heart disease

Magnesium’s Magnificent Healing Properties

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Magnesium’s Magnificent Healing Properties

Magnesium is a powerful mineral occurring naturally in our body and that many people are severely lacking. This can have a pretty negative effect since it aids in the function of over 300 different enzymes and biochemical reactions in the body. The best way you can tell if you are deficient is to eat foods that are rich in magnesium or try supplementing and see how you feel. You will likely notice a difference right away. Magnesium rich foods are things like assorted nuts, legumes and green leafy vegetables. Another great way to get your magnesium is a secret that our grandparents knew, to soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts.This allows you to directly absorb it through your skin.

What are just some of the great benefits of magnesium?

It supports bone strength. Half of our magnesium is stored in our bones, so supporting those levels is hugely important for us to maintain healthy bones. Magnesium also helps the transportation of calcium, another mineral in our body that prevents the loss of bone density, especially as we age.

Prevention of type-2 diabetes. Magnesium helps with carbohydrate metabolism and directly influences insulin activity, which controls our blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that for every 100 mg of magnesium we intake, there is a 15% decrease in the direct risk of getting type-2 diabetes.

Digestive support. Magnesium plays a big role in the digestive process because it is a coenzyme in the intestines that assists in the natural production of hydrochloric acid in the gut necessary to break down the food we eat. It’s also great to naturally relieve constipation.

Supports heart health. Magnesium aids in maintaining a normal heart rhythm, strengthening our muscles, especially the heart which is one of our biggest muscles, and aids in rebuilding our blood vessels. It plays a key role in the prevention of an irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

Helps with migraines, insomnia and even depression. It has even worked to cure severe psychiatric issues such as panic attacks, anxiety, and even a difficult agitative state. Magnesium not only significantly reduces the severity of all of these conditions, but also lowers their recurrence rate.

Great stress reliever. When we are hit with stress, magnesium can play a key role in relieving it immediately by relaxing the body as part of a natural hormonal response and naturally lowers blood pressure.

Premenstrual symptoms reliever. As a natural muscle relaxer, magnesium also aids in the relief of premenstrual cramps, and acts as a diuretic eliminating fluid retention that causes bloating and breast tenderness.

It’s hard to believe how much this natural mineral can do for us each day. Try adding it to your diet and see how you feel!

Avocados And Many Of Their Amazing Health Benefits

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Avocados And Many Of Their Amazing Health Benefits

Avocados have a high fat content, but it is a super healthy fat. They were once put on the bad foods list for this fact and yet now they are one of the most popular foods because of their wonderful nutritional value. They are literally packed with the healthy monounsaturated fat, lutein, potassium, folate and numerous other vitamins and nutrients. Avocados support your entire body, from your heart to your eyes.

What are some specific things avocados can do for you?

  • Heart protection – the high amounts of potassium regulates blood pressure, which helps to prevent heart disease and strokes, and even lower cholesterol. The folate in them also contributes to lowering your chances of getting heart disease and heart attacks.
  • Your vision – A fabulous ingredient in avocados is lutein, numerous antioxidants and zeaxanthin……all that protect your eyes from macular degeneration and even improve your eyesight.
  • Cancer prevention – The numerous antioxidants in avocados are a great cancer prevention. Oleic acid that is prevalent is known protection against breast cancer.
  • Great source of fiber – Consuming healthy amounts of fiber is a major component in the prevention of chronic disease. Avocados are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers.
  • Low glycemic index – This helps to control your blood sugar levels, preventing the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Rich in Vitamin K – This great vitamin plays an important role in our ability to have functional blood clotting and wound healing. It is also very important to help build strong bones.
  • Rich in Vitamin B6 – This directly supports your nervous system, your teeth and gums and your numerous red blood cells and can reduce morning sickness.
  • A stronger immune system – The high amount of antioxidants directly supports the immune system.
  • Lose weight – The high amounts of monounsaturated fats in avocados actually speeds up your metabolic rate which can help with weight loss.
  • Prevent halitosis – Believe it or not, but avocados can get rid of bad breath! It is able to effectively remove intestinal putrefaction and decomposition which is the actual cause of bad breath and a coated tongue.
  • A protein source – They provide ALL 18 essential amino acids we need for our bodies to form a complete protein, that is just amazing! Also, the protein in an avocado is easy to digest and readily absorbed due to their fiber content.

We all love a delicious guacamole, but adding a little avocado to your daily meals can benefit your health tremendously! Add it to a burger, a salad, slice it up on the side with a little salt and pepper or use it as a condiment.

 

They are delicious and so good for you!

Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Fat?

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Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Fat?

In recent years fat became enemy number one and all the experts preached that a low-fat or zero fat diet was the only healthy diet. They believed this was the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol and basically would solve any and all health issues. What happened was the opposite and our population has never been so obese and riddled with health problems, including soaring numbers of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Everyone turned to processed foods with very little if any fat and filled with carbohydrates and fillers, to just end up putting on the weight.

As a result of these disastrous results for so many was the new focus to not only make a solid effort not to consume too much fat, but to try to consume a healthy portion of the good types of fat. Diets then emerged like the Atkins diet and the South Beach Diet that are very high in fat and with a definitive protein a focus and yet everyone on these diets started losing weight like crazy. With this new way of eating, the concept of healthy fats has really taken off and all of the great health benefits that go along with it.

So, there is such a thing as a healthy fat! They are essential to our daily physical and emotional health. Fat is not the enemy and can even help you lose weight and improve your health. What gets confusing is that there are good fats and bad fats….oh and trans fats are really bad. They are the biggest cause of weight gain, clogged arteries and so much more.

So what are are some of the good fats?

Monounsaturated Fats:

  • Olive Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts

Polyunsaturated Fats:

  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Soybean Oil
  • Sunflower, Sesame and Pumpkin Seeds
  • Fatty Fish
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids:

  • Mustard Seeds
  • Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Oil
  • Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon and Sardines
  • Fish Oil

Saturated Fats (but on a limited basis):

  • Beef, Lamb and Pork
  • Chicken (with the skin on)
  • Butter, Milk and Cream
  • Ice Cream
  • Cheese
  • Palm Oil
  • Coconut Oil

Make that special effort to get your healthy fats at each meal and enjoy them guilt free! ( :

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

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What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is not a disease but a group of risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and increased abdominal fat. It tends to run in families, so you can be genetically predisposed to it. It is also more common among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. As you get older, the risk of developing it tends to go up.

Metabolic syndrome can be a serious health condition that you should take seriously if you have been diagnosed with it. It can give you a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and vascular disease and you are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. It has become very common in the United States with close to 20 to 25 percent of adult Americans diagnosed with it, nearly 50 million Americans have it, according to the American Heart Association, that’s about one out of every six people!

Insulin resistance is a factor associated with it, which is where the body can’t use insulin efficiently. This creates issues because the body needs insulin to convert sugar and starch into energy and insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells for this important purpose. Once you develop this, it can lead to high blood sugar levels and easy weight gain, especially around the mid-section. Instead of having energy it all goes to storing everything you eat into fat. This tends to be a hereditary condition, so if you have a history of it in your family or diabetes, you should be especially conscious of a healthy and active lifestyle.

The good news is that it can be easily controlled and reversed, mainly by simple changes to your lifestyle, such as a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. It is also possible to prevent or delay its onset, so a healthy and physically active lifestyle should be a lifelong commitment.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you might be anxious and worried, but the best thing to do is be grateful and think of it as a wake-up call. It’s not something to ignore or mess around with, but instead a time to get serious about improving your overall health for life. Making some simple changes to your daily habits and eating routine that is recommended by your doctor can prevent serious illness in the future.

Fabulous Foods With High Fiber Content For Improved Health

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Fabulous Foods With High Fiber Content For Improved Health

What is fiber and why do we need it in our diet? Fiber is the part in our foods we eat that the body cannot digest or absorb. It is found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. It has a long list of health benefits, and a major one is it can significantly decrease the risk of heart disease. It also greatly aids in our digestive health.

There are two types of fiber, insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber is found in whole-wheat flour products, wheat bran, nuts and vegetables. It helps to increase your stool bulk and promotes the movement of your food through your digestive system. Soluble fiber is found in peas, carrots, oats, beans, apples and citrus fruits. This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance. It helps your body to slow down the absorption of food components, so you can retain more nutrients.

What are some delicious and easy foods that are high in fiber?

  • Almonds
  • Black beans
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Broccoli
  • Walnuts
  • Avocado
  • Pears
  • Lentils
  • Mango
  • Apples
  • Oatmeal
  • Raisins
  • Barley
  • Pumpkin
  • Blackberries
  • Okra
  • Artichoke
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach

New information is now showing that a diet high in fiber may actually help to slow the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes, mainly by enhancing insulin sensitivity. This actually isn’t because of the fiber content, it is because foods high in fiber tend to be a major source of important micronutrients. When you’re choosing high fiber foods, focus on whole plant foods like from the list above, not fiber pills or supplements to achieve this added benefit.

Who knew that something we can’t even digest is so good for us!

Feeling Positive About Your Lifestyle And Weight Loss

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Feeling Positive About Your Lifestyle And Weight Loss

Attitude

Shaming someone or feeling ashamed for being obese is never helpful in achieving weight loss or a healthy lifestyle….or anything for that matter. The opposite in life is what is needed, being supported and encouraged. Motivation to live and eat better to then be able to lose weight, be healthy and feel happy is the key.

So what works to motivate someone to change their lifestyle habits and lose weight? It’s the almost $150 billion dollar question – and that figure only refers to the medical costs in the U.S. alone surrounding this issue! There is an obesity epidemic in the U.S. with diabetes as the ultimate result that is at the core.

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Health agencies and practitioners have made it a main focus to find effective ways to put a halt to this epidemic. These ideas range from regulating soda size to banning chocolate milk in elementary schools.

A new study from Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity brings to light a fascinating concept…. positive emotions are really the key. Harsh anti obesity campaigns were proven to be ineffective and actually make things worse. In fact, it creates a stigma with obesity that ends up reinforcing the original problem. It is well documented that emotions such as shame, humiliation, and stress often fuel overeating and apathy.

On the other hand, people will respond to messages that suggest specific healthy lifestyles with encouragement about eating better to feel better, not just about looking better. Many experts have now found that people who commit to exercise as a routine don’t do it simply for weight loss they do it because it feels good, they notice health improvements…..and they even enjoy it! The result is eventually weight loss as a result of their positive exercise experience.

Exercise to have fun

In summary, negativity surrounding weight loss is often crushing, shaming and defeating, whereas pure optimism is very encouraging, uplifting and empowering. It’s the latter that is the solution for making healthy lifestyle changes that will last and help you achieve your health and weight goals.

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So feel encouraged in the healthy changes you make and encourage others around you as well!

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8 Great Herbs To Spice Up Your Cooking!

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8 Great Herbs To Spice Up Your Cooking!

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Herbs, fresh or dried, are a wonderful addition to your home cooked dishes. They are great for adding flavor and to help to bring out the seasonings and flavors of other ingredients in your meal. Herbs can help increase flavor without needing to add salt and they add to the nutritional value.

Spices all originate from plants: flowers, fruits, seeds, barks, leaves, and roots. They can help preserve foods for longer periods of time and many have antibacterial and antiviral properties. The aromatic flavorings can transform a dish without adding calories or fat.

Here are 8 great herbs to try:

Cinnamon

It has the highest antioxidant value of any spice, with the amazing ability to reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar and blood triglyceride levels.  It helps alleviate nausea, increases sensitivity to insulin and aids in the burning of fat and provides you with manganese, iron and calcium. Because it has antimicrobial properties, it can help extend the life of foods you add it to.

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Thyme

It is a member of the mint family and is well-known for being used in French cooking and goes nicely with poultry. The essential oils in it have strong antibacterial properties and are often used to treat sore throats or mouth infections. It is known for its cancer fighting properties.

Basil

The bright green leaves are tasty and rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids, which promote heart health. It has both anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties and has been known to aid in resolving digestive disorders. It’s most known for using in Italian cooking, but it is a versatile herb that can be added to practically anything. Fresh is the best.

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Dill Weed/Seed

It is most known for its stomach settling ability (possibly one reason why pregnant women crave pickles?). It contains a variety of nutrients and is best used in uncooked recipes or in foods cooked at low temperatures to retain them. It is a great addition to any type of dish with fish, to dips and dressings, to omelets or to chicken dishes. It has wonderful antibacterial properties.

Parsley

It’s very rich in vitamins C, B 12, K and A. It acts as a diuretic, so it’s great to add into your diet if you are feeling bloated or water-logged. It’s great to add to a green juice or smoothie.

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Oregano

This herb is commonly used in Italian sauces. It’s rich in antioxidants and also has powerful antibacterial properties. It is an antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer and antibiotic! It has been known to treat Giardia better than any other medicine. It is just packed full of antioxidants as well. Its oil and leaves are known medicinally for cough, fever, congestion, and body aches. A couple teaspoons added to a soup will help recovery from illness.

Cilantro

This refreshing herb is a bright addition to Mexican dishes and salsas because its fresh flavor lends itself well to many of the spicy flavors often used in Latin dishes. It is rich in magnesium and iron, it’s a good source of fiber, lowers blood sugar and helps the body fight against salmonella.

Rosemary

It has a high concentration of the antioxidant carnosol, which new research is showing that it may have benefits in cancer treatment. It’s easy to grow, low maintenance and fast growing.  It has a pungent unique pine/lemony scent that tastes delicious sprinkled on any meats or vegetables, whether roasting in the oven or on the barbecue. Water boiled with this can be used as an antiseptic.

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When it comes to buying fresh herbs, a great rule of thumb is to look for whatever is in season in your area. Most herbs are available year round, but they can be expensive. Try growing your own herb garden! It’s a blast and so easy. Fresh herbs are the best and not only add wonderful flavor without calories, they may also serve up health benefits as healing foods.

What is your favorite herb to cook with?