Sleep Foods: Almonds Contain Melatonin and Magnesium for Better Sleep

sleep foodsIn the quest for a good, restful night’s sleep with less tossing and turning, people are reaching out to learn more about natural sleep aids and sleep-inducing foods.

At the top of many sleep foods lists are almonds – a healthy food that’s high in two of the best-known sleep substances – magnesium and melatonin.

Melatonin is a hormone that’s produced by a gland located in the center of the brain. At night or in the dark, this gland naturally releases melatonin to regulate the sleep cycle. A recent study appeared in the journal Nutrients called Dietary Sources of Melatonin.

The researchers in this study say that in the realm of plant foods, nuts contain the highest amount of melatonin.  Almonds, walnuts and pistachios have good amounts of it.  The study goes on to say it’s a proven fact that melatonin concentration in human blood can significantly increase after a person eats some melatonin-containing food.

Almonds are a special nut as they contain the highest magnesium levels. One ounce of almonds, which is about a handful or 23 nuts, contains 80 milligrams of magnesium.  This is 20% of the suggested daily value of 400 milligrams.

Magnesium has the ability to promote sleep and this is thought to be linked to its actions in lessening inflammation in the body.  In a study from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran, research was done with 46 adults who were experiencing insomnia. Taking two magnesium tablets twice a day resulted in significant increases in sleep duration and reduced cortisol levels in the body.  Cortisol is a stress hormone made by the adrenal glands that can keep people awake.

A study on almonds as a sleep food for animals was reported in the Journal of Natural Medicine.  A water-based extract of almonds was used in the study.  With the almond extract, the scientists observed a significant prolongation of total sleeping time as well as significant increases in the deepest levels of sleep. The results suggest that a water-based extract of almond has significant sedative effects, which may support its therapeutic use for insomnia.

To increase magnesium in one’s diet, almonds can be eaten as a snack before bedtime and may also be used in any recipe that calls for walnuts, pecans or other nuts.  Some ideas are to include them in granola mixtures, baked goods, fruit salads, vegetables and yogurt.  Soaking raw almonds in a bowl of water overnight and drying them in the oven at low heat is known to increase their nutritional value and help with digestion, however this isn’t necessary in order to enjoy their benefits.

One magnesium-based supplement shown to be effective for insomnia is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  This formula contains highly absorbable forms of magnesium and calcium, which are the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for menopause insomnia, teenage insomnia, heart health, restless legs syndrome and bone strength.

Sleep Minerals II also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

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

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake up once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.  This has been a great improvement.”

A healthy plan for good sleep is to make good use of magnesium-rich foods such as almonds and also include an effective magnesium and calcium supplement for natural relief of sleeplessness.

This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

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.

An example of one of the best natural remedies 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 (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts), is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Raw tomatoes may be one of the best natural 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.

If you are taking any medications, be sure to check with your doctor before making any changes to their advice.

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 by adding these healthy foods!

Here’s to your health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
natural remediesChart shared by courtesy of LiveLoveFruit.com

Use Vitamin E in Foods and Skincare: Glowing Skin

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.”

Does 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.

Comparing Magnesium and Melatonin as Natural Sleep Aids

 

magnesium and melatonin as a natural sleep aid

Photo courtesy of HollywoodHomestead.com

Is magnesium better than melatonin for sleep? Magnesium has many benefits for good health, one of them being its action as an effective natural sleep aid.

Melatonin supplements are also used as a sleep remedy.  These two ingredients have different qualities, different health effects, and different possible side effects. 

James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients magnesium and calcium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”

In contrast with mineral supplements, melatonin is a hormone which is produced by the pineal gland, located in the center of the brain. At night or in the dark, the pineal gland naturally releases melatonin to regulate the sleep cycle.

The body produces less melatonin with advancing age and while melatonin doesn’t require a prescription, it’s a potent hormone. It can help with sleeplessness. If too much is taken, it can result in grogginess, dizziness, stomach  cramps and make it more difficult to wake up in the morning.

Is it better to take magnesium at night?  One of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency is chronic insomnia, accompanied with with frequent nighttime awakenings.  On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep, per a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota.  Another study from the Human Nutrition Research Center found that a magnesium citrate supplement increased sleep quality in adults aged 51 to 85.

Magnesium has hundreds of health effects in the body. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center web site, inadequate magnesium appears to reduce serotonin levels in the brain.  One study found that magnesium was just as effective as an antidepressant drug in treating depression. 

In addition, researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute reported that for every 100 milligram increase in magnesium intake, the risk of developing type-2 diabetes decreased by 15 per cent.  Other studies have shown that people with migraine headaches have low concentrations of magnesium in their body.

Mildred Seelig, M.D., the leading medical researcher on magnesium says: “Many people needlessly suffer pain – including … migraines and muscle cramps – because they don’t get enough magnesium.”

Which form of magnesium is best for sleep?  A recent study on magnesium for sleep came from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Its subjects were 46 older adults, aged 60 to 75, who were experiencing insomnia. However, it’s interesting to note that the researchers recommend their results be extended to all ages of the general population as helpful advice.

In the University study, the subjects were divided into two groups. One group received placebos, while the other received magnesium oxide tablets twice a day (250 milligrams each) for eight weeks. In the group that was given magnesium, the subjects experienced significant increases in sleep time and sleep efficiency (which is the time spent in bed vs the time spent sleeping).  They also had less night time interruptions and fewer early morning awakenings. Magnesium citrate is another form that has been proven helpful for better sleep.

One possible side effect from taking too much magnesium is that the bowels may become too loose or stomach discomfort can occur — at which point less can be taken. If this side effect happens, magnesium should be taken with a full meal or a healthy snack. 

Another important nutritional tip that can help to avoid any deficiencies is to balance magnesium with calcium and vitamin D rather than taking it alone.  The recommended ratio is 2 to 1 or twice as much calcium as magnesium.

According to the Mayo Clinic, possible side effects of melatonin include stomach cramps, anxiety, irritability, confusion and short-term depression.  Melatonin supplements can interact with various medications such as blood-thinning medications, medications that suppress the immune system, diabetes medications and birth control pills.  Prolonged use may also inhibit the body’s own natural ability to produce melatonin.

This health news is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs and their natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.  Sleep Minerals II is the original magnesium and calcium based remedy and is known for soothing even the worst, long-term insomnia.  It also contains vitamin D and zinc and helps everyone from teenagers, to women with menopause symptoms, to older seniors, to get a good night’s sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake up once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.  This has been a great improvement.”

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

For more information on Sleep Minerals II visit this page.

Is magnesium better than melatonin for sleep?

James F. Balch, M.D. writes: “A lack of the nutrients magnesium and calcium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.” Magnesium is also beneficial for bone health and heart health. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. According to WebMD, melatonin side effects may include headache, depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach cramps and irritability.

Is it better to take magnesium at night? 

One of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency is chronic insomnia accompanied with with frequent nighttime awakenings.  On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep, per a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota.

Which form of magnesium is best for sleep?

A recent study on magnesium comes from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Its subjects were 46 older adults who were experiencing insomnia. One group received placebos while the other received magnesium oxide tablets twice a day for eight weeks. Those taking the magnesium experienced significant increases in sleep time with less night time interruptions. Another good form of magnesium for sleep is magnesium citrate.

Nutrition Breakthroughs Reveals Hot Flash Remedies, Causes

hot flash remediesHot flash remedies are in high demand for women.  A hot flash, also called a hot flush, is a sudden unexpected feeling of warmth and often a breakout of sweating in the upper half of the body.

A night sweat is a “hot flash” that occurs in the night, often while one is sleeping. These flashes are experienced by 80% of women around the time of menopause, and men can also have them due to a lessening of testosterone in middle age.

At night time while a woman sleeps, her body temperature rises steeply just prior to a hot flash, and may cause her to wake up.  The National Sleep Foundation writes that as many as 61% of post-menopausal women report having symptoms of insomnia and less satisfying sleep, due in part to hot flashes interrupting their sleep with frequent awakenings.

Dr. John R. Lee, M.D. explains the source of hot flashes in his book: “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Menopause”. There is an area of the brain that controls the amounts of estrogen and progesterone made by the ovaries. When these two hormones become depleted as in menopause, the brain sends out signals for the ovaries to make more hormones, but they no longer respond to these prompts.

The signaling system can go awry as the brain sends out more and more signals and actually begins to “shout”.  This over-activity begins to affect adjacent areas of the brain; particularly the area that controls body temperature and sweating mechanisms — thus the occurrence of hot flashes.

Sometimes spicy food, hot beverages, caffeine, alcohol or cigarettes can bring on a hot flash. For help with night sweats in bed, keep the bedroom cool and keep a washcloth in a bowl of ice near the bed to use on the forehead or chest as needed. To minimize hot flashes during the summer weather, stay cool by using fans and drinking cold drinks. Keep air conditioners on and make sure that air is circulating throughout the room. Dress in layers so you can peel them off as needed.

Vitamins E and C have been shown in studies to help reduce hot flashes.  One study supporting vitamin E was published in “Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation” and concluded that vitamin E is effective and is a recommended treatment for hot flashes. Extensive research indicates that vitamin C strengthens blood vessels and acts as a potent health enhancement. In a study that combined vitamin C with bioflavonoids (the white matter on the inside of orange peels), 67% of the subjects reported complete relief from hot flashes.

The minerals calcium and magnesium can also help with deeper, sounder sleep and are hot flash remedies, particularly because estrogen in women and testosterone in men helps to keep these minerals in circulation in the body, and when these hormones are depleted, more frequent mineral supplementation is needed.

Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs is an example of a natural insomnia remedy that provides good results for menopause symptoms. It contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleep and insomnia, heart health, restless legs syndrome and bone strength.

The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable.  After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep.  I have much less interruption from hot flashes, I’m sleeping much better and I’m a lot more comfortable.”

Valerie from Santa Clarita, California says: “I had such bad menopause insomnia that 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 took them and after a few days, it started to work really well. I fall asleep now within 20 minutes and no more restless legs.”

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Foods to Sleep: Top 3 Vegetables for Sweet Dreams

foods to sleepThis article could also have the title: “If you want to sleep like a baby, start by eating like a bunny!”  There are some very special vegetables that are great foods to sleep better.

If you’re not a vegetable lover, start by just picking one of these and putting some delicious dressing or sauce on it.

Here are three of the best vegetables for a good night’s sleep and having more energy in your days, and there’s also some lifestyle tips that will leave you feeling more refreshed and energized in the morning.

  1. Leafy Greens

The motto of this section is “Don’t leaf your sleep to chance – eat your greens!”  Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and other lettuces are excellent sources of magnesium, a mineral that can help promote relaxation and better sleep. A magnesium deficiency is usually seen as agitated sleep with frequent nighttime awakenings.  Leafy greens also contain calcium, a mineral that helps the brain to produce melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.

  1. Sweet Potatoes

This section is titled: “Sweet dreams are made of sweet potatoes and their prized potassium.” Sweet potatoes are good foods to sleep more deeply as they are rich in complex carbohydrates.  Unlike simple carbs like white flour and sugar products, sweet potatoes can help promote sleep by increasing levels of the amino acid tryptophan in the bloodstream. They are also a good source of potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure and reduce wakings in the night.  A deficiency of potassium can interfere with restful sleep due to the potential for stiff muscles or muscle spasms in bed.

  1. Broccoli

The motto here is: “Say goodnight to insomnia with the help of broccoli’s dream blend of vitamin C and calcium!”  Broccoli is a great source of vitamin C, which can help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and promote relaxation.

Other good sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes and white potatoes.  Broccoli also contains calcium, which is directly related to our cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase,

  1. Lifestyle Tips for Better Sleep

In addition to including healthy vegetables in your diet, there are also a few lifestyle tips that can help improve the quality and quantity of the sleep you get:

  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule and stick to it, even on weekends.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath or reading a book.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large meals before bedtime.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Limit screen time before bed and avoid using electronic devices in bed.

By eating these wonderful vegetables and making some simple lifestyle changes, you can help improve the quality of your sleep and wake up ready to tackle the day!

This article was written for you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.

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

For more info, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

The Top Health Benefits of Walking

Greetings to you,

Walking is very beneficial to many aspects of our health and well-being.  Check out the chart below for the top ones and read on for all the details.  Studies show that walking can increase energy, strengthen the heart, relax stiff joints, boost one’s immunity, create better muscle tone in the legs and also burn calories.

When we walk, the brain becomes stronger and one’s mood is lifted – setting the stage for creative ideas; the body’s lung capacity increases and oxygen is better provided to all the tissues; one’s digestion and metabolism improves; circulation is increased in the eyes which can prevent eye diseases and improve vision.

Regarding a sounder, deeper sleep resulting from taking walks, studies at the University of Arizona have found that walking more than six blocks a day at a normal pace significantly improves sleep at night for women. 

Scientists suspect that walking helps to set our biological clock into a consistent sleep pattern. Walking can also help increase “endorphins”, which are protein-like chemicals made in the brain that can have a relaxing effect, a pain-relieving effect, and can also reduce stress and increase well-being.

Exercise such as walking may also be one of the most effective ways to reduce menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and heart symptoms, according to a study from the Annals (Journal) of Behavioral Medicine.

For those of us who work in an office, its important to stand up and stretch and take breaks to walk around at least once an hour to keep things moving and healthy in the body.  These walking breaks are important for muscle and bone health, as well as for the heart and other organs.  Better yet, go outside and get a new, refreshing view of things before settling back down to work.

See the chart below. Go out and have some fun with your walks.  Walk with friends.  Try to go out on different routes and see different things.  You’ll be glad you did!

Best of health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
Maker of the Effective Natural Sleep Aid Sleep Minerals II

benefits of walkingWhat are benefits of walking?

Walking is very beneficial to many aspects of our health and well-being. Studies show that walking can increase energy, strengthen the heart, relax stiff joints, boost one’s immunity, create better muscle tone in the legs and also burn calories.

What happens to your body when you walk?

When we walk, the brain becomes stronger and one’s mood is lifted – setting the stage for creative ideas; the body’s lung capacity increases and oxygen is better provided to all the tissues; one’s digestion and metabolism improves; and circulation is increased in the eyes which can prevent eye diseases and improve vision.

How much should you walk a day?

Physical activity recommendations say that Americans should walk for 30 minutes a day – five days per week. For younger adults, this can be brisk walking and for older ones, there should be a five minute warm-up and some smooth, unstrained walking for 10 to 15 minutes more or whatever is comfortable.

Many Health Benefits of Cinnamon: Arthritis, Diabetes, Heart Health

cinnamon benefitsGreetings to you,

Cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon can be used in warm beverages such as teas and soups, in meat and vegetable recipes, in desserts, and in various warm cereals.

Cinnamon benefits are supported by several research studies showing its many health remedies.

Studies from the University of Toronto and Ball State University in Indiana have confirmed that consuming cinnamon can significantly reduce blood pressure (with 1,200 milligrams per day) as well as blood sugar levels (by adding cinnamon to the morning cereal). Cinnamon can also help heart health by lowering cholesterol.

Interestingly, a recent study in an anti-aging medical journal showed that cinnamon acts as an antioxidant (a substance that prevents harmful effects of excess oxygen in the body) and it effectively reduces age-related inflammation. Inflammation is known to be a contributing cause in arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and other illness.

To your good health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
Maker of Sleep Minerals II and Joints and More

Ginger Benefits Revealed in Studies: Arthritis, PMS, Brain Health

ginger benefitsGinger is not only a spice that has been used for centuries by Asian and Indian cultures; it is also one of the most effective medicinal foods in existence.

Ginger has a warm, mildly spicy flavor and is used as tea, as a seasoning for seafood and stir-fry dishes, as a powder for nutritional supplements, and as a spice for sauces and baked goods.

New studies are confirming what has been known about ginger benefits for over 5,000 years – It remedies nausea, arthritis, migraines, restless leg syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, upset stomach, and enhances brain function and memory.

Ginger for Nausea

A British Medical Journal did a review of several studies that were done on ginger benefits for nausea and vomiting. The researchers found that the studies on ginger for seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy-induced nausea, showed positive results for ginger and found it effective.

Relief of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) from Ginger

For women with PMS, scientists at the University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran compared ginger capsules with two different kinds of anti-inflammatory drugs. 150 women participated and they were divided into three groups. Those in the ginger group took 250 mg. capsules of ginger root powder. Members of the other groups received the anti-inflammatory drugs (mefenamic acid or ibuprofen capsules).

The women’s severity of symptoms, pain relief, and satisfaction with the treatment were compared between the groups after one menstrual period.  At the end of the five-month study, ginger was shown to be as effective as the drugs with relieving pain and providing relief.

Ginger Benefits for Enhanced Cognitive Abilities (reasoning, thinking and remembering)

The Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study aimed at determining the effect of ginger extract on the cognitive function of 60 healthy middle-aged women. After taking either a placebo or ginger throughout the study period, the women were evaluated with a series of tests that reviewed their working memory, decision making ability and other mental functions.

They discovered that the ginger group had increased mental abilities and enhanced working memory and that ginger is an effective cognitive enhancer for middle-aged women.

Ginger for Arthritis and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

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

Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint.  Healthy cartilage absorbs the shock of movement, but when cartilage is lost, the bones rub together which can damage the joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means the arthritis results from the immune system attacking the body’s own tissues.  It can affect body parts besides the joints, such as the eyes, mouth and lungs.

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

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are more likely to develop restless leg syndrome than the general population.  Those who have restless leg syndrome experience unpleasant sensations in the legs described as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling or painful.

People with RLS often experience chronic insomnia and sleeplessness due to the strong urge to walk or do other activities to relieve the sensations in their legs at night. A study in the Journal of Autoimmune Diseases reported that about 30 percent of patients with RA also have restless leg syndrome.

To sum it all up, ginger is a true leader in the realm of medicinal herbs. To reap the wide variety of health benefits of using ginger, look for it in health food stores in the form of capsules, tablets or tea, or use it in cooking and baking.

This health news is provided 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, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

How to Remedy Insomnia and Hot Flashes in Menopause

This article reveals several proven natural remedies for insomnia in menopause, as well as those that work for hot flashes and night sweats.

The North American Menopause Society reports that an estimated 6,000 U.S. women reach menopause each day, which translates to over 2 million women every year.

The Women’s Health Initiative study, which followed 16,608 women being given hormone replacement therapy in menopause, discovered a high risk of heart disease and stroke from the use of these drugs. As a result, more and more women today are seeking the use of natural remedies for menopause symptoms such as insomnia and sleeplessness, hot flashes, night sweats, migraine headaches, anxiety and fatigue.

Vitamin E is famous for it’s health benefits to glands and organs, howevervitamin e foods it may not be generally known that vitamin E is a proven remedy for hot flashes. 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.”

One study supporting vitamin E comes from the University of Iran, published in Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation. 400 IU of vitamin E in a softgel cap was given to the participants daily for four weeks. A diary was used to measure hot flashes before the study and at the end. The researchers concluded that vitamin E is effective and is a recommended treatment for hot flashes.

Another natural remedy has been making headlines lately. Mayo Clinic breast health specialist Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., conducted a study on flaxseed for hot flashes.

The 29 participants in this clinical trial were women with hot flashes who did not want to take estrogen because of an increased risk of breast cancer. The study gave them six weeks of flaxseed therapy, consisting of 40 grams of crushed flaxseed eaten daily.

The result was that the frequency of hot flashes decreased fifty percent. Participants also reported improvements in mood, joint or muscle pain, chills, and sweating. This was a significant improvement in their health and quality of life. Dr. Pruthi said: “We hope to find more effective non-hormonal options to assist women, and flaxseed looks promising.”

Night sweats and hot flashes can become a form of insomnia in which a woman wakes up drenched in sweat and unable to sleep. Regarding mineral deficiency at the time of menopause, nutritionist Adelle Davis says:

Magnesium can also balance hormones and remedy insomnia and hot flashes.  One example is a study from the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System. Women with at least 14 hot flashes a week received 400 milligrams of magnesium oxide daily 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, which is a 41% reduction. Fatigue, sweating, and distress were also significantly reduced.

There is also an emerging link between estrogen decline, menopause symptoms and magnesium deficiency. Mildred Seeling, M.D. describes this in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

She says “Estrogen enhances magnesium utilization and its uptake by the soft tissues and bone, and may explain the resistance of young women to heart disease and osteoporosis — as well as the increased prevalence of these diseases when estrogen production ceases.”

Magnesium works best when it’s balanced with calcium in a two to one ratio. Dr. Seeling says: “The Cal/Mag ratio of two to one (twice as much calcium as magnesium) has long been considered physiologic (for healthy cells) and best for normal functioning. This was confirmed on the basis of long-term metabolic studies in young men and women done by the Research Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

Vitamin D is more than just a vitamin, it’s also 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.

From the journal “Medical Hypothesis” comes a research study that followed 1500 patients over a 2 year period. A consistent level of vitamin D3 was maintained in their blood over many months. This produced normal sleep in most of the participants, regardless of their type of sleep disorder, which suggests that many types of insomnia may share the same cause.

During the research, the authors discovered the presence of high concentrations of vitamin D “receiving sites” or “receptors” in those areas of the brain that are related to the onset and maintenance of sleep.

Sleep Minerals IIOne insomnia remedy becoming popular among menopausal women is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium and is effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia 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.

Sadie D. from The Netherlands says: “I am ever so grateful that I discovered Sleep Minerals II after suffering with premenopause and now the real menopausal insomnia. I felt like I was slowly losing my mind due to the continual lack of sleep. I can’t express the relief of getting a good night’s sleep and being able to function properly.”

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

Menopause has been found to be a fulfilling time of life for many women. In a recent survey sponsored by the North American Menopause Society, 51% of U.S. postmenopausal women reported being happiest and most fulfilled between the ages of 50 and 65. Menopause is an excellent time for a woman to keep her health at its peak and minimize symptoms such as night sweats and insomnia by using effective natural remedies.

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

What foods help hot flashes?

Foods rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin E are particularly helpful for hot flashes. This includes most nuts, seeds, high-quality yogurt and cheese, sardines with bones, salmon, green leafy vegetables, other green vegetables, and avocado.

What is a natural remedy for hot flashes?

Vitamin E is famous for it’s health benefits to glands and organs, however it may not be generally known that vitamin E is a proven remedy for hot flashes. Other effective natural remedies include ground flax seeds, calcium and magnesium.vitamin e hot flash remedy

What causes hot flashes?

Dr. John R. Lee, M.D. explains the source of hot flashes in his book: “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Menopause”. When the female hormones become depleted as in menopause, the brain sends out signals for the ovaries to make more hormones, but they no longer respond. The the brain begins to “shout”.  This over-activity affects adjacent areas of the brain; particularly the area that controls body temperature and sweating mechanisms — thus the occurrence of hot flashes.

What triggers hot flashes?

Sometimes spicy food, hot beverages, caffeine, alcohol or cigarettes can bring on a hot flash. For help with night sweats in bed, keep the bedroom cool and keep a washcloth in a bowl of ice near the bed to use on the forehead or chest as needed. To minimize hot flashes during the summer weather, stay cool by using fans and drinking cold drinks. Keep air conditioners on and make sure that the air is circulating throughout the room. Dress in layers so you can peel them off as needed.

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.