A team of researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California recently embarked upon a study to help determine the causes of insomnia among premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
The team conducted phone interviews with 982 women and gathered information about their sleep history, frequency of hot flashes, and overall health. They found that 51% of postmenopausal women suffer with hot flashes and that 79% of premenopausal women have them. Among the women with the most intense hot flashes (based on their severity and frequency), 81% of them experienced sleeplessness and insomnia.
The lead researcher said: “In this paper, we have observed without any doubt and in a significant way that hot flashes are associated with insomnia. This is the first observational study showing the link between insomnia and hot flashes while controlling for other factors that could account for insomnia in women.”
Night sweats and hot flashes can become a form of insomnia in which a woman can wake up sweating and be unable to sleep. Regarding mineral deficiency at the time of menopause, the pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis says in her book ‘Let’s Get Well’ that: “The amount of calcium in a woman’s blood parallels the activity of the ovaries. During the menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can cause severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur, including irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, and insomnia. These problems can be easily overcome if the intakes of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all generously increased and are well absorbed.”
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.
Regarding the use of vitamin D as an insomnia remedy, Researchers at the East Texas Medical Center recently discovered that vitamin D helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. They found a definite link between vitamin D deficiency and the current epidemic of sleep disorders. During the research, the authors discovered the presence of high concentrations of vitamin D “receiving sites” or “receptors” in those areas of the brain that are related to the onset and maintenance of sleep.
One natural insomnia remedy gaining in popularity with women is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, heart health, restless legs syndrome and bone strength. The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils. The mixture of oils and minerals makes it more quickly assimilated than tablets or capsules and provides a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from hot flashes, I’m sleeping much better, and I’m a lot more comfortable.”
The Stanford research study shows a definite link between hot flashes and insomnia and suggests that if a woman can address and remedy her hot flashes, she will also likely improve her insomnia.
By Joe Leech, Dietitian| Courtesy of Authority Nutrition
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective
calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II ***************************************************************
A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for health. In fact, it is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Unfortunately, the Western environment is interfering with natural sleep patterns.
People are now sleeping less than they did in the past, and sleep quality has decreased as well.
Here are 10 reasons why good sleep is important.
1. Poor Sleep Can Make You Fat
Poor sleep is strongly linked to weight gain.
People with short sleep duration tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep.
In fact, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity.
In one massive review study, children and adults with short sleep duration were 89% and 55% more likely to become obese, respectively.
The effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be mediated by numerous factors, including hormones and motivation to exercise.
If you are trying to lose weight, getting quality sleep is absolutely crucial.
Bottom Line: Short sleep duration is associated with a drastically increased risk of weight gain and obesity, in both children and adults.
2. Good Sleepers Tend to Eat Fewer Calories
Studies show that sleep deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories.
Sleep deprivation disrupts the daily fluctuations in appetite hormones and is believed to cause poor appetite regulation.
This includes higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, and reduced levels of leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite.
Bottom Line: Poor sleep affects hormones that regulate appetite. Those who get adequate sleep tend to eat fewer calories than those who don’t.
3. Good Sleep Can Improve Concentration and Productivity
Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function.
This includes cognition, concentration, productivity and performance.
All of these are negatively affected by sleep deprivation.
A study on medical interns provides a good example.
Interns on a “traditional schedule” made 36% more serious medical errors than interns on a schedule that allowed more sleep.
Another study found short sleep can negatively impact some aspects of brain function to a similar degree as alcohol intoxication.
Good sleep, on the other hand, has been shown to improve problem solving skills and enhance memory performance of both children and adults.
Bottom Line: Good sleep can maximize problem solving skills and enhance memory. Poor sleep has been shown to impair brain function.
4. Good Sleep Can Maximize Athletic Performance
Sleep has been shown to enhance athletic performance.
In a study on basketball players, longer sleep was shown to significantly improve speed, accuracy, reaction times, and mental well-being.
Less sleep duration has also been associated with poor exercise performance and functional limitation in elderly women.
A study of over 2,800 women found that poor sleep was linked to slower walking, lower grip strength, and greater difficulty performing independent activities.
Bottom Line: Longer sleep has been shown to improve many aspects of athletic and physical performance.
5. Poor Sleepers Have a Greater Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
We know that sleep quality and duration can have a major effect on many risk factors.
These are the factors believed to drive chronic diseases, including heart disease.
A review of 15 studies found that short sleepers are at far greater risk of heart disease or stroke than those who sleep 7 to 8 hours per night.
Bottom Line: Sleeping less than 7-8 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
6. Sleep Affects Glucose Metabolism and Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Experimental sleep restriction affects blood sugar and reduces insulin sensitivity.
In a study of healthy young men, restricting sleep to 4 hours per night for 6 nights in a row caused symptoms of pre-diabetes.
This was then resolved after 1 week of increased sleep duration.
Poor sleep habits are also strongly linked to adverse effects on blood sugar in the general population.
Those sleeping less than 6 hours per night have repeatedly been shown to be at increased risk for type 2 diabetes.
Bottom Line: Sleep deprivation can cause pre-diabetes in healthy adults, in as little as 6 days. Many studies show a strong link between short sleep duration and type 2 diabetes risk.
7. Poor Sleep is Linked to Depression
Mental health issues, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders.
It has been estimated that 90% of patients with depression complain about sleep quality.
Poor sleep is even associated with increased risk of death by suicide.
Those with sleeping disorders, such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea, also report significantly higher rates of depression than those without.
Bottom Line: Poor sleeping patterns are strongly linked to depression, particularly for those with a sleeping disorder.
8. Sleep Improves Your Immune Function
Even a small loss of sleep has been shown to impair immune function.
One large 2-week study monitored the development of the common cold after giving people nasal drops with the virus that causes colds.
They found that those who slept less than 7 hours were almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept 8 hours or more.
If you often get colds, ensuring that you get at least 8 hours of sleep per night could be very helpful. Eating more garlic can help too.
Bottom Line: Getting at least 8 hours of sleep can improve immune function and help fight the common cold.
9. Poor Sleep is Linked to Increased Inflammation
Sleep can have a major effect on inflammation in the body.
In fact, sleep loss is known to activate undesirable markers of inflammation and cell damage.
Poor sleep has been strongly linked to long-term inflammation of the digestive tract, in disorders known as inflammatory bowel diseases.
One study observed that sleep deprived patients with Crohn’s disease (a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines) were twice as likely to relapse as patients who slept well.
Researchers are even recommending sleep evaluation to help predict outcomes in sufferers of long-term inflammatory issues.
Bottom Line: Sleep affects the body’s inflammatory responses. Poor sleep is strongly linked to inflammatory bowel diseases and can increase the risk of disease recurrence.
10. Sleep Affects Emotions and Social Interactions
Sleep loss reduces our ability to interact socially.
Several studies confirmed this using emotional facial recognition tests.
One study found that people who had not slept had a reduced ability to recognize expressions of anger and happiness.
Researchers believe that poor sleep affects our ability to recognize important social cues and process emotional information.
Take Home Message
Along with nutrition and exercise, good sleep is one of the pillars of health.
You simply can not achieve optimal health without taking care of your sleep.
Here are some top tips for getting good sleep from Nutrition Breakthroughs:
Tip # 1 – We live in an electronics-oriented world, from computers, to cell phones, to texting, to reading books on tablets. These tools help increase our efficiency and ability to work and learn and communicate, but when it comes to getting good sound sleep, they can interfere.
One study from a university in New York found that exposure to light from electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about twenty two percent. Melatonin is a hormone made in the brain that helps to regulate the sleep/wake cycle.
It is present in higher amounts at night. The researchers recommend shutting off all electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime and doing some relaxing things before bed.
Tip # 2 – Regarding sounder, deeper sleep resulting from taking walks, studies at the University of Arizona have found that walking more than six blocks a day at a normal pace significantly improves sleep at night for women. Scientists suspect that walking helps to set our biological clock into a consistent sleep pattern.
Walking can help increase “endorphins”, which are protein-like chemicals made in the brain that can have a relaxing effect, a pain-relieving effect, and can also reduce stress and increase well-being.
Tip # 3 – Sometimes hunger can strike at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and keep one awake. If this occurs, eat something with high protein such as turkey. Turkey contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid (a component of protein) that has a calming effect. According to Ray Sahelian, M.D., “Tryptophan ….can be converted at night into melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.”
As a note, concentrated tryptophan capsules are not recommended as they can create grogginess in the morning and take some time to wear off. Other foods that are high in tryptophan include nuts, seeds, chicken, fish, oats, beans, lentils, and eggs.
Tip # 4 – When taking natural sleep aids, it’s good to remember that each person is a unique individual and doing some experimenting with the dosage can be instrumental in achieving success. At first, err on the side of taking too little rather than too much.
Another thing to keep in mind is that natural aids are not drugs and they may not work immediately with the first dose or even the first few doses. It can take up to a couple weeks to see results.
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.”
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. In the study, taking calcium restored normal sleep patterns.
One example of a mineral-based sleep remedy is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets 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 up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake up 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.”
In summary, take the tips of recent research studies and take a walk each day, put the computers and cell phones away an hour before bedtime, and do something relaxing before bed. Keep a high-tryprophan snack next to your bed at night, and use an effective form of calcium and magnesium for a deeper, longer, less interrupted night’s sleep.
Surprise: One natural remedy proven in a research study to relieve hot flashes may be unexpected to some, as it is such a well-known, widely used vitamin with many benefits. It’s the famous vitamin C.
The study was called “Non-Hormonal Control of Vaso-Motor Flushing in Menopausal Patients”, published in the journal: “Chicago Medicine.” Vasomotor refers to the nerves and muscles causing blood vessels to constrict (narrow) or dilate (open). Blood vessels dilate during hot flashes — this process is the body’s way to release the heat. Extensive research indicates that vitamin C strengthens blood vessel membranes, eases hot flashes and helps slow the overall aging process.
In the vitamin C study, A total of 94 patients were studied, all of who had reached menopause. They were given 200 milligrams of vitamin C and 200 milligrams of bioflavonoids (the substance contained on the inside of orange peels) six times daily. Therefore each subject received 1200 mg of both the bioflavonoids and vitamin C each day. The results were that 67% of the subjects reported complete relief from hot flashes and 21% reported partial relief, giving this combination an overall 88% success rate.
Vitamin C is also proven to be a “Beauty Vitamin.” In support of vitamin C as an anti wrinkle nutrient, a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition announced the results of researchers from the United Kingdom. They discovered that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled skin appearance and skin dryness. Vitamin C majorly improved overall skin appearance in a study of 4,025 women aged 40 to 74.
Mineral deficiency can also be a factor in contributing to menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. The pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis writes of this in her book “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit”.
Davis says, “The amount of calcium in a woman’s blood parallels the activity of the ovaries. During the menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones can cause severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur, including irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, and insomnia. These problems can be easily overcome if the intakes of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all generously increased and are well absorbed.”
Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale, CA., is someone who fought her own menopausal battle against sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural insomnia remedies for relaxation and deeper sleep.
The result was Sleep Minerals II, a natural insomnia remedy that contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, combined with vitamin D and zinc. The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from flashes, I’m sleeping much better and I’m a lot more comfortable.”
The minerals in Sleep Minerals II are also proven to be beneficial for strong bones, healthy muscles, menopause symptoms, teenage insomnia, and correction of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D deficiencies.
Vitamin C can be found in many delicious foods and is known to be beneficial for immunity, stomach health, maintaining blood vessels, strengthening bones and teeth, healing wounds, and supporting heart and eye health. Vitamin C is a key player in the production of collagen, which is the most abundant protein in the body and is a component of muscle, joints, bone, skin, hair and nails. High amounts of vitamin C is supplied by citrus fruits, many berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red and green peppers, and in supplements.
For good health, smooth skin, hot flash relief, and a refreshing night of beauty sleep each night, keep your vitamin C levels high and take some absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium. For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit the natural sleep aid page.
By Freydis Hjalmarsdottir, MS (Master of Science in Human Nutrition) – Courtesy of Authority Nutrition
This nutrition article is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, providing joint relief, better hair and nails, and more energy.
Note: Omega-3 fatty acids are most often found in fish like salmon and halibut, in fish oil supplements, in nuts like almonds and walnuts, and in flaxseed oil. ********************************************************************************************
Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important.
They can have all sorts of powerful health benefits for your body and brain.
In fact, few nutrients have been studied as thoroughly as omega-3 fatty acids.
Here are 17 health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids that are supported by science.
1. Omega-3s Can Fight Depression and Anxiety
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world.
Symptoms include sadness, lethargy and a general loss of interest in life.
Anxiety is also a very common disorder, and is characterized by constant worry and nervousness.
Interestingly, studies have found that people who consume omega-3s regularly are less likely to be depressed.
What’s more, when people with depression or anxiety start taking omega-3 supplements, their symptoms get better.
There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, EPA and DHA. Of the three, EPA appears to be the best at fighting depression.
One study even found EPA to be as effective against depression as Prozac, an antidepressant drug.
Bottom Line: Omega-3 supplements may help prevent and treat depression and anxiety. EPA seems to be the most effective at fighting depression.
2. Omega-3s Can Improve Eye Health
DHA, a type of omega-3, is a major structural component of the brain and retina of the eye.
When you don’t get enough DHA, vision problems may arise.
Interestingly, getting enough omega-3 has been linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration, one of the world’s leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness.
Bottom Line: An omega-3 fatty acid called DHA is a major structural component of the retina of the eye. It may help prevent macular degeneration, which can cause vision impairment and blindness.
3. Omega-3s Can Promote Brain Health During Pregnancy and Early Life
Omega-3s are crucial for brain growth and development in infants.
DHA accounts for 40% of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain, and 60% in the retina of the eye. (Polyunsaturated fats are found in animals and vegetables and include nuts, seeds, fish, algae and leafy greens).
Therefore, it’s no surprise that infants fed a DHA-fortified formula have better eyesight than infants fed a formula without it.
Getting enough omega-3s during pregnancy has been associated with numerous benefits for the child, including:
Better communication and social skills.
Less behavioral problems.
Decreased risk of developmental delay.
Decreased risk of ADHD, autism and cerebral palsy.
Bottom Line: Getting enough omega-3s during pregnancy and early life is crucial for the development of the child. Deficiency is linked to low intelligence, poor eyesight and an increased risk of several health problems.
4. Omega-3s Can Improve Risk Factors For Heart Disease
Heart attacks and strokes are the world’s leading causes of death.
Decades ago, researchers observed that fish-eating communities had very low rates of these diseases. This was later found to be partially due to omega-3 consumption.
Since then, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have numerous benefits for heart health.
Triglycerides (fats): Omega-3s can cause a major reduction in triglycerides, usually in the range of 15–30%.
Blood pressure: Omega-3s can reduce blood pressure levels in people with high blood pressure.
HDL-cholesterol: Omega-3s can raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol levels.
Blood clots: Omega-3s can keep blood platelets from clumping together. This helps prevent the formation of harmful blood clots.
Plaque: By keeping the arteries smooth and free from damage, omega-3s help prevent the plaque that can restrict and harden the arteries.
Inflammation: Omega-3s reduce the production of some substances released during the inflammatory response.
For some people, omega-3s can also lower LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol. However, the evidence is mixed and some studies actually find increases in LDL.
Interestingly, despite all these beneficial effects on heart disease risk factors, there is no convincing evidence that omega-3 supplements can prevent heart attacks or strokes. Many studies find no benefit.
Bottom Line: Omega-3s have been found to improve numerous heart disease risk factors. However, omega-3 supplements do not reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
5. Omega-3s Can Reduce Symptoms of ADHD in Children
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Several studies have found that children with ADHD have lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, compared to their healthy peers.
What’s more, numerous studies have found that omega-3 supplements can actually reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
Omega-3s help improve inattention and the ability to complete tasks. They also decrease hyperactivity, impulsiveness, restlessness and aggression.
Recently, researchers evaluated the evidence behind different treatments for ADHD. They found fish oil supplementation to be one of the most promising treatments.
Bottom Line: Omega-3 supplements can reduce the symptoms of ADHD in children. They improve attention and reduce hyperactivity, impulsiveness and aggression, to name a few.
6. Omega-3s Can Reduce Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions.
It includes central obesity (belly fat), high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high triglycerides and low HDL levels.
It is a major public health concern, since it increases your risk of developing many other diseases. These include heart disease and diabetes.
Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation, and improve heart disease risk factors in people with metabolic syndrome.
Bottom Line: Omega-3s can have numerous benefits for people with metabolic syndrome. They can reduce insulin resistance, fight inflammation and improve several heart disease risk factors.
7. Omega-3s Can Fight Inflammation
Inflammation is incredibly important. We need it to fight infections and repair damage in the body.
However, sometimes inflammation persists for a long time, even without an infection or injury being present. This is called chronic (long-term) inflammation.
It is known that long-term inflammation can contribute to almost every chronic Western disease, including heart disease and cancer.
Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines (these are hormone-like molecules that assist with healthy cellular activity).
Studies have consistently shown a link between higher omega-3 intake and reduced inflammation
Bottom Line: Omega-3s can reduce chronic inflammation, which can contribute to heart disease, cancer and various other diseases.
8. Omega-3s Can Fight Autoimmune Diseases
In autoimmune diseases, the immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign cells and starts attacking them.
Type 1 diabetes is one prime example. In this disease, the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Omega-3s can help fight some of these diseases, and may be especially important during early life.
Studies show that getting enough omega-3s during your first year of life is linked to a reduced risk of many autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diabetes in adults and multiple sclerosis.
Omega-3s have also been shown to help treat lupus (skin inflammation), rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis.
Bottom Line: Omega-3 fatty acids can help fight several autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis.
9. Omega-3s Can Improve Mental Disorders
Low omega-3 levels have been reported in people with psychiatric disorders.
Studies have shown that omega-3 supplements can reduce the frequency of mood swings and relapses in people with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may also decrease violent behavior.
Bottom Line: People with mental disorders often have low blood levels of omega-3 fats. Improving omega-3 status seems to improve symptoms.
10. Omega-3s Can Fight Age-Related Mental Decline and Alzheimer’s Disease
A decline in brain function is one of the unavoidable consequences of aging.
Several studies have shown that higher omega-3 intake is linked to decreased age-related mental decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Additionally, one study found that people who eat fatty fish tend to have more gray matter in the brain. This is brain tissue that processes information, memories and emotions.
Bottom Line: Omega-3 fats may help prevent age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease, but more research is needed.
11. Omega-3s May Help Prevent Cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world, and omega-3 fatty acids have long been claimed to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Interestingly, studies have shown that people who consume the most omega-3s have up to a 55% lower risk of colon cancer.
Additionally, omega-3 consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. However, not all studies agree on this.
Bottom Line: Omega-3 intake may decrease the risk of some types of cancer, including colon, prostate and breast cancer.
12. Omega-3s Can Reduce Asthma in Children
Asthma is a chronic lung disease with symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing.
Severe asthma attacks can be very dangerous. They are caused by inflammation and swelling in the airways of the lungs.
What’s more, asthma rates have been increasing over the past few decades.
Several studies have linked omega-3 consumption to a lower risk of asthma in children and young adults.
Bottom Line: Omega-3 intake has been associated with a lower risk of asthma in both children and young adults.
13. Omega-3s Can Reduce Fat in The Liver
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is more common than you think.
It has increased with the obesity epidemic, and is now the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the Western world.
Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to reduce liver fat and inflammation in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Bottom Line: Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce liver fat in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
14. Omega-3s May Improve Bone and Joint Health
Osteoporosis and arthritis are two common disorders that affect the skeletal system.
Studies indicate that omega-3s can improve bone strength by increasing the amount of calcium in bones. This should lead to a reduced risk of osteoporosis.
Omega-3s may also help with arthritis. Patients taking omega-3 supplements have reported reduced joint pain and increased grip strength.
Bottom Line: Omega-3s can improve bone strength and joint health. This may lead to a reduced risk of osteoporosis and arthritis.
15. Omega-3s Can Alleviate Menstrual Pain
Menstrual pain occurs in the lower abdomen and pelvis, and often radiates to the lower back and thighs.
It can result in significant negative effects on a person’s quality of life.
However, studies have repeatedly shown that women who consume the most omega-3s have milder menstrual pain.
One study even found that an omega-3 supplement was more effective than ibuprofen in treating severe pain during menstruation.
Bottom Line: Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce menstrual pain. One study even found that an omega-3 supplement was more effective than ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug.
16. Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Improve Sleep
Good sleep is one of the foundations of optimal health.
Studies show that sleep deprivation is linked to many diseases, including obesity, diabetes and depressio.
Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with sleep problems in children and obstructive sleep apnea in adults.
Low levels of DHA have also been linked to lower levels of the hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep.
Studies in both children and adults have shown that supplementing with omega-3 increases the length and quality of sleep.
Bottom Line: Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, may improve the length and quality of sleep in children and adults.
17. Omega-3 Fats Are Good For Your Skin
DHA is a structural component of the skin. It is responsible for the health of cell membranes, which make up a large part of skin.
A healthy cell membrane results in soft, moist, supple and wrinkle-free skin.
EPA also benefits the skin in several ways, including:
Managing oil production in skin.
Managing hydration of the skin.
Preventing hyperkeratinization of hair follicles (the little red bumps often seen on upper arms).
Preventing premature ageing of the skin.
Omega-3s can also protect your skin from sun damage. EPA helps block the release of substances that eat away at the collagen in your skin after sun exposure.
Bottom Line: Omega-3s can help keep skin cells healthy, preventing premature aging and more. They may also help protect the skin from sun damage.
Omega-3s Have Many Health Benefits
Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important for optimal health.
Getting them from whole foods, such as eating fatty fish 2 times per week, is the best way to ensure optimal omega-3 intake.
However, if you don’t eat a lot of fatty fish, then you may want to consider taking an omega-3 supplement.
For people who are lacking in omega-3, this is a cheap and highly effective way to improve health.
This nutrition article is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, providing joint relief, better hair and nails, and more energy.
Below is a chart with eight of the “Must eat” fruits. Take a look at the benefits shown here, but in reality there are truly many more health advantages to eating raw, healthy fruits and vegetables that are bursting with life.
For example, a study from Harvard University found that eating blueberries helps to prevent diabetes. Another thing scientists have found is that fresh fruits and vegetables reduce inflammation and stress in the body and can add years to one’s life.
Many of the scientific studies on cherries are done with tart cherries or Montmorency cherries — usually sold as juice, dried, frozen, and in powdered supplement capsules. For those seeking a food-based remedy for sleeplessness and insomnia, the tart Montmorency cherry is known to contain high levels of melatonin, the hormone made in the brain that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
The European Journal of Nutrition presented a placebo-controlled study that proved drinking tart cherry juice increases melatonin and improves sleep quality. Drinking the juice resulted in longer sleep times, less daytime napping and greater overall sleep efficiency (the ratio of the time spent in bed to the time actually spent sleeping).
Another recent study on the use of melatonin-rich foods for sleep appeared in the journal “Nutrients”. The study was called “Dietary Sources of Melatonin.” Many nuts are known as “drupe fruits”. These are fruits with pits or stones inside. The researchers for the study in “Nutrients” 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.
Warm milk is perhaps the most famous natural sleep aid. 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 is achieved by increasing calcium levels in the body.
One natural insomnia remedy showing good results is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains powerful 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 fruits and minerals are a healthy alternative to taking sleeping drugs, and fruits and vegetables in general are among the healthiest foods in existence. For more information on natural minerals for sleep, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.
A study in the Journal of Pediatrics has found that the hormonal changes of puberty in girls can create a time of substantial risk for the development of insomnia.
The researcher’s data came from a random sample of 1,014 adolescents who were 13 to 16 years of age in the city of Detroit Michigan. The study was conducted with adolescents who had a history of insomnia, and who also reported they currently had insomnia.
In an exploratory analysis between insomnia and puberty development, the onset of menstruation (menses) was associated with an increased risk for insomnia that was three times greater. There was no difference in the risk for insomnia among girls before menses onset.
The researchers concluded that Insomnia seems to be common and chronic among adolescents. The study found that there is often a gender difference in risk for insomnia, and it seems to emerge in association with the onset of menses.
Teenagers are a special breed, having to face all the challenges of being in an in-between stage of life; not quite a child anymore and not yet an adult. Along with an acceleration of social interests and activities, they also sustain accelerated physical growth and increased nutritional needs.
Given the consequences of sleep deprivation among teenagers, including blunted mental acuity, poorer school performance, and even poorer physical and emotional health, prevention and treatment may need to become “important priorities”, the study researchers say.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 90% of teen girls and 70% of teen boys are not getting enough calcium. Their bones are growing the fastest during the teen years and they need more calcium than at any other time of life. This calcium deficiency can translate into irritability, nervous tension, hyperactivity and insomnia.
Due to a deficiency of crucial minerals at the teenage time of life, calcium and magnesium supplements can be an effective sleep remedy. One natural insomnia remedy that’s gaining in popularity for all ages is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. It contains potent forms of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, all combined with heart-healthy rice bran oil in a rapidly absorbed softgel formula. Softgels that combine oils with the minerals are digested more thoroughly than tablets or capsules.
Wendy R. of Honolulu, Hawaii says: “My friends know that I’ve had chronic insomnia for a long time. I was surprised — I received the Sleep Minerals II and began taking it and I actually slept. In the past if I ever got a good nights sleep I’d say “I slept like a baby”, but that’s the wrong comparison. Those little guys get up every two hours, but I don’t anymore.”
With insomnia being common and chronic among teenagers, let’s help them get the nutrition and sleep that they need.
Do you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep at night? If so, you are not alone. Every night, millions of people lie in bed hoping for a restful night’s sleep that does not come.
It is estimated that one in three people will develop acute insomnia every year, and about 10% of these individuals will struggle with insomnia for several months at a time.
Insomnia can wreak havoc on one’s ability to live a normal, productive life. In fact, lack of sleep can lead to mood changes, memory loss, and impaired judgement. In addition, unresolved or unmanaged sleep disorders can increase the risk of chronic pain, depression, and a compromised immune system.
There are a variety of sleep medications on the market to help manage insomnia. However, the side effects often lead to a new set of health complications. As a result, many people have begun searching for a safer, natural alternative to promote a healthier sleep cycle. Of the options on the market, vitamin D is proving to be a serious contender.
Vitamin D at a glance
Vitamin D has been making media headlines for over two decades. Originally believed to be important solely for bone health, research continues to uncover a wide range of additional health benefits of maintaining optimal levels.
Unfortunately, despite the thousands of studies that have showcased the body’s need for vitamin D, deficiency remains highly prevalent. This is due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
Avoidance of mid-day sun exposure
Lack of supplement use
Often, people who are vitamin D deficient experience symptoms like fatigue, joint and muscle pain, frequent infections and insomnia.
How vitamin D status may impact sleep quality
Vitamin D is not just a vitamin, it’s a hormone. That means, after undergoing a couple of activation processes in the body, it binds to cells throughout the body to regulate a wide range of bodily functions.
Hormones are fat-soluble substances derived from cholesterol. They are produced by glands such as the thyroid, adrenals and pancreas, and then released into the bloodstream to reach target cells. These include cortisol made by the adrenals, testosterone, estrogen and yes, vitamin D.
So, how may vitamin D impact sleep? Vitamin D receiving points are located throughout regions of the brain that regulate our mood and sleep patterns. This has led researchers to theorize that vitamin D helps regulate the circadian rhythm, which is our body’s internal clock that instructs us when to sleep, eat, and rest.
Several studies have supported this theory by reporting a relationship between healthy vitamin D levels and improved sleep quality. In addition, a recent study found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an 11-fold increased odds of resistance to sleep medication. This means that the people who didn’t respond to sleeping drugs had a lower level of vitamin D in their body.
Best sources of vitamin D
Thankfully, there are a variety of ways one can ensure they are receiving enough vitamin D to promote healthy sleep cycles. This includes safe sun exposure (avoiding getting burned), supplementation, and eating a balanced diet.
Now more than ever, foods are being fortified with vitamin D in an effort to better support the body’s needs. However, people frequently ask, which form is better, vitamin D2 or D3?
Vitamin D2 is obtained through the diet and is produced by plants; whereas D3 is naturally produced when the skin is exposed to the sun and it can be consumed via animal sources in the diet.
Vitamin D3 is more bioavailable than D2, meaning this form is more efficiently utilized by our bodies. For this reason, experts recommend people ensure they are receiving ample amounts of vitamin D3 per day.
Top dietary sources of vitamin D
Cod liver Oil is the most potent dietary source for vitamin D3. In just one tablespoon, you can receive 1,360 international units (IU) vitamin D3. In addition to vitamin D, cod liver oil is rich in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are the best dietary sources of vitamin D, with about 500 IU vitamin D3 content in just three ounces of cooked fish. Also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these sources offer a heart-healthy option for those looking for a balanced dietary approach to maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.
Plain greek yogurt is another healthy option to provide some of your daily vitamin D needs. Known for its probiotics, greek yogurt helps support a healthy intestinal tract. In addition, it is a great snack for people who struggle with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) due to its high protein, low carbohydrate ratio. It also contains calcium, magnesium and about 80 IU vitamin D per 6 oz serving.
Eggs offer another beneficial source of vitamin D3. They generally contain about 40 IU per yoke.
Perhaps one of the most popular dietary sources of vitamin D is milk. It offers about 120 IU vitamin D3 per serving. Milk also provides a great source of calcium. For this reason, milk is an important dietary component to protecting bone health.
If you struggle with insomnia and hope vitamin D may help improve your sleep quality, there are a couple important factors to keep in mind. First, consistency is key. Although time of day isn’t important when eating foods rich in vitamin D or taking an oral supplement, it is important that this is done on a regular basis.
Research suggests that taking a couple thousand international units (IU’s) of vitamin D per day between foods and supplements is ideal when addressing sleeplessness and insomnia.
One supplement that contains a good amount of vitamin D is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. It also contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, and zinc, which are all blended together with healthy oils to form an absorbable soft gel. Together, these vitamins and minerals work to help facilitate quality sleep. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause one to wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to fall back asleep.
One Sleep Minerals II user in Massachusetts says: “I had become dependent on sleeping drugs and couldn’t sleep without them. Now I take the Sleep Minerals before bed and can sleep through the whole night without drugs. I’m also able to easily fall back to sleep if I do have to get up. Another benefit is this helps alleviate my chronic fatigue and aches and pains.”
Vitamin D is one of the master players in the game we all hope to win: Vibrant health, well-being and good sleep. Use it well in foods and supplements, as well as together with those minerals that are best-known for being relaxing insomnia remedies.
An article from the science news website known as Eureka Alert has shared the results of a study on how calcium extends lifespans in women.
Here’s the news article:
Calcium supplements linked to longer lifespans in women – Study finds calcium-rich diet, supplements provide equal benefits
Chevy Chase, Maryland — Taking a calcium supplement of up to 1,000 mg per day can help women live longer, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. (A note from the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs: “endocrinology” refers to the actions of hormones in the body. Interestingly, in this study, the benefits of longer lifespans were seen when the calcium came from any source, including dairy foods, non-dairy foods or supplements. See a list of calcium-rich foods below).
Calcium, an essential nutrient for bone health, is commonly found in dairy products as well as vitamins. Although calcium is an essential nutrient for bone health, past studies have linked calcium supplements to heart disease risk. Researchers analyzing data from the large-scale Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study sought to clarify this issue and found moderate doses of calcium supplements had a beneficial effect in women.
“Our study found daily use of calcium supplements was associated with a lower risk of death among women,” said the study’s lead author, David Goltzman, MD, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. “The benefit was seen for women who took doses of up to 1,000 mg per day, regardless of whether the supplement contained vitamin D.”
The study monitored the health of 9,033 Canadians (over a 12-year period), between 1995 and 2007. During that period, 1,160 participants died. Although the data showed women who took calcium supplements had a lower mortality (death) risk, there was no statistical benefit for men. The study found no conclusive evidence that vitamin D had an impact on mortality.
“Higher amounts of calcium were potentially linked to longer lifespans in women, regardless of the source of the calcium,” Dr. Goltzman said. “That is, the same benefits were seen when the calcium came from dairy foods, non-dairy foods or supplements.”
From the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs: Some of the best food sources of calcium include kale, collard greens, yogurt, cheese, sardines with bones, canned salmon with bones, broccoli, okra, almonds, figs, navy beans, sweet potatoes and spinach.
This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Sleep Minerals II — the effective natural sleep aid with highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.
When was the last time that you purchased whole milk and drank it without a second thought? If you’re like most Americans, you haven’t enjoyed whole milk in years.
This isn’t by accident. Full-fat dairy has been shunned by U.S government guidelines for many years. Even today, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that only babies under the age of 2 should drink whole milk.
As a result, it’s long been expected and encouraged that children and adults only drink skim milk or non-dairy alternatives. But is our avoidance of whole milk justified? Recent studies now suggest what many natural health experts have known all along: full-fat dairy supports our overall health and offers incredible benefits.
The Many Health Benefits of Full-Fat Milk
Instead of threatening the body’s health, the higher fat content of whole milk and whole milk yogurt actually seem to provide added benefits to the body.
While skim milk offers less than 10 mg of omega 3 fatty acids (healthy fats) per cup, whole milk contains 183 mg per cup! This is a dramatic difference considering that omega-3’s are known to improve risk factors for heart disease, fight inflammation, and boost brain health.
Whole milk is also rich in vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that depends on the fat content of whole milk to be absorbed into the body and be used to generate energy, strengthen the immune system, and so much more.
In addition, milk is designed to nourish the body, so it is loaded with other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and selenium.
Together, the contents of whole milk support the body’s well-being in many ways:
Warm milk is a well-known and time-tested sleep remedy thanks to its high concentration of magnesium and calcium. Both of these nutrients promote rest and relaxation by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the body responsible for slowing the heart rate and conserving energy. In fact, magnesium and calcium trigger the same chemical messengers as sleep drugs like Ambien, which are designed to treat sleep problems but come with many side effects.
If you want to enjoy the powerful mineral-based sleep benefits of whole milk or whole milk dairy, consider also using a mineral-based sleep remedy like Sleep Minerals II. These natural sleep aids are growing in popularity as more and more people are seeking to achieve high-quality sleep without the use of sleep drugs.
Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium. It’s effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia. It also contains vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form mixed with natural rice bran oil, making it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
L.R.C. of Massachusetts says: “I had become dependent on sleeping drugs and couldn’t sleep without them. Now I take the Sleep Minerals before bed and I can sleep through the night without drugs. I’m also able to easily fall back to sleep if I do have to get up. Another benefit is that this helps alleviate my chronic fatigue and aches and pains.”
Some More Delicious Food Options for Good Sleep
The following whole milk dairy options may also help you sleep more soundly at night and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
Golden Turmeric Milk with whole milk, turmeric, cinnamon, and honey
Sleepytime Lavender Milk: Heat milk, honey, chamomile, and lavender in a small saucepan until steaming. Remove from heat to allow tea to infuse, then strain out chamomile and lavender buds.
Banana and Almond Butter Whole Milk Smoothie
With so many simple, healthy, and effective sleep remedies out there, you should never have to toss and turn through a restless night or resort to sleeping drugs. For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit this page.
Studies from the Institute of Food Technologists have found that “Vitamins and mineral supplements can be the alternative to increasing psychiatric medicines for symptom relief of anxiety and depression.”
Bonnie Kaplan, Ph.D., professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, also said: “The supplements also can provide the mental energy necessary to manage stress, enhance mood and reduce fatigue.”
Dr. Kaplan conducted a number of studies in Canada. Out of nearly 100 adults with depression and fatigue, those that took a higher amount of vitamins and minerals had considerably enhanced mental functioning. The study participants kept a 3-day food journal and tracked their foods and supplements.
Another study from Toronto Canada examined the role of fish oil for depression and concluded that: “There is enough … laboratory and clinical evidence to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may play a role in certain cases of depression. Fish oil supplements are well tolerated and have been shown to be without significant side effects over large scale, 3-year research.”
For anyone currently taking psychiatric medications, they should work closely with their doctor if they seek to reduce drug dosages while adding supportive natural mental health remedies.
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 calming ingredients such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.