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Artificial Sweeteners Trick the Brain

dietsoda

Artificial Sweeteners Trick the Brain

 

New research may help explain the reported link between the use of artificial sweeteners and diabetes, scientists say.

 

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine say that in nature the intensity of sweetness reflects the amount of energy present. But in modern-day life, the body’s metabolism is fooled when a beverage is either too sweet or not sweet enough for the amount of calories it contains.

 

That means that a sweet-tasting, lower-calorie drink can trigger a greater metabolic response than a drink with higher calories, they said.

 

“A calorie is not a calorie,” explained senior author Dana Small, a professor of psychiatry.

 

“The assumption that more calories trigger greater metabolic and brain response is wrong. Calories are only half of the equation; sweet taste perception is the other half,” Small said in a university news release.

 

When a “mismatch” occurs, the brain’s reward circuits don’t register that calories have been consumed, the researchers said. Many processed foods have such mismatches, such as yogurt with low-calorie sweeteners.

 

“Our bodies evolved to efficiently use the energy sources available in nature,” Small said. “Our modern food environment is characterized by energy sources our bodies have never seen before.”

 

Small and her colleagues said the study may help explain the link between some artificial sweeteners and diabetes discovered in previous research. The topic remains controversial, however, and experts agree more research needs to be done.

 

 

 

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Forget the Diet! Eat your Way Fit!

nutrienddensefoods

 

Eat Your Way Fit With Nutrient-Dense Foods

The Benefits of Nutrient Density Instead of Diet for Weight Management

 

Going on a diet can feel overwhelming and the results typically unsatisfying. Diets and diet trends are a billion-dollar market targeting consumers who want to lose fat and gain muscle. Many diets also lack nutrients, according to research.

 

Have you considered not dieting? Instead of continued caloric restriction leaving you hungry, tired, and frustrated, maybe a different approach would be better.

 

 

How about trying nutrient-dense foods as an alternative to reduce body fat? This is not a diet but simply a change in the kind of food you eat to achieve a healthy body. The idea is to eat cleaner, not less, as a lifestyle.

 

Eating nutrient-dense foods even allows you to eat more and still lose fat. This is often hard to grasp for long-term dieters used to severe calorie restriction for reducing fat. The difference is the quality of nutrient-dense foods vs the calories and how they function in our body.

 

What Are Nutrient Dense Foods?

Nutrient-dense foods contain macro and micronutrients important for our health. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats providing calories (energy) to our body. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals also coming from nutrient-rich foods. We require all nutrients in varying quantities for optimal fitness. Research indicates nutrient-rich foods help boost our metabolism and enable us to efficiently lose body fat.

 

Protein is the powerhouse macronutrient for muscle recovery. Select healthier options like chicken breast, turkey, fish, or albacore tuna over processed cold cuts or ham. Eating nutrient-dense protein means keeping it cleaner and leaner.

Carbohydrates are the primary energy source macronutrient for optimal health and fitness. Nutrient-dense carbs include a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid eating processed foods, white products and pastries if you want to lose fat and gain muscle.

 

Fats are the secondary energy source macronutrient for optimal body functioning. Keep your fats nutrient-rich by avoiding saturated fast foods, creamy salad dressings, and cheesy casseroles. Opt for extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, and natural peanut butter to boost your metabolism and lose body fat.

How Do They Reduce Body Fat?

Nutrient-dense foods are high in nutrients and low in calories allowing us to eat cleaner not less to reduce body fat. Superfoods or real foods are also common names for nutrient-dense foods. They’re easily digested and nutrients utilized for proper body functioning. Chronic studies indicate eating nutrient-dense foods as an effective and healthy way to lose weight.

 

Research shows optimal body fat levels are better achieved when we focus on food quality rather than calorie counting. This is more of a statement of how nutrient-dense foods are full of essential nutrients but lower in calorie. We can eat more for lesser calories and feel satisfied throughout the day.

 

In order to lose body fat, our body requires adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Eating nutrient-dense foods stimulates our metabolism and creates a fat-burning machine. Our body functions better supplied with the energy required to burn fat and gain muscle.

 

 

 

 

Nutrient-dense foods help reduce body fat through several functions:

 

Provides the necessary antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other essential nutrients for optimal body functioning.

Increases our metabolism and stimulates the body to effectively burn body fat.

Balanced nutrients maintain our energy level for improved workouts.

Proper nutrient amounts help regulate blood sugar favoring normal values instead of spiked glucose (sugar). Controlling our blood sugar is essential to reducing body fat.

Promotes satiety and curbs cravings.

Improves leptin hormone function in the body and better regulates fat stores.

The Research

Research is an important step to obtain evidence that supports or opposes scientific claims. Many diets are flooding the market with grandiose promises but without positive clinical findings to back it up. Unfortunately, many of us fail to take the time to research the facts before trying the next diet trend.

 

Chronic studies on nutrient-dense foods show positive feedback for fat loss. They’re high antioxidant values are indicated to reduce the risk of disease and hypertension. Research shows nutrient rich foods as an effective way to reduce body fat and improve overall health.

 

An article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compares nutrient intake and links to obesity. A large study group was divided by body mass index (BMI) levels ranging from normal weight, overweight and obese. The research indicated those participants who were overweight or obese had low intakes of micronutrients and high nutrient deficiencies. The normal weight group consumed a regular menu of nutrient-dense foods.

 

Other research on using nutrient-dense foods to break the cycle of obesity appears in the National Institutes of Health. A workshop was conducted examining improved quality of life and health at every age eating nutrient-dense foods as preventative medicine. It was indicated using the nutrient density approach as a valuable nutritional education tool. It was explained eating nutrient dense foods could help resolve nutrient deficiencies and decrease the risk of being overfat or obese.

 

Another study published in the Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine examined the effects of nutrient-dense foods on long-term weight loss. Research participants were seeking dietary counseling to lose weight. The trial included a high nutrient density meal plan with recipes for each volunteer. The patients were followed for a two-year period recording total weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Some participants dropped out but those 33 continuing after one year lost an average of 31 pounds. Nineteen patients returned for the two-year follow-up and each lost an average of 53 pounds. Significant decreases in cholesterol and improved blood pressure were also recorded.

 

The common thread with all research feedback is nutrient-dense foods have the “potential to provide sustainable, significant, long-term weight loss.” Additionally, nutrient rich foods are shown to improve cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating nutrient-dense foods as a lifestyle appears to greatly reduce body fat and improve our health in general.

 

Are Some Nutrient Dense Foods Better Than Others?

National nutrition guidelines recommend eating nutrient-dense foods to help reduce chronic disease and obesity. An article published in the Journal of Nutrition recommends a science-based nutrition profiling system assigning a nutrient value per food.

 

A study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a classification scheme for powerhouse fruits and vegetables. Powerhouse foods are described as those helping reduce the risk of chronic disease. So, yes there will be foods higher in nutrient value than others.

 

Nutrient-dense foods with a value greater than 10 are considered powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV) according to the study. The following PFV value system is provided to improve our understanding and health benefits of nutrient-dense foods:

 

Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables Value System

Food

Nutrient Density Score

 

Food      Nutrient Density Score

Watercress         100        Scallion 27.35

Chinese cabbage              91.99     Kohlrabi               25.92

Chard    89.27     Cauliflower         25.13

Beet green          87.08     Cabbage              24.51

Spinach 86.43     Carrot   22.60

Chicory 73.36     Tomato 20.37

Leaf lettuce         70.73     Lemon   18.72

Parsley  65.59     Iceberg lettuce  18.28

Romaine lettuce               63.48     Strawberry          17.59

Collard green     62.49     Radish   16.91

Turnip green      62.12     Winter squash    13.89

Mustard green   61.39     Orange  12.91

Endive   60.44     Lime      12.23

Chive     54.80     Grapefruit (pink/red)       11.64

Kale       49.07     Rutabaga             11.58

Dandelion green              46.34     Turnip    11.43

Red pepper         41.26     Blackberry           11.39

Arugula 37.65     Leek       10.69

Broccoli 34.89     Sweet potato     10.51

Pumpkin               33.82     Grapefruit (white)            10.47

Brussels sprout  32.23

nutrient density calculated as average percent daily value based on a 2,000 kcal/d diet, meeting criteria for 17 nutrients as provided by 100 kcal of food. Scores above 100 were capped at 100 meaning the food provides on average 100% DV of the qualifying nutrients per 100 kcal.

 

Another highly referenced nutrient density chart was developed by nutrition expert and board-certified physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He believes your health is directly related to the nutrient density of your diet. Fuhrman created the aggregate nutrient density index (ANDI). The ANDI ranks common foods “on the basis of how many nutrients they deliver to your body for each calorie consumed.”

 

Dr. Fuhrman’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI)

Sample Nutrient               Calorie Density Score      Sample Nutrient               Calorie Density Score

Kale                                 1000                                       Sunflower                                   64

Collard Greens                 1000                                      Kidney Beans                      64

Mustard Greens               1000                                     Green Peas                                                        63

Watercress                       1000                                           Cherries                                   55

Swiss Chard                      895                                         Pineapple                                     54

Bok Choy                           865                                          Apple                                                         53

Spinach                              707                                     Mango                                               53

Arugula                              604                                      Peanut Butter                                  51

Romaine                             510                                      Corn                                                   45

Brussels Sprouts               490                                      Pistachio Nuts                                  37

Carrots                              458                                       Oatmeal                                            36

Cabbage                          434                                         Shrimp                                                36

Broccoli                              340                                      Salmon                                               34

Cauliflower                        315                                      Eggs                                                    31

Bell Peppers        265        Milk, 1%              31

Asparagus           245        Walnuts               30

Mushrooms        238        Bananas               30

Tomato 186        Whole Wheat Bread       30

Strawberries       182        Almonds              28

Sweet Potato     181        Avocado              28

Zucchini               164        Brown Rice         28

Artichoke             145        White Potato     28

Blueberries          132        Plain Yogurt, Low Fat      28

Iceberg Lettuce 127        Cashews              27

Grapes  119        Chicken Breast   24

Pomegranates    119        Ground Beef, 85% lean   21

Cantaloupe         118        Feta Cheese        20

Onions  109        French Fries        12

Flax Seeds           103        White Pasta        11

Orange  98           Cheddar Cheese               11

Edamame            98           Apple Juice         11

Cucumber            87           Olive Oil               10

Tofu       82           White Bread       9

Sesame Seeds    74           Vanilla Ice Cream             9

Lentils   72           Corn Chips          7

Peaches               65           Cola       1

Bottom Line

Many diets lack nutrients only certain foods can provide. Eating nutrient-dense foods will allow you to skip the diet, eat more, and still lose fat.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Weight Loss Supplements are a Scam!

magicpill

 

Most weight loss supplements are a scam! Let us reveals the ones that actually work!

 

Since this is a long topic and I don’t want to bore you to tears, today let’s review everything out there claiming to help you boost your metabolism with natural metabolism boosters and I’ll tell you the real truth about where to spend and not spend your money. If you get sick of reading, just see the ingredient and read the “verdict”!

 

Many Claims Regarding Natural Metabolism Boosters That Are Not True!

 

Magic diet pill! Melt your fat away! We’ll show you how to decrease body fat and increase lean body mass with no muscle and fitness or dietary changing efforts !  Step right up and buy the scam! Unexplained weight gain will just melt away! DO NOT FALL FOR WHAT SOUNDS SCAMMY- it is, it is! Weight loss is the #1 supplement scam but now, due to this article on the real, effective natural metabolism boosters, you will not be scammed every again, OK?? Save this for shopping.

 

Messages like these on weight-loss products taunt consumers looking for a quick and easy way to shed pounds. But these products don’t live up to their claims.

Even worse, they can cause serious harm, say, federal regulators, who have found dozens of products being touted as dietary supplements but that actually contain hidden prescription drugs or compounds that have not been adequately studied in humans.

The FDA warns these products are not legal dietary supplements. They are actually very powerful drugs masquerading as “all-natural” or “herbal” supplements, and they carry significant risks to unsuspecting consumers. The FDA has found weight-loss products tainted with the prescription drug ingredient sibutramine.

This ingredient was in an FDA-approved drug called Meridia, which was removed from the market in October 2010 because it caused heart problems and strokes. FDA has also found other prescription drug ingredients that have been removed from the market or never approved at all.

Other weight-loss products marketed as supplements have been found to contain dangerous concoctions of hidden ingredients including seizure medications, blood pressure medications, and other drugs not approved in the U.S.

Many of these tainted products are imported and sold through the Internet, but some can also be found on store shelves. The FDA has made it a priority to seek out these dangerous products, stop them from being imported, and take legal action against firms that manufacture and distribute them.

Just because you see a supplement product on a store shelf does NOT mean it is safe or effective. Although the benefits of some dietary supplements have been documented, the claims of others may be unproven. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Note that famous T.V. doctors have been known to stretch the truth. Well, here is a real review from a real weight loss expert and former T.V. doctor-ME!  And I’ll tell you everything that’s out there and give you a thumbs up or down on whether or not it might be useful.

And/or dangerous. And I’ll tell you WHY. Note  that every single thing mentioned below is contraindicated (not recommended meaning don’t take it) if you are pregnant or nursing. I won’t keep repeating that. Also, it goes without saying that if you are trying to get pregnant, avoid “taking anything.”

6 Ingredients Which Claim to ‘Burn Fat’ – Considered Stimulants

 

  1. Caffeine

 

Description/Primary Functions

Natural stimulant and therefore a natural metabolism booster that’s found in coffee and caffeinated teas and can help burn fat by boosting basal metabolic rate, or BMR.

Several studies have found that a dose of caffeine increased subjects’ energy expenditures by 5 percent or more, helping their bodies burn calories and fat. Caffeine stimulates metabolism and mobilizes body fat for use as energy.

It can also enhance the effects of other fat-burning compounds like green tea and citrus Aurantium.

Note that caffeine in coffee, tea, colas, energy drinks are largely ineffective and it takes a higher of a dose of encapsulated caffeine to have a “good”effect equivalent of 2-3 cups of coffee.

Contraindications/Precautions

Caffeine is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a caffeine-containing product.

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

For this to amp up your metabolism you need more than one cup of coffee as noted above. BUT if you give up all other sources of coffee and it doesn’t give you palpitations then it’s OK. I’m not really crazy about it for weight loss as a single ingredient because it usually causes the jitters and not a lot of metabolic boosts unless combined with other ingredients but I’ll give it an “it’s OK”-just don’t expect miracles. At least in reasonable doses, it might jack up your blood pressure.

  1. Guarana

 

Description/Primary Functions

Guarana is a climbing plant in the maple family native to the Amazon basin and especially common in Brazil. Guarana is best known for its fruit, which is about the size of a coffee

bean. As a dietary supplement, guarana is an effective stimulant. Its seeds contain about twice the concentration of caffeine found in coffee beans.

 

There’s some evidence that guarana – when used along with other supplements – may promote weight loss. It’s uncertain if the guarana specifically was responsible. Because

caffeine is a stimulant that has been shown to improve mood and aid weight loss, guarana may very well also have these effects.

 

Contraindications/Precautions

Guarana is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a guarana-containing product. Guarana is not recommended for those with a seizure disorder, cardiovascular disease,

liver failure, or with kidney failure. It is advised to avoid products with excessive levels of caffeine, which can cause side effects, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

Another one that will work but don’t combine it with caffeine or it WILL jack up your blood pressure. Another one I’m not crazy about but again, in reasonable doses, it’s OK. Can be combined with decaf green tea-DECAF! Then it gets the definitive two thumbs up!

  1. Citrus Aurantium/Synephrine/Bitter Orange

 

Description/Primary Functions

 

Also known as bitter orange, this substance contains several alkaloids that stimulate the body’s beta-3 receptors to boost metabolism and increase fat burning. It also promotes

the release of epinephrine and nor-epinephrine, which enhances mental energy and focus. After ephedra was taken off the market in 2004, bitter orange, a herb similar to

ephedra, has been marketed as a weight loss aid.

 

Proponents claim that bitter orange can stimulate the fat-burning process. Bitter orange may raise blood pressure, increase heart rate or cause abnormal heart rhythms. (This just means you need to get a pure product with  the correct dose-then unless you have a heart condition, you needn’t worry).

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

Bitter orange is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a bitter orange-containing product.

It should not be taken by those with a cardiovascular condition (such as heart disease or high blood pressure or diabetes). Bitter orange should not be combined with caffeine or any natural substances containing caffeine (such as caffeinated green tea and high doses of yerba mate).

It should also be avoided by anyone taking medications (such as MAO inhibitors) or herbs/supplements that increase heart rate. Some people consider this to be like one of the best  energy supplements but it shouldn’t be used for energy, please.

It is a supplement and likely the most potent of all  the supplements to speed up metabolism so you WILL have a burst of energy but again, be careful you don’t “overuse this” OK? (I don’t want you needing help with adrenal fatigue after you have lost your weight!)

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

You just read that it increases two substances-epinephrine and nor-epinephrine and that this increases mental focus. Well, as with ephedra, which is not on the list because other than the black market, it isn’t sold this will also increase cortisol levels if you do not use “the right product” meaning a gentle, controlled dose such as what we have.

So this gets the most efficacy rating as a combo pharmaceutical grade product which contains other things, making what we carry and I cannot vouch for other things you buy, safe and effective. I’m going to give this thumbs up because I am hoping you won’t buy a “crazy concoction” of this somewhere else!

  1. Green Coffee Bean Extract

 

Description/Primary Functions

The beans found in the berries of coffee trees contain high levels of chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid works in two ways. First, it reduces the absorption of blood sugar (glucose) by the intestine. Then it inhibits an enzyme in the liver so that less glucose is released into the bloodstream.

 

With less glucose available, the body burns more fat stored in adipose tissues as a source of energy rather than glucose. There is caffeine in all Green Coffee Extracts in varying amounts unless decaffeinated.

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

Green coffee bean extract is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a green coffee bean extract containing product.

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

Appears that enough chlorogenic acid does cause some degree of fat burning. If you take this, don’t use other caffeine containing products OR use a decaf version.

  1. Raspberry Ketones

 

Description/Primary Functions

Research has shown that these aromatic compounds found in raspberries have potential fat-blasting effects. Raspberry ketones are said to increase the production of two hormones: norepinephrine, which raises body temperature, and adiponectin, which regulates metabolism.

In turn, this supposedly causes stored fat to get broken up more effectively, which makes it easier for your body to burn fat as fuel.

Contraindications/Precautions

Raspberry ketones are contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a raspberry ketone containing product. Raspberry ketones may lower blood sugar levels, so, those taking drugs for diabetes should be monitored closely by their physician.

Raspberry ketones may also cause an increase in inflammation, heart palpitations and shakiness. Raspberry ketones may also interact with medicines, such as those that regulate heart rate and cholesterol, and hormones.

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

Incredibly mixed results depends on the quality of the product so if you are going to try this do a LOT of reading. I am not too crazy about the part where it makes you shaky (that always implies epinephrine and hence cortisol which I just warned you about).

I REALLY don’t like the idea of you taking something which will INCREASE inflammation when I go crazy on this blog teaching you how to lower it. I am therefore going to give it a personal NOPE!

  1. CLA

 

Description/Primary Functions

 

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid often marketed as a weight loss aid. It is found naturally in dairy products and in beef. Proponents claim that CLA can reduce fat while building muscle, as well as keep cholesterol in check. Reports suggest that CLA is a special conjugated omega-6 fatty acid that has been shown to possibly reduce body fat and preserve lean body mass. It’s also been shown to possibly speed up the body‘s fat metabolism and help metabolize existing fat deposits as well as increase the proportion of lean muscle to fat in the body.

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

CLA is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a CLA containing product.

There are indications that CLA can worsen diabetes and therefore should be avoided. It may also increase the possibility of diabetes for those with metabolic syndrome.

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

Big NOPE! Does not work at all!

Other Non-Stimulants Which Claim to be Natural Metabolism Boosters

 

  1. L-Carnitine

 

Description/Primary Functions

 

Acetyl-l-Carnitine, derived from an amino acid, is found in nearly all cells of the body. A- L-Carnitine supplementation may improve the utilization of fat as an energy source.

 

Therefore, l-carnitine can be beneficial in the treatment of a variety of conditions associated with impaired fat utilization and energy production. It’s been shown to help maintain and help to gain energy, increase muscle mass, in conjunction with a weight training program.

 

Researchers and all Anti-aging doctors prefer to use acetyl-L-carnitine in research studies because it is better absorbed from the small intestine than L-carnitine. (Also note that L-carnitine MIGHT be related to colon cancer whereas acetyl-l-carnitine is not).

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

L-Carnitine is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a carnitine-containing product. Rare side effects include muscle weakness in uremic (renal failure)

patients and seizures in those with seizure disorders.

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

This is a great, healthy supplement! I use for bringing down glucose, triglycerides, increasing brain protection, Neural transmission speed, and overall brain health  but it doesn’t directly increase metabolism.The way it does help you lose weight is by helping increase muscle mass and therefore increase your metabolic rate.

So, as much as I LOVE this supplement for the brain and energy and more it would be misleading of me if I told you this was a natural metabolism booster like the other things I will give a true thumbs up to. No thumbs up or down here.

  1. Garcinia Cambogia/HCA

 

Description/Primary Functions

 

HCA is actually a salt derived from the rind of dried fruit, in particular, the Southeast Asian plants brindal berry and Garcinia cambogia. Research backs the effectiveness of HCA at reducing fat absorption, increasing fat metabolism, inhibiting appetite, and lowering LDL cholesterol.

 

It has also been suggested that HCA inhibits the citrate lyase enzyme which is known to be an important catalyst in the metabolic process of converting excess carbohydrates into fat. Once this process is inhibited by HCA, the body’s natural reaction is to increase carbohydrate oxidation which can result in sizeable weight loss.

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

HCA is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of an HCA-containing product. Garcinia/HCA is possibly safe for most people when used for 12 weeks or less. Long-term safety is unknown. It can cause nausea, digestive tract discomfort, and headache. Puts a hard strain on kidneys, so not suitable for diabetic, cardiac patients, High blood pressure medication, Lasix or hydrocholorthyrazine (hctz).

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

Sort of mixed. It truly depends on the amount of HCA % and even then it’s slightly mixed. It is my feeling that the GI side effects are from products which are not pharmaceutical grade and contain contaminants.

It doesn’t amp you up but remember long term safety is “unknown” so I’ll give this an OK, if you want to try it, try it for a SHORT period of time and give your body a break from it- recall you have a list of 10 ingredients so rotate them.

 

  1. Coleus Forskohlii

 

Description/Primary Functions

 

Forskolin is the active ingredient in forskohlii and is a chemical found in the roots of the plant Plectranthus barbatus (Coleus forskohlii). This plant has been used since ancient times to treat heart disorders such as high blood pressure and chest pain (angina), as well as respiratory disorders such as asthma.

 

For dieting, this ingredient works to increase cyclic AMP, which is purported to help the body mobilize body fat for use as energy. Patented for promoting lean body mass, the active ingredient is known as forskolin. Some clinical studies show this ingredient helps reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass.

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

Forskohlii is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a forskohlii containing product. Because of lack of long-term safety studies, pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid forskohlii supplements. There is some concern that forskolin might interfere with treatment for diseases of the heart and blood vessels and could worsen them.

 

Forskolin might significantly lower blood pressure. Use forskolin with caution if you have a heart problem. Forskolin might increase bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using forskolin at least 2  weeks before a scheduled surgery. Medications for high blood pressure ,interact with forskolin. Medications that increase blood flow to the heart (Nitrates) interact with forskolin.

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

Conflicting studies when used on its own but when combined with garcinia Cambogia it appears to work. Just be careful of the “health issues.”

  1. Chromium

 

Description/Primary Functions

 

Chromium is a metal. It is called an “essential trace element” because very small amounts of chromium are necessary for human health. Chromium is needed for normal sugar and fat metabolism. It improves the efficiency of insulin.

 

When chromium levels are low, insulin can’t perform well. This can set the stage for diabetes mellitus, obesity, and heart disease.

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

Chromium is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a chromium containing product.

 

Those with a history of hypoglycemia should exercise caution in the use of chromium supplements, as well as those with liver and kidney disease. Insulin interacts with chromium and might decrease blood sugar.

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

It does NOT speed up metabolism. I don’t want to trash this / same as the acetyl-l-carnitine because it is quite useful. Be careful of chromium picolinate as it is linked to possibly causing cancer.

However, chromium nicotinate should be classified as a great natural appetite suppressant and 600-800 mg 2x a day (don’t go higher) is quite effective.

So no thumbs will be up or down here either.

  1. Fucoxanthin

 

Fucoxanthin is a type of antioxidant carotenoid found naturally in edible brown seaweed such as wakame and hijiki which are used widely in Asian cuisine. Wakame is the seaweed used in miso soup which is a great healthy soup. Preliminary research in animals suggests it may target abdominal fat. Fucoxanthin also doesn’t appear to be a stimulant like ephedra, bitter orange or caffeine. Japanese researchers have found that fucoxanthin (isolated from wakame) promotes the loss of abdominal fat in obese mice and rats.

 

Although it’s not fully understood how fucoxanthin works, it appears to target a protein called UCP1 that increases the rate at which abdominal fat is burned. Abdominal fat, also called white adipose tissue, is the kind of fat that surrounds our organs and is linked to heart disease and diabetes.

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

Fucoxanthin is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a fucoxnthin containing product. Seaweed is rich in iodine and excessive consumption may result in iodine poisoning. High levels of iodine can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland.

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

As a single ingredient, there isn’t evidence that it works. However, it does indeed appear to enhance the “burn” of a well done bitter orange product such as our metabogen.

  1. Capsaicin

 

Description/Primary Functions

 

Capsaicin, a natural compound in chili peppers, is said to promote weight loss. Proponents claim that the compound can boost metabolism, and cause a shift in substrate oxidation from carbohydrate to fat oxidation.

 

A recent study has suggested that the ingestion of capsaicinoids can increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation through the activation of brown adipose tissue. It is also reported that capsaicin leads to a decrease in appetite as well as a decrease in food intake.

 

Another study found that capsaicin may help decrease ghrelin (a hormone involved in promoting hunger). It is considered to be one of the supplements to boost metabolism if ingested and one of the substances for muscle soreness relief if applied on the outside. It’s actually one of the decent natural fibromyalgia treatment modalities.

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

Capsaicin is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a capsaicin-containing product. Although capsaicin is generally considered safe, it may cause some side-effects (such as stomach irritation and aggravation of ulcers and heartburn. In addition, capsaicin supplements may interact with certain medications (including aspirin and blood-thinning

drugs).

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

It does increase metabolic rate a bit and the ghrelin studies are intriguing.

I would be very careful about supplements and get it naturally instead of spicy foods so you don’t get a “capsule dump”.

Note that all spicy foods, even the wasabi you get eating sushi speeds up your metabolism to some extent. This gets an O.K. from me if you are careful about the source.

Plus, spicy foods all boost your immune system nicely! So this is good for your health!

  1. Green Tea Extract

 

Description/Primary Functions

 

Studies show that substances in green tea may offer several weight-loss-promoting effects, such as speeding up metabolism and suppressing appetite.

 

Green tea extract contains a catechin known as EGCG, which may slow carb absorption and increase fat burning by improving the function of insulin. When combined with caffeine, EGCG has shown to elevate metabolism beyond that of caffeine alone.

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

Green tea is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a green tea containing product. While green tea is likely safe for most adults, drinking more than three  cups a day may lead to caffeine-related side effects. These side effects can include headaches, nervousness, sleep problems, and irregular heartbeat, especially in women.

 

The caffeine in green tea may also aggravate some health conditions, including anxiety, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

WORKS! Would always use decaf supplements and make sure they are a pharmaceutical grade or else you don’t get enough active EGCG. A bonus is that studies show this helps short term memory loss.

This can be combined with any of the supplements mentioned above as approved natural metabolism boosters.

  1. Yerba Mate

 

Description/Primary Functions

 

Like green tea, this ingredient contains polyphenols and catechins, which may increase energy expenditure and aid in the loss of body at by stimulating the body to use fat for energy. Yerba mate is known as an adaptogenic herb in South America and Europe.

 

It contains polyphenols and catechins, which may increase energy expenditure and aid in the loss of body fat by stimulating the body to use fat for energy.

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

Yerba mate is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a yerba mate containing product.

 

Some studies indicate that people who drink large amounts of yerba mate over prolonged periods may be at increased risk of some types of cancer, such as cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and lungs. Smoking in combination with yerba mate seems to greatly increase the cancer risk.

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

Also works-similar to green tea extract. Note that calories burned are not that significant with this so my thumbs up here is with a warning to not use it if you are a smoker-stop now-and not long term.

But since it is about the same as green tea extract and that is healthy with no side effects, I’d prefer that you use THAT one, to be honest. Thumbs up with caveats.

  1. 7-Keto DHEA

 

Description/Primary Functions

 

7-keto-DHEA is a by-product of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a chemical that is formed in the body.

 

DHEA is a hormone produced by glands near the kidneys. But unlike DHEA, 7-keto-DHEA is not converted to steroid hormones such as androgen and estrogen. Taking 7-keto-DHEA by mouth or applying it to the skin does not increase the level of steroid hormones in the blood.

 

7-keto-DHEA speeds up the metabolism and heat production to promote weight loss. This is accomplished through the activation of three thermogenic enzymes.

 

In keeping with the biological definition of thermogenesis, the three enzymes activation drive energy-producing substrates in a direction of less efficient ATP production relative to heat production.

 

The enzymes also promote the utilization of fat stores for energy and heat production. This is the basis for 7-Keto’s ability to enhance thermogenesis and, through that mechanism, accelerate the utilization of fat stores.

 

Contraindications/Precautions

 

7-Keto DHEA is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of 7-Keto containing product.

Women may also experience abnormal menses, insomnia, and hot flashes but this is generally with regular DHEA and not the keto version.

 

VERDICT for Safety and Efficacy as One of the Natural Metabolism Boosters Which Will Help You Lose Weight:

 

WORKS! Can be used with decaf green tea. And OK, you can also throw in the other combo products linked above and if you have questions just ASK me and I’ll give you the best combo for YOU. This one alone causes no health issues.

So, there you have it-your guide for metabolic boosters! Remember lifting weights gives you a 5-6 hour boost and anything aerobic gives you a 2-3 hour boost post workout. This and believe it or not, very cold water consumption will raise you up metabolically as much as the mild single-ingredient boosters.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr J Jaranson

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V is for Vegetables and Unique Recipes

vegetables

 

V is for Vegetables

When you look at a basket of garden-fresh vegetables, is your imagination inspired by the endless culinary possibilities these fresh-picked beauties represent? Do you feel excitement and a sense of adventure as you take in their distinctive colors, shapes, and weights?

 

One of my goals as a chef, cook-book writer, and father is to help people discover the joys of fresh, locally grown, seasonal vegetables. I want people to be filled with fascination when they see coils of garlic scapes or lacy fronds of fennel.

 

The following recipes from my latest cookbook, V Is for Vegetables, will show you how to perform edible transformations, turning what may seem scraggly, rooty, and earthy into delicious, attractive dishes. You don’t need sophisticated cooking skills — just an appetite for new flavors and textures, and a willingness to explore the possibilities.

 

GARLIC-SCAPE OMELET

Garlic scapes are the tender shoots of the garlic plant that grow up and out of the stem, curling their way toward the sky. Most commercial growers remove the scapes to preserve the energy of the garlic bulbs and increase yield. For home cooks, though, they’re a real treat. Look for scapes at farmers’ markets in early summer. You can chop and prepare them like green beans or slice them thinly and sauté to bring out their delicate aroma. Scapes have a far milder taste than mature garlic.

Garlic-Scape-Omelet

Garlic Scape Omelet

 

Makes one serving

Prep time: five minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

 

2 tbs. butter

1 clove garlic, smashed

2 garlic scapes, thinly sliced on the diagonal

3 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic clove, scapes, salt, and pepper and cook until the scapes begin to soften, about two minutes. Remove the garlic clove and discard; transfer the scapes to a bowl.

 

Wipe the skillet clean, and then melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat.

 

Beat the eggs well in a small bowl, and add salt and pepper. Pour the eggs into the pan and stir vigorously to create small, fine curds. As you work, scrape down the sides of the pan so the eggs cook evenly.

 

Sprinkle one-third of the cooked scapes onto the eggs just before the eggs firm up. When the top is evenly set and not runny, tilt the pan away from you and fold the omelet in half with a spatula. The lip of the pan will help form the shape of the omelet as it continues to cook gently.

 

Turn out the omelet onto a plate and serve topped with the remaining garlic scapes.

 

WARM WILTED PEA SHOOTS

Think beyond the pea pod. Succulent pea shoots have long been a staple in Chinese cooking, and some U.S. farmers are now growing peas especially for their shoots and leaves. Look for pea shoots in late spring, and enjoy them in any dish as a replacement for greens like spinach, Swiss chard, or kale. You can add raw pea shoots to salads for an extra kick, but wilting them really brings out their flavor.

peashoots

Warm Wilted Pea shoots

 

Makes four servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: three minutes

 

2 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. sesame oil

1 clove garlic, smashed

4 large handfuls pea shoots

Handful snow pea pods, blanched

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive and sesame oils in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

 

Add the garlic, pea shoots, snow pea pods, salt, and pepper.

 

Cook, stirring often, until the pea shoots are just wilted, about a minute. Serve warm.

 

BRAISED RADISHES WITH HONEY AND BLACK PEPPER

Braising softens radish roots and tempers their spicy rawness. The sweet honey and aromatic black pepper in this recipe complement, rather than detract from, the character of the radishes, and the browned edges of the radishes themselves add a flavorful touch.

Braised-Radishes-With-Honey-and-Black-Pepper

Braised Radishes With Honey and Black Pepper

 

Makes four servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

 

2 tbs. olive oil

1 lb. radishes, halved

1 clove garlic, smashed

2 tbs. honey

1 tsp. coarsely cracked black pepper

2 tbs. cider vinegar

Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add half the radishes and all the garlic, and cook until radishes are lightly browned, about five minutes.

 

Add the honey and pepper, and allow the honey to caramelize, about one minute.

 

Add the vinegar, the remaining radishes, and salt. Cook until the second batch of radishes is just warmed but not soft. Serve warm.

 

WARM ZUCCHINI SALAD

Zucchini is more than a ubiquitous plant that grows out of control in summer. Along with other summer squashes like yellow crookneck and pattypan, it’s a symbol of Mediterranean cooking. The tender textures and light flavors are inextricably linked to summer and sun.

Warm-Zucchini-Salad

Warm Zucchini Salad

 

Makes four servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: eight minutes

 

2 tbs. olive oil

1 clove garlic, smashed

1 lb. zucchini and other summer squashes, cut into wedges

Pinch crushed red-pepper flakes

Pinch dried oregano

Pinch dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup fava or any shell beans, blanched, peeled, and rinsed

4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Handful fresh basil, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, zucchini, red-pepper flakes, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook until the zucchini is tender, about five minutes.

 

Add the favas, goat cheese, and basil. Toss and serve warm. (Also delicious cooled.)

 

Why No Numbers? Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

 

Call us if you have any concerns or questions about your healthcare.  If you don’t know what you are doing , it is better to ask.  Sometimes there are no do-overs.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Mark Anthony

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

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Diet Drinks Do Not Promote Weight Loss

doetcple

Diet Drinks Don’t Promote Weight Loss: Study

 

You might remember that we have presented this problem before, but it is good enough to bring out the subject again.

 

Although diet and sugar-free drinks are often promoted as healthier choices, a new study found they are no more helpful for losing weight or preventing weight gain than their full-sugar versions.

Diet drinks contain no sugar and are sweetened with artificial sweeteners instead, and they are often believed by consumers to be healthier. But, say researchers from Imperial College London and two Brazilian universities, there is no solid evidence to support claims they are healthier or that they help prevent obesity and obesity related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.

“A common perception, which may be influenced by industry marketing, is that because ‘diet’ drinks have no sugar, they must be healthier and aid weight loss when used as a substitute for full sugar versions,” said Christopher Millet from Imperial’s School of Public Health. “However, we found no solid evidence to support this.”

Despite having no or very little energy content, there is a concern that artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) might trigger eating by stimulating sweet taste receptors. When coupled with the consumers’ awareness of the low-calorie content of diet drinks, people may eat more overall, which contributes to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related health problems.

The study authors added: “Far from helping to solve the global obesity crisis, ASBs may be contributing to the problem and should not be promoted as part of a healthy diet.”

An earlier study from the University of Texas found that 59 percent of Americans drink diet sodas regularly hoping to lose weight.

Earlier studies have also found that diet sodas don’t help with weight loss. In fact, a study at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio found those who drank diet sodas were more likely to become overweight than those who drank regular sugary sodas.

 

 

Scientists found that for each can of diet soda consumed each day, the risk of obesity increased by 41 percent. After 10 years, those who drank two or more diet sodas a day increased their risk of obesity by 500 percent.

In addition, a study published in the journal Nature found that diet sodas change the microbes living in the gut in a way that increases the risk of diabetes.

Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science found that people who regularly used artificial sweeteners, including aspartame and saccharin, had elevated levels of HbA1C, a measure of blood sugar.

Another study, this one from the University of Minnesota, found that a single diet soda daily raised the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes by 36 percent.

Interesting facts!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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P Carrothers

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One Way to Detox Your Liver

cranberrywater

One Way to Detoxing Your Liver

Plant compounds and fruit acids in cran-water detoxify and heal the liver to rev fat burn and flush water weight.  Cran – water?  Yes, Combine 8 ounces of unsweetened, organic, cranberry juice with 56 ounces of water in a pitcher each morning and sip 8 glasses daily.

 

Cranberry Juice Drink Blends

 

Unless the  cranberry juice blend you’re drinking specially states it’s 100 percent cranberry juice on the label, chances are it’s high in added sugar. Many juice drink blends list some form of sugar as the second ingredient, after water, on the food label — and many of these drinks contain little, if any, fruit juice. Always read the ingredients and if it has apple juice or HFCS on the label it is not cranberry juice.

The American Diabetes Association urges people with diabetes to avoid fruit punch and other sugary drinks because of the extra calories in these drinks, and blood sugar spikes that can occur after drinking them. However, there are some fruit punch and cranberry juice blends that contain 100 percent fruit juice, so read the food label carefully and make sure that sugar (or high-fructose corn syrup) isn’t listed in the ingredient list.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Ten Spices for Weight Loss

10spicesforweight

Top 10 Herbs and Spices to Help You Lose Weight

 

  1. Ginseng

 

Ginseng is valued for its ability to boost energy levels and speed metabolism. Panax ginseng, in particular, has been linked to weight loss benefits, with one study showing obese, diabetic mice given panax ginseng extracts not only had improvements in insulin sensitivity, but also lost a significant amount of weight after 12 days.1

 

  1. Cayenne Pepper

 

Capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their heat, may help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering blood fat levels, as well as fight fat buildup by triggering beneficial protein changes in your body.2

 

Part of the benefit may be due to capsaicin’s heat potential, as it is a thermogenic substance that may temporarily increase thermogenesis in your body, where your body burns fuel such as fat to create heat, with beneficial impacts on metabolism and fat storage. Research suggests that consuming thermogenic ingredients may boost your metabolism by up to 5 percent, and increase fat burning by up to 16 percent.3 It may even help counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that often occurs during weight loss.

 

  1. Cinnamon

 

This spice may help to boost your metabolism, and it also has impressive benefits for blood sugar regulation, making it an ideal seasoning for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Cinnamon has been found to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, as well as increase glucose metabolism by about 20 times, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate blood sugar.4

 

  1. Black Pepper

 

Black pepper contains a substance called piperine, which not only gives it its pungent flavor, but also blocks the formation of new fat cells.5 When combined with capsaicin and other substances, black pepper was also found to burn as many calories as taking a 20-minute walk.6 As an aside, black pepper also increases the bioavailability of just about all other foods — herbs and other compounds – making it a healthy choice for virtually any meal.

 

  1. Dandelions

 

Every part of the dandelion is edible and full of nutrition. And because they help slow your digestion, they can make you feel full longer, helping you maintain a healthy weight. Dandelions have antioxidant properties and contain bitter crystalline compounds called Taraxacin and Taracerin, along with inulin and levulin, compounds thought to explain some of its therapeutic properties. Along with being full of dietary fiber, dandelions also contain beta carotene, vitamin K1, vitamins and minerals, and are known for being beneficial for normalizing blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as cleansing your liver.

 

  1. Mustard

 

The mustard plant is actually in the cruciferous family of vegetables (along with broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, for instance). Mustard seeds have been shown to boost metabolic rate by 25 percent, which means you’ll burn calories more efficiently. In fact, just 3/5 teaspoon of mustard seeds daily may help you burn an extra 45 calories an hour.7

 

  1. Turmeric

 

If you’re a fan of curry, you’re probably also a fan of turmeric, as this is the yellow-orange spice that makes the foundation of many curry dishes. Curcumin, one of turmeric’s most thoroughly studied active ingredients, reduces the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it, and therefore may contribute to lower body fat and body weight gain.8

 

Curcumin may also be useful for the treatment and prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases, as the interactions of curcumin with several key signal transduction pathways in the body result in improvements in insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and other inflammatory symptoms associated with obesity and metabolic disorders.9

 

  1. Ginger

 

Ginger is another warming spice that has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help soothe and relax your intestinal tract. Research also suggests that ginger may have thermogenic properties that help boost your metabolism, as well as have an appetite-suppressant effect when consumed, suggesting a “potential role of ginger in weight management.”10

 

  1. Cardamom

 

Cardamom, an aromatic spice with a spicy-sweet flavor, is another thermogenic herb that helps boost your metabolism and may boost your body’s ability to burn fat. Cardamom is a popular herb used in Ayurveda, an ancient holistic system of medicine and natural healing from India. It is also used to lift the blues.  Many of our Scandinavian countries have been using it for years for Seasonal Depression.

 

  1. Cumin

 

Cumin is useful for digestion and energy production, and may improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. The spice has a long history of medicinal use, and has also been found to enhance memory and provide potent anti-stress benefits.

 

What Else are Spices Good For?

 

Far more than you might imagine …Herbs and spices are actually some of the most potent antioxidants in your food supply; in many instances surpassing other more well-known sources of antioxidants. For example, spices such as cloves and cinnamon have phenol levels that are 30 percent and 18 percent of dry weight, respectively. Compare that to blueberries, which are widely touted for their antioxidant capabilities; they contain roughly 5 percent phenol by dry weight…

 

Another example is oregano, which has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and four times more than blueberries! One tablespoon of fresh oregano contains the same antioxidant activity as one medium-sized apple.

 

While each spice has a unique set of health benefits to offer, one study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods,11 found a direct correlation between the antioxidant phenol content and the spice’s ability to inhibit glycation and the formation of toxic advanced glycation end products, making them potent preventers of heart disease and premature aging. According to this study, the top 10 most potent herbs and spices are:

 

  1. Cloves (ground) 2.   Cinnamon (ground)Saigon or Thailand only
  2. Jamaican allspice (ground) 4.   Apple pie spice (mixture)
  3. Oregano (ground) 6.   Pumpkin pie spice (mixture)
  4. Marjoram 8.   Sage
  5. Thyme 10. Gourmet Italian spice

Rounding Out Your Comprehensive Weight Loss Plan

 

Always remember to buy certified organic spices, as most conventional ones are irradiated, resulting in the formation of harmful radiolytic byproducts, including formaldehyde. For most people, simply adding spices to your meals will not be enough to trigger significant weight loss, although this will certainly support and help you achieve your weight loss goals. If you are serious about losing weight, you’ll need a more comprehensive plan that includes:

 

Eliminating or strictly limiting fructose in your diet, and following the healthy eating program in my comprehensive nutrition plan. You can also use intermittent fasting strategically with this program to greatly boost your body’s fat-burning potential.

Engaging in high-intensity Peak Fitness exercise to burn fat and increase muscle mass (a natural fat burner).

Addressing the emotional component of eating. For this I highly recommend the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which helps eliminate your food cravings naturally.

 

If you are having problems with your weight loss plan, or you notice weight gain in certain areas, it is usually not how much you are eating, but what you are eating.

Please share with family and loved ones.  Call us for an appointment to help in all your healthcare plans.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: 16

P Carrothers

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Low Carb: Chinese Beef Broccoli

chineselowcarbeefbroccoli

Not only is this an excellent low carb recipe, it is great for diabetics.

 

Low Carb:    Chinese Broccoli Beef Recipe

 

Prep time: 15 minutesCook time: 15 minutesYield: Serves 3 to 4

Pro tip: put the steak in the freezer for 15-30 minutes before slicing, it will be firmer and easier to slice thin.

 

Ingredients

3/4 pound flank or sirloin, sliced thinly across the grain

3/4 pound broccoli florets

2 tablespoons high-heat cooking oil

2 cloves garlic, very finely minced or smushed through garlic smusher

1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

For the beef marinade

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 cup chicken broth

 

Directions

1 Marinate the beef: Stir together the beef marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the beef slices and stir until coated. Let stand for 10 minutes.

2 Prepare the sauce: Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

3 Blanch or steam the broccoli: Cook the broccoli in a small pot with at least an inch of boiling water until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

4 Stir-fry the beef: Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and instantly evaporates upon contact. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the beef and immediately spread the beef out all over the surface of the wok or pan in a single layer (preferably not touching). Let the beef fry undisturbed for 1 minute. Flip the beef slices over, add the garlic to the pan and fry for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until no longer pink.

 

5 Add sauce, cornstarch, and broccoli: Pour in the sauce and the cornstarch dissolved in water, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, 30 seconds. Stir in the the broccoli.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Yoga Benefits Your Brain Function and Mental Healt

yoga

Yoga Benefits Your Brain Function and Mental Health

 

Low-impact exercises such as yoga have a number of benefits. Not only can it provide the physical benefits of exercise, yoga may also help stave off cognitive decline, according to a recent study of older adults with early warning signs of waning memory.

 

While I believe most benefit from high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for optimal health, there’s no doubt that yoga can also be beneficial. It has mental, emotional and even spiritual benefits that can be very helpful for those struggling with stress-related health problems.

 

Yoga can be viewed as a form of moving meditation that demands your full attention as you gently shift your body from one asana (yoga position) to another.

 

As you learn new ways of moving and responding to your body, your mind and emotions may shift and change as well. In a sense, you not only become more physically flexible, but your mental outlook and approach to life may gain some needed flexibility as well.

 

Yoga Helps Mitigate Cognitive Decline

 

Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that physical activity helps keep your mind sharp with age, and this goes for activities such as yoga as well. Overall, inactivity is enemy No. 1 if you seek to optimize your cognitive function. According to The New York Times:1

 

 

“There also is growing evidence that combining physical activity with meditation might intensify the benefits of both pursuits.

 

 

In an interesting study2 … people with depression who meditated before they went for a run showed greater improvements in their mood than people who did either of those activities alone.

 

 

But many people do not have the physical capacity or taste for running or other similarly vigorous activities. So for the new study … researchers … decided to test whether yoga, a relatively mild, meditative activity, could alter people’s brains and fortify their ability to think.3,4

 

 

They began by recruiting 29 middle-aged and older adults … who … were anxious about the state of their memories and who, during evaluations … were found to have mild cognitive impairment, a mental condition that can be a precursor to eventual dementia.

 

 

The volunteers also underwent a sophisticated type of brain scan that tracks how different parts of the brain communicate with one another.”

 

The participants were divided into two groups. One group enrolled in a brain-training program consisting of mental exercises for one hour per week. They were also asked to practice at home for 15 minutes a day.

 

The second group participated in a Kundalini yoga class for one hour per week. They were also taught Kirtan Kriya meditation, which involves the use of mantras and fluid hand movements. They were asked to practice this meditation at home for 15 minutes each day.

 

Yoga Outperforms Standard Brain Training

 

After 12 weeks, all subjects again underwent cognitive tests and brain scans. Overall, all participants had improved to some degree, but the yoga group not only fared slightly better on memory tests, they also reported improvements in their mood. As reported in the featured article:

 

 

“The brain scans in both groups displayed more communication now between parts of their brains involved in memory and language skills.

 

 

Those who had practiced yoga, however, also had developed more communication between parts of the brain that control attention, suggesting a greater ability now to focus and multitask.

 

 

In effect, yoga and meditation had equaled and then topped the benefits of 12 weeks of brain training. ‘We were a bit surprised by the magnitude’ of the brain effects, said Dr. Helen Lavretsky … who oversaw the study.”

 

Why Yoga Is so Beneficial for Your Brain

 

Over the years, a number of studies have honed in on the brain benefits of yoga. For example, studies have found that:

 

 

  • Twenty minutes of Hatha yoga improves your brain function (speed and accuracy of mental processing) to a greater degree than 20 minutes of aerobic exercise (jogging).5,6 Potential mechanisms include enhanced self-awareness and reduced stress.

 

  • Yoga helps improve mental health, including psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia.7,8,9,10

 

Some of the studies suggest yoga can have a similar effect to antidepressants and psychotherapy.

 

  • Yoga helps improve teenagers’ emotional resilience and ability to manage anger. As noted by yoga educator and writer Iona Smith:11

 

 

“During adolescence, the frontal lobes of the brain (the seat of language and reason) are still being formed, leaving teens to overly rely on their amygdala (the seat of emotions) …

 

 

The brain’s malleability during adolescence marks a crucial stage in both cognitive and emotional development.

 

 

Luckily, researchers are now able to paint a clearer picture of some of the factors that allow students to thrive throughout high school and into adulthood, such as self-awareness, managing distressing emotions, empathy, and navigating relationships smoothly.

 

 

When students hone these skills, they are not only happier and healthier emotionally, but are also better able to focus on academics.”

 

  • By improving stress-related imbalances in your nervous system, yoga can help relieve a range of symptoms found in common mental health disorders.

 

Researchers also believe yoga can be helpful for conditions like epilepsy, chronic pain, depression, anxiety and PTSD by increasing brain chemicals like gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA).12

 

Other Mind-Body Benefits of Yoga

 

Other studies have demonstrated that regular yoga practice can impart a number of different physical, mental and emotional benefits, including the ones listed below.13,14,15,16

 

One explanation for yoga’s wide-ranging effects is that it actually alters genetic expression — through its beneficial effects on your mind! In fact, the relaxation response triggered by meditative practices has been shown to affect at least 2,209 genes.17

 

 

Improved immune function18

 

Improved sleep19,20

 

 

Reduced risk for migraines21

 

Lowered risk of hypertension and heart disease22,23

 

 

Lowered cortisol (stress hormone) level by down regulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and calming sympathetic nervous system24

 

Improved sexual performance and satisfaction in both sexes25,26

 

 

How Yoga Aids Weight Loss and Promotes Good Health

 

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, yoga has also been shown to aid weight loss. In one study,27 overweight yoga participants lost an average of 5 pounds whereas the non-yoga group gained 13 pounds. This held true even when accounting for differences in diet. Typically, HIIT is the most effective for weight loss, and the key to its effectiveness is the intensity. So how can the effectiveness of yoga — which is the converse of HIIT in terms of intensity — be explained?

 

According to Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, yoga’s benefits are related to the fact that it does the opposite of more strenuous exercise. Rather than boosting your heart rate and stimulating your nervous system, yoga puts you in a parasympathetic state that lowers both your blood pressure and heart rate, and this helps promote a positive cascade of health effects.

 

This makes sense if you consider the adverse biological effects of stress. By promoting systemic inflammation, chronic stress can be a factor in everything from weight gain to high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s also been shown to trigger the onset of dementia. What’s worse, stress-induced weight gain typically involves an increase in belly fat, which is the most dangerous fat for your body to accumulate as it increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.

 

Stress actually alters the way fat is deposited because of the specific hormones and other chemicals your body produces when you’re stressed. For example, recent research28 shows that chronic stress stimulates your body to produce betatrophin, a protein that blocks an enzyme that breaks down body fat. So by reducing stress you reduce inflammation, and along with it your risk for any number of health problems, including stubborn weight.

 

A 2011 review29 of published clinical studies on yoga also concluded that yoga movements stimulate skin pressure receptors that boost activity in your brain and vagus nerve, both of which influence the production and release of various hormones. As vagus nerve activity increases, the levels of stress hormones like cortisol decrease. It also triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role not only in your mood, but also in appetite control and sleep patterns.

 

The Importance of a Comprehensive Fitness Program

 

Yoga and other simple restorative exercises tone and strengthen your body, increase circulation and oxygen flow, energize you for the day and help you unwind in the evening. However, studies support the use of yoga to strengthen brain function and improve common psychiatric disorders (along with many other health benefits, including pain relief and increased flexibility and strength).

 

I believe it’s important to incorporate a variety of exercises into your routine for optimal results. Ideally, you’ll want a comprehensive fitness program that includes HIIT and resistance training, along with flexibility- and core-building exercises like yoga. Daily non-exercise movement is also important, and simply walking more each day can go a long way toward warding off many common health problems.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: JM

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

 

 

Keep It Cool

cool

KEEP IT COOL

 

A striking new study published in the journal Diabetes suggests that simply blasting the air conditioner or turning down the heat in winter may help us attack belly fat while we sleep. Colder temperatures subtly enhance the effectiveness of our stores of brown fat—fat keeps you warm by helping you burn through the fat stored in your belly. Participants spent a few weeks sleeping in bedrooms with varying temperatures: a neutral 75 degrees, a cool 66 degrees, and a balmy 81 degrees. After four weeks of sleeping at 66 degrees, the subjects had almost doubled their volumes of brown fat. (And yes, that means they lost belly fat.)

 

Call us for your personalized healthcare plan.  Each body is different, and all suggestions are not for all people.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

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