Search Term: " Sugary "
Honey: Its benefits for health and skin
March 10, 2019 05:56 PM
Most people are aware that honey is exceptionally good for your health with particular benefits for your skin. For example, it can remove acne scars and prevent more acne is used consistently. However, it has so many other health benefits as well. Honey can lower a person's cholesterol level if consumed on a regular basis. Honey is also a great weight loss tool in that it can relieve those pesky bouts of craving sugar. It also boosts your energy and increases your metabolic rate.
"Many studies have proved that honey can help control high cholesterol levels."
Read more: https://www.newsnation.in/lifestyle/food/honey-honey-bee-impressive-benefits-for-health-and-skin-article-203786.html
Sugary supplement mannose could help fight cancer
December 07, 2018 04:53 PM
For people who have family members who have had cancer, they know how much of a toll it takes on people. It rips the whole family apart and it can be incredibly difficult to deal with. It becomes stressful and very cumbersome to everyone that is involved in it. However, there is hope. This supplement mannose is being touted as a sugary one that can potentially help fight cancer. The sugary content of the supplement allows for it to attack the cancer cells.
"A nutritional supplement may be able to slow the development of some cancers and enhance the effects of treatment, a study in mice suggests."
Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46291919
The facts about candida overgrowth and how to overcome it
August 21, 2018 05:53 PM
Candida is a type of yeast found in the human body that is usually dairy harmless but which can cause digestive problems and a range of other symptoms of it. Candida overgrowth can damage the intestinal walls and also cause an increase in allergy symptoms, fatigue, problems with other fungal diseases, headaches, respiratory problems and cold symptoms. Candidates overgrowth can also impede mental clarity and cognition. A combination of overuse of antibiotics, poor diet and the resulting poor immunity make people more vulnerable to candida overgrowth.
"Although it is normal to have some of this fungus in the body, candida can also invade the body beyond what is acceptable"
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/the-facts-about-candida-overgrowth-and-how-to-overcome-it/
7 Health Benefits of Matcha You Should Know About Before Brewing a Cup
November 24, 2017 03:59 PM
Can you match the health benefits of Matcha? This one of a kind drink is like green tea on steroids. Whatever green tea can do Matcha can do better. Farmers use a different process to create this trendy drink. Matcha comes in powdered form which makes it super concentrated. Matcha has three times the amount of caffeine as a regular cup of tea. With all that caffeine, you can wake up with it or burn the midnight oil. It also may help with weight loss and reduce your risk of developing cancer. However, one must use caution when consuming this potent drink. Too much of a good thing always causes trouble. An overdose of Matcha can lead to pro-oxidative stress. So drink up to reap Matcha's wonderful benefits, just not too much.
"Here's the deal: If you're regularly drink soda, juice and sugary beverages, making the switch to unsweetened matcha will absolutely help!"
Read more: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a46901/health-benefits-of-matcha/
What Exactly Is Monk Fruit, and Why Is It Popping Up Everywhere These Days?
September 07, 2017 11:14 AM
A fruit from Southeast Asia called monk fruit has been popping up in all types of common foods, such as yogurt, as a natural sweetener. Monk fruit can be up to 200 times sweeter than sugar, but it contains zero calories. Since it does not raise sugar levels in the body it is popular among diabetics. While monk fruit is a good sugary substitute, it can lead to craving sugary foods, the same as using any sweetener. It is wise to limit monk fruit intake for this reason. It is a good alternative but can lead to higher sugar consumption if overused.
Read more: What Exactly Is Monk Fruit, and Why Is It Popping Up Everywhere These Days?
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice: 7 Reasons to You Should Drink Aloe Vera Juice
August 31, 2017 09:14 AM
"Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice: 7 Reasons to You Should Drink Aloe Vera Juice", lets us know how important aloe vera juice can be in our everyday life. Helping your skin and hair are the simplest benefits of this plant. Heart health, weight loss and aiding your digestion are more ways aloe vera gives positive effects. Its detoxifying agents help cleanse your mouth and your colon two very important parts of your body that need to stay fresh. It's as simple as adding water to the juice from the plant.
"Since aloe vera juice is neither sugary nor acidic, it promotes oral health. It helps in curing gum disease, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also believed to treat mouth ulcers."
Read more: http://www.india.com/lifestyle/health-benefits-of-aloe-vera-juice-7-reasons-to-you-should-drink-aloe-vera-juice-2429040/
8 Herbs That Help You Lose Weight Naturally
August 24, 2017 12:14 PM
When paired with a health-minded diet and routine exercise, herbs can be used as a secret weapon in the battle to shed pounds and maintain physique. The herbs guggul, garlic, coriander, and ginseng all play various roles in increasing metabolism and burning off calories and fat. Peppermint and gurmar are both appetite suppressants and help to reduce cravings for sugary, processed foods. Oregano and dandelion both target bloating and water weight while flushing toxins out from the body.
"It goes without saying that you can't do without a good workout regime and a healthy and balanced diet but these herbs can give you an extra boost."
Read more: http://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/8-herbs-that-help-you-lose-weight-naturally-1740034
Should You Give Up Sugar?
August 20, 2017 09:14 AM
Obesity and type 2 diabetes is on the rise, because of this people are trying to quit sugar. Sugar can be as addictive or rewarding neurologically as drugs are, so it's not an easy task. Average consumption of sugars comes to 75 lbs. a year, this begs the question "what is the right does of sugar?". Since this is a recent development, we are only beginning to see the effects of this type of diet. This isn't the only factor however, as we have seen a change in diet toward sugars, we shifted away from fats and cholesterol. In reality while this was a shift intended to reduce the negative effects of those things, we ended up with a trade that wasn't much better. We should all try to find a balance in diet, and avoid unneeded sugars as much as possible. Stopping soda or reducing sugary drinks is a great way to start.
"Mainly, it’s a source of quick energy that rapidly raises blood sugar"
Read more: http://www.nextavenue.org/stop-eating-sugar/
30 surprising food swaps that will immediately improve the health of every organ in your body
July 27, 2017 09:14 AM
All of us have favorite foods, dishes, go-to condiments, that appear invariably on our plate. Whether it’s the easy-to-make no-fuss nature of the choice, the it’s ‘what my store carries appeal,’ or it just boils down to how our taste buds feel about it, we can get in nutrition rut.
Fortunately, it’s not that hard to start swapping items we use daily for other easy-to-use items that taste good, even often having a similar taste and texture to those items we already use. The plus is that the swapped in items are better for us. Better, because they’re higher, in things that matter, like protein, amino acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals, besides being lower in things we should want to avoid, like empty calories, trans fat, excess carbs, and more.
By swapping some things daily, such as trying cinnamon, or organic honey, over sugar, substituting plain, organic coffee for that latte, a veggie wrap, for that bread and meat sandwich, could have big overall benefits in reduced pounds, renewed energy and a better overall nutritional profile, making for a healthier you.
"Coffee often gets a bad rap when in fact, quality coffee consumed in moderation can have some great benefits."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/30-surprising-food-swaps-that-will-immediately-improve-the-health-of-every-organ-in-your-body/
8 of the best sources of fibre
July 04, 2017 12:14 PM
It is no secret that our daily dose of fibre is essential in allowing us to maintain a healthy and happy digestive track, but where can we find the most fibre rich foods on the market? vegetables such as sweet potatoes are a great source of fibre, and so are grains such as wheat and brown rice. Allowing yourself the proper amount of fibre each day will promote a healthy digestive system, and with so many fibre rich foods available, it won't be hard to consume!
"If you’re still traumatised by the joyless, gluggy brown pasta your flatmate used to eat at university, take heart: wholemeal pasta has improved out of sight."
Read more: http://bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition-tips/8-of-the-best-sources-of-fibre/news-story/0c9a156fafe5780fb36c019a90b41282
8 Ailments Blackstrap Molasses Can Treat
June 10, 2017 07:14 AM
Many people think of molasses as just a sugary treat, but it has a surprising amount of natural healing power. Blackstrap molasses, which is the portion leftover after sugarcane has been processed, is chock full of minerals and also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Some of the ailments that it can be used to treat are arthritis, iron deficiency, menstrual mood swings and pain, constipation, skin conditions, unhealthy hair, and ADD/ADHD. While it should be consumed cautiously by people who suffer from diabetes, it can be added in small doses to your diet to aid with arthritis pain, iron deficiency, ADD/ADHD, and constipation. Using it topically can help improve the conditions of both your skin and hair. The most effective blackstrap molasses is that which is high-quality, 100% real blackstrap molasses. How you choose to consume it is only limited by your imagination.
Read more: 8 Ailments Blackstrap Molasses Can Treat
Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar
May 17, 2017 08:45 AM
If you have diabetes, you'll need to learn about and control several factors in your life if you want to control your blod sugar. Eat low carb, small portion meals timed around when you need your medicine. Stay hydrated and avoid sugary drinks. Develop an exercise plan with your doctor, then make an exercise schedule to incorporate it into your life. Frequently check your blood sugar, store your insulin propertly, and keep your doctor updated on any changes. Don't make changes to your diet or your insulin intake when you are ill. Talk to your doctor before drinking alcohol. Watch for cycles of erratic blood sugar during menstruation or if you have menopause. Lastly, log your stress level every time you take your insulin.
"As much as possible, plan for every meal to have a good mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins and fats."
Read more: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-management/art-20047963
Could Diet Sodas Raise Risk of Dementia and Stroke?
April 27, 2017 10:44 AM
Diet sodas are not a healthy choice for those dieting. New studies have shown that people who drink them are not experiencing health benefits and are at a three times higher risk of experiencing dementia and stroke. The study did not discern which artificial sweeteners were consumed. People that drink sugary beverages did not have the same risk factors but those who drank sugary risks had a higher risk of memory loss and accelerated brain aging. Experts agree drinking water and coffee are healthier alternatives.
Read more: Could Diet Sodas Raise Risk of Dementia and Stroke?
WARNING: Sugar destroys your body's ability to absorb these 5 essential nutrients
March 26, 2017 11:59 AM
If you consume too much sugar, it affects your body in many ways. It increases risk of certain health conditions, but it also causes your body the inability to absorb nutrients very important for you to maintain to be at your best. These five essential nutrients aren't getting into your body the way they need to be if you are eating a diet filled with sugary substances. You need to fight back and get your body back.
"ncreased glucose levels appear to inhibit vitamin C from entering the cells, thereby resulting in limited vitamin absorption. Sugar-induced vitamin C deficiency may result in suppressed tissue regeneration and decreased immune function."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-03-23-warning-sugar-destroys-your-bodys-ability-to-absorb-these-5-essential-nutrients.html
12 foods to remove from the fridge forever
February 26, 2017 12:59 PM
Most people love food. The problem is that often times the food that is enjoyable is the most unhealthy. It can cause major health problems, and eventually lead to a run down body. Fatty lunch meat and whole milk are just two of the foods you should remove from your fridge forever.
"Throw out the junk and replace it with healthier alternatives. By making these switches, you'll be on your way to packing on more muscle, cleaning out your arteries, and getting the abs you train for in the gym every day."
10 foods that are healthy, except when they aren't
January 17, 2017 12:59 PM
On a diet and looking for those healthy foods to consume and lose weight? It is important when looking into those healthy foods to make sure they are really healthy. Some cereals can be a convenient and healthy breakfast but watch out for those Sugary cereals they can cause a blood sugar spike and a crash before lunch time. Another healthy choice is sushi but beware sushi that is battered and fried can contain 200 more calories and three times the amount of fat.
"Popcorn, cereal, sushi: We love them, and we may tell ourselves they are healthy. But are they? Most of the time, it depends on how they're prepared."
Avoid These 10 Foods Strictly To Prevent Chronic Inflammation
December 28, 2016 10:59 AM
Inflammation is supposed to protect us from infectious disease, but can flare up in response to some foods and cause needless discomfort. To minimize inflammation, try avoiding fatty foods, fried foods, oily foods, and foods that contain MSG. Also, Sugary foods, sodas, and refined carbohydrates should be avoided. Finally, stay away from dairy, processed meats, and alcohol: these can all trigger inflammation.
"Inflammation is a natural process to protect the body from bacteria and virus and other harmful agents that affect the body negatively."
For stress, superfoods are better than comfort foods
December 22, 2016 06:59 PM
There is probably no person in this world that hasn’t been under stress at some time in their life. Different people have different responses to stress. Things such as exercising are actually good for the body, whereas eating comfort foods can be very harmful. If you must munch on something when under stress, try instead to eat superfoods such as broccoli, leafy greens, nuts, oily fish, and fermented foods. Anything with high amounts of vitamin C will do, since it has been found that the supplement prevents spikes in cortisol. Sugary or caffeine-filled foods can have the opposite effect.
"Many of these 'superfoods' also work to boost glutathione in the body: an amino acid in charge of detoxification. So superfoods nourish and detoxify, and in this way, they combat stress."
For stress, superfoods are better than comfort foods
December 22, 2016 06:39 PM
There is probably no person in this world that hasn’t been under stress at some time in their life. Different people have different responses to stress. Things such as exercising are actually good for the body, whereas eating comfort foods can be very harmful. If you must munch on something when under stress, try instead to eat superfoods such as broccoli, leafy greens, nuts, oily fish, and fermented foods. Anything with high amounts of vitamin C will do, since it has been found that the supplement prevents spikes in cortisol. Sugary or caffeine-filled foods can have the opposite effect.
"Many of these 'superfoods' also work to boost glutathione in the body: an amino acid in charge of detoxification. So superfoods nourish and detoxify, and in this way, they combat stress."
Putting Sugary Soda Out of Reach
November 24, 2016 12:59 PM
Are you trying to lose weight? Have you noticed that it seems like so many different people tell you so many different things, including what you should and shouldn't be doing with your body -- and what you should or shouldn't be putting in your mouth? No matter where you stand on some of those tips, "Putting Sugary Soda Out of Reach" helps out the people that are trying their best to go ahead and keep soda out of their lives (and their bodies).
"The institution is believed to be one of the largest employers to remove Sugary drinks from the workplace."
There’s no sugar-coating it: All calories are not created equal
November 20, 2016 07:09 AM
There is even more reason to start watching the calories that you consume. Did you know that not all calories are created the same? Sugar-laden calories are worse than others, according to new evidence. This article explains the important information that you should know about calories and how they differ.
"These results kick-started the country’s decades-long consumption of added sugar. With fat removed, food lost taste and appeal, so manufacturers added sugar to combat this."
Studies Linked to Soda Industry Mask Health Risks
November 19, 2016 09:54 AM
Can you trust the studies that are out there concerning soda and the health risks that it brings when consumed? Perhaps they're telling you the truth, but not the whole truth. Some are saying that the health risks of soda are being masked when the results are released to the public. What should you know?
"The notion that Sugary drinks play a major role in the spread of obesity has prompted authorities and health officials to increasingly call for soda taxes and similar measures aimed at curbing their consumption."
Prevent chronic inflammation with a healthy diet
November 17, 2016 06:59 AM
It has come to light in the past 20 years that fat cells are little factories that pump out hormones and immune system chemicals that can increase inflammation throughout the body. This is quite different from the energy storehouses we thought they were. In order to reduce inflammation, and the risk of certain diseases, the best thing we can do it eat foods that decrease the amount of fat stores. This means avoiding fried and Sugary foods and instead opting for fresh fruits and vegetables that help fight inflammation.
"Inflammation in the body is a double-edged sword. Short-lived inflammation, directed by your immune system at invaders like bacteria or viruses, protects your health."
How to stop sugar from sneaking into your child's diet
November 12, 2016 06:59 AM
No matter how careful you are, Sugary can easily slip into your child's diet, resulting in added weight, cavities, and other health concerns. But, you can stop this from happening but you must take charge now to make a difference. Take a look at this article and learn what you can do to stop sugar from sneaking in.
""Sugar doesn't cause disease just because of its calories. Sugar causes disease because it's sugar," Lustig said. "Thin people get metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes, too. Obesity increases the risk, but sugar is an independent risk factor apart from calories or obesity.""
Diet soda harms your body, does far more harm than good
November 06, 2016 01:04 PM
The debate over diet soda continues but now, facts show that it is actually more harmful to the body than it is good. If you consume these diet drinks, even periodically now is the time to switch your drink of choice. This article provides more information about the devastating effects of diet soda to your body.
"From adding inches to your waist to increasing the risk of diabetes, diet soda doesn't score any better in terms of health than regular Sugary drinks."
What Can Stevia Do For Me?
February 08, 2014 09:31 AM
Morning Sugar Crave!
Does that early morning blueberry muffin leave you craving another sweet treat only hours later? Or do you find that you need a candy bar or soda drink in order to make it through the afternoon. If so you are not alone. The unfortunate fact is that many of us have become addicted to Sugary treats.
This leads us on a roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows, where we are constantly trying to give our body the energy demands. Not only does this make it difficult for a us to be productive, it also causes health problems and makes it difficult to maintain our weight.
There is a natural solution that can help you out – Stevia.
Stevia is derived from the leaves of the Stevia plant. It's a natural sweeter which contains no sugar and no calories. People with a sweet tooth also love the fact that stevia is 100 times sweeter than sugar in some cases.
Here are some of the benefits of making the switch from sugar to stevia.
Protect Your Waistline
In 1700 it was estimated that the average person only consumed about 7 pounds of sugar a year. Flash forward to 2014 and the average person is consuming 150 pounds a year. That's 20 times as much sugar! Of that sugar approximately 5% will be used for energy later on, 60% will be metabolized by the body and incredible 35% will be stored as fat so it can be used for energy if required. This is having a huge effect on people's waistline is and is contributing to the massive obesity epidemic which is seen worldwide abysses levels doubled since 1980. Stevia contains no calories but is sweeter than sugar. Even more importantly it does not cause blood sugar levels to rise after it is consumed. Having stable blood sugar levels prevents people from over eating and makes it much easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Prevents high blood pressure
High blood pressure is often referred to as the silent killer. Often people are unaware that they even suffering from high blood pressure until it is too late. In the United States 67 million American adults have high blood pressure. That's approximately a third of the population. The consequences of this are very severe including increased risk of stroke and heart disease. These are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. According to the medical website WebMD Stevia can be used to reduce high blood pressure and heart burn.
Bacteria feeds on the sugars that you consume and this in turn creates acids. A little acid can help to control the bacterial environment in your mouth. But if there is too much acid over a prolonged period of time it can cause serious problems for your oral health. These acids can destroy the tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. Stevia does not feed the bacteria in the mouth in the same way as sugar, so it protects your teeth while still providing you with the same delicious sweet taste.
Stevia is a great way for you to enjoy the sweet tastes of the foods that you love without having to worry about your waistline, high blood pressure or destroying your teeth. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth without damaging your health why not try Stevia?
What Is Candida And How Do You Fight It?
December 27, 2012 03:29 PM
Candida - or even more correctly known as Candida albicans - is now generally acknowledged as the specific kind of microscopic yeast which causes yeast infection or even thrush in humans -- known as Candidiasis.
Candida is a single cell living organism that grows into hives of many cells and can be observed physically at this stage when it infects body areas as white patches or clusters. This is how you might see it in the vagina, the throat or in the intestinal tract when a micro-camera is sent inside to investigate! Normally Candida's growth is stalled by other small micro-organisms known as good bacteria.
The Good Bacteria
The good bacteria do not have a tendency to cause any adverse symptoms in the body, and their actions really provide the body with many benefits. Acidophilus and bifidus are considered good bacteria. Normally, lower levels of Candida are good for the body and is not particularly a difficulty; in some respects it even provides some specific benefits to the body. Candida acts as a type of natural waste digester and ferments waste sugar in the body. But the problem actually starts when its growth goes beyond control.
What causes candida? - Answer: Anti-biotics
Antibiotics are one of the commonest causes that lead to candida condition. Antibiotics, while they might help cure infection in the body, disturb the balance of bacteria in the body by killing both good and the bad bacteria.
Weakened Immunological systems
Candida is generally kept under control naturally by your immunological system and good bacteria. Nonetheless when you are sick, it can grow out of control and induce infection and other problems.
Candida feeds on sugar. If you have got a diet loaded within junk food and Sugary treats you are providing it with a feeding ground. An unhealthy diet also weakens your immune system.
Combating The issue
A good diet is the easiest way to prevent this problem. Steer clear of foods high in sugar as well as foods that have starchy carbs. After you shower, sweat or swim, ensure that you dry out any susceptible areas. Regular diaper changes also help stop Candida infections in babies. If you think that you may be suffering with candidiasis, visit your doctor first for the kind of diagnosis that is required. They'll likely prescribe a good anti-fungal medication. This treatment typically works well for an occasional yeast-related infection.
However, if you suffer from protracted infections then consider treating the core issue instead of the signs and symptoms of the disease. Frequent Candida infections are likely to occur due to an imbalance associated with bacteria, too much sugar in your body or a weakened immunity system. If you can prevent Candida overgrowth in your body you'll be able to avoid the infections associated with it. Some of the finest natural remedies for candida Shark liver It's a well known fact that shark liver oil can do wonders for the body with regards to improving the condition of the defense mechanisms.
This is important for sufferers of Candida since the best weapon everybody has against Candida running crazy in our bodies is our own immune system. Grape seed extract Another popular natural cure for Candida is grape fruit seed extract. Grapefruit extract can work as an anti-fungal solution that can help raise the body's pH to a degree where it is too acidic for the Candida to reside. Helping to restore the body's pH level back to healthy levels is a useful way of treating Candida.
Garlic pills Garlic pills are another common, all-natural way to deal with Candida. It's assumed that garlic can restrain the growth associated with Candida in the body since it does have some anti-microbial properties. Tea tree oils Studies have showed that tea tree oil is capable of destabilizing the cell walls of the yeast, making them easier for the body's immune response to kill them off. Because Candida is a comparatively new condition and is still so arguable, there's actually is no medical opinion accept antibiotics which cause the condition our best option is to treat it herbally. The best choice for any person looking to treat their Candida is to consult with a doctor, or at the least a qualified dietitian about the treatment they should follow.
You can also try the following natural remedies:
History And Uses Of Xylitol
February 07, 2012 07:50 AM
Xylitol is the 5-carbon sugar which is found within the birch tree sap and it's naturally found in the fibers of various vegetables and fruits. This is a sugar-alcohol sweetener commonly used as the sugar substitute.
History of xylitol
Although discovered in the 19th century during the Second World War, Xylitol has been recognized ever since the tardy 1800s. The researchers from Germany and France were the first individuals to try to produce this product approximately 100 years ago, but ended up creating syrup-like consistency mixture. This product became commercially available in the 1960s and the commercial process is still the same as it was during the 1960s.
Before 1943, the scientists' categorized this sugar with various Sugary carbohydrates (polyols) and it lingered so till the beginning of the war-associated deficiency of sugar which initiated the call for an alternate sugar. This initiated further research in to the xylitols insulin-independent properties, this resulted in discovery of its other biological benefits. In 1962 this chemical was introduced in the infusion therapy demonstrating that it can be introduced to ill individuals.
The commercial production process involves extraction of Polysaccharides rich in Xylose from various agricultural by-products and hardwoods. These are hydrolyzed with various intense acidic treatments and then it is purified before hydrogenation is done. This process needs a lot of harsh chemicals and is quite expensive and inefficient.
It was until 1970 that the odontological benefit of xylitol was ascertained in Finland, Turku. The initial study of the effects of this sugar on the dental plaque began during the same year. This resulted in large scale production of xylitol, in 1974 by the Finnish sugar company. Sugar-free dental product was first launched in Finland which was a xylitol chewing-gum.
How xylitol works
This sugar can prevent cavity in various ways by actually blocking the tooth decaying process. The bacteria causing decay cannot ferment this sugar into acids as it does with other sugars including dextrose, fructose, glucose and sucrose. This results in production of less acidic by-product thus interfering with the dental plaque environment which favors decaying. This results in prevention of tooth demineralization.
The high pH condition caused by xylitol sugar is not favorable for the cariogenic bacteria which are responsible for decaying. This results in fewer bacteria in the plaques and long-term exposure has an effect on which type of bacteria will prevail within the plaque. This also inhibits the growth of specific xylitol-sensitive bacteria strain. Since they cannot breakdown this sugar, they end up not reproducing and growing in population. The lack of fermentable sugars results in creation of anti-cavity effect.
The starvation effect created by this sugar prevents accumulation of cariogenic bacteria in the plaques. Long term xylitol exposure results in change of predominant cariogenic bacteria to xylitol-resistant strains from xylitol-sensitive. This xylitol-sensitive strain of bacteria cannot colonize the plaque since they have less adhering capabilities.
The less acidic condition in the dental plaque interface created by this sugar can initiate demineralization. Demineralization occurs when the plaque interface is at a pH of 5.5 or below since fewer bacteria live in the plaques. Studies have showed that demineralized tooth samples immersed in a solution containing 20% xylitol experienced a great remineralization degree. This is noted in the deep and middle tooth layers.
Coconut Oil Help Sugar Cravings?
October 05, 2011 01:00 PM
Craving for Sugary foods is a form of refined sugar addiction. For you to totally end your addiction towards sugar, you need to eat healthy foods to keep you well nourished hence, you will no longer feel the necessity of the stimulating effect of refined sugar. Engaging in to various ways and means to cut your cravings for refined sugar is very necessary to protect yourself from various disease conditions that are associated with too much intake of glucose like diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is one condition that affects many people across the globe. Since this condition can lead to more serious health ailments there is a great need for us to stop the root cause of diabetes which is too much intake of sugar-rich foods. Here are some useful ways that you may consider that can help you put an end your cravings for foods that are excessively sweet hence, will make you more vigorous and healthy.
Fats that are considered healthy like unrefined coconut oil is very beneficial in helping you regulate your blood sugar levels. The essential fats that unrefined coconut oil contains can enhance vitamin and mineral absorption and at the same time decrease the rate of carbohydrate absorption. Several studies can already prove the capacity of unrefined coconut oil as a remedy for hypoglycemia and sugar addiction. Coconut oil is also vital for those people who often encounter problems with regards to fat digestion.
Eat as much fruit as you can
Eating fresh fruits as well as consuming fruit derivatives (dried fruits, smoothies, and fruit juices) on a regular basis is very helpful in keeping you healthy. Compared to refined sugar, fresh fruits contains abundant amount of vitamins and minerals that would guard your body from incurring diseases that will impede you from doing the things that you like to do. What makes fruit and natural fruit products even better is the fact that it does not contain any addictive properties that are present in refined sugar.
Prevent blood sugar fluctuations
If you want to cut down your cravings for foods that have high sugar content, you should learn how to control your blood sugar levels within normal boundaries. When the blood sugar level of your body is too low (hypoglycemia) the body tends to compensate by increasing cravings for sugar. If you do not want to experience such feeling, then you have to make sure that you do not skip any meals. Small frequent meals are also very helpful so as regular exercise.
Try super foods
Super foods are foods that contain liberal amounts of vitamins and minerals that are all necessary in keeping your body lean and healthy. These kinds of foods are also necessary in controlling unreasonable cravings. Here is a list of the most common super foods that you can readily avail in the market today: mangosteen, wheatgrass juice, seaweed, and acai.
Controlling your cravings for unrefined sugar is very important to prevent yourself from developing disease conditions brought about by too much consumption of Sugary foods. So live healthily and enjoy life to the fullest!
You Can Combat Adrenal Fatigue!
January 21, 2011 02:08 PM
Have you experienced having difficulty to get up or stay awake in the morning, requiring caffeinated products to keep you going during the day or just being unusually tired for no reason? If your answer is “Yes!” to any or all of these questions, you may be experiencing Adrenal Fatigue.
Physiologically, the adrenal glands, which perch atop the kidneys, produce a manifold of hormones that are vital to life. In instances where there is inadequate production of these hormones, an individual generally undergoes a group of signs and symptoms including fatigue, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, unexplained body aches, sleep disturbances and digestive problems, unusual weight loss and loss of body hair. This group of signs and symptoms is termed as Adrenal Fatigue.
Adrenal Fatigue is a term coined in 1998 by Dr. James Wilson that refers to a cluster of both subjective and objective manifestations which an individual may experience due to insufficient adrenal function. People who are at higher risk of acquiring this condition are those who are experiencing frequent, extreme and persistent psychological, emotional or physical stress. This condition can be diagnosed by blood tests and stimulation tests that can reveal inadequate levels of adrenal hormones. Many tests are highly suggestive but an elevated plasma ACTH level associated with a decreased plasma cortisol level is diagnostic test for adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal Fatigue can be prevented naturally through lifestyle modification. Lifestyle changes such as more laughter in a day, short breaks during extreme psychological or physical stress, regular exercise, adequate sleep and relaxation and regular meals. It is important not to skip meals and food must be chewed well. Another tip for healthy adrenal glands is taking a daily supplement of vitamin C, pantothenic acid, magnesium and vitamin E.
Adrenal Fatigue is not a life-threatening condition. However, it can significantly affect an individual’s optimum functioning on his or her everyday life. This condition is mild, lasting about a few days or weeks, with good prognosis and with full recovery. Though, there are a small number of individuals who will undergo recovery difficult. The diet suitable for individuals having adrenal fatigue includes one that is composed of unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, high protein, high fat and high fiber at most meals. In addition, caffeinated products, hydrogenated fats and junk foods must also be minimized. Avoiding carbohydrates from root crops such as potatoes, limiting Sugary fruits such as melons and lessening instances of becoming over-tired are also promising in the full recovery from adrenal fatigue.
Like any deficiency, supplements are also available to help combat Adrenal Fatigue. There are many glandular extracts that includes adrenal and other glands of the human body. Hydrocortisone (Cortef), for instance, is sometimes initiated as a hormonal replacement when the hormone cortisol is not or inadequately produced by the adrenal glands. However, this kind of treatment is typically the last resort because hydrocortisone may treat adrenal fatigue but it can make the adrenal glands weaker rather than stronger. Treatment using this hormonal supplement usually takes 6 months to 2 years.
A good diet goes a long way in supporting the adrenal glands. If you are under a lot of stress and cannot change the amount of stress you experience due to work or marriage adding a b-complex can help restore adrenal function and combat stress.
Probiotics are good for the intestinal tract
October 19, 2010 02:21 PM
Many people confuse prebiotics with probiotics, yet they are as different as night and day. Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial to your gastrointestinal system, and that are available in various foods such as yoghurts and sauerkraut. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are relatively non-digestible (to humans) foods that enable the probiotics to grow and carry out their intended function.
Basically, probiotics keep your friendly bacteria functional and healthy. The majority take the form of Sugary carbohydrates known as oligosaccharides, available from foods such as legumes, fruits and cereal grains. They are not destroyed by digestion, and reach your gut practically unchanged. Although they have relatively little food value to us, they certainly do to bacteria that break them down into the nutrients needed for their growth and development.
Without taking prebiotics, these probiotics would be of little benefit to you because they would have nothing to live on. They don't eat the same foods as you, and the myth that they digest the same food that you eat is just that - a myth! ~facebook~
Soluble Fiber And Blood Sugar
July 10, 2009 12:02 PM
The first step to prevent the occurrence of hypoglycemia is to eliminate sugar and caffeine from your diet. Eliminating foods like candy, soda pop, doughnuts, Sugary pastries, sugared cold cereals, and cookies. Substituting foods with whole grains, fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and supplementation of B vitamins, vitamin C, and chromium is recommended. In order to avoid stressing the endocrine system, the cold hard facts concerning hypoglycemia are that diet and life style must be altered.
Complex carbohydrates take more time to break down in the body, unlike simple refined foods, which helps to keep normal blood sugar levels for longer periods of time. It should also be known that metabolizing whole grains requires more chemical reactions than processing a bowl of Sugary cereal. Increased research has shown that whole grains are the superior foods and offers the body a balanced mix of fiber, nutrients, and others. Our bodies were made to thrive on whole foods, not the fragmented, altered, and highly refined foods that a lot of us eat on a routine basis in order to increase energy but lack sustainability.
Nothing can be achieved in nature through fragments if it is going to be worthwhile. Only parts of the B vitamins are synthetically replaced out of all the B-complex vitamins that are removed from whole grain cereals before they are milled. This is probably one of the worst things we could possibly do, as these B vitamin imbalances create an unhealthy environment in the body. Many of the trace minerals are also lost from the refining process. By adding white sugar and refined foods, you cut down severely on the vitamin B contents that are suppose to be found in your diet. Whole grains, nuts, and seeds have also been found to be rich in magnesium, zinc, and manganese. All of these are vital minerals for the prevention and treatment of hypoglycemia.
Many studies have found that diets that lack fiber can lead to diseases including hypoglycemia and diabetes. Dietary fiber includes components that make up the cell wall of plants that are not digestible. On the other hand, water soluble fiber seems to be the most beneficial for controlling blood sugar. This type of fiber includes mucilages, gums, hemicelluloses, and pectins, which are also found in a number of foods. This type of fiber slows down the absorption of sugar from the intestinal wall into the blood stream, helping to prevent wild insulin release (cause of low blood sugar). When this happens, the liver can take in more glucose at a more rapid pace, causing blood sugar levels to remain more normal. Water soluble fiber that is recommended for hypoglycemia is found in legumes, like beans, lentils, and split peas, oat bran; nuts, seeds; psyllium hulls; pears; apples; and most vegetables as well as in supplement form.
A person's optimal fiber intake should be somewhere between 35 to 50 grams each day. Unfortunately, most of us rarely come close to this ideal. Fiber is also extremely important for controlling appetite and weight gain. Additionally, it is great for regularity, which is intrinsically linked to the health of the rest of our body systems. Fortunately, soluble fiber is available at your local health food store at reasonable prices. Fiber supplements can boost ones fiber intake to the needed 35 – 50 gram per day dose needed to maintain a healthier body.
Fight Acne Naturally
May 06, 2009 12:13 PM
Acne treatment therapies focus upon two aspects of acne: its prevention and management, and the removal of its more lasting effects.
Looking at the latter first, acne scars can be unsightly, and there are several methods currently used either to remove them or to hide them. Some of the more radical are surgical, while others involve modifications the surface of the skin by means of techniques akin to sandpapering, and also cosmetic techniques.
However, such therapies are needed only if the condition is permitted to have a significant effect on your skin. There are therapies that can be used to mitigate the condition if not remove it altogether. Before discussing these it will be necessary to consider what causes acne, because without that knowledge there can be no effective treatment.
Acne is cause by blockage of the sebaceous pores in the skin. That blockage is generally caused by a mixture of dead skin cells and skin oil, otherwise known as sebum. Why should this occur with acne sufferers and nobody else, when all of us have the ingredients of acne as normal components of our skin? The answer lies in our hormones.
The reason that acne is most prevalent in teenagers is that the generation of sebum is promoted by our hormones: specifically the male hormones known as androgens that both males and females begin to create in quantity during puberty. These cause the sebaceous pores to enlarge, and sebum to be produced in larger than normal quantities.
The hormones also tend to disrupt the usual desquamation rate, or shedding of dead skin cells. What happens is that the skin cells within the pores begin to shed in clumps, rather than singly, and when mixed with the excess skin oil form a plug that clogs up the pores. This plug of oils and skin cells then gets contaminated with bacteria that in time initiate the immune reaction, resulting in pus being formed through the action of macrophages on the bacteria.
The therapy needed to reduce the incidence of acne, then, can be either proactive or retroactive. Proactively, they can reduce the production of the sebum/skin cell plug. Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) as found in Omega-6 oil can block androgen receptors and so decrease the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) produced. The less the amount of DHT, then the less will be the severity of your acne.
Evening primrose oil contains large quantities of GLA, and even applying this topically on your skin will dilute the sebum and reduce the likelihood of sebum and skin cells blocking your pores. This is an extreme simplification of what GLA does, but it does accurately represent the end result of its use. There are also medications you can take to reduce the rate of shedding of your skin cells, so that your pores have less chance of being blocked.
Retroactively, you can apply antibiotics to kill off the bacterial that act on the plug and that initiate the immune response responsible for the lesions. You can also give your skin a good wash with an effective skin cleanser, including a mild antibiotic to enhance the cleansing of the bacterial plug. However, there are alternative treatments, such as the proactive diet control, and the use of vitamins and appropriate herbs to control or even prevent the condition.
When you think of diet, don't think chocolate. Acne is not caused by eating too much chocolate, or even by fatty foods. We have already discussed the causes of acne, and if we can find any components in our diet that can create these conditions, then by eliminating them we should be able to avoid the condition. As a corollary, if we can identify any substances that could prevent androgens from creating excess sebum, or even control the androgens themselves, or that could help the skin cells to shed more evenly, then we could include these in our diet.
In fact such substances do exist. By going deep into the science, we will find that the secretion of testosterone is promoted by a hormone known as IGF-1 and also by insulin. IGF-1 stands for Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, and is important in the growth of children. It also promotes acne! Insulin does the same, and what that infers that anything in the diet that promotes the production of insulin will also promote acne.
What promotes insulin? Sugars and carbohydrates! Therefore, if you eat a diet low in sugars and carbs then you should have less production of sebum, and hence less acne. What this is leading to is that if you have a tendency to get acne; then switch your diet from carbohydrates and Sugary foods to vegetables, grains and seafood. The Japanese get very little acne, which supports this theory.
You should also take foods rich in zinc, since a zinc deficiency has been found to lead to acne. Nobody knows why yet, but use the information and either take a zinc supplement or eat zinc rich foods such as shellfish. Strangely, it is a deficiency of zinc that causes an increase in testosterone, not the surplus of zinc provided by eating oysters! These have another effect.
There are also herbal treatments that can be effectively used for acne. Most are topical, and tea tree oil is one the more recent such treatments used to treat acne. Among the chemical constituents of tea tree oil is terpinen-4-ol, with powerful antimicrobial properties. Little wonder then that it is effective in preventing the bacterial infection of the sebaceous gland pores. The oil helps to dry out the skin, again creating conditions alien to bacteria.
You could use tea tree oil by itself, though many people simply mix it with the acne creams they are currently using. That makes them much more effective. Another option goes back to the zinc again, but rather than take it as a supplement, use it topically. Chamomile and lavender are useful in calming skin that has been inflamed both by over-zealous use of skin scrubs and also the immune system's inflammatory response to the infection of the pores.
There are many healthy options to the severe pharmaceutical treatments offered by your physician. These can be used in place of, but preferably as supplements to, the treatment recommended by your doctor. Each of the natural treatments has a sound scientific basis, and if you suffer from acne can be well worth trying.
Natural Sweeteners Vs. Artificial Sweeteners
April 30, 2009 10:16 AM
Artificial sweeteners are food additives intended to replace the sweetness of sugar without the calorie intake. There are also natural sweeteners that can replace sugar, so which should you choose? Natural sweeteners such as sugar, honey and grape juice are well known, although there are also the less well known, but much more effective, sucanat and stevia.
Sucanat is dried unrefined cane sugar, and unlike refined sugar retains the molasses. Stevia, on the other hand, is a shrub, native to Paraguay, the leaf of which contains a non-sucrose sweetener, 300 times the sweetness of sugar, and which is not absorbed by the body. It is a sweetener pure and simple, with no proven health issues. It is also Japan's most popular sugar substitute.
Artificial sweeteners have been known for many years, the first and best known being benzoic sulfanide, known to you as saccharin. The health risks of saccharin have been the subject of debate for over 100 years and have yet to be resolved. Studies had shown it to cause cancer in rats, and it was placed on a list of known or suspected carcinogens.
It has been banned for use in the USA, but that was lifted by the FDA in 1991, and in 2000 saccharin has no longer required a health warning label. The issue appears to have been resolved by rats metabolizing saccharin in a way not possible in humans. However, many are still suspicious of it, and if you don't trust a food additive then do not voluntarily consume it.
The top two artificial sweeteners in the USA are sucralose and aspartame. Sucralose, discovered in the UK in 1976, is the less emotive of the two, and is chemically the chlorocarbon trichlorogalactosucrose, produced by chlorination of sucrose and 600 times as sweet. It should be stressed that a chlorocarbon is totally different to a chlorinated hydrocarbon. It is generally considered safe to use, although it is very slow rate of degradation in waste water has raised concerns that concentrations could increase with increasing popularity of the sweetener.
According to' Sweet Deception', the book states sucralose to be discovered during the search for an insecticide, and is produced when sugar is treated with acetic anhydride, hydrogen chloride and trityl chloride among others in the presence of toluene, MIBK and dimethyl formamide among other solvents. Although marketed as coming from a natural source, it is anything but natural.
Aspartame was developed by G.D. Searle, and its approval by the FDA has been a matter of concern for many years. Promoted by Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of Searle, he "called in his markers" to have the substance approved, which was not one of the more glorious moments in America's history.
It is used in over 6,000 products, most household names, yet was based on "inconclusive and incompetent science" according to detractors. In 1981, on the day of his inauguration, Ronald Regan suspended the powers of the FDA on aspartame, and then a month later appointed a new FDA head, Arthur Hayes, who immediately licensed the substance. Donald Rumsfeld was on President Regan's team.
There is a strong body of evidence that aspartame is toxic to humans, although the official evidence has discredit such studies. Recent evidence that linked aspartame to cancer has been stated as irrelevant to humans. In spite of the concerns, the substance has been approved, not only in the USA but also by the European Union. This might call into question the relevance of studies to humans, but many still believe that commercial considerations are behind these decisions.
In fact, an extensive study carried out by the Italian European Ramazzini Foundation, showed that aspartame can cause a significant increase in cancers and leukemias in rats at well below the doses allowed by the EU or the US. This substance required further study by bodies with no vested interest in the outcome.
Those that believe so point to the stevia situation. This natural sweetener is banned for use as a food additive in the EU, and cannot be sold as sweetener due to the FDA not recognizing it as such. It has also been banned in Hong Kong, even though it is the sweetener of choice in Japan, with no apparent side-effects becoming endemic in that country. The USA might not approve stevia as a sweetener, but it is considering lifting its ban on cyclamate.
Cyclamate was banned by the FDA due to tests on rats indicating a possibly carcinogenic effect, but no more positive than those on aspartame. Cyclamate is permitted in Canada, where saccharin is not, and also in the UK, but not throughout the EU.
It is obvious, then, looking at the various claims and counter-claims, and the conflicting legislation between civilized countries, that the artificial sweetener industry is wrought with uncertainty. In the past, it is almost certain that commercial considerations have come before the health of the nation, and that does not engender confidence.
In fact, the only sane approach to take at this time would be to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether, and stay natural. That is not to claim that natural products are safe to eat - far from it! Many of the most virulent poisons are natural, but the well-used natural sweeteners appear to be safer at this time than any of those artificially manufactured.
There might be objections to this where diabetes is concerned, and Canada, while banning saccharin for normal use, still allows it for use by diabetics. This is the one of the two major bodies that promotes the use of artificial sweeteners: the diabetic lobby and the weight loss lobby.
It is difficult to question the obesity and weight problem that America has while at the same time arguing against the use of artificial sweeteners. However, don't forget that stevia is widely used in Japan with no reported health problems, and stevia is a natural sweetener that is permitted for use as a food additive, and that is not absorbed by the body.
However, there is also a recent 2005 study that has indicated that diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners might fool your body into believing that the sweet taste is promising energy, and when it doesn't materialize, you feel hungry and eat more. This has been supported by animal studies.
These have shown convincingly that the sensation of sweetness induces the production of insulin with resulting hypoglycemia because there is no actual increase in blood sugar. This induces increased food intake. This has been proved with rats, and also proved was the fact that the natural response of eating less at the next meal, after Sugary food, was gradually diminished in animals fed non-calorific sweeteners.
The choice is yours, but it would seem advisable to stick to natural sweeteners for the time being, at least until the studies carried out are in concurrence as opposed to offering conflicting results depending upon who is doing the testing.
November 12, 2008 09:51 AM
Gymnema sylvestre is found naturally in central and southern India, where it has been used in traditional Indian medicine for almost two thousand years. It is known as 'gurmar' in ancient Indian texts, a word meaning 'sugar destroyer', which gives an indication of its uses in medicine.
It is used to reduce the absorption of glucose into the body, and also reduce the sweetness of foods, both of which are desirable for those wishing to lose weight and to reduce the level of sugar in their blood. It was used for this purpose in Ayurvedic medicine, subjects being given the leaves to chew. As with many other ancient Ayurvedic remedies, this use of gymnema sylvestre has passed into modern times, and has sound scientific basis. First, however a bit more about the plant itself.
It is found predominantly in the Western Ghats, and also to the west of the mountains, around coastal Goa. It is a vinous plant that climbs on other bushes and trees, known in Sanskrit as Meshasringa, or ram's horn after the shape of the leaves from which the supplement is extracted. For what it's worth, the official name seems a mix of Greek and Latin (gymnos(Gr) - naked and Silva (L)- forest) for naked forest. That, however, is irrelevant to its uses, so let's have a look at the science involved and the active ingredients in the plant.
The main constituents are terpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids, so one can assume that they were first found in this plant. They are glycosides, including hodulcine and ziziphin, which act as sweetness inhibitors so that there is no sweet taste in anything that is sweetened by sucrose. There are over 20 types of gymnemic acid in the leaves, of which the strongest, Gymnemic Acid 1, can suppress the sweetness even of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.
These are not irreversible effects, and last only about 10 minutes, after which normal sweetness is detectable by your tongue. During the active period, however, a solution of normal sugar will taste like ordinary unsweetened water. However, is this just a matter of taste, or does it affect the sugar itself?
Studies have shown that animals fed the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre develop hypoglycemia, probably because it stimulates the pancreas to generate insulin that reduces the level of sugar in the blood. Further studies have shown the presence in the leaves of a number of types of acylated derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid. There are well over a dozen types of saponins known to be contained within the leaves.
Other chemicals found include anthraquinones, flavanoids, chlorophylls, querticol, phytin, a number of glycosides and anthraquinones. The bush also contains alkaloids, although these are constituents in most plants used in ancient remedies. This is by no means all of the chemicals discovered, and many of the minor benefits of using it could be due to the minor constituents of this amazing little leaf.
A study of the above constituents will reveal a few antioxidants, and it is no surprise that the extract from Gymnema sylvestre also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Gymnemic acid is believed to have a similar chemical structure to saccharose, and the plant extracts can be used not only to reduce a craving for sugar, but also to treat digestive problems and high cholesterol levels. So what scientific evidence is there other than the obvious effects reported by those that use it?
A study in the UK in 2005 found that an aqueous extract of Gymnema sylvestre caused the secretion of calcium and insulin from mouse and human cells to be increased at a specific concentration without affecting the cellular function. This means that the supplement can be used to stimulate the secretion of insulin with people with Type 2 diabetes without otherwise affecting health. Its usefulness to diabetics is obvious, but there are other health benefits to those that are not diabetic.
Anything that modulates a sweet tooth must be of use to those seeking to lose weight, particularly if they feel the need for sweet foods. In fact Gymnema tends to reduce food cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, and can be used by those seeking a natural means of curbing their appetite for sweet and Sugary foods. Because excess weight can lead to diabetes,
Although there have been many discussions about the biochemical mechanism of the gymnemic acids in this effect on taste, recent evidence suggests that the phytochemicals act on both your taste buds and on those parts of the intestine responsible for absorbing nutrients from digested foods.
Not only that, but studies have also indicated that Gymnema sylvestre removes the bitterness of acerbic chemicals such as quinine in the same way that it removes the sweetness form cakes and candies, and if you drank tonic water it would taste just like water. On the other hand, if you ate an orange, you would taste the acidity but not the sweetness.
The way to use this remarkable supplement is to follow the instructions, and within about a week you will be able to control your appetite much better, and any cravings for carbohydrates you previously had will be much reduced. After a month or so, you will notice an accelerated rate of weight loss if you had been overweight, and diabetics will find a significant reduction on blood sugar between insulin shots.
Gymnema sylvestre can take care of any sugar or carbohydrate cravings, and is of significant use to the overweight, obese or to diabetics, and the mechanism by which it works has now been all but understood, although there are still some biochemical secrets that this amazing plant has yet to reveal. This amazing herb can be found at your local or internet vitamin store.
May 31, 2008 10:15 AM
The immune system protects the body from disease, illness, parasites and other abnormalities. The immune system is a delicate balance of things working together to keep the body well. When something is out of line, the body is more susceptible to colds, viruses and more serious diseases. That's why it is so important to take care of your body and strengthen your immune system with astragalus.
Boost your immune system to strengthen the heart and lungs, protect the eyes, heal the skin and improve the body's functions. You can enhance your immune system with an herbal boost of astragalus, also known as huang-qi. Astragalus is an herb from the legume family. It has been used for many years in Chinese medicine and made its debut in the U.S. in the 1980s. It is used to enhance the immune system, for chronic hepatitis, in cancer therapy, to prevent colds, help fight upper respiratory infections and prevent heart disease.
Astragalus contains powerful antioxidants that strengthen the body in many ways. It acts as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and diuretic. It increases the production of immune cells to heal the body.
Poor eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, drugs, alcohol, environmental toxins, stress and lack of sleep chip away at the effectiveness of your immune system to fight disease. Each of these things takes away from your overall health and well-being. They break down the healthy functioning of your immune system. When this happens, you can expect to feel weak and run down, to be susceptible to colds and the flu and more likely to be affected by disease. When your immune system is not functioning well, germs can easily penetrate the body and wreak havoc on your organs.
Protecting the Immune System
Choosing a healthy lifestyle is the single most important factor in protecting your immune system. You can cause serious damage to your body by filling it with toxins. This includes inhaling cigarette smoke, consuming alcohol, drinking sodas and other Sugary drinks, and eating too many pre-packaged foods. By eliminating these things, you will be able to better protect your health. Make healthy lifestyle changes to boost your immune system. Get plenty of sleep, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, stop smoking and get more exercise on a daily basis. Stop and think about everything before you put it in your body. Consider the damage you may be doing to yourself by breaking down your immune system.
Astragalus Helps Strengthen Your Immune System
Lifestyle changes are important for your total health. There are some other things you can do to enhance your immune system though. Taking the herb astragalus is one example. It helps the body adapt to its surroundings and cope with the bacteria and germs you frequently come in contact with. When your defenses are low, it's easy for bacteria and germs to invade your body and make it a toxic environment.
You know your immune system isn't working properly if you catch cold after cold. Your body is more susceptible to illness. Your goal should be to make your defenses strong and keep illness at bay. The astragalus herb can help.
April 23, 2008 11:21 AM
Chromium is a trace element in your body, meaning that it is present only in very small quantities, yet like many trace elements it is extremely important to your health. Most people associate chromium with the shiny finish on car fenders, but it is more than that.
Chromium oxide was discovered as being a part of crocoite, better known as red lead, which is actually lead chromate, sometimes containing some molybdate and perhaps vanadium. Although it was discovered in the middle of the 18th century, it was not until 1797 that chemist Louis-Nicholas Vauquelin discovered it for what it was. He synthesized it in his laboratory in 1798, which is the ultimate proof of the identity and chemical structure of any substance.
It was eventually named chromium, after the Greek ‘chroma’ meaning color, because its compounds are highly colored, normally yellow, red and green, and it is chromium that gives emerald its green color. It is also found in low concentrations in the human body, but too low, thankfully, to color your body red, green or yellow! Perhaps Martians contain a lot of chromium!
The first indication of the potential benefits of chromium to health was when a pork kidney extract called the Glucose Tolerance Factor was discovered in 1957 to enable rats to improve their use of insulin in maintaining the effective use of blood sugar in generating energy. The GTF contained chromium, and that was believed to be the effective ingredient.
Diabetes is a condition in which people either do not generate enough insulin or cannot use it properly. Insulin is a hormone biosynthesized in a group of cells known as the islets of Langerhen in the pancreas and is a necessary part of your metabolism. Your metabolism converts carbohydrates and various sugars into glucose, and when the glucose level reaches a certain concentration in your blood, you stop feeling hungry and the pancreas is stimulated into secreting insulin.
The insulin allows the cells to admit sugar and the mitochondria within them to convert the glucose to energy. Your body likes the blood glucose level to be maintained at between 70 and 110 mg/dl. If it falls below 70, then you will be suffering from hypoglycemia, but you can be above 110 if you have recently eaten. If your blood glucose is being measured it must be at least four hours after your last meal, which is why you are asked to fast first. The absolute maximum is 180 mg/dl, above which you are in trouble and suffering hyperglycemia.
If your pancreas cannot produce any insulin you are regarded as having Type 1 diabetes, and if it produces too little or your body cannot use it effectively, it is Type 2 diabetes. It is believed today that chromium is one of the factors involved in allowing the cells to absorb glucose, and that without it the mitochondria are unable to convert your blood glucose into energy.
Although up to 90% of Americans are thought to have a low chromium content, few are believed to be deficient and there is a big difference between the two. However, pregnant women and the elderly are particularly prone to a deficiency, as are those that consume too many Sugary foods. A deficiency in chromium not only leads to an excess of blood sugar however, but also of cholesterol and triglycerides. This can in turn lead to atherosclerosis, heart disease and strokes.
Although the role of chromium in the control of blood sugar levels was discovered in the 1950s, it was not until the 1970s that it was proven. As with many such proofs it came about accidentally, through what was known as Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN). This provided intravenous nourishment to patients who were unable to eat, and contained a mixture of the nutrients believed to be essential to life.
However, the mixture was based on current knowledge, and it was found that some patients developed the symptoms of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar levels. This was what would have been expected of untreated diabetics, but none were diagnosed with the condition so the cause was a mystery. The physicians responsible for the treatment had no option but to administer insulin, even though there appeared to be no deficiency in the patients.
If you are with us so far, then you will realize that the insulin would not have had the expected result. That is because the condition is not caused by too much sugar or carbohydrate in the diet, and also not caused by a deficiency of insulin. However, due to the known role of chromium in the action of insulin, it was then thought that TNP solution would be improved by adding chromium. When chromium was added in small quantities of under 50 micrograms (5 hundredths of a gram) the patients’ condition improved to normal, and the effect of chromium on blood sugar levels was finally proven.
So how does chromium achieve this? In fact the biochemistry is complex, and dietary chromium works in a different way to the chromium picolinate that is the most popular form of chromium supplement. However, in a nutshell, what appears to happen is that its effect on human tissue may be through an increase in the activation of Akt Phosphorylation, which is a protein within the body cells that enables the easy absorption of glucose into the cells.
In addition to that, cell membranes contain insulin receptor sites that respond to biochemical signals from messengers such as hormones and nutrients, and it is believed that chromium might be involved in promoting the binding of insulin to these sites. Alternatively, it is possible that it may promote the reactions that occur after the insulin has bound to the receptor site, an occurrence that is referred to as a post-receptor event.
Whether chromium is involved in a post-receptor event or in binding the insulin top the receptor sites, there is no doubting the importance of the element to the overall insulin-glucose-energy metabolism, and that the trace element chromium is indeed important in helping your body cells to absorb glucose.
Fight Stress With Magnesium Supplements
April 17, 2008 04:16 PM
When stress hormones are released into the body due to a stressful situation, several things may happen. Your metabolic rate can increase, heart rate jumps, blood vessels contract and get tighter, the rate at which one breaths gets more frequent and shorter, muscles contract in response to stress among other things.
At the cellular level a significant inflow of calcium decrease cellular magnesium to calcium ratios which stimulates cellular function such as secrete fluids, contract, go into active mode. The muscles prepare to contract this includes the lungs, heart, and blood vessels. Nerves start to fire more frequent, the blood gets ready to clot, and secondary stress hormones are released. Normally when the stress crisis is over, magnesium moves back into the cells at the cellular level forcing calcium out relaxing the cells, this allows the body to slow down and relax, the nerves calm down and blood flow slows.
Magnesium plays a vital role to relax the body, once the stressful situation is over. The demand for magnesium goes up with stress. If there are inadequate amounts of magnesium in the body, this magnesium deficiency can in itself sustain a stress response. A magnesium deficiency itself can initiate and maintain a stress response without a trigger to cause the stress in the first place. Low magnesium states can prevent the body from relaxing and cause muscle cramping. After a stressful situation, adequate magnesium is needed to help the body shift over to a relaxed state.
Boarder-line magnesium individuals can have a mental, emotional, environmental or physical state of continuous stress where their bodies never come down out of the stress state. This can be detrimental to health and wellness. Drinking coffee, alcohol, and eating lots of Sugary foods will cause the body to become depleted. Today’s diets high in over processed foods are lacking magnesium; one should supplement by either changing ones diet or adding magnesium to their diet in mineral supplement form.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include signs such as, muscle cramps or twitches, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, anxiety, nervousness, autism, ADHD, heart palpitations, angina, constipation, spasms in the muscles, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, asthma and kidney stones (typically caused by a calcium-magnesium imbalance), diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, irritable bladder, irritable bowel, acid reflux, and premenstrual syndrome, depression, low energy, weakness in the muscles, weakening bones (bone density loss), and calcification of organs.
Women who consume high amounts of calcium can actually create a greater deficiency in magnesium leading to greater bone mineral density lost then if no calcium was consumed at all. Foods today that are being fortified with calcium are actually helping women loose more bone density because magnesium is not in the right proportions.
To word off the negative effects of a prolonged or over-reaction to stress including a shortened lifespan, one needs to balance out their magnesium to calcium ratios by adding adequate amounts of both magnesium and calcium to their diet. Supplementing with 400 mgs to 800 mgs of elemental magnesium is critical for one looking to live a healthier longer life that is free from stress.
Keywords: Magnesium Deficiency, Fight Stress, Magnesium, Calcium, Fight High Blood Pressure
Description: Are you feeling tired, sick or maybe you feel like something is wrong but not quite sure what it is? Would you know if you had a magnesium deficiency? Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic functions in the body; learn how it can help you!
Did You Know There Is One Mineral That Could Change Your Life Forever?
March 05, 2008 04:05 PM
Did you know there is one mineral that could affect the way you feel and change the way you live life forever? Yes that’s correct – forever - magnesium is that mineral! More than 50% of all Americans consume less then the required amounts of magnesium to stay healthy.
You might be wondering how you would know if you are deficient in magnesium and where you can get a test. Unfortunately it is not that simple. A magnesium test is available from your doctor, but when most people take this test, the results normally come back as normal, so we think everything is fine. This test only measures blood serum levels and not cellular magnesium. One needs to have their red blood cells tested to accurately measure the uptake of magnesium and at this time. This kind of testing needed is not readily available.
You might ask, “how can I tell whether I have a deficiency or not?” It is simple, look at your medical history. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include signs such as, muscle cramps or twitches, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, anxiety, nervousness, autism, ADHD, heart palpitations, angina, constipation, spasms in the muscles, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, asthma and kidney stones (typically caused by a calcium-magnesium imbalance), diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, irritable bladder, irritable bowel, acid reflux, and premenstrual syndrome, depression, low energy, weakness in the muscles, weakening bones, and calcification of organs.
If you did not notice, this is an extensive list of symptoms that may be attributed to a deficiency in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for cardiac function in stabilizing cardiac membranes preventing arrhythmias. This mineral helps the cardiovascular system relax aiding in the relief of angina symptoms. Millions of Americans are diagnosed with heart disease yearly, a magnesium deficiency may be the cause.
The reason we are deficient in magnesium is mostly due to the fact that we eat refined, over-processed foods with white flour that have absolutely zero magnesium. The consumption of foods not rich in magnesium will rob our bodies of the little we still have in our bones and organs. Drinking coffee, alcohol, eating lots of Sugary foods and stress will cause the body to become depleted.
If you are experiencing one of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect you have a magnesium deficiency, changing they way you eat can help. Pick up a nutritional almanac and find foods high in magnesium like nuts, sea vegetables, dark leaf vegetables and beans to start. Also, kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, buckwheat, millet, brown rice, rye, tofu, soybeans, brown rice, figs, dates, avocados, parsley, barley, dandelion greens and garlic all contains high amounts of magnesium. Adding a magnesium supplement to your diet which provides 200 to 400 milligrams per day will help. One should limit the intake of coffee, alcohol, colas, salt, and sugar. Actually, many medications can deplete the body of magnesium such as water pills (diuretics) and antibiotics to name two.
So now you know what to do, you might be thinking that a magnesium supplement would be the fastest way to boost magnesium in the body for the time being. What form of magnesium is best? The recommended form of magnesium is magnesium citrate, because of its digestibility and absorbability in the body. Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide if at all possible for these forms of magnesium are harder to digest and will result in smaller amounts being absorbed by the body. Now what are you waiting for, give magnesium a try and see how good you can feel from it!
Here’s How to Minimize Your Childs Sick Days
November 22, 2007 02:21 PM
A healthy diet is critical in keeping your children healthy especially one filled with power foods such as organic yogurt and whole grain cereals; cooking with spices; drinking organic orange juice and elderberry; including omega-3 fatty acids from wild salmon; consuming lots of colored fruits and vegetables; and avoiding Sugary drinks, artificial sweeteners and sweet candy. Make sure to also add in adequate amounts of rest, as you do not want to drive children too hard or overload them. Additionally, try not to pressure your doctors into making antibiotics their first choice. Although there are times when they are needed overuse of antibiotics can actually weaken your child’s immune system.
Many recent studies have found that a healthy population of beneficial bacteria in our children’s stomach is extremely good to their health as these good bacterial strains help to keep our children resistant to germs carried by their school friends. One of these studies shows that special strains of probiotics can reduce daycare-related illnesses. Probiotic milk may also slightly reduce respiratory infections in these children. In one study which took place over a seven month winter period, 571 children attending daycare centers in Finland were given milk with or without a specific probiotic blend. During this study, parents recorded any respiratory symptoms such as fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, chest wheezes, and earache, or gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and stomachache. The actual number of days where these symptoms occurred was much lower in the group of children who received probiotics, causing fewer absences from school and a smaller requirement for antibiotic treatment.
Many pediatricians are now recommending the use of age-specific probiotics to give your children the support they need in fighting off germs. It seems as if pediatricians are increasingly recommending giving probiotics to children instead of prescribing antibiotics. This is partly because 20 percent of children develop antibiotic associated diarrhea (AAD), which is a severe diarrhea that can cause them to miss even more school days. Studies show that children given probiotics even during antibiotic treatment experienced reduced AAD incidence. Giving your child or teen probiotics is one of the safest and most beneficial things you can do to support their overall health. These probiotics safeguard your body from a buildup of harmful bacteria, yeast, and fungi, while enhancing immune function, improving gastrointestinal health, and helping to support colon health.
One amazing fact that most probiotic companies have ignored is which probiotics you should take depends entirely on how old you are and your condition. Unfortunately, most companies only offer a one-size-fits-all probiotic. Babies and toddlers should have a predominance of Bifidobacteria such as B. infantis, B. bididum, and B. breve. Adults, on the other hand, should naturally contain high concentrations of lactobacilli, such as L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, and L. plantarum. Those probiotics that are right for adults are not right for a teen or child, and once you’re over 55, your needs change again. Researchers have discovered that after age 55 is reached, the populations of helpful Bifidobacteria start decreasing steadily. Therefore, adults in their later years will need higher potencies of Bifidobacteria strains once again.
THE PRECARIOUS ACT OF BALANCING HORMONES
July 25, 2005 09:43 PM
THE PRECARIOUS ACT OF BALANCING HORMONES
The very delicate relationship between progesterone and estrogen levels is what creates hormonal balance. Today we frequently hear the phrase, “she’s suffering from a hormonal imbalance.” What exactly does a hormonal imbalance imply, and why is it so prevalent among women of all ages? The simple truth is that our twentieth-century life style creates a great deal of health risks not previously experienced by earlier generations.
Many of these new, modern factors adversely effect our endocrine systems, not to mention our overall health as well. Consequently, when we need to synthesize certain levels of progesterone, we may be lacking the proper nutrients or, as may be the case with women who have used birth control pills, our ovarian functions may be impaired. As a result, an excess of estrogen may develop predisposing us to a number of unpleasant symptoms. Unprecedented degrees of mental stress combined with exposure to toxins, pollutants, preservatives, chemicals, and drugs can impair a woman’s ability to produce progesterone. In addition, the consumption of Sugary foods lacking in whole grains, overcooked, over processed, and fatty foods devoid of the raw enzymes we were meant to ingest can also wreak havoc with our glandular health. The consumption of hormonally fattened beef and poultry is certainly a concern, and may explain why premature puberty occurs in some children who are exposed to unnatural sources of animal estrogen.
Why is there more infertility now that ever before? Why do seemingly healthy young women suffer from all sorts of menstrual disorders and unprecedented levels of PMS? Why is osteoporosis such a threat today, and why is breast cancer killing so many relatively young women? Why do so many of us plow through perimenopause and postmenopause, perplexed by a wide variety of ills that threaten our emotional and physical well-being? All of these questions are profoundly linked to hormonal factors and almost always reflect an estrogen dominance and a progesterone deficiency.
I did not know that such a scenario even existed and like most women, did not understand that too much of certain kinds of estrogen can be extremely harmful. Furthermore, because I assumed that estrogen levels continued to decline as I got older, I never considered the possibility of a pre-menopausal estrogen overload. It is crucial to remember that when estrogen is unopposed by adequate levels of progesterone, a hormonal imbalance occurs. Unopposed estrogen is undesirable to say the least, and explains why so many women suffer from estrogen-related ills even as they approach menopause.
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
FEARING FATS: There's Plenty of Cause Overview
June 25, 2005 07:34 PM
FEARING FATS: There's Plenty of Cause Overview
A wealth of scientific evidence now exists which should have turned each and everyone of us into a fat “phobic.”1a-e In other words, virtually every health expert agrees that a high fat diet is directly linked to cardiovascular disease, various types of cancer and premature death. It’s no secret that excess dietary fat poses a tremendous health risk. The United States National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization and many other scientific institutes have confirmed the frightening hazards of fat. Health proponents generally concur that excess fat can significantly shorten one’s lifespan. More than 10,000 medical papers are published every year dealing with obesity and cardiovascular disease, two of the most insidious killers of Americans. Western eating habits, which promote fatty, salty, Sugary foods, have created massive widespread disease and tremendous suffering. Studies have shown that fat is the macronutrient associated with overeating -
TABLE 1. Total fat grams in single servings.4
and obesity.2 In spite of this finding we are eating more fat and becoming fatter. The average absolute fat intake has increased from 81 to 83 grams per day over the last ten years.3 Our obsession with fatty foods has exacted an enormous toll in the form of rampant obesity, clogged arteries, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, etc. Many of us remain oblivious to the fat gram count of foods we routinely pop into our mouths, unaware that one fast food entree may contain more fat grams than one should consume in one given day. Take a good look at the following list of foods which have been assessed for fat content. Fast food has become a 20th-century sensation which continues to boom and expand throughout our society. Many of us literally exist on fast food, which is frequently also “fat” food. It’s no wonder so many of us “battle the bulge”, and have skyrocketing cholesterol counts. Our love affair with greasy, fried, rich, creamy foods has burdened our bodies with the dilemma of excess fat “baggage,” resulting in phenomenal amounts of money being spent on weight loss programs. Worse still, thousands of Americans are dying before their time or living extremely compromised lives only because they ingest too much fat. Why is this? The bottom line is that fats taste good!5 Many of us were raised on seemingly innocuous foods that are loaded with fat. Some of these include:
macaroni and cheese battered fish sticks hot dogs cheese-filled casseroles pepperoni pizza burritos pancakes, waffles doughnuts pies and pastries ice cream candy bars ramen soup
Fat is also a major ingredient in most of the snack food we constantly nibble on, including chips, crackers, cookies, and nuts. Check ingredient labels to find the fat gram content of most snack foods. You’ll be surprised to find out just how fatty these foods are. Even a healthy sounding food like a “bran muffin” can contain 36 grams of fat! No wonder they stay so “moist”. In addition to the above foods, fat can add wonderful flavor to breads, vegetables and the like, and is usually used liberally in the form of butter, sour cream, whipping cream, melted cheese, cream cheese spreads, dips, cream sauces, and gravies. Fruits can also be high in fats. Did you know that one avocado has 30 grams of fat? One half cup of peanuts contains 35 grams of fat and only one glazed doughnut has 13 grams of fat. The majority of research points to fat as a much more dangerous culprit than anyone might have imagined. Saturated fats such as lard, palm, coconut oil, and beef tallow are particularly menacing. Research scientists have found over and over again that fats can contribute to the growth of tumors in animal studies.6 The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences reported that even a relatively small amount of extra body fat increases the risk of certain diseases for women and may compromise their longevity.7 Even being mildly overweight may be much more risky than anyone previously assumed.8
The Relat ionship between Breast Cancer, Fat s, Fiber And Indoles
Dr. Leonard Cohen, of the Dana Institute of the American Health Foundation at Naylor, believes that pre-cancerous lesions found in breast tissue will develop into cancer only if they are stimulated by certain agents such as fat.9 Women increase their risk of developing breast cancer when they consume a diet high in fat and animal protein and low in fiber, vegetables and fruits. When women put on weight, they have a tendency to create more estrogen since adipose tissue produces estrogen. Certain forms of estrogen, the so-called “bad estrogens” can act as carcinogens and are anything but desirable.10 High or unbalanced estrogen levels stimulate concerous tissue in the breast. Obesity is also associated with increased breast cancer mortality.11 The three most important ways to inhibit “bad” estrogen from inducing breast cancer are:
America's Most Wanted
June 14, 2005 05:23 PM
America's Most Wanted
by Brian Amherst Energy Times, January 6, 2000
The United States eats well, a little too well, according to experts. Amply supplied with a large supply of high-calorie food, our diets might seem to be chock full of every conceivable nutrient. Well, to the question "Getting all the right vitamins, minerals and other nutrients?" the most appropriate answer seems to be "Not exactly." Eating a lot doesn't equal eating a lot of the most important vitamins and minerals. So, which vitamins and minerals are likely to show up in short supply in the typical American diet? Calcium certainly sits at the top of list. According to the most recent Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, which is conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), women and girls age 12 and up are not consuming adequate calcium from their diet. Research reveals that about 1200 mg. day suffices for those over age 50 and 1000 mg a day should be adequate if you're between the ages of 19 and 50. Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Stanford University, ". . .osteoporosis is a pediatric disease." For long-range protection against that bone-weakening disease, kids should eat calcium-rich, low-fat dairy products and plenty of leafy greens (broccoli, cabbage, kale) as well as salmon (with bones), seafood and soy. But the calcium campaign does not end in early adulthood. Bone mass begins to deteriorate at about age 30. Menopausal hormonal changes can exacerbate bone brittleness. Medical conditions, including cancer, liver disease and intestinal disorders; prescription drugs; tobacco and alcohol indulgence; or a decline in activity, especially the weight-bearing kind, also jeopardize bone strength. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about one in every two American women will break a bone after age 50 due to osteoporosis. That translates into about half a million fractured vertebrae and more than 300,000 shattered hips. Frequently, those breaks are life-threatening.
The critical role of calcium in many body functions is perhaps the most extensively clinically documented among nutrients. Researchers in the Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, reviewed epidemiological and clinical studies conducted over the past two years on the relationship between dietary calcium and blood pressure (J Am Coll Nutr October 1999: 398S-405S). "Nearly 20 years of investigation in this area has culminated in remarkable and compelling agreement in the data," the researchers report, "confirming the need for and benefit of regular consumption of the recommended daily levels of dietary calcium." Investigators at the State University of New York, Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, presented results of their studies of calcium and vitamin C and gum disease at the June 26, 1998 meeting of the International Association for Dental Research. Two separate inquiries revealed that people who consumed too little calcium as young adults, and those with low levels of vitamin C in their diets, appear to have nearly twice the risk of developing periodontal disease later in life than folks with higher dietary levels of either nutrient.
Calcium: Much Documented Researchers offer extensive evidence of calcium's benefits on many fronts: n Osteoporosis poses a threat to older men as well as women, according to Randi L. Wolf, PhD, research associate at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Wolf presented her award-winning study to an October 3, 1999 meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Dr. Wolf suggests that men increase their consumption of calcium, particularly after age 80, to avoid age-related declines in the amount of calcium absorbed. According to Dr. Wolf, "It appears that the hormonal form of vitamin D, which is the main regulator of intestinal calcium absorption, may have an important role. We are conducting more research to better understand the reasons for why calcium absorption declines with age in men." n Scientists at Tufts University in Boston did some earlier work on the calcium-vitamin D connection and reported it in the September 4, 1997 New England Journal of Medicine. Using the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) increased recommended daily intake of 1200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 international units of vitamin D for people over 50, the Tufts researchers found that with supplementation of the nutrients, men and women 65 and older lost significantly less body bone and, in some cases, gained bone mineral density. n Two studies published in American Heart Association journals show that atherosclerosis and osteoporosis may be linked by a common problem in the way the body uses calcium. The September 1997 Stroke revealed that, in a group of 30 postmenopausal women 67 to 85 years old, bone mineral density declined as atherosclerotic plaque increased. Researchers reporting in Circulation (September 15, 1997) advanced the theory that the osteoporosis-atherosclerosis connection may be related to a problem in handling calcium. n For people who had colon polyps removed, taking calcium supplements decreased the number of new polyps by 24% and cut the risk of recurrence by 19%, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. The study, published in the January 14, 1999 New England Journal of Medicine, was a first in crediting calcium with anti-cancer properties.
The D Factor
Without adequate vitamin D, your absorption of calcium slips and bone loss can accelerate, increasing the risk for fractures. Fifty percent of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fractures at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston had a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 28, 1999). University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers told participants at the April 14, 1997 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research that vitamin D "significantly inhibits highly metastatic, or widespread, prostate cancer in animals," suggesting its potential for treating men with similar conditions. Few foods that Americans eat, except dairy, contain much vitamin D, but we can usually synthesize sufficient amounts from as few as five minutes' exposure to the sun. But as skin ages, its ability to act as a vitamin D factory decreases. According to Michael F. Holick, the director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center, upwards of 40% of the adult population over age 50 that he sees in his clinic are deficient in vitamin D. Recently, the National Academy of Sciences (the official body that decrees the required amounts of necessary nutrients) increased the daily recommendations of vitamin D to 600 IU for people over 71, 400 IU for those aged 51 to 70 and 200 IU for people under 50. The best dietary sources, apart from dependable supplements, are dairy and fatty fish like salmon. Four ounces of salmon provide about 300 IU.
The Facts About Fats
The American lust for low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets filled with Sugary foods has exploded into nothing short of "obsession," according to experts at the General Research Center at Stanford University Medical Center (Am J Clin Nutr 70, 1999: 512S-5S). That mania oftens robs us of the crucial balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids typical of the Mediterranean diet that protect us from heart disease by controlling cholesterol and making blood less likely to form clots. These fatty acids cannot be made by the body but are critical for health: n Omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic acid) comes from fresh, deepwater fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) and vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed and walnut. n Omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) found primarily in raw nuts, seeds and legumes and in saturated vegetable oils such as borage, grape seed, primrose, sesame and soybean. The American Heart Association recommends limiting total fat consumption to 30% of daily calories. Saturated fats like those in dairy and meat products as well as vegetable oil should comprise 10% of total calories; total unsaturated fat (fish oils, soybean, safflower nuts and nut oils) should be restricted to 20 to 22% of daily calories.
Be Sure About B12
Vitamin B12 presents a particular problem for the elderly because older digestive systems often don't secrete enough stomach acid to liberate this nutrient from food. (The elderly have no problem absorbing B12 from supplements, because it's not bound to food.) Vitamins generally moderate the aging process but, ironically, that process and the diseases that frequently accompany it affect vitamin metabolism (Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 83, 1994: 262-6). And because of those changes, we need more of certain vitamins. This is the case for vitamins D, B6, riboflavin and B12. Crucial for health, B12 is necessary to prevent anemia, and, according to recent studies, needed (along with folate and B6) to help stave off heart disease. B12, with thiamine and niacin, boosts cognition (Adv Nutr Res 7, 1985: 71-100). Screening for vitamin B12 deficiency and thyroid disease is cheap and easy and can prevent conditions such as dementia, depression or irreversible tissue damage (Lakartidningen 94, 1997: 4329-32). In the January 5-12, 1999 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA urged doctors to screen levels of homocysteine (the amino acid byproduct of protein digestion that damages arteries, causes heart disease and, possibly, strokes) in patients at high risk for heart disease. They also recommended all Americans to up their daily levels of vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid. Since fruits, vegetables or grains lack B12, vegetarians need B12 supplements. And they're a good idea for the rest of us, too.
Folic Acid Benefits
Folic acid made headlines in the early 1990s when the U.S. Public Health Service declared that "to reduce the frequency of neural tube defects [spina bifida, or open spine, and anencephaly, a lethal defect of the brain and skull] and their resulting disability, all women of childbearing age in the United States who are capable of becoming pregnant should consume .4 milligrams (400 micrograms) of folic acid per day." This recommendation followed voluminous research that showed taking folic acid was associated with a significantly reduced risk of birth defects. (The advisory is based on the fact that nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned. If you think you are pregnant, consult your health practitioner for supplementary advice.)
A Team Player
Folic acid's efficacy intensifies when it works with other nutrients. Among many studies on the preventive powers of folic acid on birth defects, one published in The New England Journal of Medicine (327, Dec. 24, 1992: 1,832-1,835), disclosed an even greater decrease in neural tube defects when supplements of folic acid contained copper, manganese, zinc and vitamin C. As a warrior against homocysteine, folic acid joins the battalion of B12 and B6 in detoxifying this harmful protein. At the University of Washington's Northwest Prevention Effectiveness Center, researchers recently analyzed 38 published studies of the relationship between folic acid, homocysteine and cardiovascular disease and, according to associate professor Shirley A. Beresford, MD, folic acid and vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies can lead to a buildup of homocysteine.
Canadian researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (275, 1996: 1893-1896) that men and women with low folic acid have a 69% increase in the risk of fatal coronary heart disease. This 15-year study of more than 5,000 people stressed the need for dietary supplementation of folic acid. Folic acid also has been credited with the potential to protect against cancers of the lungs, colon and cervix. It appears to help reverse cervical dysplasia, the precursor cells to cervical cancer, especially for women taking oral contraceptives, which may cause a localized deficiency of folic acid in the cells of the cervix. According to Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning, authors of The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery), folic acid derivatives work with neurotransmitters, the chemicals that permit signals to be sent from nerve fiber to nerve fiber. A lack of folic acid can cause some nervous-system disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and dementia; it also may be related to some forms of mental retardation. Other supporting roles of folic acid, according to researchers: the formation of normal red blood cells, important for preventing the type of anemia characterized by oversized red blood cells; strengthening and improving white blood cell action against disease; limiting production of uric acid, the cause of gout.
The Best Sources
Many foods are rich in folic acid: beef, lamb, pork and chicken liver, spinach, kale and beet greens, asparagus, broccoli, whole wheat and brewer's yeast. But experts believe that only 25 to 50% of the folic acid in food is bioavailable. Processing also reduces an estimated 50 to 90% of its content. Folic acid supplementation overcomes these obstacles with little risk, as it has no known toxicity. Women taking folic acid who are current or former users of oral contraceptives may require additional zinc. And be sure to augment your folic acid supplement with its synergistic counterpart, vitamin B12.
Focus on Fiber
The American Heart Association came out squarely behind fiber in a June 16, 1997 issue of its journal Circulation: Double your daily intake to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. The American diet is consistently low in fiber, notes Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, author of the article. Twenty-five to 30 grams a day from foods (or supplements) are not only heart healthy but seem to aid weight control.
Getting enough iron? An estimated 25% of adolescent girls in the United States are iron deficient, according to an October 12, 1996 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, which reported that girls who took iron supplements performed significantly better on verbal tests than those who took a placebo. "Teenage girls should be regularly tested for iron deficiency because rapid growth and the onset of menstruation during puberty increase the body's need for iron," says Ann Bruner, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and a lead author of the study.USDA data reveal that women up to age 50 also tend to get much less than recommended levels of iron, a lack of which leads to anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells, hemoglobin or volume of blood. For kids, deficiency is more common from six months to four years and during the rapid growth spurts of adolescence when the body is growing so quickly that the body's iron stores may sink to dangerous levels. Vegetarian women run the greatest risk for deficiency, as meat is iron-rich; foods like beans, grains and vegetables also contain some iron. Supplements, of course, supply easily absorbable iron. And to absorb iron from vegetarian sources, take vitamin C with your meals. That boosts the amount of this mineral you will take in. Bear in mind, however, that certain folks-older men and post-menopausal women-generally have adequate dietary supplies of iron. Of greater concern, in fact, is excessive iron, and for these folks iron-free multivitamin and mineral supplements are available.
Ante Up the Antioxidants
Antioxidant nutrients help protect the body from oxygen-scavenging molecules called free radicals. The products of pollution, the body's own metabolic processes and other sources, free radicals are linked to heart disease, cancer and other chronic health problems. The most important antioxidants, which include vitamin C, E, beta carotene, and selenium, are often lacking in the American diet. Plus, optimal amounts of vitamin E cannot be consumed from food. You need supplements. The bottom line: even though we live in a land of plenty, you can still miss vital nutrients. So make sure to consume these vital substances.
Source of Missing Nutrients In the search for the nutrients missing from America's diet, one big help is the sprout. The sprout is truly one of nature's heavyweights: fresh, tiny and moist, its power punch of vitamins, minerals, protein, chlorophyll and disease-busting phytochemicals land it in a weight class far beyond that of its full-grown competitors. Size does NOT matter to this nutritional giant. A championship belt currently wraps around the miniscule broccoli sprout, catapulted into the ring by Paul Talalay, MD, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Talalay discovered that the seedlings contain substantially more of the cancer-fighting substance sulforaphane than mature plants (Proc. Natnl. Acad. Sci. USA, 94, 10367-10372). Sprouts, the quintessential health food of the Sixties, provide a wonderfully varied and versatile way to get your daily greens. Raw or cooked, strong or mild, vegetable and grass sprouts and their algae cousins add low-calorie texture to recipes and a rich, diverse complement of nutrients and fiber.
Ancient Asia to the Modern Lab
Asians stir-fried sprouts as one of the earliest fast foods as long as 5,000 years ago. The ancient Chinese relied on sprouts for year-round vegetables in colder regions of their vast country. Today, researchers studying sprouts and adult plants have identified their important chemoprotective and other health-bolstering substances. In Paul Talalay's research project at Johns Hopkins, scientists found that three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain up to 50 times more sulforaphane than mature plants, which prompts the body to produce an enzyme that prevents cancer tumors from forming. Uniform levels of the compound saturate the shoots, unlike the chemically uneven adult plants. The Brassica family of broccoli and cabbage is richly endowed with phytochemicals that also help reduce estrogen levels associated with breast cancer. Other phytochemical compounds in the Brassica family are associated with the prevention of stomach and lung cancers. Most of the initial landmark work on phytochemicals' cancer-fighting powers has taken place since 1989 under the aegis of the National Cancer Institute's "Designer Food Program," which isolated, for example, the isoflavones in beans that seem to neutralize cancer-gene enzymes.
Strong Suit: Soy and Spirulina
The isoflavones and phytosterols in soy produce an estrogenic effect that appears to relieve menopausal symptoms and help prevent breast cancer. Soy foods expert Mark Messina, PhD, has done extensive work on the subject, some of which has been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-6. Researchers also have synthesized a bone-strengthening form of soy isoflavones called ipriflavone, following impressive clinical trials in the treatment of osteoporosis (American Journal of Medicine, 95 [Suppl. 5A] (1993): 69S-74S). Spirulina and other micro-algae are fascinating organisms that inhabit a niche between the plant and animals kingdoms. Named for its tiny spirals, spirulina, a blue-green algae, grows in saline lakes but is cultured for maximum nutritional content. In her book Whole Foods Companion (Chelsea Green), Dianne Onstad notes that spirulina contains "the highest sources of protein, beta carotene and nucleic acids of any animal or plant food." Its nucleic acids, she says, benefit cellular regeneration; its fatty acids, especially GLA and omega-3 acids, make it one of the most complete foods. Sprouts, like any other produce, should be rinsed thoroughly before serving. People at high risk for bacterial illness-young children, the very elderly or folks with weakened immune systems-should limit their consumption of raw sprouts. But no matter how you eat them, you may find more spring in your step from these tiny, sprouting nutritional wonders.
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!
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number
June 13, 2005 07:43 PM
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number by Carl Lowe Energy Times, March 10, 2004
As women age, their physical needs shift. The health challenges that face a woman in her thirties do not match those of a woman in her fifties.
At the same time, some basic health needs stay constant: At any age, every woman requires a wealth of vitamins, minerals and the other natural chemicals that fruits, vegetables and supplements supply. She also constantly needs families and friends to support her spiritual health.
As the internal workings of your body alter, your lifestyle must stay abreast of those adjustments. Peak health demands a finely tuned health program designed with your individual needs-and your stage of life-in mind.
Ages 30 to 45
When it comes to maintaining health, younger women might seem to have it easier than older women. If they exercise and stay in shape, they maintain more stamina than women 10 to 20 years their senior.
Unfortunately, many women in this age group mistakenly think they don't have to be as careful about their lifestyle habits and their eating habits as they will in later decades. But even if your health doesn't seem to suffer from poor eating choices or a sedentary lifestyle right away, your foundation for health in later life suffers if you don't care for yourself now.
By age 45 you should have established the good habits that will carry you successfully through the aging process. As an added bonus, good lifestyle habits pay immediate dividends. If you pay attention to your nutrients and get plenty of physical activity when younger, you'll feel more energetic and probably enjoy better emotional health.
Set Health Goals
According to Gayle Reichler, MS, RD, CDN, in her book Active Wellness (Avery/Penguin), good health at any age doesn't just come to you-you have to plan for it. In order to stick to good habits, she says, "living a healthy lifestyle needs to be satisfying." Reichler believes that you need to picture your health goals to achieve them: "Every successful endeavor first begins in the mind as an idea, a thought, a dream, a conviction." Good health at this age and in later years requires a concrete strategy and visualization of how your body can improve with a healthy lifestyle.
Your long-term health goals at this age should include an exercise program that will allow you to reach a physically fit old age with a lowered risk of disability. In addition, your short-term plans should encompass losing weight, staying optimistic, living life with more vim and vigor, increasing your capacity for exercise and lowering your stress.
As Reichler points out, "Your long-term goal and your ideal vision establish what you want to achieve....[You should do] something good...for yourself every day and every week that makes your life easier and more consistent with your goals."
Develop an Eating Plan
Today, the average American gains about two pounds annually. As a result, every year a greater portion of the US population is obese and overweight. By controlling your food intake earlier in life, you may be able to avoid this weight gain. In his book Prolonging Health (Hampton Roads), James Williams, OMD, recommends basic changes to your diet that can provide long-term support of your health:
Get Supplemental Help
If you're in your thirties or forties and you don't take at least a multivitamin, start taking one today! A large body of research shows that taking vitamin and mineral supplements over a long period of time significantly supports better health.
Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important supplemental nutrients, helping to build stronger bones now that can withstand the bone-loss effects of aging.
Calcium can also help keep your weight down. One study of younger women found that for every extra 300 milligrams of calcium a day they consumed, they weighed about two pounds less (Experimental Biology 2003 meeting, San Diego).
In the same way, taking vitamin D supplements not only helps strengthen your bones, it can also lower your risk of multiple sclerosis (Neurology 1/13/04). In this study, which looked at the health records of more than 180,000 women for up to 20 years, taking D supplements dropped the chances of multiple sclerosis (although eating vitamin D-rich foods did not have the same benefit). And if you're thinking about having children at this age, a multivitamin is crucial for lowering your baby's risk of birth defects and other health problems. A study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who take multivitamins during pregnancy lower their children's risk of nervous system cancer by up to 40% (Epidemiology 9/02).
" Our finding, combined with previous work on reducing several birth defects with vitamin supplementation and other childhood cancers, supports the recommendation that mothers' vitamin use before and during pregnancy may benefit their babies' health," says Andrew F. Olshan, MD, professor of epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. "We believe physicians and other health care providers should continue to educate women about these benefits and recommend appropriate dietary habits and daily dietary supplements."
In particular, Dr. Olshan feels that folic acid (one of the B vitamins), and vitamins C and A, are particularly important for lowering the risk of childhood cancers and birth defects.
Ages 45 to 55
When you reach this in-between age-the time when most women have moved past childbearing age but haven't usually fully moved into the post-menopausal stage-you enjoy a propitious opportunity to take stock of your health and plan for an even healthier future. One thing that may need adjustment is your sleep habits, as sleeplessness is a common problem for women in this age group. Even if you haven't been exercising or watching your diet until now, it's not too late to start. Making lifestyle changes at this age can still improve your chances for aging successfully.
For instance, it is at these ages that women should have their heart health checked. Research published in the journal Stroke (5/01) shows that having your cholesterol and blood pressure checked at this time more accurately shows your future chances of heart disease than having it checked at a later date after menopause, in your late fifties.
" The premenopausal risk factors may be a stronger predictor of carotid atherosclerosis [artery blockages] because they represent cumulative risk factor exposure during the premenopausal years, whereas the risk factors...during the early postmenopausal years have a shorter time for influence," says Karen A. Matthews, PhD, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In other words, Dr. Matthews' research shows that if you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol before menopause, you are at serious risk for a stroke or heart attack soon after menopause: These are important reasons that you need to start improving your health habits immediately.
Increase in Heart Disease
Before menopause, a woman's hormones and other physiological characteristics usually hold down her chance of heart disease. After menopause, when hormones and other bodily changes occur, the risk of heart attacks and stroke in women rises significantly. (Heart disease is the leading killer of women.) At least part of this increased risk is linked to the postmenopausal decrease in estrogen production.
Dr. Matthews studied about 370 women in their late forties, measuring their weight, their BMI (body mass index, an indication of body fat compared to height), blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Ten years later, after the women had entered menopause, she and her fellow scientists used ultrasound to measure blockages in these women's neck arteries (a sign of heart disease).
The researchers found that indications of potential heart problems (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight) when women were in their forties did indeed forecast future difficulties.
" Women who had elevated cholesterol, higher blood pressures and increased body weight before menopause had increased blood vessel thickening and atherosclerotic plaque formation in the neck arteries after menopause. Such changes in the carotid arteries are associated with an increased heart attack and stroke risk," says Dr. Matthews.
Heart Health Factors
The four main lifestyle factors you should adjust at this age to support better heart function are diet, stress, exercise and weight. According to Dr. James Williams, "[M]ore than any other cause, dietary factors are the most critical factor in cardiovascular disease." He recommends eliminating "dietary saturated fatty acids as found in flame-broiled and fried meats." He also urges women to eat more fish and poultry, consume organic fruits and vegetables and cut back on refined sugar.
Stress becomes an ever more important heart disease factor at this age as estrogen begins to drop.
" Our study [in the lab] indicates that stress affects estrogen levels and can lead to the development of heart disease-even before menopause," says Jay Kaplan, PhD, of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (The Green Journal 3/02).
Dr. Kaplan's research shows that stress in women ages 45 to 55 may reduce estrogen earlier in life and make women more susceptible to the arterial blockages that lead to heart disease. "We know from [lab] studies that stress can lower estrogen levels to the point that health is affected," he says.
Stress can also hurt bone health: In a study of 66 women with normal-length menstrual periods, estrogen levels were low enough in half of the women to cause bone loss, making the women susceptible to osteoporosis.
Exercise and Weight
Although exercise used to be considered to be mainly a young woman's activity, the thrust of recent research suggests that physical activity actually becomes more important to health as you get older.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that exercising and keeping your weight down is probably the most important thing you can do to lower your risk of heart disease as you enter your forties and fifties (Am J Prev Med 11/03).
Of the people who took part in this study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who performed the most exercise were thinner and had a 50% chance less of dying of heart disease than overweight nonexercisers.
" The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, a researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.
An added benefit of exercise: If you burn up calories exercising, you can eat more and not have to worry as much about being overweight.
Supplements and Diet
If you're a woman at midlife, a multivitamin and mineral is still good nutritional insurance. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables are also important for getting enough phytochemicals, the health substances in plants that convey a wealth of health benefits.
As you enter this age group, your immune system gradually slows down. To help support immune function, eating produce rich in antioxidant nutrients, and supplementing with antioxidants like vitamins C and E as well as carotenoids, can be especially important. For example, a study of people with ulcers found that people with less vitamin C in their stomachs are more likely to be infected with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers and is linked to stomach cancer (J Amer Coll Nutr 8/1/03).
This research, which looked at the health of about 7,000 people, found that vitamin C probably helps the immune system fend off this bacterial infection.
" Current public health recommendations for Americans are to eat five or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day to help prevent heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases," says Joel A. Simon, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
Calcium and Bones
At midlife, calcium continues to be a vital mineral for supporting bone health.
According to Gameil T. Fouad, PhD, "It has been routinely shown that a woman's calcium status and level of physical activity (specifically, the degree to which she participates in weight-bearing exercise) are positively associated with bone mineral density. It is less well appreciated that this is a process which takes place over the course of a lifetime."
Dr. Fouad adds that calcium works in concert with other vitamins and minerals to keep bones healthy: "Research in the United Kingdom involving nearly 1,000 premenopausal women over age 40 illustrates those women with the highest bone density tended to have the highest intake of calcium. Surprisingly, this study also demonstrated that calcium does not act alone: those women with the best bone health also had the highest intakes of zinc, magnesium and potassium."
Dr. Fouad stresses that supplements should go together with a lifestyle that includes enough sleep and exercise to help the body stay in top shape.
" As a general guideline," he says, "a woman concerned with her mineral intake should take concrete steps to make sure she is getting adequate rest, is eating a well-balanced diet focused on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein as well as getting adequate exercise....A multi-mineral containing bio-available forms of zinc, magnesium, copper and selenium is probably a safe addition to anyone's routine. Taking these proactive steps dramatically reduces the chances that deficiencies will arise."
Ages 55 and Beyond
Entering the post-menopausal phase of life can present challenging opportunities for a new perspective on life and health. While some signs of aging are inevitable, experts who have looked at how the human body changes with age are now convinced that healthy lifestyle habits can improve how well you can think, move and enjoy life well past age 55.
As Dr. Williams notes, "In your fifties, the force of aging is undeniably present: Your body shape changes and organ function declines, both men and women have a tendency to gain weight....Heart disease becomes more common, energy and endurance are considerably reduced and your memory begins to slip."
But Dr. Williams also points out that you don't have to age as rapidly as other people do. He believes you should employ a "natural longevity program...[that starts] to reverse the course of aging as early as possible."
One key to staying vital as you age is your outlook on life, an aspect of life that's greatly enhanced by strong social ties.
Avoiding the Aging Slowdown The latest research shows that one of the most crucial ways to slow the effects of aging is to exercise and keep your weight down. It won't necessarily be easy, though. The change in hormonal balance at this age makes the body more prone to extra pounds (Society for Neuroscience Meeting, 11/12/03).
" In women, it has been demonstrated that major weight increases often occur during menopause, the time in a woman's life in which cyclic ovarian function ends and the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone decline," says Judy Cameron, PhD, a scientist in the divisions of reproductive sciences and neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University.
In Dr. Cameron's lab trials, she has found that the decrease in estrogen after menopause "resulted in a 67% jump in food intake and a 5% jump in weight in a matter of weeks."
In other words, the hormonal changes you undergo as enter your late fifties causes your appetite to grow as well as your waistline: Developments that increase your chances of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and joint problems.
Vigilance against this weight gain is necessary to save your health: Start walking and exercising. Research on exercise in people aged 58 to 78 found that getting off the couch for a walk or other physical activity not only helps control weight but also helps sharpen your thinking and helps you become more decisive (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2/16-20/04, online edition). This recent study, done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that performing aerobic exercise improved mental functioning by 11% (on a computer test).
" We continue to find a number of cognitive benefits in the aerobic group," says Arthur F. Kramer, PhD, a professor of psychology at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois. "The brain circuits that underlie our ability to think-in this case to attend selectively to information in the environment-can change in a way that is conducive to better performance on tasks as a result of fitness." In simple terms, that means that walking at least 45 minutes a day boosts brain power as well as protecting your heart.
An Herb for Menopause
The physical changes that accompan> y menopause can be uncomfortable. But traditional herbal help is available: Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), an herb used for eons by aging women, has been shown in recent studies to be both safe and effective (Menopause 6/15/03).
" This [research] should reassure health professionals that they can safely recommend black cohosh to their menopausal patients who cannot or choose not to take HRT [hormone replacement therapy]," says researcher Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico Department of Family and Community Medicine.
While HRT has been used to help women cope with menopause, a flurry of studies in the past few years have shown that HRT increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Instead, black cohosh, which alleviates such menopausal discomforts as hot flashes, has been shown to be much safer.
Keeping Track of Crucial Vitamins
While continuing to take multivitamins and minerals at this age is important, some experts believe that as we grow older, vitamin D supplementation, as well as taking antioxidant nutrients, is particularly vital. Arthritis is a common affliction of aging, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one particularly destructive form of this joint problem. But taking vitamin D can significantly lower your risk of this condition.
When scientists analyzed the diets of 30,000 middle-aged women in Iowa over 11 years, they found that women who consumed vitamin D supplements were 34% less likely to suffer RA (Arth Rheu 1/03).
Other vitamins are equally important to an older woman's well-being. For example, vitamins C and natural E have been found to lower the risk of stroke in those over the age of 55 (Neurology 11/11/03). In this study, smokers who consumed the most vitamin C and natural vitamin E were 70% were much less likely to suffer strokes than smokers whose diets were missing out on these vitamins.
Rich sources of vitamin C in food include oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, red and green peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils such as sunflower seed, cottonseed, safflower, palm and wheat germ oils, margarine and nuts.
Saving Your Sight
After age 55, your eyes are particularly vulnerable. Eight million Americans of this age are at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that destroys structures in the back of the eye necessary for vision (Arch Ophthal 11/03). But you can drop your risk of AMD by taking supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute.
Their research shows that a dietary supplement of vitamins C, natural vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, lowers the chances of progressing to advanced AMD in certain at-risk people by about 25%. Daily supplements also reduced the risk of vision loss by about 19%.
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin also help protect aging eyes. When scientists compared healthy eyes with eyes suffering from AMD, they found that AMD eyes contained lower levels of these vital nutrients (Ophthalmology 2003; 109:1780). Furthermore, they found that levels of these chemicals generally decline as you grow older.
Healthy at All Ages
When it comes to designing a healthy lifestyle, general rules like these can be followed, but you should individualize your plan to fit your needs. No matter which type of exercises you pick out or what healthy foods you choose, look for a strategy and a plan you can stick to. If you think a selection of foods are good for you but you absolutely hate their taste, chances are you won't be able to stick to a diet that includes them.
The same goes for exercise: Pick out activities that you enjoy and that you can perform consistently. That increases your chance of sticking to an exercise program.
Staying healthy is enjoyable and it helps you get more out of life every day, no matter what stage of life you're in.
Don't Be Blue - Does winter got you singing the blues?
June 13, 2005 09:49 AM
Don't Be Blue by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, October 10, 2003
Have the gray skies of winter got you singing the blues? Do you feel tired, lost your creative spark, need extra sleep, can't get control of your appetite? If you nod in agreement to these queries, you may be one of the millions of people affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder), also known as the "winter blues" or "cabin fever." Time to lighten up, throw off those lowdown winter blues and step up to more enjoyable feelings. Experts who study the winter blahs now acknowledge that you can blame much of winter's crankiness, moodiness and restlessness on short, cloudy days and a lack of sunlight. Low levels of sunlight trigger changes in hormones, increasing levels of melatonin (a hormone that normally helps you go to sleep) and decreasing serotonin (a hormone that improves mood). For many people, this hormonal tumult translates into a craving for Sugary foods, a need for more sleep and a reduced sex drive.
Although the exact cause of SAD is not known, researchers believe the pineal gland plays an important role in this disorder. This gland, located beneath the brain, makes melatonin in response to the amount of light that enters your eyes. Melatonin hormone is only produced in darkness. The darker your bedroom, the greater your melatonin production.
Conversely, melatonin production usually stops in the morning when you open your eyes to the day's new light. But research shows that the production of melatonin climbs too high in folks who suffer from SAD. That excessive amount of the hormone results in a sedative effect upon the body.
Many people with SAD suffer muscular aches and pains, along with headaches and a faltering immune system. Consequently, they often feel like they have the flu all winter long.
More women than men suffer from SAD (and, apparently, depression in general), though the reason is unclear.
According to Norman Rosenthal, MD, author of Winter Blues (Guilford Press), "about 6% of the US population may suffer from SAD, with an additional 14% suffering from subsyndromal [less severe] SAD." Because less sunlight reaches the northern latitudes, folks in Washington state and Alaska suffer the highest rates of SAD. People in sun-soaked Florida suffer the least.
How do you escape SAD? If a winter vacation to the sunny South is out of the question for you, a natural program can brighten the wintry gray days and provide relief.
Turn on the Light
The most common treatment for SAD is light (also called phototherapy), which cuts back the body's manufacture of melatonin. Sitting in front of a special light box for about 30 minutes each morning during the winter months can often offset SAD. But the effects of this treatment vary from individual to individual, and some may be more sensitive to the light therapy than others.
For artificial light treatment, consult an appropriately trained healthcare professional who can design a plan that finds the optimal intensity, length and time of day for the treatment that best works for you. Researchers at Columbia University have found that timing the light therapy with the nuances of a person's biological clock doubles its effectiveness (Archives of General Psychiatry 1/15/01).
On the other hand, walking in natural light can banish these problems, and research finds that natural light frequently offers the best results (Journal of Affective Disorders 1996 Apr 12; 37(2-3):109-20). In this study, people either participated in a daily walk outdoors in natural light or were treated for half an hour in artificial light. At the end of the study, participants were tested for melatonin and cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Both were found to be lower after exposure to natural light than artificial light.
Roll up those sleeves when you're outdoors this winter: Curiously enough, studies show that light produces physiological effects by being absorbed through both the eyes and the skin.
Research now shows that light on the skin alters the hemoglobin in the blood. "This research suggests that SAD might be a disorder of the blood rather than a brain disorder," says Dan A. Oren, MD, of the Yale University School of Medicine (Science 1/12/98).
Vitamin D Need
If you suffer from seasonal depression, you may also not be getting enough vitamin D. During the sun-reduced winter months, stores of this fat-soluble vitamin drop, since the skin makes it when exposed to sunlight. When you step out into daylight, the sebaceous glands near the surface of your body produce an oily substance from cholesterol that rises to the skin's surface. Then, ultraviolet B rays from the sun convert this oily substance (7-dehydrocholesterol) into what is called previtamin D3. Finally, body heat converts previtamin D3 into vitamin D3 (a form of vitamin D).
Twenty minutes of daily sunlight exposure on the hands, arms and face can give adequate amounts of vitamin D to light-skinned people. Dark-skinned people may need longer exposure. Supplements can help: In one study, researchers found that people who took vitamin D had significant improvement in depression scale scores (Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 1999; 3(1):5-7).
As far as vitamin D production goes, you can never receive too much sunlight (although overexposure resulting in a burn is never a good idea). The body absorbs vitamin D from the skin as needed and never accepts more than is required. (If you take supplements, follow package directions so you don't get too much of a good thing.) Food sources of vitamin D include eggs, fortified milk, cod liver oil, salmon and other fish.
Walk Away the Blues
Research also shows that exercise can chase the winter blues and that a little bit of exertion goes a long way. Exercise physiologists at Duke University found that little as eight minutes of physical activity can improve your mood.
Exercise stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, feel-good hormones that help reduce pain and depression. Physical activity can also increase serotonin levels, those neurotransmitters that brighten emotions. These two hormones work together to make you feel better: Serotonin improves the functioning of your mind while endorphins produce beneficial effects on your body. In one study, researchers reported that exercise increased vitality and improved mood even in cases of prolonged depression (Psychological Medicine 1998 Nov; 28(6):1359-64).
To banish SAD, engage in an outdoor activity in natural light, or get active indoors under bright lights.
As you can see, much of the research into low, wintry moods suggests that sun worshippers may have been right all along: Exposure in winter to our friendly, local neighborhood star offers impressive mood benefits.
In the Clear - Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations
June 12, 2005 02:13 PM
In the Clear by Dianne Drucker Energy Times, August 3, 2003
Your skin needs protection even as it offers itself as your body's first line of defense against the outside world. Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations during its daily encounters with stray microorganisms, streams of ultraviolet light and a barrage of pollutants.
Tending to your skin, keeping a clear complexion while safeguarding your well-being, requires proper feeding, watering and tender, loving care.
Your skin not only has to protect you, it has to look good while doing it. Unfortunately, much can go wrong with skin. One of the most common skin irregularities is the acne that often arises when pores clog and inflammation creates unsightly blemishes.
While conventional medicine has long insisted that your chances of developing pimples are unrelated to what you feed your body and your skin, recent studies are calling that accepted wisdom into question.
Research in the Archives of Dermatology (12/02) argues that today's pimples are linked to what you ate yesterday. Skin scientists now suspect that the typical American diet, filled with refined foods, sugars and simple starches, causes the exaggerated release of insulin and related secretions that foment pimples and blemishes.
The evidence: When researchers spent two years combing through the rainforests of New Guinea and trekking to remote parts of Paraguay, they took a close look at indigenous people's faces and couldn't find a single pimple. The inhabitants of these isolated areas eat homegrown food and wild game. They've never eaten crackers or cookies from a box or slurped a milkshake through a straw. And they've never had to cope with embarrassing acne.
The researchers concluded that no refined foods meant no blemishes.
Refining the Pimple Process
According to this latest theory, pimples can start when your digestive tract quickly absorbs refined, starchy carbohydrates from white bread or potatoes or Sugary soft drinks. These foods are ranked at or near the top of the so-called glycemic index. That means that these foodstuffs cause your blood sugar to climb rapidly, the process that the glycemic index measures.
That rise in blood sugar causes the release of insulin from your pancreas into your bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone-like substance, helps cells soak up the excess sugar circulating in your blood. However, along with insulin, another substance, is also released. These two chemicals boost the production of testosterone, the male hormone that, in turn, can cause the skin to overproduce sebum, an oily goo that plugs up pores and gives birth to acne. (Previous research has already established the causal relationship of testosterone to pimples.)
Lorain Cordain, PhD, a health professor at Colorado State University and lead researcher in this study, points out that more than 80% of the grains we eat are highly refined and cause significant blood sugar increases, a factor that makes skin break out. In addition, he says, teens are especially susceptible to pimples because they are growing rapidly and, as a result, tend to be insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means it takes more insulin to persuade cells to take sugar out of the blood. This condition consequently results in even larger amounts of insulin being released and more skin blemishes being created.
According to Dr. Cordain, eating low-glycemic foods like whole grains, vegetables, fish and lean meat should lower your risk of acne. These foods don't bump up blood sugar as much, to be released and, as a result, are kinder to your skin.
Aside from improving your skin condition by improving the food you eat, taking supplements to help the bacteria in your lower digestive tract may also clear up your undesirable dermatological developments. Eczema, a discomforting and embarrassing skin inflammation, is now believed to depend on the interaction between intestinal bacteria and your immune system.
According to research in Finland (The Lancet 2001; 357:1076), eczema may appear on your skin when your immune system, influenced by the gut's bacteria, misbehaves, using unnecessary inflammation to defend against a non-existent infection that it mistakenly believes threatens the skin.
Atopic eczema, a variety of eczema that often runs in families, has long been known to be linked to allergies and immune overreactions.
In looking into the fact that more and more people have been suffering eczema, scientists came to the disturbing conclusion that this increase may be at least partly attributed to our obsession with cleanliness.
When we are young, our immune systems learn the proper ways to fight off germs by interacting with the bacteria and viruses they encounter. But during the past ten years, so many of us (and our parents) have kept our houses so neurotically spic-and-span, according to the latest theory, that our immune systems are failing to develop the proper responses. So, like a bored, inexperienced security guard who imagines a threat when there is none, our immune defenses are going slightly haywire, causing the defensive inflammation of eczema even in the absence of real bacteriological invasions. The possible solution: Probiotic supplements of harmless bacteria like Lactobacillus GG. This bacteria, similar to the friendly bacteria that live in our large intestines, seems to calm immunity so that it is less likely to panic and start an unnecessary inflammation.
These supplements are so safe, medical researchers are now giving them to pregnant women and newborn babies. In the research in Finland, giving these probiotics to mothers and newborns cut the rate of infant atopic eczema in half. (Similar, live bacteria are also found in yogurt, although yogurt should not be fed to newborns.)
The skin on these children is benefiting for long periods of time. "Our findings show that the preventive effect of Lactobacillus GG on atopic eczema in at-risk children extends to the age of 4 years," notes Marko Kalliomäki, MD, author of the study.
Tea Tree Help
Further natural skin help can be had from Australia in the form of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). Long revered by the aborigines of this continent, tea tree oil was allegedly given its English name by British sea captain James Cook, who used the plant to make a tea that improved the flavor of beer.
But Australians have long used tea tree oil as an antiseptic. Its popularity increased during World War II, when, after it was used as a lubricant on heavy machinery, mechanics who got the oil on their hands noticed it fought skin infections. As pointed out in The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook (Three Rivers Press), "The essential oil of tea tree...contains a number of terpenes, of which terpinen-4-ol is believed to be responsible for its beneficial anti-infective activity." Terpenes are special, beneficial types of protein found in essential oils.
Tea tree is especially useful against skin outbreaks caused by fungus infections. Research in Australia shows that it can help quell athlete's foot (Austr Jrnl Derm 1992; 33:145) as effectively as some pharmaceutical preparations. Other research confirms that it can help quiet many different fungi that cause unsightly skin outbreaks (Skin Pharm 1996; 9:388). The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook recommends that "every household should keep some tea tree oil close at hand. It can be applied directly to skin irritations."
Revered by the pharaohs' healers in Egypt during the ancient age of the pyramids, and depended upon for centuries by the Greeks for a variety of medicinal purposes, chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is still employed for a range of skin problems. This botanical helps ease abscesses, bruises or sunburn, and is included in many massage oils. (But never apply chamomile's undiluted essential oil to the skin.)
In addition, creams and sprays with chamomile are used to calm the nerves and nourish the skin. As an element in aromatherapy, chamomile, whose odor has been compared to apples, is well-known for soothing and rejuvenating the spirit. Explaining exactly how chamomile heals and calms has not been easy for scientists. Essential oils like chamomile contain so many different natural chemicals that exploring their holistic effect on the human body requires detailed analysis. As an aromatherapeutic agent, researchers believe chamomile and other essential oils may interact with the brain, activating glands that stimulate healing systems within the body. But that has yet to be proven.
What has been proven is that herbs like chamomile and tea tree, and natural treatments like probiotics, can make a big difference in keeping your skin healthy and clear. With their help, you can present your best face to the world.
Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness.
June 10, 2005 10:06 PM
Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness. by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, December 6, 1999
Most folks wouldn't seek the distressing distinction of suffering chronic fatigue syndrome. Aside from a dizzying array of discomforts associated with the malady, the lack of a definitive cause, and few remedies offered by the medical establishment, scornful skeptics lob accusations of laziness or boredom or just plain moodiness. "Snap out of it!" they say, with little sympathy or understanding. "Just get moving!"
But if you're one of more than 3 million Americans affected by chronic fatigue, you know your problem is not all in your head. Your symptoms are real and they extend far beyond mere tiredness. In addition to a debilitating sense of fatigue that can make everyday existence feel like an overwhelming struggle, you may suffer from impaired concentration and memory, recurrent sore throats, nagging headaches, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and fitful sleep. The persistence of any one of these effects alone could be debilitating, but the overall diminished capabilities of the chronic fatigue sufferer can become the most discouraging aspect of the disease.
But before you give up hope on kicking this energy-sucking ailment, look to natural ways to boost your immune system and regain your stamina for a more healthy and productive life. New research points to powerful, energy enhancing supplements which, combined with a nutritious diet and stress reducing techniques, can help you reclaim your body from a swamp of sluggishness.
Part of the public's misconceptions about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may stem from vague definitions of exactly what it is and its causes.
In the '80s, CFS was often mentioned in the same breath as the Epstein-Barr virus, which garnered much notoriety as the "yuppie flu": a state of chronic exhaustion that often plagued young, overworked professionals, as the media trumpeted. CFS was initially thought to be the result of the Epstein-Barr virus, and the two were often considered to be the same thing. Since the Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis, the term "chronic mono" was also thrown around to refer to long-lasting states of fatigue.
Today, CFS is defined as a separate disorder from the Epstein-Barr syndrome. Researchers have found that CFS is not caused exclusively by the Epstein-Barr virus or any other single infectious disease agent. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, CFS may have multiple causes, in which viruses or other infectious agents might have a contributory role. Some of these additional possible culprits include herpes simplex viruses, candida albicans (yeast organisms), or parasites.
According to the CDC, a person can be definitively diagnosed with CFS when she or he experiences severe chronic fatigue for six months or longer that is not caused by other medical conditions, and must have four or more of the following problems recurrently for six consecutive months: tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, multi-joint pain without swelling or redness, substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat, headaches, unrefreshing sleep and postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours.
Even if you are not diagnosed with CFS, you could still probably use some help in fending off fatigue. You may suffer from another poorly understood condition like fibromyalgia, which causes similar symptoms of exhaustion and pain with additional stomach discomfort. You may cope with another ailment like hypoglycemia or low thyroid function that zaps your energy. Or you could be like almost every stressed-out American adult trying to do it all at the expense of your well-being. Though researchers still search for a definitive cause for CFS, one thing is certain: Constant stress and poor nutritional habits weaken the immune system's ability to ward off a host of debilitating viruses and organisms. So before you run yourself down and succumb to a chronic condition, learn how you can build up your defenses now.
Some of the most exciting new research in CFS treatments focuses on NADH or Coenzyme 1, an energy-enhancing nutritional supplement. This naturally-occurring substance is present in all living cells including food, although cooking destroys most of it. Coenzymes help enzymes convert food and water into energy and NADH helps provide cellular fuel for energy production. It also plays a key role in cell regulation and DNA repair, acts as a potent antioxidant, and can reportedly improve mental focus and concentration by stimulating cellular production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin.
A recent study conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and reported in the February 1999 issue of The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, showed that chronic fatigue sufferers improved their condition significantly by taking Enada, the stabilized, absorbable, oral form of NADH. The researchers found that 31% of those who took the supplement achieved significant improvement in relief of their symptoms, and a follow up study showed that 72% achieved positive results over a longer period of time.
Coenzyme-A and Coenzyme Q-10 (Co-Q10) are related coenzymes also necessary for energy production.
According to Erika Schwartz, M.D., and Carol Colman, authors of Natural Energy: From Tired to Terrific in 10 Days (G.P. Putnam's Sons) CoQ10 in combination with the nutrient carnitine enhances cellular energy production, thereby boosting energy levels. Coenzyme-A is required to initiate the chemical reactions that involve the utilization of CoQ10 and NADH for the production of energy at the cellular level.
Another important energy-enhancing nutrient is D-ribose, a simple sugar that is crucial to many processes in your body. D-ribose stimulates the body's production of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, an energy-rich chemical compound that provides the fuel for all body functions. D-ribose is essential to the manufacture of ATP and maintaining high levels of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles.
In addition to these new nutrients, a host of more familiar vitamins and minerals can help banish fatigue. According to Susan M. Lark, M.D., author of the Chronic Fatigue Self Help Book (Celestial Arts) nutritional supplements help stimulate your immune system, glands and digestive tract, promote proper circulation of blood and oxygen, and provide a calming effect. Some of Lark's recommended nutrients for building and regaining strength include:
Vitamin A: Helps protect the body against invasion by viruses that could trigger CFS, as well as bacteria, fungi and allergies. Supports the production and maintenance of healthy skin and mucous membranes, the body's first line of defense against invaders. Also supports the immune system by boosting T-cell activity and contributing to the health of the thymus, the immune-regulating gland.
Vitamin B Complex: Depression and fatigue can result from the body's depletion of B vitamins, which can occur from stress or drinking too many caffeinated beverages. Studies have provided preliminary evidence that CFS patients have reduced functional B vitamin status (J R Soc Med 92 , Apr. 1999: 183-5). The 11 factors of B complex are crucial to glucose metabolism, stabilization of brain chemistry and inactivation of estrogen, which regulate the body's levels of energy and vitality. n Vitamin C: Helps prevent fatigue linked to infections by stimulating the production of interferon, a chemical that can limit the spread of viruses. Helps fight bacterial and fungal infections by maintaining healthy antibody production and white blood cells. Also necessary for production of adrenal gland hormones which help prevent exhaustion in those under stress.
Bioflavonoids: Help guard against fatigue caused by allergic reactions; their anti-inflammatory properties prevent the production of histamine and leukotrienes that promote inflammation. Bioflavonoids like quercetin are powerfully antiviral.
Vitamin E: Has a significant immune stimulation effect and, at high levels, can enhance immune antibody response.
Zinc: Immune stimulant; improves muscle strength and endurance. Constituent of many enzymes involved in metabolism and digestion. n Magnesium and Malic Acid: Important for the production of ATP, the body's energy source. Magnesium is also important for women who may develop a deficiency from chronic yeast infections.
Potassium: Enhances energy and vitality; deficiency leads to fatigue and muscle weakness.
Calcium: Combats stress, nervous tension and anxiety.
Iodine: Necessary to prevent fatigue caused by low thyroid function, as it is crucial for the production of the thyroid hormone thyroxin.
In addition to nutrients to bolster your immunity, herbal remedies can also help suppress viral and candida infections. Garlic is a powerful, natural antibiotic, while echinacea and goldenseal have strong anti-infective abilities. Other botanicals help combat tiredness and depression: stimulating herbs such as ginger, ginkgo biloba, licorice root and Siberian ginseng can improve vitality and energy. For anxiety, moodiness and insomnia try passionflower or valerian root, which both have a calming effect on the central nervous system.
Eating For Energy
Supplements can only do their best if you eat a nutritious diet. Start by cutting out large quantities of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy products, red meat and fat.
But what are the best foods when trying to restore energy or recover from illness? "High nutrient content foods with a good balance of proteins and carbohydrates," answers Jennifer Brett, ND, interim clinic director and chair of botanical medicine at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine.
"You want foods with high nutritional value-that's where vegetables end up looking better than fruit."
Brett enthusiastically pushes that "universal food," as she calls it: chicken soup.
"In China," she says, laughing, "they do make chicken soup, and they do think of it as healing, because they add astragalus and shiitake mushrooms. Vegetable soups with chicken or fish have high nutritional value and are easy to digest."
The same principle applies to juices, Brett says. Juices are a good way to tastefully get more phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables into your diet. Toss in protein powder, and you can make a complete meal in your blender.
"You get more energy from juicing," she explains, "more accessible nutrients and carbohydrates that are not bound up in fiber." Brett's additional recommendation: oatmeal.
"It's got protein and carbohydrates combined with a lot of minerals, which you may not get from a Sugary cereal," she says. "Sure, they spray some vitamins on them, but if you don't drink the milk in the bottom of the bowl, you'll miss out on them. You might as well take a multivitamin."
Look to fiber for superior energy enhancement. Natural Energy author Schwartz calls it downright "miraculous": "In terms of conserving precious energy, fiber-rich foods are your cells' best friends," she writes. "It takes smaller quantities of them to give you a full, satisfied feeling. They release all their benefits slowly, which allows the cells to extract nutrients with much less effort. Then these fiber-rich foods graciously leave the body with ease and efficiency." Among these "slow burn" foods that Schwartz says raise blood sugar slowly and steadily and maintain energy evenly:
Alfalfa sprouts-high in fiber and low in cholesterol.
Apples-one medium unpeeled provides 10% of the recommended daily fiber dose; unlike sweeter fruits, which are rich in healthful fiber, they help regulate blood sugar.
Broccoli-along with such greens as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens and broccoli rabe, it's packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals n Brown rice, wild rice, other whole grains-fiber treasure troves, including barley, quinoa, millet and buckwheat.
Corn-excellent fiber source.
Lentils and other legumes-high in fiber, delicious beans are rich in culinary possibilities.
Oat bran and wheat bran-mix into yogurt or add to cereal for the best available access to fiber.
Popcorn-an excellent snack.
Citrus for More Energy
If constant colds and infections are draining your energy, healthy helpings of citrus fruit may be the pickup you need. According to Robert Heinerman, in Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices (Parker), citrus fruit have been used for more than a thousand years as natural remedies for a wide variety of ailments:
Kumquat juice is supposed to help clear up bronchitis. Lemon juice with a pinch of table salt eases a sore throat. Lime juice in warm water soothes aches and cramps from the flu. Tangerine juice can break up mucous congestion in the lungs. Along with citrus' vitamin C, these fruits also supply carotenoids, antioxidants that provide disease-preventing benefits. Citrus also often contain calcium, potassium, folate (a B vitamin that fights against heart disease), iron and fiber.
Fruits are loaded with phytochemicals, naturally occurring chemicals that give fruit their vibrant colors. Yellow, red and orange fruits are also high in flavonoids, like quercetin, a substance which fights cancer. Quercetin also aids in prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration, according to author Stephanie Beling, MD, in her book Power Foods (Harper Collins).
Even the US Department of Agriculture agrees on this flavonoid's benefits, noting in its phytochemical database that quercetin is an "antitumor promoter, antiasthmatic, anticarcinogenic, antiplaque, cancer-preventive, capillariprotective." (Quercetin is also available as a supplement.)
Don't Avoid Avocados
For a vitamin rich food, few items beat the avocado which holds vitamins E and C as well as some B vitamins (B6, niacin, riboflavin). A significant source of beta carotene, though not nearly as much as carrots or sweet potatoes, avocados also contain high amounts of the minerals potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
Just 15 grams of avocado delivers about 81 international units of vitamin A as beta carotene. Beta carotene, a carotenoid in fruits and vegetables, is converted to vitamin A in the body. This vitamin, aside from providing antioxidant protection from damaging free radicals, is necessary for good eyesight, healthy skin and healing.
In addition, the avocado, like all of these healthy foods, tastes great. Which means that you can pep up and not have to sacrifice taste for zest.
Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
Remember that the path to wellness begins in your mind. Stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation and massage and aromatherapy can have a great rejuvenating effect on your body. If you can learn to handle stress effectively instead of letting it control you-and strengthen your system with the right nutrients and diet-you'll find that fatigue can be a sporadic visitor rather than a chronic companion.