Search Term: " millet "
Finger millet is a nutritional powerhouse: A review of the nutrients it offers
June 29, 2018 09:54 AM
Millet tends to get short shrift in the US, since it’s grown mostly in semi-arid Asian and African climes, but it’s very nutritious, especially the variety known as finger millet. Finger millet’s five layer seed coat (called the testa) is rich in a variety of micro and macro nutrients, amino acids, dietary fiber, protein and phenols. Finger millet shows promise for the management of diabetes and conditions associated with high cholesterol. It has a remarkable ability to lower blood sugar. Most of the nutritional value is in the seed coat/testa, so always get the whole grain variety!
"While millet may not be as popular as other types of cereals, researchers from the G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology have argued that it deserves more recognition because it is a nutritional powerhouse."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-06-26-finger-millet-is-a-nutritional-powerhouse-a-review-of-the-nutrients-it-offers.html
The 5 health benefits of eating Millet you never knew
October 10, 2017 01:14 PM
Millet is a crop that is native to Africa and Asia, and is considered a primary source of both carbs and proteins for inhabitants close to where it is grown. Millet is garnering attention from scientists because it is almost impervious to insects and diseases, lending important components to the plant's potential positive impact of benefitting the health of those who ingest it. Millet has five main benefits, including anticancer attributes, it may play a pivotal role in stopping type 2 diabetes, it has a positive impact on the cardiovascular system, it may aid in partially lowering cholesterol, and finally, millet aids in positively impacting bowel health and movements.
"The nutritional value of Millet is also what is making this crop more attractive for western nations."
Read more: https://www.emaxhealth.com/13644/5-health-benefits-eating-millet-you-never-knew
Importance of Magnesium in the body.
May 08, 2014 08:48 PM
Importance of magnesium
Magnesium is an important element that is essential for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. Its functions is to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, regulates blood glucose levels and aids the production of energy and protein, helps bones remain strong, supports a healthy immune system and lastly, keeps the heart beat steady.
Cause of lack in magnesium
Lack of magnesium causes many diseases. Substantial magnesium deficiencies have led to deaths caused by coronary diseases, diabetes, cancer and strokes. On the other hand mild magnesium deficiency causes nervousness, mental depression, increased sensitivity to noise, confusion, insomnia, twitching and trembling and apprehension.
Sources of magnesium are from foods we eat
Symptoms indicating lack of magnesium are: sleepiness, muscle weakness and hyperexcitablity.
Magnesium works in the brain miraculously as remarked by many scientists through researches. Magnesium L-Threonate has the capability to cross into the brain and boost magnesium levels. Magnesium L-Threonate boosts magnesium levels in the brain in that, it maintains a state of healthy sustained action. Through maintaining this healthy homeostasis, mental demands in the brain can respond well and perform cognitive responsibilities with less stress and fatigue.
The blood-brain barrier is a diffusion barrier, which impedes influx of most compounds from blood to brain. It is composed of high-density cells that prevent passage of substances from the blood stream, but in a more action than the endothelial cells in the capillaries do in other parts of the body. Due the reasons, why most magnesium supplements do not cross blood barrier magnesium Threonte was introduced. Threonate is a vitamin C metabolite that acts as a carrier to help magnesium to penetrate into the brain.
Can You Eat Too Much Bran?
October 11, 2011 11:51 AM
Bran is the hard external covering of a grain which serves as a structure protecting the germ inside the grain. The bran was once considered as a disposable product of a milling process for the production of whole and refined grains. However, nowadays, because of the knowledge that the bran has high fiber content, it is sold as dietary fiber source. Studies reveal that when bran is removed from the grain, the grain dropped a significant portion of its nutritional value. Bran may be produced from milling grains such as rice, corn, wheat, oats, barley and millet. Bran is very high in fiber and certain nutrients such as minerals and antioxidants.
Indeed, there are many health benefits of consuming bran in the diet. However, it is not a surprise that many people nowadays inquire on the effect of consuming too much bran because more and more people are becoming more health - conscious. Clinical studies and intensive research on bran consumption have revealed that there is no life - threatening side effects of eating too much bran everyday. However, hardly than ever, certain individuals may experience intestinal obstruction because of the high fiber content of grain bran. But health experts state that there is nothing to worry a lot because the health benefits of such fiber content of bran outweigh the unwanted effects. Many doctors are also highly recommending that individuals must set limits on how much bran to consume.
One study has revealed that the primary problem of eating too much bran is that is consists of the chemical substance known as phytobezoars. These are large fiber molecules which are considered to be very useful among animals but indigestible on the digestive system of man. Though this is indigestible, it is not harmful once consumed in sufficient amounts and in moderation. If taken excessively, it may accumulate and build inside the digestive tract thereby increasing the chance of intestinal obstruction. Initial studies are also being conducted whether a high fiber diet can negatively cause effect of the normal levels of cholesterol and lipid in the blood. Dietary fiber significantly lowers the absorption rate of cholesterol from the diet. The mechanism of this effect is that bile acids which are required for the emulsification, digestion and absorption of fats and cholesterol are influenced by fiber. Bile acids are attracted by dietary fiber which is then attached to each other. If bile acids are attached to fiber, it cannot perform its task on breaking down fat molecules so that it can be absorbed by the body.
But instead, it will be readily eliminated together with the fiber. As a result this can cause decreased cholesterol level. Indeed, this is a positive effect. However, if dietary fiber is excessively consumed, possibility might also be extremely low levels of cholesterol and lipids in the blood. These substances are required by the body in normal amount for proper growth and development and maintenance of health. The levels must be regulated since excessively high might lead to diseases that might be life – threatening such as atherosclerosis and heart attack.
What Is Fiber?
July 21, 2008 02:56 PM
Fiber often has been called roughage, as it technically is a food component that is undigested and processed through the gastrointestinal tract. Since it readily absorbs water, it helps to add to the bulk that is required in order to form a good bowel movement. Fiber is often described as a complex carbohydrate, which consists of the polysaccharide and lignin substance that often gives structure to the cell of a plant and is the portion of plant food that is not digested.
Fiber which is insoluble has the capability of passing through the intestines intact and unchanged. Unlike fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, fiber does not give the body nutrients or fuel for energy, and has no caloric value. Dietary fiber can only be found in plant components including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Primarily, there are only two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble, with some foods containing both types.
Soluble fiber is eventually digested in the large intestine, causing it to have limited bulking power. Soluble fibers dissolve in water and have often been linked to helping prevent blood sugar highs and lows, helping to lower blood cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease, helping to control high blood pressure, and encouraging friendly bacteria growth. Soluble fiber can be found in pectin, lignin, gums, mucilages, and other sources such as psyllium, beans, apples, pears, and oat bran.
Soluble fiber doesn’t usually seem like fiber. It is digestible and, when broken down, it creates a gel as it absorbs water in the intestinal tract. It does not bulk the stool to the extent of insoluble fiber, but it does slow down the rate at which food is digested. Soluble fiber is found in vegetables, particularly onions, bulbs, leeks, and asparagus, and also fruits, including dried varieties.
Insoluble fiber remains undigested for the most part and promotes a faster stool transit time. Insoluble fiber can keep the bowel clean and operative and also help to bind dangerous toxins and hormones in order to promote better excretion. Insoluble fiber also fosters regularity in the body, contributes to better digestion, prevents constipation, and helps to lower the risk of bowel disease.
Insoluble fiber is primarily composed of cellulose and hemicelulose. Cellulose is a non-digestible form of fiber, found in outer portions of vegetables and fruits. Bran or seed covering of whole grains is another type of insoluble fiber. Hemicellulose fibers remain unchanged and absorb water as they travel the digestive tract. They increase stool bulk and transit time, preventing constipation and conditions like hemorrhoids. Stalks, stems, peels, and fruit and vegetable skins are all made up of insoluble fiber. However, the insoluble fiber content of fruits is actually found in its flesh and stringy membranes, rather than its peelings.
The average person needs a good variety of foods that contribute to at least 35 grams of dietary fiber in our diet daily. Most foods contain both types of fiber, but the ones that are most fiber rich are not usually the ones that we commonly eat. Whole grain cereal, raw fruits and vegetables, split peas, beans, lentils, millet, and barley are the best sources of fiber. Unfortunately, statistics have shown that most of us only get 9 grams of fiber each day, if we are lucky.
Finally, fiber has the ability to increase fecal bulk by retaining water, decrease stool transit time, keep blood sugar levels more stable, lower blood serum and liver cholesterol, help prevent weight gain by slowing the rate of digestion and absorption and controlling hunger, expediting the removal of dangerous toxins, binding with bile salts to help decrease the risk of gallbladder disease and certain types of cancer, and creating the presence of healthier intestinal bacteria.
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!
Lose the Gluten - everyone who suffers from food allergies
June 10, 2005 10:20 PM
Lose the Gluten by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, October 14, 2004
Are you a glutton for gluten, the sticky protein found in bagels and many other breads? Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy the taste of fresh-baked bread because it contains this natural substance that can cause allergic reaction or intolerance in susceptible folks.
And while not everyone who suffers from food allergies or intolerances has a problem with gluten, other foods that can cause distress include items like watermelon, fish or even the benign-seeming peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Still, with a little guidance, even if you have an allergy or two, you can enjoy meals and reduce food-related difficulties when you make food choices wisely.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, more than one in 50 adults and one in 12 children in the US suffer food allergies. But the problem may be even larger. Researchers believe even more of us have food allergies and don't know it: many food allergies and intolerances may be mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome or conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome.
The involvement of the immune system in an allergy represents the dividing line between intolerance and allergy. A food allergy strikes when the immune system attacks food ingredients as though they were threatening substances. Usually, proteins trigger these physiological alarms. The most common food allergens include wheat, soy, peanuts, shellfish, eggs, fish, tree nuts, milk and watermelon. Fortunately, many children who suffer allergies outgrow them as their bodies mature.
Signs of a food allergy may include a rash, hives, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, itchy skin, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the airways and a condition called anaphylactic shock, a serious occurrence that can cut off breathing and requires immediate medical help.
If you believe you have a food allergy, see your health practitioner. If you have reasons to suspect an allergy to a particular food, avoid it altogether.
Intolerance Versus Allergy
Food intolerances are more common than allergies. They happen when food irritates the digestive system or offers substances that the digestive tract cannot break down. A food intolerance, however, does not provoke the immune system into an attack. The most common foods that cause intolerance are wheat, rye and barley; they all contain gluten.
Figuring out an intolerance generally requires adding and eliminating foods to gauge your response. Signs can include nausea, stomach pain, gas, cramps, bloating, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, headaches and irritability or nervousness. If you suspect you have a food intolerance, keep a food diary-recording what you eat and how you feel afterwards.
In addition, an elimination diet, wherein you avoid certain foods and track your responses, can help determine food intolerances. After you have dropped certain foods from your diet, reintroduce them, one at a time, until you eat a food that causes a return of your problems. These foods should then be permanently avoided.
Celiac sprue is a particularly severe inflammatory response to wheat or other grains containing gluten. According to the National Science Foundation, one in every 200 Americans suffers from this often misdiagnosed condition. That's more than a million of us!
If left untreated, celiac sprue can cause anemia, contribute to osteoporosis by limiting calcium absorption and increase the risk for intestinal cancer. Signs include headaches, weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, fatigue and neurological symptoms. The only treatment is to avoid all grains that contain gluten.
According to researchers in England, celiac sprue is often mistaken for chronic fatigue syndrome, type 1 diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome and can result in infertility (Med J Austral 2004 May 17; 180(10):524-6). Because sprue can confuse health practitioners, many people spend years trying to find an answer to their discomforts before finding that a gluten-free diet relieves their pain.
According to the Celiac Sprue Association, if you have gluten intolerance you should avoid durum wheat, semolina wheat, rye, kamut, spelt, barley, triticale and often oats. Some people find they can tolerate spelt, a distant cousin to wheat that's high in fiber and contains more protein (talk to your practitioner). Oats are generally well-tolerated by most people with gluten intolerance, but because oats are often processed on the same machinery as wheat, they may have traces of gluten. If you are gluten intolerant, you can still eat rice, corn, soy, potatoes, beans, sorghum, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, arrowroot and amaranth.
Other food ingredients can trouble digestion. They include:
If you have what seem to be allergies and intolerances, fermented foods that contain beneficial bacteria (probiotics) can aid the functioning of your digestive tract. Yogurt, kefir, buttermilk and sauerkraut supply active bacterial cultures and are generally easy to tolerate because they are predigested. According to researchers at Tufts University, yogurt can improve your digestive health and soothe difficulties linked to allergies and intolerances (AJCN 2004 Aug; 80(2):245-56).
In addition, yogurt and other probiotic foods have been found to reduce the recurrence of irritable bowel flare-ups and may help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Yogurt improves gut microflora, increases bowel transit time and enhances immune response. Probiotics are also available as supplements.
If you have problems with certain foods or additives, becoming an amateur food detective can make meals more pleasant. Before eating a packaged food, always read the label; if you are unsure of the ingredients, contact the food manufacturer. But, in any uncertain situation, if you are in doubt of a food's ingredients, do without. Better to avoid food problems than realize too late that you've eaten a food that has upset your digestion.
Some people find their food intolerance comes and goes, often depending upon the amount eaten and how often a food is consumed. For example, some people with lactose intolerance find they can have a little milk in their coffee or on their breakfast cereal one day a week, but have problems if they drink milk on two consecutive days.
While deciphering which foods in your diet cause you problems can be time consuming, the reward for eliminating these nutrients, better digestion, is great. Don't give up! Persevere and, eventually your digestion will thank you.
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.