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5 Nutrients for a Healthy Heart

by Not in Use Not In Use

What are some of the best high blood pressure remedies?

Check out this list of 5 nutrients with proven scientific benefit for the cardiovascular system.


1) Omega-3 fatty acids - One of the best ways to help prevent heart disease is to eat a diet low in saturated fat and to eat foods that are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids). Studies suggest that EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil) help reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Fish oil has been shown to decrease dangerous blood fats known as triglycerides by an average of 29 per cent and lower cholesterol by 12 per cent.

2) Vitamins A, C, E and Beta-carotene - Deficiencies of Vitamins A, C, E, and beta carotene have been linked to heart disease. All of these nutrients have antioxidant effects and other properties that may benefit the heart. Good natural foods with Vitamin A are fish oil, liver, and egg yolk. For Vitamin C, try eating citrus fruits, strawberries, peas, red peppers, and kiwis. Sources for Vitamin E include garbanzo beans, avocados, almonds, sunflower oil, tuna, and muesli. Lastly, eat spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, peas, carrots and sweet potatoes for natural sources of beta-carotene. These items can also be taken as all natural supplements.

3) Selenium and Zinc - Selenium and zinc help the body absorb antioxidants such as Vitamins, A, C, and E, and they are essential to the antioxidant process, ridding the system of free radicals. It is found in lentils, wholemeal bread, sardines and Brazil nuts.

4) Allicin - Studies have shown that allicin, which is found most abundantly in garlic and also in onions and leeks, lowers blood pressure, may help preventing blood clots from forming in coronary arteries, and is known to have blood-thinning properties, all of which keeps the heart in good shape.

5) Folic acid - Folic acid helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with high blood levels of homocysteine. It is found mainly in green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, fruits and roots.

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Curcumin - Heart Supplement Benefits

by Not in Use Not In Use

Looking for beneficial ingredients to add to your high blood pressure recipes? Look no further than turmeric.

high blood pressure recipes

Since ancient times, traditional Ayurvedic medicinal practitioners in India have known about the health benefits of tumeric - a plant with trumpet-shaped, yellow flowers, related to ginger, that flourishes in Southeast Asia. Its roots are bulbs that produce rhizomes, which then produce stems and roots for new plants. A common staple spice in Asia, tumeric was always praised for its healing properties as an anti-inflammatory, as well as for digestive and cardiovascular ailments.

In the 21st century, we now know that there are scientific explanations for the benefits from tumeric. Curcumin, the principal curcuminoid found in tumeric (and that which makes tumeric the color yellow), is a powerful antioxidant, a polyphenol, that combats the effects of free radicals in the body. And while curcumin has been linked with cancer prevention, detoxification, and countering inflammation, some of the most intriguing evidence revolves around its potential for heart health supplement.

Curcumin’s powerful antioxidant activity could be the cause for its ability to improve the circulatory system and thus cardiovascular health. It also can be effective in reducing cholesterol, a leading cause of heart attacks, and has been shown in studies to protect rats from adverse effects following a stroke. Other research shows curcumin’s effectiveness in countering heart enlargement and subsequent heart failure.

Turmeric, the main source of curcumin, can be taken as a delicious additive to your next meal. In fact, it is a principle ingredient in curry, those tasty dishes found in Indian restaurants. But if Indian food is not to your liking, they can be found in health supplements. Curcumin is further proof of the abundance of natural remedies found in common foods, known about for centuries.

Add turmeric to your high blood pressure recipes today to improve your overall heart health!

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Should You Be Checking Your Blood Pressure at Home?

by Not in Use Not In Use

One of the quickest and easiest ways to gauge one’s general health is by monitoring one’s own blood pressure. The simple rhythm of your pulse can say a lot about you: what your lifestyle is, what might be wrong with your diet, what your normal blood pressure is, what your health problems are, and what you can do about them.

One of the quickest ways to see if you have normal blood pressure is to check it at home.

Simply put, your blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. Readings are given as one number over another; the top number is the systolic, the bottom the diastolic. Systolic refers to the blood pressure when the heart is contracting, while diastolic is when the heart is in a state of relaxation.  Generally, a normal blood pressure reading is around 120 over 80. Any systolic reading over 140 is considered high, as is any diastolic reading over 90.

It’s a good idea to check your blood pressure regularly to avoid hypertension, especially if you have a history of heart problems or suffer from obesity. Seniors, whose blood pressure can vary should monitor their own blood pressure, as should diabetics, who must maintain tight blood pressure control.

Lastly, even relatively healthy people can benefit from knowing what their normal blood pressure is on a regular basis. Being conscious of one’s own health is a first step to greater body knowledge and freedom from ailment. It may also add as an incentive to quit habits that exacerbate hypertension, such as smoking or caffeine use. Conversely, it may encourage healthy habits that lower your pulse:

  • conscious deep breathing
  • eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • taking natural blood pressure supplements, such as fish oil or folic acid

Sometimes the simplest of information can lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle. 

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Chronic Joint Pain: Top 5 Dietary Tips

by Not in Use Not In Use

For many, chronic joint pain caused by inflammation is a disability that affects almost every aspect of their movements during the day. While some chronic joint pain is caused by injury of repetitive motion, much of jointChronic Joint Pain: Top 5 Dietary Tips ailments are diet-related. Below are some dietary tips which can reduce the amount of inflammation and strengthen the muscles and bones involved in relieving chronic joint pain.

  1. Drink Lots of Water - As children, our cartilage consists of 85% water; as adults, that percentage drops to 75%. One of the best ways to keep the joints - which are comprised of cartilage - properly lubricated, drink at least eight (8) glasses of 8 ounces of water. Avoid diuretics such as soda, carbonated water, and alcohol.
  2. Make Bone Broths - An old-fashioned remedy and a staple of a more agrarian time, bone broths have a great deal of benefits. Making a stock made of bones and/or eggshells is easy, nutritious, and great for your bones and your joints. By boiling bones from chicken, pork, or beef, hyaluronic acid - an important anti-arthritic component - is released into a tasty broth. Eggshells also contain hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin, and collagen.
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acid - Studies have demonstrated that omega-3s can reduce the pain and inflammation of stiff joints in people with arthritis. Foods rich in omega-3s include fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, as well as green vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
  4. Calcium - The ideal diet for preventing bone and joint problems contains about 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Aside from common calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, fish and soy, there are non-animal sources like broccoli, artichoke hearts, and beet greens. Supplements can also provide a good amount of calcium for those that need it.
  5. Antioxidants - Free radicals can have adverse effects on joints, and antioxidants can fight these damaging molecules. Aside from foods rich in vitamins A, C, E, and selenium, anything containing polyphenols and flavonoids, such as green tea, can benefit. Supplements of antioxidants can also prove effective in battling free radicals.

30 Get Moving Challenge - IVLProducts.com

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A Carrot a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

by Not in Use Not In Use

There’s an old saw about health that says: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I’m not sure about the veracity of this claim, but if I had to pick between apples and carrots, I’d pick carrots. Unlike apples, scientists have made a good case that carrots, and the chemicals found therein, hold a key to greater health and longevity.

After a 14-year study it was found that participants with the highest blood levels of alpha-carotene, an antioxidant found in many orange vegetables, were at lower risk of dying from any cause, and from conditions specifically related to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Like other antioxidants, alpha-carotene is found in several orange vegetables, including carrots.

Alpha-carotene is chemically similar to beta-carotene, but may be more effective at inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in the brain, liver and skin, it has been noted. The results support increasing fruit and vegetable consumption as a way of preventing premature death, and suggest a need for clinical research into the health benefits of alpha-carotene, studies conclude. Higher alpha-carotene concentration also appeared to be associated with lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer individually, and of all other causes.

And what of antioxidant supplements? Those which contain alpha-carotene do tend to show, according to studies, that antioxidant supplements assist in longevity of life and the promulgation of healthy living. Those with the highest levels of alpha-carotene in their blood were 39% less likely to have died during this period than those with the lowest levels.  Across the board, the higher the blood level of alpha-carotene of a given study participant, the less likely he was to die of any cause.

Carrots apparently do more than increase eyesight, as the myths assumed. Indeed, they contain powerful antioxidants that can further health. One can extrapolate from this that vegetables are not only points of virtue meant for children, but valuable foodstuffs that increase our lives and our overall health.

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Green Is For Health: Chlorophyll

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

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

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

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

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

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Boosting The Immune System, Preventing Cancer

by Not in Use Not In Use

Cancer looms as one of the more frightening and unstoppable killers out in the distance. We conceive of it as an internal problem, waiting to take hold, with unforeseen causes and debilitating cures. But this view of cancer is not necessarily the only one; and there are methods of prevention and cessation that bandy about, with diet as the main core. Diet, and the ways of being, challenge the preconceived notions of cancer - the causes, the remedies, and the cures.

The first line of defense of cancer -- or any ailment -- is the human immune system. And the immune system relies on the intake, that is, nutrition, to maintain its abilities.  And anything your body relies upon is enhanced, or crippled, by nutrition. This is true for healing a wound, building immune cell blood counts, and even managing stress. Attention to good nutrition makes sense whether it specifically benefits the immune system or not.

Obviously, cancer cells are foreign to the body. The immune system of a healthy person destroys roughly 10,000 mutated (cancer) cells every day. When this defense ceases, the cancer can multiply and become a clinical case of cancer. So, how to increase the immune system to the level whereby it can prevent cancer? What works?

A surefire method of boosting your immune system is not yet a scientific certainty. In order to boost your immune system naturally, it must be understood what specifically aids your system - and as of now, science has few concrete answers. But the probability of a fruit and vegetable diet, coupled with a generous intake of fluids, remains high. Fruits and vegetables give the body the best sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and essential minerals, which enhance the body’s ability to reproduce cells and battle foreign viruses, bacteria, and even mutated cells.

Cancer is a killer. But the best way to stave off such a looming threat seemingly is up to you. What foods are you eating? What substances - good or bad - do you take in? Do you drink more alcohol than carrot juice? Do you smoke more cigarettes than you ingest Vitamin C? Cancer is a killer, but your immune system is up to the task. And boosting your immune system is up to you.

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Healthy Ways to Boost Your Energy

by Not in Use Not In Use

I feel like every time I turn on the television, I see another ad for energy drinks - little shots of concoctions meant to be a healthy supplement and substitute for coffee or sugar snacks. What most people don’t know is that it contains an artificial sweetener and other unnatural additives. So, a healthy alternative it is not.

There are, of course, many different and natural methods by which one can wake up during a lull in the afternoon without resorting to caffeine or manufactured energy boosters. Nature, as always, has the best remedies. Below are a few ways you can revive your energy levels and be healthy at the same time.

1) Exercise - During the course of your day, sluggishness can occur from lack of movement, particularly for those who work at a desk job. Lack of circulation means less oxygen and nutrients, stored in your blood, that your brain and muscles can receive. Simply by standing up, walking around, and moving your head and shoulders in a circular motion can increase your blood flow and thus your overall energy. And for those who exercise regularly, your circulation will maintain itself throughout the day and will boost energy stores by conditioning the body to make optimal use of oxygen and glucose, leading to less bouts with fatigue at work.

2) Drink Lots of Water - The human body needs water to transport oxygen to your cells. Water deprivation can make you feel tired or get headaches through dehydration. Simply by drinking the proper amount of water, roughly eight 8-ounce glasses per day, you can stave off dehydration and maintain proper energy levels.

3) Eat a Healthy Diet - Whereas fatty and fried foods will bring down your energy levels, particularly after lunch, fruits and vegetables can actually give you an energy boost. Fruits are more easily digestible than many other foods, and will provide the fuel you need to re-energize.  If you're looking for a natural way to stay awake, supplements of ginseng, bee pollen, vitamins, maitake and others can be a great natural way to stop from snoozing.

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Detoxification Through Diet

by Not in Use Not In Use

As much as we would all love to be the paragons of healthy living, we don’t always maintain those ideals. Reality has too many pitfalls - sweets, sodas, hamburgers, pizzas, beer, name your poison. Living in moderation is fine, but from time to time, we need to cleanse our systems, so that we can continue to live in our chosen ways without adverse effects and chronic problems. And, who knows? Maybe a good detoxification session may convince us to choose healthy living as a more permanent lifestyle.

Strictly speaking, detoxification means cleaning the blood by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination, and through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin, where the body also gets rid of toxins. However, when this system is not at its peak, impurities aren't properly filtered and every cell in the body can be affected poorly. Therefore, detoxifying consists of a natural kidney cleanse, a natural liver cleanse, and a cleansing of the overall circulation system.

In order to begin a process of detoxification, you need to stop intake of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, processed sugar, and saturated fats. A good practice is to avoid meats altogether, eating only fibrous foods and vegetables. Dark greens and sea-based vegetables are excellent detox meals. It is also important to cleanse and protect the liver by taking herbs such as dandelion root, burdock and milk thistle, and drinking green tea. Maintain this process for 7-10 days, exercising with a practice such as yoga or tai chi, in order to sweat out toxins as well.

Detoxing is a great way of rejuvenating your overall system. Some experts suggest that we detoxify at least once a year, irrespective of how we live or eat. “Detoxing,” as it is commonly called, consists of several steps, and can vary from practitioner to practitioner. Some methods are considered more controversial than others, and anyone interested in participating in such a program should consult a physician or caretaker.

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Natural Coping Methods for Diabetes

by Not in Use Not In Use

Diabetes has increased in unprecedented proportions. One out of thirteen Americans now has diabetes, and that ratio continues to rise. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 21 million people in the United States have diabetes, with about 90 to 95% having Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is merely a symptom of poor health in general. It rarely exists in isolation of other diseases, and are linked to other ailments which are often seen to be diet-related. Therefore, it stands to reason that there are dietary remedies for a disease which is in essence dietary. Below are various natural methods for dealing with, and in some cases, reversing the affects of diabetes.

1) High-Fiber, Low-Fat Diet
In a study performed by James Anderson, M. D., it was found that on a diet of whole plant foods, after just three weeks Type 1 diabetic patients were able to lower their insulin medication by an average of 40%. Of the twenty-five Type 2 patients, twenty-four were able to discontinue their insulin medication entirely. Eating zero animal protein and fat is a wonderful and healthful way of dissipating the effects of diabetes.

2) Ginseng
Although there are several different types of ginseng, most of the promising studies on ginseng and diabetes have used North American ginseng. Studies have demonstrated this particular type of ginseng could be beneficial to blood sugar control and levels of glycosylated hemogobin.

3) Zinc
The mineral zinc plays an important role in the production and storage of insulin. There is some research showing that people with Type 2 diabetes have suboptimal zinc status due to decreased absorption and increased excretion of zinc. There are many foods rich in zinc, such as ginger root, buckwheat, pecans, split peas, rye, lima beans, and different types of nuts. Mineral supplements of zinc also can be of benefit.

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The Wonders of Garlic

by Not in Use Not In Use

The word ‘panacea’ gets thrown around quite a bit, especially in the realm of nutrition and natural health. But if the word has any import or meaning, it lay in the substance of garlic. Garlic is widely recognized as one of the most important health supplements that can be found in the natural world. It promotes both the heart and immune system, with antioxidant properties, and helps to maintain healthy blood circulation. Indeed, one of garlic’s most powerful heath benefits is its ability to increase the body’s immune cell activity.

The potent aspect of garlic, that is to say its active component, is the sulfur compound allicin, which is produced when garlic is chopped, chewed, or bruised. Allicin is a strong antibiotic, and a powerful agent which assists the body to inhibit the ability of germs to augment and reproduce.

Garlic also contains Germanium, an anti-cancer agent, and garlic has more of it than any other herb. In lab tests, mice fed garlic showed no cancer development, while those mice which were not fed garlic showed some increase. In fact, garlic has been shown to slow tumor growth in human subjects in some parts of the world.

These are reasons enough to take garlic regularly; but these are merely a few of its desirable qualities. Garlic has proven one of the best immune system boosters, as the presence of all the antioxidants in garlic have a very positive effect on the immune system in general and can therefore protect the body against all types of bacterial and viral attacks, including cold sores, herpes and shingles.

Garlic also acts as a good cold medication, decongestant and expectorant. It is a surprisingly good source of vitamins C, B6 and the minerals selenium and manganese all of which have long been associated with immune system boosting as well as other benefits.

Antibotic, anti-carcinogenic, pro-immune system. And throw in helpful to the heart, and useful in losing weight, as well as other beneficial properties. Garlic is an essential part of a heathful and intelligent diet.

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All Natural Health Product: Green Tea

by Not in Use Not In Use

What beverage tastes great, wakes you up, natural immune system boosters, reduces risk of cancer, keeps your teeth healthy, helps you lose weight and increases longevity of life? If you guessed the health supplement ‘green tea,’ you either read the title of this article, or you too have heard of the incredible healing properties of one of the best health supplement known to mankind.

The history of green tea goes back to ancient China, more than 4000 years ago. Initially invented to improve the taste and color of water, green tea was a common beverage, yet quickly became a method of traditional medicine in most of Asia. Today, modern medicine has conceded that there is much to the health benefits of green tea claimed by ancient Asians. Below, we outline just a few of these restorative attributes.

The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols. EGCG, green tea's active ingredient, is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter takes on added importance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.

Another key aspect of green tea is its ability to assist in weight loss. Researchers believed that the normal rate of burning calories from 8-10%, but when they experimented with the tea, they found results which reached up to 14%.

One of the reasons why green tea boosts the burning of calories is because it contains a special ingredient called catechin that prevents free-radicals from damaging your body after a heavy workout.

The beverage also has large quantities of potent antioxidants which help fight aging. These natural elements protect us from harmful diseases and illness while keeping our bodies fit at the same time. The benefits of green tea are too numerous to mention, but the benefits are only a sip away.

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What Spirulina Can Do For You

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Algae has been collected and eaten by the Chinese and Japanese for thousands of years, who strongly believed, and still believe, in the healthy properties contained therein. Indeed, the Japanese are still the principal consumers of algae; however, the there was one alga which was discovered across the globe, by the Aztecs of Mexico - spirulina.

Spirulina, a fresh-water alga, boasts some of the best health properties on many counts. Firstly, spirulina contains an unusually high amount of protein, about 60% content, and is a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids necessary for building tissue proteins, such as our muscles. It also contains essential fatty acids, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, and vitamins C, D, A, and E. Amazingly, it is also a rich source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosporus, selenium, sodium and zinc!

Its usefulness as a vitamins minerals supplement should be apparent; but Spirulina can do wonders for various ailments and health issues. For starters, it has been shown to be a great preventive for problems such as heart damage caused by chemotherapy and strokes. But it has also been shown to actually reverse motor control problems after a stroke. It’s also been tested with positive results against anemia in HIV patients, hypertension, high cholesterol, and atrophy.

Little wonder that spirulina was dubbed “Best Food for the Future” by the United Nations World Food Conference, not only for its fantastic health benefits, but for its sustainabilty, ease of production, and ability to counter global malnutrition. With all due respect to the banana, perhaps spirulina is the world’s most perfect food.

Want to add Spirulina to your daily supplement routine?
 

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Relieving Pain Without Drugs

by Not in Use Not In Use

In today’s society, it is all too common to see those suffering from chronic pain turn to the pharmaceutical industry. From aspirin to hydrocodone, pain relief medicine sells for billions of dollars each year. Much of this medicine is necessary for severely injured persons, but more often than is readily admitted this medicine is prescribed and taken by people for whom there are more natural alternatives to alleviate the pain.

Natural Pain Relief brought to by The Institute for Vibrant Living

Natural pain relief can be achieved - sometimes an affliction can be assuaged with a series of complementary practices; other times a single stimulus can create the desired result. Below are various methods for relieving your pain without the use of drugs - drugs with side-effects that can be worse than the pain it is trying to prevent.

  1. Endorphins - Endorphins are neurotransmitters which, when released, can block the signal of pain which is being sent to the brain. Physical exercise can release these body’s natural analgesics, which also can cause a feeling of euphoria, sometimes called a “runner’s high.” Acupuncture is also credited with releasing your body’s endorphins.
  2. Chiropractic Treatment/Massage - Problems caused by inflammation can ultimately lead to pain in nerves, joints and muscles. By manually adjusting bones, chiropractors correct these issues, restoring the nervous system to its optimal level. Similarly, massages can restore blood flow and release toxins caught up in taut muscles, leading to a release of tension and often chronic pain.
  3. Mediation and Breathing Exercises - Simply by breathing, you can relax yourmuscles, increase the oxygen supply to the cells, and augment the production of endorphins. Coupled with meditation - that is, prolonged moments of pointed focus - the mind is calmed, and pain has been shown in studies to be alleviated. 
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How Healthy Is Your Liver?

by Not in Use Not In Use

Healthy Living The Insitutue for Vibrant LivingThe liver is one of the least understood and most important organs in the human body. But it was not always so - in Medieval Europe, the liver rivaled the heart as the center of love and passion. Indeed, it is thought that the word ‘liver’ comes from the verb ‘to live.’ In traditional Chinese medicine, the liver was seen as the home of the soul, and responsible for the flow of ‘Chi’, or vital energy.

In modern times, the liver is known to be the body’s detoxifier, and vital in protein synthesis and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion. And problems with one’s liver can lead to serious health problems throughout the body, such as nervous system conditions, gall bladder concerns, kidney concerns, menstruation concerns, headaches, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Below are some ways in which you can heal your liver, allowing it to heal you.

  1. Avoid Alcohol - It is common knowledge that the consumption of alcohol is bad for your liver. Alcohol abuse is the leading cause of cirrhosis, a scarring of the liver which prevents proper liver functioning, which in turn can lead to jaundice, fluid buildup, or cancer of the liver. The best way to avoid serious liver problems is to abstain from heavy alcohol consumption, or, better yet, from alcohol altogether.
  2. Low-Fat, Vegetarian Diet - Fatty liver is one of the more common and more dangerous liver ailments, and it is largely diet-related. In fact, diseases of the liver may result in diminished ability to emulsify fats. Conversely, eating greens and other vegetables are extremely beneficial to your liver, particularly foods rich in B-12 Vitamins and folic acid.
  3. Liver Health Vitamins - Aside from B-12 and folic acid, there are other vitamins, minerals and nutrients which are great for healing and detoxing one’s liver. Vitamins A, C, and E are helpful when the liver isn’t functioning properly, as are the minerals zinc and magnesium. Studies have shown that a poorly working liver creates deficiencies in the vitamins and minerals necessary for a well-balanced and healthy body.
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Alternative Protein Sources and Links to Fighting Heart Disease

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Heart disease is one of the biggest killers in the United States today. A whopping 40% of Americans will die of malfunction of the heart and/or circulation system, more than any other ailment, including cancer. Men and women, and people of all races are all at risk.

And what, exactly, is heart disease? It begins with plaque - a greasy layer of proteins, fats, immune system cells and other components that accumulate on the inner walls of the coronary arteries. This plaque eventually blocks the arteries, preventing the blood from flowing properly, and depriving the heart muscles of oxygen.

Reducing artery plaque is the best way of preventing heart disease, and the best way of reducing artery plaque is by foods high in saturated fat and animal protein. Indeed, American men almost seventeen times more likely to die of heart disease than Chinese men, who on average eat much less meat. But the body needs protein to sustain life, repair body tissues and promote cell renewal, to manufacture hormones, enzymes and blood cells. Below is a list of alternative protein sources that can help your body remain strong, while fighting heart disease. Consider them edible and nutritious heart supplements.

Soy - Soy protein provides all of the essential amino acids, and is therefore considered a “complete” protein. A versatile food, it can be taken as tofu, tempeh, soy milk, as well as eaten as raw soybean.

Beans/Legumes - Aside from soybeans, other types of beans are rich in protein, as well as fiber and other vitamins and minerals. Fava beans, lentils, and red kidney beans are all good protein sources.

Nuts -  Not only are nuts a good source of protein, they contain the heart-friendly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated types of fat, which are known to prevent heart disease and lower total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol while protecting good HDL cholesterol levels.

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4 Reasons Your Immune System May Be At Risk

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Your body is protected by an incredible, invisible mechanism - your immune system. Without even requiring us to consciously act on its behalf, our immune systems battle millions of microbes, bacteria, viruses, and toxins on a daily basis. It is a force so powerful we don’t have to notice it. In fact, the only times we do notice it, unfortunately, are when it breaks down. The most extreme example of this is a decaying body - no longer possessing a functioning immune system, a corpse rapidly decomposes, destroyed by all of the bacteria and other parasites that previously could not disrupt the body.

As powerful as our immune systems are, they need our help to perform at peak condition. Below are possible reasons why your immune system health may be at risk:

1) Aging - As we age, our immune systems experience changes in T cell subsets, cellular and molecular level alterations and thymic atrophy, resulting in a decline of T and B cell function. In simple terms, our bodies have difficulty determining what are our cells and what are foreign cells. This can lead to autoimmune diseases, weakening the overall system.

2) Stress - Your body produces certain chemicals during moments of stress (sometimes called “fight or flight” mode). While the release of these chemicals were designed to keep us sharp during moments of danger, prolonged periods of stress creates an imbalance of these hormones, which can weaken the immune system.

3) Caffeine -  Caffeine is a stimulant that can induce dehydration and cause depletion of key vitamins and minerals. Overuse of caffeine can also lead to other problems, such as headaches, insomnia, and anxiety (see above).

Maintaining a healthy immune system requires ample amount of sleep, proper exercise, and a diet filled with fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is one of the best immune system boosters there is, while immune system supplements such as cat’s claw or garlic extract can work wonders. Don’t wait until you have reason to notice your immune system at work.

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Immune System Health - Rules of Antibiotic Use

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Antibiotics have a long and interesting history. For thousands of years, ancient peoples used various molds to fight infections, while not truly understanding the properties at work. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that the term ‘antibiotic’ even came into use, coined by a pupil of the scientist Louis Pasteur, literally meaning ‘anti-life.’ It was first noticed by the surgeon Joseph Lister that urine contaminated with mold would not allow new bacteria to grow. A few years later, penicillin was discovered, and the modern age of antibiotics was born.

No doubt the discovery of antibiotics have been a major leap in human health progress. But it has been thought by many that it has now hit a period of overuse, if not outright abuse. By 1965 over 25,000 different antibiotic products had been developed, and a huge industry now proliferates, creating new and more precise antibiotics intent on killing any and all bacteria.

Unfortunately, its efforts are backfiring. In fact, researchers believe that the overuse of antibiotics has created bacteria immune to the effects of antibiotics. Moreover, antibiotics do not exist in a vacuum; the human immune system still has its part in resisting infection. Any remaining bacteria not overcome can become stronger through mutation, resulting in antibiotic resistance and stronger bacterial opponents. Also, your intestines have many bacteria in them, which are necessary and support healthy immune function. Overuse of antibiotics can create an imbalance of “bad” bacteria, as the system can’t differentiate between the two.

The best way to avoid abusing antibiotics is simple - increase your immune system’s potentiality. Immune system health can be augmented with diet. Foods high in Vitamin C are some of the best immune system boosters, as well as Vitamin E, zinc, selenium, and cartenoids, all found in various fruits and vegetables. Garlic is also considered a wonder in terms of immune system nutrition. Lastly, foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon or flax oil, can fight respiratory infections. Ultimately, a whole foods diet backed up with the right immune system supplements can eliminate the need for excessive use of antibiotics altogether.

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Job Stress and Women’s Heart Health

by Not in Use Not In Use

Growing up, I was always under the impression that heart disease was more of a man’s problem than it was for women - gender notions of stress in the workplace, alcohol abuse, and other stereotypes probably rounded off this presumption. But did you know that since 1991, more women die each year of heart disease than do men? In fact, according to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases kill twice as many women in the U.S. as all types of cancer - including breast cancer - combined.

What accounts for this relatively sudden rise? While there are certainly several factors, one leading theory is the increase of job stress in the modern woman’s life. In fact, women with high-stress jobs are twice as likely to have a heart attack than women with more easygoing careers. According to a Harvard Medical School research study, this held true across all racial, socioeconomic, and educational lines, and women who said their job requires them to work "very hard" or "very fast" were 88 percent more likely than those in less-stressful positions to have a heart attack.

Job Stress and Women’s Heart Health

So how can women counter workplace stress and prevent heart disease? Exercise is the best overall preventive effort one can take to counter stress. Just 30 minutes a day of low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, biking, or swimming, can do a world of good for your stress levels and your heart. Yoga is a great way tackling work stress by increasing strength, breath, and flexibility, all while focusing on relaxation and meditation.

Diet is also important - eat a lot of high-energy fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates. Veggies can help your brain produce more serotonin, which increases your sense of well-being, while fruits have natural vitamins to help boost your energy. Natural vitamin supplements can also help counter low and negative energy. Avoid fats and sugars, and lower your intake of animal protein, all of which can create a imbalance of stress-inducing chemicals such as dopamine and nor-epinephrine. Avoidance of caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes - vices often used to combat stress - is also very effective in lowering long-term stress and overall health.

Vibrant Health Challenge

 

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Benefits of Antioxidant Supplements

by Not in Use Not In Use

Have you ever heard of the “rainbow diet?” Attributed to one Dr. Eric Braverman, the “rainbow diet” refers to the eating of fruits and vegetables of a wide array of colors, from red to green to purple, and avoiding “white” foods such as sugars and carbohydrates. These colors of the rainbow are derived from a variety of chemicals called antioxidants.

Antioxidants are so colored because the same chemical property that eats up damaging excess electrons also creates visible colors, and these antioxidants have powerful healing properties that can benefit a multitude of ailments, from chronic joint pain, to heart disease and even cancer. Maintaining a diet of the various antioxidants can go a long way in healing current afflictions and the overall preventive care of your body.

The first of these antioxidants is lycopene. Found in red foods such as tomatoes and watermelons, lycopene is a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical, and is known to be a defense against prostate cancer and heart disease.

Another color-coded antioxidant is chlorophyll, a detoxification agent found in leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, and broccoli. Chlorophyll has been shown to reduce risk to certain types of cancer, and evidence suggests it is involved in the inhibition of lipid peroxidation and protection of mitochondria from oxidative damage induced by various free-radicals and other reactive oxygen species.

Many-colored fruits and vegetables also contain a good amount of Vitamins A, C, E, and glutathione, beta-carotene, Selenium, and alpha lipoic acid, all of which are considered antioxidants. These antioxidants attack what are referred to as “free radicals,” damaging excess electrons that can disrupt stable cells, leading to a series of health problems.

Nature knows best. A diet rich in colorful, natural fruits and vegetables can promote a healthful and satisfying lifestyle. As the commercial says: “Taste the rainbow.” (But don’t eat Skittles.)