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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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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.

Read more:
5 Fats You Should Be Eating
   
Why Chronic Inflammation is a Risk for Developing Diseases as You Age
Omega-3 Fats: Best Defense Against Premature Aging

Chronic Joint Pain: A Natural Approach
    

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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.

Read more:
Fight Hair Loss With these Vitamins and Supplements
Natural Weight loss: Three Spices For Weight Loss
What to eat for Better Metabolic health
Are Antioxidants the Fountain of Youth?

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5 Foods For Beautiful Skin.

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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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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.


Read more:
Infections In Mothers Can Lead To Autism In Offspring
The Risk Of Developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
Insufficient Vitamin D Levels Linked To Severity Of Asthma In Children
Eyesight Improvement with Vitamin D
How to Boost Immune System

 

Source: Can Vitamin D Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis?

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Cranberries For Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

by Health News

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

Cranberries For Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Improve Your Immune System

 

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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.

Other related blog posts you should read:
Allergy Answers in Your Kitchen

Top 5 Anti-Aging Tips

10 Best Natural Vitamin Supplements

Immune System Booster: Vitamin C

Top 5 Tips for Preventing Colds and the Flu

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Tips on How Not to Sabotage your Health Goals

by Health News
Top Tips on How to Keep Your New Year's ResolutionsAnother weekend, another potential hazard to all of your hard work this month. Don't give in the mid-month slump!
 
Take some time today to thoughtfully plan out your weekend.
  
Extend your five minute walk beyond your neighborhood and explore a new part of your community at large.
 
Shop for the ingredients you'll need to make chili and your spinach salad.   
 
Mix up a bag of nut-laden trail mix. Add in fun dried fruits like dried banana or even strawberries or blueberries. Kick up the heat with a dash of cayenne pepper!
 
If you haven't tried yoga, why not give it a try? Rent a video or take advantage of a free introductory class at a local yoga studio.
 
Make Sunday an electronic-free day. Silence your phones, unplug your computer or tablet, and leave the TV off. Instead, meet friends in real time and catch up live.
   
Don't let the weekends sabotage your health goals. Make them work for you rather than against you! And keep up the great work with your New Year Resolutions!
 
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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.
 
Read more...
 
 
 
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Fight Colds and the Flu with Green Tea

by Health News

By now, you must be familiar with at least a few of the amazing health benefits of green tea - and truth be told, if it isn’t already part of your daily health regimen, it should be. 

While most teas contain antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, green tea is also rich in equally powerful antioxidant compounds known as catechins. In fact up to 27% of unfermented green tea is made up of catechins.

Fight Colds and the Flu with Green Tea

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol, is the most abundant catechin in green tea. Found also in acai berries, peaches, various vegetables and nuts, it has been shown to have therapeutic applications in the treatment of many diseases, including cancer.

And now, new research shows that EGCG in green tea may be very effective in treating influenza A virus infections.

The influenza A virus causes influenza in birds and some mammals. Found naturally in wild birds, some types of influenza A virus can cause severe disease both in domestic poultry and, rarely, in humans as well.

For example, the H1N1 flu - known as swine flu that caused a pandemic and a worldwide scare in 2009, was a variety of influenza A.

A 2012 study at Wuhan University in China looked at the effects of EGCG on the influenza A virus in a laboratory setting. Initially, the study authors found that treatment with EGCG blocked growth of the influenza A virus in cultured kidney cells.

Similarly, when EGCG was given to mice infected with influenza A virus, it dramatically improved their survival rate, lowered virus yields and lessened the extent of viral pneumonia in their lungs. In this regard, EGCG was found to be just as effective as oseltamivir, a drug used to treat influenza A.

And now you can get the enhanced immunity protection equivalent to 20 cups of green tea with just a few drops of IVL’s Green Tea Elixir™ - which combines the strength of green tea extract with four of nature's most powerful antioxidant sources and disease fighters; magic fruit, hibiscus, rose hips and pomegranate.

The most concentrated extract of green tea ever formulated, Green Tea Elixir™ has nothing artificial in it and no adverse side effects. It is simply an antioxidant powerhouse that helps boost your immunity and keeps it strong against infections, including influenza A - so why not boost your defenses against influenza A and order Green Tea Elixir™ today?

Other related blog posts:

Does Green Tea Health Benefits affect Type 2 Diabetes?

Boost the Immune System with Infection-Fighting Foods

Liquid Vitamin Mineral Supplement: Green Tea

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

 

Source:

Green Tea Effective Against the Flu Virus.

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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?

Other related blog posts:
What are the Top 5 Anti-Aging Foods?

Is Krill Fish Oil Dangerous?

5 Nutrients for a Healthy Heart

Source

 

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What are the Symptoms of Being Gluten Sensitive?

by Health News

Symptoms of Being Gluten SensitiveAccording to health experts, more than 55 diseases have been linked to the consumption of gluten - a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

Not only that - even though as much as 15% of the US population may be sensitive to gluten, 99% of people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease are not properly diagnosed.

How can you tell if you’re one of those who are sensitive to gluten?

Any of the following symptoms could be a sign:

  • Gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation after meals.
  • Migraines, fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after a meal.
  • Dizziness or feeling of being off balance.
  • Hormonal imbalances such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or unexplained infertility.
  • Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia - such diagnoses can sometimes mean that your physician is unable to identify the underlying cause of your fatigue or pain.
  • Inflammation, swelling or pain in your fingers, knees and hips.
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings and hyperactivity or attention-deficit disorder (ADD).

Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma or multiple sclerosis.

The single best way to really know if you are sensitive to gluten is to do a complete elimination diet. This means you need to completely remove gluten out of your diet for at least 2-3 weeks and then reintroduce it.

Gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system. In other words, the longer you eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the more conclusive the results will be.

If you notice that you feel significantly better off without gluten - and feel noticeably worse when you reintroduce it into your diet, then you are likely sensitive to gluten.

To get accurate results, you must eliminate 100% of the gluten from your diet as even trace amounts from medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body.                                                       

Source

Other related blog posts.....

Gluten-Free Diet Helps Reduce the Risk for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

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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.

Want to read related blog posts?

Brain injuries in the Preterm Infants

 

 

 

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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?

Related blog posts:

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High Blood Pressure: How Sleep Deprivation Affects your Health

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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.

Other related blog posts:

All Day Energy Greens: Benefits, Reviews

Fatty Liver: Unwelcome Side Effect of a Poor Diet

Foods that Lower Blood Sugar: Peanut Butter

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Eating to Protect Your Metabolic Health

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What are the Benefits of Avocado Oil?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that avocado oil is not only edible…but it is also very healthy for your skin?

Pressed from the fruit of the avocado, avocado oil is used for cooking as well as a salad dressing and garnish. With an unusually high smoke point, extra virgin avocado oil has a characteristic flavor and is excellent in almost any high heat cooking application - including baking, stir-fries, barbecue, roasts and sauté.

What are the Benefits of Avocado Oil?

In fact, extra virgin avocado oil has a similar monounsaturated fat profile to extra virgin olive oil, which protects it from breakdown during heating. 

‘Hass' cold-pressed avocado oil is a brilliant emerald green when extracted; the color is attributed to high levels of chlorophylls and carotenoids extracted into the oil, which add to its nutritious qualities.

Avocado oil is also extracted for cosmetic use. Valued for its regenerative and moisturizing properties, it easily penetrates skin and is rapidly absorbed. In fact, slicing open an avocado and applying its flesh directly on to skin is a very effective and natural approach to achieving a healthy facial glow or dealing with acne and dry skin. Simply apply the yellow pulp to soothe, protect and moisturize.

  • Avocados have very high vitamin E content. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals along with slowing signs of aging.  
  • Avocado oil has a natural hydrating ability, because of which it makes skin soft and supple. So if you’re suffering from itchy and/or dry skin, you can use cosmetics and lotions with avocado oil to remedy the situation.
  • Avocado oil contains sterolins. These are natural compounds which help to properly absorb fat and boost your immune system, along with making more skin collagen and reducing the incidence of age spots.
  • Avocado oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. These have been shown to be highly effective in protecting skin from UV radiation, along with lowering sunburn and skin cancer risk. Not only that, foods with omega-3 fats such as salmon, nuts, flax seed and avocados should be consumed regularly for good heart and brain health.

Avocado oil can be obtained either cold pressed in liquid for or directly from the fruit.

Read other blog posts on this topic:

The Dangers of Cooking Oils

10 Best Natural Vitamin Supplements

5 Nutrients for a Healthy Heart

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Benefits of Avocado Oil for Skin and Health

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Can your Mood Affect your Heart's Health?

by Health News

Heart Health TipsA positive outlook and a cheerful disposition isn't just a better way to live your life - it’s much healthier for your heart as well.

There is a proven scientific connection between optimism and other positive emotions and good health - and this link appears to be particularly strong when it comes to the heart.

In a study of nearly 1,500 people with a higher risk of heart disease, those who reported being cheerful, relaxed, satisfied with life and full of energy had a nearly 33% reduction in heart attacks.

In other words - if you are a cheerful person by nature, you are much less likely to suffer from heart disease.

There are several theories to explain why a positive outlook is protective for your heart.

A positive mood is known to have beneficial biological effects on health, even though experts aren't yet 100% sure exactly why. Perhaps it has to do with the lower levels of stress in positive-minded people.

All feelings, positive or negative, come with physiological changes. Your skin, heart rate, digestion, joints, muscle energy levels, the hair on your head, and many other body systems are affected by every emotion.

For example -stress influences the immune system and can impact blood pressure (BP), cholesterol levels, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, and hormonal balance.

Increasingly, stress is being viewed by health experts as a heart disease risk marker and regular stress relief is now considered necessary to protect heart health.

For example, people exposed to traumatic and/or long-term stress, such as combat veterans, have higher rates of heart problems than the general population.

In a study which looked at nearly 208,000 veterans aged 46-74 years, 35% of those diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) developed insulin resistance in two years, compared to only 19% of those not diagnosed with PTSD.

Insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes and hardening of the arteries. PTSD sufferers also had higher rates of metabolic syndrome, a collection of risk factors that raise the risk of heart disease. More than 50% of veterans with PTSD had these symptoms, compared to 37% not suffering with PTSD.

In another example - losing a significant person in your life raises your risk of having a heart attack the next day by 21 times, and in the following week by 6 times. However, the risk of heart attacks begins to fall after about a month had passed, perhaps because levels of stress hormones level out over time.

While there is little we can do about the unexpected stresses we may encounter in our lives, it is clear that regular stress relief and having a positive outlook is a much healthier way to live longer. 

Click here to learn more which natural supplements will help you have a healthier heart.

 

Other related blog posts:

4 Aging-Related Signs Of Heart Disease Risk

Heart Smart Solutions to Stress and Depression

Why Folic Acid May Prevent a First Heart Attack but Not a Second One

 

 

Source: Positive Outlook Linked to Better Heart Health.

 

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Sleep Deprivation: Is it Dangerous to Your Health?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Sleep Deprivation Institute for Vibrant LivingDid you know that sleep deprivation takes a heavy toll on your mind, body, and overall health? Chronic lack of sleep has been linked to colds and flu, diabetes, heart disease, mental health and even obesity.

Does getting adequate sleep protect you from illness? It may help.

Sleep is a quiescent period where your body’s cells are doing a lot of repair work. Your hormones act differently when you’re asleep, and your immune system as well. If your immune system is out of whack, you can’t fight off illness.

Here are five health problems that are worsened by lack of sleep - and may be improved by getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

  • Colds and flu - you may have experienced feeling ‘worn down’ when you’re sleep-deprived, a clue that your body is vulnerable because your immune system is weakened. The less sleep you get, the weaker your immune system gets - so that it is less able to fight off colds, flu and other infections.
  • Heart disease - former President Bill Clinton recently said that he thinks lack of sleep had a lot to do with his recent hospitalization to unblock a clogged artery - and he’s probably right. When you don’t get enough sleep, an inflammatory response takes place in your blood vessels. If your sleep deprivation continues long term, chronic inflammation sets in - which has been linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.
  • Diabetes - insulin resistance is the underlying problem in type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, when you’re sleep deprived, your body’s sugar metabolism almost immediately changes to resemble insulin resistance in diabetes. In a study of young, healthy adult males whose sleep time was reduced to about four hours per night - after just six nights, every one of them was showing impaired glucose tolerance, a pre-condition to developing diabetes.
  •  Brain function and mental health - if you’re chronically sleep deprived, you may think you’re still driving safely and performing well at your job, but you’re more likely to be wrong. Studies have found that people who aren’t getting enough sleep drive just as unsafely as someone who’s drunk.
  • Obesity - several studies point to a link between sleep deprivation and obesity in both adults and children.  In one study, people who slept 5 hours per night were 73% more likely to become obese than those getting 7-9 hours of sleep. One study even found that lack of sleep was a bigger contributor to childhood obesity than any other factor.

The good news is that you can repair the damage from inadequate sleep fairly quickly. For example, the sleep-deprived young men in the diabetes study returned to a normal state of glucose tolerance after just a few nights of regular sleep.

So if you’ve had a rough week of work and socializing, make sure you get a few nights of good sleep to help your body recover.

Other blog posts you might be interested in:

Can poor sleep habits make you fat?

Sleep Disorders Linked To Serious Health Issues

Source:

The Healing Power of Sleep.