Category: Featured Articles

antioxidant superfoods

15 Antioxidant superfoods (and why you should eat them)

Have you ever heard the phrase “food is medicine”?

Well, food CAN be medicine. We each need a variety of vitamins, minerals, good fats, enzymes, proteins and antioxidants from foods. These essential nutrients from foods allow our body to stay healthy and fight. They can help us fend off illness and slow the development of chronic conditions of aging. Certain foods, called Superfoods, are especially unique in that they are packed with a large amount and variety of these healthy nutrient building blocks.

Everyone can reap the benefits when they make these antioxidant superfoods a part of their regular diet. Read up on them when you can…but in the meantime, here are my top 15 superfoods with the reasons you should be eating them:



Blueberries are low in calories and high in nutrients and a great source of fiber…and who doesn’t need more fiber in their diet? They are high in vitamins K and C and antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which have been associated with improving memory and brain function as well as reducing risk cancer. Blueberries also turn down your inflammatory pathways. Studies show blueberries may reduce risk of heart disease and cancer and even improve memory!



On the whole, Americans don’t consume enough green leafy vegetables. People can benefit from eating more salads but kale is an exceptionally nutritious leafy option – so be sure to throw some in your salad. It can also be sautéed and served as a side vegetable. Kale has more antioxidants than most other fruits and veggies, has all essential amino acids and is a good source of fiber, iron and calcium.



Cabbage contains a large amount of indoles, which have been shown to reduce risk of cancer. It also stimulates the immune system. Remember the anthocyanins from the blueberries? Well, if you go for the red cabbage, you’ll also get a dose of those anthocyanins.



Cruciferous vegetables are known for their health benefits but broccoli contains more Vitamin C and folate than the others. Broccoli has several anti-cancer compounds and is a great source of fiber.



Did you know that chia seeds have more essential fatty acids than any known plant? They are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which lower inflammation. Chia seeds also contain the important minerals magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron.



Turmeric has amazing anti-inflammatory effects, can regulate blood sugar and regulate immune function. Although turmeric is full of minerals, it’s most powerful healing ingredient is curcumin.


antioxidant superfoodsGreen Tea

There is a simple reason drinking green tea is an ancient tradition that has stood the test of time. It is full of antioxidants and phytochemicals that fight cancer. Today, you’ll find green tea baked into foods, in smoothies and of course, in a traditional hot cup of tea.



Did you know that almonds have more nutrients than any other nut? They are a great source of fiber and magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron. Almonds also contain vitamin E, a known antioxidant. The combination of monounsaturated fat and fiber in almonds has been shown to reduce cholesterol.  Finally, almonds are a blood sugar stabilizer because they contain a good balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat leading to a very slow rise in blood sugar. See why almonds made the superfood list?!



This one may surprise you. Mushrooms have been used in Chinese healing for years and can help prevent cancer – particularly Reishi and Chaga varieties. Eating mushrooms regularly can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.



Everyone is crazy for avocados these days…and for excellent reasons! Avocados are full of good fats and can help reduce heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Like almonds, they are good blood sugar stabilizers. They are also known to assist in blood and tissue regeneration. And they happen to taste fantastic!


Salmon, Sardines or Anchovies

These three fish are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, which turn down inflammatory pathways and slow or prevent chronic conditions of aging such as, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune illnesses. Omega 3s are vital for proper brain function and even for mood regulation. Most Americans are low in Omega 3s and are too high in Omega 6, keeping them systemically inflamed. This is so important to reverse, that we actually test Omega 6/Omega 3 ratios using our Brainspan test.

Note: Stay away from farm raised salmon, as it has many toxins, and look for wild caught Alaskan salmon.


RELATED: How to easily know your Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels



Eggs have more protein than any other food source…and they can be incorporated into your diet in so many easy ways. They contain a variety of necessary amino acids, and the yolks contain choline, which is important for brain function and is protective of the heart.


antioxidant superfoodsPomegranates

Pomegranates and their juice have been known for their anti-aging and cancer-reducing properties. They are #1 in antioxidants of all the fruit.  And pomegranates have even more antioxidants than green tea!



First, garlic reduces cholesterol. Second, because it is strongly antiviral and antibacterial, it also boosts immune function and helps to fight off infection. Finally, garlic can help detoxify the body of heavy metals. Who knew it could do more than ward off vampires?!



If you haven’t heard of maca, you’re not alone. Maca is a Peruvian root that packs a protein punch, is full of vitamins B1, B2, C and E and contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, sodium and iron. What makes maca so different from many other superfoods is that it is an adaptogen. This means it affects the body’s hormones in ways that help build stamina and endurance, deal with the effects of stress, improve sexual health and positively affect mood. Ask your local grocer to start carrying maca!


Dark chocolate and red wine

I’ve paired these together because everyone needs a little indulgence! Whether it is chocolate, red wine or both, these have great health benefits if eaten and drank in moderation. Dark chocolate (70 percent or higher) is anti-inflammatory, which helps to reduce pain. It contains both antioxidants and magnesium and can elevate your mood.  Red wine reduces blood clots, raises HDL (the good cholesterol) and contains the antioxidant resveratrol.


Are you ready to head to the grocery store and shop for some superfoods?

This is just a sample of the antioxidant superfoods out there that will provide the building blocks to keep you healthy, slow aging, reduce inflammation and prevent disease. Include a variety of these healthy whole foods in your diet – by themselves, in smoothies or as part of a recipe. Have fun and feel better by knowing what these superfoods can do for you!

Want even more superfoods? Dr. Mercola has a great list.


Dr. Sharman


Featured Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash


pain from housework and yard work

How to Avoid Pain from Housework and Yard Work in 5 Steps

Whether we do it because we like it – or because we have to – housework and yard work can cause neck and back pain to flare up, leaving us sore or even worse, causing an injury. If you have a pre-existing issue in your neck or back, you’ve always got to be cautious about reinjuring yourself. And if you don’t have that kind of pain already, the last thing you want is to start down a path of chronic back or neck pain. Fortunately, you have more control over this than you think.


Here are five ways to prevent you from experiencing minor annoyances to major pain that can occur from doing household chores. Take them to heart and you can have a clean house, a nice yard, AND feel well!


Feet First

First and foremost, wear supportive shoes. I cannot tell you how many of my patients complain that their back pain flared up horribly over the weekend after cleaning and cooking a lot. With some probing, I often find out that they were walking barefoot around the house while doing all of those activities. I hear similar stories with yard work only to find out that the patient was wearing flip flops in the yard. Having proper arch support in the feet can take stress off the knees, hip and back. So, start your house and yard work by wearing supportive shoes – or even better – wear custom made orthotics in your shoes for optimal support. Don’t have any? We can help you get some right here in our office.


Drink Up

Stay hydrated. You’ve heard me talk about hydration for many health reasons. It applies here as well. If it is hot outside, add some electrolytes to your water. Being well hydrated and not letting your electrolytes get too low will help prevent muscle cramping and spasms. My preference for this is EmergenC, as it is quick, inexpensive and easy to find at any drugstore.


Take a Stand

pain from housework and yard workHow you stand or bend can make a big difference in avoiding pain after household activities. When sweeping or raking, try a scissor stance with your legs instead of bending forward. Put one leg forward and one leg back, keeping your chest up while you sweep or rake. Switch feet every so often.

If your activity involves lifting, lift properly, slowly and mindfully! Keep your legs about a shoulder width apart. If the object is awkward or large, it is okay to widen your stance. Also make sure to:

  • Get right in front of what you are lifting. Never lean to the side or twist to lift.
  • Squat by bending the knees and flexing at the hips, pushing your buttocks backwards but keeping your chest up as much as possible.
  • Hold the object you are lifting close to your body. When you set it down, do the same thing in reverse. Never twist or lean to the side to set the item back down.

RELATED: How Poor Posture Can Equate to Lower Back Pain


Gimme’ a Break

Better yet, don’t try to do the entire task in one day. Because we live such busy lives, we have so little time. I often find that patients hurt themselves because they try to fit a large project into their one, free day of the weekend. Whether you can and should take on a large task in one day depends on your fitness level and how easily fatigued you get. So, you may want to just clean the bathrooms one day instead of the whole house! Or just do the front yard work and leave the back for another day instead of taking on your whole yard.


All the Right Moves

Exercises are not just for general fitness – specific ones can be preventive for pain. Since most house and yard work involves repeated bending, it is great to counteract that by taking breaks and doing a few McKenzie press ups if you are able. The video below shows how to do them properly. If you experience back pain during the press up, see if you can only go part way up without pain. You may also find that after one or two press ups, the pain starts to get better.


My Final Thoughts

I’ve found that it can be normal to feel a little sore the next day after doing a lot of house or yard work, similar to when you have had an intense day at the gym. So, a little soreness is no reason to be concerned. What I don’t want for you is joint and muscle injury or inflammation. If you do feel that you have caused something to flare up, use ice rather than heat to treat the painful area, as the issue more than likely involves inflammation. If the pain doesn’t resolve itself in a few days, give us a call, as it could be more serious.

Want more detailed information about yard work safety? Check out the American Chiropractic Association’s page dedicated to this information.

Dr. Sharman