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What to eat for Better Metabolic health

by Health News

In this article, we will discuss what to eat for better metabolic health and how to increase energy levels by changing your diet.

When you eat food, carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar or glucose.how to increase energy levels

In response, your pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone that tells your cells to take in the glucose floating in your bloodstream. Cell membranes are then activated to allow glucose to enter cells, where it is converted into energy.

In type 2 diabetes and its precursor, metabolic syndrome, cells get the message but they just don’t want to listen. They become less responsive to insulin, known as insulin resistance - and glucose accumulates in the bloodstream.

Untreated, these chronically elevated levels of glucose lead to inflammation that can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys and eyes.

The evidence is clear - America’s love of processed foods is having a significant impact on both waistlines and metabolic health.

One problem with processed foods is their glycemic index, an indication of how rapidly the body digests them and extracts glucose. Too much glucose too fast generates a brief high. In response, insulin levels rise rapidly often precipitating a drastic drop in blood sugar. This results in intense cravings for the foods that made us high in the first place.

These dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose trigger a cascade of other hormones that affect many aspects of our metabolism, including brain chemistry.

For example, low blood sugar causes release of cortisol, one of the body’s stress signals. High cortisol levels prevent weight loss and lead to fat accumulation around the midsection. This ‘spare tire’ fat produces its own chemicals that drive inflammation.

So the first step in fighting insulin resistance is developing a strong diet plan - a completely different approach to eating food:

  • Eliminate processed foods - many processed foods are nutritionally inert and deficient. Becoming a label reader will help increase your awareness of the foods you consume daily.
  • Reduce sugar - combine sugar with fiber and protein, giving your body more time to adjust. Fresh berries and fruits such as apples, plums, and nectarines are low glycemic fruits with a satisfying sweet taste.
  • Eat lean proteins, whole grain foods, green leafy vegetables and drink plenty of water - lentils and beans, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of high quality protein when used in moderation due to their high calorie content. Eat organic when possible, especially meats and dairy products.
  • Take care of your beneficial gut bacteria - probiotics introduce friendly microbes that help your body with digestion, nutrition absorption, immune system maintenance and many other aspects of health. On the other hand, unhealthy gut bacteria contribute to weight gain. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi (cultured vegetables) are all good sources of friendly bacteria.
  • Use healthy oils such as olive, coconut, avocado, and walnut oils - avoid fried foods, as they contain unhealthy oils that have been damaged by high heat. Also avoid peanut, corn, soybean, and safflower oils that are high in omega-6, as well as any products containing partially hydrogenated oils.

Source: Eating to Protect Your Metabolic Health

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Exercise and Cancer Prevention: The “Neighborhood” Connection

by Health News

Researchers have known for years that people who are active and maintain a healthy weight are
less likely to develop cancer, and cancer survivors who exercise and keep a healthy weight are less likely to relapse.  Only recently, however, have scientists begun to understand how staying active helps prevent cancer from developing or relapsing. Could this be the key to healthy aging?Could exercise truly be the key to cancer prevention and healthy aging?

According to Patricia Ganz, a breast cancer specialist at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, while exercise may not change the inner workings of a tumor cell, physical activity may change the cell's “neighborhood”—the surrounding tissue, blood vessels and immune cells —known as the "microenvironment.”

“Healthy neighborhoods are as important to cells as they are to children”, says William Li, president of the Boston-based Angiogenesis Foundation, which funds research in cancer and other diseases.
 
He compares a lone tumor cell to a "bad kid" living in a good neighborhood. Even an aspiring juvenile delinquent won't be able to cause much trouble if he's surrounded by watchful parents, neighbors and local police. Exercise helps improve the neighborhood, keeping cancers in check, Li says. Failing to exercise—and putting on a lot of weight—damages the neighborhood, making it easier for cancers to grow out of control.

In particular, exercise helps to prevent chronic inflammation, a process that can fuel cancers by changing the neighborhood around a tumor cell. Exercise helps lower levels of both insulin and sex hormones, such as estrogen, which release growth factors that let tumor cells survive and spread, Li says. And, as Dr. Ganz points out, exercise also helps relieve psychological stress, which may further reduce inflammation.

While these discoveries are exciting, there are still many unknown causes of cancer. “We don't want women with breast cancer to feel like they caused their breast cancer or that they caused it to come back”, says Pamela Goodwin, professor of medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto.

Still, doctors are discovering more and more ways that a tumor’s environment can stop cancers before they start or spread. Doctors already target the tumor neighborhood with drugs such as Avastin, which cut off a cancer's blood supply.
“Learning more about the microenvironment may provide new tools, such as drugs that curb inflammation to prevent cancer or treat it more effectively”, Ganz says.

 

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5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF DIETARY FIBER

by Institute for Vibrant Living

You likely already know that adding fiber to your diet is a great way to improve your regularity or to treat constipation.

However, the fact is that dietary fiber - ideally from plants and nuts - has many other important health benefits, including -  

5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF DIETARY FIBER

  1. Blood sugar control - because it is not broken down by the body, fiber in an apple or a slice of whole grain bread has no effect on blood glucose levels. Of course, most foods that contain fiber - such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals and pastas - also contain other types of non-fiber carbohydrates such as sugar and starch that do raise blood sugar levels. According to a recent study, people with diabetes who ate 50 grams of fiber daily - especially soluble fiber - were able to control their blood sugar much better than those who ate far less. The average person needs to consume between 20-35 grams of fiber every day.
  2. Better heart health - fiber-rich foods are clearly associated with lower risk of heart disease. Research shows that people who regularly consume a high-fiber diet have a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease. A high-fiber diet also lowers levels of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and reduces blood pressure (BP). 
  3. Stroke protection - getting more fiber can reduce risk of stroke. Researchers found that each seven-gram increase in total daily fiber intake was associated with a 7 percent decrease in first-time stroke risk. One serving of whole wheat pasta plus two servings of fruits or vegetables provides about 7 grams of fiber. 
  4. Effective weight loss management - a high-fiber diet tends to be low in calories and takes longer to eat. It makes you feel full sooner and for longer. Also, if you're eating more fiber, you're eating less of other foods that cause weight gain - which is also beneficial for heart health. 
  5. Radiant skin health - fiber helps to make your skin appear radiant and healthy. Along with water, fiber cleanses the body of fats and toxins. For example, adding psyllium husk to your diet helps to remove harmful yeast and fungus out of your body, instead of being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes.

What are the best sources of fiber? 

Vegetables are a major dietary source including artichokes, cooked green peas and broccoli. Fruits high in fiber include raspberries and pears, eaten with the skin. Legumes - including split peas, black beans and lentils - are also an excellent source of dietary fiber. 

Another way to get adequate fiber in your diet is to take a daily serving of a psyllium supplement. One serving with 8 ounces of water will provide you with about 20% of your daily fiber needs.

Psyllium seed husks are hygroscopic, which means they expand and become mucilaginous on contact with water. Being indigestible, they are a source of soluble dietary fiber and are typically used to relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. They are also used as a dietary supplement to improve and maintain regularity. 

Recent research has shown that psyllium seed husks may also be effective in lowering cholesterol and controlling certain types of diabetes. Other uses include gluten-free baking, where ground psyllium seed husks are used to bind moisture and make breads less crumbly.

 

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Nature's Natural Energy Boosters

by Health News

natural ways to boost energyIt’s a new year, and perhaps you’ve decided to start an exercise regimen, or maybe you want to step up the one you’ve been doing. Whether you’re looking to increase your athletic performance or simply find natural ways to boost energy and combat the post-lunch “crash”, here are some of nature’s most potent and proven botanical energy boosters:

Licorice. Licorice rhizomes are rich in flavonoids and saponins (antioxidants). In their book THE HERBAL DRUGSTORE published in 2000, Dr. Linda B. White and medicinal plant expert Steven Foster recommend licorice as a tonic for the adrenal glands and to increase energy.

Siberian Ginseng. Siberan Ginseng is known as an “adaptogenic” herb for its ability to combat fatigue and stress. In his 2003 book MEDICAL HERBALISM: THE SCIENCE AND PRACTICE OF HERBAL MEDICINE," clinical herbalist David Hoffmann states that Siberian Ginseng is useful in cases of prolonged stress, exhaustion and overwork and is safe to take on a long-term basis.

Astragalus. Astragalus membranaceus is a perennial herb found throughout eastern Asia. A potent immune enhancer, Astragalus is also a powerful weapon against fatigue. Dr. Linda B. White and Steven Foster suggest using Astragalus tincture, tea or capsules to combat fatigue and help digestion.

Ginger. Because Ginger is so helpful to the digestive system, it helps you get the most energy out of the food you eat, and helps you get that energy faster. Herbs that help you digest your food will inevitably give you energy.

Visit your local health food store to find the various forms of these and other energizing botanicals. Before taking anything new, be sure to consult with your health care practitioner to make sure the herbs you choose will not worsen any health condition or interact with any medicines you are taking.


 

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Healthy Eating Tip: Could Eating Less Keep Your Mind Sharp?

by Health News

The research of some Italian scientists recently published in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences presents an intriguing idea: a calorie-restricted diet might prevent age-related memory loss. The positive results of this new research could be the key to healthy aging.

Healthy Aging Tip: Could Eating Less Keep Your Mind Sharp?

The scientists, led by Dr. Giovambattista Pani at the Institute of General Pathology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome, say that they have discovered the molecular process by which a strict diet may save the brain from the ravages of age. They found that in mice, a calorie-restricted diet triggered a protein molecule, CREB1, which activates a host of genes linked to longevity and good brain function.

"Our hope is to find a way to activate CREB1, for example through new drugs, so to keep the brain young without the need of a strict diet," said Dr. Pani.

Previous studies have shown that mice on calorie-restricted diets showed better cognitive abilities and memory, less aggression, and tended to avoid or delay Alzheimer's disease. But they have not known exactly why.

"CREB1 is known to regulate important brain functions as memory, learning and anxiety control, and its activity is reduced or physiologically compromised by aging," said the study’s authors.

Mice that were genetically altered to lack CREB1 showed none of the same memory benefits if they were on a low-calorie diet as mice that had the molecule, and showed the same brain disabilities as mice that were overfed. Therefore, CREB1 appears to be the critical factor in preserving cognitive ability.

According to Marc Gordon, chief of neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, the findings could explain on why some people who are obese in middle age experience cognitive problems later in life.

"Mid-life obesity has been associated with late-life dementia. However, the physiological basis for this association remains unclear," said Gordon, who was not part of the study.

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Healthy Recipes: Ginger Salmon

by Nancy Maneely

Want to know how to gain energy? Eat healthy meals!Many people want to know how to gain energy. Eating healthy meals is one way to give your energy levels a boost. Check out this Ginger Salmon recipe that’s packed with good-for-you nutrients to keep you energized and feeling great.

Ginger adds a lovely, distinctive flavor to many recipes, but it’s the anti-inflammatory properties of this ancient root that makes it an indispensable addition to the kitchen pantry.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, in addition to its benefit as an anti-inflammatory agent, ginger provides relief of nausea, chest congestion, and  joint pain from arthritis and bursitis.

Dr. Weil recommends:

For inflammatory conditions, 1 or 2 g of powdered ginger a day. For nausea and prevention of motion sickness, take 1,000 mg as a preventive and 500 mg every four hours as needed, or eat two pieces of crystallized ginger or take ginger syrup or tea. For cold relief, brew tea with one-inch piece of peeled and grated ginger root per two cups of water; bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for five minutes; add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and simmer one minute more. Remove from heat. Add two tablespoons fresh lemon juice, one or two cloves of mashed garlic and honey to taste. Let cool slightly and strain. that is the real miracle.

This recipe for Ginger Salmon combines the anti-inflammatory power of fresh ginger with the omega-3  goodness of salmon and antioxidant-rich olive oil, for a delicious and nutritious main course. Bonus: it’s incredibly quick and easy to prepare. Add a tossed salad and a glass of wine and you have a light, elegant summer supper fit for company!

Ginger Salmon
(4 servings)

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pound salmon fillets

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, blend olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard and ginger

3. Brush salmon fillets evenly with the olive oil mixture. Place in a medium baking dish. Bake 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Nutrition information per serving:

249 calories, 14.7g total fat, 67mg cholesterol

 

Sources:
Allrecipes.com
Drweil.com: Herbal Remedies

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Herbs that Help To Increase Energy

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Do you struggle daily with lack of energy or chronic fatigue? Many people do, but do not know how to increase energy levels without the help of caffeine and sugar.

how to increase energy levels with Herbs

Instead of turning to coffee, so-called energy drinks or other stimulants, you might want to try supplementing with adaptogenic herbs to increase your energy levels.  

While stimulants like caffeine may give your body a ‘kick’ in the short-term, they also place a heavy strain on your adrenal cortex (an organ which regulates stress) by causing it to work harder than normal to produce more energy.

On the other hand, adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha - also known as Indian ginseng - actually give your adrenal cortex the nutrients it needs to generate steady, long-lasting, stress-resistant energy.

In fact, adaptogenic herbs increase your body's natural resistance to almost every type of stress - which takes a large burden off your adrenal system.

For example, athletic competition involves both physical and mental stress. In such cases, long-term consumption of adaptogenic herbs will help to improve both your training effectiveness and overall performance. Also, they are typically harmless when used over long periods of time with few if any dangerous or unpleasant side effects.

In Ayurvedic medicine ashwagandha is believed to not only increase energy levels, but also boost learning and memory.

For example, in a 1993 clinical study, fifty people complaining of lethargy and fatigue for 2-6 months were given an adaptogenic tonic made up of eleven herbs, including 760 mg of ashwagandha once a day.

After just one month of taking the ashwagandha mixture, the patients reported an average 45% improvement in their moods. Their blood plasma protein levels and hemoglobin - two factors used to measure overall health - also increased significantly.

Yet another study compared the adaptogenic and anabolic (ability to promote growth of lean body mass) effects of Korean ginseng and ashwagandha in mice. Groups of six mice were fed 100 mg/kg water extract of either ginseng, ashwagandha or saline for seven days.

On the eighth day, their endurance levels were tested with a swim test. Their average swim times were measured as 62 minutes for Korean ginseng, 82 minutes for ashwagandha; and 35 minutes for saline.

Clearly, ashwagandha is a superior adaptogenic herb when it comes to increasing energy and performance levels.

If you’re experiencing low energy and chronic fatigue, it can be a result of overexposure to stress. Stress not only takes the joy out of life but can also lead to insomnia, high blood pressure, heart disease and other adverse health effects.

 

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Exercise Your Right to Brain Health

by Health News

If you’re wondering how to have more energy, exercise can be a potent defense against brain fatigue and mental fog. When you move, you greatly improve blood flow and oxygenation to the brain.

In fact, anyone who is engaged in strenuous mental activity should participate in frequent aerobic exercise. Without continually replenishing the supply of oxygen to the brain and nervous system, individuals who are engaged in intellectual work will, at some point, experience mental exhaustion and burnout. Regular aerobic exercise is crucial if one is to maintain one’s mental edge. Similarly, elderly individuals who are engaged in regular physical activity will maintain better cognitive function than their housebound or sedentary peers.

How to Have More Energy: Exercise Your Right to Brain Health

Walking, swimming, bicycling, and dancing all improve mental alertness and cognitive function when practiced on a regular basis. Aerobic exercise does this by improving oxygenation and circulation to the brain and nerves and by opening up and dilating blood vessels of the head and brain. Thus, more nutrients can flow into and more waste products can be removed from this vital system.

Research studies done on adults who exercise on a regular basis compared with similar groups who are sedentary show striking differences in a variety of mental functions. Adults engaged in an active exercise program have better concentration and clearer and quicker thinking and problem-solving abilities. In addition, reaction time and short-term memory improve with exercise.

Exercise your right to mental clarity! Move your body for 30 to 60 minutes a day at least five days a week.

Read this other related blog posts:
5 Simple Tips to Naturally Improve Brain Health

Brain Foods: How To Concentrate Better

Midlife fitness keeps chronic disease at bay

Prevent Alzheimer’s with Exercise

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The “Brain Pill” of the Future

Regular Exercise Provides Amazing Benefits for Arthritis Sufferers

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Healthy Recipes: Broccoli Soup

by Health News

Healthy aging with broccoli soupThe key to healthy aging is healthy eating. With that in mind, here’s a healthy recipe you can add to your arsenal.

Garlic, onions and cruciferous vegetables: What do they all have in common? They are all excellent foods for your liver. The sulfur in these foods detoxifies many of the chemicals the liver must deal with on a daily basis. They are also loaded with antioxidants!
Here is a delicious soup recipe that contains garlic, onions and the most-loved of all cruciferous vegetables, broccoli!


Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
20 ozs broccoli (chopped frozen, thawed)
1 potato (peeled and chopped)
4 cups chicken broth
14 tsp ground nutmeg
salt
pepper

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, and saute onion and garlic until tender. Mix in broccoli, potato, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
2. With a hand mixer or in a blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Return to the saucepan, and reheat. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

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5 Energy Boosting Strategies

by Health News

We all grind to a halt at times energy-wise and for some it can be a daily problem in mid-afternoon when the list of things to do is as long as ever. Getting an energy boost does not necessarily mean a candy bar or a double espresso. Nature has some great remedies for boosting energy, you just need to have the know-how. Learn how to increase energy levels with these 5 energy boosting strategies.

How to Increase Energy Levels - 5 Energy Boosting Strategies

Eat a High-Energy Breakfast
You may think you can get away with skipping breakfast but it is an essential kick start, waking up your body’s metabolism. Breakfast does not take long and literally does break the body’s sleep-imposed fast. The energy created lasts way past lunch time if you choose slow-burning carbohydrates and foods which are high in fiber. Studies show that a high-fiber breakfast produces the highest levels of concentration and energy right through to lunchtime and beyond. Try a high-fiber cereal with low-fat milk (14g fiber per half cup) or whole-wheat toast (up to 6g fiber per slice and aim for 25-30g fiber per day.

Take a Break
Taking a short break for a few minutes can actually increase energy and productivity overall, helping you get more done in less time. Studies at Louisiana State University set trials for three different work-rest schedules for computer workers. Those who took four 30-second breaks per hour followed by a 14 minute break after two hours achieved a higher performance level and were more accurate than their colleagues who took longer breaks less frequently. Little and often is the key to increase energy naturally.

Energize Through Walking
Walking is an energy booster; in fact a ten minute walk is more energizing than a sugar infusion. Studies at California State University compared people who either ate a candy bar or walked briskly for ten minutes. The sugar snack gave an instant energy boost, but after an hour the lethargy was back with a vengeance while those who walked found they had a natural energy booster which lasted for two hours.

Meditate and Take Control
Rushing around in a panic can often accomplish little. If you find yourself under pressure, calm yourself down with a three-minute meditation. This enables you to control your energy and put it to maximum use. A trip to the bathroom is a good time to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and consciously relax the body, replacing stressful thoughts with positive images of a sunset or a quiet beach.

Snacks Between Meals
If you still feel you need some food-based energy, choose a snack which is high in protein and complex carbohydrates such as a whole-wheat cracker with cheese or peanut butter. The combination will increase blood glucose levels and sustain them as the protein and carbs are slowly digested, giving you a second wind. If you must have chocolate, try an unsweetened cocoa drink with an artificial sweetener and low fat milk.

how to increase energy levels

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Healthy Eating Habits

by Health News

Our diet today looks nothing like that of our ancestors. While they first subsisted on foliage, leafy vegetables, fruits, and some nuts and seeds, once fire was discovered during the Paleolithic era, the diet began to include game food and seafood.

How to Gain Energy with Healthy Eating Habits

It wasn’t for another 10,000 years later that agriculture was introduced. This meant grains, legumes, vegetable oils, and dairy products. This diet was high in fiber, vegetable-based protein, and plant sterols. Still good, right?

Then came 1800s and the start of the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of hydrogenated oils, refined grains and sugar, packaged foods, and fast foods. In the past 200 years alone, we’ve managed to virtually undo evolution by turning away from whole grains, legumes, lean meats and fish, and leafy greens and veggies, and towards saturated fats, dietary cholesterol, and high glycemic carbohydrate food sources.

As a result, many people in our modern world struggle with maintaining energy levels throughout the day. Essentially, the food we are putting into our bodies is not fueling us properly, which has many people wondering how to gain energy in our day to day life.

The solution? Go Caveman!

Focus the bulk of your diet on anything you could hunt or gather. This means lean meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds. This also means that you won’t have many natural sources of calcium and/or vitamin D, so you’ll need to supplement with a good calcium/magnesium product, as well as 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.

Boost Health and Vitality

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The Many Benefits of Regular Exercise

by Health News

If you're looking for tips on how to have more energy and get a better night's sleep, exercising regularly tops the list.

how to have more energy with regular exercise and a good night’s sleep

However, you will have to be patient, because regular exercise leads to improvements in sleep gradually over time and not right away.

The benefits of regular exercise are endless - reduction of stress and anxiety, lowered risk for many diseases, more positive mood and enhanced immune function. Studies also show that daily exercise improves sleep quality.

In a recent study carried out at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, scientists looked at the effects of exercise on sedentary women and men in their 60s who had been diagnosed with insomnia.

Overall, those who participated in a 16-week exercise program slept longer and woke up less often than those who remained inactive. Insomnia only improved after 16 weeks of regular exercise. On the other hand, when the volunteers slept poorly, their workouts the next day were significantly shorter.

In this study, volunteers were randomly assigned either to remain inactive or to participate in a moderate endurance exercise program - consisting of three or four 30-minute exercise sessions every week, generally on a stationary bicycle or treadmill.

At the end of 16 weeks, volunteers in the exercise group were sleeping much more soundly than they had been before the study started. However, during the first two months, they did not sleep any better than at the start of the study. Only after four months of the exercise program had elapsed did their insomnia improve.

Most interestingly, volunteers almost always exercised for shorter periods of time on the days after a poor night’s sleep. In other words, sleeping badly tended to shorten the next day’s workout. On the other hand, a full-length exercise session did not necessarily mean more and better sleep at night.

This study seems to indicate that people with insomnia and other sleep disturbances are wired differently. They may have an overstimulated stress system - and a single bout of exercise may not be enough to dampen it.

However, if they keep up the exercise program, their stress system eventually quiets down and their stress response gradually becomes muted. In general it takes some time before they see any noticeable changes in sleep patterns.

Still, experts believe there’s enough evidence from this study to make it worthwhile for everyone - including you - to commit to a more active lifestyle to achieve better sleep, so why not start today?

Boost Health and Vitality

Source: Exercise Can Help You Sleep Better.

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Natural Heart Health: Reducing Your Triglycerides + Foods Good For Digestion

by Health News

No one wants to hear that they have high triglyceride levels.  Of course, many people aren’t aware of the significance of triglycerides.  These lipids are stored in your fat cells.  Individuals eating the wrong kinds of foods, such as a lot of fats and carbs instead of healthier options like fruits and vegetables, may be shocked to learn that they can have dangerously high triglyceride levels.

The reason that triglycerides must be treated with great care is that they can play a significant role in different serious diseases.  Heart attacks, strokes and a hardening of the arteries (or atherosclerosis) are all possible results of having high triglyceride levels.  Fortunately, there are ways that those with high triglycerides can lower those levels.  In this article, we will take a look at a few of the ways that you can lower those levels and improve your health at the same time. As a bonus, these heart healthy foods are also foods good for digestion.

Natural Heart Health: Reducing Your Triglycerides and Foods Good For Digestion

Not All Fat is the Same

If you have high triglyceride levels and are seeking to reduce the fat in your diet, realize that not all fat is the same.  It has been found that omega-3 fatty acids, such as the ones found in wild Alaskan salmon and sardines, can work to lower triglyceride levels.  These two types of fish are not just good ways of lowering your triglyceride levels, but also exceptional heart and brain foods as well.  Making the switch from fatty red meat choices to salmon and sardines is a savvy choice.  In general, switching your unhealthy fats, such as trans fat, for healthy fats is a major step in the right direction.

Skip the High Carb Diet

If you like or love your carbs, you might want to consider reducing them in order to get your triglyceride levels down.  Diets that are high in carbohydrates can cause your triglyceride levels to soar. 

Drop the Pounds and Lower Your Triglycerides

One of the single best ways of reducing your triglyceride levels is to lose weight.  Consuming less calories and losing weight will lower your triglycerides and also help keep you healthy in a variety of different ways.

Exercising Will Help Lower Your Triglycerides

Exercising and losing weight work quite well together.  If you want to see those pounds drop quickly and your triglycerides follow, then consider adopting a lifestyle that includes both losing weight and exercising.

Make Healthier Food Choices

If you have high triglycerides, then different food choices are in order.  If your current diet is comprised mostly of carbohydrates and fattening foods, then it’s time to make the switch to healthier foods.  Pack your diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and smart protein choices, such as wild Alaskan salmon and sardines.  Greatly reducing or eliminating your processed food intake in favor of whole food choices will do wonders to improve your health and lower your triglycerides as well.

Aging Adults Guide to Healthy Digestion

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Protect The Heart From Harm Caused By Smoking

by Health News

Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Heart and Digestion Problems

Omega 3 fatty acids may reduce the physical harm caused by smoking, according to a Greek study presented at the World Congress of Cardiology. This article looks at the findings from this study, and provides a list of foods that are a good source of Omega-3s. As a bonus, all of these foods are also conducive to a healthy digestive system.

This study looked at the effects of a four-week long oral therapy of 2 grams each day of omega 3 fatty acids on arterial wall properties of cigarette smokers. Arterial function is an independent marker of heart disease risk. Short-term treatment with omega-3s was seen to improve arterial stiffness and slow down smoking-induced damage to the elasticity of blood vessel walls in smokers.

These heart protective properties of omega-3s appear to be due to a combination of multiple mechanisms, including both anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic effects.

Further, a recent meta-analysis was conducted on over 39,000 patients with cardiovascular problems who were administered omega 3 dietary supplements for at least a year. This supplementation therapy significantly reduced risk of death in these patients due to heart disease and all other causes. In fact, omega-3s were clearly more effective than statin drugs in reducing heart disease-related deaths.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), even people without a documented history of heart disease should consume a variety of oily fish rich in omega-3s, such as sardines, wild salmon, herring, mackerel and tuna at least twice per week.  

Almonds, walnuts, flax seed, canola oil, soybean oil and green leafy vegetables are plant sources of omega-3s. They contain a short-chain form of omega-3s known as alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. ALA needs to be processed by your body into the longer form of omega-3s before you can benefit from them.

While the only way to protect your body from the harmful effects of tobacco is to stop smoking, eating a healthy diet rich in omega 3s can clearly reverse some of the physical harm caused by smoking, including lowering the risk of heart disease.

Aging Adults Guide to Healthy Holiday Digestion

Sources:
Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the physical harm caused by smoking.

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Regular Exercise Provides Amazing Benefits for Arthritis Sufferers

by Health News

How to Have More Energy and Relieve Arthritis Pain

When arthritis pain flares up and every single movement is fraught with pain, the very thought of exercising can be enough to make you cringe. But medical researchers agree that exercise is vital for healthy aging, particularly the treatment and prevention of the pain associated with arthritis. According to the National Institutes of Health, arthritis is the nation’s number one cause of disability and more than 50 million adults suffer from the disease.  Many sufferers are not involved in any type of exercise program even though research has confirmed that regular physical movement keeps joints strong and lubricated which helps control swelling and pain. As an added bonus, exercise helps keep off the excess pounds that put additional stress on achy joints. And if you’re wondering how to have more energy, exercise will naturally provide your body and mind with more energy than living a sedentary lifestyle.

Because people with arthritis sometimes resort to sedentary lifestyle they put themselves at higher risks for other illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and certain types of cancer.  Exercise also provides significant psychological benefits for people who are struggling with the pain, limited mobility and lifestyle adjustments that are associated with arthritis.  The type of exercise that is best for you will depend on the type of arthritis you have, the joints involved, and the amount of inflammation. You should consult your holistic practitioner or physical therapist to develop a personalized plan. 

Yoga, Tai Chi and warm water exercises are good choices for most people because they involve slow, fluid movements that relax muscles and improve range of motion. Yoga stretches not only the muscles but also the soft tissues of or body, including ligaments, tendons and the fascia sheath that surrounds the muscles. Yoga is safe for people of all ages and fitness levels because the exercises cater to the needs of each individual.  Tai Chi is a gentle form or martial arts that originated in ancient China and involves a series of slow movements similar to those used in yoga. 
 
Warm water exercises provide excellent benefits for people with arthritis. Warm water provides soothing relief for sore muscles and helps support the body while the joints are moved through the range of motion. When you immerse your body in warm water your body temperature rises which causes your blood vessels to dilate and increases circulation.

Walking is another good activity for arthritis sufferers. Walking should be part of everyone’s healthy aging plan because it strengthens the bones and also helps keep the joints flexible. With spring just around the corner, walking provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and explore the wonders of nature.  

If you are among the 50 million Americans who suffer from arthritis, it’s time to get moving. Don’t be tempted to give in to a sedentary lifestyle because inactivity is your worst enemy. Make exercise a central part of your overall arthritis management plan so you can maximize your mobility and keep your pain at bay and set yourself on the path to aging healthy.

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Anti-Aging Tip: Stretching is Good for Seniors

by Health News
Want to know how to increase energy levels, improve circulation and balance? It’s simple, just stretch your muscles every day and stick to an exercise program.
 
According to the Mayo Clinic, stretching is a powerful part of any exercise program. Unfortunately it does not replace exercise, but rather it complements it by increasing circulation, flexibility and balance. Other benefits from stretching exercises as we get older include maintaining flexibility to avoid injury and disability. Simple stretching exercises can help delay the onset of some chronic diseases associated with old age. And, for those curious about how to increase energy levels during the day, taking a break to stretch your muscles is a great way to get an instant energy boost too.
Want to know how to increase energy levels, improve circulation and balance?

A few simple stretching exercises performed every morning can alleviate stiffness and prevent lower back pain brought on by unused muscles tightening up over time, causing anything from minor discomfort to severe backache.

Almost anyone can perform stretching exercises which in turn improve the ability to lift objects, bend over or reach out for something – tasks that are part of everyday life. Without regular stretching exercises to keep our bodies supple, it is easy to strain or pull a muscle. Stretching also prevents injury during other types of exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling or sports.

The Benefits of Stretching

  • Allows us to perform everyday activities more safely
  • Prevents injury by improving balance and suppleness
  • Slows aging and eases digestion problems by improving circulation
  • Releases tension

Examples of Simple Stretching Exercises for Seniors

Hamstring Stretch
Sit on the floor with your legs together, stretched out straight in front of you. Reach out with your fingers a far as you can without pain. Hold for a count of five then relax. Repeat five times, trying to reach a little further each time.

Chest Stretch
Stand up and clasp your hands behind your back. Move your arms out away from your body and hold for a count of five, feeling the stretch in your chest and shoulders. Repeat five times, trying to reach a little further each time.

Wall Push Ups
Stand about two feet back from a wall. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height and bend your arms, leaning in until your chin touches the wall. Hold for a count of five then straighten the arms. Repeat five times.

Yoga Lumbar Stretch
Get down on the floor on all fours. Breathe in, and arch your spine upwards with your head down. Hold for a count of three then breathe out, lifting the head and curling the spine downwards. Hold again and then repeat the full stretch five times.

Lower Back Stretch
Still on all fours, keep your hands on the floor and slowly push back until your buttock sits on your heels. Lower your head to the ground, arms stretched forward and relax. Walk your hands to the right until you feel a stretch in your left side and hold. Then walk your hands to the left and feel the stretch in your right side. Repeat three times.

Relaxation
Finish any stretching routine by lying on your back, drawing your knees up to your chest and wrapping your arms around them. Gently rock from side to side a few times before standing up.
Keeping flexible and supple is all part of a healthy lifestyle, along with eating wisely and taking daily supplements to support a healthy body. After all, you are only as old as you feel!

Sources:
http://www.suite101.com/content/easy-stretches-to-prevent-aging-a284492
http://www.easystretchingexercises.com/
http://www.easystretchingexercises.com/5-easy-stretching-exercises-for-seniors

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Healthy Aging: Supplements for Heart

by Health News

When it comes to heart health and aging healthy, most of us understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet rich in high-fiber vegetables and whole grains, and getting regular aerobic exercise.  But did you know that your heart, arguably the hardest working organ in your body, needs a steady supply of certain vital vitamin health supplements in proper balance? Here is a list of some of those minerals, and why the getting proper balance of them is essential for optimal heart health.

Supplements for Heart and Healthy Aging - Calcium, Magnesium, IronCalcium.
More than any other muscle in your body, you rely on your heart to contract regularly—and that’s a huge understatement. Calcium is vital for muscle contractions. Calcium is critical to healthy aging because it is stored in the bones, where it is released regularly to maintain a consistent level in the bloodstream. If you don’t consume enough calcium, you can get a condition called hypocalcemia, whose symptoms include muscle spasms and irregular heartbeat. Foods rich in calcium include dairy products, leafy greens and broccoli. Many foods are now fortified with calcium, such as bread, juice and cereals.

Iron.
This mineral is essential for heart health because it delivers its supply of oxygen through the hemoglobin in red blood cells. Without oxygen, your heart cannot function. If you don’t have enough iron in your body, you can get a condition called anemia. Severe anemia can actually lead to heart failure. Sources of iron include animal meat, seafood, molasses, tofu, spinach, peas, raisins and beans. Iron-fortified products include breads and cereals.

Magnesium.
Magnesium is essential for maintaining heart rhythm. But with magnesium, balance is extremely important. Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle spasms and weakness. Too much magnesium can cause the heart to stop beating! Consume green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, peas and whole grains for a healthy supply of magnesium.

Talk to your health care practitioner about how much of these essential vitamin mineral supplements you need to keep your heart in top form and to set yourself on the path to healthy aging.

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The Key Supplement for a Healthy Heart?

by Health News

The best vitamin supplement for a healthy heart is vitamin B. Taking Vitamin B supplements may just be one of the key components to healthy aging. Let’s take a closer look at this essential vitamin.Healthy Aging Guide: Supplements for a Healthy Heart

The vitamin B complex is a group of 11 separate, water-soluble nutrients: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B12, biotin, folic acid, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), choline, and inositol.

Of these, vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid and niacin are the most beneficial for heart health.

B6 helps block blood clotting, lowers blood pressure, and reduces blood cholesterol levels. It also works to reduce homocysteine levels, which is a good thing, as this toxic substance has been shown to increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes. 

B12 is necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells. Like B6, it too reduces homocysteine levels, as well as improving arterial function, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, and promoting blood vessel dilation.

Folic acid is necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells. It also supports the adrenal glands to enhance energy and stamina, helps to maintain healthy homocysteine levels and arterial function, and supports normal cholesterol levels, blood vessel dilation, and decreased plasma viscosity. 

Niacin has been shown to raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol. It also helps dilate your blood vessels, which increases blood flow and helps lower blood pressure.

Aim for 10-12 mg of B6, 50-65 mcg B12, 400 mcg folic acid, and 10-25 mg of niacin daily. Just be sure to take B vitamins with breakfast or lunch rather than at night, as they can be too stimulating.

Healthy Aging: Digestion Guide for Aging Adults
 

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5 Ways to Prevent Colds and Flus

by Health News

Cold and Flu Tips | Natural Flu Prevention

Apart from maintaining sensible fitness levels, how else can we lower our risk of catching seasonal illnesses?

Avoid Exposure
Avoiding contact with those suffering from infection is a sensible precaution but it is not easy. Children are known to suffer more colds than adults so avoid large get-togethers where possible and postpone social engagements with anyone hinting at the first signs of cold and flu symptoms. If you have a cold or flu, stay home from work to avoid spreading the illness further.

Wash Hands Regularly
Frequent hand-washing has been shown to be the best and easiest way to prevent picking up flu and colds. Thoroughly wash your hands when you return home, before you eat, before handling food and after visiting the bathroom, sneezing or wiping a child’s nose. Use hot water and antibacterial soap. If you cannot get to a sink, use a hand sanitizer gel.

Clean Surfaces with Anti-Bacterial Cleaners
Shaking hands, using doorknobs and touching contaminated surfaces are the prime way that colds and flu infections are passed on. To counter these problems, wipe surfaces, doorknobs, supermarket cart handles, telephone handsets and other areas which get heavy public use with antibacterial wipes, or use cleaning sprays.

Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose and Mouth
Cold and flu viruses enter the body via the eyes, nose and mouth, so avoid introducing harmful bacteria by resisting rubbing the eyes or touching the nose and mouth unnecessarily.

Diet - Eat Foods That Act as Digestive Aids
Eat a diet which is wholesome and healthy with plenty of Vitamin C. Eating foods that act as digestive aids, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and natural yoghurt can help you feel your best during cold and flu season. Also, drinking plenty of fluids can help boost your immunity as a last line of defense against infections and viruses

Those deficient in Vitamins A, E, B6, B12, C, folic acid, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium and copper may be suffering from an impaired immune function which can easily be countered with a healthy diet and a daily vitamin supplement

If you are unfortunate enough to catch a cold or flu this winter, drink plenty of fluids, quarantine yourself and take gentle exercise in the fresh air in the case of a head cold to speed recovery.

Free Guide for Digestive Health

 

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Don't Reach for Antacids for Digestive Problems

by Health News

Digestive Enzymes versus Antacids

Most men and women over forty suffer from poor some type of digestive problem. It doesn't have to be that way. Natural food supplements such as spirulina and chlorella are the best health supplements for people with digestion issues, who are looking for a natural solution.

According to the American Pharmacists Association, Americans spend more than $3 billion a year on over-the counter antacids. Plus we spend another $13 billion on prescribed acid reducing drugs.

Worse than the expense: antacids cause a great deal more harm than good.

In fact, taking antacids regularly is one of the most dangerous things you can do for your health. Here are two reasons why they are dangerous and why you should stop taking them.

REASON #1: Antacids Prevent Digestion
Antacids work by neutralizing stomach acid, but you need acid to digest your food. Because digestion gets stopped, people eat more which is why antacids are one of the primary reasons why so many people are overweight.

REASON #2: Antacids Disrupt the Balance Of Power in Your Gut
Stomach acids do more than just break down your food. They also destroy dangerous bacteria in your food that could make you sick or even kill you. But when your stomach acid is neutralized, it can't destroy these dangerous microorganisms, so they get into your intestines. And unless you've got a healthy army of good bacteria in your gut (and few people do), you're going to get sick. Spirulina is especially good at helping people stop taking antacids and start eating again with gusto.

How?
Spirulina and Chlorella are both loaded with digestive enzymes and they help stimulate the production of good intestinal flora. Once you start using Spirulina, you'll never need to turn to an antacid solution again (which is no solution at all).

Adding a Spirulina-based supplement as a daily food normalizes an under-active intestinal tract by enhancing the natural contraction of the intestinal walls; and by supplying cellulose, a form of fiber.

Aging Adults Guide to Healthy Digestion