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Top Five Magnesium Rich Foods for Constipation Relief

by IVL Products

If like millions of Americans you suffer from occasional or chronic constipation, then you are probably anxious to find safe and natural constipation relief. A mineral that is crucial to heart health can also help to relieve the symptoms of the bowel disorder and fortunately, is found in abundance in several foods. 

constipation relief depends on magnesium

What mineral keeps your ticker in top shape and offers constipation relief?  Magnesium.

An Essential Mineral

Magnesium is critical to several functions in the body and being deficient leads to an entire host of health problems. Besides increasing your risk of developing heart disease and being linked to constipation, being deficient in magnesium can also lead to:

  • Muscle Cramps
  • Migraines
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Facial Tics

These are just a few of the side effects of not getting the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.

The Food Fix

When it comes to constipation, food is essential.  Since magnesium cannot be produced in the body, we need to replenish our stores daily.  Eating magnesium-rich foods is an easy way to avoid the health problems associated with magnesium deficiency. If constipation relief is what you seek, then start seriously considering these five foods that offer a healthy dose of magnesium along with several other important vitamins and minerals.

  1. Kale – this dark, tough leaf can seem a little intimidating.  Don’t be scared away.  One cup of cooked kale offers 6% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium.  It also contains vitamin B6, which helps with the absorption of magnesium.

Related: A Guide to Healthy Living

  1. Pumpkin Seeds – These Halloween bystanders, often discarded from the innards of pumpkins turned into jack-o-lanterns, offer your body a sweet treat in the form of magnesium.  You can score a healthy dose of the mineral that offers constipation relief along with other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  2. Wild Salmon – while magnesium tends to be in higher concentration in plant foods than in animal, wild caught salmon is a great source offering about 59 milligrams in one fillet.  It’s also a great lean protein that has a lot of selenium, a nutrient critical for the proper absorption of magnesium.
  3. Avocado – The lovely green butter pear, as is it is also known, makes for a great source of magnesium.  They also offer other electrolytes like potassium, and some much needed hydration.  Keeping your fluid and magnesium levels at a healthy level is an easy way to find constipation relief too.
  4. Greek Yogurt – there are so many good reasons to eat this creamy dairy delight, with magnesium being just one of them.  If you are looking for relief from constipation, food can help.  The high water content, magnesium and probiotics make eating it regularly a wise dietary decision.

Constipation Relief with No Side Effects

Before you turn to drugs or despair because of constipation, seek relief with these five magnesium super-star foods.  They are healthy for you in many ways and should be a part of a healthy diet.

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Five Fish Full of Omega 3 for Skin Health

by Cindy Gray

Genes play a part when it comes to healthy skin, but lifestyle habits like a nutritious diet also make a big difference.  Wholesome foods offer the best anti-aging skin care by diminishing lines and wrinkles and enhancing the complexion.  Omega 3 fatty acids like eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) found in certain types of oily fish offer a number of skin-boosting benefits including reducing sensitivity to UV rays, preventing inflammation, keeping pores clear, and helping skin retain moisture.  Five fish in particular are full of omega 3 for skin health and offer a number of additional health benefits. 

Discover five fish that are chock full of omega 3 for skin health

1.  Wild Alaskan Salmon

Types of wild Alaskan (or Pacific) salmon include red, king, pink, silver, and dog salmon.  In addition to offering an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids, all types of Pacific salmon make a high-quality source of protein, vitamin B12, and minerals like potassium and selenium.

2.  Anchovies

Found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, anchovies are small oily fish packed with essential fatty acids.  In addition, anchovies contain vitamin E and selenium, both of which promote skin health.  Anchovies also offer a rich source of vitamin A, which is important to vision, reproduction, cell division, and healthy bones.

Related: Can Omegas and Vitamin D Help Prevent Alzheimers?

3.  Mackerel

The most common types of mackerel include Atlantic, cero, king, and Spanish mackerel.  A deep water fish found in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans, it is also called lacento or maccarello.  While mackerel offers benefits to the skin, it is most famous for promotion of good heart health and purifying the blood.  A rich source of protein, mackerel also contains important minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and selenium.

4.  Halibut

Considered a lean fish, halibut does contain some omega 3 for skin.  What's more, it is low in fat and calories and makes a high-quality source of protein.  Halibut contains important B vitamins including B6, B12, and folic acid, which help to curb homocysteine levels and prevent inflammation.  Magnesium found in halibut helps boost blood flow, which keeps the whole body ─ including the skin ─ supplied with nutrients and oxygen.

5.  Rainbow trout

While it is one of the healthiest fish to eat, farmed rainbow trout is a better option than wild lake trout because ponds are protected from environmental contaminants.  One 3-ounce serving contains roughly 981 mg of EPA and DHA plus 21 grams of protein making it one of the best anti-aging skin care options available.  In addition to offering cardiovascular benefits, essential fatty acids may also help prevent neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease, bipolar disorder, dementia, and depression.

Additional Lifestyle Habits for Healthy Skin

People looking to enhance skin health may want to consider a few more healthy habits:

  • Don't smoke
  • Limit daily consumption of alcohol to one drink for women and two drinks for men
  • Drink at least 64 oz. of pure water each day

Use organic sunscreen whether sunny or cloudy

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Snacks to Increase Your Energy Naturally

by Health News

It’s 2:00 in the afternoon. Lunch was delicious and satisfying, but now you can hardly keep your eyes open. Before you reach for the usual, nutritionally-hollow caffeinated beverage that will just leave you tired later, consider one of these healthy, pick-me-up snacks to help pull you out of that afternoon slump and power you through the rest of the day:

Bananas. A banana is a delicious, sweet treat that is high in potassium—a mineral that helps maintain normal blood pressure and heart function. Bananas are satisfying and will help propel you out of that afternoon lull.

Snacks to Increase Your Energy Naturally

Pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. They also contain a fair amount of protein, but because they are lighter than many nuts, they won’t slow you down.

Organic Dark Chocolate. This non-guilty pleasure not only satisfies your sweet tooth, but it won’t deplete you of energizing B-vitamins the way many starchy dessert snacks will. For best results, get non-dairy, organic dark chocolate because it contains the highest levels of powerful antioxidants. There is some sugar in it, so limit portion size to 1-2 ounces a day.

Natural Energy Boosters

Lemon water. It might not sound like much of a snack, but if you’re tired, it could be just the medicine you need. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of fatigue, and lemons are a potent source of vitamins and enzymes. Furthermore, the smell of lemons is believed to increase energy and promote productivity!

Snacks to Increase Your Energy Naturally

Celery. Celery is satisfying because it’s crunchy and flavorful. It’s also loaded with energizing B-vitamins. It is a gentle, natural diuretic that helps balance electrolyte levels and flushes excess water from the body. Celery is perfect to pair with hummus, another healthy snack!

 

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Seven Antioxidant Vegetables for an Arthritis Diet

by Institute for Vibrant Living

There is currently no cure for arthritis, but scientists, doctors and sufferers have found that what you eat can greatly affect joint pain. Certain foods are known to curb inflammation, which is what causes arthritis. Put the arthritis diet to the test for yourself by trying these seven antioxidant-rich vegetables for one month, and monitor the improvement in your arthritis pain.

Vegetables are an important part of the arthritis diet

1.      Tomatoes

Filled with the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are an excellent aid to countering inflammation in the arthritis diet. Eaten raw in salads or as a side vegetable, or cooked in tomato sauce and ketchup, tomatoes are a powerful way to counter free radical damage and oxidation, suppressing pain-causing inflammation.

2.      Avocados

Avocados for arthritis! Foods high in unsaturated fats, such as avocados, are often high in antioxidants too. Full of heart-healthy polyphenols, avocados should be eaten as part of a balanced diet for arthritis pain management

3.      Kale

Kale is growing in popularity as its antioxidant benefits are widely recognized. Tackle your arthritis pain by adding chopped kale leaves to salad for an appetizing mix of green leaves filled with carotenoids, lutein and beta-carotene antioxidants.

Related: Why is Kale So Healthy?

4.      Bell Peppers

This colorful low-calorie vegetable adds a rainbow of color to your arthritis diet with their green, yellow, orange and red colors. Red peppers, also known as sweet peppers, have the highest content of beta-carotene, quercetin, capsanthin and luteolin, making them the best choice for lowering arthritis inflammation.

5.      Brussels Sprouts

As well as lowering cholesterol, Brussels sprouts contain a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients along with protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. If you don’t like the smell of boiled sprouts, lightly stir-fry them with bacon pieces and onions for a crunchy side dish.

6.      Cauliflower

Packed with vitamin C, cauliflower is one of the world’s healthiest foods. It contains folate, vitamins C, K, B2, B1 and B6 and is a good source of choline and biotin. Eat raw as a dip or cook and mash for a creamy side dish to accompany any main meal.

7.      Zucchini

Zucchini is a versatile vegetable; it is an important part of any arthritis diet. It is a good source of those all-important antioxidants with high levels of vitamins C and A as well as lutein and zeaxanthin.

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Five Foods for Boosting Immunity

by Cindy Gray

Do you feel like you have a weakened immune system? Our immune systems are constantly under attack from the endless bacteria, toxins and viruses we are exposed to as part of daily life.  This amazing system must remain hyper-vigilant at all times and be ready to strike at the first sign of an invading bacteria or virus.

Booste Immunity with these Five FoodsLack of sleep, stress and poor diet weaken your immune system making it tough to do its job.  Hitting a yoga class or meditating, calling it a night 30 minutes earlier and incorporating these five foods into your diet can help you keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

The Fabulous Five

Lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and dairy products can have a beneficial effect on a weakened immune system.  However, five foods in particular have shown to be especially beneficial in keeping your flu-fighters lean and mean.

Avocados

Also known as a butter pear, this creamy, green, nutty flavored fruit (yes, fruit) provides a lot of immunity-boosting nutrients.  The amino acids, antioxidants and healthy omega-3 fats are good for the entire body. Avocados are rich in glutathione and phytonutrients that kill off free radicals. 

Current research is studying the effects of those phytonutrients on cells, telling them whether to grow, live or die.  These guacamole super-stars also help reduce inflammation, which lessens cold and flu symptoms.  They are packed with B-6 vitamins, vitamins A, C and E, minerals like zinc, iron and selenium, which are crucial to the formation of healthy immune system cells that attack invading pathogens.

Related: Boost Your Immune System With Garlic’s Healthy Benefits

Ginger

This spicy, flavorful root has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is known to help break down toxins in organs, and contribute to a clean lymphatic system, the one that disposes of cellular wastes.  Ginger also helps regulate your immune system to keep it from over-reacting (allergy attack) and helps to activate T-cells. Those are the white blood cells that are virus and tumor-killing ninjas.

Graviola

Gravi what!?  Graviola is a fruit that grows best in a rainforest climate and can be found abundantly in South America and many tropical islands.  This heart-shaped green fruit is also known as a Brazilian paw paw, soursop or guanaba and has been used by ancient peoples to modern times for a variety of health reasons. Graviola has been used to keep the liver healthy, reduce swelling in the mucus membranes, and reduce cold and flu symptoms.  Modern researchers are studying a substance in them called annonaceous acetogenins that tend to attack cancer cells. Graviola supports a healthy immune system by killing off parasites and reducing inflammation in the body.

Mushrooms

These weird looking, chewy fungi are immune-boosting powerhouses, thanks to being loaded with the powerful antioxidant ergothioneine.  It survives cooking and quickly enters the blood stream to shore up your immunity by helping remove heavy metal toxins from your tissues and destroy free radicals that harm healthy cells.

Mushrooms are also a rich source of selenium—low levels have been linked to more severe flu symptoms.  They also provide the B-vitamins riboflavin and niacin and have antibacterial and antiviral properties, and may be effective in killing tumors.

Oatmeal

There are just so many good things to say about eating oatmeal regularly.  For your immune system, oatmeal provides a healthy dose of three minerals critical to keeping it functioning at optimum levels.

  • Zinc- essential for the growth and function of the immunity cells that recognize and destroy invading pathogens.

  • Selenium – which we already discussed as an essential component to a healthy immune system, and it’s nice to know you can get it in a variety of foods. Its ability to bind with proteins to form seleno-proteins help regulate the immune system so it responds quickly to invaders but does not go overboard when it senses a harmless pollen (i.e. an allergy attack).

  • Iron – those with low levels of this mineral often have a weak immune system. It is a critical nutrient in the formation of healthy immune system red and white blood cells that eradicate invading pathogens.

Oatmeal also contains a soluble fiber called beta glucan that supports immune function and reduces susceptibility to infection.

Eating a diverse diet rich in all kinds of fruits and vegetables will help keep your immune system strong.  Be sure to add in the fabulous five to help you survive and thrive during dreaded cold and flu season and generally stay healthy year-round for life.

 

Sources:

http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/boost-your-im...

http://www.livescience.com/45209-avocado-nutrition-facts.html

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-graviola.htm

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-immune-foods

http://woman.thenest.com/health-benefits-oatmeal-immune-system-21954.html

http://functionalmushrooms.com/?p=302

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Prevent Decreased Muscle Mass in the Grocery Store

by Cindy Gray

The great thing about natural medicine is that most vitamins and supplements can be obtained from a grocery store rather than from a pharmacy. To be more exact, most health foods can be found in the produce department where fresh fruit and vegetables provide a ready supply of vitamins, minerals, natural fiber and antioxidants.

Prevent Decreased Muscle Mass in the Produce AisleYou may be aware that these foods are the key to weight management, balancing blood sugar and supporting a healthy heart, but scientists have also found they are essential for preventing decreased muscle mass.

What is Sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia is a medical term that refers to a steady loss of lean body mass, specifically muscle and bone loss. It affects around 45% of older adults and generally starts at the age of 40 and accelerates in the mid-late 70s. Although it is most severe in those who are physically inactive, it also affects people who remain fit and active into older age.

Although sarcopenia affects older people, it may be an avoidable consequence of aging, as a recent Korean study showed.

Related: 3 Healthy Foods That Support Healthy Aging

Study on Sarcopenia and Diet

Scientists at Ajou University in the Republic of Korea looked at whether foods high in antioxidants, such as fruit and vegetables, could be associated with sarcopenia in older people. The study focused on data provided by 823 men and 1,089 women who were aged 65 and above. They used questionnaires to obtain information about the participants' diet, along with physical measurements including height and body mass.

The study found that men who had a high dietary intake of both fresh fruit and vegetables had a significantly lower risk of sarcopenia than those who ate fewer fruits and vegetables. In women, they found that those who had a high consumption of fruit showed a lower risk of decreased muscle mass/sarcopenia. The scientists concluded that a high consumption of fruit and vegetables was inversely associated with the presence of sarcopenia in older people.

Risk of Muscle Loss

The natural aging process means that we generally move more slowly as we age and there is a decline in muscle strength. When extreme, this loss of muscle increases the risk of injury from a fall due to weaker leg muscles, and it can eventually affect the ability to live independently.

Decreased muscle mass is related to bone loss (osteoporosis) as healthy muscles create a positive stress which keeps the bones strong and healthy. A decline of muscle through sarcopenia can start a vicious circle: less lean body mass causes decreased mobility which in turn results in yet more muscle loss.

Sarcopenia has other implications for general health too. The body stores reserves of proteins and metabolites in the muscles. The reason many frail elderly people do not survive a fall, major surgery, or illness such as influenza, is due to their lack of metabolic reserves in their muscles to support their immune system and aid recovery.

Although our western diet provides plenty of protein to fight the decline of muscle and bone mass, studies increasingly show that this must be accompanied by plenty of fruit and vegetables to provide the necessary antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are also needed to age healthily.

Next time you visit the supermarket, make sure you visit the produce aisle and top up your health reserves to stave off sarcopenia before it’s too late.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=PMID%3A+24646604

http://www.brinkzone.com/articles/sarcopenia-the-undiagnosed-epidemic/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527121104.htm

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/090112p62.shtml

 

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Green Tea: A Promising Anti-Cancer Superfood

by Cindy Gray

For centuries, green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat everything from headaches to depression.  Depending on how it’s made, tea can either be green, black or Oolong, all of which are harvested from the leaves and buds of the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Differences in production methods change each tea’s chemical composition and oxidation levels, which is why they taste and smell so uniquely different from each other.

According to Dr. Christine Horner, green tea is a true superfood, defined as a nutrient-dense food with unusually high levels of healthful ingredients such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatory compounds and others.Green Tea Show Promise as an Anti-Cancer Superfood

Many studies suggest that green tea consumption may protect against heart disease and some types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Most of the health benefits of green tea are thought to be due to powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, which include the catechin, although exactly how they benefit our health remains unknown.

Roughly one-third of a typical cup of green tea is made of catechins. Of these, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most prominent catechin and has been studied in great detail in terms of its health potential.

Laboratory and animal research on the effects of green tea in prostate cancer have been promising:

  • EGCG blocks the stimulating effect of androgen (male sex hormone) on human prostate tumor cells, slowing their growth and spread and increasing the rate at which they die.

  • Human prostate cancer cells pre-treated with EGCG were more likely to die when exposed to radiation than cells not treated with EGCG before radiation.

  • Mice bred to develop prostate cancer that were given green tea catechins for 24 weeks did not develop prostate cancer; in other words, green tea catechins appeared to delay the development of prostate cancer.

  • Mice given green tea polyphenols at different ages to match different stages of prostate cancer were tumor-free longer than water-fed mice; and mice that consumed green tea the earliest benefitted the most. Further, these polyphenols caused high levels of cell death, possibly limiting cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.

So far, population studies and clinical trials on humans have shown mixed results: 

  • Of 60 men with high-grade prostatic neoplasia treated with green tea catechin capsules for a year, nine men in the control group were diagnosed with prostate cancer compared to one man in the green tea catechin group; suggesting that green tea catechins lowers risk of prostate cancer in high-risk patients. A two year follow-up showed that this effect was long-lasting.

  • Patients scheduled to undergo radical prostatectomy were given green tea, black tea or soda five times daily for five days. Prostate cancer cells treated with blood taken from patients after they drank tea grew and divided more slowly relative to cells from patients before they drank tea.

Given the powerful anti-cancer potential and other known health benefits of this centuries-old superfood, isn’t it time you added green tea to your diet today?

 

Source:

Green Tea: A Promising Anti-Cancer Superfood

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Can Vitamin D Work Without Magnesium?

by Cindy Gray

According to extensive research, vitamin D deficiencies play a major role in the development of breast, prostate and colon cancer as well as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, psoriasis and mental illness.  While people are now beginning to realize the full extent of health benefits that vitamin D has to offer, they may not be getting the benefits of this vitamin without supplementing their diets with magnesium.

In order to receive the health benefits of vitamin D, its cofactors must be present, including magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A, zinc and boron.

Does Vitamin D Work With Magnesium?Magnesium is a vital nutrient because it converts vitamin D into its active form. In fact, the effectiveness and benefits of vitamin D are greatly undermined in the absence of adequate magnesium in the body, yet most Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this important mineral.

The importance of magnesium as a nutrient required for proper vitamin D metabolism has been recognized by several studies as follows:

  • Magnesium is necessary for vitamin D metabolism

  • Magnesium influences utilization of vitamin D by activating cellular enzyme activity. All the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium

  • Magnesium has a possible role in vitamin D's effect on the immune system. Low magnesium has been shown to lower production of vitamin D's active form

  • Several studies show that magnesium is also necessary for vitamin D's beneficial actions on bone

  • Vitamin D inhibits calcium deposition in arteries, and magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form so that it can prevent calcium buildup into plaque in arteries. The combination of magnesium and vitamin D helps to prevent clogged arteries by drawing calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into bones, where it is needed to build healthy bone structure and prevent osteoporosis, some forms of arthritis and kidney stones.

 

Source:

Can Vitamin D Work Without Magnesium?

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Can Vitamin D Benefit You Without Magnesium?

by Cindy Gray

You may already know about the many powerful health benefits of having sufficient levels of vitamin D in your body. However, you may not be getting many of these benefits if you suffer from magnesium deficiency.

Vitamin D is made by skin cells in response to sunlight. It is also found naturally in fatty fish, fish liver oils and egg yCan Vitamin D Benefit without Magnesium?olks; as well as in fortified grains and dairy products.

Along with helping to build strong bones by maintaining proper calcium and phosphorus levels in the body, vitamin D also appears to protect against many other health problems.

For instance, having adequate levels of 25-hydoxyvitamin D (the biologically active form of vitamin D) can lower the risk of a first heart attack and peripheral vascular disease, along with reducing risk for many cancers.

Low levels of 25-hydoxyvitamin D are associated with increased likelihood of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure (BP). Many studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency also plays a major role in the development of breast, prostate and colon cancer, as well as arthritis, osteoporosis, psoriasis and mental illness.

Increasing vitamin D intake to about 800 international units (IU) per day has been reported to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 30%.

While more and more people are learning about the powerful health benefits offered by vitamin D, they may not be getting many of these benefits if they suffer from magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form. It acts with and is essential to the activity of vitamin D. In fact, vitamin D’s effectiveness is significantly reduced without adequate levels of magnesium in the body. However, most Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this important mineral.

Nutrients act to enhance each other. To get the health benefits of vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A, zinc and boron must also be present in suitable amounts.

The importance of magnesium for proper vitamin D metabolism has been confirmed by several studies as follows:

  • Magnesium is essential for the metabolism of vitamin D

  • Magnesium influences how the body uses vitamin D

  • All enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium (enzymes are special proteins that carry out chemical reactions in the body)

  • Magnesium may play a role in vitamin D's effects on the immune system

  • Magnesium is necessary for vitamin D's beneficial actions on bone structure

Last but not least, in its active form in the presence of magnesium, vitamin D stops calcium from being deposited in arteries, interfering with plaque formation or atherosclerosis, the first critical step towards developing heart disease.

Magnesium and vitamin D work together to draw calcium out of blood and soft tissues back into bones, where it is needed to build a healthy, strong bone structure; thereby preventing osteoporosis, some forms of arthritis and kidney stones.

If you feel you’re not getting enough vitamin D or magnesium, it may be a good idea to look for a supplement that gives you both of these vital nutrients and add it to your daily supplement regime right away.

 

Source:

Can Vitamin D Benefit You Without Magnesium?

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How to Improve Blood Circulation with Alternative Medicine

by Health News

Low Blood Pressure Natural Treatment - Improve Blood CirculationPoor blood circulation can have a serious impact on one’s overall health.  For example, poor blood circulation means less blood flowing to your brain and typically means you have low blood pressure. This alone comes with a variety of significant symptoms, such as dizziness, problems thinking or even headaches.  In fact, poor blood circulation can impact every organ in your body and may even explain tingling and a lack of sensation in your arms and legs.  In short, poor blood flow can be quite serious.  Luckily, there are many natural health solutions that one can take in treating poor circulation.  In this article, we will examine a few of these low blood pressure natural treatments and natural health products.

Bonito Peptide

The bonito peptide is one natural dietary supplements that is currently being used for improving blood circulation.  This supplement is believed to contribute to general heart health and may have the ability to help regulate one’s blood pressure.  This compound is derived from the bonito fish.

L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is a compound derived from the amino acids methionine and lysine.  It plays a vital role in the metabolism and has enjoyed great success as a nutritional health supplement.  Generally considered to be safe, L-carnitine is often used to treat heart conditions.  It is believed that L-carnitine can be used to increase blood flow as well, which could make it a potentially useful supplement for those with blood circulation issues.

Nattokinase

Enzymes are vital for life and can provide a wide variety of health and medical benefits.  For example, the bromelain enzyme derived from pineapples can be a very effective anti-inflammatory.  Likewise, nattokinase is another enzyme with a variety of interesting properties.  This enzyme is extracted from a food called natto

Natto is a Japanese food made from fermented soybeans.  Nattokinase is often used as a blood thinner, and its role in overall heart health is being explored.  However, nattokinase is not for everyone and has been known to have negative interactions with aspirin.  Anyone considering taking nattokinase should consult with his or her doctor.

Garlic

You might be tempted to believe that there is little that garlic can’t do!  Garlic has been sought after for generations as a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal agent.  Garlic is, in fact, so complex and beneficial that it literally has different properties depending on whether or not its been cut or crushed.

Additionally, garlic is believed to even have anti-cancer properties and is high in an assortment of vitamins and minerals.  It should come as no surprise that garlic may even be a heart healthy food as well.  A great deal of attention has been given to garlic’s potential as a heart healthy food, as it may protect the heart from oxidative damage and might lower bad cholesterol levels.  Further, garlic has the ability to positively impact artery walls.  All in all, garlic is a great pick for those looking for a natural way to increase blood flow.

Of course, following a healthy diet comprised largely of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat protein choices will do wonders for your health, regardless of whether or not you have any heart or circulation issues.  Following a diet rich in these foods will not only keep your heart healthy and your blood flowing, but will also give your body the nutrition and anti-oxidants it needs to fight off aging and disease as well.

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7 Green Superfoods With Cancer-Fighting, Heart-Healthy Benefits

by Cindy Gray

SUPERFOODS FOR CANCER-FIGHTING, HEART-HEALTHY BENEFITSEat your greens! How many times have you heard that growing up? Well, it turns out green foods really are some of the healthiest foods on the planet.

For instance, these seven green Superfoods are chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavor - so they should always have a place of honor at your table:

  1. Brussels sprouts - are a cruciferous vegetable, related to cabbage. Rich in vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, these high-fiber vegetables are also a good source of amino acids and are considered delicious roasted with olive oil.

  2. Green tea - is brimming with cancer-fighting antioxidants and supports heart health, helps digestion and speeds up metabolism. Tea experts swear by loose-leaf teas for the best flavor.

  3. Avocados - are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol and keep you feeling full for longer. They are a good source of vitamins E and C, potassium and lutein. You can add avocados to a salad, use them to make guacamole, or simply eat them plain.

  4. Kiwi fruit - contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps with digestion and conveys feelings of fullness. It has double the vitamin C content of an orange and is very high in potassium. It’s also a good source of vitamin E and folate. Kiwi fruit has a delicious tangy flavor and is ideal for a fruit salad.

  5. Spinach - has double the fiber of other greens, making it a great choice for health-conscious eaters. It’s rich in vitamins A and K and is a good source of iron and folate. Spinach provides antioxidants like beta-carotene, which supports heart health, fights cancer and keeps your eyes healthy. Raw spinach is delicious in salads, or you can add a few handfuls to scrambled eggs, soup or pasta. You can even drink spinach by tossing a handful into a fruit smoothie or a green drink!

  6. High-fiber kale - along with being a good source of vitamins A, C and K, kale also contains calcium and heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Kale is rich in carotenoids, which help protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Most people prefer to lightly steam or cook kale.

  7. Broccoli - is a great source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate and calcium. Like all cruciferous vegetables, it’s also rich in cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Broccoli is very high in fiber, which helps with satiety and supports weight maintenance. It's delicious when lightly steamed or roasted with olive oil and a dash of salt.

However you like your greens - whether raw, cooked or mixed into soup, it’s important that you make them a part of your daily diet so that you can fully benefit from their cancer-fighting, heart-healthy properties. And don't forget, an easy way to add "green superfoods" to your diet is with a quality green powder supplement. 

Go green today and you will look and feel great every day!

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5 Fats You Should Be Eating

by Health News

Do you know the idea that all fats makes you fat is really a myth?

Most people believe that low-fat and fat-free products are healthier, but it’s simply not true. On the other hand, some fats are healthy and may even hold the secret to how to increase energy levels and promote weight loss. 

Women Health Tips

Your body requires fat in order to function properly. Not only that, many necessary vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. This means your body can only absorb them in the presence of fat.

These good fats will not only will you feel better - they will also satisfy your hunger without depriving your body of essential nutrients:

  1. Nuts are chockfull of amazing nutrients, healthy fats and protein. They are also rich sources of protein and unsaturated fats as well as concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and powerful anti-aging antioxidants. They are also one of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a heart-healthy plant omega-3 fat. Nuts are also rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that boosts immune function, promotes wound healing, improves blood vessel function and helps lower risk of heart disease. Further, they contain soluble fiber and vitamin E. Fiber helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels, while vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant essential for proper immune function and healthy skin.
  2. Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps cleanse and protect your body by detoxifying, removing heavy metals and fighting free radicals. Glutathione helps maintain a healthy immune system and slows the aging process. Avocados are also rich in folate, which lowers the incidence of heart disease and stroke. They are also the best fruit source of Vitamin E.  Foods with omega-3 fats such as salmon, nuts, flax seed and avocados should be consumed regularly for good heart and brain health.

Healthy Fats - Avacados

  1. Coconut products offer a wide range of health benefits. Coconut oil offers antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-cancer properties along with improving digestion, nutrient absorption and intestinal health. It also provides cardiovascular benefits and helps manage type 2 diabetes. Coconut oil promotes kidney and liver health and boosts the immune system. It also benefits metabolism, energy and weight management.
  2. Saturated fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides, which can be easily metabolized and used as energy by the body. Research suggests that these fatty acids may boost metabolism, promote weight loss and increase HDL, the ‘good’ protective cholesterol in the body.
  3. Olive oil is a very healthy oil to use when sautéing, baking and making salad dressing. This fantastic oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and antioxidants such as chlorophyll (which accounts for part of the color in olive oil), carotenoids, and vitamin E.  Olive oil is great for reducing blood pressure, cancer prevention, managing diabetes and lessening the severity of asthma and arthritis. Researchers from the Seven Countries Study found that monounsaturated fats in olive oil were mainly responsible for the low rates of heart disease and cancer on the Greek island of Crete. Olive oil also contains polyphenols, which are powerful anti-aging antioxidants. Including olive oil in the diet can also help to maintain a lower, healthy weight.
  4. Seeds contain beneficial fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and protein. They are also packed with health-promoting minerals such as magnesium, selenium and zinc, as well as powerful antioxidants, fiber and minerals.

 

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Top 3 Vitamins and Minerals to Support a Healthy Heart

by Health News

When it comes to heart health and aging healthy, most of us understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet rich in high-fiber vegetables and whole grains, and getting regular aerobic exercise.  But do you know what is good for high blood pressure? Your heart, arguably the hardest working organ in your body, needs a steady supply of certain vital vitamins? Here is a list of some of those vitamins and minerals, and why the getting proper balance of them is essential for optimal heart health.

What is good for high blood pressure?Calcium.
More than any other muscle in your body, you rely on your heart to contract regularly—and that’s a huge understatement. Calcium is vital for muscle contractions. Calcium is critical to healthy aging because it is stored in the bones, where it is released regularly to maintain a consistent level in the bloodstream. If you don’t consume enough calcium, you can get a condition called hypocalcemia, whose symptoms include muscle spasms and irregular heartbeat. Foods rich in calcium include dairy products, leafy greens and broccoli. Many foods are now fortified with calcium, such as bread, juice and cereals.

Iron.
This mineral is essential for heart health because it delivers its supply of oxygen through the hemoglobin in red blood cells. Without oxygen, your heart cannot function. If you don’t have enough iron in your body, you can get a condition called anemia. Severe anemia can actually lead to heart failure. Sources of iron include animal meat, seafood, molasses, tofu, spinach, peas, raisins and beans. Iron-fortified products include breads and cereals.

Magnesium.
Magnesium is essential for maintaining heart rhythm. But with magnesium, balance is extremely important. Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle spasms and weakness. Too much magnesium can cause the heart to stop beating! Consume green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, peas and whole grains for a healthy supply of magnesium.

Talk to your health care practitioner about what is good for high blood pressure, and how much of these essential vitamin mineral supplements you need to keep your heart in top form and to set yourself on the path to healthy aging.

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Healthy Holiday Eating: What Makes a Recipe Healthy?

by Health News

Healthy Eating - What Makes a Recipe Healthy?

A trend toward health and fitness is on an upswing, and one important component is a nutritious diet that provides needed vitamins and minerals, is satisfying and naturally boosts energy throughout the day. What is it that makes a recipe healthy? Here are some questions to ponder when it comes to deciding whether a recipe is healthful or hurtful. These are particularly useful during the winter months for people who are concerned with healthy holiday eating.

What type of cooking method is used? Steer clear of recipes that call for frying or deep frying, and focus on the following methods instead. The healthiest cooking method is steaming, where food is placed in a perforated container and suspended above boiling water. Besides a light coating of cook spray, baking and roasting are healthy and typically do not require adding extra fat to a dish, and stir-frying and sautéing can be accomplished with a minimal amount of healthy oil. Grilling and broiling are healthy methods because they allow fat to drip away from food, and braising and poaching involve gently simmering an ingredient in liquid until cooked.  Avoid microwaving food.

What is the calorie count in the recipe? Whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain the weight you have, it is important to understand how many calories your body requires and find recipes that correspond to this amount. To determine the energy needed in calories to maintain your current weight, multiply your weight in pounds by 12. For a one pound per week weight loss, cut this amount by 500 calories per day. For a two pound per week loss, reduce the amount by 1000 calories per day. Note: It has been shown that two pounds per week is a healthy weight loss that has the best potential to be sustained.

Is the recipe made with nutritious ingredients? The healthiest ingredients include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and poultry, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and healthy fats like olive oil, nuts and avocados. Note: fats contain two times more calories per gram than proteins or carbohydrates, so it is important to keep portion sizes under control.

Unhealthy ingredients include sugar, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, sodium, white flour, processed foods and saturated and trans-fats. Trans-fatty acids occur naturally in meat and dairy products but can be artificially made (by hydrogenating oils) to boost the shelf life of some products. High trans-fat consumption has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and certain cancers. Read labels, and avoid any products containing partially hydrogenated oils. In place of table salt, use herbs and spices to season recipes, and if needed, try all-natural sea salt.

Here are some guidelines based on advice from the American Heart Association for a typical 2000 calorie-per-day diet. Remember to adjust values to your daily calories and divide by the number of meals you are eating per day to arrive at approximate amounts for each recipe.

  • Dietary cholesterol should not exceed 300 mg per day.
  • To keep full and satisfied, an individual should strive for at least 25 grams of fiber per day.
  • Proteins should be limited to 175 grams or less per day, total carbohydrates should not exceed 300 grams, and fats should be limited to 65 grams or less per day.
  • A healthy diet should contain at least 3,500 mg of potassium daily, but sodium intake should not exceed 2,400 mg per day (those on a low-sodium diet should limit each recipe serving to 140 mg or less).
  • Limit sugars to 6 to 10 percent of total daily calories.
  • For heart-healthy recipes use 3 grams or less total fat (with 1 gram or less saturated fat), 20 mg or less cholesterol, and 480 mg or less sodium per serving.

Take advantage of the healthy holiday eating tips above when looking for healthy recipes that are chock full of nutrients and packed with all-natural energy! Bon Appétit!

Healthy Aging starts with a healthy gut. Free guide to Healthy Holiday Digestion.

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Which Supplements are Best for You?

by Health News

Which Supplements are Best? Get a Healthy Digestive SystemOne of the best ways to get a healthy digestive system is by taking dietary supplements. In fact, more than half of American adults take dietary supplements, but with hundreds to choose from, how do you know which supplements are best for you personally? Here is a rundown on some of the most common natural supplements and why you should include them in your daily diet.

Multivitamins

Those with a busy lifestyle who rely on fast food and microwave meals will almost certainly have a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. While daily supplements are not a substitute for a healthy diet in any way, multivitamins do make sure that trace elements and minerals such as magnesium and zinc are being consumed on a regular basis.

The best multivitamins are those specifically formulated for men or for women. Women need higher levels of iron, calcium and folic acid. A well blended formula for women can resolve issues such as irritability, mood swings, bloating, lethargy, cramps and breast tenderness while men benefit from ingredients such as beta-sitosterol and saw palmetto for healthy prostate function.

Fish Oil

Fish oil has been shown to significantly improve health when taken on a regular basis. From preventing heart disease to easing joint pain and arthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties, a good quality fish oil should be on everyone's supplement list. 

Some people avoid taking fish oil supplements due to the aftertaste. Choose a good quality brand from a reputable supplier.  If you still get nasty repeats, store the fish oil in the refrigerator and take them cold; and try taking them before going to bed. This allows the capsules to get deeper into the body before being digested which eliminates the problem. A good quality fish oil will also be properly distilled and processed to remove toxic metals and pollutants from the fish oil.

Calcium

More than 25 million Americans are diagnosed with osteoporosis and it is not just women that suffer from this "brittle bone" disease. It is too late to take a crash course once symptoms have been diagnosed. Our bodies need plenty of calcium (with vitamin D to help the body break it down) from an early age and throughout life. Calcium is also necessary for strong teeth as well as supporting the heart and nervous system.

Coenzyme Q10

CoQ10 is a relative newcomer to the health market yet its comprehensive benefits make it a top seller. It helps prevent heart disease and metabolizes energy from food. It also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure without the harmful side effects of prescribed medications. CoQ10 is found naturally in every cell in our body, but as we age it naturally diminishes and needs replenishing. It has been found to help prevent migraines, reduce inflammation and increase energy. The ideal daily supplement is around 100 mg per 100 pounds of body weight, although higher doses are beneficial to counter chronic fatigue. 

Once you have established a few basic supplements, continue to read and learn more about specific supplements. The best way to judge which are best for you is by trial and error. If you are receiving the correct nutrients and supplements, your body will feel fit, healthy and full of energy.

Want more tips on how to get a healthy digestive system? Get our FREE guide: The Aging Adults Guide to Healthy Holiday Digestion

Guide to a Healthy Digestive System

 

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Broccoli: Role In Cancer Prevention

by Institute for Vibrant Living

As you probably already know, consuming fruits and vegetables regularly aids in maintaining a healthy digestive system and is very beneficial for your overall health and may even extend your lifespan. What many people don’t realize is just how good these foods are for you and how exactly they benefit your health.

For instance, broccoli should be in the weekly menu of every person on the planet. That’s because the entire family of cruciferous vegetables - including broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower - Broccoli: Role In Cancer Preventioncontain lots of fiber, along with many vitamins and minerals - all of which are believed to be why cruciferous vegetables help to prevent colon cancer and aid in contributing to a healthy digestive system.

Not only that, cruciferous vegetables contain the protective compounds isothiocyanates and indoles, which help to fight disease by reducing inflammation and preventing DNA damage.

Scientific research shows a strong correlation between eating broccoli at least three times a month and a significant reduction in incidence of various types of cancer.

For instance, in a study from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, researchers found that individuals who ate broccoli three times a week showed a 40 percent reduction in their rates of bladder cancer.

Similarly, women with breast cancer diagnosis who increased their consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, reduced their risk of cancer recurrence by 35 percent. Amazingly, they also cut their mortality rate by 62 percent!

Along with the US, researchers in Switzerland and Italy have studied data collected across various studies and reached similar conclusions about the positive link between cruciferous vegetables and cancer.

The most notable results were a 32 percent reduced rate of kidney cancer among individuals who ate cruciferous vegetables at least once a week. Similarly, a 17 percent reduction in oral, breast and colorectal cancers as well as a 28 percent reduction in esophageal cancer were seen in association with cruciferous vegetable consumption.

In other words, people who eat cruciferous vegetables roughly once a week are on average much healthier with a significant reduction in cancer risk relative to their counterparts who rarely, or never, eat vegetables.

The difference in their cancer rates is so significant that everyone - including you - should seriously consider increasing their cruciferous vegetable intake. 

Additionally, research shows having a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Fruits and vegetables also have a positive effect on blood sugar - helping to keep appetite in check and maintain a healthy digestive system. Bottom line? Fruits and vegetables are an essential ingredient to your overall health and well-being.

Source: Broccoli: Role in Cancer Prevention

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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? In fact, many people concerned with cardiovascular health have started adding barley grass to their diet as a high blood pressure natural treatment.

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 healthful chlorophyll, protein and vitamin levels fall sharply while levels of the indigestible fiber cellulose rises.

Barley Grass: High Blood Pressure Natural Treatment

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 patients with type 2 diabetes against vascular diseases including heart disease and stroke.

Talk to your doctor to see if taking barley grass supplements as a high blood pressure natural treatment is right for you.

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Acai Superfruit: A Nutritious And Powerful Superfood

by Institute for Vibrant Living

What are superfoods - and do they really exist?  According to Dr. Christine Horner, a superfood is any nutrient-dense food that contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compunds and other ingredients proven to benefit health. On the list of superfoods is one you may not have even heard of - Açaí.

Studies have shown that the superfruit Açaí berry - found growing on a very special Amazon palm tree - is one of the most nutritious and powerful superfoods in the world. Harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, açaí tastes like a blend of berries and chocolate. Nature's perfect energy fruit, açaí is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Acai Superfruit: A Nutritious And Powerful Superfood  | Institute for Vibrant Living
Açaí may not be available in your local supermarket, but you can find it in health food stores, typically in juice form. A new product featuring the unsweetened pulp is now also available, which comes without the harmful effects of added sugar.

Royal purple in color, açaí pulp contains:

  • A remarkably high concentration of antioxidants that help combat premature aging, with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10-30 times the anthocyanins of red wine.
  • A mutually enhancing combination of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health.
  • A near-perfect essential amino acid complex along with with valuable trace minerals that are essential for proper muscle contraction and regeneration.

The fatty acid content in açaí resembles that of olive oil, and is enriched in monounsaturated oleic acid. Oleic acid helps essential omega-3 fats enter cells - and together, they help make cell membranes more supple and strong.

By keeping the cell membrane supple, our body’s hormones, neurotransmitter and insulin receptors function more efficiently inside and outside cells, keeping us healthy and disease-free. This is particularly important because high insulin levels create an inflammatory state.

As you already know, inflammation is believed to play a role in almost every modern disease including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and more - while also contributing to the adverse health effects of aging.

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