Diabetes Prevention: Study Finds Specific Fruits are Remedies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 3 Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Better Sleep, Good Health

Olive oil anti inflammatoryInflammation 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.

Walnuts

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.”

Olive oil

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.

New Insomnia Chart, Best Sleep Aids, Tips for Good Sleep

Sleep better with Sleep Minerals II*********************************
This article is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
*********************************
Greetings to you,

Included at the bottom of this article on natural sleep remedies is an informative new chart from the National Sleep Foundation.  It contains some interesting statistics on sleep and insomnia, as well as the common causes.  Insomnia is defined as the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, return to sleep, or can include all of these.  When someone experiences insomnia for at least three nights per week for at least three months, it is considered “chronic insomnia”.

Forty million Americans experience insomnia each year and there is an increased prevalence of insomnia in women and older adults.  It can be caused by stress, anxiety, depression, or major life changes such as with jobs or relationships.  Other causes of sleeplessness include various medical conditions or poor sleep habits such as going to bed too late, consuming caffeine too late in the day, or using computers or cell phones too close to bed time.

Many natural sleep remedies are making the news headlines lately, with research and studies discovering ones that are drug-free and effective.  For example, one study called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium”, found that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency causes difficulty with falling asleep.

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

Walking has been shown to help with insomnia. Studies at the University of Arizona found that walking more than six blocks a day at a normal pace significantly improves sleep at night for women.  Scientists suspect that this exercise helps set our biological clock into a consistent wake/sleep pattern, or that it may boost the brain’s production of melatonin, a chemical in the brain that’s produced at night time and encourages good sleep.

Tart cherry juice is another proven natural sleep remedy. In a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that drinking tart Montmorency cherry juice results in significant sleep improvements such as longer overall sleep time, less daytime napping, and increased overall sleep efficiency (the ratio of the time spent in bed to the time spent sleeping).  The researchers credited the benefits of cherry juice to its high natural melatonin content.

A handful of walnuts with dinner or in the evening can also improve sleep.  Russel Reiter, Ph.D., a professor of cellular biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center 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 stress in the body and also keep the heart healthy.”

Natural remedies can be a strong force in the fight against insomnia.  Those with sleeping problems are encouraged to seek out and try ones that may assist them to get a regular good night’s sleep.

Here is the insomnia chart:

Insomnia chart national slep foundationThis 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.

Pumpkin Seed Oil Found to Help Reverse Balding

Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids: Healthier Joints, Eyes, Heart

Fish Oil CapsulesEssential fatty acids are natural, healthy fats the body cannot make on its own:  hence the term “essential”.  These are called Omega 3 fats and Omega 6 fats.  Omega 3 fats are things like fish, fish oil, olive oil, avocado, seeds and green vegetables.  Recent research studies are finding these fats benefit the eyes, joints, heart, lungs, immunity and more.

Omega 6 fats include vegetable oils like safflower oil and corn oil, as well as mayonnaise, fried foods, dairy and beef.  Many people eat more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3’s and when the balance between the fats becomes imbalanced, many health problems can occur – particularly high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

One study of people with dry eyes was recently published in the journal “Cornea”.  They were given a daily dose of fish oil and flax oil.  At the end of the 90-day study, 70% of the participants with dry eye had no symptoms and also had an increase in tear production and volume.

In the journal “Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,” researchers analyzed several controlled trials of fish oil use for arthritis.  The trials showed a reduction in tender joint counts and a decreased use of anti-inflammatory drugs with fish oil supplementation.  An important research note was that anti-inflammatory drugs can adversely affect the heart.  Fish oil is known to have a direct, positive effect on the heart.

Here’s some more information on how to achieve good heart health from Dr. Joseph Mercola — a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine.  He says to: “Replace harmful vegetable oils and synthetic hydrogenated fats such as margarine with healthy fats, including olive oil, butter, avocado, pastured eggs and coconut oil (remember olive oil should be used cold only, and one should use coconut oil for cooking and baking).”

This natural health news is provided to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Sleep Vitamins and Remedies: Vitamin A Proven Beneficial

vitamin a sleepWhich vitamins and minerals are the most famous ones for their role in supporting good sleep?  These definitely would be calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.

For example, a study in the European Neurology Journal tested calcium levels in the blood during sleep and discovered that calcium peaks at a high point during the deepest levels of sleep such as the rapid eye movement phase (REM), when dreaming occurs.

Recent studies are showing that a lesser-known vitamin also plays a vital role in preventing insomnia – the eye strengthening Vitamin A.

With the National Sleep Foundation reporting that close to 60% of Americans are experiencing sleeplessness and insomnia at least a few nights per week, many people are spending a lot of time and energy searching for some effective, natural ways to sleep better.  One study on vitamin A that’s related to sleep was published in the PLOS Journal (Public Library of Science).

The researchers selected 2,459 adults aged 20 to 85.  They discovered that people who have lower blood levels of vitamin A have higher odds of having a shorter sleep duration (i.e. 5-6 hours per night), compared to those with more vitamin A having a better sleep duration (7-8 hours per night).

Vitamin A, long-known for its benefits to healthy eyes and vision, is also a key to helping regulate the sleep-wake cycle.  When light from the sun enters the eyes, it’s vitamin A that provides the middle step for the brain to then know it’s day and not night.  With adequate vitamin A in the eyes at night when it’s dark, one’s night vision will be strong – unless most of the vitamin A is used up for its light translation duties in the day time. If the eyes are weaker at night, this is a possible sign of vitamin A deficiency. When the vitamin A sunlight signal grows weaker, the body knows it’s nearing time to go to sleep.

The best ways to get adequate vitamin A is through whole foods – namely egg yolks, butter, vegetables with a green, yellow and orange color, liver and cod liver oil.  Vitamin A supplements are also an option, but are best taken as part of a diet that includes healthy sources of vitamin A, as well as good sources of other important vitamins and minerals.  Eating a healthy diet would include grass fed meats, poultry and fish, a rainbow of organic vegetables, and good fats like avocados, coconut oil and olive oil.

Another thing to consider for helping to prevent insomnia is reducing the use of electronics and TV at night or at least turning them off an hour before bed, in order to limit their melatonin-blocking effects. In an article from the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the researchers said: “Our study showed that a two-hour exposure to light from self-luminous electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about 22 percent.  Stimulating the human circadian (wake-sleep cycle) system to this level may affect sleep in those using the devices prior to bedtime.”

Magnesium has been shown in several studies to relieve insomnia. In one study from the University of Iran, people with insomnia were given magnesium tablets twice a day for eight weeks.  They experienced significant increases in quality sleep time, with less night time interruptions and fewer early morning awakenings.  Magnesium can be found in foods such as green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocados, figs, bananas, brown rice, and other nuts and seeds.  Magnesium supplements are a good option as well, particularly those containing magnesium citrate which is highly absorbable.

One supplement shown to have good results for insomnia is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  This formula contains highly absorbable forms of calcium citrate and magnesium citrate, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless legs syndrome, bone strength and menopause insomnia.  It also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Tammy M. of Meridian, Idaho says: “I was plagued with insomnia for five years and desperate for a breakthrough. Nothing has helped me more than Sleep Minerals — I*m so sold on them I could go door to door promoting them.  I*m 60 years old and have never slept so soundly.”

To sum it up, good strategies for sleeping well and avoiding insomnia include having some good sun exposure during the day, limiting use of electronic devices at night, doing some regular moderate exercise, eating a nutritious diet, and using some key supplements.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2001. 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.

Chart: 7 Signs of a Vitamin D Deficiency and Natural Remedies

Greetings to you,

I’ve included a health-enhancing chart below that gives the seven most common signs of vitamin D deficiency and also the top natural sources of vitamin D.  Here are some of the most recent studies done on vitamin D and its role in supporting good health:

1. Vitamin D and Insomnia: One study on vitamin D supplements for people with insomnia was published in the journal “Medical Hypothesis”. The researchers followed 1500 patients over a 2 year period. A consistent level of vitamin D3 was maintained in their blood over many months. This produced normal sleep in most of the participants, regardless of their type of sleep disorder.

2. Vitamin D and Muscle Strength: Researchers in Brazil conducted a research trial and at the conclusion, the women who received the placebo ended up having reduced muscle mass and muscle degeneration of 6.8%.  They also had twice as many falls as the vitamin D group.  On the other hand, the women who took the vitamin D supplement had a major increase in their muscle strength of over 25%.

3. Vitamin D and Autoimmune Disease: 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 of the vitamin is common in autoimmune disease – a disease where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. These include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.

4.Vitamin D Inhibits Inflammation: ScienceDaily reports that researchers have discovered specific molecular and cellular events by which vitamin D inhibits inflammation in the body. Conditions with chronic inflammation include asthma, ulcers, arthritis, gum disease and liver disease.

5. How to Increase Vitamin D Levels: The vitamin D council recommends exposing as much of the skin surfaces as possible to sunlight for around half the time it takes for the skin to turn pink and begin to burn.  For a fair, light skinned person, this could be fifteen minutes.  For a dark skinned person, this may take a couple hours. During this time, the body may produce 10,000 to 25,000 vitamin D units. If a person is unable to get adequate sun exposure, then taking a vitamin D3 supplement is encouraged.

Enjoy the vitamin D chart below.

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
Maker of Sleep Minerals II with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D

vitamin d deficiency signs - infographicThis natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2001. 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.