Archive for the ‘Digestive health’ Category

Just say “no” to scary foods

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Do hamburgers piled high with bacon, cheese, and more bacon make you queasy?  Are you fundamentally opposed to fried Twinkies?  Does the thought of a donut, cake and frankfurter party platter give you the willies?  Yes? That’s good. That’s very, very good.

We all have our weak moments when a chocolate bar or a basket of French fries is the only thing that will complete us.  But it’s extremely important to temper that kind of scary eating.  We all know that consuming a ton of sugar and fried foods will make us gain an unconscionable amount of weight, thereby potentially creating health problems.

And we can also get quickly accustomed to eating high fat foods, which can make it even harder to get excited about carrots and hummus again.  Our advice?  Only give in to decadent foods on very special occasions.  That way, the food you cook at home, the food you keep in the fridge, and the food you naturally gravitate toward at the supermarket will undoubtedly be healthier and replete with nutrition.

Train your palate to enjoy lean cuts of meat by adding a dry rub, or a tangy marinade.  Encourage yourself to eat more vegetables and fruits by seeking out more creative ways of preparing them.  Splurge on a fancy olive oil and balsamic vinegar set for finishing dishes, or use lemon, lime and a pinch of sea salt to flavor veggies without overpowering them (or adding any extra fat).

With a little creativity and discipline, you can eschew most of the fatty, sugary foods out there.  Leave the really scary eating to the kids on Halloween.  If you’re lucky, they may save you a Butterfinger or Hershey bar.

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Veggie Might!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

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Do you love cruciferous vegetables?  Are you only truly satisfied when you have a heaping plate of broccoli or bok choy in front of you?  Do you dream of a field full of cauliflower?  Apparently you’re not alone.  It seems that vegetarians may have a leg up on the rest of us as far as overall health.

A recent study conducted on adolescents suggests that those who ate a vegetarian diet were far more likely than non-vegetarians to meet the Healthy People 2010 dietary objectives. They tended to eat less overall fat and saturated fats and, not surprisingly, consumed far more servings of vegetables and fruits compared with their carnivorous counterparts.  The adolescent vegetarians were also less likely to eat fast foods and to indulge in sodas and fruit drinks.

So what does this mean for the rest of us?  Even if you aren’t a vegetarian (or a teenager), you can still adopt some of these healthy habits.  Aim for 3 to 4 servings of vegetables a day.  It’s not as hard as it sounds.  Have a side salad with that sandwich at lunch, and at dinnertime, fill your plate three-quarters full with a variety of veggies, i.e. carrots, salad, squash, peas, asparagus, green beans, or whatever strikes your fancy.  Fill the other quarter of the plate with your protein source.  You will be surprised at how easy it is to embrace good eating patterns as long as you stick to a variety.  Aside from the health benefits, you should also discover a smaller waistline.

Grab a fistful of radishes and that sauté pan.  You are on your way to a healthier you.  And who knows? You might end up liking veggies as much as chocolate.  Okay-maybe almost as much!

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Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/30680, “Adolescent Vegetarians: How Well Do Their Dietary Patterns Meet the Healthy People 2010 Objectives?” Perry CL, McGuire MT, et al, Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, May 2002;156:431-437.

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Worth your salt?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Salt and sodium

Salt can be addictive. For anyone who has even overindulged in chips and salsa, or those delicious barbeque-flavored kettle chips-you know what I’m talking about.  And of course, our bodies need salt to survive, but we (as Americans especially) tend to overdo it.  I recently came across a Japanese study that indicates a diet lower in sodium and higher in potassium can lessen the incident of stroke and cardiovascular disease:

In a prospective study involving 58,730 Japanese men and women with no history of stroke, coronary heart disease, or cancer, aged 40-79 years, results indicate that high sodium intake and low potassium intake may be associated with an increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease. During 745,161 person-years of follow-up, 986 deaths from stroke (153 subarachnoid hemorrhages, 227 intraparenchymal hemorrhages, and 510 ischemic strokes) and 424 deaths from coronary heart disease were recorded. Sodium intake was observed to be positively associated with mortality from total stroke, ischemic stroke, and total cardiovascular disease. After adjusting for confounders, the highest quintile for sodium intake was associated with a 55% increased risk of total stroke related mortality, a 104% increased risk of ischemic stroke related mortality, and a 42% increased risk of total cardiovascular disease related mortality, compared with the lowest quintile of sodium intake. On the other hand, potassium intake was inversely associated with mortality from coronary heart disease and total cardiovascular disease, where the highest quintile for potassium intake was associated with a 35% reduced risk of coronary heart disease related mortality and a 27% reduced risk of total cardiovascular disease related mortality, compared with the lowest quintile of potassium intake. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, “A high sodium intake and a low potassium intake may increase the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease.”

This study provides compelling evidence to shake the salt habit and instead trying seasoning your life with healthier spices!  To up your potassium intake, try eating more sweet potatoes, bananas, raisins, white beans, and clams!  Orange juice is a great source of potassium too.

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Want to learn more about healthier eating and better cardiovascular health?  Read our health archives.

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/37609, “Relations between dietary sodium and potassium intakes and mortality from cardiovascular disease: the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risks,” Umesawa M, Tamakoshi A, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2008; 88(1): 195-202. (Address: Department of Public Health Medicine, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, and the Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan).

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Tummy Trouble

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Stomach health and exercise for energy and health

Digestive disorders can be debilitating.  If you have problems with your stomach, it’s very difficult to enjoy life and to attend to your various work and personal responsibilities.  Taking probiotics can help.  Probiotics are those friendly little “good”  bacteria in our intestines that help to fight off infection, reduce the risk of some diseases, and can soothe digestive disorders.

Whether or not you have IBS, other health conditions, or overall tummy trouble, supplementing with quality Probiotics can be invaluable to your digestive and your overall health.  Don’t stomach tummy-trouble anymore!

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Want to stop the belly-aching?  Read more about good digestive health and probiotics in our health archives. We have a dynamic duo of supplements for better digestive health that will help the digestive process, reduce gas and bloating, and allow for better absorption of the vitamins and minerals that are consumed.

http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/37371,

Reference: “An open-label randomized controlled trial of lactulose and probiotics in the treatment of minimal hepatic encephalopathy,” Sharma P, Sharma BC, et al, Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2008; 20(6): 506-11. (Address: Departments of Gastroenterology and Neurology, G.B. Pant Hospital, New Delhi, India).

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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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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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Hard to stomach

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

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On a recent trip abroad, I found that I had neglected one very important aspect of trip preparation.  I had laundered all the appropriate clothing, grabbed my guidebooks, forwarded my mail, and arranged for my dog to be walked.  But the one thing I forgot to take care of was my digestive health.  And boy was I sorry.

I’ve always had a delicate stomach and generally try to be kind to it.  I make an effort to eat soothing foods usually, but one can’t subsist on rice and yogurt alone.  Especially when you’re in a relatively exotic place, with delicious, if not spicy, foods.  So I indulged, and indulged some more.  Then I didn’t feel very well.

I had been doing a little research about probiotics, which are good bacteria that can help guard against infections and intestinal disorders while helping to support overall proper digestion.  There has been research indicating that taking probiotics can exert a protective effect against diarrhoeal illnesses in children and adults and that it can not only help treat such illnesses but even potentially prevent them.

Next time I go somewhere, I’ll make sure to bring some special companions with me.  Probiotics, of course!

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Want to read more about digestive health?  Check out our article here. Try our Probiotic Buddies™, with 10 billion viable ”good” bacteria per vege-capsule.  Powerful protection against harmful micro-organisms in a convenient, easy to take form.  Probiotic Buddies™ is perfect for a world traveler, or for busy people on-the-go.

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/34885” Effects of probiotics on the gastrointestinal tract,” Snelling AM, Curr Opin Infect Dis, 2005; 18(5): 420-6. (Address: Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford BD7 IDP, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. E-mail: A.M.Snelling@Bradford.ac.uk ).

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