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Vitamin D Can Help Lower Risk Of Heart Diseases

Are you getting enough vitamin D? You’ve probably heard about the need to get enough exposure to sunlight and maybe even about the specific foods that contain this essential vitamin but how much of this vitamin D does one actually need?

Here is a story about a brand new study that gives you the answer to that important question so I suggest you read on:

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and efforts to prevent this debilitating illness are vital. A new study says that adequate amount of vitamin D can help lower the risk of heart disease but how much of this vitamin is helpful enough?

heart  diseases
Vitamin D is a nutrient that has many good health effects to the body including healthy bones, muscles, heart, lungs and brain. It also contributes to the body’s ability to fight infection. Previous studies have pointed that vitamin D deficiency was a precursor for the occurrence of many illnesses including heart disease.

However, the adequate amount in the body needed to ward off such diseases is unclear until now. Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute have found that patients’ hearts are free from heart trouble if their vitamin D level is above 15 nanograms per milliliter.

In the past, doctors recommend having vitamin D levels above 30 ng/mL, but according to the researchers, any amount higher than 15 ng/mL can be accepted as safe levels. With their findings presented at the 2015 American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Session, evidence and research backed up this claim providing statistically sound data.

“Even if any level above 15 is safe, one out of 10 people still have vitamin D levels lower than that,” lead researcher Dr. J. Brent Muhlestein, co-director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute said in a press release.

Vitamin D is a unique vitamin because the body can produce its own vitamin D from exposure of the skin to sunlight. Eating foods rich in this vitamin like egg yolks, fish, fish liver oils and some dairy products can also be helpful…

Read on

Are You at Risk for Developing Osteoarthritis?

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). Three main causes are aging of the joints, obesity, and injury.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can vary widely from patient to patient, and can be intermittent with long pain-free periods of affected knees and hands. The most common symptoms are joint pain, especially with repetitive use of the joint, and it usually gets worse as the day wears on. Swelling and creaking or grating of the joint may be common, and the joint can be warm to the touch. There may be tenderness to the joint when light pressure is applied.

Stiffness of the joint is another symptom, which can occur after a period of inactivity or when first waking in the morning.

Cartilage is a firm tissue that is found normally on the ends of bones to cushion joint movement. As the cartilage deteriorates, the slick surface becomes rough, or completely wears away. When OA becomes severe, total destruction of the cartilage on the ends of the bones creates friction as bone rubs against bone. This can cause limited range of motion of the joint, and pain. Extra fragments of bone, called bone spurs, may develop around the affected joint and feel like hard lumps under the skin.

Other organs are not affected by osteoarthritis, unlike rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus , or other types of arthritis.

What are the risk factors?

There are certain factors that put you at increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. Aging, obesity, and joint Injuries, as from an accident or from playing sports, are a few of the risk factors. The extra weight you may be carrying if you are overweight stresses the weight-bearing joints of hips and knees. Adipose or fat tissue produces certain proteins that can cause joints to become inflamed.

Being female is another risk factor; it is not known why but women tend to be more susceptible to developing OA. Also, if you have a job that requires repetitive stress on a particular joint, that joint may likely be prone to developing osteoarthritis.

Genetics can play a part also; a tendency for developing osteoarthritis can be inherited. And the risk of developing OA is greater in those born with deformed joints or that have a cartilage defect.

Other rheumatic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, or even diabetes, can put you at increased risk of developing OA.

Daily tasks can be difficult to carry out if pain and stiffness of the joints becomes severe. Any joint can be affected, but the joints most commonly hit are knees, hands, hip and spine.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive, degenerative disease that worsens over time, with no cure. However, an active lifestyle and healthy weight maintenance, along with other treatments, can retard the progression of the disease and minimize pain while providing much improvement to joint function.

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoarthritis/basics/definition/con-20014749

http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/

 

 

Become a water warrior

It’s no secret that we need water. It doesn’t just detoxify and hydrate us, it literally keeps us alive. The cornerstone of good health is water and proper hydration. In fact, drinking the correct amount of water is essential to live life at your optimum level.

When most people think of water, they think about hydrating their system. But the reality is that water does more than just hydrate the system, it actually flushes the system. What’s the difference? Hydrating is essentially adding moisture or water to something, while flushing means that there is so much water in the system that it literally pushes the bad things out of your system.

Flushing yourself with water is recommended for getting rid of excess fluid in the body, (also known as ‘water weight’), oxygenating the blood, aiding in the digestion of food and even keeping dirt from getting into your eyes. Just to be clear, flushing your system does not mean that you drink as much water as you can as fast as you can. When you drink the correct amount of water throughout the day every day, you are flushing your system.

Of course, when most people desire water the most is when they are in the middle of a heavy workout. While it might seem like it is simple thirst that has you reaching for your water bottle at the gym, it might be even more. Water is able to regulate the body temperature and fight muscle fatigue. Even if your mind feels like it is simply thirsty for water, your body likely has many reasons it wants you to hydrate during these times.

Another great reason to drink water is to keep your bowel movements regular. While this is not a popular topic there is no way around it, everybody has to move their bowels every day to be healthy. Only when you are moving your bowels every day is your body able to remove all of the waste buildup that gets created on a daily basis.

Do you ever find yourself reaching for that second helping even though you know you are full? Water can save you from that. Because it helps you to feel fuller faster, drinking a bottle of water before your meals can help you to eat only what you truly want to eat during your meals.

in addition to drinking throughout the day try drinking a bottle of water first thing in the morning and before you go to bed to really feel the cleansing effects, for an extra kick add a few drops of lemon to a glass of warm water first thing in the morning – this is a great detoxifier.

Most of us are already aware of the importance of water to our well being, but struggle to drink enough and are actually walking around in a dehydrated state. Many people think of dehydration in relation to being violently ill and needing to be hospitalized, but that is just not the case. Many of us are suffering from some level of dehydration and don’t even know it. If you have dry skin, blackheads, brittle nails, or even itchy eyes you may be dehydrated.

If you get bored with taste of plain water, try some simple fruit infusions to liven up the taste such as lemon or strawberries. A bit of stevia can also help. Herbal teas can also serve as a substitute for water, although nothing is as pure as the real thing It is also important to note that coffees and soda cannot substitute for water.

The healthiest way to consume water on the go is by investing in a portable water bottle with a glass insert or one made from stainless steel. Keep this bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.

The Benefits of Superfoods

What are superfoods? They are foods that are able to take your health to the next level. When a food is classified as a ‘superfood’ it means that it is packed with more nutrients and health benefits than most other healthy options. It is no wonder so many people swear by them.

How can this help you in your paleo journey? It’s simple math really, when you add two or more amazing things together you get better results. For instance, the paleo diet is great for overall strength and health, while superfoods tend to be rich in nutrients and other extremely healthy things. When you add superfoods to your already healthy paleo diet, you will be supercharging your healthy efforts.

And starting can be easy, just adding one superfood to each meal is enough for you to really see a difference in your health – as long as it is paleo friendly of course.

What superfoods should you be adding to your healthy lifestyle?

1. Blueberries – packed to the brim with vitamins, soluble fiber and phytochemicals these little blue specks can be your new best friend. But don’t discount the other members of the berry family, cherries, cranberries, blackberries and strawberries are also important for your body. To get the healthiest berries you can find, always choose organic.

2. Kiwifruit – kiwi is an easy way to increase your intake of important vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. But the benefits of kiwifruit doesn’t stop there, you also get a healthy dose of calcium, magnesium and antioxidants. But one of the best, and often overlooked, things about kiwifruit is that it acts as a mild laxative, which is essential for cleaning the body.

3. Kale – love it or hate it, kale is definitely a great superfood. Not only does it have vitamins and calcium but when it becomes part of your everyday life it can also reduce your cholesterol.

4. Salmon – because they contain omega-3 fatty acids, salmon are considered an essential superfood by many. When you eat it, you are lowering your chances of stroke and heart disease, two silent killers that change thousands of lives every year.

5. Coconut oil is very nutrient dense and makes a superior cooking oil. It’s high in short and medium chain fatty acids which are more easily digested. It is thought to be helpful for boosting metabolism and the immune system.

These are just a few of the superfoods that can make a difference in your new paleo life. While some of these foods, like salmon, can easily be staples of the paleo lifestyle there are others, like kale, are not always given the attention they deserve.

Paleo Detoxifying Foods You Should Eat Every Day

Every day, our bodies are bombarded by a variety of pollutants in our environment. Unfortunately much of it is as unavoidable. This is why it is so important to add detoxifying foods to your everyday life. If you aren’t eating to cleanse your body from all of the bad things that you are exposed to each day, your health can literally be affected. But there is good news, you don’t need to go on a fancy or expensive detox diet, and you don’t need to starve yourself. You just need to include some detoxifying foods into your everyday life.

So what are some of the best foods to get your body detoxing?

1. Turmeric – it contains powerful medicinal properties that are great for reducing inflammation. It also contains Circumin as its active ingredient, which is a strong antioxidant. If you don’t like the taste of turmeric in food, try it in chai tea.

2. Avocados – filled with healthy fats, avacados can help to relieve constipation and get your bowels moving. Having regular bowel movements can help minimize the buildup of toxins in your body.

3. Cauliflower – loaded with antioxidants, cauliflower is a great addition to any plate. It isn’t just healthy, it has also been known to increase heart health and fight cancer.
Some easy ways to enjoy cauliflower include roasted, shredded into ‘rice’ or blended into soup.

4. Walnuts – are a good source of glutathione and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts can boost your brainpower and help to clean the liver. While you may not want to eat it at every meal, as it can be fattening, it has huge benefits when it is added into your favorite foods.

5. Carrots – you likely know that carrots are supposed to be good for your eyes, but did you know they are good for other things too? Carrots are not only a great source of antioxidants, they are also good at fighting inflammation, protecting your liver, and even keeping your brain healthy.

6. Broccoli – usually recognized as a cancer preventative, broccoli offers many amazing detoxifying benefits for the body. Not only is is it high in fiber, allowing for the body’s natural detoxification through waste elimination, it is also high in water content, and a powerful antioxidant.

7. Lemon – you can’t talk about detoxifying foods without talking about the lemon. It is recommended that you drink a glass of warm water with lemon first thing every morning to boost your digestion, help your body to flush out toxins, and keep your liver healthy.

8. Beets – believe it or not, beets are a great way to detox the body. Beets not only prompt the liver to start letting go of toxins, they also help to flush those toxins out of the body so they do not get reabsorbed.

One of the best things you can do for your body is to start detoxifying on a regular basis. Find ways to add these foods to your meals and you will reap the benefits.

How to Tweak Paleo To Lose Weight

If you are like most people, you might be thinking that starting a paleo journey will allow you to lose weight quickly. There is nothing wrong with thinking this way, for most of us ditching the processed foods is enough to trigger a good amount of natural weight loss. But at some point your body will adjust to your new way of eating and your weight loss might start to slow because of it. When this happens, you should look at your current activity levels. The people who are the most successful on the paleo diet tend to be those who are the most physically active.

Now that the paleo lifestyle has started making its mark, it is easy to find a nice supply of yummy paleo desserts. There’s no shortage of websites, blogs, and even magazine articles ready to give you a delicious sample menu to try. And while all of this is great, it definitely doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be conscious of what you are eating. For example desserts – no matter how healthy – are still desserts and should be eaten as a treat and not as an everyday staple. If you can, it is best to try to stay away from sweets, or at least allow yourself only one or two paleo treats a week.

It is also a good idea to remember that foods such as dried fruits, nuts and sweeteners are very calorie dense and consuming them in moderation can be quite difficult. Even though they are paleo it might be best to stay away from them completely, if you are trying to lose weight.

Insulin resistance is an often undiagnosed but very real reason why many people tend to gain weight easily or struggle to lose weight. When most people think of the body having issues with insulin, they think of diabetes. But the truth is that you don’t have to be diabetic to have insulin resistance. If you might be a candidate for insulin resistance it is important to take that into consideration when planning your meals.
Try to limit your nuts, seeds, and even certain seafoods while you are starting your new lifestyle. The good news is that insulin resistance can be reversed so you aren’t losing these foods forever, just until your body adjusts to your new lifestyle.

You certainly don’t need to count calories but you should base your meals on the protein + veggie base and drink plenty of water. While nuts, tubers, and fruits are paleo, the staples of every paleo plate is protein and veggies. Be sure to eat plenty of nutrient dense food. Depending on what your needs are, you can aim for paleo foods that will give you the most nutrients, the most energy, or make you feel fuller for longer periods of time. If you need some inspiration, do a google search for ‘foods for energy’, ‘foods that make you feel full’, etc and go through until you find some good paleo choices.

The best way to get a lasting meal is to try to make your meals around a balance of protein, vegetables and healthy fats. This can keep you satisfied for about three – four hours. This will help alleviate the wild blood sugar swings that happen after a typical high carb breakfast. But most importantly, if you are feeling satisfied between meals you are less likely to make poor food choices or allow old eating habits to creep back in.

More than anything, remember that gentle changes are going to make the biggest impact on your life. Don’t get caught up in extreme eating or exercise at the very beginning of your new lifestyle.

How to be Successful with a Paleo Lifestyle

For many people, one of the most difficult parts of transitioning into a healthy eating lifestyle is planning. If you want to be successful you will always know what you will be eating, when you will be eating it, and what ingredients you will need to make it.
Flying by the seat of your pants simply won’t work anymore, especially if you are in the beginning stages of implementing this new lifestyle. Failing to plan leaves you vulnerable to poor food choices and temptations. Remember, if you fail to plan you plan to fail.

Start by designating one or two days a week that will be your new shopping day. Spend some time beforehand going through your cookbooks, Pinterest and paleo food blogs. Another great tip that paleo people love is make ahead meals. Rather than preparing a huge meal when you walk in the door at night, take one day in the week to prepare and freeze all of your meals. You don’t need to freeze your entire meal, freezing just your main food for each night will save you lots of time in the kitchen after a busy day at work. Think through your week and evaluate how much time you have for food prep. If you have a busy schedule, you will want to consider crockpot recipes as well as freezer meals. If you can, designate some time over the weekend to precook (or grill) some meat. Here are a few quick suggestions:

*Prepare a roast, slice thin and and freeze in individual portions
*Buy individually wrapped fish packets from your warehouse club
*Cook bacon in batches
*Lightly steam or roast veggies that can easily be reheated
*Brown some ground beef and grill some chicken breasts or thighs

By varying sauces, spices and side dishes, this can form the base for a variety of meals that you won’t get tired of.

Developing a meal schedule can also help keep you on track. For example, chicken on Monday, crockpot on Tuesday, fish on Wednesday, leftover on Thursday, etc. Having a streamlined plan will help you to be successful because you won’t have to spend so much time thinking about what you are going to cook. For many people, having to spend too much time wondering what they’re going to be doing leads to procrastination.

But make ahead meals don’t just have to be for dinner, you can also create make ahead breakfast dishes. Many people don’t have the time or motivation to prepare complicated breakfasts. Doing simple things like pre-portioning your breakfasts will go a long way. For example, if you are having blueberry pancakes one day, add the amount of pancake mix you will need (paleo of course), into a ziplock bag and place it next to your coconut oil in the pantry. In the fridge, put the amount of blueberries you will need front and center. Now your breakfast is ready, all you have to do it put it together – and cook it of course.

Don’t forget to think about the snacks between meals. You need something to hold you over until your next meal and get you through a hectic day. Making a simple paleo trail mix will not only give you a filling snack, it will also allow you to eat on the run. If you have a little more time in the kitchen you can also make muffins, granola, or even hard boiled eggs.

With just a little advance prep you’ll find that maintaining the paleo way of eating is very doable and you will experience long term success.

Low-fat diet no good for long-term weight loss

Trying to lose weight? Low-fat diets are not the way to go, according to a large new study.

“There is no good evidence for recommending low-fat diets,” lead author Deirdre Tobias, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in a press statement.

The study, a meta-analysis of dozens of randomized controlled trials, showed low-fat diets were not effective for achieving long-term weight loss compared to higher far diets.

“Behind current dietary advice to cut out the fat, which contains more than twice the calories per gram of carbohydrates and protein, the thinking is that simply reducing fat intake will naturally lead to weight loss. But our robust evidence clearly suggests otherwise,” said Tobias, whose research is published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Tobias and her colleagues analyzed 53 studies — all randomized trials comparing the effectiveness of low-fat diets to other types of diets — that included more than 68,000 adults. The researchers found that reduced-fat diets only led to more weight loss when compared with no diet at all. People on low-carbohydrate diets lost substantially more weight than those who went the low-fat route.

The study results aren’t really surprising, said endocrinologist Dr. Caroline Messer, medical director of the Center for Pituitary and Neuro-Endocrine Disorders at Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital…

 

The link to the original article is here

Learn more about one of the best Paleo recipe books here

 

Get Plenty of These Foods for Increased Brain Function

Whenever your body is low on B12 and iron, your mind doesn’t function as sharply – and that includes recalling information of a short or long term nature. Foods that provide plenty of these nutrients can help significantly.

Researchers say that it’s crucial to your mind that you preserve the connections of your nerve cells – and antioxidants can help you in that regard. You can get these in various fruits and vegetables that you consumer.

In lab studies, science proved that living beings that consumed plenty of berries, leafy greens and foods packed with vitamin E suffered fewer instances of memory loss than those who didn’t.

Mice that were fed a diet of blueberries instead of the usual rat food shows significant abilities to break down the amyloid protein that built up in other rodents (who suffered cognitive impairment).

increased brain function

So we know that berries have antioxidants and a powerful effect on the human brain to stave off memory loss in many instances. Your brain has to protect existing connections, but it also needs to heal any injuries at times.

Blueberries have been shown to protect the part of the brain that delivers access to your short-term memories. They also help with the creation of neurogenesis, which allows for the storage of new memories.

When you’re planning your meals, you want to include foods that help the communication flow in your brain and maintain the number of healthy cells that you have to work with.

You want to adopt a diet that helps your entire body function at its best. You need plenty of blood flow and oxygen reaching your brain to keep things in tip top shape.

We often hear people talk of a heart healthy diet, but you also want to make sure you’re specifically adding brain healthy foods to your menu. Flavonoids (found in foods like kale and other leafy greens), help support your memory.

Other flavonoid foods you want to add to your diet are:

  • Berries
  • Apricots
  • Pears
  • Pinto and Black Beans
  • Red Onions
  • Apples
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Parsley

 

Folate is a brain booster, too. You want to consume plenty of foods with folic acid with vitamin B12. That means, eating foods such as:

  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • White Navy Beans
  • Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Cereal fortified with folic acid

 

Don’t worry that it’s too late to reverse signs of memory damage. Anytime you can help clean and repair nerves and cells by restoring them to good health, you can see signs of improvement!

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Ridding Your Body of Memory-Stealing Toxins

The brain is a very sensitive thing. Deficiencies can cause permanent damage, but so can the flood of toxins in your body that impair your cognitive function. You have to know what harms your brain so that you can replace it with memory boosting foods instead.

One thing scientists are concerned about is that men and women are consuming foods that result in brain plaque. Similar to how arterial plaque can block blood flow and result in coronary disease, it’s thought that brain plaque can impair your memory.

Nutritional Neuroscience reported on a study about a protein called amyloid beta, which is a sign of brain plaque. When your brain is able to break down this protein, you don’t suffer from memory ailments like you do when the brain is unable to break it down and it hardens and builds up.

Very high resolution 3d rendering of an human brain.

Your cells begin to die off instead of strengthening their connections and eventually, you start showing signs of impairment – like walking into a room and forgetting why you are there, or not understanding how to drive home from familiar places.

Sugar is one thing that has the potential to harm your memory capabilities. When we think of sugar intake, we’re usually concerned with diabetes and obesity, but it also hurts your brain function.

The Journal of Physiology published a study about how high intake of sugar leads to long term cognitive decline. Things like sugary sodas and cakes were to blame – not naturally occurring sugars like those found in sweet fruit.

In the studies, the lab rats that showed signs of illness from high sugar intake were helped significantly when Omega-3 fatty acids were introduced to their diets.

Some of the foods we focus on in terms of obesity (trans fats like potato chips, solid fats and candy) can do tremendous damage to your mind. Not only have studies shown that memory function decreases for those who eat a diet rich in these substances, but they also show less brain volume, and lower scoring on tests for these individuals.

Processed foods are harmful to your nutritional needs when it comes to repairing or retaining memory function. You want to stick to a diet rich in fresh food sources, not packaged for long-term shelf life.

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