web analytics

Tag Archive | "nutrients"

Five simple time-tested tips for aging well

HEA-Aging-well(BPT) – A health renaissance is taking place in America as more people are embracing aging well and being proactive rather than reactive about their well-being. Prevention has become the focus, and many aging Americans are turning to time-tested methods for keeping their bodies and minds healthy so they can live longer, higher-quality lives.

Kristen Johnson, certified personal trainer, registered dietician and nutrition expert at www.ontargetliving.com points out five time-tested strategies for aging well:

Daily exercise

“Daily movement is the real fountain of youth. It keeps us healthy from the inside out,” says Johnson.

She notes that quality over quantity is what really matters.

“When it comes to improving overall fitness, high-intensity exercise for a short amount of time may be much more beneficial than low intensity for a long amount of time,” Johnson says. “Research suggests that fat-burning hormones like human growth hormones and testosterone are stimulated by high-intensity exercise, while fat-storing hormones like cortisol may be lowered. Try increasing the intensity and frequency of your exercise, while decreasing the time spent.”


The foods you eat influence how you look and feel, from glowing and confident to lethargic and sick. Selecting foods that people have eaten historically as nutritional powerhouses can help boost overall wellness.

“Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, ancient grains, healthy fats and lean proteins,” says Johnson. “These foods naturally contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which all contribute to healthy aging.”

A few to focus on:

  • Carrots, squash and sweet potatoes are extremely beneficial for eye and skin health, thanks to high levels of beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A.
  • Any brightly colored fruits and vegetables will have an abundant amount of antioxidants, and these help prevent oxidation and cell damage. Examples: raspberries, kale and cabbage.
  • Carbohydrates like healthy grains, beans and potatoes help you produce serotonin, a calming and satiety hormone that helps fight stress and anxiety’s negative effects.


Supplements help fill nutritional gaps, especially as the aging body requires greater amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. Johnson points out the importance of omega-3s for aging well.

“Omega-3 fats are essential for getting you healthy from the inside out, all while helping improve hormonal balance, brain health, weight loss and metabolism,” she says. “Omega-3 fats are also extremely helpful for healthy skin, hair and nails.”

Her favorite? Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil. “This contains EPA and DHA, both of which contribute to a healthy heart and brain,” she says. “Cod liver oil also helps improve cellular function, energy and mood. Did you know cod liver oil can actually taste good? Try their delicious orange flavor.”


“Chronic lack of sleep is one of the fastest ways to age the human body,” Johnson says. “Lack of sleep can have a huge impact on the appearance of skin, causing fine lines, wrinkles and dark under-eye circles. Not getting enough sleep can also cause your body to release a stress hormone called cortisol.”

She notes that adequate sleep can positively influence cognitive ability, mood, weight loss and skin rejuvenation, so it should be a top priority for an aging-well routine. While the right amount of sleep will vary between individuals, the goal for most adults is around 7 to 8 hours a night.

Social activity

Human interaction can decrease as people age, but it’s more important than ever to form and maintain bonds with others. Participating in social activity is a fun way to enjoy life and reap real health benefits.

“The American Medical Association has noted that stress is the basic cause for more than 60 percent of all human illnesses and diseases,” says Johnson. ‘”When you are socially active and surround yourself with people you enjoy, you may be less likely to feel lonely, unhappy, or unfulfilled, all of which can cause unwanted stress.”

Finally, there’s no need to become overwhelmed; start an aging-well routine by taking one small step and building healthy habits over time. This is what will lead to long-term success.

“Remember that it’s never too late to start living a healthy and happy life,” Johnson says. “Give yourself more reasons to smile and laugh! Did you know research suggests that happy people live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives?”

Posted in Featured, HealthComments Off on Five simple time-tested tips for aging well


According to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), nearly half of American kids aged eight and under consume potentially harmful amounts of vitamin A, zinc and niacin because of excessive food fortification. Photo by Andy Melton, courtesy Flickr

According to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), nearly half of American kids aged eight and under consume potentially harmful amounts of vitamin A, zinc and niacin because of excessive food fortification. Photo by Andy Melton, courtesy Flickr

E – The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that much of our food—including cereals and snacks eaten by children—is actually over-fortified with excessive amounts of vitamins and minerals that can be dangerous to our health?
             — Diane Summerton, Waukesha, WI
Added nutrients in the processed foods we eat could indeed be too much of a good thing, especially for kids. According to a report from non-profit health research and advocacy group Environmental Working Group (EWG), nearly half of American kids aged eight and under “consume potentially harmful amounts of vitamin A, zinc and niacin because of excessive food fortification, outdated nutritional labeling rules and misleading marketing tactics used by food manufacturers.” EWG’s analysis for the “How Much Is Too Much?” report focused on two frequently fortified food categories: breakfast cereals and snack bars.
Of the 1,550 common cereals studied by EWG, 114 (including Total Raisin Bran, Wheaties Fuel, Cocoa Krispies, Krave and others) were fortified with 30 percent or more of the adult Daily Value for vitamin A, zinc and/or niacin. And 27 of 1,000 brands of snack bars studied (including Balance, Kind and Marathon bars) were fortified with 50 percent or more of the adult Daily Value for at least one of these nutrients. EWG researchers based their analysis on Nutrition Facts labels on the various food items’ packaging.
“Heavily fortified foods may sound like a good thing, but it when it comes to children and pregnant women, excessive exposure to high nutrient levels could actually cause short or long-term health problems,” says EWG research director Renee Sharp, who co-authored the report.  “Manufacturers use vitamin and mineral fortification to sell their products, adding amounts in excess of what people need and more than might be prudent for young children to consume.”
Sharp adds that excessive levels of vitamin A can lead to skeletal abnormalities, liver damage and hair loss, while high doses of zinc can impede copper absorption, compromise red and white blood cells and impair immune function. Also, too much vitamin A during pregnancy can lead to fetal developmental issues. And older adults who get too much vitamin A are at more risk for osteoporosis and hip fractures.
EWG suggests it’s time to overhaul our food labeling system to better account for how ingredients may affect children as well as adults. “In other words, when a parent picks up a box of cereal and sees that one serving provides 50 percent of the Daily Value for vitamin A, he or she may think that it provides 50 percent of a child’s recommended intake,” says EWG researcher and report co-author Olga Naidenko. “But he or she would most likely be wrong, since the Daily Values are based on an adult’s dietary needs.”
EWG is working on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update its guidelines for Nutrition Facts to better reflect how foods affect children as well as adults. In the meantime, parents might want to consider scaling back on fortified foods for their kids in favor of so-called whole foods (unprocessed, unrefined fruits, vegetables and whole grains) that deliver the right amounts of nutrients naturally.
“Research consistently shows that the nutrient amounts and types found in whole foods provide optimal nutrition as well as least risk,” says Ashley Koff, a registered dietitian and a former ad executive for kid’s cereals and snack bars. “We owe it to parents and kids to make it easiest to choose better quality foods.”
See EWG’s “How Much Is Too Much?” report, www.ewg.org/research/how-much-is-too-much.
EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com.

Posted in Featured, HealthComments Off on EarthTalk®

Herbs for health

By Perry T. Hopkins, Naturopath (TBWP)

Proper health comes from proper nutrition. The body will function at its ideal level when fed the right nutrients. It will build bones when given the right amount of calcium and silica; the muscle will naturally relax with adequate amounts of magnesium and potassium. The body can combat inflammation with vitamin C; Our eyes will function properly with Vitamin A and Beta-carotene. A healthy immune system relies on a healthy intake of nutrition. The brain requires adequate amounts of essential fatty acids—Vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6, and E, essential amino acids, bioflavonoid, melatonin, many trace minerals and more. Most of today’s illness can be attributed to lack of good nutrition as a leading cause.
Herbs are super foods! Herbs are foods that contain high amounts of nutritional value. Most have therapeutic properties to them as well. If we use herbs in our daily diets it will help sustain a health immune system and body. Combining the sea vegetables kelp or spirulina with rose hips helps give the body multiple vitamins.
Spirulina is a super food used in many green drinks. It is recommended to consume spirulina when doing a fast so your body still gets its needed nutrients while you are not eating. It contains a Vitamin B complex, B 12, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium, all eight essential amino acids, ten non essential amino acids, Vitamin E, folic acid, digestive enzymes, chlorophyll, iron, and many more. Kelp is a similar alternative to spirulina.
Kelp contains a little more iodine than spirulina, which helps with thyroid issues. Most of your natural iodine and sodium gets depleted from a diet high in table salt. Table salt is a synthetic source of iodine and sodium. Synthetics tend to leach the natural nutrients from the body. Kelp will help replenish these loss minerals.
The leaves from parsley and nettles are good hydrating herbs. These two herbs, besides giving nourishment, help support the urinary tract. There are literally thousands of herbs that you can eat or drink to gain nourishment and get the body back on track to functioning properly. Herbs, sometimes, are easier for the body to uptake than supplements because herbs are a whole food and not an altered substance.
There are people who can help you be healthy without the use of pills. If you are tired of feeling ill and tired of popping pills to feel better, look for different help. With more people looking towards natural health, just about every town and city has a Nutritionist, Naturopath, Herbalist, or something similar to those titles. These people can help you in your efforts to getting healthy in a more natural way, through eating and drinking. If you have been going to someone for help with your health and you are not seeing results, it may be time to seek help elsewhere. Try herbs for health.

Posted in HealthComments Off on Herbs for health