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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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Weight Loss Tips: Green Coffee Beans

by Health News

Exciting new research suggests that an ingredient in raw coffee beans can lead to successful weight loss.

However this ingredient - known as chlorogenic acid - is destroyed when coffee beans are roasted, so that the weight loss benefit from drinking regular coffee is much less.Weight Loss Tips: Green Coffee Beans

Weight gain and obesity are a global health crisis. Issues of cost and potential side effects of prescription weight loss drugs have led to the investigation of nutraceuticals such as green coffee extract, known to have health benefits by influencing glucose and fat metabolism.

Raw coffee beans are the most abundant natural source of chlorogenic acid - but it can also be found in peaches, prunes, strawberries, blueberries, potatoes and other plant products.

Previous research has shown that chlorogenic acid slows down the release of glucose into the blood stream, ultimately resulting in reduced fat absorption. Chlorogenic acid also reduces cholesterol levels and improves glucose tolerance.

A 22-week crossover study recently looked at the efficacy and safety of a commercial green coffee extract at reducing weight and body mass in 16 overweight adults, who received either high- or low-dose green coffee extract in separate six-week treatment periods.

Study authors observed significant reductions in body weight, body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat, suggesting that green coffee extract may be an effective and inexpensive way to reduce weight in overweight adults.

A natural pill or capsule that helps to control blood sugar and promotes weight loss at the same time would be a major advance in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Already, one large study indicates a 50% risk reduction for people who drank seven cups of coffee a day compared to those who drank only two cups a day.

In other words - all the evidence points to chlorogenic acid as the active ingredient in green coffee beans that aids weight loss and may help to improve glucose control in normal subjects, as well as in people suffering from pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Green coffee bean extract is generally consumed as a supplement since drinking liquid coffee made from unroasted coffee beans would have a bitter and unpleasant taste. Also, you’d need to drink a lot of such a coffee to get a sufficient dosage of chlorogenic acid for weight loss and other health benefits.

Source: Benefits of Chlorogenic Acid: Weight Loss and Diabetes.

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Are You At Risk For Osteoporosis?

by Health News

Nearly nine million US adults suffer from osteoporosis, while more than 48 million have low bone mass - placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis and broken bones.

Which can you do to lower your risk? You can protect your bones by trying a new bone healthy recipe or adding a new exercise to your regular routine.

The first and most important thing is to be aware of the factors that increase your risk for osteoporosis, which include but are not limited to:

  • Gender - women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.Osteoporosis Risk Factors
  • Age - the older you are, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Race - you're at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you're white or of Asian descent.
  •  Family history - having a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk.
  • Frame size - people with small body frames are at higher risk because they have less bone mass to draw from as they grow older.
  • Hormone levels - osteoporosis is more common in people who have too much or too little of certain hormones. For example, reduction of estrogen levels at menopause is one of the strongest risk factors for osteoporosis. Similarly, men experience a reduction in testosterone as they age, which weakens bone.
  • Thyroid problems - if your thyroid is overactive or if you take thyroid hormone medication, you may experience bone loss.
  • Dietary factors - osteoporosis is more likely to occur with low calcium intake, which contributes to reduced bone density, bone loss and a greater risk of fractures. So always make sure you consume enough calcium, vitamin D, lean protein, fruits and veggies and healthy fats in your diet to keep your bones strong and healthy.  
  •  Eating disorders - people with anorexia are at higher risk.
  • Gastrointestinal surgery - reduction in stomach size or a bypass or removal of part of the intestine limits the amount of surface area available to absorb nutrients, including calcium.
  • Sedentary lifestyle - lack of sufficient movement and exercise raises risk, while any weight-bearing exercise is beneficial, such as walking, running, jumping, dancing and weightlifting. Health experts recommend a minimum of 30 minutes or more 5 days every week for overall health and lowered risk for many diseases, including osteoporosis.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption - regular consumption of more than two alcoholic drinks a day raises osteoporosis risk, likely because alcohol interferes with calcium absorption.

If you have any further questions about your risk for osteoporosis, consult your physician or healthcare giver - in the meantime, you can work on reducing your risk by altering your lifestyle habits as described above.

Other blog posts that might be of intrest:

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Protecting Your Bones

Natural Health Solutions: Eating to Prevent Osteoporosis

Natural Supplements and Vitamins: Why They Are Important

Source:

What is Your Osteoporosis Risk?

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Natural Weight Loss: Benefits of Green Tea

by Health News

You’ve probably read the news stories about the remarkable benefits of green tea.  This centuries-old drink of the Emperors is a powerful antioxidant and has been used to enhance health for thousands of years.  It’s shown to fight heart problems, promote healthy cholesterol and blood sugar and even support healthy cell growth.

Green Tea & Weight Loss

There’s little doubt that if green tea isn’t already part of your daily health regimen, it should be.  But if you need another healthy reason to drink green tea (or take green tea supplements) – here’s another one.  Recent studies suggest that green tea is a remarkable fat fighter, too!  According to food scientists at Penn State University, “green tea may help slow down weight gain and help the fight against obesity.”

Green Tea: The Healthy Difference

 While black tea and green tea both come from the same Camellia Sinensis plant, green tea is not fermented. That’s what helps maintain its light green color.  And while most teas contain antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, green tea is also rich in catechins. Catechins are a type of tannin exclusive to green tea. Catechins act as natural anti-microbials and anti-inflammatories. But science also shows that these catechins may affect the accumulation of body fat too.  Here’s how.

You know how a mechanic gives your car a tune up, so it runs better? Well, the catechins in green tea ‘tune up’ your cells, so your body uses sugars and fats more efficiently. The catechins in green tea may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decrease body fat.  And they also increase your body’s metabolism so you can burn calories faster.

For example, in a 3-month study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, two groups of men with similar weight and body mass index were asked to drink green tea or regular tea. During the length of the study, the men consumed identical breakfasts and dinners. Both groups also controlled their calorie and fat intake, to make sure their diets were as similar as possible.

At the end of 3 months, the volunteers drinking green tea lost over 5 pounds, compared to just 2 pounds in the other group.  Plus, the green tea drinkers also saw a significant decrease in their body mass index, waist size, and total body fat. This was without any changes in diet or exercise.

These results were later confirmed in another study of 60 obese adults. In this study, the group drinking green tea lost a whopping 24 pounds after 3-months!  The reason? The scientists stated that green tea increases energy and fat oxidation…so it increased natural weight loss. 

Other studies suggest green tea may reduce your appetite, or slow the absorption of glucose into your cells – both of which also help keep weight under control.

However, green tea isn’t a magic bullet that will help you melt away pounds in a week. According to researchers at the University of Connecticut, the average weight loss due to consuming green tea was about 3 pounds over a 12-week period, or one pound a month.  That may not sound like much—but it adds up to 12 pounds a year!

Green tea works best along with a healthy diet. Plus, you’ll get even better fat-burning results when you combine green tea with regular exercise.

How Much Green Tea Do You Need?

Studies show that drinking about 4-6 cups of green tea will help ignite your natural fat burners.  However, most people find it easier to take green tea supplements.

Source: http://www.wellnessresources.com/weight/articles/the_effects_of_green_tea_on_weight_management/

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Is Krill Fish Oil Dangerous?

by Health News

Did you know that Eskimos have a low incidence of heart attacks, even though their diet relies heavily on whale blubber? That’s because whale blubber is rich in omega-3 fats!  

Krill Fish Oil Facts

You may have already heard of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which are both essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. Your body needs both of these to function properly, but the human body cannot make either of them on its own.

Omega-3 fats are made by cold-water algae. They’re also found in the fat of cold-water fish like sardines, wild salmon, herring, mackerel and tuna that feed on these plants, along with fish oil supplements and algae extract. Another type of omega-3 is also found in walnuts, flax seed, canola and soybean oil as well as in green leafy vegetables.

Omega-6 fats are found in cooking oils such as corn oil, safflower and sunflower oils, margarine and low-fat foods, meat and eggs.

Together, omega-3 and omega-6 fats control many of your body’s physiological processes. As long as they are in balance, your body remains healthy.

The problem is this - today, relative amounts of dietary omega-3 and omega-6 fats are completely out of balance. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate approximately twice the amount of omega-6s as omega-3s, which many experts believe is ideal for health. Believe it or not, the typical US diet today contains up to 20–50 times more omega-6s than omega-3s!

In such excessive amounts, omega-6 fats can completely skew your body’s fat balance and physiology, causing real harm. Countless studies have shown a clear connection between high ratios of dietary omega-6 to omega-3 fats, and skyrocketing rates of heart disease, arthritis, asthma, insulin resistance, metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes, even some forms of cancer.

So what can you do to improve your odds?

It’s easy, do what the Eskimos do and increase your consumption of omega-3 fats.

Both fish oil and krill oil are a great natural source of omega-3 fats. The difference is while high-quality fish oils have many important health benefits, their antioxidant content is poor; whereas krill oil has the health benefits plus high levels of potent antioxidants.

In fact, the antioxidant potency of krill oil is 48 times more potent than that of fish oil, which makes choosing between the two an easy task.

Antioxidants are your body's primary way to neutralize free radicals. They boost heart health, keep the immune system healthy and prevent memory loss with aging.  In fact, antioxidants seem to slow down many aging-related changes.

Genuine krill oil contains:

  • More than 300 times the antioxidant power of vitamins A and E  
  • More than 47 times the antioxidant power of lutein
  • More than 34 times the antioxidant power of coenzyme Q10

Not only that, krill oil also contains Astaxanthin, a unique marine flavonoid which makes antioxidants more readily available to your body.

In a recent study, supplementation of a high-fat diet with krill oil prevented buildup of triglycerides and cholesterol in the livers of rats, along with lowering blood levels of triglycerides and glucose.

In another study, consumption of krill oil countered body weight gain and increase in blood levels of total cholesterol and harmful LDL-cholesterol in rats given a high fat diet, along with preventing harmful oxidative damage.

Last but not least, krill is at the bottom of the food chain - which means that unlike fish oil, it’s unlikely to be contaminated by toxic heavy metals.

So why not boost your consumption of omega-3 fats and protect your health with a krill oil supplement today?

Do you currently take any omega-3 supplements?

Source:

 

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Natural Weight loss: Three Spices For Weight Loss

by Health News

Did you know you can easily lose weight, along with boosting your skin, liver, kidney, heart and brain health - simply by adding a few spices to your food?

Regular use of these three flavorful spices in your diet will boost your overall health, along with melting away excess pounds around your waist.

TURMERIC

Turmeric is the bright yellow spice that both flavors and gives its color to most south Asian curries. Made from the root of the plant curcuma longa, it has been used in traditional Indian medicine known as Ayurveda (‘The Science of Life’) for centuries. Extracts of curcuma longa are routinely used to treat dyspepsia, liver disease, flatulence, urinary tract disease, to purify the blood and directly on the skin for many ailments.

Turmeric is the highest source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects the liver from free radical damage. Turmeric also helps the body metabolize fats by reducing fat storage in liver cells. 

Recently curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric and its chemical derivatives, the curcuminoids, have been shown to have powerful healing properties in the brain - with tremendous implications for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Experts believe that age-related diseases of the brain are triggered by waste products of oxidative damage and inflammation. Curcumin reverses the actions of these waste products, making it a highly promising anti-aging candidate.

GARLIC

Garlic is a miracle food. It contains the compound allicin which acts against bacterial infections, along with reducing unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Garlic also contains the powerful antioxidants C and E, and the mineral selenium.

Not only that, garlic lowers levels of the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and raise levels of the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol in the short term. It keeps LDL cholesterol in blood from oxidizing and damaging the lining of blood vessels, which is the first step in the formation of plaque leading to heart disease. It may also dissolve clots that lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Garlic kills many bacteria, fungi and yeast. Further, animal studies show that garlic slows progression of colon, lung and esophageal cancers.

CINNAMON

Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture showed that one-quarter To 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with food helps to metabolize sugar up to an astonishing 20 times better than without cinnamon.  Excess sugar in the blood leads to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and fat storage.  By balancing blood sugar levels, cinnamon keeps mood and energy levels stable.

It’s very easy to get all these health benefits in your life - simply start adding a quarter teaspoon of turmeric and a clove or two of fresh garlic to vegetable dishes, soups, stir-fries, stews and curries. Similarly, along with sweet foods and desserts, small amounts of cinnamon can also be used in savory Asian-inspired foods like curries, stir-fries and stews. 

One out of very two people struggles with weight, need some help? Dietary supplements can assist you with your weight management goals. 

Sources:

Three Spices for Health and Weight Loss.

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All Natural Supplements: Go for Great Health

by Health News

Whether you call it lime, asparagus, Kelly, jade, forest, or emerald—green is green. And whether you talking about algae, spirulina, chlorella, or cilantro—green foods are a definite go!

Green foods are packed with so many nutrients, it’s no wonder they are called the super foods of the nutrition world. They are exceptionally rich sources of chlorophyll and vital minerals, and have been found to alleviate depression and fatigue, support your immune system, eliminate toxins, promote a healthy gut and bowel, inhibit Candida, aid in weight loss, and even banish bad breath.

Green Drink

But in this field of verdant health, two green foods stand out—spirulina and chlorella.

Spirulina is a true powerhouse. This algae is made up of 55–70 percent pure protein, 95% of which is digestible, making it ideal for people with gastrointestinal disorders. Spirulina is packed with more than 30 different vitamins and minerals and 18 amino acids, providing three times more vitamin E than raw wheat germ, 35 times more beta-carotene than carrots, and is higher in the rare essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) than evening primrose oil. 

Like spirulina, chlorella is a fresh-water algae, containing more chlorophyll than any known plant on the planet. It is also high in protein, low in fat and carbohydrates, and packed with vitamin, minerals, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and amino acids, as well as the nucleic acids DNA and RNA.

Research shows that spirulina can help to boost your immune system and even ease allergic reactions, while chlorella provide gentle support constipation woes, as well as helping to promote natural detoxification.

The best and easiest way for you to reap all of the benefits is to make green foods a part of your morning routine. Simply add 1 or 2 tablespoons of a powdered green foods, containing both spirulina and chlorella, to 8 ounces of either juice or water every day.  Enjoy!

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Health benefits of apple cider vinegar

by Nancy Maneely

Apple cider vinegar is one of those ancient foods which is experiencing a huge wave of popularity due to its purported natural health benefits. In fact, there is strong evidence that some of these health benefits are very real. Others … not so much. In any case, there is no doubt apple cider vinegar is a worthwhile product to keep on hand in the kitchen (and maybe also the bathroom) cabinet.

Vinegar is a fermented food that is a concentrated little package of amino acids, vitamins and mineral salts. It has a long tradition of use as a folk remedy, said to accomplish wonders that range from soothing jellyfish stings to curing cancer.  Apple cider vinegar is the result of apples being fermented into hard cider, than a second fermentation process is added. It is this two-step process which is believed to create the extra acids and enzymes responsible for the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. 

Some recent studies have shown some intriguing medical uses for apple cider vinegar. They include:

  • Weight loss: The enzymes in vinegar can help detoxify the body, give you a natural energy boost, and help you feel full when dieting.
  • Blood glucose: Several studies have shown vinegar can help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Cholesterol: Animal studies have indicated vinegar could help lower blood cholesterol levels.
  • Blood pressure: Observational studies show that people who regularly eat vinegar on salads tend to have lower blood pressure.
  • Cancer: There is some evidence that vinegar can slow the growth of cancer cells.

These studies are promising, but preliminary. Meanwhile, apple cider vinegar may be a great addition to your diet, but it’s probably not advisable to invest it with “magic bullet” properties.

Most of us have consumed apple cider vinegar as a flavoring on salads. As a daily health regimen, you’ll need more than a few drops from a cruet. Many people take a couple of teaspoons daily, mixed with water. You can also buy supplements, usually in the form of 285 mg tablets. Be careful to drink water with it to avoid acid erosion of the esophagus and stomach.

If you have diabetes, you should check with your doctor before incorporating apple cider vinegar into your health routine. It contains chromium, which has the potential to interfere with insulin regulation.

Here are some of the most common household uses for apple cider vinegar:

  • It has disinfectant properties and so can be useful as a cleaning agent.
  • It can soothe sunburn. Mix a few cups into a warm bath.
  • Some people swear it helps clear the complexion. It can set the pH level of the skin in balance, while its antiseptic properties help kill the bacteria that leads to acne.
  • Rinsing your mouth with it will help whiten teeth. Don’t go overboard, however. Any acidic substance can weaken tooth enamel when overused.
  • Adds a shine to your hair when used as a rinse after shampooing.

What is your favorite use for apple cider vinegar?

 

Sources:
WebMD: Apple Cider Vinegar
Natural Society: Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

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Natural Weight Loss Supplement Resveratrol

by Health News

Resveratrol is a natural dietary supplement that has been found to be one of the most effective products for aiding in natural weight loss. Users of this vitamin supplement consistently confirm that resveratrol is an effective aid to weight loss, unlike other diet fads. It has been featured on national TV by Dr Oz, Oprah, Barbara Walters and other shows, making it one of the top-selling natural supplements.

How Resveratrol Works
Resveratrol works in three different ways to benefit those trying to lose weight. Firstly, it may speed up the body’s metabolism. Once the metabolism has been kick-started, users will burn more calories in everyday life which naturally helps weight loss.

Resveratrol has been shown to break down fat cells and uses the fat deposits for energy. This is beneficial to dieters as it ensures that the weight loss is pure fat, not lean tissue or muscle.

Finally, resveratrol may suppress the production of estrogen. High levels of estrogen tell the body to store fat, so when the hormone is suppressed the body will begin to build muscle instead of accumulating more fat.

Recent research published in the MBC Physiology Journal showed that in animals, those fed with resveratrol-enriched foods gained less weight in the winter than those given a placebo. The tests showed that resveratrol sped up the rate of metabolism and seemed to limit weight gain, even on animals fed a high-fat diet. Studies showed that the presence of resveratrol countered the formation of fat cells which is more good news for those struggling to maintain their weight.

If you wish to lose weight, make sure that you take your resveratrol supplement in conjunction with a healthy diet, regular exercise, lower stress and eight hours sleep each night to get the full benefits of this all-round supplement.

Whether you want to lose weight or simply live a long and healthy life, a daily dose of resveratrol in supplement form, topped up with its natural berry sources, may enable you to get fit, enjoy the best health possible and stay in good shape naturally.

Sources:
http://www.healthierpost.com/resveratrol-weight-loss/
http://www.pureandhealthy.com/blog/2010/12/resveratrol-for-weight-loss-how-resveratrol-helps-you/
http://altmedicine.about.com/od/weight_Loss/a/Resveratrol-And-Weight-Loss.htm

 

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Natural Weight Loss Supplements

by Health News

Many of us struggle to maintain a healthy body weight, and for some, limiting calories and increasing exercise makes dieting a very long and slow process. Any help to speed up weight loss is gratefully received and, knowing this, the market is swamped with diet pills and "magic" weight loss aids offering unbelievable overnight success.

The hard truth is that most of these products are expensive and work on amphetamines, diuretics or laxatives. At worst they are dangerous or illegal and at best the weight loss is temporary as it is simply water, not fat, that is shed.

If you are looking for a safe all-natural supplement to accompany a sensible low fat diet, then there are some excellent herbs from Mother Nature herself to aid your efforts to lose weight.

Guggul

Guggul is made from a resin sourced from a thorny Indian plant. It promotes a healthy thyroid, which in turn controls the body's metabolism. A sluggish thyroid can be a big hindrance for those on a diet so taking guggul makes sure the food you eat is turned into energy, not stored up as fat. Guggul also lowers cholesterol and triglycerides as well as lowering your weight!

Psyllium Husks

Diets can cause constipation so taking psyllium husks which are dense in natural fiber makes good sense. Psyllium not only cleanses the colon and removes toxins, it also keeps food moving and ensures regularity. Add whole psyllium husks to at least 8 fluid ounces water, sugar-free juice, fat-free milk or soy drink. If taken before meals it swells in the stomach to make you feel full so you can choose smaller portions. You can also add it to soup for a satisfying low-calorie snack when you crave food.

Green Tea

Green tea is a great drink for dieters. Sip up throughout the day for a calorie-free intake of antioxidants and nutrients. Green tea is great for regulating the metabolism, like guggul, and it stimulates fat-burning. It is a great de-toxifier for your digestive system and the polyphenols induce weight loss and promote health. A great way to take it is by adding droplets of Green Tea Elixir, a concentrated source of green tea extract, to your favourite soda or hot drink to get all the benefits of green tea.

Garcinia Camboja

You may never have heard of garcinia camboja but it is an ingredient used in many slimming supplements. It is better known as HCA which stands for hydroxycitric acid garcinia cambogia, an ingredient which is derived from this Asian fruit. It is said to help suppress the appetite and enhance serotonin levels boosting feelings of happiness and well-being.

If you can't diet alone, get these four "friends" to help and support you. With daily exercise and a sensible healthy diet you will soon be well on your way to diet success!

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All Natural Energy

by Health News

In this article we will look at some of the ways that you can increase your energy natuarlly, stay sharp throughout the day and maybe even drop a few pounds at the same time.  There are simple and beneficial ways that you can naturally boost energy.

All Natural Energy

The fact is that if you find yourself depending on repeated sugar boosts throughout the day, your overall health can suffer. Snacks like donuts, candy bars and drinks with high levels of sugar and hidden high fructose corn syrup will not only cause weight gain, but can lead to diabetes and other serious health consequences. Yet, it is important for most of us that we do boost our energy levels.

The Vital Importance of Sleep
Simply stated, you just shouldn't skip the sleep. The fact is that sleep is your foundation for feeling better, looking better, fighting off disease, recovering from injury and maybe even living longer! Many people believe that they can make up their sleep at a later date, but this idea is simply flawed, as scientific studies have indicated.   Northwestern University research on sleep deprived animals showed that when we don’t get enough sleep night after night, we can’t simply make up this “sleep debt” later. Further, chronic sleep loss can interfere with endocrine and immune system function.

Taking quality multivitamins and other supplements can help keep you sharp and healthy, but they are no replacement for sleep in the long run. Sleep is invaluable, and you likely need more of it! Sleep has been proven to increase the strength of your immune system, reduce stress hormone levels that can lead to weight gain, improve your memory and cognitive abilities and serves to repair injuries throughout your body. 

Food Choices Do Make a Tangible Difference
Replacing foods with low nutritional value with foods that are high in nutritional value is a second great step towards having more energy. The majority of people don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. By getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet you will naturally see your energy levels increase. Carbohydrates in the form of whole grain and brown rice can also boost energy. Nuts are also a great choice for increasing energy as their high levels of magnesium convert sugar into energy.

Quality Supplements Can Be an Essential Aid
There are also many good energy supplements, which can help you increase your energy levels, for example, a quality broad spectrum B vitamin. Moreover, B vitamins help you deal with the effects of stress as well, meaning that if you feel that you are being "drained" by the stress of life in general, turning to B vitamins for help is a good idea.

Increasing your sleep, making smarter food choices and taking quality supplements, such as B vitamin supplements, can help you feel better and have more energy naturally. All of these steps will help keep your immune system strong and functioning properly, reducing your chances of illness and helping you keep your energy levels consistent.

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Five Natural Anti-aging Solutions

by Health News

Five Natural Anti-aging SolutionsWhile getting older is unavoidable, many of the side effects like wrinkling of the skin, elevated risks for heart disease and stroke, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and memory loss can be forestalled with healthy lifestyle choices including good nutrition.  Take a look at these five tips for nutrition and anti-aging.

  1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Diets packed with fresh fruits and vegetables help boost energy, maintain a healthy weight, and lower chances for disease.  With the exception of a few, most fresh fruits and veggies are full of fiber, low in calories and free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.  This helps lower risks for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and hypertension. 
  2. Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium and vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and folic acid.  Fruits and veggies also contain antioxidants which fight free radicals that attack and damage cells.   Antioxidants also help boost the immune system and protect the brain from oxidative stress.
  3. Consume healthy fats with omega-3 fatty acids.  Foods like salmon and halibut contain omega-3 fatty acids.  According to research, these may help lower risks for heart disease and cancer, boost immunity and improve mood for a younger, healthier body.  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that regular consumers of fish have significantly less incidences of colorectal, esophageal, stomach and pancreatic cancers. Even those who consumed small amounts of fish were found to have reduced risks for cancers of the digestive tract.
  4. Drink enough water.  The body depends upon water for survival.  In addition to ensuring adequate moisture in the eyes, ears, nose and throat, water helps the skin stay healthy by hydrating skin cells, removing toxins and delivering nutrients to cells.  Also, proper hydration ensures more efficient perspiration which helps keep skin clean and clear. Drink at least 64 ounces of pure water each day.
  5. Cut unneeded calories.   Studies have shown that a reduction in calories increases lifespan in small mammals and lowers incidences of age-related diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and memory loss.  Ask your health-care provider about the appropriate daily calorie level for your height and weight, and make sure your calories come from healthy sources:  fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats. 

Consider supplementation of certain vitamins and minerals.  Aging individuals absorb nutrients with less efficiency, resulting in the need for better nutrition.  The body makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but with aging the amount is progressively reduced.  Vitamin D is important for the prevention of osteoporosis because it helps the body process calcium.  It also aids in the prevention of cancer, and it may have therapeutic effects on autoimmune diseases and protective effects on cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  Most experts recommend 600 to 1000 IU of vitamin D daily for aging individuals.

The need for B vitamins also increases with age. Three in particular - folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 - are essential for the maintenance of homocysteine levels in the blood.  Research suggests that high homocysteine levels may contribute to heart disease and stroke. A review of several studies found that consumption of folic acid reduced homocysteine levels by about 25 percent, according to a 2002 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. When folic acid was paired with vitamin B12, homocysteine levels were reduced by an additional seven percent.  A daily vitamin B-complex supplement or a multivitamin that contains the recommended daily amounts of folic acid, B6 and B12 will ensure adequate intake of these important nutrients.

Women in particular should boost their calcium intake as they age to keep bones young and guard against osteoporosis.   The National Institutes of Health recommends 1,000 mg per day during middle age.  After menopause, 1,200 mg is recommended if on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and 1,500 mg is recommended after menopause if not on HRT.

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The Benefits of Bee Pollen

by Health News

Millions of Americans suffer from allergies and we spend billions of dollars each year trying to find relief. Every time we turn on the television or pick up a magazine we are bombarded with advertisements for over-the-counter and prescription medications that promise to alleviate the sneezing, wheezing, coughing, congestion and watery eyes associated with allergies. 

Unfortunately many of the pharmaceutical  “solutions” contain chemicals that produce unpleasant (and sometimes dangerous) side effects which can be more detrimental than the allergy symptoms themselves.  As is often the case, the safest and most reliable cure lies with Mother Nature. Holistic practitioners advocate natural remedies, such as bee pollen, to treat allergies.     
 
Many of the allergens which affect our bodies come from pollens, which are tiny powdery grains that are released from flowering plants and are carried by the wind or insects.  Pollen can land in a person’s eyes, nose, lungs and skin. Because your body senses that allergens are invaders, it will do everything it can to flush them from your system.  Sneezing and watery discharges from the nose and eyes reflect the body’s efforts to flush away allergen particles.

Holistic researchers believe that bee pollen helps allergies by desensitizing the body to the pollen that travels through the air. Daily doses of bee pollen can help your body build up its defenses so that it becomes resistant to allergens.  In fact, many researchers refer to bee pollen as a “natural vaccine” against allergies. 

In addition to allergy relief, bee pollen also boasts a host of other benefits. It has been used as both food and medicine since biblical times and is considered a staple in traditional Chinese medicine.  Hippocrates often prescribed it for his patients and the Greeks and Romans referred to bee pollen as “life-giving dust.”  Today’s holistic practitioners recommend daily doses of bee pollen to  aid digestion, regulate metabolism, boost stamina, restore sexual desire, expedite weight loss, fight depression, enhance memory and slow down the aging process. 

Since most people aren’t beekeepers and don’t have hives in their backyards, you may be wondering where you can obtain this natural superstar.  Fortunately bee pollen is available in a convenient supplement form in natural health stores.  The Institute for Vibrant living offers a bee pollen supplement that contains a unique blend of nutrients to support allergy relief and overall health.  

The bottom line is that bee pollen’s benefits are “nothing to sneeze at” whether it’s used specifically for treating allergies or for overall health and vitality.  It is not surprising that millions of Americans are taking advantage of bee pollen supplements.  Talk to your holistic practitioner about incorporating bee pollen into your daily wellness plan and feel the difference it makes in your life.

What natural solutions do you use to fight your allergies?

 

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Green Tea Extract May Help Offset Fatigue for Workaholics

by Health News

The Institute for Vibrant Living Green TeaThe health benefits of green tea are becoming more widely accepted among medical experts, and as a result the marketplace is booming with green tea products. This antioxidant-rich nutrient has shown promise for its positive effects on heart disease, cancer, weight loss, Alzheimer's disease, and for boosting the immune system. Now research from Japan suggests that supplements of EGCg, a potent ingredient in green tea, may offset physical and mental fatigue that can be attributed to a workaholic lifestyle.

In a laboratory study it was found that rats treated with EGCg could swim for longer periods than rats treated with saline solution. Levels of thiobarbituricacid reactive substance (TBARS), which can cause oxidative damage, were higher in the livers of fatigued animals as compared to the livers of control animals. However, treatment with EGCg for five days significantly reduced these levels in the livers of fatigued animals.

Study results suggest that EGCg is effective for easing fatigue and appears to have a positive effect on the damaged livers of fatigued animals. Researchers concluded, "We demonstrated that oral administration of EGCG (50 or 100 mg/kg intraperitoneally [not for 25 mg/kg]) improved performance in an animal model of combined fatigue...”

Study author Masaaki Tanaka from Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine stated, "Acute fatigue is a normal phenomenon that disappears after a period of rest. In contrast, the effects of accumulated fatigue are sometimes irreversible, and the compensation mechanisms that are useful in reducing acute fatigue are no longer effective." He further stated, "To avoid fatigue, it is important to develop effective strategies for attenuating fatigue."

Natural supplements containing green tea extract might be an ideal solution if the results of this study can be replicated in people. Green tea and its extracts already have a positive reputation, but this is one more reason to consider daily consumption of the tea or a natural green tea supplement.

Further study is needed, however, before EGCg can be considered a viable treatment for accumulated fatigue in workaholics. If the study above can be replicated in humans, it will provide more information on dosage needed and potential health risks.

What is your favorite way to drink green tea - hot or iced?

Sources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18455659

http://www.naturalnews.com/

Tanaka M, Baba Y, Kataoka Y, Kinbara N. Sagesaka YM, Kakuda T, Watanabe, Y. Effects of (-) -epigallocatechin gallate in liver of an animal model of combined (physical and mental) fatigue. Nutrition 24(6):599-603, 2008

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Açai Supplements: Why They’re Good for You

by Health News

You’ve probably heard of the açai berry. Perhaps you’ve seen it advertised as an ingredient in a nutritional supplement or even as something you can add to your juice smoothie.  But do you know what it is and why supplement companies are so eager to promote it? Here are the basics:

The acai berry is found in the Amazon forest and is known to have very powerful antioxidant properties. It comes from a tree called Euterpe oleraceae, which is a large palm tree indigenous to the Amazon river and its tributaries in South America. The Brazillians call it “the tree of life.” While it has long rich history in Brazil, the açai berry has only been in the western market since about the year 2000.

What do açai berries and their various extract products have to offer?  One only needs to know what’s in these berries to know how good they are for us.  Acai berries are a rich source of a powerful type of phytonutrient called  anthocyanins. They are also rich in B vitamins, minerals, fiber protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

Anthocyanins are found in red wine and scientists have speculated that they play a major role in the “French Paradox” (the fact that the French diet consists of many high-fat foods yet the people of France have relatively low rates of heart disease) because the French consume so much red wine, which is a rich source of anthocyanins. Acai berries, however, are believed to contain many times the anthocyanin levels of red wine.

While more research is needed to evaluate all of the possible health benefits of açai berries and açai all natural supplements, many people who have taken them report having increased energy naturally, better circulation and desirable weight loss. Side effects from açai berries and stand-alone açai supplements are not common, taking too much of it can cause mild diarrhea and acidic stomach.

Have you been looking for a natural way to increase energy naturally and increase circulation? Try an acai berry supplement.  

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Natural Health Solutions: Eating to Prevent Osteoporosis

by Health News

Natural Health Solutions: Eating to Prevent OsteoporosisWhat do you lose when you drink lots of soda pop, eat plenty of sugar and saturated fat, little fiber, and plenty of tasty salt? You lose bone density. 

 

What's worse, by avoiding the list of dietary no-no's, and taking a regular calcium supplement, you can still be losing bone density! 

 

You may think you're eating healthily, and you may be taking at least 1,000 mg of calcium every day, but you just might be at an increased risk of osteoporosis, with a frightening potential for degeneration of bone mass (usually from the hip and lower spine.) 

 

The fact is, far too many people—women and men alike—have a calcium absorption disorder. Even with a daily calcium supplement, unless the body actually absorbs the calcium supplement into the bone, it doesn't do any good. In fact, consuming a calcium supplement without proper bone-absorption, can be dangerous, because even though your body can excrete some of the well-intentioned calcium, your body can also store calcium in other places where it shouldn't be kept. The human body can actually become toxic with calcium, mainly from mal-absorbed calcium supplementation, while the bones continue to shrink.

 

So what should you do to protect your bones? Should you even be taking a daily calcium supplement

 

First things first: A healthy adult loses about 500 milligrams of calcium each day, because your body takes this amount of calcium naturally from your bones and places it into your bloodstream to be used by your body. It's just the way it is. Therefore, it makes sense to take in at least 500 milligrams of daily calcium to replace this natural leaching effect. For most people, it can be difficult to consume 500+ milligrams of calcium in their daily diet, so it is very wise to include a calcium supplement into the mix. 

 

So how can you make the absolute most from the calcium you consume through the foods you eat, and through calcium supplementation? 

 

Basically, you need to reduce and/or eliminate the substances that are blocking your absorption of calcium. You may be thinking, okay, simple enough, give me the how-to 1, 2, 3's! 

 

1: Salt vs. calcium.... the salt wins, you lose bone. You must reduce your salt intake. Salt and calcium compete with each other to get absorbed into the small intestine. If you eat too much salt, your calcium will make a beeline right into your colon and out of your body. Some calcium will go into your blood and attract water, so your kidneys work overtime to flush it out as urine, taking with it even more calcium and minerals needed by your body for good health. 

 

Become salt-savvy. Read labels for sodium content. Seek out natural salt substitutes and use herbs and spices for flavoring. Look for foods that are unsalted or with no added salt. Sodium free or salt free should have less than five mg per serving. Very low sodium should have 35 mg of sodium or less per serving. Low sodium should have 140 mg of sodium or less per serving. You get the idea. (Bonus: your blood pressure, heart, liver and kidneys will thank you.) Know that over time, tastebuds can become dependent on salt for flavor, so you may have to wean your tongue from that needed taste. To improve your chances of kicking the salt habit, try reducing the use over several weeks, with 'zero salt tolerance' being your ultimate goal. 

 

2: Pop! Goes Your Bones! Soda pop has two things going against it—or against you—sugar (or a sugar substitute) and phosphoric acid. Sorry, but if you're a regular pop drinker, you probably have a calcium absorption problem. It's that simple. Too much sugar can cause insulin resistance, making your insulin levels too high, and insulin is a huge calcium robber. Excess insulin yanks healthy bone material out of your bones and drops it into your soft tissues where it can cause harm—and prohibits your bones from absorbing the calcium from your food and your supplements. Giving up sugar is vital to your bones. And the phosphoric acid... well, with a pH level of 2.8, that's what creates the carbonation and fizz, hence the name “pop.” Most high school science classes will experiment by soaking a steak in a bowl of cola, and watching as it disappears in two days! Try it—and think of what this could be doing to your bones. 

 

Get in the habit of reaching for water instead. Add flavor with slices of fruit or mix in a splash of juice. Experiment with iced black tea and green tea; flavors such as raspberry, peppermint and chamomile satisfy a sweet tooth, promote weight loss, provide added health benefits, and naturally hydrate your cells. Remember, there are natural sweeteners like stevia and agave. Each provides the sweetness of nature, but without the dangers of sugar and artificial sweeteners.

 

3: Pump it Up!  You guessed it: resistance training is the best way to build bone. Twice a week for 45 minutes. Regardless of your age—or because of your age!—lifting weights is your ticket to healthy bones and increased calcium absorption. Studies show that regular weight lifting increases bone mass in the hips and lower spine, areas often the victims of bone loss and bone fractures. 

 

Simple hand- and leg-weights are all that's needed to give your bones that added boost. Or join a gym and get the added benefit of guidance and inspiration from a staff trainer. And guess what? Your mood (and maybe your loved ones) will thank you! When you regularly lift weights, your mood gets lifted too. Strength training has been shown to help ease depression and be a dynamic mood enhancer.   Bonus: an improved body and an improved body image—and increased socialization by meeting new people if you go to a gym.

 

A vital connection has finally been seen linking calcium consumption with calcium absorption. By proactively avoiding salt and sugar, and including regular resistance training, you set the stage for your body to absorb the calcium you need from your foods and calcium supplements. Foods that are naturally high in calcium are yogurt, figs, tofu, eggs, dairy, and all of the glorious dark green vegetables, like kale, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and spinach. 

 

Speaking of spinach, an old French proverb calls it, “The broom of the stomach.” Spinach sweeps away cholesterol and helps flush the body of saturated fat. Keep a huge bag of baby spinach on hand. Toss handfuls into just about any recipe, preferably at the last minute. Add to rice as it nears completion; throw a handful into a low-sodium canned soup for lunch; heap it onto a hot non-stick pan sprayed with olive oil, toss with a few drops of balsamic vinegar—it'll shrink into just a few delicious servings. (Don’t forget to add some nuts for added nutrients and crunch.) Use raw spinach in lieu of lettuce on sandwiches, roll-ups and wraps. And of course, it's always great in a salad. Spinach is loaded with bone-loving calcium and naturally reduces excess cholesterol. 

 

Studies have shown that people with high cholesterol have fewer cells that work to build bone density. Bone health is a continual process of bone breakdown and bone build-up, so it's up to you to give your bones what they need to rebuild themselves—and avoid what prevents calcium absorption. Eat with your bones in mind. Intentionally choose foods that offer nutrients necessary for bone health. Cultivate a dietary awareness through purposefully eating foods that work with your body, not against it. Know what your food is doing for you and to you.

 

So what do you get when you combine smart food choices and eating with intention? You get great health and strong bones to escort you through a long and vibrant life! 

 

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Liver Health: 10 Tips for Optimum Liver Health

by Health News

Nourish and cleanse the body from the inside out by trying the ten tips below or natural liver and kidney health. Detoxification can eliminate impurities from the body allowing health and wellness to take hold and thrive.

The natural process of detoxification in the body involves the blood, bowels, kidneys, lungs, liver and skin. The liver filters and removes impurities from the blood, the kidneys and bowels eliminate harmful substances through wasting, the lungs filter dangerous particles that we breathe, and the skin removes impurities through the pores. A threat to any part of this process can affect the whole body. Here are ten ways to detoxify your body and keep it healthy – inside and out!

Eat a healthy, fiber-full diet!
Foods that are high in fiber act as natural cleansers and detoxifiers and slow the rate at which the body absorbs sugar, keeping blood sugar levels steady. Health professionals recommend consumption of 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily for good health. Good sources of fiber are whole grains, brown rice, organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and spices like cinnamon, basil, cloves and black pepper.

Cleanse with H2O!
If the body is not properly hydrated, the kidneys pass extra work to the liver and other organs causing stress, which compromises the process of purifying the blood.   Drink at least 64 ounces of pure or filtered water daily to enhance the health. Proper amounts of water can improve the complexion, boost digestion, relieve aches and pains, enhance the metabolism, and renew vitality and energy.

Limit your alcohol intake!
When ingested, alcohol is absorbed by the stomach, enters the bloodstream and travels to all body tissues. Large amounts ingested over time can cause damage to the brain and liver.  Women who drink during pregnancy can give birth to babies with fetal alcohol syndrome, which can result in mental retardation and other physical problems. In addition, a new study from England indicates that one alcoholic drink per day is linked to breast cancer in 11 of every 1,000 women, increasing with each additional daily drink. 

Give detoxifying herbs a try!
Herbal cleanses are a great idea when a specific organ needs detoxification. In addition, herbs provide vitamins, minerals and enzymes for optimum nutrition. Herbs can be purchased as teas, powders or extracts.

Balance your pH levels!
Look into alkalizing foods or supplements like wheat grass, barley grass and lemon grass to naturally balance the pH levels in your body. This helps to purify the blood and remove undigested fats and toxins from the liver. In addition, balancing pH levels can increase energy, improve the complexion and enhance digestion!

Try zeolite!
This is a porous mineral made from volcanic ash and sea salt which has tremendous detoxifying potential. Sold in liquid, powder and tablet form, this mineral contains cavities which attract and bind harmful substances and flush them safely from the body!

Clean the colon! |
This process clears large quantities of stagnant, toxic waste trapped on colon walls.  Many enthusiasts claim that yearly colon cleansing improves vitality in the body, boosts the immune system, enhances mental outlook and supports weight loss.

Eliminate pesky parasites!
Symptoms of parasite infestation include abdominal pain, constipation, anemia, fatigue, digestive problems, dizziness and joint pain, to name a few. To cleanse the body of parasites, try munching on pumpkin or peppermint seeds or try wormwood, pink root or black walnut supplements.

Purge the stress!
Stress triggers the body to release stress hormones into the bloodstream, which are deterrents to good health. Large quantities of these hormones can create toxins in the body and can slow the action of enzymes in the liver. Try meditation, yoga, or tai chi to purge stress from the body.

Give hydrotherapy a go!
This method detoxifies through the pores and supports a healthy immune system! Take a very hot shower for five minutes, and follow with the water on the coldest possible setting for 30 seconds. Repeat for two additional cycles and relax in bed for 30 minutes after.