SECRETS OF HEALTHY LIVING

SUPERFOODS, MINERALS & SUPPLEMENTS

There are so many foods around that can keeps us healthy, yet most of us through either habit, lack of knowledge or negligence do not partake and realize, sometimes late, that we have been depriving our bodies of the good stuff and good maintenance, which spells good health.  A lot of us take good health for granted, probably because we have good lifestyle habits and don’t realize it.  Good health is a combination of several things, happily some of which we have control over and these are good nutrition, exercise and sleep.  To those  who are interested, you will find in this website some of the approaches we should take and the foods we should eat to keep us healthy, provided we exercise sensibly and  ensure we get enough sleep.

The approach that I adopt and recommend is to be on the proactive end and take personal responsibility for our own health. The answer lies with us.

John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation said, “The next major advance in the health of the American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself.”

Gandhi said, “You must be the change, you want to see in the world.”

Thomas Edison said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

We must take care of our bodies through whole foods, clean air and water, exercise, detoxification, uplifting thoughts, positive emotions, meditation and prayer, and continually taking steps to improve our health in each and every moment. Life is a gift, health isn’t. In a world of ever-increasing toxicity and stress, health can only be achieved through constant practice and pursuit. It’s time to invest in our health, our future

The premise of taking actions to maintain youthful health and vigor is based on findings from peer-reviewed scientific studies that identify specific factors that cause us to develop degenerative disease. These studies suggest that the consumption of certain foods, food extracts, hormones, or drugs will help to prevent common diseases that are associated with normal aging.Therefore, the concept of disease prevention can be defined as the incorporation of findings from published scientific studies into a logical daily regimen that enables an individual to attain optimal health and longevity.For the greater part of the 20th century, mainstream medicine was openly hostile to the idea of healthy people taking vitamin supplements. This antivitamin position began to change in the 1990s as irrefutable evidence emerged that supplements could reduce the risk of age-related disease without inducing toxicity.In the April 9, 1998, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, an editorial was entitled “Eat Right and Take a Multi-Vitamin.” This article was based on studies indicating that certain supplements could reduce homocysteine serum levels and therefore lower heart attack and stroke risk. This was the first time this prestigious medical journal recommended vitamin supplements (Oakley 1998).An even stronger endorsement for the use of vitamin supplements was in the June 19, 2002, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). According to the Harvard University doctors who wrote the JAMAguidelines, it now appears that people who get enough vitamins may be able to prevent such common illnesses as cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The Harvard researchers concluded that suboptimal levels of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 are a risk factor for heart disease and colon and breast cancers; low levels of vitamin D contribute to osteoporosis; and inadequate levels of the antioxidant vitamins A, E, and C may increase the risk of cancer and heart disease (Fairfield et al. 2002).A study in the journal Atherosclerosis(Koscielny et al. 1999) showed that people who took a 900 mg garlic supplement every day for 4 years had 5-18% less plaque buildup in their carotid arteries compared to the placebo group. The women in the study group actually showed a 4.6% decrease in carotid plaque volume over a 4-year period, whereas the placebo group showed a 5.3% increase in artery-clogging plaque.Most of the better known foods and supplements are listed herein as a guide to achieving optimal health by contributing to the prevention of diseases and ill health.

About the Author

Anthony Webster’s first profession was accountancy but he always had a keen interest in holistic health and healing, which he believes he inherited from his grandmother.  This passion has evolved into a focus on making a difference to people’s lives, leveraging proven science based, as well as Alternative (complementary) medicine, solutions.  Thus, with the emphasis on providing a holistic view of health and healing, this website is committed to helping lives in these small ways and hopes this makes a positive contribution to happy, healthy and wholesome living.  Remember, keep an open mind to new ideas, but ALWAYS do your own homework… and combine that with common sense to figure out what’s best for YOU.

 

The 7 Core Nutrients for Healthy Living

People sometimes ask what are the supplements which would make a difference to their health, especially as they get older.

And coming up with a “one-size-fits-all” supplement regime is tough. After all, a postmenopausal woman, a 40-something man and someone else with a chronic condition like diabetes may have very different nutritional needs.

But, in spite of the differences, there are some nutrients that can benefit everyone. The following 7 supplements cover all the basics regardless of your gender, age or current health status. And taking them can be the first step in your journey toward optimal health.

  • Fish Oil. Ask most doctors today and they’ll admit to recommending omega-3 fatty acids to all their patients. Especially those at risk of heart disease. Fish oil, with its generous dose of the omega-3s EPA and DHA, can reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. It lowers blood pressure slightly and triglycerides even more. But that’s not all fish oil can do. It’s also an extremely effective anti-inflammatory.(1) Since inflammation is involved in nearly every degenerative disease from Alzheimer’s to cancer, supplementing with fish oil is one of the single best things you can do for your overall health. My recommended daily dose is 3,000 mg of fish oil containing a combination of EPA and DHA.
  • Vitamin D. The health benefits of vitamin D extend to at least 100 diseases, most notably cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory infections and autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D has also been linked to better mood, better physical performance and even better results with weight loss programs. Take 2,000 IUs daily.
  • Probiotics. Beneficial bacteria keep harmful micro-organisms in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function. While the yogurt you find in the supermarket may contain probiotics, most brands don’t offer nearly enough for good health. But taking a high quality probiotic supplement every day can help keep your digestive and immune systems functioning at their best. When it comes to probiotics, more is better. Look for a supplement that provides at least 5 billion colony forming units (CFUs) and take it every day.
  • Magnesium. This amazing nutrient is critical for a healthy heart. It also helps control blood sugar, is essential for strong bones, and helps relax you when you’re stressed. But several studies show that a majority of Americans don’t get enough of this important mineral. According to Italian researchers, magnesium deficiencies have been tied to allergies, asthma, anxiety, heart disease, muscle cramps and a host of other conditions.(2) You can help prevent or ease these conditions by simply taking 400—800 mg daily.
  • Curcumin. This compound found in the curry spice turmeric is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties. But that’s just the start of its healing qualities. Curcumin may also have anti-cancer, anti-arthritic, antiviral, antifungal and immune-boosting effects. ScienceWatch recently highlighted 19 papers on the health benefits of curcumin—many of them focusing on its anticancer activity.(3) I now consider it one of the most important supplements to take on a daily basis. The recommended daily dose is 1,000 mg.
  • Resveratrol. Credited with being responsible for the “French Paradox,” resveratrol has drawn a lot of attention as an anti-aging nutrient. Research has shown resveratrol extends the life of every species studied so far, from fruit flies to monkeys. But it’s also a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and may also have powerful anti-cancer properties. I now recommend it as a part of every supplementation package for optimal health. Take at least 250 mg of trans-resveratrol, the active form of the compound, every day.
  • Multivitamin. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health have noted low blood levels of certain vitamins is a risk factor for chronic disease.(4) They’ve also recommended everyone should take a multivitamin to prevent deficiencies. Vitamin deficiencies—especially when mild—can contribute to a whole host of problems including osteoporosis, chronic pain, depression, heart disease and cancer. Taking a quality, high-potency multi every day just makes good sense.

While these 7 supplements can contribute to good health, let’s be very clear: Foundational health is about a lot more than supplements. It’s about what you eat, how active you are, what (and who) you surround yourself with, your attitudes, and even how much time you spend outdoors in the sun.

Assuming you’re doing the things you need to promote good health, this basic supplement program will be a terrific asset to your overall health program.

 

Building a Foundation for Better Health and Longevity

By Tony Isaacs on 10/02/2011

Whether you want to live longer and healthier or you want to address a specific health concern, building a good healthy natural foundation is essential. Just like you cannot expect to get good results from patching a roof on a building with a shaky foundation, the same is true of your body.

To build your own healthy natural foundation, begin replacing bad habits with good ones and take healthy measures such as these:

  • Avoid processed sugar as much as possible. According to the WHO, refined sugar is the number one cause of illness in the world. Likewise avoid artificial sweeteners. None of them are safe and Aspartame is the worst of all.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol. A glass or two of wine is OK and so is a beer or two (though wine is healthiest).
  • Avoid cigarettes and tobacco products. Likewise avoid excessive caffeine.
  • Avoid cell phone use and avoid prolonged exposure to electrical and microwave radiation.
  • If you are overweight, begin a slow and healthy weight loss program where you burn more calories than you consume.
  • Eliminate chemical toxins from your home and workplace environment, such as commercial cleaning products, air fresheners and air sprays, cosmetics, deodorants, pesticides and herbicides.
  • Eat a very healthy mostly raw and mostly vegan diet with some organic meat (good choices are oily cold water fish, free range organic chicken and small amounts of organic free range beef). Include healthy fats; get plenty of omega-3s and healthy nuts, roots, tubers and seeds. Make sure your vegetables and fruits include a wide variety of colors to get the best array of phyto-nutrients. Eat organic vegetables and fruits when possible (they usually contain more nutrients and fewer pesticides). Such a diet is much more in tune with what mankind developed to eat for millennia.
  • Get plenty of regular sunshine, both direct and indirect, in order to get ample amounts of vital Vitamin D3 and other healing benefits from sunshine. Vitamin D3 is literally essential for life and it helps fight and prevent illness, including cancer. When weather, climate and/or location make it impossible to get enough, take supplemental Vitamin D3 (500 to 1000 mg daily).
  • Avoid junk foods, fast foods, trans fats, and as much as possible processed foods on grocers shelves which have had the nutrition processed out and harmful additives processed in for shelf life, taste, texture and color.
  • Include regular physical activity. Healthy exercise need not be strenuous – moderate is just fine. The key is “regular.”
  • Eliminate stress as much as possible in your life – it is indeed the “silent killer”. Avoid stressful people and situations. Take time out to “smell the roses” on a regular basis.
  • Make sure that you get optimum daily amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Often these amounts are significantly greater than the minimal RDA amounts, which are merely the amount needed to prevent vitamin-deficiency related disease. As many as 70 to 95% of us are deficient in magnesium, a mineral which is essential for optimum health. Likewise, most of us are deficient in other essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, such as digestive enzymes. Get as much of your vitamins as possible from your diet. Since it is next to impossible to get all the nutrients you need from diet alone, consider a good whole foods derived multi-vitamin product as well as a good superfoods powder.

Once you have built a healthy foundation, specific problems and concerns can be addressed with much greater chance of success.

About the author

Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including “Cancer’s Natural Enemy” and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year.

RESVERATROL

Posted on November 2, 2011 by admin

 

Anti aging formula. A compound formulated from red grapes (Is this the elusive fountain of youth?)
Resveratrol increases the activity
of an enzyme called SIRT1.
This enzyme has a unique molecular link between aging and human neurodegenerative disorders and provides a promising avenue for therapeutic intervention.
According to scientists, “Resveratrol’s supplementation with food extends vertebrate lifespan and delays motor and cognitive age-related decline and could be of high relevance for the prevention of aging-related diseases in the human population.”
YOUR LIFESPAN COULD BE INCREASED!
A scientist named Sinclar found that resveratrol significantly increases the lifespan of yeast and mice. There is hope that it could do the same for humans. (3)
And Sinclair isn’t the only one who’s research shows how resveratrol might increase your lifespan. Researchers reported online in Nature that several naturally occurring small molecules extend the life of yeast cells by approximately 70% and offer some protection to cultured human cells exposed to radiation.
But, that’s not even close to the full story. This amazing gift from mother nature appears to have very promising potential for protecting you against cancer.
NATURE’S CANCER TERMINATOR!
Listen to this conclusion from a recent scientific study:
“Resveratrol interferes with all three stages of carcinogenesis – initiation, promotion and progression. (5).”
In some lineages of cancer cell culture, resveratrol has been shown to induce apoptosis, which means it kills cells and may kill cancer cells(6)(7)
LET’S TALK ABOUT HEART BENEFITS…
Research at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Ohio Sate University indicates that resveratrol has direct inhibitory action on cardiac fibroblasts and may inhibit the progression of cardiac fibrosis. (8)
Are you getting the picture? Let’s review what this amazing nutrient can help with…
• Heart Health
• Preventing Cancer
• Living Longer
• Being stronger

 

 

 

Controlling your blood pressure naturally is achievable—you just need to take the right steps

Posted on November 2, 2011 by admin

 

In my practice, it was surprising that many of my patients struggled to manage their blood pressure. Some wrestled with it. Some ignored it. Many agonized over it…and most preferred a natural way to control it.My answer to them was simple: You can support normal blood pressure naturally with the right combination of supplements, diet, and other easy lifestyle changes. But before you can understand how to manage any health concern, it’s my belief you need to understand the physiology of the condition.Healthy Blood Pressure 101
Think of your heart as a pump and your arteries and blood vessels as a network of pipes that carry blood from your heart throughout your body. A blood pressure reading gives two numbers. The top number (called the systolic pressure) is the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts. The bottom number (diastolic pressure) is the arterial pressure when the heart relaxes between beats. Research shows that you want your systolic pressure to be in the 120s and your diastolic pressure to be in the high 70s or low 80s.In order to help maintain these optimal numbers, there are 3 key steps to follow:First, you must keep your heart muscles strong and protected.
It’s absolutely essential that your blood vessels are flexible so they easily contract and dilate to move the blood.
You want your arteries to be as smooth as possible.The good news is there are natural ways to obtain these results. In fact, I wrote a book about this very subject a number of years ago called Lower Your Blood Pressure in Eight Weeks. And the advice I gave then still applies today—change your lifestyle. You can do exactly that with my 3-step program: supplement with beneficial nutrients, eat healthy, and exercise.Managing your blood pressure
with the right supplements
In fact, there are 6 targeted, tried-and-true nutrients that help keep your blood pressure in check. I had been recommending them individually for years, until I finally combined them into one powerful formula called Daily BP Support.This powerful formula helps you:Promote blood vessel elasticity and proper water balance with magnesium
Achieve proper relaxation and dilation of artery walls with hawthorn
Maintain healthy circulation and blood flow with garlic
Prevent free radical damage with grape seed extract
Ensure strong and easy heart contractions with coleus
Maintain normal blood glucose levels with chromiumDo Not Wait to do something about your blood pressure
Maintaining healthy blood pressure is a very serious issue. If you’ve been even a little bit concerned about your blood pressure, I recommend you take control now. Many of my patients have made simple lifestyle changes and have seen positive results in as little as eight weeks. But the key is sticking with it.I’ve created Daily BP Support to make it easy for you to get the most critical nutrients you need to take care of your blood pressure, and keep your heart healthy. It’s the foundation of maintaining healthy blood pressure naturally. I encourage you to take it along with a healthy diet and exercise program. It doesn’t take rocket science to lower your blood pressure, but it takes special dedication to get those numbers down—and keep them there. Learn more…Sincerely,Stephen Sinatra, M.D.P.S. Your blood pressure and cardiovascular system respond remarkably well to natural approaches including a healthy diet, exercise, and nutritional supplements. If you need the highest level of complete blood pressure support, I encourage you to give Daily BP Support a try. Order today! www.drsinatra.com

 

 

 

The real secret to a super-charged brain How to reverse cognitive decline

Posted on October 27, 2011 by admin

 

Next time some holier-than-thou vegan starts blabbering about how man wasn’t designed to eat meat, ask him if he knows what powers the human brain.The answer ain’t tofu.Your brain was specifically designed to function on a diet of the fats and nutrients you can only get from meat and fish.Studies have consistently found that low levels of B12 lead to the highest brain problems — and that boosting your levels can prevent or even reverse that damage.The latest research adds even more proof.One study found that seniors with the lowest levels of vitamin B12 had the highest risk of cognitive shortcomings, including low scores on thought, reason, and memory tests. And it’s no wonder! Low levels of B12 can literally cause your brain to shrink.Sound like fun? Of course not — but that’s exactly what you’re in for if you stick to a plant-based diet, because you won’t find B12 in leaves, roots, and fungi. You’ll find it in meats — especially organ meats — as well as fish and dairy.But if low levels of B12 will turn a mind to mush, high levels can actually save it. Megadoses of B vitamins can slow or even stop brain shrinkage and reverse the cognitive slide linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.British researchers put 271 seniors suffering from mild cognitive impairment onto either a daily placebo or a supplement regimen of 0.5mg of B12, 0.8mg of folic acid, and 20mg of B6.After two years, the seniors who got their B vitamins did 70 percent better on memory tests than those who got the placebos — with some of them actually showing improvements over their initial scores.They got older… and their minds got BETTER with age. Imagine that!But wait, there’s more: The patients on the B vitamins had slower rates of brain shrinkage — in one case by 500 percent.Now, any reason to eat a steak is a good one to me, but these kinds of results won’t come from diet alone. For the best brain boost, invest in a good, quality supplement.If you’re getting up there in years, no excuses — you need a B complex, and you need one now.That, and steak.


Outdated Health Rules and How to Update Them

They’re the imperatives for well-being that have been drilled into us forever–”Drink eight glasses of water a day!” “Eat nine servings of fruits and veggies!” “Stay away from red meat!” But it turns out that taking care of yourself isn’t quite so black-and-white, says Harvard Medical School psychologist Alice Domar, PhD, coauthor of Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Won’t Break Your Health. “Research is revealing that whoever wrote the old guidelines didn’t have the whole picture, and that there are more paths to optimal health than we previously thought,” Domar says. Happily, the new rules are more user-friendly than the old ones. Here, four tips to live by.
Old Rule: Drink eight glasses of water a day.
New Rule: Eat your water.
The recommendation to chug all that H2O was likely based on guidelines published in 1945. However, says Howard Murad, MD, author of The Water Secret, much of your daily requirement is contained in foods: Fruits, vegetables, beans, and cooked whole grains like oatmeal and quinoa (which soak up moisture in the pot) all deliver servings of water. And, as Murad points out, they offer the added bonus of nutrients: “Watermelon and cucumber are more than 90 percent water, but they also contain antioxidants. With a glass of water, all you get is water.” You’ll know you’re hydrated when your urine is colorless or pale yellow and you’re rarely thirsty.

Old Rule: Eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables.
New Rule: Fill half your plate with produce.
A serving of broccoli is about five florets. A serving of raw spinach, one cup. A serving of mango, roughly the size of a fist. “It’s not surprising that people get confused over what, exactly, a serving is,” says Washington, D.C., dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield. Her advice: Stop counting and instead make half of every meal produce. “You don’t need a big mound on your plate. Six asparagus spears at dinner, a spinach salad at lunch, and a sliced banana and some berries at breakfast should do it.” And quality counts: Even two or three daily servings of deeply hued fruits and veggies (like blueberries, bok choy, or red peppers) may help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, Scritchfield says. “It’s like darts. The goal is to hit the bull’s-eye. But hitting nearby is good, too.”

Old Rule: Avoid red meat.
New Rule: Beef in moderation can be healthy.
Red meat was long considered a heart attack on a plate because it’s high in saturated fat. But a 2010 study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that the cardiovascular risk comes from processed varieties, such as sausage, hot dogs, and cold cuts–not from steak, hamburgers, and other nonprocessed cuts. (The real culprits may be salt and preservatives). Red meat is a good source of iron and immunity-boosting zinc-two nutrients some women don’t get enough of. Beef (especially grass-fed) also contains high concentrations of conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat that may decrease cancer risk and help reduce body fat.

“But not all red meats are created equal,” says Leslie J. Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Sports Medicine. She recommends choosing very lean cuts and avoiding anything labeled “prime,” as it will have more fat marbling. And try not to eat more than three 4- to 5-ounce servings (about the size of an iPhone) per week.

Old Rule: Keep your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.
New Rule: Eat healthy, exercise, and let your weight settle naturally.
Physicians use BMI (body mass index)–a ratio of your weight to your height–as a tool to diagnose obesity. But critics say BMI ignores muscle mass, and a 2011 Obesity study notes that it also ignores a person’s hip circumference. “People come in different sizes and shapes,” says Joanne Ikeda, nutritionist emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. “The idea that everyone should fall under 25 is ludicrous.” A person can have a high BMI and still be healthy, Ikeda argues. Research supports the theory: A Journal of the American Medical Association study found that fit women–even if they were overweight according to their BMI–were less likely to suffer a heart attack than those who were out of shape. Ikeda advises her patients to stop obsessing over their BMI, eat a nutritious diet, and log 150 minutes of exercise per week. “A healthy lifestyle results in a healthy weight.”

 

 

Grab a Fistful of These for a Healthier Heart

Posted on October 27, 2011 by admin

Next time you’re headed to the office vending machine, skip the chips and instead grab yourself a bag of almonds. Your heart will sing.
Besides offering an abundance of fiber, magnesium, polyphenols, and good-for-you monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), almonds may wrestle two known heart disease risks to the ground: insulin resistance and bad-for-you LDL cholesterol.
Heart-Lovin’ Nuts
At least, that’s what happened to people with prediabetes in a recent study. Eating just 2 ounces of almonds a day for 2 weeks helped lower their LDL cholesterol and improve their insulin resistance — two healthy changes that could help halt the progression of prediabetes and protect the heart from the ravages of high cholesterol. But you don’t have to have high blood sugar to gain heart-protective benefits from almonds. Plenty of related findings suggest the nuts also help lower inflammation and LDL cholesterol in folks with normal blood sugar levels
Trade Bad Fat for Good
But here’s the catch: Many findings suggest you’ll get the most heart benefits from almonds and other nuts if you eat them in lieu of foods high in saturated fat, such as chips, fried fare, high-fat dairy, and red meat.

 

 

More Protection for Your Heart

A newly released study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that getting a moderate amount of certain substances in plants can make you less likely to die of heart disease or stroke.

This large study that was composed over nearly 100,000 old American adults found that those getting the most flavonoids in their diets were less likely to die of heart disease or stroke over the next seven years than those who ate the least flavonoids.

For this study, the researchers divided the subjects into 5 subgroups based on the quantity of flavenoids that were in their diets. The one-fifth with the highest flavonoid intake were 18 percent less likely to die of heart problems or stroke than the fifth with the lowest intake.

Considering that heart failure and stroke are both leading causes of death in this country, the researchers were very enthusiastic about discovering that simple differences in diet can create such an impressive reduction of risk.

Flavenoids are found in various fruits and vegetables.  Below are some of the foods with high flavenoids content.

Fruits: berries, citrus and apples

Vegetables:  kale, spinach and broccoli

They are also found in nuts, soy, dark chocolate, tea and wine.

Research shows that flavonoids have a number of benefits, including fighting inflammation and acting as antioxidants.   Antioxidants help protect body cells from damage that may lead to chronic diseases and cancer.

With the health benefits indicated in previous studies and this new research, you might want to make eating foods with a high flavenoid content one of your priorities.

The Benefits of Deep Breathing

Posted on January 19, 2012 by admin

Deep Breathing is known by a few names: abdominal breathing, belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and some others. The basic concept is breathing fully, using the full capacity of the lungs and getting the maximum amount of oxygen available into the lungs at all times. What a wonderful concept! I doubt that anyone could intelligently argue against this good practice, but there may be more benefits from deep breathing than we realize.

One of the uses of the practice of deep breathing is to help solve stuttering and stammering. If you have ever been afflicted by this problem or if you know someone who has been, you can imagine the relief that would come from solving it. It stands to reason that if controlled and purposeful breathing can solve such a disability as this, it would be beneficial in any speaking scenario such as public speaking, important meetings, or even just conversations with friends.

Another use is to relieve tension. Remember how your grandmother used to tell you to take a deep breath when you were upset or angry? Well, now Grandma’s advice is fully backed by scientific evidence that this works to calm things down. I realize that you didn’t need scientific proof to know that Grandma gave good advice, but it’s still fun to hear that. When we are tense, our whole bodies tighten up and constrict in a way that does not promote health. Blood and oxygen do not flow as easily as they should, so the cells are not nourished properly. Relieving tension lets the systems of the body flow and operate as they should.

Breathing well, breathing deeply, relaxes the mind and body and is known to bring some relief to emotional problems. We all know that the stresses of life can show up in our health and in how our bodies operate. If you’ve looked at someone who is stressed or worried, you’ll be able to see it in their face, in their posture, and in their overall body language. All of that is what shows on the outside. The furrowed brow, the slumped shoulders, the drawn face are the outside manifestations of stress and upset. Reactions happen on the inside too, but they are hidden from our direct view. Anything that can relieve upset and stress will benefit health and all of life.

While it is certainly not a substitute for exercise, deep breathing helps to build muscle. The actions of tissue repair and muscle building require nutrients and one of those nutrients is oxygen. Breathing deeply supplies more oxygen to more cells so that tissues can heal and muscle can build. The action of breathing deeply exercises the lungs and gently massages the abdominal organs around the lungs and the diaphragm. This gentle and constant motion helps keep all these organs more alive and awake. The heart is also greatly benefited from each deep breath because its job of delivering oxygen to all parts of the body is made easier by the abundance of available oxygen.

The act of breathing deeply will help to improve digestion and nutrient assimilation. Every cell needs oxygen to operate well and the cells of the digestive system are no exception. Digestion is a big job with many different processes happening simultaneously. Eating well is only part of winning the game of health. Making sure the food is digested properly and helping the body get all the nutrients from food is just as important to good health.

The nervous system is also improved by deep breathing. The brain, the spinal cord and all the nerves need their proper amount of oxygen, too. Proper breathing makes oxygen more available to this vital communication system of the body and allows it to function as it should.

There are so many benefits from the simple act breathing deeply, it seems funny that more attention isn’t placed on this simple action. It helps improve the immune system, relieves pain, and elevates our mood. It improves the quality of our blood, increases stamina and boosts energy. On top of all that, deep breathing is one of the best ways to detoxify the whole body. It is said that a body releases 60 to 80 percent of its toxins through breathing alone. That in itself is a great reason to learn this simple procedure, practice it well and adopt it as a most healthful habit. Your life will be better for it.

Lower Your Risk of Cognitive Decline

Posted on January 9, 2012 by admin

PARIS – A new study conducted by the Center for Research in Epidemiology & Population Health says that cognitive decline can begin as early as age 45.

The study included 5,200 men and 2,200 women and followed them from 45-70. During the years of the study the participants’ cognitive function was tested three times. Among men aged 45 to 49, reasoning skills declined by nearly 4 percent, and for those aged 65 to 70 those skills dropped by about nearly 10 percent.

The researchers point out that by people being aware of the risk they may be facing they can take actions to improve their odds of protecting their faculties.

“Greater awareness of the fact that our cognitive status is not intact until deep old age might lead individuals to make changes in their lifestyle and improve [their] cardiovascular health, to reduce risk of adverse cognitive outcomes in old age,” said study author Singh-Manoux. “Research shows that what is good for the heart is good for the head,” which makes living a healthy lifestyle a part of slowing cognitive decline.”

In addition, knowing when cognitive decline is likely to start can help in treatment, because the earlier treatment starts the more likely it is to be effective, the researchers noted.

According to JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH

“Interventions that may lower the risk for stroke and vascular disease may also have substantial benefits in lowering the risk for cognitive decline. Along those lines, there is evidence that regular physical activity, including brisk walking, cycling, and moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity, will go a long way in preventing coronary disease, stroke, and cognitive decline.

Also, participating in cognitively stimulating activities such as reading, playing crossword puzzles, and playing cards games such as bridge can be very important in preventing cognitive decline.”

With this latest study showing that cognitive decline can start long before symptoms are visible, you might want the above suggestions to minimize your risk.

 

4 Health Rules You Can Break Today

Posted on March 12, 2012 by admin

 

They’re the imperatives for well-being that have been drilled into us forever–”Drink eight glasses of water a day!” “Eat nine servings of fruits and veggies!” “Stay away from red meat!” But it turns out that taking care of yourself isn’t quite so black-and-white, says Harvard Medical School psychologist Alice Domar, PhD, coauthor of Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Won’t Break Your Health. “Research is revealing that whoever wrote the old guidelines didn’t have the whole picture, and that there are more paths to optimal health than we previously thought,” Domar says. Happily, the new rules are more user-friendly than the old ones. Here, four tips to live by.Old Rule: Drink eight glasses of water a day.
New Rule: Eat your water.The recommendation to chug all that H2O was likely based on guidelines published in 1945. However, says Howard Murad, MD, author of The Water Secret, much of your daily requirement is contained in foods: Fruits, vegetables, beans, and cooked whole grains like oatmeal and quinoa (which soak up moisture in the pot) all deliver servings of water. And, as Murad points out, they offer the added bonus of nutrients: “Watermelon and cucumber are more than 90 percent water, but they also contain antioxidants. With a glass of water, all you get is water.” You’ll know you’re hydrated when your urine is colorless or pale yellow and you’re rarely thirsty.Old Rule: Eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables.
New Rule: Fill half your plate with produce.A serving of broccoli is about five florets. A serving of raw spinach, one cup. A serving of mango, roughly the size of a fist. “It’s not surprising that people get confused over what, exactly, a serving is,” says Washington, D.C., dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield. Her advice: Stop counting and instead make half of every meal produce. “You don’t need a big mound on your plate. Six asparagus spears at dinner, a spinach salad at lunch, and a sliced banana and some berries at breakfast should do it.” And quality counts: Even two or three daily servings of deeply hued fruits and veggies (like blueberries, bok choy, or red peppers) may help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, Scritchfield says. “It’s like darts. The goal is to hit the bull’s-eye. But hitting nearby is good, too.”Old Rule: Avoid red meat.
New Rule: Beef in moderation can be healthy.Red meat was long considered a heart attack on a plate because it’s high in saturated fat. But a 2010 study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that the cardiovascular risk comes from processed varieties, such as sausage, hot dogs, and cold cuts–not from steak, hamburgers, and other nonprocessed cuts. (The real culprits may be salt and preservatives). Red meat is a good source of iron and immunity-boosting zinc-two nutrients some women don’t get enough of. Beef (especially grass-fed) also contains high concentrations of conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat that may decrease cancer risk and help reduce body fat.“But not all red meats are created equal,” says Leslie J. Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Sports Medicine. She recommends choosing very lean cuts and avoiding anything labeled “prime,” as it will have more fat marbling. And try not to eat more than three 4- to 5-ounce servings (about the size of an iPhone) per week.

Old Rule: Keep your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.
New Rule: Eat healthy, exercise, and let your weight settle naturally.

Physicians use BMI (body mass index)–a ratio of your weight to your height–as a tool to diagnose obesity. But critics say BMI ignores muscle mass, and a 2011 Obesity study notes that it also ignores a person’s hip circumference. “People come in different sizes and shapes,” says Joanne Ikeda, nutritionist emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. “The idea that everyone should fall under 25 is ludicrous.” A person can have a high BMI and still be healthy, Ikeda argues. Research supports the theory: A Journal of the American Medical Association study found that fit women–even if they were overweight according to their BMI–were less likely to suffer a heart attack than those who were out of shape. Ikeda advises her patients to stop obsessing over their BMI, eat a nutritious diet, and log 150 minutes of exercise per week. “A healthy lifestyle results in a healthy weight.”

 

 

 

 

Time for an Oil Change

Posted on March 5, 2012 by admin

It’s time to change the way you think about fat. For 30 years well-meaning diet gurus have preached that eating fat makes you fat. I’m here to tell you that fat, in and of itself, is not what is making you fat. Instead, it’s eating too much of the wrong kinds of fat. After all, all fats are not created equal. But, if you are like 90 percent of Americans, you are eating the wrong kind of fat most of the time. Time for an oil change!
What is Fat?
Fat is one of the body’s most basic building blocks. The average person is between 15 and 30 percent fat! Of all of the types of fats in our diets, the body only REALLY needs two—omega 3s and omega-6s. What is an omega fat? The omega numbers (in this case 3 and 6) refer to where the hydrogen atom joins the fat molecule. Remember, the name is just basic chemistry lingo. What is important is to understand the impact of different fats on body.
The higher-quality the fat, the better your body will function. That’s because the body uses fat you eat to build cell walls. You have more than 100 trillion cells in your body, and every single one of them needs high-quality fat. How do you know if your cells are getting the fats they need? Your body sends signals when it’s not getting enough good fats. It’s up to you to recognize the warning signs:
• Dry, itchy, scaling or flaking skin
• Soft, cracked, or brittle nails
• Hard earwax
• Tiny bumps on the backs of your arms or torso
• Achy, stiff joints
Why does the type of fat matter? Building your body from the inside out is just like building a house. You can frame the house with the cheapest stuff you can scrounge. Or you can invest in quality materials that are going to be energy-efficient and last a long time.
Which Fats to Eat and Which to Avoid
If you want to settle for shoddy, stick with a diet of processed foods. Most processed foods are made with poor-quality omega-6 fats because they are abundant and cheap. Plus, fat makes food taste good and improves its texture. Take a look at the ingredients of your favorite packaged food. If the list includes oils made from corn, soy or safflower you are getting a sub-par fat. When the body puts these cheap fats to work, the cell walls are also sub-par. That means instead of flexible and responsive, cell walls are stiff and rigid. The more rigid the wall, the slower the cell functions and the more vulnerable it is to inflammation.
To ensure your body has the fats it needs to construct high-quality cell walls, you need to eat more omega-3 fats. For starters, cell walls made from omega 3 fats are flexible, allowing cells to respond more quickly to messages. Secondly, these “good” fats help the body churn out prostaglandins, hormones that put the kibosh on inflammation. The best places to find omega-3 fats include cold-water fish, organic canola oil, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and sea vegetables.
Your body is designed to run on high-quality fats. Scientists suspect that early humans ate almost equal amounts of omega-6 fats and omega-3 fats. (Back then, most people got their omega-6 fats from seeds and nuts.) But, as people began to refine oils from plants, the ratio became skewed toward omega-6. As a result of fats being out of balance in the modern diet, our bodies are more vulnerable to diseases such as cancer and heart disease. After all, when the human diet contained a balanced number of omega-3s and omega-6 fats, heart disease was almost nonexistent. Now cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the developed world.
Body Boon
The more omega-3 fats you eat, the easier your body cools itself. A cool body is a less inflamed body. And inflammation is at the root of nearly every chronic disease, especially those impacting the brain and the heart (1).
Of all the body parts dependent on high-quality fat, the brain is uniquely vulnerable. That’s because the organ brain is made up of 60 percent fat, the biggest portion of which is an omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA for short) (2). Your brain needs DHA to spark communication between cells. Easy access to high-quality fat boosts cognition, happiness, learning and memory. In contrast, studies link a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia (3).
After the brain, it’s the heart that will thank you for eating more omega-3s (4). The heart is a direct beneficiary of omega-3 fats. They tamp down cholesterol by reducing levels of bad fats (triglycerides). Meanwhile, they raise levels of good fats (HDL) in the blood. Part of their magic is that omega-3 fats make blood more slippery, which reduces the likelihood of artery disease.
Beyond the heart and brain, eating the right fat also helps you shed fat. Healthy cell walls made from high-quality fats are better able to metabolize insulin, which keeps blood sugar better regulated. Without proper blood sugar control, the body socks away fat for a rainy day. Ironically, it’s not eating fat that makes you gain weight it’s eating the WRONG types of fat.
3 Ways to Change Your Oil
The process of rebuilding all the walls of your cells can take up to a year, so there’s no time to lose. Here are three ways to change your body’s oil:
1. Eat more wild or sustainably raised cold-water fish. Aim for two servings a week. The best sources of omega-3s are wild salmon, sardines, herring, or small halibut. Of course, everyone is concerned about the sustainability and safety of fish. It’s important to know where your catch comes from. For more in-depth information about seafood safety and sustainability visit http://www.oceansalive.org/.
2. Buy omega-3 rich eggs. These are one of the few animal products that are low in toxins and high in quality fats that balance blood sugar. These eggs supply the body with DHA and don’t raise your cholesterol; just the opposite. Enjoy up to eight of these eggs a week.
3. For good measure, take an omega-3 supplement twice a day with breakfast and dinner. Look for a reputable supplement maker that certifies its products are free of mercury and other contaminants. (For more information, see The Healthy Living Store). Choose a supplement with 500 to 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fats. (A ratio of roughly 300 EPA and 200 DHA is ideal).
Of course, it is understandable that people who try to lose weight do so by eliminating fat from their diets. But remember there is no such thing as a healthy fat-free diet. Fat is essential for good health. The key is knowing how to maximize good fats and reduce bad fats to heap your body protect and rebuild itself every day from the inside out!
To learn more please see The Blood Sugar Solution. Get one book or get two and give one to someone you love – you might be saving their life. When you purchase the book from this link you will automatically receive access to the following special bonuses:
• Special Report—Diabetes and Alzheimer’s: The Truth About “Type 3 Diabetes” and How You Can Avoid It.
• More Delicious Recipes: 15 Additional Ways to Make The Blood Sugar Solution as Tasty as It’s Healthy!
• Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Nutrition Coaching – FREE for 30 days!
• Hour 1 of The Blood Sugar Solution Workshop DVD
Now I’d like to hear from you…
Do you eat a lot of processed foods?
Are you consuming the right kinds of fats?
Do you suffer from memory or cognition problems?
Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, MD http://drhyman.com
MARK HYMAN, MD is dedicated to identifying and addressing the root causes of chronic illness through a groundbreaking whole-systems medicine approach called Functional Medicine. He is a family physician, a four-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in his field. Through his private practice, education efforts, writing, research, and advocacy, he empowers others to stop managing symptoms and start treating the underlying causes of illness, thereby tackling our chronic-disease epidemic.

Kill the carbs, save your kidneys

Posted on April 29, 2012 by admin

Diet can reverse organ failure
Diabetics, there’s one thing you can do right now to save your kidneys from the self-destruct sequence kicked off by your disease: cut the carbs.
Then, double up on the delicious fresh animal fats you’ve been told to avoid.
Truth is, a high-fat, low-carb diet is the best thing you can do for your body and would have helped you to prevent the disease in the first place. But if you’re already in the “too little, too late” category, I have good news for you. The same high-fat, low-carb diet that could have helped you prevent kidney failure to begin with could also help you reverse it.
Researchers in New York gathered mice with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, then waited for the inevitable kidney damage. Then, they put half the mice onto a high-fat, low-carb diet (cheese!), while the other half got the usual mouse food.
After eight weeks, the fat-loving mice actually REVERSED their kidney damage.
The one catch here is that this was an ultra-high fat diet — 87 percent fat — and the researchers say it actually caused the body to think it was starving.
Definitely don’t try that at home!
I don’t want you to starve — I want you to eat all the healthy animal proteins you want, and skip most of the carbs (and all of the sugars).
You’ll lose the hunger pangs even as you lose weight. You’ll also bring your blood sugar under control and protect your heart, kidneys, liver and more.
If you’re strict about it, you’ll eventually reach the point where you’ll forget you even have diabetes.
But let’s face reality here: Most diabetics didn’t end up that way by accident.
It can take years, even decades, of poor eating habits to turn your body against itself… and you won’t get back on track overnight no matter how strict your diet is.
If that sounds like you, don’t worry. There’s still hope.
A synthetic form of thiamine has been shown to reverse the damage caused by high blood sugar, including kidney and nerve damage.
It’s called benfotiamine, and unlike regular thiamine it’s fat-soluble — and that means your body can absorb it up to five times more efficiently.
It’s like turning glucose from enemy to friend.
Half the truth is even more dangerous than a whole lie — and when it comes to diabetes, you’ve only been told half the truth.
And it’s killing you.
That’s because — despite what you’ve heard — beating this disease isn’t about simply watching your blood sugar levels.
You can watch, watch, watch ’til the cows come home… and then what?
If you’re like most diabetics, all the meds and insulin in the world won’t stop you from getting sicker and weaker… and next thing you know, you’ll watch, watch, watch as the disease spirals out of control.
Now, here’s the half they’re NOT telling you — what your own doctor CAN’T tell you because everything he knows about this disease has been spoon-fed to him by the drug companies:
Beating diabetes isn’t about babysitting your blood sugar levels.
It’s about taming the sugar that’s in your blood until it’s as harmless as a newborn kitten.
And you’ve already got the mother of all lion tamers in your body, right now, waiting for orders.
It’s an enzyme called transketolase, and it takes direction from an ordinary B vitamin — vitamin B1, aka thiamine.
There’s just one little problem: You can gobble down thiamine supplements all day and it won’t make a bit of difference. Since it’s water soluble, your body will barely even know it’s there.
Luckily for you, there’s another option — one you’ve probably never heard of, and one I’ll bet your own doc doesn’t know much about, either.
It’s a synthetic form of thiamine called benfotiamine — and because it’s fat soluble, your body can absorb it five times more efficiently.
Once it’s inside, the transketolase gets the message and goes to work… and your glucose is following orders better than a circus animal.
But it doesn’t stop there — because benfotiamine is also a diabetes repair kit. It can actually reverse the damage caused by high blood sugar, including kidney and nerve damage.
The one problem — the only problem — with this stuff is that it’s so safe, effective and inexpensive that it would wipe out the multibillion-dollar diabetes drug industry overnight.
And that’s why you’re being kept in the dark with a dangerous half-truth about diabetes.
But the cat’s out of the bag now — and soon, I believe every diabetic will be using benfotiamine.
Don’t wait for everyone else. It’s time to stop “watching” your blood sugar… and start taming it instead.

The Benefits of Meditation

Posted on April 27, 2012 by admin

Meditation is like a wonder drug without undesirable side effects. Research shows it can reverse DNA damage, improve brain structure, drop heart disease risk, boost immunity, increase energy and reduce inflammation. A meditative mind may instill immensely improved health.

Regular Meditation

Over the years, published research has demonstrated that the practice of regular meditation can increase brain density, boost connections between neurons, decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, provide clarity of thought and increase positive mood endorphins. Other published studies have shown meditation can improve physical functioning, decrease chronic disease risks and enhance overall quality of life. These studies demonstrate that regular meditation effectively supports mental, emotional and physical health in numerous tangible ways. In building upon this strong body of evidence, researchers are continuing to deepen our understanding of the profound and inspirational benefits offered by regular meditation practice in everyday life.

UCLA Researchers Uncover Brain Benefits Of Meditation

Most recently, neuroscientists at UCLA have shown another fascinating neural effect of regular meditation: the ability to increase “cortical gyrification” of the brain. Cortical gyrification refers to the folding of the cerebral cortex, a function that allows the brain to process information faster. The cerebral cortex is the outermost layer of neural tissue in the brain and serves an important role in controlling memory, consciousness, thought processing, decision making, attention and awareness. During cortical gyrification, the tissues of the cerebral cortex fold, creating indented fissures and creases called sulci and gyri, which increase neural processing and neurotransmitter communication. Increased gyrification enhances the brain’s capacity for computing information, maintaining focus and attention, creating and retrieving memory, processing logic, forming decisions, and performing other mental tasks.

The neuroscientists at UCLA compared meditators who possessed various levels of experience and frequency of practice to people who never meditated. Among the meditators, they found significant increases in cortical folding across a wide area of the brain responsible for numerous functions beyond rapid information processing and retrieval. Additional areas of the brain that are shown to be markedly affected by meditation involve emotional and mental health capacities, ability to control emotions, heightened awareness, introspection, and more. This finding supports some of the more noticeable results of regular meditation: increased compassion for self and others, enhanced self-awareness and introspection, and greater emotional stability.

Researchers also found significant increases in cortical gyrification among more experienced practitioners. In other words, the longer a person had been practicing regular meditation, the greater the beneficial changes in his brain.

Long-Term Health

As a holistic physician and meditation practitioner with more than 25 years of experience, I have always believed strongly in the mental and emotional benefits of regular mindful meditation practice. And the physical payoffs are equally impressive. We all know that reducing stress can dramatically improve health on a number of levels. Regular mindful meditation has been shown to protect against and reverse DNA (telomere) damage, boost immune function, reduce cardiovascular disease risks, decrease inflammation, improve outcomes in cancer, reduce side effects of conventional treatment, increase vital energy and expand physical capacity.

As regular meditation practice becomes better understood and more widely practiced, more and more doctors and health practitioners are recommending these ancient disciplines to their patients. If you’re a health provider, meditation can help you become a better healer and clinician, increasing your diagnostic and therapeutic skills significantly and allowing you to connect in more meaningful ways with your patients and community. And if you are looking for some extra healing energy to improve your own health, regular meditation can provide a powerful solution.

As evidenced by this UCLA study, meditation is most effective when practiced regularly. Even just 10 minutes a day can offer significant and noticeable benefits over a short period of time.
Tips For Getting Started

While there are countless styles of meditation practice, one of the most profound is the ancient Tibetan practice of Shamatha meditation. Shamatha is Sanskrit for “calm abiding.” This form of meditation is intended to help people access a natural state of tranquility and clarity. The technique involves focusing the breath on a specific object and letting go of all other thoughts, as attention is consistently trained on the process of breathing.

Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit, and pick a small object such as a rock to place on the ground in front of you. Focus your eyes and your breathing on the rock. As thoughts inevitably arise, simply acknowledge and then release them, letting them slip away with each out-breath. When your mind wanders off, gently bring your attention back to your breathing and the rock, visualizing each inhalation and exhalation going to and from the rock.

Meditation And Healing Retreat

Exponential Benefits

As you become more practiced at meditation, you will likely notice significant improvements in your energy, health and mental/emotional balance. You may find that as distractions and obscurities are peeled away during mindful meditation practice, the space between thoughts becomes greater and more profound. As we slowly turn down the constant chatter of our minds, we can begin to access deeper aspects of consciousness for growth and healing. This peeling process can make room for your true inner nature of love, compassion, peace and tranquility to arise and expand naturally, benefiting yourself and those around you exponentially.

To me, one of the most beautiful and profound aspects of meditation is that this process of growth and unfolding (as well as cortical folding) can continue throughout our lives. After all, we can never have too much love, compassion and clarity.

LONDON – New research conducted at the University College London and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that there are four keys to maintaining successful aging.
The researchers defined successful aging as having the following at 60 years of age or older:
· Good mobility
· Normal lung function
· Cognitive skills
· No chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke, diabetes or disability

The researchers had 5100 subjects in their study between the ages of 42-63 years old that were followed for sixteen years.

The four habits that the researchers were able to correlate to a higher likelihood of successful aging were:

· No smoking

· Moderate drinking of alcohol

· Regular exercise
· Diet that included regular consumption of fruits and vegetables
According to lead researcher, Dr. Severine Sabia:
Our study shows the cumulative impact of healthy behaviors on successful aging — the greater the number of healthy behaviors, the greater the benefit.”
If you’re interested in having the best health as you age, you might want to consider adopting the four above suggested behaviors.

Take a walk, do yoga poses, listen to music, spend time quietly meditating…whatever works for you.  Find some way to relieve your stress on a regular basis or your health may one day suffer.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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