0 Comments

How to Use Stevia in High Blood Pressure Recipes

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Low calorie sweeteners are big business as people concerned about their health and/or weight switch to low calorie alternatives to sugar. Unlike aspartame, saccharin and even xylitol, stevia is completely natural. There are several reasons why stevia makes an excellent sugar substitute in high blood pressure recipes.

Stevia plants are a natural sugar-free sweetener for use in high blood pressure recipes

Stevia has been used in China and Japan as a sweetener for many years. Stevia extract comes from a green leafy herb (Stevia rebaudiana), native to Paraguay and other tropical areas of the Americas. Stevia has two compounds (stevioside and rebaudioside) that are 250 times sweeter than sugar (sucrose).

Reducing Hypertension with Stevia

In clinical trials, researchers found that stevia can reduce high blood pressure and improve insulin sensitivity. This makes it an excellent sugar substitute for diabetics, those following a weight loss program, and those who wish to lover their blood pressure safely and naturally.

Related What are the Best Sugar Substitutes?

Stevia has also been found to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Unlike other artificial sweeteners that may be carcinogenic, stevia has no reported side effects or adverse reactions. However, stevia does have a slight aftertaste when used in some drinks and recipes.

High Blood Pressure Recipes Using Stevia

High blood pressure diets and natural remedies aim to lower hypertension by balancing the body’s acidity and removing toxins. By eliminating fatty junk food and substituting it with fresh fruit and raw organic vegetables, blood pressure levels can be effectively lowered.

One of the benefits of stevia is that it is pH-stable, so including it in a high blood pressure diet is important. Try drinking cranberry stevia lemonade throughout the day (a gallon if possible) and then check your blood pressure levels after 10 days. As well as boosting hydration, cranberry stevia lemonade helps balance acidity and removes toxins, which all help lower hypertension.

Fill a gallon jar with distilled or spring water  and add the juice of 3 organic lemons. Add one cup organic cranberry juice, a dash of liquid cayenne and liquid stevia to taste.  

Another excellent High Blood Pressure Recipe using stevia is to puree seedless watermelon in a blender with stevia to taste. Freeze in a shallow container overnight. Allow to thaw a little then break down the ice crystals with a fork and spoon the frozen fruit into paper snow cones. The combination of fresh fruits and stevia provide multiple benefits for those wanting to lower blood pressure naturally.

0 Comments

Boost a Weakened Immune System with Cherimoya

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Many people suffer from a weakened immune system; fortunately all it takes to boost it is a trip to the grocery store. Superfruits such as cherimoya are a natural source of polyphenol antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients packed into a tasty tropical fruit. With global communications and logistics, these new fruits are being introduced to the international market. They provide excellent natural health benefits, particularly for those with a weakened immune system.

Green cherimoya fruits are excellent for boosting a weakened immune system

What is Cherimoya?

Cherimoya is a light green tropical fruit with a thick leathery skin. This native tree from Ecuador can be found in the forests of the Central Andes Mountains. The botanical name for cherimoya is Annona Cherimola. The Annona family includes other tasty fruits such as the Sugar Apple (Annona Squamosal), the Custard Apple (Annona Reticulata), Guanabana (Annona Muricate) and Atemoya, which is a hybrid of the Cherimoya and the Annona Reticulata.

Cherimoya fruits are oval or irregular in shape and can weigh over a pound. Inside the inedible skin is a creamy flesh with smooth black seeds. Cherimoya can be eaten with a spoon when ripe, or added to cereals, yogurt and smoothies to tempt those with a poor appetite. It’s medicine in a skin! 

How Cherimoya Boosts a Weakened Immune System

Cherimoya has a pleasant fruity flavor and is packed with nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals – just what you need to improve a weakened immune system after sickness or due to an autoimmune disease.

Cherimoya is high in fiber (3g per 100 g) which binds unhealthy chemicals in the colon and prevents toxic substances from being absorbed. The high levels of vitamin C and antioxidant properties of Cherimoya also help boost a weakened immune system by neutralizing harmful free radicals. In particular, Cherimoya contains annonaceous acetogenins which are known to have anti-malarial and anti-cancer properties. High levels of vitamin C delivered by Cherimoya fruits help the body fight infection and build up resistance to harmful bacteria.

In addition, Cherimoya contains potassium to control the cardiovascular system; GABA to calm tense, nervous irritability; and B-complex vitamins for energy. These vitamins also support memory function and healthy skin and hair, common concerns for those with a weakened immune system.

Read more ways to boost a weakened immune system with cherimoya.

0 Comments

Try Ginger for Nausea after Eating and Other Health Benefits

by IVL Products

While most people find eating to be a pleasurable experience, it generates an uncomfortable after-effect in a few:  nausea.  Whether caused by too much food, GERD, food allergies, pregnancy, or anxiety, nausea after eating is unpleasant and unwelcome.  Fortunately, ginger can provide relief

Ginger helps relieve nausea after eating by relaxing stomach muscles and neutralizing stomach acid.

How Ginger Works

Compounds found in ginger trigger the release of digestive juices and enzymes that help neutralize stomach acid.  Powerful phenols relax stomach muscles and sooth inflamed tissue. Ginger also promotes quicker digestion to move the offending food through the body faster.

Related How Do You Naturally Prevent Acid Reflux?

Ginger Sources

To relieve nausea after eating, people can try sipping ginger tea or authentic ginger ale, taking ginger supplements, or sucking on crystallized or fresh ginger.

Additional Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger contains vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins, and beta-carotene. Valuable minerals found in ginger include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, and zinc.  In addition to relieving nausea after eating, ginger offers anti-inflammatory properties for people with osteoarthritis, it protects against colorectal and ovarian cancer, and it boosts the immune system. By eliminating mucus and reducing sinus inflammation, ginger also helps relieve sinus congestion, and it offers anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

Precautions

Consumed regularly, some herbs and spices interact with prescribed medications.  People considering making ginger part of a regular dietary regimen should first consult with a health care provider.  Combined with certain blood thinning medicines, ginger may increase risks for bleeding, and paired with certain diabetes medicines, it may affect blood sugar levels. 

0 Comments

What You Need to Know About Fermented Foods and Constipation

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Antibiotics are used in medicine to kill harmful bacteria; in fact they kill off all bacteria in the digestive system, creating other problems. However, the opposite of antibiotics are probiotics. These beneficial bacteria aid digestion, fight harmful bacteria, act as chelators and detox agents to rid the body of heavy metals and toxins, and they help reduce constipation.

So where can we get a healthy daily dose of these useful probiotic bacteria? Fermented foods are the key. You probably already eat some occasionally without even realizing. Examples of fermented foods include fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, which are fermented, not pickled. Examples of fermented dairy products include probiotic yogurt and kefir. 

How Does Fermented Food Aid Constipation?

Fermented food can help prevent constipation

Most fermented foods are made using an ancient form of food preservation. This fermentation process uses beneficial bacteria to create lactic acid. This environment is high in good bacteria and preserves the food by not allowing bad bacteria to spoil and rot it. Modern-day fermented foods may be processed using pasteurization which actually kills all bacteria. You need to find products that have been organically fermented, or do the process yourself.

Even a small amount of sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage, will provide many benefits. It is full of vitamin C, reduces inflammation in the bowel, reduces pain and constipation associated with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), lowers bloating and contains high levels of antioxidants.

Related: Top 10 Foods for Fantastic Digestion

Eating cultured or fermented foods tops up intestinal flora (bacteria) which boosts natural immunity. They balance bacteria in the stomach and digestive tract, releasing enzymes to improve digestion. Fermented foods also produce an acid environment in the bowel which can be helpful in preventing constipation. These bacteria make it easier for the body to absorb nutrients and speedier digestion means less likelihood of constipation.

Now you know the benefits of fermented foods on your overall health, banishing constipation, You may want to try adding some other fermented foods to your diet. Try fermented beets, tomatoes, radishes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, kimchi, green beans and sauerkraut. Dairy eaters can enjoy fermented yogurt, kefir, cultured buttermilk and some cheeses. Not only will these foods fight inflammation and disease-causing bacteria, you will also avoid unhealthy constipation, another big plus!

0 Comments

Fermented Vegetables for Indigestion

by Cindy Gray

The typical American diet often consists mainly of highly processed foods, fatty meats and few fruits or vegetables.  As a result, indigestion and gastrointestinal (GI) disorders are on the rise, and nutritional deficits are the result.  Adding fermented foods, especially vegetables, into your diet can significantly improve the health of your belly, boost your immune system and stave off metabolic disorders that lead to high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and weight gain.

Fermented Vegetables: Optimal for Health and the Digestive SystemWhat Does Fermented Mean?

According to the dictionary, fermentation is: “the process in which a substance breaks down into a simpler substance.”  Usually some kind of agent, a microorganism like yeast or bacteria, starts the process that breaks sugar down into alcohol for instance.  Through fermentation, milk becomes cheese, yogurt and kefir. Grapes become wine and cabbage becomes kimchi or sauerkraut. Fermentation has been used for centuries in almost every culture as a way of preserving food.  Long before there was refrigeration or fast food restaurants, fermentation was an easy way to keep food edible for the winter months or for long journeys.

Probiotics for Healthy Digestion and Stronger Immunity

Fermenting vegetables and other foods makes them rich in probiotics.  These are the intestinal flora (good bacteria) essential for healthy digestion. They feed on sugar and help break down the nutrients in the intestine, which makes it easier for our bodies to absorb them.

When the good bacteria in our gut gets out of balance it can lead to:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Inflammation
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Increased risk of contracting illnesses like colds or the flu

Research has shown that obese people tend to have an imbalance in gut flora; and the immune system can become compromised when you don’t have enough healthy bacteria in your GI tract.  The Journal of Nutrition has even found a link between probiotics and a decreased risk of colon cancer.

Fermented Vegetables

We all know that vegetables are an essential component of a healthy diet. Fermented vegetables offer additional health benefits, but are not common in many American meals.  Making them a part of your diet has many health benefits, so here are a few to try.  Some of them may sound odd or exotic, but don’t let that stop you from trying them.

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish consisting of fermented cabbage.  Unless you grew up in a Korean family, you might find its pungent odor and spicy tang unappetizing.  It is an acquired taste, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to like it and by doing so, reap great health benefits.

Other fermented vegetables that can help indigestion are:

  • Pickles

  • Sauerkraut

  • Miso (fermented soy beans that form a base for soups and sauces)

  • Poi (fermented taro root)

  • Natto (fermented soy beans that are a traditional Japanese breakfast)

When trying these foods, be sure to look for those that are not pasteurized. Choose the high quality pickles and sauerkraut in the refrigerated section of your grocery store rather than the canned versions that may contain high fructose corn syrup, a lot of preservatives, or are high in sodium. Shopping in specialty food markets is the best way to find good miso, poi or natto.

There are other terms for fermented like “pickled” or “cultured,” so read labels carefully and be aware that some of these foods are very high in sodium.  You can always ferment food at home, too. It’s actually a pretty simple process and there are dozens of recipes and “how to” articles and videos on-line to assist you.

Other Healthy Fermented Foods

Fermented vegetables are just one way to get gut-healthy probiotics into your diet for better digestion and a stronger immune system.  Other foods rich in probiotics are:

  • Kefir

  • Yogurt

  • Sourdough bread

  • Tempeh (cake made from fermented soybeans)

Introduce fermented vegetables slowly  into your diet if you are not used to eating them regularly.  Until they become a regular part of your diet, try adding them as a side dish or snack so you don’t overwhelm your palate. You will reap the benefits of a healthier gut and a stronger immune system.

Related: Simple Tips for Relieving Indigestion

0 Comments

Learn How Gratitude Benefits Your Health

by Health News

What is Good for High Blood Pressure? Gratitude

Many people want to know what is good for high blood pressure. The answer may surprise you. Learn how gratitude benefits your health, including your heart, in this article.

In the fast-paced and stressful world of today, practicing positive mental states has been scientifically shown to improve quality of life and promote longevity.

A 1995 study published in The American Journal of Cardiology found that gratitude greatly benefits both the heart and immune system. In this study, participants were monitored while being asked to recall for five minutes any incident that triggered anger.

Next, they were told instead to focus on a particular memory that inspired gratitude. Immediately, their heart, pulse and respiration rates dramatically improved.

These results led study researchers to state that by cultivating gratefulness, stress is significantly reduced, boosting immune function and strengthening overall health, including heart health.

All emotions are intimately connected with the heart and body. The heart has a constant two-way dialog with the brain.

This study explains how our heart responds to our emotional reactions and why certain emotions stress our body and sap our energy. Feelings like anger, frustration, anxiety and insecurity disturb our heart-rhythm patterns, making them erratic.

These erratic patterns signal emotional centers in the brain, which recognizes them as negative or stressful feelings. Not only that, but erratic heart rhythms block our ability to think clearly.

On the other hand, when we experience feelings of compassion, love and gratitude, our heart rhythm patterns become smooth and harmonious, indicating a balanced nervous and cardiovascular system.

In other words, when your heart is at ease, both your heart health and overall health are significantly enhanced.

Furthermore, those people who are grateful and appreciative often live longer.

In a long-term observational study described in the Graziadio Business Review, Catholic nuns who expressed gratitude, happiness and other positive emotions in their earlier years were found to live up to ten years longer than nuns who did not express gratitude.

Study researchers saw a significant inverse relationship between positive emotional content in handwritten autobiographies of 180 Catholic nuns (at the age of 22) and risk of death later in life, between ages 75 to 95.

In other words, an expression of gratefulness in early life was associated with a lifetime of longevity, even up to 60 years later.

0 Comments

Can Bitter Melon Counter Obesity-Associated Inflammation in the Brain?

by Cindy Gray

Bitter Melon May Counter Obesity-Associated Inflammation in the BrainAccording to a study from the University of Hawaii, bitter melon can counter inflammation in the brain caused by obesity, thereby lowering risk for brain-related diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and others.

The global epidemic of obesity is a major risk factor for many diseases, including those affecting the brain; and it is a major preventable cause of death worldwide. In 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially classified obesity as a disease.

An increase in metabolism due to excess nutrition and obesity can lead to inflammation in the brain; although health experts are not exactly certain of how this happens.

In the present study, the researchers from Hawaii looked at the effects of regular consumption of bitter melon on the consequences of a high-fat diet on inflammation in laboratory mice.

Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd, is a fruit that is used as food in many South Asian countries. It has long been used in the ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda to treat a number of ailments, including type 2 diabetes. Bitter melon is also used in traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to stimulate digestion, treat malaria, boost immune function and treat diabetes.

In the Hawaiian study, mice were fed a high-fat diet with and without bitter melon for 16 weeks. Their brains were then examined for so-called ‘markers’ of inflammation and stress.

Interestingly, study researchers found that the high-fat diet triggered the expression of inflammatory markers in the brains of these mice. However, expression of these markers returned to normal levels if the mice had been eating bitter melon as well.

Not only that, blood levels of antioxidants and pro-inflammatory compounds—which had increased in response to the special diet—also returned to normal with bitter melon consumption.

The study authors concluded that bitter melon is a potential therapy for obesity-associated inflammation in the brain and may lower risk for brain diseases.

Inflammation levels can be safely and effectively managed by adding bitter melon to your regime therapy.  There are nutritional supplements on the market today, such as elixirs, that may include all-natural, healthful nutrients, such as green tea extract, hibiscus, rose hips, pomegranate and of course bitter melon.  This type of supplement may provide your body with powerful protection against inflammation, for optimal brain and overall health.

Nutritional supplements like these are very easy to add to your daily routine to protect yourself against the toxic effects of inflammation.   Given the powerful health benefits of bitter melon and similar ingredients why not investigate a supplement like this today?

 

Source:

Can Bitter Melon Counter Obesity-Associated Brain Inflammation?

0 Comments

5 Fats You Should Be Eating

by Health News

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

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

Women Health Tips

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

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

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

Healthy Fats - Avacados

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

 

1 Comments

How to Pick the Right Probiotic For Your Digestive System

by Health News

How to choose a probiotic supplement

Scientists estimate that the human body is home to more than 750 trillion bacteria, and most of them exist in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. They are essential for the digestion of food, neutralizing hormones and supporting the body’s immune system. Having an imbalance of these bacteria can cause digestive or intestinal problems that manifest themselves as fatigue, depression, recurring yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation or cramps.

You may be surprised to learn that people over 60 have 1000 times less “friendly” bacteria in their guts than younger healthy adults. Probiotics can play an essential role in aging healthy. Many studies suggest that overall health depends largely on the healthy functioning of the digestive system.

One major cause of an imbalance of bacteria is taking a course of antibiotics. They not only treat the virus that they are prescribed for, but also lay waste to the bacteria in our digestive tract. Other medications such as heartburn pills can also be harmful to gut flora as they alter the balance of intestinal bacteria.

If your gut has too many “bad” bacteria releasing toxins, your body will feel the effect with a range of health problems. If you lack sufficient digestive enzymes, a probiotic with a high count of bacteria can be taken to rectify the situation.

Picking the Correct Probiotic

Increasing the good bacteria in your intestine is easy. Yoghurt, miso and soy drinks all contain live cultures that can improve digestive or intestinal problems. The “good” bacteria thrive on nutrients called prebiotics which are found in onions, green leafy vegetables, bananas, artichokes and garlic. Bad bacteria thrive on sugars and fats from processed foods and these foods should definitely be avoided.

Live bacteria can be taken as supplements. There are many strains, each with a different function. It is wise to read the labels and learn more about what each probiotic does. For example, Lactobacillus casei (in the yoghurt drink DanActive) was found to reduce ear infections and gastrointestinal upsets in children. Studies on Bifidobacterium Infantis (found in the probiotic supplement Align) found it reduces the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

How to Take Probiotics
Some probiotics come in capsule form while others are in powder or liquid form and need to be kept refrigerated. Follow the instructions and never expose probiotics to heat or processing or they will be damaged or killed.

Most good probiotic supplements combine several beneficial bacteria with live yeast. Look for a probiotic containing billions of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces and Bifidobacteria. A supplement such as First Milk Flora is easy to take as a chewable tablet and contains 1.5 million colony forming units per tablet to promote healthy digestion. The best probiotics also include a prebiotic which helps the flora survive in the intestine.

To continue on a healthy aging path, consult your doctor before taking any probiotics as they may interfere with some medications. Once taken, you should begin to feel an improvement in your health after one to two weeks. If not, switch to a different probiotic to find one that aids your particular medical problem or gives a general boost to your feeling of wellbeing. As the probiotics change the acidic balance of your body, it is important to keep a record of any changes, and to consult a doctor beforehand if you are already taking medications. Cheers to maintaining your path of aging healthy!



Source:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/448920-the-best-probiotics-for-women/
http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-i-choose-the-best-probiotic-acidophilus.htm

0 Comments

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

by Institute for Vibrant Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources: What’s in Your Energy Drink?

0 Comments

Green Drink Supplements for Proper PH Balance in Your Body

by Health News

Today’s hectic lifestyles leave little time for making healthy food choices and pollutants in the air and water are perpetually pouring toxins into the environment that have to be processed by our bodies. Years of poor nutrition and environmental toxicity eventually take a toll and we can easily wind up with a compromised immune system that zaps our energy and leaves us vulnerable to a host of serious health maladies. 

What many people don’t realize is that a proper PH balance in the body can restore youthful energy and boost our body’s ability to stay healthy and strong.  The correct PH balance is achieved when we have the proper ratio of alkaline and acidic foods in our diets.  Alkaline foods include asparagus, artichokes, lettuce, peas, spinach, green beans and broccoli. Acidic foods include meats, dairy products, white bread, white pasta, chocolate, coffee and carbonated drinks. Nutritional experts recommend that at least 75 percent of our diets should consist of alkaline foods. Unfortunately most of us are not getting enough alkaline foods in our diet to stay healthy and energized. 

Best Green Drink Supplements Increases Energy

In recent years, green superfoods have emerged as a viable way to keep our bodies in balance. Green superfoods are nutrient rich and are derived from green plants, algae and cereal grasses.  These foods are rich in chlorophyll and they feature potent concentrations of digestible vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and other beneficial substances.

There are several green superfood supplements on the market that make it easy to get a daily dose of these life-boosting nutrients. 

More than 100,000 people have used this remarkable supplement and those who share their experiences report increased energy levels, decreased joint and muscle pain, improved regularity, radiant skin, superior mental clarity and reductions in blood sugar and cholesterol levels. 

If you are one of the millions of people who are settling for a lackluster life caused by improper balance you should talk to your holistic health practitioner about adding a green supplement to your daily regimen. Join the thousands of people who have traded fatigue and illness for vim and vigor and feel the positive difference it makes in your life.

How do you increase your energy throughout the day?

0 Comments

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.

Source: Probiotics Destroy Toxic Chemicals in the Gut.

0 Comments

Top 3 Ways to Boost Your Immune System This Winter

by Institute for Vibrant Living
Winter is coming - and you know what that means.
 
Fun family times over Thanksgiving and Christmas are guaranteed, but also you may experience more plus, colds and sniffles than normal. Cold weather makes your immune system exert itself, leaving you more vulnerable to infections.
Top 3 Ways to Boost Your Immune System
 
If you want to lower your chances of getting sick this winter, here are three practical immune-boosting tips you can use to keep yourself healthy and infection-free:
 
Exercise regularly
 
A protein called dermcidin made in sweat glands and released on to your skin when you sweat protects you against invading germs. Not only that, a good workout boosts your immune system. According to a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, 45 minutes of brisk exercise five days a week lowers sickness rates by 50%. Even a single session of moderately intense physical activity has been shown to boost the immune system. In fact, people who exercise regularly experience many protective benefits relative to those who don’t - for example, a decrease in inflammation. Health experts believe lower levels of inflammation can also lower risk for heart disease and diabetes.
 
Meditate
 
Stress can very quickly depress your immune system. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce stress levels, while also boosting the immune system. Mindfulness meditation means simply focusing on the sensations of the present moment - for example, by bringing your attention constantly back to the feeling of your breath as it passes in and out of the nostrils and the chest. This simple exercise allows us to anchor ourselves in the present moment. In an experiment carried out at UCLA, fifty HIV-positive men practiced mindfulness meditation daily for between 30-45 minutes for eight weeks, while another group was given a one-day class in the method but did not practice it. Eight weeks later, the non-practicing group showed a sharp reduction in immune cells that are normally reduced in response to the HIV virus. In contrast, men who practiced meditation maintained their levels of immune cells. What’s more, the more they meditated, the higher their immune cell count rose. Although we don’t understand how exactly meditation benefits the immune system, the benefits are clear to see - so why not take a meditation class at your local yoga studio or settle down at home for 15-20 minutes daily with a guided meditation MP3?
 
Manage alcohol consumption
 
It is common knowledge that malnutrition and cirrhosis of the liver, seen in advanced alcoholics, can directly suppress the immune system. However, increasing evidence suggests that light to moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages like wine or beer could have limited health benefits. It is important to realize that drinking patterns, beverage type, amounts of alcohol consumed and gender differences will all influence how alcohol affects your immune system. In general, regular alcohol consumption is considered a health hazard - so why not switch and enjoy a delicious mocktail or a healthy veggie and fruit drink instead?
 
0 Comments

A Probiotic Supplement That Prevents Fat Absorption

by Health News

A nutritional supplement that contains live bacteria - known as a probiotic - may help burn off some of that stubborn visceral belly fat, according to a new studyProbiotic Supplements IVL Products published in the Journal of Functional Foods.

This study was funded by Micropharma, which makes probiotic supplements.

The results indicate that this probiotic could be an effective weight loss tool. Normally we digest most of the food and absorb most of the calories we consume. Because this probiotic supplement interfered with intestinal fat absorption, fewer calories become available to pack on the belly fat.

However, it’s worth noting that this study only looked at a small number of people who were only slightly overweight to begin with. The slimming effect was also modest.

In other words, people aren't going to be able to just eat probiotics to reduce weight and there’s no reason to believe that probiotics will eliminate the need to maintain proper lifestyle habits, such as a healthy diet and exercise.

The term probiotic means ‘for life’.

Probiotics are beneficial forms of gut bacteria - found mainly in cheese, yogurt, fermented and unfermented milks, and kefir - that form the basis for microbial populations in the small and large intestines of animals, including us humans, conferring health benefits. Other probiotic containing foods include juices, cereal, smoothies and nutrition bars.

According to health experts, probiotics help with proper digestion of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals, boost the immune system, relieve depression and even fight sinus infections.

Some evidence is emerging that probiotic bacteria may help burn fat and could play a role in the treatment and prevention of overweight and obesity.

In this study, 28 overweight volunteers were given a daily serving of yogurt. Half of them were given yogurt spiked with either the bacteria L. fermentum or L. amylovorus. After a month and a half, those who ate the L. fermentum probiotic supplements had lost 3 percent of their body fat, while those who ate L. amylovorus had lost 4 percent of their body fat relative to the study's start. Most of that loss was visceral belly fat.

Visceral belly fat - stored deep inside the body behind the abdominal muscles and surrounding the organs - is biologically active and releases hormones and chemicals called adipokines, which in turn cause more fat gain and muscle loss.

Men typically tend to have more visceral belly fat than women, placing them at a much higher risk for insulin resistance, type II diabetes and heart disease.

The liver secretes soapy chemicals called bile salts, which mix with fat in the intestines and help digest it. This particular probiotic supplement destroys bile salts, which is how it interferes with fat absorption - and unlike other weight-loss drugs that prevent intestinal fat absorption, they didn't cause unpleasant digestive side effects.

The researchers didn't follow the subjects for long, so we don’t know if they kept the pounds off.

Also, it’s worth remembering that not all probiotics burn fat. Each probiotic works in a different way, for totally different results. This particular probiotic supplement reduced belly fat, but other probiotics may do other things.

Sources:

Probiotic supplement prevents fat absorption.

0 Comments

Kill Your Cold with Colostrum

by Health News

Winter and colds just seem to go hand-in-hand. Fortunately, every mammal naturally produces the amazing, immune-boosting miracle that is colostrum.

All mammals produce this immune- and growth-enhancing pre-milk fluid in the last few months of pregnancy and just after birth. Colostrum has been shown to help fight off common illnesses like colds, flu, allergies, and bronchitis.

Cold Flu Colostrum

It contains numerous immunoglobulins, which help boost your immune system and provide protection against invading bacteria and viruses. It’s also a good source of the probiotic acidophilus, which helps prevent gastrointestinal infections, including diarrhea.

The most common form of supplemental colostrum is bovine colostrum. While it is very similar to human colostrum at the molecular level, it actually contains even more immune-enhancing properties. You can purchase bovine colostrum as a capsule, tablet, liquid, powder, and nasal spray. Just be sure that the colostrum you choose comes from free-range cows that have been raised organically, and have not received any hormones or antibiotics.

Read related content:
Allergy Answers in Your Cupboard
The Power of Probiotics
Natural Ways to Prevent Cold and Flu
How to Improve Your Immune System
Natural Supplements to Ward off Colds and Flu

0 Comments

The Benefits of Pomegranate Juice

by Health News

Did you know pomegranate juice has many beneficial effects for your health?Pomegranate Juice and Breast Cancer Metastasis

For instance, a recent study by University of California Riverside researchers has shown that pomegranate juice can prevent the migration of breast cancer cells in laboratory cell culture conditions.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death and morbidity among women in the western world, accounting for 22.9% of all cancers in women worldwide. Occasionally, breast cancer cells can metastasize to other organs including bone, liver, lung and brain. Metastatic breast cancer has a very poor prognosis - typically, a patient’s chances of surviving for 10 years is only 5% without treatment and 10% with optimal treatment.

Pomegranate juice and three of its specific components have previously been shown to block prostate cancer metastasis. Knowing this, the researchers at University of California Riverside tested their actions on two breast cancer cell lines.

Intriguingly, they found that not only did pomegranate juice prevent growth of breast tumor cells - the juice and its components luteolin, ellagic acid and punicic acid also slowed down the rate at which they migrated to other areas by acting at the genetic level.

The study also showed that pomegranate juice and its components decreased levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals - thereby potentially decreasing inflammation and its impact on cancer progression.

This discovery suggests that pomegranate juice and its components are potentially effective and nontoxic alternative therapies that can be used with conventional treatments to prevent both breast cancer progression and metastasis.

Along with its actions against many types of cancers, consumption of pomegranate juice also provides many other health benefits, including:

  • Preventing harmful free radical damage because its chockfull of antioxidants, including the immune-boosting vitamin C. Pomegranates rate high on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), a measure of how well destructive free radicals are absorbed and neutralized.
  • Protecting against kidney and liver damage, including against harmful toxins.
  • Reducing allergies by slowing down biochemical processes linked to allergy formation.
  • Boosting heart health by improving the body’s ability to synthesize cholesterol and destroying free radicals in the vascular system.
  • Acting against both main types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Maybe it’s time you considered upping your consumption of pomegranate juice?

Sources:

 

0 Comments

Natural Ways to Prevent Cold and Flu

by Nancy Maneely

Natural Ways to Prevent Cold and FluAs flu season approaches, it’s a good time to assess your overall health regimen and adopt protective measures. The cold winter months are a time when we spend more hours indoors, surrounded by friends, family, schoolmates and co-workers with their myriad germs. Our exposure to sunshine often is diminished, which effectively depletes our body’s natural Vitamin D defenses.

Aside from frequent hand washing – recommended by health experts everywhere – there are steps you can take to support your body’s immune system in its constant battle against viruses and bacteria. Here are some suggestions:

Clean your stuff – Doctors and other health professionals know how important this is in preventing the spread of germs. Use an alcohol-based cleaning agent to clean surfaces you and your family frequently touch: doorknobs, countertops, faucet handles, kitchen appliances, cell phones, the TV remote. At work, make it a daily ritual to clean your computer keyboard, phone, and desktop.

Eat more onion and garlic – Both are rich in antioxidants and selenium, members of the Allium family known for its health-promoting effects. Garlic contains antibacterial and antiviral properties, so add it to your recipes in abundance. Supplements are a good idea, too.

Keep your head clear – Healthy mucus membranes and mucus flow help your body flush toxins. When your sinuses and throat feel dry, they’re more likely to attract and harbor nasty microscopic invaders. Avoid treating a stuffed nose with nasal sprays, which tend to dry delicate tissues (you can use a saline spray or flush with a neti pot containing a saline solution). Make good old-fashioned chicken soup a mainstay of your winter menu. Researchers are discovering what grandma suspected all along – the ingredients in chicken soup (stock, carrot, onion, and celery) might actually have a medicinal effect on the body’s immune system.

Get plenty of exercise – Just because it’s cold outside, that’s no excuse for cutting out your workout sessions. Exercise boosts the immune system by clearing out the lymph system. It also boosts mood which is a protective factor in the prevention of illness.

Cut down on sugar – Just a few grams can diminish your white blood cells’ ability to resist infections for several hours. If you must sweeten your food and beverages, choose stevia.

Sleep better – Keep your body’s melatonin levels in balance with regular, good quality sleep. The immune system works best when the body is well rested.

Keep stress levels in check – Another way to wreak havoc with your immune system is to walk around with high levels of stress and anxiety. Practice a few minutes of deep breathing several times a day. Laugh more. Play with your pet. Start and end your day with a brief meditation – there are many good books and CDs that will help you.

Helpful supplementsProbiotics attack pathogenic bacteria and support your body’s white cells in their reaction to invaders. Vitamin D3 will help balance appropriate levels to support immune system function. Echinacea and zinc help protect against colds. And Vitamin C is an essential year-round immune system booster.

What is your favorite tip for keeping winter colds and flu at bay?

Sources:
WebMD
Natural Society

0 Comments

Can poor sleep habits make you fat?

by Nancy Maneely

Sweet Dreams Sleep Weight GainA newly published meta-analysis of sleep studies found a link between inadequate sleep and obesity.

The research, published in a special issue of The American Journal of Human Biology, explores how lack of sleep can impact appetite regulation, impair glucose metabolism and increase blood pressure.

The analysis reinforces the new thinking among experts that poor sleep habits have negative health consequences that range far beyond the occasional grumpy morning-after. In fact, improving the quality of your sleep may be the simplest way to boost your immune system, among other benefits.

When you experience that occasional sleeplessness, it’s very important to nip it in the bud before one night becomes two, then seven, and eventually – a chronic condition requiring medical intervention.

There are some simple things you can do to establish what the experts call “good sleep hygiene.” The National Sleep Foundation recommends these fundamentals for sleeping smart:

  1. Establish a regular bed and wake time.
  2. Avoid nicotine altogether, and avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.
  3. Exercise regularly, but complete the workout at least three hours before bedtime.
  4. Establish a consistent, relaxing “wind-down” bedtime routine.
  5. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable.
  6. Discuss the appropriate way to take any sleep aid with your health-care professional.

Once you’ve established the basics, any of the following nighttime rituals may help:

  • Soft, relaxing music or relaxation CD
  • Non-stimulating reading material (in other words – a boring book!)
  • Aromatherapy eye pillow – this works to block light as well as soothe tired eyes
  • Warm aromatherapy bath with relaxing essential oil such as lavender.

Additionally, there are some herbal remedies for sleep which are time-tested and safe. These can be taken in the form of teas available at your natural health retailer … or even grown in your backyard! Valerian, lemon balm, lavender, chamomile are some examples.

Finally, you may wish to try a natural, non-prescription sleep aid. Look for these ingredients in your all natural supplement: Melatonin, GABA, L-Glycine, and 5-Hydroxytryptophan.

Sources:
Science Daily, April 17, 2012
National Sleep Foundation