Dr. Oz: How to Boost Your Metabolism All Day Long

Here are some fantastic tips from Dr. Oz on how to boost your metabolism all day long:

6:30 A.M.
Do a little yoga. It can double your metabolic rate first thing in the morning. I recommend a gentle cycle of two sun salutations. If you’re new to yoga, check out my seven-minute morning routine (which also includes a few strength-building exercises).

6:40 A.M. 
Drink cold water. Five hundred milliliters of H2O (a little more than a pint) may spike metabolism by 30 percent for as long as an hour. Water triggers the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn stimulates your metabolism. Cold water may also force your body to use energy to warm it.

6:50 A.M. 
Take 500 milligrams of white bean extract. In a 2007 study, people who took the extract (which may slow the absorption of carbs) for 30 days experienced a significant improvement in their muscle-to-fat ratio. That’s good news for metabolism since muscle burns about three times more calories than fat.

7:00 A.M. 
Eat a protein-packed breakfast. Digesting protein takes up to seven times more energy than digesting carbohydrates or fat. Try making a dozen hard-boiled eggs on Sunday, and eat one or two each day.

8:00 A.M. 
Enjoy a cup of joe. Caffeine promotes an increase in norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that keeps your sympathetic nervous system activated and your metabolic rate humming. According to research, coffee may increase the amount of energy you burn by 16 percent for up to two hours.

9:30 A.M. 
Take 50 milligrams of forskolin. Recent studies indicate that compounds in forskolin—an extract derived from a medicinal plant—might break down fat and help raise levels of thyroid hormones, which play an important role in regulating the speed of metabolism.

10:00 A.M.
Snack on tahini dip. Tahini is made from sesame seeds, a rich source of zinc. And zinc may increase the production of leptin, a hormone that improves metabolism and curbs appetite.
11:15 A.M.
Chew a stick of sugarless gum. New England Journal of Medicine study found that this mindless activity can help your body burn 19 percent more calories per hour. (At that rate, if you chewed gum every waking hour, you’d lose 11 pounds over the course of a year! And likely drive everyone around you nuts.)
12:00 P.M. 
Go for a brisk 15-minute walk. A trip around the block can triple your metabolic rate. This boost continues after you stop moving because the body consumes more oxygen, a crucial player in metabolism, when it’s recovering from exertion.
12:45 P.M.
Spice up lunch with peppers. Capsaicin, the key substance that makes chili peppers hot, stimulates your “fight or flight” stress response and may increase metabolism by 23 percent. Peppers may even improve your muscle-to-fat ratio: Research suggests that capsaicin inhibits the generation of fat cells.
2:00 P.M. 
Sip a cup of green teaThis miracle beverage pairs caffeine with a compound known as EGCG—and together they create an even greater bump in metabolism than caffeine alone. Studies also indicate that green tea may reduce body fatand trim the waistline.
5:00 P.M.
Use your muscles—with your mind. Believe it or not, visualizing a workout can actually trick your body into strengthening your calorie-zapping muscle: A Cleveland Clinicstudy discovered that participants who spent 15 minutes a day imagining flexing their biceps had a 13.5 percent increase in their strength after three months.
5:15 P.M.
Use your muscles—with your muscles. After age 30, we lose 3 to 8 percent of our muscle mass per decade, which is one of the main reasons metabolism slows. To counteract that loss, aim to do two to three 30-minute strength-training sessions a week, using moves that engage as many muscles as possible, like squatsplanks, and lunges.

6:30 P.M. 
Cook dinner with coconut oil. Most of the oils we eat are converted largely into fat. But coconut oil, with its unique molecular makeup, is rapidly converted into energy—and may causea 12 percent bump in your metabolism.

6:55 P.M. 
Add dairy to your meal. Calcium can help improve your muscle-to-fat ratio in two ways: It binds with fat to reduce the body’s absorption of fat. And any remaining calcium typically circulates in your bloodstream, helping to break down fat cells.

7:00 P.M. 
Garnish with dill weed or chives. Both of these herbs are packed with kaempferol, a flavonoid that has been shown to increase the production of metabolism-spurring thyroid hormones by about 150 percent.
7:45 P.M. 
Unwind with a glass of wine. Alcohol can raise your metabolic rate for up to 95 minutes. In fact, a large peer-reviewed study found that women who regularly enjoy a drink are seven to eight pounds lighter, on average, than teetotalers.

10:30 P.M.
Hit the hay. Irregular sleep patterns can disrupt the circadian rhythm of your cells, throwing your metabolism out of whack. Do your best to get a steady eight hours of rest each night.

Keep reading: 4 more ways to turn back the clock

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/How-to-Increase-Your-Metabolism-All-Day/7#ixzz1wSfYZpRa

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four agreements

fouragreements

 

Stress and Pregnancy

Image  

A new study finds newborns whose mothers are under stress during the first trimester may be at risk for low iron status, which could lead to physical and mental delays down the road.

Dr. Joe Austerman from Cleveland Clinic says, “They found that mothers with high levels of stress correlated with lower levels of iron in the baby. And why this is important because low levels of iron in our bloodstream as children have significant effects on our physical development, as well as our cognitive development.”

The bottom line is do not stress out during pregnancy as it not only affects you, but it may have long-term effects on your baby.

The study was presented at Pediatric Academy Societies annual meeting.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Aches & Pains

You don’t want to go wakeboarding or run a marathon anymore.  All you want to do is wake up and be able to walk from your bed to the rest room without feeling like you can’t move.

Yet, suddenly you wake up feeling crippled and sore all over. 

Even your fingers hurt.  You think it’s temporary, but the pain gets worse each morning.

 

It lingers throughout the day. You wonder if it’s arthritis or osteoporosis. 

If you ache all over, chances are it’s Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).  Click on diagram to see where it hurts. 

 

EVERYWHERE!  Your feet, ankles, calves, knees, legs, back, neck, hands, arms, shoulders, wrists…all your joints hurts. 

The pain is equally distributed on both sides of your body. You start moving real s-l-o-w.

  

You tell yourself you are too young for this.  RA can hit when you’re 30 or any time later. It can affect men and women. 

But there are 2 1/2 times more women suffering from it.  It’s a long-term disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It can also affect other organs.

 

Turns out, even a 5% weight gain could trigger it in someone who never had it. Inflammation.  Now, they’re saying with obesity on the rise –more & more people will get it. And they say the cause is unknown.  Hmm…

I’m thinking if even a slight weight gain triggers it, that’s a clue.  A certain type of food may be triggering it. 

Try the process of elimination to try to figure that out.   One more thing…I say look at the 4 E’s first whenever your health is off-balance.

 1) Emotions 2) Environment 3) Eating 4) Exercise

 

EMOTIONS:  YOU SOUND LIKE A BROKEN RECORD –  My Dad loves to say that when my Mom nags him about something.  Similarly, when you feel physical pain it can mean negativity repeating itself in your mind.

Eckhart Tolle, the author of “The Power of Now” says anger affects your physical health when you repeatedly think about something that happened in the past or you worry about the future.  

He says those thoughts cause negative emotions, which cause physical pain.  It’s the reason depression hurts or bullying.  Negative words hurt. Literally.  Negative thoughts hurt. Literally. 

Tolle says anger is contagious. No one should be walking around angry. 

 

 

Take the time to release it.  You benefit.  Everyone around you benefits.

Think of a record. If it has scratches, it skips.  If it skips, you don’t keep listening to it.  If you did, it would severely damage the record (physical pain).   The record is your mind.  Change it. 

Meditate on the present moment.  Empty your mind of all thoughts.  It’s hard to do.  Keep trying.  Go to a quiet place.  Close your eyes.  Visualize releasing mental, emotional and physical pain.  Focus on soft music, rain drops or simply your breathing.  My favorite 3 words are:  Let It Go.

ENVIRONMENT – You may not be able to change your environment, which is why eliminating anger is so important.  If you have to stay in an existing negative environment, go to a different room, step outside or go for a walk in nature. Turning off the computer and all electronic equipment helps too.

 

EXERCISE – The best exercise for RA is stretching slowly first thing in the morning, walking, yoga and swimming. 

EATING: Can Some Fats Increase Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis? (from WebMD)

Yes. Studies show that saturated fats may increase inflammation in the body. Foods high in saturated fats, such as animal products like bacon, steak, butter, and cream, may increase inflammatory chemicals in the body called prostaglandins.

Prostaglandins are chemicals that cause inflammation, pain, swelling, and joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition, some findings confirm that meat contains high amounts of arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is a fatty acid that’s converted to inflammatory prostaglandins in the body.

Some people with rheumatoid arthritis find that a vegetarian diet helps relieve symptoms of pain and stiffness. Other people with rheumatoid arthritis, however, get no benefit from eating a diet that eliminates meat.

Is Omega-6 Fatty Acid Linked to Inflammation With Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Omega-6 fatty acids are in vegetable oils that contain linoleic acid. This group of vegetable oils includes corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ oil, and sesame oil.

Studies show that a typical western diet has more omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acid is a polyunsaturated fat found in cold-water fish.

Consuming excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids may promote illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. It may also promote inflammatory and/or autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Ingesting fewer omega-6 fatty acids and more omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, may suppress inflammation and decrease the risk of illness.

Many studies show that lowering the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids contained in the diet can reduce the risk of illness.

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Does Menopause Worsen Rheumatoid Arthritis?

For women with rheumatoid arthritis, going through menopause can increase the intensity of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. The link is likely estrogen loss, but reversing that loss hasn’t proven to help. Learn what can.

The link between rheumatoid arthritis and menopause is a complicated one. Women with rheumatoid arthritis can expect that symptoms of menopause will affect their arthritis pain. However, research has not been able to precisely pinpoint whatever direct links may exist between menopause and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

“There’s not a lot of data showing that menopause makes a big difference in RA, and I haven’t seen that clinically,” said Scott Zashin, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and an attending physician at Presbyterian Hospital.

Estrogen and Rheumatoid Arthritis

The possible connection between rheumatoid arthritis and menopause appears to be estrogen, the female reproductive hormone that decreases in menopausal women. Researchers base this suspicion on certain key facts about rheumatoid arthritis:

  • There are 2 1/2 times as many women with rheumatoid arthritis as men, indicating that the disease likely has something to do with female biology.
  • Pregnancy floods the body with estrogen, and pregnancy is known to suppress rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
  • Three out of four pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis experience less pain and arthritis symptoms by the end of their first trimester. After they give birth, when their estrogen levels return to normal, 9 of 10 women experience recurring rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, and the symptoms are usually more severe than before.
  • Osteoporosis, a disease characterized by a serious loss of bone density, has been linked to both menopause and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoporosis after menopause has been directly linked to reduced levels of estrogen in the body.

What the Research Shows

Research into direct links between menopause and rheumatoid arthritis is mixed:

  • One study found that post-menopausal woman who received estrogen as part of hormone replacement therapy experienced no significant improvement in their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. The hormone therapy also did not decrease women’s risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
  • However, rodent research has found some ties between rheumatoid arthritis and estrogen. One study discovered that rodents with rheumatoid arthritis had impaired function of an important estrogen receptor in their bodies. Another study found that estrogen therapy did suppress arthritis and bone loss in rodents.

Symptoms of Menopause and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Despite this conflicting evidence, it is clear that symptoms of menopause might increase rheumatoid arthritis pain, if only because they make a woman feel that much worse, says Zashin.

Interacting symptoms also can create specific health challenges for menopausal women with rheumatoid arthritis. These include:

  • Osteoporosis. Rheumatoid arthritis already leads to worsening bone density loss, with the inflammation around the joints causing the bones to deteriorate. Inactivity due to arthritis pain and long-term use of corticosteroids for arthritis treatment might also lead to loss of bone density in patients with RA. Menopause may hasten this process, creating even more joint pain and increasing the potential for bone fractures.
  • Loss of muscle mass. Menopause can cause a woman to lose some of her muscle mass. Muscles are crucial for supporting joints that are aching and inflamed as a result of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Fatigue. The inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis can create severe fatigue in some people. Feeling tired is also a common symptom of menopause, usually due to a lack of good sleep. Sleeplessness can compound the fatigue caused by rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

For women who want a treatment that doesn’t involve taking medication, the answer is exercise. Exercise is an excellent therapy that can help you deal with symptoms of menopause as well as rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, particularly since they intersect. Exercise helps battle bone density loss, increase muscle mass, and improve sleep.

As researchers continue to delve into the connections between these two medical conditions, keep in mind that you have the ability to take action and combat these symptoms.

 
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WHAT IS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (RA)?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of arthritis in which the joints become inflamed and very painful. Women tend to get rheumatoid arthritis more than men. The synovial membranes that surrounds the joint becomes inflamed and becomes thicker. These changes make it more difficult to move the joint. It can lead to the formation of tissue that can harden and form a bony ankylosis which is a fusion of the joint that prevents any movement of the

SYMPTOMS

Rheumatoid arthritis is accompanied by pain and swelling of the affected joint and can also create a fever.

HOW TO KNOW YOU HAVE IT                                                                       

Rheumatoid arthritis can be diagnosed by a blood test that reveals a rheumatoid factor (antibodies) in the blood.   X-rays are also used to determine if there is swelling of the effected joints. 

Measures To Control Pain

 Non-pharmacologic Measures

Non-pharmacologic measures to control pain include practitioner-administered treatments such as:

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 Turns out, I’m not the only one that thinks there is a food connection. Look what I found.

CHEF FIGHTS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS WITH ‘HERO FOODS’

Seamus Mullen, a chef and owner of the New York City-based restaurant Tertulia, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2007.

He turned to traditional medicine to alleviate his symptoms, which worked quickly.

“I would get a tremendous pain in my joint, whether it was in my shoulder or my wrist or my knee – it would get very swollen, and it would hurt more than you can imagine,” Mullen said.

Mullen was a finalist on the Food Network’s Next Iron Chef, but a RA flare-up made it difficult for him to finish the show.

He began to question whether the food he ate was affecting his symptoms.

“Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, and our immune system directly responds to the food that we eat,” Mullen said. “We are what we eat – literally.”

Foods to feel better

 
So Mullen started experimenting with the foods he loved – and it turned out his favorites made him feel healthier.

That’s how his book, Hero Foods: How Cooking With Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better was created.

“I’d rather have vitamin A, E, all these important vitamins coming from greens instead of from a pill and having my liver process it,” Mullen said. ‘So, I’d rather get all the nutrients I need through a balanced diet instead of through a supplement.”

” . . . our immune system directly responds to the food that we eat. We are what we eat – literally.”

– Seamus Mullen, chef and restaurant owner

 Mullen likes to use leafy greens when he is cooking, like kale and parsley.

Mushrooms also make the list of ‘hero foods,’ both fresh and dried, since they contain immune-boosting properties.

“My feeling is that I have an autoimmune disease (and) my immune system is constantly misfiring and causing issues in my joints,” Mullen said. “Everything I can do to bolster my immune system, to strengthen it, and put it in a better position the better.”

He said eggs are ‘hero foods’ because of their high concentration of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Anchovies get a bad rap, he added, but if prepared correctly, they are healthy and tasty.

“Anchovies are really important for your joints,” Mullen said. “I’d rather eat anchovies than take a bunch of glucosamine pills in the morning. This, to me, is the natural way to take care of my joints.”

Mullen, whose book is featured on Rachael Ray’s website, said he wasn’t ready to let go of his dreams at the age of 38 – so he’s fighting the RA battle with every step he takes.

He offers recipes on Ray’s site, as well as tips to dealing with RA.

“We will also take a real look into the lives of people who have various kinds of hardships, and have overcome adversity to find inspirations,” Mullen said on the website. “These people will remind us every day that no matter how hard we have it, how much pain we feel, we can go on.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/27/chef-fights-rheumatoid-arthritis-with-hero-foods/#ixzz1uNaaZqgF

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Further Reading:

 Related articles (updates daily — check back for the latest)

 

 

 

New study on Genetic adaptation of fat Omega-3 and Omega-6 metabolism (blogblooms.wordpress.com)

 

 

Pfizer Arthritis Pill Prompts Safety Concerns (aieverywhere.wordpress.com)

Natural Pain Relievers for Arthritis (massageenvy.com)

8 Great Home Modifications for Rheumatoid Arthritis (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)

A Look Inside Rheumatoid Arthritis (massageenvy.com)

New Organic Medical Food Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis (aieverywhere.wordpress.com)

Can rheumatoid arthritis affect your lungs? (theadventuresofarthritisnfibromyalgia.wordpress.com

8 Great Home Modifications for Rheumatoid Arthritis (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)

 

A Look Inside Rheumatoid Arthritis (massageenvy.com)

New Organic Medical Food Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis (aieverywhere.wordpress.com)

Can rheumatoid arthritis affect your lungs? (theadventuresofarthritisnfibromyalgia.wordpress.com)

Deciding on Rheumatoid Arthritis Surgery (everydayhealth.com)

 

More later…looking into claims that breast milk relieves RA.   If you have RA and something has worked for you, let us know.

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  • A tertulia is a social gathering with literary or artistic overtones, especially in Iberia or Latin America. The word is originally Spanish

 

 

  • Tertulia Restaurant NYC – (646) 559-9909 – 359 6th Ave.  

 

 

Meantime…

HEALTH in VOGUE

In an effort to promote a healthier image, the fashion mag has vowed to stop using too-skinny and underage models in its pages — and we think it’s fantastic that the high-fashion publication is paving the way and promoting a healthy image!

19 Vogue editors from around the world have made up their minds: Skinny is out and healthy is in! In a new project to promote a healthier and more realistic body image, the fashion mag has decided to ban super-skinny models with eating disorders and those under the age of 16 from its future issues –  we hope that this healthy approach continues to spread throughout the fashion industry!

The pledge, known as The Health Initiative, not only means that the magazine will stop hiring underweight and underage models, but they promise to stick to their commitment by having casting directors ID every model and also check for any signs of an eating disorder.

Young girls face many pressures in the modeling industry — and we’re so happy that the mag is going to look out for their well-being! Not only are we happy for the girls involved, but the message it will send to the masses will do wonders while promoting a healthy image.

After seeing stick-thin models appearing in magazines for years, we’re so glad that Vogue is encouraging women with a new healthier image! Do you agree?

– Jennifer Velez

MEDCRUNCH will keep an eye on VOGUE to make sure they “stick” with using healthy models.  What is healthy? At a MINIMUM, the model should weigh 100 pounds for the first 5 feet and 5 pounds for every inch after that. Anything under that isn’t a healthy image.

Best: Top 10 Heart Hospitals

 

U.S. News and World Report’s Top 10 Hospitals for Cardiology and Heart Surgery:

  1. Cleveland Clinic
  2. Mayo Clinic
  3. Johns Hopkins
  4. Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital  (St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System)
  5. Massachusetts General Hospital
  6. New York Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
  7. Duke University Medical Center
  8. Brigham and Women’s
  9. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
  10. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

1.  Adopt a heart healthy diet

2.  Know your family medical history

3.  Undergo preventive screenings

4.  Stop smoking

5.  Relax

6.  Lower your blood pressure

7.  Lower you cholesterol

8.  Baby aspirin

9.  Sleep

10. Exercise

See more: http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/cardiovascular/heart/10-ways-to-avoid-heart-attack1.htm

According to Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics — 2012 Update, published in Circulation, half of U.S. kids meet just four or fewer of the health criteria to be heart healthy.

In high school, 30 percent of girls and 17 percent of boys do not get the recommended 60 minutes a day of physical activity, the report noted.  That makes me wonder if Physical Education (gym class) was cut out of budgets.

In addition, a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in five children had abnormal cholesterol levels, which prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to issue new guidelines recommending that all children 9 to 11 years old be screened for high cholesterol levels.

Children 9 to 11?  Better educate yourself now on how to lower cholesterol naturally.  Eliminate sugars and sodas.  If your kids are hooked, make it a game.  Go grocery shopping to find something they like that is healthy that can replace it.  See the following links for more natural ways to lower cholesterol.

From Mike Adams, Natural News.  

“The key is that you have to be doing something physical each and every day, and you have to stick with it for the rest of your life. The only way to have healthy cholesterol levels is to engage in regular physical exercise.

There is no way around it! No prescription drug will give you the same benefit, and there’s no nutritional supplement that takes the place of physical exercise. The human body was meant to be moved, and if you want yours to be healthy, you’ve got to move it.

Besides exercise, I’ve also completely eliminated all processed foods and junk foods from my diet.

I eat no manufactured foods whatsoever, that is, no breads, no packaged cereals, no frozen foods, no fried foods, no junk foods, and certainly no candy bars, breads, crackers, cookies, pastas or anything of that sort.

I also avoid cow’s milk, and I wouldn’t touch red meat if you paid me.

Red meat is one of those foods that tends to give people very bad cholesterol numbers. It raises their LDL cholesterol and gives them a heavy dose of saturated animal fat.

I also avoid all chemical ingredients that are known to promote disease… these ingredients include MSG, sodium nitrite, chemical sweeteners such as aspartame, and of course artificial colors.

I drink no soft drinks whatsoever, no milk and no fruit juices. The only things I drink are water, soy milk and unsweetened tea.

In addition to avoiding certain foods, I also supplement my diet with a wide array of superfoods, medicinal herbs, vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements.

My favorites are chlorella, spirulina, broccoli sprouts, quinoa,sea vegetables, soy products, and any of the green food powders or fresh vegetables. This is where I get my outstanding nutrition that I firmly believe plays a huge role in my ability to produce outstanding cholesterol numbers.

In addition to all this, I make sure I get plenty of fiber in my diet, and I eat a lot of macadamia nuts, pecans, peanuts, cashews and other nuts. I frequently supplement with flaxseed oil, extra virgin coconut oil and olive oil

Some of the other things I do, from a nutritional standpoint, are eating aloe vera gel, and eating no corn oil or other low-grade oils. I avoid all hydrogenated oils, and I eat at least one extremely large salad every day. Some days I eat two large salads.

I also supplement with rice protein, soy protein, psyllium husk fiber, and superfood products like Berry Green and The Ultimate Meal. There’s no question in my mind that a person who does all of these things will achieve similar numbers to the ones I’m demonstrating here.

You don’t have to hit a ratio of 1.08 to be extremely healthy. In fact, if you can get your ratio down to 3, your doctor will be quite pleased at your progress.

You don’t have to change everything in your life all at once in order to do this, you just have to take small incremental steps and make them part of your daily habits.

For example, you could start walking every day, beginning tomorrow.  You could walk 30 minutes a day and then increase it gradually until you’re walking one hour a day.

You could start avoiding certain foods in your diet, such as red meat, soft drinks, cow’s milk or anything containing hydrogenated oils. Be sure to check the ingredient to find out which foods contain hydrogenated oils.”


Learn more at:http://www.naturalnews.com/002692.html#ixzz1txeRZnDg

Free Documentary Screening:
Stay healthy!

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

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When Yogurt Is All Greek to You

There are a lot of choices in the yogurt world.   It used to be we had two.

Plain or with fruit.  Now, there are endless rows of different brands.


Today,  John Stamos brings his woman the BEST yogurt in the world.

She swoons.  He’s smug.

Yet, Jamie Lee Curtis wants us to get ACTIVA with Probiotics.  Is one BETTER?


The real kind of Greek Yogurt from Greece is typically made of sheep’s milk.

Some people will tell you the healthiest yogurt is to make your own.

Images of Lucy & Ethel stomping on grapes just flashed through my brain.  So, let’s go back to already made.

New York Magazine convened a panel of experts for a blind taste test:

The panel included Turkish chef Orhan Yegen of Sip Sak and Bi Lokma, who, according to the magazine, “considers ‘Greek yogurt’ more a marketing gimmick than a bona fide foodstuff”; Maria Loi, a.k.a. “the Martha Stewart of Greece’; and chef Eric Ripert, who eats nonfat Fage every morning.

The Results

The Non-Fat Winner: Fage. This was the judge’s overall favorite.
The Non-Fat Loser: Chobani. Then unpleasant aroma really turned off the judges.
The Full-Fat Winner: Argyle Cheese Farmer. Generally delicious.

The best Fat-Free Plain Yogurt I’ve tried is a toss-up between Chobani ($1.69 for six ounces) and Fage ($1.89 for six ounces). They’re both creamy and around 100 calories for a six-ounce serving.  High in protein.

Dannon always taste the sweetest, but that’s because if you look at the ingredients you’ll find loads of sugar.  Six tablespoons can be heaped into one cup of yogurt.

The one below looks like GREEK, but it’s sugary sweet DANNON in disguise.  Always check the amount of sugar on the label.

So, if you want to eat yogurt to stay healthy your best bet is Fat-Free Plain Greek Yogurt.

You can toss fresh blueberries or strawberries into it to give it added zest!

Other than the above, what should you look for in a yogurt label?

Chris Dankosky at Science Friday on National Public Radio (NPR) had the same question.  He conducted an interview with Jeffrey Gordon, professor of pathology and immunology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He’s also director of the school’s Center for Genome Sciences. 

I’m a little concerned about Dannon partially funding this research, but  let’s take a look at what they found.

CHRIS: Well, I had a question about the different types of yogurt. I know when you walk into a yogurt aisle at any Wal-Mart or any kind of big-box store, there’s so much selection. I was wondering if there’s one type of yogurt that’s better for you than another, and really what it is in the yogurt that we should looking for in the label to find out what it is really that gives us these probiotic benefits.

GORDON: Well, that’s a wonderful question and one of the reasons that we embarked on this set of experiments. We really wanted to create an analysis pipeline, where we could use models – in this case, an animal model where we reconstructed a human gut community – to answer some of the questions that you ask.

We do know that individuals vary in terms of their collection of gut microbes. Even genetically identical twins have somewhat different collections of gut microbes. We know that diet plays an important role in shaping the structure and operations of these communities. There are different types of yogurt. There are different types of fermented dairy products.

As I said in the beginning of this episode, there are – a minimum of two types of bacterial strains that are required to be present in a fermented milk product in order for it to be labeled yogurt.

There are some types of products that have more than these two strains. You can also, as you know, go to supermarkets and various stores and pick up probiotics that have a variety of different components. We really don’t have sufficient information to answer the question you have asked. We do, we think, have a set of tools in a new toolbox to address this.

How do foods and how do gut bacteria interact with one another? Is the nutritional value of food influenced, in part, by the microbes we normally harbor? Can it be further modified by these live microbes we ingest deliberately? And in the future, if we open up a medicine cabinet in the 21st century, can we find – should we discover a series of new probiotics that can enhance the nutritional value of the particular diets that we consume?

DANKOSKY: Well, you mentioned the off-the-shelf probiotics. I know a lot of people are interested in that. If you take probiotics in capsule form, is it different somehow than eating yogurt in the morning?

GORDON: That also is a great question. And just relating to the episode that preceded this one, it’s going to be very important for the formulation of these products to be carefully validated. Is there a set number or an indicated number of live microbes in that formulation as advertised? Do we know the genome sequences of the bugs that are contained in these products? Is manufacturing such that from lot to lot we have consistency? I know that issue of consistency is taken very seriously by the manufacturers of a number of yogurts. But as you indicate, probiotics are sold widely, they’re advertised having very – a variety of different health effect. And for those claims to be validated, we’d need the types of tools that we described in this study and others.

DANKOSKY: I’m John Dankosky. And this is SCIENCE FRIDAY from NPR. The yogurt company Dannon, which partially funded this research that we’re talking about today, recently settled a suit for claiming on its packaging that yogurt can improve digestion and immune system. What do you think of labels like this? Does this study back up these claims?

GORDON: Well, actually, Dannon funded part of our research in order to construct this type of analysis pipeline, to test the types of claims that are being made, not only by themselves but by others. I do think that this particular study indicated that there’s an effect on the digestion of a component of our diet, polysaccharides. There have been other studies in mice, for instance, that shows that certain consortium of bacteria that are found in fermented milk products, including products made by Dannon, may modulate immune function in a way that would be beneficial, at least in the setting of colitis.

So I think that there’s much to learn. I think we have to be very rigorous in terms of testing the claims in order for the public to gain additional trust that we should be equipped to address the complexity of our gut microbial communities in the form of representative animal models, learn from those models, and then design, execute and carefully interpret clinical studies. A lot of public will know.

DANKOSKY: Yeah. Lyle is in Eagle, Michigan. Lyle, a quick question for the doctor?

LYLE: Yeah. After reading the China study, I quit eating dairy and meat. And I was real curious and overjoyed to hear about the billions of bacteria I have in my belly. Good to hear that because I was kind of concerned that because I was not going to eat any more yogurt that maybe there was a challenge. I never really had any issues. I was wondering if your research has gone that way with people that didn’t eat any meat or dairy, and how their bacteria as well as digestions have been affected.

DANKOSKY: Yeah. How is Lyle’s gut, Doctor?

GORDON: Well, I don’t know, Lyle, but thank you for sharing your personal story with me. Lyle, I’ll tell you something. Your thought is a very important one because there is an emerging set of observations, in part, made by our group and others, that diet has a huge effect in shaping the structure and operations of your gut communities. We’ve studied many different mammalian species, including humans, to look at the impact of different diets on how our gut communities are configured. And not billions, Lyle, but trillions of microbes live in our gut. And people on different diets have different gut structures. And when they switch diets, the representation of members of your gut community will change.

It’s part of an important adaptation, part of the fitness. We have to learn how to digest the foods that we eat. As humans, we change what we eat over time. What is the code that relates the nutritional value of what we consume in the structure and operations of our gut communities? That’s going to be a very important issue to address because looking forward, we heard this week that the population of our planet has reached seven billion humans, by 2050, 9 billion humans. What types of crops we plant, what kind of recommendations we make about what to eat in the future will be informed by deeper knowledge of the operations of this vast collection of microbes that live inside of us.

DANKOSKY: Jeffrey Gordon, you eat yogurt every day?

GORDON: I don’t eat yogurt every day, but I do eat yogurt intermittently.

DANKOSKY: OK. And it has any health benefits for you?

GORDON: Not noticeable, but I enjoy the experience.

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