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Blog posts of '2013' 'October'

Folate for a Healthy Thought? How This B Vitamin Can Support Your Mood


Folate for a Healthy Thought? How This B Vitamin Can Support Your MoodBalanced nutrition is important no matter what your age or health focus. The proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are not only pertinent to physical health, but your mental state and mood, too. Low moods can have an equally negative impact on your health as high cholesterol and joint discomfort. But out of the long list of recommended daily nutrients, which ones benefit your mind the most? Thanks to a recent investigation on how diets influence moods, the answer to that question may be folate.

The Case for Folate

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland analyzed the diet and health of 2,000 middle-aged or older men. Using food records and food frequency questionnaires to gauge diets, and after studying information about low moods from the National Hospital Discharge Register, the researchers followed up with participants for an average of 13–20 years.

The results of the analyzed studies and information revealed that healthy amounts of folate (or vitamin B9) were associated with a decreased risk in low moods and symptoms that are associated with lower emotional well-being. According to the university release, "A healthy diet characterized by vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, poultry, fish, and low-fat cheese was associated with a lower prevalence of lower-mood symptoms and a smaller risk of low moods during the follow-up period." It also remarked that a diet high in sugars, processed meats, sugary drinks, and manufactured foods was associated with having a higher risk in lower-mood symptoms and issues.

You Can't Escape Your Greens

The health advantages of folate aren't exactly groundbreaking discoveries. Expecting mothers are advised to add more folate to their diets because healthful diets with adequate amounts of folate may reduce the risk of neural tube defects in unborn children. Folate is available in many of today's healthy foods like arugula, broccoli, spinach, sunflower seeds, asparagus, garbanzo and pinto beans, peanuts, and sprouts. It's easy to see how lacking a balanced diet can deprive you of this crucial vitamin, but other factors such as BPA contamination may also affect your ability to get the required amounts of folate you need. BPA, or bisphenol-A, is an organic compound found in clear plastic water bottles and microwavable containers that can seep into your food or drinks. Initial studies have shown that BPA may affect the brain and nervous system, which can have repercussions on your mood, memory, and concentration.

Sometimes Food Isn't Enough

Because sometimes it's just as hard to get all of your nutritious needs from meals, there are many supplements complete with the proper vitamins and minerals, including folate, which can help fill out your daily intake with what you need to live healthy and feel happy. In fact, in order for the body to utilize folate properly, it first needs to convert it into the active form known as 5-MTHF, so taking a 5-MTHF supplement may be even more beneficial. Positive moods can give you greater motivation to exercise, socialize, and revolutionize your way of life. If your mood is in a funk, start by improving the quality of your diet to improve your quality of life.




Fall Fitness Tips for Healthy Living


Fall Fitness Tips for Healthy LivingFall is a time of year with cooler weather, a little less light, and for most, a change of colors in the scenery. When taking stock of daily fitness, many of us tend to procrastinate during the fall and winter months. However, this doesn’t need to be the case. The fall months can be an extraordinary time for setting the tone of your holiday and wintertime fitness activities. Here are some health tips to assist you in keeping in shape as the seasons turn.

Use the Weather to Your Advantage

Fall can be one of the best times of year to be outside. The temperature usually doesn’t get too cold during the afternoon and evening, so you can still plan some outdoor activities that have exercise built into them. Walking outdoors—either solo, or with a pet—can be a great form of aerobic exercise. You could also get a walking group together with friends and take a nice, leisurely stroll around the neighborhood or path of your choice.

Use Your TV Time Wisely

Fall is also the time of year when new TV shows premiere. Many people plan their weeknights around their favorite programs, but this doesn’t mean you need to drop your healthy habits. Use the hour or two in front of the TV to your benefit by practicing some stationary physical activities. Crunches, push-ups, jumping jacks, jogging in place, and even stretching exercises can be performed while you’re watching TV, helping you to make maximum use of your “couch” time. It can also provide the 30 minutes of daily exercise recommended by the American Heart Association.

Set Realistic Goals

Everyone is motivated in a different way and it’s important to maintain that motivation to help you keep up a consistent exercise routine. Whether you’re focusing on weight management, heart health, toning, or doing more serious training preparation, be sure to find your motivation and set realistic, attainable goals that galvanize your efforts.

Integrate Exercise into Your Daily Routine

Time can often be the biggest challenge when it comes to exercising consistently. But the idea of exercise can be applied to many things throughout your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator if you only need to go up a few stories, or walk instead of driving if your destination is somewhere close. Even chores such as raking leaves in the yard can be a great way to exercise when you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to a particular activity.

Don’t Wait Till New Year’s to Make Healthy Lifestyle Resolutions

Fall doesn’t have to be the time of year where you start giving up the healthy habits or exercises you participated in all summer. There are plenty of creative ways to stay fit even during the change in weather. Or if you’re thinking about starting a new fitness routine, why wait until the New Year when you can start doing something now? Adapt with the changing of seasons and maintain your healthy habits all year long for a higher-quality lifestyle and better overall health.

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Can You Guess Which Ordinary Fruit Is as Nutritious as the Trending ‘Superfruits’?


Can You Guess Which Ordinary Fruit Is as Nutritious as the Trending ‘Superfruits’?Fruits have long been touted as a necessary staple of our daily diet and nutrition needs. But according to experts, we aren’t getting enough. The USDA recommended serving of fruit—depending on your age—is at least 2 cups a day. The benefits of natural fruits are nothing short of wondrous, but every month there seems to be a new “superfruit” trend being hailed as the best fruit around. Often forgotten is one of the go-to staples that we have relied upon for years: the apple. While it may not be as glamorous or exotic-sounding as the acai berry, pomegranate, papaya, or kumquat (all of which are nutritious in their own right) an apple contains just as many vitamins and nutrients to give you the boost you need from your daily fruit intake.

Plentiful Benefits from a Familiar Fruit

A simple apple has many nutritional benefits. As a handy and relatively inexpensive snack a medium apple contains around only 80 calories and is fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free. It can also support a healthy immune system because of its vitamin C content. A single apple holds enough nutritional value to cover half of your daily recommended intake of fruit!

Nutrition is Skin Deep

Many of the nutritional benefits of an apple can be derived from its skin. The skin of an apple can contain up to 3.3 grams of fiber. This type of dietary fiber can help support healthy cholesterol levels, aid digestion, and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Apple skins also contain a high amount of the antioxidant, quercetin, which can help protect against free radical damage. Quercetin is a phytochemical possessing anti-inflammatory qualities that can be beneficial to your heart. Apples can be seamlessly integrated into your daily diet because they make for such a convenient and inexpensive snack that can last longer than most fruits. An apple kept in a bag in your refrigerator can stay fresh up to three weeks.

Covering the Crucial Areas of Your Daily Nutrition

The USDA guidelines for fruits and other food groups exist to help steer you towards making healthier food choices. Apples can be a tasty, nutritious way of complementing your daily intake of nutrients that your body needs for top performance and overall health maintenance. But if you’re on a diet that restricts the type of food you can eat, you don’t like a particular food group, or you simply don’t have time to eat healthy meals all of the time, you may not be getting all the nutrition you need. Supplementing your diet with the proper antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is a perfect way to fill in the nutritional gaps regardless of your eating habits. Balance is always important and making sure you get sufficient levels of essential daily nutrients can be vital to supporting a healthier way of life.

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