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Natural Weight Loss Supplements

by Health News

Many of us struggle to maintain a healthy body weight, and for some, limiting calories and increasing exercise makes dieting a very long and slow process. Any help to speed up weight loss is gratefully received and, knowing this, the market is swamped with diet pills and "magic" weight loss aids offering unbelievable overnight success.

The hard truth is that most of these products are expensive and work on amphetamines, diuretics or laxatives. At worst they are dangerous or illegal and at best the weight loss is temporary as it is simply water, not fat, that is shed.

If you are looking for a safe all-natural supplement to accompany a sensible low fat diet, then there are some excellent herbs from Mother Nature herself to aid your efforts to lose weight.

Guggul

Guggul is made from a resin sourced from a thorny Indian plant. It promotes a healthy thyroid, which in turn controls the body's metabolism. A sluggish thyroid can be a big hindrance for those on a diet so taking guggul makes sure the food you eat is turned into energy, not stored up as fat. Guggul also lowers cholesterol and triglycerides as well as lowering your weight!

Psyllium Husks

Diets can cause constipation so taking psyllium husks which are dense in natural fiber makes good sense. Psyllium not only cleanses the colon and removes toxins, it also keeps food moving and ensures regularity. Add whole psyllium husks to at least 8 fluid ounces water, sugar-free juice, fat-free milk or soy drink. If taken before meals it swells in the stomach to make you feel full so you can choose smaller portions. You can also add it to soup for a satisfying low-calorie snack when you crave food.

Green Tea

Green tea is a great drink for dieters. Sip up throughout the day for a calorie-free intake of antioxidants and nutrients. Green tea is great for regulating the metabolism, like guggul, and it stimulates fat-burning. It is a great de-toxifier for your digestive system and the polyphenols induce weight loss and promote health. A great way to take it is by adding droplets of Green Tea Elixir, a concentrated source of green tea extract, to your favourite soda or hot drink to get all the benefits of green tea.

Garcinia Camboja

You may never have heard of garcinia camboja but it is an ingredient used in many slimming supplements. It is better known as HCA which stands for hydroxycitric acid garcinia cambogia, an ingredient which is derived from this Asian fruit. It is said to help suppress the appetite and enhance serotonin levels boosting feelings of happiness and well-being.

If you can't diet alone, get these four "friends" to help and support you. With daily exercise and a sensible healthy diet you will soon be well on your way to diet success!

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Healthy Holiday Survival Guide

by Health News

by: Cindy Gray

Just the thought of THE HOLIDAYS can bring pangs of panic and fear to many. For some, spending the holidays with their family brings warm and fuzzy thoughts to mind. For others, gathering for any extended period of time with THE FAMILY is just short of a train wreck. But for just about everyone, the holidays invite a different kind of wreck, call it a diet-wreck, one filled with calorie-rich and sodium-laden foods resulting in swollen fingers, puffy faces, and the kind of spare tire nobody wants in their trunk.  

But, regardless of what types of holidays you and yours tend to celebrate, you can deal with them—enjoy them, even!—and yet not fall prey to the diet-wreck that often accompanies their celebratory nature. So what can you do to prepare yourself, to become a Healthy Holiday Survivalist?

To make the most of this holiday season, here are a few easy-to-use survival tips:

BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin pie, that is. Or BYOT for bring your own turkey, or tofu if you don't eat meat. You get the idea.) Chances are you know the people and the places you will be visiting, so be prepared! The average holiday meal can easily exceed 2,000 fat-laden calories. Don't obsess about what NOT to eat, (guilty feelings are very toxic) instead learn about delicious, healthy foods that may already be on your shoppng list. If Great Aunt Marcy tends to cook a bit heavy-handed, offer to bring (or sneak in) a healthy version of a holiday standard. Here are a few: 

Pumpkins— A beautiful veggie, loaded with vitamin A and fiber. Tailor this year's pumpkin pie with an egg substitute, light cream (or low-fat evaporated milk, or soy milk). Avoid transfat in your pie crust, or make your own without shortening. Use natural sugar substitutes like stevia, honey, brown rice syrup or agave syrup. (Bonus: Survivalists have been known to catapult pumpkins at warring tribe's camps.) 

Cranberries, rich with vitamin C, naturally low in calories, coupled with dietary fiber and manganese. With an abundance of proanthocyanidins, the type of antioxidant that helps to keep bacteria from adhering to the lining of the bladder and urinary tract. Skip the canned cranberry sauce and whip up a batch of your own. Simply simmer fresh cranberries with a little orange juice and zest, sweeten with a natural sweetener, and top with mandarin oranges and chopped walnuts. You can have seconds of this, and thirds too!

The sweet potato, often ignored until the holidays, when grandma baked a casserole laden with tons of brown sugar and marshmallows. Yuk! Sweet potato is a root veggie, and a rich source of antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. Loaded with potassium and a delicious, edible skin that provides the health benefits of fiber, making the sweet potato a healthy holiday food. Try something different this year and cut them into wedges and roast them drizzled with olive oil and rosemary or your favorite fresh herbs. Sweet potatoes are also delicous mashed with buttermilk, added to a harvest squash soup, or baked and served simply like a baked white potato. (Raw sweet potatoes also make a good weapon when needed at a holiday gathering.)

What about good old-fashioned green beans? While they may be one of the healthiest holiday foods out there, (and an excellent source manganese, vitamins A, C, K, fiber, folate, iron and potassium), the traditional green bean casserole is high in calories and sodium. Help this delicious dish to survive by making a low-fat version with fat-free cream of mushroom soup and a heart-healthy butter substitute. For extra healthy flavor, cook some onions in olive oil first, add fresh mushrooms, and mix this into the recipe.

And finally, THE BIRD... the big, bad bird... the turkey. This beloved bird is an excellent source of protein, and provides the least amount of fat per serving, compared to other meats, if you pass on the skin. And while you're passing, try passing on the ham too. Ham is loaded with fat and is high in sodium, so make it easier to pass on this holiday season by not serving it at all. (Don't forget sticks or twigs in case you need to build a fire.)

BYOP also means Bring Your Own Papaya enzymes for knotting tummies and holiday indigestion. 

Fill Your Tank Before Heading Out
Before soldiering out into the great beyond, heading for your holiday destination, think smart: Start out your day with a healthy breakfast like oatmeal, yoghurt and fresh fruit—that way you're not famished when you arrive at the party. At the party, eat plenty of fresh veggies, with a low-cal dip on the side (even if you have to bring it.) If you partake at the party, drink a healthy glass of wine, even a wine spritzer to make the beverage last longer, top it off with fresh citrus for added taste and flair. Feel confident with fresh breath at a party by brushing your teeth and flossing often—remember, dental plaque has been linked with cardiovascular disease, so keep 'em clean! 

Size Does Matter
Use portion control to avoid poison control! In challenging nutritional situations like these, believe me, portion control is your ultimate weapon.   Aunt What's Her Name may take your refusal of seconds (and thirds!) as a personal affront to her cooking talents (cat hair aside), so become skillful at moving food around your plate (and into a foil-lined pocket—you're prepared, remember?) Eat smaller portions, and don't buy into the holiday guilt trip that can drag you down in spirit. 

Use Your Senses   
Using your senses is a no-brainer, but you need a brain to do it! So stay rested, feed your brain and body with a good, quality multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement. When visiting in-laws or outlaws, come armed and prepared with a fine-tuned sense of humor and big dose of common sense. If the energy gets weird, envision yourself observing your self...and don't let “them” get to you. Smile and nod to that cousin in the corner with the chip (and dip) on her shoulder, staring transfixed into the e-gadget seemingly built into her palm. Ignore that serving of sour grapes, even if they are organic. Sharpen your tools of defense, and proudly outsmart them by being skillfully oblivious to any real or perceived dysfunction. Luckily the holidays only come 'round once a year! So enjoy them! 

Holiday Survivalist Gift List
Don't be caught with your gift-pants down! Shop well ahead of time (you're prepared, remember?!) and choose an assortment of easy-to-buy, wrap-, transport- and give- gifts. A nice bottle of wine or sparkling juice in a pretty gift bag is a good hostess idea. What about gadget-store gifts cards for the gloomy cousin, or a basket of cat toys and accessories for Aunt What's Her Name? Shopping throughout the year is my personal saving grace. I aim for being done by Halloween—but don't tell anyone, because they will hate you for your preparedness, and not invite you to their party, which could be a strategy you might find useful.  

These are just a few ideas for making your holiday healthy and delicious. The two can go hand in hand. The holiday season is a season of celebration and spending time with friends and family, no matter how stressful or crazy they may be. So when Uncle Tudball dispenses a welcoming whack on your back, strong enough to dislodge a rum ball, remember this holiday season, the key word is survival! Take it with a grain of sea salt! Be prepared. Happy holidays. 

 

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Green Is For Health: Chlorophyll

by Not in Use Not In Use

The word “green” has become a codeword for that which is healthy, environmentally beneficial, and positive. It’s naturally assumed that this is derived from the green color of plants, which symbolizes nature and overall natural health. But, the question can be asked, why are plants green?

The answer is chlorophyll. Simply put, chlorophyll is the single most critical substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert that light into usable energy. Chlorophyll has a chemical structure that is quite similar to a chemical structure found within our red blood cells. All of the green vegetables are concentrated sources of chlorophyll, and appear to be better sources of antioxidants than antioxidant supplements.

Chlorophyll has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and wound-healing properties. Chlorophyll is a good source of antioxidant nutrients. Antioxidant nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E help to neutralize free radicals in the body that can cause damage to healthy cells. Moreover, chlorophyll delivers magnesium to the body and helps the blood carry oxygen to the cells and tissue, and it has been studied for its potential in stimulating tissue growth and in stimulating red blood cells in connection with oxygen supply.

Research studies in humans have found that damage to DNA by aflatoxin can be decreased as much as 55% through supplementation with chlorophyllin at 100 milligrams, 3 times a day, for 4 months. Although research is still in the early stage, prevention and treatment of liver cancer, skin cancer, and colon cancer are being investigated in relationship to intake of chlorophyll-containing vegetables and supplementation with chlorophyllin.

On a poetic note, chlorophyll is the chemical which allows plants to grow from sunlight; that is, chlorophyll is essential in the transformation of light energy to chemical energy in photosynthesis. It may not be too much of a leap to think that the ingestion of chlorophyll is the ingestion of sunlight itself, and perhaps that sunlight is essential to not only life on earth, but our lives as well. If it is too poetic, it is comforting to know that science reinforces this notion, and that the color green is more than just a symbolic notion of health - it is a literal denotation of it as well.

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

by Health News

Boost Energy Naturally The Institute for Vibrant LivingWe all know how tough it can be making it through the afternoon hours once energy levels have dropped.  Yet, there are excellent solutions 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 natural energy supplements, you can “recharge your battery” anytime of the day including during the all-important afternoon period.

When you are looking for ways of increasing your energy levels, 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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Natural Relief for Chronic Joint Pain

by Not in Use Not In Use

Chronic joint pain is an affliction that millions of Americans must live with every day. Some of these problems are severe and require medical attention and rehabilitation; others, however, can be alleviated and/or prevented through changes in lifestyle. As with other aspects of good health, proper care and self-monitoring can go a long way in preserving activity, functionality, and increase energy naturally.

Many sufferers of chronic joint pain have found relief in various forms of physical therapy; but physical therapy is a fancy way of talking about exercise. And while therapy may be a more focused and efficient method for dealing with a specific pain, exercise is a general term for overall maintenance of the whole body.

But which types of exercise are the most effective in relieving joint pain?

Yoga is one of the best total body activities to deal with chronic afflictions, especially those of born from injury or wear and tear. Yoga increases flexibility, strength, and posture in practitioners, while oxygenating the blood and naturally boosting energy.

Your joints, your muscles, and your cardiovascular system all benefit from the many complex positions. Scientifically, studies have demonstrated that sufferers from rheumatoid arthritis have shown marked improvement from practicing yoga.

Yoga: A Natural Relief for Chronic Joint Pain

Other exercise regiments that offer relief from chronic joint pain while minimizing the chance of further injury include swimming, tai chi, and cycling.

As for dietary efforts,herbal supplements that contain anti-inflammatory agents can assuage chronic pain.

These include turmeric, green tea, ginger, rosemary, cat’s claw, devil’s claw, and willow bark. Other nutritional supplements that can be of help are fish oil and Vitamin D. Fish oil gives the body much needed Omega-3s, while Vitamin D can positively affect both fibromyalgia and bone and joint pain. The best source of Vitamin D is plenty of sunlight, but supplements have shown to be beneficial as well.

Maintaining your body is analogous to maintaining an automobile. With proper care and the right fuel, you can minimize long term effects and stay running for years to come.

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