Natural Ways to Boost Your Energy

Yes, eating the right foods is a great way to help you get more energized, instead of having that double espresso or monster sized energy drink.  But research has shown that not just consuming healthy food alone is the key factor, but how you consume your food might be just as important.  chew

Research done by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) showed that the more you chew your food, the more energy you can absorb.  This is due to your body being better able to process and absorb the nutrients within the food and convert it to energy.  Results showed that when people chewed less (chewing 25 vs. 40 times), the body could not breakdown the larger pieces, therefor passing along the nutrients within.  Dr. Richard Mattes (foods and nutrition professor at Purdue University) said, “Particle size has bioaccessibility of the energy of the food that is being consume. The more you chew, the less is lost and more is retained in the body.”

Natural Foods to Promote Higher Energy Levels

Herbs – Herbs such as Korean ginseng, Eleuthero root, Ashwagandha, and Yerba mate are all great herbs that can work with your physiology to help your body run more smoothly and increase your energy levels.

Honey – Honey can help take the place of many of your normal sweeteners. Honey will help wake you up in no time at all. Try a spoonful of local honey to fight fatigue.

Nuts – Fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals are quite a punch that you can get from nuts.

Water – Being dehydrated can be one of the leading causes of fatigue. Most of the time, people won’t even drink water throughout the day.  Waiting until you are thirsty is already dehydrating your body. Being hydrated allows your body to run more smoothly and efficiently. Drink eight 8 oz glasses a day as a general rule.

Fish – Fish is incredible healthy for you and will boost your energy as well. The omega-3s associated with fish are incredibly heart healthy to boot.

Beans – Along with being loaded in fiber, they also provide a healthy dose of protein and carbohydrates. This gives you a long, sustainable energy source.

Dark Greens – Vegetables such as spinach and Swiss chard are loaded with nutrients that can help revitalize you. Full of antioxidants, vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, etc.

Fruit – Fruit is a huge source of nutrients and antioxidants (especially berries).

 

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com

http://www.sciencedaily.com

http://www.sciencedaily.com

http://www.healthline.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

Tryptophan-rich Foods to Help Fight Insomnia

Most people are unable to reach the proper levels of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) affects around 60 percent of the population in the U.S.  With the growing numbers of people suffering insomnia it is important to have the correct diet to correct this disorder.

Many health issues can be caused by lack of sleep.  Not only being dangerous while drowsy at the workplace or behind the wheel.  Studies show that under the constant conditions of sleeplessness, physical and emotional issues such as obesity and depression are found to be in higher percentage then those with the right amount of rest.

The root cause of insomnia is lack of the hormone serotonin.  This hormone is essential for reaching that calm and sleepy feeling you get before being ready to sleep.  Insomnia is often times the lack of producing serotonin in your body, causing the inability to sleep.serotonin

To get a better nights sleep, it is essential that you eat foods that contain a high amount of tryptophan.  Tryptophan is an amino acid that cannot be produced by the body, so in order to get the right amount it must be consumed.  Once in your body and being digested, this amino acid can be accessed by the brain, thus helping produce the essential hormone, serotonin.

Serotonin regulates your mood and sleep cycles, while tryptophan is a must-have amino acid to help in the process, not only the process of producing serotonin, but melatonin as well.  Which also plays part in your sleeping cycles.

Foods high in tryptophan to promote better sleep.

1. Nuts: Especially those like hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews and almonds are good choices.

2. Legumes: Black beans, kidney beans and split peas help promote better rest.

3. Bananas: The important thing about bananas is that they digest slowly in the body, which means that serotonin is released in the sleep cycle later. If eaten before you sleep, bananas can help promote a deeper sleep for a longer period of time.

The key is to have a proper diet.  By combining these foods with a carbohydrate-rich diet, your body balances the insulin and tryptophan, allowing your brain to function properly.

 

Sources for this article include:

http://psychology.about.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://livewell.jillianmichaels.com

http://www.livestrong.com

http://www.livestrong.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Warning Signs That You Are Zinc Deficient

Zinc is an essential mineral within the human body, that serves many important roles. Some of the more important roles it plays in human health are its contributions to immune function, wound healing, skin health, sexual health and sensory functions.znc

Some questions that you can ask yourself to assess if your body lacks zinc: Are your wounds slow to heal? Is your immunity impaired? Are you more frequently affected by colds and flu? Are you also more prone to other types of infections? Do you have poor sexual health? Are your senses of taste and smell somewhat impaired?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions you could be suffering from zinc deficiency in your body.

Zinc is found in every cell in the human body and is a part of over 200 enzymes. This mineral is also important for the proper action of many bodily hormones, including growth hormone, sex hormones, thymic hormones and insulin. Zinc is also needed for protein synthesis and cell growth, and it helps fight free radical formation in the body. It even plays a part in chemical detoxification.

Other possible warning signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency:

  • growth retardation
  • fatigue
  • poor appetite
  • malabsorption
  • sleep issues
  • behavioral and psychiatric issues
  • oversensitivity to environmental toxins
  • poor vision at night or with low lighting
  • skin lesions and skin issues, including eczema, psoriasis and acne
  • white spots on the fingernails; the nails could be thin and could peel
  • impaired senses of smell and taste
  • hair loss
  • poor memory
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • connective tissue disease
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • white coating on the tongue
  • bad breath
  • ulcers in the mouth
  • poor glucose tolerance
  • delayed sexual maturation
  • infertility
  • males could have low sperm count, reduced testosterone levels or impotence
  • males could also have prostate issues or testicular atrophy
  • females could have menstrual issues

One good way to boost the levels of zinc in one’s body is to consume more zinc-rich foods.

Top 10 Zinc rich foods:

#1: Seafood (Cooked Oysters)
#2: Beef and Lamb (Cooked Lean Beef Shortribs)
#3: Wheat Germ (Toasted)
#4: Spinach
#5: Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
#6: Nuts (Cashews)
#7: Cocoa and Chocolate (Cocoa Powder)
#8: Pork & Chicken (Cooked Lean Pork Shoulder)
#9: Beans (Cooked Mung Beans)
#10: Mushrooms (Cooked White Mushrooms)

The Importance of Mineralized Alkaline Water

Your body is constantly at work to balance a healthy pH level between acid (lower pH readings) and alkaline (higher pH readings) levels in your body to help it operate to its full ability. When your body is suffering from an imbalance in these levels your body has to work harder and pull these minerals from other sources in your body such as your bones, organs and tissues. So what is this pH balance anyways? The pH in chemistry stands for potential Hydrogen. The pH levels are measured on a scale of zero (0) to fourteen (14), less than 7 being acidic, and greater than 7 being alkaline. There is an optimal balance in acid vs. alkaline for our body, this number is 7.36 on the pH scale.

How does this effect us?

By not drinking enough alkaline water daily our body naturally goes through the process to do it for us. How does this happen? Our body will essentially through out bloodstream. It will collect the necessary minerals from out bodies organs, tissues and bones. One of the major minerals is Calcium, it has been said that with today’s diet of processed foods, sugars and pasteurized dairy (highly acidic diet) that we can potentially pass half our skeletal system through our urine over a 20 year period.

Many other organs such as the kidneys and liver, which maintain the acid/alkaline balance in our bloodstream cannot keep up with the acidic overload that we consume. Therefore, leaving harmful free radicals and various bacteria’s to be recirculated through out body. This leads to acidosis (an increased acidity in the blood and other body tissue).

Some symptoms of asidosis include:  fatigue, foggy thinking, weight gain, muscle loss, osteoprosis, anxiety/irritability and heart burn.

People can survive for many weeks without food, but only days without water. With air being the 1st, water is the 2nd most important element in our body, yet up to 75% of people are chronically dehydrated and severely damaging their bodies without even knowing it.

For more important facts check this out.

Health Benefits of A Glass of Wine A Day

Health Benefits of A Glass of Wine A Day

We have all heard of the heart benefits to drinking a glass of wine a day. But studies show that there might be a longer list of health benefits besides a healthy heart in drinking wine in moderation, including weight lose, a stronger immune system, and help in the prevention of bone lose.

Wine could help maintaining a sound memory. During studies, researchers had found that elderly people that drank a glass of wine or more a day, scored much better in memory quizzes then others who drank less then one glass or none at all. Wine helps to thin your blood and prevents blood clots and reduces blood vessel inflammation. It has also been known to raise HDL (High-density lipoprotein) levels, which is supposedly the “good” cholesterol.

wine2

Studies have shown that people who drink wine moderately on a regular basis have been known to have smaller waists, then those who drink hard liquor. Alcohol has shown to trigger your body to burn more calories for up to 90 mins after the first glass.

In a British study, people who drink a glass of wine a day reduce as much as 11% in risk for gastritis, ulcers, and stomach cancers. According to Spanish studies, wine has shown to help prevent food poisoning caused by germs such as salmonella in contaminated foods.

Also, according to a 10-year study by Harvard Medical school.   Men and women who drink one to two glasses a day are more likely to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. As much as 40% less likely.

The list goes on and on, from reducing the risk of ovarian cancer for women to preventing significant bone lose. Not only will you be preventing further health concerns, you can enjoy a nice glass of wine or two over dinner. Enjoy!

Chinese Herb Alternatives For ADD and ADHD Medicine

Chinese Herb Alternatives For ADD and ADHD MedicineWith all the different medications out there for attention deficit disorders (ADD,ADHD) such as Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderall etc.. there also comes a price. Although some work better then others, most medications prescribed have unwanted side effects including headaches, sleep problems, and a blunted appetite. This shouldn’t be the case though, if your taking a medication to supposedly help reduce or cure your original symptoms then why should you have to deal with additional symptoms caused by the medication that’s supposed to help you? Instead, lets take a look at natural alternatives that have been used for thousands of years.

Thorowax root

This herb has been known to have cell-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, and sedative effects. The sedative effects are very mild, with just enough sedation to help with ADD and ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. Because of its mild effect, thorowax root is safe for children and adults.

Oriental ginseng

Oriental ginseng has been proven to have many memory-boosting effects and could be found in many supplements targeting this in particular. Ginseng has also been know for its ability to improve oxygen flow to the brain, in which increases normal brain development, endurance, and relieves stress. This herb is an effective alternative to typical ADD and ADHD medications without the unwanted side effects.

Skullcap root

Skullcap root is very helpful in preventing symptoms such as hyperactivity. Skullcap root can also create a balance of the chemicals in the brain that control your nervous system. In most cases of ADD and ADHD the balance is off, causing the symptoms of hyperactivity, restlessness and impulsive behaviors.

Red jujube

Although this herb has many different helpful properties, the herb is most effective with calming nerves and creating that peace of mind while being used as a ADD and ADHD medication alternative.

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba increases the amine neurotransmitter substances in the brain, which helps counteract some of the chemical deficiencies often seen in children and adults with ADD or ADHD. With the herbs ability to boost cognitive brain function, this makes it easier to have a clear mind and calm nerves.

Poria

Poria helps by improving digestion and calming nerves. As a supplement, poria can eliminate toxin from your body that also contribute to the symptoms of ADD and ADHD.

 

If your looking to use an alternative to a chemically induced medicine with unwanted side effects for your ADD and ADHD symptoms, try using a more natural way that has been proven and used for thousands of years. With previous studies there has been up to a 94% improvement rate in patients. What do you have to lose?

 

Source for information:

Jujube Fruit (Da Zao)

http://www.aompress.com/book_herbology/pdfs/ChaiHu.pdf

Poria (Fu Ling)

http://science.naturalnews.com/pubmed/7967691.html

http://science.naturalnews.com/pubmed/2397543.html

http://www.progressivehealth.com

What is Organic?

Do you buy organic? If so, you probably have that good friend or family member who gives you crap about spending more on organic when they say – “It’s not worth it, you’re just wasting money.” Yeah, you’ve heard that a time or two haven’t you? Well, I know when I purchase organic it’s because I just know it’s “better”. And better health is my aim after all.

Organic at Heart
Organic at Heart

If you purchase organic foods or are on the hunt to find out what organic food really is. Or perhaps you want to know what organic really means? Well friends search no longer. I have done research and put it all together in one place for you.

What is organic?

According to the USDA Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.

Definition of Organic Agriculture

“Organic Agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic Agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.”

– IFOAM

Organic agriculture produces products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. USDA organic standards describe how farmers grow crops and raise livestock and which materials they may use.

Organic farmers, ranchers, and food processors follow a defined set of standards to produce organic food and fiber. Congress described general organic principles in the Organic Foods Production Act, and the USDA defines specific organic standards. These standards cover the product from farm to table, including soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices, and rules for food additives.

Organic farms and processors:

  • Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
  • Support animal health and welfare
  • Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors
  • Only use approved materials
  • Do not use genetically modified ingredients
  • Receive annual onsite inspections
  • Separate organic food from non-organic food

“An organic farm, properly speaking, is not one that uses certain methods and substances and avoids others; it is a farm whose structure is formed in imitation of the structure of a natural system that has the integrity, the independence and the benign dependence of an organism” —Wendell Berry, “The Gift of Good Land”

Raising livestock and poultry, for meat, dairy and eggs, is another traditional, farming activity that complements growing. Organic farms attempt to provide animals with “natural” living conditions and feed. While the USDA does not require any animal welfare requirements be met for a product to be marked as organic, this is a variance from older organic farming practices.

Also, horses and cattle used to be a basic farm feature that provided labor, for hauling and plowing, fertility, through recycling of manure, and fuel, in the form of food for farmers and other animals. While today, small growing operations often do not include livestock, domesticated animals are a desirable part of the organic farming equation, especially for true sustainability, the ability of a farm to function as a self-renewing unit.

Organic farming is not simply the substitution of approved input materials. It is the replacement of a treatment approach with a process approach to create a balanced system of plant and animal interactions.”
—Rodale Institute

Every organic farm, packing facility, processor, and distributor involved between the farm and market is inspected to verify compliance with the USDA organic regulations. Every organic operation is required to renew its certification each year. During the renewal process, the certified organic operation provides an annual update to the certifier, the inspector conducts an annual on-site inspection, and the certifier reviews the application and the inspector’s report to determine if the applicant still complies with the USDA organic regulations. This process continues as long as the operation is certified.

With over 30,000 on-site inspections per year by certifying agents to monitor compliance with USDA organic standards, consumers purchasing products with the USDA organic label can rest assured that the product has maintained its organic integrity – from farm to table.

choose_real_food

So what I gather from my research is organic should be better if all are following the compliance’s and standards as required by the USDA. I know it makes me happy and puts a smile on my face and comfort to mind knowing I am putting effort into healthy decisions when I purchase items that say ORGANIC and you should be too!

REAL FOOD just tastes better. 🙂

Other Related Posts:

http://www.healthjunk.com/are-gmo-foods-saving-the-world-from-hunger/

http://www.healthjunk.com/ever-thought-about-what-the-sticker-code-on-fruit-and-vegitables-means-if-not-you-should/

Article Reference Sources:

http://www.ifoam.org/en/organic-landmarks/definition-organic-agriculture

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=organic-agriculture.html

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_farming

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/organicfood/environment/

http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/02/26/organic-101-ensuring-organic-integrity-through-inspections/

 

Every organic farm, packing facility, processor, and distributor involved between the farm and market is inspected to verify compliance with the USDA organic regulations. Every organic operation is required to renew its certification each year. During the renewal process, the certified organic operation provides an annual update to the certifier, the inspector conducts an annual on-site inspection, and the certifier reviews the application and the inspector’s report to determine if the applicant still complies with the USDA organic regulations.  This process continues as long as the operation is certified.

With over 30,000 on-site inspections per year by certifying agents to monitor compliance with USDA organic standards, consumers purchasing products with the USDA organic label can rest assured that the product has maintained its organic integrity – from farm to table.

– See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/02/26/organic-101-ensuring-organic-integrity-through-inspections/#sthash.xWXmB9HQ.dpuf

Beat That Tummy Bloat

Have you noticed more and more commercials on TV where you hear about some new medications for that tummy bloat? Either prescription or over the counter. They are advertising heavily so that must mean, I’m not the only one with abdominal bloating right? You know that horrible uncomfortable full, tight bloated stomach where you feel miserable and don’t know what to do with yourself? Yeah. I have have had that feeling and I have tummy problems too. I didn’t run to the doctors office because I would much rather make some healthy changes to my diet.

Tips to beat that tummy bloat

Here are some eat more and eat less tips –

DO IT –

Drink More Water! It will help stimulate your kidneys and flush out your system.

Papaya is a tropical fruit that is rich in digestive enzymes, especially the seeds too. Grind those babies up right in your smoothie!

Add a good Probiotic to your diet regimen too.

Eat more FRESH Veggies.

Drink peppermint or ginger teas. They are great for soothing that bloated belly.

 

DON’T DO IT –

Chew gum, it creates acid and will cause stomach cramps and bloating.

Steer clear of antacids they only create more heartburn, cramps and bloating.

Stay away from hot fatty fried foods because they take longer to digest and they just aren’t good for you either.

Say no to Salt and MSG. They are hidden in processed foods, breads. ready to go meals and restaurant food.

Try some of these steps or all of them and you will notice an incredible difference.