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The Benefits of L-Glutamine for Your Health and Wellness
December 07, 2022 02:58 PM
If you’re looking to take your health and wellness journey to the next level, it’s time to consider adding L-Glutamine into your daily routine. This supplement has been proven to support lean muscle growth, assist in recovery from workouts, promote healthy immune function, and provide digestive support. Let's explore why this supplement can be beneficial for overall health and wellness.
What is L-Glutamine?
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that plays a vital role in cellular health by providing nitrogen for cell production. It is found naturally in the body, but efforts such as intense exercise, stress, injury or illness can cause a decrease in its levels. Supplementing with L-glutamine can help keep levels consistent in order to reap the full benefits of this nutrient.
Benefits of L-Glutamine
L-glutamine provides several benefits for those looking to improve their wellness journey. For starters, it helps build lean muscle mass by helping the body metabolize protein more efficiently. Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids found in muscle. Additionally, taking this supplement can help reduce post workout fatigue and enhance overall recovery time after a strenuous workout session. Furthermore, due to its antioxidant properties, it may also aid in immune system functioning by protecting against free radical damage caused by inflammation and stress. Finally, glutamine plays an important role in maintaining proper digestion by providing fuel for cells that line the small intestine which supports nutrient absorption.* Glutamine may even help reduce leaky gut syndrome.*
Incorporating Glutamine Into Your Diet
The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can incorporate l-glutamine into your diet without having to resort to supplements or shakes. Some food sources include red meat, fish, dairy products like yogurt or kefir, eggs and legumes such as beans or peas.* It’s also easy enough to find l-glutamine powder which can be added into smoothies or healthy Snacks like energy bars.*
So, if you're looking for an effective way to take your health and wellness journey to the next level with natural methods rather than synthetic ones - then incorporating l-glutamine into your diet could be the answer! This supplement has been known to support lean muscle growth while aiding recovery from workouts and promoting healthy immune system functioning along with digestive health - making it a great addition to any lifestyle! Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any supplementation regime though!*
The Many Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
September 28, 2022 02:53 PM
You may be familiar with chia seeds as the little black seeds that grow on the chia pet. But did you know that these same seeds offer a host of health benefits? Chia seeds are an excellent source of essential fatty acids and fiber, and they can be easily incorporated into your diet. Let's take a closer look at the many health benefits of chia seeds.
Essential Fatty Acids
Chia seeds are a good source of essential fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is important for heart health. One study found that people who consume a diet high in ALA have a lower risk of heart disease. ALA is also important for cognitive function and brain health. In fact, one study found that people who consume a diet rich in ALA have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Chia seeds are also a good source of fiber. Fiber is important for digestive health and can help to prevent constipation. Fiber is also beneficial for blood sugar control and can help to prevent type 2 diabetes. One study found that people who consume a diet high in fiber have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of essential fatty acids and fiber, two nutrients that are important for overall health. If you're looking for an easy way to improve your diet, consider adding chia seeds to your meals and Snacks.
5 Ways to Use Carob Powder
September 26, 2022 03:41 PM
Carob powder is a flavorful and versatile substitute for chocolate. Use in place of cocoa powder in your favorite recipes for delicious chocolate flavor without the fat, caffeine or theobromine found in chocolate. Carob powder is also a great way to add natural sweetness and flavor to baked goods and Snacks.
Here are 5 ways to use carob powder:
Carob powder is a healthy, delicious and versatile substitute for chocolate. Used in place of cocoa powder, it adds rich chocolate flavor without the fat, caffeine or theobromine found in chocolate. Carob powder can be used in smoothies, baking recipes, as a sprinkle on top of breakfast foods or mixed with nuts and dried fruit for Snacks. Get creative and have fun experimenting with this unique ingredient!
The Many Uses of Gelatin Powder
September 12, 2022 02:58 PM
NOW Real Food® Beef Gelatin Powder is a versatile thickener, stabilizer and texturizer that mixes instantly – no soaking necessary. Gelatin is commonly used in jams, jellies, desserts, marshmallows, and many other foods. It’s often used to create volume without adding a lot of calories. Let's explore some of the many uses of gelatin powder and the benefits it can have on your health.
One of the most common uses for gelatin powder is as a thickener for soups and sauces. If you've ever made homemade gravy or sauce and it's come out too thin, gelatin powder can help fix that. Simply mix a small amount of gelatin powder with an equal amount of cold water, then whisk it into your soup or sauce. The gelatin will help thicken it up without changing the flavor.
Gelatin powder is also commonly used in desserts such as pudding, pie filling, and ice cream. It helps give these desserts a silky smooth texture. Gelatin powder can also be used to make fruit Snacks and jello. If you want to get really creative, you can even use gelatin powder to make homemade marshmallows!
In addition to its culinary uses, gelatin powder also has a number of health benefits. Gelatin is a great source of protein and amino acids, which are essential for muscle growth and repair. Gelatin also helps improve joint health by reducing inflammation and boosting collagen production. Collagen is the main structural protein found in connective tissue, so adequate collagen levels are necessary for keeping our joints healthy as we age.
As you can see, there are many uses for gelatin powder beyond just making JellO! Whether you're looking to add some protein to your diet or thicken up a soup or sauce, gelatin powder is a versatile kitchen staple that can do the job. So next time you're at the store, be sure to pick up some NOW Real Food® Beef Gelatin Powder. Your taste buds will thank you!
The nutritional content and health benefits of pecans and walnuts
May 13, 2019 04:21 PM
Walnuts and pecans are both healthy snacks with lots of benefits. Walnuts have more fat and more protein, while pecans have more fiber and more natural sugars. The fat in both pecans and walnuts consists predominantly of healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as omega-3s. Both pecans and walnuts are good for brain health and rich in antioxidants. Their polyphenols help to protect the brain, while their healthy fats help to safeguard the heart and prevent atherosclerosis.
"Walnuts have the B vitamins choline and niacin, while pecans show tiny amounts of vitamin A."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-31-nutritional-content-and-health-benefits-of-pecans-and-walnuts.html
Take better care of your heart by eating more almonds
April 02, 2019 02:00 PM
A recent study showed that nuts are good snacks that can improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels. This study was done with 837 people and showed that the people who benefited the most were those with overall elevated total cholesterol. The results support the idea that eating nuts will lower the risk of heart disease. Other heart healthy snacks recommended include carrots, cucumbers, celery sticks and hummus, along with fruits such as whole apples, pears, peaches or bunches of grapes, oatmeal, and soy protein were listed.
"Among participants who consumed at least 45 grams (g) of almonds per day, a 0.212 mmol/L decrease in total cholesterol was seen. Furthermore, those who have high levels of total cholesterol and consumed at least 45 g of almonds every day experienced a 0.271 mmol/L in total cholesterol."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-28-take-better-care-of-your-heart-by-eating-more-almonds.html
Why You Should Add Pumpkin Seeds To Your Diet
January 31, 2018 10:59 AM
Pumpkin seeds would make a great snack if you are on the go. They are easily portable and have a nice crunch. You can buy them or you can roast your own. Many doo this after carving pumpkins as part of their Halloween festivities. There are health benefits to pumpkin seeds as well which are discussed here. This snack is healthier than many others because many Snacks contain a lot of empty calories or sugar.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erhECtA1zoE&rel=0
Health Benefits of Dry Fruits, the Surprising Superfood
October 20, 2017 01:14 PM
There are some surprising health benefits that are offered by dry fruits. Dry fruits are a lot like berries and nuts because they both are very high in antioxidants. Super foods are foods which have way better nutrition than other foods. Even when they are taken in small supply, they provide a great amount of nutrition. Some dry fruits are though to have very unique properties that prevent aging as well as sharpen the intellect.
"Consumption of dry fruits enhances energy and stamina; also as they are rich in fibre which means better digestion and overall health."
Read more: http://www.business-standard.com/article/health/health-benefits-of-dry-fruits-the-surprising-superfood-117101600317_1.html
8 Pumpkin Seed Benefits for Weight Loss, Hair Growth and More
August 09, 2017 11:07 AM
There are 8 pumpkin seed benefits for weight loss, hair growth and much more. Being very mindful in what you eat and including some healthy snacks will go a long way in benefiting your body. One snack that you can always turn to is the pumpkin seed. There are a variety of nutrients in the pumpkin seed like zinc and magnesium. There is also copper and protein in the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of B vitamins.
Read more: 8 Pumpkin Seed Benefits for Weight Loss, Hair Growth and More
How to stop sugar cravings this Easter
April 14, 2017 06:44 AM
Easter is a time when it is easy to be tempted by sugar. A craving for sugar is the body needed something that releases dopamine in the body. To avoid sugar cravings, there are a few tips you can take: 1. Eat small meals and snacks spread throughout the day; 2. Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day; 3. Avoid processed foods; 4. Distract yourself from the cravings by doing something fund; 5. Avoid white carbohydrates and instead focus on eating wholegrains; and 6. Try a natural food supplement to curb your appetite and get rid of cravings.
Read more: How to stop sugar cravings this Easter
What Are the Best Snacks Before Bedtime?
March 21, 2017 04:44 AM
Studies show that certain foods are the best snacks to eat close to bedtime. These include high fiber foods such as oatmeal and fruits. Low fat dairy products are also good. Crackers and cheese, sliced vegetables and cottage cheese are also good choices. One must remember that a great deal of calories are consumed by snacking so one must be careful. Maybe it's not really hunger but thirst one is feeling. It is a good practice to drink plenty of water and eat more often during the day so you won't feel like you're starving.
"A banana, apple or other fresh fruit, a small portion of low-fat cottage cheese or plain yogurt with sliced fruit, or oatmeal or some other high-fiber cereal with skim milk were frequent suggestions made by experts interviewed for this article."
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/well/eat/what-are-the-best-snacks-before-bedtime.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0
Is your liver too fat? Time to put it on a diet
March 12, 2017 02:14 PM
A fatty liver can increase your risk of cirrhosis and keep your liver from doing it's job. A fatty liver can be caused by poor diet that includes a high amount of fat. Other causes are linked to obesity, diabetes and high blood cholesterol. Diet and exercise can prevent fatty liver disease, including restricting refined grains and lowering refined sugar intake. Avoiding alcohol and increasing your intake of antioxidant rich foods will also help reduce and fight NAFLD. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is also becoming prevalent in children as well. One study found that most children with NAFLD had a higher intake of fructose sugar than with out. Although fresh fruit and vegetables contain fructose, it is also found in many children's foods made with high fructose corn sugar, such as fruit drinks, soda and candy. By eliminating some of these unhealthy snacks and drinks, not only will you decrease your risk for NAFLD but also decrease your risk of obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes.
"It begins with its mildest form, simple fatty liver, an accumulation of fat in liver cells that, by itself, usually doesn't lead to liver damage."
Read more: https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theglobeandmail.com%2Flife%2Fhealth-and-fitness%2Fhealth%2Fis-your-liver-too-fat-time-to-put-it-on-a-diet%2Farticle34204788%2F&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGmZjNGVlYTM1NDU3YmZmOGU6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNGFUg26aKYZ3hO__TyH_CouOYQ_og
Is your liver too fat? Time to put it on a diet
March 12, 2017 01:59 PM
A fatty liver can increase your risk of cirrhosis and keep your liver from doing it's job. A fatty liver can be caused by poor diet that includes a high amount of fat. Other causes are linked to obesity, diabetes and high blood cholesterol. Diet and exercise can prevent fatty liver disease, including restricting refined grains and lowering refined sugar intake. Avoiding alcohol and increasing your intake of antioxidant rich foods will also help reduce and fight NAFLD. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is also becoming prevalent in children as well. One study found that most children with NAFLD had a higher intake of fructose sugar than with out. Although fresh fruit and vegetables contain fructose, it is also found in many children's foods made with high fructose corn sugar, such as fruit drinks, soda and candy. By eliminating some of these unhealthy snacks and drinks, not only will you decrease your risk for NAFLD but also decrease your risk of obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes.
"It begins with its mildest form, simple fatty liver, an accumulation of fat in liver cells that, by itself, usually doesn't lead to liver damage."
Read more: https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theglobeandmail.com%2Flife%2Fhealth-and-fitness%2Fhealth%2Fis-your-liver-too-fat-time-to-put-it-on-a-diet%2Farticle34204788%2F&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGmZjNGVlYTM1NDU3YmZmOGU6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNGFUg26aKYZ3hO__TyH_CouOYQ_og
how to gain weight fast for women
March 07, 2017 03:59 AM
If you are someone who has trouble gaining or maintaining weight or are potentially recovering from an eating disorder, discover some strategies that will help you gain weight quickly. It is suggested that you eat six times per day, three meals and three snacks, and to never go more than four waking hours without eating. One of the foods to try is lean red meat, such as steak, particularly those steaks with a good amount of marbling such as T-bone, Rib-eye, or New York strip.
"Adding another 500 calories to your diet everyday will lead to a weight gain of 0.5 kg, or a little over 1 lb, each week. This may not seem like a lot, but consuming too many additional calories per day could be bad for your body."
Read more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C05AIwEMRyU
How You Can Stop Overeating
March 03, 2017 07:59 AM
Overeating is a major problem in America and the obesity rate is rising. Several things you can do to prevent obesity or lose some pounds is eat healthier for a start. Cut out the processed food and the sugar. Try eating more fruits, vegetables and low cal Snacks as well as plenty of water. Track what you are eating and why.
"The single most important action to take to stop overeating is to eat healthier. This means to stop eating processed foods and eating more vegetables, nuts, whole grains and lean meats like chicken or fish."
Skipping breakfast may be bad for your heart, doctors say
February 08, 2017 12:59 PM
Are you eating your breakfast? It has long been reported that breakfast is the best meal of the day, and new research suggests that going without it may do even more damage, particularly to your heart. What should you know about breakfast and the risks of not enjoying this meal as you should?
"Eating more calories earlier in the day and consuming less food at night may also reduce the odds of a heart attack, stroke or other cardiac or blood vessel diseases, according to the scientific statement from the American Heart Association."
Skipping Breakfast Could Increase Your Risk Of Heart Disease
February 06, 2017 10:59 AM
It turns out that you actually need breakfast because not having it could enhance your risk of having heart disease. Planning your meals and Snacks and eating a healthy breakfast everyday will help to lower the risk of you getting heart disease. It's also important to eat less during the night time and eating more calories during the day.
"Eating more calories earlier in the day and consuming less food at night may also reduce the odds of a heart attack, stroke or other cardiac or blood vessel diseases, according to the scientific statement from the American Heart Association. “When we eat may be important to consider, in addition to what we eat,” said Marie-Pierre St-Onge, chair of the group that wrote the guidelines and a nutrition researcher at Columbia University Medical Center in New York."
How To Lose Face Fat | Get A Slimmer Face
February 01, 2017 10:19 AM
If you are concerned about losing fat in your face, there are many easy exercises and activities that you can do (or avoid) to get a slimmer face. The food, Snacks, and beverages you consume are also very important to getting the face you want. These are the steps you can take to achieve a slimmer face the healthy way.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6M7ESE1bgs
"To do facial yoga widen your eyes and stare at a particular point in front of your face."
Protein Can Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Many people suffer from blood sugar level inconsistencies. A condition known as hypoglycemia is caused when your blood sugar (glucose) drops, resulting in a range of symptoms. Many people with diabetes suffer from hypoglycemia, and the common solution is thought by many to be a sweet treat. However, this can often exacerbate the problem. More often the solution is to give the person some foods which contain protein.
How protein can stabilize blood sugar levels
In much the same way that dietary fiber works, eating a source of high-quality protein along with your meals and Snacks can have a beneficial effect on your body's blood sugar levels. Adding some protein to your meal would help to provide the amino acids for tissue repair and recovery while also ensuring you stay satisfied for several hours after eating or consuming the meal.
By choosing the right combination of protein and carbohydrates to eat, you can control the amount of glucose in your bloodstream by slowing the process of digestion. This slowing down prevents a blood sugar spike as a result of overdosing on carbohydrates. However, this doesn't mean that you can just eat foods with protein to your content. Your body can only assimilate so much protein in a single sitting, so you need to be able to ration your intake. Too much protein included in your diet can have severe side effects like intestinal wind, bad breath, and indigestion and there are also long-term health concerns concerning a diet that's too rich in protein.
Though many people might find it challenging to manage, diabetes is not a friendly condition you should just live with. Indeed, with simple changes in your life, you can reap great benefits such as weight reduction and lower both your blood sugar levels as well. Include foods rich in protein in your daily diet and the results will be amazing.
The 3 biggest feeding mistakes you can make with your preschooler
December 19, 2016 12:59 PM
Feeding a preschooler can be a daunting task. It is difficult when all they want is unhealthy food, and shun any attempt at giving them something healthy. There are some mistakes which can be avoided. Do not let them drink till their full, or eat a constant stream of Snacks. At a young age it is time to impress on the importance of healthy eating.
"Don’t be a short-order cook."
Pumpkins: What to do with them
November 26, 2016 08:59 AM
Many people only use pumpkins for carving around Halloween, but there are many other ways to use the vegetable. Everything from the skin to the seeds can be used for Snacks and dishes. It can even be frozen, dried, or canned for use later. When using pumpkins for cooking, it is best to get the smaller ones that have a sweeter taste.
"When using a pumpkin for both decoration and food, keep it safe to eat by drawing on it with nontoxic paint or markers instead of carving it."
Many Kids Still Eating Too Much Salt
November 18, 2016 03:04 PM
are you monitoring the foods that your children are eating? Chances are the foods they're consuming contain too much salt. New reports indicate that depsite the warnings, kids are eating too much salt. It is time to take a stand against sodium on your kid's plate and this information is a great place to start.
"Foods bought at grocery stores provided 58 percent of children's daily salt intake. Fast-food and pizza contributed 16 percent, and school cafeterias 10 percent, according to the study."
Always Tired? Burnout and Adrenal Fatigue Solutions
Do you often feel run down and fatigued during the day? So tired you could sleep? Do you crave and use salty and sweet foods as well as caffeine to get you through the day?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions it is likely that you may be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue or "Burnout." It's a very common problem which often goes unnoticed. It affects significantly more women than men. The number of people suffering has rocketed since the recession - money worries and job worries causing major stress.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal Fatigue is a term used to describe when the adrenal glands are exhausted. Adrenal fatigue is very commonly associated with stress levels. The adrenal glands release Cortisol in response to all stress, cortisol is your natural anti-inflammatory and reduces stress and inflammation levels when needed.
Your adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys and are the size of walnuts. They have a very important function within the body, they secrete over 50 different hormones which your body needs to survive. As well as cortisol some of the other hormones that the adrenal glands secrete include testosterone, estrogen, epinephrine, and progesterone.
People can live with this all their life and think it is just normal. This fatigue cannot simply be relieved by a good night's sleep. An estimated 80% of people at some point experience some form of adrenal fatigue and the physical symptoms associated with stress.
It is unlikely that a doctor will immediately diagnose you with adrenal fatigue, in my research I read about a female sufferer of adrenal fatigue who saw 27 different doctors before having her problem identified as adrenal fatigue! This is an extreme case.
Symptoms and negatives effects of adrenal fatigue
Adrenal fatigue can really wreck the life you live, in extreme cases, it can be so bad that you are only able to stay awake and move around for a couple of hours a day. Changes are made in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance is affected as well as your heart, cardiovascular system and sex drive as a result of adrenal fatigue.
The main symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:
Are Cashews A Healthy Choice For A Nut?
February 03, 2014 07:30 PM
Are cashew nuts healthy?
Providing you consume them crude or dry broiled – and unsalted – different types of nuts are bravo. There isn't one sort of nut you might as well dodge. (As opposed to prevalent thinking, cashews and macadamia nuts are extremely nutritious.) All nuts are a great wellspring of plant protein, hold no cholesterol and are low in immersed fat. Actually, most of the fat in nuts is unsaturated, a heart solid sort of fat.
The cashew nut might be seen uniquely in contrast to alternate sorts of nuts. Above all else, numerous individuals validate the way that this nut is much sweeter than alternate nuts we are utilized to. Cashews can additionally be consumed as Snacks or could be utilized as a crude element as a part of the readiness of distinctive dishes, forsakes and even baked goods making them exceptionally adaptable.
When you consume cashew nuts
You ought not just savour them for the minute since they are surely delightful however you may as well additionally take the opportunity to acknowledge how solid they are. Some individuals are agonized over a lot of admission of nuts because of their reputed connectivity to weight issues and heart issues. The exceptional thing is that cashew nuts don't generally hold much cholesterol contrasted with different nuts. This can without a doubt delete the stresses identified with cholesterol in nuts, along these lines, making it an extraordinary part in dishes or as stand-alone Snacks.
Benefits of cashew nuts
There are numerous points of interest to consuming these nuts. Above all else, they hold a ton of vitamins and minerals and that is one excuse for why we may as well guarantee expending these nuts consistently. Not just are cashews extremely flavorful and delicious, there are additionally known to be quite useful for the form and this due to the accompanying explanations:
They hold a high amount of potassium which, thusly, is a basic building piece of the blood. Potassium aides encourage the methodology of blood clotting, therefore helps us adapt effortlessly to wounds or cuts. Individuals who experience the ill effects of the condition haemophilia can additionally profit much from consuming cashew nuts on account of the high potassium content.
Cashew nuts are additionally known to be extraordinary wellsprings of filament. As we know, filament helps our digestive framework capacity well. Cashew nut filament permits us to process our sustenance better, in this way, helping simple defecation. When you have issues concerning customary and simple solid discharge, then it might be fitting to devour tree grown foods, vegetables and nuts that hold much filament. Iron is likewise held in cashew nuts. When you need press in your eating regimen, then you turn into an anaemic. Having anaemia is a condition wherein there are insufficient red platelets to convey oxygen all around your physique. Assuming that you are anaemic, then your different organs might be influenced and the level of vigor you have from regular can likewise be brought down. That is the reason legitimate oxygen measure ought to be guaranteed and that might be carried out by consuming foods grown from the ground, vegetables and nuts that can hold great measures of iron.
Cashew nuts likewise hold copper. The fundamental motivation behind this supplement is to support the figure in its press retention. As we have said, iron is one vital figure component and if brought with nourishment holding copper, then your physique can ingest the previous better.
Manganese and magnesium are different minerals found in cashew nuts. These two minerals help tissue and unit establishment. When you need your skin to look better or when you need your hair to develop well, then fitting cell and tissue development can help accomplish these objectives. Phosphorus and zinc, which are additionally vital for the working of our physique, can likewise be found in cashew nuts. Riboflavin and thiamine are additionally found in these delectable nuts and can help improve great vision, solid skin and likewise enhances our resistant framework.
Health and industrial benefits of guar gum
January 29, 2014 05:02 PM
What is Guar Gum
The guar bean plant is well known for its guar gum. Its seeds usually undergo dehusking, milling and screening in order to obtain the gum. This powder is used in a number of foods and Snacks and a lot of benefits are attributed to its intake. Most manufacturer of food stuffs use it as a fiber although this is not the only benefits the body can obtain from it.
Health benefits of guar gum
In most cases, the gum is used as a laxative. However, other advanced uses can be obtained from it. It is known to be able to effectively manage the body’s cholesterol level. When used together with a fiber called pectin, guar gum reduces the bad cholesterol in the body without having any effect on the good one. Other health related benefits are its ability to harden arteries in the body and also lead to weight loss for those people who need to shed a few pounds.
People who are experiencing bouts of diarrhea can also be given this gum to help with the condition. This is achieved by its ability to absorb excess moisture from stool and thus manage the diarrhea. Moreover, guar gum is taken by people suffering from diabetes to help in managing their blood sugar level. Its ability to reduce postprandial glucose as well as insulin level is usually exploited in this case. This is usually more effective when dietary proteins and fats in such individuals are under monitor.
Industrial uses of guar gum
Most of its industrial applications are based on properties such as solubility, crystallization and thickening ability. It is mainly used as a thickener in toothpaste and even ice cream. In ice cream, it also helps in crystal growth especially after the ice had melted and need to be frozen again. Additionally, it can also be used as a binder in various pharmaceutical products. The paper industry also makes use of this fiber in creating a denser surface on which printing is to take place.
Sesame sticks - a choice full of health
December 18, 2013 04:03 AM
What is Sesame
Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. The story of its amazing benefits, begins 3600 years ago in the ancient Egyptian times. Since those antique times, women used the sesame seeds to keep their beauty and their youth and the Roman soldiers ate them for energy and strength. In recent years, an abundance of scientific information was exposed to demonstrate that the sesame seeds and their components have over 36 therapeutic properties.
Sesame seeds are number one when it comes to the richness and complexity of nutrients. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc and these can be added in salads, sandwiches or over cereal in the morning.Another excellent choice are the sesame sticks. These are the real sources of health and in addition there are some excellent Snacks.
Sesame sticks consumption helps to detoxify the liver and kidneys, being highly recommended for cirrhotic patients. In addition, these Snacks prevent arthritis and osteoporosis, asthma, migraines and headaches; have antirheumatic and anti-cancer effects; strengthen the immune system and decrease the level of cholesterol.All these properties put together, give your body energy and a great power to work.
So, as you can see, the sesame seeds have many health benefits and additionally, these keep your silhouette. Therefore, when you sit and watch your favorite show on TV, you can choose a healthy snack consisting of sesame sticks, instead of chips that will fill you with cholesterol and that will add you a few extra pounds.You can also consume sesame sticks during breaks or when you feel the need for a snack.Vitamins and minerals contained by sesame seeds will provide you the necessary energy and will create you a feeling of satiety.
Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil in Joint Pains and Inflammation
August 01, 2012 08:16 AM
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are derived from fish oil and are an essential fatty acid necessary for the human health. Human body cannot produce them so they have to be derived from food products like fish, nuts and some plants. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in abundance in certain fish varieties like the salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, herring, krill and halibut. One needs to consume these varieties of fish at least twice a week to enjoy the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil has a number of health benefits some of them are neurological benefits, preventing heart diseases, and improving the health of joints.
Health Benefits of Omega-3 fish oil:
Omega-3 fish oils are also known as polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). Fish oil supplements are made from salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring varieties. The polyunsaturated fats in the fish oil have substantial anti-inflammatory properties and suppress the production of inflammation. They also help in reducing the risks of arthritis, cancer, and heart diseases. Omega-3 fish oil helps in brain growth and improves the operation of the brain memory and performance. Babies who are deprived of omega-3 fish oil are born with possible nerve and vision problems.
Deficiency of omega-3 fish oil can lead to dry skin, tiredness, heart problems, and mood swings. People consuming food rich in omega-3 fish oils are less likely to develop heart disease.
Benefits of Omega-3 fish oil in joint pains and inflammation:
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the major causes of joint pains and inflammation in many people making their life difficult. This type of arthritis can affect young as well as old alike. The body's immune system attacks the joints of the body by causing stiffness, and swelling of the area. People suffering from this condition have found a lot of relief from inflammation due to joint aches after regular consumption of fish supplements or consuming fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the benefits of omega-3 fish oil relating to joint pains are:It helps reduce tenderness of the jointsIt reduces the enzymes that destroy the cartilageDecreases the need to use painkillersReduces stiffness of the joints especially in morningsImproves the strength of joints
Increase in Omega-6 fatty acid which is also a type of essential fatty acids causes inflammation of the joints. They are found in abundance in corn, sunflower and canola oils. These are found in packaged Snacks, processed foods and in margarines. Omega-3 fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, which reduces joint pain and inflammation. According to researches our body helps convert omega-3 fatty acids into compounds which protect our joints and is thousands of times stronger than the original omega-3. These compounds are named Resolvins. These Resolvins slows and stops the production and flow of chemicals that are responsible for causing pains.
Studies have shown there should be a proper balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. Omega-3 fish oils can also be consumed in the form of supplements for people who do not consume fish. These supplements are an affordable choice to lessen joint and tendon pains. Omega-3 fish oil is considered to be very healthy in treating many other health conditions and improves the overall health just by consuming them on a regular basis.
How Do Carbohydrate Blockers Like White Kidney Bean Extract Work?
February 19, 2012 08:14 AM
Weight Loss And Carb Blockers
With so many weight loss products available in the market, it becomes difficult to find the right one that actually works. Many dieters are turning to starch blockers such as White Kidney beans that help in reducing the absorption of carbs in the body, hence getting rid of extra flab. Let us look at the science behind starch or cabohydrate blockers.
How does Carbohydrate Blocker work?
Starch is the non-nutritious and empty calorie form of carbohydrate that is found in bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. These evil foods have become the staple diet of many people. During the process of digestion, all the forms of carbohydrates are converted in to simple sugars. Sugar is further metabolised for energy, and excess sugar is stored either in the muscle tissue and liver or in the form of fat deposits. This breaking down of carbs is done with the help of an enzyme, alpha amylase. Recent studies have found that some substances contain specific ingredients that help in blocking the enzyme amylase. This ingredient is known as Phase 2 Carb Controller and it blocks tha action or function of alpha amylase. This results in slowing down of absorption and digestion processes. This reduces conversion of extra sugar in to fat and hence reduces calorie impact. So actually it is not starch blocker, as they do not block everything; rather it is starch enzymen blocker.
White Kidney Beans as Carbohydrate blocker:
White kidney beans are large beans that can be used to prepare soup and pasta dishes and other italian dishes. They are also called cannellini beans and have a mild delicious flavor. It has been studies that white kidney beans contain a specific ingredient called Phase 2 Carb Controller that helps in blocking the action of enzyme alpha amylase. According to the latest studies, white kidney beans may help the body stop carbs from breaking down in to sugars, hence there is no excess sugar to get converted in to fat. Experts say that Phase 2 Carb Controller selectively targets only the starchy white component of carbohydrates and do not affect the digestion of healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains and fruits. It inhibits body's digestion of specific complex carbs, which are then eliminated from the body. This helps you get rid of unhealthy stored fat, giving you healthy, fat free body.
What are the other benefits of White kidney beans that may assist in weight loss:
According to studies, white kidney beans also help in regulating the blood sugar levels. Normal blood sugar levels do not require breakdown of complex carbs and this also helps in losing weight.
White kidney beans also contain high amounts of fibre, which aids in digestion and keeps you satisfied, thereby avoiding untimely bingeing of high calorie Snacks.
Other health benefits of White kidney beans:
White kidney beans are useful in lowering triglycerides, coronary artery disease and degenerative arthritis.
Clinical studies on white kidney beans or starch blockers have shown that carbohydrate blocker do allow complex carbs to pass through the small intestine undigested. Research is still going on to find the further action of Phase 2 Carb Controller present in white kideny beans in losing weight.
Pea Protein Powder And Your Health
January 19, 2010 03:42 PM
Combining proteins from plant sources can be difficult, especially for people who are stressed for time and for those who avoid not only meats but dairy products, soy and eggs. Vegans and vegetarians often struggle to consume optimum levels of protein. And many other people search for ways to include the right amounts and types of protein in their diets.
Source Naturals Pea Protein Powder is a natural vegetable protein powder made from yellow peas (Pisum sativum), the peas used in split pea soup. This highly digestible, highly bioavailable protein source is a great way to supplement a vegetarian diet for those who have problems eating beans and soy. Suitable for children and adults, it increases carbohydrate metabolism for heart health, weight management and healthy glucose levels.
Pea Protein Powder is a non-GMO, hypo-allergic protein source that is 100% gluten and cholesterol free. The concentrated powder is 84% protein, and compliments that content of other protein sources. Its protein profile includes a high content of lysine, and essential amino acid that is often limited in other vegetable proteins.
Pea Protein Powder is easily incorporated into drinks, smoothies, shakes, crackers, chips, Snacks, soups, and other dishes. It can be added to soups or stews or sprinkled on past dishes instead of parmesan cheese. It has a neutral taste and good solubility. Source Naturals Pea Protein Powder is a great way for your to boost the protein in your diet. Available in both 16 oz and 32 oz powder cans.
Tasty new treats by Now Foods, "Crunch Clusters snacks"
December 11, 2009 02:49 PM
If you're going to snack on something throughout the day, why not make it something that tastes amazing? NOW® Crunchy Clusters are the perfect solution. Each scrumptious variety is made with natural ingredients, and guaranteed to be free of artificial preservatives, flavor enhancers, or colors.
The Benefits of Ascorbyl Palmitate A Fat-Soluble Form of Ascorbic Acid
February 09, 2008 10:43 AM
The benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are due to the substance being a fat-soluble form of ascorbic acid which is otherwise known as vitamin C. Before discussing why being fat-soluble should be of benefit, let us first have a look at what vitamin C does for us and what its limitations are.
Most people know vitamin C as the vitamin that prevents us from getting scurvy, and that limes and other citrus fruits were given to sailors to prevent them from contracting this often fatal disease on long journeys. However, important though the protection it provides against scurvy is, there are many more important uses for this important vitamin. In fact some of them are closely connected to the symptoms of scurvy.
Among these are pains and swelling in the joints, and the loosening of teeth and hair loss. Scurvy is also associated with easy bruising and bleeding. All of these can be associated with loss of collagen, which is contained in connective tissues, bone and blood vessels. Collagen repairs and maintains cartilage, heals wounds and is essential for proper skin formation and the structure of ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, bones, hair and teeth. When we consider that one of the most important properties of vitamin C is the part it plays in the production of collagen in the body, then its effectiveness in alleviating the symptoms of scurvy is not difficult to understand.
Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant that destroys free radicals that kill and severely damage body cells, and cause a large variety of undesirable conditions such as atherosclerosis and cancers, and also debilitating and painful inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Many free radicals are formed in the body as by-products of our metabolism: the generation of energy from fats and blood glucose. Others are ingested in the form of cigarette smoke and other toxins, while yet other free radicals are caused by the effect of sunlight on our skins. Natural antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E help to keep these free radicals under control and minimize their effect.
Another interesting property of vitamin C is in the synthesis of carnetine, a deficiency of which is also thought to contribute to scurvy. Carnetine is needed by the body to transport fat to the cellular mitochondria so that it can be converted to energy. Vitamin C is also believed to take part in the biochemistry that converts cholesterol to bile acids and so helps to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol in the blood.
The vitamin is therefore a very useful one for the body, but it has one fault. It is water soluble, and hence cannot be stored in the body but is expelled in the urine. Had it been fat soluble it could have been able to be stored in the body fats, in the same way that vitamins A and E are, and be available for use when required. Instead any excess that is not immediately used is lost, and a fresh intake of ascorbic acid necessary on a continuous basis.
Not only that, but it is only of use in areas of the body that the blood can reach. Fatty tissue is practically devoid of vitamin C, and many areas of the brain cannot be reached by substances that are insoluble in oils and fats. It also finds it difficult to penetrate the skin and the walls of body cells. This is where the benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are useful.
Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C and possesses all of the attributes of ascorbic acid. It is more easily absorbed by the body and can be stored in the membranes of the cells until needed. It is also a powerful antioxidant, the same as vitamin C, and is frequently used to prevent the oxidation of vegetables oils, such as on potato chips and other oily Snacks. It also takes part in the biochemistry of the production of collagen and connective tissues.
The usefulness of this substance comes from not only from its amphoteric nature, whereby it has one end that is water soluble and another that is fat soluble, but also by the fact that it is also amphipathic, meaning that it prefers neither one medium nor the other, and tends to collect at phase boundaries, between oil and water phases. It is particularly effective in topical uses on the skin, because it is easily absorbed into the skin tissue, and more stable than some of the other forms of vitamin C. It is also believed to protect other fat soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E from oxidation, and also to help to protect blood cell membranes from free radical attack.
Although vitamin C is a very powerful vitamin, carrying out a multitude of tasks, ascorbyl palmitate has some advantages over it apart from the solubility difference. Its antioxidant properties are stronger than those of regular ascorbic acid and in fact rival those even of vitamin E, which it also helps to regenerate after its reaction with free radicals, and help to maintain a continuous supply of this powerful antioxidant.
It is also a chemically neutral form of the vitamin, and unlike regular ascorbic acid, does not cause inflammation of the tissues it comes into contact with. It can also reduce sunburn due to excessive exposure to UVB when applied to the skin, and is a very stable form of the vitamin. Ascorbyl palmitate also acts as an anti-inflammatory with certain conditions, such as psoriasis where topical application helped to reduce the extent of the lesions. In fact it appears to do most of what vitamin C does, but faster and with smaller doses.
So why is ascorbyl palmitate not used as the main form of vitamin C in supplements? The answer is money. Ascorbyl palmitate is considerably more expensive than regular vitamin C, and also normal ascorbic acid has some properties that the fat-soluble form does not have, such as its ability to rapidly pass through the body in the bloodstream.
However, it would make sense to take a supplement consisting of both forms of vitamin C, and so combine the best properties of each. Any vitamin C supplement that is designed for maximum effect on the body should contain at least 25% of ascorbyl palmitate, the balance being ascorbic acid. That is what to look for if you are to receive the combined benefits of both water and fat soluble vitamin C.
Supplements for Children
June 26, 2007 09:51 PM
Supplements for Children
While most parents try hard to make nutritious meals for their family, most children find the appeal of refined, fast, and junk food simply overwhelming. And, sadly, increasingly easy to buy and consume, as well. From kindergarten through 12th grade, in both grade schools and high schools, vending machines offer calorie laden candy bars, sugar-filled soft drinks, and snack foods loaded with fat and salt. Many school cafeterias actually sell fast-food to children for lunch every day. In fact, it seems almost everywhere children go and gather, visually enticing but nutritionally lacking Snacks and soft drinks are sure to be available.
Determined to counteract this disturbing trend, parents everywhere are urgently seeking solutions to help their children get the nutrition they need. One answer is supplemental multivitamins. There are certainly plenty of multivitamins formulated for children currently on the market. However, these products vary considerably in quality and content. Some lack certain vital nutrients. Some taste terrible. Still others are loaded with sugar and artificial flavorings. The good news is that there are superior multivitamins and exceptional immune boosting products formulated specifically for children that actually taste great. In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss childhood nutrition and how to help ensure your children’s health with high quality, 100% natural flavored nutritional supplements.
Q. Do children really benefit from vitamin supplements? Can’t I make sure they get the vitamins and minerals they need from meals?
A. Even the most nutritionally vigilant parent cannot be 100% certain what nutrients are in the food they serve their children. That’s because there’s so much variability in the food we prepare. For instance, fat-soluble vitamins can withstand normal cooking, but vitamins A and E are gradually destroyed by exposure to air. Water-soluble vitamins such as B1, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid are destroyed by heat. Vitamin B2 is destroyed by light and heat, while light and air destroy vitamin C. Certain food preservatives and preparation methods also destroy the vitamins in food. To further complicate matters, some fruit and vegetables are grown and harvested in such a way that does not promote nutrient content – so even raw foods may be lacking.
Then there are those crazy food phases all children seemingly go through. While these phases are generally harmless in the long run, a recent alarming exception was in the news. A five-year old boy ate nothing but cheese pizza, Pop-tarts, biscuits, and water, refusing fruits, vegetables, juices and vitamins. He slowly developed limp, swollen gums, and small purple spots appeared on his skin. After five months of this extremely deficient diet, he was unable to walk or get out of bed because the pain was so severe. Doctors diagnosed the boy as having a severe vitamin C deficiency after ruling out other ailments such as leukemia. Within a week of getting vitamin C supplements, the boy’s pain and other symptoms were completely resolved. Obviously, this little boy’s story is unusual. However, even mild food phases (such as “If It’s Green It Must Be Yucky” or “The Only Good Crust Is A Cut-Off Crust”) can result in awfully lop-sided nutrition.
Q. Can multivitamins help my child’s performance in school?
A. Most teachers firmly believe that nutrition and learning go hand in hand. They are convinced that children who are well nourished possess the mental stamina that’s needed to learn and retain even difficult concepts. But can multivitamins help children become better students?
Two independent research teams recently conducted randomized trials to find the answer. The researchers followed 245 school-children aged 6 to 12 years for three months. They gave half of the children multivitamin tablets every day, and half of the children placebos. When the children were tested, the children in the multivitamins group showed an increase in their nonverbal intelligence scores. Nonverbal intelligence is closely associated with academic performance.
Q. I can’t get my children to take 100% natural flavored multivitamins because they don’t taste very appealing. Isn’t there some way to make a 100% natural multivitamin taste good enough for my children to willingly take?
A. Yes, there is! Because most children need chewable multivitamins, manufacturers need to contend with the truly terrible taste of certain minerals. Magnesium, iodine, copper, and iron are probably the worst tasting. Some solve this dilemma by skimping on the amounts of these minerals in their children’s formulas. Others cover up the bad taste with either massive amounts of sugar or artificial flavors, or both.
However, a select few multivitamin makers have discovered how to offer a natural flavored, great tasting children’s multivitamin that contains these vital minerals. The best children’s vitamins are prepared in a base of natural fruit that provides both antioxidants and other healthy phytonutrients. Children’s multivitamins made in such a fruit base have very low sugar content, as well, providing as little as four calories a day. Fructose – fruit sugar – is the preferred sweetening agent, in addition to the fruit content.
Q. What vitamins should be in a multivitamin for children?
A. There are several vitamins and minerals that children need to take each and every day. They include biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B12, B1, A, B6, C, D, E, and K. Let’s review a few. We’ll start with folate, one of the B vitamins. This vital vitamin helps the body use protein, helps make DNA, helps cells grow and divide, and keeps the nervous system healthy. In fact, folate is so important to children that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that folate must be added to many foods most children eat daily. Since 1998, cereal, enriched bread, flour corn meal, rice, and pasta have been folate-fortified with this B vitamin.
One of folate’s vital actions is the reduction of homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid (the building block of protein) that is normally produced in the human body. Research has shown that high levels of homocysteine can irritate blood vessels, make blood clot more easily than it should, and cause blockages in arteries increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes .
However, study after study has proven that taking folate reduces harmful homocysteine levels. While most of this research has been in adults, a recent study looked at children’s homocysteine levels. Researchers examined over 3500 children and discovered that high homocysteine levels increased the risk for heart disease in these children, especially as they grow. The researchers leading this study reinforced how critical folate is for all children.
Other critical vitamins for children are the vitamins C and E. The rates of childhood asthma have increased significantly here in the
Q. Which minerals do children need?
A. It is absolutely crucial that children get calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus every day. Sadly, however, the majority of our children are not getting the recommended amounts of many of these vital minerals. Children in
According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, only 13.5 percent of girls and 36.3 percent of boys age 12 to 19 in the
Lack of adequate calcium has immediate consequences for children, as well. The number of fractures among children and young adults has increased as a direct result of poor calcium intake. Pediatricians are also seeing children with rickets, a bone disease caused by low levels of vitamin D. Rickets became almost nonexistent after vitamin D was added to milk in the 1950s, but, due to lower milk consumption, is now appearing at greater rates around the country. And milk itself can be problematic for some children. Aside from alarming reports of hormones and herbicides in commercial dairy factory milk, even organic milk is not tolerated by all because of lactose intolerance and allergies.
Zinc is another mineral that’s vital for children. Because zinc is critical for normal growth and development, children need to take it every day. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, however, found more than half of US children ages two to 10 years fail to get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc. What’s even more troubling is that zinc is vitally connected to children’s ability to process information, pay attention, as well as remember and retain new information
Zinc does a lot to keep children healthy. More than 200 enzymes in our bodies rely on zinc. However, it’s zinc’s ability to connect with our immune systems to help fight infections that is crucial for children. While researchers are not certain how zinc precisely boosts a child’s immunity, they think that zinc might fight pneumonia and other infections by either enhancing the body’s immune status, preventing the infection from establishing itself, or improving the immune system’s ability to rid itself of the infecting organism. It’s possible that zinc does all three.
Q. No matter what I do, my children seem to come down with bad colds each year. Besides giving them a multivitamin, are there other nutritional supplements that can keep my children healthy?
A. Absolutely! In fact, there are 100% natural flavored children’s immune formula nutritional supplements that contain their good buddy zinc, vitamins B6, C, and A (as beta carotene), plus elderberry extract. Elderberry extract has been used as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years to treat colds and flu. And as it so often happens, scientific research has validated this use. In fact, scientists have discovered that elderberry keeps viruses from invading other cells and replicating. It also spurs important immune cells into action to fight invading germs.
While we previously discussed vitamin C’s ability to help children with asthma breathe easier, it also provides powerful immune protection. It speeds up the healing of wounds, such as those knee and elbow scrapes so common in childhood. However, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and can’t be stored in the body. It must be replenished every day. When children are under increased stress (like when they get sick with a cold or flu), their vitamin C levels are more rapidly depleted.
Vitamin B6 is also water-soluble and can only work in children’s bodies for eight hours. Then more B6 must be obtained. Vitamin B6 strengthens the immune system by helping white blood cells make antibodies. Vitamin A helps make lysozymes, important anti-infectious agents found in tears, saliva, and sweat. It also stimulates the thymus gland, an important immune organ, especially in children, to work better.
Q. Should children take an immune formula every day or only when they are sick?
A. It can be taken several ways. Some parents may want to give the formula when school first starts or other times that their children are exposed to lots of germs. For a child who suffers from asthma or seasonal allergies or just seems to get sick frequently, parents could provide the immune formula every day, increasing the dose when needed. And still others might feel it’s best to give their children the immune formula only whey they do catch a cold or have the flu.
No matter how it is given, the 100% all natural flavored, immune boosting nutritional supplement can provide powerful protection against all those disease-causing germs your children are exposed to every day.
The nutritional choices we make for our children today will have a profound effect on their health tomorrow. Recent research has revealed that diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer in adults often result form nutritional deficiencies that occurred in childhood.
Thankfully, the reverse is just as true. This means that children who are well nourished with an optimal intake of minerals, vitamins, and helpful herbs can grow into healthy and happy adults. Providing high quality multivitamins and immune boosting nutritional supplements for our children can be an important part of that process.
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,
Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.
Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?
A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.
Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?
A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:
Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?
Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:
Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.
Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.
Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.
In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.
Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.
Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.
Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.
Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.
Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!
Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.
In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.
Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.
Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables.
Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.
Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.
This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.
Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.
Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.
Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.
Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.
Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.
SDG lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.
The lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.
This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.
In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.
Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.
In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.
Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and shiitake.
The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.
This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.
In one clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.
While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.
Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):
Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.
Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?
ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.
Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”
I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.
The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed Snacks, it would probably be shocking.
Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.
More recently, the American
Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.
For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.
One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.
Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!
Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.
High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.
For Better Heart Health ...
February 06, 2007 12:57 PM
Nutrients Every Heart Needs
High blood pressure. High cholesterol levels. Ever increasing stress. All are factors related to the development of heart disease – the leading cause of death for both men and women. In fact, 1 in 2 women in the
Fortunately, heart disease is a problem you can do something about. Proven ways to prevent or mitigate the effects of heart disease include taking targeted nutritional supplements, making changes in the foods we eat, exercising most days of the week, drinking in moderation, eliminating tobacco use and adapting a positive attitude. Research shows that those of us who are often angry and depressed have more heart disease than people that live their lives with a more positive outlook.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’ll talk about specific nutritional supplements that are heart healthy, whether your goal is to prevent heart disease or reduce the effects of heart disease if you currently have it.
Q. I am trying hard to live a healthier life. But it all seems so overwhelming. How do I start?
A. It may help to know that you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. Lots of people feel this way. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association are both urging people to prevent heart disease by identifying their individual health risk factors.
A risk factor is an indicator of whether or not you may develop a certain health condition. In heart disease prevention, there are two kinds of risk factors. There are risk factor you can control – such as diet, exercise, and the supplements you take. There are also risk factors you can’t change or control –your age, race, and gender, as well as your family’s history of heart disease.
Examples can be really helpful. Let’s follow three adults – Fred, Jane, and Earl – and determine their risk factors.
Fred is 32, single, has a job he loves, has an optimistic attitude about his life, and works out 5 days a week. Most days Fred’s diet is fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat. Occasionally Fred will eat a cheeseburger and fries when he watches the game with his buddies. Fred’s risk factors are his male gender and the occasional high fat content in his diet.
Jane is 55, a lawyer, married, and has a very stressful job. Jane eats lots of salads, fruits, and whole grains. However, her job requires her to work long hours which leaves little time to exercise. Jane is for the most part happy with her life, but her work stress had led to times of negativity. Her father had a heart attack when he was 56. Jane’s risk factors include her age (greater than 50), negativity from job stress, lack of regular exercise, and a family history of heart disease.
Earl is 65, married, and has just retired from a job he hated. He spends most of his day watching TV and eating potato chips and other high fat, salty Snacks. Earl has told his friends and family since he worked so hard for so long, he is sure to drop dead soon after retiring. He has high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Earl’s father had a heart attack and died when he was 73. Earl’s risk is his male gender, age (greater than 50), sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, negative outlook on life, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and a family history of heart disease.
Q. OK, it’s pretty easy to see that Fred needs to watch his diet, Jane needs to exercise more, and Earl needs lots of help. But, which supplements should they take?
A. The Whole Heart Nutrition chart is an easy way to determine the supplements each risk level needs. As you can see, everyone wanting to prevent heart disease – Fred, Jane, Earl, you, and I – need to take quality heart formula multivitamin, garlic, and a fish oil supplement providing Omega-3 fatty acids. CoQ10 is also a smart choice for complete heart heath support.
Q. Why do we all need to take a “heart multivitamin”? Why can’t we take a regular multivitamin to prevent heart disease?
A. Since the human heart simply cannot function without adequate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, it seems logical that a multivitamin would be the foundation of good nutrition for your heart. Heart-health formulated multivitamins provide the exact nutrients needed to prevent heart disease.
That’s why we need to take a specially formulated heart-focused multi-vitamin. The cells and the tissues that make up the heart must have vitamins C, A, and E, as well as B1, B6, and B12 to function. Folic acid, the little B vitamin that is so crucial in preventing spina bifida (a birth defect), breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease is also needed to keep heart muscles strong. The B vitamins and folic acid are very important to heart health because they help lower homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is a potential and emerging cardiac risk factor,
Magnesium is a mighty mineral and healthy hearts need it every day. Aloha lipoic acid, a fatty acid, provides protection against heart cholesterol and high blood pressure. Lutein and lycopene are all-natural nutrients and keep our arteries free from the buildup of plaque, a condition linked to heart attacks and strokes.
Multivitamins formulated with these exact vitamins, minerals, and nutrients will work with medications often prescribed to treat heart disease and provide the nutrition our hearts need.
Q. Don’t all multivitamins work with medications prescribed to treat heart disease?
A. Many multivitamin formulas contain herbs and other nutrients that can interfere with prescription medications, especially mediations prescribed to treat heart disease. One multivitamin does not fit all.
The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing heart disease.
Q. What can garlic supplements do for Fred, Jane and Earl or other people with low to high risk factors?
A. Garlic supplements have a very long and very successful history of preventing premature death from heart attacks. Lately, however, there have been some conflicting news stories about supplemental garlic’s ability to lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure – the causes of heart disease and death. That’s because many different garlic supplements have been used in these studies – garlic oil, garlic powder, aged garlic extract, and supplements made from fresh garlic. They have all been studied clinically for their effects in heart disease.
The best garlic supplements (and the ones that showed the best effects in garlic studies) contain alliin, which is then converted to allicin. Allicin is the compound that lowers harmfully high cholesterol levels and dangerous blood pressure readings. Allicin is also responsible for garlic’s characteristic odor. Because alliin is very stable when dry, properly prepared and enteric coated fresh garlic preparations preserve the allicin-producing action until the garlic mixes with the fluids of the intestinal tract. Fresh garlic extract’s enteric coating also prevents garlic breath. In contrast, aged garlic contains absolutely no allicin or allicin potential. This fact is probably responsible for the poor results noted in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure from aged garlic preparations.
The most effective garlic supplements are made from fresh garlic, enteric coated, and provide a daily dose of at least 10 milligrams (mg) alliin or a total allicin potential of 4,000 micrograms (mcg). Taking a once-daily garlic supplement that delivers 4,000 mcg of allicin will lower Jane’s and Earl’s high blood pressure and Earl’s high cholesterol, naturally and effectively.
Whole Heart Nutrition
Each additional risk factor requires additional supplements or increased doses for protection from heart disease.
Q. What about fish oil supplements? I know they can prevent heart disease but I’ve also heard they contain harmful substances, too.
A. You’re right on both counts. But, there are excellent fish oil supplements naturally loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, powerful nutrients that prevent heart disease, that are also certified free of harmful contaminants.
In the 1980s, researchers first began noticing the native Inuit (Eskimo) populations of Greenland and
Research has shown that the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements can:
-Reduce the risk of arrhythmias, lethal heartbeat rhythms that cause sudden death.
-Lower the levels of triglycerides, fats in the blood that can increase a person’s
risk of dying from a heart attack, even if a person’s cholesterol levels are normal.
-Slow atherosclerosis – the growth of harmful plaque on artery walls.
Atherosclerosis develops over many years. If the plaque growth is slow and
stable, chances are low that a heart attack will result. However, rapidly growing
or unstable plaques can rupture. The body responds with inflammation, which
causes blood clots to form. These blood clots block the artery and cause a heart
-Keep blood pressure levels low. Many people have high blood pressure for years
without knowing it. That’s because it has no symptoms. Uncontrolled high
blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney failure.
While 25% of Americans have high blood pressure, nearly one-third of these
people don’t know they have it. This is why high blood pressure is often called
the “silent killer.”
You can get all of this heart disease preventive protection from just 600-1800 mg of fish oil. It’s pretty simple to see why Fred, Jane, Earl, and you and I need to take fish oil supplements every day.
However, it is absolutely critical that the fish oil supplement you take is free of contaminants and guaranteed fresh! Make sure that the manufacturer of the fish oil supplement you buy is able to provide documentation of purity in their product. Supplements should contain no detectable dioxin (a widely used toxic preservative), DDT (a toxic insecticide), PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) or heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
Before you buy any fish oil supplement, ask the clerk if you can open the bottle or jar and smell the contents. A fishy smelling fish oil supplementation means it is rancid. Rancid fish oil is not going to help your heart at all and may actually hurt it.
Q. That leaves CoQ10. Why is it important for Jane and Earl?
A. CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, is the premier heart supplement! CoQ10 is part of our energy producing system. It works directly in the mitochondria of each cell. Mitochondria are highly specialized structures within each cell and are often referred to as powerhouses. These tiny energy producers generate 95% of the energy the body requires. The number of mitochondria in a cell depends on its function and energy needs. The heart has very important functions and requires a vast amount of energy. Thus, the heart has a lot of mitochondria or little powerhouses.
CoQ10 is incredibly crucial to the health of our hearts. Especially to hearts that are pumping blood with too much cholesterol. But, in a dangerous paradox, CoQ10 levels can become dangerously depleted when physicians treat high cholesterol in their patients with certain medications. The so-called “statin” drugs (Mevacor/lovastatin and Crestor/rosubastatin are two examples) are powerful and medications prescribed to lower harmful cholesterol levels. However, one very harmful side effect they share is that they deprive cells of CoQ10. While some physicians are aware of this serious side effect and tell their patients to take at least 400 mg of CoQ10 each day, most are not. The result? Any good the statin drugs may be doing is actually negated by their depletion of CoQ10.
Q. How does CoQ10 actually work? Has it been studied in heart disease?
A. Yes, it has! CoQ10 has been extensively studied in heart disease. This natural nutrient is present in every nucleated cell in our body (the only cells that don’t contain CoQ10 are red blood cells). Heart cells, however, are absolutely loaded with CoQ10. Its job is fairly simply – CoQ10 is vital to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the compound our body uses for 95% of its energy needs.
In 1998, 144 patients who had been admitted to the hospital after a heart attack, participated in a CoQ10 study. Half of the patients received 120 mg of CoQ10 a day in addition to the usual treatments given to heart attack patients. The other half, the control group, received the usual treatments and a placebo, but no CoQ10.
The results showed that the group taking CoQ10 had less irregular heartbeat, experienced less angina (a type of heart pain), and had much better function in the left ventricle (the most essential chamber of the heart), compared to the placebo group. Total deaths due to sudden heart failure or another heart attack were also reduced in the CoQ10 group.
Q. What if I have already been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure? Will CoQ10 still help me?
A. CoQ10 has been proven in study after study to help slow down the destruction that occurs in congestive heart failure (CHF), a serious heart disease, and heal the heart muscles damaged by heart attacks. In fact, heart attacks often occur when the body’s CoQ10 levels are low.
In a CHF study, patients received 100 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. Before and after the treatment period, the researchers introduced a catheter into the right ventricle of the patients’ hearts to determine the degree of muscle damage CHF had caused. In the group who took CoQ10, the pumping ability of the heart improved significantly. The placebo group’s hearts did not. The researchers conducting the study recommended that people with CHF add CoQ10 to the other medications they need to take to stay alive and well.
Q. Are some types of CoQ10 better than others?
A. Indeed they are. CoQ10 products are not created equally. The key to this natural medicine is the quality of the manufacturing. Take a CoQ10 supplement that’s been used in research conducted by prestigious universities (it will tell you this right on the label). Researchers want the best CoQ10 for their studies. You want the best CoQ10 for yourself and your loved ones.
The best CoQ10 has to meet the following criteria:
1. Must be easily absorbed during the digestion process so that it can get into the
2. Must reach the mitochondria in the cell.
3. Must be proven effective in studies.
4. Must be safe and free of impurities.
Q. It sounds as if CoQ10 is only for people with moderate or high risk factors. Can others benefit from this supplement?
A. Many people, including those like Fred with low risk factors or no risk of heart disease take CoQ10 every day. CoQ10 supplements may reduce your risk of cancer, prevent gum disease, and help certain nerve cells work more effectively.
Understanding your personal risk factors, making it better lifestyle choices, taking a multivitamin formulated for your heart, an enteric-coated fresh garlic supplement, fish oil supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids, and CoQ10 – the heart’s super-nutrient – can help keep your heart healthy and strong.
Helen Keller, the famous lecturer and author, who was both blind and deaf wrote, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot e seen or even touched. They must be felt with the human heart.”
Healthy hearts have the most opportunities to “feel” the best and are the most beautiful thing our world has to offer.
The Childhood Obesity Epidemic
August 09, 2006 04:57 PM
The Zimmerman File: Marcia Zimmerman, CN, is a respected author and educator in the field of health and nutrition.
Fighting Obesity – What do I put in my child’s Lunch?
We begin the 21st century with a startling setback in life expectancy for our youth. Some experts even fear that today’s kids may not live as long as their parents. That’s despite the recent advances in medicine that have been credited with extending life span.
The Childhood Obesity Epidemic
The obesity epidemic is occurring in boys and girls in all 50 states. It’s happening in younger children as well as adolescents, across all socioeconomic strata, and among all ethnic groups. At a time when we have learned that excess weight has significant and troublesome health consequences, we see our children gaining weight to a dangerous degree and at an alarming rate. According to a 2004 report from the Centers for Disease Control, the number of over weight 6 to 11 year olds more than doubled in the past 20 years—going from 7 percent in 1980, to 18.8 percent in 2004. the rate among adolescents between 12 to 19 more than tripled, increasing from 5% to 17.1%.
An estimated 61% of overweight young people have at least one additional risk factor associated with becoming overweight. These include heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure—factors that have been traditionally associated with much older adults. In addition, children who are overweight are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. Overweight young people are more likely than their normal weight peers to become over weight of obese adults, adding additional risk factors such as stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
The consensus among pediatricians, school administrators, parents, and government officials is that healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming overweight and developing related diseases. Associated problems with a growing overweight population are reduced productivity, increased disability, and a greater number of overweight individuals requiring nursing home care as they move into retirement. Clearly the centerpiece of reducing childhood obesity is to reduce its health related and economic costs.
Clearly, we must tackle this problem head-on in order to save our youth. It is beginning as a grass roots movement in the classroom and will involve nutritionists, enlightened teachers, pediatricians, natural food retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of healthy foods. Beginning in the opening weeks of school 2006-2007, a pilot program to teach 6th graders how to eat for better health will be instituted in Chico, California. As the program is perfected, it will be offered nationwide. This is how the plan unfolds.
Show kids how
Breakfast: Cereals, Whey Protein Powders, with Glutamine added, add Malted Milk Powder to any shake, for a change.
Lunchbox: Dried fruits (non-sulfite), Nuts, Seeds, and Organic Popcorn.
Health Snack Bars Nuts & Seeds, Organic Fruit Bars, Organic Virta Raw Sprouted Bars.
Dinner: Grains, Textured Soy Protein, Oils.
Vitamins: (very important to keep kids healthy and at the top of their game) Daily Multiple: Kid Vits berry Blast or Orange Splash, daily vits easy-to-swallow tabs for older kids, Effer-C Packets, Omega-3 Fish Oil; (for brain nutrition)
Oral Hygiene: (don’t forget the anti-caries power of xylitol)
XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Refreshmint Toothpaste XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Cinnafresh Toothpaste XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Refreshmint Mouthwash XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Cinnafresh Mouthwash
Mary Travis at Now Foods has been collecting amazing recipes that use Now Foods ingredients. Contact her at email@example.com for more information.
Doctor’s Corner - Relora: Minimizes Stress-Induced Eating
August 09, 2006 01:56 PM
Relora is a proprietary all-natural botanical product developed by Next Pharmaceuticals, Inc. it contains ingredients extracted from two plant species that have been used in traditional Chinese herbalism for over 1500 years. These are patented extract from Magnolia officinalis (US Patent No: US 6,582,735) and a patent-pending extract from Phellodendron amurense.
Relora helps relieve stress, anxiety and minimize stress-induced eating, which in turn may help to produce weight loss when used as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan. The research and development of Relora involved sophisticated testing and screening for ingredients that have anti-anxiety properties, but no daytime sedative effects. Initially, investigators tested the Magnoliaceae plant family as a lead source of new anti-anxiety products. Scientists first focused on two phytochemicals on constituents in the plant that have “bio-activity” (work positively on the body)—magnolol and honokiol. Through a series of studies, it became clear that Relora was a safe and effective formulation.
Relora works with the body’s natural chemistry to maintain normal levels of stress hormones. These hormones not only affect emotional well-being, but can also have a major impact on appetite and how the body stores and metabolizes fat. By working to re-establish a stable balance of these hormones, relora can help break the stress/weight cycle and restore optimum health to the mind and body.
In addition to normalizing stress hormones, Relora has been shown to control anxiety and the symptoms associated with it: irritability, emotional ups and downs, restlessness, tense muscles, poor sleep, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Daytime sedation often occurs with products that induce relaxation. Not with Relora! This breakthrough botanical provides all the anti-anxiety benefits without inducing daytime sedation. In central nervous system receptor binding assays, the plant extracts in Relora bind to several important targets associated with anxiety. Also if interested, the bark of magnolia officinalis has been used in traditional Chinese herbalism for centuries for stress induced muscular tension.
Relora, Stress and Weight Loss
Stress is reported to play a significant role in a wide variety of health conditions. Recent work with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other major research centers has demonstrated that stress is a significant contributor to immune dysfunction, cardiovascular challenges, other age-related imbalances, and excess body fat. This type of fat is related to stress-induced hormone imbalances, especially imbalances of the hormones cortisol and DHEA. Until now, the only course of action for losing this fat has been stress reduction with exercise and diet, and anyone who has attempted diet and exercise alone often encounters a long, troublesome road. Relora may help the body normalize cortisol and DHEA levels in stressed individuals while inducing relaxation, and act as an aid in controlling weight and stress-related eating.
The increase in cortisol levels signals the brain that the body is in stress, causing food cravings, especially for high-fat, high-sugar foods. These foods, in turn, cause additional stress, thereby fueling the stress-cortisol cycle. Eventually, more fat is stored than the body needs unless sufficient exercise is in place to compensate, or the stress is reduced.
The ingredients in Relora are key supplements that help the adrenal glands to “come back to life” by reducing the excessive stress hormone response in the body and reducing carbohydrate craving behavior.
Results from Human Trials with Relora
Relora was tested at the Living Longer Institute in Cincinnati, OH and found to be safe, effective, rapid acting, non-sedating dietary supplement that helps control occasional mild anxiety. Three hundred forty five female subjects were administered Relora for 2 weeks. The dosage was 200mg of Relora three times daily. Eighty nine percent of the subjects reported that Relora helped them relax, while 78% found Relora to help prevent stress-related eating.
A second trial was undertaken at the Living Longer Institute to measure cortisol and DHEA levels in patients with mild to moderate stress. Elevated cortisol levels and depressed DHEA levels are associated with chronic stress. A two week regimen of Relora produced a significant increase in salivary DHEA (227%) and a significant decrease in morning salivary cortisol levels (37%). These findings support Relora’s ability to relieve stress and its potential role in weight control and stress-related eating behavior.
A third study was completed in late 2002 that evaluated Relora on its ability to improve snacking habits in people who snack on sweets or eat salty Snacks when they are under excessive stress. Forty nine subjects were evaluated and it was found that Relora cur sweet snacking in the sweet cravers by 75%! It cut snacking on salty Snacks by 50%. Seventy three percent of all individuals in the study reported feeling less stressed while taking Relora.
A double-blind placebo-controlled study was completed in January, 2004. forty premenopausal women were evaluated for stress, anxiety, food intake and weight management. Relora significantly reduced anxiety and prevented weight gain. A significant weight gain occurred in the placebo group while either now weight gain or weight loss occurred in the Relora group.
Suggested Use and Safety
Relora is designed for adults. The suggested daily dose is 1 capsule (250mg) 2 – 3 times per day. Relora is not recommended for persons under the age of 18. if you are pregnant, nursing or taking a prescription drug, consult a health practitioner prior to use.
Dr. James B. LaValle, R.Ph., N.M.D., C.C.N. is a licensed pharmacist (University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy), certified clinical nutritionist (International & American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists), and doctor of naturopathic medicine (Central States College of Health Sciences, IAACN), with more than 18 years clinical practice experience in the field of natural therapeutics and functional medicine. Dr. LaValle is in clinical practice at the Living Longer Institute, a comprehensive wellness, prevention, and early detection program he co-founded. He sits on various scientific advisory boards within the dietary supplement industry. LaValle is also an adjunct professor in the college of pharmacy at The University of Cincinnati and serves as a preceptor in the Department of family Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
Effer-C NUTRITION YOU CAN DRINK
December 27, 2005 09:49 AM
Mother’s Little Breakfast Cup board Helpers
October 21, 2005 10:36 AM
Mother’s Breakfast Helpers
It’s oft-said but still true-breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, especially when you’re expecting. To make morning eating easier while trying to do eight things at once, Jones and Hudson recommend keeping your kitchen well supplied with whole-grain versions of cereal, bread, English muffins and cereal bars (along with that old healthy-breakfast standby, oatmeal). And stocking up on yogurt, fresh fruit and soy-or whey based protein powder lets you whip up breakfast smoothies in a jif.
While you’re at it, have plenty of good-stuff Snacks on hand, including raisins and other dried fruits, nuts and nut butters, fruit sauces, oatmeal cookies, whole-grain pita bread with hummus, low-fat cottage cheese and hard-boiled eggs.
Minor miseries like heartburn and constipation can set in as your uterus starts elbowing other internal organs out of the way. You can head off heartburn by eating several small meals throughout the day and by taking the time to eat more slowly. Don’t lie down right after eating and when you do go to bed, keep your head elevated. The fiber in all those whole grains and produce should help keep things moving along smartly in your intestines, especially if you remember to stay well hydrated; if it isn’t enough, try adding some supplemental fiber to your daily routine.
Another way to ease constipation is to get adequate exercise. At one time, “it was believe that an active pregnant woman would divert blood away from her growing fetus and toward her exercising muscles, resulting in a smaller baby,” say Karen Nordahl, Carl Petersen and Renee Jeffrey’s, authors of Fit to Deliver (Hartley & Marks). Ain’t so; exercise actually helps reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced diabetes and high blood pressure while giving you more energy and helping you rebound to your pre-pregnancy weigh after delivery (just check with your health practitioner first). They recommend a program that emphasizes aerobics and exercises designed to improve your balance and strengthen your body’s core muscles’, the ones that stabilize and support your back and abdomen.
Exercise is just one component of an overall healthy lifestyle. That includes the negative stuff-you know, not smoking or drinking- and the positive stuff, like yoga and breathwork to help you feel integrated and whole. If you’re new to yoga, try taking a class with a qualified instructor, preferably someone with experience in teaching pregnant women.
One last thing: Enjoy this special time in your life as you await the great adventure known as motherhood.
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
July 15, 2005 12:51 PM
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
For anyone who suffers from diabetes, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, obesity or chronic yeast infections, stevia is the ideal sweetener. It has all the benefits of artificial sweeteners and none of the drawbacks. Stevia can be added to a variety of foods to make them sweet without adding calories or impacting the pancreas or adrenal glands. It can help to satisfy carbohydrate cravings without interfering with blood sugar levels or adding extra pounds.
Using stevia to create treats for children is also another excellent way to avoid weight gain, tooth decay and possible hyperactivity. While it may take some getting used to initially, stevia products are becoming easier to measure and better tasting.
Stevia’s Unique Taste Sensation
When the whole leaf extract or powdered forms of stevia make contact with the tongue, the resulting taste can be described as a sweet flavor, with a slight licorice-like and transient bitter flavor. If stevia is used correctly with hot water or some other liquid, both those flavors will disappear. At this writing, researchers are working on a new extraction process that will preserve stevia’s sweetening potency while minimizing any aftertaste associated with the herb.
Additional Therapeutic Benefits
Consider the following quote: Stevia . . . is not only non-toxic, but has several traditional medicinal uses. The Indian tribes of South America have used it as a digestive aid, and have also applied it topically for years to heal wounds. Recent clinical studies have shown it can increase glucose tolerance and decrease blood sugar levels. Of the two sweeteners (aspartame and stevia), stevia wins hands down for safety. (Whitaker) Stevia has a long history of medicinal use in Paraguay and Brazil and while many of the therapeutic applications of stevia are anecdotal, they must be considered in that they have spanned generations. Experts who work with indigenous cultures frequently find that traditional applications of folk medicine can be verified with scientific data.
Stevia and Blood Sugar Levels
Clinical tests combined with consumer results indicate that stevia can actually help to normalize blood sugar. For this reason, the herb and its extracts are recommended in some countries as an actual medicine for people suffering from diabetes or hypoglycemia. Recent studies have indicated that stevia can increase glucose tolerance while decreasing blood sugar levels. Paraguayan natives have traditionally used stevia tea to regulate blood sugar. Stevia decoctions for diabetes are common and are usually prepared by boiling or steeping the leaves in water (Bonvie, 53). While scientific studies are certainly warranted, it is thought that disturbed blood sugar levels respond to stevia therapy while normal levels remain unaffected.
Stevia and Weight Loss
Stevia is an ideal dietary supplement for anyone who wants to lose or maintain their weight. Because it contains no calories, it can satisfy cravings for sweets without adding extra pounds. It is also thought that using stevia may decrease the desire to eat fatty foods as well. Appetite control is another factor affected by stevia supplementation. Some people have found that their hunger decreases if they take stevia drops 15 to 20 minutes before a meal. While scientific studies are lacking in this area, it is presumed that the glycosides in stevia help to reset the appestat mechanism found in the brain, thereby promoting a feeling of satiety or satisfaction. Much of our nation’s obesity epidemic is due to the over consumption of sugar-containing foods. Unfortunately, most sugary Snacks are also loaded with fat, compounding the problem. When a sugar craving hits, anything will usually do. Doughnuts, candy bars, pies, pastries and cookies are considered high calorie, fattening foods. Using stevia to sweeten Snacks and beverages can result making weight loss and management much easier.
High Blood Pressure
It is thought that taking stevia can result in lowering elevated blood pressure levels while not affecting normal levels. This particular application has not been researched, but its potential as a treatment for hypertension must be considered when assessing the value of herbal medicines for disease.
Stevia is thought to be able to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and other infectious organisms. Some people even claim that using stevia helps to prevent the onset of colds and flu. Tests have supported the antimicrobial properties of stevia against streptococcus mutans (Bonvie, 54). The fact that stevia has the ability to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria helps to explain its traditional use in treating wounds, sores and gum disease. It may also explain while the herb is advocated for anyone who is susceptible to yeast infections or reoccurring strep infections, two conditions that seem to be aggravated by white sugar consumption.
Stevia can be used as an oral tonic to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. Stevia extracts are sometimes added to toothpaste or mouthwashes to initiate this effect. Stevia is used in some Brazilian dental products with the assumption that the herb can actually help to prevent tooth decay and retard plaque deposits (Bonvie, 53). Stevia offers the perfect sweetener for oral products like toothpastes and mouthwash, enabling them to be more palatable without any of the drawbacks of other sweeteners.
Brazilians have used stevia to boost and facilitate better digestion (Bonvie, 53). Again, while this therapeutic application remains unresearched, the fact that stevia has a long history of use as a gastrointestinal tonic must be acknowledged. Plant glycosides can exert numerous therapeutic actions in the human body.
Stevia and Skin Care
Whole leaf stevia or its by-products have been used to soften and tone the skin and to ease wrinkles and lines. Facial masks can be made by adding liquid to the powder, and liquid elixirs can be used as facial toners to help tighten the skin. Stevia concentrate in the form of drops has also been used directly on sores or blemishes to promote healing. For this reason, some advocates of stevia use it on other skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or minor cuts or wounds. Stevia tea bags can be placed over the eyes to ease fatigue and to tone the skin. Stevia skin care products are available in clay bases, masks, and water-based creams. Liquid extracts can be directly applied to the skin.
THE FDA AND STEVIA
July 15, 2005 12:45 PM
THE FDA AND STEVIA
While stevia in no way qualifies as an “artificial sweetener,” it has been subject to rigorous inquiry and unprecedented restraints. In 1986, FDA officials began to investigate herb companies selling stevia and suddenly banned its sale, calling it “an unapproved food additive.” Then in 1991, the FDA unexpectedly announced that all importation of stevia leaves and products must cease, with the exception of certain liquid extracts which are designed for skin care only. They also issued formal warnings to companies and claimed that the herb was illegal. The FDA was unusually aggressive in its goal to eliminate stevia from American markets, utilizing search and seizure tactics, embargoes and import bans. Speculation as to why the FDA intervened in stevia commerce points to the politics of influential sugar marketers and the artificial-sweetener industry.
During the same year, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) began their defense of the herb with the goal of convincing the FDA that stevia is completely safe. They gathered documented literature and research on both stevia and other non-caloric sweeteners. The overwhelming consensus was that stevia is indeed safe, and the AHPA petitioned the FDA to exempt stevia from food additive regulations.
Food Additive vs. Dietary Supplement
FDA regulations of stevia were based on its designation as a food additive. The claim was that scientific study on stevia as a food additive was inadequate. Ironically, extensive Japanese testing of stevia was disregarde—regardless of the fact that this body of documented evidence more than sufficiently supported its safe use. Many experts who have studied stevia and its FDA requirements have commented that the FDA wants far more proof that stevia is safe than they would demand from chemical additives like aspartame.
Stevia advocates point out that stevia not a food additive, but rather, a food. Apparently, foods that have traditionally been consumed do not require laborious and expensive testing for safety under FDA regulations. The fact that so many toxicology studies have been conducted in Japan, coupled with the herb’s long history of safe consumption, makes a strong case for stevia being accepted by the FDA as a safe dietary substance. Still, it was denied the official GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status and designated a food additive by the FDA.
The FDA Reverses Its Position
As a result of the Health Freedom Act passed in September of 1995, stevia leaves, stevia extract, and stevioside can be imported to the United States. However, ingredient labels of products that contain stevia must qualify as dietary supplements.
Stevia had been redesignated as a dietary supplement by the FDA and consequently can be legally sold in the United States solely as a supplement. Its addition to teas or other packaged foods is still banned. Moreover, stevia cannot, under any circumstances, be marketed as a sweetener or flavor enhancer.
SUGAR, SUGAR EVERYWHERE
Ralph Nader once said, “If God meant us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.” The average American eats over 125 pounds of white sugar every year. It has been estimated that sugar makes up 25 percent of our daily caloric intake, with soda pop supplying the majority of our sugar ingestion. Desserts and sugar-laden Snacks continually tempt us, resulting in an escalated taste for sweets.
The amount of sugar we consume has a profound effect on both our physical and mental well-being. Sugar is a powerful substance which can have drug-like effects and is considered addictive by some nutritional experts. William Duffy, the author of Sugar Blues, states,“The difference between sugar addiction and narcotic addition is largely one of degree.” In excess, sugar can be toxic. Sufficient amounts of B-vitamins are actually required to metabolize and detoxify sugar in our bodies. When the body experiences a sugar overload, the assimilation of nutrients from other foods can be inhibited. In other words, our bodies were not designed to cope with the enormous quantity of sugar we routinely ingest. Eating too much sugar can generate a type of nutrient malnutrition, not to mention its contribution to obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, and other disorders. Sugar can also predispose the body to yeast infections, aggravate some types of arthritis and asthma, cause tooth decay, and may even elevate our blood lipid levels. Eating excess sugar can also contribute to amino acid depletion, which has been linked with depression and other mood disorders. To make matters worse, eating too much sugar can actually compromise our immune systems by lowering white blood cells counts. This makes us more susceptible to colds and other infections. Sugar consumption has also been linked to PMS, osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.
Why Do We Crave Sweets?
Considering the sobering effects of a high sugar diet, why do we eat so much of it? One reason is that sugar gives us a quick infusion of energy. It can also help to raise the level of certain brain neurotransmitters which may temporarily elevate our mood. Sugar cravings stem from a complex mix of physiological and psychological components. Even the most brilliant scientists fail to totally comprehend this intriguing chemical dependence which, for the most part, hurts our overall health.
What we do know is that when sugary foods are consumed, the pancreas must secrete insulin, a hormone which serves to bring blood glucose levels down. This allows sugar to enter our cells where it is either burned off or stored. The constant ups and downs of blood sugar levels can become exaggerated in some individuals and cause all kinds of health problems. Have you ever been around someone who is prone to sudden mood swings characterized by violent verbal attacks or irritability? This type of volatile behavior is typical of people who crave sugar, eat it and then experience sugar highs and lows. Erratic mood swings can be linked to dramatic drops in blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia: Sign of Hard Times?
It is rather disturbing to learn that statisticians estimate that almost 20 million Americans suffer from some type of faulty glucose tolerance. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are the two major forms of blood sugar disorders and can deservedly be called modern day plagues. Hypoglycemia is an actual disorder that can cause of number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. More and more studies are pointing to physiological as well as psychological disorders linked to disturbed glucose utilization in brain cells. One study, in particular, showed that depressed people have overall lower glucose metabolism (Slagle, 22). Hypoglycemia occurs when too much insulin is secreted in order to compensate for high blood sugar levels resulting from eating sugary or high carbohydrate foods. To deal with the excess insulin, glucagon, cortisol and adrenalin pour into the system to help raise the blood sugar back to acceptable levels. This can inadvertently result in the secretion of more insulin and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
A hypoglycemic reaction can cause mood swings, fatigue, drowsiness, tremors, headaches, dizziness, panic attacks, indigestion, cold sweats, and fainting. When blood sugar drops too low, an overwhelming craving for carbohydrates results. To satisfy the craving and compensate for feelings of weakness and abnormal hunger, sugary foods are once again consumed in excess.
Unfortunately, great numbers of people suffer from hypoglycemic symptoms. Ironically, a simple switch from a high sugar diet to one that emphasizes protein can help. In addition, because sugar cravings are so hard to control, a product like stevia can be of enormous value in preventing roller coaster blood sugar levels. One Colorado internist states: People who are chronically stressed and are on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of day. Their adrenals are not functioning optimally, and when they hit a real low point, they want sugar. It usually happens in mid-afternoon when the adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. (Janiger, 71) Our craving for sweets in not intrinsically a bad thing; however, what we reach for to satisfy that craving can dramatically determine how we feel. Stevia can help to satisfy the urge to eat something sweet without changing blood sugar levels in a perfectly natural way and without any of the risks associated with other non-nutritive sweeteners.
Diabetes: Pancreas Overload?
Diabetes is a disease typical of western cultures and is evidence of the influence that diet has on the human body. Perhaps more than any other disease, diabetes shuts down the mechanisms which permit proper carbohydrate/sugar metabolism. When the pancreas no longer secretes adequate amounts of insulin to metabolize sugar, that sugar continues to circulate in the bloodstream causing all kinds of health problems. The type of diabetes that comes in later years is almost always related to obesity and involves the inability of sugar to enter cells, even when insulin is present. Diabetes can cause blindness, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, the loss of nerve function, recurring infections, and the inability to heal. Heredity plays a profound role in the incidence of diabetes, but a diet high in white sugar and empty carbohydrates unquestionably contributes to the onset of the disease. It is estimated that over five million Americans are currently undergoing medical treatment for diabetes and studies suggest that there are at least four million Americans with undetected forms of adult onset diabetes. Diabetes is the third cause of death in this country and reflects the devastating results of a diet low in fiber and high in simple carbohydrates. Most of us start our children on diets filled with candy, pop, chips, cookies, doughnuts, sugary juice, etc. Studies have found that diabetes is a disease which usually plagues societies that eat highly refined foods. Because we live in a culture that worships sweets, the availability of a safe sweetener like stevia, which does not cause stress on the pancreas is extremely valuable. If sugar consumption was cut in half by using stevia to
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: CAUSE FOR WORRY
July 15, 2005 12:26 PM
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: CAUSE FOR WORRY
Among some of the most troubling food additives that we routinely ingest are artificial sweeteners, also referred to as non-nutritive sweeteners. Having received the FDA stamp of approval, they are liberally ingested with little thought to what their actual health risks may be. Andrew Weil, M.D., in his book Natural Health Natural Medicine, writes: More worrisome than preservatives are artificial sweeteners. Saccharin, a known carcinogen, should be avoided. Cyclamates, banned some years ago for suspected carcinogenicity, are not being reconsidered for use in food. They taste better than saccharin but cause diarrhea in some people. Avoid them too. Recently, aspartame (NutraSweet) has become enormously popular. The manufacturer portrays it as a gift from nature, but, although the two component amino acids occur in nature, aspartame itself does not. Like all artificial sweeteners, aspartame has a peculiar taste. Because I have seen a number of patients, mostly women, who report headaches from this substance, I don’t regard it as free from toxicity. Women also find that aspartame aggravates PMS (premenstrual syndrome). I think you are better off using moderate amounts of sugar than consuming any artificial sweeteners on a regular basis. A natural sweetener that may cause some people problems is sorbitol, originally derived from the berries of the mountain ash tree. Sorbitol tastes sweet but is not easily absorbed form the gastrointestinal tract and is not easily metabolized. It is a common ingredient of sugarless chewing gums and candies. If you eat a lot of it, you will probably get diarrhea. People with irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis should avoid sorbitol.
Ann Louise Gittleman, in her book, Super Nutrition for Women, writes: In 1977, a Canadian study indicated that when pregnant rats were fed large doses of saccharin, their male offspring developed bladder cancer. As a result, the Canadians banned saccharin and the U.S. Congress ordered warning labels on all saccharin products like Sweet ‘N Low. The national Academy of Sciences in 1978 evaluated the evidence and concluded that saccharin was primarily a promoter of other cancer-causing agents, a cocarcinogen. In the meantime, G.D. Searle developed aspartame, a combination of two amino acids and methanol (wood alcohol) . . . Few long-term studies of the effects of aspartame have been done. However, reports to the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control indicate that, as more people consume the substitute in large quantities, health may be affected. In some circumstances, individuals may be getting high levels of methanol; for example, it is estimated that on a hot day after exercise, an individual drinking three 12-ounce cans of diet cola could easily consume as much as eight times the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limit for methanol consumption. The most common complaints are dizziness, disorientation, tunnel vision, ear buzzing, loss of equilibrium, numbing of hands and feet, inflammation of the pancreas, high blood pressure, eye hemorrhages and seizures. Artificial sweeteners can stimulate hunger or cause additive allergies, just as sugar does. In other words, we get the disadvantages of sugar, along with the proven or suspected disadvantages of artificial sweeteners. While thousands of Americans continue to consume aspartame in unprecedented amounts, controversy surrounding its safety lingers. Dr. Richard Wurtman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has reported that abnormal concentrations of neurotransmitters developed when he fed laboratory animals large doses of aspartame. He believes that the phenylalanine content of the sweetener actually manipulates and alters certain brain chemicals which could initiate behavioral changes and even seizures. He also purports that while small quantities of aspartame may be safe, the cumulative effects of the compound—particularly if consumed with high carbohydrate, low protein Snacks—could be serious (Wurtman I, 799-801, Wurtman II, 429-430, Wurtman III, 1060).
In spite of serious concerns, saccharine and aspartame packets sit in restaurant sugar bowls all over our country, while in Japan, natural stevia powder enjoys popularity as one of the best and safest non-caloric sweeteners available.
CLA and Cows
June 22, 2005 09:52 PM
CLA and Cows
Nutritional developments like that of CLA couldn’t come at a better time. America is a nation obsessed with weight, but successes in battling weight seem harder and harder to come by. Is there a nutritional reason for this? Have we been barking up the wrong tree in recent years, starving ourselves for fear of gluttony rather than looking at broader nutritional reasons for fat accumulation? For example, Dr. Cook says that modern nutritional dogma is that fat is bad. “I’m not sure the dogma’s right. We need to get down to very specific fatty acids.”51 One of the most exciting developments coming from CLA research is that modern animal-raising techniques may be partially responsible for those of us who eat meat getting fat around the middle, even though our consumption of meat may have declined or, at least, stayed about the same in recent years.
CLA has been declining in our diet. This one nutrient’s lack may mean many of us are gaining fat, despite eating less overall fat.52
This desire to simply eliminate fats without looking at the broader nutritional picture has its roots deep in our culture. The desire to starve ourselves to lose weight goes back centuries. We have often thought weight gain came solely from lacking self-control when, often, nothing could be further from the truth.
Take for example the experiences of conscientious objectors during World War II. These men who chose, for religious reasons, not to fight in the war, contributed in other ways. One group at the University of Minnesota underwent forced starvation to help scientists learn ways to help concentration camp victims recover after liberation.
Science learned many useful things, but one thing stands out. The objectors grew more hungry as they recovered and ended up weighing five percent more after they recovered than before the experiment began. (The same can be said for refugees and concentration camp victims, who also weighed more, on average after their ordeals than before.)53 This idea of dieting being the full answer to weight loss still persists, often tragically. Many have died of anorexia, obsessed with self-image. Others have died directly from ill-conceived meal replacement programs.54 In the 1980s, Americans spent $15 billion on diet soft drinks alone,55 but consumers weighed more on average when the decade was over than when it began. You’d think all of this energy and dieting spent on the effort would have helped people lose weight. (Thankfully, many people have succeeded in losing weight and keeping it off. According to Dr. Pariza, this may well be the most significant part of CLA, not so much in losing the weight, but in helping people keep it off.56)
To drive the point home further, consider your parents. They ate a diet that was likely higher in fat than yours. They never saw “lite” versions of Snacks in the store. Yet they, in general, weighed less than we do. Why? Surely exercise may have had something to do with it, but, no one has the complete answer. It seems likely that nutrition too played a role. CLA itself may hold part of the reason. As we have seen, CLA nutrition means less fat and more protein in our bodies. Recent research is showing that the amount of CLA in cows has dropped substantially since the times of our parents. In 1963, scientists found that CLA was as much as 2.81 percent of milkfat. The amount of CLA in the milk products varied with the seasons. At some times during the year, cows ate grass. At other times, they ate feed. However, in 1992, Pariza and his colleagues did a large food survey and found that this variation in CLA is no longer occurring. Furthermore, the amount of CLA in dairy products rarely gets above 1 percent of the milkfat. 57
In another research paper in 1994, scientists noticed that Australian cows have as much as three or four time the amount of CLA in the meat from similar American animals. Why? These differences probably “reflect different feeding conditions.” 58
Today, farmers use more efficient feeding methods that rely less heavily on natural grasses. This means less CLA in the meat we eat, and less CLA can mean a higher percentage of fat on our bodies. Consider too that skim milk contains virtually no CLA with its no fat content. This lack of CLA may actually hinder some people’s efforts to lose weight.
The lesson here seems to be that gluttony guilt would be better focused on balanced living. Healthy lifestyles coupled with the right supplementation can make a difference. CLA, though no magic bullet, adds to this lifestyle and could be the key that finally opens many weight (and fat) management doors. It could help many people keep the weight off.
Pep Up and Go!
June 14, 2005 05:45 PM
Pep Up and Go!
by Harris Parker Energy Times, February 2, 2000
Feel your energy flagging?
You've lost count of the number of phone calls you fielded all afternoon-the last was from your son, who missed the late bus home from school-and colleagues needing your decision are lined up outside your office. Your husband has invited clients home for dinner. You wilt like a new hairdo on a damp August day and pray for a miracle to jump-start your engine.
Your pep quotient depends on three essential ingredients: nutrients you consume through your diet and supplements, how much you exercise and your sleep schedule.(Of course, if you're troubled by any kind of disabling, ceaseless fatigue accompanied by mental fuzziness, joint pain, sore throat, swollen glands, headaches and other chronic distress, consult your health practitioner.)
Vitamins and Energy
Certain nutrients are called vitamins because scientists consider them to be crucial for vitality. They generally function as coenzymes, partnering with the enzymes that are catalysts for the chemical reactions constantly taking place in our bodies. Our need to replenish our store of vitamins, which may merge with cell, muscle, enzyme, hormone, blood and bone structure once they have been absorbed, depends on their rate of utilization, according to The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery) by Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning.
While a low-fat diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables helps supply important nutrients, a B complex supplement and a balanced multivitamin can guarantee daily vitamin levels.
Be Energetic with B Vitamins
Vitamins, especially the B vitamins, play extremely important roles in producing cellular energy. The chart on page 39 lists the key vitamins and describes their effects as well as the consequences of not getting enough of them. Their benefit is felt most profoundly in the energy producing process known as the Krebs cycle (which we'll explain in a moment).
Vitamins B2 and B3, for example, supply the major building blocks for substances that are called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD and FADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD and NADH), which are critical elements of energy production in the Krebs cycle as well as a process called oxidative phosphorylation.
Hundreds of Reactions
Even though you may never have heard of NAD and NADH, these molecules are found in very many places throughout your body; they play a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in all kinds of cells. B vitamins also combine with other materials to build coenzymes, chemicals which help form other chemicals necessary for cellular energy. B vitamins are crucial: miss out on one or more and you may break these metabolic chains necessary for peak energy.
Energy to Spend
The main energy currency of every cell single cell is ATP: a chemical called adenosine triphosphate. This material is used by cells for every imaginable task including reproduction, growth, movement and metabolism. Specialized metabolic cycles within the cell are designed to generate ATP.
Consequently, the more ATP our cells create, the more energy can be generated. The raw materials used to make cellular energy are glucose (blood sugar) and "free" fatty acids. The best way to supply your cells with the sugar they need is to consume complex carbohydrates which also supply fiber and other nutrients. When you eat carbohydrates, they are made into glucose which is stored as a starch called glycogen in muscles and the liver. Your body can rapidly turn glycogen into glucose for extra energy. (The process of making energy from glycogen yields carbon dioxide and water as well as ATP.)
The first step in making glucose into energy is called glycolysis. This complicated process requires nine different steps. During these steps, glucose is made into a substance called pyruvate. The process of glycolysis requires ATP, but yields twice as much ATP as is present when it starts.
From here, the process gets a little more complicated as pyruvate enters into a complex chain of events in tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. (Many metabolic events take place in the mitochondria.) The pyruvate molecules are converted to a molecule known as acetyl coenzyme A and eventually made into carbon dioxide, water and more ATP.
This process is known as the Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle. It also involves a series of events known as oxidative phosphorylation in which NADH formed during the Krebs cycle is oxidized to form ATP.
Why is fat such a concentrated source of energy? Free fatty acids enter the Krebs cycle to help generate ATP much more efficiently than glucose - producing roughly six times more energy per gram than glucose.
And Don't Overlook. . . . . .other supplements that may aid energy production: • Alpha Lipoic Acid, an antioxidant that works in the fatty tissues of cell membranes and in cells' watery interiors • Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone as it exists everywhere in the body, acts like a vitamin because it stimulates some reactions. CoQ10 protects cell membranes, especially of the heart, against oxidation and toxins.
Ginsengs: Energy Generators
With their legendary and slightly mysterious characteristics, the ginsengs are greatly respected natural energy boosters. " Perhaps no herb has excited so much interest in medical circles as ginseng, and yet, strangely, it does not actually 'cure' any one particular ailment," reports Michael Hallowell, the author of Herbal Healing (Avery) and a frequent lecturer on botanic medicine. "Rather, its virtue lies in its tremendous power as a tonic and invigorator. Russian athletes are prescribed large amounts of ginseng because researchers in Moscow have shown that it not only improves stamina, but also increases the efficiency with which blood is pumped to the muscles."
What are the physiological mechanisms that allow ginseng to bolster your get up and go? In order to unravel the legend and lore of ginseng, the first step is understanding the intricacies of the three types: • Asian (Panax ginseng), which produces the strongest and most profound stimulation; • American (Panax quinquefolium), which soothes at a more subtle level; • Siberian (Eleutherococcus senticosus), a stamina booster embraced by a wide range of athletes. All three varieties are treasured for their ability to help people adjust to stress.
The ginsengs are adaptogens, "biologically active substances found in certain herbs and plants that help the body and mind adapt to the changes and stress of life," says Stephen Fulder, MD, author of The Book of Ginseng and Other Chinese Herbs for Vitality (Inner Traditions). "Stress is not an illness in itself. Stress is change, our ability to adapt to all the changes that occur in life, emotional or physical, from exercise, work, chemicals, drugs, food, radiation, bacteria, disease, temperature, or simply too many late nights or too much fun."
The body reacts to stress by producing the hormone adrenaline, which throws the whole body into a state of alert. Metabolism, blood pressure and circulation accelerate; immunity and resistance drastically decline; performance suffers.
Enter the ginsengs, with their varied, subtle tonic qualities. The Greek name for this herb, "panax," means "panacea" or cure-all. But the Chinese, who first referred to it 2,000 years ago, more literally called it "ren shen" or "person root," in reference to its physical resemblance to a miniature human form.
" Most exhibit medicinal properties, but each species has a different chemical makeup and has a unique application in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)," says Kim Derek Pritts, author of Ginseng: How to Find, Grow and Use America's Forest Gold (Stackpole). "In general, all true ginseng contains biologically active saponins (chemicals similar to human hormones), essential oils, carbohydrates, sugars, organic acids, nitrogenous substances, amino acids, peptides, vitamins and minerals."
Building Vital Energy
All the ginsengs strengthen, nourish and build Qi, the TCM concept describing basic vital energy circulating through our bodies. Every physical and mental function, from breathing, thinking, nutrition and circulation, is regulated by Qi. Although many of the Native American tribes used the abundant, indigenous Panax quinquefolium ginseng extensively, particularly to increase mental acuity and boost fertility, the herb never has been as popular in North America as it is in Asia. American ginseng traditionally has been a lucrative export crop to China, where the wild native variety suffers from overharvesting. Even today, according to Paul Bergner in The Healing Power of Ginseng & the Tonic Herbs (Prima), 95% of the American ginseng crop is exported to China, where XiYang Shen, or "western sea root," as it is called, is immensely valued and costs double what it does here.
Jacques MoraMarco, author of The Complete Ginseng Handbook: A Practical Guide for Energy, Health and Longevity (Contemporary), as well as a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Eastern medicine, suggests American ginseng for a slight energy boost. The moderate effect of American ginseng is considered a more appropriate tonic to the intensity of our pace and diet.
Variations on a Theme
In TCM terms, American ginseng cools and moistens, as well as lubricates and strengthens the body. It is reputed to reduce fevers and night sweats and alleviate hot, dry lung problems like smoker's cough. With its emollient qualities, American ginseng is considered to treat dry, wrinkled skin effectively.
The Bolder Energizer
Asian ginseng, which includes red Korean panax, is a bolder energizer taken by those who feel depleted from anemia, blood loss, cardiovascular weakness, injury, shock or trauma, as well as the disabling effects of age. In general, Asian ginseng is warming and stimulating, urging the body to run faster.
Siberian ginseng, though botanically not a true ginseng, still acts similarly to Asian ginseng in its reputed power to control stress, boost energy, support the immune system, enhance performance and increase longevity. Called Wu Cha Seng in Chinese, Siberian ginseng is perceived by natural practitioners as an ideal herb for the healthy who want to lift both stamina and endurance. Experts believe it counteracts the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to injury, pain or emotional turmoil.
Natural Energy Boosters
The herbal pharmacopeia includes several other natural energy boosters available in various forms-shakes and bars for those on the run-loaded with nutrition absent from commercial Snacks. Some choices: • Ginkgo biloba-used in Chinese medicine to heat the body and increase sexual energy. Ginkgo enthusiasts take this herb to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain and generally increase circulation. • Gotu kola-may stimulate the central nervous system and help eliminate excess fluid, thereby reducing fatigue. • Astragalus-a Chinese herb that enhances energy and builds the immune system. It is credited with strengthening digestion, improving metabolism, increasing appetite, combating diarrhea and healing sores. • Schisandra-also a Chinese herb, treats respiratory illness, insomnia and irritability and rejuvenates sexual energy. Its mild adaptogens help the body to handle stress. • Licorice-is a favored endocrine toner in Chinese medicine. It is reputed to support the adrenals, the pair of small glands directly above the kidneys that secrete steroidal hormones, norepinephrine and epinephrine, the "fight or flight" hormones. People with high blood pressure or edema, or pregnant women, should avoid it. • Ashwagandha-an Ayurvedic herb used for thousands of years in the traditional healing of India as a potent strength builder for men and women.
Experienced herbal practitioners acquire an impressive and fascinating store of knowledge and experience-you'll find it helpful to visit one as you begin your course of ginseng or other energy-boosting herbs.
When you visit a TCM practitioner, you'll notice that she evaluates your body's condition through an extremely careful examination of all the different systems: Several pulse points are felt in order to ferret out and detect troubling abnormalities. The condition and color of the tongue is observed to decipher digestive disorders. In addition, your urine may be examined to determine other imbalances and specific health problems.
In many cases, your TCM practitioner will recommend ginseng as an adaptogen that can give you an overall boost. When taking ginseng, follow the directions on the package. Note: in some cases, you may want to consume a little bit less if you suffer headaches, insomnia or high blood pressure. Consult your health practitioner if you are afflicted with either acute inflammatory disease or bronchitis.
Then take comfort in the eternal soothing wisdom of Chinese Traditional Medicine. In the first century A.D., the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (The Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica) effusively described ginseng and the tonic herbs in this beguiling and intriguing manner: "The first class of drugs...are considered to perform the work of sovereigns. They support human life and they resemble heaven. They are not poisonous regardless of the quality and duration of administration."
Power Meals - Shakes, smoothies and bars help make getting good nutrition easy.
June 14, 2005 08:28 AM
by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, March 12, 2004
Choices, choices, choices: For convenience, nutrition and either low-calorie or low-carb dieting, you now have an enviable range of choices. Shakes, smoothies and bars help make getting good nutrition easy.
Whatever your inclination, drinks and bars offer a shortcut to daily nutrition without cooking. And whether you use them as meal replacements, diet aids or healthy Snacks, these power meals fill you up without filling you out.
That's the main reason these items have grown in popularity in natural food stores among the nutritionally knowledgeable searching for healthier alternatives to fast food.
No matter how hectic your day, you have no excuses anymore for missing your daily required antioxidants and minerals. Either select a bar suited to your taste, or put your blender or food processor to work in creating drinks that use fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, low-fat milk or ice and protein powders for maximum nutritional output.
Quality note: always be sure to use organic foods for the best nutritional content, flavor and taste.
Prepared protein shake mixes and bars are ideal for losing weight, expanding personal energy or building muscle. Protein mixes are available in an assortment of flavors that are generally high in amino acids (protein building blocks) and low in carbohydrates. Of course if you are on a low-carb diet, forsake putting fruits and vegetables in your shakes; these items are too high in carbohydrates.
What's more, bars not only provide a wealth of different tastes, but different bars are also tailored to different needs-whether you're seeking to lose weight, gain muscle or replace a meal, there's a bar out there just for you.
If you use power shakes as meal replacements and you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, make sure the drink supplies plenty of protein and few carbohydrates. If you use either shakes or bars to replace one or more meals during the day, take a fiber supplement in addition. Fiber, which contains no calories, helps speed food through your digestive tract and may lower your risk of heart disease and cancer (Lancet 5/2/03).
And remember: powders and bars should also be low in sugars and saturated fats. The weight-loss benefit: If you drink high-protein shakes or eat bars that taste good and leave you feeling satisfied, you'll have a better chance of sticking to your diet long enough to lose a significant amount of weight.
Drink to Lose
Research into weight loss has established protein shakes and bars as reliable diet aids. A study of 100 dieters between the age of 35 and 65 found that people who drank a daily soy protein shake lost more than 14 pounds each in three months (Eur J Clin Nutr 2003; 57:514). And in a study reported in the Journal of American Dietetic Association (3/01), folks who had a protein shake in place of one daily meal lost almost twice as much weight over 12 weeks than those who ate their regular food with the same amount of calories.
Drinking your breakfast in the form of a protein shake can both increase your metabolism and help curb your appetite for the rest of the day.
Researchers at Harvard University found that metabolism rose faster after eating a high-protein breakfast and that blood-sugar levels stayed high for about six hours after the meal (AHA Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and and Prevention, 3/6/03). In comparison, when a sugary breakfast is consumed, blood-sugar levels rise quickly but fall rapidly, causing fatigue, tiredness and sleepiness.
Protein shakes are especially effective when you are on a weight-loss plateau, trying to lose those last few tenacious pounds. (But shakes, smoothies and bars should not be your only meals of the day. Eat at least one low-calorie meal daily to supply nutrients that may not be in your shakes or bars.)
Made with fruits and vegetables, smoothies are a tasty way of getting extra amounts of nutrients and soluble fiber. Using low-fat milk, yogurt, buttermilk or kefir, plus ice, creates a tempting and wholesome blend that lights up the taste buds. Powdered mixes can be used for added protein.
Fruits and vegetables in your smoothies not only fill you up on relatively few calories, but they boost your energy and supply plenty of bioflavonoids (healthy, natural chemicals from plants), antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The fiber in smoothies can help reduce cholesterol, relieve constipation and aid in the prevention of high blood pressure. For reduced calories and added heart health benefits, low-fat or no-fat milk products can be used in place of cream or regular milk in most recipes. For the best taste sensation, combine sour and sweet fruits together.
Adding raw fruits and vegetables to smoothies provides natural enzymes that help with digestion and act as catalysts in hundreds of chemical reactions throughout the body. (You can also take enzymes in supplemental form.) Enzymes are not present in cooked foods since the heat of cooking destroys them.
Nutrition for Kids
If you have trouble getting your children to eat their fruits and vegetables, try giving them smoothies. Children can't resist these naturally sweet and healthy creations.
According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions (New Trends Publishing), smoothies should be "high in quality, contain healthy fats, be naturally sweet, and contain fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables."
Fallon also believes children should consume what are called lacto-fermented foods, including yogurt and kefir, which are aged to contain the kinds of friendly bacteria that normally live within our digestive tracts. For kids, Fallon also encourages the use of cream or cultured milk to ensure adequate fat and calcium, so important for the development of growing bodies.
Smoothies are an interactive drink as far as children are concerned, since they love to help blend them. For extra nutrition power, add nutritional yeast, nut butters or ground flaxseeds. These supply additional vitamins and minerals, along with healthy fats. You can also add silken tofu to bump up the protein content. If your child is lactose intolerant, try mixing smoothies with rice milk, soy milk or juice.
Bars Designed With A Woman's Needs in Mind
The modern woman is a multitasking wonder, constantly juggling work and home responsibilities. So it's no wonder that bars aimed at women are among the most popular bars there are. Many women, in eyeing the bathroom scale, shortchange themselves of the nutrients they need. That's why a woman's bar needs to provide minerals like calcium, a bone-building necessity.
Women also need to ensure that a bar contains enough of the B vitamins, particularly folate. This is especially true if a woman is pregnant, or wants to be: Folate is crucial in helping to prevent neural tube birth defects.
Folate also teams up with two other B vitamins, B6 and B12, to control homocysteine. This protein metabolism byproduct, when present in excessive amounts, is associated with heart disease.
Another popular ingredient in women's bars is soy, which has been duly recognized for its heart benefits. Studies also indicate that soy may help keep bones strong. (Not to mention the fact that the moisture soy holds helps make a bar's texture that much more appealing!)
The Protein Game
If you are unsure about how much protein you need each day, you are not alone. Are you getting too much, not enough, or just enough? Most people need between 45 and 60 grams of protein daily, and most protein shakes contain about 14 and 20 grams of protein per serving (check your labels). No matter what your nutritional needs are, you may find an answer in a smoothie, shake or bar. When it comes to power nutrition, tasting is believing!
Snack Attack - we munch on about 125,000 pounds of pretzels, chips, popcorn and nuts a min
June 12, 2005 02:33 PM
Snack Attack by Chrystle Fiedler Energy Times, August 5, 2003
Americans are snackers. For instance, during the Superbowl, we munch on about 125,000 pounds of pretzels, chips, popcorn and nuts a minute; 30 million pounds by the end of the game. At work about half of us snack two or three times a day. By the end of today, as a group, we'll have eaten $22 million worth of candy-almost a million dollars an hour for every hour of every day.
If you snack unwisely, these munchies can expand your waistline and sabotage your health. But if you snack wisely, you can keep your taste buds fulfilled, your brain working at top capacity and your body satisfied.
When searching for snack satisfaction, think protein. Protein bars and protein shakes keep you feeling fuller longer on fewer calories than sweets.
Second to protein, think fiber, as in fresh fruit, dried fruit, or whole grain breads and crackers.
Unlike carbohydrates that break down into sugars and may be quickly stored as body fat, protein-rich Snacks release sugar into your bloodstream at a slow, steady and healthy pace. That keeps you satisfied longer on fewer calories.
"Protein is an important building block (for the body)," says Alicia Gonzalez, ND, a teaching fellow at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington. "It breaks down into amino acids as precursors to things like neurotransmitters, hormones and muscle."
Besides eating protein-rich Snacks, eat protein with every meal and eat it first. "It will help your body absorb sugar at a slower rate."
"Protein and fiber are the best at helping the body absorb sugar at an optimal rate," says Jon Gordon, author of Become an Energy Addict (Longstreet Press).
"Protein bars release sugar at a slower rate, resulting in more balanced blood sugar levels and greater overall energy," Gordon says. "You'll crave sugar less and will have a more sustained source of energy all day long."
Protein Bars' Power
"The biggest advantage of protein bars, besides their convenience, is the fact that they do have considerably more protein, say 10 grams, than candy bars, which can contain as little as 2 grams," says Dr. Gonzalez. Total fat tends to be much less in a protein bar, too.
When choosing a protein bar, Dr. Gonzalez says, "Look for total protein content, say, between 10 and 12 grams and total fat, no more than 5 grams, and be careful with high sodium content."
"Choose a protein bar closest to nature," says Gordon. "Like one with almonds and cashews. Nuts are full of nutrients and minerals. Nuts are also a source of fiber."
If you exercise, protein bars with whey or soy protein make for quick replacement of necessary nutrients. "Eating a protein bar an hour before exercising helps to maintain that energy boost you need and replenishes minerals you lose when working out," says Dr. Gonzalez.
Some protein bars, though, do a bait n' switch with saturated fats and trans fatty acids, says Dawn Weatherwax, RD, author of The Official Snack Guide for Beleaguered Sports Parents (WellCentered Books). "If the label says hydrolyzed or hydrogenated palm oil, that's as bad as saturated fat. People think they're doing the healthy thing by eating a protein bar but they end up getting the wrong type of fat."
Besides protein bars, other healthy and healthful Snacks include whole grain bread with peanut butter and cheese on whole grain, high-fiber crackers. "Mixing fiber and protein will help you sustain your energy," says Gordon. "Yogurt is also very good."
"Smoothies are also wonderful (Snacks)," says Weatherwax. "Add protein powder, silken tofu and fruit to them and you can have them as a meal replacement."
"Nuts like cashews, almonds, seeds and dried berries are some of the best Snacks that you can eat because you're not getting all that sugar," says Dr. Gonzalez. "Nuts have a good balance of good fat versus bad fat, including essential fatty acids, which are really important for cellular health and overall well-being. A combination of nuts, seeds and dried berries provides you with a good mix of all the vitamins and minerals along with the good fats that you need to be healthy."
When snacking, think about variety. "Mix it up, have a protein bar one day, a protein shake the next," says Gordon. "Combine protein with a healthy carbohydrate and you'll have much more sustained energy throughout the day."
Fuel for Your Fire
"We're like a train, we need to keep the furnace stoked," says Weatherwax, a consulting dietitian for the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. "The goal is to eat every three or four hours. You have breakfast and lunch and you need an afternoon snack. That's the hardest one to get. Most people don't want to eat another sandwich; they want snack food. So a protein bar with a carb like a piece of fruit, an apple, orange or banana...is a great combination." "Studies show if you have moderate-size meals plus small between-meal Snacks you increase your levels of energy and alertness," says Gordon. "It also optimizes your memory and performance and gives you a steady flow of energy rather than the rises and falls. Without healthy Snacks your blood sugar falls and you experience fatigue and tension. Just as we need to constantly feed a fire with moderate-sized pieces of wood, we also need to continually supply our internal furnace with food that can be turned into fuel. This keeps our metabolism going strong and steady."
"You want to stay between one-third and two-thirds full," adds Weatherwax.
"Eating less in an effort to lose weight is actually deleterious in the long run," says Dr. Gonzalez. "When we don't eat our body gets mixed signals; it isn't sure when it's going to get its next meal. This makes the body want to store fat and sugar to save it just in case. On the other hand, if your body becomes accustomed to eating more often, the cells will be more inclined to use the fat up, knowing there is more food on the way."
To program your body this way, don't skip meals. Have protein-filled breakfast like a protein smoothie and eggs. Follow up with healthy Snacks like a protein bar or shake and regular meals.
"Ideally, it's best to combine the macronutrients, the protein, carbs and healthy fats," says Weatherwax. "By mixing all three you actually burn more energy. One study shows that you burn an extra 35 calories."
Nibbling on refined sweets can give you the snack blues. So let smart-snack strategies. Shift your mental outlook into high gear and use Snacks wisely.
Snacking and Exercising
When you incorporate Snacks into a consistent exercise program, you boost your chances of maintaining a healthy weight.
To make a big difference in your day, Gordon says, get up a half an hour early to exercise. Next, eat a breakfast that includes protein and fiber, have a mid-morning snack, a healthy lunch, an afternoon snack and good dinner. Take a walk within 30 minutes of eating dinner and you'll give your body a double dose of get-up-and-go.
"It exponentially increases your energy production and fat burning," says Gordon. Do all these things and watch your energy soar. "You'll fuel your life with real sustained power sources rather than the quick fix like coffee that's going to give you the rise in energy and then fall."
You don't need to be told to keep on snacking. Just keep to the protein and fiber side of the snack street.
Stevia, Xylitol Sugar alternatives ...
June 09, 2005 06:15 PM
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels Energy Times, January 4, 2002
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels
Low blood sugar-a blood sugar recession-can make the good times recede. While you can't live without blood sugar, too much or too little wreaks havoc on your body and mind. And when blood sugar dips low enough to cause hypoglycemia you may feel like your emotions have been shredded. Knowing how the body regulates blood sugar allows you a measure of control in keeping blood sugar in the proper groove, and makes life a little sweeter. Hypoglycemia occurs when you feel dragged out because of low blood sugar. Ironically, this low blood sugar syndrome may be caused by an overabundance of sugar in your meals and Snacks. Those who point to hypoglycemia as a widespread problem claim that up to two of three women in America suffer from hypoglycemia. That would make it an epidemic of monstrous proportions. In a survey of 1000 folks complaining of hypoglycemia, published in the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation's winter 2000 edition, researchers found that low blood sugar sufferers complained of hypoglycemic discomforts in several main categories: 94% of the people in the study reported nervousness, 89% mentioned irritability, exhaustion affected 87%, depression struck 86% and drowsiness hit 73%. Other miseries included fatigue, cold sweats, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), rapid heart rate, blurry or double vision, confusion, sudden hunger, convulsions, sweating, sleeping problems, paleness, muscle pain, memory loss, crying jags, fainting and dizziness.
Body of Evidence
Diary of a Maddening Condition
What we 'do' is what we 'get in excersize and weight-loss'
June 09, 2005 09:21 AM
Maximum Metabolism™ Diet & Exercise Plan
What is 'The Maximum Metabolism™ Plan'?
The Maximum Metabolism plan is designed for you to safely and permanently:
The Maximum Metabolism plan allows you to eat healthy, delicious and filling food -- while reducing fat and calories. You'll increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR...metabolism when you're resting) to burn fat more efficiently on a daily basis. You'll develop a simple daily exercise regimen to maintain muscle tone -- while still burning more fat. You'll acquire the good habits so all-important in maintaining a leaner, healthy body.
What we 'do' is what we 'get.'
The key to weight-loss is multi-faceted. It embodies more than simply "going on a diet" if you hope to make it permanent. The long-term answer lies in changing our eating habits and exercising properly. (Most of us know how to eat right...we just don't do it.) There are generally deep emotional issues around our being overweight. So a strong "will" and determination is necessary to make the required changes in our lifestyle. That's why it's important for you to decide just how much weight you should lose -- not somebody else. It's good to ask for support from those significant others in your life. (Though sometimes those nearest and dearest to you can inadvertently sabotage your earnest efforts to achieve well-being.) So learn to feel good about the steps you are taking towards your goal. Acknowledge yourself every day.
Ten Steps to changing your life
What kind of 'exercise' is required?
A combination of a regular walking program with appropriate aerobic and weight exercise is essential for best results. The Maximum Metabolism exercise plan takes only a short time each day, and is designed to help you reduce stress, increase energy levels, burn calories, lose unwanted fat and gain muscle tone. And remember, the more muscle tissue you have...the higher your basal metabolic rate (BMR)...and the more calories you'll burn. It's best to exercise in the morning so that you get the higher BMR benefit all day long. Another important, though less known, benefit of daily exercise is that it causes the release of endorphins, or 'feel good' hormones in the brain.
Walking & Aerobics
Walking has become a very popular aerobic exercise simply because it works. One only needs good shoes, comfortable clothes and several minutes a day. It will improve both leg strength and toning, preserve lean muscle mass, and help you lose fat. The average optimum walking distance and pace ranges from 1-4 miles a day at about 3-6 miles per hour. This translates to between 10 and 20 minutes to walk one mile. After stretching your leg muscles for a few minutes, start with a short distance and gradually work your way up to longer and more swiftly-paced walks. The object is to walk at a brisk pace, so that you'll start burning calories immediately, and after approximately 18 minutes, begin to burn fat.
Beginner's walking program
Advanced walking program
For a change, you can switch certain days of your walking plan with other aerobic exercises such as jogging, biking or dance aerobic workouts. You can use an exercise bike, rower, treadmill, stepper or swim laps. You could join a health club, or do it with a friend. The point is to exercise regularly on an established, weekly basis.
Another very important aspect to regaining a healthy new you is getting involved in some form of appropriate weight training. Whether you decide to join a club, or check out some of the excellent books on the subject for in-home use, weight training can be a significant part of your attaining a healthy body. We simply need to understand that as we get older and less physically active in our daily lives, it's increasingly necessary to reverse the sedentary process that got us here in the first place.
A good weight training program can rebuild, reshape and continually increase the size of your muscles. Muscle makes you look and feel thinner, as muscles take up 20% less space than fat. Adding muscle will: