individual patient and reduces the chances of any side effects occurring. What we do at Acuheart is make sure that any of our acupuncture patients in La Jolla, CA and surrounding areas inform us of any medications that they are taking. Some herbs can interact with prescription drugs. If you are taking blood thinners, any Chinese herbs that professional herbalists recognize as “blood movers” are contraindicated and therefore not prescribed for you. Many other medications such as Synthroid are usually not a problem, though we generally recommend leaving a 3-hour window of time between when you take your prescription drugs and when you take your Chinese herbs. You should follow this same rule for eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice. A component of grapefruit slows down the ability of your liver to metabolize caffeine, alcohol, herbs, and medications; therefore it can cause a toxicity reaction.