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National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month – Learning the Important Factors

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National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month – Learning the Important FactorsIt's May which means it's the start of National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month. Blood pressure is something you should endeavor to support every day—not just when you think something might be amiss—because your heart works hard for you daily. That's why you should work to stomp out bad habits and take on healthy tips to take care of your heart function and other connected areas of health.

Blood pressure is the force of your blood as your heart pumps it through your arteries and throughout your body. The two readings that indicate the pressure of your blood flow are systolic (the top number), which measures your blood pressure when your heart beats, and diastolic (the bottom number), which measures your blood pressure when the heart is at rest. The target range for healthy blood pressure is anything at, or lower than, 120/80.

Family History

There are many factors, both controllable and uncontrollable, that you need to be aware of when focusing on maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, and in turn, a healthy heart. Some factors that are beyond your control can include race, family history, and age. For example, studies have shown that African Americans tend to be more susceptible to blood pressure concerns when compared to other races due to genetic factors. However, even if you have a family history of blood pressure concerns, there are still a number of ways you can positively influence healthy levels.

Knowing the Basic Do's and Don'ts

Some factors that are within your control include cutting back on certain foods. For example, a number of studies have proven that cutting back on sodium can have a profound positive influence on blood pressure and can help lower the risk of cardiovascular challenges by 25%–30%. The American Heart Association (AHA) currently recommends consuming less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. This can easily be accomplished by eating less processed foods, canned foods, and lunch meats, which are the main culprits behind high dietary sodium. Additionally, alcohol consumption can affect blood pressure. But it's also something within your power to control. The AHA says to limit your drink intake to no more than two drinks a day for men or one drink per day for women (1 drink serving is defined as one 12-ounce beer or 4-ounce glass of wine). Besides watching what you eat and drink, you can cut back on stress and maintain a healthy weight. Although there is no evidence to suggest that stress directly causes high blood pressure, blood pressure levels can still spike during periods of tension. Try reducing stress by going for walk, doing an activity that relaxes you, or sharing a laugh with friends. Additionally, added body mass puts extra strain on your heart, forcing it to work harder. Even losing an excess 10 lbs can make a significant difference to your blood pressure health.

Nutritional Factors of Note

When dialing back on things such as sodium and alcohol, you should also remember to increase your intake of nutritious foods. To positively influence your blood pressure it is recommended that you eat at least 8 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. In particular, foods high in potassium have been shown in studies to support healthy blood pressure. Leafy green vegetables—such as kale, collards, swiss chard, and spinach—and whole grains are also rich in B vitamins that support cardio health. Choose healthier cooking options such as baking, roasting, and steaming as opposed to frying; and cut out foods containing trans fats and saturated fat. Throughout the centuries, practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have catalogued hundreds of beneficial herbs and their various uses. Several of these herbs can be used to support healthy blood pressure. Chrysanthemum, for example, helps expand blood vessels to ease circulation. Senna also contains compounds that help reduce arterial plaque buildup, while Apocynum venetum has alkaloids that help promote healthy blood flow. Since you wouldn't normally find these herbs on your supermarket shelf, nutritional supplements may be the best source. Your heart works hard for you everyday, so it makes sense to kick those bad habits and positively influence your blood pressure levels. Simple tasks, such as cutting back on sodium and alcohol; reducing stress; and increasing your intake of nutritious foods and herbal supplements; are things everyone can do — starting in National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month. Find your healthy motivation today!


HyperBalance
 

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Managing Allergies While Enjoying the Outdoors

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Managing Allergies While Enjoying the OutdoorsEnjoying warmer weather outdoors can have many benefits to your health and well-being. With spring upon us it's a time when plant life begins to flourish. That means the air will be adorned with pollen and other particulates from trees, grass, mold, spores, and flowers that can trigger pesky signs of seasonal allergies, disrupting your outdoor enjoyment. With the right knowhow, you can be prepared to avoid all the sneezing, running noses, itching eyes, and other symptoms that are associated with seasonal allergies.

Facts About Allergies

Allergies occur when the immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a threat to the body and it goes into defense mode trying to discharge that substance from your body. If either of your parents has allergies, you have a 1 in 3 chance of developing them, too. However, if both your parents have allergies the chances go up to 70%.

Controlling Your Environment

While it's virtually impossible to rid the world of allergens completely, there are many steps you can take to protect yourself and give your sinuses some relief. First, remember that even when you're not outside pollen and dander can still find you. Controlling your home environment is a key step to reducing your exposure. Allergens and pollen can stick to clothes, furniture, bedding, and carpets. Pollen activity in the air is usually at its strongest from 10 am to 4 pm, so keep the main windows and doors to your home closed during these hours. It's also important to know that you may be covered in pollen if you've been outdoors for any period of time. Showering as soon as you get home, washing your clothes on a regular basis, and vacuuming your bedroom and living areas will help keep pollen and particulates in your home to a minimum. The main theme here is maintaining cleanliness in high-traffic areas to reduce your exposure to allergens. You can also plan your outdoor excursions around the weather. The best time to venture outdoors is after a rainstorm or rainy day; rain can wash allergens away and significantly reduce the outdoor pollen count to help reduce allergy sensitivity.

The Many Choices in Remedies

Some people are capable of outgrowing their allergies over time; others will need to constantly be aware of them. Check with your doctor to ensure you are taking the right remedy for you. Some over-the-counter medications may raise blood pressure, while experts have also found that you can build up a tolerance to allergy medicines. Herbal supplements can provide a more natural means to managing your allergies than over-the-counter medications. Red magnolia, for example, has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since 100 AD as a natural nasal decongestant. Often paired with red magnolia, xanthium, is another name for the cocklebur plant native to Europe. It has been used in TCM to help open up nasal passages to ease breathing. Another common home remedy is creating a saline solution spray to help clear the sinuses.

You Can Never Be Over-Prepared for Allergies

Millions of people are affected each spring by seasonal allergies. But by knowing your personal allergic triggers, checking with your doctor to see what preventative remedy is best for you, and keeping a clean and tidy home, you can be well prepared to deal with the pollen, dander, and other particulates that invade the air during spring. Don't let the fear of allergies hold you back from enjoying the outdoors!


Sinetic
 

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Debunking 5 Daily Nutritional Misconceptions

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Debunking 5 Daily Nutritional MisconceptionsFocusing on your health can sometimes lead you to find contradictory statements. There are many misconceptions out there when it comes to food and daily nutrition and understanding what's good and what's bad when it comes to your daily diet isn't always black and white. Separating nutrition facts from myths can allow you to know what you need to cut back on and what is okay to include in your daily efforts to eat more healthily.

Myth #1 – Microwaving Food Depletes Nutrient Content

This urban legend often gets passed down within families. The fact is many minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C are heat sensitive. This means the longer you cook foods that are rich in these nutrients, the less nutrition they have. Using the microwave to cook vegetables can be a good way to quickly steam them while retaining their nutritional value compared to boiling them in water for a longer period of time.

Myth #2 – Multigrain and Whole Grain Mean the Same Thing

One would think that the more types of grains a food has, the better. However, just because something has multiple types of grains, it doesn't mean it contains the whole part of the it. Whole grain means using every part of the grain—including the kernel, the bran, the germ, and the endosperm—which provides more nutrition than refined grains. According to the Journal of Nutrition there is consistent evidence that whole grains can play an important role in heart health, balancing blood sugar, weight management, and digestive health.

Myth #3 – Eating Eggs Raises Your Cholesterol

This misconception is common and can be boiled down to understanding that there are different types of cholesterol. The cholesterol which is found in eggs and other foods you ingest is called dietary cholesterol. This type does not greatly influence the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream compared to the cholesterol your body makes on its own. It's the saturated and trans-fats in foods that increase your body's cholesterol production. Eggs, while containing some trans-fats, are not nearly as unhealthy as many commonly think. They contain several vitamins and minerals that your body needs each day such as vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin B12; plus the trace minerals selenium and iodine. So before you dismiss eggs from your diet, make sure you know the good things you're missing out as well. In fact, researchers from the University of Missouri recently presented research stating that eating a high-protein diet consisting of eggs early in the day can help reduce total calorie intake throughout the rest of that day, which can promote better overall weight management.

Myth #4 – White Vegetables Contain No Nutritional Value

Because of all the positives associated with brightly-colored vegetables, you can see how white-colored vegetables would be thought of being less nutritious. However, this is simply just not true. Foods such as cauliflower, turnips, potatoes, parsnips, corn, and onions all contain essential nutrients like fiber, potassium, and magnesium that are important for everyday health. Just this past year, researchers and experts at the University of Purdue formed a roundtable discussion called White Vegetables: A forgotten Source of Nutrients. The discussion helped assuage the claims that white vegetables lack the same healthy punch as multicolored varieties. In particular, many experts showed that these vegetables can be important in filling in daily nutritional gaps.

Myth #5 – Using the Salt Shaker Is a Big Factor in Raising Sodium Levels

With 9 out of 10 Americans consuming more than the recommended value of 2,300 mg of sodium daily, it's easy to blame the salt shaker for high sodium levels. However, 90% of sodium intake comes from eating processed and prepared foods. Manufacturers often use it as a preservative, so it can be found in abundance in foods that might not even taste salty. Your best bet in cutting back is to read the nutrition labels for sodium amounts. As a general guide, look for entrees with no more than 800 mg sodium and no more than 200 mg for snacks. The right knowledge is key to making healthy, informed decisions when supporting your daily nutrition needs. Before deciding to cut something from your diet for good, take the time to do some research—the truth may surprise you.

Daily MultiChew


 

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Is Detoxing Necessary? We Put the Spotlight on Colon Health for Colon Health Awareness Month

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Is Detoxing Necessary? We Put the Spotlight on Colon Health for Colon Health Awareness MonthMarch is Colon Health Awareness Month, so if you haven't paid much thought to your colon's needs, now is the perfect opportunity to educate yourself on how the state of your colon, or lower intestine, can have a significant impact on your well-being. The colon is the main site in your body for waste removal, so naturally, a lot of unwanted material passes through this region. It is believed that occasional cleansing can give your colon—and overall system—an added health boost. But just what is colon cleansing and how is it done?

Is Detoxing Healthy or Harmful?

The idea behind cleansing or detoxing is that it can help remove toxins left behind in your system that remain even after normal elimination. Some people think that colon cleansing is unnecessary because your body naturally cleanses itself through regular bowel movements. However, proponents of periodic detox or cleansing believe that toxins in your colon can be the cause of various symptoms such as bloating, irritable bowels, and even certain allergies. Regular cleansing helps flush these toxins out and may support weight management, promote a healthy balance of stomach bacteria, and even improve your mental outlook. One method of detoxing is with a water diet for two days, which is one of the quickest ways. But it can also be the most challenging method because water is the only thing you consume during this type of cleanse and it can put excess strain on your body. It may also leave you more vulnerable to dehydration because along with flushing out toxins, you're also releasing water from your system. Another method of detoxing involves using juice cleansers or a strict diet of fruits and vegetables. These methods are meant to introduce more nutrients into your system while you're cleansing. Brown rice, for example, is high in B vitamins and fiber that aids your regular bowel movements.

Cleansing the Healthy Way

Using the right ingredients for a colon cleanse can clear away toxins without flushing out the electrolytes your body needs. Magnesium hydroxide has been touted as a healthy cleansing agent because it draws water into the intestines, softening waste matter and allowing it to move through your system more easily. Another common ingredient used for gentle detoxing is peppermint leaf. Used to support colon health for centuries, peppermint leaf calms the muscles of the stomach and intestines to allow the food and waste to pass through more quickly. In one study conducted on 57 people with digestive concerns, patients were either given a placebo or capsules containing peppermint leaf twice a day for four weeks. Of the people who took peppermint leaf, 75% showed fewer digestive health symptoms at the end of the study. The superfruit, acai, also doubles as a healthy cleansing agent. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, acai fruit contains dietary fibers and complex amino acids. The dietary fibers help stimulate digestion, along with supporting your body's natural cleansing and detoxing methods.

Living healthy Through Good Digestion

Your colon has many responsibilities. Cleansing your system and supporting your colon health with the right ingredients can enhance your immune system, give you more natural energy, and help your body absorb the vitamins and nutrients from your food that it needs to perform each day. While colon health awareness may only receive a month of recognition, supporting a healthy digestive system and colon should be a year-round affair.


ColonVita
 

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Three Powerful Supplements Are Leading the Way in Joint Health – Are You on Board?

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Three Powerful Supplements Are Leading the Way in Joint Health – Are You on Board?Many people today experience some form of bone and joint discomfort. Even if you don't have a physically demanding job, your chances of dealing with joint discomfort—from mild stiffness to constant soreness during everyday activities—can increase throughout your lifetime simply from normal use. However, while you may initially assume that joint discomfort is an inevitable part of aging, more and more health experts are saying this doesn't need to be the case.

What's Really Happening?

The main cause for discomfort begins in the joints. The space between the bones needs cushioning to prevent bones from rubbing up against each other at the points of contact. Buffering these joints is the all-important substance, cartilage. Cartilage is a connective tissue that can be found throughout the body: From your ears, to your nose, to your rib cage, and the vertebrae in your back. This fibrous tissue keeps your body structure together, yet provides flexibility and mobility you need. The first step in attempting to find relief is to understand what's really going on in your bones and joints. According to Raymond Gaeta, M.D., of the Stanford Hospital & Clinic at Stanford University, people are used to the body healing itself naturally, so they always expect that to happen. In reality, similar to how a car requires regular maintenance and lubrication, keeping your bones and joints healthy at any age involves proper nutrition, consisting of vitamins and nutrients that help strengthen and lubricate them. Lack of these nutrients can start to manifest as symptoms of discomfort that “affects how you handle your life, your livelihood, and your interactions with family and friends,” according to Dr. Gaeta.

The Power of Three: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Fish Oil

Besides supplementing your diet with the usual FDA-recommended vitamins and minerals, your bones and joints can also benefit from other joint health ingredients. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil are three joint health supplements that can provide some of the best mobility support and discomfort relief available. Glucosamine has been shown in studies to maintain the integrity of your joints by strengthening cartilage. It has been shown that the body uses glucosamine to help synthesize and repair cartilage. Glucosamine has also been shown to be highly beneficial for keeping cartilage tissue lubricated, allowing for better mobility and flexibility in joints. When taken as a supplement it has shown evidence of relieving discomfort due to inflammation as well. Chondroitin sulfate is also naturally found in the cartilage. It acts as a building material by donating sulfur bonds that are used in cartilage production. As a supplement, chondroitin is commonly partnered with glucosamine to help relieve inflammation that can lead to discomfort, and support cartilage production and repair. Fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which have also been found to help ease inflammation in joint tissue. In a recent, large-scale research study published in the Journal of Epidemiology it was found that regular use of glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil supplements can reduce markers of inflammation by up to 22%. In addition to being highly effective, the researchers also noted that the supplements were highly safe to take.

The Right Nutrition for Protection

A recent survey found that nearly 1 in 5 (19%) American adults were experiencing joint discomfort. Among these people surveyed, half did not know what caused their discomfort. If you're one of these people, pinpointing where these concerns might come from and learning what you can do to support the health of your joints, bones, and cartilage can rejuvenate the healthy lifestyle you desire. Discomfort and mobility challenges do not have to be an accepted part of aging. Getting your mobility and flexibility back can be within your control. Support your joint health and fuel your body the right nutrients today!


Triple-Strength Glucosamine Chondroitin
 

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The ABCs of Health: How Well Do You Know Your Vitamins?

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The ABCs of Health: How Well Do You Know Your Vitamins?Essential vitamins and minerals are vital to everyday health. Interestingly, the uses of many essential vitamins were discovered only when people observed the effects that their deficiencies caused. The more we understand about our health the more we realize our minds and bodies need proper daily support to function properly. How much do you know about the essential vitamins and minerals you need each day?

ACE Nutrition

Vitamin A (as known as retinol or beta-carotene) is said to help build good vision and promote bone development. It has antioxidant properties to support immune and cellular health. Vitamin C, also an antioxidant, is a water-soluble vitamin that is important for building connective tissues (such as joint cartilage and collagen), bones, and teeth. It assists in metabolizing other vitamins and is vital to proper immune system function. Vitamin E helps maintain healthy cells and may help promote cognitive function. Like vitamins A and C, it also functions as an antioxidant. Studies have shown that combinations of vitamin A, C, and E help protect the macula, the region of the eye that is integral for detailed vision. All three nutrients can be found in many different foods, so you aren't limited for choice:

  • Vitamin A – Sweet potatoes, beef liver, fruits and eggs.
  • Vitamin C – Citrus fruits, peppers, and greens like broccoli.
  • Vitamin E – Whole grains, nuts, and spinach.

Being Healthy Doesn't Need to "B" Complex

The B-complex vitamins are mostly concerned with energy production in your body. Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and B6 all help metabolize or produce energy. Vitamin B1 helps metabolize carbohydrates, while B3 releases energy from carbohydrates and fats. Vitamin B2 assists in energy production and red blood cell formation, while B6 supports nervous system function. Red blood cells are vital in transporting fresh oxygen to every part of your body and taking carbon dioxide back to the lungs. Another important B vitamin is B9 (folic acid). Folic acid is known to support a healthy brain and heart, and it also synthesizes proteins and DNA. Folic acid can be found in green, leafy vegetables and whole grains. A study done at the Department of Neurology, Oregon Health & Science University, on B vitamins as biomarkers showed favorable results for supporting cognitive health and brain function with folic acid.

D + Calcium = Healthy Bones

Vitamin D and calcium are two of the most important vitamins and minerals for the integrity of your bones and teeth. Even though vitamin D is quite well known, recent reports say many people still aren't getting enough. Research shows that, worldwide, an estimated 1 billion people have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood, and deficiencies can be found in all ethnicities and age groups. Vital to healthy bones and immune function, vitamin D can be produced in skin cells whenever you're exposed to UV rays from sunlight. Despite this fact, people may still not be getting enough sun exposure due to location and skin being concealed by clothing. Vitamin D also aids the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Together, all three nutrients keep your internal structure strong and healthy.

"Zinc" Hard About Other Nutrients

Once you've checked off all the letter-vitamins on your nutrition list, don't forget to include minerals in your diet, too. Trace minerals such as iron and selenium are all important to your daily health, albeit in small doses. Iron is necessary to produce the hemoglobin found in red blood cells. Recent studies have also highlighted the importance of iron in brain development, showing it is needed for the mind as well. Selenium is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radical damage. Zinc is an essential mineral to many different bodily processes. Most notably it supports immune function. A recent study looked at the role that both vitamin C and zinc play in boosting immune health. Results showed that supplementation with a combination of zinc and vitamin C "was found to improve components of the human immune system such as antimicrobial and natural killer cell activities."

Multitask Your Nutrition with a Multivitamin

Keeping track of all the amounts and types of vitamins you need to take each day can be exhausting, but it's worth the effort because of all the ways they can positively influence your health. Luckily there are multivitamin supplements out there that can help you reach the recommended daily value of all these essentials. Multivitamins are often called a daily insurance policy on nutrition. By understanding the basics and where to get them, you can stay one step ahead in fortifying good, daily nutrition for healthy living.


Daily MultiChew
 
 

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Be Upbeat When It Comes to Heart Health

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https://www.gardavita.com/content/images/thumbs/0000217_daily-multichew-bogo-2x-bottles.jpegAll this month of February America celebrates the amazing human heart with Heart-Health Awareness Month. While heart health consistently ranks as the top health concern in the nation, new research indicates that there are more and more everyday things you can do to sway it in a more positive direction.

Yes, You Can!

The first step in any lifestyle change is having the right attitude. A study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes on 600 patients found that those who took the initiative to exercise and turn their health around significantly increased their life expectancy. Another study in the American Journal of Cardiology also found that having an upbeat attitude actually protected people from heart health risks. A large part of staying positive includes reducing stress. Research published in both the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and Archives of Internal Medicine found that stress and its associated hormones can put added pressure on your heart. So if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take time to unwind by engaging in relaxing activities such as reading a book, spending time with friends, or participating in physical activities.

Get Moving

Depending on various factors like age and doctor-recommended restrictions, physical activity is anything that gets you moving to burn calories. From climbing stairs to organized sports, staying active can support a healthy heart and aid circulation. At the very least, start walking; it’s fun, easy, and a sociable exercise. An article in the journal, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, states that walking can help normalize blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

Nutrition You Can Live By

Your diet plays an important role in supporting a healthy heart. Even simple things, such as remembering to eat a healthy breakfast, can help lower cardio health risks according to one Harvard study. Certain foods, when added to your diet, aid various aspects such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight management. Fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help lower blood pressure and triglycerides that can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends eating these types of fish at least two times a week. Kidney beans or black beans can also be good sources omega-3 fatty acids as well as niacin, folate, magnesium, calcium, and soluble fiber. Even foods like yogurt and supplements containing probiotics have been studied recently for their cholesterol-lowering effects. Besides adding more nutritious foods to your diet, it’s important to cut back on the ones that push your heart health in the wrong direction. One observational study published in BMC Medicine found that cutting back on processed meat consumption to less than 20 grams per day could lower mortality rates by 3.3%. Lowering your consumption of red meat can also lower levels of amino acids that have been linked to heart concerns.

Healthy Snacking

Snacking doesn’t need to be the bane of your diet. Healthy snacks such as almonds and walnuts also contain omega-3s as well as fiber, folate, and magnesium that can boost your nutrition. Oatmeal, whole grains, and flaxseed can provide vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, calcium, and soluble fiber. Of course, a consistently healthy diet revolves around choosing lots of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. Avoid fried foods, and foods and drinks with added sugars.

No Ifs, Ands, or “Butts” About It

Enough can’t be said on how much quitting smoking can boost heart health. But if you or someone you know needs yet another to convince them on how much their health can improve by quitting smoking, take a look at this study presented at a meeting held by the American Heart Association: It found that people who smoked fewer than 3.2 packs of cigarettes a day for 10 years could lower their heart illness risk to the same level as nonsmokers in eight years. Even heavy smokers who quit could improve their life expectancy by 35%.

The Power to Change Is in Everyone’s Hands

Some factors such as hereditary genes may be beyond your control, but by believing that you have the power to change your health and by following through with those changes, the power of positive thinking can go a long way. If the state of your heart is weighing heavily on your mind, adopt an upbeat attitude, be more active, eat healthier, and say goodbye to bad habits. Keep your heart in mind this February—and throughout your lifetime—by taking the steps towards greater well-being today!


Omega3Q10
 
 

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How a Healthy Love Life Can Lead to a Healthier Overall Life

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How a Healthy Love Life Can Lead to a Healthier Overall LifeFinding love and a partner in life is a story as old as human society itself. While love is often unexplainable, that hasn't stopped scientists from attempting to analyze the deeper meanings behind the laws of attraction by trying to find out what makes us tick and why we choose certain partners. But whether you believe that opposites attract or that people often seek others with similar tastes, the one thing that everyone agrees on is that being in love is good for you mentally, emotionally, and physically.

It's easy for those who have never experienced “love at first sight” to dismiss it as just another fantasy, but the fact is the brain releases love-related chemicals in the brain within a split second of eyeing someone you're attracted to. These chemicals—notably dopamine and norepinephrine—trigger a euphoric feeling and may cause those sometimes hasty decisions people make when they are “in love.” Adrenaline racing through your system can also cause your heart rate to rise and make you jittery when you're around the one you love, which is why so many people equate love to a drug; albeit one with more positive benefits to you overall.

Sealed with a Kiss

Kissing can have a wide range of sociological implications. A recent study took survey answers from 900 different adult men and women who were asked about the importance of kissing in relation to both short and long-term relationships. Results showed that kissing may serve as a subconscious test in compatibility. Through the sense of taste and smell, your mind and body may be taking biological cues for compatibility, genetic fitness, and general health. The study also found that the importance of kissing changed depending on whether people were in a short- or long-term relationship. Women rated kissing as more important in long-term relationships because they viewed it as a way of sustaining affection and attachment throughout a relationship.

The Important Role of Intimacy

Besides the emotional pluses that relationships can bring, physical intimacy with your partner has a wide range of health benefits—some of which may come as a surprise. First and foremost, sexual intimacy can be a form of exercise that burns up to five calories a minute. It increases your heart rate, helps lower blood pressure, and balances testosterone and estrogen levels. One study found that men who were intimate with their partners at least twice a week had better overall heart health. It also strengthens the pelvic muscles in women and supports prostate health in men, which can promote healthy urinary function. Intimacy also helps boost testosterone levels and aids a strong libido, increasing your ability and performance. Sexual activity is also good for immune health. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that people who were intimate with their partners once or twice a week had higher levels of certain antibodies to boost the immune system than those who didn't. A healthy physical relationship with your partner can also serve as a sleep aid, helping you to relax and fall asleep quicker and easier. And simply snuggling up to your partner can help relieve anxiety and stress because it releases the hormones vasopressin in men and oxytocin in women; “cuddle hormones” that enhance your affection for your partner.

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Opening up your heart to another person is one of the greatest things you can do for your own emotional and physical well-being. The euphoria from being in love can help lift your mood and help you view life with “glass half full” perspective. Intimacy with your partner is crucial to bonding, helping to foster a healthier and happier relationship, which can extend to other areas of your health. Besides being good for your heart emotionally, it's actually good for your heart physically, too, as well as your immune system, muscles, hormone levels, and libido. It can help ease daily stress, and boost your mood and self-esteem, all while keeping anxiety at bay. Valentine's Day is one day out of the year that puts the spotlight on your love life, but a healthy relationship is something you should strive to maintain with your partner every day. Intimacy plays a large role in that, so remember to show the one you love how much you appreciate them because the payoffs to your emotional and physical well-being are worth it.

EnhanceMax PRODesireFem


 

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From Body to Brain to Bones, Just How Important Is Vitamin D?

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From Body to Brain to Bones, Just How Important Is Vitamin D?Vitamin D is a vital component to many areas of your health including bone density, muscle strength, immune health, brain function, and more. However, as recently as 2009 it was reported that nearly three-quarters of all teens and adults in US are vitamin D deficient. This is a critical area to address as the consequences can have far-ranging effects on your overall health.

Sun to Skin

Your body’s skin cells are able to produce vitamin D every time you step out into the sun, so it stands to reason that vitamin D should be easy to obtain. But those with darker skin and people who spend a lot on time indoors or in darker regions, may have a harder time absorbing enough sunlight to produce a proper amount of vitamin D. It is recommended to spend 15 to 30 minutes a few days a week outside in direct sunlight. However, UV rays can be harmful so health experts don’t often advise getting Vitamin D from sun exposure.

Just How Important Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is important right down to the core of your health. It influences everything from aiding calcium absorption for strong bones to supporting muscles and teeth. Vitamin D can also influence heart health. It has been studied for its ability to support healthy blood pressure levels, and promote healthy arteries and circulation. Recent studies have shown that it can also influence your auto-immune system’s health, aiding your body’s natural defenses. If supporting almost every aspect of your body wasn’t enough, vitamin D has also shown its merit in supporting the brain. Several studies have shown that sufficient levels of vitamin D can support brain function and cognitive health. It seems there is nothing this multipurpose vitamin can’t do, but are you getting enough?

Where Do I Get Vitamin D and How Much Do I Need?

Eating a healthy and balanced diet containing cereals and low-fat milk fortified with vitamin D can be a great way to start off your day. Many brands of orange juice also contain added vitamin D; just be wary of additives and sugar content. For dinner, if you’re looking to boost your vitamin D intake, certain fish, especially mackerel, salmon, tuna, and sardines can all provide healthy amounts of vitamin D. In addition, foods like eggs (especially the yolks), cheese, and yogurt can all help fortify your diet with the recommended amounts of vitamin D. How much you need depends on you as an individual. Age, nationality, and where you live can all factor into your recommended daily amount. While there is still some debate on how much vitamin D you should take, allowances ranging up to 4,000 IU’s a day are generally considered safe. For those who may have trouble getting enough vitamin D through their diet there are also many vitamin D supplements that can satisfy your daily needs. So be sure to stay up to date on how much you need, and continue to make the choices that give you all the nutrition you need to remain healthy each day!


Vitamin D
 

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A Little Spice Goes a Long Way: The Surprising Benefits of Three Everyday Spices

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A Little Spice Goes a Long Way: The Surprising Benefits of Three Everyday SpicesSpices have been a part of human society for thousands of years, with evidence of their use dating as far back as 2000 BC. Throughout human history different cultures have utilized them for food preparation, preservation, and religious ceremonies; and they have even been catalysts for global exploration. Some spices were such rare commodities that they were used for trading. The little, ground pepper flakes you shake onto your meal or salad were once used as currency, and nutmeg found in recipes and snacks was once so valuable that a historian has called it “the iPhone of the 1600s.” We tend to pay less attention to the details in spices these days because they’re so commonplace, but some of these simple additives can provide a pinch of support to your health. Here are some everyday spices with some surprising benefits.

Cinnamon

It may come as a surprise that cinnamon provides anything beyond an interesting flavor—both spicy and sweet—to our foods. But this brown spice has been known to help promote healthy blood flow. The chemical responsible for these benefits—cinnamaldehyde—also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. In a 2011 study it was found that the use of cinnamon in diets can also help combat the negative effects of triglycerides found in high-fat meals.

Turmeric

Turmeric, like cinnamon was also mentioned in the same 2011 study as one of the spices that helped lessen the negative effects of meals high in fat. This orange-colored spice is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisines. It is also known for its powerful antioxidant properties, often said to help neutralize or prevent free radical damage. Studies have also shown that turmeric can be a potent ally against joint discomfort, with one researcher commenting that “Turmeric is one of the most potent natural inflammatories available. Other studies found that the main component in turmeric, curcumin, can also support healthy skin, memory, digestion, and cholesterol levels.

Ginger

Studies have shown that Chinese cultures have benefited from the use of ginger for over 2,000 years. It has been said to relieve symptoms related to upset stomachs and nausea, as well as support daily digestion. It has also been shown to be helpful in aiding colon health by acting as an anti-inflammatory in the colon. Ginger contains antioxidant-like properties as well. A study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements states that ginger may help alleviate the instances of oxidative stress similar to vitamin E.

Make Your Spice Rack a Health Rack

Who knew these everyday spices held so much potential nutritional benefits? The best part is that they aren’t rare or expensive; they are readily available and lend themselves to a wide range of uses in meals, drinks, and desserts. It is also common to make hot teas out of these spices—try mixing cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger together to make a super-tea when you’re feeling under the weather. Some of the best sources of these ingredients can also be found in specific supplements, giving you exactly what you need in one bottle. So keep your eye on the spice isle and kick-start your health by adding some spice to your health.


Phytoplex
 

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