0 Comments

Top Supplements to Erase Problems of Aging Skin

by Institute for Vibrant Living

One of the common aging skin problems is light or dark brown spots called age spots. They are show up on the face, chest, shoulders and hands in both men and women; and they can affect younger people, too.  They are also called liver spots and are a result of dietary deficiencies and years of exposure to the harsh rays of the sun.

Topical creams and cover-ups will temporarily disguise the unsightly spots but in order to get rid of them, or at the very least lighten them so they are less noticeable, you will need to treat them from the inside out.

Supplements and lifestyle changes can help prevent age spots and aging skin.

Supplements

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a power antioxidant that will help damaged skin cells repair themselves and prevent new ones from popping up.  Antioxidants help your body combat cell damaging free radicals by neutralizing them. It also aids in circulation by extending the life cycle of red blood cells, important for transporting oxygen to cells for energy and keeping toxins from building up in the body. Research suggests vitamin E may also help slow down the aging process by protecting cellular membranes.

The recommended dosage for adults is 200 IU of vitamin E in d-alpha tocopherol form daily for maximum benefit.

Related:  Vitamin E Deficiency & Diseases of the Digestive System

Vitamin C

Everyone should get plenty of vitamin C in their diet, even if they don’t have age spots.  Found in abundance in citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits), spinach and kale, it is a critical nutrient that supports good health and can help get rid of common aging skin problems like age spots, but also fine lines and wrinkles. 

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant to rid your body of damaging free radicals. It also helps to combat the formation of new brown spots by offering protection against UVA and UVB rays. It’s like an internal broad-spectrum sunscreen. 

Results are not immediate, meaning, you will need to take the vitamin C and be patient for up to a year for the dark spots to fade. In the meantime slather lots of sunscreen on your face, hands and where ever else spots have formed.

The recommended daily dosage of vitamin C supplements for adults is 2,000 milligrams per day.

Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene is responsible for the bright vibrant color in many healthy foods like carrots, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe and winter squash.

When consumed, the body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A (retinol), which is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, cell mucous membranes and skin.  It is also an antioxidant to help damaged cells regenerate.

Prevention

Of course, the most effective way to treat age spots is to not let them form at all. You can help yourself avoid this common aging skin problem by adopting a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, adding these supplements to your diet and applying sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher to your exposed skin every day, year round.

0 Comments

Inflammation and Aging Skin

by Institute for Vibrant Living

When it comes to good health as we age, inflammation plays both good and bad roles.  In response to injury, acute or short-term inflammation helps promote healing, but chronic or long-term inflammation can harm just about every area of the body including the skin.  Conditions linked to chronic inflammation include acne, dermatitis, rosacea, rash, hives, and wrinkles.  Fortunately, following a few healthy tips can help prevent the development of inflammation and protect aging skin.

A number of environmental and lifestyle factors contribute to inflammation including tobacco, alcohol, stress, sun exposure, a sedentary lifestyle, and a high-sugar diet.  Engaging in healthy habits helps reduce levels of inflammation in the body and keeps aging skin looking and feeling as youthful as possible. 

Healthy changes involve quitting tobacco products, cutting down on alcohol consumption, wearing sunscreen, or getting regular moderate exercise.  Beneficial dietary steps include drinking plenty of water throughout the day, reducing the amount of sugar in the diet, and getting inflammation-fighting nutrients through food or dietary supplements.

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

Best Dietary Supplements for Inflammation

Research shows that a number of nutrients help battle the effects of chronic inflammation.  Many of these are available in the form of dietary supplements.  They include:

  • Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)
  • Coenzyme Q-10
  • Curcumin
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
  • Ginger
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

Topical Ingredients that Combat Inflammation

Certain creams and lotions feature beneficial ingredients for aging skin.  Topical nutrients that offer anti-inflammatory properties include aloe, ceramides, grape seed extract, green tea extract, and pomegranate.

Food Sensitivities and Skin Changes

Food sensitivities can also cause chronic inflammation in the body, and symptoms can include congestion, irritability, stomach pain, headache, and skin changes like hives or rash.  People concerned about possible food sensitivities should consult with a health care professional for testing.

Additional Health Problems Caused by Inflammation

In addition to affecting aging skin, chronic inflammation can lead to the development of a number of other health problems as people get older.  These include:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Hay fever
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Periodontitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Getting older does not mean people have to settle for premature wrinkles and age spots caused by inflammation.  A number of lifestyle changes, nutrients, topical products, and dietary testing can help promote healthy skin and encourage good overall health. 

0 Comments

How Your Liver Health Affects Your Skin | Aging Gracefully

by Institute for Vibrant Living

There is a huge emphasis on the importance of a healthy heart, but having a healthy liver can be equally important. Symptoms of poor liver health can lead to a variety of aging skin problems. If aging gracefully is important to you, then you need to learn how to look after your liver.

Learn how your liver health can cause aging skin problems

The Importance of a Healthy Liver

The liver is the largest and most complex organ in the body. It is responsible for cleansing the body of toxins, metabolizing estrogen, regulating fat, breaking down red blood cells, controlling digestion and many more tasks. The main function of the liver is to eliminate toxins and metals in the body.

Related:  Liver Health: 10 Tips for Optimum Liver Health

A liver that is under stress or not functioning at its best means toxins can build up in the body. Liver disease such as jaundice causes the skin and whites of the eyes to turn yellow due to high levels of bilirubin in the blood. Other symptoms of poor liver health include:

  • Sallow skin color
  • Acne rosacea or bumpy skin
  • Eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis
  • Wrinkles and loose skin
  • Itchy rashes and ulcers
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Brown age spots and skin blemishes
  • Spider veins beneath the surface of the skin

Notice that these are all visible symptoms which suggest that to have healthy skin and avoid aging skin problems you must take care of your liver.  While serious skin problems may need a medical specialist, there are some initial steps you can take to boost liver health.

  1. Detoxify

Treat yourself to a detox diet for 3-7 days. Avoid processed food, sugar, dairy, wheat, alcohol and coffee and focus on a diet of vegetables, fruit, plant-based protein, fermented probiotic-rich food and cleansing drinks including plenty of water. An initial day of fasting will also give your digestive tract a break as your body and liver detoxify. Milk thistle and dandelion root will also help the detox process.

  1. Drink Raw Juices

Use a juicer to create healthy drinks from a mixture of healthy foods such as carrot, kale, mint, pear, citrus, apple, cabbage, and mint leaves. Make a bulk quantity, allowing one cup per day, and freeze the rest.

  1. Limit Alcohol

Exceeding the recommended limit of alcohol will have a negative impact on your liver. According to CDC guidelines this means on average one drink per day for women and two drinks for men.

Looking after your liver will reduce the risk of aging skin problems listed earlier. In addition, reduce stress in your life wherever possible and try to get more sleep. Anything that upsets your nervous or digestive system will negatively affect your skin’s ability for aging gracefully. 

0 Comments

How Free Radical Damage Affects Your Health

by Institute for Vibrant Living

We hear a lot about free radicals and their harmful effect on our health and aging. It’s important to understand free radical dangers so that you can take steps to counter their effect. Here’s a simple explanation of how free radical dangers can be reduced to slow the aging process and reduce the risk of cancer.

Avoid free radical dangers and slow the aging process

Understanding Free Radical Dangers

The dangers of free radicals were uncovered by Dr. Denham Harman in the 1950s. He discovered that when cells produce energy for the body to function, the byproducts are harmful free radicals. Studies show that these free radicals damage cellular DNA, which is the main cause of aging in the body. It’s a bit like a car engine burning fuel for propulsion, but the waste produced is toxic carbon monoxide.

What is Oxidative Stress?

Free radicals contain unpaired electrons which try to pair up with other electrons to balance themselves. They “steal” electrons from other molecules and this creates damage to our cellular DNA. This process is called oxidative stress.

Related:  Astaxanthin May Prevent Heart Disease Caused by Inflammation and Free Radicals

How Free Radical Dangers Affect Aging

The reason why free radical dangers cause premature aging is because DNA controls cell division and the formation of new cells. If DNA is damaged by oxidative stress, it negatively affects new cell production. This leads to signs of aging in the skin and may also cause cancer, which is caused by abnormal cell division. Other free radical dangers include damage to the skin and organs due to collagen cross-linking, impaired cognitive function, weakened immune system and cardiovascular damage.

How to Counter Free Radical Dangers

We can’t stop the production of free radicals as it is a natural part of living, breathing, eating and exercise. However, there are some ways we can reduce oxidative stress. Smoking produces free radicals and is a cause of premature wrinkles and aging. Excessive exposure to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight, stress and over-consumption of alcohol can all increase oxidative stress and should be avoided whenever possible.

Heating vegetable oils is known to release toxic free radicals, so switch to butter or coconut oil when possible. You can still enjoy olive oil in salad dressings and unheated foods.

The most important way to combat free radical dangers is by consuming plenty of foods high in antioxidants such as fruit, vegetables and green tea. As their name suggests, antioxidants counter oxidative stress by pairing up with floating free radicals. This neutralizes them, preventing damage to our cells and DNA. This in turn slows the aging process, leading to a longer and healthier life.

0 Comments

How Much Should I Exercise?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Some people believe they should spend every free minute at the gym in order to maintain a trim physique, but this may not be the case according to research.  A recent study featured in Current Biology shows that the body adapts to higher levels of exercise.  This means that more exercise does not always result in a higher calorie burn.  Learning more about the latest research and taking advantage of a few diet and exercise tips helps ensure people are getting the most bang for their buck when it comes to weight loss.

People desiring to lose weight often wonder, "How much should I exercise?"

The Research

A team of researchers from City University of New York examined daily activity levels and subsequent calories burned for more than 300 male and female subjects for one week. Results showed that sedentary subjects burned a small but measurable amount of calories from daily activity, but subjects with moderate daily activity burned about 200 calories per day more than sedentary individuals. Interestingly, subjects with higher-than-moderate activity levels showed no additional calories burned for more activity.

While the results of the study show that exercise helps burn calories, extra physical activity does not always mean better success when it comes to losing weight. The researchers concluded that the body might benefit best from a specific amount of exercise – or sweet spot – that lies somewhere in the middle of too little and too much physical activity.

Related:  Shoulder Pain: Exercise for Improved Function

Diet and Exercise Tips

Individuals looking to lose weight should first take a look at their daily diet. Cutting out unnecessary calories and unhealthy fats and incorporating more fruits, vegetables and fiber helps ensure better weight loss success.

In an effort to lose weight, people also benefit from a few exercise tips. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least four days per week.  According to experts at Harvard University, moderate activity might include brisk walking, bike riding, mowing the lawn, or heavy cleaning. Adding regular strength training to an exercise regimen helps tone the body and increase the number of calories burned. 

 

0 Comments

Are Your Emotions Interfering With Your Weight Loss?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Homemade macaroni and cheese, rocky road ice cream, chicken and waffles…there's a reason these tasty dishes are called "comfort foods."  A few bites can make the blues, stress, anger or anxiety vanish.  Unfortunately, safe and comforting feelings gained through certain foods are short-lived and depending on them can be detrimental.  Using foods to fill emotional needs can result in an inability to properly deal with emotions and can interfere with weight loss.  Learning more about emotional eating and the triggers that bring it on can help.

Emotional eaters have difficulty with weight loss because they get cravings for fatty foods or sweets that must be satisfied immediately

Are you an emotional eater?

Emotional eaters have certain behaviors in common when it comes to food.  Such as they often…

  • Use food as a reward
  • Eat even when not hungry
  • Eat when anxious, stressed, sad, angry or bored
  • Feel a sense of safety or comfort while eating
  • Feel guilty after eating
  • Frequently stuff themselves past the point of being full

How do emotional hunger and physical hunger differ?

It is easy to confuse emotional hunger for physical hunger, but there are ways to tell the difference.  Emotional hunger is sudden and demands instant gratification, while physical hunger comes on slowly.  Physical hunger produces symptoms in the belly like pangs or grumbling and almost any food will satisfy it. 

Emotional hunger results in cravings for fatty and sugary foods that become more intense as the mind focuses on the food's appearance, taste and smell. It can lead to mindless eating, which explains why some people eat a full jar of peanut butter or a whole bag of potato chips before they know it.  Mindless eaters often stuff themselves to the point of discomfort rather than stopping when the stomach is full.

Related:  Lose Stress to Gain Joy

What are some healthy alternatives to emotional eating?

Gain more control over food habits and body weight by practicing mindful eating.  This involves pausing when a craving hits to determine if hunger is physical or emotional, keeping triggers like stress, anxiety, or sadness in mind.  To practice mindful eating, make choices at the grocery store that are tasty and nutritious and prepare foods in healthy ways at home.  Eating at the dinner table without the external stimuli of television or a computer encourages mindful eating and promotes weight loss.

Coping with emotions in healthy ways also helps.  Make a phone call to a special friend, watch a comedy, or take the dog for a walk when feeling depressed or lonely.  Reduce anxiety or stress with yoga, a warm bath, or soft music.  Treat boredom with a bike ride, a trip to the book store or a new household project.

Eating to fill emotional needs becomes a viscous cycle that can hamper weight loss and instill feelings of guilt and powerlessness.  Fortunately, it isn't difficult to take control over eating habits.  Start with determining whether hunger is physical or emotional and treat it accordingly.  Use nutritious foods to feed physical hunger and satisfy emotional hunger with healthy and comforting alternatives to fast foods and sweets. 

0 Comments

The Power of Plants

by Health News

Plants are under constant siege from animals, insects, humans, and the environment.  In addition, being literally rooted to the ground, it can be difficult to protect themselves. Fortunately, Mother Nature has provided for them.

Learn about secondary metabolites that help plants— and people— flourish nutritionally and help defend against viruses and germs.

They grow physical defenses like thorns or thick bark or spines. Or they can create chemical shields…defenses that allow them to fight fungus, battle viruses or bacteria, produce off-putting aromas or taste, or even forming poisonous pathogens to deter insects and animals alike from consuming them. These defenses are made possible, thanks to secondary metabolites.

Secondary metabolites are Darwin’s little secret. In addition to the defenses listed above, other secondary metabolites allow the plant to flourish in low sunlight or little water, to sustain high heats and lots of water, attract more insects to them to promote pollination, or promote quick healing of injuries sustained to the plant.

As it turns out, these secondary metabolites don’t just serve plants. Research has shown us that they can improve heart health (resveratrol), reduce inflammation (saponins, a class of plant steroids), ease pain (codeine and morphine from the opium poppy), treat cancer (glucosinolates), fight infection (erythromycin), and alleviate headaches (salicin from white willow bark). And this just the tip of the iceberg!

Related:  Why Plant-Based Powder Supplements are the Best

Contrary to what the pharmaceutical companies would like us to believe, you cannot simply remove these nutrients and use them in isolation and expect them to perform to their full capacity. The real key to the power of these secondary metabolites is the way they interact with the other metabolites and micronutrients in the plant to provide the best health benefits possible.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution. Eat the foods that contain these powerhouses. These include primarily fruits and vegetables such as cherries, tomatoes, grapes, pineapple, apple, beets, and more.

0 Comments

Beneficial Bioflavonoids

by Institute for Vibrant Living

When it comes to antioxidants, vitamins seem to take center stage; but what about those “sort of” vitamins with incredible health benefits? Yes, we are talking about bioflavonoids.

Bioflavonoids are found in colorful fruits and vegetables, and should be an ‘everyday food’ for a healthy diet!

While not truly vitamins in the strictest sense, bioflavonoids work together with vitamin C to form collagen, one of your body's main structural proteins. Bioflavonoids also aid your body’s immune-defense system and have mildly estrogenic properties, making them helpful in regulating some hormonal conditions.

Related:  Bioflavonoids May Decrease Risk of Macular Degeneration

Bioflavonoids are also the Crayola of the vitamin world, providing all the brilliant colors to fruits and vegetables. Some of the best sources of bioflavonoids include citrus fruits—lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and limes—and buckwheat (a gluten-free grain that is not botanically related to wheat).

Keep in mind that other good sources of bioflavonoids are found in apricots, cherries, grapes, plums, blackberries, papayas, green peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes.

0 Comments

Are Fish Oil Supplements Good For The Skin?

by IVL Products

What you eat may be more important to the look and feel of your skin than what you put on it.  Research shows that what you put into your body in the form of nutrients has a big impact on how your skin looks and feels.  One critical nutrient found in foods like, walnuts, flaxseed, and olive oil but most abundantly in certain fish is omega-3 fatty acids.  More and more research is piling up to support the benefits of omega-3s from fish oil for skin.

Exploring the benefits of omega-3s from fish oil for skin

How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Promote Healthy Skin

Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential acids because the body needs them to maintain the health of the cell membrane, yet cannot produce it naturally.  Our bodies rely on getting essential acids solely from our diet.  Cell membranes not only act as a barrier to keep harmful substances out of the cell, but also to transport nutrients in and waste products out of it.  The membrane is also what enhances the cells ability to retain water so that you have moist, soft supple skin cells that are more resistant to wrinkles.

Another way omega-3 fatty acids, found most abundantly in fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, cod, and tuna (so called “oily” fish) are beneficial is to help reduce inflammation throughout the body.  Insulin spikes from eating sugary, highly processed starchy foods, sun exposure and environmental toxins like cigarette smoke induce inflammation in the skin making it dry, flaky and red.

Related:  Supplementing Children’s' Diets with Fish Oil

Additionally, according to a study published back in 2003 in “Carcinogenesis,” omega-3 fatty acids such as those in fish oil contain properties that protect the skin from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays from the sun.  EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), a compound in omega-3s, was shown to be especially beneficial in reducing sunburn and ultra-violet radiation induced skin breaks.

Best Way to Get the Most Out Of Fish Oil

One of the best ways to keep your skin healthy and glowing is to eat foods rich in the omega-3 compounds EPA, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linoleic acid).  A few of the foods that contain the largest amounts of these substances are:

  • Fish –the cold-water or oily kind
  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oils
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli
  • Canola oil

Unfortunately it is difficult to get the amount of omega-3s needed for optimum health through food alone.  Taking a fish oil supplement is an easy way to get the most beneficial amounts of omega-3s into your diet.  

When shopping for a fish oil supplement be sure to read the label carefully and choose one with at least 30% EPA and DHA in it.  Also, look for the kind labeled “non-fishy” aftertaste.

The benefits of omega-3 fish oils for skin are numerous, plus they benefit many other parts of the body reducing your risk of cardiac disease, joint inflammation and can even aid in weigh loss.  Adding a fish oil supplement to your diet is a good idea if you would like to keep your skin looking and feeling younger and healthier. 

0 Comments

Memory Problems and When to Seek Help

by Cindy Gray

We are all forgetful from time to time. Everybody has misplaced their car keys, forgotten to take their medicine or can’t remember a password.  As we age though, what these lapses in memory mean can be cause for concern.  What is normal age-related memory loss and what are memory problems?

What memory problems should you be concerned about?

Normal Age Related Memory Lapses

You may be telling someone about a great book you just finished and go completely blank on what the title is. Perhaps you find yourself in the garage with no idea what you went into it for, or suddenly can’t remember the street your friend lives on despite visiting her there for years.  While frustrating, these types of memory losses are part of normal aging and not cause for concern.

Minor memory lapses are not the same as dementia or the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  Severe memory loss is not an inevitable part of aging either. Our brains can create new brain cells regardless of age.  In a way your brain is much like your muscles, if you don’t exercise and strengthen them they become weak.  Your brain needs to be regularly challenged to maintain cognitive skills through reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing card games and even with physical exercises like playing golf, swimming or doing Tai Chi.

Related:  How Aerobic Exercise Battles Cognitive Decline and Dementia

Abnormal Memory Problems

There are several signs and symptoms it is time to seek medical attention when memory problems become so severe and frequent that they interfere with daily life.  Symptoms of mild cognitive impairment or MCI are:

  • Difficulty recalling the names of new acquaintances
  • Losing or misplacing things regularly
  • Being unable to follow the flow of a conversation
  • Frequently forgetting important things like doctor appointment, or planned social outings

If this is you or a loved one, it is time to seek medical attention for diagnosis as to what may be causing the memory lapses.

Dementia is a definite possibility if you or someone you know experiences:

  • Problems with finding the right words to express themselves
  • Mood changes like frequent anger, or the opposite, apathy or feeling depressed
  • Inability to perform normal everyday tasks like balancing their checkbook, figuring out how to run the dishwasher or unable to remember how to play a simple game like checkers
  • Frequent bouts of confusion about where they are, what day it is, who a loved one is, or where they normally sit at the dinner table
  • Repetitive behaviors like asking the same question over and over or obsessively collecting items they don’t need or bathing several times a day

A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is grim news and is much more important than just run of the mill memory problems. The person who is suffering from either will need a lot of support and encouragement at first, and eventually round the clock care.  There is no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s but a doctor may prescribe certain drugs to try and slow down the progression of the symptoms. Staying active and socially engaged will help to ward off depression and relieve symptoms temporarily.

0 Comments

How Fish Oil Increases Joint Mobility

by IVL Products

Many Americans take fish oil supplements because they are known to help prevent heart disease, enhance the look and health of skin and hair and even bring relief from the symptoms of depression.  Another good reason to pop those pills is the benefits of omega-3 fish oils for joints.

What are the benefits of omega 3 fish oil for joints?

What Is Omega-3?

Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential fats because the body cannot make them and must rely on getting them from diet. Omega-3 fats are special because they are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body. They affect the function of cell receptors in these membranes and provide essential compounds for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, the contraction and relaxation of artery walls and help to control inflammation. They are also crucial to the binding of receptors in cells that regulate genetic function.  This is what makes them helpful in preventing heart disease, stroke, keeping your eyes moist, your skin soft and supple and your hair strong and shiny.

The key compounds in omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and are found in several types of foods. They are most abundant in fish, specifically cold-water “oily fish” like:

  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Tuna
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Trout

Other foods with omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax seeds, olive oil and green leafy vegetables.

Related:  Could Fish Oil One Day Take the Place of Statin Drugs?

The Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oils for Joints

Joint pain is largely caused by inflammation of the cartilage and tissue in the joint, leading to stiffness and decreased range of motion.  EPA and DHA have been shown in clinical studies to reduce inflammation, and to a lesser degree ALA, by decreasing the presence of inflammatory markers like IL-10 and TGF beta.

In petri dish studies, when omega-3 fatty acids were incorporated into the cartilage cell membranes of joints they appeared to decrease the enzymes that degrade cartilage and inflammatory cytokines. An “over expression of cytokines” by the immune system causes inflammation to the body beyond what is needed, essentially attacking healthy cells and destroying them.

Fish Oil Supplements

It is difficult to get enough omega-3 fatty acids through diet alone. Taking a fish oil supplements is an easy way to incorporate enough into your daily diet so you don’t get burned out eating fish for every meal.

For adults choose a fish oil supplement with 30% or more EPA and DHA in addition to eating fish and plant foods rich in omega-3s. Be sure to consult with your doctor before adding any new supplements to your diet to avoid unfavorable drug interactions.  Then you’ll be on your way to enjoying the benefits of omega 3 fish oil for joints!

0 Comments

Five Ways to Burn More Fat

by Health News

There are no magic ways to burn fat, although scientists are working hard to find some! In the meantime we are left with the cold hard fact – the only way to burn fat deposits is through metabolism. However, there are some ways to burn fat faster or more effectively by increasing the metabolic rate. Here are a few tips that can trick your body into burning more fat at a faster rate.

There are many different ways to burn fat besides exercise

1. Carb Cycling

Carb cycling is one of the top ways to burn fat. It involves having three low-carb days followed by two high-carb days, which provides the body with just the right amount of carbs for burning and then allows it to replenish its glycogen. On your highest day you should eat 1-1.5g carbs per pound of bodyweight, so a person weighing 200 pounds should eat:

  • Day 1   150 grams
  • Day 2   100 grams
  • Day 3   50 grams
  • Day 4   125 grams
  • Day 5   200 grams

Repeat throughout the diet to enhance the fat burning process.

2. Cardio Intervals

Intense interval training is a more effective way of burning fat than a steady jog as the body remains in the fat-burning zone, with the heart rate between 50-65%, for the intense exercise period and for up to four hours after. Interval cardio session also train the body to store more carbs as glycogen in the muscles and liver rather than as fat, providing easily accessible energy. The muscle stores raise your basal metabolic rate so that you burn more energy, even when you are not in intensive training.

Related:  A Probiotic Supplement that Prevents Fat Absorption

3. Fish Oil and Exercise

Studies focusing on omega-3 fish oil show that it can assist with weight loss. This is one of the easiest ways to burn fat simply and healthily. Results of tests published in the American Journal of Nutrition show that exercise and fish oil can each contribute to weight loss. However, when combined, the fish oil appears to increase fat metabolism and weight loss when exercise is performed. It also appears that the DHA in fish oil stops the body from converting pre-fat cells into fat.

4. Eat More Protein

Although eating protein does not burn fat, it does take more calories to digest protein than either carbohydrates or fats. Protein takes longer to digest in the stomach, making you feel full for longer, which also helps you eat less.

5. Eat More Dairy Foods

A study into dairy-rich vs. low-dairy diets showed that obese adults who ate a high-dairy diet lost more weight (and burned more fat) than those who ate the same number of calories from a low-dairy diet. Researcher Michael Zemel, PhD says, "Calcium is a critical factor in controlling what your body does with calories, and dairy is an even more critical factor. Without changing how many calories we take away, we can alter how much weight and fat you lose." These results were also confirmed by a dairy-rich diet trial by Isfahan University of Medical Sciences.

So, if you are looking for ways to burn fat more effectively, try these scientifically-proven tricks.

0 Comments

Five Fun Ways to Connect With Your Partner

by Cindy Gray

Life for most couples is busy as they juggle work, raising a family and maintaining a home with sports, church, hobbies and other commitments. It’s easy to lose sight of your priorities and neglect your partner as you live life at full speed. Here are some ways to connect with your spouse and keep your relationship fresh and loving.

Impulsive treats are good ways to connect with your spouse

Sharing Food Pleasures

There are plenty of ways to share time and food together and add to the quality of your relationship with your partner or spouse. Try meeting for lunch occasionally. It need not be a restaurant – sharing a brown bag lunch in the park can be a great way to connect with your spouse, just like you did when you were courting!

If you both enjoy cooking, prepare a meal together. It’s fun to be in the kitchen sharing tips and chatting as you create something together. Develop your teamwork skills, or each take responsibility for a separate dish. Try new recipes then sit down and eat together. If one partner does not like to cook, they can participate by opening wine and preparing the table, complete with candlelight and soft music. As Shakespeare said: “If music be the food of love, play on.”

Play Games

Have a night without the TV. Get out a favorite board game, play cards, challenge your partner to a word game, or do a giant crossword together. It’s a great chance to communicate, laugh together and have fun as a new way to connect with your spouse.

Go on a Picnic

A change of routine can be great for relationships that are getting a little predictable and boring. Plan a romantic picnic, perhaps as a surprise for your partner. Pack a few of their favorite foods and head off to a beauty spot that you have always intended to visit, or perhaps a place that has a special significance in your relationship. A picnic provides time to talk without distractions as you share romantic moments together.

Related:  Seven Exercises for Better Sex

Ask Each Other Questions

Communicating is an all-important way to connect with your spouse. Make time to ask each other questions, and listen carefully and quietly to the answers. It can be a special time to learn what your partner really thinks about you, your future or perhaps pursue a special dream together.

Share Happy Memories

Every couple shares happy memories that can only be appreciated by the other partner. Cuddle close and share old photographs as you recall when you met, when he proposed, your wedding day, birth of a child or special vacation. Happy memories build happy futures, making this the best possible way to connect with your spouse.

0 Comments

Three Protein-Rich Breakfasts

by IVL Products

There are many good reasons why you should start the day with protein. A protein-rich breakfast can boost metabolism and increase fat-burning so you’ll have plenty of energy right from the start. Protein reduces the appetite as it is digested slowly, making you feel full until lunchtime. As well as being a good choice for weightwatchers, protein builds muscle and bone. 

Start each day with a protein rich breakfast

Here are some great recipes for protein-rich breakfasts you won’t want to skip.

Protein Pancakes

By substituting high-protein ingredients for the usual flour, you can quickly whip up satisfying and tasty protein pancakes in next to no time. Combine two egg whites with equal parts rolled oats and low-fat cottage cheese in a blender with a pinch of salt. Pour into a pre-oiled frying pan and cook until brown, turning halfway through if it’s really thick. This will give you two pancakes of 17 grams protein each.

Powdered whey is another good pancake ingredient. Mix 2 tablespoons flavored whey protein with 2 egg whites and one ounce almond milk to make a thick batter, and then fry pancakes as usual. This recipe delivers 31 grams of protein for a top protein-rich breakfast in chocolate, strawberry, or whatever flavor protein whey powder you choose.

Related:  Daily Breakfast Habit Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Oats, Milk and Berries

Oats, milk and berries make a well-balanced protein-rich breakfast, but if you don’t like oatmeal unless it’s smothered in brown sugar, try making a berry-oats smoothie. Whisk ½ cup quick oats with 2 cups water and whisk over heat until boiling then set aside to cool. Blend a banana with ½ cup blueberries, ¼ cup raspberries, ¼ cup yogurt, ¼ cup almond milk, 3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar, ¾ cup crushed ice and the cooled oats. Protein content is 18 grams per serving.

Omelette

Egg-based omelettes are a delicious protein-rich breakfast dish, and you can increase the protein by adding sausage, ham or bacon. A three-egg omelette with 3 tablespoons milk and ½ cup chopped meat can provide a hearty 34 grams protein to keep you going. If you substitute the whole eggs for egg whites to reduce calories and cholesterol, you will still have around 27 grams protein or substitute eggs with eggbeaters and enjoy 31 grams of tasty protein on your plate.

Protein-rich breakfasts never looked or tasted so good, and the kids will love them!

0 Comments

The Ultimate Food Guide to Omega-3s

by Health News

Once you’ve discovered the unparalleled health benefits of omega-3, the next logical step is to stock up on foods high in omega-3. Here are some of the foods with omega-3 that you should put on your shopping list every week, and they are far wider than just fish!

Cold water fish are an excellent example of foods high in omega-3

Top omega-3 fatty acids foods are cold water fish including:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Halibut
  • Sardines

Fortified dairy foods with omega-3:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Margarine
  • Soy milk
  • Yogurt

Grains and nuts that are omega-3 food sources:

  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Flaxseed
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Oatmeal
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Walnuts

Fresh produce foods high in omega-3:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Watercress
  • Parsley
  • Mint

Vegetables oils and foods with omega-3

  • Canola oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Soybean oil

You’ll also find fruit juices, enriched protein powders and weight loss shakes are good omega-3 fatty acids foods to top up your daily omega-3 intake.

Related:  15 Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fats in Vascular Disease

Doctors recommend foods high in omega-3, particularly those that contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). The third type of omega-3, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) can actually be made from DHA and EPA by the body, although it is not an efficient way to obtain it. ALA is a plant-based omega-3, which is high in antioxidants and supports a healthy immune system, muscle mass and memory. Spinach and kale are good sources of omega-3 foods in the diet.

How Much Omega-3 Foods are Required Daily?

As yet there is no official recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for omega-3, but Dr. Andrew Weil suggests eating oily fish 2-3 times a week and topping up with walnuts, ground flaxseed and salads for ALA.

The National Institutes of Health has recommended that people eat at least 2% of their total daily calories as omega-3 fats (that’s about 2000 mg for a 2,000-calorie/day diet). Other sources recommend aiming for 500-1000 mg omega-3 daily. As a guideline, a small can of tuna or salmon contains 500mg. If you suspect any shortfall, it’s worth topping up your daily allowance of omega-3 foods with fish oil supplements.

 

0 Comments

Secret Names for MSG

by Health News

Why would anyone eat MSG flavor enhancers that are shown to cause obesity, fatty liver disease, fibromyalgia, liver toxicity, brain damage, and countless other serious health issues? The answer is that food producers can use up to 40 secret names for MSG, deliberately misleading consumers into eating this dangerous additive.

Almost all processed foods contain secret names for MSG additives

The Dangers of MSG

Monosodium glutamate, shortened to MSG, is a chemical created by adding an additional monosodium molecule to glutamic acid, an amino acid found naturally in many foods. It sounds harmless enough, but it can create a harmful toxic build-up if the body is unable to break it down.

In the 1960s, many people with sensitivity to MSG reported numbness, brain fog, chest pains and tingling in their limbs after eating Chinese food, which is typically laden with MSG. More worryingly, in the 1970s, researchers working on brain cells in the lab found that MSG actually killed the cells.

If you still remain skeptical of the dangers of MSG, the findings of John Erb, a research assistant at the University of Waterloo, may convince you. He began writing a book "The Slow Poisoning of America" after finding that rats used in diabetes studies were injected with MSG to make them obese. The pancreas in these MSG-treated rodents tripled the amount of insulin they produced, creating an addiction to food and causing obesity.

So, now you're convinced of the dangers of this addictive additive, why are we all still consuming it; because food manufacturers use many secret names for MSG to disguise its presence in their food.

Related:  Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) One Dose Causes Headache in Healthy Subjects

Why so many secret names for MSG?

The FDA only requires pure MSG to be listed on food labels. However, processing of the food may produce MSG, yet the product can still be labeled "No MSG" as it was not directly added to the food.

There are many commonly used secret names for MSG. These include terms such as:

  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
  • Textured Vegetable Protein
  • Yeast Extract
  • Glutamic Acid (E 620)2
  • Glutamate (E 620)
  • Monosodium Glutamate (E 621)
  • Monopotassium Glutamate (E 622)
  • Calcium Glutamate (E 623)
  • Monoammonium Glutamate (E 624)
  • Magnesium Glutamate (E 625)
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Yeast Food
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • Gelatin
  • Textured Protein
  • Soy Protein
  • Soy Protein Isolate
  • Whey Protein
  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Vetsin
  • Ajinomoto

To be doubly sure you are not consuming MSG, avoid anything with “hydrolyzed” or "…protein" in the name as these are all euphemisms or secret names for MSG.

If you feel there's nothing left that's safe to eat, consider switching to a whole food diet. Getting back to basics with unprocessed foods such as vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and organic dairy and grass-fed meats is the only way to avoid the hidden dangers of MSG, whatever secret names they choose to give it.

0 Comments

How to Improve Short-Term Memory – Tips and Tricks

by IVL Products

Many people get frustrated with their increasing forgetfulness as they age. It's quite common to forget names, conversations or where you have put things. If this sounds like you, we'll show you how to improve short term memory with some useful brain-training tips.

Brain games are a good aid to how to improve short term memory

What is Short-term Memory?

Short term memory is the area of the brain that stores small amounts of information for a short time. If you are a computer buff, think of it as the equivalent to your computer's random access memory (RAM). Your brain sorts through your short-term memory and assigns some information to your long-term memory, discarding the remainder.

Unfortunately, the human brain stops growing and starts to shrink in your 20s, so you actually have less active brain cells as you age. This natural aging process usually affects short-term memory primarily. For instance, you are likely to easily recall people and places from back in the past; it’s only more recent encounters that you have problems with i.e. those committed to short-term memory.

Although memory loss can be associated with Alzheimer's disease, stress or depression, it is often the result of the natural aging process. Learning how to improve short term memory will set your mind at rest, as well as that of your family.

Related:  Five Simple Tips to Naturally Improve Brain Health

How to Improve Short Term Memory by Training Your Brain

Studies show that people who keep their mind active can delay the onset of dementia and mental decline. To keep your brain active and your mind alert, read, write your memoir, learn a new language, do puzzles, write poetry or play card games, anything to keep the brain busy and happy.

Lumosity is a popular site for online brain training providing a great answer to how to improve short term memory. It provides cognitive tests in fun games designed by scientists. A 10-week study on 4,714 participants showed that those who did Lumosity puzzles regularly retained better mental agility than those who did regular crossword puzzles – interesting food for thought!

Memory Chunking

Scientists know that the human memory can easily recall seven random numbers; however, most telephone numbers, bank accounts and even passwords have more than this. The answer is to break down large numbers into easy chunks. If you have a 9-digit telephone number, remember it as three groups of three-digit numbers. Repetition and writing it down a few times should help you recall the number weeks later. Give chunking a try!

Memory Supplements

Many natural supplements and vitamins boost blood supply to the brain or help improve cognitive function. The B vitamins, particularly B6, B12 and B9 (folic acid) are shown to improve verbal ability and help the brain process new data.

Antioxidants such as vitamins C, E and beta-carotene fight the effects of free radicals and help protect the brain from damage. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of these important nutrients.  Avoid artificial sweeteners as well; studies show an alarming connection between them and reduction in brain health.

Finally, omega-3 fish oils support memory and brain function, so enjoy salmon, tuna and mackerel twice a week and keep taking those daily fish oil supplements. Now you know how to improve short term memory, don’t forget to follow it through!

Everyone Ages. Learn How to Do It Better. Free Resource Guide.

 

0 Comments

Fish Oil and Weight Loss: the Amazing Connection

by Institute for Vibrant Living

According to Business Week, U.S. consumers spend $40 billion dollars a year on weight-loss programs and products, and that's a conservative estimate. Despite throwing so much money at the obesity problem, the National Institutes for Health reports that 66% (two out of three) adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. While Jenny Craig meal plans and Atkins shakes continue to cost dieters a fortune, scientists are working on a much cheaper and more effective solution for weight loss:  fish oil.

Scientific studies are showing success with fish oil weight loss

Compelling Fish Oil Weight Loss Studies

Several new studies into fish oil weight loss are showing promising results. A scientific study in Japan showed that mice fed omega-3 fatty acids and encouraged to exercise had a faster metabolic rate and put on less weight than mice that did not have the same regimen.

In Australia, a scientific study on 75 people who were overweight/obese and had additional risk of heart disease found that taking 600 mg fish oil supplements along with regular exercise led to a loss of 4.5 pounds in the three week period, without any change to the participants' diet. In contrast, those who took sunflower oil supplements (with no omega-3) or those who took omega-3 supplements without exercising saw no change in their weight or fat deposits.

Finally, the University of Georgia reported their findings about fish oil weight loss in the Journal of Nutrition. Their studies showed that fish oil prevented pre-fat cells from becoming fat cells by effectively causing the pre-fat cells to die. This meant that there was less fat stored in the body.  

Related:  Seven Psychological Barriers to Maintaining Healthy Weight Loss

How Fish Oil Weight Loss Works

Gathering together all the information from these studies, it appears that taking fish oil supplements of 600 mg per day acts as a catalyst for the body to increase fat metabolism when exercise is performed. This increase in fat-burning leads to lower fat deposits in the body, specifically belly fat.

If exercise is absent, then the fish oil provides many other health benefits including supporting a healthy cardiovascular system and lowering inflammation, but it does not trigger weight loss in itself.

The Australian study was performed on overweight/obese people who continued with the same eating habits. However, by combining omega-3 fish oil, exercise, and a calorie controlled diet, faster weight loss could be expected than just restricting calories alone.

Tips for Fish Oil Weight Loss Success

  • Choose a high quality fish oil supplement that has a high level of DHA and EPA for the best results.
  • Check the origin of the fish oil. Alaskan fisheries tend to supply fish with less toxic metals.
  • Discuss your fish oil supplementation with your doctor, especially if you are already on medication. Although fish oil is safe, it may counteract other meds.  

Healthy Living Starts Here... Free Resource Guide

0 Comments

Can the Body Produce Essential Fatty Acids?

by Health News

The human body is amazing because it can produce or synthesize most of the different fats it needs from your diet with two exceptions: linolenic (omega-3) and linoleic (omega-6) acids. These essential fatty acids are essential to everyday function and any deficiency can lead to serious health problems.

Fish, fish oil supplements, nuts and seeds all provide omega-3 essential fatty acids

The one thing many health issues have in common is inflammation, according to Joseph C. Maroon M.D., Professor of Neurological Science at the University of Pittsburgh. A deficiency in essential fatty acids causes internal inflammation, which is the cause of many chronic conditions such as arthritis, depression, heart disease, joint pain, liver and kidney disease, decreased immune function and even dry skin.

Good Sources of Essential Fatty Acids

An honest appraisal of your daily diet may quickly show that our modern westernized diet falls well short of providing the essential fatty acids we need. According to the American Heart Association, we need to eat a 3.5 ounce serving of oily fish at least two times a week along with a balanced amount of seeds and nuts to provide those all-important omega-3s and omega-6s.

People with heart disease are advised to consume one gram of EPA and DHA essential fatty acids every day. These can best be sourced from oily fish, or from fish oil supplements.

Related:  How Omega 3 Fatty Acids Could Save Your Hair

Omega-3 vs Omega-6

Without a doubt, we need omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids regularly in our diet, but we need them in the correct 1:1 ratio. Omega-3 is found mainly in a range of shellfish and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies, albacore tuna and sardines. It is also found in animal meat, flaxseed, walnuts, eggs and dairy products. Omega-6 comes in the form of linoleic acid from green leafy vegetables, seeds, grains and vegetable oils produced from corn, sunflower and soybean.

Our modern-day diets tend to lean heavily towards omega-6 fatty acids with a ratio of about 10:1. Health scientists now know that omega-6 fatty acids compete with omega-3s for use in the body. Having such an excess omega-6 can actually inhibit the availability of omega-3, so we are then unable to benefit from the intake of omega-3.  

As the body cannot produce either of these essential fatty acids, we need to obtain them in balance, reducing omega-6 oil intake and increasing foods high in omega-3.

The best way to ensure that you reach the required amount of omega-3 essential fatty acids is by taking a daily fish oil supplement. As yet there is no official recommended daily value, but most sources agree that 1000 mg per day provides the required amount. Look on the label for the breakdown of ingredients to ensure you are getting the EPA and DHA you need to provide your body with these essential fatty acids which are the building blocks of good health. 

5 Medications to Avoid at All Costs - Get Your Free Report

0 Comments

Who Gets Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

by Cindy Gray

Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a condition of the eye that affects the clear, central vision required for activities like reading and driving.  AMD with associated vision loss currently affects roughly 1.75 million Americans, most over the age of 60.  Knowing who is at risk for age-related macular degeneration helps people determine whether or not they should make an appointment with a professional for an eye exam. 

Age-related macular degeneration is most likely to develop in people 60 years of age or older.

Risk Factors for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Here are common risk factors that increase a person’s chances for developing AMD:

Age – As mentioned, the disease occurs more often in people over the age of 60.

Genetics – People with a family history of AMD have greater risks for developing it.  Scientists have identified nearly 20 different genes that may play a part, with possibly more to come.  Because of the wide variety of genetic influences and risk factors, there are no genetic tests that can accurately predict the development of AMD.

Race – Research shows AMD is more common among Caucasian Americans than those of African-American or Hispanic descent. 

Smoking – Research also shows that smoking raises a person's chances for developing age-related macular degeneration.  A British study found that smokers were twice as likely to develop the disease as non-smokers.  The researchers also discovered long-lasting effects of smoking, with data showing higher risks for the development of AMD for as long as 20 years after quitting.

While the American Academy of Ophthalmology currently recommends against routine genetic testing for AMD, people who have one or more risk factors may want to consult with an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam which often includes the following:

  • Dilation – drops placed in the eyes widen pupils for a better view of the back of the eye, retina, and optic nerve
  • Amsler Grid – an eye test used by eye care professionals to determine if there are changes in central vision
  • Visual Acuity Test – measures the ability to see at a distance
  • Fluorescein Angiogram – injection of fluorescent dye into the arm allows eye care professionals to detect leaking blood vessels as dye passes through the eye
  • Optical Coherence Tomography – light waves produce high-resolution images of eye tissue

Related:  Eyesight Improvement:  Reduce Risk of Macular Degeneration

Diagnosis of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

To diagnose age-related macular degeneration, ophthalmologists look for drusen, which are yellow deposits that lie underneath the retina.  The presence of very small drusen are common with aging, however, larger deposits may indicate the development of AMD.  Eye doctors also look for changes in pigment found underneath the retina as opposed to in the iris (or the colored part of the eye).

Because AMD can cause vision loss and blindness, it is important to have a better understanding of the disease, especially for people who are approaching 60 years of age.  Knowing the risks for AMD helps ensure earlier diagnosis, better treatment, and the best eye health possible.  

Healthy Living Starts Here... Free Resource Guide