Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vitamin D Importance

You’ve probably heard all about the immune benefits of Vitamin C – but today it’s time to move one letter down the alphabet. It turns out that Vitamin D may actually be the more critical vitamin when it comes to fighting off colds. Vitamin D plays a number of roles in our bodies, including:

Promoting absorption of calcium and bone health
Boosting immune function
Reducing inflammation
Healthy neuro-muscular function
Protecting against some forms of cancer

For such an amazing nutrient, Vitamin D doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, perhaps because very few foods in nature contain vitamin D. The best sources are salmon, tuna, and mackerel (especially the flesh) and fish liver oils. Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks also contain small amounts. If these foods don’t sound very appealing to you, there is good news: you don’t have to eat vitamin D to make sure you’re getting your daily dose! Vitamin D is actually produced in your body when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike your skin. The UV rays trigger synthesis of vitamin D, which then gets converted in your liver into its active form.

This means one of the best ways to get vitamin D is to spend about 10-15 minutes a day outside in the sun. Keep in mind that wearing sunscreen will prevent you from getting adequate vitamin D outdoors. In the summertime, an easy solution is skipping sunscreen on your legs for the first 15 minutes in the sun. Just make sure you apply in time to prevent any burns or damage.

If this sounds complicated (or it’s cloudy!), there’s an even easier way to get your vitamin D: many foods in the American diet are fortified with this essential nutrient. In fact, fortified foods provide the majority of vitamin D in our diets. Almost all of the US milk supply is fortified with 100 units per cup – that’s about 25% - 50% of the recommended daily dose! This means milk packs a double punch for bone strength. Milk contains a good amount of calcium and the additional vitamin D to ensure that your body absorbs all that calcium.

So exactly how much Vitamin D should you aim for each day? The answer varies depending on your age.

For ages 0-50, (including pregnant and lactating women), 5 mcg or 200 international units is adequate
For ages 50-70, 10 mcg or 400 international units is better
For ages 71+, aim for at least 15 mcg (600 international units)

So if preventing colon, prostate, and breast cancers, building strong bones, fighting off colds, and slowing aging sounds like a good deal to you – look for in all in one simple package: Vitamin D.

*Source - Dr. Oz*

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vitamins Every Woman Need

A Multivitamin
Multivitamins fulfill your nutritional needs for the day. Take half in the morning and half at night. Multivitamins contain:
Vitamin A – critical for healthy vision and skin

Vitamin B – a metabolism booster

Vitamin C – keeps your immune system strong, especially important during cold and flu season.

Vitamin D – promotes healthy bones (and your immune system)

Vitamin E – for healthy development of muscles and brain function

Additional Vitamin D

Omega 3’s
To keep your brain, heart and eyes healthy, take Omega 3’s every day. For women, the daily dose of Omega 3s is 1000 mg; for men, the dosage is 600 mg

*Helpful Hint: When purchasing your vitamins, check for bottles labeled 100% daily allowance on label.

*Info from Doctor Oz. I 'heart' him.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Relaxing Resolutions

Stress-busting tips for a calmer New Year

  1. Take a deep breath or two. - Deep breathing tells your brain to relax, and then your brain passes along the message to your body. When that happens, everything from a faster heart rater to high blood pressure begins to decrease, and you become calmer. Try This: Belly breathing is an easy, basic exercise you can do anytime to help you relax. Sit comfortably and then put one hand on your stomach just below your ribs. Place your other hand on your chest. Breathe in deeply through your nose and let your belly push your hand out. Make sure you chest doesn't move as you breathe. Then breathe out through pursed lips and feel the hand on your belly go in and use it to push all the air out. Breathe like this three to ten times.
  2. Let go with laughter. - Consider laughing a little like taking a vitamin: One laugh daily con really lighten you up. Laughter helps produce a spike in your body's hormones that makes you fell good. AT the same time, it causes a drop in your body's stress hormone, cortisol.
  3. Eat well, stress less - Food can be a superhero that fights the bad guys of stress hormones and adrenaline. Some food can boost calming brain chemicals, while others lower levels of harmful stress hormones. And by having a more nutritious diet overall, you could strengthen your immune system and even lower blood pressure - making you better equipped to handle the little stresses of life. Try This: Cozy up to a bowl of warm oatmeal for breakfast -it's a comfort food that can raise levels of serotonin in your brain, producing a sense of calm. Also, stick with complex carbs such as whole-grain pastas and grains to prompt your brain to produce more stress-fighting serotonin. Also try a comfort drink such as chamomile tea.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Healthy and Tasty snacks

10 Healthy Snacks

  1. Low-fat string cheese
  2. 1 pita with 1 tablespoon of hummus
  3. 10-12 baked chips and 1/4 cup of salsa
  4. Half bagel with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  5. 2 cups popcorn sprinkled with chocolate shavings
  6. Frozen whole-wheat waffle topped with 1/2 cup applesauce
  7. 1 cup of whole-wheat cereal topped with low-fat milk
  8. 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with peaches or tomato slices
  9. 1/4 cup nuts and dried fruit (not sugar coated)
  10. 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk

One of my all time favorite snacks (because I firmly be live in eating 6 small meals a day to achieve success) is a Peanut Butter/Banana Shake! Delicious. (and so simple)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Smart Snacking

Watch your portions - Most people get in trouble by eating too much. An example of a healthy portion size would be a handful of cereal, a peach or an apple.

Keep it under two hundred - In general, a healthy snack is about 100 or 200 low-fat calories and includes a protein with a carbohydrate.

Don't starve yourself - Eat something every four hours to keep your blood sugar up. It's the fuel the body needs to keep its 'engine' running.

Pack in the nutrients - Think of snacking as your nutrional insurance for the day. Nuts and yogurt are great because they provide protein and fiber, which makes you feel fuller longer.

Set yourself up for success! - Keep a healthy snack in your desk drawer, handbag, or car. The vending machine is normally NOT your friend.

Happy Snacking!

Friday, January 8, 2010

January = Health Month

As you may know, I talk about many different topic here. It's my blog right; I can talk about anything! lol. But in order to keep it from being so random, I am to have a Topic THEME each month. This month theme will be health. If there is a theme you would like to see done in the future, leave me a comment or email me. Huggles

4 Popular Spices - Immune system benefits

4 Popular Spices that may have immune system benefits

GARLIC - The superfood prized by the ancient Egyptians has been used for centuries for its various medicinal and immune enhancing properties.

TURMERIC - According to traditional Indian medicine, this deep yellow spice has antiseptic as well as antibacterial properties that my help with immunity.

OREGANO - This familiar herb belongs to the mint family. As a concentrated oil, it can help with sore throats and immune function.

CAYENNE PEPPER - A belved Cajun staple, cayenne peper may support immunity as it helps with general circulatory health.



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