Saturday, July 9, 2016

Medical Cannabis and A Healthy Diet

Medical Cannabis and A Healthy Diet
By Jason Barker(Medical Cannabis Patient & Organizer -LECUA Patient’s Coalition Of New Mexico)

A major cause of illness and death in our country is nutritional deficiency. We all know that lack of food makes us feel weak and tired with a loss of stamina and short term energy. And as medical cannabis patients, we strive to ensure that those producing our medicine do so in the safest manner free from toxins and unwanted chemical pesticides. We should also take this same approach to our own personal diet, as eating healthy is another way you can get more benefits from the medical cannabis. A healthy diet will improve the body’s ability to best process your medical cannabis intake in all forms and this will provide improvement with your health condition(s) and overall health.

Humans have long sought food from our earth’s bounty and have found protein and carbohydrates and sugars in large enough quantity to sustain and enlarge the human race.
But what is the best food? The perfect diet to follow? What can be paired with cannabis?

For Health:
1. Blueberries- one of the most powerful disease fighting foods because of all the beneficial
fiber and antioxidants they contain. In addition, they are packed with Vitamin C and are easy
to find because they are available all year round. Blueberries are a favorite for many when making raw cannabis smoothies or health cannabis blueberry muffins.

2. Salmon- this cold water fish is a superb source of protein and is packed with heart-healthy
omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association advises eating salmon and other omega-3
rich foods twice a week for benefits that go beyond heart health.

3. Soy Protein- Inexpensive, packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, this high-quality protein
has all the ingredients for a heart-healthy meal. A diet rich in soy protein can lower triglycerides which help prevent cardiovascular disease and keep your heart strong and healthy. Soy Protein can be used in juicing of raw cannabis and cooking recipes for cannabis.

4. Oatmeal- My dad used to say it “sticks to your ribs” and he was right! A warm bowl of oatmeal will provide nourishing whole grains that contain cholesterol lowering fiber, vitamins and minerals and will sustain you for hours because of its high fiber content.

5. Spinach- the powerhouse of the veggie kingdom and Popeye’s “transforming superfood” is rich in vitamins, minerals (especially iron and folate) and many disease-fighting phytochemicals. Spinach is a must have ingredient when juicing raw cannabis.  “Phyto” means plant. Phytochemicals are nutrients derived from plants, and they are healthy buzzwords in nutrition and cancer research. Phytochemicals appear to stimulate the immune system, exhibit antibacterial and antiviral activity,, and in general, help your body fight cancer.  Some foods these are found in are onions, garlic, leeks, chives, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, tea, coffee, citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower), berries, beans, and whole grains.

6. Mangoes- The chemical compounds that have been found within mangoes have been discovered by science to be able to increase, strengthen, and even lengthen the medical effects felt after smoking. This is due to a chemical compound known as myrcene terpenes, most often used in fragrances, can be found within cannabis and marijuana as well as many other various plants such as lemongrass, hops, and of course mangoes.

To Speed Up Your Metabolism
1. Water helps nutrients flow through your body. And for medical cannabis smokers, a increased water intake is needed as the smoking is dehydration to the entire body.  Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 40%. One glass of water shuts down hunger pains for almost 100% of dieters. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. Keep a BPA free water bottle in sight all day.

2. Lean proteins such as poultry, fish, bison, and egg whites are all good sources. These proteins
keep you feeling satisfied while helping your body burn energy faster, resulting in higher
calorie burn. Hemp protein is a industrial byproduct from hempseed where the seeds (balanced macronutrient profile) have their oil extracted into Hempseed oil, and the remaining seed meal that is high in protein relative to the seeds is then processed into Hemp protein supplements. Proteins are made from building blocks called amino acids. Amino acids are a major component in the hundreds of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These compounds enable brain cells to communicate with each other. Examples of neurotransmitters you may be familiar with include dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Try to eat a portion of protein with every meal.

3. Fiber is in complex carbs (oatmeal, wheat germ, bran, and flaxseed) and provides steady, long
lasting energy without the crashes that accompany simple carbs. Hemp Seed is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Eating the seed whole is the perfect way to get your daily fiber needs. All dietary fiber is either soluble or insoluble. Both types are actually equally important to health, digestion, and aiding in keeping many diseases at bay including diabetes, obesity, diverticulitis, and constipation.

4. Dark Pinon coffee or green tea are both good for boosting metabolism. Dark Pinon coffee ( in moderation ) raises metabolism, increases concentration, and improves heart health. Green teas that are high in antioxidant content raises metabolism better than coffee.  And both are healthy ways to medicate by adding a cannabis tincture to the drink.

5. Spices such as hatch green chile, jalapeno, habanero, and cayenne have thermogenic
properties that speed up the heart rate and heat up the body; the body must then burn more
calories to cool down.  While eating spicy foods may cause you some temporary pain, applying capsaicin topically is known to alleviate it. Capsaicin helps alleviate pain in part by depleting your body's supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to your brain. It also works by de-sensitizing sensory receptors in your skin and this compliments the medical cannabis benefits.

6. B Vitamin Complex includes thiamine, riboflavin, niacin/niacinamide, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, and pantothenic acid. The B vitamins help with nervous system functioning, and being under a lot of stress can deplete your levels. A deficiency can lead anxiety, fatigue, and mood problems. Studies have found Vitamin B helpful in treating anxiety disorders, particularly agoraphobia and obsessive thoughts. Some of the best sources of vitamin B6 are poultry, seafood, bananas, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, potatoes, and fortified cereals. And several of those sources can be added to juicing raw cannabis or making smoothies.

7. Get Outside-Getting exposure to light in the morning will only help you wake up, but may help keep you slim, research from Northwestern University. Happily, bright light, just as for cannabis and hemp- the natural sun is the best for us, it sets your body clock, a key player in regulating every system of your body, including a speedy or sluggish metabolism. Humans make 90 percent of our vitamin D naturally from sunlight exposure to our skin – specifically, from ultraviolet B exposure to the skin, which naturally initiates the conversion of cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D3.  Studies have indicated   a relationship between low levels of vitamin D in the blood and depression.

Healthy Diets
When maintaining a healthy diet-perhaps to address a chronic disease or condition being treated with cannabis-you can follow the functional medicine perspective. This perspective considers how various nutrient dense foods in a healthy diet interact with the systems of the human body for better health to compliment you medical cannabis use.

1. The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation originally inspired by the
traditional dietary patterns of Greece, Southern Italy, and Spain. The diet also recognizes the importance of being physically active, and enjoying meals with family and friends.
• Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts
• Replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil
• Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
• Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
• Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
• Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)

2. The Paleo diet is based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food. Several websites now feature cannabis edible recipes with paleo ingredients. Cannabis and hemp both would fit in well with paleo living because it comes from nature and is not chemically produced or made. It seems to fit into the spirit of being paleo more so than modern medicine.
3. Farm to Table diet: essentially, it’s food that’s like it was 100 years ago, when people lived on farms and grew their own fruits and vegetables, raised their own chickens for eggs, milked their own cows–before agribusiness, pesticides, bovine growth hormones and grain-fed meats. It’s food that’s about the same as when it was pulled out of the ground, plucked from a tree, or harvested in the field. It’s the food that helps your body run best, burn fuel most efficiently, feel more energetic, and heal health issues. And this diet has many great benefits, not only complimenting the cannabis culture but provides many items to pair with raw or cooked cannabis.
Some guidelines for a Farm Food diet:
•Foods free of additives, preservatives, colorings, artificial ingredients, or other chemicals.
•Organic foods that are seasonal in your region, and those that grow within a few hundred miles of your home whenever possible.
•Animal products that come from chickens, cows, and sheep that roam in pastures and eat grass
•Single-ingredient, unprocessed foods (that means organic oat groats, rather than oat puffed cereal with cane juice—even if it’s organic).
•Food that has little or no labeling or packaging.
•Foods that are free of gluten and common allergens like corn, dairy, and soy (because those crops aren’t what they were 100 years ago).
•Foods that work for you, individually, to help you keep your body in its best condition.

4. The Asian diet is one to create wellness thru certain eating habits.
• Limit cold drinks with meals, green tea or other tea before a meal supports enzymatic activity
to better improve digestion.
• Have soup often, it is a nutrient dense food option and Asian style soups are a healthy choice
over traditional style soups.
• Eat a 3:1 ratio of vegetables to meat
• Eat with the seasons... temperatures of foods should not be overlooked. Eating warm foods in cold weather and cool foods in hot weather. This common-sense rule of thumb is barely spoken in Asia because it's simply practiced. Cold drinks and cold foods such celery, melons, and cold salads are not eaten in the middle of winter. Hot soups and stews with meat are preferred because this is what the body needs in cold weather. A hot summer day is the perfect time for watermelon or a cooling drink made with aloe and cucumber. Every food has an energetic temperature and acts on the body accordingly. Eating the right temperature foods during the various season of the year is an important part of a healthy diet.

Follow the 80/20 Rule
This is a tip with a built-in reward. No one can eat healthy all the time; sometimes you’ll have a hard time sticking the plan, or may not feel well. If you can make healthy selections 80% of the time, you can allow yourself to make less healthy choices 20% of the time. Knowing you have some wiggle room allows you to make healthier choices long term and not feel constricted or deprived.

by Jason Barker
Medical Cannabis Patient
Organizer for LECUA PAtients Coalition of New Mexico
Owner -Duke City Fitness & Wellness