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Posts Tagged ‘Nutritional Supplements

By Dr. Maoshing Ni – Posted on Mon, Aug 11, 2008, 1:42 pm PDT

Senility, Alzheimer’s, and age-related memory loss: these conditions of mental decline that come with aging can be delayed or even prevented. Besides engaging in daily activities that work out your brain, a regular and balanced diet rich with essential amino acids, omega oils, minerals and vitamins will ensure a vibrant and sharp memory. Eat these foods to give your brain the nutrition it needs.

1. Fish
Protein, an important component in the making of neurotransmitters, is essential to improve mental performance. Aside from being an excellent source of high quality protein, fish are packed with essential oils, such as Omega-3, which protect the brain and supports its development and functioning. Deep sea fish have the highest amounts of fatty acids, and they include salmon, sea bass, halibut, mackerel, and sardines.

2. Blueberries
These delicious berries are full of powerful antioxidants, which eliminate free-radical damage that causes aging, and they also possess neuroprotective properties that can delay the onset of age-related memory loss by guarding brain cells from damage caused by chemicals, plaque, or trauma. And they combat inflammation, the other factor in aging.

3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are wonder foods for your brain. Packed with protein and essential fatty acids, nuts and seeds are also chock full of the amino arginine, which stimulates the pituitary gland at the base of the brain to release growth hormone, a substance that declines quickly after age 35; this is a real anti-aging boon to your brain!

Whip up a batch of my “Anti-aging brain mix” to bring with you anywhere and eat a small handful in between meals as a daily snack. It will nourish and support your brain. Pack in sealed container or zip-lock bag to preserve freshness.

  • 1 cup walnut
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup of dried goji berries (also known as lycium berry, and easily found in health food stores)
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots

4. Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are all rich in choline, an essential nutrient for memory and brain health. Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which contributes to healthy and efficient brain processes. As we age, our body’s natural choline output declines, and its neurochemical action weakens. You can eat choline-rich foods to increase your production of acetylcholine, which will improve your brain power.

Other sources of choline include: eggs, soybeans, peanuts, cabbage, black beans, and kidney beans.

5. Oil: Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fats contain essential fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which are crucial for brain development and function, among many other excellent benefits for your health. Olive oil, sesame oil, canola oil, almond oil, flaxseed oil, and fish oil are rich in monounsaturated fats and are good choices for brain health. Population studies show that people with a diet that is high in unsaturated, unhydrogenated fats may have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, whereas those with a diet that is higher in saturated fats and trans fats have an increased risk.

6. L-carnitine Foods
Age-related memory problems are many times caused by plaque buildup and diminished blood supply to the brain, compromising the delivery of nutrients and oxygen. L-carnitine, an amino acid manufactured in your liver, increases circulation in the brain — among a myriad of powerful benefits for your health. Also, because it prevents fat oxidation in the brain, L-carnitine shows some promise in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Good sources of L-carnitine include: meats, fish, poultry, wheat, avocado, milk, and fermented soybeans.

7. Microalgae
Microalgaes from the ocean and uncontaminated lakes, including blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella, seaweed, and kelp are easy-to-digest, high protein and high-energy supplements-and contain over a hundred trace minerals! Available in your health food store, microalgae are simple to incorporate into your diet to ensure a good, strong brain function. Look for powders you dissolve in juice or flakes you can sprinkle on your food.

8. Green Tea
Green tea prevents an enzyme found in Alzheimer’s disease and is also rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that help prevent premature brain aging. Drink two cups a day to get the brain benefits. To decaf tea, steep for 45 seconds and pour out the water, add fresh hot water to the leaves or tea bag — 95% of caffeine will be eliminated.

Herbal Boost
There are many Chinese herbs that support healthy brain functions, including ginkgo biloba and gotu kola. For support of healthy brain function I recommend our family formula called Enduring Youth, which contains Chinese herbs such as Chinese yam, goji berry, schisandra berry, Asian cornelian, China root, Cistanches, sweet flag, Chinese senega, dipsacus, anise, and Chinese foxglove. For more information, click here.

I hope you get the brain benefits of these foods. I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

-Dr. Mao

http://health.yahoo.com/experts/drmao/15524/8-foods-to-keep-your-brain-young-and-healthy/

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, grapefruit is a powerhouse of nutrition and an excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin A, potassium, folate, vitamin B5, and phytochemicals such as liminoids and lycopene:

  • Vitamin C helps to support the immune system and fight free radical damage.
  • Lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient, appears to have anti-tumor activity.
  • Limonoids inhibit tumor formation by promoting the formation of a detoxifying enzyme.
  • Pectin is a form of soluble fiber that has been shown in animal studies to slow the progression of atherosclerosis.

In addition, studies have revealed that eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice, reduces the risk of kidney stones, protects against lung and colon cancer, significantly increases the production and activity of liver enzymes responsible for eliminating toxins from the body, and helps repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells.

Health benefits of dates are uncountable, as this fruit is affluent in natural fibres. These natural products also contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are advantageous for health. Dates are even rich in several vitamins and minerals. It is said that one date is minimum requirement of a balanced and healthy diet. It helps in fighting constipation, intestinal disorders, weight gain, heart problems, sexual weakness, diarrhoea and abdominal cancer.

Health benefits of dates have made them the best nourishment for muscles development. People consume dates in several ways, like mixing the paste of the dates with milk, yoghurt or with bread or butter to make the food tasty and healthy. This paste is beneficial for both adults and children, especially during the time of recovery. According to the modern medicine survey, it is known that dates are useful in preventing abdominal cancer. It is also seen that many Muslims break their fast by eating dates and water according to their traditions. Breaking fast with eating dates helps us to avoid overeating of the food after the fast. When the body absorbs the nutritional value of the dates, the feeling of hunger gets pacified.

Dates are termed as a crown of sweets and ideal food which easily balances and digests food. It gives extra energy to a tired human body within half an hour after taking it. Dates are considered to be the best diet for confinement of the women. American Cancer Society recommends intake of 20-35 grams of dietary fibre in a day, supplied through dates. It is said that taking one date in a day will help you to maintain your healthy eyes for your lifetime. They are quiet effective in guarding the night blindness problems.

Benefits of Dates

  • Constipation: Date is termed to be a laxative food. This is the reason that dates are beneficial for people suffering from constipation. For getting the laxative effect from dates, you need to soak dates for one full night in water. You should consume these soaked dates in the morning like syrup to get their actual advantages.
  • Intestinal Disorders: The nicotinic content that is present in the dates is said to be beneficial for curing any kinds of intestinal disorders. Continuous intake of dates helps to maintain a check on the growth of the pathological organisms and thus, helps in the rise of friendly bacteria in the intestines.
  • Weight Gain: Dates are said to be a part of healthy diet. They consist of sugar, fats, proteins as well as many essential vitamins. If the dates are consumed with the paste of cucumber, one can easily come out from the problem of over-slimming. One kilogram of dates contains almost 3,000 calories. These calories alone are sufficient to meet the daily requirements of a human body.
  • Heart Wealth: Dates are quite helpful in maintaining your heart in healthy condition. When soaked for whole night and crushed in the morning and consumed, they prove to be quite advantageous for weak hearts. They help to fortify heart, if taken twice in the week.
  • Sexual Weakness: Dates are even beneficial for increasing sexual stamina in the human body. A handful of dates, when soaked in fresh goat’s milk for the night and then grinded in the same milk with the mixture of cardamom powder and honey, becomes a very useful tonic for increasing sex endurance and sterility due to functional disorders.
  • Diarrhea: Ripe dates contain potassium. Potassium is beneficial for controlling diarrhea. They are easily digestible, which helps to cope up with the problems of diarrhea.
  • Intoxication: Dates are known as an excellent remedy for alcoholic intoxication. Dates provide quick relief in the case of alcoholic intoxication. They should be rubbed and soaked overnight for getting more nutritious values from them.
  • Abdominal Cancer: Dates are beneficial for curing abdominal cancer. They work as useful tonic for all age groups. They work as better as the medicines, and are natural and do not bear any side effects in the body. They can be easily digested and used for supplying extra and needed energy.

Although dates carry tremendous nutritional values, great care should be taken in their selection because they consists of sticky surface which attracts various impurities in them. Hence, you should consume only those dates that are packed nicely. Make sure to wash them thoroughly before consuming. This will help to remove the impurities present in them.

This article is contributed by Seema Adnani.

References: American Cancer Society

Article: http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-dates.html

Picture: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/senior/fruits/images/large/date.jpg

A single eight-ounce glass of prune juice offers 12% of the daily-recommended allowance for fiber. It’s no secret fiber is one of the most important factors for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Surprisingly, few people understand how prune juice affects the digestive system.

Structure of the Digestive System

The digestive system is composed of five major organs — the gallbladder, intestines, liver, pancreas, and stomach. These organs work together to ensure the nutrients from food are broken down and transported into the bloodstream where they transfer into various cells.

Digestion begins with chewing. The saliva in your mouth mixes with the food you eat and begins to break it down into smaller particles. In your stomach, those particles mix with digestive enzymes coming from the liver (bile), gallbladder (bild), and the pancreas (insulin). These enzymes turn the particles into a liquid that can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Any left over matter travels through the intestines and eventually is passed as a bowel movement.

An Unhealthy Digestive System

If your digestive system is operating poorly, your body can’t receive the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Some signs of poor digestion include constipation, excessive gas, heartburn, and stomachaches. To keep your digestive system performing well, it’s essential to follow a high fiber diet and to stay hydrated.

Improving Digestive Health

These simple tips can increase your digestive system’s overall health:

  • Avoid stress
  • Exercise daily
  • Stop rushing through meals
  • Cut back on excess sugar and fats
  • Abstain from alcohol in any form
  • Drink at least sixty-four ounces of purified water daily
  • For more flavor, stick to decaf tea and 100% organic juice instead of colas

Proper hydration keeps organs running like hand-built Italian sports cars (well, maybe not that perfectly but pretty good). A single glass of organic prune juice provides your organs with additional fluid and also bestows many nutritional benefits.

Benefits of Prune Juice

Benefits of Prune Juice

Pure prune juice is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and potassium—a necessary component in maintaining a healthy heart rhythm. Prune juice contains more antioxidants (nutrients purported to slow the aging process) than blueberries. These antioxidants help cells work their best and are able to absorb nutrients readily.

Nutrients in organic prunes supporting digestive function include:

  • Calcium – Assists the body in processing carbohydrates, fat, and protein
  • Copper – Helps convert carbohydrates into energy
  • Iron – Helps regulate the flow of oxygen to cells and organs
  • Magnesium – Boosts enzymes for breaking down carbohydrates
  • Niacin – Aids the body in processing sugars and fats
  • Pantothenic Acid – Assists the body in metabolizing nutrients
  • Phosphorus – Helps balance the metabolism
  • Potassium – Regulates the balance of fluid and essential minerals
  • Selenium – Keeps cells healthy so they can absorb nutrients
  • Sodium – Regulates the flow of fluids throughout cells
  • Thiamin – Converts carbohydrates into energy
  • Vitamin A – Helps the body manufacture healthy cells
  • Vitamin B6 – Helps convert protein, fats, and carbohydrates into energy
  • Vitamin C – Aids the body in healing damaged tissue and cells
  • Vitamin E – An important antioxidant assisting with cell regeneration
  • Zinc – Helps convert protein, fats, and carbohydrates into energy

Fiber is also an important component of prunes, though not a nutrient. Prunes are replete with insoluble fiber, which serves a few important functions. First, this fiber soaks up huge amounts of water. Water normally gathers in your intestines, causing waste to be passed easily and quickly through the eliminatory system.

Constipation can prevent the digestive system from working effectively, so prune juice acts as an agent in preventing constipation so things keep flowing smoothly. Second, the insoluble fiber found in prunes feeds the helpful bacteria within your intestines. By increasing the helpful bacteria, the disease-causing bacteria are driven out. In fact, a link exists between increased fiber consumption and the prevention of colon cancer. This factor alone should be reason enough for you to drink a little prune juice every day!

Your pancreas helps produce insulin needed to maintain proper blood sugar levels. Evidence proves prune juice can help stabilize blood sugar levels. The soluble fiber within prunes lengthens the time it takes for food to leave the stomach. This slows down the rush of glucose into the circulatory system after a meal, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels. Many nutritionists believe prunes can play a part in decreasing the incidences of Type II Diabetes.

Prunes have gained a rather negative reputation throughout the years as being just for constipated old folks. Sadly, this connotation has overshadowed prunes’ true benefits. A prune is really nothing more than a dried plum; and prune juice is a form of plum juice that has gone through a distillation process. Many people find the syrupy taste of the juice to be off-putting, but some versions provide a tarter flavor that even kids seem to enjoy. Therefore, you can partake of the benefits of prunes without giving up the flavor of fresh plums if that encourages you to consume this healthful snack.

http://www.colon-cleanse-constipation.com/prune-juice.html

Cherries. Not just another berry

The Cherry Research Committee is seeking proposals for new cherry research studies. Submit your proposal and learn more at www.cherryresearch.com.

Cherries are not only good for you, but they’re also on trend as a homegrown “Super Fruit.” According to recent data, more than 9 out of 10 Americans want to know where their food comes from, nearly 80 percent say they’re purchasing “locally produced” products, and the majority is defining “local” as grown in America.1,2 And cherries deliver.

A growing body of science reveals tart cherries, enjoyed as either dried, frozen cherries or cherry juice, have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, when compared to other fruits. They also contain other important nutrients such as beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries) vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate.

Emerging evidence links cherries to many important health benefits – from helping to ease the pain of arthritis and gout, to reducing risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Cherries also contain melatonin, which has been found to help regulate the body’s natural sleep patterns, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the aging process.

A recent study from the University of Michigan reveals new evidence linking cherries to heart health benefits. The study found that a cherry-enriched diet lowered total weight, body fat (especially the important “belly” fat), inflammation and cholesterol-all risk factors associated with heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, being overweight or obese, in particular when the weight is concentrated in the middle, is a major risk factor for heart disease. As nearly two out of three Americans are overweight, emerging studies like this are important in examining the role diet may play in disease management and prevention.

Click on Cardiovascular/Heart Health for more information on the role cherries may play in reducing inflammation and risk factors associated with heart disease.

While there’s no established guideline yet on how many cherries it takes to reap the benefits, experts suggest that 1-2 servings of cherries daily can help provide some of the health benefits identified in the research. Single serving size examples include:
• 1/2 cup dried
• 1 cup frozen
• 1 cup juice
• 1 ounce (or 2 Tbsp) juice concentrate

For additional information on serving sizes and tips to meet daily requirements for fruits and vegetables, visit: www.5aday.gov/what/index.html

1: Survey conducted by IRI Data, 2008
2: Survey conducted by The Hartman Group, 2008

http://www.choosecherries.com/health/main.aspx

Blueberry fruits are round, light blue to dark blue, and around 1/2 inch in diameter. Eventhough blue berry is mostly consumed as fresh fruit and juice, it is also used as ingredient to make sauces, drinks, and desserts.

Blueberry is a natural and rich source of antioxidants. Blue berry antioxidants include flavonoids (catechin, epicatechin), anthocyanin (which gives the blue pigment to the fruit), beta-carotene, phenolic compounds and ellagic acid (ellagitannin). Blue berry is high in antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin E, A and C. It is also a good source of dietary fiber.

Health benefit of blueberry

Because of the high antioxidant content, dietary fiber and other nutrients, blueberry is known to have great health benefits. Several researches indicate blueberry’s potential anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects. It may also delay or prevent onset of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. Health benefits of blueberry may be explained by the capacity of its antioxidants to scavenge free-radicals which are causes for age-related human diseases.

Blueberry also helps lower LDL cholesterol (a cause for stroke and cardiovascular heart disease), reduce the risk of urinary tract infection, and improve eye vision.

http://www.dietaryfiberfood.com/blueberry-antioxidant.php

Recommended Article: Benefits of blueberry juice


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