Yogurt and Acidophilus: The Top 10 Major Health Benefits

Greetings to you,

There is an informative chart below with the top 10 health benefits of yogurt and acidophilus. These include improving digestion, reducing the risk of diabetes, assisting weight loss, reducing cholesterol and stimulating a stronger immune system.

One study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming yogurt or the beneficial bacteria from it, has promising health benefits for many conditions and increases immunity. Some of these include constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, stomach bacteria infections and allergies.

A study on yogurt was published in the journal called “Archives of Osteoporosis”. It reviewed the ability of yogurt to strengthen bones and found that milk and yogurt are the best dairy choices for increasing bone mineral density in the hip.

Yogurt is a boost to weight loss. A healthy supplement similar to the acidophilus used in yogurt was recently found in a Canadian study to help overweight women lose weight and keep it off.  It was discovered that the supplement made the intestinal wall stronger and more able to prevent inflammatory, obesity-causing substances from passing into the intestine and entering the bloodstream.

Yogurt is great for strengthening and boosting one’s immunity against infection and illness per studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  In particular, yogurt with the Lactobacillus bulgaricus form has been shown to reduce the frequency of colds in older adults after they ate it over a twelve-week period.

This news is shared with you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of natural health articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural 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.

Yogurt benefitsNutrition Breakthroughs.com

Chart: 8 Hand Exercises to Relieve Arthritis Pain, Plus Natural Remedies

Greetings to you,

There is a very helpful chart below that contains hand exercises for easing and relieving arthritis pain.  These movements can also be of assistance with wrist soreness and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Some other good tips for managing arthritis and reducing pain would be to do some regular gentle physical exercise such as taking light walks or swimming, getting a good night’s sleep each night, and taking fish oil supplements and MSM to reduce inflammation and soreness.

Ginger for Arthritis

Arthritis causes pain, swelling, and reduced motion in joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects the hands, knees, hips or spine.

A recent study published in the journal “Arthritis” found that a standardized ginger extract is as effective as the anti-inflammatory drug betamethasone for all types of arthritis, but without the many side effects the drug is known for (fluid accumulation, nausea, adrenal gland suppression, insomnia and depression).

Studies on MSM for Arthritis

Sulfur-containing compounds such as MSM hold great promise for people with joint-cartilage problems. It has been shown in studies to remedy arthritis and provide relief.  Sulfur is particularly concentrated in the joints, nails, skin, hair and connective tissues.

MSM sulfur is a white, water-soluble element found in nature and in foods such as milk, fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat. Food processing methods such as heating, washing and freezing all deplete MSM in foods, making regular replenishment beneficial.

In one study of MSM, University of California School of Medicine professor Ronald Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D., followed 16 patients with degenerative arthritis – a form of joint disease. The patients who took MSM daily for six weeks reported an 80 percent reduction in pain. Dr. Lawrence has also conducted studies showing that MSM increases hair growth and brilliance, as well as nail thickness and length.

This health information is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II, and the natural solution for arthritis, joint relief, pain relief and increased energy that contains natural MSM, Joints and More.
Enjoy the chart below and put it to good use!

Arthritis hand exercisesNutrition Breakthroughs.com

 

Healthy Fruits to Eat Plus Top Sleep Foods Cherries and Bananas

Greetings to you,

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.


How Vitamin D Rich Foods May Help Remedy Insomnia

vitamin d foods for sleepDo 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:

  • Indoor lifestyle
  • Sunblock use
  • Avoidance of mid-day sun exposure
  • Lack of supplement use
  • Imbalanced diet
  • Obesity

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Eggs offer another beneficial source of vitamin D3. They generally contain about 40 IU per yoke.
  5. 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.

Final thoughts

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.

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Effective Natural Remedies as Counterparts to Drugs

natural remediesGreetings to you,

There is a great handy chart below that contains some of the top natural remedies.  These are well-known healthy counterparts for many common medications.  Add these powerhouse foods to your diet for any of the conditions shown.

One example of a natural health remedy is curcumin, the potent base nutrient of the spice turmeric.  Research from the journal “Foods” has shown that curcumin can help in the management of inflammatory conditions, metabolic symptoms, arthritis, anxiety, muscle soreness and high blood pressure.

Regarding high blood sugar, the Journal of Diabetes Investigation discovered that “A higher intake of fruit, especially berries, green leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables or their fiber, is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Raw tomatoes may be one of the best remedies for high cholesterol.  One study from Mexico found that fourteen servings of raw tomato per week for one month, resulted in a favorable effect on cholesterol levels in overweight women.

This news is provided to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy with calcium and magnesium Sleep Minerals II, and Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Enjoy the chart below and put it to good use.

Here’s to your health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
Toll-Free U.S. (888) 861-0326
International (818) 913-4308

Brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs.

Proven Natural Remedies for Sinuses, Colds and Flus

Greetings,

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.

natural sinus and cold remediesThis 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.

How to Use Vitamin E to Battle Aging Skin, Increase Smoothness

vitamin e foodsBy Jacqueline Reilly

The famous vitamin E is renowned for combating aging by keeping joint degeneration at bay and increasing eye and heart health. What is not so well known is that vitamin E can help aging skin to retain its smoothness, moisture and beauty.

Research from the World Congress of Public Health and Nutrition reports that more than 90% of Americans fall below the daily recommended amount of vitamin E.  The recommended daily allowances are provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and for vitamin E it’s 15 milligrams per day.

The secret to vitamin E’s importance for both internal health and external beauty is similar to that of the other antioxidant vitamins (A and C) — their ability to undo the “free radical” damage that causes skin to develop lines and lose elasticity and firmness.

Free radicals are damaging molecules that come from a reaction of oxygen inside the body.  They come from pollution, smoke, medications, infection, stress, toxic chemicals, a poor diet, and also as a byproduct of normal digestion and metabolism.

“Anti-oxidants (or anti oxygen substances) such as vitamins E, C and A can help to defend the body against free radical damage and repair it.  These nutrients can assist to create skin that is firm and luminous, and incorporating both nutritional and topical approaches can be of benefit.

Topical Vitamin E in Dermatology

Vitamin E is a popular skin treatment because of its ability to stop reactive oxygen molecules from altering the formation of collagen.  Collagen is the main protein in connective tissue, bone and other key tissues in the body.  Vitamin E also maintains the elasticity in cellular spaces that provide the balance necessary to preserve skin moisture.

A dramatic example of vitamin E’s effectiveness for skin health comes from a study done at Ohio State University.  Scientists there found that one particular form of Vitamin E called ‘tocotrienol’ could significantly reduce the amount of damage caused by burns. They concluded that “This model (research) shows that if the level of tocotrienol in the skin is increased five-fold within the first six to twelve hours after a burn, subsequent burn damage will be reduced by at least 50 percent.”

Topical Vitamins Can Boost Beautiful Skin

In addition to Vitamin E, Vitamins C and A are also used in modern skincare to boost skin health and smoothness. In fact, all three vitamins work together to promote the production of collagen. As noted by Leslie Kenton in her best-selling book “The Skin Revolution”, Vitamin C is essential and plays an important role in a transformation in your skin cells, taking up the important amino acid, proline, and using it to make new collagen.”

salad with vitamin eDoes Diet Matter?

What a person eats can have a great affect on their skin’s appearance.  It is important to consume an antioxidant-rich diet to ensure the cells are well guarded against the ravaging effects of free radicals. Avoid refined ingredients such as white flour and sugar, which cause the collagen fibers (which should be present in tidy bundles) to tangle and become crossed up.  The result can be lines, wrinkles and aging skin.

A diet featuring quality proteins like fish and grass-fed meats, seasonal vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats such as olive oil, is recommended for its richness in the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E. 

Boosting Your Vitamin E Intake

Foods which contain good amounts of Vitamin E include nuts, seeds, avocado, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, butternut squash, olive oil, trout and kiwi fruit. Try if possible to buy organic fruits and vegetables, since recent studies have shown they contain significantly higher levels of antioxidants than conventionally grown produce. They also contain less heavy metals, and since they are pesticide-free, they help reduce the skin’s toxic burden.

Vitamin E can be a great part of one’s skincare routine, and there are an abundance of skincare products in natural food stores that contain this fat-soluble powerhouse. Combine a nutritional approach with a daily skincare routine, to give the skin all the nutrients it needs to glow from within. If a person has very sensitive skin, it’s possible that topical vitamins in skincare products can be an irritant.  In this case, test a small amount of any product and wait several hours before using it liberally.  For all the beautifying benefits it provides, be sure to add vitamin E-rich foods to your diet.

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 and nails and more energy.

Menopause Hot Flashes Improved by Evening Primrose Oil and Minerals

evening primrose oil helps hot flashesEvening primrose oil comes from the seeds of a yellow wildflower that grows throughout the United States.

In a study from the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, researchers tested the effect of evening primrose oil on 56 menopausal women aged 45 to 59 with hot flashes.

The women were given two capsules per day of evening primrose oil (500 mg per capsule) for a continuous 6 weeks.  The results showed there was a 42% improvement in the severity of hot flashes, as well as beneficial improvements in their life activities.

Mineral supplements such as magnesium and calcium are also of good benefit to menopausal women with hot flashes and night sweats.  One example is a 2011 study from the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System.  Women with at least 14 hot flashes a week received 400 milligrams of magnesium oxide for 4 weeks, increasing to 800 mg. per day if needed.  At the end of the study, the magnesium supplements had reduced their frequency of hot flashes from 52 to 28 per week, a 41.4% reduction.  Fatigue, sweating, and distress were also significantly reduced.

One insomnia remedy that also helps with hot flashes and night sweats and is increasing in popularity among women in menopause 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 heart health, restless legs syndrome, bone strength, and menopause insomnia.

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.”

Valerie H. of Santa Clarita, California says: “I had such severe menopause insomnia it took me hours to fall asleep even though I was extremely tired.  My legs also had crawling and tingling feelings at night. I got the Sleep Minerals and after several days, it started to work really well. I fall asleep now within 20 minutes and no more restless legs.”

Natural menopause remedies are a healthier option for women with hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia.  For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

High-Fiber Foods Can Provide Long-Lasting Health Benefits

SaladBy Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine
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Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
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Story At-A-Glance:

* National fiber recommendations call for a daily fiber intake of 30 to 38 grams a day for men, 25 grams a day for women between 18 to 50, and 21 grams a day for women 51 years and older. (Here’s a quick fiber reference from Nutrition Breakthroughs – One cup of cooked peas has 9 grams of fiber, an artichoke has 10, a cup of raspberries has 8 and half an avocado has 7).

* Epidemiology is the scientific study of the causes, spread, and containment of diseases within a population. A 2015 American Journal of Epidemiology study revealed that all-cause mortality was reduced by 10 percent for every 10 grams of fiber that a person added to their overall fiber intake.

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The body needs a combination of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to sustain its overall function, improve and support organs and systems, and prevent infections and diseases. Fiber is one of the most recommended nutrients, which is not at all surprising, since research has linked it with positive impacts towards different body parts, such as the gut, digestive system, brain and heart.

Unfortunately, many people around the world are consuming inadequate amounts of fiber, unaware of the potential health consequences if their body’s levels are too low.

What Is Fiber?

Dietary fiber is a plant-based nutrient that provides crucial health benefits. Sometimes called roughage or bulk, fiber is a carbohydrate that cannot be broken down into digestible sugar molecules. It usually passes through the body’s intestinal tract relatively intact, and can be categorized into:

Soluble fiber: This dissolves in water and then becomes a gel-like substance. Examples include gum, pectins, beta-glucans and mucilage.

Insoluble fiber:When it enters the body, this type of fiber retains its shape and doesn’t dissolve. Known insoluble fibers include hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin.

Why a High-Fiber Diet Matters

Both soluble and insoluble fiber are linked to valuable health benefits:

Helps optimize cholesterol levels by preventing some dietary cholesterol from being broken down and digested Slows down the rate at which nutrients are digested Aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels and preventing spikes in blood sugar levels
Helps diabetes patients by altering hormonal signals, slowing down nutrient absorption and altering fermentation that occurs in the large intestine Helps feed good bacteria in your gut Lessens the amount of time food spends in your colon and assists with eliminating it
Boosts skin health by moving yeast and fungi out of the body, preventing them from being excreted through the skin where they can cause acne or rashes Promotes satiety and weight loss, since once microbes in your gut digest fiber, a short-chain fatty acid called acetate is released and travels from the gut to the hypothalamus in the brain to signal you to stop eating Improves your sleep-wake cycles,as dietary prebiotics in fiber-rich foods have provided a significant effect on rapid-eye-movement (REM) and non-rapid-eye-movement sleep cycles

A high-fiber diet can also play a role in:

Reducing risk for obesity, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, gallstones and kidney stones

Helping prevent leaky gut and constipation by absorbing fluid once it reaches the intestinal tract, allowing byproducts to stick to it

Providing relief from irritable bowel syndrome

A 2015 American Journal of Epidemiology study also revealed that a 10 percent reduced risk for all-cause mortality was recorded for every 10 grams of fiber you add to your overall fiber intake.

Some fiber-rich foods can further improve gut health by providing digestive-resistant starch. What makes this type of fiber special is its potential for fermentation in the large intestine. Resistant starches are able to feed healthy bacteria, act as prebiotics and bulk up bowel movements for easier elimination without making you feel bloated or gassy.

On the other hand, there are consequences linked to a low-fiber diet. Animal studies discovered that low-fiber diets trigger “waves of extinction” in the gut of mice, with the unhealthy gut potentially being passed on to the offspring. Each successive generation of offspring from the low-fiber group ended up with less bacterial diversity compared to their parents.

Plus, even after the mice were given high-fiber meals, the amount of good bacteria still remained low. This suggests a difficulty in repopulating certain good gut bacteria strains once they have been negatively impacted. Aside from depletion of healthy bacteria, consuming little to no fiber-rich foods can lead to:

Higher risk for constipation, hemorrhoids, and chronic and cardiovascular diseases

Weight gain

Increased cholesterol levels

How Many Grams of Fiber Should You Consume Per Day?

National fiber recommendations call for a daily fiber intake of 30 to 38 grams a day for men, 25 grams a day for women between 18 to 50 years old, and 21 grams a day for women 51 years old and above. However, my recommendation for an ideal fiber intake stands at 25 to 50 grams per 1,000 calories consumed, usually from fiber-rich foods. This amount may help boost your overall health and well-being.

Eat More of These High-Fiber Foods

To significantly raise your fiber intake, incorporate these high-fiber fruits and high-fiber vegetables into your meals. These can also double as high-fiber snacks you and your loved ones can munch on. Ten of the most notable fiber-rich foods to try include:

1. Split peas and green peas: Despite their small size, peas are a very good fiber source. Cooked split peas roughly contain 16.3 grams of fiber per cup, while cooked green peas have 8.8 grams of fiber per cup.

2. Artichokes: Fiber is one of the main nutrients in artichokes. A medium-sized cooked artichoke may deliver 10.3 grams of fiber.

3. Raspberries: A cup of these sweet antioxidant-rich berries has 8 grams of fiber.

4. Collard greens: Eating these low-calorie leafy greens can help raise your fiber intake, since a cup contains around 7.6 grams of fiber.

5. Blackberries: Another type of berries that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, a cup of blackberries has 7.6 grams of this nutrient.

6. Avocados: Avocados aren’t just a source of healthy fats that are vital for overall health. Half an avocado typically contains 6.7 grams of fiber.

7. Pears: A medium-sized pear has 5.5 grams of fiber, alongside phytonutrients like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

8. Spinach (with the leaves intact): Spinach is another fiber-rich leafy green – just one cup may provide you with 4.32 grams of the said nutrient.

9. Brussels sprouts: One cup of boiled Brussels sprouts can deliver around 4.1 grams of fiber.

10. Flaxseeds: These seeds have an impressive fiber content, with 2 tablespoons having roughly 3.82 grams of fiber.

You can also count on these high-fiber fruits and vegetables to deliver some amounts of this nutrient:

High-Fiber Fruits

Berries like strawberries, elderberries,cranberries and loganberries Stewed prunes
Dried figs or dates Apples with the skin intact
Bananas Oranges
Nectarines Grapefruits
Persimmons Tamarillos
Pomegranates Tomatoes
Kiwis

High-Fiber Vegetables

Broccoli Cauliflower
Pumpkins Onions
Sweet potatoes Jicama
Green beans Chicory root
Beetroot Fennel bulb
Shallots Savoy cabbage
Turnip greens, beet greens and mustard greens Summer and winter squash
Swiss chard Asparagus
Kale Fennel
Eggplant Chili peppers
Bell peppers Bok choy

Other fiber-rich foods include burdock root, tempeh, seaweed, couscous, cinnamon, cloves, hemp and chia seeds, and nuts like almonds, pistachios and walnuts. When buying fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, pick those that are fresh, organically grown and GMO-free, so you may be able to reap other nutrients and benefits these foods have to offer and avoid side effects linked to substances like pesticides and herbicides sprayed on conventionally grown crops.

Organic whole psyllium husk is also a good fiber source. When it interacts with water in your body, it swells and develops into a gelatin-like mass that helps move waste throughout the intestinal tract.  However, since some psyllium crops are sprayed with the mentioned substances, it’s best to purchase this fiber source organic, so you can avoid health risks.

Lastly, when eating fiber-rich fruits, do so in moderation because these may contain a type of sugar called fructose, which can negatively impact your health when consumed in excess.

Take Note of These Low-Fiber Foods

Some foods have been promoted to be a notable fiber source, when in reality, they actually contain low amounts of this nutrient. As much as possible, limit or entirely avoid your consumption of these low-fiber foods:

White bread without nuts and seeds White rice, plain white pasta and crackers Refined hot cereals or cold cereals with less than a gram of fiber per serving
Pancakes or waffles made from white refined flour Fruit and vegetable juice with little or no pulp Fruit-flavored drinks and flavored waters

Meanwhile, there are foods that are low in fiber, but provide other exceptional nutrients. These include grass fed meat, free range poultry, raw dairy, eggs and wild-caught seafood. Take note of these nutrient-rich but low-fiber fruits and vegetables too:

Low-Fiber Fruits Low-Fiber Vegetables
Cantaloupe Carrots
Honeydew melon String beans
Watermelon Lettuce
Papaya (if ripe) Acorn squash without seeds
Peaches
Plums

These low-fiber foods contain other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body may benefit from, so make sure to still add them to your meals. Eating various fruits and vegetables greatly helps with balancing the amount of various nutrients (fiber included) in the body.

The Drawbacks of Eating Too Much Fiber

Believe it or not, there may be negative impacts linked to consuming too much fiber. Some side effects can occur if you increase your fiber intake very quickly, namely:

Bloating Abdominal pain
Flatulence Loose stools or diarrhea
Constipation Temporary weight gain
Intestinal blockage in people with Crohn’s disease Reduced blood sugar levels

If you or someone you know experiences nausea, vomiting, high-temperature fever or a complete inability to pass gas or stool after consuming fiber-rich foods or fiber supplements, contact a doctor immediately.

Are Fiber Supplements Worth It?

Fiber supplements may sometimes be recommended to help you add more fiber to your system. However, if you’re consuming a well-balanced, fiber-rich diet, then there may be little need for you to rely on these supplements. In fact, fiber supplements shouldn’t be considered alternatives to high-fiber foods.

Ideally, before taking fiber supplements, talk to your doctor first. If you have been given the go signal, drink at least 8 ounces of high-quality filtered water alongside the supplements. Generally, you can take these on a full or empty stomach. Don’t forget to drink more water during the day to prevent constipation, and avoid taking supplements before bedtime.

For people who were prescribed medicines because of certain conditions, it’s recommended that you take these at least an hour before taking fiber supplements, or between two to four hours after taking a fiber supplement. Fiber pills like psyllium husk supplements should be avoided altogether by people taking these medicines because of possible side effects:

Tricyclic antidepressants

Cholesterol-lowering medicines called bile acid sequestrants

Diabetes medications

Digoxin

Lithium

For Optimal Health and Well-Being, Consume Fiber-Rich Foods Today

Unless you consume more fiber than what your body actually needs, a high-fiber diet can be a win-win situation because of its well-researched links towards health improvement and against certain diseases. Purchasing fruits and vegetables high in fiber is a simple but potent way to improve your health at a fraction of the cost, without burning a hole in your pocket. Take note of the strategies above and strive to meet your recommended daily intake of fiber.

This article is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium,
magnesium and vitamin D based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.

New Research: Vitamin E Prevents Muscle Loss With Aging

vitamin e foodsA study from the journal “Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity” has demonstrated that vitamin E can prevent and treat the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs as people age.  This loss of muscle is known as “sarcopenia”.

Regarding the word “oxidative” that is included in the journal name, this refers to the process in our bodies where we process the oxygen we breathe in, and our cells produce energy from it.

This process can become imbalanced and create a state of “oxidative stress” if we don’t consume enough “anti” oxidants such as vitamins E, C and A.  Besides the body’s own natural metabolism functions, sources of oxidative stress can include pollution, medications or drugs, smoke, infection, stress, toxins, or a poor diet.

The researchers explain that vitamin E creates healthy muscles because a reduced level of vitamin E or a deficiency in the body is associated with an increased risk of muscle atrophy (shrinkage).  The vitamin can prevent muscle damage and encourage muscle regeneration.

Muscles in the body are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage as these are the site of the highest consumption of oxygen. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that greatly boosts cellular antioxidant capacity.  Because of this, vitamin E can be beneficial for preventing the effects of aging and for also treating infections, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and neurological disorders.

Several studies have demonstrated an association between vitamin E levels and the amount of muscle strength or weakness.  One study in Italy was done with 1,156 participants between 65 years old and 102.  Knee extension strength tests showed that a daily intake of vitamin E is significantly related to a person’s total physical performance and strength.

Another group of scientists proved the beneficial effects of vitamin E in reversing muscle damage during extensive exercise in men.  The men took 800 units of Vitamin E daily for 28 days.  After a downhill run, their oxidative stress indicators were measured and were shown to be markedly reduced in both the older and younger men.

Vitamin E has many pathways by which it brings its beneficial health effects.  In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, it is also an effective anti-inflammatory vitamin.  It may halt the overall inflammation in the body by suppressing certain reactive cells of the immune system.  These inflammatory responses and cells have a direct affect on muscle strength and mass as well, so vitamin E does its good deeds in benefiting the muscles in this additional way.

Inactivity and immobility can lead to muscle wasting, so the researchers highly encourage low intensity exercises as an effective means to increase muscle strength and performance.  This may include walking, lifting light weights, doing squats, etc.  This also increases a person’s ability to balance and control the body well.  Combining a healthy diet with nutrition supplements and exercise is the most highly recommended approach to improved muscle strength.

Vitamin E has also been shown to ease arthritis pain and stiffness.  One study showed that pain parameters were significantly decreased after vitamin E treatment when compared with placebo.

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.