October 2011
Pamela Nathan

Important Facts about Probiotics

With 70% of your body's natural defenses found in the gut, there's hype and talk about the benefits of probiotics. It's important to understand the role that helpful probiotics play as part of a holistic health routine.

Here are some important facts you need to know about probiotics:

Probiotics work because they are live bacteria that need to thrive in the human gut. Probiotics need tender loving care, therefore, don't abuse your probiotics. Keep them cool and dry so they will be alive when they get into your body. For best results and for long-term storage, most probiotics need to be kept refrigerated.

Probiotics displace and even help kill pathogenic bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. Not all bacteria are bad. Probiotic Bacteria is good bacteria which we need to survive. The word "probiotic" means "for life". Read more

Eat Your Way to Healthy Skin

When your skin is nourished by certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it can appear healthier and younger. The best way to achieve healthy skin and a youthful glow is by eating the right foods through a balanced diet.

Make sure to include the following nutrients in your diet:

Essential fatty acids. Fatty acids are important to the production of the skin's natural oil barrier. Eating foods with essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6 can help skin that is dry and prone to inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish, including salmon, mackerel and sardines; walnuts; flaxseed; and safflower oils. Omega-6 fats are found in poultry, cooking oils, grains, seeds and nuts.

Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K complex. Eating foods high in vitamins and antioxidants can protect your cells from free radical damage such as sun exposure and premature aging. Eating colorful fruits & vegetables can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, soothe rough, dry skin and keep your skin looking younger longer. Try blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, plums, kiwi, grapes, sweet potatoes, black beans, red beans, pinto beans, carrots, artichokes, peppers, kale, spinach, sunflower seeds, pecans and prunes. Read more

Treating Prediabetes can Pay Dividends

Most people know that diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. But there's less awareness about prediabetes, a condition that frequently precedes diabetes. With prediabetes, a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet elevated enough to qualify as diabetes.

Prediabetes may affect 79 million people in the United States, according to the American Diabetes Association. In most cases, people experience no symptoms and don't even know they have the condition.

While prediabetes often goes undetected, it carries real threats. Studies have shown that many people with the condition will develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. And many with prediabetes are likely to suffer the harmful health consequences of diabetes, such as a higher risk of heart problems and cardiovascular disease.

Since prediabetes has no symptoms, who should be tested? Generally, people age 45 and older who are overweight should be checked at their annual medical exam. Those 45 and older who are not overweight should ask their physicians whether testing is appropriate. Read more

Nine Super Foods that are Super Easy

You don't have to seek out the latest in trendy foods that claim health benefits. The following are nine common foods that provide the same benefits:

1. Yogurt: It's important to find a good, plain yogurt that has a high Probiotic value. The reason Greek yogurt has become popular is because of this feature. Probiotics help to improve the immune system, reduce cholesterol levels, treat intestinal disorders, protect against allergens, prevent some cancers, and lower blood pressure. Most supermarket yogurts don't have significant live & active Probiotic cultures to make them anything other than an ice cream alternative. Greek yogurts are now widely available and contain up to six probiotic strains. They are also thicker and creamier that American yogurts - it can also be used as an alternative to sour cream. Buy plain varieties and add your own honey.

2. Berries: Yes, you've heard a lot of hype about the benefits of pricey acai and goji berries, but good old blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries have high levels of antioxidants which protect against free radical damage. Berries are a powerful anti-aging food and have been shown to help maintain short-term memory. Read more

Did You Know???

  • Olive oil may protect against strokes, reports nutritional epidemiologist Cecilia Samieri, PhD.
    Recent finding: People who frequently use olive oil in cooking and salad dressings are 41 % less likely to experience strokes than people who don't use it at all. Olive oil has disease-fighting antioxidants and healthful monounsaturated fat. It also may be protective because of the "substitution effect"-it is used instead of harmful fats.
  • Removing Fructose
    -Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat! Effects on triglycerides.
    -The metabolism of fructose by the liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid (drives up blood pressure and causes gout).
    -Disruption of hunger control mechanisms. Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain's communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.
    (Dr. Robert Lustig Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco)
  • Vitamin D Facts
    -There are Vitamin D receptors in the brain
    -Low levels are linked to depression, fatigue aches and pains.(Jorde 2005)
    -Vitamin D supplements can significantly improve mood and vitality.(Landsdowne 1998)

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