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Barley Grass: Benefits For The Heart

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that barley grass is a nutrient-packed ‘green superfood’ with multiple health benefits - including clearing up skin problems, healing ulcers and lowering the risk for heart disease and stroke?

Green foods refer to young cereal grasses like barley grass and wheatgrass. During the early grass stage of their growth, barley and wheat are closer to vegetables than grains. However, as they grow further, their Barley Grass: Benefits For The Heart | Institute for Vibrant Livinghealthful chlorophyll, protein and vitamin levels fall sharply while levels of the indigestible fiber cellulose rises.

Amazing, but true - an ounce of barley grass, wheatgrass and other green foods contains many more beneficial phytonutrients than an ounce of the healthiest green vegetables!

A concentrated source of several vitamins and minerals, barley grass is also rich in calcium, iron, potassium and chlorophyll. Unlike most plants, barley grass provides all nine essential amino acids, which your body can't produce on its own.

Back in 2002, researchers in Taiwan examined the effects of supplementation of young barley leaf extract - along with vitamins C and E - on the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in patients with type 2 diabetes. LDL oxidation is one of the first, critical steps in the development of atherosclerosis, which leads to heart disease.

Thirty-six patients with type 2 diabetes were enrolled in the Taiwanese study. Each patient received either extract of young barley leaf, vitamin C plus vitamin E alone, or barley extract plus the 2 vitamins daily for 4 weeks.

At the end of the study, the researchers observed that the vitamin E content of LDL increased significantly following supplementation, especially for the group that consumed barley leaf plus the 2 vitamins.

Atherosclerosis is responsible for heart disease and associated deaths in much of the world’s population. LDL oxidation is a critical first step in the development of atherosclerosis. Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E lower atherosclerosis risk by reducing oxidative stress and preventing LDL oxidation.

This study shows that supplementation with extract of young barley leaf - especially in the presence of vitamins C and E - is likely to prevent LDL oxidation, thereby protecting protecting patients with type 2 diabetes against vascular diseases including heart disease and stroke.

If you’re looking for a simple and effective way to add barley grass to your diet, consider IVL’s All Day Energy Greens - a once-a-day drink that not only provides your body with the recommended five servings of vegetables and fruit, but also contains 38 herbs, vitamins and minerals - including the healthful green superfood, barley grass.

Given the many health benefits of barley grass - why not order IVL’s All Day Energy Greens today?

Source: Barley Grass: Benefits for the Heart.   

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What are Antioxidants and How Do They Benefit My Health

by Health News

The old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” may, after all, have some medical grounding. Recent tests found that the polyphenol antioxidants in apples may be the fountain of youth, at least if you are a fruit fly! What are Antioxidants and How Do They Benefit My Health | Institute for Vibrant LivingStudies still have to be carried out on humans but it is already accepted that antioxidants help fight the dangers of free radicals in our bodies and help slow down the aging process.

How do Antioxidants Work?
The one weapon we have to protect cells from damaging free radicals is antioxidants. Vitamin E has been shown to have unique antioxidant and anti-aging properties. It works by countering the free radicals that are produced in the body through everyday functions such as exercise and breathing.

Antioxidants react with and neutralize these unstable molecules, known as free radicals, before they have chance to attach themselves to other cells causing cell damage, premature aging, heart disease and even cataracts.

Vitamin E also reduces inflammation in disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, improves circulation and slows the development of plaque which can narrow the artery walls, all things that older people are likely to suffer from.

Where can I Get More Antioxidants?
Examples of antioxidants are lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and E, selenium and other substances. Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, sunflower seeds and wheat germ oil. Vitamin C can be sourced naturally in tomatoes, strawberries and citrus fruits such as oranges, while selenium is found in seafood and whole grains.
 
Foods such as tea, red wine, chocolate, apples, pears and dark berries are all full of flavenoids, along with broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. These cruciferous vegetables are also high in a substance called isothiocyanate. Carrots are a good source of carotenoids and links have been made showing that those people with a diet high in carotenoids may enjoy longer lives.

Antioxidant Supplements
Daily multivitamin supplements include a proportion of vitamin C and vitamin E and this is a good way to ensure that minimum daily requirements are met. However, a generous measure of antioxidants can be found in superfood supplements such as Berry Essentials, a powerful fruit punch developed by nutritionists and doctors to combine the properties of herbs, fruits, berries and vegetables in a natural cocktail of potent antioxidants. Berry Essentials also has many other benefits to help fight the aging process in addition to its generous antioxidant properties.

Sources:
http://www.fountainofyouthonline.net/anti-age/a-must-know-about-antioxidants/
http://www.fyiliving.com/diet/nutrition/anti-aging-secret-eat-an-apple-a-day/
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/antioxidants

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Learn Why You Should Be Eating KiwiFruit

by Health News

According to a study from New Zealand, consuming two kiwifruits a day as part of a healthy diet has a positive effect on blood Kiwifruit - A Heart Health Supplementlipid levels in men with high cholesterol levels - more so than eating a healthy diet alone.

In this study, 85 adult men with high blood cholesterol levels consumed a healthy diet over 12 weeks.

In four out of these twelve weeks, they switched from eating two portions of fruit daily to two portions of kiwifruits. The healthy diet without kiwifruits served as the control diet.

The study authors found that following a healthy diet led to positive changes in body weight, waist circumference and percentage of body fat in the first four weeks, even without kiwifruit consumption.

Further, levels of both total cholesterol and LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol were reduced, while levels of HDL ‘good’ cholesterol increased significantly during the first four weeks.

Eating two kiwifruits did not cause any further changes in body weight and had no significant effects on total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. However, HDL cholesterol levels were significantly higher with the kiwifruit supplement relative to the control diet alone - and although the difference was relatively small, study authors believe this could translate into a 3-6% risk reduction of developing heart disease.

Further, in carriers of a gene associated with greater risk of elevated blood lipid levels, eating two kiwifruits a day also reduced triglyceride levels significantly - which was not seen in non-carriers.

Powerful antioxidants called polyphenols present in kiwifruits are the most likely reason why they act as a heart health supplement.

Overall, this study suggests that following a healthy, balanced diet can positively affect body weight and composition along with regulating blood lipid levels. Further, eating kiwifruits may provide an additional heart healthy benefit by raising HDL cholesterol levels.

Kiwifruits are just one of 42 fruits present in a single delicious glass of Go Ruby Go fruit superfood - a mix of healthful all-natural phytonutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like nothing else available on the market today.

So why not order Go Ruby Go and get your daily dose of kiwifruit, nature’s heart health supplement?

Source

 

 

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What Are The Benefits And Risks Of Regular Energy Drink Consumption?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Energy drinks are very popular nowadays, especially with teens and athletes - perhaps you’re a fan as well.

A recent study looked at the benefits and risks that come with regular energy drink consumption. In 2003, 16% of teens reported consuming them regularly - however, consumption had risen sharply to 35% by 2008. In fact, one study found that 50% of students drank at least 1-4 of these drinks in a typical month.

A sharp increase in energy drink-related emergency room visits led to demands that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) look into the effects of energy drinks on health.

Currently, the amount of caffeine added to energy drinks is not regulated by the FDA, so labeled amounts are often inaccurate. Also, the claims made by manufacturers on the ability of such drinks to maintain energy levels have not been verified.

The study authors examined the most common ingredients - caffeine, guarana, taurine, ginseng, sugars and B vitamins - and assessed their effects on health.

Levels of caffeine, the main ingredient, vary widely between brands. Energy drinks may contain higher levels of caffeine than indicated on the label.

 Benefits And Risks Of Regular Energy Drink ConsumptionA typical cup of coffee contains 80-120 milligrams of caffeine, while tea has 50 mg and a 12-ounce cola roughly 65 mg. On the other hand, a 16-ounce Red Bull contains 154 mg while a 24-ounce Wired X505 contains 505 mg. While there is no prescribed safety limit for caffeine, excessive consumption has been linked to high BP, premature birth and even possibly sudden death.

Guarana is a South American plant that contains a caffeine-like compound called guaranine. One gram of guarana is equal to 40 mg of caffeine. In spite of this, guarana is usually not included in the total caffeine tally. And since the FDA has not tested guarana for human consumption, its risks and benefits are almost completely unknown.

Sugar in the form of sucrose, glucose, or high fructose corn syrup ranges from 21 grams to 34 grams in every 8 ounces of a typical energy drink. Teens who consume 2 or 3 drinks daily could be taking in 120-180 mg of sugar - or 4-6 times the maximum recommended daily intake - placing them at risk for obesity and dental problems.

Taurine is a common amino acid that supports brain development and regulates mineral and water levels. The amount of taurine consumed from energy drinks is higher than from a normal diet - as yet there is no evidence that this is unhealthy. In fact, many energy drinks that claim to be healthy contain excess, unregulated amounts of vitamins or minerals you can normally get from your diet.

The problem is, you never really know how much of these ingredients you are consuming, because the quantities are masked behind the term 'proprietary blend' or 'energy blend.'

Ginseng is believed to boost athletic performance, strengthen the immune system and improve mood. According to the study authors, there is not much proof of this - and there isn't enough ginseng in energy drinks anyway.

B vitamins and other additives in energy drinks can improve mood and even fight heart disease and cancer, but again their amounts in energy drinks aren’t enough to have any meaningful effects.

Adolescent consumers have no idea what these ingredients do. They assume that because they can buy it off the shelf, it must be safe for them. In reality, very little is known about the risks and benefits of various additives in energy drinks and how they affect health when consumed over the long term. Not much is known either about how energy drinks and alcohol interact as well as how they affect medications and antidepressants.

Therefore, study authors have urged physicians to be aware of energy drink consumption and suggest educating both teens and their parents on the potential negative health consequences of consuming energy drinks regularly.

Are you looking for a natural energy drink - check out the best natural energy boosting supplement here?

Read more.....
Herbs that Help To Increase Energy
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All Day Energy Greens Naturally Boosts Energy
Healthy Ways to Boost Your Energy
Healthy energy drinks you can make at home

 

Sources:

What’s in Your Energy Drink?

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Micronutrients: What are the Healing Powers?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Micronutrients: What are the Healing Powers?The rate of obesity has doubled in America over the last 30 years and has been accompanied by a massive health crisis - literally a nationwide epidemic of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Health experts are now convinced that this is because of the nutrient-deficient and calorie-rich US diet, not to mention crazy lifestyle, stress and lack of sleep.

And given the way US healthcare is structured, prevention by practicing a healthy diet and lifestyle is very unlikely. In fact, even most health caregivers receive very little nutritional training in medical school.

There is no doubt that solving this health crisis is going to take a lot of discipline and a complete dietary about-turn.

According to nutritionists, the root cause of chronic diseases is simple: lack of enough fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet. The typical American diet couldn’t be further removed from this ideal. On average, Americans eat 60% processed foods and 30% animal products, leaving only 10% for raw, unprocessed fruits and veggies.

While most people understand something about macronutrients, they know very little about the undervalued, but much more important micronutrients - the 14 essential vitamins, 16 essential minerals, and thousands of phytochemicals.

These micronutrients do not contain calories and our body needs them only in tiny amounts, but their role in maintaining health cannot be overestimated.

What’s more, some health experts now believe that the major micronutrient in food is not vitamins or minerals, but phytochemicals. In fact they believe micronutrients are literally a fountain of youth that function to improve human health and longevity.

There are literally tens of thousands of phytochemicals in natural, whole, vegetable-based foods. Micronutrients are essential in helping to protect us from disease - and if we are already sick, they help in recovery.

Every tomato, head of cabbage, piece of lettuce, cucumber, bean or sprout has hundreds - even thousands - of nutrients critically important for health.

And while supplementing with micronutrients can be helpful, the makeup of nutrients in unprocessed fruits and vegetables is so complex that it can’t be replicated synthetically - and why would you need to, when they are already so plentiful in naturally occurring green vegetables and fruits?

The standard American diet provides a meager 4% of phytochemical-rich fruits and vegetables - not to mention that processing removes delicate phytochemicals found in raw produce, while animal products don’t have them at all.

So if you’re concerned about taking care of your health or prone to falling ill, you may want to consider adding more raw and lightly cooked fresh veggies - along with fresh fruits - to your daily diet.

Other related blog posts:

The 2 Best Natural Energy Booster Superfood Supplements

Supplements Can Help Dieters Meet Daily Nutritional Needs

All Natural Supplements: Superfoods

Natural Supplements and Vitamins: Why They Are Important

Source:

The Healing Power of Micronutrients.

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Omega-7: There's A New Healthful Omega Fat In Town

by Health News

You’re probably already familiar with the essential omega-3 fats and the many health benefits they offer - protecting against the harmful effects of inflammation, heart disease, and more.

Now, new studies have uncovered omega-7, a promising new omega fatty acid with a significant beneficial impact on both cholesterol levels and plaque development in arteries.

Omega-7 fats are found in all tissues in the body, but mainly in the liver. What are Omega-7: Benefits, Symptoms | Institute for Vibrant Living

In one study, Harvard researchers screened 3,000 people with type 2 diabetes and identified omega-7 fats as the most active, working to prevent further development of type 2 diabetes in study participants by regulating insulin.

Similarly, a Japanese study found similarly beneficial effects of omega-7 fats on type 2 diabetes in mice, again by modifying their insulin levels.

In another study at the Cleveland Clinic, omega-7 fats were seen to significantly lower plaque formation in the entire group of test mice. Levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol were shown to increase by an average of 85 percent in these mice.

Anchovies, sea buckthorn and macadamia nuts are naturally high in omega-7 fats; and of course omega-7 supplements are also available.

The sea buckthorn grows in high-salt conditions along the ocean shoreline and in deserts from Western Europe to Mongolia. Its berries are inedible are a great source of vitamin C, containing 15 times as much as oranges. Sea buckthorn berries are also a rich source of omega-7 fats and are used to make both nutritional supplements and skin care products.

Macadamia nuts are rich in palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty oil that provides building blocks for enzymes that control fat burning. Some experts believe palmitoleic acid may represent a therapy for obesity, although more research is needed.

Too much intake of omega-7 fats causes an unpleasant side effect. When they accumulate in the oily sebum that lubricates the skin, they are broken down into a chemical which causes ‘old people smell’. Frequent washing and specially formulated cosmetics can be used to eliminate the smell.

As always - before starting a new dietary supplement, it’s wise to consult your physician to check its safety and efficacy and to ensure it doesn't interfere with any medications you may be taking concurrently.

Source:

Omega 7: There’s a New Healthful Omega Fatty Acid in Town

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Top 5 Supplements to Add To Your Smoothie

by Health News

There are a variety of vitamin supplements that can be added to smoothies that have all sorts of healthy properties. These ingredients can all be purchased at your local whole foods store or through natural supplement websites. 

  1. Brewers Yeast: A great source of selenium, chromium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, copper, manganese, iron, and zinc.
  2. Bee Pollen: Contains high concentrations of vitamin B-complex and vitamins A, C, D, and E.
  3. Green Tea Powder: The potent antioxidants in green tea have been said to help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and high cholesterol.
  4. Spirulina: Contains over 60% all-digestible vegetable protein with a high concentration of beta carotene, vitamin B-12, iron and GLA, an essential fatty acid.
  5. Wheat Germ Oil: A rich source of vitamin E and essential fatty acids.

Top 5 Supplements to Add To Your Smoothie

Check out this smoothie recipe, which offers a healthy and tasty balance of protein and carbohydrates to keep your engine running throughout the day! Bananas, which are an excellent source of potassium, dietary fiber and Vitamin B6, provide a rich and creamy base, and soy milk is a great source of isoflavones which aid in the prevention of many cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis.

TROPICAL TREAT - Serves Two

  • Place all ingredients in a blender:
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced
  • 2 scoops vanilla soy protein powder
  • 1/2 cup chunked cantaloupe
  • 1/2 cup chunked canned or fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk

Place lid on blender, and pulse until ingredients begin to mix. Set blender on "blend" for about 30 seconds and then move to "ice crush" or your highest blending button for 20 to 30 more seconds. Pour, and enjoy this quick and healthful smoothie – a taste of the tropics!

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All Day Energy Greens: Its Benefits

by Health News

All Day Energy Greens: Benefits, Reviews

All Day Energy Greens® is chock full of fruits and vegetables which are free of pesticides and herbicides and cultivated with ecologically-friendly methods.

Life gets busy which can be a drain on energy. These days, people often turn to an energy drink for a quick “pick me up.” The difficulty can lie in finding a safe, natural energy drink – one that is full of nutrients as opposed to caffeine and sugar. Here are some ways in which this drink is safer than many of the others.

This ultra-nutritious drink contains no common allergens like wheat, animal products, dairy, garlic, yeast, MSG, alcohol, coloring or preservatives, and it is also free of rice, oat or bran fillers.

All Day Energy Greens® is made into a finely-milled powder which blends quickly and dissolves easily. The alkalizing nutrients in this drink are easily digested which has an energy-boosting effect on the body. Many popular foods like meats, cheese, bread and pasta are acid-forming which can put the pH level in the body in the acid range (below 7.0). When this happens, the body retains water to lower acidity and stores fat in the arteries to guard against too much acid in the blood. The nutrients in All Day Energy Greens® help restore a healthier pH balance to the body, safely releasing water weight and fat from the bloodstream.

Acid overload can also have an effect on other parts of the body. Overload in the joints results in arthritis and when muscles are affected, rheumatism or fibromyalgia can arise. Consumption of higher alkaline foods, like those found in All Day Energy Greens®, may help to expel acid wastes from the bloodstream which can relieve muscle and joint pain and stiffness.

Loaded with healthy apple and vegetable fiber, this drink also may help remove toxins, cholesterol, and metabolic waste from the digestive system which cleans the colon and restores regularity.

One research study examined nearly 40,000 men over an eight year period. It was found that chances of stroke in those who consumed at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables were 39% lower than the chances for men who consumed less than five servings of fruits and vegetables. The high-quality fiber in All Day Energy Greens® works as a chelating agent to clear arteries of debris and unhealthy LDL cholesterol. This drink is a good source of vitamins and minerals including potassium which helps regulate heart rhythms and works with sodium to maintain a healthy balance of water in the body. This can have a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol.

All Day Energy Greens® safely boosts energy by naturally regulating blood sugar levels. A resistance to insulin means that the pancreas is producing enough, but the body cells aren’t receiving it which results in uneven distribution of glucose through the body. This can happen with the consumption of processed foods and those high in sugar which require more insulin. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Nutritious fruits and vegetables can also promote an energetic and sharp mind by feeding and nourishing brain cells. If the bloodstream is clogged with impurities, nutrients have a difficult time passing through the blood-brain barrier, which can have an effect on cognition and mental clarity.

All Day Energy Greens® is a healthy alternative to many of the “pick me up” beverages on the market today. Add it to your daily diet to ensure a good supply of safe, natural energy throughout the day.

Read more:
Can Dietary Fiber Banish Inflammation?
Three Supplements to Slow the Aging Process
All Day Energy Greens Naturally Boosts Energy
Natural Energy Boosters for Women


 

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Watermelon Lowers Blood Pressure (Bp)

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that watermelon can lower your blood pressure (BP)?

Food scientists at Florida State University conducted a pilot study on four men and five postmenopausal women - all of whom suffered from prehypertension - between the ages of 51 to 57 years.  Each of these subjects was daily given six grams of the amino acid L-citrulline/L-arginine - derived from watermelon extract - for a period of six weeks. 

Watermelon Lowers Blood Pressure (Bp) | Institute for Vibrant Living

L-citrulline is converted in the body to L-arginine, which is needed for the formation of nitric oxide (NO). NO is necessary for blood vessels to keep a proper tone and to maintain a healthy BP.

At the end of the pilot study, all nine participants showed improved arterial function and lower aortic BP - indicating that watermelon is effective against prehypertension, a precursor to cardiovascular disease.

L-arginine is available as a dietary supplement. However, it can cause nausea, gastrointestinal tract discomfort and diarrhea when taken regularly. On the other hand, eating watermelon causes none of those effects.

Study researchers say that watermelon dilates blood vessels, which may the underlying reason that it can prevent prehypertension from developing into hypertension - a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

Watermelon is the richest edible natural source of L-citrulline. It is also a good source of vitamins A, B6 and C as well as fiber, potassium and the antioxidant lycopene. 

A previous study had shown that L-citrulline supplementation slows the increase in aortic BP in response to cold exposure which, combined with hypertension, is associated with higher rates of myocardial infarction (MI).

Along with L-citrulline, high levels of potassium along with watermelon’s refreshing hydrating quality contribute to its beneficial effects on heart health.

Read more:
What are the Top 5 Anti-Aging Foods?

Best Health Supplements for High Blood Pressure
Controlling Blood Pressure Naturally: All-Natural Natto BP Plus™ vs. High Blood Pressure Drugs
Natural Heart Health: Making Sense of Blood Pressure Readings
7 Tips to Lowering High Blood Pressure Naturally

Source: Watermelon lowers Blood Pressure (BP).

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7 Ways To Lower Your Risk Of Heart Attacks

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Risk factors for heart attacks when performing strenuous activities include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, being over 50, family history of heart disease, smoking and inactivity - which is why it’s a good idea to take the 7 Ways To Lower Your Risk Of Heart Attacks | Institute for Vibrant Livingfollowing precautions to lower your risk when next picking up your snow shovel:

  1. Bundle up: Cold temperatures reduce circulation to the extremities. Wear weather-appropriate, layered clothing and gloves to maintain body temperature and circulation.
  2. Start early: The longer snow sits on the ground, the more dense it becomes. Removing compacted snow requires more exertion. Snow is easier to shovel when it first falls.
  3. Ease into it: Your body needs to warm up to perform at its peak. Ease into shoveling and try not to do the entire job all at once. Take as many breaks as you need.
  4. Remain hydrated: Your body needs hydration, even in cold weather. When shoveling snow, drink water regularly to prevent dehydration and exhaustion.
  5. Avoid heavy eating: Eating a small meal before shoveling will provide energy. However, digestion puts strain on the heart, so eating a large meal before any strenuous physical activity should be avoided. Also don’t consume alcohol just before shoveling.
  6. Don’t lift too much: Large loads of snow can place a heavy strain on your heart as well as your back and neck. Use a small shovel, which encourages smaller loads of snow. Always lift using your legs and buttocks, and clear a maximum of four to six inches of depth at a time.
  7. Listen to your body: Pay close attention to your body’s signals. If you feel winded or overexerted while shoveling, take a break. These are signs that you’re doing more than your body can handle. If you experience shortness of breath; chest, throat or arm discomfort or tightness; or lightheadedness, you should rest immediately and seek medical attention if these symptoms persist.

Read more...
What is the Dash Diet?
Heart Smart Solutions to Stress and Depression
Natural Heart Health: Making Sense of Blood Pressure Readings
Best Health Supplements for High Blood Pressure

Source: 7 Ways to Lower Your Holiday Risk of Heart Attacks

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Inflammation Testing: A Valuable Predictor Of Cardiovascular Risk

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Increasingly, traditional finger stick screening for glucose and lipids is proving inadequate when identifying near-term cardiac risk at work places. On the other hand, inflammation testing is increasingly proving a very valuable predictor of cardiovascular risk.

This is supported by data from the American Heart Association (AHA), which reports that 50 percent of all heart attacks and strokes occur in individuals with normal cholesterol. Indeed, for approximately 30 percent of patients with cardiovascular disease, the first sign of disease is death.Cardiovascular Risk | Institute for Vibrant Living

The pathologist Dr. Kurt Landé and biochemist Warren Sperry were the first to report way back in 1936 that there was no correlation whatsoever between blood cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis - the first true sign of an impending heart attack.

These findings were subsequently confirmed by a 1961 Indian study on 20 recently deceased patients and 200 more cases from autopsy records. The authors clearly state: “In the present study, we did not find any significant correlation between the blood serum total cholesterol and atherosclerotic index as a representation of the extent and severity of atherosclerosis for any of the vessels studied.”

More recently, in 2003, two scientists from the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York reported that aggressive lipid-lowering by statins did not affect atherosclerosis. They concluded that when it came to LDL cholesterol lowering, ‘lower is better’ is not supported by changes in atherosclerotic plaque progression.

Similar studies have been performed in many other parts of the world - and none have shown any correlation whatsoever between serum cholesterol levels and degree of atherosclerosis.

On the other hand, there is a clear and growing body of evidence that supports a strong role for inflammation in determining cardiovascular risk.

Indeed, a recent conference of leading corporate wellness experts concluded that inflammation testing provides a very comforting reassurance of heart health to employees and employers alike at the workplace.

Along with early detection of employees with possible hidden cardiovascular risk, inflammation testing also provides positive feedback for employees who are already leading healthy lifestyles. Knowing that their health habits are decreasing their levels of inflammation and lowering their risk of a cardiac event can be a powerful incentive for people to stick with positive lifestyle changes.

Read more:
Heart Health Tips: Do Walnuts Benefit Your Heart?
How Do I Lower My Blood Pressure Naturally?
Magnesium Deficiency Signs And Symptoms
Best Health Supplements for High Blood Pressure

 

Source:

Inflammation Testing: A Valuable Predictor of Cardiovascular Risk.

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What are the Benefits of Natto? [Infographic]

by Institute for Vibrant Living

The properties of Natto (better known in its nutraceutical form as nattokinase) closely resemble plasmin which is your body's own blood-enhancing enzyme. Consequently, Natto helps decrease blood thickness, increase oxygen flow throughout the body, and attack excess fibrin, the protein that sticks to blood vessel walls and impedes blood flow. In one study, the use of Natto seems to have caused an 11% decrease in blood pressure after just two weeks.

What are the Benefits of Natto? [Infographic]

Learn more about Natto Supplements for Heart Health

Read related blog posts:
Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure with Natto

Best Health Supplements for High Blood Pressure

Controlling Blood Pressure Naturally: All-Natural Natto BP Plus™ vs. High Blood Pressure Drugs

7 Tips to Lowering High Blood Pressure Naturally

How to Improve Blood Circulation with Alternative Medicine
 

 

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Is Moderate Alcohol Consumption Healthy?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

You’re probably already aware that a glass or two of red wine is good for your heart and reduces your risk of strokes and gallstones. Now, a new study suggests that moderate alcohol consumption can bolster your immune system, Is Moderate Alcohol Consumption Healthy?improving its responsiveness.

In this study, 12 macaque monkeys were trained to drink alcohol freely and given free access to a 4 percent alcohol mixture as well as food and water. Their alcohol consumption - which mimicked human alcohol consumption - caused the research team to divide them into two groups.

The first group of macaques was made up of so-called ‘heavy drinkers’ who ended up with a blood ethanol concentration (BEC) of 0.08 percent or more. Interestingly, 0.08 percent is the maximum legal BEC for anyone driving a vehicle in the US. The second group of drinkers had lower BECs ranging from 0.02 to 0.04 percent.

Before giving the macaques access to alcohol, study researchers first observed their response to vaccinations. At first, all the macaques had comparable response times. However, after they were granted access to alcohol, their immune system response times to the vaccinations changed dramatically.

For instance, heavy drinking macaques showed diminished vaccine response times when compared to a group of macaques that consumed sugar water in place of alcohol.

Surprisingly though, macaques that consumed moderate amounts of alcohol actually showed enhanced immune system responses to vaccinations - in fact, these study researchers suggest that the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption may be linked directly to its positive impact on the immune system.

It’s important to remember that while moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial, downing too many glasses can prove detrimental to health and wellbeing.

This new study did not identify the specific alcohol component that acts to enhance the immune system. Once health experts know what it is, less controversial health supplements are likely to be developed in future.

Related Blog Posts:
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Regular Consumption Of Green Tea And Coffee Lowers Risk Of Stroke

How to Boost Immune System

Ideas for an Improved Immune System

Source:

Moderate Alcohol Consumption may Boost the Immune System.

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What is Omega 7?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

You’re probably already familiar with the essential omega-3 fats and the many health benefits they offer - protecting against the harmful effects of inflammation, heart disease, and more.What is Omega 7

Now, new studies have uncovered omega-7, a promising new omega fatty acid with a significant beneficial impact on both cholesterol levels and plaque development in arteries.

Omega-7 fats are found in all tissues in the body, but mainly in the liver. 

In one study, Harvard researchers screened 3,000 people with type 2 diabetes and identified omega-7 fats as the most active, working to prevent further development of type 2 diabetes in study participants by regulating insulin.

Similarly, a Japanese study found similarly beneficial effects of omega-7 fats on type 2 diabetes in mice, again by modifying their insulin levels.

In another study at the Cleveland Clinic, omega-7 fats were seen to significantly lower plaque formation in the entire group of test mice. Levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol were shown to increase by an average of 85 percent in these mice.

Anchovies, sea buckthorn and macadamia nuts are naturally high in omega-7 fats; and of course omega-7 supplements are also available.

The sea buckthorn grows in high-salt conditions along the ocean shoreline and in deserts from Western Europe to Mongolia. Its berries are inedible are a great source of vitamin C, containing 15 times as much as oranges. Sea buckthorn berries are also a rich source of omega-7 fats and are used to make both nutritional supplements and skin care products.

Macadamia nuts are rich in palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty oil that provides building blocks for enzymes that control fat burning. Some experts believe palmitoleic acid may represent a therapy for obesity, although more research is needed.

Too much intake of omega-7 fats causes an unpleasant side effect. When they accumulate in the oily sebum that lubricates the skin, they are broken down into a chemical which causes ‘old people smell’. Frequent washing and specially formulated cosmetics can be used to eliminate the smell.

As always - before starting a new dietary supplement, it’s wise to consult your physician to check its safety and efficacy and to ensure it doesn’t interfere with any medications you may be taking concurrently.

Related blog posts:
Idea That All Fats Makes You Fat Is A Myth

5 Fats You Should Be Eating

Is Krill Fish Oil Dangerous?

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

Source:

Omega 7: There’s a New Healthful Omega Fatty Acid in Town.

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How Do I Lower My Blood Pressure Naturally?

by Health News

February is Heart Health Awareness month. This month we are dedicated to raising your awareness and increasing your knowledge about how to keep your heart healthy. Lower Blood Pressure Naturally | Institute for Vibrant Living

Get educated on the dangers of heart disease, teach you natural tips to preventing high blood pressure and get on track to better heart health. To celebrate, we are offering you a FREE heart health report. Download  Healthy Blood Pressure for Life, today.

Check out these lifestyle strategies to ensure good heart health.

Don’t Smoke – Pack-a-day smokers experience more than twice the risk of having a heart attack than do nonsmokers, and smoking affects others.  It is estimated that roughly 35,000 nonsmokers annually die from heart disease as a result of second-hand exposure to tobacco smoke.
 
Be Active – There are numerous studies that have found regular exercise can help reverse problems that lead to atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease.  Work gradually to achieve 30 to 45 minutes of exercise, three to four times per week.
 
Limit Alcohol Consumption – While moderate amounts of alcohol can protect the heart by raising HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing arterial plaque, more than three drinks a day can lead to an enlarged and weakened heart, congestive heart failure, a higher triglyceride level, high blood pressure and stroke.
 
Eat Well and Control Weight – Maintain a healthy weight with a Mediterranean-style diet which is known for its low incidence of heart disease.  This diet features whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seafood and healthy fats.  Also to ensure good cardiovascular health, take a daily natural supplement that specifically benefits heart health – these can be found through natural supplement websites.
 
 

 

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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:
Is there a Connection Between Diet Soda and Stroke Risks?
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

Read more..

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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:

How Do I Reduce My Risk of Diabetes?

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What to eat for Better Metabolic health

Are Artificial Sweeteners Dangerous to Your Health?

How to Naturally Take Control of Sugar Cravings

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Bitter Melon Lowers Diabetes Risk.

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Resveratrol? How does it Aid in Weight Loss?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

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

Does Resveratrol Aid Weight Loss?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related blog posts:
Weight Loss Tips: Green Coffee Beans

Does Red Wine Protect You From Harmful Chronic Inflammation And Aging?

Natural Weight Loss: Benefits of Green Tea

Why Chronic Inflammation is a Risk for Developing Diseases as You Age

What are the Top 5 Anti-Aging Foods?

 

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Does Resveratrol Aid Weight Loss?

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Cranberries For Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

by Health News

More than 150 published research studies show that cranberries have the ability to reduce the incidence of infections, improve heart health and tone down inflammation. For example, uniquely bioactive natural compounds in cranberries have been shown to promote a healthy urinary tract.

Cranberries For Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect more than 15 million US women every year. Antibiotic treatment remains the standard approach for managing these infections. However, growing bacterial resistance to antibiotics makes it necessary to develop other approaches.

Cranberries are rich in polyphenolic compounds known as A-type proanthocyanidins, which provide anti-adhesion benefits that help to protect against urinary tract infections (UTIs). Cranberries may also reduce the recurrence of UTIs, helping to lower reliance on antibiotic treatment.

For example, two recent studies have shown that cranberry powder can inhibit the spread of bacteria commonly found in urinary tract infections (UTIs). Specifically, increasing cranberry powder concentrations reduced the bacteria's ability to make urease, an enzyme that helps them to spread in the urinary tract.

Previous studies have shown that exposure to cranberry extracts lowers the expression of a gene that codes for a structure known as a ‘flagellar filament’, which bacteria use to move around. This is a significant finding, since bacteria use movement to spread infection and escape the immune system.

Previous studies have also shown that cranberry juice stops E. coli sticking to other bacteria, making it easier for them to be flushed away from the urinary tract.

Last but not least, recent research shows that cranberry-enriched silicone substrates prevent the spread of germs - which could lead to cranberry extracts being used to limit germ spread in implantable medical devices such as catheters, with considerable potential benefits for patient health.

Cranberries are just one of 42 ingredients present in a single delicious glass of Go Ruby Go fruit superfood - a mix of all-natural phytonutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like nothing else available on the market today.

So why not order Go Ruby Go! fruit superfood and get your daily dose of healthful cranberries today?

Other related blog posts:
Want 5 Reasons To Eat More Blueberries?

The 2 Best Natural Energy Booster Superfood Supplements

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Natural Remedies to Combat Cold and Flu and Boost the Immune System

How to Improve Your Immune System

 

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Cranberries can prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).