Unsaturated Fat

Redeeming Unsaturated Fat

The most dreaded word in many dieter’s vocabulary is ‘fat’. It is not uncommon to hear a dieter discuss their avoidance of eating fat as if it were something thoroughly unwholesome, or even life-threatening, like an allergen, or a contagious disease.

In one way, this impassioned hatred of fat is positive. It reflects a generally understood medical truth that overindulging in fat-rich foods often causes unwanted, and unhealthy, weight gain.

However, in another way, this fat-phobia is potentially dangerous, because awareness of fat is not enough; an understanding of how fat influences weight gain and overall health is required. Unfortunately, those who dread and avoid all fat “as a rule” are overlooking an important difference between saturated fat and unsaturated fat.

Saturated fat is often the real culprit when it comes to unwanted, and potentially unhealthy, weight gain. These types of fats, which are solid at room temperature, initiate the production of LDL cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol”. In addition to weight gain, as cholesterol increases, so does the risk of heart disease. In fact, saturated fats increase LDL cholesterol disproportionately more than dietary cholesterol itself; that is how powerfully bad it is to the human body[i]. Dreading and avoiding this kind of fat is therefore quite intelligent.

Some dieters, however, are motivated less by concerns about high cholesterol and heart disease than they are about cosmetic weight gain. This is not a criticism; the adverse health effects of excess weight are well documented, as are the emotional traumas and social stigmas that tragically affect tens of millions of overweight people, especially children[ii].

Unquestionably, an excess intake of saturated fat is linked to weight gain. This is because a fat gram contains more than twice the amount of calories as a protein gram – 9 calories versus 4 calories[iii]. As a result, dieters can eat more than twice as many protein grams as fat grams to achieve the same amount of caloric intake. For dieters who are steadfastly watching every calorie, this 125% calorie difference between protein and fat can have an enormous impact.

Fat cells, once created, cannot be removed[1]; they can only be made smaller through the body’s metabolic calorie-burning process[iv]. Since an individual’s rate of metabolism is determined largely by genetics, a dieter with a slower than average metabolism will spend months, perhaps even years longer struggling to shrink fat cells then would his or her metabolically-gifted counterpart[v].

It is quite easy to understand, based on the above discussion, why the very idea of fat is dreaded by dieters; both because of the health hazards it poses, and its capacity to create excess fat cells. And it is just as easy to understand why many people are so afraid of consuming this kind of fat that they strive to remove all fat from their diet. This, however, is a large nutritional oversight.

Fat is a macronutrient that the body requires for a number of important functions. Fat is a source of energy. It helps keep the body warm, it aids in the absorption of some vitamins, and helps regulate the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system[vi]. This appears, however, to be a contradiction.

On the one hand there are health and weight gain hazards associated with fat, and on the other hand, there are proven health benefits associated with fat. How can this be? The answer is easily understood when we differentiate between the two types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. The kind of fat associated with health hazards is the former; the kind that the body needs and uses effectively is the latter.

There are two sub-types of unsaturated fat: polysaturated fat, and monosaturated fat. Popular foods that contain polysaturated fat include safflower oil and corn oil, while monosaturated fats are found in such foods as olive oil and peanut oil. These unsaturated fats are those that provide the body with the most useful and efficient sources of fat that lead to the health benefits noted above.

However, though there is a clear benefit to eating unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats, both types continue to offer eaters the standard 9 calories per gram. As such, no eater should consume an excess amount of fat.

Equipped with the awareness and understanding that avoiding saturated fat is hazardous to health, and that there is such a thing as “good” (unsaturated) fat, it would be expected that most nutritional supplements on the market have created foods that reflect this understanding. This is, regrettably, not the case.

Most nutritional supplements contain some fat content; many even contain saturated fat for some inexplicable reason[2]. Tragically – and there is no other word – many dieters are deceived into eating self-described nutritionally intelligent foods that may be “low calorie”, and may even have some vitamins and nutrients, but they but they are adding to t

Food Selection

Food Selection for Gastric Bypass Patients

Dieters who dejectedly complain they are figuratively “stuck” with their excess fat may be surprised to learn there is a scientifically-accurate truth to their statement. Fat cells — which are created when the body is unable to convert excess calories to energy — are permanent. Fat cells cannot be removed by any diet known to humanity [1]. They can, however, be reduced in size. This is the experience enjoyed by people who lose weight [i].

There is, however, an increasingly popular – and controversial – method to eliminate fat cells permanently via an external, non-diet method. Scientifically referred to as a Gastric Bypass Operation, but more popularly known as “stomach stapling”, this procedure literally staples part of the stomach together. The result is that food intake becomes severely restricted, and the body begins the process of malabsorption, or a decreased ability to absorb nutrients. In addition, the duodenum [2] is bypassed to prevent the absorption of nutrients that could cause excess calories, and as such, the creation of additional fat cells [ii].

In addition to this, a more complex and less frequent procedure called Extensive Gastric Bypass or “biliopancreatic diversion” involves the removal stomach parts, and the circumvention of the duodenum and jejunum – or in laypersons terms, the circumvention of the first part of the small intestine, and the middle portion the small intestine. The result is an even greater malabsorption capacity.

The bulk of concern surrounding stomach-stamping procedures is emanating from the medical community. Some experts are worried that individuals opting for this rather dramatic surgery are not prepared to make post-procedure lifestyle changes. They point out that since stomach stapling reduces the size of the stomach, and therefore the amount of food that a person can digest is severely reduced, an individual must be fully equipped to eat wisely after the procedure. This “wise eating” must include both the volume of post-procedure food that is eaten, and the number of calories that are eaten on a daily basis [iii].

These experts are also quick to point out that the failure to adequately prepare people for post-procedure wise eating habits often leads to various forms of malnutrition. These include anemia due to Iron and B12 deficiencies, hair loss, calcium deficiencies, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, diarrhea, and the loss of water-soluble essential vitamins such as C, Niacin, and B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Biotin, and Folic Acid [iv].

The jury on whether stomach stapling is a “fair” choice, or one that is driven by unhealthy body-image stereotypes propagated by the media and elsewhere, is hotly debated and will continue to dominate conversations about this controversial procedure. Yet what cannot be lost in this debate is that, everyday, real human beings are facing an uphill battle after their stomach stapling surgery. For these people, whether they chose to have the surgery due to body image issues or not, the rationale is rather academic once the surgery is over. What they clearly need at this point are nutritional supplement solutions that cater to their new eating limits and framework.

Profect, which is a nutritional supplement created by Protica Research, does not support the proliferation of unhealthy body image expectations that people are inundated with each day; especially impressionable youth. Yet with this being said, Profect has been engineered to provide those who have opted for this dramatic weight-loss surgery with an ideal source of post-procedure food.

Each serving of Profect is contained in 2.7 fluid ounces, which is significantly smaller than most other nutritional supplements. It is therefore aptly suited for those who must limit their volume of food intake. At the same time, each serving of Profect contains only 100-calories – none of which are from fat — and as such will not lead to runaway caloric intake.

What is clearly the most appreciated medical quality, however, is Profect’s protein configuration. Each 2.7 fluid ounce serving of Profect contains 25 grams of protein. This is the densest protein available on the market. As such, individuals who are obliged to eat very small food portions can easily ingest 100% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Intake of protein in less than six fluid ounces.

In addition, each serving of Profect contains 50% to 100% of all nine water-soluble vitamins. These vitamins help consumers replenish the vitamin stores that they may be losing due to the post-procedure side effects noted above, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and sweating. In the long-term, daily usage of Profect provides the body with the critically important constant flow of water-soluble vitamins.

Indeed, the controversy surrounding stomach stapling, which also includes its hefty price tag, will continue; and it is important to hear all views. Yet what must also continue is quality education and

Minimum Health or Maximum Health

Minimum Health or Maximum Health? That is the Question!

Picture yourself in one of the following scenarios.

You’re cruising along in your new car by the ocean or in the mountains near the ski lodge, or just a leisurely drive through a beautiful forest or in the country. You stop and smell the fresh air you hear the scenic sounds. You are at peace.

You’re relaxing on the patio of your new home – you see the mountains or lake in the distance. Your friends are over as you barbecue in your new back yard. Everyone loves your new home. Or you’re out on the lake in your new boat with family or friends. Feel the breeze in your face – smell the fresh scents in the air.

Picture yourself on vacation – you are on the deck of a cruise ship – you are on the top deck under the stars. You feel the warm tropic breeze in your face. The full moon is reflecting off the water as you are holding the one you love in your arms.

We analyze the lives most of us actually have and what our lives could be and the role they play!

The question is who would want only minimum health (or worse) when they could have maximum health!

Maximum health is like you feel when you ask that special someone for a date for the first time and they say yes!
Minimum health is when you ask that special someone out and they tell you, that is the Saturday night when they have to do the laundry and wash their hair!

Picture maximum health as cruising next to the ocean in a sport car convertible with your lover next to you..
Picture minimum health as stuck in traffic in your 10-year-old station wagon with the air conditioner broken.

Maximum health is like being on a honeymoon on your own private beach in Hawaii. Running down the beach at night with the one you love with the warm tropic wind in your hair. The huge moon shining down on the palm trees and the tranquil bay.

Minimum health is stuck working overtime in an un-airconditioned office with a huge pile of paperwork stacked on your desk. In walks your boss – the one with all the personality of a geek with BO. He can’t stand going home to his abusive wife so he works 14 hour days and gives dirty looks to his employees when they leave before him. Your boss starts yelling about some stupid unfinished report…

Minimum health is like living paycheck to paycheck – just getting by, just barely having enough money to pay the bills each month. Minimum health is like Darling we have a little extra this month – would you like to go out to eat at McDonalds and get a Big Mac?

Maximum health is sailing away on a cruise ship to the Caribbean with the one you love while dining in elegance each evening!

Sure the above minimum health situations aren’t going to kill you (or at least not immediately), but is this the way you want to live your life? Do you really want to just scrape by when there is an option? Let’s examine the statement …aren’t going to kill you or at least not immediately.

Minimum health is simply the current absence of real illness or disease. Often people in minimum health are often too tired or sluggish to do things, they are overweight, etc. They don’t feel real bad but they sure don’t feel terrific. And what about our statement, some would argue that the above minimum health scenarios lead to premature and even a slow death!

Actually the attitude of minimum health is like too many other attitudes we have. We are always too willing to sell ourselves short. We are too willing to settle for second best even when we don’t have to. Too often this attitude can flow over into our jobs and relationships. This over the course of a lifetime can cause us much unhappiness and cost us a lot of money.

But the real issue here is minimum versus maximum health and what are we doing to strive toward maximum health? For example do you take high quality nutritional supplements or are you depending on the fast and processed foods to get all your nutrients? I would encourage you to take high quality vitamin and nutritional supplements with enzymes, antioxidants and dietary fiber along with exercise and weight management on a daily basis to strive toward maximum health.

Healthfully

How To Have A Healthy Thanksgiving

End of the year holidays are a time when our eyes
are often bigger than our stomach! Many of us wonder how we
will get through them without gaining 5 or 10 pounds. So how
can you feel great after parties and meals instead of overstuffed and
uncomfortable?

Your stomach cannot miraculously hold more food just because it’s the holidays.

First, remember that the amount of food your stomach can
hold did not change between yesterday and today. Remember
how uncomfortable you feel after you have eaten too much
and how long it takes to start feeling better again.

Do you want to be able to enjoy your food, and enjoy your
time after eating as well?

Smaller portions, lot’s of variety

If there’s a lot of food that you want to try, serve yourself
smaller portions. This way you can get a variety of everything.

Chew your food and eat slowly. Savor!

When you’re trying to control your food intake, one of the most
difficult things is when you feel satisfied, but everyone else is
going for seconds. You feel out of place to just sit there. What
can you do? Try to be the last one to begin eating your first
plate and chew each bite thoroughly. That way you are eating
more slowly and you won’t actually be finished by the time
everyone else is getting a second plate. Chew about 50 times
for each bite of food and set your fork down between bites.

Make a plate for yourself for later…

If the food is amazing and you don’t want to miss out on having
a second or third serving, but your stomach is actually
comfortably full, go ahead and make a plate for yourself, put
Saran Wrap over it and stick it in the fridge. That way you will
feel that you have a “treat” for later when you are hungry.

The food will taste much better if you eat it when you are hungry!

Split the desserts or cut them in half

There are often lots of desserts to choose from and
sometimes it’s hard to pick one. So take a smaller slice of
two so that you can get the equivalent of one dessert but
the ability to try both.

Respect what your body is saying to you

Many times are loved ones will put the pressure on for you to
eat more. They are not in your body though so they can’t
possibly know how you feel. I encourage you to respect
yourself and respect your body. It is not an insult to not eat
more. No one would put more cookies in a cookie jar than
could fit. If you did, what would happen when you put the
top on? They would smush and crumble.

This is not the last time you will eat…the opportunity will
come again

Most of all remember this is not the last time you will ever eat…and
there will most likely be leftovers. You will get hungry again
and you will be able to eat great food again….you don’t have
to do it all in one meal!

Eliminate Sugar

Eliminate Sugar and Lose Weight

If you want to lose weight, there is one thing you ought to eliminate from your diet…sugar.

Sugar is a villain in your quest to lose weight. You are probably thinking, “Of course, everyone knows that sugar is fattening.” Well, there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s important that you understand exactly why you ought to avoid sugar.

First, let’s define sugar. Sugar takes many more forms than the white table sugar with which you are familiar. Sugar includes corn syrup, maltose, lactose, fructose, sucrose, brown sugar, honey, molasses.

When you ingest cakes, cookies, chocolate, cereal, etc.–in other words, simple carbohydrates–you flood your bloodstream with sugar. (You need to begin to read ingredients labeling to determine if there is sugar in the food. You’ll be surprised at just how many foods contain sugar in one form or another.) The pancreas then produces insulin, a hormone designed to pull sugar out of your bloodstream and deposit it in your cells and your liver.

Because the pancreas does such a good job, your blood sugar rapidly drops lower than it should. (That explains your swings in your energy level.) Your brain then gets the message that your body requires more sugar to return the level to normal. As a result you feel a need to eat more sugar. And the cycle begins again.

Many people believe they are “addicted” to sugar. I guarantee you that, if you didn’t eat sugar for three or four days, that feeling of “addiction” would pass because your blood sugar levels would be stable and you would no longer feel the craving for sugar.

In addition, the pancreas releases another hormone called glucagon that helps to release fat from your cells. When you eat sugar all the time and the pancreas has to constantly release insulin, it is prohibited from releasing glucagon. As a result, you are literally locking fat in your body.

You might ask, “What about fruit?” Many people think of fruit as a great diet food. How often do you see someone having a plateful of fruit for lunch? Remember that fruit contains fructose, a natural sugar responsible for the sweetness of the fruit. It’s important to know that just because it’s natural, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s alright to eat it. It works the same way as any sugar. Now, we know that fruit contains many vitamins and minerals and should be a part of your food plan. However, if you are trying to lose weight, you need to keep your fruit consumption low, focusing on those fruits that contain less sugar, such as apples, pears and most berries.

Now, I don’t want to leave you thinking that you can never again have sugar. Even while you are losing weight, there is one time that, if you must, you can give yourself permission to eat sugar. That time is immediately following an INTENSE training session. But be sure the session is intense because working hard will deplete your body of its glycogen stores (that’s the name for sugar stored in your cells and liver for energy). Your body can store only a small amount at a time so it is possible to deplete it during an intense workout.

Good Health

Why Digestive Enzymes Are Vital To Good Health

Most digestive disorders develop because of the body’s inability
to produce sufficient enzymes for health-enhancing digestion and proper nutrient absorption. Enzyme depletion results in improper digestion and absorption, leading to chronic disorders

Malabsorption is the inability of the cells of the body to obtain nutrients from the foods consumed. This inaction causes loss of vitamins, minerals, fiber and the caloric value (energy) of foods, resulting in cellular deprivation. Digestive malabsorption can occur as a result of the following condition:

1. Insufficient time for large food molecules (protein, starch, fat) to be broken down by specific digestive enzymes.

2. Improperly-functioning Pancreas, not capable of delivering enough digestive enzymes to the small intestine to break down large molecules; thus, nutrient absorption becomes minimal or nonexistent.

3. The development of a condition known as Cleaky gut syndrome in which the membrane walls of the intestine lining become permeable, allowing undigested food to be leaded into the bloodstream.

The work of digestive enzymes is to break down food materials into components that are absorbable and, in addition, produce substances that assist in emulsifying fats into forms that can be readily absorbed into the blood.

Enzymes are necessary for life!

Everything that lives requires enzymes including humans, plants and animals.

Enzymes are a protein-based substance found in every living cell.

Important Life-Enhancing Functions of Enzymes:

Aids digestive functioning
Anti-wrinkle properties.
Assists healing abilities.
Assists respiratory function.
Assists glucose balance.
Dissolves blood clots.
Anti-inflammatory properties.
Immune stimulator to build-up natural resistance to disease

The actions of enzymes facilitate all of lifes processes and molecular integrity.

Another effect of low enzyme activity is fermentation, the basis for intestinal disorders. This process is encouraged when the diet contains carbohydrates and sugars that remain in the intestinal tract rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream. These unabsorbed substances constitute the most common source of intestinal gas and discomfort.

Balanced Health

The Isometric Diet and Balanced Health

The concept isometric has been a part of the health care vocabulary for decades. The most common application of the term, until now, has been with respect to physical exercise. Taken from the Greek root word Iso, meaning equal, the familiar term Isometric exercises involves applying equal weight to achieve strength goals.

Fairly recently, health researchers have discovered another innovative application of the isometric concept in the health care field: nutrition. These researchers have identified that an isometric approach to diet – a.k.a. the “Isometric Diet” — can lead to health improvement.

The Isometric Diet®, which provides the philosophical basis for the Zone Diet, has swiftly gained respect from the health and nutrition community because it applies this clear “balance” lens to the rather confused, often misinformed world of dieting. Created by Dan Duchaine in the mid 90s, and evolved by researchers such as Dr. Barry Sears (founder of the Zone Diet™), the Isometric Diet is an eating regimen that calls for a balanced ratio of protein, low-glycemic carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids.

The balanced ratio is the result of an overall awareness that the human body does not necessarily desire, or require, all kinds of micronutrients in all situations. While carbohydrates, proteins, and fats do provide the essential building blocks of human life, not all sources of each are optimal in all situations.

The Isometric Diet therefore takes a holistic approach to eating, and incorporates both macronutrient and micronutrient sources of energy. This goes beyond simply balancing proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Instead, an optimal balance is achieved on a deeper level one that leads to optimal body functioning, normalized blood-glucose levels, a controlled metabolism, and a healthy satiating of hunger.

This optimal balance, and particularly the point about healthily satiating hunger, is in stark contrast to some “fad diets”, which seek to artificially suppress hunger. This potentially dangerous suppression often forces eaters to experience a weakened immune system, bone density loss, and other adverse consequences of malnutrition.

The Isometric Diet is founded upon five integrated principles: balance protein diversity unsaturated fats low glycemic carbohydrates and awareness of food priority.

Principle One: Balance. The Isometric Diet recognizes the fact that the human body functions optimally when it is fueled by a balanced micronutrient ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.[i] The optimal ratio for these three is 1:1:1, or the same number of calories from proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Principle Two: Protein Diversity. The human body responds differently to different sources of protein.[ii] For example, a post-exercise meal that consists of quick-assimilating whey protein will have a more beneficial health impact than an intake of caseinate or soy protein. The Isometric Diet therefore promotes a blend of protein intake to seek an amino acid balance, and to select the most appropriate assimilation rate for optimal health.

Principle Three: Unsaturated Fats and MCT’s. The Isometric Diet recognizes that the human body processes saturated fats differently from mono- and polyunsaturated fats.[iii] Furthermore, the diet exploits the fact that there are some fats, called Medium Chain Triglycerides or “MCTs”, which are shorter chains of 8-10 fatty acids. These MCT chains are shorter, absorb quickly, and digest very easily. The end result is a more efficient digestive system and better results through less effort.[iv]

Principle Four: Low Glycemic Carbohydrates. Healthy eaters are swiftly adopting the Isometric Diet’s promotion of carbohydrates that do not cause the blood-sugar to rise. Dieters can therefore use the “glycemic index” (GI) as an intelligent way to measure the body’s insulin response to a given food and to monitor the intake of “good” carbohydrates.[v]

Principle Five: Awareness of Food Priority. The Isometric Diet is aware that there are naturally occurring micronutrients found in food that supplements, typically, cannot engineer. As such, the Isometric Diet does not propose an eating regimen that regularly replaces food with supplements. Rather, a controlled diet that is fortified by scientifically designed supplements is most effective.[vi] This is particularly important in a very fast paced world where eating a complete meal can be quite a challenge. In such cases, the Isometric Diet approves of the supportive value of supplements – provided that such supplements are created in light of the above four principles.

One such supplement that has been engineered within the framework of these principles, and that is receiving positive acclaim in the health care field, is called Isometric®, created by Pennsylvania-based Protica, Inc. So named to reflect its balanced composition and support of the Isometric Diet principles, Isometric is a third-genera

Heart Health

Wise Moves for Heart Health

We may be heartsick, and heartbroken, over heartfelt issues that can cast a cloud over our outlook. People can react to this mood in a number of ways—some may find solace in the menu of the day, craving carbs and chocolate while other folks may dismiss food entirely. Issues that can create less than sunny days can affect heart health and throughout February, American Heart Month, I am focusing on suggestions that can be helpful in keeping disheartening thoughts away.

Manage Stress

Stress management is one of the keys to heart heath. Stress can affect overall health and your heart when you indulge in behaviors such as overeating, smoking or consuming too much alcohol. Stress releases adrenaline which causes both your heart rate and blood pressure to rise as the adrenaline prepares the body for “fight or flight.” An ongoing state of stress can also affect the immune system and damage artery walls. You can manage stress by getting the recommended amount of rest, eating wisely and adding exercise to your daily routine. If you are unable to exercise 30 minutes a day five to seven days a week, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from your destination or take a quick walk during your lunch hour. These small adjustments can be beneficial in maintaining a healthy heart.

Food & Mood

Start your day by eating a balanced breakfast which includes fiber, lean protein, good fats and whole grain carbohydrates. Whole grain bread, turkey or chicken sausage, brown rice, millet, barley, or oatmeal are good choices Researchers have found that eating breakfast regularly improves mood and memory. It also provides more energy and calmness throughout the day.

Chocolate can be beneficial—like tea, dark chocolate contains flavonoids which act as antioxidants. These flavonoids can lower blood pressure and reduce LDL, the cholesterol that is not good for you. Dark chocolate can also stimulate the production of endomorphins, the chemicals in the brain that elicit feelings of pleasure. Dark chocolate also contains serotonin, the chemical that can act as an anti-depressant.

If your mood takes a downturn from being overweight, make a plan to trim away those extra pounds. You can do this by reducing the number of calories you consume and increasing exercise. For example if you indulge in an ice cream dessert at the end of each day, reduce dessert to twice a week or not at all. If you generally walk 15 minutes a day, up the time by ten to 15 minutes. These small changes will pay off.

This may be the month the spotlight is on heart health, but these suggestions are good options to adopt any month. When you incorporate these simple changes into your lifestyle, it is easy to achieve your goal to become a healthier, happier you.

Take Away: You can achieve year round heart health by managing stress, eating wisely and exercising more.

Health Benefits

Spirulina Health Benefits

Complete healthy nutrition is becoming a major concern for many of us. One of the reasons being the soil which is depleted of minerals due to over-farming and replenishing our soils with only limited number of minerals. The other reason is our lifestyle where we intend to compromise our health for time and taste. This leads to nutritional deficiency and may lead to health issues, some of them, chronic ones.

I am writing this article so that you can fulfill your nutritional needs with ease using this healthy option and are much suited to our modern lifestyles. I wanted to let you know about spirulina.

Spirulina is an edible blue green algae that has been used as food for thousands of years for the high nutrition it provides. It was a part of some ancient civilizations that enjoyed its health benefits. I wanted to highlight some of the important nutrition facts that spirulina provides so that you too can benefit form it.

Spirulina Health Benefits

1. Spirulina is easy to digest – Spirulina cell wall does not have cellulose which cannot be digested by our digestive system. Instead, spirulina cell wall is made up of mucopolysaccharides which are easily broken down and this makes the nutrients in the spirulina highly bio-available which makes these nutrients quickly absorbed in our body.

2. Spirulina provides antioxidants – Spirulina provides antioxidants like Phycocyanin and phycocyanobilin. Both are very powerful antioxidants that fight free radical that cause damage to our cells. Free radicals are known to speed up aging process and cause chronic disease like cancer. The phycocyanobilin is known to protect kidneys from damage due to diabetes.

3. Spirulina provides protein – Spirulina contains about 60% protein by weight which very higher than meat and chicken. Protein is required for many bio-chemical reactions within our body and are need to repair, regenerate and maintain our tissues. Scientist believe that Phycocyanin is a very powerful compound and has beneficial effect on the functions of our heart and brain.

4. Spirulina provides vitamins and minerals – Spirulina provides vitamin B12 which is needed by our nerves to be healthy. It also provides Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) which an important fatty acid that help protect from eczema and psoriasis.

The above mentioned benefits are some of the important health benefits that spirulina has to offer to your body. In addition to this, spirulina is available in capsule and powder form which is easy to consume and requires no preparation time. So my suggestion is you start consuming spirulina and fill in your nutritional gap.

Good Health

Are Supplements Essential To Good Health?

First of all, supplements are not intended to replace a healthy diet; they merely play a support role. My foremost recommendation for better health is still to include as much wholesome, organic foods in the diet as possible. Ideally, you also want to spend some time outdoors everyday. However, for many of us, this may not be entirely feasible.

• Most of us have the habit of eating very similar foods day-in, day-out. For example we only eat boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of varying parts of the chicken, such as the organs, the tendons, the skin, and the bones, which provide different nutrients like vitamin A, iron, calcium, collagen, etc.

• We do not eat enough variety of protein foods as each contains some different nutrients. For example, red meat, egg yolks, and dark-meat poultry are rich in zinc and heme iron, whereas grass-fed beef has a high concentration of the immune-boosting conjugated linoleic acid.

• We do not consume sufficient vegetables and fruits, not to mention the ones with different colors which have vastly differing nutrients.

• Our diet consists of excess nutrient-poor and calorie-dense processed foods, GMOs, pesticides, and chemicals.

• We eat too much fast foods or restaurant foods which are frequently very high in the pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid due to the type of refined vegetable oil they use in cooking.

• We devote most of the day sitting in front of a computer and seldom spend time outdoors.

Given these circumstances, it is inconceivable that our diet alone can provide us with all the necessary nutrients for good health. On top of that, majority of the population have some degree of leaky gut, low stomach acid and enzyme production, or other gut issues like Candida yeast overgrowth and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), all of which prevent proper digestion and nutrient absorption.

Hence, in today’s world, most people will need to take supplements of some sort. But because we are all unique individuals and biochemically different, the answer to which supplements one should take is not so black and white. That being said, there are five important supplements that are considered as staples and everyone can use for better health.

1. Multivitamins

A high quality multivitamin can help fill nutritional gap and ensure that you are getting all the important vitamins and minerals. However, do not settle for inferior quality multivitamins. Choose one that is manufactured by a highly reputable company that has a long track record of providing quality products. This will ensure that utmost care has been taken in all phases of production, from growing the ingredients organically, to manufacturing, testing for potency, and quality control.

Whole food supplements vs. synthetic or isolated supplements

Whole food supplements are food-based supplements made from concentrated whole foods. They are highly complex structures that combine a variety of enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, trace elements, and activators to work synergistically so that your body can easily absorb the nutrients.

Synthetic or isolated supplements are not natural as these nutrients are never found by themselves in nature. They are usually manufactured in a laboratory and come in ultra-high dose formulas. Synthetic multivitamins tend to give you massive quantities of some nutrients, usually the most inexpensive ones, and insufficient quantities of others. The problem with this type of nutrients is that the body treats them as foreign substances and can only utilize a small portion of the nutrients; in the long run, they can create imbalances in the body. Also, know that potentially nasty solvents and chemicals may be used in the manufacturing process of such synthetic supplements.

A once-daily multi vs. multis with a serving size of 3 to 6 capsules or tablets a day

A once-daily multi is typically lower in minerals because the latter tend to be bulky. They seldom include essential minerals like potassium or magnesium in adequate enough amounts to really make a difference.

Multis with a daily serving size of 3 to 6 tablets have higher potencies and often have added beneficial ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, herbs, green foods, and enzymes to enhance digestion and absorption. With these multis, you can take more or less with your meals depending on the quality of your diet and your individual needs.

Only a handful of companies produce high quality, whole food multi-vitamin supplements; over 99% of the companies make the synthetic isolate version. The following are several brands of whole food supplements that you may find in health food stores:

• Dr. Mercola

• Garden of Life

• Innate Response

• MegaFood

• New Chapter

• Standard Process

(Author of this newsletter is not affiliated with any of these supplement companies.)

2. Omega-3 Fish Oil

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have been widely publicized. They reduce inflammatio