0 Comments

Antioxidants and Skin Health: Three Steps to Consider

by Cindy Gray

Most folks know that eating foods and taking supplements with antioxidants are good for them.  Those critical nutrients found in vitamins like A, C and E are good for you, both inside and out.  

Consuming antioxidants and skin health go hand in hand, so to speak, and in just a few easy steps you can keep your skin looking younger for longer.

1. Layer It On

We are exposed to sunlight from our earliest days of life. Wearing sunscreen religiously every day is the best way to protect your skin from the ravages of the sun. However, most of us tend to skip it now and then.  And you may recall experiencing some sunburn back when you were just a kid. 

Those dark spots, dry patches and wrinkles are the result of cell damaging free radicals, which are molecules that have lost an electron.  Feeling bereft, these free radical molecules steal from healthy cells, which starts a chain reaction that eventually damages the cell leaving the evidence of their crime on your face in the form of wrinkles and sunspots.

If you neglected sun protection when you were younger, there is something you can do about it now.  Eat foods and take supplements rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E.  They contain nutrients that generously give free radicals the electron they so desperately want, thus halting their cell damaging thievery and restoring healthy skin cells.

2. Don’t Fan the Flames

The body’s natural response to cell damage is to ignite a fire—such as inflammation—to try to destroy whatever is causing the trouble. Most people suffer from chronic inflammation caused by sun exposure, smoking, and consuming too many sugary foods and drinks, along with the daily activities of life.

Over time, the inflammation takes a heavy toll on the body, especially the skin, leaving it dry, red and sometimes with a pimple or two to add insult to injury. 

Consuming antioxidants is like throwing a bucket of water on the fire. They quench the burn and help damaged cells repair themselves.

3. Eat Drink and Be Healthy

Here is a list of the top antioxidants that should be included in your healthy skin diet:

Lycopene

Known as a carotenoid, it is what gives certain food a red hue.  Lycopene helps improve the texture of your skin by supporting collagen production (a protein that makes up the support bands beneath the dermis) while it reverses free radical damage that causes wrinkles.  You can find it in cooked tomatoes, watermelons, grapefruit and sweet red peppers.

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

Vitamin C

This essential nutrient is showing to be a powerful weapon in the war on aging. It works as an antioxidant and collagen booster to help reverse the signs of aging by smoothing out wrinkles and encouraging healthy skin cell turnover to shed those dark spots for clearer, younger looking skin. You can find it in citrus fruits like oranges, kiwis and strawberries.

Vitamin A

This antioxidant plays an important role in bone growth, reproduction and keeping the immune system healthy. It also helps undo the damage from sun exposure by neutralizing free radicals. You can find it in sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and spinach.

Because too much vitamin A can be toxic, it’s best to get it from your diet rather than supplements.

Vitamin E

Since sun damage is the top producer of free radicals that damage skin cells, vitamin E is a critical antioxidant for skin health.  When combined with vitamin C, it is very effective at protecting skin from UV damage by halting inflammation and limiting DNA damage.  It is also known as a-tocopherol so check for it on the ingredients list when choosing an antioxidant-rich supplement.  You can find it in abundance in foods like vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, asparagus and spinach.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is also known as niacin and has shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It is especially helpful in getting rid of sunspots due to its depigmenting properties. Find it in pork, chicken and fish like tuna, farmed salmon and halibut or swordfish.

The Skin-ny:

Antioxidants and skin health are intertwined so if you want to keep your complexion radiant, eat foods rich in antioxidants and pop supplements with these essential nutrients. 

0 Comments

Antioxidants and Vision Health - Three Factors That Could Affect Your Vision

by IVL Products

What you eat may have a significant effect your vision. Research by the National Eye Institute (NEI) found eating foods and supplements with antioxidants and vision health are very closely related.

Antioxidants and vision health are very much connected

Here are some of the different foods and supplements loaded with antioxidants to help assist the body for improved vision health.

1. Taking Supplements

Losing visual acuity is a normal and largely unavoidable result of natural aging.  Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) causes nearly 10 million Americans to suffer permanent vision loss. Approximately two million cataract extractions (surgery) are performed annually. In some people, AMD causes a slow loss of vision over a long period of time, while for others it can cause a rapid loss in vision.

 In the NEI study, antioxidant vitamins and zinc supplements “reduced the risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25% in the study subjects who were at a high risk for developing the advanced stage of this disease.”

The study went on to say that those in the high-risk group for AMD taking the supplement also reduced vision loss by approximately 19%.  The researchers concluded that taking supplements with high doses of antioxidants could be a very effective way to could delay progression of AMD, especially those who are already at a high risk for developing it like:

  • Those over the age of 55
  • Anyone who has a family history of the disease
  • People who have high blood pressure
  • Those who are obese
  • Smokers

If you are at risk for age-related macular degeneration or cataracts, eating a diet rich in antioxidants could save your sight!

2. Free Radical Exposure

It should come as no surprise that eating foods with antioxidants and vision health are related.  The research and medical community has long known that antioxidants are the number one way to slow down the aging process from deep inside the body to the outer most layer of the skin.

Free radicals, those cells that made up of a molecule with an oddly-unpaired electron, are very unstable molecules that have lost an electron. They then attack the nearest stable molecule with a full set of electrons in its outer shell, stealing an electron, and rendering the mugged molecule unstable.  This can cause a chain reaction that eventually disrupts the viability of a living cell.  Free radical damage accumulates with age and is sped up by lifestyle factors like smoking, excessive sun exposure, and environmental pollutants.

Antioxidants are nutrients that neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons and ending its electron-thievery.

Eye cells are delicate and years of free radical exposure can cause them to begin dying off, leading to vision loss and even total blindness.

RelatedThe Eyes are the Mirrors of your Health

3. Proper Diet

There are three main antioxidant vitamins: vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, which are converted by the body into vitamin A.  Many fruits and vegetables contain these vital nutrients that could greatly reduce your chances of AMD and other eye-related diseases.

Berries

Blue, black, raspberry, cranberry, and strawberries are a sweet way to get a healthy dose of antioxidants everyday.  Besides vitamins C and E, they also have other health benefits to benefit the entire body, so toss them in your breakfast cereal, salads and yogurt and you could be seeing “berry” well into your golden years.

Prunes

These are not just something your grandmother eats to stay regular anymore. These dark purple gems ranked the highest in antioxidants according to a Kansas State University Study. They may not look pretty, but if you are not eating them regularly, you won’t be able to see them anyway.

Walnuts and Pecans

A mere ounce of these tree nuts has an ample amount of antioxidants in cholesterol- and sugar-free bite-sized portions that are great companions alongside the aforementioned berries in many dishes. You would be nuts not to add them into your diet on a regular basis.

Spinach

This dark leafy green is not only a great source of antioxidants (fresh or cooked) but it also boasts a dose of iron, too.  In addition, kale, Brussels sprouts and even broccoli are rich in antioxidant power for healthy peepers.

Artichoke Hearts

These weird looking plants don’t resemble anything edible, but dig deep to get at the heart of the matter and you will be getting a good dose of antioxidants, along with fiber and other vitamins and minerals.

Green Tea

Tea for two, please—your left and right eye, that is.  This light, mild tasting beverage that is delicious served hot or cold is an easy way to sip a few antioxidants into your diet. If tea is not your thing, good old-fashioned coffee runs a close second in the category of best beverages with antioxidants for the eyes.

Eye Heart Supplements

The NEI study found that most Americans’ diets fall far short of the levels of antioxidants necessary to slow down age-related macular eye disease.  It can be difficult enough to include the abundance of fruits and vegetables needed to get the necessary antioxidants to be effective against vision loss, but with such strong research linking antioxidants and vision health, adding a supplement to your daily routine just makes good sense. See?

0 Comments

Five Myths about Vitamins

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Taking vitamins seems like a good way to stay healthy even when your diet isn’t. Or at least that’s what we would like to believe. Vitamin supplements can be a healthy addition to your diet, but they are not magic pills.  Let’s dispel the five most common myths about vitamins.

Myth #1:  Expensive Urine

You may have written off vitamin supplements because of claims by so-called experts that you can’t absorb extra vitamins and minerals unless it is from actual food; and they just end up being secreted from the body as “expensive urine.”

Fact or fiction? Fiction! If any dietary compounds like vitamin C are detected in your urine it means they were circulating in your blood stream at some point. If the vitamin was in your bloodstream, then you absorbed it and your body used it. 

Myth #2:  A Vitamin Pill Is the Same as Food

Why eat broccoli or salmon if you could just pop a pill, right?  While vitamins are a healthy supplement to your diet, they cannot replace actual food. Vitamins are called supplements because they are a good way to supplement your healthy diet of real foods.  Vitamins contain micronutrients, but we need both micro and macronutrients like protein, fats and carbohydrates to properly fuel our bodies.

It is difficult to get the recommended daily allowance of all vitamins and minerals through your diet, so taking supplements are a good way to cover those little nutrition gaps we all experience. The truth is that there are many compounds in food that are good for you, and many that cannot be duplicated in pill form.

Myth #3:  All Vitamins Are Pharmaceutical Strength

Here’s another one of the most common myths about vitamins. Not all vitamins are pharmaceutical grade just because you bought them in the vitamin shop at a pharmacy.  There are food grade (or store grade) and pharmaceutical grade vitamins.

Food grade vitamin capsules are allowed to have only 20% of the nutrients they say they contain. All the nutrients may have been in the batch but did not necessarily end up in each capsule.

Pharmaceutical grade supplements must meet the U.S. Pharmacopeia standards, which states that the capsule must contain more than 99% of the ingredients listed. They also must have a higher bioavailability than store grade vitamins. The best ones are whole food based and chelated.  Chelated means they are firmly attached to an amino acid or other organic compound so as to not disassociate in the digestive system.

Related:  Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms

Myth #4:  All Vitamin Are Safe

Generally this is true. Most of the supplements you purchase contain only trace amounts of the healthy compounds you take them for, making it hard to consume too many.  Water soluble vitamins dissolve in your bodily fluids while fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K, are stored in your fat cells. There is a chance of toxicity if you have too much of one vitamin build up in your system. They can lead to birth defects (vitamin A) or interfere with blood thinning drugs taken for cardiovascular or prevent normal blood clotting (vitamin K).

Some supplements can interfere with prescription drugs, so always consult your doctor before adding any supplement into your diet.

Myth #5:  It Doesn’t Matter Where You Store Your Vitamins

Wrong! Oxygen, light and water can render vitamins useless.  Many people store their vitamins in the bathroom medicine cabinet, which is the worse place for them. The humidity from the shower will seep into the container over time and start to break down the pills or capsules. 

Some vitamins like A and E are light sensitive, so sitting on the counter under the harsh glare of florescent lighting can cause photo-degradation.  Even exposure to oxygen can start to degrade the nutrients in vitamins.

The best place to store supplements with the cap screwed on tightly is in a cool dry place like a kitchen cabinet away from the stove or sink.   Always keep them out of reach of children. Look for those with childproof caps if you have curious little ones in the home.

Vitamins have an expiration date and overtime begin to degrade. Dispose of those over a year old or sooner if they look discolored, start to crumble or smell odd.

Myth Busters

Now that you know the myths about vitamins you can safely include them in your healthy eating plan and enjoy their many health benefits!

0 Comments

Discover How a Powdered Supplement Benefits the Health

by IVL Products

While many people strive to consume a healthy diet, it is nearly impossible to obtain adequate nutrients every day through eating.  Filling in nutritional gaps with quick and easy supplements helps.  According to research, a powdered supplement benefits the body over pills, tablets, and capsules by offering up to 95 percent absorption when blended into a liquid.  This is because nutrients in liquid form go straight to the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive process.  When it comes to pills, tablets, and capsules, nutrient absorption rates fall to around 10 to 20 percent.  In addition to offering better nutrition, liquid nutrients are much easier to swallow.  Three types of powdered supplements in particular make popular choices for supplementary nutrition.  

A powdered supplement benefits the consumer with ease of use and high nutrient absorption

Green Superfood Powder

Green superfood powder creates a beverage packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients when mixed with water.  This powdered supplement benefits the body in many ways with a combination of healthful green ingredients like alfalfa, chlorella, spirulina, and wheat grass and many extras like fruits, vegetables, enzymes, and probiotics.

An animal-based study published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that one green ingredient ─ alfalfa ─ offered protective effects for the livers of rats when given in tandem with a known liver irritant.  Animal studies have also shown that alfalfa lowers blood glucose levels in diabetic mice, and this is just one of many healthful ingredients available in green powdered supplements.

Related:  Studies Confirm Benefits of Maca for Women During Menopause

Maca

Originating in Peru, the maca plant offers a host of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein through its roots.  Research shows that supplementation with dried maca root powder may increase energy levels in healthy people and those living with various health issues.  In one study, researchers timed a group of healthy cyclists who completed a 40 km bike ride before taking maca and completed the same ride after taking maca for two weeks.  Results showed significant improvements in the completion times of the cyclists, which researchers attributed to increased energy levels.

Protein Powder

People who exercise regularly or who have trouble swallowing often appreciate protein powder that can be blended into a beverage.  Available in a wide array of flavors like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and banana, protein powder comes with varying levels of carbohydrates dependent upon what is needed by the user.  Different types of protein may include soy, rice, whey, or casein protein.

Conclusion

A powdered supplement benefits the body in many ways.  Whether people need the nutritional punch provided by a green supplement powder or the occasional energy lift offered by maca powder, supplementary beverages make a delicious and easy way to obtain valuable nutrients.  Supplement powders can be found at local whole foods and nutrition stores or conveniently ordered online through natural supplement websites. 

0 Comments

A Guide to Antioxidants and Brain Health

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Capable of thinking, reasoning, remembering, and more, the human brain is what distinguishes people from animals.  In terms of organs, the brain is our best asset, which is why taking care of it is so important.  When it comes to natural protection for the brain, "antioxidant" is a term that comes up often, but many people don't understand what antioxidants do and where to find them.  This guide to antioxidants and brain health may shed light on these powerful natural compounds, where to find them, and how they impact brain health. 

To understand the benefits of antioxidants, it helps to know about free radicals.  Byproducts of normal body processes and environmental influences like smoking and pollution, free radicals are unstable molecules that scavenge other molecules.  While some free radicals that destroy viruses and harmful bacteria prove beneficial to the health, too many free radicals can cause disease and promote aging in any area of the body including the brain.  Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, and three in particular offer excellent benefits for the brain.

Berry Flavonoids

A review study published in The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry examined prior cellular, animal, and human research for the effects of berries on brain health.  The researchers concluded that flavonoids found in berries protect cells from free radical damage and change the way neurons communicate in the brain.  This helps prevent inflammation that can lead to neuron damage and enhances cognition and motor control.

Related:  How to Spice Up Your Memory with Turmeric

Curcumin

A potent ingredient found in the spice turmeric, curcumin packs a number of important health benefits including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier, which is why it has been investigated for its effect on neurological disorders including Parkinson's disease.  Animal studies show treatment with curcumin lessens the effects of glutathione depletion, a condition associated with early Parkinson's disease.  Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant made by the body, and depletion leads to oxidative stress and an overabundance of free radicals. 

Lipoic Acid or Alpha-Lipoic Acid

When it comes to antioxidants and brain health, lipoic acid makes a powerful protector for several reasons.  It passes freely through the blood-brain barrier, and it destroys free radicals.  It also helps regenerate vitamin C and vitamin E, two antioxidants that become compromised when fighting free radicals.  People can obtain lipoic acid through foods like spinach and broccoli or take the synthetic version alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) as a supplement.

Research on very old mice treated with ALA showed reduced oxidative stress and improved learning and memory.  Humans with Alzheimer's disease who were treated with a combination of ALA and omega-fatty acids showed less cognitive and functional decline than subjects treated with placebo.

Conclusion

People who learn about antioxidants and brain health take the first step toward keeping the mind active and healthy well into the golden years.  Food and supplements containing potent antioxidants help keep inflammation, oxidative stress, and free radicals at bay for sharper focus, quicker thinking, and better memory.

0 Comments

Antioxidants and Heart Health

by Health News

Oxygen is necessary for important body functions like respiration and metabolism, but when oxygen reacts with some body tissues, it creates harmful free radicals.  These unstable molecules steal electrons from other molecules, which can result in tissue damage.  An overabundance of free radicals has been associated with a number of health problems including heart disease.  Fortunately, potent antioxidants like vitamin C and resveratrol help neutralize free radicals and keep body tissues healthy.  Learning more about antioxidants and heart health may result in a few new additions to the grocery cart and a healthier body. 

Because antioxidants and heart health go hand in hand, people may want to load up on citrus fruits and red grapes.

Vitamin C offers a number of benefits to heart health.  The powerful antioxidant helps keep blood pressure under control and is linked to lower levels of lipoproteins associated with stroke.  By neutralizing free radicals, vitamin C helps to prevent hardening of the arteries, and contributes to lower cholesterol by helping to repair damaged arterial walls.

Studies on antioxidants and heart health show excellent results for vitamin C.  One study found that men who consume at least 300 mg of vitamin C daily lower chances of dying from heart disease by 40 percent.  

Related:  Natural Weight Loss Supplement: Resveratrol

Resveratrol

Certain foods like red grapes contain a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol.  Experts suggest that it may help reduce chances for heart disease by lowering levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or what many people refer to as "bad" cholesterol.  A review study published in Cardiovascular Drug Review links regular consumption of resveratrol to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, healthier blood vessels, and fewer blood clots in animals, but more human studies are needed. 

Conclusion

When it comes to antioxidants and heart health, two in particular appear to offer preventative benefits:  vitamin C and resveratrol.  People can obtain vitamin C from dietary supplements or from fruits and vegetables like citrus fruits, cantaloupe, pomegranates, berries, bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.  In addition to red grapes, other foods that contain resveratrol include blueberries, cranberries, and peanuts.  People can also get daily doses of resveratrol through dietary supplements. 

30 Days to Rethink How You Take Supplements

 

0 Comments

Tell-Tale Signs of Vitamin A Deficiency

by Cindy Gray

Everyone knows vitamins benefit the body, and good health starts at the beginning of the alphabet.  Vitamin A is an essential, fat-soluble vitamin important to the eyes, bones, gums, skin, reproductive system, and the respiratory and intestinal tracts.  Two different types of vitamin A are present in foods.  Preformed vitamin A (retinol) can be obtained through animal products, and pro-vitamin A (carotenoids) are found in certain fruits and vegetables.  When people don't get enough vitamin A in the diet, they may experience signs of vitamin A deficiency. 

Night blindness is one of the first signs of vitamin A deficiency

What is the first sign of vitamin A deficiency?

Because vitamin A plays a key role in eye health, people who are deficient in vitamin A first experience symptoms of night blindness.  While people with night blindness see normally during the day, they have problems adjusting when light fades.  A study published in The Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consumption of a daily vitamin A supplement protects against the development of night blindness.  If not treated, vitamin A deficiency can progress to dry eye syndrome and other serious vision problems.

What is dry eye syndrome?

Continued vitamin A deficiency can affect the conjunctiva (or the covering on the whites of the eyes) that keep eyes moist and lubricated.  The conjunctiva dry out and ulcers appear on the cornea.  If left untreated, vitamin A deficiency can lead to vision loss.

What are some other signs of vitamin A deficiency?

Vitamin A triggers inflammatory response and boosts production of collagen, which helps with repair and healing of wounds.  People who don't get enough vitamin A may experience slower healing and greater risks for infection.  In studies, vitamin A supplementation has been shown to be particularly helpful for people who take steroid medications because steroids impair collagen synthesis.  In addition to the skin, vitamin A also contributes to tooth and gum health.

Related:   The ABCs of Eye Floaters

How does vitamin A promote healthy teeth and gums?

In addition to promoting healthy skin (outer body lining) vitamin A helps maintain mucous membranes (inner body linings) like those of the gums, and healthy gums help anchor teeth. When gums become inflamed, adequate levels of vitamin A help to speed the healing process, but vitamin A deficiency impedes the healing process.  People with chronic gum problems may want to check with a medical professional for testing of vitamin A levels.

People can prevent signs of vitamin A deficiency by eating plenty of sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, bell peppers, fish, liver, and tropical fruits or by taking a daily vitamin A supplement.  As of this writing, for men over the age of 18, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 900 micrograms (mcg).  For women over the age of 18, the RDA for vitamin A is 700 mcg.  Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consume 770 mcg and 1,200 mcg respectively.  People who suspect a vitamin A deficiency should consult with a health care professional for confirmation before starting a supplementary regimen.

0 Comments

Five Natural Supplements for Brain Health

by IVL Products

Some people believe that cognitive decline is an inevitable part of aging, but people stay sharp well into their golden years with the correct dietary supplements.  Studies show that nourishment directly affects brain performance, and brain decline can be delayed, or even reversed with the consumption of natural supplements for brain health.  Discover five supplements that help support a sharp and healthy brain

brain health

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), promote good brain health.  In a study published in Neurology, researchers examined 1,575 people with an average age of 67 who were free of dementia.  Subjects underwent tests for omega-3 blood levels and mental function and had MRI brain scans.  Researchers found that subjects with lower levels of DHA showed lower brain volume than subjects with higher levels of DHA, and they scored lower on tests for abstract thinking, processing, and visual memory.  Fish oil supplements make a great daily source of omega-3 fats.

Curcumin

According to an animal study published in Biogerontology, the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its golden color may help improve cognition.  During the course of the study, old female lab rats were given either curcumin or corn oil daily.  Animals were then given behavioral (maze) tests and were tested for blood levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker for oxidative stress.  Results showed that rats receiving curcumin performed better on behavioral tests and showed less MDA in the blood.

Phosphatidylserine

The chemical compound phosphatidylserine (PS) is found in many parts of the body, but the highest concentrations exist in the brain.  One of the most heavily-researched natural supplements for brain health, PS has been found to promote healthy memory and cognitive function.  One study tracked 51 people from 55-75 years of age over a 12-week period giving half of the subjects 300 mg of PS daily and the other half a placebo.  Subjects who took PS were better able to remember names and details of the previous day or past weeks and had an easier time locating misplaced objects.

Vinpocetine

Derived from vincamine, an alkaloid found in the periwinkle plant, vinpocetine is said to help dilate blood vessels and improve brain function.  Early research suggests that vinpocetine may improve symptoms of a number of conditions including age-related memory problems, Alzheimer's disease, clinical depression, and vascular dementia.  People with low blood pressure, bleeding or seizure disorders, or liver or kidney damage should not take vinpocetine.

Related:  Meditation Rewires Your Brain

Huperzine A

Derived from the plant Chinese club moss, huperzine A is an alkaloid that blocks cholinesterase, a compound that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.  Because acetylcholine helps promote learning, memory, and other brain functions, taking a supplement that fosters its production naturally boosts brain health.

Conclusion

Many people worry about declining cognitive function as they age.  Fortunately, natural supplements for brain health help slow age-related cognitive decline.  Omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, phosphatidylserine, vinpocetine, and huperzine A possess chemicals and compounds that promote varying brain functions, from abstract thinking to learning to memory.  To avoid possible complications or interactions, people should consult with a health care practitioner before beginning a supplementary regimen.

30-Day Vibrant Living Challenge

0 Comments

Why Plant-Based Powder Supplements are the Best

by Institute for Vibrant Living

All supplements are not the same. Synthetic extracts and "green" supplements may sound healthy and full of goodness,  but the truth is you need to take plant based vitamins and supplements made from whole-food plant-based powders to get the nutritional benefits you are searching for. 

plant-based vitamins and supplements

Here's why plant based vitamins and supplements are just what you’ve been searching for:

Plant Based Vitamins and Supplements Work Synergistically

Some health supplements and vitamins sound full of highly concentrated health-giving benefits, but they are made from extractions, which mean they isolate the particular nutrient from the rest of the plant to provide concentrated vitamin and mineral supplements. However, using the extracted nutrient in isolation from the plant from which it was derived means that they do not perform as nature intended, to their full capacity.

The way many plant based vitamins and supplements work is by their interaction with other micronutrients and metabolites found in the whole plant. The nutrients often work synergistically with the rest of the plant to maximum their efficacy. In order to get the full power of these secondary metabolites, you need to look for whole-food, plant-based powders to get the best possible health benefits.

For example, you may drink a healthy smoothie for vitamin C, but think how much more you would benefit if that supplement was made from whole plants, not just a vitamin C extract. The same shake could deliver fiber, antioxidants, immune-boosting phyto-nutrients, probiotics and enzymes as well as the desired vitamin C boost if it was made from whole foods.

Related:  7 Tips for Becoming a Plant Eater

Plant Based Vitamins and Supplements are Naturally Absorbed

Those people taking plant based vitamins and supplements generally understand the benefits of nature and want a natural safe approach to health and weight loss, not a laboratory-created pill. When you choose whole-food plant-based supplements, you know that your body is absorbing and utilizing the nutrients to maximum effect, as it was designed to do.

One big difference between synthetic and natural plant-based supplements is that plant based vitamins and supplements include enzymes. They play an important role is making those nutrients available, helping the body to absorb and utilize the accompanying minerals and vitamins. Absorption takes place at cell level and the enzymes and amino acids present in plant based supplements ensure that the supplement absorption is natural and efficient. By giving your body the tools it needs to stay fit and healthy, you are allowing your body to self-correct, protecting the longevity of your health.

If you want to boost your dietary intake of vitamins and minerals, it makes sense to deliver plant based vitamins and supplements in the same form that nature already provides. 

30 Days to Rethink How You Take Supplements

0 Comments

The Modern Rules of Plant-Based Superfood Proteins

by Cindy Gray

Vegetarianism and veganism is a growing lifestyle choice, but obtaining a healthy amount of daily protein can be a challenge for many non-meat eaters. While plant-based protein powders can be the answer, but you don't have to be vegetarian to enjoy the benefits of these superfood energy drinks. 

plant-based protein powder

Good Sources of Vegetarian Protein

Protein is essential for repair and restoration of muscle tissue, bones, blood, hair and nails. It is also an important source of energy. The easiest sources of complete proteins are meat, fish and dairy products, but there are other sources available for non-carnivores to include in their diet.

Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, peas and kale contain some protein. Avocadoes are one of the highest protein providers with 10 grams of protein per fruit compared to 5 grams in a cup of broccoli or spinach. These greens are commonly used in plant-based protein powder products.

Legumes are even richer in protein with one cup of soybeans typically delivering 28 grams of protein. Lentils and refried beans provide about half that amount in a one-cup serving. Garbanzo beans, commonly used to make hummus; and pinto, black, or kidney beans are also high in protein.

Nuts and seeds can be a staple for vegetarians. One ounce of peanuts provides 6.5 grams protein while cashews, sesame seeds, walnuts and pistachios are also good sources. Butter and spreads made from peanuts, almonds, and cashews provide a steady supply of protein which can be supplemented with plant-based protein powders for a varied diet.

Related:  Why Amino Acids are Important

The Importance of Amino Acids

Protein is broken down in the digestive process into amino acids which have specific functions within the body. As well as being an important part in the body's metabolism, amino acids are the building blocks of tissue, muscle and other body parts.

28 Superfood Recipes for Everyday

The body can produce 10 of the 20 essential amino acids it needs, but the rest must be provided regularly from the diet. The body cannot store amino acids and if any one of the essential amino acids is unavailable, the muscles and tissue in the body can begin to decline.

Plants have the ability to make all of the amino acids, making plants an ideal source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. It also makes them an important ingredient within any plant-based protein powder.

Health Benefits of Plant-based Protein Powders

Many plant foods have a selection of the complete proteins the body needs, but they may be high in one of the essential amino acids and low in others. The best way to ensure you get a balance of all 20 amino acids is by eating a variety of vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds to provide for the body's essential protein needs.

The easiest way to get the supply you need without having to shop for and prepare so many different foods is by enjoying one or two daily energy drinks made from plant-based protein powder. Easy to mix and drink at home, or on-the-go, these protein-rich sources of energy and vitamins are ideal for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike.

0 Comments

How Supplements Help to Correct Nutrient Deficiencies

by Health News

Studies into the benefits of taking daily supplements of vitamins for chronic disease all appear to reinforce the same message:  taking supplements has a definite and positive effect on our long-term health.

vitamins for chronic disease prevention

It seems hard to imagine that a tiny multivitamin tablet can make a difference to our long-term health, yet deficiency of certain vitamins and trace minerals is directly associated with an increased risk of chronic disease, particularly in the elderly.

Taking Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention

So what's the evidence showing that taking vitamins for chronic disease prevention really works? Almost 50 years ago, research by Dr. Myron Brin showed that even slight deficiencies in nutrients could cause serious psychological and physiological issues. These problems included insomnia, irritability, nightmares and slower brain function.

In a more up-to-date study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, scientists reported that vitamin deficiency was associated with a higher risk of chronic disease. In some cases, the deficiency was found even in those who adhered to the recommended daily allowance (RDA), showing the recommended amounts to be dangerously low. 

Vitamin deficiencies are known to contribute to inflammation in the body which damages cells and tissue. In the longer term, insufficient vitamins for chronic disease can result in organ damage, premature aging and death.

The AMA study concluded that “Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.”

RelatedHow to Store Vitamins and Supplements

How Much is Enough?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publishes and occasionally updates the RDA for vitamins adjusting for new findings in research. This is intended to give safe guidelines for how much is sufficient when it comes to taking vitamins for chronic disease and a healthy lifestyle.

The RDA is gradually being replaced by the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) which suggests quantities of vitamins that are necessary to prevent deficiency and lower the risk of chronic disease. Many researchers still feel the RDAs of vitamins are woefully inadequate, so they should be considered a minimum guideline.

There is plenty of supporting evidence to show that "hoping for the best" when it comes to our modern-day diet is not good enough. Taking daily vitamins for chronic disease prevention needs to start when you are young and healthy to avoid the chronic diseases that blight the lives of the elderly. So start your new healthy lifestyle plan today!

30-Day Vibrant Living Challenge

 

0 Comments

Are You Malnourished?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Malnutrition is unfortunately all too familiar in developing countries where people do not get sufficient nutrients in their diet. Signs of malnutrition may be all too obvious in underweight children and adults, but there are other causes of malnutrition which are evident in the U.S. and other developed nations today.

Are you showing signs of malnutrition?

Here are some common signs of malnutrition:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Lack of energy
  • Dry  or unhealthy skin
  • Wasted muscles
  • Stunted growth in children

Weight Loss Causes Signs of Malnutrition

A common modern-day cause of malnutrition is dieting. Skipping meals, eating unhealthily and starving in the name of weight loss, fashion, or peer pressure can all result in a lack of essential protein, minerals and vitamins that our bodies need to survive healthily. An obsession with size can lead to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. Other causes of malnutrition can be drug addiction, elderly people living alone, or families and students struggling to make ends meet.

Poor Soil Causes Signs of Malnutrition

The University of Texas compared the content of calcium, iron, proteins, phosphorous and vitamin C in fruit and vegetables in 1950 and again in 1999. Although crop size and rate of growth has improved, the nutritional content of the crops has significantly declined.

According to the Kushi Institute, levels of calcium are 27% lower, iron is 37% lower and vitamin C levels are 30% lower in fruits and vegetables produced in 1997 compared to 1975. Intensive farming and lack of crop rotation is blamed for the lower nutritional content of our fruit and vegetables. This clearly indicates the importance of taking multivitamin or daily supplements to provide the essential nutrients our body needs to avoid signs of malnutrition.

Related:  Are Gut Microbes Responsible for Severe Malnutrition?

Malabsorption

Malabsorption of essential vitamins and minerals can cause signs of malnutrition even in those who eat a healthy balanced diet. Such cases may be a caused by digestive disorders such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Those suffering from persistent vomiting or diarrhea will also not be benefitting from their food intake. Some medications can also prevent the body's ability to absorb essential nutrients, leading to malnutrition and poor health.

Treatment for Signs of Malnutrition

Any evidence of malnutrition needs to be swiftly addressed with a proper diet, and possibly with the help of a professional dietician or advisor. Less serious cases of malnutrition can be remedied with regular daily supplements of multivitamins and minerals.

With our busy highly stressed lifestyle, poor eating habits, denuded soil quality, malabsorption and medication issues, everyone needs to take a multivitamin daily to ensure that the minimum amounts of calcium, vitamins and minerals are part of our daily diet.

Challenge Yourself to Get Moving Today

0 Comments

Feeling Down? Try These Natural Remedies for Depression

by Cindy Gray

Everybody feels a little sad or depressed occasionally and often it is a normal reaction to loss or life’s inevitable struggles. For most people, the blues go away after situations are resolved. Others however, are not so lucky.  

According to the National Institute for Mental Health more than 14.8 million adults suffer from major depression which affects their health, relationships and ability to function.  Although there are many prescription medications that claim to help, most people prefer to seek out national remedies for depression.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sad, anxious feelings
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Digestive problems

People who are clinically depressed may look at external reasons for their sadness.  But in true clinical depression, outside factors are not often the primary reasons for depression.  Depression is influenced by the balance of brain chemicals and neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine.  The often-prescribed medications that are supposed to regulate neurotransmitters tend to be very expensive and most have side effects that range from unpleasant to dangerous.

Fortunately, Mother Nature has provided us with safe, effective natural remedies for depression. Recent studies have found a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is present in eggs and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Your body can make its own vitamin D after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, but that can be difficult depending on the time of year and where you live.

RelatedNatural Supplements and Vitamins--Why They are Important

Vitamin D has also been associated with a decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and it also contributes to bone health, immune function and muscle maintenance. Because it is so important, millions of Americans take vitamin D supplements to help ensure they are getting sufficient amounts. Vitamin D is available in tablet, capsule, powdered, and in liquid forms. The needed amount varies from person to person so ask your holistic health practitioner to determine the dosage that best suits your individual needs.

Consider adding nutritional supplements to your natural remedies for depression. It’s also important to adopt an overall healthy lifestyle that includes proper nutrition, moderate exercise, adequate rest, social interaction and stress reduction techniques.

0 Comments

Causes of Stress Vary from Person to Person

by Health News

While some level of stress is beneficial because it can motivate and energize us, too much of it can lead to serious health problems.  The causes of stress differ from person to person. An incident that might be extremely upsetting to one person might go totally unnoticed by another. Stress causes the body to produce excess cortisol, the hormone associated with the “fight or flight” response. Once the “stress threat” is over, cortisol levels typically return to normal.

When a person is chronically feeling stressed, cortisol levels remain high. Chronically high cortisol levels are linked to a host of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, insomnia, eating disorders, muscle tension and fatigue. As some health experts put it: “Deal with your stress or it will deal with you – in harmful ways.”  In order to cope with stress, we must first understand it. There are two kinds of stress:

ACUTE STRESS: This is the type of stress is triggered by specific situations and it prepares the body to defend itself. Acute stress is associated with incidents such as job interviews, public speaking, accidents or injuries.

CHRONIC STRESS: This type of stress never really goes away. It is related to the way a person copes with the issues of everyday living such as bills, kids, job insecurity and relationship problems. It is also very common among caregivers. If left untreated, chronic stress can leads to consistently high cortisol levels that wreak havoc on the body and immune system.

To the extent that you can, remove yourself from situations and people that stress you out. While we can’t always make the causes of stress go away, we can find healthy ways to cope.  Here a few ideas:

RelatedYoga and Natural Supplements for Back Pain Relief

EXERCISE: Take a walk, go for a swim or join an exercise class.   Exercise provides physical and psychological benefits that reduce stress and boost your mood.  Learn yoga and incorporate it into your daily life, just five to 10 minutes a day is better than one hour once a week.  Yoga is a life-changing method for relaxation and breath control.  

GET YOUR REST: Inadequate rest is linked to stress and depression. It’s much easier to cope with stressful situations when you are rested.

DITCH THE GUILT: You are not a superhero and nobody (except you) expects you to be one. Learn to prioritize and say no.

HAVE SOME FUN: It can be hard to maintain your sense of humor during stressful times, but laughter truly is the best medicine. Paint, dance, sing out loud or watch a funny movie.

LEARN TO RELAX: Stressed-out people usually have difficulty relaxing. Yoga, meditation and conscious breathing techniques can help you stay calm and focused.

0 Comments

“B” Calm At Work: News Ways to Reduce Stress

by Cindy Gray

Long, stressed out days at the office, in traffic, and even at home is the new norm for most Americans.  Finding ways to reduce stress is critical to maintaining good health.  While it’s good to make time to meditate or go on relaxing vacations, the great news is to simply add more B vitamins to your diet and reduce stress on a daily basis!

An Australian study published in 2011 detailed a clinical trial that divided participants into two groups:  one group took a daily B complex multivitamin; and the other group took a placebo. The before and after assessment of the mood, personality traits, and work-related stress, found that the group taking the vitamin B reported significantly less personal stress.  They also reported less confusion, feelings of depression or rage, and were not as fatigued as the placebo group.

To “B” or Not To “B”?

It’s no secret that the body relies heavily on B vitamins to function properly physically and mentally.  Vitamin B12, folic acid and vitamin B6 are essential for mental function.  Those who do not get enough B’s are often more irritable, have trouble focusing and report more feelings of depression or sadness. 

The human body cannot produce vitamin B12 or folic acid so we must eat foods rich in those nutrients or consume it in supplement form.  It’s best to get it from both food and supplement sources.  Fish, chicken, clams and oysters are good sources of vitamin B12.  Egg yolks, almonds, dried beans, wholegrain breads, and many fruits and vegetables contain folate, which becomes folic acid when absorbed by the body.

Meat and animal products are great sources of vitamin B12 and folic acid.  So for vegetarians and those who consume little meat, supplements are recommended, and should be combined with daily grains, fruits and vegetables.

A B (vitamin) By Any Other Name Is Still As…Healthy

Vitamin B 12 is also known as cyanocobalamin, and folic acid is the alias for B9.  Thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, pantothenic acid (B5) and biotin are all other names for B vitamins, so look for them in the list of nutrients in your supplements.

Thiamine keeps the nervous system healthy which greatly affects mood and can increase cognitive functions like memory and focus.  This can help you be more productive and focused on the job and in your work.

Niacin is important to the digestive and nervous systems. Without enough of it in your diet, you can feel more depressed, irritable and stressed out.  B6, (or pyridoxine), is important for the plentiful production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps reduce stress and feelings of anxiety while boosting the immune system. 

RelatedFor a Longer Life, Take B Vitamins

What Dosage Would B Healthiest?

It’s almost impossible to get all the B vitamins you need every day through diet alone, especially since we are a breakfast skipping, fast food nation. Taking a B-complex vitamin is one of the simplest ways to reduce stress in your job and in your life in general.

The average adult should aim for:

  • 75 mg B1 (thiamine)
  • 10 mg B2 (riboflavin)
  • 100 mg niacin
  • 68 mg B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • 25 mg B6
  • 30 mcg B12
  • 20 mcg biotin
  • 150 mcg folic acid

Don’t Worry “B” Happy

If you have been feeling irritable and more fatigued than usual, it could be that you’re not getting enough vitamin B’s in your diet.  Exit the traffic on your daily commute and pick up a bottle of B-complex vitamins and you’ll be feeling better in no time!

0 Comments

Understanding Andropause

by Health News

Most people are aware of the changes that take place as women age and female hormones diminish.  With menopause comes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and more.  What might surprise some people is that men experience a similar phenomenon as they age.  Because male hormones are known as androgens, experts have labelled this phase "andropause."

What is andropause?

Andropause is a life phase experienced as men age.  While many hormones are involved in the progress of andropause, testosterone plays a key role.  After men reach the age of 30, male testosterone levels decline by roughly 10 percent each decade, resulting in a variety of emotional and physical symptoms.  While women enter menopause after menstruation has ceased, men have no clear-cut marker for the beginning of andropause.  It takes place gradually, sometimes over a period of decades. 

What are the symptoms of andropause?

Declining levels of testosterone bring about a variety of emotional and physical changes in men.  Because of the variability in testosterone levels from man to man, symptoms of andropause also vary.  Sexual and reproductive symptoms include low libido, a loss of interest in sex, erectile dysfunction, and infertility.  Additional symptoms include muscle aches and weakness, sleep disturbance, reduced energy levels, lower physical endurance, hair loss on the body and scalp, and emotional symptoms like depression, anxiety, and irritability.

Related:  Top Ten Men's Vitamins

As an anabolic hormone, testosterone helps build muscles, connective tissue, and bone, so it is not surprising that men in andropause also experience reduced body composition and bone loss.  Although testosterone levels decline in virtually all males as they age, there is no way to predict at what age decline will take place, nor the severity of symptoms.

Are there treatment options for andropause?

Like some women turn to estrogen replacement therapy, some men opt for testosterone replacement therapy or TRT.  While it has shown effectiveness for reducing andropause symptoms, it does not trigger the body to make its own testosterone and it comes with side effects for some men.  DHEA supplements offer another alternative.  DHEA is a 'parent hormone' that the body turns into testosterone in men and estrogen in women.  Currently, some people use DHEA to increase muscle mass, strength, and energy, but because it is a steroid, it is banned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  Many men also use DHEA for erectile dysfunction or ED.

Men experiencing declining testosterone can benefit from a variety of healthy lifestyle choices. These include:

  • Regular physical exercise like walking, jogging, biking, swimming, tennis, or basketball
  • A healthy diet that contains plenty of vitamin B12, vitamin D, folic acid, and omega-3 fats
  • Avoidance of tobacco products and limited alcohol use
0 Comments

Take Lack of Sex Drive to 'Super Libido' with Tongkat Ali

by Cindy Gray

Eventually, all men must face getting older, which comes with a host of side effects including diminished libido.   When it comes to reduced sexual desire, aging men look to any remedy that promises to help.  While 20 percent of American men over the age of 40 have tried Viagra for enhancing erectile function, this drug has virtually no effect on sexual desire.  What's more, roughly 50 percent of men experience side effects from Viagra like flushing, headache, nasal congestion, upset stomach, or visual problems.  Fortunately, men who suffer a lack of sex drive have a natural option in the form of tongkat ali, an herb from Southeast Asia. 

In addition to many other health benefits, tongkat ali helps replenish a lack of sex drive.

Tongkat ali is a shrub-like tree found in Borneo, Burma, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sumatra, and Thailand.  Dubbed "Asian Viagra" by the New Sunday Times, this herb has been used to treat men with a lack of sex drive, reduced sexual performance, and low energy levels. 

According to research, tongkat ali contains potent phytochemicals that increase muscle growth, boost mental alertness, support healthy sex organs, promote semen quality, increase muscle growth, boost mental alertness, and promote healthy testosterone levels in men.  In fact, consumption of tongkat ali has been shown to boost free testosterone and nearly double total testosterone in men undergoing clinical trials. 

A Malaysian study in 2012 examined 76 men.  At the beginning of the study, only 35 percent of the men showed normal testosterone levels.  Following 30 days of supplementation with tongkat ali, over 90 percent of the participants showed normal levels of testosterone.  Many animal studies have also found success with tongkat ali in boosting sexual arousal and frequency of sexual behavior. 

Related:  Five Common Myths about Prostate Health

Tongkat Ali and Male Fertility

While fertility may not be important to some men as they get older, other men might appreciate the fruitful benefits offered by tongkat ali.  Because it improves sperm quality, the herb also enhances male fertility.  One study of 75 men showed improvements in sperm quality that lasted for months following the study, and nearly 15 percent of participants reported resulting pregnancies in female partners.

Other Uses for Tongkat Ali

Natural herbs often provide a host of health benefits, and tongkat ali is no different.  In addition to its use for lack of sex drive and diminished sexual performance, tongkat ali is said to benefit:

  • aches, pains, and fever
  • bleeding (as a coagulant)
  • dysentery
  • edema
  • glandular swelling
  • hypertension
  • sores and ulcers

Precautions for Supplementing with Tongkat Ali

While generally considered safe when consumed in appropriate amounts, tongkat ali sometimes causes side effects in doses higher than 1000 mgs.  These include insomnia, rapid heartbeat, and restlessness.  People should look for products that are certified for authenticity and free of mercury.   Before engaging in any supplementary program, it is always wise to consult with a health care professional. 

0 Comments

Natural Remedies for Depression Include Three Healthy Foods

by IVL Products

Depression affects nearly 19 million people across the United States.  While a number of factors contribute to depression, many people fail to consider daily nutrition.  What we put in our mouths plays a big role in mood as well as mental focus and energy levels.  According to experts, some foods that reduce depression include garbanzo beans, turkey, and yogurt.  Each of these nutritional foods contains mood-enhancing properties and a few extra health benefits, making them must-haves for the shopping cart.  

Add foods that reduce depression like garbanzo beans, yogurt, and turkey to the shopping cart.

Garbanzo Beans

According to a 2004 study published in "Human Psychopharmacology," people with depression show high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can hinder recovery and endanger the heart.  Folic acid helps keep homocysteine levels in check, and garbanzo beans make a rich source of this valuable nutrient.  Studies also show that folic acid may enhance the effectiveness of prescribed antidepressants, but people should consult with their doctor before using folic acid supplements.  Garbanzo beans also provide a rich source of fiber for better digestive health.

Turkey

People looking for natural remedies for depression should consider foods rich in protein, particularly turkey.  Many lean sources of protein provide amino acids that help improve mood as well as support the immune system, repair body tissues, and boost energy.  Turkey goes one step further with high levels of tryptophan, a chemical that stimulates the production of serotonin, a mood-enhancing and sleep-promoting neurotransmitter in the brain.  This might explain why people feel so drowsy and content following Thanksgiving dinner.  Other dietary sources of tryptophan include cottage cheese, milk, brown rice, peanuts, beef, and soy products.

RelatedWays to Lower Risk of Depression

Yogurt

Low-fat dairy products like yogurt contain calcium, vitamin D, and protein as well as specific peptides that support wellbeing.  In addition to these healthy ingredients, yogurt offers a rich source of probiotics ─ microorganisms that help maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the intestines.  Some depressed people have an overgrowth of 'bad' intestinal bacteria, which can cause problems with the absorption of micronutrients.  These compounds are directly involved in the production of the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin.  To get the most health benefits, people should purchase plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it with fresh fruit or lemon juice and stevia.

In light of all their healthy properties, it makes sense to add these three foods that reduce depression to a dietary plan.  People who don't like the texture of garbanzo beans might try a smooth and creamy hummus spread with fresh veggies, crackers, or chips.  Natural turkey lunch meat makes a good alternative to a big roasted bird, and probiotic supplements make a good replacement for plain yogurt.

28 Superfood Recipes for Everyday

0 Comments

The Multivitamin-Mood Connection

by Health News

We’ve all heard the saying "you are what you eat", but a recent study shows that diet does more than just affect our long-term body weight and energy levels - what we eat also controls our moods. Scientists now believe diet can even provide natural remedies for depression.

Study into Vitamins as Natural Remedies for Depression

In order to control and measure the association between depression and nutrient deficiency, scientists ran a study on a group of 50 healthy male volunteers aged between 50 and 69. They were given either a placebo or a multivitamin supplement for eight weeks.

The supplement contained a higher-than-recommended daily dose of 26 vitamins and minerals and extracts from 21 herbs, fruit and vegetables. At the end of the trial, the participants were required to complete a questionnaire on mood and stress levels before and after the trial to measure the possible effects of multivitamins as natural remedies of depression.

Those who took the supplement showed a significant reduction in depression, anxiety and stress compared to those on the placebo. They also noted an improved level of alertness. The study concluded that taking a daily supplement of multivitamins and minerals can improve mood and alertness. Supplement-takers also reported less negative mood symptoms and an improved sense of well-being, showing that a healthy diet high in vitamins and minerals can provide natural remedies for depression and poor mood.

RelatedIndigestion and Mood:  The Gut-Brain Connection

How Food Affects Mood

An example of how food affects our mood can be seen when we eat a heavy lunch and feel sluggish and dozy afterwards. That's due to higher blood sugar levels suppressing orexin, a chemical in the brain that's responsible for levels of alertness.

Similarly, when you are hungry and blood sugar levels are low, your brain triggers feelings of impatience and irritability – a throwback to when man was a hunter and needed to take action to address that hunger!

Understanding that food can affect our mood and feelings of happiness or depression can help us address the problems and find answers. Everything we eat has an effect on our hormones and neurotransmitters, which control our mood and energy levels.

Those suffering from feelings of depression are often low in dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. Proteins can help boost the levels of these neurotransmitters and avoiding excess sugar can also help provide natural remedies of depression. As the study shows, the value of taking multivitamins and supplements in conjunction with a healthy diet can also be a powerful weapon, working together as natural remedies against depression

30 Days to Rethink How You Take Supplements

0 Comments

Six Strategies for Healthy Aging

by IVL Products

Aging gracefully and healthily may take some effort, but knowing what to avoid and what to include in your life should be a vital part of your healthy aging plan, whatever your age.

Here are some anti-aging tips to ensure that optimum healthy aging is achieved.

Exercise is an important part of healthy aging.

1. Avoid Sugar

Not only does sugar introduce "empty" calories into your diet, it is also a trigger for inflammation. Eat fruits in moderation and swap sugary drinks for low-calorie drinks; or better still, drink plenty of water. Top your breakfast cereal with antioxidant rich berries rather than sugar and you are well on your way to establishing a healthy aging, sugar-free regimen.

2. Avoid Food!

Intermittent fasting has been found to be an important part of longevity. As well as being naturally detoxifying, fasting decreases excess body fat, boosts mental clarity, and controls blood sugar levels. Restricting calories has been shown in studies to be very effective at extending lifespan.

3. Avoid Stress for Healthy Aging

Stress is the biggest enemy of healthy aging. It negatively affects general health, lowers cognitive ability, and unnecessarily triggers the release of stress hormones.

4. Include Omega-3s

Omega-3s are essential for older adults. As well as improving joint and heart health, these fatty acids appear to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's by reducing brain inflammation. Omega-3s are found in oily fish, nuts and olive oil, but the only way to be sure of your daily intake is by taking an Omega-3 supplement.

Related:  Five Ways to Increase the Effectiveness of Healthy Foods

5. Include Exercise

Regular aerobic exercise is essential for healthy aging as it improves muscle strength and counters the loss of stamina that is part of the aging process. Exercise also improves balance and supports stronger bones.

Checkout what high intensity anti-aging exercises you could incorporate into your life as part of your healthy aging plan. The American Heart Association advises doing 8-10 strength-building exercises and repeating them for 10 to 15 repetitions to build and maintain strength. Use hand weights to increase the effectiveness of simple weight training exercises such as biceps curls, lunges and squats.

6. Include Vitamin D for Healthy Aging

Scientists have found that higher levels of vitamin D can help slow the aging process and protect against age-related disease. It is thought to extend the telomeres responsible for cell regeneration. Studies indicate that people who have higher levels of vitamin D live significantly longer than their counterparts.

Sunshine is a natural source of vitamin D, but it also ages the skin, so enjoy the sunshine, but protect yourself from the sun.  Wear a hat when outside in the sun; wear a loose, gauzy shirt to protect your arms; wear sunglasses to protect your eyesight; and use a natural sunscreen when getting your vitamin fix. Taking vitamin D in supplement form or eating plenty of oily fish also boosts vitamin D levels, helping the body metabolize calcium for strong bones as well as protecting against heart disease.

It's never too early to starts a healthy aging plan, so consider these six strategies and get started!