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Blog posts of '2013' 'May'

Fish Oil and its Links to Cognitive Function and Weight Loss

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Fish Oil and its Links to Cognitive Function and Weight LossThe benefits of fish have been well documented. Known for its potential heart and brain health support, fish oil has become an integral part of supporting an everyday healthy diet. Recently, researchers from the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease explored research to see if omega-3s had a role to play in aiding weight loss. Data gathered from 185 research papers revealed that fish oil likely plays a significant role in hindering refined sugars and saturated fats' ability to inhibit the brain's control on the body's intake of food.

A Study in Junk Food Reversal

Dr. Luck Pickavance, part of the research team explains the research and significance of the findings, “Body weight is influenced by many factors, and some of the most important of these are the nutrients we consume. Excessive intake of certain macronutrients, the refined sugars and saturated fats found in junk food, can lead to weight gain, disrupt metabolism and even affect mental processing.” Research, however, has suggested that omega-3 fish oils can be a positive force in supporting consistent healthy weight management, as well as protecting cognitive health. Researchers proposed to investigate the literature on this topic to determine whether there is evidence to suggest that omega-3s might aid weight loss by stimulating particular brain processes."

Fish Oil to the Healthy Rescue

Researchers have found that triglyceride fats can block hormones usually released to protect neurons and stimulate growth, but this new study has been revealed that omega-3’s in fish oil can help to restore the normal function of the released hormones by helping to keep triglyceride levels in check. In a sense, fish oil cannot directly make you lose weight, but it has shown the ability slow the effects of some of the processes triggered in the brain by unhealthy high-fat diets, essentially mimicking the effects of calorie-restrictive diets. While these insights show the increasing benefits of fish oil it’s important to balance nutritional supplements and nutrients with a healthy diet as well as getting plenty of exercise. Your body’s health and nutrition is a delicate balance, take the right steps to supplement and support your health today.

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Study Shows Bone Health Support May Vary Depending on the type of Dairy

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Study Shows Bone Health Support May Vary Depending on the type of DairyFor years it has been common knowledge that dairy can play a positive role in supporting the health of your bones. Drinking milk for strong bones – with its high calcium and vitamin D content - has been a common fact preached throughout the years. But now, according to a new study, our understanding about particular types of dairy products and the link to bone health may have to be slightly revised. Researchers at the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School (HMS) collected data from a food-frequency questionnaire completed by 3,212 participants. They then compared participants' dairy intake with their bone mineral density (BMD) measurement, which revealed the varying benefits of milk and yogurt versus cream in middle-aged men and women.

The study showed nutrient composition and benefits varies among dairy foods. Choosing low-fat milk or yogurt over cream can increase intake of protein, calcium and vitamin D while limiting intake of saturated fats. Creams, because of their fat and sugar content, were associated with a lower total BMD. The study also showed that various dairy foods support different parts of the body and not others. They discovered that dairy intake - specifically milk and yogurt – was connected with higher BMD in the hip, but not the spine."Dairy foods provide several important nutrients that are beneficial for bone health," says lead author Shivani Sahni, Ph.D., Musculoskeletal Research Team, IFAR. "However, cream and its products such as ice cream have lower levels of these nutrients and have higher levels of fat and sugar." According to statistical data from the study 2.5 - 3 servings of milk and/or yogurt intake each day was associated with better bone density. And while the study shows that nutrient composition and its subsequent bone health support varies among specific types of dairy foods, choosing low-fat milk or yogurt over cream can increase your intake of protein, calcium, and vitamin D while limiting intake of saturated fats. Bone health and the proper vitamin intake is especially important. This type of research supports the notion that a proper nutrient rich diet can help protect your body against bone related issues, which is a major public health concern currently affecting over 44 million Americans. Due to dietary concerns like lactose intolerance or personal choice some people cannot get the nutrients directly from dairy that they need. They still can receive the proper vitamins and minerals from vitamin supplementation. A daily multi-vitamin, or a calcium and/or vitamin D supplement for those who are unable to digest certain dairy products can still provide the valued nutrition and protection needed to support BMD for strong and healthy bones.

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Protecting Kidney Function with Aid of a Simple Dietary Modification

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Protecting Kidney Function with Aid of a Simple Dietary ModificationThe kidneys literally do the dirty work in your body—they are responsible for removing waste and toxins from your system. One of the many jobs that kidneys perform is removing acid from you urine. However, western diets that are mostly based around animal and grain products are highly acidic, and can lead to further kidney-related concerns.

Therapy or Diet Modification?

A new study shows that a simple change in your daily diet may do wonders to aid and protect your kidneys against acidic buildup. Dr. Nimrit Goraya and Dr. Donald Wesson, both of the Texas A&M College of Medicine, along with their colleagues began testing this theory by randomizing 71 patients with specific kidney concerns to receive added fruits and vegetables or an oral alkaline medication into their diet over the course of a one year period. The individual treatments were dosed to potentially decrease their participants’ dietary acid by half.

A Fruit and Vegetable Finding

Among the findings reported from the study was that kidney function between the two groups was very similar after a year. Urine measurements of kidney injury were lower in both groups. The list of alkalizing fruits and vegetables is extensive; some popular ones include fruits like avocados, grapes, peaches, raisins, oranges, lemons, and limes. For well-known alkalizing vegetables, aim for broccoli, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. There are also some alkalizing spices you can add when cooking at home like cinnamon, curry powder, chili powder, and sea salt. The evidence revealed in the study is important to the bigger picture of health as it shows that motivated patients can positively alter their health through dietary modification.

The Answer for Protection Lies in Balance

Protecting the kidneys helps keep your body’s waste and toxin removers in top form. Oftentimes many answers can boil down to balance within your diet. The benefits of nutrient-rich diets containing more fruits and vegetables continue to grow with each breakthrough study. Many foods are either acidic or alkaline, and as with anything related to health finding the right balance in your diet can often be achieved with the help of proper supplementation. Proper nutrition allows you to receive the daily vitamins and nutrients necessary to maintain that balance and support the overall healthy lifestyle you wish to achieve.

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Proper Nutrition to Fuel Your Exercise

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Proper Nutrition to Fuel Your ExerciseRegular exercise is the corner-stone of building a healthy body and maintaining proper weight management. However, exercise puts your body to the test and getting the healthy energy needed to perform your best requires the proper pre-exercise nutrition. Whether you’re exercising to stay in shape or a top-level competitor, fueling your body with the proper nutrition before you exercise is vital in achieving any fitness goals.

Carbohydrate and Protein Importance

So what are the best ways to supply your body with energy for exercise? Fueling for exercise requires good quality carbohydrates, lean-proteins, and continual hydration. Good examples of quality carbohydrates include foods like breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables. All these provide a quick energy source to help your body throughout your exercise routine. Proteins are also vital to building and maintaining muscles as well as supplying healthy blood cells with the fuel they need. Blood cells are important for delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles in the body during exercise.

The Eye Test and Common Sense

Characteristics for a healthy pre-exercise meal should include:

  • Low in fat
  • Moderate in carbohydrates and protein
  • Low in fiber
  • Easily digestible

Any greasy or fried food is not quality fuel for your body, so when in doubt, go with the eye-test, if it looks heavy and greasy, then it’s not for you.

Cooling and Fueling

Similar to a car, food provides the gas to the body’s engine and in turn water (fluids) is the coolant that helps keep the body at a healthy temperature while functioning. Soft drinks or anything with significant dairy content are fluids to stay away from. Without proper hydration during exercise your body temperature can reach dangerously high levels. It is recommended that you should consume up to 16 ounces of water (2 cups) before engaging in exercise and always monitor your hydration. To further a balanced diet and help your body run as efficiently as possible when exercising it is important to supplement your intake with vitamins and minerals to ensure a balanced diet. A daily multivitamin taken each day can assist you in receiving the daily allowances necessary to help you with the energy needed to fuel your work out which will ultimately lead you on a path of good overall health!

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Scientist Reveal Gene Discovery and the Importance of a Healthy Diet

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Scientist Reveal Gene Discovery and the Importance of a Healthy Diet"Eat your green vegetables, they are good for you." This is a phrase that is echoed constantly throughout the health and nutrition world. We tout their value to our children while at the same time many of us neglect our own green vegetable intake. Now, as scientists revealed in recent research findings, leafy greens may have a deeper impact on our health - specifically digestive health - than was already thought.

The Heart of Healthy Digestion

When we are digesting food, there is a lot that takes place in our stomach. Among the cells, enzymes, and their many functions are a certain type of newly discovered immune cells, called innate lymphoid cells (ILC's) that can be found within the lining of our digestive system. Their job is to protect the body from 'bad' bacteria that enters the intestine. It is also believed that they play an important role in controlling food allergies, inflammatory problems, and supporting healthy weight management. In a recent discovery, Dr. Gabrielle Belz, Ms. Lucie Rankin, and Dr. Joanna Groom from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, Molecular Immunology division, revealed that the gene T-bet is essential in helping to produce these critical, newly discovered immune cells (ILC's) in the stomach and digestive system. And furthermore, the healthy connection relates to the fact that it is apparent this gene responds to signals in the food we eat.

The Green Connection

In the study, Dr. Beltz and her team of scientists discovered that the T-bet gene acts as a signal, which tells precursor cells to develop these important ILC's, which have been revealed to protect the body against infections entering through the digestive system. The leafy green connection is said to be the proteins contained within leafy green vegetables. By interacting with cell surface receptors, proteins contained in cruciferous vegetables switch on the T-bet gene, thereby influencing the production of these vital ILC's, helping to protect our immune system from bacteria and potential digestive complications. Dr Belz noted that her team will also continue to further investigate how influential these greens can be with the T-bet gene, what other foods may act as a signaling pathway, and how they influence the production of these newly discovered innate lymphoid cells. However the list of important health benefits that green vegetables provide us with keeps growing year after year. Consistently choosing to ‘eat green' and also supplementing our bodies to receive the daily vitamins and minerals we need for optimal production have wondrous positive influence to our overall health. Taking individual vitamins on a daily basis to focus on a particular need, or supplementing a multivitamin into our diet everyday can help catapult our lifestyles towards balanced nutrition.

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