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Tag Archives: health
Folic Acid, a vitamin B variant, can be extremely beneficial for women, especially those who are pregnant or are planning to conceive. This water-soluble form of vitamin B9 could safeguard the fetus from being born with grave disorders like ‘spina bifida’ or anencephaly. If young and pregnant women took this vitamin on a daily basis, nearly 70% of birth defects associated with the spine and brain would never have happened.
This vitamin B type naturally occurs in legumes, nuts, and specific vegetables. However, most of those who are on their way of becoming pregnant or already are do not consume sufficient amounts of these food items routinely. Hence, their bodies do not get the daily required dosage of Folic acid.
The best option of supplying the daily quota to the body is by taking pills and supplements.
Folic Acid: What is it?
Folate and Folic Acid are water-soluble vitamin B9 variants. They can be found in the common dietary items we tend to consume from day to day like grains, beef liver, beef kidney, eggs, meats, dairy products, seafood, nuts, fruits, green vegetables, leafy vegetables and so on. Vitamins, fortified grain products and breakfast cereals include folic acid in artificial form. Our bodies absorb and ingest the synthetic type more effectively than the natural variant.
Benefits of Folic Acid
Though researchers are still in the dark as to why and how Folic acid contributes towards averting birth defects, there is enough circumstantial evidence to prove the above assertion. As a matter of fact, the vitamin can check the incidence of such defects in the early stages of pregnancy, much before they realize that they’re carrying. These defects are usually related to the unborn baby’s vertebral column and brain and are classified as ‘Neural Tube Defects’. Encephalophele, spina bifida and anencephaly are the most common NTDs.
Folate also plays a key role in preventing the baby from other health defects at the time of birth like autism, cleft palate, cleft lip, and cerebral aneurism. A study conducted recently by University of California, Davis led to the finding that pregnant women who regularly took natural foods containing folic acid were less vulnerable to give birth to babies diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These women were also at lesser risk of delivering babies with NTDs, their exposure to home pesticides or insecticides (a high risk factor for autism) notwithstanding.
Furthermore, folic acid is also required for the healthy development of the fetus and placenta. This nutrient also helps in the embryo’s cell division and DNA production and its deficiency could hinder the process of development. According to Diane Ashton, MD and deputy medical director for the ‘March of Dimes’, 50% of pregnancies in the US are spontaneous.
Hence, it becomes all the more essential for women in the child bearing age category to take supplements of this vitamin daily to keep themselves (and presumably their unborn babies) out of harm’s way.
How much Folic Acid to take every day?
As per Institute of Medicine’s, CDC’s, the March of Dimes’ recommendations, that pregnant women should take 600 micrograms of the nutrient from a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin or consume one bowl of enriched breakfast cereal containing 400mcg. These institutions also suggested that women in general should take nothing less than 400mcg of the synthetic Folate every day.
Side effects of Folic acid
There are some downsides of consuming the vitamin B9 variant on a routine basis. The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health published a report mentioning that women taking folic acid in supplement form were at high risk of succumbing to breast cancer. Many researches and studies have pinpointed a link between supplements of Folate and ectopic pregnancy, leukemia, heart problems, and asthma.
Pregnant women should decrease their consumption of the nutrient following the first trimester. From the 2nd trimester till delivery, women can source the vitamin from food items.
Image credit: fotografyarte
You must have heard about the health benefits that you get by drinking green tea, considered by many people as the best anti-aging beverage. For example, in Okinawa, Japan-one of the places in the world considered to have most people who live longer, drink green tea daily. A widespread practice by the people who live here is taking a combination of steeped green tea leaves, turmeric and jasmine flowers throughout the day.
Tea is the second most drink taken at large in the whole world. The first is water. But what are the benefits of drinking green tea? A lot of studies have found that regular drinking of green tea might help reduce the risk of getting heart disease. In this article we look at the 5 benefits you will receive by taking drinking tea.
1. Protect the health of your heart
Evidence collected from several studies shows that consumption of anthocyanidin antioxidants and flavan-3-ols components found in green tea might be beneficial for cardiovascular and metabolic health. Green tea prevents risk factors for heart diseases like high blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Studies show that green tea has 10 beta-blocking compounds, 7 calcium channel blockers, and 16 diuretic compounds. Green tea has more ACE-inhibiting properties than any other plant foods that are consumed regularly. This helps increase the amount of blood your heart can pump and lowers the blood pressure.
2. Green tea might protect Brain Cells from Radical Damage
In a research carried out by Salk Institute, it was found that flavonoid epicatechin that is in cocoa, blueberries, grapes, and tea, helps improve memory ability in mice. The researchers realized that epicatechin promotes blood vessel growth in the brain. King’s college researchers also discovered that epicatechin might protect brain cells through mechanisms not associated with its antioxidant ability since epicatechin is a rare flavonoid that can cross the blood-brain barrier. The report from King’s college showed that epicatechin protects brain cells from the adverse effects brought about by beta-amyloid plagues.
3. Helps prevent eye disease and enhance vision
A study published by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in 2010 based on an investigation on the effects of catechins on eye diseases found that taking catechins might help protect the eyes from vision loss and oxidative damage.
4. Prevent Alzheimer’s and Memory Loss
Scientists at the University of Newcastle did a study on the effects of black and green tea on people with Alzheimer’s disease. In the laboratory, both types of tea prove to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is heavily associated with memory. They found out that both types of tea inhibited enzymes known as BuChE and beta-secretase. These enzymes reside in protein deposits found in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. Researchers across the world have also found out that green tea catechins reduce the level of damaging free radicals in the brains of rats.
5. Might Prevent Diabetes
Some studies show that intake of flavan-3-ols found in green tea might improve glycemic control as well as normalize blood sugar levels. As a result of its anti-inflammatory effects, green tea is believed by many to be beneficial for those people who are found to be at risk of having type 2 diabetes. The Green teas catechins seem to contain anti-obesity and antidiabetic effects.
Green tea has antioxidants and other beneficial compounds such as flavonoids, catechins, linoleic acid, quercetin, theobromine and so forth. These have been found to provide significant benefits to people who drink green tea. Besides that, specific anti-aging effects and other benefits of green tea include help with weight maintenance and cancer prevention. To find out more benefits of green tea, you can visit Decuypere Chiropractic.
Image credit: Polymanu
Many people decide to go and see a chiropractor only when they feel pain at the back or neck, but they forget that these are not the only signs that prove one must see a chiropractor. In fact, there are many other signs that our body shows that calls for one to go and get a check-up from a chiropractor. Here are signs that should alert you that you need to visit a chiropractor.
1. You have chronic headaches and migraines
Headaches arise from several issues. Most familiar to this is the muscle tension that originates from the neck. Primary headaches occur due to joint irritation as well as muscle tension. Also, the sedentary lifestyle that many people choose to live. But, with the help of chiropractic adjustments it can help reduce the tensions that arise in your head. Remember too that headaches are different and before choosing to get the treatment of chiropractic it is essential you consult with your doctor first.
2. You experience sudden sharp pains
If you ever experience sudden severe acute pain, then you need to consider another option. Severe pain is a sign that something is not ok with your body. Perhaps you need a spinal adjustment to assist balance your body to allow your ligaments, tendons and muscles move in their right position.
3. Pain Medication
While a lot of people don’t know how beneficial chiropractors are, they indeed don’t depend on drugs to ensure that you remain healthy. Instead, they solely depend on results to treat the origin of the problem. If you are fond of taking pain medication so that you function okay then it’s time to think of walking to see a chiropractor for a natural treatment.
4. Lower back pain
We have suffered from lower back pain at one point in our lives. Probably you know how uncomfortable and painful it feels. Sometimes the pain doesn’t persist but it comes and disappears on its own. There are few possible explanations for this condition. If you fear that the pain might lead to a worse situation then it’s good to get the help of a chiropractic.
5. You experience chronic pain in the muscles or joints
The pain you experience in the muscles and joints might just be as a result of a muscle alignment issue. So, stop taking those painkillers. Our bodies are designed to function as one and if there is a problem with a single part then the entire body system is affected. Chiropractors are trained to help align all your body parts in their correct position so that it can work as designed.
6. Involved in a car accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, whether it’s a minor injury or you weren’t hurt, you must see a chiropractor. Any damage that you might have got via the crash might not show up immediately; instead, it might get worse the longer you stay. Even if you aren’t sure whether you need to see a chiropractor, it’s crucial to get a check-up.
Don’t forget that a chiropractor is there to help you determine what pain can be dangerous and what can’t be. If you have questions related to pain or you need to get the services of chiropractic, consult Decuypere & Family Wellness Chiropractor.
Image credit: ijmaki
Living in the 21st cent is fraught with stress for the majority of individuals, regardless of age, gender, and nature of occupation or profession. The maximum stress results from trying to achieve the perfect work-life balance which seems elusive for almost all of us. Your normal lifestyle goes awry as you make every effort to establish the equilibrium that is appropriate for you.
In the process, you end up cultivating bad habits that you find very difficult to get rid of. But if you are a health-conscious individual, you are acutely aware of the significance and indispensability of healthy living. You know that neglecting your health will cost you heavily in the long run and in the worst case scenario might compel you to take premature retirement.
Healthy living is the sum total of healthy habits including consumption of balanced meals, exercising regularly, and abstaining from smoking or drinking. Developing good habits and sticking to them calls for nurturing a strong will and altering the mindset which many find an uphill task. Nevertheless, you must be prepared to make some degree of sacrifice if you wish to live healthy and live long. Following are the five ways you stand to benefit by leading a disciplined lifestyle.
1. You stay healthy and feel good
You will not be able to work efficiently if you do not feel good and vice versa. That there is a psychosomatic connection between the mind and the body has long been established. Healthy living promotes the smooth release of endorphins which are cerebral chemicals responsible for making you feel relaxed and spirited.
In order to encourage the production and secretion of endorphins, you’ll need to take nutritious and balanced diets, indulge in physical activities, and keeping yourself socially active. If you follow the abovementioned healthy habits on a regular basis, you’ll not only look better but feel better as well. And feeling good about yourself can go a long way in boosting your self-esteem and confidence.
2. Your weight is kept under a leash
It does not need to be emphasized that working out routinely and eating right not only prevents you from becoming obese but also lets you stay fit and trim. If Mayo Clinic is to be believed, staying in good physical shape keeps you from becoming overweight. Walking, cycling, swimming or jogging for 45 minutes to 1 hour daily will keep you slim as well as help stimulate the immune system, boost energy levels, and better cardiovascular health.
There are a few habits you can cultivate easily and will require a minimum effort like climbing the stairs rather than rushing into an elevator, walking the last 2-3kms to your home and so on. On the other hand, never skip breakfast which is the most important meal of the day but instead feast on fruits and vegetable preparations. Limit intake of fast and processed foods as much as you can.
3. You feel energetic throughout the day
The necessity of sticking to a balanced and nutritious diet and exercising habitually are also essential for keeping yourself energetic all through the working day. Include generous amounts and portions of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grain preparations, and dairy products containing minimal fat in your everyday meals. Alternatively, maintaining a consistent workout program comes in handy for furthering endurance and building lean mass which in turn furnishes you with sufficient energy for healthy living.
4. Boosts the capacity of your immune system in combating diseases
Consuming healthy and wholesome foods regularly implies that your metabolism is good and the immune system functions effectively thereby keeping lifestyle diseases and disorders at bay. Routinely exercising means the cells, tissues, muscles, cartilages, and bones in your body remain consistently mobilized.
5. Existence is prolonged
Healthy living is tantamount to leading a disciplined life which in turn implies holding onto good habits that ultimately betters your longevity.
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Sugar has been one of the most misunderstood, yet shockingly abundant parts of the modern Western diet over the last few decades. For a long time, fat was considered to be the primary culprit for rising rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease in the United States and elsewhere. Newer literature suggests that we may have had this drastically wrong with carbohydrates, namely sugar, perhaps being the real detriment to the public health. Coupled with a strong industry lobby, sugar flew under the radar for a long time and even today is still added in many, many products in which consumers would never suspect it- often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (examples include tomato sauce, baked beans, and many processed foods).
Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are everywhere and have numerous detrimental effects on our health. Diabetes is the obvious downstream disease which is most often associated with high sugar intake. In this metabolic disease, patients’ bodies cannot effectively clear sugar from the blood by moving it into cells as healthy people might be able to do. Blood sugar levels get higher and stay high longer than in those without the disease, often leading to numerous sequelae. These downstream effects include, but are not limited to, increased risk of infections, increased incidence of neuropathies, and increased risk of heart attacks.
There is also some thought that the high sugar levels may effectively stimulate the growth of cancerous cells with a virtually unlimited supply of nutrients, although this research is not as conclusive. Increased sugar levels in the blood may also have effects on numerous chemical pathways in the body which we have not yet even studied.
One of the other major concerns with high sugar intake is the potential development of cardiovascular disease. As the rate of heart attacks continues to be worrisome in the United States, this is a legitimate public health concern. Programs to stop sugar consumption or increase education on it may help offset the downside impact. Specifically, some municipalities have turned to Pigouvian taxes such as those on soda in order to discourage consumption of excessive sugar. Many fruit juices even contain tons of added sugar, which is often given to children and starts them off with bad nutritional habits which carry over into adulthood.
As a country and society, there is little arguing that we eat too much sugar. A lot of this goes back to the availability of cheap foods in supermarkets and fast food restaurants which are riddled with the additive, often without people even realizing it. It will really take a significant educational and cultural change to turn the tide, but it is well worth the investment and effort to do so for the sake of the future health of the country and world. On an individual level, educating yourself and minimizing sugar consumption in a balanced diet can be a great start to living a healthier and likely more fulfilling life. As the health food movement continues to gain steam, it may eventually squash the stranglehold of the substance.
Picture Credit: pamula133
A cup of steaming coffee gets you started for the morning and the rest of the day like nothing else can. Either you prefer it black or have it laced with some coffee creamer. Though you may have disposed of all those processed blends from the kitchen larders, you just could not bring yourself to throwing out the container of coffee creamer that you had bought a couple of days ago.
Acutely aware that the coffee whiteners or non-dairy creamers are replete with some toxic chemicals, you keep gulping down those cuppas safe in the belief that your health is not at stake after all as you’re doing fine. The following categories of insalubrious ingredients and preservatives ingrained in your coffee creamer will compel you to sit up and take notice.
1. Synthetic flavors or essences
It is only the heady aroma of the mocha, hazelnut or tawny caramel wafting from your espresso that can wake you up when it’s still dark and freezing cold outside. If you’re under the impression that the added flavors have been naturally sourced then you’re only fooling yourself. Reach for the container and go through the ingredients listing on the label. Chances are that the flavors have an artificial or synthetic base and that’s surely not good news for you as far as your health is concerned. Sure, these added flavors make your coffee smell strong and leave behind a lingering aftertaste, but do you have any idea as to how damaging these could be for your wellbeing?
2. Bizarre Thickeners
The terminology ‘coffee creamer’ is actually a misnomer. For a start, these coffee creamers don’t contain cream at all. The thickness or denseness of the liquid is due to emulsifiers and/or thickening agents like ‘carrageenan’ and ‘Irish Moss’ which are seaweed extracts. Emulsifiers find widespread use in food processing industry due to their stabilizing, thickening and gelling properties. Most such thickening or gelling agents have an adverse impact on an individual’s ‘health’ if he or she consumes processed foods laced with these additives almost every day.
3. Trans fats or partly hydrogenated oils
The creamy texture of the liquid is not solely due to the thickeners. Trans-fats or partly hydrogenated oils, another toxic ingredient, also contributes towards the creamer having a gelatinous form. There is an abundance of medical data or statistics to corroborate the assertion that trans-fats can trigger LDL (bad cholesterol) levels putting you at grave risks of suffering a stroke or heart attack, and surely these excessively processed fats are not conducive to health.
4. Synthetic sweeteners
So that your cup of creamer-laced coffee tastes sweet and savory and at the same time doesn’t cause your blood sugar or calorie levels to shoot up inordinately, producers add artificial sweeteners like stevia, sucralose, aspartame, saccharin or neotame. Nevertheless, these sweeteners are not without their side-effects and if consumed on a regular basis can make you suffer from type 2 diabetes.
5. Not so healthy preservatives or additives
Manufacturers in order to make sure that your coffee creamer container remains palatable for a long period of time, put in preservatives or additives like dipotassium phosphate. Though these preservatives don’t pose serious health hazards, you’d be better off adding milk or cream to your coffee. You can even go DIY with coffee creamer.
Picture Credit : websuccess