Category Archives: Healthy Nutrition

The beginnings of an opportunity

I would have never believed it.  To hear this kind of news, you must be kidding.  I eat right, or think I do.  I’m not tremendously overweight, at least if I compare myself with the general populace. I exercise sometimes, in spite of the fact that the media tells me that I only have to do 20 minutes of vigorous exercise everyday.  I must remember that everyone has a different definition of vigorous!

About 15 years ago, my wife and I were attending a health fair at one of the local hotels.  I had been thinking more seriously about what I would look like when I got to be in my 60’s and beyond. Looking at the people around me, I realized that I was pretty healthy and really didn’t have any serious health issues (or so I thought).  Sure, I had some heart problems, my joints hurt due to a bad knee injury left over from basic training,  took Tums for my stomach after evening meals, and was pushing 200 pounds for my 6 foot frame.  Wasn’t this the norm?  Isn’t this America where it was okay to be 20-30 pounds overweight and talk about all your health issues?

It was at the health fair, that I took one of the devices you hold in your hands at chest level for a minute or so and the readout came:  OBESE.  What?  You are kidding, right?  OBESE at 26 percent body fat?  OBESE?  I didn’t like that word.  For me it was the start of my quest to be healthier.  I needed to do something about it.  But what do I do?  I had been at this weight for over 30 years!  Why would I want to change?  This was my wake-up call.  However, it wasn’t one of those instant changes where you decide to go on a crash diet by not eating, drinking only water for a week straight to get back into shape.  There was no way I was going to do that.  I had seen other people try it, and after a week of dehydration, they would typically go back to eating like they had always done as that was their “comfort zone” and they were not about make a change.

For my wife and I, it was more about taking a look at where we were, assessing the situation, and starting to make subtle changes.  I was content with my weight at that time.  I did not realize that I would be more content, as well as comfortable, if I lost  some of those extra pounds that were classifying me as “obese.”

The first thing I did was to start reading labels and counting calories.  Not that I knew anything at the time about what I was reading, but it sounded good.  The next thing was to eliminate things I didn’t really need like candy, sugar, sodas, junk food, etc.  Needless to say, just by doing that, I reduced that number of Tums I was taking every night.

The next step, I hypothesized correctly, was the need for some sort of vitamin supplementation.  There are a million different variations of nutritional vitamin supplements on the market.  Everyone advertises theirs as the best.  I started with a vitamin network marketing company that said they could prove they were the best.  They had the documentation, the doctors’ endorsements, and at the plenty of testimonies endorsing the products.

That was now the opportunity to begin a new career!

 

Are you subjecting yourself to this diet plan?

Choosing what you eat is mandatory
Diets aren’t mandatory, but being aware of what you are eating and why you are eating it, is mandatory.

Every day I am reading about a new way of losing weight – a new diet plan.  Have you ever done a Google search on diet plans?  Some of them have the audacity to claim themselves as diets that work specifically for men or specifically for women, etc.  Then you have the best diets, the 10 best diets, the 5 essentials of a diet, 8 ways to start a diet, etc.  The list goes on and on.

What is it about our daily “diet” that we have to be on a daily diet?  What ever happened to simply eating foods that we know are good for us?  What about having Hot Doritos Jalapeno chips for breakfast? Is that good for you?  They taste good.  Sure, lots of things taste good and that is what the manufacturers want us to eat –  anything that tastes good.  If the taste is not to our liking, then we probably won’t eat it.  Take kale for example.  Read up on the nutritional value of kale.  Have you ever even tasted kale?  I used to think that even the word kale didn’t taste good in my mouth just because it was a green leafy vegetable.  Try it by cooking it or even eating it raw with other vegetables.  You will be surprised how there is very little taste to it.  Much of this has been in your upbringing.

Do a Google search on kale.  You will read everything on how nutritious and delicious it is, to how to take a distasteful vegetable and make it edible, and to why you shouldn’t eat kale.  So it comes down to whatever opinion a person has for this vegetable.  Who are you going to believe?  If you go to any farmers’ market, I’m sure you will find it for sale.  Would you want to make it part of your diet?  If so, why?  For me, it was simply being educated on what kale was all about.  Then it was a matter of choice if I wanted to incorporate it into my eating habits.

What is the right diet plan for you?  Great question and I don’t believe there is even a single answer that can apply to one individual or everyone.  Obviously that is the reason for all the various kinds of diets that you read about.  Even doing your research on the best diet plan for you may not be the best diet for you.  I would not even want to recommend a diet plan to anyone.  However, by using a little common sense, reading labels, doing research on your own, eating sensibly, and even using the government food guide as a template for your menus, no one should have to go on a specific diet plan to lose weight.

Even though we might be eating right, using our common sense, being logical about our eating habits, and eating junk food in extreme moderation, we still need daily supplements.  Once again, research has shown time and time again that we are not getting the full daily requirement of  nutrition that our bodies need.  That is why I take the Shaklee Vitalizer on daily basis.

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The Skin Healing Properties of Black Seed Oil

The Skin Healing Properties of Black Seed Oil

 

The healing properties of black seed (Nigella sativa) oil have been known for thousands of years. It has been used both orally and topically fight disease in many different practices of medicine through-out the ages. In our modern times its actions and efficacy is increasingly backed by solid scientific understanding and an evidence base.

The use of black seed oil to beautify and improve the skin condition is well established; in fact, the famed beauty of Cleopatra is believed to be in part due to her use of black seeds. The oil of the Nigella sativa is packed with valuable components like vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and trace elements providing the necessary nutritive factors for skin recovery and repair. Black seed oil also has a number of useful pharmacological actions which make it a fantastic natural option for treating diseases of the skin.

Black Seed and Psoriasis

Psoriasis is skin condition in which scaly pink plaques appear over the body, these can be sore and itchy and can be a source of embarrassment. The condition is caused by an abnormal immune reaction in the body causing abnormal proliferation of the epidermal layer of skin.

Black seed oil is well recognized to regulate the body’s immune cells (up regulating some and down regulating others), [i] it also enhances the body’s ability to deal with abnormal cell proliferation. [ii]

Traditionally, black seeds have been applied externally for psoriatic skin to manage the general pain and patches of eruption. A recent lab based study examined the effect of nigella sativa seed extract on an animal model of psoriasis, they examined the histological (cellular level)  effects and found that Nigella sativa has anti-psoriatic activity and concluded that the external application is beneficial in the management of psoriasis.[iii]

Black Seed and Eczema

Eczema is a condition characterized by skin inflammation. Itchy, red, patches appear, which can weep and crust. It commonly affects around joints and the mainstay of treatment is with moisturizers and steroid creams. In severe cases systemic immunosuppression is needed.

Black seed oil has fantastic emollient properties, forming a non-greasy film and providing nutritive factors the skin needs. A clinical trial which compared the effects of Nigella sativa oil applied twice daily compared to a conventional steroid cream (Betamethasone) for hand eczema found both to be equally effective in reducing symptoms.[iv] The clear benefit of black seed oil over steroid use is its lack of side effects.

Fungal infections

In addition to fighting bacteria that causes acne, black seed oil also fights fungus. Black seed oil has proven anti-fungal effects against the common skin fungal infectious organisms (dermatophytes) which cause conditions like fungal nail infections, athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm. [v]

Acne

Acne is a multifactorial condition which commonly affects teenagers however can persist into adulthood. It can result in disfiguring scarring. A number of factors are thought to contribute to the disease including hormonal, dietary, localized skin inflammatory response and infections.

Black seed oil has several properties which can reduce the symptoms of acne including anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. The nutritive factors in the oil can also help in repair and regeneration of damaged skin. Black seed oil is also a natural anti-histamine ideal for treating for skin conditions related to allergy.

Black Seed and Skin Cancers

Cancer occurs when cells become abnormal and replicate in an uncontrolled way. The cells which make up the layers of skin are the most highly exposed in the body and hence skin cancer is one of the most common forms of human cancer. Globally, approximately one million new cases occur annually and this is increasing year on year. The two most common forms of skin cancer arebasal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, in both of these prolonged ultraviolet light exposure is a risk major factor.

Nigella sativa has been proven to have a range of anti-cancer effects against many different abnormal cell types. [vi] Specific effects against skin cancer cells have been demonstrated.

Squamous cell carcinomas affect the epidermal layer of the skin; they can spread and invade surrounding tissues. Nigella sativa extract has been found to be effective against squamous cell carcinoma cells in vitro (using human skin cancer cells cultured cells in a lab), the study found that the active anti-cancer extract from black seeds (Thymoquinone) inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in squamous cell carcinoma. The authors conclude that Thymoquinone is a potential antineoplastic therapy in this common skin cancer.

Benefits of Black Seed Oil for Skin Complexion

The powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and nutritive properties of black seed oil can help to restore the natural health and vitality of skin. The oil can be taken orally or applied and massaged directly into the skin. The rich array of oils provides deep skin moisturization. Additionally vitamin A, amino acids and fatty acids work together to help skin regeneration.

It is difficult to fully describe the way black seed oil works in a single article; Nigella sativa is a truly magical plant with complex properties we are just beginning to understand.

To learn more about this article go to: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/skin-healing-properties-black-seed-oil?page=1

 

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Fetal Exposure to Pollutants Produces Childhood Obesity

Fetal Exposure to Pollutants Produces Childhood Obesity

Have you ever wondered why some infants seem to be naturally heavier than others, even though they may not necessarily be eating more? New research is confirming this may have something to do with a baby’s exposure to certain pollutants within the womb.

Research from Spain’s Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology has confirmed that exposure to certain environmental pollutants in the womb produces a greater incidence of obesity and rapid growth among infants and children.

In the most recent study, the researchers followed over 4,600 infants between 2003 and 2008 who were between the age of six months and fourteen months. Within this population they identified 1,285 children who had experienced rapid growth during their first year and 1,198 overweight babies by the time they were 14 months of age.

During the last trimester of pregnancy the mothers’ blood was collected and analyzed for a number of pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB).

The researchers then collected data relating to the body mass index of each child – measuring that at six months and then again at 14 months.

The researchers found that DDE and HCB were both associated with rapid growth among the infants as well as being overweight at fourteen months.

The researchers concluded:

“Prenatal exposure to DDE and HCB may be associated with early postnatal growth. Further research is needed to evaluate the persistence of these associations at older ages.”

Other research finds similar results for older children

This study confirms an earlier study done by some of the same researchers. This study, however, focused upon children who were older – with an average age of 6.5 years.

This study followed 344 Spanish children between 1997 and 1998, comparing their body mass index at 6.5 years old with their exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), and/or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) within the womb.

This study again found that the incidence of obesity among the children was significantly higher for those with higher exposures to PCBs and DDE. The increased obesity rate among th

Fruit Restriction Advice for Type 2 Diabetics Proven WRONG

Fruit Restriction Advice for Type 2 Diabetics Proven WRONG

Fruit Restriction Advice for Type 2 Diabetics Proven WRONG

Danish hospital researchers have proven that the typical recommendation among conventional doctors and nutritionists to type 2 diabetics to lay off the fruit is quite simply wrong.

The research comes from the Department of Nutrition of Denmark’s West Jutland Regional Hospital. The researchers tested fruit consumption on 63 men and women who had been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The researchers randomized the participants into two groups. One group was given the advice to eat at least two fruits a day, while the other was given the more common conventional medicine advice to eat no more than two fruits a day. This advice accompanied the other typical medical and nutritional advice typically given to diabetics.

The participants then recorded their fruit consumption each day for three months. Before and after the trial began the patients were tested for HbA1c status, body weight and waist circumference. Because many of the patients were overweight, their diet plan also included strategies for weight loss.

The HbA1c test shows the mean glucose levels over the past three months. It illustrates glucose control among diabetics. Less than 5.6% or lower is considered normal, while 5.7 to 6.5 is considered pre-diabetic, and more than 6.5% is considered diabetic. The patients studied were all over 6.5%.

After the three months on their new diets, the patients were all re-tested, and their fruit consumption was analyzed together with their HbA1c results, weight and waist size.

The researchers found that those on the high fruit diet had little difference in their relative HbA1c levels, amount of weight loss or waist size as compared to the group that consumed less fruit.

The researchers concluded that:

A recommendation to reduce fruit intake as part of standard medical nutrition therapy in overweight patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes resulted in eating less fruit. It [consuming less fruit] had however no effect on HbA1c, weight loss or waist circumference. We recommend that the intake of fruit should not be restricted in patients with type 2 diabetes.”

In fact, when the data is looked at more closely, those who ate more fruit had slightly more weight loss and lower ending waist circumference than those who ate less fruit.

The high-fruit diet group had an average weight reduction of 2.5 kilos while the low-fruit diet group had a 1.7 kilogram average loss in weight. Meanwhile, the high-fruit diet group had an average waistline shrinkage of 4.3 centimeters, while the low-fruit diet had an average shrinkage of 3.0 centimeters.

The reason why this nutritional advice of lower fruit consumption has been erroneous is that conventional medicine has failed to understand the importance of consuming the fibers within fruits: They have assumed the sugar levels of fruit without the fiber. Whole fruits contain a number of long-chain polysaccharides – such as pectin and others – which have been shown to reduce glycemic levels and balance blood sugar.

This reality – that fruits pose no threat to type 2 diabetics – has been in front of conventional medicine for over two decades. Research at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis in the early nineties – published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition – tested seven diabetic men with bananas of various ripeness. Their testing illustrated that the ripeness of the bananas had no effects upon the patients’ levels of glucose, insulin, C-peptide and glucagon. This should have led to the immediate abandonment of this notion that fruit is not advisable for diabetics.

In fact, the precisely opposite is true.

Just about every whole fruit will contain both soluble and insoluble fiber – often at precisely the perfect levels for our digestive tract. Fiber levels among popular fruits range from a low of about three grams for every 100 calories to a high of seven to over eight grams per 100 calories – among raspberries, blackberries (about a cup), prunes and figs. An apple or pear will contain close to four grams each.

Fruit juices, on the other hand, present the sugar of fruits without their fiber. Thus fruit juices are a quite different thing altogether.

Most health-oriented nutritionists suggest that between 30 and 40 grams a day of fiber is best, while some suggest as low as 25 is okay. Most Americans eat between 10 and 15 grams per day. Fiber is critical to maintaining blood sugar balance.

Soluble fiber – also called water-soluble – has been shown to lower cholesterol because it prevents bile from reabsorption – as bile acids are produced from cholesterol. Fiber will attach bile acids and escort them out of the body. Soluble fiber also slows carbohydrate absorption and decreases insulin requirements. These together help balance blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber attaches to toxins and waste material in the digestive tract and escorts them out of the intestines.

Fruits make up one of the best ways to get both soluble and insoluble fiber. Other ways include whole grains and seeds.

You can learn more about this article at: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/fruit-restriction-advice-type-2-diabetics-proven-wrong

Healthy Nutrition

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