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Water, Fitness, and Fat-Loss

You’ve probably heard that you need to drink plenty of water in order to drop weight, but did you ever wonder why? What does water have to do with decreasing your calories and increasing your activity level in an effort to shed pounds?

1. Water is a natural appetite suppressant

Fill your stomach with a glass of water before each meal and you will find that you won’t eat as much. This also works on snacking throughout the day, keep hydrated all day long and watch as your desire to snack decreases.

2. Water increases your body’s ability to efficiently metabolize fat

This process begins with your kidneys receiving enough water to function at their peak, which in turn helps your liver reach optimal efficiency in removing toxins and waste from your blood. With your liver working at maximum capacity, fat will be metabolized at a higher rate. This means a decrease in your overall body fat. (And who doesn’t want that?)

3. Water is the perfect substitute for high calorie beverages

Want to super-charge your fitness results this summer? Well, this is the most effective way to utilize water toward your waist-shrinking efforts. Most of us consume more than our share of calorie-packed beverages. Smoothies, shakes, frozen mochas, soft drinks…you get the idea. When you trade your high calorie beverages in for a tall glass of water you will expedite your results in a major way.

The Other Side of the Story…

Now you know that drinking sufficient amounts of water will help you reach your fitness goals faster than ever, but you should also know that failing to drink enough water comes with serious consequences…

* Your body will shift into “preserve” mode – which means you will store more fat.
* Bodily functions will slow – leading to an overall decrease in energy levels. * Headaches will become an expected nuisance – your brain is over 70% water.

To avoid dehydration here are 5 Hydration Tips:

Tip #1: Caffeinated beverages – such as coffee, soft drinks or energy drinks – cause your body to lose water. After you enjoy a dose of caffeine replace the lost water by drinking 2 times that amount in water.

Tip #2: Add a slice of lemon to your water to spice things up.

Tip #3: Always carry water with you throughout your day – keep a bottle in the car, at your workplace and next to your bed.

Tip #4: Exercise and hot summer days both increase your body’s water requirements – make a mental note to drink before, during and after exercise or while out on a hot day.

Tip #5: Make it a habit to begin your day with a large glass of water then drink a glass before each meal and one between meals.

 

Green Foods Benefits

The green color of green foods comes from the phytochemical chlorophyll which is the equivalent, in plants, of the oxygen-carrying red pigment hemoglobin in our red blood cells. Chlorophyll has been shown to have beneficial effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, immune response, and cancer prevention. Chlorophyll inhibits bacteria that cause disease, bad breath and internal odors.

Chlorella is a green food that is a complete food in itself. Chlorella has massive amounts of chlorophyll and protein as well as high levels of all the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, amino acids and rare trace minerals. Chlorella has more B12 than a equal serving of liver. It’s high RNA and DNA content are believed to fight against the effects of ultraviolet radiation.. Chlorella is a powerful antioxidant that reduces high blood pressure, lowers harmful cholesterol, accelerates wound healing and improves our immune system. Chlorella from green foods, in supplemental form, has been shown to help reduce pain in fibromyalgia, reduce blood pressure and blood fat in hypertension, and help heal and reduce pain in ulcerative colitis. Chlorella has been found to help in the prevention of the growth of tumors because of its glycoproteins that enhance the migration of T cells to tumor sites. Chlorella attaches to heavy metals and dioxin and helps eliminate them from the body.

Spirulina is one of the more well known green foods. Spirulina contains gamma-linolenic acid, linoleic and arachidonic acids, vitamin B 12, essential amino acids, nucleic acids RNA and DNA, chlorophyll and phycocyanin. Spirulina has been found to enhance our immune system, reduce cholesterol and enhance mineral absorption. With it’s high nutrient and protein content, spirulina is especially helpful to people suffering hypoglycemia. Spirulina has been used to assist in the treatment of cancer and HIV because of it ability to aid in nutrient absorption and it’s ability to strengthen the immune system. Sprulina has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, helps reduce blood pressure, helps control symptoms of ulcerative colitis and aids in digestion, helps protect the liver from toxins e.g. heavy metals, and helps reduce allergies. Spirulina and other blue-green algaes are rich in essential fatty acids, phenolic antioxidants, chlorophyll, B vitamins, carotenoids and minerals such as calcium iron, magnesium maganese, potassium and zinc.

Kelp is also a well known green food. Kelp is a seaweed common in Asian food. It is high in B vitamins and iodine content and therefore has been used to aid in the treatment of certain thyroid diseases. Poor thyroid function has been found to be a major factor in the cause of weight gain and obesity. Kelp is also believed to be beneficial to brain tissues and membranes, sensory nerves, spinal cord tissue and blood vessels. The high iodine content in kelp has lead to the use of kelp to combat the effects of radiation.

Wheatgrass contains a large variety of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. People have reported experiencing a definite increase in energy after ingesting wheatgrass. It has been used as an important part of treatments for diseases, such as cancer, immunological disorders, and mental health disorders. Before WWII, tablet of wheatgrass and barley grass was used as a common vitamin supplement, especially throughout the midwest section of our country. Barley grass contains all essential amino acids, chlorophyll, flavonoids, vitamin B 12, vitamin C, minerals and enzymes. Barley grass has been used most often to treat stomach and intestinal disorders as well as being used as an anti-inflammarory.

Alfalfa is one of the most mineral-rich foods on the planet. Alfalfa contains all known vitamins, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It’s mineral content is in naturally balanced form which results in natural maximum absorption. Alfalfa has been used to help treat arthritis, anemia, bleeding gums and even cancer.

Studies have shown that green foods in concentrated supplemental form, eliminates toxins such as heavy metals and increases levels of good bacteria such as lactobacilli that are essential for good digestion and elimination, The oxygen-carrying ability of green foods is extremely effective in digestion of foods for vital nutrients, prevention of fungal growth in intestinal passages that can produce a condition of candida. The oxygen distributing and enhancing quality of green foods is vital for cell function of muscles, organs and brain health.

Green foods contain lutein which is an antioxidant found in high levels in the macula which is an eye tissue. The macula helps tell the brain what the eye is seeing and is responsible for the central vision that enables us to drive, read, and see clearly in general. Lutein also helps reduce macular degeneration and cataract development that occurs with our aging.

Green foods have been found to support cellular metabolism and because of it’s high alkaline content, helps to neutralize excess acidity that leads to acid reflux and general acidity associated with our processed, fast food diets. Green foods with their high enzyme and coenzyme content enhance digestive process and health and the absorption of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. Green foods provide benefits of enhancing the health and appearance of skin, hair and nails and delay the natural effects of aging.

Green foods consumed in supplement, concentrated form through capsule or tablet is a very convenient and important way that we can insure that we are receiving the health benefits of these nutrient packed natural plants. Green Foods, in powdered form, can be added, mixed or blended into juices, added to cooking or combined with fruit or protein powders for energy, help with weight loss or for enhancing general health in a natural way. Optimum health requires providing our bodies with the best possible nutrients for growing and maintaining cellular well ness and function. Green Foods are a super form of these best possible nutrients that will help us live well and long.

 

About Omega Fatty Acids

The most common buzz word these days is the idea of Omega fatty acids or essential fatty acids. These chemical structures are things that the body needs in order to maintain cellular health as well as to prevent inflammation in the body. They also help to maintain the integrity of the nervous system in addition to making sure the body is free from certain illnesses. Studies have linked Omega fatty acids with prevention of cancer, limiting disease growth, as well as helping with mental health disorders. These EFAs (essential fatty acids) can not be produced by the body, so they need to be ingested through the diet or in a supplement form.

There are three different kinds of Omega fatty acids that you will hear about – Omega 3, 6, and 9. Each of these numbers designates that chemical structure, with each ascending number as the longer chain that needs to be broken down by the body. But how they are chemically constructed is usually not the most important point for the everyday person. People want to know what these Omega fatty acids will do for their body.

What Does Omega 3 Do for the Body?

Omega 3 fatty acids are those that are found in oily fishes and in fish oil supplements. These fatty acids are responsible for helping the body create developed neural networks – simply put, they help to build brain power in children as well as adults. Research in the UK has shown that children given EFAs are more likely to score higher on reading tests as well as improve their overall behaviour. Omega 3s are linked with helping those with ADD and ADHD as well, in addition to a variety of other mental health disorders likes OCD and depression. In relation to inflammation in the body, Omega 3 fatty acids can also assist those with arthritis and other autoimmune disorders.

Recent studies from Harvard University have also suggested that Omega 3 fatty acids can also help with high blood pressure and other forms of heart disease. Cancer prevention is another commonly listed benefit of Omega 3 fatty acids.

What Does Omega 6 Do for the Body?

Omega 6 fatty acids are those found in plant sources like nuts and flax seeds. These essential fatty acids have many of the same benefits as Omega 3 fatty acids, but they are not as widely encouraged as those from fish sources.

These fatty acids will still help with inflammation in relation to arthritis and autoimmune diseases, but these EFAs are more commonly referred to in terms of their effect on the skin and hair of the person taking them. Studies have shown that the fatty acids can help to manage acne as well as conditions like psoriasis. Women especially can benefit from Omega 6 fatty acids as they can also help with menstrual disorders and related symptoms.

What Does Omega 9 Do for the Body?

Like its other essential fatty acid family members, Omega 9 fatty acids have a large role to play in relation to the health of the patient. Found in animal fat and vegetable oils, these fatty acids aren’t linked as much with health benefits, but still, they should be a part of a healthy diet.

Cancer prevention as well as heart protection are still possible with Omega 9 fatty acids, but these should be a much smaller part of your diet as they can also include saturated fats, which are harmful to the heart in larger quantities.

How to Get More Essential Fatty Acids in Your Diet

It’s simple to get more Omega fatty acids in your diet if you simply look to where the greatest sources of essential fatty acids are – fishes, flaxseed, and animal fats. By simply making sure to have a few servings of these items each week, you will be able to maintain a healthy level of protection for your body and the stresses it goes through each day.

To make things easier, fish oil supplements are a great way to get the right levels and balance of Omega 3, 6, and 9 in your diet. These pills are easy to take, easy to digest and simple to

 

Vitamin A Benefits

Vitamin A provides very good examples of the holistic functioning of the body’s countless systems; in particular the way in which various nutrients depend upon each other if they’re to operate effectively. A deficiency of the essential mineral, zinc, for example, has an inhibiting effect on the process by which vitamin A is metabolised and activated for use within the body.

Deficiency of vitamin A, on the other hand, is known to contribute to the anaemia caused by iron deficiency. It appears that vitamin A is essential to make iron available for the production of oxygen carrying red blood cells and supplementation with vitamin A has therefore been shown to help in the alleviation of anaemia when combined with the supplements of iron which are of course also necessary.

Not surprisingly, therefore, vitamin A is also required for the proper functioning of the immune system and in particular for the development of the white blood cells which are vital for the body’s effective immune response. Deficiency in vitamin A has been shown to lead to an increase in the incidence and severity of various infectious diseases, including HIV and measles, which remain a major cause of mortality in the developing world, particularly amongst children.

Vitamin A is also known as a powerful anti-oxidant which operates with vitamins C and E, and the minerals selenium and zinc, to destroy both fat and water soluble free radicals. So important is this anti-oxidant role of vitamin A, that some research has suggested it may play a part in combatting certain common cancers, although this issue remains controversial. There are two types of vitamin A of which to be aware; retinol, also known as preformed vitamin A, and the provitamin A carotenoids, of which betacarotene is the most important and best known, which may be converted to retinol within the body. Rich food sources of retinol vitamin A are meat, especially offal such as liver, oily fish and fish liver oil, and dairy produce. Betacarotene and other carotenoids are principally derived from fruits and vegetables.

The US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 3,000 IU (900 mcg) per day for adolescents over 14 and adults. In Europe the recommended figures are slightly lower at 2,664 IU (800 mcg). Both these figures are supposed to be sufficient to obtain the many health benefits of the vitamin, but these are so numerous and important that it is probably wise to regard the RDA as the minimum necessary for the avoidance of deficiency. Supplementing to a total intake of 5,000 IU should ensure optimum benefits and levels of up to 10,000 should do no harm in most cases.

The one very important exception to this is pregnant women and those seeking to become pregnant, for whom intakes of 5,000 IU and above may increase the risk of birth defects. Women in these categories should supplement only with the much less potent betacarotene, if at all, and should also avoid the high retinol foods identified above.

Some caution is required for all people, however, because being fat soluble, vitamin A is stored in the liver and can in rare instances build up to levels which may give rise to problems. Of course this characteristic of the vitamin is not confined to the human liver, and writers on this subject are fond of pointing out by way of example, apparently in all seriousness, that polar bear liver is likely to contain a concentration of vitamin A which is toxic to humans, and should therefore be avoided as a foodstuff.

At the risk of stating the obvious, that’s unlikely to present any significant practical difficulties for most of us. And with the exception of pregnancy, the potentially serious consequences of outright vitamin A toxicity seem generally to have arisen only from very large doses.

So exercise a little common sense, and if you can just manage to steer clear of that polar bear liver you should be able to enjoy the benefits of vitamin A without any problems.

 

Liquid Vitamins Vs Chewable Vitamins

Vitamins and supplements are very popular, especially for those who have active lifestyles and find it difficult to consume the necessary vitamins and minerals they need from the proper meals. Therefore, those with busy lifestyles turn to vitamins and supplements to give their bodies what it needs to carry out day to day activities. Even though you should never replace food with vitamins, vitamins can help you to get the nutrients and minerals you need on a daily basis.

The main reason why liquid vitamins are more effective than pills and tablets is due to the nature of their liquid base. With the vitamins being liquid, they are easier for the body to digest and easily absorbed into the digestive tract as well. Chewable tablets and pills will pass through the body in hard form, making them hard to digest. Liquid is always digested when it passes through, so it will go through your body quicker and take effect faster.

Due to the body having to work less to break down and absorb liquid vitamins, they will pass through the body much faster.

The nutrients and minerals contained in liquid vitamins will reach vital areas faster through the bloodstream, and they are easier to use by the most important organs in your body that need them the most. Liquid is also easy to swallow as well, as you can add the liquid vitamins to your favorite juice or just take it right out of the bottle if you prefer.

With pills or chewable vitamins, the majority of the nutrients and minerals that are contained in the vitamins aren’t normally broken down in the digestive system. With these types of vitamins being in hard form, they are harder for the body to pass at the most crucial moments, where the body needs to have nutrients and minerals. Unless you completely chew up the vitamin, it can stay in hard form until it passes through when you go to the bathroom. If this happens, you are normally just wasting the vitamin as it doesn’t have a chance to get into the bloodstream.

Liquid vitamins have proven themselves to be the best way to get the minerals and nutrients your body needs.

As more and more people discover the benefits of liquid vitamins and how easy they are to digest, they make the switch. Liquid vitamins are far superior to tablets and pills, simply because it tastes better, it’s easier to digest, and it travels through the body faster. You can find many different flavors and types of liquid vitamin supplements at your local nutrition store, or get online and order what you need there. Either way you go – you’ll find liquid vitamins to be the ideal way to get the nutrients you need for you body on a daily basis.

 

Great Benefits of Fish Oil

Some experts believe that taking fish oil (in any form) can help regulate cholesterol in the body,[attribution needed] because fish oil has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The regulation occurs through effects of the EPA and DHA constituents on Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARĪ±). Besides cholesterol regulation, benefits include anti-inflammatory properties and positive effects on body composition. However, the preferred source of Omega 3 should be from the fish’s body, not the liver.

Fish oils are fascinating nutrients. Almost every aspect of our health, physical and mental, is related to the types of fatty acids that make up our cells and tissue, including vision. And it appears that most of us are not ingesting the right kind of fatty acids, the ones found in fish and fish oils. I have discovered that fish oils supplements help eyesight. I have also discovered a combination of herbs and nutrients that improve eyesight within hours. See below. Fish oils are also beneficial for mental health and sexuality.

1. Fish oil prevents heart attack – Dr Alexander Leaf and colleagues at Harvard Medical School found that eating oily fish like salmon or tuna at least twice a week could prevent a heart attack.

2. Fish oil protects against heart disease and stroke – Researchers at Southampton University found that omega-3 fish oil stops the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries, protecting against heart disease and stroke.

3. Reduction of Breast, Colon and Prostate Cancer. And finally, omega 3 fish oil has been shown to help prevent three of the most common forms of cancer – breast, colon and prostate. Science tells us that omega 3s accomplish this in three ways. They stop the alteration from a normal healthy cell to a cancerous mass, inhibiting unwanted cellular growth and causing apoptosis, or cellular death, of cancer cells.

4. Fish oil prevents mothers from giving birth to very small babies – The University of Bristol research team found that a mother-to-be who eats fish during the later stages of pregnancy is less likely to have a very small baby.

5. Stopping the buildup of fatty deposits (triglycerides) in the arteries.

6. Fish oil helps with prostate cancer – The Paterson Institute researchers found that a diet rich in a fat found in oily fish and some seeds may protect men with prostate cancer from developing a more aggressive form.

7. Fish oil reduces the growth of breast cancer – Researchers from Indiana University found that when mixing compounds from omega-3 fatty acids with the anaesthetic propofol, together they appeared to reduce the growth of breast cancer cells.

8. Fish oil reduces inflammation – The researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that a diet high in oily fish like salmon and mackerel may help improve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis; the oily fish diet worked best when combined with low aspirin doses.

9. Protection from Stroke and Heart Attack. When plaque builds up on arterial walls and then breaks loose, it causes what’s known as a thrombosis, which is a fancy way of saying clot. If a clot gets stuck in the brain, it causes a stroke and when it plugs an artery, it causes a heart attack. Research shows omega 3 fatty acids break up clots before they can cause any damage.

10. Fish oils may be helpful to people with lupus since fish oils have anti-inflammatory properties.

11. Fish oil betters brain and visual development in children – Bristol University researchers found that a mother-to-be who eats oily fish is more likely to have children with better brain and vision developments.

12. Fish oil has also been used to treat conditions such as depression, eczema, IBD, macular degeneration and arthritis. Fish oil benefits the heart significantly, as well as the rest of the body.

How much fish oil should adults take?

A good dose for adults is roughly ~6 grams of salmon oil per day with food.
Should everyone take fish oil?

Generally yes. In a minority of cases some individuals feel strange on fish oil and do better on other oil types.

Although you can get the benefits of fish oil from eating cold water fish such as salmon or cod, there is always the danger of mercury contamination as well as other toxins. This is why pregnant women and young children are advised against eating fish.

 

Great Vitamin for Skin

There are vitamins that will clear your skin and maintain it very healthy like vitamin A and Vitamin B, as well as vitamin E and zinc.

Nontheless, you have to research which are the vitamins that will bring the most benefit to your skin. There are 3 antioxidants that will help you prevent the effects that the rays of sun can have on your skin. Expert Dermatologists agree that vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium are the most effective in this matter.

A great benefit of selenium is that slows down the aging process usually caused by oxidation, helps you maintain elasticity and will make your skin be safe from the exposure of the sun.

Vitamin E can prevent cancer properties from arising and tumors stimulated by ultraviolet irradiation exposure. There have been experimentations where vitamin E cut down tumor by 30% in a mice.

It is known that free radicals can turn in to cancer, vitamin C can prevent this effect and also slow the aging of the skin. Vitamin C is the most abundant in the skin, it promotes skin growth and generates collagen.

Those are some of the most used vitamins for skin and if you take them regularly, it will help you prevent cancer and get a beautiful young skin for a long time. Also, there are a lot of products in the market as supplements and creams that make a lot of promises but you should do a proper research. Make sure that the supplements have the vitamins you need for your skin.

 

Arthritis Sufferers Foods

In laboratory studies and trails it has been conclouded that fish oil structure of omega-3,is very usefull in reducing stiff muscles and joint soreness that so many people with arthritis seem to sufferer. But, what is not yet knowen is the appropriate dosage or the lenght of treatment for maximum effectiveness.

It has been found, by the researchers that there are possible side effects to taking fish oil supplementation. The main one being the increasing risk of the ability of blood to clot. For a few people, taking fish oil can affect the lenght of time it will take for their blood to clot. This being the case, if a person is taking medications that affect their blood, it is a very important issue.

Fish oil supplementation has also been shown to interact with blood pressure medications. Apparently, taking fish oil supplements while taking high blood pressure medications may cause their blood pressure to lower significantly.

Another possible risk of supplementing with fish oil is that fish can often contain significant levels of contaminants. Fish are often found to be unsafe because of their mercury level. Consuming fish oils could pose a risk, particularly to young children, and women who are pregnant or nursing. Fishes with the highest levels of mercury include swordfish, tuna, king mackerel, tilefish, and shark.

This risk must be avoided and the best way to do that is to call up the manufacturer and ask about their mercury levels.

The good news: beside these risks, consuming fish oils generally causes very few side effects. The side effects that do exist are relatively minor, and may consist of stomach disturbances and gas.

On the fringe of current arthritis treatment, Glucosamine and Chondroitin have not yet been proven by medical research to have health benefits for arthritis sufferers, so why have these two dietary supplements become all the rage?

The said boffins have done some work on these two supplements with animals and it has been found that anti-inflammatory properties are present in both.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are two dietary supplements that have become popular supplements for treating the symptoms of arthritis. Many faithful users have begun to sing the praises of these two dietary supplements.

The question, as always is : do they really work? Well here is some information to help you decide if these supplements are right for you at this time.

What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is beneficial to sufferers of osteoarthritis pain — both humans and pets.It is found naturally in the body and can be extracted from animal tissue( crab,lobster or shrimp shells ) Glucosamine has been proven effective in easing osteoarthritis pain, rehabilitating cartilage, renewing synovial fluid, and repairing joints that have been damaged from osteoarthritis.

This arthritis supplement is generally well tolerated. However, side effects can occur. The most commonly reported side effects of glucosamine and include:Nausea/Diarrhea/heartburn/increased intestinal gas and constipation

Like Glucosamine, Chondroitin (or Chondroitin sulfate) can also be found in the fluid surrounding the joints. It can also be found in cattle and sharks.

As for Chondroitin, it also appears to be safe for most people. Some medical researchers believe that Chondroitin can worsen pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, allergies, and certain cancers. The most common side effects of Chondroitin include nausea and stomach irritation.

Conclusion: The agreement among doctors is that Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements could well lessen pain in some patients with Osteoarthritis. Many now believe that there is value in trying these supplements for Osteoarthritis. They do appear to be safe, but doctors are warning patients that the quality and effectiveness of Glucosamine and Chondroitin varies because of the non-regulation. If you want to try them, buy high quality products and there is no better then Aloe Vera Freedom with a 60-day money back guarantee.

 

Soy vs Whey Protein for Muscle Building

The Biological Value indicates both how digestible the protein is and how available the protein is for use by the body. Biological value began as a percentage – A whole egg rated at 100% nitrogen absorbed. According to the study conducted by a medical doctor by the name of Aaron Tabor, soy protein versus whey protein has a bigger advantage especially when it comes to your exercise.

Basically, there are a couple of different protein powders. Whey protein is derived from cows milk. Remember that old nursery rhyme, Incy Wincy Spider Well that mentions curds and whey. Basically two parts of milk. Whey protein is obviously taken from the whey part of the milk.

Then theres soy protein. This is the stuff that is made from soy products. Obviously comes from a different place so it will obviously have different properties. The question you want answered is, which is better for muscle building

My answer to this question is whey protein. The answer can get quite involved when you look at it from a scientific point of view, but I’m not a scientist, I’m a bodybuilder, so I’m going to look at it from a bodybuilders point of view )

Basically, it has been shown in various scientific studies that soy protein can lead to higher levels of estrogen in the body. This is the female hormone and something that you don’t want to have more of if you are looking at building muscle.

Firstly, you don’t want estrogen because it has no role in muscle building, it only has a negative impact. Heightened levels of estrogen is what actually causes gynocomastia, or man boobs. And I’m not just talking about the little bit of fat that some guys have, I’m talking about actually growing small amounts of breast tissue.

On the other hand, whey protein can actually cause your body to become more anabolic. Meaning it will build muscle more efficiently. And since you are looking to use whey protein for muscle building, this is the one you want to choose.

 

Facts of Nutritional Labels

Fact #1: Serving Size
This small detail skews the entire label if you don’t read it closely. An item may seem like it is only one serving, but the Nutritional Facts label will consider it to be 2 or 3 servings. If the label says 100 calories, but there are actually 3 servings, then you are getting a total of 300 calories. Pay close attention to what makes a serving.

Fact #2: Calories
Most people don’t have the time to count every calorie that they put in their mouth – this is understandable. However, you probably have a pretty good idea about the amount of food that you eat each day. When you approach a new item, read the calorie totals on the Nutritional Facts label, and factor the new calories into your daily intake. Steer clear of high calorie items – especially in the form of snack foods.

Fact #3: Fat
By now you have undoubtedly heard that all fats were not created equal. Here is a quick 1-2-3 breakdown.

1. Limit your intake of Saturated Fats – this deadly fat contributes to heart disease.

2. Avoid Trans Fats at all costs – not only does it contribute to heart disease, it also raises LDL cholesterol (the bad one).

3. Focus on eating monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – these don’t raise LDL cholesterol and can even help lower blood cholesterol.

As you decide what food to include in your diet, keep your eye on the type and amount of fat included in each item. Remember, all fats were not created equal.

Fact #4: Carbohydrate
Though zero carb diets are losing their momentum, you may have been influenced by the idea that all carbohydrates will make you fat. That is simply not true. It is true, however that some carbohydrates are healthier than others. In fact, medical experts think that excess consumption of refined carbohydrates (such as soda pop, white rice, and white flour) are one of the reasons behind the rise of obesity we see today.

Choose fibrous, complex carbohydrates over sugary, simple carbohydrates.

Fact #5: Protein
The fact stands that most of us are getting plenty of protein in our diet. The problem arises when we examine the source of this protein. Meats and dairy products that are high full of fat may be filled with protein, but they aren’t the healthiest form of protein. Choose protein from lean meats, dry beans, poultry, and low fat/fat free dairy products.

Fact #6: The Good Stuff
Directly beneath the protein count on the Nutritional Facts label you will see the percent daily value of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron that the food item contains. These numbers are easily overlooked, but hold great importance to your overall health. The more nutrient-rich food items provide you with the greatest benefit per calorie. Compare food brands and choose the most nutrient-rich option.

 

Folic Acid and Cancer

The term folic acid may be confusing to some, because it is in fact one of the most important and heavily researched of the B complex of vitamins and widely used in this form as a dietary supplement. In the form of folate compounds the vitamin is also found naturally in the body as well as in various common foods.

Folic acid is essential for a large number of biochemical reactions within the body, including the metabolism of energy from food, but is particularly important in ensuring that the continual process of cell division within the body proceeds normally. This is especially vital during the rapid development and production of new cells during the first weeks after conception. Inadequate intake of folates and/or folic acid in the early stages of pregnancy has been identified as a cause of what are known as “neural tube defects” which lead to inadequate or abnormal development of the foetal brain and spinal cord.

One of the most dreaded diseases which may result from these problems is spina bifida, but the incidence of this has been shown to be reduced by 75% when folic acid supplements of 400 mcg are taken during the first three months of pregnancy. Folic acid supplements are recommended because they are much more easily absorbed, “bioavailable” in the jargon, than folates from food.

It would in fact be difficult to obtain sufficient supplies of this nutrient from ordinary food sources. Supplementation is therefore recommended for all women of child bearing age because the need for this nutrient is at its most critical in the very early days of a pregnancy, possibly before the mother is even aware of her condition.

This is not to say, however, that a diet rich in folates should not still be followed, because amongst the best and most readily available sources of folates are leafy green vegetables, and orange juice which also provide a plentiful supply of valuable anti-oxidants and are extremely beneficial to general health.

A single cup of spinach or asparagus, for example, may provide as much as 130 or more micrograms (mcg) of folate; a small glass of orange juice perhaps 80 mcg. Pulses such as beans and lentils are also good sources, the latter providing around 180 mcg in just half a cup, beans between 80 and 140 mcg according to type.

Best of all, however, is fortified breakfast cereal, a single cup of which may yield between 200 and 400 mcg, reflecting the FDA’s insistence on the addition of folic acid to refined grain foods, including bread.

Although this policy is driven mostly by a desire to protect the unborn, the more general advice to consume at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day has also been put forward as a protector against cancer. Certainly such a diet would be rich in folates, and research suggests a strong association between folate deficiency and an increased incidence of certain of the more common cancers, including those of the cervix, colon and rectum, lung, oesophagus and breast. It is thought that the association may arise because of the role of folate in DNA repair within cells, DNA damage being regarded as a principal cause of cancer.

However, conventional medicine remains reluctant to accept folic acid supplementation as a possible weapon in the battle against cancer, even though one large scale study has reported a halving of breast cancer risk in women taking more than 600 mcg daily. For reasons which are not understood, however, this protective effect was only observed in the case of those women who also consumed at least one alcoholic drink per day. In general it can be said that the link between folic acid intake and cancer risk remains a matter of association rather than clear causation, but orthodox opinion is much less cautious in recommending a high intake of folates from food.

But not surprisingly, given the potential benefits, nutritional therapists are much less a cautious in recommending folic acid supplementation at levels far in excess of the officially Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 400 mcg (0.4 mg) a day; some suggesting as much as 10 mg (10,000 mcg). And in fact there appears little reason for concern over the ingestion of such apparently large amounts.

Although the US Food and Nutrition Board has recommended that folic acid intake should be limited to 1,000 mcg (1 mg) per day, this is not so much because of possible problems with such an intake of folic acid in itself, but rather because it may cure a particular type of anaemia which is one of the symptoms of an underlying deficiency of vitamin B12. Whilst you might think that such a cure would be beneficial, the problem is that it may mask the underlying vitamin B12 deficiency with potentially serious neurological consequences.

But the solution to the problem would seem straightforward. It is simply to ensure that a generous supply of vitamin B12 is obtained along with any folic acid taken. And this should not be difficult if the vitamins are taken as part of a supplement containing the entire B complex, as is always recommended. As with all vitamins supplements, they should for maximum effectiveness be taken in conjunction with a comprehensive multi-mineral.

 

Phytonutrients and Antioxidant Foods

Phytonutrients are nutrients found in the skins of several fruits and vegetables, which give the food color as well as flavor and scent. Phytonutrients are quite simply the best types of antioxidant foods that you can find anywhere. If you are looking for a supplement value, the coq10 offers you a high level of antioxidant value.

Although fruits and vegetables are the best sources for antioxidants, the problem with them is that they are produced by the use of chemical herbicides, pesticides, and different types of fertilizers.

Over the years, studies have shown that fruits and vegetables which are organically grown are high in antioxidants, and boast a much higher concentration than those that have been produced commercially.

In the busy world of today, it is difficult to eat like we should, nor can we eat organic fruits and vegetables all the time. If you can’t or don’t have access to organic fruits or other sources of antioxidant foods, you should look into nutritional supplements that offer you the phytonutrients you need in your diet.

Supplements that contain phytonutrients do have advantages when compared to certain fruits, such as carrots – which can elevate your blood sugar level to a very high level. Phytonutrients found in supplements are the extract of pigments where nutrients are concentrated, meaning that they draw the best from antioxidant foods, leaving the calories and sugar behind.

Don’t get the wrong idea here, fruits and vegetables are indeed good for you. They are high in antioxidants, although those that are produced commercially generally come with chemicals and such that aren’t so good for you. Canned fruits and vegetables come with high levels of sugars and calories, which antioxidant supplements don’t have. The supplements offer you the levels you need, without any chemicals, sugars, or calories. This way, you don’t have to worry about consuming anything that isn’t good for you.

No matter how you look at it, healthy eating for your body starts and end with foods that contain antioxidants. There are several types of foods that contain antioxidants, although fruits and vegetables contain the most amounts. Steak and meat are also great sources of antioxidants, along with other great benefits, such as protein. Anytime you can’t get foods that contain antioxidants – you can count on supplements to deliver the amount you need to stay healthy.