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Blog posts tagged with 'vegetables'

Nothing Fishy About Fish Oil

Meditation relieves stress, improve circulation

Getting your proper intake of omega-3s can be tricky, especially if you’re not a lover of fish. One of the most important nutrients for health, it benefits overall wellness, including the heart, the immune system, brain health and more. However, much of the Western diet is lacking in omega-3s, replaced by the omega-6 fatty acids. An excess of omega-6s can cause inflammation, and can even lead to serious health risks.

Benefits from Top to Bottom

With American Heart Month coming up in February, it’s important to know that omega-3s are essential for good heart health. Several studies have demonstrated how people that eat a plentiful amount of fish have lower rates of heart risks. Fish oil also helps increase the good levels of cholesterol, also known as HDL. It can help reduce blood pressure and lower triglycerides.

It’s also a benefit for your mental health. The brain is made up of around 60% fat, which are mainly omega-3s. Research has shown that a proper amount of fish oil intake can prevent the onset of certain mental disorders. It’s also just handy for boosting normal brain function in general.

Weight management is a constant struggle for many, and fish oil can be a big help. Studies have shown that enough fish oil intake can help induce weight loss when in conjunction with dieting and exercise. Fish oil also has inflammatory properties, which helps out the immune system and general health.

The benefits are even more numerous, supporting healthy skin, early pregnancy, improving bone health, and even boosting your mood. But where best can you get your fill of omega-3s?

A Meal Rich in Omega-3s

Meditation relieves stress, improve circulation

  • Fish: A majority of fish oil comes from, you guessed it, fish. Foods such as salmon, mackerel and anchovies contain omega-3s, which makes up 30% of fish oil. It also contains important vitamins A and D, which helps boost the immune system and maintains healthy bone growth respectively. Mackerel specifically contains more than 3300 mg of omega-3s per serving, which is nearly 6 times the recommended daily dose for adults.
  • Nuts and Seeds: If fish isn’t part of your palate however, there are other foods to rely on. Walnuts are full of healthy fats which include omega-3s. They can go with nearly any meal, such as with fruits, in salads, or even baked into your favorite desserts. Flaxseeds are also a source for a specific omega-3 called alpha-linoleic acid or ALA, which the body cannot make on its own. They’re perfect for a breakfast meal, or can be blended into fruit smoothies. Cashew nuts are very flavorful, but more than that, they are full of omega-3s, making them a valuable snack.
  • Vegetables: Don’t be picky with your vegetables, because omega-3s are abound in them as well. Brussels sprouts may not be everyone’s most favorite, but it contains potent amounts of vitamin K and vitamin C, along with omega-3s. Spinach is another, and can be added most meals without affecting the flavor. Broccoli is also a big source of ALA, as well as being high in fiber, zinc and protein.
  • Oils: Adding certain oils to your meals can also help you reach your omega-3 goals. Canola oil is low in saturated fats and is very mild tasting. Other healthy oils include walnut oil, flaxseed oil and olive oil, which all have healthy servings of omega-3s.

Omega-3 Fish Oil: A Convenient Source of Helpful Fatty Acids

Despite the many health applications of fish oil, our diets don’t allow for much opportunity to have some. Omega-3 Fish Oil by GardaVita® can supply a high-quality source of omega-3s in easy-to-swallow softgels. They include two of the most important fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Get a convenient serving to help manage your overall health. There’s nothing fishy about good health!

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The Missing Part to a Balanced Diet

Fruits and VegetablesAre You Eating Enough Fruits and Veggies?

As adults, it’s time to take responsibility – and realize that our parents may have been onto something when they said to finish our greens. Unfortunately, too many have us haven’t taken that advice to heart. Recent studies have shown that only 1 in 10 Americans meet the federal fruit and vegetable recommendations. You usually need 1½ to 2 cups per day for fruit and 2 to 3 cups for vegetables. Yet only 9% of adults eat enough vegetables, and 12% even get enough fruit. If you’re one of those adults skipping past the salad bar, it’s time to take action.

The Missing Part to a Balanced Diet

There’s a reason you should care about fruits and vegetables. Many important vitamins and minerals are in these food types more than others. Potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate are just some of the more common nutrients that you can mainly get from plant-based food, and are beneficial to the body. For example, potassium can help maintain blood pressure. Folate builds up the red blood cells while helps stave off birth defects in pregnant women. Vitamin A promotes healthier eyes and skin, vitamin E protects from free-radicals, and vitamin C supports healthier gums and helps the body absorb iron. 

One other vital nutrient is fiber, and you get plenty of that from fruits and vegetables. Fiber is perfect for weight management, as it helps you feel full faster, while also lowering your blood cholesterol. It is also important for a healthy digestive system for regular bowel movements. Fruits and vegetables are also quite low in fat, sodium and calories, another great use for weight management.

But perhaps one of the most important aspects of this food group is their richness in phytonutrients – which are certain extracts that are only available in fruits and vegetables. 

Getting Your Share of PhytonutrientsFruits and Vegetables

Phytonutrients are known as the protective effects on fruits and vegetables, and many have shown their worth in helping ward off health complications in our own bodies. These phytonutrients are what gives fruits and vegetables their taste, scent and color. As many work like antioxidants, fruits and vegetables can very well protect your body from free-radicals and keep your cells healthy. Some examples of phytonutrients are:

Carotenoids: Present in carrots, broccoli and spinach, carotenoids are antioxidants that give these foods their bright colors. This phytonutrient is a boon to the immune system, while also showing positive impact for good eye health. 

Capsaicin: Peppers are rich in this nutrient and have shown benefits in reducing clotting for better heart health.

Curcumin: A phytonutrient that is rich in the turmeric spice. It is an anti-inflammatory agent, as well as antioxidant, that is commonly used in joint health.

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


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.




Protecting Kidney Function with Aid of a Simple Dietary Modification


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.



Scientist Reveal Gene Discovery and the Importance of a Healthy Diet


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.