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Heart Health Tips: Do Walnuts Benefit Your Heart?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

A new study from the University of Munich Medical Center in Germany indicates that a diet enriched with walnuts may reduce heart disease risk naturally, by lowering levels of two major risk predictors.

Heart Health Tips | Walnut Benefits

Walnuts are made up mainly of polyunsaturated fats. They are an excellent natural source of the heart-healthy plant-based omega-3 fat known as alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA.

In this study, researchers investigated the effects of daily walnut consumption on blood lipid levels. They found that levels of non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B (ApoB) levels - both major predictors of heart disease risk - were significantly reduced in study participants.

Healthy men and women consumed walnuts as part of their normal diet for eight weeks. They simultaneously reduced intake of saturated fats and increased consumption of polyunsaturated fats, resulting in beneficial changes to their lipid profile.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, responsible for roughly 1 in every 4 deaths. Everyone knows that a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet play an important role in heart disease prevention.

This study shows that people can benefit their heart health naturally by supplementing their diet with walnuts, which reduce the levels of non-HDL cholesterol and ApoB, two of the most important risk factors for heart disease.

Previous research has already indicated that walnut consumption can lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure (BP), two other major risk factors for heart disease - along with managing other known risk factors such as endothelial function, oxidative stress and inflammation.

In fact, the evidence for walnuts being a great source of natural heart health is so extensive that in 2004 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially approved one of the first health claims for a whole food. Similarly, the European Union (EU) has also officially acknowledged the health benefits of walnuts - the only nut to ever be credited with such claims.

This study adds to previous research and confirms that walnuts are a natural source of multiple, powerful heart health benefits including managing levels of cholesterol and blood lipids.

Read related blog posts:
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Can Cherries help lower Your Risk for Heart Disease?
What is Cholesterol?
5 Nutrients for a Healthy Heart
Can Dietary Fiber Banish Inflammation?

 

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Natural Heart Health with Walnuts.

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What are the Best Recipes to Keep Your Heart Healthy

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Your diet can make or break your best health intentions. And this is especially true when it comes to your blood pressure.

If you are eating an inflammatory, acidic, highly processed, sugar-laden, salt-filled diet, then medications and even supplements will only hold you over for so long. Soon, you’ll need to either up your dosage, take it more frequently, or start adding in prescription after prescription just to offset your damaging diet.

Fortunately, the reverse is also true. If you clean up your diet and choose foods that are alkaline rather than acid, rich in antioxidants and fiber, and low in sodium, then you can not only work to get off medications, you may be able to maintain healthy blood pressure levels for life. And, best of all, the solutions can be downright delicious!

To help you lower your blood pressure naturally and delectably, download and try these heart-healthy recipes.They all boast high antioxidant levels, amazing amounts of fiber, powerful anti-inflammatory oils and spices, and low to no sodium. 

Heart Healthy Recipes 

 

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Top Tips on Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that an average American typically consumes approximately 22 teaspoons of sugar every day? The maximum recommended amount is 6 teaspoons daily for women and 9 teaspoons daily for men.

Top Tips on Maintaining Health Blood Sugar Levels

No wonder that nearly 40% of Americans over 65 have high blood sugar levels, which is linked to multiple health problems including obesity, circulatory issues, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.

In fact, diabetes and its complications are together the third leading cause of death in the US.

Ignoring your blood sugar levels can quadruple your chances of heart attack, stroke and death - while controlling your glucose levels can reduce your risk of diabetes and complications by 40% or more.

Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd, is a unique vegetable-fruit that is used both as food or medicine. It thrives in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, growing off the vine as a green, oblong-shaped fruit rich in many vitamins and minerals. It has long been used in the ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda as a therapy for a number of ailments, including type 2 diabetes.

Bitter melon contains at least three active substances with anti-diabetes properties, including charantin - which has been shown to have a blood glucose-lowering effect - as well as vicine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p. All of these naturally occurring chemicals work together to reduce blood sugar levels.

Bitter melon also contains a lectin that reduces blood glucose levels by suppressing appetite, similar to the effects of insulin in the brain. This lectin is thought to be a major factor behind the hypoglycemic effect seen after eating bitter melon.

A number of clinical studies have been conducted to assess the efficacy of bitter melon in the treatment of diabetes.

The results of a four-week clinical trial published in 2011 showed that consuming 2 grams daily of bitter melon significantly reduced blood glucose levels among patients with type 2 diabetes.

Previous studies have also suggested an association between bitter melon intake and improved glycemic control, while a report published in 2008 showed that consuming bitter melon increased cellular uptake of glucose and improved glucose tolerance.

IVL’s Gluco Harmony® is a high quality nutritional supplement designed to improve your insulin response and maintain normal blood sugar levels. It contains a total of 9 high-quality, nutraceutical-grade Ayurvedic botanical extracts - including bitter melon, Shilajit, curcumin, fenugreek, and banaba - that help stabilize blood sugar naturally, with no known side effects.

So if you’d like to control your blood sugar levels and lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes - why not order Gluco Harmony® today?

Read more:

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How to Naturally Take Control of Sugar Cravings

Source:

Bitter Melon Lowers Diabetes Risk.

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Top Three Heart-Healthy Nutrients

by Health News
There’s no question that, when it comes to lowering cholesterol, your first step should be to eat healthy and exercise. But when you want that extra boost, these three nutrients should be at the top of your list.Top Three Heart-Healthy Nutrients
 
CoQ10—Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble compound found in every plant and animal cell. Research has shown that CoQ10 also prevents the oxidation of LDL—the pivotal step in artery clogging—and, along with vitamin E, can help to lower cholesterol levels. Plus, the frequently prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs in the statins class significantly deplete CoQ10 stores, so it is particularly critical that you use CoQ10 if you are taking a statin. Aim for 100 mg of CoQ10 (as ubiquinone) daily.
 
Essential Fatty Acids— Essential fatty acids (EFAs), the omega-3s EPA and DHA, are fats that your body does not produce and that you must therefore obtain through diet or supplementation. They are important for the production of series 1 and 3 prostaglandins, potent hormone-like anti-inflammatory substances that help regulate blood pressure, the breakdown of fat or cholesterol in your blood, heart rate, blood clotting, and your immune system’s response to injury and infection. EFAs also help decrease inflammation. Aim for 200 mg of EPA and 100 mg of DHA every day.
 
Quercetin—Quercetin belongs to the bioflavonoid family—a subgroup of flavonoids known for their potent antioxidant and antiviral capabilities. It also helps to maintain the strength of small blood vessels and reduce vascular fragility. In addition to its ability to reduce bleeding and bruising, quercetin is beneficial in preventing “sticky” platelets and promoting relaxation of the entire cardiovascular system. It also helps to regulate blood pressure and heart rate. Aim for 250 mg a day.
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Fight Hair Loss With these Vitamins and Supplements

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Top 3 Vitamins and Supplements to Fight Hair LossAre your hair and skin dull and lifeless, lacking softness and shine?

Boosting your diet with these three vitamins will nourish your hair and scalp, helping to transform your hair and skin to make them glowing and vibrant.

VITAMIN A

One of the most important vitamins for healthy hair and skin is vitamin A. You can get it from foods such as cantaloupe, dark leafy green veggies and meat. Vitamin A conditions and moisturizes the skin; fights free radicals, protects hair and skin cells from damage; and strengthens and thickens hair so it grows longer faster and breaks less often.

Sweet potatoes, carrots and other orange and yellow fruits and veggies contain beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body - stimulating the production of skin oils that prevent dryness and itchiness and lead to stronger, more vibrant hair and skin.

VITAMIN B-COMPLEX

Vitamin B-complex - including vitamins B3, B6, B12 and biotin - are great for healthy hair and skin. When consumed together they lead to a reduction in hair loss; fewer gray hairs as they slow down the graying process; and longer hair due to more rapid hair growth.

Niacin, or vitamin B3, improves hair and skin health by improving blood circulation, bringing more nutrients to skin cells and hair follicles. Niacin is found in carrots, broccoli, dates, eggs, fish and whole wheat bread.

Biotin is another B vitamin necessary for cell growth, fatty acid production and fat and amino acid metabolism. It is often recommended as a dietary supplement for combating dull and lifeless hair loss and skin. It is found in dairy, eggs, fish, meats, whole grains and nuts.

Vitamin B complex also contains folic acid, which promotes hair growth, making hair thicker and shinier. Folic acid is found in whole grain breads and cereals.

VITAMIN E

Vitamin E is renowned for its ability to soften skin and hair. It acts as a protective antioxidant, boosts scalp and skin circulation and supports protein synthesis, leading to healthier skin overall; softer, glowing hair; and fewer split ends.

Nuts, seeds, spinach and tomatoes are great sources of vitamin E. To make sure you have plenty of this vitamin in your diet, add sliced avocado and a drizzle of olive oil to your green salads.

Along with these vitamins, omega-3 fats - found in nuts and seafoods - are necessary for hair shaft growth and keeping skin hydrated and moist. Also, they are rich in protein, which promote healthy keratin production, the building block of hair, along with boosting skin cell production.

If you’re worried about hair loss - experts agree that the primary cause of male and female pattern baldness is increased production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is made in the body from testosterone in hair follicles as they age.

Fortunately, IVL’s SeaNU Hair™ Loss Supplement contains nutrients that block DHT along with many others that promote hair growth and health. If you’re frustrated by cosmetic solutions that promise a lot but don’t really help, why not order IVL’s SeaNU Hair™ Loss Supplement today?


Read More....
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What is the Best Source of Biotin-Rich Foods?

The Top Vitmain Health Supplements

10 Best Natural Vitamin Supplements

Top 5 Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements for Men

Natural Supplements and Vitamins: Why They Are Important

 

Source:

Three Vitamins for Healthy, Glowing Hair.

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Deep-Sea Solution for Dementia

by Health News

What do salmon, krill, and lobster all have in common? Yes, they all live in the ocean. Yes, they are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. And, yes, they are all GREAT sources of astaxanthin.

Astaxanthin is a member of the carotenoid family, and is a fat-soluble pigment found in salmon, krill, and lobster, as well as shrimp, crayfish, and even the feathers of flamingos.

How to Stay Sharp and Avoid Dementia as You Age |Institute for Vibrant Living

Like other carotenoids, astaxanthin is a good source of antioxidants. In fact, when compared to other members of this family—namely beta-carotene, lutein, alpha-carotene, and lycopene—astaxanthin had the highest antioxidant activity. And herein lies astaxanthin’s benefits for brain health, or more specifically, dementia.

According to a double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study from a 2011 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers separated 30 people into three groups. One group took 6 mg of astaxanthin a day for 12 weeks.  The second group took 12 mg/day and the third group took a placebo.

At the end of the 12 weeks, researchers discovered that phospholipid hydroperoxides were significantly lower in both astaxanthin groups than in the placebo group. This is important because phospholipid hydroperoxides are abnormally accumulated in people with dementia. By lowering their accumulation, researchers concluded that astaxanthin supplementation might contribute to the prevention of dementia.

If you want to give astaxanthin a try, aim for 6–12 mg a day.

Read more on this topic:

Astaxanthin May Prevent Heart Disease Caused By Inflammation And Free Radicals

5 Fats You Should Be Eating

“Healthy” Fats Improve Nutrient Absorption
 

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Is Your Liver ‘Eating’ Your Brain?

by Health News

Fascinating - and scary - new research suggests your liver could be ‘eating’ your brain. 

People with extra abdominal fat are three times more likely than lean individuals to develop memory loss and dementia later in life.

Now scientists say they know why.

It all comes down to a competition between your liver and your hippocampus - the area of your brain that processes and stores your memories - for a protein called PPARalpha.

The strange thing is, the liver uses PPARalpha to burn belly fat, while the hippocampus uses exactly the same protein to process memory.

Liver Health | Brain Health | Institute for Vibrant Living

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The study authors raised mice that were deficient in PPARalpha. Some mice had normal PPARalpha in the liver but were deficient in the brain. As expected, they showed poor memory and learning abilities.

Others had normal PPARalpha in the brain but not in the liver. Again, as expected, they had normal memory and learning skills.

However, when study researchers injected PPARalpha into the hippocampus of PPARalpha-deficient mice, both their learning and memory abilities improved dramatically.

So it seems that in people with large amounts of belly fat, their livers may have to work overtime to metabolize the fat - likely using up all the PPARalpha. In doing so, they first deplete local stores and then raid the rest of the body, including the brain, according to the new study.

This means their hippocampus become starved of PPARalpha, interfering with memory and learning processes.

Further research is clearly necessary to see how normal PPARalpha levels can be maintained in the human brain so as to prevent memory loss. This is likely to provide a new avenue of exploration in the ongoing search for a therapy for Alzheimer's disease, dementia and memory loss.

Losing any belly fat you may have is a good place to start.

Other related blog articles:
Alzheimer's Disease: Early Signs And Risk Factors

Healthy Exercise Gives the Brain a Boost!

Top 5 Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements for Men

Deep Belly Fat may Affect Bone Health

                                                               

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Why Belly Fat Impairs Memory.

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Do Omega-3 Fats Benefit Cardiovascular Health?

by Health News

According to new research from several studies, regular intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is linked to a 35% lower risk of cardiovascular death in older adults - and may also benefit brain health and function in people of all ages. Specifically, omega-3 PUFAs reduced brain damage in infants after stroke, increased math scores in teenagers and boosted memory in young adults.

Omega-3 Fats Benefit Cardiovascular Health

First, an observational study at Harvard Medical School with nearly 2,700 participants showed that healthy older adults who consumed 400 mg per day of the omega-3 PUFAs EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) + DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) have up to a 40% lower risk of death from heart disease. Also, they tended to live two years longer after the age of 65.

This study clearly shows that higher levels of omega-3 PUFAs mean lower total mortality rates, contributing to a longer, healthier life. 

The second study at Columbia University used an animal model to see whether omega-3 PUFAs would influence brain recovery after pediatric stroke - which affects up to 1,700 US infants each year.

The study authors found an almost 50% reduction in brain tissue loss in mice treated with omega-3 PUFAs or pure DHA immediately after a stroke, when compared to controls. What’s more, brain damage in these mice was significantly reduced for up to eight weeks.

In other words, omega-3 PUFAs may help to protect brain cells in human infants and may be useful for treating pediatric stroke.

Next, a study of 28 countries reported that higher DHA levels in the milk of nursing women was associated with better math scores in their children at the age of 15. Interestingly, only two-thirds of the highest-scoring countries reported DHA levels above the worldwide average of 0.32%, suggesting that other as yet unknown factors may also be involved.

Finally - healthy, young adults also appear to benefit from omega-3 PUFA consumption, according to a study from New Zealand. DHA supplementation was associated with improved response times for both autobiographical and working memory in these participants.

Along with supplements, fish oil and krill oil, cold water fatty fish such as sardines, wild salmon, herring, mackerel and tuna contain plenty of omega-3 PUFAs. Vegetable sources include flax seed, almonds and walnuts.

Source

Other related blog posts...

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The “Brain Pill” of the Future

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Reasons Why Flaxseed Diet For Cows Means More Nutritious Milk Should Be On Your Radar

by Health News

Flaxseed Diet For CowsAccording to a new study, dairy cows fed flaxseed produce more nutritious milk. Specifically, their milk was found to contain higher levels of healthy omega-3 fats and less saturated fat than milk and other dairy products from cows given traditional cattle feed.

This is very relevant for our health, because diets high in saturated fat have been shown to lead to heart disease, while those rich in omega-3 and other healthy polyunsaturated fats reduce the risk of heart disease.

In this study, ten pregnant cows were fed different amounts of flaxseed. Their milk was turned into butter and fresh cheese, which were tested for texture and nutritional composition.

Study authors found that feeding cows up to six pounds of flaxseed improved the fat profile of their milk without affecting its production. Saturated fats dropped 18% while polyunsaturated fat levels increased by 82%. Levels of omega-3 fats rose by a staggering 70% compared to traditional feed. Similar improvements were also seen in butter and cheese.

Although flaxseed costs more than traditional cattle feeds, many consumers have shown their willingness to pay extra for value-added foods, like omega-3 enriched milk.

In nature, omega-3 fats are made mainly by cold-water algae and are present naturally in the fat of fish such as sardines, wild salmon, herring, mackerel and tuna that feed on these plants. Alpha-linolenic acid or ALA is the plant form of omega-3 fats found in walnuts, flaxseed, canola and soybean oil and green leafy vegetables.

Omega-6 fats are found in large concentrations in corn oil, safflower and sunflower oils, margarine and low-fat foods, as well as in meat and eggs.

Our body needs both omega-3 and omega-6 fats to function and cannot make them on its own. Both these essential fats are converted within our body into biologically active substances - which work together to control many vital bodily functions such as muscle contraction, blood thickness and inflammation with a high level of sensitivity.

As long as they are in balance, our bodies remain healthy. However, the typical American diet contains a staggering 20–50 times more omega-6 than omega-3 fats!

Countless studies have shown that increased amounts of omega-6 fats in the diet are associated with rising rates of heart disease, arthritis, asthma, insulin resistance, metabolic disorder, diabetes and cancer.

So what can you do to restore your omega-3 fat balance and your health?

Well, you could wait for cows fed with flaxseed to become a commercial reality, or eat omega-3 fat-enriched milk, eggs and butter. You could also ensure that you regularly consume fatty fish, walnuts, almonds and other foods naturally rich in omega-3 fats.

For instant results, why not opt for IVL’s Omega Max Gold - a fish oil supplement that gives you all the benefits of omega-3 fats - today?

Source

Read more about this topic...

Boost Your Health with Flax Seed

Is Krill Fish Oil Dangerous?

Omega-3 found in fish promotes vision health

Omgea-3 Fatty Acids Benefits - Linked to Preserving Memory

“Healthy” Fats Improve Nutrient Absorption

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Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure with Natto

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Do you know that there is a healthy, natural way to lower your blood pressure (BP) - and keep it low?

High BP is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other serious health problems if left untreated. ‘Blood pressure’ means the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood.

NATTO BP: HOW TO LOWER YOUR BP, NATURALLY

If your BP rises and stays high over time, it can damage your body in many ways.

About 1 in 3 adults in the United States has high BP, a condition with no obvious signs or symptoms. In fact, you can have it for years without knowing it. But during this time, high BP silently damages your heart, blood vessels, kidneys and other parts of your body.

In 1995, researchers at Miyazaki Medical College and Kurashiki University of Science and Arts in Japan discovered that a food item as Natto, made from fermented soybeans, could relax blood vessel walls and keep BP low, naturally.  

On average, systolic BP (the top number) decreased from 174 to 155, while diastolic BP (the bottom number) dropped from 101 to 91 - an overall drop of roughly 10% in 4 out of 5 study volunteers given Natto.

How does Natto do this?

Renin is an enzyme made in your kidney. It circulates in your bloodstream and breaks down the protein angiotensinogen (made in your liver) into the peptide angiotensin I. Angiotensin I has no action on blood vessels, but is converted by another enzyme known as ACE into angiotensin II - which is a potent constrictor of all blood vessels.

Angiotensin II acts on smooth muscles in arteries to raise the resistance they pose to the heart. The heart tries to overcome this increase in its 'load' and works harder, causing BP to rise.

What has all this got to do with Natto?

The Japanese have been eating Natto for nearly a thousand years - for its taste, and for what it does for their energy, memory, skin and digestion.

But it wasn’t until 1987 that researchers at Miyazaki Medical College discovered exactly what makes Natto so good for your health. They discovered a strong enzyme activity in Natto that breaks down fibrin - the protein that makes your blood clot when you bleed from a wound - and named this enzyme nattokinase.

Too much fibrin can make your blood too thick and too sticky, slow down your circulation, raise BP and cause unhealthy clotting activity. In one study of 12 healthy Japanese volunteers, consuming Natto reduced the time it took to dissolve a clot by nearly half.

Nattokinase also blocks the action of the enzyme ACE, meaning it lowers production of angiotensin II. In other words - Natto potently lowers BP and keeps it low by acting via two separate modes of action. No wonder the Japanese are so fond of it.

Talk to your healthcare provider about adding a Natto supplement to your diet.

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What are the uses and benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?

by Health News

Relieve Joint Pain NaturallyOsteoarthritis, the leading cause of chronic disability affecting nearly 27 million Americans, happens because of cartilage breakdown that exposes bone surfaces and leads to joint degradation.

When we are young and healthy, our joints are full of a viscous fluid similar in consistency to raw egg white, known as synovial fluid. It cushions joints by providing elastic shock absorbing properties. Synovial fluid also carries nutrients to the cartilage and removes waste from the joint area.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a major component of synovial fluid and is mainly responsible for its resilience and shock absorbing properties. As we age, our body makes less HA and synovial fluid becomes less viscous - which is why joints become stiff with age.

Known as ‘nature’s moisturizer’, HA is a very large carbohydrate molecule. When bound to water, HA becomes a viscous gel. HA is present all over our body:

  • It is a major component of the nonliving ground substance in all connective tissue, which allows it to bear the kind of weight and withstand pressure that no other body tissue can - all because of HA’s ability to form a strong, viscous gel with water.
  • HA is found in the greatest concentrations in the skin, both in the deep underlying dermal areas as well as epidermal top layers. Young skin is smooth and elastic because it contains large amounts of HA, which provides continuous moisture by binding up to 1000 times its weight in water. With age, the skin’s ability to produce HA decreases.
  • Having healthy lustrous hair and a moisturized scalp means our skin has abundant HA. Similarly, the dermal layer of our lips is made up of connective tissue containing HA and collagen, both of which give our lips their shape and plumpness.
  • HA is highly concentrated inside our eyeballs. The fluid inside our eyes - known as vitreous humor - is made up almost entirely of HA, making it viscous. Vitreous humor acts as a shock absorber and also transports nutrients into the eye. During surgical procedures, HA has been directly injected into the eye to help maintain its shape.

In recent years, HA has become recognized as a successful therapy for people with joint problems. For example, clinical studies clearly show that repeated cycles of HA injections improve knee osteoarthritis symptoms and continue to benefit patients for at least 1 year after every cycle of injections.

These injections are painful and expensive - but what if synovial fluid could be replenished with HA easily and painlessly?

That’s exactly what an supplement with Hyaluronic acid (HA), taken daily, can nourish every joint in your body and guarantees inexpensive, lasting pain relief in your knees, back, shoulders, arms and hands; deep, natural sleep without painful joints keeping you awake; renewed self-confidence as you depend less on others, or worry about a fall or injury; freedom from toxic painkillers as well as expensive and invasive surgery; best of all, freedom to golf, drive, travel, play with your grandchildren, walk on the beach and squeeze every ounce of joy and satisfaction from your daily life.

Source: Hyaluronic Acid Uses and Benefits.

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Eating Well: 4 Healthy Carbs You Should Consider Adding To Your Diet

by Health News

“Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food.”

This quote is typically attributed to Hippocrates of Kos, an ancient Greek physician who is considered the father of western medicine. He founded the Hippocratic School of Medicine which revolutionized the practice of medicine in ancient Greece, establishing it as a separate profession in its own right.

What if the foods you eat could not only heal you, but add years to your life?

A recent Archives of Internal Medicine study shows that eating more whole grains might help you live longer. Health experts already know that fiber in grains reduces your risk of dying from cardiovascular, respiratory and infectious diseases. Not only that, whole grains deliver more nutrients than refined grains.

Here are 4 carbohydrates you should consider adding to your diet right away:

Oatmeal - soluble fiber in oats is associated with heart health and will help you feel fuller for longer. Having oats for breakfast avoids the sharp glucose and insulin spikes in your blood that typically happen with refined or processed foods, reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

In fact a steaming bowl of hot, nourishing oatmeal is the perfect to start off a winter day. You can set it up beforehand with an overnight slow cooker, which eliminates the need for constant stirring. Steel-cut oats are better for this preparation, as old-fashioned oats become too soft during slow cooking.

EatingWell: 4 Healthy Carbs You Should Consider Adding To Your Diet

Quinoa - A big pot of quinoa (or barley) is a perfect solution to what you’re going to have for lunch all week. You can use it as a base and add vegetables and herbs you have on hand, along with roasted nuts, dried fruit, a little olive oil and lemon juice for a very healthy and nutritious lunch.

Whole-grain pasta - will give you about 6 grams of fiber per serving. You can add to its health benefits by supplementing it with veggies, beans and lean sources of protein, like chicken or fish.

Popcorn - believe it or not, every cup of popped popcorn contains one gram of fiber. Not only that, gram for gram, popcorn contains up to 3 times more polyphenols - powerful antioxidants linked to improving heart health and reducing cancer risk - than kidney beans (the highest vegetable polyphenol source) and 4 times more than cranberries (the best fruit source), according to recent research out of the University of Scranton.

Given their powerful health benefits, why not add these 4 live-giving carbs to your diet today?

Other related blog posts:
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Does dietary fiber aid weight loss?

Knock down bad cholesterol with these 4 foods

Popcorn: A healthy snack loaded with antioxidants 

Source:

4 Healthy Carbs for a Longer Life.

 

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Does Green Tea Health Benefits affect Type 2 Diabetes?

by Health News

Did you know - more than 24 million Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes, while one in three Americans are at imminent risk of developing this condition?

In diabetes, muscle and liver cells are unable to absorb glucose from the blood, so that they are deprived of the energy they need to function properly - which also means blood glucose levels remain at unhealthily high levels for long periods of time.

High blood glucose seen in diabetes is a serious health issue that greatly increases risk of dying of heart disease or stroke by as much as 40%. It also makes diabetes sufferers more susceptible to obesity, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Interestingly, research studies indicate that green tea catechins - powerful flavonoid antioxidants found in high levels in green tea - may lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Green Tea Health Benefits affect Type 2 Diabetes

For instance, a double-blind controlled study carried out in 2009 at the Health Care Food Research Laboratories in Tokyo, Japan showed that a catechin-rich beverage reduced obesity and improved blood glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Study researchers looked at the effects of consumption of catechin-rich green tea in diabetes patients who were not receiving insulin therapy. Participants consumed green tea containing either 582.8 mg or 96.3 mg of catechins every day for 12 weeks.

After 12 weeks, the decrease in waist circumference was noticeably greater in the higher catechin group. At the same time, levels of the hormone adiponectin - which lowers fat accumulation - were also higher in this group. This means green tea catechins may help to prevent obesity along with lowering risk for type 2 diabetes - one of the consequences of obesity.

Similarly, a Japanese study looked at the effects of catechins on body fat reduction and weight loss. 35 Japanese men drank oolong tea fortified with green tea extract containing either 690 milligrams or 22 milligrams of catechins.

Study subjects who drank green tea extract lost more weight and experienced a significantly greater decrease in body mass index (BMI), waist size and total body fat. Not only that, levels of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol were also reduced in these subjects.

Green tea also appears to benefit patients with diabetes who have high blood pressure (BP) or hypertension. In a randomized clinical trial, 100 mildly hypertensive patients with diabetes were randomly given either sour tea or green tea. Interestingly, systolic and diastolic BP of both groups of patients were reduced by the end of the study.

Taken together, these results show that catechins lower risk for lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes - while also reducing the side effects of diabetes, including high BP.

Based on previous studies, at least 4 cups of green tea a day are recommended for weight management along with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Green tea extract supplements are also available for people who don’t like drinking so much green tea every day.

Source:Benefits of Green Tea Catechins in Type 2 Diabetes.

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What is the Best Source of Biotin-Rich Foods?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Biotin-Rich Foods | Institute for Vibrant LivingBiotin, also known as vitamin H or coenzyme R, is a water-soluble B-vitamin (vitamin B7) that’s necessary for cell growth, fatty acid production and fat and amino acid metabolism. Biotin may also help to maintain a steady blood sugar level - and it is often recommended as a dietary supplement for strengthening hair and nails.

Biotin is particularly necessary for pregnant women, because insufficient dietary biotin can cause health problems for both the expecting mother and her infant. National health experts recommend a daily dose of 30 micrograms of biotin for pregnant and lactating women.  

Biotin deficiency is rare, because the daily requirement for biotin is low (150-300 micrograms daily). Also, our intestinal bacteria make significant amounts of biotin. Not only that, much of the body's biotin is recycled - in other words, biotin is repeatedly used before it is eventually lost from the body.

These are some easy ways to get biotin from your diet:

  • Meat - liver, turkey and beef all contain biotin.
  • Swiss chard - is an excellent biotin source. It's also a great way to get antioxidants and balance your diet.
  • Carrots - contain biotin as well as beta-carotene, both of which are good for your eyes and overall health.
  • Almonds, peanuts, almonds, cashew nuts, peanut butter, hazelnuts and walnuts - contain biotin as well as proteins and healthful omega-3 fats, which help to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails.
  • Eggs - are an excellent source of biotin, although a diet unusually high in egg whites can actually lead to biotin deficiency. That's because a protein in egg whites called avidin binds to biotin and stops it being absorbed into the body.
  • Dairy products - along with providing calcium and protein, milk, buttermilk, cheese and yogurt are also great sources of biotin.
  • Fruits - including bananas, strawberries and raspberries contain a lot of biotin, along with providing antioxidants and other health benefits.
  • Seafood - In addition to being ‘brain food’, tuna, haddock, halibut, salmon, and sardine are excellent sources of biotin.
  • Vegetables - onions, cucumbers spinach and cauliflower all contain biotin, and are a great way to fit this vitamin into meals.

Biotin deficiency is a rare nutritional disorder caused by over 100 different genetic defects in the enzyme biotinidase. This rarely happens in healthy people who consume a regular diet, unless they are being treated with certain drugs or antibiotics.

So if you want abundant hair and healthy nails - all you have to do is make biotin-rich foods part of your daily diet right away. 

Other related articles:

Brain Foods: How To Concentrate Better

5 Nutrients for a Healthy Heart

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High Blood Pressure: How Sleep Deprivation Affects your Health

by Institute for Vibrant Living

High Blood Pressure: How Sleep Deprivation Affects your HealthAccording to new research, having a stressful day after a poor night of sleep may raise your blood pressure (BP).

For example in one study, researchers recruited 20 healthy young adults and measured their BP at rest and then after a stressful task - in this case, giving an impromptu speech defending themselves for a supposed transgression, either running a stop sign or taking someone’s wallet.

A week later, after staying up all night, study participants returned to take the tests again. Systolic BP, the top number on a BP reading, climbed about 10 points higher when fatigued study subjects gave their speech, compared to subjects who spoke after a good night’s sleep.

This suggests that not getting enough sleep may lead to the development of cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can raise blood pressure, as can stress. But not many studies have examined what happens when sleep-deprived people also experience stress.

These results need to be replicated by larger studies - because not only is stress common nowadays, so is being sleep deprived - and one probably reinforces the other. For instance, if you’re experiencing a lot of stress, you are more likely to experience insomnia.

Another study looking at 331 healthy male medical students found that their BP when awake correlated negatively correlated with sleep duration.

According to the CDC, one in three Americans has high BP - a condition with few symptoms, often called the “silent killer” - because it can lead to strokes, heart attacks and heart failure, along with damaging the kidneys and other organs.

Further, nearly one in five Americans has uncontrolled hypertension - meaning that it is untreated or that that medications or other treatments have failed to bring it down.

In such a scenario, if someone is having difficulty with their BP being high, maybe getting six to seven hours of sleep daily is the way to lower their BP.

Other related articles:

Best Health Supplements for High Blood Pressure

Natural Heart Health: Making Sense of Blood Pressure Readings

High Blood Pressure Supplements Benefits

Why You Should Check Your Blood Pressure at Home

 

Source:

Sleep Deprivation and Blood Pressure (BP).

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What Foods Help Improve Eyesight?

by Health Tips
Protecting your eyes begins with what you eat.What Foods Help Improve Eyesight | Institute for Vibrant Living
 
Studies have shown that nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E protect the eyes and help to ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
 
Health experts recommend you regularly consume these 10 foods to maintain good eye health: 
  1. Cold water fatty fish like salmon, tuna and other oily fish - an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which make cell membranes in the eyes and brain more stable.
  2. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens which are rich in carotenoids and especially lutein, a yellow pigment which protects the eye.
  3. Fruits and vegetables - contain the important vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene. Yellow colored vegetables are extremely important for daylight vision.
  4. Garlic and onion - rich sources of sulfur, necessary for glutathione production - an important antioxidant for the eye’s protection.
  5. Soy - contains essential fatty acids, vitamin E and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  6. Eggs - rich in cysteine, sulfur, lecithin, amino acids and lutein. These components, plus vitamin B2, also found in eggs, help to prevent cataract formation.
  7. Bilberries and grapes - enhance night vision.
  8. Carrots, oranges and other citrus fruits and bell peppers - rich sources of vitamin C and vitamin A, two very powerful antioxidants which have been shown to specifically protect the eyes.
  9. Nuts and berries - high levels of omega-3s stabilize cellular membranes in the eyes. Berries also contain flavonoids, natural antioxidants which protect the eyes. Zinc, present in nuts, but also in eggs, sardines and shellfish, plays a key role in the release of vitamin A from the liver. Vitamin A is critical for eye health.
  10. Dairy products - also rich sources of vitamin A; vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness.
  11. Smoking and obesity/overweight are risk factors for poor eyesight and increase your chances of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
On the other hand, eating a well-balanced diet and regular exercise both help to maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your risk for these unwelcome health conditions.
 
Read this other blog posts on the same topic:
 
 
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5 Simple Tips to Naturally Improve Brain Health

by Institute for Vibrant Living

5 Simple Tips to Naturally Improve Brain HealthAre you worried about losing your memory and mental sharpness - and wondering what you can do to keep your mind active and alert as you grow older?

Here are 5 simple things you can change right away in your daily routine that will help you stay mentally healthy, perhaps even improve your brain health, naturally.

1.      Regular exercise - helps the brain work better by causing brain cells to grow, strengthening the connections between them and also protecting them from damage. During exercise brain cells release proteins known as neurotrophic factors which promote brain health and boost learning and memory.

For example, a 2010 study on monkeys showed that regular exercise not only improved blood flow to their brain, but also helped them learn new tasks twice as quickly as non-exercising monkeys.

A daily minimum of 30-40 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days/week is recommended for overall health.

2.      Proper sleep - is not only necessary for refreshing the body, but it also helps to ‘reset’ the brain to look at problems from a different perspective. Research from Harvard indicates that people are 33% more likely to infer connections among distantly related ideas after sleeping.

Sleep is also known to enhance memory. Sleep triggers brain processes in which learning and memory are strengthened. For example, research shows that naps can boost babies' brainpower. Infants who slept in between learning and testing sessions were better able to recognize patterns in new information.

Even among adults, a midday nap was found to dramatically boost and restore brainpower. A daily minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep is recommended for maintaining brain health.

3.      Vitamin D - increases nerve growth in brain areas involved in planning, information processing and formation of new memories. According to The National Institutes of Mental Health, it is vital that a mother get enough vitamin D while pregnant in order for her baby's brain to develop properly. In older adults too, research has shown that low vitamin D levels are associated with poorer brain function.

Make sure to spend at least half an hour daily in bright sunshine with your arms and legs exposed. If this is not a realistic option, a sun tanning bed and vitamin D3 supplementation are acceptable alternatives.

4.      Listen to music - Research shows that listening to music while exercising boosts brain activity levels and verbal fluency skills. In fact, verbal fluency more than doubled after listening to music compared to people in the non-music session.

Listening to music has also been associated with improved mental focus, so take advantage of this simple pleasure and listen to your favorite music whenever you can.

5.      Challenge your mind - one of the simplest methods to boost brain function is to keep on learning. The size and structure of brain cells and the connections between them actually change during learning activities such as playing a musical instrument, speaking a foreign language or participating in social and community activities.

Challenging your brain regularly with mind-training exercises such as doing crossword puzzles or playing board games can also keep your brain fit as you grow older.

Source:

How to Naturally Improve Your Brain Health.

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Are You At Risk For Osteoporosis?

by Health News

Nearly nine million US adults suffer from osteoporosis, while more than 48 million have low bone mass - placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis and broken bones.

Which can you do to lower your risk? You can protect your bones by trying a new bone healthy recipe or adding a new exercise to your regular routine.

The first and most important thing is to be aware of the factors that increase your risk for osteoporosis, which include but are not limited to:

  • Gender - women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.Osteoporosis Risk Factors
  • Age - the older you are, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Race - you're at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you're white or of Asian descent.
  •  Family history - having a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk.
  • Frame size - people with small body frames are at higher risk because they have less bone mass to draw from as they grow older.
  • Hormone levels - osteoporosis is more common in people who have too much or too little of certain hormones. For example, reduction of estrogen levels at menopause is one of the strongest risk factors for osteoporosis. Similarly, men experience a reduction in testosterone as they age, which weakens bone.
  • Thyroid problems - if your thyroid is overactive or if you take thyroid hormone medication, you may experience bone loss.
  • Dietary factors - osteoporosis is more likely to occur with low calcium intake, which contributes to reduced bone density, bone loss and a greater risk of fractures. So always make sure you consume enough calcium, vitamin D, lean protein, fruits and veggies and healthy fats in your diet to keep your bones strong and healthy.  
  •  Eating disorders - people with anorexia are at higher risk.
  • Gastrointestinal surgery - reduction in stomach size or a bypass or removal of part of the intestine limits the amount of surface area available to absorb nutrients, including calcium.
  • Sedentary lifestyle - lack of sufficient movement and exercise raises risk, while any weight-bearing exercise is beneficial, such as walking, running, jumping, dancing and weightlifting. Health experts recommend a minimum of 30 minutes or more 5 days every week for overall health and lowered risk for many diseases, including osteoporosis.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption - regular consumption of more than two alcoholic drinks a day raises osteoporosis risk, likely because alcohol interferes with calcium absorption.

If you have any further questions about your risk for osteoporosis, consult your physician or healthcare giver - in the meantime, you can work on reducing your risk by altering your lifestyle habits as described above.

Other blog posts that might be of intrest:

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Protecting Your Bones

Natural Health Solutions: Eating to Prevent Osteoporosis

Natural Supplements and Vitamins: Why They Are Important

Source:

What is Your Osteoporosis Risk?