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Enzymes Set the Stage For Vibrant Health

by Health News

Wondering how to gain energy?

Natural health products like enzymes are critical to tHow to Gain Energy: Enzymes Set the Stage For Vibrant Healthhe performance of virtually every process in the body. Although most people understand the vital roles that vitamins and mineral play in keeping us healthy and energized, many do not understand the importance of proper enzyme balance.

Enzymes serve as catalysts for the body’s essential chemical reactions that support health and vitality. They work their magic by breaking down the nutrients in our body so that the nutrients can pass through the intestinal walls and eventually be absorbed into the bloodstream. Vitamins and minerals are referred to as “coenzymes” which means that they require an enzyme in order to work.

Enzymes are the driving force behind tissue regeneration, proper digestion, cardiovascular health, kidney and liver function and many other life-sustaining processes. The powerful antioxidant properties associated with enzymes help protect the body from disease. When enzymes become depleted the body suffers. Chronic enzyme deficiency or malfunction can lead to serious and sometimes life-threatening health problems.

Most scientists classify enzymes into three main groups: metabolic enzymes, plant enzymes and digestive enzymes. Because they play such a pivotal role in our health, it is essential to get the proper balance of enzymes. Ideally, we should get many of the enzymes we need from food, but that is rarely the case. Fruits, vegetables and other raw foods are good sources but the average American diet contains very few enzymes. In today’s fast-paced world most people turn to time-saving convenience foods that are overcooked and over processed to the point that essential enzymes are destroyed.   As we age, it becomes more difficult for our body to produce the enzymes it needs to thrive, so older people are at a higher risk for significant enzyme deficiency.   

As we have learned more about the critical role that enzymes play in our overall health, more and more medical researchers are recommending daily enzyme supplementation. Enzyme supplements can be purchased at natural health stores and come in powder, tablet or liquid form. The supplements make digestion more efficient by enhancing the absorption of vital nutrients. For best results choose an enzyme supplement which contains a blend of different enzymes. Your holistic health practitioner can help you determine which natural supplements will work best for you.   

Elevating the enzyme levels in your body through natural supplementation will result in improved metabolic and digestive function that will make you look and feel younger. Keeping enzymes in balance will also make you less susceptible to serious diseases. Consider adding enzyme supplements to your “stay-well” plan so you can enjoy vibrant health throughout your life.

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Healthy Eating Habits

by Health News

Our diet today looks nothing like that of our ancestors. While they first subsisted on foliage, leafy vegetables, fruits, and some nuts and seeds, once fire was discovered during the Paleolithic era, the diet began to include game food and seafood.

How to Gain Energy with Healthy Eating Habits

It wasn’t for another 10,000 years later that agriculture was introduced. This meant grains, legumes, vegetable oils, and dairy products. This diet was high in fiber, vegetable-based protein, and plant sterols. Still good, right?

Then came 1800s and the start of the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of hydrogenated oils, refined grains and sugar, packaged foods, and fast foods. In the past 200 years alone, we’ve managed to virtually undo evolution by turning away from whole grains, legumes, lean meats and fish, and leafy greens and veggies, and towards saturated fats, dietary cholesterol, and high glycemic carbohydrate food sources.

As a result, many people in our modern world struggle with maintaining energy levels throughout the day. Essentially, the food we are putting into our bodies is not fueling us properly, which has many people wondering how to gain energy in our day to day life.

The solution? Go Caveman!

Focus the bulk of your diet on anything you could hunt or gather. This means lean meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds. This also means that you won’t have many natural sources of calcium and/or vitamin D, so you’ll need to supplement with a good calcium/magnesium product, as well as 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.

Boost Health and Vitality

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5 Ways to Prevent Colds and Flus

by Health News

Cold and Flu Tips | Natural Flu Prevention

Apart from maintaining sensible fitness levels, how else can we lower our risk of catching seasonal illnesses?

Avoid Exposure
Avoiding contact with those suffering from infection is a sensible precaution but it is not easy. Children are known to suffer more colds than adults so avoid large get-togethers where possible and postpone social engagements with anyone hinting at the first signs of cold and flu symptoms. If you have a cold or flu, stay home from work to avoid spreading the illness further.

Wash Hands Regularly
Frequent hand-washing has been shown to be the best and easiest way to prevent picking up flu and colds. Thoroughly wash your hands when you return home, before you eat, before handling food and after visiting the bathroom, sneezing or wiping a child’s nose. Use hot water and antibacterial soap. If you cannot get to a sink, use a hand sanitizer gel.

Clean Surfaces with Anti-Bacterial Cleaners
Shaking hands, using doorknobs and touching contaminated surfaces are the prime way that colds and flu infections are passed on. To counter these problems, wipe surfaces, doorknobs, supermarket cart handles, telephone handsets and other areas which get heavy public use with antibacterial wipes, or use cleaning sprays.

Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose and Mouth
Cold and flu viruses enter the body via the eyes, nose and mouth, so avoid introducing harmful bacteria by resisting rubbing the eyes or touching the nose and mouth unnecessarily.

Diet - Eat Foods That Act as Digestive Aids
Eat a diet which is wholesome and healthy with plenty of Vitamin C. Eating foods that act as digestive aids, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and natural yoghurt can help you feel your best during cold and flu season. Also, drinking plenty of fluids can help boost your immunity as a last line of defense against infections and viruses

Those deficient in Vitamins A, E, B6, B12, C, folic acid, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium and copper may be suffering from an impaired immune function which can easily be countered with a healthy diet and a daily vitamin supplement

If you are unfortunate enough to catch a cold or flu this winter, drink plenty of fluids, quarantine yourself and take gentle exercise in the fresh air in the case of a head cold to speed recovery.

Free Guide for Digestive Health

 

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Top 5 Anti-Aging Tips

by Health News

Top 5 Anti Aging Tips Institute for Vibrant LivingLooking for ways to stay youthful through the holidays and all year round? Check out these top 5 anti-aging and healthy holiday eating tips.

1. Get plenty of essential fatty acidsAmong the nutrients that our bodies need for good health are essential fatty acids – alpha-linolenic acid (of the Omega 3 family) and linoleic acid of the Omega 6 family.  These essential fats also help to promote youthful skin and can be obtained through supplementation or through diet.  Alpha-linolenic acid can be found in flaxseed, canola oil, wheat germ and soybeans, and vegetable oils and grass-fed beef are good sources of linoleic acid.

The benefits of EFAs to the body are many, but they are of particular importance to body cells as they are a fundamental component of cell membranes. A steady supply of EFAs in the diet is necessary to maintain healthy-looking skin because skin cells are regularly reproduced.

2. Look into HGH supplement products.  A 1990 medical study published by Dr. Daniel Rudman in the New England Journal of Medicine reported exciting results from the injection of synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) in men over 60 years old. These included an increase in muscle mass, decreased body fat, elevated energy levels, improved sleep and enhanced skin and muscle tone. This synthetic, injection therapy is very expensive, but today there are several natural, non-prescription HGH supplement products on the market (called releasers) that stimulate release of the body’s own human growth hormone by the pituitary gland.

3. Eat plenty of whole, organic fruits and vegetables.  When waging war against the effects of time, there are anti-aging fruits and vegetables that actually work. They help to hydrate the body and provide fiber and important disease-fighting antioxidants.  Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, bananas are loaded with potassium and berries contain a host of vital anti-oxidants.  Green, leafy vegetables like spinach, leaf lettuce and kale are loaded with nutrients, and broccoli, carrots and cucumbers provide fiber and a good, crunchy texture!

4. Discover the importance of water for healthy aging.  Drink at least 64 ounces of pure, filtered or spring water throughout the day.  When aging skin is not properly hydrated, it loses resilience and becomes more susceptible to wrinkling. Water fights wrinkles by keeping skin moist and supple and helps to deliver essential nutrients to skin cells.

5. Try glucosamine supplements to retain moisture in aging skin.  Research by the Department of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School studied the effects of N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide on in-vitro human skin cultures and on women aged 35-60 in clinical trials with fine-to-moderate wrinkles. The research found that the two compounds accelerated the production of hyaluronic acid, a key ingredient in skin hydration and in the formation of collagen.

The tests also showed that in human subjects, improved hydration brought about by glucosamine and niacinamide led to a visible reduction in fine lines and wrinkles of tested subjects, particularly in the area around the eyes.  The researchers concluded that together these compounds could be a highly effective anti-aging treatment.

These tips are but a few of the many new, natural anti-aging practices coming to light. For many who are approaching the golden years, there is still a lot of living to do. 

Overall Health Starts with Your Digestive System

Are you adopting a few of these natural habits to promote healthy holiday eating and healthy aging?

Sources:

New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 323, July 5, 1990, Number 1:   EFFECTS OF HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE IN MEN OVER 60 YEARS OLD, Daniel Rudman, M. D.

http://www.consumerproductsreview.org/hgh-supplement.aspx

http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Formulation-Science/Research-suggests-glucosamine-is-an-effective-anti-aging-treatment

 

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Healthy Aging and Nutritional Supplement Vitamin E

by Health News

Healthy Skin and Healthy Digestion From Vitamin ENutritional health supplement Vitamin E is one of the most important nutrients we need to survive. It is a powerful antioxidant supplement with numerous scientific studies that have demonstrated how necessary it is for normal growth and development and for maintaining optimal health through adulthood.

But can it also help us age healthy and contribute to looking and feeling younger than our chronological age?

First of all, Vitamin E is not a single nutrient. It is actually made up of a group of individual compounds. Naturally-occurring Vitamin E actually contains 8 different compounds. One of these compounds is called d-alpha-tocopherol. D-alpha-tocopherol is the only form of Vitamin E that has been recognized to meet the requirements of the human body and that maintained in the body.

Because Vitamin E is such a powerful antioxidant, it helps prevent the body’s cells from being damaged by free radicals. This means that our organs stay healthier longer. One example of this is how it protects the cardiovascular system. Vitamin E has been shown in scientific studies to prevent arthrosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries).  Arthrosclerosis is a major cause of heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, because Vitamin E is such a potent antioxidant, scientists believe it can stave off a host of other degenerative diseases as well.

Vitamin E is also added to lotions, creams, and other skin care products to assist in anti-aging. It helps skin look younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And what it does for the internal organs applies to the skin as well: it protects the skin against free radical damage, in turn helping us age healthy. When applied 20 minutes before sun exposure, Vitamin E can also help protect the skin against sun damage because it increases the effectiveness of sunscreens.

Healthy Digestion and Vitamin E for Healthy Skin

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Natural Health Solutions: Vitamin E Deficiency & Diseases of the Digestive System

by Health News

Vitamin E deficiency may cause digestive problems and other diseaseVitamin E is one of the most important antioxidant nutrients our bodies need. It is found in nut oils, sunflower seeds, whole grains, wheat germ, and spinach. Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, it is also essential for child growth and development and for maintaining healthy tissues in adulthood. But what happens to people who don’t get enough of this important vitamin?

In infants, a Vitamin E deficiency can cause severe growth retardation. In adults, Vitamin E deficiency can have severe effects on the central nervous system including ataxia (difficulty coordinating body movements) and peripheral neuropathy. It can also cause anemia (insufficient red blood cells).

People who suffer from Vitamin E deficiency sometimes suffer from conditions or diseases of the digestive system that prevent them from absorbing fat. Because Vitamin E is fat soluble, people who can’t absorb fat properly will have a difficult time absorbing Vitamin E, even if they are getting plenty of the vitamin in their diets. Such people often get excellent results by taking Vitamin E as a nutritional supplement and may well see a reversal of the symptoms of deficiency.

Digestive problems? Download this guide to healthy holiday digestion.

Scientists also believe Vitamin E plays a role in preventing atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries) by helping prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Several epidemiological studies have indicated that high dietary intake of Vitamin E is associated with high serum concentrations of alpha tocopherol, as well as with lower rates of ischemic heart disease.

The upshot? Eat plenty of foods that contain this important nutrient, and if you suffer from a condition or disease of the digestive system that prevents you from absorbing it properly, speak to your health care professional about taking a Vitamin E natural dietary supplement. 

Is your family taking enough Vitamin E?

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Antioxidant Supplements: Vitamin E

by Health News

Do you know how to get the powerhouse antioxidant supplement vitamin E naturally?
Want to have healthier, more youthful skin?
Want to stave off degenerative diseases and fight digestion problems?


We all do! And one of the best ways to accomplish this is to get plenty of the potent antioxidant Vitamin E.

If getting Vitamin E from natural food supplements is good, getting it from food is better. So here is a list of foods that not only taste good but will provide a healthy dose of this vital nutrient.

Sunflower Seeds. Take them as an on-the-go snack or sprinkle them on your salad or in your soup. Sunflower seeds are tasty and add rich flavor to otherwise bland foods. These tasty seeds provide 36.6mg (222% RDA) of vitamin E in a 100g serving or 36.5mg (310% RDA) per cup.

Paprika and Red Chili Powder. If you’re a fan of spicy food you can add red chili powder to your food to awaken your taste buds while getting a good dose of vitamin E. If you have a more sensitive palate, you can get just as much of the vitamin from using paprika. Both offer the same amount of vitamin E, around 30mg (199% RDA) per 100g serving, or 2.1mg (14% RDA) in a single tablespoon.

Almonds, a good source of Vitamin E to support digestion

Almonds. Another excellent on-the-go snack that you can eat in raw form or get in the form of almond butter or almond milk. Almonds provide 26.2mg (175% RDA) of vitamin E in a 100g serving, 37.5mg (250% RDA) per cup, and 0.3mg (2% RDA) of vitamin E in a single almond.

Pine Nuts. They are an essential ingredient in pesto and are also great on their own or added to a fruit salad. They provide 9.3mg (62% RDA) of vitamin-E in a 100g serving, 12.6mg (84% RDA) per cup, and 0.2mg (1% RDA) in 10 nuts.

All of these natural, whole foods can help ease digestion problems and improve your complexion at the same time. Other good vitamin E sources include peanuts, basil, oregano, cooked spinach and dried apricots. Enjoy!

Do you include any of these natural sources of antioxidant Vitamin E in your daily diet?

 

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Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms

by Health News

If you are eating a healthy diet you may simply assume that you are getting all of the vitamins that you need. However, increasingly, people have different vitamin deficiencies and aren’t even aware that this is the case. If your body is lacking in essential vitamins like Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, your health can quickly deteriorate.

If you’re experiencing frequent digestive problems or other regular health issues, your body may be lacking in essential vitamins.

If you’re experiencing frequent digestive problems or other regular health issues, your body may be lacking in essential vitamins.

In order for your body to function optimally, your body should be exposed to ample amounts of every key vitamin. After all, each kind of vitamin serves a vital purpose in the body. You may not immediately realize that you have a vitamin deficiency. However, there are signs that you can look for.

Do you get an upset stomach or experience other digestive problems on a regular basis? Your body may be having a hard time absorbing the nutrients from the food you eat. It could also be you're lacking in the proper amount of good bacteria and enzymes in your stomach needed to break down and digest your food. Probiotic supplements can help in these instances to provide your body with the bacteria it needs to support a healthy digestive system. It's important to consult your doctor about these symptoms.

One sign of vitamin deficiency that you can easily recognize occurs via changes in your hair, skin, teeth and nails. For example, is your skin is dry and cracking? Do you have dandruff?   Further, your nails and hair may break easily, and you may also experience hair loss due to vitamin deficiencies. Lack of Vitamin C in the body can also cause impaired wound healing, loose teeth and bleeding gums, while lack of Vitamin A can cause dry hair, and acne. People also commonly have eye problems, like dry eye and night blindness, when they have deficiencies in Vitamin A.

You might think that you are just depressed or tired. However, mood related issues could also be caused by lack of vitamins in the body. For example, a B12 deficiency can cause depression, fatigue, personality changes, and even psychosis. Lack of Vitamin D has also been traced to memory impairment in seniors. If you are finding that you are suddenly experiencing problems with your mood and just don’t feel like yourself, this could also be due to a vitamin deficiency.

Deficiency in Vitamin D is also a serious issue that is increasingly of concern to scientists and doctors. Research has linked this lack of Vitamin D to a variety of serious illnesses including cancer, cardiovascular disease and immune disorders. If you have a vitamin deficiency in D, there are measures you can take such as drinking fortified milk that is rich in Vitamin D. Also exposure to sunlight will help to maintain your body’s natural production of the vitamin.

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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 Your 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 their 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?