The Huffington Post recently invited readers to submit their most vexing health questions to be answered by the site’s team of doctors. Here are some of the questions most often asked:
There is a lot of confusion about protein. We know bodybuilders need a lot, but what about the rest of us? What does protein do for the average woman or man who just wants to look good and stay healthy?
The answer is: a lot! Protein is the basic building block for the human body. It has been called the scaffolding on which the body is built. We must have protein to build muscle tissue.
Women sometimes worry that eating too much protein will result in building too much muscle. In fact, female anatomy and biology prevent that kind of bulking up. People who want to attain or maintain a slim, healthy body still need plenty of protein, and strong muscle tissue is also necessary to burn fat.
The most abundant protein in the body is collagen. Collagen acts as a glue to hold our bodies together. It is collagen that gives young skin its plump resiliency. Collagen is also found in bones, muscles and tendons.
After the age of 40, however, collagen levels begin to decline. This affects not only skin, but also muscles, including the heart. This is the age when consciously replacing muscle tissue becomes most important, for weight loss and maintenance as well as overall health. One pound of muscle burns 50 to 100 calories a day.
To build the body you want, choose high quality proteins like organic fish, meat and eggs. Eat a variety of legumes like lentils, peas and beans. Three grains high in protein are quinoa, spelt, and amaranth. Add a handful a day of raw nuts and seeds. You can also include yogurt and other dairy products if you tolerate them well.
Protein powder is a helpful way to get protein without cooking. Just add protein powder to a smoothie of vegetables and fruits, along with some almond or coconut milk, some ground flaxseed or chia seed, and a few ice cubes.
Adult women need approximately 46 grams of protein daily, and men need approximately 56 grams daily. Pregnant woman and nursing mothers need about 71 grams daily. If you exercise heavily, add about 50 percent more protein.
The conscious choices we make about the food we put into our bodies have a profound impact on our health. Part 1 of this article identified five of the top ten foods that can improve health fast. Here are numbers six through ten on the list:
Our health is the expression of our physical and our emotional well being. It is produced by the foods we eat, the movements of our body, our relationships with others, and the environment in which we live. Health is to some degree influenced by genetics and by our health histories. But we are anchored in the present, with the capability the impact our health with each action we take. Every decision we make is powerful, and the decisions we make in terms of food choices are vital and consequential.
Most Americans only encounter beans sprouts at a Chinese restaurant, but more and more people are learning about sprouting at home. A variety of organic beans and seeds can be sprouted, and mung beans are particularly popular. Sprouted mung beans are actually tiny mung bean plants. The taste is nutty and crisp, and they are a nutritional powerhouse.
If you’re like most Americans, you have no grand love affair with celery.
Yes, you know it’s good for you, as all vegetables are good for you.
But the specifics on why celery is “good for your heath” might elude you.
Fact is there’s quite a bit of untold goodness when it comes to celery. And there’s plenty of science to back up the advice to keep on eating this juicy vegetable.
We know now celery is capable of helping you
- Enhance your immune system
- Digest food better
- Reduces inflammation
- Lose weight
And here’s how celery accomplishes this.
4 Benefits of Celery
1. Enhances the immune system: Celery contains special nutritive compounds that are actually anti-microbial. This means in the presence of these compounds bacteria are unable to replicate and have trouble growing. How do we know this? In 2009 the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology performed a study that proved both celery seed and celery plant observed the anti-microbial effect of these compounds.
Their research led them to conclude celery is a natural immune enhancer.
2. Aids digestion: Dr. Axe observes how celery can help both with digestion as well as bloating.
Celery seeds contain an odorless and oily compound known as NBP that has a diuretic effect and helps the body to detox. In studies involving rats, urine volume was significantly greater when rats were given celery extract compared to a control group. (6)
The digestive benefits of celery are partly due to its diuretic effect. This could also be one of the possible anti-hypertensive mechanisms of celery seeds that helps to lower blood pressure. Because it improves circulation within the intestines, it’s also useful for improving digestion by helping to relieve bloating and puffiness from water retention.
3. Lowers inflammation: Associated with the same group of compounds that help celery fight infection are antioxidants which reduce the chances of developing diseases associated with chronic inflammation.
Included in this list are polysaccharides and flavonoid and polyphenol antioxidants that have been shown to scavenge for free-radials and neutralized them.
Dr. Axe writes:
Researchers have identified over a dozen different types of antioxidants that are responsible for the benefits of celery — these include such phenolic acids as caffeic acid and ferulic acid, plus flavaols like quecetin. This makes celery useful for treating a wide range of conditions that are made worse by inflammation: joint pain (such as from arthritis), gout, kidney and liver infections, skin disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and urinary tract infections, just to name a few.
4: Weight Loss: This is one of the more enticing reasons to eat celery. The reason celery can help with weight loss is because it contains nutrients aiding in the metabolism of lipids (fats). Despite what you might believe, celery is anything but “empty.”
It is quite nutrient dense as it has electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals which all aid in ideal health. As it is full of fiber, it can also help you eliminate excess food matter from the intestines which is helpful for losing weight quickly.
Point blank, celery is good for you.
But don’t think that gives you a license to enjoy it with all the peanut butter and blue cheese you want.
If it wasn’t for this nutritional supplement the polio vaccine would have never been discovered.
And a top medical anthropologist by the name of John Heinerman, PhD said that without this substance we wouldn’t exist.
It’s also reputed to be one of the most studied, if not the most studied nutritional substance in all of supplementdom.
And you’ve likely never heard of it.
Known as colostrum, this substance is only found in the milk of mammals shortly after they give birth. Hence its nickname of “first milk”
The exciting news about colostrum is there are a wealth of studies that point to its use as being sort of a cure-all for a number of conditions and disease.
It is known to help with the following:
- Increased athletic performance
- Improve symptoms of leaky gut
- Aids digestion
- Regulates blood pressure
- Improves the immune system
And much more.
But what makes it so special in the first place?
The truth is colostrum is so incredibly important for the growth and development of all mammals that without consuming it in the first few days, to weeks of existence, all infants would die.
The reason colostrum is so beneficial is because it passes on much-needed antibodies and proteins essential for the growth of infants.
As sovereign laboratories writes:
As our first food it provides the infant with the ability to ward off and fight infection of all types, helps stimulate lean muscle, bone, brain and nerve cellular growth and development. It stimulates epithelium cell growth in our intestines to close stomach and intestinal openings that are there at birth to allow colostrum’s components to reach all of our body structures to enhance growth and create perfect health.
Colostrum readies the body for nutrition and helps populate the bowel with healthy flora and fauna and enhances their growth and colonization. It stimulates the body to utilize stored and ingested fat for fuel, and stops catabolism (the use of our own muscle tissue for fuel between meals) so we can grow strong and obtain radiant health.
How many times do we see breastfed newborns with their perfect skin and incredible health and wonder at the process that colostrum and mother’s milk delivers.
And yet you likely have never heard about it until now.
The reason has nothing to do with a grand conspiracy.
It’s more that until recently it hadn’t been isolated for sale as a supplement.
Only within the past few years when it was discovered as a great supplement to help heal Leaky Gut did it really begin to become popular.
It’s also believed that you will begin to see more and more about colostrum and its health benefits in the near future.
To discover more about the effectiveness of colostrum visit www.pubmed.gov and search colostrum, bovine colostrum, immunoglobulin, cytokines, interleukin, Lactoferrin or any of the other components of colostrum.
You will find a great collection of peer reviewed studies that help support many of the claims surrounding colostrum, and will hopefully turn you into a colostrum user yourself.
By the way, it is perfectly compatible with anyone with a dairy allergy as it contains neither casein, or lactose.
As always, consult a physician before taking this, or any other nutritional supplement.
For most of us, one of the most miserable physical experiences possible is unrelenting nausea. When that happens, over-the-counter medications have only limited effect, and prescription medicine is seldom at hand. There’s good news, however, if you keep some ginger in your kitchen.
Its old news – neither corn syrup nor white table sugar are great for your health. They are both devoid of vitamins and minerals, leaving behind refined empty arbohydrates that run through your body wreaking havoc on your health, messing with your blood sugar levels and leeching minerals and vitamins from your body in its futile efforts to metabolize and utilize these carbs. But is one worse for you than the other?
You may be surprised to learn that corn syrup – innocently derived from a vegetable – is more toxic and damaging than table sugar.
New research out of the University of Utah found that female mice fed fructose from corn syrup had decreased reproductive abilities and shortened lifespans compared to female mice who were fed sucrose from plain table sugar. In order to correlate the dietary amounts in this study to the amounts in normal human consumption, the mice were fed diets that consisted of 25% calories from either high fructose and glucose monosaccharides, like that found in corn syrup, or from fructose, like that found in table sugar. The average American consumes between 13-25% of added sugar and roughly half of that amount comes from high fructose sugars.
These mice were observed for a total of 40 weeks. During that time, their overall lifespans, number of children and their ability to defend their territories with the other mice was studied. The results: female mice on a fructose diet had a death rate that was 1.87 times higher than the female mice on the sucrose diet. They also had 26.4% fewer children.
Interestingly, in this particular study, the different sugars seemed to have no noticeable levels of different effects on the male mice. However, this is not in defense of the health of either sugars, as researchers believe that this only means that both types of sugars were equally damaging to male mice.
Researchers are still unsure why the two different sugars caused such different levels of reactions in female mice, but they believe the clue may lie in the fact that sucrose (table sugar), is broken down into monosaccharides before being absorbed by the body. Since corn syrup also consists of monosaccharides, whatever is causing the difference is likely occurring before absorption.
James Ruff, the study’s first author, said:
….we speculate that the different sugars could favour different microbes in the guts of mice. Other research has shown differences in bacterial communities in the gut to be associated with metabolic diseases in rodents and in humans. It’s possible one form of sugar causes more bacteria to get across your gut than another…
Either way, it is certainly worth thinking about the next time you indulge in a sweet treat.
For readers of Natural Health Online only: The Real Reason You’re Fat, Sick and Tired – And the Surprisingly Simple Way to Turn Your Health Around
When talking about mineral deficiencies, the ones that we are usually most concerned with are calcium, iron or zinc. However, the most commonly misdiagnosed mineral deficiency is actually magnesium deficiency.
There are many studies out there that show the majority of Americans to be deficient in magnesium. But, because only 1% of your body’s magnesium is stored in your blood, magnesium levels do not register on blood tests, and are indeed not even routinely included in normal blood tests.
Magnesium plays a big role in keeping our bodies stable. It is actually more important in the regulation of your body’s homeostasis than calcium, potassium and sodium, and yet, very few are aware of it’s importance and as a result, many suffer daily and subject themselves to unnecessary drugs and treatments when a simple magnesium treatment could reverse their symptoms.
Because magnesium is vital to every cell in our bodies, the signs of magnesium deficiency are numerous, subtle, involving virtually every organ in the body, and can mimic other conditions and deficiencies – and therefore are not easy to figure out. The list is extremely long, and includes:
Neck pain, backaches, tension headaches, twitching, tense muscles, cramps, TMJ, severe menstrual cramps, constipation, urinalysis spasms, difficulty swallowing, insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity, restlessness, panic attacks, sensitivity to loud noise, numbness, tingling, palpitations, arrhythmias, hypertension, mitral valve prolapse, to name a few.
Some interesting symptoms that most would never think to connect to a deficiency include: the feeling of being unable to draw a deep breath, and salt and carbohydrate cravings.
When the magnesium deficiency is severe, more serious conditions develop, as the brain can be affected. Things like hallucinations, disorientation, confusion and depression can happen. Also, because magnesium plays a big role in calcium absorption, severe lack of it can result in calcium being leeched out of your body through urine, leading to bone loss, tooth decay and osteoporosis. Additionally, some forms of epilepsy has also been linked to magnesium deficiency.
Unfortunately, many modern drugs push magnesium levels into undesirable or even dangerous levels. When surgeries are done when magnesium levels are already low, the outcome becomes much more risky.
If you relate to many of the symptoms on this page, you should contact your physician and talk to them about checking your magnesium levels and consider supplementing and improving your diet to see if it improves your symptoms. Eat plenty of magnesium rich foods such as dark leafy greens, avocado, pumpkin seeds, certain fish like mackerel, and bananas.