Where Does YOUR State Rank in Sexual Safety?

by Health News

Did you know that there is a Safer Sex Index for sexual health rankings, which shows the highest and lowest STD rates by state? According to a 2010 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are one of the most serious challenges for the U.S. They estimate that each year there are 19 million new infections, costing the U.S healthcare system billions of dollars, and causing untold misery and health consequences for the sufferers. 

Find whether your state has one of  the lowest STD rates by state.

Even worse, these statistics are just the tip of the iceberg, as physicians are only required to report incidences of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Many more millions of cases go unreported or involve non-reportable STDs such as genital herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV).

The state you live in may rank high or low in terms of safer sex, use of contraceptives and recorded incidents of STDs.  Interestingly, the states that have lower levels of sex education and low rates of contraceptive use inevitably have higher incidences of STDs. Statistics were gathered for Trojan brand condoms by examining the rate per 100,000 citizens who were diagnosed and treated for gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV along with those who had received a HIV test.  

Related:  Four Reasons Your Immune System May Be at Risk

Where to find the lowest STD rates by state

Of course, every parent wants the reassurance that they are living in one of the areas with the lowest STD rates by state. The top five states are, in descending order:

  • Vermont
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Hawaii
  • New Jersey

Which states have the highest levels of STDs?

The five states with the most to worry about are, from the bottom up:

  • Louisiana
  • Georgia
  • Mississippi
  • Florida
  • Texas

The Trojan study found that some states did not mandate that contraceptive information and STD/HIV facts were included in the program for sex education in schools. It also looked at the relationship between the number of births to teenage mothers and the percentage of schools teaching essential condom use, compared to abstinence-only sex education. These facts were all included in the overall scores to find the lowest STD rates by state. It makes for sobering reading, wherever you live. 


To Clean the Plate or Not to Clean the Plate?

by Cindy Gray

Many families encounter the big debate at some stage over whether to insist children clean their plate or not. On the one hand, concerned parents want to ensure their child gets adequate nutrition, but in some cases pushing children to eat everything on their plate can backfire. After generations have been told to "eat up and remember the starving children in other countries", have we inadvertently spawned fussy eaters, food addiction and overweight adults who need help with overeating? Let's see what modern-day research shows.

Making your child clean their plate could sow the seeds for food addictions later in life.

Research into Food Addiction

A study published by the journal Appetite reported that 85% of parents try to get their child to eat more by coaxing them to eat "just three more bites." They may use praise, reasoning or food rewards such as dessert to accomplish their task, but this is a far cry from insisting a child stay at the table until their plate is cleared.

Vegetables are a vital source of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, yet they are at the center of the controversy, as most children choose not to eat them. A similar study found that persistent parents offer a vegetable on average 14 separate times before the child will accept it.

A more recent study in 2015 showed that reducing pressure on children to clear their plate may actually help prevent obesity and food addiction in later life which may require help with overeating.  The study found that parents who were overly controlling at mealtimes increased the likelihood that the child would become overweight. The lead researcher of the study reported that 50-60% of parents surveyed expected their children to finish all the food on their plate; and up to 40% of parents encouraged their child to eat, even when the child claimed they were full.

Related:  Health Benefits of Fiber:  Stop Overeating and Lower Your Cholesterol

A supporting study by Cornell University found that youngsters who learned to clean their plate were more likely to request larger portions away from the home, making them likely targets of food addiction and obesity later in life.  It all makes for interesting discussion, but appears to indicate that overeating is a habit established in childhood. Parents can control what's on the plate but children should regulate their own intake. However, setting a good example can be the best lesson of all.

Where to get Help with Overeating

Slimming clubs are a good place to find help with overeating and support from fellow dieters. More serious cases of binge eating and food addiction may need professional counselling or help from the National Eating Disorders Association which provides a helpline and useful information for those with eating disorders.   


Seven Scary Items in Your Kitchen

by Cindy Gray

Are you living in a hazard zone? You may think you are safe from danger, secure in your own home, but statistics show that lacerations and cuts account for over one million emergency room visits every year making kitchen dangers one of the top causes for injury, ill health and even death.

Unforeseen kitchen dangers keep emergency rooms busy every day

Home fires, often started by frying in the kitchen, kill nearly 500 people every year and injure another 5,000. Other kitchen dangers come from the most unlikely sources, so check out this list and make sure you do not become one of the frightening home accident statistics.

Garbage disposals

People get hurt every day when they put their hands down the drain to try and retrieve something that has fallen into the waste disposal unit. Make sure the waste disposal is turned off, preferably by disconnecting the circuit breaker and use a safety glove for extra protection.

Related:  Minor Cut?  Follow This Advice to Guard Against Infection

Kitchen dangers from knives

Keeping knives sharp is actually the best way to avoid cutting yourself. A dull knife can slip as you push, hack and strain to get it through the food. Top tips for avoiding kitchen dangers from knives include keeping your eye on what you are cutting and when you put the knife away, preferably in a protective sheath. Don’t attempt to catch a falling knife; stepping back and letting it fall to the floor is far safer than trying to grasp it.


Sharp blades whizzing at speed can have mighty power. To avoid kitchen dangers from blenders, keep the appliance unplugged when not in use. Never try to pick out food while plugged in and always use a spoon or spatula rather than your fingers.

Vegetable peeler

Peelers and graters are super-sharp ready to slice thin slivers off anything they come into contact with. Ouch! Good techniques keep fingers safe, so always peel away from you or downwards into a sink or garbage bin. With standing graters, ensure you have a good grip on the handle and grate your food in even movements. Near the end, go extra slowly to keep knuckles and fingertips safe.

Cutting board

Cutting boards need to be stable on rubber feet or a wet cloth to avoid movement during chopping which can cause a knife slip. It's also important to use anti-bacterial spray or wipes to kill harmful bacteria and germs that love to breed on food remains.  Keep one cutting board especially for meats; and a different cutting board for fruits and vegetables.

Loose clothing

Loose clothes including ties, scarves and floppy sleeves have no place in the kitchen. These kitchen hazards can catch on knobs, jerking the wrist dangerously when holding a pan of scalding water or oil. They are also a fire hazard when working over a hot stovetop or a naked flame.

Wet floors are a kitchen danger

Floors should be kept clean, dry and grease-free to avoid causing a slip or fall. Keep the kitchen floor clutter-free to avoid tripping. If you must have a mat, make sure it is non-slip and has no upturned edges. 

Thinking about kitchen dangers and implementing good practices can prevent a nasty accident or even death. It's worth taking extra care to keep you and your family safe.


Over 40 and Can't Lose Weight? Cut Out These Two Foods!

by IVL Products

Weight gain, bloating and difficulty with digestion are common problems for women in their 40s and older. This frequently manifests itself as belly fat and older women find they can’t lose weight as they used to. Hormonal changes are often blamed for such problems during menopause, but it could be intolerance to gluten and dairy foods that are the real culprits. Here's how to check whether these two food groups are the reason why you can’t lose weight.

Dairy and gluten foods are a common reason why people can’t lose weight

Symptoms of Food Intolerances

Foods high in gluten, such as flour, wheat, semolina, barley, bulgur and rye, can cause intestinal problems in those with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Often undiagnosed, gluten intolerance can cause cramps, a swollen stomach and inflammation throughout the body.

Similarly, those who are lactose intolerant may suffer with gas, bloating and diarrhea, as they are unable to digest the lactose (sugar) in milk and dairy products. Other symptoms of food intolerance in those who can’t lose weight include chronic fatigue, headaches and a stuffy nose.

If these problems sound familiar, it’s time to address the reasons why you possibly can’t lose weight by eliminating the cause of the problem.

Alternatives to Gluten and Dairy Products for Those Who Can't Lose Weight

At first glance it may seem that all your favorite foods fall into either the gluten or dairy categories. Eliminating these foods can be daunting, but once you have established a healthier more wholesome lifestyle, you can gradually reintroduce the foods one by one to see if they cause any problems with bloating, inflammation and that inability to lose weight.

Related:  Gluten Brain:  Wheat Cuts Off Blood Flow to Frontal Cortex

It's all about substituting foods, or significantly reducing those problem foods from your diet. First, eliminate all bread, cakes, cereals, breadcrumbs, bagels, tortillas and pasta that contain wheat or other glutens. Substitute them with rice or corn flour in cooking. Flaxseed, quinoa and millet flours are all acceptable along with potatoes, sweet potatoes and rice. Polenta (corn meal) is a good side dish; and seeds, beans and nuts can also be imaginatively used in gluten-free recipes. Health food stores offer a range of gluten-free breads, crackers, rice cakes and flours to help you ease into making these changes.

Dairy substitutes are a matter of shopping wisely and choosing soy, almond, rice and coconut milk instead of cow's milk. There are good replacements for sour cream and cream cheese, especially when making dips and spreads. Replace ice creams with sorbet and gelato. Soy-based yogurts are widely available in supermarkets.  

Solving the Problem, One Food at a Time

Once your digestive problems and complaints of "I can’t lose weight" are solved, enjoy your new healthy diet. If you hunger for certain products, then add them back carefully one at a time, monitoring for any bloating or symptoms. 


Lack of Exercise - Effects on Three Areas of Health

by Institute for Vibrant Living

It's not breaking news to hear that exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy heart and managing weight loss, but lack of exercise effects are evident on our hormones, energy levels and digestion. That's three more reasons to find a type of exercise you can enjoy three to five times a week to ensure a long and healthy life.

Lack of exercise effects can negatively impact on your whole body health

The American Heart Association recommends that whatever your age you should be aiming for 30 minutes of brisk walking, swimming, cycling, dancing or exercise to stay strong, fit and healthy. Here are some less well known facts about the lack of exercise effects on our overall health.

Lack of Exercise Effects on Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers produced by the body. They affect almost every physical and mental function. Hormones control a vast array of functions in the body and mind, including:

  • Growth hormones stimulate protein synthesis to build muscles and strengthen bones
  • Endorphins block pain and control appetite
  • Testosterone controls metabolism, sexuality and libido
  • Estrogen increases fat breakdown, controls mood and libido
  • Thyroxin (T4) manages energy levels
  • Epinephrine directs and controls blood flow
  • Insulin controls blood glucose levels and fat production
  • Glucagon raises blood sugars and breaks down fat for fuel


All these hormones are secreted during exercise to keep the entire body functioning as nature intended. Lack of exercise effects on hormones means reduced triggers that stimulate the all-important hormone production throughout the body.   How is your hormone health?

RelatedTips on How Not To Sabotage Your Health Goals

Fitness Fights Fatigue

Exercise does not actually lower energy levels, conversely it increases them. Studies on poor energy levels in children were undertaken by Dr. Karen Heath from the University of Cape Town Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. She reports that causes of lethargy in children could simply be a lack of exercise.

Regular exercise increases the red blood cells that carry oxygen to the cells. Exercise increases blood flow and the demand for cell energy. Conversely, lack of exercise means naturally low energy levels. Exercise also increases glucose circulation, making use of blood sugar and avoiding the possibility of hypoglycemia and insulin spikes. Exercise also builds muscle so the effects of lack of exercise include lean muscle mass and a lack of energy.  Exercise fights fatigue and low energy in many surprising ways.

Lack of Exercise Effects on Digestive Health

If you have a sluggish digestive system, you probably suffer from irregular bowel movements and constipation. Exercise helps by raising the body's metabolic rate, pushing food through the digestive system faster so that it retains some of the water in the stool. Regular exercise helps to stimulate peristalsis, which stimulates health bowel movements, thereby reducing constipation and toxic overload.

Lack of exercise effects also means a slower heart beat and breathing rate. This fails to stimulate the intestinal muscles which contract to evacuate the bowels efficiently and frequently.

As Harvard School of Public Health researcher I-Min Lee, ScD reports, "Physical inactivity has a large impact on the health of the world…comparable to that of cigarette smoking."  By adding regular physical activity to your life you will be in better shape in terms of hormone production, energy and digestion. Isn't that worth the effort?


How to Reduce Food Cravings with Three Supplements

by Health News

Weight watchers and women going through menopause often suffer extreme food cravings that are hard to resist. Often those cravings are for sugary treats and comfort foods which, if indulged, can quickly lead to excess weight. If you want to know how to reduce food cravings, these three supplements could be your best weapons, and may help you to stay on track diet-wise. 

Three common health supplements can provide the answer to how to reduce food cravings

Decrease Hunger Pangs with 5-HTP

Some food cravings can be caused by a lack of serotonin which causes an increase in appetite. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that produces a "feel-good" factor as well as feelings of fullness after eating. Serotonin deficiency can cause cravings for sugar and carbohydrates as the body tries to increase serotonin levels in the brain.

The best natural supplement to boost serotonin levels is called 5-HTP (or hydroxytryptophan), a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan and a precursor to serotonin production. Taking a supplement of 5-HTP, according to the NBI, has been found in clinical trials to naturally boost serotonin production which is a powerful agent for those wondering how to reduce food cravings.

Taking 50-100 mg of 5-HTP with fruit once or twice a day can help reduce cravings for food, and as a bonus it can help to support a calm mood and healthy sleep patterns.

Related:  Sleep Deprivation:  Is It Dangerous To Your Health?

Control Blood Sugar Cravings with Chromium

Chromium is a mineral that helps control glucose levels. Sometimes cravings are due to low blood sugar levels or a deficiency of this mineral. Your body naturally urges you to eat sugar by creating strong food cravings, particularly for carbohydrates, sugar and caffeine.

Chromium supplements can provide support for those who are researching how to reduce food cravings safely and naturally. By balancing blood sugar levels, chromium can greatly reduce cravings. This was discovered in a 2005 study published by The Journal of Psychiatric Practice which showed chromium supplements were effective at reducing carbohydrate cravings for those with depression.  Taking 400 mcg of chromium a day as a supplement is a safe and easy way to help control those food cravings.

Suppress the Appetite Naturally with L-Tyrosine

L-tyrosine provides a double-whammy when it comes to the question of how to reduce food cravings. First, this supplement suppresses the appetite, making it easier to control cravings and help with weight loss. Secondly, this amino acid also increases the metabolic rate of the body, burning more calories for energy and helping to maintain a normal weight.

A study on 80 obese subjects published in 2006 in The International Journal of Obesity backs up these claims, showing that L-tyrosine helped increase thermogenesis and aided weight loss. Taking 500-1000 mg once or twice a day may have a powerful effect on appetite and cravings.

By using these supplements to regulate blood sugar levels, reduce hunger pangs, and suppress the appetite, you really can gain control over cravings and enjoy a healthy happy life.


How Perimenopause Affects Your Weight

by Cindy Gray

Are you aged between 35 and 55?  Are you in pre- or perimenopause?  Are you increasing in weight or struggling to lose excess pounds?  Have you recently developed belly fat?

All these problems could be connected to your age and time of life. Studies report that 90% of women experience perimenopause and weight gain between the ages of 35 and 55, even if their lifestyle and diet do not change. What's even more frustrating is that this new body fat remains stubborn despite all efforts to diet it off. Although it may not help you squeeze into your jeans, it can be a consolation to know that this is normal in perimenopausal women as estrogen dominance is a hallmark of this pre-menopause time.

This unwelcome weight gain is not actually caused by what you eat or lack of exercise. It is actually caused by hormone changes that start to take place in the body up to 15 years before full menopause becomes apparent. It is well known that too much cortisol or too little progesterone, testosterone or estrogen encourage the body to store belly fat.

This problem between perimenopause and weight gain creeps up gradually as women put on an extra pound or two every year. Once this fat has accumulated to 10-15 pounds, they are an entire dress size bigger. Those with continued levels of excess estrogen and other chemical imbalances can gain as much as 50 pounds. Overproduction of estrogen can also trigger water retention and sodium retention in the body. This leads to a sense of heaviness, bloating, weight gain and puffiness around the eyes and cheeks.

RelatedThe Stress Menopause Connection

Dealing with Perimenopause and Weight

If imbalanced hormones are the cause of the weight gain, then it makes sense that balancing estrogen and progesterone levels can stop or prevent the problem. Bioidentical hormone therapy may be suitable to help rebalance hormones and shed that unwanted blubber.

Some women may have intolerance to gluten, wheat and dairy products which increases bloating and weight gain. A quick test can ascertain whether this is likely. Those suffering with fluid retention, noticeably in the ankles and lower leg should reduce salt intake to help lessen the edema.

By understanding the connection between perimenopause and weight it becomes easier to deal with the cause of the problem, avoiding unnecessary stress at what should be some of the best years of your life.


How Caregivers Can Take Care of Themselves

by IVL Products

Part of the in-flight safety procedures includes the instruction to fit your own oxygen mask in case of emergency before helping others with theirs. In the same way, carers should not feel guilty about taking care of their own physical and emotional needs before attending to others. After all, if they become ill, stressed and worn-out, who provides care for the caregiver?

Statistics for Caring for the Caregiver

Many people find themselves unexpectedly in the role of caregiver at some stage in their life. As well as taking care of their dependant, it is vital that caregivers focus on their own needs too, allowing them to continue taking care of others and avoiding caregiver stress.

RelatedWhen Is Stress Harmful?

It may help to know that as a carer you are not alone. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, each year around 44 million people care for disabled, ill or aging family members. Of these, 38% are adult children caring for their parents.

According to Suzanne Mintz, co-founder of the National Family Caregivers Association, "the stress of the experience can age people prematurely." Studies show that older caregivers have a 63% higher mortality rate than the average person, showing that caregiver stress takes a heavy toll, particularly when there's no-one to provide care for the caregiver.

Here are some useful tips to provide support and care for the caregiver:

  • Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga and prayer to reduce caregiver stress
  • Allocate some time to go out, attend a class, meet friends socially or enjoy a hobby as a break from being a full-time carer
  • Ensure that you eat healthily and regularly and get adequate rest and nutrition that are essential to care for the caregiver’s needs
  • Exercise regularly, even if only for 10 minutes at a time. Exercise releases hormones to counter caregiver stress
  • Pamper yourself with treats such as reading a good book or taking a relaxing bath
  • Seek out and accept help from others whenever it is available
  • Talk about your feelings honestly with a trusted friend or supportive counselor
  • Take time off without feeling guilty
  • Join a support group that provides care for the caregiver
  • Set goals, however, small, and get a sense of achievement from reaching them

Additional Sources Providing Care for the Caregiver

Caregivers often feel guilty about putting their own health needs first, but just like the airplane analogy, who provides care for the caregiver if they are incapacitated? Rest assured, as a caregiver you are not alone. There are a number of agencies available to provide support. Contact Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 or www.eldercare.gov to find out more.

For financial help, you may be eligible for government benefits when caring for someone with Alzheimer's. If you are a veteran or caring for a veteran you may find the Department of Veterans Affairs can provide help. 


Effects of Poor Diet on Mental Health

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Nothing illustrates the fact that "you are what you eat" better than the documentary "Super-Size Me." The movie followed Morgan Spurlock as he determined to eat only fast food three times a day for one month. Midway through the month the effects of poor diet from his self-imposed junk food menu were taking their toll. Not only did he have massive weight gain, elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, but the diet took a heavy toll on his mental health. Low energy levels, massive headaches and depression quickly took hold, showing how our bodies react to the effects of poor diet, both physically and mentally.

brain is influenced by what we eat and drink

How our Diet Affects our Mental Health

The film, and subsequent studies, shows the close relationship between food, energy and the chemicals in our brain. Scientists tell us that carbohydrates increase serotonin in the brain, which has a calming, soporific effect. Protein triggers the brain to produce tyrosine, dopamine and norepinephrine to stimulate alertness; while omega-3 fatty acids control many brain processes.

By comparison, a poor diet can quickly lead to vitamin deficiencies, hormone imbalance, brain fatigue, poor concentration and depression. The experiment showed clearly that the body needs a wide variety of nutrients to support a healthy body and mind.

RelatedMeditation Rewires Your Brain

Defining a Poor Diet

Now that we know more about the effects of poor diet on our mental health, we need to define what constitutes a "poor diet." For some it is a fast food diet, as in the documentary, while others would consider an extreme calorie restricted diet to be a poor diet.

Cutting out whole food groups such as fats or carbohydrates can also lead to poor mental health as the brain needs some glucose and healthy fats to operate. Without healthy essential fatty acids, whole grains, fruit and vegetables, the brain can quickly lapse into poor memory and cognitive function impairment. It's a fact that for a healthy brain, we need to consume healthy, whole foods.  

All this is supported by a study published in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. The tests showed that rats fed a high-fat diet, similar to a fast food diet, quickly displayed the negative effects of poor diet with lower cognitive abilities, when compared to rats fed a healthy low-fat diet.

This research concluded that eating a diet high in antioxidants, green vegetables and healthy omega-3’s clearly leads to a healthier body and mind, making the case for a healthy diet a no-brainer! 


Effects of Overeating on Brain Health

by Health News

Calorie restriction has already been found to result in longer life, but a recent study also suggests that the effects of overeating may also be associated with Alzheimer's disease and brain health.

Could the effects of overeating contribute to Alzheimer's?

Obesity and overeating can be a cause of heart disease, diabetes and other serious medical conditions, but now scientists believe that the effects of overeating may take a toll on mental health too. According to a study published by the journal Annals of Neurology having excessive belly fat is associated with lower brain volume and scientists suggest that the extra fat triggers inflammation, which is known to put stress on the body and possibly the brain, too. Other studies have also shown that people with smaller brain volumes do badly on cognitive tests and are at higher risk of dementia. Could these all be the effects of overeating? 

RelatedBest Diet for Managing Type 2 Diabetes

In a study on 1,200 people aged 70 to 89, each person reported on their typical eating habits. One third ate between 600 and 1,525 calories, slightly less than the recommended daily allowance of 1,800 to 2,000 calories. One third ate between 1,526 and 2,142 calories per day; and the remainder ate between 2,143 and 6,000 calories per day. The results showed that people who consumed the most were twice as likely to be diagnosed with an impaired memory disorder such as Alzheimer’s or dementia than those who consumed the least amount of calories. 

According to lead researcher Dr. Yonas Geda, a professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, "Excessive daily caloric consumption may not be brain-health friendly." The study showed no connection between body mass index and cognitive impairment, but he believed that excessive calorie intake may cause oxidative damage leading to structural changes in the brain.

Is Alzheimer's a Type of Diabetes?

Many people already think of Alzheimer's as "type 3 diabetes", suggesting that Alzheimer's disease results from selective resistance to insulin in the brain, possibly caused by the effects of overeating.

Type 3 diabetes is an extension of type 1 and type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes, following a similar pathophysiology, but in the brain. In a similar way to other forms of diabetes, insulin is needed to help the brain absorb and use glucose. If the brain cells develop insensitivity to insulin then this is believed to lead to Alzheimer's disease.

Healthy Body – Healthy Brain

Exercise and a healthy calorie-restricted diet may be the key to a healthy body and a healthy brain as we age.  Certain natural supplements may also play an important role in countering the effects of overeating on brain health. Products high in curcumin, L-carnitine, Co-Q 10 and other natural ingredients have been shown to support and enhance brain health.


Dangers of Fumigation

by Cindy Gray

A recent news article shared the sad story of a 10-year-old boy who lost most of his motor skills due to the family having their home fumigated for termites.  The family thought they were doing a correct and safe thing by hiring a fumigator to help them deal with an infestation of termites. Unfortunately the company failed to make sure the home was safe for re-habitation.  

This unfortunate situation resulted in the entire family becoming ill; with their young son suffering catastrophic brain damage from inhaling the toxic chemicals. This is a timely warning that this could happen to anyone who may unwittingly be exposed to the highly toxic chemicals used in fumigation.  This story emphasizes the potential dangers of fumigation.

Related:  Microwaves and Plastic:  A Dangerous Combination

Inhaling the fumes from fumigation chemicals may result in immediate negative health effects in some cases. In others, the results of contact with these insidious poisons may emerge later.

Symptoms and Treatment for the Dangers of Fumigation

Anyone entering a home that has been fumigated should immediately take heed if symptoms such as coughing, sweating, itchy skin, red eyes, nausea, vomiting or breathing problems appear. It could be the first indicator of the dangers of fumigation as the chemicals are still lingering in the house.

Dr. Henry Bukenya, a physician at Mulago Hospital in Uganda has first-hand experience in dealing with the dangers of fumigation when sufferers are admitted. He recommends immediately drinking milk as an antidote to the poisons to reduce the toxicity of the inhaled poisons. Next, take the sufferer immediately to the nearest emergency hospital.

The unpleasant treatment includes emptying the stomach and administering a corticosteroid to reduce the damage of the chemicals on vital organs including the liver and kidneys. Symptoms left untreated can result in brain damage, as in the sad case referenced above—or even death in many cases.

Guidelines for Safe Fumigation Practices

In a perfect world, such toxic substances would never be used, but persistent pest problems such as termites, plant pathogens and insect pests in grain storage bins call for extreme measures at times.

Fumigations should only be done by trained, licensed and certified personnel. In the case of fumigation of the home or business premises, everything should first be removed. The dangers of fumigation and toxicity of the products used mean that even houseplants and pets will be killed by the poison. Foods should be removed or sealed securely in glass jars or cans to prevent contamination. Plants should be trimmed away from the building to allow the tent to fit properly and avoid any gas leakage.

Above all, think twice about the dangers of fumigation and take every precaution to avoid any contact with these toxic poisonous chemicals. 


The Perimenopause-Heavy Bleeding Connection

by Health News

Many women in perimenopause find they not only have to manage the symptoms of approaching menopause, they also suffer from heavy bleeding each month. The connection between perimenopause and heavy bleeding is becoming more understood by doctors and physicians.

There is a hormonal connection between perimenopause and heavy bleeding

Perimenopause is a period of transition which begins several years before menopause as the ovaries temporarily produce more estrogen before declining during menopause. This can cause an embarrassing and potentially dangerous condition – heavy menstrual bleeding.

How to Define Heavy Bleeding

Heavy menstrual bleeding, known as menorrhagia, is usually defined by a loss of at least double the amount of blood than during a normal menstrual flow. Instead of losing around two tablespoons (30 ml) of blood during the period, sufferers of perimenopause and heavy bleeding may lose as much as two cups (540 ml). This unusual amount of bleeding can lead to embarrassing leaks and unexpected flooding.

This heavy bleeding often includes large clots and may cause a sudden heavy flood. It may also be marked by more frequent periods, occurring every 21 days, or it may last far longer than the usual five to seven days.   

Related:  Defining Perimenopause

Perimenopause and Heavy Bleeding

Heavy menstrual flow is most common in teenage and in perimenopause. Both these times of life are when estrogen levels are higher and progesterone levels are lower, leading to estrogen dominance. Estrogen makes the lining of the uterus (endometrium) thicker and more likely to shed after ovulation; while progesterone makes a thinner endometrium. Estrogen dominance during perimenopause is the cause of the thicker lining and subsequent heavier blood flow.

During the perimenopause, heavy bleeding affects around 25% of women who will have at least one heavy period. Those who have persistent menorrhagia are likely to suffer the effects of losing large quantities of blood each month. This can include some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Anemia (low blood count)
  • Iron deficiency
  • Weakness and lack of energy
  • Fatigue

The answer to the problem caused by perimenopause and heavy bleeding is to correct the hormonal imbalance. There are several informative articles about perimenopause and how to balance hormones safely and naturally, helping to manage the perimenopause and heavy bleeding safely and naturally.


Do You Need to Invest in B Vitamins? Take This Quiz about the Benefits of B Vitamins

by Health News

If you are unsure about the benefits of B vitamins, take our quiz to see if you need to be getting more B’s in your diet. 

Q: Do you feel like you are not as strong as you used to be? Do you commonly lose your keys or having trouble remembering how to get home from a store you’ve shopped at for years?

A: Weak muscles, fatigue and low energy are symptomatic of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Confusion, feeling depressed, and having trouble remembering things that you can’t imagine ever forgetting are also signals.

Your body needs vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your cells to be converted into energy. A low red blood cell count means your cells become starved for air and your body shuts down your muscles to conserve energy. Brain cells that are deprived of oxygen begin to die off, leading to reduced cognitive function like memory loss and confusion.

To get the 6 mcg recommended daily amount (RDA) of B12 in your diet every day, eat eggs, dairy products, meats and fortified foods. Vegans should take a supplement. 

Q: Do you have cracked skin at the corners of your mouth that no amount of moisturizer will heal?

A: A vitamin B6 deficiency is associated with a variety of skin ailments including painfully cracked skin at the corners of your mouth called cheilosis. A lack of vitamin B6 is also associated with an inflamed tongue, sores around the mouth, painfully cracked lips, and greasy or dry, flaky, peeling skin.

A vitamin B6 deficiency is pretty uncommon in the U.S. since many foods contain it. Since a deficiency in the vitamin also known as pyridoxine or pyridoxamine can also cause nerve damage, fatigue, and loss of balance—so getting the 200-milligram RDA is essential for good health. You can find it in nuts, chicken, fish, most vegetables, and bananas.

Q: Are you running to the bathroom more frequently?

A: Loose stools due to Irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s or celiac disease can cause a folic acid or B9 deficiency.  Being deficient in B9 is linked to anemia, fatigue, gray hair, mouth sores, and tongue swelling. 

Children who do not get enough folic acid may experience growth problems and pregnant women are at higher risk for delivering a low-birth weight baby.

You can get plenty of folic acid in your diet from foods like tomato juice, eggs, asparagus, chicken and pork and fortified cereals.

Related:  Hearing Problems Linked to Folate Deficiency Study Finds

Q: What do widespread muscle pain, constipation and loss of sensation in the hands and feet have in common?

A: These are all common symptoms of a thiamine or vitamin B1 deficiency.  The disorder is uncommon in the U.S. and tends to be a problem in countries where white rice is the main food source like South East Asia.  The bran in the outer covering of white rice is where the much-needed thiamine resides.

In the U.S. and in developed countries alcoholics are at risk for developing health issues due to a vitamin B1 deficiency.  However, if you consistently eat a diet of high carbohydrate low-nutrient foods like pretzels, chips, candy and most other common junk food items, you could be at risk for neurological disorders. Instead of vending machine fare, choose eat whole grain breads, peas, beans and fortified foods.

Q: Are your eyes itching, watering, bloodshot, and suddenly light sensitive?

A: If you are experiencing any of those problems with your eyes and have eliminated allergies as the culprit, you may be lacking enough vitamin B2 or riboflavin in your diet.

Riboflavin is essential for many metabolic processes in the body including normal cell growth and functioning, helping other B vitamins undergo the chemical changes necessary to be used by the body and is a powerful antioxidant. 

In addition to vision problems, a lack of vitamin B2 is also linked to skin disorders, anemia, and swelling of the throat and tongue. You can get plenty of it (0.5-0.6 mg/day) in your diet by eating dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, milk cheese and yogurt, whole grains and meat.


Q: Are you feeling unusually fatigued even after a full night’s sleep and a cup of coffee?

A: You could be deficient in any number of the B vitamins. A lack of them in your diet causes anemia, which is characterized by muscle weakness and extreme fatigue. B vitamins are essential for helping the body convert food into energy and supply your cells with oxygen for energy.  Because the B’s work together in the body, not getting enough of one kind means you may not be metabolizing others leading to a variety of health issues.

B Happy

The benefits of B vitamins are well researched and documented. Getting enough of them in your diet is fairly simple. If you consume a variety of lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, there is no reason you can’t B very happy and healthy!


Top Three Supplements to Heal Vision Problems

by Cindy Gray

Some vision loss is normal as we age. However, you can help preserve good vision and ward off cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and vision problems by eating foods and taking supplements with three important nutrients.

Vision problems can be tackled with the right supplements

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Around the world more than 25 million people are affected by cataracts or AMD, which is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 55 in western society.  Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that filter damaging high-energy blue wavelengths of light.

Cataracts are caused by oxidation of the lens in the eye making it cloudy. Lutein and zeaxanthin act like antioxidants in the eye, helping to neutralize the free radicals that cause cataracts and maintain healthy eye cells. Recent research even found that combining vitamin E with lutein and zeaxanthin decreased the risk of developing cataracts even more. 

The human body does not synthesize these nutrients so we have to get them through our diet and supplements. The best sources are green leafy vegetables like:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Green peas
  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Eggs
  • Oranges


This red pigment that comes from marine algae is getting a lot of buzz as one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants could be very beneficial for warding off vision problems.

Age, diabetes, glaucoma and other degenerative eye diseases affect millions of Americans each year. Other contributors to vision problems are exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, inflammation and glycation (when sugar in the blood stream attaches to proteins forming harmful new molecules).  Taking astaxanthin has shown to protect retinal cells, reduce oxidative stress and slow down advanced AMD.  It also helps restore normal pressure in the eye when glaucoma has caused a dangerous billed up of fluid and pressure there.

Taking astaxanthin with lutein and zeaxanthin has been shown in research studies to improve visual acuity and contrast detection in people with early signs of AMD.

RelatedParsley for Macular Degeneration and Vision Problems

Seeing Is Believing

If you are over the age of 55, have a history of glaucoma or cataracts in your family, taking these three supplements could help you keep vision problems at bay. If you are already showing symptoms of AMD, cataracts or other vision problems, these three supplements in conjunction with prescription medications could help heal your sight.


The Healthy Aging Guide to Blue and Purple Superfoods

by IVL Products

When it comes to healthy aging, anthocyanins and antioxidants play a critical role in keeping your cells healthy and warding off cancer, cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline.  

Healthy aging with delicious blue and purple superfoods

Anthocyanins are a group of compounds in the flavonoid family (flavonoids, isoflavones, etc.) and are what give foods like grapes, red cabbage and berries a blue, red or purple hue.  They are thought to be powerful antioxidants that help damaged cells repair themselves.  They also appear to reduce arterial stiffness and lower blood pressure to help reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

While researchers cannot pinpoint exactly how anthocyanins prevent cancer cells from reproducing, the fact that they do is reason enough to be eating blue and purple foods regularly.

Antioxidants are generous nutrients that give molecules missing an electron (known as free radicals) one of their own. This has the effect of neutralizing the cell-damaging molecules and keeping cells healthy.  Getting plenty of antioxidants in your diet helps reverse sun damage, dampen inflammation and contribute to healthy aging.

Put Out the Fire

Chronic inflammation due to environmental pollutants, an unhealthy diet of high fat, high carbohydrate junk foods and even daily life stressors can be a major cause of disease in this country.  Inflammation damages your heart, and makes you more susceptible to cardiovascular disease. In the brain, inflammation over a long period of time leads to cognitive decline like short-term memory loss and dementia. The compounds in purple and blue superfoods douse the flames like water by lowering levels of C-reactive protein in the blood, a common marker for acute inflammation, and allow the body to heal.  

Related:  Inflammation Testing--a Valuable Predictor of Cardiovascular Risk

The Ultimate List of Blue and Purple Superfoods

Lucky for us there are many rich sources of anthocyanins and antioxidants in a wide variety of blue and purple foods. Below is a list of the best ones to add to your meals for healthy aging:

  • Berries –blue, red, black or raspberries these sweet juicy little fruits are good and good for you. They are rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E as well as good sources of fiber and other nutrients.
  • Grapes – also of the berry family, the purple variety has been linked to living longer. This is thanks to a compound called resveratrol.  Sweet and juicy but very low calorie, eating grapes, nature’s candy, is a good way to slow down the aging process.
  • Plums- they are not as popular as berries and grapes, but they should be if you are interested in health aging. Plums have a long list of healthy compounds and nutrients including vitamins A, C, beta-carotene, potassium and iron.  They are also low in calories and high in fiber so put a few in your grocery cart.
  • Bilberry – these European cousins to the blueberry are known on this side of the pond as huckleberries. For decades they have been taken to improve eyesight, fight inflammation and lower blood pressure.  The potent flavonoids in them support cardiovascular health too.

Color Your World

It’s important to have a colorful diet for healthy aging to lower your risk of many age related diseases like heart disease, arthritis, stroke, and cancer. Eating blue and purple superfoods is one easy way to brighten up your diet and keep you feeling healthy.


The Dummy’s Guide to Super Foods that are Indigestion Remedies

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Most uncomfortable, unmentionable, stomach and gastrointestinal issues that have you searching for indigestion remedies can be helped by eating a diet of superfoods. These foods are nutrient-dense, filled with vitamins and minerals, and in your neighborhood grocery stores and farmer’s markets.

The world around us consists of fast food menus, vending machine fare, and highly processed diet disasters full of fat, sugar, preservatives.  Yet, the term “superfoods” often conjures up images of acai berries and sardines. What is an acai berry anyway? Sardines every day? No way!

If you are looking for indigestion remedies that are easy and natural, you most likely won’t find them in the corner convenience store, but in abundance throughout your local grocery store.  Many easy to find, delicious and common household food items can ease your tummy troubles and help you be healthier all around.

The Super 7

  1. Berries – blue, straw, black, and raspberries are nature’s candy. These sweet and simple fruits are full of antioxidants that will seek and destroy cell-damaging toxins from preservative-laden fast food meals.  Berries are also packed with fiber to keep your digestive tract humming along to reduce gas and bloating. They are also a great way to increase your fluid intake everyday, which is critical for keeping the GI tract functioning properly.
  2. Oranges – with almost a day’s RDA of vitamin C and antioxidants, these sweet juicy orbs are a must for every healthy diet. Skip the sugar-laden juices and slice up the entire fruit for a delicious snack with lots of fiber and folate.
  3. Broccoli – it’s just good for you! The green spears are full of healthy compounds that fight aging; and fiber that keeps you feeling full and regular. It also has a unique compound called sulforaphane, which stimulates detoxifying enzymes that may ward off cancer.
  4. Beets – these dark purple beauties not only liven up the looks of many dishes, they are mmm, mmm good for you!  The potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C make them “un-beetable” when it comes to keeping a healthy belly.  Beets also boast a good amount of fiber and are a plant source of iron for the vegan and vegetarians in your family.
  5. Spinach – Popeye knew it! Spinach makes you strong and healthy from the inside out. You can eat it raw or cooked in a variety of salads and dishes and the mild taste won’t sour your stomach. These dark green leaves offer vitamin B6, which helps the body metabolize fats and proteins and convert food into energy.  It also boasts a good-sized helping of iron and vitamin C to make it a super food all-star.
  6. Beans – another excellent source of plant-based iron, beans in all colors (kidney, black, pinto, navy) are good for the body. They are rich in soluble fiber to help keep you feeling satisfied longer so you eat less, and lower your cholesterol.
  7. Sweet potatoes –these bright orange potatoes are for more than a sugar-laden casserole at Thanksgiving. Bake them in the oven and top them with a touch of butter and cinnamon for a delicious side dish full of fiber, beta-carotene (aka vitamin A), vitamins B1, B2, and B6. Minerals like copper and manganese are also in the colorful flesh so roast one up today.

Related:  Alternative Protein Sources and Links to Fighting Heart Disease

Eat to Your Heart’s Content

If you are looking for indigestion remedies, the superfood seven is tops on your menu items. They are all mild on the GI tract, will help keep your metabolism humming along, and they are rich in vital nutrients. The best part about eating these superfoods as they are all low in fat, low in sugar, and a source of high quality carbs, so you can eat them every day, as much as you want!

To get the most health benefits eat the entire rainbow of colors these foods come in from red, purple, and black to orange and green. Your stomach and your entire body will thank you for it.

28 Superfood Recipes for Everyday


Ten Quick Tips about Superfoods

by Health News

True, superfoods have certain traits that make them, well, super, like vital nutrients, no artificial anything, and are often indigestion remedies. 

1. Marketing Misinformation

According to the health website Medicine Net, “there is no accepted medical definition of a superfood.” It’s really just marketing term that is generally thought to mean that any food labeled super has significant health benefits like reducing one’s risk of certain diseases or improving one’s physical or emotional health.

The Food & Drug Administration does not recognize the term superfood, and across most of Europe the use of the term for food labeling is not allowed without hard scientific evidence to back up the claim. The Daily Beast devoted an article to the term saying that “no food should be labeled as a superfood in the first place.”

So are there really any superfoods? The answer is yes…and no.

2.  Definition of a Superfood

In order for a food to be eligible for superfood status, there are a few things it must be, or at least have:

  • Nutrient dense with several vitamins, minerals and compounds with known health benefits
  • Have absolutely nothing artificial in it. No extra sugar, spray on vitamins, no preservatives of any kind. 
  • The calories count, fat content and carbohydrate amounts are irrelevant because of the foods are so full of essential vitamins, minerals and compounds that the body needs to function properly

3. Nutrient Dense

A true superfood will have more than one healthy compound. Just having a bit of vitamin C is not enough to give a food super status.  Nutrient dense means it has at least three essential vitamins and or minerals along with fiber, or protein or a high quality carbohydrate.

4. Nothing Artificial

More than one or two ingredients on the packaging means step away from the fake food.  True superfoods do not have added anything.  If it is in a box or container, it should need to be refrigerated and have an expiration date within a few days like pomegranate seeds, or a superfood salad with several fruits and or vegetables already prepared in the deli food aisle of your local grocery store.

5. Carbs Calories Fat? Who Cares?

You should be able to eat a serving or two of any true superfood without having to take a photo of it for the calorie counter app on your phone. If your meal consists of true superfoods, you can eat hearty servings of it and will feel full and stay that way for longer than anything offered in a vending machine.

Related:  Are Sprouts Superfoods?

6. Gut Friendly

A true superfood is not going to cause you a lot of pain or discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract (GI). In fact, most superfoods are great healthy indigestion remedies when enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.  They usually offer some kind of benefit to your gut by helping you absorb nutrients, keep your colon cleansed naturally and don’t cause cramping or excessive gas (some gas is normal, but a lot is not) and bloating.

7. Disease Fighting Properties

Superfoods originally got the term because of the compounds, vitamins and minerals they contained had some scientific research to back up their effectiveness against certain diseases like cardiovascular disease, stroke, arthritis and many forms of cancer.  Antioxidants, phytochemicals, flavonoids, and carotenoids are common in many superfoods and they are all known to help stave off disease.

8.  Not Every Healthy Food Is a Superfood

Onions, apples and carrots are not called superfoods, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be eating them regularly. Many vegetables and fruits may have only one or two health boosting compounds but are good for you.  You shouldn’t avoid a certain fruit or vegetable, especially if you enjoy eating it, just because it’s not labeled as super.

9. Foods That Truly Earn the Title

So what are some true superfoods?  There are three foods that meet all the criteria for being a true superfood and they are not grown on some exotic island in the South Pacific, but readily available at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.

Blueberries – Chock full of anthocyanins, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals you can’t go wrong by tossing a few into your morning oatmeal, lunch salad or stirring them into some Greek yogurt for a snack. With only 80 calories in one cup, go ahead and have seconds. The natural sugar content will keep your energy up, the fiber will fill you up and the phytonutrients and antioxidants will help keep your cells healthy.

Spinach – Popeye was a smart guy. Spinach is truly a superfood loaded with protein, iron, antioxidants, beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin K with lots of hydrating water and filling fiber. It’s been shown in many research studies to have a positive impact on blood pressure, asthma symptoms, bone health and the GI tract.

Broccoli- Mom was right when she told you to eat your broccoli. Those little green spears of goodness have everything you want and nothing you don’t. They are a great source of vitamin C, K and A, fiber, and many other compounds that ward off cancer, help with allergies, acts as an indigestion remedy to keep your GI tract humming along normally and the list goes on and on. Eat some already!

10. The Truth about Superfoods

Always keep in mind that no official regulating body legally recognizes the term, superfood.  It’s a description to denote a food with many health benefits but low in calories, saturated fats and sugar carbohydrates. The honest truth is no one food is a miracle cure-all. But through superfoods, you can gain indigestion remedies and more. 


Antioxidants and Skin Health: Three Steps to Consider

by Cindy Gray

Most folks know that eating foods and taking supplements with antioxidants are good for them.  Those critical nutrients found in vitamins like A, C and E are good for you, both inside and out.  

Consuming antioxidants and skin health go hand in hand, so to speak, and in just a few easy steps you can keep your skin looking younger for longer.

1. Layer It On

We are exposed to sunlight from our earliest days of life. Wearing sunscreen religiously every day is the best way to protect your skin from the ravages of the sun. However, most of us tend to skip it now and then.  And you may recall experiencing some sunburn back when you were just a kid. 

Those dark spots, dry patches and wrinkles are the result of cell damaging free radicals, which are molecules that have lost an electron.  Feeling bereft, these free radical molecules steal from healthy cells, which starts a chain reaction that eventually damages the cell leaving the evidence of their crime on your face in the form of wrinkles and sunspots.

If you neglected sun protection when you were younger, there is something you can do about it now.  Eat foods and take supplements rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E.  They contain nutrients that generously give free radicals the electron they so desperately want, thus halting their cell damaging thievery and restoring healthy skin cells.

2. Don’t Fan the Flames

The body’s natural response to cell damage is to ignite a fire—such as inflammation—to try to destroy whatever is causing the trouble. Most people suffer from chronic inflammation caused by sun exposure, smoking, and consuming too many sugary foods and drinks, along with the daily activities of life.

Over time, the inflammation takes a heavy toll on the body, especially the skin, leaving it dry, red and sometimes with a pimple or two to add insult to injury. 

Consuming antioxidants is like throwing a bucket of water on the fire. They quench the burn and help damaged cells repair themselves.

3. Eat Drink and Be Healthy

Here is a list of the top antioxidants that should be included in your healthy skin diet:


Known as a carotenoid, it is what gives certain food a red hue.  Lycopene helps improve the texture of your skin by supporting collagen production (a protein that makes up the support bands beneath the dermis) while it reverses free radical damage that causes wrinkles.  You can find it in cooked tomatoes, watermelons, grapefruit and sweet red peppers.

Related:  Royal Jelly For Skin:  Your Skin's Best Friend

Vitamin C

This essential nutrient is showing to be a powerful weapon in the war on aging. It works as an antioxidant and collagen booster to help reverse the signs of aging by smoothing out wrinkles and encouraging healthy skin cell turnover to shed those dark spots for clearer, younger looking skin. You can find it in citrus fruits like oranges, kiwis and strawberries.

Vitamin A

This antioxidant plays an important role in bone growth, reproduction and keeping the immune system healthy. It also helps undo the damage from sun exposure by neutralizing free radicals. You can find it in sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and spinach.

Because too much vitamin A can be toxic, it’s best to get it from your diet rather than supplements.

Vitamin E

Since sun damage is the top producer of free radicals that damage skin cells, vitamin E is a critical antioxidant for skin health.  When combined with vitamin C, it is very effective at protecting skin from UV damage by halting inflammation and limiting DNA damage.  It is also known as a-tocopherol so check for it on the ingredients list when choosing an antioxidant-rich supplement.  You can find it in abundance in foods like vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, asparagus and spinach.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is also known as niacin and has shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It is especially helpful in getting rid of sunspots due to its depigmenting properties. Find it in pork, chicken and fish like tuna, farmed salmon and halibut or swordfish.

The Skin-ny:

Antioxidants and skin health are intertwined so if you want to keep your complexion radiant, eat foods rich in antioxidants and pop supplements with these essential nutrients. 


Antioxidants and Vision Health - Three Factors That Could Affect Your Vision

by IVL Products

What you eat may have a significant effect your vision. Research by the National Eye Institute (NEI) found eating foods and supplements with antioxidants and vision health are very closely related.

Antioxidants and vision health are very much connected

Here are some of the different foods and supplements loaded with antioxidants to help assist the body for improved vision health.

1. Taking Supplements

Losing visual acuity is a normal and largely unavoidable result of natural aging.  Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) causes nearly 10 million Americans to suffer permanent vision loss. Approximately two million cataract extractions (surgery) are performed annually. In some people, AMD causes a slow loss of vision over a long period of time, while for others it can cause a rapid loss in vision.

 In the NEI study, antioxidant vitamins and zinc supplements “reduced the risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25% in the study subjects who were at a high risk for developing the advanced stage of this disease.”

The study went on to say that those in the high-risk group for AMD taking the supplement also reduced vision loss by approximately 19%.  The researchers concluded that taking supplements with high doses of antioxidants could be a very effective way to could delay progression of AMD, especially those who are already at a high risk for developing it like:

  • Those over the age of 55
  • Anyone who has a family history of the disease
  • People who have high blood pressure
  • Those who are obese
  • Smokers

If you are at risk for age-related macular degeneration or cataracts, eating a diet rich in antioxidants could save your sight!

2. Free Radical Exposure

It should come as no surprise that eating foods with antioxidants and vision health are related.  The research and medical community has long known that antioxidants are the number one way to slow down the aging process from deep inside the body to the outer most layer of the skin.

Free radicals, those cells that made up of a molecule with an oddly-unpaired electron, are very unstable molecules that have lost an electron. They then attack the nearest stable molecule with a full set of electrons in its outer shell, stealing an electron, and rendering the mugged molecule unstable.  This can cause a chain reaction that eventually disrupts the viability of a living cell.  Free radical damage accumulates with age and is sped up by lifestyle factors like smoking, excessive sun exposure, and environmental pollutants.

Antioxidants are nutrients that neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons and ending its electron-thievery.

Eye cells are delicate and years of free radical exposure can cause them to begin dying off, leading to vision loss and even total blindness.

RelatedThe Eyes are the Mirrors of your Health

3. Proper Diet

There are three main antioxidant vitamins: vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, which are converted by the body into vitamin A.  Many fruits and vegetables contain these vital nutrients that could greatly reduce your chances of AMD and other eye-related diseases.


Blue, black, raspberry, cranberry, and strawberries are a sweet way to get a healthy dose of antioxidants everyday.  Besides vitamins C and E, they also have other health benefits to benefit the entire body, so toss them in your breakfast cereal, salads and yogurt and you could be seeing “berry” well into your golden years.


These are not just something your grandmother eats to stay regular anymore. These dark purple gems ranked the highest in antioxidants according to a Kansas State University Study. They may not look pretty, but if you are not eating them regularly, you won’t be able to see them anyway.

Walnuts and Pecans

A mere ounce of these tree nuts has an ample amount of antioxidants in cholesterol- and sugar-free bite-sized portions that are great companions alongside the aforementioned berries in many dishes. You would be nuts not to add them into your diet on a regular basis.


This dark leafy green is not only a great source of antioxidants (fresh or cooked) but it also boasts a dose of iron, too.  In addition, kale, Brussels sprouts and even broccoli are rich in antioxidant power for healthy peepers.

Artichoke Hearts

These weird looking plants don’t resemble anything edible, but dig deep to get at the heart of the matter and you will be getting a good dose of antioxidants, along with fiber and other vitamins and minerals.

Green Tea

Tea for two, please—your left and right eye, that is.  This light, mild tasting beverage that is delicious served hot or cold is an easy way to sip a few antioxidants into your diet. If tea is not your thing, good old-fashioned coffee runs a close second in the category of best beverages with antioxidants for the eyes.

Eye Heart Supplements

The NEI study found that most Americans’ diets fall far short of the levels of antioxidants necessary to slow down age-related macular eye disease.  It can be difficult enough to include the abundance of fruits and vegetables needed to get the necessary antioxidants to be effective against vision loss, but with such strong research linking antioxidants and vision health, adding a supplement to your daily routine just makes good sense. See?


Five Myths about Vitamins

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Taking vitamins seems like a good way to stay healthy even when your diet isn’t. Or at least that’s what we would like to believe. Vitamin supplements can be a healthy addition to your diet, but they are not magic pills.  Let’s dispel the five most common myths about vitamins.

Myth #1:  Expensive Urine

You may have written off vitamin supplements because of claims by so-called experts that you can’t absorb extra vitamins and minerals unless it is from actual food; and they just end up being secreted from the body as “expensive urine.”

Fact or fiction? Fiction! If any dietary compounds like vitamin C are detected in your urine it means they were circulating in your blood stream at some point. If the vitamin was in your bloodstream, then you absorbed it and your body used it. 

Myth #2:  A Vitamin Pill Is the Same as Food

Why eat broccoli or salmon if you could just pop a pill, right?  While vitamins are a healthy supplement to your diet, they cannot replace actual food. Vitamins are called supplements because they are a good way to supplement your healthy diet of real foods.  Vitamins contain micronutrients, but we need both micro and macronutrients like protein, fats and carbohydrates to properly fuel our bodies.

It is difficult to get the recommended daily allowance of all vitamins and minerals through your diet, so taking supplements are a good way to cover those little nutrition gaps we all experience. The truth is that there are many compounds in food that are good for you, and many that cannot be duplicated in pill form.

Myth #3:  All Vitamins Are Pharmaceutical Strength

Here’s another one of the most common myths about vitamins. Not all vitamins are pharmaceutical grade just because you bought them in the vitamin shop at a pharmacy.  There are food grade (or store grade) and pharmaceutical grade vitamins.

Food grade vitamin capsules are allowed to have only 20% of the nutrients they say they contain. All the nutrients may have been in the batch but did not necessarily end up in each capsule.

Pharmaceutical grade supplements must meet the U.S. Pharmacopeia standards, which states that the capsule must contain more than 99% of the ingredients listed. They also must have a higher bioavailability than store grade vitamins. The best ones are whole food based and chelated.  Chelated means they are firmly attached to an amino acid or other organic compound so as to not disassociate in the digestive system.

Related:  Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms

Myth #4:  All Vitamin Are Safe

Generally this is true. Most of the supplements you purchase contain only trace amounts of the healthy compounds you take them for, making it hard to consume too many.  Water soluble vitamins dissolve in your bodily fluids while fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K, are stored in your fat cells. There is a chance of toxicity if you have too much of one vitamin build up in your system. They can lead to birth defects (vitamin A) or interfere with blood thinning drugs taken for cardiovascular or prevent normal blood clotting (vitamin K).

Some supplements can interfere with prescription drugs, so always consult your doctor before adding any supplement into your diet.

Myth #5:  It Doesn’t Matter Where You Store Your Vitamins

Wrong! Oxygen, light and water can render vitamins useless.  Many people store their vitamins in the bathroom medicine cabinet, which is the worse place for them. The humidity from the shower will seep into the container over time and start to break down the pills or capsules. 

Some vitamins like A and E are light sensitive, so sitting on the counter under the harsh glare of florescent lighting can cause photo-degradation.  Even exposure to oxygen can start to degrade the nutrients in vitamins.

The best place to store supplements with the cap screwed on tightly is in a cool dry place like a kitchen cabinet away from the stove or sink.   Always keep them out of reach of children. Look for those with childproof caps if you have curious little ones in the home.

Vitamins have an expiration date and overtime begin to degrade. Dispose of those over a year old or sooner if they look discolored, start to crumble or smell odd.

Myth Busters

Now that you know the myths about vitamins you can safely include them in your healthy eating plan and enjoy their many health benefits!