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Which Supplements are Best for You?

by Health News

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

Multivitamins

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

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

Fish Oil

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

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

Calcium

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

Coenzyme Q10

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

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

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

Guide to a Healthy Digestive System

 

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When is the Best Time to Take Supplements and Vitamins?

by Health News

A common question among those concerned with healthy aging is, "When is the best time of day to take natural supplements?" If you are taking prescribed medications, it is a good idea to consult your doctor as occasionally a supplement may affect the efficacy of your medication if taken at the same time.

 

Here are helpful guidelines about taking vitamins and supplements:

 

Taking Vitamins at the Same Time Each Day

Many fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body for up to 24 hours making it important that you take supplements at roughly the same time each day to maintain a constant supply. This particularly applies to fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K which are often included in multivitamin tablets.

Want healthy aging tips? Learn the best time to take supplements in this article

Taking Vitamins on an Empty Stomach

Generally it is not advisable to take supplements on an empty stomach as they will quickly be passed out in your urine without having time to be digested and do the most good. This is particularly true of vitamins B and C as they dissolve in water.

 

Taking supplements on an empty stomach can cause nausea and gastro-intestinal problems for some. The exception to the rule is if you are taking enzymes or amino acid supplements to lower inflammation as they work best on an empty stomach.

 

Taking Vitamins with Breakfast

Most people establish a regular regimen of taking their daily supplements with breakfast. It is a good healthy aging habit to get into as it avoids them being forgotten and the food prevents them passing through the body too quickly.

 

Most naturally-sourced vitamins and minerals are present in food so it makes sense to take any additional supplements in the same way, as part of a meal. B vitamins are a source of energy and they promote metabolism so they are best taken early in the day to boost and maintain energy levels.

 

Fat-soluble vitamins are best taken with a meal that contains some fat. If your breakfast is totally fat-free, for example fruit, add a handful of nuts or some avocado to enable the vitamins to be fully dissolved and available to be digested.

 

Guide to a Healthy Digestive System

 

Taking Supplements Throughout the Day

Some hard-to-digest minerals such as calcium are best taken in small but regular amounts

throughout the day. The body is unable to digest more than 500mg of calcium at any one time, so for those taking 1000mg in two tablets, consider taking one at breakfast and another with the evening meal for maximum benefit.

 

Magnesium promotes the relaxation of muscles, so it is better to take it in the evening when it can aid a good night's sleep.

 

Iron tablets are best taken separately as caffeine and tannins can affect its absorption. However, citrus fruits are particularly good for aiding iron absorption, so consider taking them with a glass of orange juice rather than water.

 

Take Supplements When it Suits You Best

The most important part of taking vitamins and supplements is taking them at all. Find a time when you will remember to take them, and if you find they are causing digestive problems like indigestion or nausea then try switching to other mealtimes to see if the problem improves.

Do you take your supplements and vitamins at a certain time of day?

 

 

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Probiotic Supplements: Not Just for Intestinal Health

by Health News

If you’re taking probiotics to improve your digestion problems, current research suggests you’re not just helping your gut—you’re doing your entire body a favor! And if you’re not taking probiotics, you might want to consider starting. Read on to find out why!

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms such as bacteria or yeast in a person's digestive tract. These microorganisms are “friendly” (beneficial to the host). Among many benefits, they help degrade toxic and allergenic substances in the intestine and colon. Probiotics occur naturally in certain foods like yogurt and cottage cheese. They are also available as nutritional supplements which can be purchased in health food stores. 

Probiotic Supplements

How do probiotics help my whole body?

These tiny organisms can do some pretty amazing things! To name just a few:

They help you absorb nutrients. The friendly bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus helps with the absorption of the B vitamins and vitamin K, along with fatty acids and minerals such as calcium.

They improve immune function. Beneficial bacteria have a critical and powerful effect on your gut’s immune system and your systemic immune system. They also aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens.

A study* published in the journal Pediatrics in 2009 looked at the potential benefits of probiotics in children during cold and flu season. According to the authors, “Daily dietary probiotic supplementation for 6 months was a safe effective way to reduce fever, rhinorrhea, and cough incidence and duration and antibiotic prescription incidence, as well as the number of missed school days attributable to illness, for children 3 to 5 years of age.”

They have a systemic, anti-inflammatory effect. While mechanism behind this benefit is not fully understood, recent studies strongly suggest that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus works against inflammation. One such study** looked at biological markers for inflammation in patients taking the probiotics and those take a placebo. The researchers concluded “…probiotic bacteria have strain-specific anti-inflammatory effects in healthy adults.”

Another study*** from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, looked at the effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus in infants with eczema, an inflammatory skin condition. The researchers concluded that infants receiving this probiotic had a significantly reduced risk of eczema symptoms.

So if you thought probiotic supplements were just for digestion problems, think again! Now you have many more reasons to consider taking probiotic supplements.

Digestive Health

Sources:

*http://www.umm.edu/pediatrics/residents/journal-club/probioticscolds.pdf

**http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?orig_db=PubMed&db=pubmed&cmd=Search&term=%22World%20journal%20of%20gastroenterology%20%3A%20WJG%22%5BJour%5D%20AND%202029%5Bpage%5D%20AND%202008%5Bpdat%5D

***http://www.umm.edu/pediatrics/residents/journal-club/Wickens%20Lactobacillus%20rhamnosus%20JACI%202008.pdf

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7 Dietary Ingredients That Unclog Your Arteries

by Institute for Vibrant Living

As you’re probably already aware, progressive clogging of the arteries - scientifically known as atherosclerosis - is the number one killer on the planet. 7 Dietary Ingredients That Unclog Your Arteries | Institute for Vibrant Living

And while it’s true that atherosclerosis is a complex process that involves autoimmunity, infection, dietary incompatibilities, along with many other known and unknown factors - it’s both entirely preventable, and in some cases reversible as well.

For instance, there is plenty of peer-reviewed, published scientific research proving that regular consumption of these seven dietary ingredients prevents, and in some cases even reverses atherosclerosis:

  1. B vitamins - a doubled-blind, randomized 2005 study found that daily consumption of 2.5 mg folic acid, 25 mg vitamin B6 and 0.5 mg vitamin B12 for one year led to significant reductions in arterial thickness. Niacin or folic acid alone has also been shown to have this effect in patients. It’s always better to go with natural sources of these B vitamins rather than synthetic supplements.
  2. Garlic - has been shown to reverse plaque buildup in arteries, along with providing many other potentially life-saving health benefits.
  3. Pomegranate - this super fruit has been shown to reverse the process of atherosclerosis in both animal and human studies.
  4. Fermented cabbage - kimchi, a Korean recipe which includes fermented cabbage, hot pepper and other ingredients, appears to slow down atherosclerosis in animal models.
  5. L-arginine - this amino acid is capable of preventing arterial thickening, as shown in more than 30 animal studies. Other studies also show that L-arginine is capable of correcting the underlying condition typically associated with cardiovascular disease, known as endothelial dysfunction.
  6. Turmeric - more than 30 studies so far have shown that the main polyphenol in the cooking spice turmeric - known as curcumin - is an excellent cardioprotective agent. For instance, one study showed that curcumin prevented damage to arteries associated with blockage.
  7. Sesame seed - appears to be ideally suited for preventing the progression of atherosclerosis. One animal study found it was capable of preventing atherosclerosis lesion formation.

Remember - heart disease is not a natural process, one that you need to accept as inevitable based on your family history. Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that you can significantly influence your risk for this deadly condition by managing what you eat or don’t eat, along with your other lifestyle choices.

As the examples above clearly show, you can literally use food as medicine and regain control of your health with proper, life-giving nutrition.

Source: Seven Dietary Ingredients that Unclog Your Arteries.   

Copyright: eraxion / 123RF Stock Photo

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What are Antioxidants and How Do They Benefit My Health

by Health News

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

What are Antioxidants and How Do They Benefit My Health | Institute for Vibrant Living

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

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

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

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

Antioxidant Supplements
Daily multivitamin supplements include a proportion of vitamin C and vitamin E and this is a good way to ensure that minimum daily requirements are met. 

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

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The Health Benefits of Superfoods

by Health News

In the past few decades it has been determined that signs of aging like wrinkles and diminished skin elasticity are enhanced by oxidation, a process in which damaging free radicals begin to break down DNA.  Research is showing that we can slow the aging process with the consumption of antioxidant-rich foods.  Studies also show that the amount of antioxidants consumed is directly proportional to longevity.The Health Benefits of Superfoods | Institute for Vibrant Living

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eight to ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but not all of these have the same effect.  The effects of antioxidants are measured by a food’s oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC).

Check out these ORAC-rich fruits and vegetables, and implement them into your daily diet to generate a youthful appearance. 

  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Red Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli

Here are a few other superfoods that have shown great potential for enhancing a youthful appearance. 

Acai Berries – These tiny, purple berries can be found in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil.  In addition to boosting energy, this antioxidant-laden superfood is said to promote healthy hair, nails and skin.  Acai is available in supplement form in various powders and caplets.

Red Ginseng – A study published in the December, 2009 edition of the Journal of Medicinal Foods showed that red ginseng reverses wrinkles.  The study examined a group of female volunteers over the age of 40. The subjects took three grams of red ginseng extract daily for 24 weeks, and it was found that facial wrinkles were significantly reduced and collagen levels were increased.  Collagen is a product made from proteins in the body which is necessary for healthy skin.  Further, a gene that destroys collagen was inhibited and elastin, a protein that enhances skin elasticity, was increased.

Resveratrol - This important nutrient can be found in the skin of red grapes and in blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates.  Besides supporting cardiovascular health, resveratrol is said to promote a youthful appearance.  In addition to the fruits mentioned above, resveratrol supplements are available in whole foods stores and through natural supplement websites.

Sea Buckthorn Berries – This small, sour berry is found in harsh environments of Eastern Asia and is packed with vitamin C, providing 12 times more than an orange.  It is said to provide weight loss and immune system support and to foster good hair, nail and skin health.  Typically the fruit cannot be found in your local grocery store, but liquid and caplet supplements are available in stores and online.

Soy – Research that is soon-to-be-published in the British Journal of Pharmacology has concluded that soy can have positive effects on age-related skin changes in post-menopausal women. 

As adequate estrogen levels are required for youthful skin in women, an ovariectomy can accelerate aging of the skin.  This study examined the effects of soy on the skin of ovariectomized rats.  Researchers began treating rats six months after ovariectomy with genistein, a soy-derived isoflavone, for a period of 12 weeks.   At the end of treatment, the thickness of collagen and skin strength was significantly improved, which suggests that soy therapy might be a reliable alternative for age-related skin changes in post-menopausal women.

Everyone wants to look young for as long as possible and adequate nutrition is an easy fix.  In addition to a daily vitamin and mineral supplement, it might be worth a try to incorporate some of the foods above into your daily diet for a more youthful appearance.

Sources:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article6986044.ece
http://theview.abc.go.com/blog/top-7-superfoods-women

Cho, S. et al.  Red ginseng root extract mixed with Torilus fructus and Corni fructus improves facial wrinkles and increases type I procollagen synthesis in human skin: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.  Journal of Medicinal Food, 2009 Dec;12(6):1252-9.

Polito, F. et al.  Genistein Aglycone, a Soy-derived Isoflavone, Improves Skin Changes Induced by Ovariectomy in Rats.   British Journal of Pharmacology.  2011 Aug 9. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01619.x. [Epub ahead of print]

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Micronutrients: What are the Healing Powers?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: The Healing Power of Micronutrients.

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

by Health News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, before starting a new dietary supplement, it’s wise to consult with your physician to ensure it doesn't interfere with any medications you may be currently taking.

Source:

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

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Top 5 Supplements to Add To Your Smoothie

by Health News

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

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

Top 5 Supplements to Add To Your Smoothie

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

TROPICAL TREAT - Serves Two

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

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

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Green Drink Supplements Boost Energy

by Health News

Today’s hectic schedules, environmental toxins, over-processed foods and unprecedented stress levels are enough to send anybody’s energy reserves into a downward spiral. It is impossible to live a vibrant life when you feel perpetually lethargic.

The epidemic of fatigue in this country has led to a booming market for so-called “energy boosting” drinks, many of which contain excessive amounts of sugar, caffeine and harmful chemicals.

The drinks are especially popular among high school and college students, but have been embraced by people of all ages. Several studies have linked energy drinks to cardiac abnormalities, breathing problems, seizures, strokes and mood disorders.

The drinks are particularly risky for children who suffer from ADHD, diabetes and cardiac problems.  Energy drinks also have a dehydrating effect on the body, making them a dangerous choice for athletes who need to replenish fluids. Contrary to what the beverage marketing gurus want us to believe, sugar, caffeine and chemicals are not healthy ways to boost energy levels.

So what can you do to safely boost your energy naturally? Proper rest, regular exercise, good nutrition and a positive attitude can go a long way toward helping you maintain a vital, active life. Unfortunately, most people aren’t getting the recommended eight hours of sleep needed to function at full capacity. Environmental toxins and depleted soils compromise the nutritional value of the foods we eat. Most of us aren’t finding time to exercise and excessive daily stressors are taking a toll on our mental health.

Green Drink Supplements Boost Energy
Millions of Americans have made the smart decision to embrace healthy lifestyle changes and to use natural nutritional supplements to safely boost energy levels. There are four green “superfoods” that contain significant levels of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids that we need to stay healthy and energized. Spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass and barley grass are packed with health-giving nutrients.

Try add a green superfood drink supplement to your daily routine.

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Watermelon Lowers Blood Pressure (Bp)

by Institute for Vibrant Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Watermelon lowers Blood Pressure (BP).

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Can Vitamin D Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Can Vitamin D Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis?

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What is Omega 7?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Fats You Should Be Eating

Is Krill Fish Oil Dangerous?

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

Source:

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

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Top Tips on Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that an average American typically consumes approximately 22 teaspoons of sugar every day? The maximum recommended amount is 6 teaspoons daily for women and 9 teaspoons daily for men.

Top Tips on Maintaining Health Blood Sugar Levels

No wonder that nearly 40% of Americans over 65 have high blood sugar levels, which is linked to multiple health problems including obesity, circulatory issues, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.

In fact, diabetes and its complications are together the third leading cause of death in the US.

Ignoring your blood sugar levels can quadruple your chances of heart attack, stroke and death - while controlling your glucose levels can reduce your risk of diabetes and complications by 40% or more.

Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd, is a unique vegetable-fruit that is used both as food or medicine. It thrives in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, growing off the vine as a green, oblong-shaped fruit rich in many vitamins and minerals. It has long been used in the ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda as a therapy for a number of ailments, including type 2 diabetes.

Bitter melon contains at least three active substances with anti-diabetes properties, including charantin - which has been shown to have a blood glucose-lowering effect - as well as vicine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p. All of these naturally occurring chemicals work together to reduce blood sugar levels.

Bitter melon also contains a lectin that reduces blood glucose levels by suppressing appetite, similar to the effects of insulin in the brain. This lectin is thought to be a major factor behind the hypoglycemic effect seen after eating bitter melon.

A number of clinical studies have been conducted to assess the efficacy of bitter melon in the treatment of diabetes.

The results of a four-week clinical trial published in 2011 showed that consuming 2 grams daily of bitter melon significantly reduced blood glucose levels among patients with type 2 diabetes.

Previous studies have also suggested an association between bitter melon intake and improved glycemic control, while a report published in 2008 showed that consuming bitter melon increased cellular uptake of glucose and improved glucose tolerance.

There are nutritional supplements designed to improve your insulin response and maintain normal blood sugar levels. The can contain high-quality, nutraceutical-grade Ayurvedic botanical extracts - including bitter melon, Shilajit, curcumin, fenugreek, and banaba - that help stabilize blood sugar naturally, with no known side effects.

So if you’d like to control your blood sugar levels and lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, why not try a supplement today?

Read more:

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Source:

Bitter Melon Lowers Diabetes Risk.

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Fight Hair Loss With these Vitamins and Supplements

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Top 3 Vitamins and Supplements to Fight Hair LossIs your hair and skin dull and lifeless, lacking softness and shine?

Boosting your diet with these three vitamins will nourish your hair and scalp, helping to transform your hair and skin to make them glowing and vibrant.

VITAMIN A

One of the most important vitamins for healthy hair and skin is vitamin A. You can get it from foods such as cantaloupe, dark leafy green veggies and meat. Vitamin A conditions and moisturizes the skin; fights free radicals, protects hair and skin cells from damage; and strengthens and thickens hair so it grows longer faster and breaks less often.

Sweet potatoes, carrots and other orange and yellow fruits and veggies contain beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body - stimulating the production of skin oils that prevent dryness and itchiness and lead to stronger, more vibrant hair and skin.

VITAMIN B-COMPLEX

Vitamin B-complex - including vitamins B3, B6, B12 and biotin - are great for healthy hair and skin. When consumed together they lead to a reduction in hair loss; fewer gray hairs as they slow down the graying process; and longer hair due to more rapid hair growth.

Niacin, or vitamin B3, improves hair and skin health by improving blood circulation, bringing more nutrients to skin cells and hair follicles. Niacin is found in carrots, broccoli, dates, eggs, fish and whole wheat bread.

Biotin is another B vitamin necessary for cell growth, fatty acid production and fat and amino acid metabolism. It is often recommended as a dietary supplement for combating dull and lifeless hair loss and skin. It is found in dairy, eggs, fish, meats, whole grains and nuts.

Vitamin B complex also contains folic acid, which promotes hair growth, making hair thicker and shinier. Folic acid is found in whole grain breads and cereals.

VITAMIN E

Vitamin E is renowned for its ability to soften skin and hair. It acts as a protective antioxidant, boosts scalp and skin circulation and supports protein synthesis, leading to healthier skin overall; softer, glowing hair; and fewer split ends.

Nuts, seeds, spinach and tomatoes are great sources of vitamin E. To make sure you have plenty of this vitamin in your diet, add sliced avocado and a drizzle of olive oil to your green salads.

Along with these vitamins, omega-3 fats - found in nuts and seafoods - are necessary for hair shaft growth and keeping skin hydrated and moist. Also, they are rich in protein, which promote healthy keratin production, the building block of hair, along with boosting skin cell production.

If you’re worried about hair loss, experts agree that the primary cause of male and female pattern baldness is increased production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is made in the body from testosterone in hair follicles as they age.

Fortunately, many hair loss supplements contain nutrients that block DHT along with many others that promote hair growth and health. If you’re frustrated by cosmetic solutions that promise a lot but don’t really help, why not consider including a hair loss supplement into your daily routine? 


Read More....
Tips on How To Counter Male Pattern Baldness

What is the Best Source of Biotin-Rich Foods?

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10 Best Natural Vitamin Supplements

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Natural Supplements and Vitamins: Why They Are Important

 

Source:

Three Vitamins for Healthy, Glowing Hair.