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5 Ways to Increase the Effectiveness of Healthy Foods

by Nancy Maneely

Effectiveness of Healthy Foods“Eat healthy food” is advice we hear at least once a day. It comes from everywhere: TV, magazines, our doctor, well-meaning family and friends. So, we make smart selections at the grocery store and feel very good about choosing an orange for a midday snack rather than, say, a donut.

That’s a great start … but really, how do you know your body is getting the benefit of the healthy foods you eat? Unfortunately, your body doesn’t issue an itemized receipt every time, listing the calories and nutrients that were effectively utilized. In fact, you might be surprised at how little of the valuable nutrients actually reach their goal – that is, being absorbed and put to work doing what they are meant to do: keep you functioning at an optimum level.

Here are five simple ways you can increase the effectiveness of the food you eat:

  1. Take a digestive enzyme supplement. What are digestive enzymes? Our bodies make their own digestive enzymes that break down food in the mouth, stomach, and small intestine into smaller, absorbable molecules. However, while all fresh food contains enzymes, our modern habits destroy them. We grow fruits and vegetables in depleted soil, gas them to prolong shelf life, and cook them at high heat. All of this reduces their enzyme levels.
  2. Take a probiotic to increase friendly flora. Friendly bacteria help produce the enzymes we need to break down food. They also support immune health and help protect the vulnerable cells along the linings of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.
  3. Chew your food! Mom’s advice was sound. Chewing produces amylase that breaks down carbohydrates and stimulates digestive juices.
  4. Slow down. The chemicals needed to for healthy digestion are produced when we are relaxed. A calm, quiet atmosphere signals the digestive system to kick in.
  5. Avoid taking antacids. In the stomach, high levels of acid are necessary to break down food (and kill off bad bacteria like H. pylori that can lead to stomach cancer). There are natural ways to reduce the problems of heartburn and acid reflux. Drinking enough water, reducing salt, eating fewer fats, and taking digestive enzymes and probiotics can take care of the problem.

Do you take probiotics or digestive enzymes? What benefits have you experienced?

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Six Powerful Health Benefits Of Beets

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that beets are an ancient food that grew naturally along coastlines in North Africa, Asia and Europe? Six Powerful Health Benefits Of Beets

Originally, people consumed beet greens. The sweet red beetroot wasn't cultivated as a food in its own right until the era of ancient Rome.

By the 19th century, the natural sweetness of beets meant that they were being used as a source of sugar - for which they are still used today.

Beetroots have a sweet, earthy flavor - not to mention their powerhouse nutrients can significantly benefit your health. And although beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, you can safely eat beetroots a few times a week, while enjoying their nutritious greens in unlimited quantities.

Here are six great reasons to include beets in your diet on a regular basis:

  1. Lower blood pressure (BP) - according to one study, drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic BP by an average of 4-5 points within a few hours. This is most likely because of the presence of naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide (NO) in the body. NO helps to relax and open up your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering BP.
  2. More stamina - according to research, those who drank beet juice before working out were able to exercise for up to 16 percent longer. This benefit is also thought to be related to nitrates turning into NO and reducing the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise, along with enhancing tolerance to high-intensity exercise.
  3. Fighting off inflammation - beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins and enzymes in your body from environmental stress. It's also known to fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance and help prevent numerous chronic diseases. Consumption of betaine has been associated with lower levels of inflammation, providing cardiovascular benefits along with health benefits for other systems in your body.
  4. Anti-cancer properties - the powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer. Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in various animal models. Also, beetroot extract is currently being studied for its effectiveness in treating human pancreatic, breast and prostate cancers.
  5. Valuable nutrients and fiber - beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber and essential minerals like potassium and manganese. Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which reduces the risk of birth defects.
  6. Detoxification - betalin pigments in beets support the detoxification process, in which broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body.

If you’re not getting enough beets in your daily diet, then we have just the solution for you!

Source: Six Powerful Health Benefits of Beets.   

Copyright: paulmaguire / 123RF Stock Photo

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The Many Health Benefits Of Nutrient-Rich Wakame

by Institute for Vibrant Living

People living by the coast of the world’s great seas and oceans have been eating seaweed for thousands of years. The Native Americans ate it, as did many prehistoric cultures - and it is common in Asian cuisine today.

The Health Benefits Of Wakame | Institute for Vibrant Living

Science has confirmed that seaweeds are a very healthy food, extremely nutrient rich and containing 10 times as much fiber and over twice as much protein as cabbage. At the same time, a 20 gram serving of kelp contains just nine calories.

More than that, brown algae seaweeds including kelp, wakame, and others have been shown to have tremendous medicinal properties especially because of their content of bioactive compounds called fucoidans.

Wakame, an edible brown seaweed or kelp common in Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisines, has been shown to have beneficial effects on stroke, hypertension or high blood pressure (BP), viral infections, tumors, oxidation and inflammation while promoting a good immune system.

In fact, there are few foods in nature that are so chockfull of nutrients and health benefits. Wakame is a great source of the following minerals and vitamins:

  • Magnesium - known to be critical in the contraction and relaxation of muscles, function of certain enzymes in the body, production and transport of energy and protein production.
  • Iodine - needed for the process of converting food into energy. It also maintains the balance of the thyroid gland and is needed for the production of thyroid hormones.
  • Calcium - every 100 grams of raw wakame contains 150 milligrams of calcium, which is necessary for strong healthy bones and prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Iron - essential for the production of red blood cells and prevention of anemia.
  • Vitamins A, C, E, and K - all important for skin health and repair, along with boosting the immune system.
  • Vitamin D - promotes absorption of calcium for healthy bones and enhances the nervous, muscle and immune systems.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - is needed for proper use of nutrients in carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the foods we eat. It is also necessary for red blood cell production. Riboflavin functions as an antioxidant and works in the body with other vitamins such as niacin, folate, and vitamin B6.
  • Folate - helps make new cells and is especially important for infant development.
  • Lignans - these natural chemicals are thought to play a role in preventing certain types of cancer, particularly breast cancer.

Source: The Many Health Benefits of Nutrient-Rich Wakame.

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What Everybody Ought to Know About Liquid Chlorophyll

by Health News

Liquid ChlorophyllChlorophyll is a green pigment found in some bacteria, algae and plants. It’s an extremely important biomolecule that is critically necessary for plants to absorb energy from sunlight.

Consumption of liquid chlorophyll has many health benefits, mainly because its molecular structure is absolutely identical to hemoglobin except for the center atom. In hemoglobin this is iron, whereas in chlorophyll it is magnesium.

Liquid chlorophyll helps to do the job of hemoglobin by replenishing red blood cells, boosting energy and improving wellbeing. It also cleanses the body, fighting infection, healing wounds and promoting the health of the circulatory, digestive, immune and detoxification systems.

Five health benefits of liquid chlorophyll consumption include:

  1. CANCER PROTECTION - Chlorophyll protects against carcinogens by blocking the metabolism of harmful chemicals known as pro-carcinogens that damage DNA in the liver and other organs.
  2. ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY - Liquid chlorophyll is packed with antioxidants, which are absorbed better since it’s in a liquid state. Antioxidants are important in neutralizing free radicals that damage cells. Liquid chlorophyll also contains high levels of vitamins A, C and E, and has been shown to reduce inflammation.
  3. RED BLOOD CELL FORMATION- Liquid chlorophyll increases red blood cell formation, improving circulation and utilization of oxygen in the body. It also helps to purify blood and regulates blood pressure.
  4. IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOSTER - Chlorophyll is a great immune boosting phytonutrient that fights against infection by killing germs.
  5. BYE-BYE BAD BREATH- Liquid chlorophyll is a deodorizer that eliminates odors in the mouth and throat. Regular consumption helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract, removing the underlying reason for bad breath.

Green drinks are an excellent, dense source of alkalizing, chlorophyll rich greens that are easily assimilated by the body. Also, green food in general, such as salads, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, Asian greens, green capsicum, asparagus, peas, beans, kale etc. contain chlorophyll - so eat up and empower your health today.

Sources: Health Benefits of Liquid Chlorophyll.

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6 Food Tips To Help Fight Inflammation

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Inflammation is how your immune system responds to an injury or infection. Among others, inflammation signals the release of leukocytes - white blood cells that help clean up an injury site.

Leukocytes take away harmful pathogens and signal the body that something’s wrong. Inflammation creates Fight Inflammation | 6 Food Tips | Institute for Vibrant Livingswelling and pain to let your body know that you need to rest to allow recovery and healing.

Sometimes, inflammation can spread out of control and cause pain and swelling even when there is no injury. Inflammation is now the prime suspect in chronic disease conditions like arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that eating the wrong kinds of foods can lead to an inflammatory reaction even when there’s no invading pathogens or injury.

For instance - sugar, overly refined foods and saturated fats, when consumed in excess, are known to trigger the immune system into overactivity.

If you’d like to minimize the chances of your diet triggering inflammation in your body, here are six diet tips for fighting inflammation naturally:

  1. Eat a balance of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids - experts believe that earlier humans ate a more balanced diet as far as the essential fatty acids are concerned. Today, omega-6 fats tend to be over-represented in the typical American diet. Consuming too much saturated fats is also responsible for the inflammatory response going into overdrive.
  2. Eat vegetarian or fish sources of protein - eating too much red meat is known to trigger inflammation. Replacing red meat with fatty fish helps to reduce inflammatory symptoms, for example those associated with arthritis.
  3. Add some flaxseed to your breakfast meal - flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fats, which help to dampen inflammation.
  4. Consume only healthy oils, in moderation - including olive, flax, wheat germ, and hemp oil. These oils are free from fats that are normally associated with inflammation. Correctly preserved fish and krill oils are also excellent anti-inflammatory foods.
  5. Eat lots of fruits and veggies - these natural foods help to prevent disease conditions most linked to inflammation, because they contain both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances.
  6. Choose whole grains over processed wheat flour - whole grains such as oats, barley, quinoa, millet, brown rice, and cous cous are gluten-free and anti-inflammatory, relative to processed and overly refined grain foods such as wheat and corn.

Source:6 Food Tips to Fight Inflammation.

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Top 5 Foods for Beautiful Skin

by Health News

Did you know - your diet is the most important part of a good skin care routine?

Regardless of the facial products you use, the condition of your skin will almost always reflect the foods you regularly consume.

For instance, high-glycemic carbohydrates - such as refined grains and sugar - will trigger breakouts. By boosting the body’s blood sugar too quickly, they make the pancreas produce extra insulin rapidly, which also Top 5 Foods for Beautiful Skintriggers the sebaceous glands. These glands make sebum, a good oil which flushes out dead skin cells and keeps skin lubricated via pores - but too much of it can lead to jammed pores, whiteheads and blackheads.

Milk also triggers sebum production. Some vegetable oils such as safflower, sesame, corn and sunflower promote inflammation.

On the other hand, the following foods benefit both your skin and overall health:

  1. Carrots - vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant, present in the form of beta-carotene in carrots. It helps to maintain good vision, teeth and bones, while ensuring normal skin cell development and a firm skin tone.
  2. Berries - vitamin C is another great antioxidant that makes skin smooth and taut by boosting collagen production. Vitamin C supports the immune system, helps skin heal properly and gives your skin that glowing look. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and black currants are particularly rich in vitamin C and are also lower in sugar than many other fruits.
  3. Brazil Nuts - a small handful of Brazil nuts can provide your daily supply of selenium, yet another antioxidant that works with vitamins A and C to boost the immune system. Selenium protects against melanoma, sun damage and age spots. Other good sources of selenium are seeds (sunflower, chia, pumpkin), wheat germ and meat. Many nuts also contain vitamin E, which helps to hold in moisture.
  4. Parsley - a simple sprig of parsley is chock full of vitamin K, which helps skin to heal itself and promotes elasticity and good skin tone. Also loaded with vitamins A and C, parsley can cleanse the urinary tract and kidneys, while also clearing blemishes. Last but not least, parsley’s volatile oils have antibacterial and anti fungal properties that disinfect pores and prevent acne.
  5. Whole grains - packed with fiber, whole grains are good for reducing the inflammation caused by overly refined grains. They stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce insulin spikes. Whole grains contain zinc, which repairs skin damage, maintains smoothness and suppleness and regulates sebum production. The B-vitamin biotin found in whole grains helps skin cells to process fats - without which your skin can become dry and scaly.

Finally, always make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Herbal and green teas are generally also a good idea, but its better to stay away from sugary juices and soda.

Source: 5 Foods For Beautiful Skin.

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Can Vitamin D Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

According to a new study from Johns Hopkins, vitamin D blocks damage-causing immune cells from migrating to the brain in mice with a rodent form of multiple sclerosis (MS) - which may be how the so-called Can Vitamin D Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis?‘sunshine vitamin’ prevents MS symptoms in humans as well.

MS is believed to be an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system wrongly attacks a person's own cells - leading to symptoms such as blurred vision, weakness and numbness. An estimated 400,000 Americans between the ages of 20 and 50 years are afflicted with MS. Typically, it affects two to three times as many women as men.

Health experts became interested in the possible role of vitamin D in MS when it became clear that the disease is more prevalent in regions farthest from the equator where there is less sunshine - the main natural source of vitamin D.

The Johns Hopkins study shows that vitamin D works by preventing immune cells from getting into the brain - a treatment method that has the potential to be as effective as, and is likely to be safer than existing drugs used to treat MS.

Johns Hopkins researchers simultaneously gave mice the rodent form of MS and a high dose of vitamin D - which protected the mice from showing symptoms of the disease. They found a large number of immune T cells in the blood of the mice, but very few in their brains and spinal cords. In other words, it looks as though T cells are being kept away from these areas.

However, the immunosuppressive effects of vitamin D appear to be fleeting - once it is withdrawn, MS-like flare-ups occur very quickly in these mice.

Clinical trials are ongoing to determine whether vitamin D supplementation can actually prevent or slow the progression of MS in humans. This may offer an opportunity in the future to study samples taken from participants in these trials, to see whether vitamin D has the same effect on human cells as it does in mice.

Source: Can Vitamin D Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis?

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Probiotics Destroy Toxic Chemicals In The Gut

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that there are trillions of microorganisms within our body that affect our health and immunity, help us absorb nutrients and even break down toxic chemicals, according to new research?

These tiny organisms are beneficial bacteria that live in our gut, known as ‘probiotic’ bacteria.

When your health fails or if you’re in the habit of regularly consuming sugar, overly refined and processed Probiotics Destroy Toxic Chemicals In The Gutfoods - some non-beneficial or even downright harmful bacteria can grow rapidly out of bounds.

But if you regularly consume organic, wholesome vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods, then beneficial bacteria flourish - and you have nothing but positive activity in your gut.

Let’s consider some of the many things probiotics do to act as digestive aids and keep your gut and health safe and healthy, especially when it comes to dealing with toxic chemicals that enter your body.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a petrochemical derivative that messes up hormones and how they act on the body. BPA is found in thermal printer receipts, all world paper currency, plastics and many other consumer goods. At this point it is not a matter of whether or not you’ll be exposed, but to what extent.

Still, probiotics offer a ray of hope. When rats exposed to BPA in their diet were given probiotics, their blood concentrations of BPA dropped dramatically and it was excreted 2.4 times more readily than the non-supplemented control group.

In other words, probiotics reduced intestinal absorption by boosting BPA excretion - and they may suppress BPA’s adverse effects on human health.

Even better, novel BPA-degrading bacterial strains were isolated from a traditional Korean fermented cabbage dish known as kimchi. Health experts believe that these food-derived bacteria can efficiently and safely destroy and remove BPA from the body. 

In 2009, a published report revealed that the toxic insecticide chlorpyrifos (CP) - which has been linked to neurological side effects, developmental disorders and autoimmune disorders - may be degraded by the very same bacteria that make possible kimchi fermentation.

In fact, these bacteria degraded CP rapidly until 83.3% was gone by day 3 and completely degraded by day 9.  Not only that, these toxin-munching bugs also successfully degraded four other insecticides including Coumaphos, Diazinon, Parathion and Methylparathion.

Destroying toxic chemicals - though an amazing feat - is only one of many thousands of vital functions that probiotics carry out within our body. In fact, they have been clinically shown to prevent and/or reduce the symptoms of close to 200 different diseases!

If you don’t know already, an easy and inexpensive way to boost the probiotic content of your gut is to take supplements. Taken daily, a probiotic supplement can infuse your digestive tract with 20 billion ‘good’ bacteria. It is one of the best digestive aids to help you achieve a healthy digestive system.

Once in your intestines, these delayed release capsules deliver the living probiotics necessary to healthfully balance your gut bacteria and help your body get rid of toxic chemicals much more easily, along with offering multiple other health benefits.

Source: Probiotics Destroy Toxic Chemicals in the Gut.

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‘Gluten Brain’: Wheat Cuts Off Blood Flow To Frontal Cortex

by Institute for Vibrant Living

If you suffer from celiac disease or know someone who does, here’s sobering food for thought.

According to health experts, consumption of gluten-containing grains may actually contribute to the development of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia - and now new and disturbing research seems to confirm their opinion, by showing that wheat consumption cuts off blood flow to a vital area of the brain.

Celiac disease occurs when your immune system reacts to dietary gluten and manifests as inflammation or irritation of the small intestine, causing problems with absorbing vitamins and minerals from the diet. However, when gluten is removed from the diet, inflammation is reduced or goes away completely and your small intestine begins to heal again.

Gluten Brain

Let’s look at a 1997 case study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine involving a 33-year-old patient with pre-existing diagnosis of 'schizophrenic' disorder. This patient first came to medical attention for severe diarrhea and weight loss, both of which are classical symptoms of gluten intolerance.

Brain scans showed that blood flow to the patient's frontal cortex was reduced. In this case a gluten-free diet not only normalized intestinal damage and autoantibodies, but raised blood flow again to the frontal cortex - while schizophrenic symptoms disappeared.

A follow-up study was performed in 2004. A total of 15 untreated celiac patients without neurological or psychiatric disorders other than anxiety or depression were compared with 15 celiac patients who were on a gluten-free diet for almost 1 year. Also, 24 healthy volunteers of similar sex and age were included in this study. All subjects underwent a type of brain scan known as cerebral single photon emission computed tomography examination.

The results were truly remarkable.

Of the 15 untreated celiac patients, 11 (73%) had at least one brain region with dramatically lowered blood flow, compared with only 1 (7%) of the 15 celiac patients on a gluten-free diet and none of the controls.

Not only that, blood flow in the frontal cortex was significantly lower in untreated celiac patients compared with healthy controls in 7 of 26 brain regions. Finally, no significant differences in blood flow were found between celiac patients on a gluten-free diet and healthy controls.

The frontal cortex of the brain is responsible for managing 'executive functions', such as:

  • Recognizing future consequences as a result of current actions;
  • Choosing between 'good' and 'bad' actions;
  • Overriding and suppressing socially unacceptable responses;
  • Retaining longer term memories which are not task-based; 
  • Being able to determine similarities and differences between things or events.

If wheat consumption interferes so strongly with blood flow to this critical area of the brain, it is likely to disrupt one or more of these executive functions.

So if you are susceptible to gluten in any way - avoiding wheat and gluten altogether may help to protect the health of your brain and perhaps even lower your future risk for schizophrenia.

Read more:
What are the Symptoms of Being Gluten Sensitive?
What are the signs of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth?
Why Chronic Inflammation is a Risk for Developing Diseases as You Age
Alzheimer's Disease: Early Signs And Risk Factors 

Source: ‘Gluten Brain’: Wheat Cuts Off Blood Flow to Frontal Cortex.

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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.

Source: Cranberries can prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).

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What are the Benefits of Bioflavonoids?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

When it comes to antioxidants, vitamins seem to take center stage. But what about those “sort of” vitamins with incredible health benefits? Yes, we are talking about bioflavonoids.

What are the Benefits of Bioflavonoids?

While not true vitamins in the strictest sense, bioflavonoids work together with vitamin C to form collagen, one of your body's main structural proteins. Bioflavonoids also aid your body’s immune-defense system and have mildly estrogenic properties, making them helpful in regulating some hormonal conditions. They are also the Crayola of the vitamin world, providing all the brilliant colors to fruits and vegetables. Some of the best sources of bioflavonoids include citrus fruits—lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and limes—and buckwheat (a gluten-free grain that is not botanically related to wheat). Other good sources are apricots, cherries, grapes, plums, blackberries, papayas, green peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes.

In addition to “eating the rainbow,” you can also take bioflavonoids in supplement form. Aim for 1,000-2,000 mg per day. 

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Top Three Heart-Healthy Nutrients

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

by Health News

Do you know the idea that all fats makes you fat is 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 promote weight loss. 

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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, 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.
  6. 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.

So now that you know the idea that all fats makes you fat is a myth - why not add these healthy fats to your diet today?

 

Source:

Five Fats That Don’t Make You Fat.

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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 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 promote weight loss. 

Healthy Fats Weight Loss

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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, 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.
  6. 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.

So now that you know the idea that all fats makes you fat is a myth - why not add these healthy fats to your diet today?

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Infections In Mothers Can Lead To Autism In Offspring

by Health News

A new study shows that activating a mother's immune system during her pregnancy significantly disrupts brain cell development in her offspring.Infections In Mothers Can Lead To Autism In Offspring

Researchers with the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Neurology said their findings show how maternal viral infections may increase the risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or schizophrenia.

According to them, this is the first evidence that neurons in the developing brain of newborn offspring are altered by maternal immune activation.

This study was conducted in mice and rats. It compared the brains of the offspring of rodents whose immune systems had been activated to those whose animals whose immune systems had not been activated.

Study authors found that pups born to animals exposed to viral infection had higher brain levels of immune molecules known as the major histocompatibility complex I (MHCI) molecules - suggesting that brain cells in offspring are altered by maternal immune activation.

These high MHCI levels prevented brain cells in newborn mice from forming synapses, which are the tiny gaps separating brain cells through which signals are transmitted. Believe it or not, while the human brain has about 100 billion brain cells or neurons, it has around 100 trillion synapses!

When the researchers reduced MHCI to normal levels in these brain cells, synapses returned to being formed as usual. In other words, maternal immune activation does change how connections form between brain cells in their offspring.

So this is a significant finding - because earlier research suggests that ASD and schizophrenia may be caused by changes in how connections are formed in the brain, especially in the brain area known as the cerebral cortex.

This finding provides a potential mechanism linking maternal immune activation to disease-linked behaviors.

In future, a better understanding of how this mechanism works may help scientists to develop diagnostic tests and eventually therapies to improve the lives of individuals with ASD, schizophrenia and similar disorders.

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The Many Benefits of Regular Exercise

by Health News

Did you know that daytime workouts hold the key to a better night's sleep?

Exercise Can Help You Sleep Better

However, you will have to be patient, because regular exercise leads to improvements in sleep gradually over time and not right away.

The benefits of regular exercise are endless - reduction of stress and anxiety, lowered risk for many diseases, more positive mood and enhanced immune function. Studies also show that daily exercise improves sleep quality.

In a recent study carried out at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, scientists looked at the effects of exercise on sedentary women and men in their 60s who had been diagnosed with insomnia.

Overall, those who participated in a 16-week exercise program slept longer and woke up less often than those who remained inactive. Insomnia only improved after 16 weeks of regular exercise. On the other hand, when the volunteers slept poorly, their workouts the next day were significantly shorter.

In this study, volunteers were randomly assigned either to remain inactive or to participate in a moderate endurance exercise program - consisting of three or four 30-minute exercise sessions every week, generally on a stationary bicycle or treadmill.

At the end of 16 weeks, volunteers in the exercise group were sleeping much more soundly than they had been before the study started. However, during the first two months, they did not sleep any better than at the start of the study. Only after four months of the exercise program had elapsed did their insomnia improve.

Most interestingly, volunteers almost always exercised for shorter periods of time on the days after a poor night’s sleep. In other words, sleeping badly tended to shorten the next day’s workout. On the other hand, a full-length exercise session did not necessarily mean more and better sleep at night.

This study seems to indicate that people with insomnia and other sleep disturbances are wired differently. They may have an overstimulated stress system - and a single bout of exercise may not be enough to dampen it.

However, if they keep up the exercise program, their stress system eventually quiets down and their stress response gradually becomes muted. In general it takes some time before they see any noticeable changes in sleep patterns.

Still, experts believe there’s enough evidence from this study to make it worthwhile for everyone - including you - to commit to a more active lifestyle to achieve better sleep, so why not start today?

Source: Exercise Can Help You Sleep Better.

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What to eat for Better Metabolic health

by Health News

When you eat food, carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar or glucose.What to eat for Better Metabolic health

In response, your pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone that tells your cells to take in the glucose floating in your bloodstream. Cell membranes are then activated to allow glucose to enter cells, where it is converted into energy.

In type 2 diabetes and its precursor, metabolic syndrome, cells get the message but they just don’t want to listen. They become less responsive to insulin, known as insulin resistance - and glucose accumulates in the bloodstream.

Untreated, these chronically elevated levels of glucose lead to inflammation that can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys and eyes.

The evidence is clear - America’s love of processed foods is having a significant impact on both waistlines and metabolic health.

One problem with processed foods is their glycemic index, an indication of how rapidly the body digests them and extracts glucose. Too much glucose too fast generates a brief high. In response, insulin levels rise rapidly often precipitating a drastic drop in blood sugar. This results in intense cravings for the foods that made us high in the first place.

These dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose trigger a cascade of other hormones that affect many aspects of our metabolism, including brain chemistry.

For example, low blood sugar causes release of cortisol, one of the body’s stress signals. High cortisol levels prevent weight loss and lead to fat accumulation around the midsection. This ‘spare tire’ fat produces its own chemicals that drive inflammation.

So the first step in fighting insulin resistance is developing a strong diet plan - a completely different approach to eating food:

  • Eliminate processed foods - many processed foods are nutritionally inert and deficient. Becoming a label reader will help increase your awareness of the foods you consume daily.
  • Reduce sugar - combine sugar with fiber and protein, giving your body more time to adjust. Fresh berries and fruits such as apples, plums, and nectarines are low glycemic fruits with a satisfying sweet taste.
  • Eat lean proteins, whole grain foods, green leafy vegetables and drink plenty of water - lentils and beans, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of high quality protein when used in moderation due to their high calorie content. Eat organic when possible, especially meats and dairy products.
  • Take care of your beneficial gut bacteria - probiotics introduce friendly microbes that help your body with digestion, nutrition absorption, immune system maintenance and many other aspects of health. On the other hand, unhealthy gut bacteria contribute to weight gain. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi (cultured vegetables) are all good sources of friendly bacteria.
  • Use healthy oils such as olive, coconut, avocado, and walnut oils - avoid fried foods, as they contain unhealthy oils that have been damaged by high heat. Also avoid peanut, corn, soybean, and safflower oils that are high in omega-6, as well as any products containing partially hydrogenated oils.

Source: Eating to Protect Your Metabolic Health