Monday, July 19, 2010

Vitamins for Women: Good Drinks for Good Health

lemon > waterImage by *MarS via Flickr
What we drink is as important as what we eat.  On average 25% of our "eating" is in done in liquid form, more so during the summer months.  Drinks can assist with our health and help build immunity to colds and flu, may prevent some cancer, can influence our moods, protect our kidneys, and help us lose weight.
Lemon for your Kidneys
Usually when you think of kidney and urinary protection you think of cranberry juice...but 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice mixed with 2 quarts of cold water and honey to taste, drunk daily can combat the formation of kidney stones.  Lemon juice is a citrate which binds to calcium in the urine and prevents salts from crystallizing into painful kidney stones.  This lemonade also tempts you to drink more, which hydrates your system.  Limonene, a powerful phytochemical, found in the juice and rind (zest) of lemon may help prevent several types of cancers.
Green Tea boosts your Metabolism
Add a few drops of green tea extract to your water.  Green tea offers increased prevention from several cancers and Alzheimer's, and blasts fat too.  A study put out by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows dieters who drank water with green tea extract lost an additional 2.5 pounds and 8% body fat than those who only watched caloric intake.  Green tea helps regulate blood glucose levels thus preventing the storage of fat. Its high polyphenol content also helps cut the risk of heart disease, while a Portuguese study indicated that 90% of their subjects lowered their LDL count after just 4 weeks of drinking green tea daily.
Flax Oil fights Heart Disease
Adding a tablespoon of flax see oil to orange juice seems to cause a decrease in the inflammation that leads to heart disease.  Flax is a sterol and is rich in Omega 3 acids which fight cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  It adds a subtle nutty flavor, and can be used in other foods as well.  Increasing your Omega 3 intake also seems to decrease your desire for fatty foods thus possibly helping to prevent strokes and heart attacks.
Sage for the Brain
Steep a teaspoon of dried sage in a cup of hot water.  Sage tea tends to calm anxiety, boost memory, and protect against Alzheimer's.  It can improve alertness for up to 4 hours, and it contains a compound that blocks enzymes that destroy neurotransmitters critical to brain functions.  Sage also seems to decrease weight gain by mobilizing fat from cells to muscles where it is used for energy.
Chocolate Whey Protein Powder  Adds Years and Muscle
One scoop of Chocolate Whey Protein Shakes for Women mixed with milk is a key to preventing blood sugar spikes and dips that trigger the body to crave sweets.  The more protein in your diet, the leaner you will be according to a Canadian study.  People who added an extra 20 grams of protein to their diets had the thinnest waistlines.  Whey protein can add years to your life; studies have linked quality whey to a decrease in certain cancers, reduced blood pressure, and increased immunity. Of course I would recommend you looking for the best protein shakes for women.
Apple Cider Vinegar lowers Blood Pressure and Weight
Finally, adding apple cider vinegar (with some honey to taste) to your water can actually neutralize an acidic system.  Apple cider vinegar contains pectin, a fiber known to help reduce bad cholesterol and regulate blood pressure; as well as potassium that helps with hair loss, weak finger nails, brittle teeth, and sinusitis. It is also loaded with the free radical  warrior: beta carotene. It is said that apple cider vinegar assists with weight loss as it breaks down fats, and promotes a healthy and youthful appearance.  

Consider your next it helping your health?  If not, try alternatives that promote your health and well being.

Be healthy, be safe, take your women vitamins and be blessed, Kersten

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Vitamins for Women: To Sleep: Perchance to Stay Healthy..part 2

happy sleeping person

Today's lifestyle sometimes requires so much of us, that we turn to cutting corners on our basic components.  We eat on the run, we communicate while we travel, and we often sacrifice a couple of hours of sleep in order to get everything done.

We can still eat healthily.  We can talk, text and email from the plane, train or automobile (provided we are neither the driver nor the pilot), but when we cut corners on sleep, our health can immediately start to suffer.

Symptoms commonly associated with a lack of sleep and sleep deprivation -

  • exhaustion
  • fatigue 
  • lack of physical energy
  • emotional instability
  • mood swings
  • stress
  • anger 
  • pessimism. 

 Memory Affected

Sleep helps your brain consolidate information. One sleep study found that the accuracy of your working-memory tasks drops by about 15%  if you pull an all-nighter.  Without recovery time, you're unable to file away important data. Studies also found that area of the brain responsible for language processing (the temporal lobe) was less active in sleep-deprived participants.

Waistlines Expand
"Some research has suggested that sleep restriction over many years may affect metabolism, increasing the risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes,"  Siobhan Banks, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
Other researchers have found that even mild sleep deprivation quickly disrupts normal levels of the recently discovered hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite. That fits with the theory that humans may be genetically wired to be awake at night only when they need to be searching for food or fending off danger -- circumstances when they would need to eat to have enough energy.

"The modern equivalence to that situation today may unfortunately be often just a few steps to the refrigerator next door," Emmanuel Mignot, Stanford University

A 2007 Canadian study found that people with a deprivation of sleep,— those who get only 5 or 6 hours a night—, increase their likelihood of being overweight by 69%, compared with those who normally sleep 7 or 8 hours.

Illnesses Abound

University of Chicago researchers found that antibodies in sleep-deprived people who'd received a vaccine were about 50% weaker than those in well-rested people. Harvard researchers also found that blood levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of heart-disease risk, can spike if you skip even a few hours of rest. The newest study on obesity, from Columbia University, is just the latest to find that adults who sleep the least appear to be the most likely to gain weight and to become obese.

In addition, studies show sleep-deprived people tend to develop problems regulating their blood sugar, which may put them at increased risk for diabetes.

Harvard-run Nurses' Health Study has linked insufficient or irregular sleep to increased risk for colon cancer, breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

 Cancer Risks Increase 

During sleep your body produces melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle. Interrupt sleep and you interrupt melatonin synthesis, which can be a problem. A 2007 University of Texas study review concluded that not only does melatonin detoxify harmful, cancer-causing free radicals, but in doing so it actually creates more antioxidants. Melatonin may also boost the effectiveness of vitamin C, another antioxidant.
"Melatonin can prevent tumor cells from growing -- it's cancer-protective," said Eva S. Schernhammer of Harvard Medical School, who has conducted a series of studies on volunteers in sleep laboratories. "The theory is, if you are exposed to light at night, on average you will produce less melatonin, increasing your cancer risk."

Mortality Rates Rise
"Based on our findings, we believe that if you lose sleep that your body needs, then you produce these inflammatory markers that on a chronic basis can create low-grade inflammation and predispose you to cardiovascular events and a shorter life span," Alexandros N. Vgontzas of Pennsylvania State University

Practical Aids to Assist with your Sleep:

  • keep your bedroom dark, even red and blue LED can disturb your rest
  • keep your bedroom cool 
  • keep your bedroom a place of rest...move the TV out
  • gentle exercise like yoga actually relaxes the body and aids restfulness
  • meditate and pray before sleeping, gratitude is the best last emotion of the day
  • retire at consistent times each night
  • drink a warm herbal, non-caffeinated tea
Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite....

Be healthy, be safe, take your Women Vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten

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