The Benefits of Wheat Germ For the Whole Family

wheatFeeding your family healthy food can be challenging, especially when you are crunched for time. Wheat germ is a great thing you can add to things you normally cook to add more vitamins and minerals. Check out the list of how everyone in your family can benefit from wheat germ and try the easy recipes below to change things up a little!

5 Groups Who Can Benefit From Wheat Germ

  1. Prenatal women: Folic acid is critical for good prenatal nutrition, helping prevent birth defects. Wheat germ also contains zinc, which is necessary for proper growth and development.
  2. Athletes: Working out? You need to keep your body fueled, and not with empty calories. Wheat germ is a fast, easy and inexpensive way to get the nutrients you need to fuel up or recharge. Add to smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal pre- or post-workout.
  3. Children: Getting kids and toddlers to eat healthy foods can be a challenge. Wheat germ is a great solution because it blends so easily with the foods they already love. Add it to favorite foods like yogurt, cold cereal, mac ‘n’ cheese and, yes, even cookies! This gives children the boost in vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy and grow strong.
  4. Health-conscious eaters: Wheat germ is a perfect companion in the kitchen. Sprinkle it on everything from cereals to soups to boost the nutrition, or use it to replace less nutrient-dense foods in cooking, like breadcrumbs. Trying to slim down? When you’re cutting calories, wheat germ helps ensure you’re not also skimping on nutrients by delivering the essential vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy and fuller, longer.
  5. Seniors: As we age, our eyesight begins to diminish. Wheat germ is an excellent source of vitamin E that can help promote eye health and may even lower the rate of cataracts. It also keeps brain function strong to possibly help ward off Alzheimer’s.

Here are a whole bunch of recipes you can try to include wheat germ in your family’s meals:

·         Double Berry Banana Smoothie

·         Berry Delicious and Easy Wheat Germ Pancakes

·         Baked Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce

·         Kretschmer Wheat Germ Oven-Fried Chicken

·         Homemade Pizza with Wheat Germ Crust

·         Kettle Corn with Wheat Germ

·         Pumpkin Waffles with Wheat Germ

·         Key Lime Tarts with Graham Cracker Crust

·         Chocolate Truffle Pie with Wheat Germ Crust

Warning Signs of Anorexia

By Dr. Ismael Nuño

thin girlMy daughter, Catharine, began her battle with Anorexia Nervosa with a classic presentation at the age of fourteen. Prior to that she was involved in gymnastics in a highly competitive circle in Germany. All the little girls wanted to be number one and they all wanted to compete in the Olympics. When Catharine began high school in America, she and her classmates would get together at lunch and talk about how they all looked fat and they were on a diet and they would compete to see who could lose the most weight. They all got A grades. At home, her mother was a strict middle school teacher and her father (me) was a heart surgeon. She had a younger, loving brother who was caught in the middle of a fight between anguished parents and a daughter who refused to gain weight.

Then, I was suddenly sent to the Middle East to fight Saddam Hussein. TV news hysteria kept announcing that 10,000 US soldiers would die in the first few hours of battle. My daughter Catharine kept watching this horror on TV. I was informed by the American Red Cross one evening during the Gulf War that if I wanted to see my daughter alive, that I should return to the US immediately.  She was very ill. Within an hour I was flying back to Washington, DC. After being in a metabolic unit in Washington, and receiving psychotherapy as an inpatient she then received it as an outpatient. When we moved to Los Angeles she went to UCLA and was achieving top grades. She began to eat normal meals and developed a wide span of friends. One hot and humid afternoon while planting flowers, Catharine fainted momentarily. She told me about it but I thought she was just dehydrated. It happened again at school but when she was taken to the emergency room of the UCLA Medical Center her EKG was normal. One morning, I found her in her bathroom on the floor. She had no pulse and she was not breathing. I gave her CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation), I called the paramedics but Catharine could not be brought back. Her ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.

Young girls with eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa (restrictive caloric intake) or Bulimia (binge/purge) usually have stressful family situations, highly competitive environments, and a genetic pre-disposition for substance abuse or physical or mental disorders. The clinical onset is commonly very insidious. These young girls begin to lose weight, change eating habits and restrict caloric intake. They have a morbid fear of gaining weight. They are very careful in their meal preparation and sometimes even wear gloves so as to not contaminate their food with calories. They prepare non-fat meals, cut up their meal into very small pieces and in my daughter’s case, she would discuss her day with us at the dinner table while moving her food around her plate. Sometimes, they develop moodiness, are withdrawn and act shy. Catherine, like many, had an intense physical activity regiment and would run in the mornings or go up and down the stairs repeatedly after meals. The first warning sign is a change in eating habit, weight loss, dizziness, fainting and fatigue. They go to the bathroom often and always after meals. The way they manage their food at mealtime is a big indicator that something is wrong.

Physical changes are also evident. These patients develop dry skin. They become dehydrated, constipated, and develop abdominal pain or a bloated stomach. They become emaciated, fatigued, develop lanugo (small friable hair), and sometimes even stress fractures. As parents, we just think that they are stressed out because of school and that an increased fluid load and a good meal will resolve their problem.

One of the most threatening and possibly fatal complications of an eating disorder can be a heart rhythm abnormality or delay in the transmittal of electricity, which is why many people suffering from eating disorders have a tendency to faint. The EKG is static and will not show any immediate changes but a Holter Monitor exam must be done to record the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time. Now, these tests have gone from 24 hours to two weeks. If there is a delay in electrical transmission in the heart it will be found. The treatment for that is the insertion of a pacemaker. There is a 3-5% mortality rate in these young girls. Most of it is by cardiovascular abnormalities and sudden ventricular arrhythmias, or sudden cardiac death, and some of it is by suicide. One could argue that a prolonged restriction of calories, emaciation and the resulting complications are a form of suicide.

The best success in controlling an eating disorder is to catch it as soon as possible. Try to become engaged as a family. Seek medical attention from the pediatrician, a metabolic expert and a psychotherapist. Control of these disorders can take years and a lot of love and a lot of patience. What used to be an occasional sick child with an eating disorder is now an epidemic. Many, if not most, of the pediatric units have metabolic teams that will help your daughter on her difficult journey to become well.

Dr. Ismael Nuño is the author of the book The Spirit of the Heart: Stories of Family, Hope, Loss, and Healing. He received his training in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He was Chief of Cardiac Surgery and Chief of Staff Elect/President Elect of the Medical Association at the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center, as well as Assistant Professor of Clinical Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine. He is currently Medical Advisor for the Alfred Mann Institute of Bioengineering at USC, and was previously Medical Advisor for the St. Jude Medical Corporation for the Western United States.

New Treatment For Eating Disorders

Mandometer, teen eating disorder treatmentNew Treatment For Eating Disorders….Teaching Your Teen To Eat Normally

Any treatment that will help a teen with an eating disorder learn to eat right, deserves a try. A new product, the Mandometer, does just this. It is a mini scale that a patient puts her plate on, which is connected to a device that provides instant feedback during a meal. Patients enter how full they feel before, during and after a meal and it tracks the rate at which the patient is eating. This approach teaches patients what a healthy rate of eating is, reconnecting feelings of hunger and fullness which get destroyed with an eating disorder. “The patient gradually learns to model its disordered pattern of eating to the normal pattern of eating.”

Perhaps one of the best things about this treatment is that it does not require the use of drugs and it can be used outside of a treatment facility. The Mandometer treatment method also includes a special treatment to keep patients warm, restriction of physical activity, and the rebuilding of social skills, all overseen by a personal case manager and physician.

The device has been shown to be effective through randomized clinical trials for the treatment of eating disorders.  Those trials have demonstrated that 75 percent of the patients treated with the Mandometer® method recover and 90 percent remain healthy over five years.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on March 31 that it had cleared Mandometer® for the treatment of patients with eating disorders. As a result of the issue of the FDA clearance, physicians can prescribe therapy by the Mandometer® method.

This breakthrough program was developed by Cecilia Bergh, Ph.D., and Per Södersten, Ph.D., two researchers at the world-renowned Swedish academic health center, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Bergh and Dr. Södersten founded the company Mando Group AB to establish clinics that utilize the Mandometer® method to treat eating disorders. Currently, there are already Mandometer® clinics in Sweden, in Australia and one on East 78th Street in New York.

To learn more about Mandometer® go to  www.mandometer.com or www.mandonyc.com.