Be Proactive in your healthcare, Blog, Health Tips!

ARE YOU GETTING THE DAILY ESSENTIALS?

Author: Frank Plasso

You are what you eat, so here’s hoping that you’re getting plenty of vitamins.

Vitamin deficiencies can cause a variety of neurological disorders, digestive problems and other issues. If you don’t get the vitamins you need, you may experience some unpleasant changes in your body, such as tingling in your hands and feet, severe fatigue or even hair loss—all things you’d probably like to avoid.

Since our bodies require us to obtain vitamins from external sources, such as food, beverages, supplements, etc., it’s fairly easy to make sure you meet your daily needs. And fortunately, it’s not too difficult to determine how much you need either.

Way back in WWII, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences developed the Nutritional Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) to serve as a guide to ensure soldiers and civilians received the nutrition needed to survive. And the RDA, which outlines a healthy range for various types of vitamins and nutrients the body needs to function properly, is still used as a helpful tool today. All you have to do is follow it. Of course, not everyone pays attention to the RDA.

If you have a vitamin deficiency, it may take some time for symptoms to show. But when they do, they can cause a variety of issues, such as neurological disorders, digestive problems, anemia and more. While the type of problem depends on the vitamin your body needs, most issues can be resolved with dietary changes or by taking a supplement.

Here are some common deficiencies and how to treat them:
Vitamin A
• If you’re not getting enough Vitamin A, you may have poor night vision, dry or cracked skin, dry mucous membranes, nerve damage, slow wound healing or a reduced ability to taste, hear and smell. To get more Vitamin A, be sure to eat plenty of leafy greens and colorful vegetables, including carrots, sweet potatoes and red bell peppers. Dairy products are also a great source.

Vitamin D
• Rickets, which causes weak muscles, delayed tooth development and soft bones, is common among children who are unable to absorb Vitamin D. Adults may also develop soft, porous bones that can break easily if lacking this essential vitamin. To increase your intake, opt for fatty fish, eggs and foods fortified with Vitamin D. You should also spend some time in the sun, since Vitamin D can be made in our skin when exposed to sunlight.

Vitamin E
• Not getting enough of this vitamin can cause harm to your central nervous system, lead to neurological disorders and make it difficult to absorb healthy fats. You can find Vitamin E in nut oils, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, spinach and whole grains.

Vitamin K
• A deficiency of Vitamin K, which is essential in helping blood to clot, often makes people more prone to bruising and bleeding. Be sure to include Vitamin K-rich foods into your diet, such as green leafy vegetables, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, fish, meat, eggs and cereals.

Vitamin C
• The most common result of Vitamin C deficiency is scurvy, which can cause bleeding gums, bruises, poor wound healing, anemia and more. Foods that have plenty of Vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, cantaloupe, watermelon and vegetables such as spinach, green and red peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, brussel sprouts and potatoes. You can also find it in milk and fish.

B Vitamins
• There are many different types of B Vitamins, which help you metabolize carbohydrates, fat and protein to keep your body energized. A couple of the most common deficiencies include Thiamin and Vitamin B12. A Thiamin or Vitamin B1, deficiency can result in heart problems, poor appetite, weight loss, stomach problems, depression and inability to concentrate. Whole grain products, lean meat, legumes, nuts, dairy products and vegetables such as cauliflower, spinach and kelp are great sources.
• Vitamin B12 is important for making our body’s genetic material and even red blood cells. A deficiency can cause fatigue, increased heart rate, pale skin, sore tongue, bruising, upset stomach, diarrhea, nerve damage and even dementia. You can make sure you get plenty of this vitamin by consuming meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and eggs.

 

Be Proactive in your healthcare, Health Tips!

All About Vitamins – For Better Nutrition And Life!

Author: John Wellington

For those who want to find out more about vitamins, it can be confusing, especially when you are trying to figure out the right type of supplements that one needs to take. In spite of all the times that we have been told, at one point of time or another, that if we ate a nutritionally balanced meal three times a day, then there is no need for dietary supplements or the prerequisite to know about vitamins, but for sure, this just is not realistic in our society. A great number of us are stressed out everyday, and do not always find the time to eat at all let alone a nutritionally balanced meal (and three of them?!). Vitamins should never be substituted for good nutritional intake. Your body needs fuel to carry out all the tasks you have to attend to in a day. A good diet is comprised of calcium, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber supplemented by vitamins as required for specific health concerns. A lot of food items are enriched with vitamins and minerals, such as breads, pastas, and cereals. One can find information regarding vitamins listed on the packaging; this includes the percentage of the daily recommended allowance of each, which will give you a pretty good idea of how much you are getting of a certain vitamin or mineral. Calcium is an important mineral, especially for women, and most sources about vitamins state that women should consume at least 1200-1500 mg of calcium daily. Most calcium supplements only include 30-50% of the recommended daily amounts and must be supplemented by diet intake of other sources, such as cheese, yogurt, milk, and ice cream.   Vitamin D is an important vitamin and is essential to bone health. This is included in some calcium supplements or can be absorbed through the skin via sunlight. However; for people living in northern states, or for the elderly, this is not always an option, therefore a vitamin supplement is the answer. If you are really interested in taking care of yourself, then part of it lies in learning about vitamins and minerals and what our bodies require for optimal health. There are a number of sources that are available to you to learn more about vitamins and how certain vitamin deficiencies and excess intake can be harmful to your health. Every person needs to take an active role in one’s health, be familiar about vitamins in one’s cabinet, and also in finding the vitamin that is right for you. Additionally to searching on the web, you can find loads of information about vitamins in various health publications, or you can even consult a nutritionist or naturopathic physician for advice about vitamins and supplements, and how you can implement them into your diet. All the best to your good health!   John Wellington provides readers with up-to-date commentaries, articles, and reviews for health, wellness as well as other related information.

Health Tips!

What Foods Have Phytonutrients?

Carotenoid Phytonutrients: Alpha- and beta-carotenes provide yellow and orange colors in certain fruits and vegetables, such as carrots. These compounds are important in eye health and immune system health. Lycopene gives red or pink colors to fruits or vegetables such as tomatoes, and helps promote cellular health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are important for eye health, and are found in greens such as kale and spinach.

Flavonoid Phytonutrients: Quercetin is found in apples, grapes, berries, and onions. Quercetin is important to support good heart health. Hesperidin is found in citrus fruits, and optimizes the body’s inflammatory response. It is also an antioxidant.

Resveratrol Phytonutrients: Found in grapes, this compound has been studied for its heart health-promoting qualities as well as its effects on lifespan.

Glucosinolate Phytonutrients: Found in cruciferous vegetables, including kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, these phytonutrients help promote cellular integrity.

Ellagic Acid Phytonutrients: Found in raspberries and strawberries, ellagic acid promotes heart health.

Health Tips!

What In The World Are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are the “building blocks” of the body.  They play a vital role both as intermediates in metabolism as well as constructing mass of proteins. They are the basic structural unit of proteins.  They do not only build cells and repairs tissues, they also form antibodies that fight bacteria and viruses. Amino acids are part of the enzyme and hormonal system and they build nucleoproteins which are RNA and DNA.  They also carry oxygen throughout the body and contribute in muscle activity.

When protein is broken down through digestion, the results are the twenty known amino acids.  Eight of these amino acids are essential which cannot be manufactured by the body, while the rest are non-essential and can be manufactured by the body with the proper nutrition.

The eight essential amino acids are:

Isoleucine and Leucine are the amino acids that provide the components for manufacturing of other essential biochemical components in the body, some of which help you to be more alert, used for the production of energy, and serve as stimulants to the upper brain.

Lycine is the amino acid that ensures the adequate absorption of calcium and helps form collagen. This amino acid also aids in the production of antibodies, enzymes, and hormones.

Metheonine is the main supplier of sulfur in the body which prevents disorders of skin, hair and nails.  It helps to lower cholesterol levels by increasing the liver’s production of lecithin and it also protects the kidneys and reduces liver fat.  This amino acid influences hair follicles and promotes hair growth; it also regulates the formation of ammonia.

Phenylalaine is an amino acid that is used by the brain to produce Norepinephrine which is a chemical that sends out signals between nerve cells and the brain keeping you awake and alert.  It also reduces hunger pains and functions as an anti-depressant helping improve memory.

Threonine helps the digestive and intestinal tracts to function more smoothly.  It also assists in the assimilation and metabolism of the body.  It is an important element of collagen, enamel protein, and Elastin. It also helps prevent fat build up in the liver.

Tryptophan this amino acid is a natural relaxant that helps ease insomnia by inducing normal sleep.  It reduces anxiety and depression, helps in the cure of migraine headaches, helps reduce the risk of artery and heart spasms, helps the immune system, and works with Lysine to reduce cholesterol levels.

Valine helps in the promotion of muscle coordination, energy, and calm emotions.

Serine is a storeroom source of glucose by the liver and muscles.  It helps strengthen the immune system by providing antibodies and produces fatty acids cover around nerve fibers.

The body can produce ten out of the twenty amino acids. The other amino acids must be supplied in the food and failure to attain enough of even one of the ten essential amino acids, those that can’t be produced by the body, results in the ruin of the body’s proteins.  Amino acids are not like fats that can be stored by the body for later use, the body does not store excess amino acids and so amino acids must be in the food every day.

Health Tips!

ARE YOU WELL?

Are You  Well?

Wellness refers to the condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise, and habits.  Nutrition refers to the nurturing of our body, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do.  Our ability to provide the body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes.  But do we know if we are really well?  How do we tell?

The first place to start would be with the examination of your eating habits.  Since we are a product of what we eat, if our eating habits are unhealthy, or do not provide for the nutrition we need, we’re not going to be healthy individuals at the end of the process.

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Do you take in more calories than your body needs?  Are you supplementing your vitamins and minerals to make sure you are getting your recommended daily allowances?  If you’re not making the most basic of efforts to take care of your nutritional needs, you aren’t a well individual.  You may not look sick, you may not have any noticeable symptoms of ill-health, but you’re not the well individual you could be.

Next, you might want to look at your exercise habits, if there are any.  If there aren’t any exercise routines to examine, no wellness.  Everyone, no matter what their age, benefits from exercise.  It keeps our bodies conditioned, our mental sharpness working at top speed, and thanks to the physical aspect, we get a boost to our cardio health, extra calorie burn, and more oxygen to those cells!

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What about the stress levels in your life?  Do work in an environment with high levels of stress?  Is your personal life a source of comfort or does it add to your stress levels?  Do you engage in some form of stress-relieving activity?  Stress is the number on contributor to heart attacks and strokes, since they manage to speed up the affect of the real culprits.  Stress is basically an out of control situation for most adults today.  We manage to schedule every moment of our free time and leave ourselves with no time for quiet reflection, or time to deal with life’s unexpected emergencies.

WHAT SOMETHING GOOD?

Stress brings us to the next two topics of health abuse.  Smoking and drinking are often used to offset the effect that stress has on our nervous system.  These solutions however do not provide any real help.  If you smoke, drink, or lose sleep to excess, you’re not the well individual you could be.  Smoking, drinking, and loss of sleep work to our detriment, and it takes extreme discipline to stop.  Smoking fills our body with carcinogens, and works to keep us tired and lethargic.

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There are so many occasions to stop and question our efforts at maintaining optimal health, that we usually don’t even take the time to begin the examination. But it is beneficial to our overall health, the quality and quantity of our life, to make every effort to be well, healthy, individuals.