Site Search


Other Sites for More Information




4 Foods to Boost Your Metabolism

If your metabolism is slowing down, don’t fret: your diet and lifestyle can have a big impact on keeping your weight at an ideal level. See what Dr. Weil suggests for boosting your metabolism.

As we age, our metabolism slows down, which can lead to weight gain. But small dietary adjustments can help minimize unwanted pounds in our middle years. Try these suggestions:


  1. Choose healthy carbohydrates. Replace refined, high-glycemic index carbs with unrefined, low-glycemic choices such as sprouted grain breads or beans and lentils. The latter do not cause the spikes in blood glucose levels that encourage the storage of fat.
  2. Use spices. Capsaicin (the compound that gives chili peppers their bite), black pepper and ginger all boost the generation of heat in the body, leading to more calories burned.
  3. Drink green tea. The main antioxidant polyphenol in green tea, known as epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, stimulates the body to help burn calories. Dr. Weil recommends drinking a few cups of quality green tea every day.
  4. Get hungry. Many people believe that eating five or six small meals daily boosts metabolism, but recent research indicates that's probably false. To increase fat metabolism, allow yourself to be slightly hungry now and then. The best way may be to eat two or three modest meals daily, with no snacks. Eat until you are satisfied and no longer hungry, not necessarily until you clean your plate.


In addition, get regular physical exercise, with some sessions being as intense as your body allows, like interval sprinting in the yard or on a bike – is another way to keep your metabolism functioning properly.


Foods for Healthy Blood Sugar Levels, Part 2

Last blog post covered five foods for healthy blood sugar levels, including okra and onions. Today we look at five more - add these foods to your diet, as they may help lower blood sugar levels.


  1. Maitake mushrooms. One of Dr. Weil's favorites, maitake not only contain compounds that enhance immune function, but appear to lower blood sugar levels as well. Cook some up and serve as a side dish!
  2. Underground vegetables. Also known as tubers, veggies such as leeks, potatoes and yams have been shown in studies to lower or return to normal high blood sugar levels.  
  3. Brewer's yeast. Rich in essential amino acids and B vitamins, brewer's yeast may also lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, and may improve glucose tolerance, increase insulin sensitivity, and lower cholesterol as well. Shake some on your next batch of popped corn!
  4. Prickly pear. The green pads of this plant are called nopal, a staple of Mexican cuisine that is very low on the glycemic index and may have blood-sugar-lowering effects. Look for it at specialty or ethnic grocers.
  5. Bitter melon. When cooked and added to other dishes, bitter melon will impart a unique flavor that may help glucose tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes, and help keep blood sugar levels in the normal range.



Want Healthy Blood Sugar Levels? Eat These

A healthy diet is the most effective route to stable blood sugar levels. Use today and tomorrow’s Daily Tips for information on the right foods to keeping blood sugar and insulin under control!

To keep blood sugar levels stable, regular exercise is helpful - but a healthy diet is a must. Add these foods to your diet, as they may help lower blood sugar levels.

  1. Green, leafy vegetables. Broccoli, spinach, and kale are good sources of fiber - which helps regulate blood sugar levels - and are high in vitamins A, C, and K. Plus, some studies have shown that eating vegetables can help prevent diabetes, so aim for four to five servings per day.
  2. Beans and legumes. Beans of almost any variety, as well as lentils, are rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium and soluble fiber - and are low-glycemic-load foods. Make sure you get one to two servings per day.
  3. Cabbage. A very low-glycemic index food (near zero!), cabbage is high in fiber, low in calories, inexpensive and versatile. It's especially useful for stabilizing blood-sugar levels because it converts to sugar very slowly in the body. Try eating more slaw, sauerkraut or kimchi.
  4. Okra. This southern staple is high in soluble fiber - which slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and can help stabilize blood sugar - and is also a low glycemic-index food. Try adding it to your next pot of soup.
  5. Onions. This kitchen staple is more than a tasty addition to many dishes - onions offer blood-sugar lowering effects.

Don't miss tomorrow's tip when we cover five more foods that are beneficial to healthy blood sugar levels!


Want to Add Years to Your Life?

A long, healthful life is a goal for many. And one thing can have a big impact on whether that goal is achieved  – find out what it is!

Want to add years to your life? Make regular, moderate exercise part of your healthy lifestyle routine. Physical activity is good for the body, mind and spirit; helps maintain and improve the health of your heart; reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer's; promotes energy, quality rest and a healthy weight; helps manage unhealthy stress; and may alleviate mild to moderate depression.

So why isn't everyone exercising?

People can always find excuses not to exercise, but really - there is no good reason. To reap all these benefits, all most people need is 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity at least four days a week, including at least two days of strength training, and a stretching routine.

It's simple to begin: rent fitness DVDs, download a workout app as a guide, join a gym, make an appointment with a personal trainer or simply get some friends together for daily walks.


White Rice or Brown Rice: The Healthier Choice

Want to get more fiber and nutrients out of your rice choice? Find out which one you should pick next time you grocery shop!

Wheat remains one of the primary staple grains in the United States, and the glycemic load of processed wheat is a likely contributor to America's obesity epidemic. Rice-based diets have been used historically to address a number of medical conditions, and have gained some popularity as a means to help lose weight.

The health benefits of unpolished, brown rice outweigh those of white rice, as its whole grain provides more fiber, iron, B vitamins and other nutrients. (There are 1.5 grams of fiber per half cup of brown rice - almost three times the fiber in the same amount of white rice.) So next time you are making a rice dish, opt for brown - your body will thank you!


Worried You Have GERD?

Frequent heartburn may mean you have GERD. Learn more about GERD, what causes it, and natural treatments that can bring relief.

If you suffer from frequent heartburn - twice a week or more - you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. This condition occurs in people whose lower esophageal sphincter doesn't close properly, allowing stomach acid to backflow into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest and neck areas. It can also cause nausea, coughing, belching, the feeling of a ball in the throat, a bitter taste and respiratory problems, including aggravation of asthma. Diet, stress, smoking and pregnancy can all trigger or worsen symptoms.

If you think you have GERD, see a doctor to rule out other concerns, such as angina, which has similar symptoms. Discuss any medications you are taking: some can trigger reflux. If you are started on an acid-suppressing medication, try to view this as temporary relief while you work on the root concerns, as the long-term side effects are concerning. If you want to naturally treat GERD try the following: 

  1. Keep a food and beverage journal. It can help you identify, track and later avoid triggers.
  2. Eat small, frequent meals.
  3. Wear loose clothing and maintain a healthy weight. Both can prevent stomach constriction and help reduce GERD.
  4. Avoid lying down after eating.
  5. Try a 3-week elimination of common food sensitivities like gluten and dairy.
  6. Practice relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises.
  7. Sip chamomile tea or chew DGL licorice tablets. Both can help soothe inflamed tissue in the esophagus.
  8. Try sleeping on your left side. This may help move acid away from the entrance of the esophagus. Raising the head of the bed by a few inches can also help.



Getting Better Rest, Part 2

Our last tip covered four ways to promote better rest and sleep, which are vital for overall, optimal health. Get five more simple suggestions here!

Rest is as important as physical activity for general health. Identify periods during the day when you can be without stimulation, doing nothing, and make time for them. Consider the following when planning rest into your schedule:

  1. To minimize early waking, try to postpone the evening meal until after dusk.
  2. If your mind is too active when you get into bed, you will not be able to fall asleep - no matter how tired you are. Learn and practice one or more relaxation techniques that can help you disengage from thoughts.
  3. Consider natural sleep aids. Valerian and melatonin are both effective remedies for occasional insomnia.
  4. Determine how much sleep is optimal for you. People vary in their need for sleep, from as few as four hours a night to as many as 10. Most require seven to eight hours, but ideal amounts can change over time, and may vary from day to day. You can adjust your bedtime and see how you feel after sleeping for various amounts of time, or simply note how much you slept on days when you feel rested and productive.
  5. If you do wake early, try to use the time productively. Read or write for an hour, then try to go back to sleep until morning. Think of the yin-yang symbol, which symbolizes harmony with a small dot of white on a black background and vice versa. Seen from this perspective, a period of nighttime wakefulness complements your daytime nap.



Want Better Rest? Try These Tips

Rest is as important as physical activity for general health. Identify periods during the day when you can be without stimulation, doing nothing, and make time for them. Consider the following when planning rest into your schedule:

  1. Try to get into the habit of napping 10 to 20 minutes in the afternoon, preferably lying down in a darkened room.
  2. Spend some time outdoors as often as you can to get exposure to bright, natural light. If you are concerned about harmful effects of solar radiation, do it before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m. or use sunscreen.
  3. Try to give yourself about an hour in dim light before you go to sleep at night. Lower the lighting in your house and bedroom. This includes exposure to computer, phone and tablet screens. If other members of the household object, wear sunglasses.

  4.  Pay attention to sleep hygiene. All the details of lifestyle, including intake of caffeine, quality and comfort of your mattress, and bedroom design affect the quality of sleep. When you are ready to go to sleep, try to keep your bedroom completely dark.

Don't miss our next post for five more suggestions for better rest!