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.

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

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

Studies: Vitamin E Protects Muscles, Remedies Hot Flashes

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This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
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A study from the journal “Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity” (see definition for “oxidative” below), has demonstrated that vitamin E can prevent and treat the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs as people age. Vitamin E was also shown in recent research from “Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation” to be a natural alternative to estrogen therapy and an effective remedy for hot flashes and night sweats.

Regarding the word “oxidative”, 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 digestion and metabolism functions, other sources of oxidative stress can include pollution, medications or drugs, smoking, infection, stress, toxins or a poor diet.

The researchers from the journal of “Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity” explain that 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.

While vitamin E is famous for the health benefits it provides to glands, organs and the heart, it may not be generally known that vitamin E is a proven remedy for menopausal hot flashes and night sweats.

A hot flash, also called a hot flush, is a sudden unexpected feeling of warmth and often a breakout of sweat in the upper half of the body. These flashes occur with up to 80% of women around the time of menopause, and men can also have them due to a lessening of testosterone at middle age.  A night sweat is a “hot flash” that occurs in the night, often while one is sleeping, and can cause frequent awakenings.

Vitamin E was shown in a recent study from Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation to be a natural alternative to estrogen therapy and an effective remedy for hot flashes.  The researchers found there were significant statistical differences in the hot flash severity score after women took a 400 IU vitamin E (softgel cap) daily for 4 weeks.  They concluded that based on the trial, vitamin E brings relief and is a recommended hot flash treatment.

Adelle Davis, the first nutritionist to base her recommendations on science-based studies, says: “During the menopause the need for vitamin E soars ten to fifty times over that previously required. Hot flashes and night sweats often disappear when 50 to 500 units of vitamin E are taken daily, but they quickly recur should the vitamin be stopped.”

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

Regarding the need for calcium need at the time of menopause Davis says: “During the menopause, the lack of the ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) causes severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur. At these times, high amounts of calcium should be obtained and every step be taken to insure its absorption into the blood. When these precautions are taken and the diet is adequate in other respects, the woman at menopause usually loses her irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, insomnia, and mental depression.”

One supplement that contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  It is a proven remedy for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, and teenage insomnia. Sleep Minerals also contains vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form mixed with natural rice bran oil, making it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

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.”

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Ahh Chooo: Study Shows MSM Effective for Allergy Symptoms

MSM Remedies Seasonal AllergiesMSM is a natural mineral made of sulfur that has been shown in studies to relieve arthritis, headaches, back pain, and also contribute to stronger hair and nails. MSM is known as “Factor N”, for returning cells to normal.

A recent study from the Genesis Center for Integrative Medicine in Graham, Washington has found yet another benefit of MSM — it’s effectiveness for seasonal allergies and hay fever.

MSM sulfur is a white, odorless, water-soluble element found in nature and in foods such as milk, fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat. It is especially high in eggs, onions, garlic, asparagus and broccoli. When food is heated, washed, frozen or processed, it becomes depleted of its natural MSM stores — making supplementation beneficial.

Seasonal allergies affect more than 23 million Americans each year. Symptoms can include sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, coughing, itchy throat and fatigue. Side effects of antihistamines include drowsiness, and decongestants may result in insomnia or irritability. The goal of the MSM study was to evaluate whether a natural mineral can reduce allergy symptoms and to determine if it has any possible side effects.

The study was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Fifty-five patients with seasonal allergies were given MSM at 2,600 milligrams per day. The MSM use resulted in significantly reducing upper and total respiratory symptoms within 7 days. Lower respiratory symptoms were substantially improved by the third week. Few side effects were associated with the use of MSM and no patients dropped out of the study from any adverse reactions. In addition, by day 14 the energy levels of participants had increased considerably.

The researchers concluded that MSM supplementation of 2,600 mg/day for 30 days is an effective and “side-effect free” remedy in the reduction of seasonal allergy symptoms. An unforeseen and valuable benefit of MSM was a significant increase in energy. For this reason, it’s best to take MSM early in the day rather than in the afternoon or evening too close to bedtime.

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.

Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Joints and More, which contains pure organic MSM for allergy and asthma relief, arthritis and headache relief, increased energy, and stronger hair and nails. For more information, visit the Joints and More page.

Nutrition Breakthroughs also makes Sleep Minerals II, the original calcium and magnesium based sleep remedy.  It’s been shown effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia.  For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

How to Balance Hormones: Remedies, Studies and Tips

hormone balanceHormones are magical chemical substances that act like messengers in the body. After being made in one part of the body, they travel to other areas where they help control how cells and organs do their work.

Among these hormones are estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Males and females make all three, but in different amounts. Ideal hormone balance occurs when the body has just the right amount of each hormone available to operate at peak health. Research studies are discovering factors that can create hormone imbalances, as well as offering solutions to balance hormones.

One chemical substance famous for disrupting hormone balance is Bisphenol A (BPA).   It is a chemical found in hard plastics and the coatings of food and drink cans which can behave in a similar way to estrogen and other hormones in the human body. It is also used to make water bottles, baby bottles, eyeglass lenses, DVD’s and more.

One study from the UK found that BPA reduces testosterone levels in men. Another study from Massachusetts found a link between BPA and infertility in women. It has also been linked to diabetes and heart disease. A few key ways to avoid exposure to BPA is to not eat or drink foods or beverages from cans, and to avoid drinking water from plastic water bottles unless the labeling says it is BPA free.  Although plastic containers contain other toxins as well.  The safest option is to filter the tap water by removing chlorine and other chemicals such as fluoride, and store it in glass carrying bottles.

Research from the University of Chicago has found that sleep deprivation can have a pronounced effect on one’s hormonal health. The pituitary gland in the brain is known as the “master gland” as its hormones control the thyroid gland, adrenals, ovaries and testes. The pituitary is markedly influenced by sleep. During sleep, beneficial hormonal factors are activated, but these are greatly reduced by sleep deprivation. On a positive note, the alterations that occur during a sleepless night can be completely reversed during recovery sleep.

A study from the journal “Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey” shared the many beneficial effects that omega 3 fats can have on women’s hormone balance. These healthy fats are found in salmon, sardines, fish oil capsules, olive oil and fresh vegetables. Omega 3’s can reverse PMS and increase fertility in women. The researchers also mention evidence showing omega 3’s can prevent menopause symptoms, postmenopausal osteoporosis and heart disease.

According to Dalene Barton-Schuster, Senior Herbalist, studies have shown that extreme exercise results in hormonal disruption. She saysRegular, moderate exercise has been shown to strengthen muscles, build stamina, increase flexibility, increase circulation, reduce stress and prevent depression and anxiety — while also promoting regular detoxification of excess hormones and toxins in the body.”

Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale California, is someone who fought her own battle against hormone imbalance, sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural insomnia remedies for relaxation and deeper sleep.

The result was Sleep Minerals II, a sleep remedy that contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, combined with vitamin D and zinc.  The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and couldn‘t go back to sleep. Now I wake up once to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.”

In summary, take some good steps to keep your hormones balanced with the right combination of food and healthy fats, moderate exercise, avoiding plastic containers, and using absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium to ensure a sound sleep.

This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of natural health 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, and stronger hair and nails.

How to Read Food Labels Without Being Tricked

By Adda Bjarnadottir, MS (Master of Science Degree in Human Nutrition |
Article Courtesy of Authority Nutrition

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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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how to read food labelsReading labels is a tricky business.

Consumers are more health-conscious than ever, so food manufacturers use misleading tricks to convince people to buy their products.

They often do this even when the food is highly processed and unhealthy.

The regulations behind food labeling are complex, so it’s not surprising that the average consumer has a hard time understanding them.

This article briefly explains how to read food labels, and how to sort out the junk from the truly healthy foods.

Don’t Be Duped By The Claims on The Front

One of the best tips may be to completely ignore the labels on front of the packaging.

Front labels try to lure you into purchasing products by making health claims. Manufacturers want to make you believe that their product is healthier than other, similar options.

This has actually been studied. Research shows that adding health claims to front labels affects people’s choices. It makes them believe a product is healthier than the same product that doesn’t list health claims (1, 2, 3, 4).

Manufacturers are often dishonest in the way they use these labels. They tend to use health claims that are misleading, and in some cases downright false.

Examples include many high-sugar breakfast cereals, like “whole grain” Cocoa Puffs. Despite the label, these products are not healthy.

This makes it hard for consumers to choose healthy options without a thorough inspection of the ingredients list.

Bottom Line: Front labels are often used to lure people into buying products. However, most of these labels are highly misleading or downright false.

Look At The Ingredients List

Product ingredients are listed by quantity, from highest (first) to lowest amount.

That means that the first listed ingredient is what the manufacturer used the most of.

A good rule of thumb is to scan the first three ingredients, because they are the largest part of what you’re eating.

If the first ingredients include refined grains, some sort of sugar or hydrogenated oils, you can be pretty sure that the product is unhealthy.

Instead, try to choose items that have whole foods listed as the first three ingredients.

Another good rule of thumb is if the ingredients list is longer than 2–3 lines, you can assume that the product is highly processed.

Bottom Line: Ingredients are listed by quantity, from highest to lowest. Try looking for products that list whole foods as the first three ingredients, and be skeptical of foods with long lists of ingredients.

Watch Out For Serving Sizes

The backs of nutrition labels state how many calories and nutrients are in a single serving of the product.

However, these serving sizes are often much smaller portions than people generally eat in one sitting.

For example, one serving may be half a can of soda, a quarter of a cookie, half a chocolate bar or a single biscuit.

In this way, manufacturers try to deceive consumers into thinking that the food has fewer calories and less sugar than it actually does.

Many people are completely unaware of this serving size scheme. They often assume that the entire container is a single serving, while it may actually consist of two, three or more servings.

If you’re interested in knowing the nutritional value of what you’re eating, you have to multiply the serving given on the back by the number of servings you consumed.

Bottom Line: Serving sizes listed on packaging may be misleading and unrealistic. Manufacturers often list a much smaller amount than most people eat as a single serving.

The Most Misleading Labeling Claims – and What They Actually Mean

Health claims on packaged food are designed to catch your attention and convince you that the product is healthy.

Here are some of the most common ones, and what they actually mean:

  • Light: Light products are processed to reduce either calories or fat, and some products are simply watered down. Check carefully to see if anything has been added instead, like sugar.
  • Multigrain: This sounds very healthy, but basically just means that there is more than one type of grain in the product. These are most likely refined grains, unless the product is marked as whole grain.
  • Natural: This does not necessarily mean that the product resembles anything natural. It simply means that at some point the manufacturer had a natural source (for example, apples or rice) to work with.
  • Organic: This label says very little about whether the product is healthy or not. For example, organic sugar is still sugar. Only certified organically grown products can be guaranteed to be organic.
  • No added sugar: Some products are naturally high in sugar. The fact that they don’t have added sugar doesn’t mean they’re healthy. Unhealthy sugar substitutes may also have been added.
  • Low-calorie: Low-calorie products have to contain 1/3 fewer calories than thesame brand’s original product. However, one brand’s low-calorie version may contain similar calories as the original of another product.
  • Low-fat: This label almost always means that the fat has been reduced at the cost of adding more sugar. Be very careful and read the ingredients listed on the back.
  • Low-carb: Recently, low-carb diets have been linked with improved health. However, processed foods that are labeled low-carb are usually just processed junk foods, similar to processed low-fat junk foods.
  • Made with whole grain: There is probably very little whole grain in the product. Check the ingredients list and see where the whole grain is placed. If it is not in the first 3 ingredients, then the amount is negligible.
  • Fortified or enriched: This basically means that some nutrients have been added to the product. For example, vitamin D is often added to milk.
  • Gluten-free: Gluten-free does not equal healthy. It simply means that the product doesn’t contain wheat, spelt, rye or barley. Many foods are gluten-free, but can be highly processed and loaded with unhealthy fats and sugar.
  • Fruit-flavored: Many processed foods have a name that refers to a natural flavor, such as strawberry yogurt. However, there may not be any fruit in the product, only chemicals designed to taste like fruit.
  • Zero trans fat: Trans fats are made during partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils, which means infusing them with hydrogen. “Zero trans fat” actually means “less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.” So if serving sizes are misleadingly small, the product can actually contain a lot of trans fat (5).

All of this being said, there are many truly healthy foods out there that actually are organic, whole grain, natural, etc. However, just having these labels does not guarantee that the product is healthy.

Bottom Line: There are many words that people link with improved health. These are often used to mislead consumers into thinking that unhealthy processed food is actually good for you.

Different Names for Sugar

Sugar goes by countless names, many of which you may not recognize.

Food manufacturers use this to their advantage. They purposely add many different kinds of sugar to their products so they can hide the actual amount.

By doing this, they can list a “healthier” ingredient at the top, and mention sugar further down. So even though a product may be loaded with sugar, it doesn’t necessarily appear as one of the top 3 ingredients.

To avoid accidentally consuming a lot of sugar, it may be wise to look out for the following names of sugar in ingredient lists:

  • Types of sugar: beet sugar, brown sugar, buttered sugar, cane sugar, caster sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar, golden sugar, invert sugar, muscovado sugar, organic raw sugar, raspadura sugar, evaporated cane juice and confectioner’s sugar.
  • Types of syrup: carob syrup, golden syrup, high fructose corn syrup, honey,agave nectar, malt syrup, maple syrup, oat syrup, rice bran syrup and rice syrup.
  • Other added sugars: barley malt, molasses, cane juice crystals, lactose, corn sweetener, crystalline fructose, dextran, malt powder, ethyl maltol, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, galactose, glucose, disaccharides, maltodextrin and maltose.

There are many more names for sugar, but these are the most common.

If you see any of these in the top spots on the ingredients lists, or several kinds throughout the list, then you can be sure that the product is high in added sugar.

Bottom Line: Sugar goes by many names in ingredient lists, many of which you may not recognize. These include cane sugar, invert sugar, corn sweetener, dextran, molasses, malt syrup, maltose and evaporated cane juice.

Always Choose Whole Foods Whenever Possible

Obviously, the best way to avoid being misled by these labels is to avoid processed foods altogether.

However, if you decide to buy packaged foods, it is necessary to sort out the junk from the higher quality products.

Keep in mind that whole food doesn’t need an ingredients list, because the whole food IS the ingredient.

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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.

Article Source: https://authoritynutrition.com/how-to-read-food-labels/

Related Article: The Top Ten Nutrition Facts Everyone Agrees On — https://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/2016/05/10/top-10-nutrition-facts-everyone-agrees-on-nutrition-breakthroughs/

New Menopause Study: Vitamin D Builds Muscle Strength

vitamin d menopause muscleResearch studies on the benefits of vitamin D for postmenopausal women have had conflicting results, with some showing no benefit and others showing great benefits for muscle, bone, reduced falls and lower fracture risk.

Now a new study has emerged from researchers in Sao Paulo Brazil which has conclusively shown that vitamin D supplements can reduce loss of muscle, increase muscle strength, and lessen the risk of falls after menopause.

Vitamin D is known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” because spending time outdoors in the sun vitamin d3is known to increase vitamin D levels in the body via the skin.  Our ancestors spent a considerable amount of their time outdoors, but for the first time in history, large amounts of the world population spend most of their time inside their offices and homes.  This has lead to a widespread vitamin D deficiency.  Spending some time in the sun a few days a week is good, and when taking supplements, vitamin D3 is the best form.

Besides strengthening muscle and bone, researchers have also discovered that vitamin D helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and its deficiency has a role in the current global epidemic of sleep disorders. This makes vitamin D a vital benefit in insomnia, which is another condition that can often plague menopausal women.

The newest vitamin D study from Brazil focused on muscle strength in postmenopausal women and took place over a nine-month period.  It was a placebo controlled trial and was double-blinded – which means that neither the participants nor the researchers knew which women received the vitamin D and which didn’t.  Three types of tests were used to measure muscle strength: A chair rising test that measured leg strength when standing up from a chair, a total body x-ray, and a hand-grip test.

At the conclusion of the trial, 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% — even when taken 12 years after menopause. The results of the research were presented at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society.

Dr. L.M Cangussu of the Botucatu Medical School at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil said: “We concluded that the supplementation of Vitamin D alone provided significant protection against the occurrence of sarcopenia, which is a degenerative loss of skeletal muscle.”

Vitamin D has many vital roles in the health of the body, including supporting the heart, brain and nerves.  Additionally, a study from the Journal of Investigative Medicine found that vitamin D is a strong boost to immunity and that deficiency is common in autoimmune disease – a group of diseases where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. These include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.

Foods containing vitamin D on a wooden background. View from above Some good vitamin D-rich foods include cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, mackerel, eggs and herring. The best supplement form to take is vitamin D3, as this is the natural form made by the sun on skin, rather than D2.

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 and vitamin D3.

10 Flax Seed Benefits and Nutrition Facts

By Dr. Josh Axe — Doctor of Natural Medicine, Doctor of Chiropractic, and Certified Nutrition Specialist.  Dr. Axe has a passion to help people get well using food as medicine.

Flax Seed Title

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Flax seeds have been consumed as food for around 6,000 years and may have very well been the worlds first cultivated superfood!

Flax seed benefits could help you improve digestion, give you clear skin, lower cholesterol, reduce sugar cravings, balance hormones, fight cancer and promote weight loss… and that’s just the beginning!

Flaxseeds, sometimes called linseeds, are small, brown, tan or golden-colored seeds that are the richest sources of a plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), in the world!

Another unique fact about flaxseeds is that they rank #1 source of lignans in human diets. (lignans form the building blocks of plant walls and are a source of phytoestrogens or healthy “plant-based estrogens”).  Flaxseeds contain about 7 times as many lignans as the closest runner-up, sesame seeds.

Stunning Flaxseed Nutrition Facts

When you look at the nutritional benefits of flax seeds, there are many things that will catch your attention.

A  1 ounce (3 tbsp) serving of flaxseeds contains:

  • Omega-3 (ALA) 6,338mg
  • Fiber 8g
  • Protein 6g
  • Vitamin B1 31% RDA (recommended dietary allowance)
  • Manganese 35% RDA
  • Magnesium 30% RDA
  • Phosphorus 19% RDA
  • Selenium 10% RDA
  • Also, flaxseeds contain a good amount of vitamin B6, Iron, potassium, copper and zinc.

This flax seed nutrition profile makes it easy to see why it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.

10 Flax Seed Benefits

1. High in Fiber, but Low in Carbs

One of the most extraordinary benefits of flax seeds is that they contain high levels of mucilage gum content.  Mucilage is a gel-forming fiber that is water soluble and has incredible benefits on the intestinal tract.

The mucilage can keep food in the stomach from emptying too quickly into the small intestine which can increase nutrient absorption.

Also, flax is extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.

You should aim to consume 30-40 grams of high fiber foods daily (by eating whole grains, vegetables and fruits).

2. Healthy Skin and Hair

If you want healthier skin, hair and nails then consider adding 2 tbsp of flax seeds to your smoothie or 1 tbsp of flax seed oil to your daily routine.

The ALA fats in flax seeds benefits the skin and hair by providing essential fats as well as b-vitamins which can help reduce dryness and flakiness. It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea, and eczema. This also applies to eye health as flax can reduce dry eye syndrome.

Flax seed oil is another great option since it has an even higher concentration of healthy fats. You can take 1-2 tbsp internally to hydrate skin and hair.  It can also be mixed with essential oils and used as a natural skin moisturizer.

3. Weight Loss

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that flaxseeds and walnuts may improve obesity and support weight loss.

Since flax is full of healthy fats and fiber, it will help you feel satisfied longer so you will eat fewer calories overall which may lead to weight loss. ALA fats may also help reduce inflammation.

This is important for weight loss in that an inflamed body will tend to hold on to excess weight. Add a couple of teaspoons of ground flaxseed to soups, salads, or smoothies as part of your weight loss plan.

4. Lower Cholesterol

The journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that adding flax seeds into your diet can naturally reduce cholesterol levels.

The soluble fiber content of flax seeds trap fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so that it unable to be absorbed. Soluble fiber also traps bile, which is made from cholesterol in the gallbladder.

The bile is then excreted through the digestive system, forcing the body to make more, using up excess cholesterol in the blood and lowering cholesterol overall.

5. Flaxseeds are Gluten-Free

Using flax is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains which are inflammatory where flax is anti-inflammatory.  So, flax seeds are great for those who have Celiac disease or have a gluten sensitivity.  They may also be a good alternative to omega-3 fats in fish for people with a seafood allergy.

Another great aspect of flax being gluten-free is that it can be used as a grain-free option in cooking.  I will often use it along with coconut flour in baking at home.

6. Flaxseeds are High in Antioxidants (Lignans)

Amongst its other incredible nutrition facts, flax seeds are also packed with antioxidants. Lignans are unique fiber-related polyphenols (plant chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their bright colors) that provide us with antioxidant benefits for anti-aging, hormone balance and cellular health.

Polyphenols support the growth of probiotics in the gut and may also help eliminate yeast and candida in the body.

Lignans are also known for their anti-viral and antibacterial properties, therefore consuming flax regularly may help reduce the number or severity of colds and flus.

7. Digestive Health

Maybe the biggest flax seed benefits come from it’s ability to promote digestive health. The ALA in flax can help protect the lining of the digestive tract and maintain GI health. It has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from Crohn’s disease or other digestive ailments, as it can help reduce gut inflammation.

You can also take 1-3 tbsp of flax seed oil with 8 oz of carrot juice to help naturally relieve constipation.

Flax is also very high in soluble and insoluble fiber which can also improve digestive health and is one of the highest magnesium foods in the world.

Two tablespoons of flaxseeds contains about 5 g of fiber or 1/4 of the RDA (recommended dietary allowance). The fiber found in flaxseeds provides food for friendly bacteria in your colon that can help cleanse waste from your system.

8. Flax Seeds for Cancer

Flax seed benefits have been proven time and time again and even including fighting breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research discovered that consuming flax seeds may decrease the risk of breast cancer. The three lignans found in flaxseeds can be converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone and enterodiol (plant-based estrogens), which naturally balance hormones, which may be the reason flax seeds reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the lignans in flaxseeds may also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.

9. High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

We hear a lot about the health benefits of fish oil or omega-3 fats. Fish oil contains EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fats that are critical for optimal health. Although flaxseeds do not contain EPA or DHA, they do contain ALA, another type of omega-3 fat.

A study published in Nutrition Reviews has shown that approximately 20% of ALA can be converted into EPA, but only .5% of ALA is converted into DHA. Also, surprisingly gender may play a big role in conversion where young women had a 2.5-fold greater rate than men.

Regardless of conversion, ALA is still considered a healthy fat and should be included in a balanced diet.

10. Menopausal Symptoms

The lignans in the flax have been shown to have benefits for menopausal women. It can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy because lignans do have estrogenic properties.

These properties may also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It can even help menstruating women by helping maintain cycle regularity.

To experience the flax seed benefits for your hormones include 1-2 tbsp of flax meal in a breakfast smoothie along with 1 tbsp of flax seed oil.

Flax Seed Benefits chart

How to Use Flax Seeds

There are many great ways to add these super seeds into your diet including adding them to homemade muffins, breads and cookies.

One of the most common questions about baking with flax seeds is, does baking have any effect on omega-3 fatty acid?

According to many studies, you can bake flax seeds at 300F for 3 hours and the omega-3’s (ALA) in flax seeds remained stable.

Tips for including flaxseed in your diet include:

  • Add 1-3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to a morning smoothie
  • Mix a tablespoon in with yogurt and raw honey
  • Bake ground flaxseeds into muffins, cookies and breads
  • Add to homemade sprouted granola
  • Can be mixed with water and used as an egg substitute

Flax Seeds vs. Flax Meal vs. Sprouted Flax

Flaxseeds are best consumed ground as our bodies cannot access the nutrients if they are eaten whole and they will pass through undigested.

You can grind the flax in a coffee grinder, this is best done immediately before eating them so they do not spend much time exposed to air or you can buy them pre-ground.

However the very best way to experience flax seed benefits is to consume them in their sprouted form. Soaking flax seeds and then sprouting them eliminates phytic acid and may greatly increase mineral absorption. (Phytic acid can impair the absorption of iron, zinc and calcium).

Like other sources of fiber including chia seeds and hemp seeds, make sure to take flaxseeds with plenty of water or other fluids.

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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.

Article Source: http://draxe.com/10-flax-seed-benefits-nutrition-facts/

Adrenal Fatigue: Studies Show Promising Natural Remedies

adrenal fatigue The adrenal glands, also known as the “stress glands”, are a pair of vital organs about the size of a walnut that are nestled on top of each kidney. They provide life-giving hormones such as adrenalin, cortisol, estrogen and testosterone. New studies are showing natural vitamins and minerals that can support adrenal health.

Adrenaline is made in response to emotional or physical stress: It works to prepare the body for stress by increasing the heart rate and directing energy to the muscles.   Cortisol affects metabolism, immunity and blood sugar levels. The adrenals make many other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, and in fact they take over the production of these after middle-age.

Too much or too little adrenal hormones can result in adrenal fatigue, muscle tension, irritability, poor focus, insomnia, depression, arthritis or blood sugar imbalances. Research studies are discovering that the B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium have the ability to support adrenal function, overall health, and reduce the symptoms of stress.

B Vitamins

Vitamin B-5, also known as pantothenic acid, is used by the adrenal gland as a key component to manufacture its hormones and a deficiency of B-5 can result in impaired adrenal function. In a study from a Russian medical journal, the researchers examined the effects of vitamin B-5 and found that one single dose had a significant effect on the adrenals by increasing hormone production and gland functioning.

Folic acid (vitamin B-8) and cobalamin (vitamin B-12) have also been studied for their effects on adrenal health. To do this, researchers from the Dept. of Medicine in Lund Sweden injected cortisol into 30 healthy young males for only four days and found that their levels of B-8 and B-12 were significantly depleted.

These findings show that in the presence of excess stress hormones, B vitamins are removed from the body.  Foods and supplements high in B vitamins can reduce the effects of stress.

Because all the B vitamins work together as a team, it’s important to take a supplement that contains them all in a complex,  to avoid  creating deficiencies in any not taken.

The full B complex includes Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin or nicotinic acid), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (biotin), Vitamin B9 (folic acid) and Vitamin B12 (cobalamin).

Foods high in B complex vitamins include nuts, seeds, eggs, berries, meat, organ meat, fish, poultry, whole grains and leafy vegetables.

Vitamin C

The adrenal glands are “endocrine glands” – meaning one of those that produce hormones and put them directly into the bloodstream to be carried to target organs a distance away. From the journal “Endocrine Research” comes a review of vitamin C and its effects on adrenal function.

The researchers note that the highest amounts of vitamin C in the body are found in the adrenals and the vitamin is used to make all of the adrenal hormones. When one is faced with stress, vitamin C is rapidly used up to make cortisol.  From a review of cell culture studies and other research, they conclude that vitamin C deficiency creates lowered adrenal hormones; an inability to keep them stored, and impaired adrenal cell health. Vitamin C is another crucial one to take for adrenal health.

Magnesium

From the journal “Medical Hypotheses” comes an article called “Rapid Recovery from Major Depression Using Magnesium Treatment”. The writer notes that magnesium deficiency can be caused by eating processed foods, by the action of the stress hormones (which push magnesium out of the cells), and from consuming an improper ratio of calcium to magnesium in the diet. Case histories are mentioned that show recovery from major depression in less than seven days by using 125 mg. to 300 mg. of magnesium with each meal and at bedtime.

Moderate Exercise

A study from the journal “Expert Review of Endocrinology Metabolism” reviewed the role of exercise as a modifier of stress. The study notes that emotional, environmental and other stresses can have long lasting ill effects on one’s health, and that regular amounts of moderate daily exercise (in combination with good nutrition) can enhance and improve the treatment of stress-related health problems. Because fatigue goes along with adrenal issues, it’s best to pick those times during the day when one’s energy is at high points to do some exercise.

General Adrenal Health Tips

Some good general tips for supporting the adrenals would be to reduce sugars, desserts, fast foods, caffeine, unhealthy oils and fried foods in the diet. Focus on salads, vegetables and healthy proteins like fish, turkey and grass-fed beef. Include oils like olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds and avocados. Get some time outside in the sun each day and do some walking or other moderate exercise daily.

This health news is shared with you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II. Because the minerals in Sleep Minerals II are in a highly absorbable softgel form, they also help with stress relief, relaxation, restless leg syndrome and more. For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

 

References: Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16542786

Vitamin C is an important cofactor for both adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15666839

Stress and the neuroendocrine system: the role of exercise as a stressor and modifier of stress – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2953272/

Pantothenic acid and adrenal function – http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/16/3/263.pdf