Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ready To Ditch The Chemicals And Added Sugar In Store-Bought Juice Yet?

Too many people refrain from eating the vegetables they need, simply due to taste preferences. By juicing your veggies, you can still provide yourself with all of their essential vitamins and minerals. Following is some useful advice regarding juicing and how to go about it.

You want to try to add sweets to your juice, like berries, carrots or citrus. A great recipe for a delicious juice is a mixture of cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, and cherries. Just be sure to mix and match different combinations to match your particular nutritional needs and flavor preferences.

View juicing as the solid concrete base you can build a lifestyle full of healthy choices upon. This should be the way you decide the foods you will eat.

The amount of carcinogens in your body will actually decrease from the phytochemicals in vegetable and fruit juice. Get the full benefit of fresh juice by always including fruits and vegetables that contain phytochemicals.

Take the entire fruit, including skin or peels and juice it. The peels and skins of fruit include many healthy ingredients such as nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. Fruits, such as apples, have far more flavonoids contained in the skin than there is in the fruit. Be advised, however, to not use orange, grapefruit or other citrus peels in any juice concoction. These peels contain a substance that can be damaging, they are very likely to have pesticide residue on them, and they taste dreadful.

Have you reached a point in your smoothie preparation where you have run out of new ideas. Find cookbooks at your local bookstore, library, or even the internet. Don't get stuck in a juice rut; spice up your routine and try something new.

Include no-low calorie food in your juices as much as possible so that there is little need for fat-burning. These items include dark greens like kale or broccoli, cabbage, and herbs. Fruits that are high in fiber are a great choice, as they require a lot of to break them down.

You should note that certain juices may alter the color of your teeth. This is extremely important because certain varieties of juices will stain your teeth. Beets and carrots are the type of foods that are likely to cause stains. Brush your teeth immediately after consuming juices made with these veggies if you have stain-prone teeth.

You need to include fruit and vegetables in your juice which you don't get in your meals, and then add a few sweeter options to add flavor. This can help you get in a serving of fruits and veggies with very important nutrients that you might otherwise not eat. If the overall flavor of your juice blend is less than palatable, you can use juice from apples and lemons to mask the taste.

The best investment you can make in terms of purchasing juicers is to find something that runs at a low speed, and is of high quality. You want a lower speed juicer because higher ones overheat at time, and when this happens a lot of the minerals and vitamins in it are broken down, which means you might not get the healthy drink you've been anticipating.

Consult your physician before you make anything other than a vegetable juice if you have diabetes or hypoglycemia. Fruits are naturally high in sugar, which can alter your blood glucose levels. Keep track of the amount of fruit you add to your juices so you can regulate your sugar intake. Vegetables seldom present a blood glucose concern, but keep in mind some vegetables can affect blood coagulation, an important consideration if you are using prescription blood thinners.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bodybuilders Nutrition

There are many people out there that aspire to have a body that can turn heads just by walking down the street. Some people want to be the biggest and the best while other people may only want to add just a little muscle to their body. Even so, a bodybuilder has to put in a lot of hard work and dedication. They must train hard and rest well but one of the most important parts (if not the most important) is a bodybuilders nutrition.

Here are some important things to know when it comes to a bodybuilders nutrition whether you are trying to bulk up, lose fat or maintain weight and muscle.

1) There are calories in the things we consume. Calories are energy for our body. They're what gives us the fuel to keep our body working the way it should be.

2) Each person has their own basic metabolic rate. This is the amount of daily calories needed in order to maintain their weight. Consuming more than the basic metabolic rate will result in weight gain and consuming less would result in weight loss.

3) Take note of the fat, protein and carbohydrates in foods. These are known as macro nutrients. There are 9 calories in 1 gram of fat, 4 calories in 1 gram of protein and 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrates. Macro nutrients are key for working out a bodybuilders nutrition.

3a) Fat is also known as stored energy. In order to keep your body fat percentage low, you should also keep your daily fat intake low. Despite this, you should still consume some healthy fat. Healthy fats are found in foods such as peanut butter and avocados.

3b) Protein is what enables your muscles to grow. When trying to gain or maintain muscle mass, it is important to consume a high amount of protein. Some studies recommend to have 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight in order to gain muscle e.g. A 150 pound person should have around 225 grams of protein per day. protein is found in meats, eggs and beans.

3c) Carbohydrates are also known as instant energy. In order for your body to perform properly, you should make sure that you have enough carbohydrates each day. once you know how much protein and fat you are going to consume each day, make up the rest of the calories needed for your particular diet with carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are found in rice, pasta and potatoes.

4) When sticking to a bodybuilders nutrition, you should eat little and often. Divide your daily food requirements into 5 or 6 meals a day. One reason for doing this is so you won't get bloated by eating large portions of food in one sitting. Another reason is that you will always have a steady supply of fuel which will prevent using muscle as fuel.

Health Benefits of Super Greens

Super greens are leafy green vegetables that have extremely dense flavors and are colored in a very dark green. Nutrients that can be found in these types of vegetables are generally much higher than other types of vegetables.

Vegetables such as kale, chard or broccoli are able to offer up much more nutrients with far fewer calories than other forms of vegetables. Keeping an eye out for just dense and nutrient rich vegetables will help you to supercharge your diet and also get the most amount of nutrients into your diet.

Super greens can come in a few different forms, some people choose to liquefy (Through juicing) so that they can get a lot of nutrients at once. There are also supplements that contain these greens in powder form so you can simple add a few tablespoons in the morning in water and 'jumpstart' your day. Making sure that you get a daily supply of supergreens can give you amazing benefits and help you to digest much better.

These greens contain phytonutrients which are an excellent source of fiber and have special digestive enzymes.

The fiber will help you to have regular bowel movements and keep your colon healthy. Having a regular diet of fiber will help you to reduce your risk for cancer and make sure that you can continue being 'regular'.

If you avoid getting fiber in your diet your risk for potentially developing any type of colon cancer will go up exponentially. Super greens are a great source of fiber so by supplementing with these or including them in your diet you can help to reduce your risk for cancer.

The tissue healing comes from extracts of the chlorophyll which is found in super greens. By eating supergreens regularly, you can stimulate growth in new skin cells to help heal wounds and also to work at treating wounds directly. Not to mention having great skin as well.

Super greens have been used in herbal medicine in order to help stimulate the growth of new skin and it's your wounds when they're placed on wounds directly.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Smart Sugars and Your Cholesterol

What's a person to do? People are confused by what is good and what is bad. We hear about, "Good fats and bad fats; Good cholesterol and bad cholesterol; Good sugars and bad sugars; Good vitamins and bad vitamins; Good Omegas and not so good Omegas." Now, I learn flax seed Omega-3 is good but absorbable less than 1% by the human body and most vitamins are made from coal tar and petroleum. What's a guy to do?

Ignorance, lies and deceptions are not just in politics; these villains are quite alive in healthcare. My objective is to learn what is best for the human body and let the chips fall where they may. If it is good for your body, brain, and mind, we all need to know about it and take action on it.

First, we (that's everybody) are ignorant in most things. It may be that medical science has not yet caught up with understanding cholesterol. Instead of thinking "Good vs. Bad" perhaps we should think both are Good and Best when there is more HDL and less LDL.

Cholesterol is an important fat in your body partially because it is actually the precursor to your leading hormones. Total cholesterol includes LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein).

Why is HDL "Good cholesterol" and LDL "Bad cholesterol"? LDL is considered "Bad" because it can build up in the arteries where it slows or blocks blood flow. This is where it earned the reputation as a major cause for heart disease. And, one reason HDL is the "Good cholesterol" is that it can remove LDL. You can remember the HDL as Hero and the LDL as Lethal.

Cardiovascular disease is the world's largest killer, claiming 18 million lives a year. Over eighty-one million (81,000,000) American adults have one or more types of cardiovascular disease (CVD). That's an awesome count of one in three adults. Thirty eight million (38,000,000) adults over 60 years of age have CVD.

"Essential" is a nutrient your body needs but cannot produce. "Vital" is a nutrient that your body can produce, but probably needs supplementation.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids which play a crucial role in brain function, normal growth and development and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Some reports indicate that Omega-3 lowers total cholesterol and increases HDL. There are conflicting data which may be due to the different qualities of oil. We have new evidence that when high quality Omega-3 is added to a weight loss program that inches come off faster... interesting!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

How to Properly Dispose of Unused Medication

Prescription drugs are meant for a specific purpose, i.e., to aid you in effective treatment for a particular condition. The problem arises when you have regained your health and do not find the need to pop them again. It is a common phenomenon to find surplus medication lying in a corner of the medical kit/cabinet, invariably becoming toxic waste. The major hurdle most face is the question of safely disposing the medicines that are no longer useful or have exceeded their shelf life.

In order to minimize the risk of drug abuse and poisoning, the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act came into being in 2010. This act seeks to reduce the risks of unused medicines and expired medicines by conducting national drug take-back programs. Medicines that aren't used and disposed in an improper method can contribute to the accumulation of toxic waste, and thereby contribute to the degradation of the environment.

Why is this such a major concern? Well, there is proof that water bodies contain some amounts of over-the-counter drugs that are generally flushed or drained down a sink. These drugs remain in the water as water treatment plants aren't designed to remove them, and eventually result in ecological harm.

Safe Disposal of Unused Medicines

Here are a few ways you can get rid of unused prescription or expired medication without letting it affect your environment and loved ones.

Drug Take-Back Programs
Community or national drug take-back programs collect unused and expired medication to safely dispose them off. Those of you who are worried of medicine misuse and abuse can contact your local pharmacy to ask if they take back unused medicines. It is also best to ask for community take-back programs that collect the prescribed medicines at a central location. The expired medicines can then be disposed, while unused medicines can be recycled or else donated to those who are in need of the medication. You will find a number of organizations who collect unused medicines that can be donated to Third World countries. The Drug Enforcement Administration, a component of the U.S. Department of Justice sponsors National Drug Take-back Days in the US. The next drug take-back day will be conducted on September 29, 2012. You can even call your local trash service or the local hospital who can collect the medicines and incinerate it.

Follow the Guidelines
If your region doesn't have take-back days, then the next best option is to follow instructions or guidelines printed on the prescribed medicines. Gone are the days when you could just empty the contents into the sink or simply flush it down the drain. The Federal Government despises flushing of medication as it impacts the environment in an adverse way. However, the FDA recommends that certain medicines should be flushed due to their abuse potential. Do read the instructions carefully before doing away with the medicines.

Friday, September 28, 2012

An Alternative Technique to Treat Achilles Tendonitis

Have you been using stretching and strengthening exercises in an attempt to treat your chronic Achilles tendonitis? If so, you may be prolonging the injury. One school of thought says that this type of very common therapy could be exactly the opposite of what you need to speed the healing of Achilles tendonitis and other heel issues, and it all has to do with muscle fibers.

It’s well-known that Achilles injuries are closely related to the calf muscles. Many people say that stretching and strengthening the calf muscles is the key to resolving pain in the Achilles tendon. However, a closer look at the cause of Achilles tendonitis reveals that this may not be the best thing for the injury, and could in fact be causing more harm than good.

The Theory

The Achilles tendon attaches to the foot at the back of the heel, but it stretches down the entire length of the calf. Because the calf muscles attach to the leg just above the back of the knee, Achilles tendon issues really involve the entire lower leg. If there is damage to the calf muscles, Achilles tendonitis could result. One theory holds that if the muscle fibers in the calf are torn or knotted, the Achilles tendon will not be properly supported, resulting in inflammation and pain.

The Alternative

Massage and Compression for Realignment
For torn or knotted muscle fibers, stretching and strengthening exercises could be counterproductive. The muscle fibers may need to be rested, massaged, and realigned in order to bring the muscle back into proper working order. By stretching the calf muscles and the muscles surrounding the Achilles tendon, people with injuries could be preventing themselves from healing. The reason is that stretching has a tendency to tear muscle fibers even more, resulting in improper growth. Instead of stretching, therefore, the muscles should be compressed.

In order to compress the calf muscles to promote muscle fiber realignment and healing, those with Achilles tendonitis can massage their legs fairly aggressively. If people have Achilles tendonitis on one foot and not the other, chances are that they will find the calf muscle on the affected leg to be sorer in more places than on the unaffected leg. Deeply massaging calf muscles to discover these tender spots is the first step to recovery.

What to Avoid

Once the tender spots of the calf have been located, people with injuries should continue to massage the painful areas quite frequently without fearing a little bit of pain. It may be painful to compress and work out the knotted, torn areas of the calf muscles, but this pain could result in a stronger Achilles tendon. One note of caution, however: sore Achilles tendons themselves should never be aggressively massaged. Because Achilles tendon pain is caused by inflammation, massaging the Achilles will only irritate it, making the inflammation worse. The important thing to understand is that Achilles tendon pain is not necessarily caused in the location of the pain. The root cause of the pain could be much further up the leg, so focusing on those problem areas is likely to resolve the pain in the tendon.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Healthy Food Tips: Smart Ways to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Recent studies indicate that humans have an innate preference for the taste of sugar. If you're like most people, then you haven't quite figured out how to satisfy your sweet tooth without ruining your diet. The good news is that there are plenty of snacks and sweet treats that can be part of a balanced diet if enjoyed in moderation. You can have your favorite cake and eat it too, as long as you don't go overboard. The following substitutes have an amazing taste and are much more wholesome for you than their junk food counterparts:

Eat Dark Chocolate

If you are craving for chocolate, go ahead and get some - but make sure it's dark chocolate. Researchers have found that dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants. Some varieties are loaded with calcium and probiotics. Dark chocolate supports cardiovascular health and increases your energy levels.

Get Some Yogurt

Plain yogurt can be sweetened with jam or honey, or combined with granola, cereals, and chopped fruit. Greek yogurt brands are very delicious and filling. If you are looking for a creamy treat, combine some low fat yogurt with a high-fiber fruit, flaxseed, and ground nuts. Add blueberries and raspberries for extra fiber. You may also use crushed graham cracker crumbs and vanilla yogurt.

Pudding Is a Great Choice

Pudding is an excellent source of calcium and protein. You can make pudding at home or buy it from the cafeteria. Individual pudding packs are low in calories and come in all sorts of flavors. If you are trying to lose weight, you can opt for sugar free varieties.

Have a Sweet Drink

Sweet drinks contain empty calories, but you can add them to your diet once in a while when you are craving for sweets. The healthiest options include instant hot cocoa packets and hot chocolate made with milk. Stick to half of cup in order not to exceed 100 calories.

Try Chewing Gum

Chewing gum comes in all flavors and colors. Some varieties taste like Key Lime pie, while others are available in classic flavors such as mint or cinnamon. Chewing gum not only gives you fresh breath, but also helps you curb your appetite.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Alternative Medicine Types

With the advent of the Internet, the world has opened up to us a plethora of alternative types of medicine that have been in existence for many years, but simply never had the means to reach us. There are millions of people around the world today who opt for healing their diseases and curing their illnesses using these types of alternative medicine. The primary method of treatment of these medicines and therapies is to reinvigorate the body and aid it in warding off the diseases and illnesses using its own defense mechanisms.

The modern drugs and medications that are available to us today are an external source of combating these diseases, and in some cases display some very unpleasant and adverse side effects. More and more people are getting increasingly unsatisfied with the effects of these medications and are finding themselves unable to deal with these side effects. This has made the need for types of alternative medicine much more profound and much more intense.

Classification of Alternative Types of Medicine

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Types (NCCAM) has helped people around the country by classifying these various forms of complementary and alternative medicine types into 5 broad categories. These categories make it simpler for a layman to understand these medicine types and to decide which one is most suitable for them. To have a standardized and generalized classification helps as far as this area is concerned. These 5 categories of types of alternative medicine are listed and explained here below.

Alternative Medical Systems
Alternative medical systems are therapies and practices that have been around for many many centuries, especially in Eastern countries. The amount of time that these therapies have been present simply means that they are complete bodies of practice. There is a lot known about them, and they are widely and popularly followed by many people around the world. The effects of these therapies are clear, and so are the methods, hence there is absolutely no ambiguity as far as these alternative types of medicine are concerned. Here are the commonly used alternative medical systems in place.
  • Homeopathy
  • Ayurveda
  • Acupuncture
  • Naturopathy
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Tibetan Medicine
  • Native American Medicine
Energy Therapies
These methods of treatment and therapy commonly employ the use of energy fields in the healing process, and it is further divided into 2 parts - 'Biofield Therapies' and 'Bioelectromagnetic-based Therapies'. Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies utilize electromagnetic fields in order to heal the body. Biofield therapies, on the other hand, claim that the energy forces present inside the body can be stimulated and manipulated to heal the human body. Some examples of this form of medicine are Reiki, Therapeutic touch and Qi Gong.

Biologically Based Therapies
This form of therapy normally involves the use of items that are found in nature, that benefit the body and boost its resistance and defense. These items could be various kinds of herbs, various dietary supplements, and many other products that are found in nature but have not been scientifically proven to aid the body. This is one of the types of alternative medicine that require the intake of some form of medications or supplements into the body.

Mind-Body Interventions
This form of therapy focuses on using the power of the mind and sending signals from the brain to the body that heal the body. Controlling the mind is the key to making a successful recovery from all illnesses according to these doctrines, and there are various ways to achieve this. These alternative types of medicine use the mind's ability to enhance the power of the human body to heal itself naturally. The various types of mind-body interventions are as follows.
  • Music therapy
  • Dance therapy
  • Prayer therapy
  • Humor therapy
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Art therapy

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Benefits of Natural Chelation Therapy

Molecules of certain compounds have the ability of forming more than one bond with a metal ion. Such compounds are known as chelating agents which form a stable ion complex. The soluble complex formed is known as a chelate, in which the metal ions forming the complex get inactivated, thereby failing to undergo their normal reaction with other ions. This ability of chelating agents of forming complex molecules with metal ions is used in Chelation therapy. This therapy was first used during World War I, to diffuse the effects of poison gas containing the heavy metal - arsenic. However, the chelating agent used for treatment showed up severe side effects. Medical advancement lead to the development of chelating agents which were safe, effective and beneficial. Various benefits associated with this therapy are discussed below.

Removal of Heavy Metals
Heavy metal poisoning is very dangerous and can prove to be fatal. Chelation therapy is carried out to treat heavy metal intoxication in the body. Chelating compounds are administered into the body orally, intravenously or intramuscularly. These compounds form chelates with toxic metal ions, forming soluble complexes, which are excreted out of the body via urine after going through filtration in the kidneys. Metals like mercury, iron, lead, zinc and copper can lead to organ failure which is why, their removal becomes essential.

Reduction of Free Radicals
The production of free radicals in the human body is not acceptable. Free radicals cause aging, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, oxygen deficiency due to which cells deteriorate. Heavy metals lead to the production of free radicals in the body which are controlled by administering chelating agents which remove these metals from the body. Free radical reduction ultimately leads to cell repair and healthy body.

Reduction in Blood Stickiness
Chelation therapy using ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is thought to reduce the formation of blood platelets. Reduced platelet content makes the blood more fluid which is capable of easily passing through partially blocked or narrow arteries.

Removal of Unwanted Calcium
Hardening of arteries is caused due to the deposition of plaque in the blood vessels. Plaque formation greatly reduces the efficiency of the heart. Calcium is one of the constituents of plaque, which is required to be removed. Use of chelating agents reduces calcium content of the plaque, making it softer thereby, depleting its layers from the blood vessels. Chelation therapy has proved its utility in some cases of heart diseases. Even then, the American Heart Association does not recommend it for the treatment of heart-related problems.

Optimization of Cholesterol Levels
High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) is considered as good cholesterol while Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) is considered bad for the body. Chelating agents are used to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and increase the quantity of good cholesterol in the body. In this way, it helps in maintaining cholesterol levels in the body.

Improvement in Mental Health
Researchers suggest that chelation therapy improves mental well-being of an individual. People who have undertaken this therapy were found to be more attentive, active and happy. Reason behind this change is attributed to improved functioning of brain due to removal of toxins and improved cellular activity. However, some researchers do not buy this point and consider it as a "placebo-effect".

Prevention of Cancer
Presence of free radicals in the body can lead to the development of cancer. By controlling free radical production, chelating agents indirectly reduce the incidence of cancer in patients. Some researchers claim that the incidence of death is reduced in patients after treatment with chelating agents even though, the mechanism of action is not clear.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How Whey Protein Helps in Your Weight Loss Program

Research into using whey protein for weight loss indicates that protein influences the feeling of fullness. This reduces the temptation to snack in between meals.

Whey is a by-product obtained during the cheese making process. It is a liquid containing protein, lactose, minerals, and a small amount of fat.

Before processing, whey has a relatively low protein content. But by efficient filtering most of the lactose and fat are removed. The next stage is to spray-dry the filtered whey, which yields a powder rich in protein. The powdered protein is a convenient way to use whey protein for weight loss.

There are three main types of whey supplements available:
  • Whey Concentrate
  • Whey Isolate
  • Whey Hydrolyze
Each type undergoes a different processing procedure. And the more complicated the processing, the more expensive the powder.

The concentrate is the cheapest type with the lowest percentage of protein content, but with the highest amounts of fat and lactose.

By using better quality filtration more fat and lactose can be removed from the liquid whey, resulting in a powder with a higher protein content. This better quality protein powder is known as whey isolate. The isolate is more expensive.

But blends of concentrate and isolate powders are available, which have an improved protein content compared with the cheaper whey concentrate. These blends are cheaper than the pure whey isolate powder, but have a lower protein content.

The hydrolyze, which is a pre-digested form of whey protein, is the most expensive because it needs more processing.

Hormones and Hunger Signals

Hunger and the amount you are able to eat before feeling full are controlled by hormones, psychological factors and physiological needs. Secretion of the hormone cholecystokinin in the intestine is stimulated, when partly digested fat or protein enters the part of the small intestine closest to the stomach. This hormone stimulates receptors distributed throughout the central nervous system, resulting in a feeling of fullness. Because of its high protein content, a whey supplement is able to delay the desire for food through the actions of cholecystokinin on the nervous system. This stops the craving for snacks and drinks rich in sugar, but lacking in nutrients, which sabotages any attempts to lose weight.

Whey Protein and Insulin

Experiments show that not only do animals fed on whey protein lose weight because of its appetite satisfying qualities, but their insulin sensitivity increases, producing healthy blood sugar levels.

Whey Protein and Exercise

Effective weight loss programs combine dieting and exercise. To some, the thought of exercising may seem daunting. But even simple tasks such as walking the dog, or digging the garden, all burn calories.

The more strenuous activities such running, cycling and weight training, benefit even more from the use of whey protein, because of its muscle-building properties. Supplementing a balanced diet with whey powder, combined with an appropriate exercise program, creates a lean body with a healthy muscular development.

Before starting a vigorous exercise program, please consult your doctor.

Can Whey Protein Put You in a Better Mood?

There is evidence that whey protein may help you become less anxious and stressed by raising your level of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter. By helping you to feel in a better mood and more relaxed, it removes the urge to comfort-eat. This is another benefit of using whey protein for weight loss. With comfort-eating the more you eat, the more weight you gain, and the more depressed you get; so the urge to comfort-eat is reinforced.