Archive for December, 2009

Health…matters!

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Solanova good eating habit are healthy

I was just recently patting myself on the back because I hadn’t gotten sick at all during this flu season.  Even though I was completely surrounded by sniffling, sneezing, and hacking co-workers and/or relatives, I experienced nary a cough.  Well done, I thought.  I must really be impervious to-well-everything!  Hurray for me!

But then, inevitably, I woke up with a cold.  Normally there are warning signs; a feeling of dopiness, a vague headache, unexplained fatigue.  However this time, I simply woke up feeling stuffy, headachy, and just a little bit out of it.  This cold is annoying, and is making me just a tad crazy as I try to search for just the right-um-uh-you know-phrase to convey its unpleasantness.

Colds really do make me feel hazy and tired.  But here’s what I realized.  The colds I used to get oftentimes turned into something much worse (like Bronchitis) and tended to be of longer, agonizing duration.  Now when I am unlucky enough to get sick, the cold or flu isn’t that bad and is over in a few days tops.

What is the difference between then and now, you may ask?  Eating right, exercising, and yes, faithfully taking my vitamins and supplements.

I hate to be so darn elementary about it, but in my case it seems to be absolutely true.  I was once a person who, when faced with an illness, would try to consume fistfuls of vitamin C and other vitamins on the off chance it would stop my misery mid-cold.  It didn’t.  I was also the kind of person who would only wander near a gym, a produce market, or a vitamin store sporadically, and usually just to peek in the window.

A few years ago I decided to make a change.  I started eating things like broccoli, Swiss chard, carrots, and salads at least once every single day.  I joined a gym and I went to it, usually three times a week.  And finally, I did a little research and started taking some vitamins and supplements on a regular basis.  Now none of these things is rash by any means, but I changed what I felt I could really commit to and it worked.  I feel healthier, stronger, more well rested, and better overall than I did just a few years ago.

I decided to make a series of small changes that over time made a big impact on my life and my health.  You can do it too.  Good luck.

Happy New Year!

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Out with the bad, in with the healthy!

Monday, December 28th, 2009

new-years-calendar

As the year comes to a close, you may find you are promising yourself all kinds of ambitious results in the name of New Year’s resolutions.  For example, you decided you’ll get up at 5am every day and take a jog around your neighborhood for at least 45 minutes-even if it’s raining-and cold.  And you’re not a jogger.  You’ve also promised yourself you’d cut up all of your credit cards except one, and then commit to paying it off in full every month.  Another resolution might be to not eat too much at one sitting and to be sure you consume at least three or four servings of vegetables and fruits a day.  Now all that doesn’t sound too hard, does it?

All of these New Year’s resolutions are very commendable, but the problem is that it can be very difficult and discouraging to try to live up to these types of ideals.  It’s great to think big and aim high but sometimes what we really need is a realistic goal that is actually attainable.  And once we’ve stuck to an easy and manageable plan, it gives us the confidence to perhaps add another healthy commitment to our plate.

Start with something simple.  If you’re trying to lose weight and consume a lot of sugary soda, try swapping the soda for water and watch as the pounds drop off.  Little adjustments like this can help over time, and it won’t make you feel hungry or too deprived.  Making plans to walk with a friend or family member after work a few times a week can help to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and also gives you time to catch up with the people you’d like to see more often-which is maybe another good New Year’s resolution to pursue.

Start with something fundamental.  If you smoke, by all means quit!  Sometimes, we skirt around the real health issue, such as making plans to exercise more and eat healthier when the first step should be to quit smoking.  But smoking cessation can be extremely challenging, and therefore committing to eating more broccoli instead sounds better.  But broccoli can only do so much if you are polluting your body with carcinogens.  Get into a program, find some support, and follow through on the one really important resolution for the year; kicking a bad health habit like smoking. And the bonus is that you not only make yourself healthier, but also help those around you.  Second hand smoke can cause a myriad of illnesses including asthma, so do your family and friends a favor and kick the habit for good.

Whatever resolutions you pick, make sure they mean something to you and are something you can work toward with confidence during the year.  May this season bring health and happiness to you and your loved ones.

Happy holidays!

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Read more about new years resolutions and what kind of healthy choices to make here. Commit to better health by taking powerful antioxidants and ensure a great 2010!

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To be or not to be…an ice cream sundae.

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

woman with salad and antioxidants

You are what you eat.  Yes, a hackneyed expression, but nevertheless true.  I always feel better if I eat in a healthy way, and usually feel vaguely guilty if I’ve indulged in too much fat, sugar, or alcohol-and usually it’s a combination of all three-especially around the holidays.

If you’re anything like me, it can be very difficult to stay motivated.  For example, I like the gym, but I like sleeping more.  I enjoy sautéed Swiss chard, but I’d much rather have an oversized ice cream sundae dripping with chocolate sauce.  It’s very easy and tempting to stray off the healthy, antioxidant path.  There are cookie-laden forests and lakes of freshly whipped cream to explore instead!  But these empty calorie treats-as good as they may be-are nutrition traps.  What’s more, they aren’t doing anything to fortify my immune system.  I want to feel strong, healthy, and in control of my health destiny as much as possible.

So I recommit.  Every day to a healthy way of life.  For me, putting my continued good health at the top of my “to do” list empowers me to carry on with my eating-right-and-exercising-routine.  The fact that I will look better in my clothes is a nice byproduct, but not the main reason that I try very hard to take care of myself.  I cram as many antioxidant-enriched foods as I can possibly stand into my daily routine.  My body then has the tools it needs to fortify my immune system and defend against free radical damage and hopefully against various diseases and health conditions too.

In fact, there was a recent study conducted tracking midlife eating habits of Swedish twins.  It was hypothesized that those who fortified their diets with plenty of fruits and vegetables mid life seemed to lessen their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, compared with twins who did not eat as many antioxidant enriched foods.

I decided long ago to hedge my bets and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet replete with plenty of antioxidants.  I am also sure to take Omega-3 fatty acids and highly absorbable multivitamins and vitamin D supplements every day for better health.  By committing to good health habits on a regular basis, I can still have my sundae and eat it too-and that makes me very, very happy.

Be healthy and enjoy all of the holiday festivities!

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To read more about powerful antioxidant support, check out our health archives. Happy holidays from all of us at Solanova!

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/38666“Midlife Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Risk of Dementia in Later Life in Swedish Twins,” Hughes TF, Andel R, et al, Am J Geriatr Psychiatry, 2009 Nov 10; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, PA, USA).

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In vitamin D we trust

Friday, December 18th, 2009

couple happy with Solanova supplements

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the positive effects of getting enough vitamin D, and equally much lamenting that most Americans aren’t getting as much as they need of the important vitamin to live an optimally healthy life.  Through numerous research, it has been shown that people with low levels of vitamin D seem to have a higher risk of disease overall.  Vitamin D is traditionally known for its supporting role, helping calcium build up strong bones.  But it also can help to regulate and fortify the immune system.  In a very recent study, vitamin D deficiency was linked to a greater risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer disease, and stroke.

In a cross-sectional study involving 318 elders (mean age = 73.5 years) receiving home care, results indicate that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency may be associated with increased risks for all-cause dementia, Alzheimer disease and stroke. 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations were deficient (<10 ng/mL) in 14.5% and insufficient (10-20 ng/mL) in 44.3% of the participants. Mean 25(OH)D concentrations were found to be lower in subjects with dementia. Additionally, a significantly higher prevalence of dementia was observed in vitamin D insufficient subjects. After adjusting for confounding factors, vitamin D insufficiency was associated with more than a two-fold increased risk of dementia, Alzheimer disease and stroke (with and without dementia symptoms). Lastly, vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased white matter hyperintensity volume, grade, and prevalence of large vessel infarcts. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, “Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency was associated with all-cause dementia, Alzheimer disease, stroke (with and without dementia symptoms), and MRI indicators of cerebrovascular disease. These findings suggest a potential vasculoprotective role of vitamin D.”

Vitamin D is turning out to be an incredibly important element for overall health.  Spending (a little) time in the sun, eating a balanced diet replete with calcium rich foods, and taking a quality vitamin D supplement can all contribute to continued good health and vitality.

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There is more information about enhancing the immune system and vitamin deficiency in our health concerns archives. And for superb antioxidant protection try our powerful Omega-Gel® supplements and our Liqui-Calcium for superior vitamin D support.

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Reference: “25-Hydroxyvitamin D, dementia, and cerebrovascular pathology in elders receiving home services,” Buell JS, Tucker KL, et al, Neurology, 2009 Nov 25; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA).

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Healthy is always helpful!

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

solanova blood sugar support supplements

Ever notice that when you’re really tired, rushed or stressed out that you also seem sluggish, fuzzy, and unmotivated?  I can only speak for myself, but I’ve noticed a pattern that I have to assume is fairly common.

Perhaps I have a particularly taxing week at work, and then the car breaks down, then I’m late for a flight that I already had to reschedule once before, and now the presentation won’t be done on time.  Stress then rears its ugly head, which in turn makes me count cracks in the ceiling all night, which leads to me feeling less than svelte as I go about my daily routine.

And then this domino effect continues.  It pervades my eating, drinking and exercising habits in an insidious way.  I start to make excuses why I absolutely have to have that maple doughnut bar oozing with sugary goodness, or that double cheeseburger-with fries of course, otherwise the burger is lonely.  Top all that off with a triple fat full mocha with extra whip and candied orange peels.  Here’s the troubling thing; all this actually makes me feel better!  I have more energy and I’m sated.  I can focus on my work, on driving, on saving that little kitten in the big Oak tree.  I feel like superman!

Until I don’t.  Then the crash comes, oh how I resent you sugar crash!  Just when I thought everything was going so well.  But I was simply fooling myself, masking what my body really needed with my out of control crazy cravings for sugar, caffeine, and lots o’ fat.  That’s not to say that there isn’t a time and place for indulgence.  But I was using this sustenance as a kind of super fat-sugar-coffee inflated life raft, rigged to help me handle my stressful, insomniac existence.  However, my little plan failed me miserably, so much so that I slogged home and blended myself an extra thick margarita for good measure.

At the risk of sounding like a 90’s fitness icon, it was time for me to “stop the insanity.”  I knew better.  I knew that the stress hormone cortisol was working against me and making me eat things I knew I shouldn’t.  And the fact that I wasn’t getting enough sleep made it all the worse.  My body craved instant (but not sustainable) energy to make it through the day and I ate it in abundance.  What I really should’ve done was take my vitamins, had one cup of coffee (which is my usual, sane practice), eaten my bran cereal, gone to work, drank plenty of water, had a very sensible and fuel-laden lunch of salad, a low fat turkey sandwich, and maybe some fruit which is my usual custom.  I then would’ve had enough sustained energy and patience to deal with the missed flight and the broken down car and maybe, just maybe, I still would’ve gone to the gym, just to blow off a little steam lifting weights.

Now I know better.  And you should too.  This is my cautionary tale.  It’s fine to have treats, but don’t rely on them to keep you going.  They will let you down every, single time.

Happy holidays.  And by the way.  Who moved my eggnog latte??

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Want to read more about enhanced energy and daily health?  Check out our health concerns archives.  And even if you overdo it at the dinner table, there is digestive help.  We also have powerful  probiotics to promote a healthy digestive tract and help synthesize vitamins and nutrients.

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Antioxidants to the rescue!

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Solanova Omega-Gel, Omega-3 fatty acid

Most of us are aware that antioxidants are good for us.  They help fortify our immune systems and protect us from free radicals that can cause cell damage.  Antioxidants are found in certain super foods like berries, salmon, whole grains, many vegetables and quality supplements.  There has been myriad research regarding the relationship between a healthy diet replete with antioxidants and certain diseases such as cancer and coronary artery disease (CAD).

In a study involving 42 patients (27 men, 15 women) with documented coronary artery disease (CAD) and 49 apparently healthy subjects (33 men, 16 women), patients with CAD were found to have significantly higher cellular DNA damage, quantified via TL, which was significantly higher in patients with CAD (87.3 microm), as compared to healthy controls (79.3 microm). In addition, levels of plasma TRAP, vitamin C, gamma-tocopherol, and alpha-carotene were lower in patients with CAD as compared to controls. Erythrocytic catalase activity, on the other hand, was increased in patients with CAD. The authors conclude, “…reduced overall antioxidant status was closely connected to higher susceptibility of DNA damage in CAD patients.”

It makes sense to protect yourself from potential diseases and other unwanted health conditions.  Grab a salmon salad, some omega-3 supplements and blueberries with frozen yogurt and start enjoying a life filled with healthy, powerful antioxidants!

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We have a lot of information about antioxidant protection.  Read all about antioxidant support in our health concerns archives!  And for unsurpassed Resveratrol health benefits, try our Rubi QNol® CoQ10 supplements with Ubiquinol.

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Reference: “Susceptibility to Oxidative Stress is Greater in Korean Patients with Coronary Artery Disease than Healthy Subjects,” Park E, Kyoung Park Y, et al, J Clin Biochem Nutr, 2009; 45(3): 341-6. (Address: Dept. of Food & Nutrition, Kyungnam University, Masan 631-701, Korea).

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