I purchased a Vita-Mix several years ago and it has changed significantly the way I eat. I have never been a big fruit eater, although I like most fruits. I think it’s laziness mostly. I didn’t want to peel and take the seeds out, cut it up, etc. There’s nothing easier than cutting and apple in fourths, removing the stem and throwing it in the Vita-Mix with some juice or berries and maybe some protein powder, pour it in a cup and there’s a meal you can consume on the run. And unlike juicers all the fiber gets pulverized too – not extracted to throw away.
It’s fun to combine different fruits and vegetables and experiment with different flavors. I’ve really never had a smoothie turn out badly. And the longer I use it the more adventurous I get with different combinations. One of my favorite smoothies is an Orange-Date-Pecan smoothie. You can get the recipe here.
If you’re not a big vegetable eater, this is the machine for you. You can stick those veggies right in with the fruit and you’ll never know it – and neither will your kids.
Not only can you make great smoothies, but the Vita-Mix can make outstanding soup in just 4 minutes. That’s right. It only takes 4 minutes for it to grind up the vegetables and heat it up. Then if you want to add some texture, like chicken chunks, just throw it in for a few seconds at a low speed(at the end). A nutritional meal in less than 15 minutes (including prep time).
So if you’re a family on the run, with people going every which way and no time to fix a healthy, nutritious meal, try the Vita-Mix. Or if you’re a single person and just get tired of trying to cook for one – the Vita-Mix is a life-saver.
Get a Vita-Mix today – you’ll find yourself spending a lot more time in the produce section at the grocery store.
As a member of Life Extension for years, I have enjoyed not only their magazine, which is a wealth of information about the research and developments in the alternative medicine/natural products arena, but have also found their products to be of a very high quality. If you’re interested in your health, there is no better resource for information for the lay person.
Yes, I am an affiliate and here is a link Life Extension Membership Discounts. It entitles you to a discount on all of their products, plus you can call and talk to the professionals there with any questions you might have. They are always willing to help you get the information you need to make intelligent decisions regarding your health.
This year more than ever, talk of the flu season is in the news. What with both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 or swine flu, what’s a person to do?
Let put some of this in perspective. While there is a huge push for people to get both flu shots, statistics say that the seasonal flu shot is not terribly effective. Instead, build up your immune system so if you do get the flu, it will be minor.
Here are some of the suggestions I have read by doctors.
- Wash your hands regularly – carry some Purcell or disinfectant wipes and use them regularly.
- Vitamin C 1000mg – 2-3 times/day.
- Vitamin D 1000 IU 2 times daily for children and up to 4000 IU for adults. Research has shown that it reduces serious bouts of flu.
- At the first signs of flu-like symptoms, there is a natural flu medicine Oscilloccinum that is effective – You can read about it here http://www.oscillo.com/ (there’s even a coupon) and can be purchased at health food stores as well as WalMart.
- There are excellent immune enhancing products. Look for ones containing Wellmune WG beta glucan ( http://www.wellmune.com)
- Get plenty of rest.
With these tips, you will have a good chance of staying healthy through this coming flu season. Oh and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
If you’ve been doing research on DHEA, you’ve probably also heard of 7-Keto DHEA. But what is the difference and which one is the right one for you?
7-Keto DHEA is a biologically active metabolite of DHEA that promotes better health and energy without the potential side effects of increased amounts of hormones. 7-Keto DHEA boosts the immune system by increasing the production of certain types of white blood cells; it increases energy and metabolism by activating enzymes in the liver that boost the rate of thermogensis (the process by which fat is burned).
7-Keto has all the non-hormonal effects of DHEA, and may even be more potent in this regard. However 7-Keto will not have some of the effects that DHEA has such as improved libido.
DHEA is the most plentiful hormone in the human body, but its production declines with age. As the levels of DHEA decrease, so does this important metabolite, 7-KETO. The levels of DHEA and its numerous derivatives, manufactured in the adrenal glands, begin to decline after the age of 30 with about a 50% decline by the age of 40 and about 85% decline by the age of 70. As these hormone levels decline during the aging process, there are some detrimental physiological and anatomical effects which occur as a result. These include a reduction in protein biosynthesis which lead to a loss in muscle mass, and reduction in bone tissue regeneration which causes a loss of bone mass (a risk factor for osteoporosis). Other effects include the decline in the metabolic rate which causes an increase in fat accumulation, a decline in various immune system functions, and an increased rate of memory loss.
One of the effects n of 7-KETO in a double blind, placebo controlled human, clinical trial was the stimulation of liver enzymes, which increase heat production using fat as the primary source of energy. Naturally, this resulted in the reduction of adipose fat tissue when combined with exercise. Other clinical studies in humans indicated 7-KETO improved immunity and also memory-related functions. In all cases, 7-KETO was demonstrated to be substantially more effective than DHEA without the sex hormone related, side effects.
The safety evaluation of 7-KETO has been done through observations from an extensive number of pre-clinical and clinical safety studies in both humans and animal subjects. In all cases, 7-KETO was consistently found to be safe for human consumption as a dietary supplement.
Filed under: health and nutrition, Vitamin C; Tagged as: Alzheimer, ascorbic acid, Atherosclerotic Lesions, Autoimmune Disorders, Bad Cholesterol, cancer, Eye Disease, Fruits And Vegetables, Genetic Damage, heart disease, LDL, Lipids, Obese Individuals, Stroke Risk, Vitamin C, White Blood Cells, Wound Healing
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the safest and most effective nutrients and is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be an indicator of overall health. In over 100 studies in more than 10 years, vitamin C was shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, eye disease and skin wrinkling.
Vitamin C is involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones and teeth.
New studies show that vitamin C reacts with and neutralizes the toxic byproducts of human fat metabolism, indicating it has a complex protective role against toxic compounds formed from oxidized lipids. Oxidation of lipids has been the focus of considerable research in recent years, because of the role it may play in cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and autoimmune disorders. The toxic products produced by fat oxidation may not only cause genetic damage, but also may play a role in compounds that damage proteins. For instance, there’s a protein in LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, which if damaged by toxic lipids can increase the chance of atherosclerotic lesions. Apparently when toxic lipids cause white blood cells to stick to the arterial wall, that can lead to inflammation and ultimately to heart disease or stroke. Researchers are studying that process and the role that micronutrients such as vitamin C play in the prevention of this. Studies show that those with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood were associated with 42% lower stroke risk than those with the lowest concentrations.
Vitamin C is also beneficial to individuals whose immune system is weakened due to stress — an increasing problem for many. Vitamin C is one of the nutrients sensitive to stress and is the first nutrient to be depleted in alcoholics, smokers and obese individuals.
Most of the studies used 500 daily milligrams of vitamin C to achieve health results which is much higher than the RDA of 75-90 milligrams a day for adults. Unless you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, you may need to take a dietary supplement of vitamin C to gain all the benefits. Some scientists recommend taking 500 milligrams a day, in addition to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, since only 10% to 20% of adults get the recommended nine servings daily. Some types vitamin C may irritate the stomach, so take a non-acidic, buffered form of the vitamin. The safe upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams a day.
Eating a varied diet rich in all the nutrients is the best strategy for good health. If you eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, you will get plenty of vitamin C plus other vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are good for disease prevention.
Water-soluble vitamins, like vitamin C, must be continuously supplied in the diet to maintain healthy levels. Eat vitamin-C-rich fruits and vegetables raw, or cook them with minimal water so you don’t lose some of the water-soluble vitamin in the cooking water. The foods richest in vitamin C are citrus fruits, green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Other good sources include dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, papaya, mango, watermelon, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, winter squash and pineapples.
Filed under: health and nutrition, Resveratrol; Tagged as: anticancer nutrients, Cancer Fighter, Cancer Growth, Cell Destruction, Colon Cancer, Colon Health, curcumin, ECGC, Flavonoids, Fruits And Vegetables, green tea, Natural Antibacterial, Nutritional Supplements, polyphenols, Precancerous Polyps, quercitin, Red Wine, resveratrol, Tumor Growth
While conventional medicine has made strides in treating colon cancer, the real goal is prevention and there is growing evidence that colon health may be promoted safely, effectively and naturally, using nutritional supplements.
Polyphenols, Plant-Based Anticancer Nutrients
Among the largest groups of plant-based nutrients with strong evidence of cancer-fighting potential is the polyphenol family. It includes the nutritional sub-groups tannins and flavonoids,which can slow, reverse or prevent cancer growth. The clinical evidence supporting polyphenols’ cancer-preventive power is considerable—and growing rapidly.These compounds are found in berries, tea, grapes/wine, olive oil, chocolate/cocoa, walnuts, and most other fruits and vegetables.
Here are a few of the polyphenol family’s most powerful members:
Recently, curcumin has emerged as a leading cancer fighter. Its nutritional profile includes antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin ranks among the polyphenols capable of disrupting a cancer that has started to develop and slow or stop tumor growth by apoptosis (cell destruction) and angiogenesis which limits blood vessel growth that tumors need to spread. Studies have shown that curcumin suppressed tumor growth in lab cultures better than a known chemo drug and with no toxicity.
Recently, it was discovered that a combination of curcumin and another anti-inflammatory polyphenol called quercetin (see below) could cause precancerous polyps to diminish substantially.
Resveratrol is a natural antibacterial agent and is found in many fruits and berries, including grapes, blueberries, and plums. It also appears in high concentrations in red wine. Clinical evidence suggests that resveratrol may specifically target colon cancer althought it is effective in fighting other cancers.
Researchers found that not only does it suppress cell proliferation—resveratrol activates the so-called “cancer-executioner protein” caspase-3. which starts apoptosis (cell destruction), but inflicts no cellular damage to normal human tissue. Resveratrol blocks the reproductive cycle in colon cancer cells by neutralizing the enzymes they need in order to replicate.
This makes resveratrol, along with curcumin, one of the most promising natural anticancer agents known to modern science.
Quercetin is a type of antioxidant called a flavonoid. Sources of quercetin are onions, garlic, tea, red grapes, berries, broccoli, apples and leafy greens. Quercetin also happens to possess a singular cancer-fighting feature: it can prevent cancer caused by chemicals. It blocks receptors that interact with carcinogenic chemical compounds. This makes it a perfect anticancer agent for the colon, where these chemicals tend to accumulate.
Quercetin dramatically suppresses one particular cancer-causing gene in colon cells so it is of great importance for individuals with a family history of colon cancer. As with curcumin and resveratrol, quercetin can block cancer development at many different stages.
Green Tea and EGCG
Green tea is rich in polyphenol compounds called catechins. The best-known cancer-preventive agent among them is called EGCG. Like resveratrol, EGCG slows blood vessel formation in tumors (angiogenesis), reducing the rate at which they can grow and spread. Consumption of green tea as a beverage may offer some protection against colon cancer. However, the higher, more concentrated doses of EGCG available in supplements may be required to get the maximum benefit. EGCG alongside curcumin and resveratrol is one of nature’s most potent polyphenols and a major force in fighting and possibly preventing colon cancer.
In addition, scientists discovered that green tea polyphenols generally deliver a direct preventive effect against colorectal cancer recurrence. In the study that was done, patients who had cancerous or precancerour polyps removed were given either a green tea-derived flavonoid mixture or a placebo. After four years. the placebo group experienced a 47% recurance rate and only 7% of the supplemented group had a recurrence.
The amount of research into plants-based treatments and prevention of many diseases is growing. While they don’t not have all of the answers, it is to our benefit to keep up with this every-growing body of information. We can indeed affect our health and in a very natural way.
Filed under: health and nutrition, Resveratrol; Tagged as: Caloric Restriction, calorie restriction, Cardiovascular Benefits, Cardiovascular Event, Clot Formation, Congestive Heart Failure, Heart Failure, Life Span, Low Density Lipoprotein, metabolic syndrome, Platelets, resveratrol, Stickiness, Vascular Disease
Scientists are discovering significant preventive and therapeutic potential from resveratrol in fighting age-related diseases such as cardio-vascular disease, the metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
It has long been known that caloric restriction slows the pace of aging. Now scientists are finding that resveratrol mimics the life-span-prolonging effects of caloric restriction also. Until recently, however, scientists haven’t known why drastic dieting increased longevity. Now they believe it is a type of protein called sirtuins. Sirtuins stabilize the DNA to prevent damage that can lead to age-related diseases as well as promoting DNA repair.
The benefits of resveratrol seem to be growing as more and more research is done. Here is some of the benefits.
Many studies have shown the impact of resveratrol on reducing the risks of heart disease and the damage from strokes. Some of these discoveries include the reduction of atherosclerosis, inflammation, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) oxidation, and a reduced “stickiness” of platelets leading to a reduction in deadly clot formation.
- Findings show that resveratrol not only may prevent a cardiovascular event but it may reverse the damage should one occur.
- Stroke is another devastating outcome of atherosclerosis. Through its activation of sirtuin molecules, resveratrol can prevent injury to brain cells.
- Researchers have also measured how platelet aggregation or “clumping” which is an important factor in clot formation in heart attacks and strokes is affected by resveratrol. They found that there was an increase in nitric oxide which lowers the amount of clumping.
- In the studies being conducted, the supplemented animals also had reductions in their blood pressure.
Scientists have now established a relationship between resveratrol, inflammation, blood lipids, immune cells, and the cells lining arterial walls. In studies with mice, they had consistently
- Lower total cholesterol and LDL levels than did control animals as well as consistently higher levels of beneficial HDL (high-density lipoprotein).
- Also, the resveratrol-supplemented group saw higher levels of an enzyme called paraoxonase, which is an HDL-associated protein that prevents the LDL oxidation. In addition, the cholesterol-producing enzyme HMG-CoA-reductase (HMGR) was significantly lower. The prescription drugs called statins are used to control HMGR activity.
Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome
Type 2 diabetes is associated with development of the metabolic syndrome, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Studies have established beyond doubt that red wine consumption is associated with a lower incidence of metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Resveratrol helps regulate glucose levels in the blood of diabetic patients while delivering glucose to skeletal muscles. In fact, resveratrol’s activation of sirtuins is so effective that many researchers are now interested in its use as a potential drug for the treatment of diabetes.
In endless studies, resveratrol continues to mimic many of the metabolic benefits of caloric restriction through its activation of sirtuins, without the deprivation associated with a reduced calorie diet. There will undoubtedly be more results from the myriad of studies being conducted. It seems that resveratrol may be a life-changing substance.
As a side note – resveratrol does quickly dissipate when in contact with oxygen. The level of resveratrol in wine will be drastically reduced in a bottle that is open overnight. Which also means that supplements on the market that do NOT guarantee the potency of resveratrol may have very little. Check the label for guaranteed potency.
So what is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty (lipid) component found in virtually all cell membranes. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL), also called “bad cholesterol,” transport cholesterol from the liver to different organs. Cholesterol is then absorbed by the cells around the body. Excess cholesterol is reabsorbed by the liver and reused or excreted into bile.
High-density lipoproteins (HDL), known as “good cholesterol,” help to remove cholesterol from artery walls by scooping up loose cholesterol and delivering it back to the liver. By removing this excess cholesterol, HDL helps to retard the growth of new plaque.This is why low HDL levels are an additional risk factor for increased mortality from coronary artery disease and strokes.
Cholesterol is the precursor for hormones such as pregnenolone, DHEA, progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. As aging occurs in the body, organs may break the cholesterol down at a slower rate, thereby causing hormone levels to vary; some increasing, some decreasing and some remaining unchanged. Many of the diseases, including depression, abdominal weight gain, prostate, breast and heart disease, are directly related to hormone imbalances.
What can I do about my cholesterol?
While cholesterol levels can be influenced by dietary modification about 80% of cholesterol does not come from dietary sources, but is synthesized by the liver by an enzyme which increases or decreases the production of cholesterol. Other than certain genetic causes, it is the excessive consumption of saturated and trans fatty acids which disrupts the process and may cause an increase in LDL levels. Current belief is that these high levels of LDL may lead over time to atherosclerosis and ultimately to heart disease. For those with a high risk for heart disease, I would recommend learning more about the two types of LDL (apolipoprotein-B and apolipoprotein A) and how they play a significant role in heart health.
Supplements that contain plant sterols have been shown to reduce cholesterol. Exercise is also extremely important and does not need to be excessive. However, it should be consistent for a least a half-hour several times a week. For dietary changes, stick to high fiber, green leafy vegetables and fruits and include bran cereals and oatmeal as well as nuts, which have an added benefit of containing essential fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are best found in fish oil and are known to aid in lowering cholesterol. High fiber foods and plant sterols are beneficial because they aid the body in eliminating cholesterol before it is absorbed.
There have been many changing theories about the role cholesterol plays in coronary artery disease in the last decade. But the one thing that stays constant is that for most people eating healthy helps to control cholesterol levels and that’s got to be good for you and your overall health.
Filed under: Health Care; Tagged as: Alternative Health Care, Antioxidant Effects, Breast Cancer, Coenzyme Q10, CoQ10, Energy Production, Extreme Stress, free radicals, Heart Attacks, high blood pressure, Increasing Energy, Managing Diabetes, National Cancer Institute, Prostate Cancer, Veteran's Administration, Yale University
It seems that alternative health care is getting some press these days. Earlier this week, Yale University and the Veteran’s Administration Center for PTSD released information about the testing they have done and the benefits of using DHEA to prevent and relieve stress in soldiers. This was a small study but they tested soldier’s ability to cope with extreme stress and found they were greatly improved in their performance when their levels of DHEA were higher.
The other big news is that the National Cancer Institute has FINALLY released a report that shows that Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 may play a role in the treatment of certain types of cancers. There have been many small, independent studies done on CoQ10 which have shown significant health benefits for some types of cancer including melanoma and breast cancer. However, to have the National Cancer Institute actually print a report on this is a very positive event as they are generally opposed to alternative medicine.
So what is CoQ10?
Coenzyme Q10 occurs naturally in every cell and is part of a class of substances called enzymes. The role of enzymes is to facilitate and act as an catalyst for chemical reactions in the body such as transforming fats and sugars into energy. Because it is essential to the production of energy at the cellular level it is of particular importance for athletes and bodybuilders. CoEnzyme Q10 also has powerful antioxidant effects which destroy free radicals. Many studies are discovering that CoQ10 is beneficial in helping to prevent heart attacks and high blood pressure as well as treating Parkinson’s disease, managing diabetes, increasing energy and stamina, and improving the immune system.
Is a CoQ10 supplement necessary?
Organs that use the most energy (like the heart and liver) have the highest concentrations of CoQ10 and as we age, the body’s production of CoQ10 can decrease as much as 72% in the heart. Also statins (used to reduce LDL and cholesterol levels) deplete CoQ10 levels. Statins are some of the most prescribed drugs on the market.
If you’re middle-aged or older, supplementing with CoQ10 can be crucial to maintaining good health. While CoQ10 studies are ongoing for the treatment of diseases, such as migraines, asthma, breast and prostate cancer, and HIV/AIDS, there is certainly a large amount of evidence of it’s benefits in the area of prevention. Not only is heart health affected but one of the most valuable benefits is CoQ10’s ability to help regulate high blood pressure, a common problem aging adults face. New research indicates that CoQ10 may be a safe and effective alternate or adjunct therapy for hypertension.
CoQ10 may even enhance the effectiveness of some blood pressure medications. In numerous clinical studies participants taking supplements were able to take lower dosages of the drugs.
People under the age of 18 or those on medications should not take a CoQ10 supplement without consulting a doctor first. The side effects of CoQ10 supplementation are rare although it may interfere with some prescription drugs such as blood thinners and beta-blockers.
Filed under: gastrointestinal system, health and nutrition; Tagged as: Bladder Cancer Recurrence, Cholesterol Levels, Colon Surgery, Digestive Health, Gastrointestinal Tract, Gum Disease, Harmful Bacteria, Healthy Digestive System, Helicobacter Pylori, Intestinal Infections, irritable bowel syndrome, Sweet Acidophilus Milk, Symptoms Of Lactose Intolerance, Urinary Tract Infections, Vaginal Yeast Infections
Your digestive tract contains billions of bacteria and other microorganisms. In fact there are more than 400 types of “friendly” bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. These friendly bacteria, called probiotics, promote a healthy digestive system by reducing the growth of harmful bacteria.
There is a growing public and scientific interest in probiotics. Researchers are studying whether probiotics taken as foods or supplements can help treat or prevent illness. There is encouraging evidence that probiotics may help:
- Treat diarrhea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics
- Enhance and boost the immune system
- Promote and improve digestive health
- Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections
- Treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Reduce bladder cancer recurrence
- Shorten the duration of intestinal infections
- Help alleviate symptoms of lactose intolerance
- Prevent and treat inflammation following colon surgery (pouchitis)
- Prevent eczema in children
- Reduce cholesterol levels
- Play a role in reducing the development of allergy in children
- Decrease Helicobacter pylori colonization of the stomach
- Prevent cavities and ease gum disease (Only a small number of studies have shown this)
Some researchers believe probiotics may improve general health. Each type of friendly bacteria has a specific health benefit to the body. With over 400 different types of probiotics identified, researchers are just starting to uncover the health roles and benefits of each.
Currently, foods that contain probiotics are primarily dairy products but sources include:
- Yogurt with active culture (Pay close attention to the expiration date because these live bacterial cultures can diminish with time)
- some soft cheeses
- Fermented milk such as sweet acidophilus milk
- some juices and soy drinks
- many pickles
Probiotics are affected by prebiotic food. Prebiotic food does not generally contain bacteria but promotes the growth and proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract which enhances the effect of probiotic bacteria. Prebiotics have also been shown to increase the absorption of certain minerals (such as calcium and magnesium) and may reduce the risk factors involved in colorectal diseases.
Prebiotic foods include Jerusalem and regular artichokes, oats, honey, many fruits (in particular, bananas), goat’s milk and human breast milk which may explain the enormous benefits to a newborn.
Probiotic supplements are available in a variety of forms, such as freeze dried powder, capsules, wafers and liquids. A good probiotic will contain at least 10 billion live bacteria and should be from one or more of the Lactobacillus family in a single dose.