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Welcome to Naturna Institute

Where the best of Eastern medicine and Western science converge to form a comprehensive, cross-discipline approach. Listening, instead of dictating, allowing a deeper dialogue to manifest a more complete diagnosis. Revealing the true root causes behind symptoms and conditions and crafting unique health plans that empower you through education and inspiration to conquer bad habits and create better ones.

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(646) 609-4250

129 E 90th Street #1W, New York, NY, 10128

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All About Soy

“Is soy bad for you, or is soy good for you?” is a common question I get asked as nutritionist. Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple one, because there is conflicting evidence on this topic. My general answer is that soy is bad for you most of the time, but there are some exceptions when it can be good. In this blog post, you can learn more about soy and when it can be harmful or helpful! Phytoestrogens In order to understand soy, it is important to understand phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are known as “dietary estrogens” because they are not produced in the body like the estrogen hormone. Instead, they are ingested or consumed through certain foods. Phytoestrogens are found in plants like soy, where they are...

Energizing Substitutes for Coffee

Do you love the energy boost you get from your steamy cup of coffee, but hate the crash after? Coffee isn’t unhealthy when consumed in moderation, but there are side effects to drinking your regular cup of Joe. Although the recommended daily maximum for coffee is 3–4 cups (equivalent to 400 mg of caffeine), that may be too much for people who are sensitive to caffeine, or for those with certain health conditions (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2017). Some adverse health effects from drinking coffee may include:   Weight gain Caffeine in coffee increases the level of your stress hormone cortisol, and elevated cortisol levels have been shown to contribute to weight gain (Lovallo et al., 2006) Low energy Caffeine stimulates the body’s adrenal system, which boosts energy for a short...

Chinese herbs for holiday season

     With the holiday season comes the office parties, friendsgiving and family gatherings that often lead to indigestion, abdominal discomfort and disrupted bowel movements.  Especially if all the rich holiday foods and drink is a departure from your normal clean eating regime.  In Chinese medicine short term bloating, distension, acid reflux, and sometimes abdominal cramps due to excessive food intake is called food stagnation and the marquee formula prescribed is called Bao He Wan.  The formula contains seven herbs that work together to promote the digestion of meat, fatty foods and grains, reduce nausea and vomiting, and regulate bowel movements.  It can be taken before or after a large meal and is generally used for a short term.  While the formula is generally safe...

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The Importance of Vitamin D During the Winter Months

As the weather changes and winter approaches, the Winter Blues seems to become quite common among many adults. These months can be stressful and emotionally draining with all of the holidays. However, the main culprit is believed to be deficiency in vitamin D levels and intake. Because of the cold weather, there is little time spent in the sun, and any sunlight you may be exposed to, is not enough for vitamin D production. A majority of the US population (90 percent of adults) are thought to be vitamin D deficient. This is especially true for those who live in northern regions of the world where less sun exposure is experienced. Besides its effect on mood, vitamin D deficiency has more serious consequences. Vitamin D deficiency...

Natural Solutions to Boost Your Immune System

As winter approaches, the cold winds and snow invite in a variety of colds and the flu. Here are a few ways to boost your immune system naturally to avoid getting sick and/or speed up your recovery process if you do get sick. The Immune System The immune system is a network of organs, cells, and proteins that protect the body from any foreign substances. A primary function of the immune system is to kill and remove pathogens like bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi that may have entered the body (1). We are constantly exposed to different organisms from the environment. Whether or not these organisms will cause us to get sick is determined by how well our body’s immune system is functioning. When our immune system is...

Get the Skinny on Fats

The Skinny on Fats   Many believe they need to avoid dietary fats in order to maintain a healthy diet. Nutritional guideline plans have even been created to accommodate this trend by recommending higher amounts of carbohydrates and very low fats. Now, low-fat and nonfat foods have been normalized to become part of the common diet. However, in order to enhance the flavor of these products, companies replace the fat with high amounts of sugar. Many healthcare communities and social media make claims about dietary fat that are often misleading and false. The idea that high fat diets with saturated fat and cholesterol would lead to heart disease has been has been exposed to be false by studies such as in Siri-Tarino, Sun, Hu, & Krauss’s (2010)...

A Lactation Counselor’s Tips for Breastfeeding

As a Nutritionist and Certified Lactation Counselor, most mothers I work with have many questions when it comes to breast milk and breastfeeding, so here are some helpful tips. How long should one breastfeed? It is recommended that the infant be exclusively breastfed for first 6 months of life, unless otherwise advised by your physician. To benefit the baby, breastfeeding should be continued for one to two years or longer with the addition of human food after 6 months. Foods to boost the nutritional content of breast milk The composition of breast milk is pretty consistent, except for fats. Studies have found that the fatty acid profiles in breast milk varies in relation to the mother's diet, particularly when mothers eat too many omega-6 fats, which are inflammatory, and...

Rebalancing Your Gut

Health issues, such as thyroid imbalances, chronic fatigue syndrome, joint pain, psoriasis, autism and many other illnesses originate in the gut. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, upward of 60 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases. The secret to restoring your digestive health is balancing the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Research shows that probiotics can help you attain optimal health. What Are Probiotics? Probiotics are bacteria that line the digestive tract and support the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. There are 10 times the amount of probiotics in your body than there are cells! How Do Probiotics Work Your gut, or intestines, contains both beneficial and harmful bacteria. Digestive experts agree that the balance of...

How to Have a Healthy Sweet Tooth

Sugar consumption is on the rise, and is a contributing factor for many health issues. The average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons of added sugar, including natural sweeteners, which is roughly 400 calories of added sugar per day! The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. The AHA limits children’s sugar consumption to 3-6 teaspoons per day. Artificial Sweeteners While the consumption of refined sugar is on the rise, so are artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners such as Aspartame, Sucralose (Splenda), Ace K, and Saccharin have been debated for years in regards to their damaging side effects. While the FDA considers all of these sweeteners technically “safe,” they are undergoing increased scrutiny...

Research Supports Acupuncture for Weight Loss

Research has found acupuncture to be an effective tool in both weight loss and suppression of appetite. While the most effective way to lose weight is diet and exercise, maintaining the weight loss requires lifestyle changes. Acupuncture has been shown to create physiological changes in the body that reduce body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, body fat percentage, blood sugar levels, and lower the levels of peptides like leptin and ghrelin that are involved in appetite control. Here’s a look at the multiple ways that acupuncture can help with weight management: Acupuncture Promotes Healthy Sleep Chinese Medicine is very effective in treating insomnia and sleep issues. Studies show that sleep deprivation causes the brain to crave calorie-rich junk food. In chronic states of sleep deprivation, the...