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! 


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!


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. 


Healthy Foods That Taste Better Than Junk Foods

by Health News

Ice cream sundae or sugar-free jelly?  Chocolate brownie or granola bar?  Kettle chips or green salad?

It's often very difficult to stick to choices from your healthy foods list, since junk food, snacks and sweet treats invariably look and taste better than a healthier low-calorie option.  But just to prove that wrong, here are 10 foods that somehow manage to taste even better than junk foods—plus they help teach your body how to reduce food cravings.

Fruits rank high on the healthy foods list

1. Strawberries

Brimming with antioxidants and phytochemicals, it’s hard to beat the taste of a fresh sun-ripened strawberry. These lush summer fruits are high in vitamin C, carotenes, calcium, fiber and minerals yet are low in calories. Eating three or more servings a week of strawberries and blueberries is certainly no hardship, yet they provide a 32% lowered risk of heart attack.

2. Watermelon

Lycopene is normally associated with tomatoes, but it's present in watermelon, too. On a hot day there's nothing more refreshing than biting into a crisp triangle of juicy water melon—and that's a great tip for how to reduce food cravings too!

3. Mangoes

Mangoes are so versatile. Add them to fruit salads, eat fresh in slivers or make a delicious sugar-free dessert with them. They contain calcium, iron and lots of trace minerals as well as 17 of the 20 amino acids in the human body.

4. Almonds

Did you know that almonds are an excellent source of protein? The skins are high in antioxidants that are normally associated with fruits and vegetables. In fact, a one-ounce serving of almonds has the equivalent quantity of polyphenols as a cup of broccoli, but their calorie content is five times higher, so portion-size is the watchword!

5. Avocados

Another food where a little goes a long way is avocado. Low in fructose and high in healthy monounsaturated fats for energy, avocadoes are particularly high in potassium and B-vitamins.

6. Blueberries

Packed with fiber and antioxidants, blueberries contain high levels of nitric oxide which dilates the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure safely and naturally. What better fruit to add to your healthy foods list?

Related:  Healthy Eating Habits

7. Sweet Potatoes

It’s the beta-carotene antioxidant that gives sweet potatoes their healthy color. As well as countering the aging effects of free radicals, sweet potatoes also support the immune system.

8. Cherries

Sweet cherries are high in quercetin, the most potent type of antioxidant, along with fiber, vitamin C and anthocyanins which are important for cancer prevention. These glossy fruits should be top of your healthy foods list when they are in season.

9. Pistachios

Containing the same healthy oleic acid found in olive oil, pistachios are known to naturally help lower blood pressure.  High in lutein and beta-carotene (both good for ophthalmic health), pistachios are a good snack for dieters as they take time to shell and nibble slowly.

10. Dark Chocolate

Eating high-quality dark chocolate in small portions (1-2 squares per day) can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes. It helps control hypertension and fasting glucose levels and is a great snack choice for those looking for how to reduce food cravings. 

So maybe it’s not so difficult after all to stick to choices from your healthy foods list!  Choose a delicious and healthier low-calorie option from this tasty list of 10 foods that really do taste even better than junk foods!  

28 Superfood Recipes for Everyday


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.


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.


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


Antioxidants in Pistachios Readily Absorbed on Digestion.

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


Top 5 Anti-Aging Tips

by Health News

Top 5 Anti Aging Tips Institute for Vibrant LivingLooking for ways to stay youthful through the holidays and all year round? Check out these top 5 anti-aging and healthy holiday eating tips.

1. Get plenty of essential fatty acidsAmong the nutrients that our bodies need for good health are essential fatty acids – alpha-linolenic acid (of the Omega 3 family) and linoleic acid of the Omega 6 family.  These essential fats also help to promote youthful skin and can be obtained through supplementation or through diet.  Alpha-linolenic acid can be found in flaxseed, canola oil, wheat germ and soybeans, and vegetable oils and grass-fed beef are good sources of linoleic acid.

The benefits of EFAs to the body are many, but they are of particular importance to body cells as they are a fundamental component of cell membranes. A steady supply of EFAs in the diet is necessary to maintain healthy-looking skin because skin cells are regularly reproduced.

2. Look into HGH supplement products.  A 1990 medical study published by Dr. Daniel Rudman in the New England Journal of Medicine reported exciting results from the injection of synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) in men over 60 years old. These included an increase in muscle mass, decreased body fat, elevated energy levels, improved sleep and enhanced skin and muscle tone. This synthetic, injection therapy is very expensive, but today there are several natural, non-prescription HGH supplement products on the market (called releasers) that stimulate release of the body’s own human growth hormone by the pituitary gland.

3. Eat plenty of whole, organic fruits and vegetables.  When waging war against the effects of time, there are anti-aging fruits and vegetables that actually work. They help to hydrate the body and provide fiber and important disease-fighting antioxidants.  Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, bananas are loaded with potassium and berries contain a host of vital anti-oxidants.  Green, leafy vegetables like spinach, leaf lettuce and kale are loaded with nutrients, and broccoli, carrots and cucumbers provide fiber and a good, crunchy texture!

4. Discover the importance of water for healthy aging.  Drink at least 64 ounces of pure, filtered or spring water throughout the day.  When aging skin is not properly hydrated, it loses resilience and becomes more susceptible to wrinkling. Water fights wrinkles by keeping skin moist and supple and helps to deliver essential nutrients to skin cells.

5. Try glucosamine supplements to retain moisture in aging skin.  Research by the Department of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School studied the effects of N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide on in-vitro human skin cultures and on women aged 35-60 in clinical trials with fine-to-moderate wrinkles. The research found that the two compounds accelerated the production of hyaluronic acid, a key ingredient in skin hydration and in the formation of collagen.

The tests also showed that in human subjects, improved hydration brought about by glucosamine and niacinamide led to a visible reduction in fine lines and wrinkles of tested subjects, particularly in the area around the eyes.  The researchers concluded that together these compounds could be a highly effective anti-aging treatment.

These tips are but a few of the many new, natural anti-aging practices coming to light. For many who are approaching the golden years, there is still a lot of living to do. 

Overall Health Starts with Your Digestive System

Are you adopting a few of these natural habits to promote healthy holiday eating and healthy aging?


New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 323, July 5, 1990, Number 1:   EFFECTS OF HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE IN MEN OVER 60 YEARS OLD, Daniel Rudman, M. D.





All Day Energy Greens: Customer Testimonial - Video Blog

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Mickie Molnar shares her experience with taking All Day Energy Greens. To read other testimonials from actual customers, or to place an order that has a lifetime money back guarantee click or go to http://www.ivlproducts.com/Superfoods/All-Day-Energy-Greens-174---The-Best-Energy-Supplement.axd

Superfood Recipes


Effective Energy Boosters

by Health News

When our energy dips, many of us head for the nearest Starbucks. However, while the caffeine in coffee undoubtedly does perk you up, some experts feel the boost is really a cessation of withdrawal symptoms, which gives a sense of relief and energy.

How to Have More Energy: Effective Energy Boosters

Controversial as this may be, most experts agree that the coffee boost comes from a surge of cortisol from the adrenal glands. It’s all part of the fight-or-flight response.

Once the response is triggered (as it is by caffeine), your body jumps to action. Your sympathetic nervous system secretes norepinephrine, which causes an excitatory response and allows your body to react and protect itself from a stressful situation.

Next, your adrenals secrete epinephrine (commonly referred to as adrenaline) into the bloodstream. This increases blood flow to specific muscles needed for vigorous activity. It also increases the rate of metabolism, the concentration of glucose in the blood, the conversion of sugar to energy in muscles, muscle strength, and mental activity.

All of this is what causes you to get your get-up-and-go from your morning java.

However, this cascade does have a downside, in the form of overworked adrenal glands. Because of this, many people are wondering how to have more energy without the help of coffee.

The solution?

Swap that cup of joe for a cup of tea— specifically green tea. You’ll get a bit of a caffeine boost, but this time paired with powerful antioxidants to give you true energy to power you through the day.

how to have more energy


Resveratrol? How does it Aid in Weight Loss?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Resveratrol is a well-known antioxidant and anti-aging compound found in wine, fruits like pomegranate, some nuts, green teas, cocoa and dark chocolate.

Does Resveratrol Aid Weight Loss?

Typically associated with grapes and red wine, health experts believe resveratrol may be the reason why the French enjoy excellent heart health even though they eat rich, fattening food, smoke a lot and love to drink red wine.

Indeed, resveratrol has been shown to protect the body from damaging molecules that trigger harmful inflammation.

Hailed as an anti-aging miracle ever since studies showed that it could successfully extend the lifespan of mice, resveratrol has shown mixed results in humans. While it has been somewhat effective in reducing risk for heart disease, it has worked less well in other conditions.

In the past few years, resveratrol has also been studied for its effects on metabolism and glucose tolerance - as well as its exciting potential to trigger weight loss.

In a small randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study published in 2011, Dutch researchers found that obese men who took 150 mg of resveratrol daily had lower blood sugar, decreased liver fat and lower blood pressure (BP) after just 30 days. While these men did not lose body mass during the period of the study, these kinds of metabolic changes are typically associated with weight loss over time.

Similarly, a French study published in 2010 had shown that resveratrol had a significant effect on the body mass of primates known as mouse lemurs. These lemurs typically gain a lot of weight as winter approaches.

However, they ate significantly less and gained less weight during a four-week period when their food was supplemented with resveratrol. Interestingly, the lemurs’ body temperature and resting metabolic rate was affected by the resveratrol, suggesting that it was boosting their metabolism.

The problem is that while animal data are usually very convincing, what actually happens when resveratrol is given to humans turns out to be very different.

For example, when another group of researchers conducted a study similar to the Dutch study in normal weight people, resveratrol showed no effects on metabolism at all.

However, a new study seems to confirm that resveratrol enhances energy production and prolongs lifespan by direct activation of a protein that promotes health and longevity in animal models. This means that synthetic drugs similar to resveratrol may potentially treat and prevent diseases related to aging in the future.

Whatever happens, resveratrol is already being used in a number of weight loss supplements - and health experts are actively investigating its potential to treat diabetes, insulin resistance and obesity.

Source: Does Resveratrol Aid Weight Loss?


Best Detox Smoothie

by Health News
Maybe you want to clean up your act a bit, lose weight, and just get healthier overall. While those sound like big, general goals, they all have one thing in common—detoxification. There are many detox plan on the market…and many of them are quite good. But one simple way to detox every day is with a detox drink. Not only is this a simple, gentle solution, but it is delicious as well!

Energizing Elixir
Detox Smoothies

4 ounces carrot or apple juice
4 ounces filtered water
½ to 1 teaspoon powdered vitamin C
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 scoop energy greens powdered supplement
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix well. The taste may through you off a bit at first. If you need to, add a ½ cup frozen berries. But stick with it…it’s well worth it!

All Day Energy Greens Review Video Blog

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Watch the latest customer review of All Day Energy Greens. 
Learn more about All Day Energy Greens here: http://www.ivlproducts.com/Superfoods/All-Day-Energy-Greens-174---The-Best-Energy-Supplement.axd


5 Things You Need To Be Happier And Healthier At Work

by Nancy Maneely

People: We spend a large portion of our lives at work … about a third of it, if you work the usual 40 hours a week.

Why do so many of us live in denial of this fact, by keeping our workstations devoid of any vestige of humanity?

Oh sure, you may keep a box of tissues handy and maybe, if you’re sentimental, a portrait of your kids. But it’s time to acknowledge the fact that your work station is an essential part of your life for 8 (long) hours a day, and you need to supply it with some comfort items that contribute to your health and well-being.

  1. Let’s start with a green plant, OK? Yes, they look pretty. But they also work hard, just as you do. Plants remove a variety of toxic air emissions including ammonia, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethytene – the kind of stuff that is probably all over the place if you work in a modern office environment. And plants make you happy, which is more than you can say of most of your coworkers. Countless studies have shown that living plants indoors can promote relaxation, lower blood pressure and even speed healing in hospital patients. So, put one to work for you.
  2. Green Tea. Speaking of green things … did you know antioxidant-rich green tea is just about the healthiest beverage on the planet? It’s inexpensive, and convenient if you have access to hot water. Keep some tea bags stashed in a desk drawer and enjoy a cup of green tea at least once a day while at work. More than a decade’s worth of research has found that green tea's antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, high cholesterol and diabetes.
  3. Nuts and seeds to snack on. When that mid-morning or mid-afternoon funk sets in, you need something in a hurry to replenish your energy reserves and relieve the hunger pangs. Rather than head to the health horror show that is the breakroom vending machine, reach for almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds or your favorite combination. The Food and Drug Administration is now reviewing a proposal that would allow foods containing nuts to carry this label: "Diets containing one ounce of nuts per day can reduce your risk of heart disease."
  4. Eye drops. This is especially important if you spend long hours at a computer, which inhibits the blinking reflex and causes computer vision syndrome, which can lead to a whole host of eye health problems. If you don’t (yet) have serious issues with dryness, use a natural, preservative-free saline solution to moisten eyes several times a day. If dry eyes are a continual irritation, look for drops that contain a lubricating solution to soothe and protect delicate eye tissues.
  5. A timer. Use your watch, or your smartphone, or even a reminder programmed into your computer’s scheduling software. Set it to chime softly or vibrate every 30 minutes (ideally) to an hour, reminding you to stand up, stretch, look out a window, and take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Human beings were not built to crouch over a keyboard for hours at a time. Recent health reports have warned that sitting for long periods is linked to health problems and a shorter life span. Even a brief, brisk walk to the copy machine and back periodically can benefit your body – and help keep your brain functioning at optimal levels.

What is your favorite way to feel happier and healthier while at work?

Vibrant Health Challenge



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 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!


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. 



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.


Natural Relief for Chronic Joint Pain

by Health News

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.