How Do I GAIN Weight?

While it’s not as common a goal as losing weight, there are a significant number of people that have weight gain as their goal. The reasons are as varied as the individuals but could include wanting to gain weight for a sport, wanting to put on some pounds after rehabilitating from an injury or you are just underweight and have trouble making the scale go up or your Doctor has asked you to gain weight.

Before heading out on your weight gain journey, I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to visit your Dr. for a checkup first. It may be that you aren’t even underweight. While I’m not a fan of the BMI, underweight is defined as having a BMI under 18.5. (The media plays a big role in how we view our bodies and it may just be that you are fine in the skin you’re in) However, there may be medical reasons why you find it hard to gain weight and your Doctor will be a good place to start. OK, all cleared by your Doctor? Then let’s look at ways to help you put on some pounds.

Gaining weight will generally follow the same formula as losing weight-but in reverse. If calories in has to be lower than calories out to lose weight, then it stands to reason that the reverse of that will have the opposite effect—and it does! So the scientific universal formula for weight gain is calories in must be greater than calories out.

It seems simple and all you have to do is increase your daily allotment of McBurgers right? Well, not so fast. You want to do this thing right and in a healthy way-and slowly. So without further ado, here are some tips for your bag of tricks.

NUTRITION
1. Determine how many calories you are taking in now and how many calories you need based on your daily activity. You can use a good online tool for this. Whatever the number, it represents the number of calories that you need just to maintain the weight that you are at (I know, I ended my sentence with a preposition-I’m crazy like that) Now that you know what the number is, you need to increase you r daily caloric intake by, oh, let’s start with a 500 calorie per day increase. When you gain or lose weight or change your activity level or have changes in health then your caloric needs change so always keep updated with what your caloric target is. Food diaries are a great tool, especially at the beginning.

2. Try to eat more often-YEAH!! If you eat 3 meals a day then try adding a couple healthy snacks throughout the day.

3. When you do eat your regular meals, increase your portion size. If snack #1 was going to be a yogurt (I know… yuck!) then have 2 yogurts instead. At dinner, have a second serving of veggies. The goal is to try to increase your portion sizes with each meal

4. Focus on good foods. Whole grain breads are dense and you can cut thick slices and put on your favourite topping like peanut butter, honey, hummus… Mmmmm. When picking veggies pick the ones that have less water content. Things like cucumbers have a lot of water so will make you seem more full while taking but you take in less calories… you don’t want that… you want potatoes, carrots, corn etc. Same goes for fruit… pick the more dense ones like a banana over an orange (dried fruits are good!)

5. Fats are where it’s at (My momma said I was always good at rhyming words) Fats are so good because they pack 9 calories per gram while carbs and protein only have 4 the losers. BUT… pick healthy fats. Nuts, seeds, peanut butter, avacados, hummus, oils… all good! And the good thing is you can add some of these to everything you eat. Cooking eggs? Cook them in oil… Having toast? Spread on some hummus… Having a salad or cereal? Sprinkle on some nuts or seeds and add some more oil to your salad. You can add healthy fats any time you sit down to eat. Toss some dried fruit on a salad or granola. Top your potatoes with oil or cheese or go wild and throw some chili on top of them.

6. Sick of eating? Drink your calories. There are lots of healthy meal replacement drinks that are good but why not make your own smoothie? Make it with milk, fruit, honey… whatever… then sprinkle in some seeds. You can also try replacing some of your water intake with juices or the occasional sport drink.

7. Remember, slow gain is the best. To increase your weight too rapidly only increases the chances that the weight you gain will be from fat mass and not lean body mass. A gain of about one half to one pound per week should be your target.

EXERCISE
1. Gain some muscle. You want to make sure that you add some lean muscle and that all your weight gain isn’t just from fat. If you incorporate a resistance routine three times per week (like body weight exercises or lifting weights) then you can gain some lean muscle mass and what’s even better… the increased workload may even boost your appetite… WIN!! If you want to gain muscle mass then add in some extra protein to your meals too. Protein intake that is too low can actually make you lose body mass so keep your intake to a healthy level. Beans, peanuts, chicken, tuna… all good!

2. Avoid extra “cardio” type workouts like jogging and just focus on resistance exercise.

3. After a workout, have a light snack that includes protein such as an egg on toast, whole wheat crackers with cheese or simply a glass of chocolate milk. The protein will be building blocks to help repair and build muscle after your exercise.

4. Incorporate a stretching routine into your day. OK, this in itself won’t help you gain weight, but with the extra resistance training, stretching will help keep your body free from pain and keep your body moving properly.

SUPPORT
**Tell friends and family what your goals are so they can be involved and help to support you in your goals. Join an online group with other like-minded individuals so that you always have someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of. Don’t discount this-having the proper support is key to anything in life.

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Coconut Oil – The Elixir Of Life

Coconuts are known for their immense versatility ranging from traditional uses in certain societies to modern uses, based on scientific analysis. They are the fruit of the coconut palm, and are grown abundantly in many tropical and subtropical countries like India. Coconuts are known for their large quantity of water, and when immature, they are harvested for this water which is very refreshing to drink and loaded with minerals. Mature coconuts still have a little amount of water, but by then the endosperm has formed a thick white kernel which is processed to yield oil. Coconut palms produce their first fruit in six to ten years, reaching peak production in 15-20 years. In ideal conditions, a single tree can yield 75 fruits in a year.

Coconuts are processed to yield both oil and what is called coconut milk. Coconut oil, an edible oil, is extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts. It has a high fat content, which renders it more resistant to oxidation or rancidity allowing it to last up to six months at 24 degrees C without spoiling. Its high fat content also makes its regular consumption a contentious issue, with most doctors advising against it.

However, in recent times, certain hidden benefits of coconut oil have come to light, vindicating its regular use without harm in some societies like Indian, Sri Lankan, Thai etc.

These benefits accrue to the cold pressed virgin coconut oil.

· Many skin specialists recommend coconut oil application for dry skin. As an excellent massage oil, it is a safe solution for dry and flaking skin, which are sometimes symptoms of skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. It is a soothing balm for most forms of dermatitis.

· It is excellent for hair growth and curing dandruff. It provides the essential proteins for nourishing and healing hair that is damaged.

· It contains lauric acid which is beneficial for the heart by reducing high cholesterol levels in the blood and preventing high blood pressure

· It is easy to digest. Hence it increases the metabolic rate and helps in weight loss. It is also beneficial to the thyroid and endocrine systems.

· It strengthens the immune system with its constituent antimicrobial lipids namely lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid which can fight harmful fungus, bacteria and viruses.

· Used as a cooking oil, it aids digestion and for the same reason above, it prevents any stomach infection caused by bacteria, fungus or viruses.

· It is believed to be effective in the treatment of pancreatitis

· It dissolves kidney stones and is considered helpful in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases.

· Bones and teeth are also thought to benefit from coconut oil on account of it improving the body’s ability to absorb calcium and magnesium.

· Coconut oil controls the blood sugar and improves the secretion of insulin. Hence it is beneficial for diabetic patients.

· There is research to suggest that the oil is beneficial for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

· It is held that coconut oil is beneficial for cancer patients and people suffering from HIV.

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Are Vitamin Supplements Better Than Whole Foods?

At the end of World War II, chemical companies started selling nitrate/ phosphate/ potassium (NPK) fertilizers that made using traditional farming methods unprofitable. By the 1960’s, 97% of American farms were recorded to have become fully dependent on NPK fertilizers to grow cash crops. Plants need the constituents of an NPK fertilizer to grow; however, humans need much more than Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium to grow.

Due to the fact that the NPK fertilizers are replacing only Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium other soil nutrients (like selenium, magnesium, boron, chromium) necessary for a balanced nutrition will become deficient and plants grown on that soil are deficient of them. If these nutrients are not present in the soil, we cannot get them when eating crops grown on those soils. Even if we eat a lot of fruits, these fruits are also deficient of these nutrients.

This nutrient deficiency in crops is worsened by the preservation methods that are used in preserving the crops. The RDA handbook reviewed a huge selection of studies that proved that foods lose most of their meager nutritional content on the way to your table. It was just recently and with much resistance that the very conservative medical community acknowledged that nutrition supplements are essential for maintaining good health for a long time. Similarly, it was until 1992 that the Journal of the American Medical Association recommended vitamin supplementation in an effort to prevent cardiovascular disease. Most nutrition specialists who are aware of current research now recommend that daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplementation is essential for proper nourishment.

On April 8, 1998, the Recommended Eating Allowance Committee publicly recommended that most American’s take multi-vitamin/mineral supplements.

That being understood, we now move to the discussion of a few important concepts in nutrient supplementation. Synergy is an essential concept in nutrition. Vitamins and minerals do not work alone; they have to work interdependently to be effective and efficient. Regularly, media reports will emerge implying that we should all begin eating large amounts of wonder vitamin X because it prevents Wala Wala. Single-nutrient supplementation is an extremely naïve approach to eating healthy diets. Take, for example, calcium supplements used for preventing osteoporosis. If you take calcium excessively for months, you may observe a small increase in bone density. However, because of the excessive intake of calcium, you will also observe an increase in calcification of soft tissues, as well as calcium plaque in the arteries and a significant increase in urinary calcium.

All the nutrients involved in a specific process need to be present in varying amounts that balance one another. Formation of the bone requires calcium, vitamin D, copper, fluorine, zinc, manganese, and silicon. Any deficiency in the listed nutrients will result in a loss of bone mass. Balanced nutrition is the only effective way to ensure that fundamental nutrient combinations take place; this is exactly why a high-quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement is essential.

Bioavailability refers to the measure of the quantity of a particular substance that can be utilized by your body. Not all types of vitamins and minerals are alike, and some are easily absorbed than others. A good number of the vitamin supplements with a once-a-day dosage that can be purchased at drug stores contain cheap ingredients that are minimally bioavailable. Regardless, these drugs are lawful because by law the pills only have to be chemically true to the contents on the label, however; many legal forms that pass the liquid chromatography are rarely ever bioavailable.

Manufacturers know that consumers go for the Supplement with the largest number of ingredients and expect that you will not know. For example, you will gain more magnesium from 100 mg of magnesium aspartate than from 400 mg of cheap magnesium oxide. In case you don’t know, most of the ingredients that are highly bioavailable take up more physical space in a supplement. Therefore, supplements that have high-quality ingredients will come as relatively bigger pills because they contain the right amount of nutrients, unlike supplements that contain low-quality ingredients and come as small sized pills. A pea-sized centrum does not have the capacity to contain highly bioavailable nutrients.

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The Best Home Remedies For Natural Heartburn Relief

A pleasant sunny day can be ruined when the scorching heat behind your chest calls your attention. Heartburn -rightly termed, as a hearty party of the previous night can ruin couple of parties in the coming weekend. Many grabs the over the counter drugs and get rid of heartburn and even the thought of it. This easily available solution does not only stop us from bothering about heartburn, but also blocks us from seeing where our health is leading. If taking antacid is unavoidable, opting for home remedies and treating heartburn naturally will reduce the effect on the health. I prefer these easily available home remedies to cure heartburn over antacids as these are also otherwise beneficial for health.

1. Asafoetida. Asafoetida is an Indian spice commonly used for cooking. As Indian food is generally spicy, adding asafoetida to help digestion tells a lot about its effectiveness on reducing heartburn.

Take ¼ tsp of asafoetida in ¼ tsp clarified butter and slightly fry it. Take this mixture followed by a glass of warm water.

You can also apply this mixture in the navel instead.

2. Ajwain (carom, ajowan, or bishop’s weed). Slightly roast some ajwain with black salt. Have that followed by a glass of warm water.

3. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Baking soda acts as a natural antacid neutralising the acid formed in the stomach.

Take 1 tsp sodium bicarbonate in a glass of water for relief from heartburn. Acid can be used to attack acid in the stomach in the following form -take one teaspoon sodium bicarbonate, few drops of lemon juice and some black salt in a glass of water and have it. This treatment should be used temporarily and one should not have more than 3 tsp of baking soda in a day.

4. Ginger. Ginger is immensely helpful for digestion and also for treating acid reflux naturally. Crush ½ inch ginger and add it to a glass of warm water. Keep it soaked for 15 minutes to half an hour and drink it.

5. Aloe vera. The cooling effect of aloe vera juice not only soothes the stomach but is also a natural cure to heartburn.

6. Banana. Banana is a natural antacid. People with severe acid reflux problem should eat one banana daily to keep heartburn at bay as it also helps in constipation.

7. Food with high folic acid. The more colour you include in your fruits and vegetables the more folic acid you consume. Include beans, spinach, apple etc in your diet to reduce chances of acid reflux. Also add fibrous food to your diet so that you do not have constipation.

8. Drinking 4 to 5 glasses of water in empty stomach helps in reducing heartburn. One should also reduce the intake of tea and coffee for a while and stick to drinking more water. Water therapy is the best natural way of taking care of acid reflux rather than opting for instant relief.

9. Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can also give quick relief to the acid reflux. Just make sure not to increase the intake.

Keeping your body light and active is the most effective way of combating heartburn. Taking enough water, reducing intake of tea, coffee, alcohol and spicy food will expedite the cure of heartburn. Include fibre in your food, balance an unhealthy food by following up with healthier food, reduce smoking and drinking, and you are good to go for the next party. And if you still have heartburn, don’t lose your heart, the best home remedies are up your sleeves!

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What Nutrient Helps Reduce Tooth Decay?

Your body is a complex machine and the food you eat affects the general condition of your teeth, mouth and gum. If you eat too much sugary soft drinks, sweetened drinks and nutritious snacks and you can run at the risk of dental diseases. Tooth decay/loss is the most common chronic childhood disease, but the good news is that it is preventable.

Tooth decay starts when bacteria comes into contact with sugar in your mouth and cause acids that attack your teeth.

It causes small holes to form in the teeth, which can lead to pain, tenderness, infection and tooth loss. Many of the unhealthy foods such as candy and soda contribute to tooth decay. Improper brushing can also contribute to tooth decay. It is important to prevent by establishing good oral hygiene habits and see your dentist regularly. Adding certain nutrients in your diet can also help strengthen teeth and prevent cavities.

Fluoride

One of the most common nutrient that helps prevent tooth loss is fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent foods that cause decay. This nutrient is present in drinking water in many large cities and towns. Drinking tap water is one of the easiest ways to increase fluoride intake and help prevent decay. Topical fluoride can be used by your dentist for added protection, and oral tablets are also available that can help you get a lot of this nutrient.

Calcium

Calcium is another common nutrient that contributes to strong and healthy teeth that are less susceptible to decay. Calcium is present in dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt, and leafy green vegetables and fortified juices. Cooking fish with bones is another way to increase your intake of this essential nutrient. You need adequate amounts of calcium in their diet to help maintain the strength of your teeth and help prevent softening that can lead to tooth loss.

Fiber

A diet high in fiber can help prevent constipation, but it can also benefit the health of your teeth as well. Eating high – fiber foods, especially fruits and vegetables, it stimulates the production of saliva. A sufficient amount of saliva in the mouth can help beat food particles that might otherwise stick to the teeth and start causing damage that can lead to tooth decay. Nuts are another crunchy source of fiber that can help remove food from the mouth that can lead to tooth decay and cavities.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, berries and red peppers, among other plant sources, it is crucial to the health of your gums, but could also help prevent tooth loss. If your diet lacks vitamin C, small holes will begin to form on the teeth, which can lead to tooth loss. Vitamin C is also needed to produce the teeth dentin, a substance that helps protect teeth from decay. Vitamin C also helps prevent loss of dentin, which leads to holes in the teeth.

We are London based reputed dentists offering dental care and hygiene programs for adults and kids. He uses pain free and state of the art techniques to deal with oral problems.

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Seeds Are Nutrition Powerhouses

Plants have a perfectly designed approach for ensuring the survival of their species. Every flower or fruit produced by the plant is packed with seeds. Some seeds are microscopic, like the seed of the orchid, so small that it looks like dust. Others are gigantic such as the seed of a palm tree native to the Seychelles that can grow up to twelve inches long and weigh as much as forty pounds.

Despite their size differences, all of these seeds have something in common; they are packed with nutrition. Nature has no idea what type of soil or nutrients will be available externally. To give each seed the best fighting chance when conditions are favorable for germination, the plant packs it with a variety of essential nutrients that can sustain the young sprout until its roots are capable of extracting nutrients from the soil.

A wide variety of these seeds is edible and they add nutrition, flavors and new textures into our regular diets. They can also be great replacements for products that are sources of allergies, as in some nuts, and those that are far less nutritious, as in wheat crackers. Add a few seeds to your diet every day or as a snack and you’ll gain valuable vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids to your diet. Choose raw natural seeds to get the biggest bang for your buck. Roasting breaks down many essential nutrients and may even produce substances that are toxic to your system. This also applies to seeds that are coated with sugar, no matter how tempting those chocolate-coated sunflower seeds may be.

Many of these seeds can be thrown into a salad to add texture and nutrition, others can be used to make a seed butter, similar to almond butter and they can be eaten as a nutrient-packed snack between meals. You can also find a recipe for a multi-seed cracker that is simple to make and a highly nutritious replacement for wheat crackers. Add seeds to yoghurt smoothies and hot oatmeal breakfasts for a power-packed start to the day. All of these seeds are also excellent sources of fiber, which is often lacking in modern diets. Adding a variety of seeds to your regular diet can boost your brain health and your immune system and help to protect you from diseases including diabetes and heart disease.

A few commonly available seeds are worth noting. First among these is the diminutive chia seed. The chia seed is no longer the brunt of jokes from its Chia Pet fame. This little seed is loaded with protein, antioxidants, iron, calcium, vitamin C and omega-3 oil. Next comes hemp seed, which may be the richest source of essentially fatty acids available of any known food substance, including fish. The fatty acids in hemp seeds are provided in a form that is readily available to the body and similar to the form found in the body itself. It also includes all nine of the essential amino acids required by our bodies for optimal health.

Flax seeds are often used in weight loss diet plans to improve digestion by adding fiber and suppressing the appetite. The fatty acids in flax are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Pumpkins seeds are gaining in popularity because they produce alkaline rather than acidic material in your body. Pumpkin seeds also supply a lot of protein and vitamin B complex nutrients. Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps to keep your mood balanced.

Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that supports healthy cells. Sunflower seeds also provide magnesium and they are believed to help lower cholesterol. Finally, sesame seeds are mineral powerhouses, loaded with manganese, copper, calcium, zinc, iron and phosphorous. They also provide vitamin B1 and are believed to have positive effects on lowering cholesterol.

The list of edible seeds is quite long and the flavors and textures are just as varied. Search for them in your local supermarket and have fun adding them to your favorite dishes and replacing some of your snacks with these highly nutritious choices. Take some with you when you travel and nutritious food options seem to be hard to find.

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4 Healthy Appetizer Recipes for the Figure-Conscious

Even those aiming for weight loss can have a complete meal from appetizer to dessert. Appetizers are an important part of the meal as they help stimulate the appetite. No need to count calories, just make sure that you are eating healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Cheese and Spinach Bites

What you need:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups dry bread stuffing mix
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Combine eggs, onion, bread stuffing mix, spinach, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese and melted butter in a large bowl. When ingredients are well-mixed, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When ready, drop by spoonfuls a large baking sheet and refrigerate again for 1 hour. Thaw for 30 minutes then bake in a pre-heated oven (350 degrees F) until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Savory Eggplant Appetizer

What you need:

  • 5 small eggplants, peeled and cubed
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 onions, chopped
  • 5 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Place eggplant, tomato, onion and bell pepper in a pot. Combine water, oil, vinegar and salt in a bowl then pour over vegetables. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes over medium heat. Serve warm with bread.

Beer-Battered Vegetable Fritters

What you need:

  • 6 mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 carrot, slice into thick strips
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into rings
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beer
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour and beer in a large bowl. Stir until well-mixed then let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Mix together eggs and milk in a bowl. Combine remaining flour, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Dip each vegetable in the egg mixture, then in the flour mixture then finally in the beer mixture. Heat oil over high heat and deep fry vegetables until golden brown.

Beet Your Hunger

What you need:

  • 2 large beets, cooked, peeled and sliced into 1/3-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup tarragon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Marinate beets in tarragon vinegar for 15 to 20 minutes. Reserve vinegar. When ready, place some beet slices in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle with feta cheese and walnuts then drizzle with reserved vinegar and lemon juice. Top with beet slices and repeat process until all beet slices are stacked. Cook on medium high in a microwave for 1 minute.

Snack on these nutritious yet delicious appetizer recipes while waiting for the main course to be cooked!

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Boost Your Brainpower With Super Nutrition

Cloudy thinking, forgetful, illogical? ‘Brain foods’ can help!

We wall have days when our thinking is fuzzy, our logic defies reason, when we can’t for the life of us remember some name or fact that was so familiar just the day before. On days like those, you might want to trade in your grey matter for a new, improved model with rechargeable batteries and a software system that lets you discover the unknown secrets of the universe in one easy lesson.

Unfortunately, we have to make do with Mother Nature has given us. Luckily, that’s usually more than adequate. And with better nutrition, we can make better use of the brainpower we do have – and even stave off the mental deterioration we know as senility.

Oxygen Clears The Mind, Keep All Circuits Functioning!

IRON – POOR INTELLECT

“The brain needs large amount of oxygen to function effectively, and the only way it can get it is through iron packed red blood cells” says Don M. Tucker, associate professor of psychology at the University of Oregon.

Some studies show that children with iron – deficiency anemia have short attention spans and trouble learning new material. They also show the boosting iron intake reverses those problems.

Alertness And Memory Can Suffer With “Low But Normal” Iron Levels!

And Dr Tucker’s research shows that adults can suffer from related problems with alertness and memory when their iron levels are in the “low but normal” range.

In one study, for instance, the higher the blood iron levels, the greater the word fluency. (Volunteers were asked to come up with as many words as they could that begin with “Q” and end with “L”. In another, in adults over age 60, blood iron levels were one of the more important measures in determining whether or not the person has normal brainwave patterns.

“Getting enough oxygen to the brain is certainly part of its function, but we think iron also influences brain chemical and pathways,” Dr Tucker says. “We know no that iron is heavily concentrated in a part of the reticular activating system. This area of the brain turns the brain on, so to speak. It maintains alertness. So we can’t help but think that iron plays an important role in awareness and alertness.”

Sources of Iron: Liver, brain, kidney, meat, fish, oysters, shrimps, egg yolk, beans, cereals, lentils, leafy vegetables, drumstick leaves.

“B” SMART

The brain seems o have a special need for the B Vitamins. Memory loss, disorientation, hallucinations, lack of coordination, and personality changes can occur with B-complex deficiencies.

Short-Term Memory Is Sometimes Impaired In Alcoholic Who Develop Thiamine Deficiencies.

Alcoholics, for instance, who sometimes develop thiamine (B1) deficiencies, have problems with short-term memory. They may remember in detail that little café in Paris 20 year ago, but not what they had fur supper the previous night.

Thiamine may also keep the brain thinking straighter and younger. An orthopedic surgeon in England thinks that thiamine deficiency can cause confusion and that confusion can lead to stumbles and broken bones.

The surgeon, M. W. J. Older, had noticed that people who come to him for hip and thighbone surgery all experienced a dip in their thiamine levels as results of the stress of the operation. He also noticed that until the thiamine shortage passed, the patients suffered a bout of confusion.

Digging a little deeper, Dr Older found that patients who come in for elective hip surgery – planned in advance, that is – weren’t thiamine – deficient before the operation, and that their post surgical thiamine deficiency didn’t last so long. But the patients with emergency fractures, he discovered, were deficient before, during, and after their operations. That raised the possibility that preoperative thiamine-related confusion may even helped cause the emergencies.

“mental confusion in the elderly awaits further study, “Dr older notes, “but our data support the concept that thiamine deficiency may be a contributory factor to postoperative confusion. We suggest that the causation of fracture itself may be attributable to thiamine deficiency, with confusion precipitating the fall”.

The Most Promising Anti-Senility Nutrients?

But if there were a contest for the most promising anti-senility nutrients, the price might be awarded to vitamin B6 and copper. Two University of Texas nutritionists have reported (in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition), the remarkable news that a deficiency of B6 or copper in young rats causes some of the same kind of brain cell abnormalities as those seen in senile humans. The results implied that those two nutrients might prevent mental decline.

Science, of course, is never hat simple. But the evidence seems striking. The researches found, among other things, that in rats and humans, the dendrites – delicate, branching roots that carry electrical impulses from one brain cell to another – tend to shrivel up and die when deprived of B6 or cooper. Without the all important dendrites, brain circuitry breaks down.

Though the rats were fed a diet skimpier in the two nutrients than any human diet would be, the researches said that a mild deficiency of those nutrients over the years could have the same devastating effect. The Texas researches, Elizabeth Root and John Longenecker, recommended getting adequate of B6, copper and other nutrients into the diet as soon as possible for the sake of prevention.

For Best Results, Catch The Deficiencies Early!

“If you catch these changes early then you might prevent some of the neurological damage from occurring,” Dr Root says. “But it’s not just B6 and copper. People who have a poor diet in general are the most likely to get into trouble. We’re starting some more experiments on the possible effects of deficiencies in magnesium and foliate, two nutrients that also come up low in most diet surveys.”

Sources: B1 (thiamine: Unpolished rice, wheat, bajra and jowar.

B6: Egg yolk, liver, meat, fish, milk, whole grains, cabbage and other green vegetables.

Copper: liver, nuts, dried fruits, cereals, pulses, meat products, fruits, vegetables, oysters and fish.

Even Mild Deficiencies Of B12, C, Folate, And Riboflavin Can Impede Brain Function.

KEEPING A KEEN MIND

Actually, there’s evidence that physically healthy people over age 60 can be measurably keener of mind that their peers if they maintain sufficient dietary levels of vitamins B12, C, Foliate and riboflavin. Even milked virtually unnoticeable deficiencies of those nutrients can mean less than optimal brain function.

At the University of New Mexico, senility experts Jean Goodwin and her husband, James Goodwin, and other placed advertisements in newspaper and on TV and radio asking for volunteers for an experiment. Each volunteer had to be at least 60 years old, free of all serious diseases, and not on medication. After a screening process, Goodwin chose 260 men and women between the ages of 60 and 94 from various social and income levels.

All the volunteers gave a sample of their blood and filled out a three day food diary stating exactly that they ate during that period. Taken together, the blood test and diet survey showed the researchers almost exactly what each person’s levels of most vitamins and minerals were.

Memory And Problem-Solving Tests Administered To 260 People Yielded Definite Nutritional Links.

After the process, the volunteers underwent two mental performance tests. In the first one, a researcher read a one paragraph store to each person and asked hi to repeat it as quickly and accurately as possible. A half hour later the volunteers had to recite the paragraph from memory, with no cues. The second test measured each person’s ability to solve non-verbal problems and to think abstractly.

The researchers fed all the test scores and nutritional profiles into a computer and waited to see if good nutrition would correlate with quicker thinking. It turned out that the volunteers with the lowest B12 and C Levels scored worst on the memory test. Those with the lowest level of B12, C, Foliate and riboflavin did worst on the problem solving test.

“We showed that in population of healthy older people, those people who had a deficient intake and low blood levels of certain vitamins scored significantly worse on the test,” said Dr Jean Goodwin. “Our recommendation is that everyone maintain an adequate intake of those nutrients,”

Sources: B12: Milk, cheese, eggs, beef kidney, heart and liver, chicken liver. (Animal foods are the main source, and pure vegetarians who exclude even milk from their diet, run a risk of developing a deficiency)

Foliate: Vegetables, cereals, Meat and liver.

Riboflavin: Milk, meat, cereals and pulses.

Vitamin C: Green vegetables, fruits (especially guavas, oranges, sweet limes and lemons) and fresh crop potatoes.

THE PROMISE OF CHOLINE

Thiamine and B12 are also needed to produce and use one of the brain’s major chemical messengers, acetylcholine.

Choline: The Active Component Of “Brain Foods” Like Fish, Liver, And Eggs.

But the real star in acetylcholine production is another B vitamin, choline. Manu of the foods touted as “brain foods” – fish for instance, liver and eggs contain choline a substance researches are finding really can help preserve the brain’s ability to reason learn, and remember. Choline is the building block for a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine that sends messages between brain cells.

For instance, researchers at Ohio State University recently found that mice fed a diet heavy in choline rich lecithin had much better memory retention than mice on regular diets. They took much longer to go into back room in their cages where they had received a mild electric shock, meaning they hadn’t forgotten their unpleasant experience.

What’s more, their brain cells, examined under a microscope, showed fewer of the expected sighs of aging, says Ronald Mervis of Ohio state University’s brain Aging and neuronal Plasticity Research Group.

Sources: (Choline): fish, liver, eggs, heart, soyabeans, peanuts.

Can Lecithin Provide A Brain Boost?

Like fiber or fish oil, it’s slowly becoming a household word. You may have heard of it already lecithin.

What’s the big to do? Studies have suggested that lecithin may aid memory and even slow down or prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

But what is lecithin? Found naturally in soybean, eggs, butter, corn and milk, lecithin is used in medicines, food, even cosmetics as a wetting, emulsifying and penetrating agent. It’s the lecithin that keeps the fat and the cocoa from separating an in chocolate, for instance, and in keeps margarine from splattering when hot.

For years, lecithin has been sold in health food stores in the west as a treatment for everything, from heart disease to weight loss. In fact so many clans have been made that some proponents are worried about over kill.

Just how solid is the lecithin memory connection? Lecithin is precursor to choline, and scientists re excited about animal studies that suggest lecithin may slow down one part of the ageing process: the degeneration of brain cells, and therefore normal age-related memory loss., says Dr. Mervis, “Normally, as the brain ages, its cell membranes become more rigid with fatty deposits and lose their ability to take in and release brain chemicals and to merely messages.” This can cause memory loss and the confused thinking.

A Lecithin-Rich Diet Appears To Keep Nerve Channels Open.

But a lecithin rich diet seems to repress or delay this membrane hardening.

As part of the deterioration process, aging brain cells also tend to lose dendrite spines, the chemicals receptor areas that are vitally important is passing along information.

Having too few dendrite spines is like having a bad phone connection. Messages get distorted and lost. But lecithin fed older mice had the same number of dendrite spines as much younger mice.

“Despite the difference between mice and people there are, nevertheless, remarkable similarities in the structure of their never cells,” Says Dr Mervis. “I believe lecithin could help to repress or delay similar problems in people.”

Can Lecithin Boost Min Power In Normal, Healthy People?

In fact, in some studies, lecithin has shown some promise in boosting the mind power of normal, healthy persons.

“Our studies show that choline has a week modern memory enhancement effect” says Dr Mervis. “It’s not a robust effect, but it can be measured.”

On two separate days, they gave ten healthy volunteers, raging in age from 21 to 29, either a supplement of 10 gms of choline chloride or an identical appearing but worthless substitute. Then after an hour and a half, the people were given a memory test.

In a serial learning test, subjects had to memorize in proper order a sequence of ten unrelated words. The list was read to each person and repeated as often as necessary until perfect recall was achieved and could be repeated twice in a row.

“Choline significantly enhanced serial recall of unrelated words as measure by the number o trials required… ,” the researchers reported. “Furthermore, the enhancement was more pronounce in ‘slower’ subjects than in subjects who performed well.”

Indeed, Choline Enhanced Memory – Particularly In People Who Were Forgetful.

In other words, the people most in need of help had their memories prodded the most when they took choline. One individual who normally need six trial readings to master a ten-word list cut that to four after taking choline. Another dropped from seven to five attempts with choline supplement.

One person who normally required ten trials to aster a list of difficult words reduced to five (a 50 percent improvement!) after taking choline.

Long-Term Effects Of Choline Supplementation Are Still Unknown.

As promising as Dr Mervis’ results were, however, he as quick to point out that many questions still remains. For example, these test measured memory 90 minutes after a single dose of choline and the doses of choline given in these test were at lest the times as great as the 900 milligrams or less supplied by a typical diet. We still don’t know how long the effects last or whether they would continue over several weeks or months if extra choline were consumed daily.

And the trials involved only younger, healthy volunteers with a normal range of remembering ability.

Moreover, high doses of lecithin can cause gastrointestinal cramps, diarrhea or nausea in some people.

So, what can we say for sure about lecithin?

Basically, that we really need more solid evidence before promoting it as a super nutrient. Some great ideas turn out to be the truth. But the whole truth about lecithin is still to be learned.

Meanwhile there’s no harm in upping your intake of fish, soybeans and corn. You may just give your brain power a little boost.

I firmly believe that the whole universe is inter-connected. Our body, mind and spirit are deeply rooted with each other. If body is sick, the mind cannot relax or feel good. And if mind is not relaxed, it will give birth to stress and that will lead to chronic health problems.

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The Vision Health Benefits Of Strawberries For Better Eyesight

As a nutritious food to improve eyesight tasty strawberries are ideal for making a delicious smoothie. Additionally, this red fruit filled with tons of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals is a good compliment to your ideal Yogurt dessert treat. This extremely nutritious food for better eyesight provides a series of health benefits including better immune health, better brain health, protection from cancer and a decrease in blood pressure to name a few. Some nutritional ingredients in strawberries include vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, magnesium, Potassium, Folate and dietary fiber to name a few. But did you know that this antioxidant rich fruit is also good for your eyes as well? Therefore, here are some of the nutritional benefits of strawberries for better vision health along with some of its general health benefits:

Eye health Benefits – This eye food consists of free radical fighting antioxidants, flavonoids and phytochemicals for vision protection. These can actually decrease the pressure in the eyes. From this point of view, strawberries are a good nutritional preventive measure against Glaucoma. Strawberries consists of Potassium which increases healthy circulation to the blood vessels of the eyes and this is also important in normalizing healthy pressure in the eyes.

Boosts The Immune System – Due to its rich vitamin C content it significantly boosts the immune system. The rich antioxidant properties in strawberries neutralizes damaging free radicals in the body that are harmful to the DNA of healthy cells and therefore it increases the body’s immune system defenses against diseases. Strawberries provide about 150% of your daily recommended allowance for vitamin C for better immune health.

Cancer Fighter: Strawberries consist of Vitamin C, Folate, quercetin and anthocyanins. These nutritional elements work together to fight free radicals, cancer cells and tumor growth. The daily consumption of strawberries not only reduces the risks for cancer but also reduces the negative effects of aging on the brain thereby improving brain health.

Improves Brain Function: the nutritional elements in strawberries such as its vitamin C content as well as its phytochemical content counteract the negative effects of free radicals in the brain. Strawberries consists of Iodine which is a nutrient vital in improving brain function and Potassium which improves cognitive function. Therefore, regular daily consumption of strawberries is useful in improving cognitive skills such as concentration, memory and recall.

Lowers Blood Pressure: Strawberries Lower blood pressure due to its Potassium and Magnesium content. Potassium dilates blood vessels thereby improving the flow of blood circulation to the arteries of the heart.

Strawberries make a wonderful snack when combined with other fruits to make smoothies and is also an ideal addition to your favorite Yogurt snack. With multiple benefits ranging from better eye, heart, brain and immune health, ultimately, making this healthy fruit a part of your daily diet is certainly a very wise nutritional choice for maximum general health and eye health.

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Boost Your Immune System With Vitamin C

People of British descent who visit America sometimes find themselves being referred to by the slang term ‘limey’. Although no one likes to be called a name that sounds derogatory, this particular name may actually be a form of compliment, even if the speaker does not know why. In the eighteenth century, sailors of the British Royal Navy navigated the world in sailing ships, requiring weeks and months at sea with no fresh food to eat.

The vitamin C deficiency that resulted from this practice caused sailors to come down with a sometimes-deadly disease called scurvy. Scurvy results in bleeding, poor healing of wounds, hair and tooth loss and joint pain. Indeed the list of potential ailments due to a deficiency of vitamin C are numerous, including anemia, bleeding gums and nose, inability to fight infection and gingivitis, easy bruising, swollen and painful joints and weakened tooth enamel. In response, the British navy stocked their ships with lemons and limes and included the juice from these fruits in the meals of sailors on their ships. The ‘limeys’ were able to keep their vitamin C intake high enough for their sailors to stay healthy over long journeys.

Vitamin C is not manufactured by other elements inside the body, so we must rely on food sources to maintain an adequate supply. Thankfully, you can find a wide variety of foods that are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is water-soluble and it is not stored in the body. Excess amounts are flushed out through the urine, and we must maintain a steady supply to support normal growth and development.

Your body uses vitamin C to grow new tissue, particularly skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. This helps you to heal better from injuries and repair damage to cartilage and bones. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that helps to prevent damage from oxidizing agents or free radicals in the body. Its antioxidant properties extend beyond itself in that vitamin C helps to recover other antioxidants including vitamin E after they have been oxidized.

A healthy nutritious diet including a variety of vegetables and fruits with every meal should supply all of the vitamin C that you need. Long cooking cycles degrade the vitamin C in the food so fresh, raw fruits and vegetables are recommended. Green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach are excellent sources of vitamin C and other important nutrients. Other good choices of vegetables are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, cabbage, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and squash such as butternut or acorn squash.

Fruits rich in vitamin C include citrus varieties such as oranges, grapefruit, limes, lemons and tangerines. Berries including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries are also good sources. Other good fruit sources are kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple and watermelon. Packaged foods may be fortified with vitamin C. Read the labels of breakfast cereals and other packaged food carefully as many of these contain very high levels of sugar, which will create other problems that are best avoided. You might also see ascorbic acid or dehydroascorbic acid listed in the ingredients to help you identify vitamin C.

If fresh fruits are not available, supplementation may help you to sustain your vitamin C levels and keep your immune system strong. In addition, higher levels of vitamin C may be required if you are exposed to smoking or for women who are breastfeeding. It is believed that vitamin C helps to shorten the duration of a cold, but there is no evidence that it will prevent the cold itself.

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