Hot flashes and night sweats create a sudden feeling of warmth and often a breakout of sweating in the upper half of the body.
These flashes are experienced by up to 80% of women around the time of menopause, and also by men due to a lessening of testosterone in middle age.
Hot flashes are normally brought on by a reduced function in the brain’s temperature regulation, caused by changing hormone levels. Night sweats that occur while sleeping can cause overheating and frequent awakenings.
Another source of hot flashes are medications. According to WebMD, “Taking certain medications can lead to night sweats. Antidepressant medications are a common type of drug that can lead to night sweats. From 8% to 22% of people taking antidepressant drugs have night sweats. Other psychiatric drugs have also been associated with night sweats.”
The “Sleep in America” poll results from the National Sleep Foundation found that more than half of all Americans (60%) experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night. Interestingly, a ten-year study to discover which drugs are used to treat insomnia was published in the journal “Sleep”. The study found that prescriptions for sleeping medications have decreased by 53.7%, but that antidepressant drugs prescribed for insomnia have increased by a surprising 146%. Examples of antidepressants prescribed for insomnia are trazodone, doxepin, trimipramine, and amitriptyline.
Medications may not always have the desired effects. For example, Drugs.com says the following about an antidepressant drug called Welbutrin — “Nervous system side effects have frequently included headache (27%), insomnia (16% to 33%)….and sleep abnormalities.” Health.com lists some other possible side effects of antidepressants as sexual dysfunction, weight gain, dry mouth and throat, racing pulse, confusion, disturbed dreams, and an increased risk of suicide.
On the other hand, Nature has provided us with some natural sleep remedies and relaxants that have stood the test of time. Regarding mineral deficiency as we age and at the time of menopause, the pioneering nutritionist Adelle 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 (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.”
One sleep remedy that’s increasing in popularity is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for restless legs syndrome, bone strength, aches and pains and menopause insomnia. The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making the minerals more quickly assimilated than tablets or capsules. The softgel formulation provides a deeper, longer-lasting sleep and is an effective alternative to medications.
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.”
Alex R. of Ramseur of North Carolina says: “Sleep Minerals II has been a blessing for me. It has given me the opportunity to withdraw from a highly addictive sleep medication over time, and has allowed me to sleep while going through this most difficult ordeal. What’s great about it is it doesn’t lose its effectiveness, which is something that happens with sleep medications. I am most thankful for this product.”
In summary, while antidepressant medications and other drugs are being prescribed widely for insomnia, natural remedies for sleep and relaxation should be tried first. Those with absorbable calcium and magnesium have been proven effective. And they come without side effects such as hot flashes and night sweats and can even be a good remedy for these. For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.
By Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine who provides up-to-date natural health information.
This article is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium, magnesium and vitamin D based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.
A charley horse, or muscle cramp particularly in your calf muscles, is an incredibly common condition that results in your muscles becoming tight, stiff and extremely painful. If you’re an adult, there’s a good chance you’ve had one at some point (and likely multiple points) during your lifetime.
In case you’re a trivia buff and wondering why these muscle cramps are referred to as “charley horses” (a name that’s primarily used in North America), it’s said to be a tribute to Charley “Old Hoss” Radbourne, an 1880s-era baseball pitcher who often suffered from muscle cramps during games.
Another version states the term came from a lame work horse named Charley who limped around doing various jobs around the baseball park (also in the 1880s).
Whenever a baseball player would get injured or have a cramp in the lower legs, thus limping around like Charley the horse, teammates would call the player “Charley Horse.”Regardless of the name’s origin, the pain of a charley horse is unmistakable and can be excruciating.
What Causes a Charley Horse?
According to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, about 1 in every 3 adults is affected by muscle cramps in their lower limbs. In many cases, the pain is temporary and goes away on its own, but for some the cramps interfere with sleep, quality of life and daily activities.
In one study of more than 500 people aged 60 years and older, 31 percent reported being woken up by muscle cramps and 15 percent had cramps more than three times a month. Anyone can get a charley horse, but they’re most common in the following populations and scenarios:
At nighttime, especially in the elderly
In pregnant women
In people with neurological disease
During kidney dialysis
It’s not clear what triggers a charley horse to occur, but it is thought the cramp may be related to a rapidly firing nerve (up to 150 electrical dischargers per second), which causes the muscle to tense up, as opposed to an issue with the muscle tissue itself.
Many medications are also associated with muscle cramps, including statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, ACE inhibitors (blood pressure drugs), certain asthma drugs, diuretics and more. In addition, the following factors may also increase your risk of a charley horse:
Poor blood circulation in your legs
Mineral deficiencies, including magnesium, potassium or calcium
Is Magnesium Deficiency Causing Your Charley Horses?
By some estimates, up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be deficient. Other research shows only about 25 percent of U.S. adults are getting the recommended daily amount of 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400 to 420 for men.
Magnesium is often thought of primarily as a mineral for your heart and bones, but this is misleading. Researchers have now detected 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins, indicating that its role in human health and disease may have been vastly underestimated.
Further, if you suffer from charley horses, low levels of magnesium could be to blame. Magnesium is necessary for activating muscles and nerves, and a key sign of ongoing magnesium deficiency can be muscle contractions and cramps like charley horses.
Magnesium deficiency may be particularly problematic for your muscles in the presence of an overabundance of calcium. Americans in general tend to have a higher calcium-to-magnesium ratio in their diet, averaging about 3.5-to-1.
If you have too much calcium and not enough magnesium, your muscles will tend to go into spasm. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical and naturopathic doctor:
“What happens is the muscle and nerve function that magnesium is responsible for is diminished. If you don’t have enough magnesium, your muscles go into spasm.
Calcium causes muscle to contract. If you had a balance, the muscles would do their thing. They’d relax, contract and create their activity.”
This underscores the importance of eating a nutritious diet, which will naturally give you optimal amounts of the minerals and other nutrients your body needs.
Eating plenty of organic leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds every day, and drinking fresh green vegetable juice will help keep your magnesium stores replenished. In addition, Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate that can absorb into your body through your skin.
Soaking in a bath with Epsom salts is an excellent way to not only help prevent magnesium deficiency but also to soothe and relieve the pain of a charley horse.
Low Potassium Levels May Also Trigger a Charley Horse
Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte. (An electrolyte is a substance that produces an electrical conducting solution when dissolved in water. Electrolytes carry a charge and are essential for life. In our bodies, electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium).
Potassium is essential for your cells, tissues and organs to function properly. It plays a vital role in heart health, digestive and muscular function, bone health and more. One of the symptoms of low potassium levels is muscle cramps.
While potassium is found in many foods commonly consumed in the U.S. — including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, salmon, sardines and nuts — only 2 percent of U.S. adults get the recommended daily amount of 4,700 mg.
This is especially problematic because potassium is a nutrient that needs to be kept in proper balance with sodium in your blood. If you consume too much sodium, which is common if you eat a lot of processed foods, you’ll have an increased need for potassium.
Others who are at particular risk of low potassium, or hypokalemia, are those with chronic malabsorption syndromes, such as Crohn’s disease, or those taking heart medicine (particularly loop diuretics). However, anyone who eats a poor diet — an excess of processed foods and not enough fresh, whole foods — is potentially at risk of inadequate potassium levels and related muscle cramps.
Green vegetable juicing is an excellent way to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients for optimal health, including about 300 mg to 400 mg of potassium per cup. Some additional rich sources of potassium are:
Lima beans (955 mg/cup)
Winter squash (896 mg/cup)
Cooked spinach (839 mg/cup)
Avocado (500 mg per medium)
Too Little Calcium May Trigger Muscle Cramps
While too much calcium in the absence of magnesium can be problematic for muscle cramps, so too can a calcium deficiency. Low blood levels of calcium (as well as magnesium) may increase the excitability of nerve endings and the muscles they stimulate.
This may be a trigger for muscle cramps, especially in the elderly and during pregnancy. If you’re deficient in vitamin D, meanwhile, your body may have inadequate calcium absorption, again predisposing you to muscle cramps.
It’s very important to maintain a proper balance of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and also vitamin K2, as these four nutrients perform an intricate dance together, with one supporting the other. If you’re calcium deficient, your best bet is to increase consumption of foods high in calcium before opting for a supplement. This is because many high-calcium foods also contain naturally high amounts of vitamin K2; nature cleverly gives us these two nutrients in combination, so they work optimally.
Good sources of calcium include nuts, seeds and raw, organic, grass-fed dairy especially cheeses, and vegetables, although veggies aren’t high in vitamin K2. One exception is fermented vegetables where a starter culture specifically designed to produce ample amounts of vitamin K2 was used.
Homemade bone broth is another excellent source. Simply simmer leftover bones over low heat for an entire day to extract the calcium from the bones. You can use this broth for soups and stews or drink it straight.
What to Do If You Get a Charley Horse
A charley horse often occurs without notice, sometimes waking you up from sound sleep. If you’re lying down when the pain starts, stand up and put some weight on your foot. Walking around will help to increase blood circulation to your muscles and possibly help to soothe and relax the cramp.
You can also try a simple stretch. If the cramp is in your calf in the back of your lower leg, pull your toes and foot upward until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg. You can also do this sitting down with your legs outstretched. Put a towel around your feet and gently pull both ends toward you until you feel a stretch.
As mentioned, soaking in an Epsom salt bath may also help to relieve pain (and possibly help with prevention). Massaging the area and applying a heat pack, which will increase blood flow to the area, promoting healing and soothing pain, may also help.
Staying well-hydrated is also important for muscle cramp prevention. You’ll want to drink enough pure filtered water so that your urine is pale yellow in color. In addition, performing regular stretching exercises on your legs may help reduce your risk of a charley horse.
———————————- Comment from Nutrition Breakthroughs: Interestingly, the same mineral deficiencies that can cause charley horses are the same ones that can cause sleeplessness and insomnia. Studies show that calcium and magnesium are effective natural sleep aids. Highly absorbable forms of these minerals are featured in the Sleep Minerals II softgels. For more information visit the Sleep Minerals II 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.
There’s a great chart below that shows some of the most famous and effective remedies for sinus infections and colds. For example, garlic is a commonly used cold medicine. It is widely used in Russia and is known there as “Russian Penicillin”. Garlic supports immune function and it can kill bacteria, parasites, fungus and the flu virus. One test-tube study showed that fresh garlic kills various viruses, including one which can cause flu like symptoms.
Horseradish is another plant that can ease throat and upper respiratory tract infections. It has been shown specifically to destroy the flu virus and reduce the severity of flu infections in animals. This plant is a member of the mustard family. You may have found that eating horseradish can make your eyes water and nose run. Indeed, it can create a similar release of watery fluids inside the bronchial passages of the lungs which helps to flush them out and wash away congestion.
Vitamin C is one of the most famous boosts to immunity. In addition to enhancing the activity of immune cells, vitamin C acts as a vital component in the production of collagen, the principal protein found in all connective tissues. By helping to maintain the strength and integrity of connective tissue structures, vitamin C keeps infections from spreading throughout the body (from the Handbook of Vitamins).
Enjoy the chart and here’s to your good health.
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.
Sleep Minerals II may also be helpful for colds. Calcium can lower fever and zinc accelerates the growth of immune cells while preventing the replication of cold-causing viruses. In one study where people with colds were given zinc lozenges, sore throats disappeared after 1 day versus 3 days in the placebo group, nasal drainage in 4 days (versus 7 days), and headache in 2 days (versus 3 days).
For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit this page.
Inflammation comes into play in our bodies when bacteria, viruses, damaged cells or unhealthy substances are recognized and attacked by our immune system. Without immunity and inflammation, healing would not take place.
This system defends our health and is made up of white blood cells, “lymphocyte cells”, “natural killer cells” and others – many of which originate in the bone marrow and then travel in the blood to organs and tissues.
In a healthy body, inflammation smooths the healing process but for some people, the body can become confused and begin to mount a defense against its own tissues. This can lead to arthritis, celiac disease, irritable bowel disease and others. In fact, inflammation has been shown to be at the root of the majority of health conditions we face such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, an inflammatory bowel and more.
Eating naturally anti-inflammatory foods can reduce the symptoms of inflammation and disease and help to repair and heal the body. Here are the top three food-based inflammation fighters.
Vitamin D Foods
Vitamin D has been the subject of many studies for its potent anti-inflammation properties. The foods highest in vitamin D include sardines, salmon, mackerel, herring, maitake mushrooms, cod liver oil, and organic vitamin D fortified milk and yogurt.
A study from the Journal of Investigative Medicine found that vitamin D has important functions beyond those of supporting calcium and bones in the body. It concluded that vitamin D is a boost to immunity and a deficiency is common in autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake.
Vitamin D has also been studied for its benefits for sleeplessness and insomnia. The results of a vitamin D study was published in a recent issue of the journal “Medical Hypothesis”. The researchers followed 1500 patients over a 2 year period. A consistent level of vitamin D was maintained in their blood over many months.
This produced normal sleep in most of the participants, regardless of their type of sleep disorder, which suggests that many types of insomnia may share the same cause. 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.
A recent research study in the journal “Nutrients” has a lot of good things to say about the benefits of walnuts. The authors say: “Walnuts could be predicted to be more anti-inflammatory than other nuts for two reasons. First, walnuts are the only nuts that contain substantial amounts of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid is a kind of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants).
ALA is described as one of the more anti-inflammatory fatty acids. And second, walnuts are also particularly rich in ellagic acid (a natural plant chemical found in fruits and vegetables), which has shown potent anti-inflammatory properties in experimental studies.”
Eating a handful of walnuts before bedtime may also be a good way to soothe sleeplessness and insomnia due to the melatonin they contain. Russel Reiter, Ph.D., a professor of cellular biology at the University of Texas says: “Relatively few foods have been examined for their melatonin content. Our studies demonstrate that walnuts contain melatonin, that it is absorbed when it is eaten, and that it improves our ability to resist the stress caused by toxic molecules. Walnuts also contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to inhibit certain types of cancer and to keep the heart healthy.”
Oleic acid is the main fatty acid found in olive oil. This substance has been shown to greatly reduce levels of inflammation in the body. A study from the “Current Pharmaceutical Design” journal writes that “Chronic inflammation is a critical factor in the development of many inflammatory disease states including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, degenerative joint diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Popular methods to deal with inflammation and its associated symptoms involve the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, however the use of these drugs are associated with severe side effects.”
”Therefore, investigations concerned with natural methods of inflammatory control are warranted. A traditional Mediterranean diet has been shown to confer some protection against chronic diseases through the reduction of pro-inflammatory foods and this has been partially attributed to the high intake of virgin olive oil in this diet. Virgin olive oil contains numerous compounds that exert potent anti-inflammatory actions.”
The anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil also extend to brain health and it’s known to help with depression and insomnia. Olive oil can help balance hormones and keep the neurotransmitters in the brain functioning well.
Other top anti-inflammation foods include broccoli, green leafy vegetables, blueberries, bok choi, pineapple, coconut oil, turmeric, ginger, wild salmon, beets, garlic, oysters, yogurt and other probiotic dairy foods. Enjoy a wide variety of them to reduce inflammation, increase overall health, and ensure a good, sound sleep.
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, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
News from ScienceDaily .com
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of Sleep Minerals II
Prior research has shown not getting enough sleep can impact your weight, but new research from Brigham Young University in Utah finds the consistency of your bed time and wake time can also influence body fat.
Exercise science professor Bruce Bailey studied more than 300 women from two major Western U.S. universities over the course of several weeks and found that those with the best sleeping habits had healthier weights.
The main findings from the study, published online in the American Journal of Health Promotion revealed that a consistent bed time and, especially, a consistent wake time are related to lower body fat. Getting less than 6.5 or more than 8.5 hours of sleep per night is associated with higher body fat. Quality of sleep is important for body composition.
Women in the study were first assessed for body composition, and then were given an activity tracker to record their movements during the day and their sleep patterns at night. Researchers tracked sleep patterns of the participants for one week.
The most surprising finding from the study, according to the researchers, was the link between bed time and wake time consistency and body weight. Study participants who went to bed and woke up at, or around the same time each day had lower body fat. Those with more than 90 minutes of variation in sleep and wake time during the week had higher body fat than those with less than 60 minutes of variation.
Wake time was particularly linked to body fat: Those who woke up at the same time each morning had lower body fat. Staying up late and even sleeping in may be doing more harm than good, professor Bailey said.
“We have these internal clocks and throwing them off and not allowing them to get into a pattern does have an impact on our physiology,” Bailey said. Bailey related consistent sleep patterns to having good sleep practices. When sleep practices are altered, it can influence physical activity patterns, and affect some of the hormones related to food consumption contributing to excess body fat.
Bailey and his team also found there was a sweet spot for amount of sleep: Those who slept between 8 and 8.5 hours per night had the lowest body fat. Sleep quality also proved to have a strong relationship to body fat. Sleep quality is a measure of how effective sleep is, or how much time spent in bed is spent sleeping. Those who had better sleep quality had lower body fat.
To improve sleep quality Bailey recommends exercising, keeping the temperature in the room cool, having a quiet room, having a dark room, and using beds only for sleeping.
A note from Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Sleep Minerals II. The minerals calcium and magnesium are also well-known remedies for insomnia and increasing the quality and quantity of sleep. Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of these minerals and is effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia.
K. C. of Homer, New York says: “I am writing to you a true believer of Sleep Minerals II. I never write product reviews…. good or bad. I had originally ordered the sleep minerals product and thought I would give it a try. Well I had given it to the entire family. We ran out of it and I really thought it wasn’t working. I quickly realized within a couple nights that without them the entire household was not falling asleep as easily as they were before! So I immediately ordered more.”
In summary, to have a shapelier figure, aim for getting 8 to 8 1/2 hours of sleep a night and for waking up at the same time each morning. And support yourself in this quest with the highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium in Sleep Minerals II.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost six out of ten Americans report having insomnia and sleep problems at least a few nights a week. There are some special sleep-inducing foods and minerals that have been shown to have a calming effect on restless sleep.
Some of the types of insomnia include sleep apnea, which involves interrupted breathing and snoring during the night; insomnia from hormone fluctuations such as with menstruation or menopause; restless leg syndrome, which causes sensations in the legs such as creeping, crawling, pulling, or painful; and insomnia from the use of medications, caffeine or alcohol.
Natural minerals such as potassium and calcium have been shown to have beneficial effects on the quality of sleep. One recent study from the Journal “Sleep” researched the effects of potassium supplements on sleep quality. The researchers gathered data from wrist monitors and notes made in sleep diaries. Normal young males on a low-potassium diet participated in the study. After one week of taking potassium supplements, there were significant improvements in their quality of sleep and less waking up during the night.
One of the healthiest, highest sources of potassium is the banana, which contains 400 milligrams. Eating a banana before bedtime may help reduce nighttime awakenings and provide better, deeper sleep. A banana can also be eaten in the middle of the night to help one get back to sleep.
Here is a list of some other high-potassium foods; courtesy of the Linus Pauling Institute:
Calcium is also 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.
William 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.”
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 absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Kimberly B. of Troy, Michigan says: “I have been taking Sleep Minerals II for about a month now. I have tried everything out there and this supplement is amazing. I have suffered with insomnia for 2 1/2 years. I have also had restless leg syndrome my entire life and this is the first relief I’ve ever had…gone for a month now.”
Make good use of natural minerals and sleep inducing foods as your first line of defense against insomnia.
Sometimes just taking a drink of pure, fresh water can lighten our spirit and improve our health. Hydration means to supply with ample fluid or moisture. Studies are finding that being well-hydrated with water can assist with weight loss, help relieve fatigue and migraines, and improve mood and concentration.
Water is vital to life and ranges from 75% of body weight in infants to 55% of body weight in the elderly. The more water we drink, the better it circulates through the body, bringing essential nutrients and vitamins to places they are needed and flushing out toxins.
Water provides its health benefits without calories or sugar and actually comes in many forms such as spring water, carbonated water, mineral water, distilled water and well water. It is present in soups, stews, and teas, and is found within the most beneficial of all foods: vegetables and fruits.
Water is gaining attention for its ability to be an appetite-controller that has no side effects, costs very little and requires no prescription. In a study from the American Chemical Society, participants aged 55 to 75 all ate a low-calorie diet during the study. They were divided into two groups — one of the two groups drank 2 cups of water prior to their meals and the other didn’t. Over the course of the 12-week study, the water-drinkers lost five more pounds than the non-water drinkers.
Researchers from the Netherlands set out to prove the common notion that dehydration is considered to result in headaches and they studied 18 patients with migraine headaches. One group was given a placebo and the other was instructed to increase their daily intake of water. In the group that increased their intake of water by a quart a day, the total overall hours of headache were reduced by 21 hours in 2 weeks.
An easy way to increase the water intake is to fill a container with a quart of water and bring it along to drink throughout the day. Avoid tap water and use the filtered, spring or distilled varieties. Eating more raw fruits and vegetables is another key strategy; not only because of their high water content, but because of the plant chemicals they contain. Known as “phytochemicals”, these active nutrients provide the colors of the plants and give benefits to the heart, eyes, hormones and more.
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural sleep aid featuring calcium and magnesium Sleep Minerals II, and Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, hair growth, allergies and more energy.
By Kris Gunnars, CEO and Founder of Authority Nutrition, BSc (Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine)
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II **************************************
Sleep is highly underrated.
It is one of the “pillars” of optimal health… just as important as diet and exercise.
Poor sleep is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression. It is also one of the strongest risk factors for obesity.
The problem is that humans are sleeping much less than they did in the past.
But that’s not the end of it, unfortunately… the quality of our sleep has suffered as well.
It turns out that perhaps the single biggest contributor to our collective sleep problems, is the use of artificial lighting and electronics at night.
These devices emit light of a blue wavelength, which tricks our brains into thinking that it is daytime.
Numerous studies suggest that blue light in the evening disrupts the brain’s natural sleep-wake cycles, which are crucial for optimal function of the body.
Fortunately, this problem has a simple solution and there are a few actionable steps you can take to get rid of that blue light in the evening, potentially improving your health at the same time.
Let me explain how that works…
Blue Light is Crucial in The Daytime… But a Disaster at Night
Our bodies have an internal “clock” that is situated in the brain.
This clock regulates our circadian rhythm, the 24-hour biological cycle that influences many internal functions
Most importantly, it determines when our bodies are primed to stay awake and be productive, and when we feel tired and want to go to sleep.
The circadian rhythm isn’t 100% accurate. Sometimes it is a bit longer than 24 hours, sometimes a bit shorter.
For this reason, it needs signals from the external environment in order to adjust itself. The most important signals that adjust this internal clock are daylight and darkness.
This actually makes perfect sense… throughout evolution, brightness meant that it was daytime and that we should be awake and get stuff done, while darkness meant that it was time to sleep and recover.
But not all light is equal, it is primarily light of a blue wavelength (blue light) that stimulates sensors in the eye to send signals to the brain’s internal clock.
Keep in mind that sunlight and white light contain a mixture of various wavelengths. There is a lot of blue light within.
Getting blue light (especially from the sun) in the daytime is very important. It helps us to stay alert, while improving performance and mood.
There has even been some success using blue light therapy devices to treat depression, and blue light bulbs in an office can reduce fatigue and improve the mood, performance and sleep of workers.
But even though blue light is incredibly beneficial during the day, it can be a complete disaster if we are exposed to it in the evening.
The problem is that modern light bulbs and electronic devices (especially computer monitors), also produce large amounts of blue light and “trick” our brains into thinking that it is daytime.
When it gets dark in the evening, a part of the brain called the pineal gland secretes the hormone melatonin, which signals to our bodies and brains that it is time to get tired and go to sleep.
Blue light, whether from the sun or a laptop, is very effective at inhibiting melatonin production.
This means that our bodies don’t get the proper signal that it’s time to go to sleep, reducing both the quantity and quality of our sleep.
Studies have linked melatonin suppression in the evening to various health problems, including metabolic syndrome, obesity and cancer, as well as mental disorders like depression.
Many have speculated that melatonin-disrupting blue light may be one of the key drivers behind obesity and many of the chronic diseases that are so common today.
However… indoor lighting and electronic devices are a major part of the modern lifestyle and they aren’t going away anytime soon.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to block blue light from entering your eyes and disrupting the natural sleep-wake cycle.
Bottom Line: Blue light in the evening tricks the brain into thinking that it is daytime, which inhibits the production of melatonin and reduces both the quantity and quality of sleep.
Using Blue-Blocking Glasses at Night is a Simple Way to Solve This Problem
The easiest and most effective way to avoid blue light in the evening, is to use amber-colored glasses.
These glasses effectively block all blue light, so your brain doesn’t get the signal that it is supposed to stay awake.
Studies show that when people use blue-blocking glasses, even in a lit room or using an electronic device, they produce just as much melatonin as if it were dark.
In one study, people’s melatonin levels in the evening were compared during three different lighting conditions.
Bright light with blue-blocking glasses.
The graph below shows what happened to a typical subject’s melatonin levels…
As you can see, the bright light almost completely suppressed melatonin production, while the dim light did not.
But the people wearing the blue-blocking glasses produced the same amount of melatonin as those being exposed to the dim light. The glasses almost completely blocked the melatonin suppressing effect of the bright light.
Now to the fun part… not only have blue-blocking glasses been shown to increase melatonin, studies also suggest that they can cause major improvements in sleep and mental performance.
In one study, 20 individuals were randomized to use either blue blocking glasses, or glasses that didn’t block blue light, for 3 hours before bedtime. The study went on for two weeks.
The subjects using the blue-blocking glasses had major improvements in both sleep quality and mood.
These glasses have also been shown to greatly improve sleep in shift workers, when they put them on before bedtime.
There was also a study in elderly cataract patients, showing that blue-blocking lenses improved sleep and significantly reduced daytime dysfunction.
Overall, it seems pretty clear that using blue-blocking glasses in the evening is effective. Not only does it improve sleep, but it also improves mood and cognitive function.
Of course, this hasn’t been studied in a large, long-term study… but given the immense importance of sleep for health, it wouldn’t surprise me if these glasses could also help prevent chronic disease and lead to a longer life.
Bottom Line: Studies show that blue-blocking glasses increase melatonin production in the evening, leading to major improvements in sleep and mood.
Other Ways to Block Blue Light
If you don’t want to use these glasses every night, then there are a few other ways to reduce blue light exposure in the evening.
One popular way is to install a program called F.lux on your computer.
This program automatically adjusts the color and brightness of your screen based on your timezone. When it is dark outside, the program effectively blocks all blue light from your computer and gives the screen a faint orange color.
Although I’m not aware of any study on it, many people who use the computer a lot in the evening claim that this program helps them fall asleep.
There are a few other things you may want to consider:
Turn off all lights in your home 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Get a red or orange reading lamp, which doesn’t emit blue light. Candlelight works well too.
Keep your bedroom completely dark (highly recommended), or use a sleep mask.
It is also important to expose yourself to plenty of blue light during the day. If you can, go outside during the day and get some natural sunlight.
If that is not an option, consider using a blue light therapy device in the daytime. It is like a strong lamp that simulates the sun and bathes your face and eyes in blue light.
What to Expect
I have a long history of sleeping problems. It usually takes me at least an hour to fall asleep and I tend to wake up frequently throughout the night and feel poorly rested in the morning.
However… about a week ago, I purchased blue-blocking glasses from Amazon. I got the ones made by UVEX – they are cheap but get the job done.
I’ve set a reminder on my phone to always put them on at 8:30 pm. If I’m not home at that time, then I just put them on as soon as I get home in the evening.
After having them on for about 1-2 hours, I start feeling very relaxed and naturally tired.
Since I started using them, I’ve been falling asleep much faster and waking up refreshed in the morning. My mood has improved significantly and I’m finding it a lot easier to think and write.
I’ve personally tried a lot of different things in order to sleep better… but using blue-blocking glasses is by far the most effective sleep “hack” I have tried.
This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.
Who would’ve known that the red coloring matter in tomatoes is one of the most powerful natural medicines in existence?
The red color comes from a healthy plant chemical called lycopene. Lycopene is what makes the tomato a super-food — one that goes far beyond just providing something tasty to eat. Lycopene has been shown in studies from the Journal of Nutrition to help protect against heart disease, lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation for a stronger immune system.
Interestingly, a new study has shown that the same traits of tomato juice that can cause these internal health improvements can also enhance one’s appearance by inducing a lower body weight and a thinner waistline.
There are unlimited health benefits from eating all kinds of vegetables and fruits including preventing diabetes, lowering the risk of all types of cancers, strengthening the heart, balancing hormones, smoothing the skin and increasing energy. They are nature’s finest natural remedies.
Lycopene gives the red color to watermelons, pink grapefruits and tomatoes. Spinach, corn and avocado contain the yellow and green shades supplied by lutein which supports good eye health. Grapes and blueberries contain the blue and purple pigments known to benefit everything from memory to arthritis.
The new study on tomato juice comes from the China Medical University in Taiwan. Researchers found that a daily glass of tomato juice taken by women for two months resulted in significantly decreased body fat and body weight, as well as a smaller waist circumference and lower cholesterol. The subjects continued with their normal diet and exercise and made no changes other than drinking one nine ounce glass of tomato juice each day.
The women were divided into two groups: Those that had a reduction in body fat from the tomato juice and those that didn’t. One point that was highlighted by the study is that regardless of whether there was a loss of body fat, the tomato juice still induced a reduction in waist circumference, lowered cholesterol levels, reduced inflammation, and increased lycopene levels in each person. Adding a simple glass of tomato juice daily can do wonders for one’s health.
Calcium is another natural substance that surprisingly has been studied for its beneficial effects on weight loss. This famous mineral is best known providing a calmer, deeper sleep and for strengthening bones and muscles.
According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition called Calcium Intake and Reduction in Weight or Fat Mass, the researchers say: “The impact of calcium intake on weight loss or prevention of weight gain has been demonstrated in a wide age range of Caucasian and African-Americans of both genders…. The implications of these results are that calcium may play a substantial contributing role in reducing the incidence of obesity.”
One calcium-based supplement shown to be effective for insomnia is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This formula contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, menopause insomnia, teenage insomnia, heart health, restless legs syndrome and bone strength.
Wendy R. of Honolulu, Hawaii says: “My friends know that I’ve had chronic insomnia for a long time. Surprisingly, I received the Sleep Minerals II and began taking it and found out this thing really works. 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. I am actually beginning to sleep like an adult — a much-rested adult.”
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs. Since 2001 Nutrition Breakthroughs has provided natural health articles and effective natural remedies. Their mission is to provide nutritional supplements that get results and help people to avoid drugs and their side effects.
For more information on Sleep Minerals II visit this page.