What is Metabolic Syndrome and Which Natural Remedies Work?

fish oil remedy metabolic syndromeGreetings to you,

The word “metabolic” refers to the processes in plants and animals by which food is changed into energy or used to make cells and tissues.  A “syndrome” is a group of signs or symptoms that together indicate a particular disease or condition.

So, “metabolic syndrome” is a group of risk areas that increase the likelihood of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke. These include high blood sugar levels, increased blood pressure, excess stomach fat and high cholesterol.

Fish and omega-3 foods for metabolic syndrome

Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of fat that we must get from our diet as the body can’t produce them on its own. This classifies them as “essential” fatty acids.  These include wild-caught fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and oysters, as well as fish oils, walnuts, flaxseeds, grass-fed beef and leafy greens. Omega 3 fats assist in reducing blood pressure, supporting a healthy heart and strengthening the eyes and brain.

The Journal of Physiology published a study on omega 3 fatty acids.  They reviewed the evidence on the effectiveness of eating omega 3 fish and fish oil supplements for the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome.  They found that supplementing with Omega 3 sources improved obesity, insulin levels, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  They commented that the anti-inflammatory aspects of these fatty acids also offer good protection for the heart.

Flaxseeds for metabolic syndrome

Phytotherapy is a word that comes from the Greek word “phyton” meaning “plant”, and therapeuein” meaning “to take care of, to heal.” This is the term used to describe medical herbalism.

A study in the magazine “Phytotherapy Research” discovered that flaxseeds are a good remedy for metabolic syndrome by helping to reverse high blood sugar and obesity.  In the study, the participant’s body weight, waist circumference, and body mass index all had significantly greater reductions in the flaxseed group.  The researchers concluded that co-administration of flaxseed with lifestyle modifications is more effective than lifestyle modification alone in management of metabolic syndrome.

Vegetables and fruits for metabolic syndrome

In a study of Chinese adults, it was discovered that those with adequate vegetable and fruit intake had the lowest risk of metabolic syndrome.  Eating a good amount of these foods was significantly associated with reduced risk among adult residents of China.

Healthy vegetables to eat include dark leafy greens such as lettuce, kale and spinach, as well as avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, olives, sweet potatoes, cabbage and others that are enjoyable.  Avocados in particular have been found to be related to improved overall diet quality, a healthy nutrient intake, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome

Good fruits to eat include berries, applies, grapes, apples, pears and others.  Due to the natural sugars in fruit, It’s good to keep fruit in moderation and eat at least two or three times as many vegetables as fruit.

Magnesium for metabolic syndrome

A study from the journal “Diabetic Medicine” reports on the role of magnesium deficiency in metabolic syndrome.  They found that magnesium acts through many mechanisms in the body to help prevent this group of health disorders.  Magnesium has a positive effect on glucose metabolism and insulin, as well as beneficial effects on fat metabolism.

The authors of the study explain that magnesium actively promotes muscle relaxation and offsets calcium-related muscle contractions. This mechanism may explain the hypertension (high blood pressure) in metabolic syndrome that’s found in populations with magnesium deficiency.  (In supplements, calcium and magnesium should be taken together as they balance each other).

Dietary magnesium prevents chronic inflammation, a state that sets the stage for metabolic syndrome and its consequences.  Magnesium does this by preventing the activation of inflammatory changes.  The researchers concluded that the amount of magnesium a person consumes is directly related to the presence of metabolic syndrome or its absence. Good food sources of magnesium include almonds, beans, peas, seeds, banana, avocado, leafy greens and whole grains.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and a supplier of natural remedies since 2002.  Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.

The ingredients in Sleep Minerals II can be helpful for a variety of health conditions.  I.C. of Ontario, Canada says: “I have diabetes, a thyroid condition, arthritis and other issues. The Sleep Minerals helps me sleep and gives me the minerals I need.  I also have arthritis throughout my whole body and the minerals help this a lot.  In fact, Sleep Minerals lessens all of my symptoms greatly and has helped me to go into remission.”

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Health Benefits of Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K

Greetings to you,

Here’s a handy chart on the sources and health benefits of vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K.  It’s simple enough for kids, but a good overview for all of us!

Vitamin A is beneficial for healthy vision, strong bones and teeth and good immunity.  It is found in apricots, peaches and other orange and yellow fruits, dark leafy green vegetables, sweet potato, carrots, liver, eggs and fish.

The B vitamins actually include 8 different vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, etc.  They help form our nerves and blood vessels, keep our organs healthy such as the heart and liver, and also keep our metabolism strong.  B vitamins are found in grass-fed meat, organ meats, fish, yogurt, cheese, seeds, nuts, beans, lentils, peas and whole grains.

Enjoy the chart below and eat vitamin-rich foods!

This natural health news is provided to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, stronger hair, better nails and more energy.

To your good health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
Toll-free (888) 861-0326

Vitamins2Provided by www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com

Top Foods That Can Remedy Insomnia and Give Better Sleep

tart cherry juice for sleepInsomnia and sleeplessness are a widespread problem.  Sleep inducing foods and relaxing minerals are a first-line remedy to help people with insomnia to fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.

There is a helpful chart below that shows twelve ways to use foods as natural sleep aids.  Many of these foods are high in melatonin and magnesium and are supported by research studies.  This article describes many of these sleep-inducing foods in detail and names the studies that support their use in improving sleep.

Melatonin is a hormone that’s produced in the brain.  At night or in the dark, melatonin is naturally released to regulate the sleep cycle.  A recent study on the use of melatonin-rich foods for sleep appeared in the journal “Nutrients”.  The study was called “Dietary Sources of Melatonin.”

The researchers noted that nuts contain some of the highest quantities of melatonin.  Topping the list are almonds and walnuts.  Almonds deliver a two-part punch as they are also high in magnesium, a mineral known to induce sleep.

Bananas are high in both magnesium and potassium, and each of these minerals are proven to help good sleep in research studies.  The Journal “Sleep” recently reported that the use of potassium for sleep results in significant improvements in quality of sleep and less waking up during the night.

In addition to improving the quality of sleep, potassium has many other valuable health benefits.  Dr. Joseph Mercola writes about potassium in his article: “Potassium Plays a Key Role in Your Everyday Functions.”  He says:

“Sometimes referred to as the “good salt,” potassium is a mineral that helps support a variety of essential body functions, including the contraction of muscles, regulation of body fluids, transmission of nerve impulses, and maintenance of normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels.”

”Since your body does not have the ability to produce potassium naturally, one of the ways for you to maintain optimum levels of it is to eat potassium-rich foods….When it comes to increasing your potassium levels through diet, one of the first foods that may come to mind are bananas — one medium banana contains 422 mg of potassium.”

”However, bananas are far from being your only source of potassium, since you can also obtain this nutrient from the following foods:

  • Beet greens Provides 654 mg of potassium per half-cup.
  • Swiss chard Contains 962 mg of potassium per cup.
  • Acorn squash Provides 996 mg of potassium per cup.
  • Avocado Contains 364 mg of potassium per half-cup.
  • Spinach Contains 740 to 838 mg of potassium per cup.
  • Baked potato flesh and skin – Contains 941 mg in one medium potato.
  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmonProvides 534 mg of potassium per 3-ounce serving.
  • Plain yogurt Contains 579 mg of potassium per cup.”

Continuing on, those experiencing sleeplessness or insomnia should definitely include more of these healthy sources of potassium in their diet.  And even more vital than potassium, the two most famous minerals for calming insomnia are calcium and magnesium.  This is what makes warm milk one of the most popular natural sleep aids.

James F. Balch, M.D, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes that: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”  The European Neurology Journal supports this with their study showing that the normal course of sleep can be restored by increasing calcium levels in the body.

Regarding the use of minerals for insomnia, a study called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium” discusses the differences between calcium and magnesium and their effects on sleep.  The author notes that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency causes difficulty with falling asleep.

On the other hand, the classical sign of magnesium deficiency is insomnia characterized by falling asleep easily, but awakening frequently throughout the night, with individuals finding themselves tired even after several hours of sleep.

Chronic insomnia is known to be one of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Sleep in magnesium deficiency is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. A high magnesium, low aluminum diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was proven in a study titled “Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women.”

A balanced ratio of calcium to magnesium is important to overall health and the two minerals should be taken together for best results.  The best calcium and magnesium ratio is twice as much calcium as magnesium.

One natural insomnia remedy showing good results is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  This natural sleep aid contains potent forms of calcium and magnesium, the best known minerals for relaxation and sleep, as well as for restless leg syndrome, stomach health, teenage insomnia and menopause insomnia.  The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbed than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot.  I wake once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.  This has been a great improvement.”

Sleep inducing foods and minerals are a healthy alternative to taking sleeping drugs. Make good use of them as an insomnia remedy.  Enjoy the chart below and be sure to visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

12 foods that help sleep

Diabetes Prevention: Study Finds Specific Fruits are Remedies

                  
Because of the natural sugars in fruit, one might think that it should be avoided in order to prevent diabetes.

On the contrary, a study recently published in the British Medical Journal has found that greater consumption of specific whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, is significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes), whereas greater consumption of fruit juice is associated with a higher risk.

Fruits are very rich in antioxidants, which are substances that protect our tissues from the reactions of oxygen inside the body.  Natural processes such as digestion and metabolism create accumulated oxygen reactions that contribute to the aging and disease process.  Fruits are good at neutralizing these particles and are also a valuable source of fiber and plant coloring and pigments that have beneficial health effects.

The study on fruit’s effect on diabetes prevention was centered at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.  Participants totaled 187,000 people and were women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1984-2008), women from the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991-2009), and men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2008).  They were all free of major diseases at the starting point. Questionnaires were used to collect detailed data.

While blueberries, grapes, and apples provided the most benefits for diabetes prevention, blueberries provided the greatest advantage when three servings per week were eaten — a 26% reduction in the odds to develop diabetes.  Servings of cantaloupe on the other hand, increased the risk by 10%, and three servings of fruit juice increased the risk by 8%.  Peaches, plums, apricots, prunes, oranges, and strawberries had a neutral risk for diabetes.

Blueberries have other significant health benefits as well. The bilberry fruit is a close cousin to the famous blueberry. During World War II, British fighter pilots reported improved nighttime vision after eating bilberry jam.

One of the most important studies on bilberries was done by researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center in Boston, MA. The researchers used an enriched extract of bilberry in a test tube along with human retina cells. The cells were exposed to oxygen damage and bilberry was shown to have a profound antioxidant effect – protecting and reversing the damage.

Bilberry removed the stress in eye tissue, which is a strong indicator that it can safeguard the eyes against disorders of aging such as macular degeneration (blurred vision), cataracts (cloudy vision) and glaucoma (eye pressure on the optic nerve).

So let’s get that fruit out for dessert and eat it for refreshing, nourishing snacks!

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, arthritis, aches and pains, stronger hair, better nails, and more energy.

Ingredients in Sleep Minerals II Proven Effective as Sleep Aids

sleep minerals iiIngredients in Sleep Minerals II Proven Effective as Natural Sleep Aids

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), almost six out of ten Americans report having sleep problems and insomnia at least a few nights a week. Insomnia is defined as “An inability to fall asleep or remain asleep long enough to feel rested, especially when the problem continues over time.”

In an effort to combat this, as many as 25 percent of the people in the United States use medications to help them sleep. Most sleeping pills, especially when taken over long periods of time, stay in the bloodstream, give a hangover effect the next day and beyond, and impair memory and performance on the job and at home.insomnia woman

From a nutritional perspective, several research studies have shown certain minerals to be effective as natural sleep aids that help people fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”

Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency. Restoration to the normal course of sleep was achieved following the normalization of the blood calcium level.

sleeping womanWilliam Sears, M.D. writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”

Regarding magnesium deficiency, chronic insomnia is one of the main, central symptoms. Sleep is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium, low aluminum diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep.

The benefits of magnesium was proven in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota. The study was titled “Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women.”

Note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is important to overall health, and these two minerals should be taken together in a two to one ratio for best results (twice as much calcium as magnesium).

Beyond being effective sleep remedies, the health benefits of calcium and magnesiumfoods rich in calcium are many.  Studies have proven calcium to increase bone health, reduce high blood pressure, relax the nerves and muscles, prevent colon cancer and remedy kidney stones. Magnesium is an effective nutrient for strengthening heart health, reducing diabetes, and treating migraines, restlessness and depression.

Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale, CA., is someone who fought her own battle against sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural ingredients for relaxation and deeper sleep. The result was Sleep Minerals II, a natural sleep aid which contains absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and zinc – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils. Oils such as rice bran oil have been shown to increase mineral absorption.

Chris M. of the United Kingdom says: “I take one softgel of Sleep Minerals II before bed every night and within 20 minutes I am asleep. The difference in the quality of my sleep and the ease with which I get to sleep using this product is monumental. I have stopped obsessing about sleep or dreading bedtime — I just take a softgel and drift off.  If I stop taking them, within a week my sleep starts to lighten in quality, the amount of my sleep diminishes, and my old insomniac patterns reappear.”

Darleen T. of La Mesa, California says: “I purchased Sleep Minerals for my teenage daughter.  When she started on the minerals she hadn’t been sleeping well for the past couple of years.  She was run down and feeling beyond her years… exhausted.  She is only 18.  Once she started on Sleep Minerals she actually became tired at night, which is new.  She can fall into a restful sleep by 10:30 p.m. and sleep all night. This product is a heaven-send and has given her a life back.”

Natural minerals for sleep that are combined in an effective formula are a much better option then enduring heavy side effects from sleeping drugs.  For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.