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Heart Attack Signs in Women

by Health News

When we think of heart attacks, we envision the numbness in the arm. This is a symptom that is most often seen in men but may not be present in women.

Women with risk factors for heart disease may show signs that are very different:

  • Chest discomfort or chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach pain, jaw, back or neck pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or light-headedness

But the signs of a heart attack don’t develop overnight. The risk factors have probably been present for a long time before the heart attack happened.
Chest discomfort in women is a common symptom of heart attack.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Heart attack is not the only result of a poorly functioning heart. There is congestive heart failure and coronary heart disease. Both can lead to death.

Women have the same controllable risks as men:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

They also have some uncontrollable risk factors:

  • Age (risk increases after 55)
  • Post Menopause
  • Family History

We will deal with the controllable risks. If you are blessed, you will get older and you will experience menopause. But, dealing with the things you can control can make the uncontrollable factors less of a problem.

Any risk factor is too much. Just because you are slim, doesn’t mean that you are healthy. Lowering risks can start as early as your twenties especially if you have a family history.

Being aware of your health profile goes a long way to helping you know which risk factors you have and what to do about them. Before you reach for the medicine, try the natural approach.

  1. Change your eating habits – Choose more fruits and vegetables. Fatty food may not put weight on you in your twenties, but it is still doing a number on your arteries.
  2. Change your birth control method – Birth control pills carry with it a risk of blood clots. If you smoke the risk is greater. Clots can lead to heart attacks. Ask your gynecologist about an IUD, patch or shots.
  3. Get active – Burn calories each day with about 30 minutes of moderate activity.

This is just a start, but getting a jump on your health can keep you from becoming a statistic. If you experience any chest discomfort or other troublesome symptoms, it’s best to consult with your doctor right away.

Easy Heart Healthy Recipes Cookbook

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Healthy Recipes: Greener Guacamole

by Health News

healthy aging guacamole recipeThe key to healthy aging is maintaining a healthy diet. Check out this guacamole recipe that has the added bonus of wheatgrass powder!

Ingredients

6 ripe avocados
1 package guacamole seasoning
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons wheatgrass powder of your choice (this amount can vary depending on the brand)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. Cut avocados in half and remove pits.
  2. Scoop out avocado with spoon into a mixing bowl.
  3. Mash avocado with fork until no large chunks remain.
  4. Add seasoning to avocado mixture and blend with a fork.
  5. Add lime juice and water and blend.
  6. Sprinkle wheatgrass powder over mixture and blend.
  7. Add 1/2 of cilantro to mixture and blend.
  8. Place guacamole in serving bowl and sprinkle the remaining cilantro on top.
  9. Serve with the chips or crackers of your choice.  Remember to place the avocado pit into the prepared guacamole to prevent it from turning browning; then remove before serving.

For more healthy recipes, check out our Mexican Chicken Salad recipe.

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Is Moderate Alcohol Consumption Healthy?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

You’re probably already aware that a glass or two of red wine is good for your heart and reduces your risk of strokes and gallstones. Now, a new study suggests that moderate alcohol consumption can play a key role in healthy aging by bolstering your immune system, A new study suggests that moderate alcohol consumption can play a key role in healthy aging by bolstering your immune system, improving its responsiveness.improving its responsiveness.

In this study, 12 macaque monkeys were trained to drink alcohol freely and given free access to a 4 percent alcohol mixture as well as food and water. Their alcohol consumption - which mimicked human alcohol consumption - caused the research team to divide them into two groups.

The first group of macaques was made up of so-called ‘heavy drinkers’ who ended up with a blood ethanol concentration (BEC) of 0.08 percent or more. Interestingly, 0.08 percent is the maximum legal BEC for anyone driving a vehicle in the US. The second group of drinkers had lower BECs ranging from 0.02 to 0.04 percent.

Before giving the macaques access to alcohol, study researchers first observed their response to vaccinations. At first, all the macaques had comparable response times. However, after they were granted access to alcohol, their immune system response times to the vaccinations changed dramatically.

For instance, heavy drinking macaques showed diminished vaccine response times when compared to a group of macaques that consumed sugar water in place of alcohol.

Surprisingly though, macaques that consumed moderate amounts of alcohol actually showed enhanced immune system responses to vaccinations - in fact, these study researchers suggest that the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption may be linked directly to its positive impact on the immune system.

It’s important to remember that while moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial, downing too many glasses can prove detrimental to health and wellbeing.

This new study did not identify the specific alcohol component that acts to enhance the immune system. Once health experts know what it is, less controversial health supplements are likely to be developed in future.

Source: Moderate Alcohol Consumption may Boost the Immune System.

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Workout Tips to Lower Blood Pressure

by Health News

How to Gain Energy: Workout Tips to Lower Blood PressureUnfortunately, high blood pressure is a serious issue that impacts the lives of millions of Americans and people around the world every year.  If left untreated, high blood pressure can result in a variety of medical conditions and diseases, ranging from heart attack and heart failure to stroke and even renal failure.  Individuals with high blood pressure often are required to take a variety of different drugs to treat the condition.  This is necessary due to the potentially lethal consequences of inaction.  Luckily for some, there is a way of keeping your blood pressure under check without medication, and one such way is through the use of exercise and controlling blood pressure naturally.

As a bonus, if you want to learn how to gain energy, these exercises are one of the most effective ways to do just that!

The first step in any exercise routine, regardless of your blood pressure, is to get the approval of your doctor before you begin working out.  Once you receive your doctor's approval to begin exercising, the second step is to follow a workout routine that is cautious and will not result in injury.  After all, if you are injured, you will be making zero progress towards your fitness goals.

In order to keep from getting injured, when you begin working out, make sure that you don't push yourself beyond your comfortable limits or try and accomplish too much too fast.  Remember there is no race, and you should begin slowly to avoid having to see your doctor again (only this time due to an injury).  If you have been physically inactive for a period of time, it is necessary to follow a program that will prevent injuries.

One good way to prevent injures and get in shape at the same time is to choose exercises that are low impact but can offer your muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and, of course, your heart a good workout.  Brisk walking is often overlooked, but is a great exercise.  In a similar vein, stationary rowing machines offer another great option for those looking to improve their overall health and lower their blood pressure.  Rowing is great as it is a low impact exercise that involves every major muscle group in the body.

There are many other very effective ways that you can begin getting in shape and lowering your blood pressure as well.  Bicycling and swimming are two additional outstanding exercises that can lower your blood pressure.  Swimming, like rowing, also has the added benefit of being a great total body workout.

Normal blood pressure for adults is considered to be between 110 and 140 for systolic values and 65 and 90 for diastolic values.  This means that if you had a blood pressure reading of 120/65 you would be in normal range.  However, if you have found out that you have high blood pressure, it is important to start to take the steps to lower blood pressure naturally, down to a recommended level.  Begin taking action through exercise; you will not only lower your blood pressure, but you will also improve your health in myriad other ways as well.

 

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Healthy Recipes: Seasonal Foods

by Health News

Savory turkey, sweet pumpkin, tart cranberries…These are the flavors of the fall/winter season. But according to some nutritional experts, we should be eating more of these types of foods all year round because they are so full of natural antioxidants and fiber.

“Several foods we consume this time of year are actually good for you when prepared with minimal added fat, sugar and salt, and consumed in moderation," says Stacey Snelling, a registered dietitian and associate dean at American University's School of Education, Teaching and Health.

Many people do not eat with the seasons. They eat whatever they want all year round. However, if you’re wondering how to have more energy, eating with the seasons is one of the best things you can do for your body. Fueling it with ample antioxidants and fiber will help you stay energized throughout the day.

Here are some examples:

  • White turkey meat is low in fat, high in protein, high in B vitamins, and low in calories compared with dark turkey meat.
  • Cranberries are low-calorie, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and high in fiber and vitamins A and C.
  • Sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and high in vitamins A and C, and fiber.
  •  Red wine is fat-free and high in heart-healthy antioxidants, but only one alcoholic beverage per day for women and two per day for men is recommended. How to Have More Energy: Seasonal Healthy Food Recipes
  • Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and a healthy indulgence when eaten in moderation.
  • Broccoli is the food that can do no wrong. It is low in calories, fat-free, and high in vitamins A and C.
  • Do you normally say “no” to the green bean casserole? You might want to reconsider it! Green beans are low in calories, fat-free, high in vitamins C and K, and high in fiber.
  • Green peas are fat-free, high in vitamin K and high in fiber.

The spices we use in these dishes might also provide health benefits, according to Snelling.

"Some research has found that cinnamon may lower blood sugar, improve diabetes and aid in treating bacterial infections," she says.

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15 Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fats in Vascular Disease

by Cindy Gray

While fish and fish oil have long been accepted sources of omega-3 fats, these essential fats are also present in a wide variety of plant-based foods and supplements. They are a necessary component of the membrane of each cell in our body and help to correct or prevent many adverse health conditions.

The term ‘omega-3 fat’ refers to a group of three polyunsaturated fatty acids (or PUFAs) that share certain characteristics. These fats are mainly referred to by their acronyms ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosatetraenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).15 BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3 FATS

According to scientific research, these are some of the many benefits of omega 3-fats it they apply to vascular disease:

  1. Dietary supplementation with flaxseed oil lowers blood pressure (BP) in people with elevated blood lipids, known as dyslipidemia.

  2. Omega 3 fats improve the cardiovascular risk profile of subjects with metabolic syndrome, including markers of inflammation and autoimmunity.

  3. In modest doses, omega-3 fats reduce incidence of cardiac deaths; while in high doses they reduce non-fatal cardiovascular events.

  4. Dietary supplementation with omega-3 fats reduces incidence of sudden cardiac death in patients with myocardial infarction (MI) or heart attack.

  5. Omega-3 fat supplementation reduces total mortality and sudden death in patients who have already had one heart attack.

  6. Consuming fish is associated with a reduction in coronary heart disease incidence.

  7. Omega-3 fat and vitamin D supplementation leads to a substantial reduction in coronary calcium scores and slows plaque growth.

  8. Omega-3 fats improve macro- and micro-vascular function in patients with type 2 diabetes.

  9. Omega-3 fats improve endothelial function in peripheral arterial disease.

  10. Fish oil has a beneficial effect on blood viscosity in peripheral vascular disease.

  11. The omega-3 fat docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) reduces the risk of peripheral arterial disease associated with smoking.

  12. Fish and long-chain omega-3 fat intake reduce coronary heart disease risk and total mortality in diabetic women.

  13. Higher plasma concentrations of EPA and DPA are associated with a lower risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction or heart attack in women.

  14. Omega-3 fat consumption is inversely associated with incidence of high blood pressure, known as hypertension.

  15. Fish consumption reduces ischemic stroke risk in elderly individuals.

If you’re not sure how you can add omega-3 fats to your daily diet, we have just the solution for you!

Omega-3 supplements and comprehensive heart health formulas should contain enhanced ingredients to help protect your entire cardiovascular system. Often formulated with optimized levels of both EPA and DHA omega-3 fats, these supplements should be sourced from a certified sustainable and responsibly managed Alaskan fishery.

Given the many proven benefits of omega-3 fats in vascular disease, why not begin an omege-3 supplementation routine today?

 

Source:

15 Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fats In Vascular Disease.

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Healthy Recipes: Herbal Lemonade

by Health News

The key to healthy aging is maintaining a healthy dietThe key to healthy aging is maintaining a healthy diet. Here’s a great way to dress up homemade lemonade that will keep you cool and refreshed (and popular with anyone you share it with) all spring and summer long.

Ingredients

  • 6 organic lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 cup raw local honey (or more to taste)
  • 2 quarts filtered water
  • 2 oz. fresh dill
  • 2 oz. fresh mint
  • 3 - 5 sprigs rosemary
  • Edible flowers to garnish

Directions

  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add honey. When honey is dissolved, refrigerate until cool.
  2. Juice the lemons and remove the seeds.
  3. In a container, add the cool honey water, lemon juice and herbs (muddle the herbs to release their flavor)
  4. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Garnish with edible orchids. Enjoy!

For more healthy recipes, check out this Salmon Salad with Walnuts and Asparagus.

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7 GREEN SUPERFOODS WITH CANCER-FIGHTING, HEART-HEALTHY BENEFITS

by Cindy Gray

Eat your greens! How many times have you heard that growing up? Well, it turns out green foods really are some of the healthiest foods on the planet.

SUPERFOODS FOR CANCER-FIGHTING, HEART-HEALTHY BENEFITSFor instance, these seven green Superfoods are chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavor - so they should always have a place of honor at your table:

  1. Brussels sprouts - are a cruciferous vegetable, related to cabbage. Rich in vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, these high-fiber vegetables are also a good source of amino acids and are considered delicious roasted with olive oil.

  2. Green tea - is brimming with cancer-fighting antioxidants and supports heart health, helps digestion and speeds up metabolism. Tea experts swear by loose-leaf teas for the best flavor.

  3. Avocados - are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol and keep you feeling full for longer. They are a good source of vitamins E and C, potassium and lutein. You can add avocados to a salad, use them to make guacamole, or simply eat them plain.

  4. Kiwi fruit - contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps with digestion and conveys feelings of fullness. It has double the vitamin C content of an orange and is very high in potassium. It’s also a good source of vitamin E and folate. Kiwi fruit has a delicious tangy flavor and is ideal for a fruit salad.

  5. Spinach - has double the fiber of other greens, making it a great choice for health-conscious eaters. It’s rich in vitamins A and K and is a good source of iron and folate. Spinach provides antioxidants like beta-carotene, which supports heart health, fights cancer and keeps your eyes healthy. Raw spinach is delicious in salads, or you can add a few handfuls to scrambled eggs, soup or pasta. You can even drink spinach by tossing a handful into a fruit smoothie or a green drink!

  6. High-fiber kale - along with being a good source of vitamins A, C and K, kale also contains calcium and heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Kale is rich in carotenoids, which help protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Most people prefer to lightly steam or cook kale.

  7. Broccoli - is a great source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate and calcium. Like all cruciferous vegetables, it’s also rich in cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Broccoli is very high in fiber, which helps with satiety and supports weight maintenance. It's delicious when lightly steamed or roasted with olive oil and a dash of salt.

However you like your greens - whether raw, cooked or mixed into soup, it’s important that you make them a part of your daily diet so that you can fully benefit from their cancer-fighting, heart-healthy properties.

Go green today and you will look and feel great every day!

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Natural Energy Boosters: How to Boost your Afternoon Energy with Green Supplements

by Health News

Natural Ways to Boost Energy with Green SupplementsWe all know how tough it can be making it through the afternoon hours once energy levels have dropped.  Yet, there are excellent natural ways to boost energy that are caffeine and chemical free, which can really revitalize you and improve your health at the same time.

Let’s face it; we all have days where our energy levels drop considerably in the afternoon.  Now on a particularly stressful or physically demanding day, this is understandable and quite natural.  However, it is important that you realize that there are steps you can take to keep this from happening to you. 

By using proper nutrition, such as vitamin, mineral and protein rich foods or green supplements, you can “recharge your battery” anytime of the day including during the all-important afternoon period.

When you are looking for natural ways to boost energy, its good to know that there are options other than caffeine.  The simple facts are that you don't have to reach for coffee, tea or an “energy bar or drink” to get your energy boost.  Energy bars and drinks tend to be high in an assortment of things that your body just doesn't need, such as sugar, chemicals, additives and preservatives. 

Even the best choices on the market have their problems.  For example, many of these products secretly contain caffeine.  What you really need to find are energy boosters that also improve health and well-being at the same time.  They will give you the “juice” you need to make it through those difficult afternoon hours.

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After-School Exercise Improves Thinking Skills, Focusing and Multi-Tasking in Children

by Cindy Gray

According to a new study, children who participated in a physical activity program after school for nine months did better on thinking related tasks than kids who did not take part in the program. Participants also performed better on tasks that tested their ability to block out distractions, focus and multi-task, skills they will need throughout their lives.

The brain goes through many changes and developments during childhood. Now it seems that research is showing that an active lifestyle during these critical growing years may help to protect brain health throughout the person’s entire lifetime. This means that cutting back on physically active times of the day, like recess and or gym, may have unintended health consequences. Current guidelines in the U.S. and Europe recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day for kids and teens.

For this study, the researchers randomly assigned 221 kids in Illinois, all between ages seven and nine, to a waitlist or an after-school program called FITKids, which was offered for 150 days of the school year.  The FITKids program included two hours of physical activity per session. This was broken down into 70 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, followed by a snack and rest and ending with another 45 minutes of organizational games centered on a skill, like soccer or tag.

Both the FITKids and the waitlist groups improved in fitness over the study period. However, the FITKids group improved more, with a six percent increase in aerobic ability when compared to one percent in the waitlist group.  Interestingly, the physical activity group improved in accuracy and multi-tasking significantly more than the waitlist group. Further, by the end of the study, only the FITKids group showed an increase in the amount of attention they were able to give to tasks.

The researchers aren’t sure that physical activity by itself led to improved brain health, because the FITKids participants may have also benefited from interacting with other children and the general education inherent in the program.

Physical activity keeps the heart rate up and simultaneously works the brainAFTER SCHOOL EXERCISE IMPROVES THINKING, FOCUS AND MULTI-TASKING IN CHILDREN in unique ways. In some sports, for example, an athlete’s brain must predict where the ball is going and where their teammates may be.

All health experts agree that kids need to be physically active for about an hour every day. Parents who don’t have access to an after-school program could take their kids to a park or the YMCA or some other safe environment where their kids can be physically active.

 

Source:

After-School Exercise Improves Thinking Skills, Focusing and Multitasking.  

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Antidepressants May Slow Alzheimer's Disease Progression

by Cindy Gray

According to new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Pennsylvania, a commonly prescribed antidepressant may be able to reduce production of amyloid beta, the main harmful ingredient in Alzheimer's brain plaques—both in mice and in people. 

Levels of amyloid beta rise in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's, causing it to clump together into plaques. Plaques are also present in people with cognitively normal brains, although at much lower levels.  Alzheimer's brain plaques are closely related to memory problems and other cognitive impairments. Health experts believe that stopping plaque buildup may slow down mental decline as well.

This study found that regular consumption of a common antidepressant stopped plaque growth in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Not only that, but in young, cognitively healthy adults, a single antidepressant dose lowered production of amyloid beta, the primary harmful ingredient in Alzheimer's brain plaques, by 37 percent.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS MAY SLOW ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE PROGRESSIONAlthough these findings are encouraging, the study authors say it is still too early to recommend taking antidepressants to slow Alzheimer's disease development. While antidepressants are generally safe, they still have certain risks and side effects; and there is still much work to do to show that the risks are worth the benefits.

Earlier research has shown that serotonin, a chemical messenger in the brain, reduces amyloid beta production. Since most antidepressants keep serotonin circulating in the brain, researchers had earlier tested several antidepressants in young mice genetically altered to develop Alzheimer's disease as they aged.  In these mice, which had not yet developed brain plaques, antidepressants were shown to reduce amyloid beta production by an average of 25 percent after 24 hours.

For this new study, the research team gave the antidepressant to older mice with brain plaques and tracked the growth of Alzheimer's-like plaques in the mice for 28 days. They saw that growth of existing plaques stopped, while formation of new plaques was reduced by 78 percent.

In a second experiment, the scientists gave a single antidepressant dose to 23 people aged 18-50 years who were not cognitively impaired or depressed. Samples of spinal fluid taken from these participants over the next 24 hours showed a 37 percent drop in amyloid beta production.

Following on from these successful results, researchers are now trying to understand the molecular mechanisms by which serotonin affects amyloid beta production, both in mice and in older adults, treated for longer periods with antidepressants.

 

Source:

Antidepressant Slows Progression of Alzheimer’s Brain Plaques.   

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Video Blog: Exercising: Getting In Shape With These Simple Steps

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Check out this video blog where we show you how to gain energy and get in shape with these simple steps.

What simple steps can you take to get into shape?  
 


 

Click the link below to ask Dr. Christine Horner a health question.
http://www.ivlproducts.com/pages/Forum-Signup/

Want to read other related blog posts?
The Many Benefits of Regular Exercise

How to Live Healthy

Healthy Exercise Gives the Brain a Boost!

Nine Ways to Naturally Boost Energy  

 

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9 Warning Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

by Cindy Gray

As far back as the 1930s, doctors first recognized the link between vitamin D deficiency and the skeletal disease called rickets, which causes a softening of the bones and teeth.

Today, new research has shed light on many other illnesses which appear to be caused by more subtle forms of vitamin D deficiency.

The term vitamin D refers to both vitamin D2, which we typically get from our diet, and vitamin D3, which is manufactured by our skin when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D's main function in the body is to regulate blood levels of calcium and phosphorous.

This vital nutrient is found at the highest concentrations in fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon. Some mushrooms are also high in vitamin D.

While our skin cells do make some of the vitamin D that we need, sun exposure alone may not be enough, so supplementation may be required. Factors such as skin color, the time of year, the angle of the sun, cloud cover, pollution levels and the use of sunscreen can greatly limit the amount of vitamin D made by our skin.

Some people who have vitamin D deficiency may not have any symptoms. Others may experience restless sleep, muscle cramps, general fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain or weakness, inability to concentrate, headaches, constipation or diarrhea and bladder problems.

Here are nine serious medical conditions that have been linked to vitamin D deficiency:

  1. Asthma - daily vitamin D supplementation has been shown to lessen asthma attacks and reduce their severity

  2. Depression - vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to depression and other psychiatric illnesses. Getting enough D during pregnancy has been shown to lessen the chances that the unborn child will develop mental illness later in life

  3. Heart disease - is much more common in people deficient in vitamin D

  4. High blood pressure (BP) - has been associated with deficiencies in calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin D

  5. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) - vitamin D can ease the pain and stiffness associated with RA, a devastating disease that causes systemic inflammation, severe pain and joint damage

  6. Multiple sclerosis (MS) - the farther from the equator you live and the less sun exposure you get, the more likely you are to develop MS, suggesting a strong link between MS and vitamin D

  7. Cancer risk - has been strongly linked to D deficiencies, including breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer

  8. Periodontal disease - inflammation of the gums can cause pain, bleeding and tooth loss. Vitamin D helps to lower the number of harmful mouth bacteria

  9. Diabetes - poor blood sugar control may be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency, leading to an increased risk of developing diabetes

Given the many health risks of not having enough vitamin D in your body, perhaps it’s time to supplement your diet with this vital nutrient right away?

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Nine Ways to Naturally Boost Energy

by Health News

Nine Natural Ways to Boost EnergyAre you experiencing a lull in energy? After age 35, fatigue becomes a more frequent problem. It can affect mental and physical health, and it may hinder an active lifestyle. Fortunately, there are steps that we can take to beat fatigue. Here are nine natural ways to boost energy.

Replace simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates are typically high in sugar, which means they are quickly digested. The result is a spike in energy followed by a crash and cravings for more sugar. Simple carbs include white foods like bread and potatoes and high sugar foods like baked goods, candy bars and soda. Complex carbohydrates are low in sugar and include foods like fresh vegetables and whole grains.

Eat smaller, more frequent meals.

Eating small meals more regularly results in a steady supply of energy and better digestion. Here are a few ideas for healthy, low-sugar snacks:

  • mixed nutsa rice cake with peanut butter
  • a fresh-fruit smoothie
  • fresh vegetables with low-fat dressing
  • plain yogurt with fruit

Stay hydrated.

Water helps maintain healthy cells within the body, removes toxins and enhances energy levels. For ultimate benefit, make sure to drink at least 64 ounces of pure water daily.

Get plenty of vitamin C.

Vitamin C helps the body absorb nutrients which would obviously increase energy levels. Also, research has shown a link between low levels of citric acid and chronic fatigue. Eat plenty of citrus fruits and berries or take a daily vitamin C tablet.

natural ways to boost energy

Introduce yogurt into your diet.

Like vitamin C, live cultures of healthy bacteria in yogurt help the body absorb nutrients. In addition to boosting energy, this enhances digestive health. Try brands that are low in sugar and add fresh fruit for an ultra-healthy breakfast or snack.

Eliminate chronic stress.

Some stress can actually boost energy levels, as is the case when a person somehow finds the energy to meet a deadline for a big project. While a little stress now and then can keep life enjoyable and interesting, chronic stress can be draining and unhealthy.  Try yoga, meditation, listening to soft music or a warm bath to battle chronic stress.
 

Have a good chuckle.

Laughter is great medicine for improving the mood and boosting energy. Spend time with humorous people, subscribe to daily email jokes or rent a funny movie.

Sleep well.

People generally need seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep to be fully rested. Less than six hours of sleep per night on a regular basis results in sleep deprivation and low energy levels. Try these tips for better sleep: use your bed for sleeping only (no reading or television), take a warm bath before bedtime, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and try melatonin – a natural sleep aid – in a pinch.

Get regular, physical exercise.

While at times it may seem like your body needs a good nap, it might be better to take a walk instead. Research suggests that physical exercise on a consistent basis can boost energy levels in people, even those with chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

A review study published in Psychological Bulletin examined 70 studies on exercise and fatigue levels involving over 6,800 subjects. "More than 90% of the studies showed the same thing:  Sedentary people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue compared to groups that did not exercise," states study author, Patrick O'Connor, PhD.

Don’t reach for a Red Bull the next time fatigue sets in. Instead, try one or all of the nine tips above to naturally boost energy.

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20061103/exercise-fights-fatigue-boosts-energy

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How Exercise Helps Fight Stress

by Health News

Just like a squirrel has a favorite hiding place for its chestnuts, you most likely have a place on your body where you store stress. It may be tension or tightness in your shoulders, neck or throat, upper or lower back, arms, or stomach.

Learn how to combat stress and how to increase energy levels at the same timeNot only is stress bad for your mood, it can also lead to fatigue. By following the steps below, you will learn how to combat stress and how to increase energy levels at the same time.

Next time you feel the telltale signs of increased pressure in your “storage area,” stop what you are doing and use this exercise to discover where the tension is, then release it from your body.

  1. Lie on your back with your arms at your side, palms down.
  2. Raise your right arm and keep it elevated for 15 seconds. Notice if your forearm feels tight and tense, or if the muscles are soft and pliable.
  3. Let your arm drop back down to your side and relax. Your arm muscles should relax too.
  4. As you lay still, pay attention to other parts of your body that are tense, tight, or sore. Do any of your muscles have a dull ache?
  5. Next, inhale deeply. As you breathe in, allow your stomach to relax so that the air flows into your abdomen. Let your stomach balloon out as you breathe in.
  6. Imagine the breath is filled with love and relaxation. Let this positive energy travel and fill your muscles.
  7. On your next exhalation, take the tension from your muscles and push them out of your body.
  8. Continue this pattern of breathing in relaxation and breathing out tension until all of the tension in your muscles has melted away.

how to increase energy levels

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Antioxidant Supplements Provide Abundant Energy

by Health News

how to gain energyContrary to popular belief, energy levels do not automatically diminish with age and growing older doesn’t have to mean “moving slower.” If you want to learn how to gain energy, proper nutritional support that includes plenty of antioxidant supplements can give your body the boost it needs to increase energy naturally through all the years of your life.  

Energy loss can be traced to free radicals. These are the “bad guys” that damage cells and DNA. Free radicals are actually oxygen molecules that can be produced by the body, but there are also external sources such as air pollution, pesticides, food additives and cigarette smoke. As we get older these toxic oxidants build up in the body. If left unchecked free radicals will create a “perfect storm” within our bodies that accelerates the aging process and leads to a steep decline in energy levels.

Antioxidants are “good guys” that neutralize free radicals and help restore the body to health and balance. Antioxidants are plant-based phytochemicals, vitamins and nutrients that protect our bodies from the damage caused by toxic oxidants. They are abundant in raw fruits and vegetables, especially brightly colored ones.

Check out the selection at your local organic farmer’s market. Berries, including blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries pack a powerful antioxidant punch. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts are also rich in antioxidants as well as tomatoes, spinach, carrots and red grapes. Green Tea is another potent source. March is National Nutrition Month and the American Dietetic Association chose the theme “Eat Right With Color” to promote consumption of brightly colored fruits and vegetables.   

Because the body’s natural ability to produce antioxidants decreases with age, millions of older Americans use antioxidant nutritional supplements to neutralize free radicals and slow down the aging process. A good natural antioxidant dietary supplement may reduce the level of free radicals in the body while helping you to maintain strong metabolic activity which increases our energy levels.

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5 Fats You Should Be Eating

by Health News

Do you know the idea that all fats makes you fat is really a myth?

Most people believe that low-fat and fat-free products are healthier, but it’s simply not true. On the other hand, some fats are healthy and may even hold the secret to how to increase energy levels and promote weight loss. 

Some healthy fat may hold the secret to how to increase energy levels

Your body requires fat in order to function properly. Not only that, many necessary vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. This means your body can only absorb them in the presence of fat.

These good fats will not only will you feel better - they will also satisfy your hunger without depriving your body of essential nutrients:

  1. Nuts are chockfull of amazing nutrients, healthy fats and protein. They are also rich sources of protein and unsaturated fats as well as concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and powerful anti-aging antioxidants. They are also one of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a heart-healthy plant omega-3 fat. Nuts are also rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that boosts immune function, promotes wound healing, improves blood vessel function and helps lower risk of heart disease. Further, they contain soluble fiber and vitamin E. Fiber helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels, while vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant essential for proper immune function and healthy skin.
  2. Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps cleanse and protect your body by detoxifying, removing heavy metals and fighting free radicals. Glutathione helps maintain a healthy immune system and slows the aging process. Avocados are also rich in folate, which lowers the incidence of heart disease and stroke. They are also the best fruit source of Vitamin E.  Foods with omega-3 fats such as salmon, nuts, flax seed and avocados should be consumed regularly for good heart and brain health.
  3. Coconut products offer a wide range of health benefits. Coconut oil offers antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-cancer properties along with improving digestion, nutrient absorption and intestinal health. It also provides cardiovascular benefits and helps manage type 2 diabetes. Coconut oil promotes kidney and liver health and boosts the immune system. It also benefits metabolism, energy and weight management.
  4. Saturated fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides, which can be easily metabolized and used as energy by the body. Research suggests that these fatty acids may boost metabolism, promote weight loss and increase HDL, the ‘good’ protective cholesterol in the body.
  5. Olive oil is a very healthy oil to use when sautéing, baking and making salad dressing. This fantastic oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and antioxidants such as chlorophyll (which accounts for part of the color in olive oil), carotenoids, and vitamin E.  Olive oil is great for reducing blood pressure, cancer prevention, managing diabetes and lessening the severity of asthma and arthritis. Researchers from the Seven Countries Study found that monounsaturated fats in olive oil were mainly responsible for the low rates of heart disease and cancer on the Greek island of Crete. Olive oil also contains polyphenols, which are powerful anti-aging antioxidants. Including olive oil in the diet can also help to maintain a lower, healthy weight.
  6. Seeds contain beneficial fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and protein. They are also packed with health-promoting minerals such as magnesium, selenium and zinc, as well as powerful antioxidants, fiber and minerals.

 

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7 Easy Exercises That Burn Fat

by Health News

Millions of people want to know how to gain energy as they struggle through morning grogginess and afternoon fatigue. One of the best ways to prevent chronic fatigue is to maintain good health.

How to Gain Energy | 7 Easy Exercises That Burn FatAs you may know, there are four basic prongs of good health: diet, stress management, detoxification and exercise.  Exercise, timed with ample rest, is actually crucial for keeping up energy levels, youthful levels of growth hormone and even sex hormones into your advanced years.

Researchers found that overweight people in their 50s who regularly practiced gentle exercises lost about five pounds over ten years, while a group in the same age range gained 13 ½ pounds over the same period.

The National Institutes of Health recommends that men over 50 balance their workouts among four different areas.

  1. Cardiovascular activities like running, swimming and cycling help keep your heart and lungs in shape.
  2. Strength training with light weights helps to build muscle and prevent muscle loss. Weights are easily available at any sporting good store.
  3. Stretching helps to keep your body flexible as you get older.
  4. Balance exercises are important for men over the age of 50 to prevent against a fall and the resulting injuries.

However, you don’t have to spend hours at a gym to stay in shape.  There are plenty of simple exercises you can do right at home that help build muscle and burn fat. These exercises require little or no equipment, but can be very effective if performed consistently. Start out with 3 sets of 10 repetitions, then slowly increase.

SHOULDER CIRCLES: these are good for improving mobility and reducing stiffness. You can do this either sitting or standing.

  • With shoulders relaxed and arms resting loosely at your sides (or in your lap if you're seated), gently roll your shoulders forward, up, back, and down.
  • Reverse direction.
  • You can do this exercise alternating shoulders or both at the same time.

CRUNCHES: Great for firming up abdominal muscles.  Be sure to keep your abs tight; you shouldn’t feel any strain in your back.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet elevated. Cross hands and arms over your chest
  • Lift your shoulder blades off the ground several inches, while keeping your abdominal muscles tight
  • Lower back down to the starting position.

STRAIGHT LEG RAISE – This exercise strengthens the muscles that bend the hip and straighten the knees.

  • Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat
  • Straighten one leg. Tighten the muscle on the top of that thigh and straighten the knee as much as possible.
  • Keeping the knee straight, raise your leg one to two feet off the ground. Do not arch your back.
  • Hold your leg up and count out loud for ten seconds.
  • Relax. Repeat with other leg.

how to gain energy

SQUATS and STEP-UPS strengthen your thighs, buttocks and lower back.  You can use light dumbbells for added resistance if you wish.

  • For squats, stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart. Then, drop your thighs until you’re almost in a sitting position, then stand up.
  • For Step-ups, you can use either a chair or the staircase in your home. Simply step up on to the chair or the step with your right foot and lift your left foot off the ground.  Then, step back down with your right foot.  Repeat with the left foot.

HAMMER CURLS: perfect for improving the strength and tone of your biceps and triceps.  Start with a light weight, such as 4 or 5 pounds then work up.

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and position your palms so they face away from the body.
  • Slowly curl both hands upward, while keeping your elbows still.  Then, slowly, bring your hands down to your sides.
  • You can also do a variation of this exercise by facing both palms inward, toward the body and curl.

BACK LIFT: This will improve flexibility along the spine and strengthen back muscles.

  • Lie on your stomach with your arms at your side or overhead.
  • Lift your head, shoulders and arms. Do not look up. Keep looking down with your chin tucked in.
  • Count out loud as you hold for a count of ten, then relax. Relax, You can also lift your legs off the floor instead of your head and shoulders.

As with any exercise program, Start out slowly and gently and listen to your body’s signals. Start out with 3 sets of 8 reps.  If you don’t experience any pain after several days, you may want to gradually increase the intensity and repetitions of each set.

These simple exercises, along with a healthy diet, you can help boost strength, ease stress, and even relieve pain and stiffness in your joints. You’ll also feel more focused, alert and able to do the activities you love with energy and vigor.

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Expert Recommended Energy Boosting Strategies

by Health News

 

Getting an energy boost does not necessarily mean a candy bar or a double espresso. There are many natural ways to boost energy, you just need to have the know-how.

There are many natural ways to boost energy, you just need to have the know-how

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.

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How to Have More Energy & Improve Digestion with Pistachios

by Health News

Many people have a hard time staying alert and energized throughout the day. Whether you take hours to feel awake in the morning or struggle with post-lunch fatigue, there are ways you can increase your energy levels naturally. And as a bonus, you’ll also be improving your digestion. So what’s the secret to how to have more energy?

Pistachios. Pistachios are rich source of energy; 100 g of nuts provides 557 calories. In addition, they are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of antioxidants. Not only do they provide an energy boost, but they are also great for digestion.

According to a new study that uses an experimental model to imitate the digestive process, polyphenols and other antioxidants in pistachios are readily absorbed on digestion.

Along with earlier research showing that fat in pistachios is not completely absorbed, this creates a win-win situation for those people who like to use nuts as nutrient-rich snacks.

How to Have More Energy & Improve Digestion with Pistachios

The green, yellow, and purple-red colors of pistachios are because of the polyphenols and antioxidants in their kernels and skins. This particular study showed that polyphenols and other antioxidants such as gamma-tocopherol (vitamin E) found in pistachios - and also in fruits and vegetables - are released during digestion, making them readily available to the body.

This is significant because nutrients in food aren't always readily accessible. For example, iron in spinach is hard for the human body to absorb, although its absorption can be improved when it is combined with vitamin C.

In further good news, an analysis of the consumption of walnuts, almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts in nearly 10,000 randomly selected adults in the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program in Iran found a significant link between high nut consumption and lower triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol levels and Apo B/Apo A ratio - all of which protect the heart.

In other words, more frequent nut consumption meant better heart protection.

Not only that, a preliminary study published in 2012 suggests that we may be consuming fewer calories per serving of nuts such as pistachios than originally believed - approximately 160 calories per 30 gram or 1-ounce serving.

In brief, nuts including pistachios are a great-tasting, healthy snack that is rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants. Up to 90% of the fat in pistachios is the healthy monounsaturated type and consuming them protects us from heart disease.

So why not start snacking on nuts if you don’t do so already - or add them to your salads and stir-fries - today?

how to have more energy

Source:

Antioxidants in Pistachios Readily Absorbed on Digestion.

The Relationship between Nut Consumption and Lipid Profile Among the Iranian Adult Population; Isfahan Healthy Heart Program.