A Primer on Nutrition

NutritionJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Many of us will admit, we eat because we like food. While we eat to satisfy our appetite, food has much more important roles to play. Simply put, along with water, oxygen, sleep, clothing, and shelter, food fulfills one of our most basic survival needs. Food provides the nourishing substances that are necessary for growth, development, maintenance, repair, and the proper functioning of all metabolic processes. Driven by hormones, hunger is a powerful signal that we need fuel to generate the energy that sustains life and allows our bodies to run like super-efficient machines. Dietary decisions, that we often make without much thought, negatively or positively impact our health, sending our bodies information that encourages homeostasis and long-term health, or puts us at risk for dysfunction and the onset of disease.

Although we look to food for comfort and nourishment, it’s good balanced nutrition that is central to health. If we were to think of food as health-supportive preventative medicine, we might begin to focus on healthy, energizing nutrients that support overall wellness. In addressing declining health, Functional Medicine practitioners often look for nutrient deficiencies to determine the source of underlying dysfunction, which often precedes the development of chronic disease. While disease can be triggered by multiple factors, each factor is influenced by nutritional needs. Nutrient deficiencies can also result from malabsorption issues or conditions that can interfere with nutrient utilization.

Feeding your body the nutrients it truly deserves, as well as requires for good overall function, simply comes down to making healthy, mindful choices. Essential nutrients needed for proper bodily function include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and, of course, water. By making smart choices and choosing a variety of foods from each category, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet may be easier than you think.

Protein – Required for the structure, function and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs, proteins are found in every bodily cell. Proteins consist of chains of amino acids, broken down from dietary protein. Proteins are necessary for repair and maintenance of all body tissues, provide a major energy source, transport molecules and oxygen throughout the body, and are involved in the creation of hormones, enzymes and antibodies. The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommended that 10-35% of your daily calories should be protein from sources such as meat, poultry, seafood, beans and pulses, eggs, nuts and seeds.

Carbohydrates – As the main fuel source for the body, dietary carbs are necessary to keep the brain, nervous system and body functioning optimally and provide the energy for proper cellular function, Sufficient daily intake of carbohydrates prevents the breakdown of protein for energy, ensuring adequate protein for its more important roles. Carbs are needed for glucose regulation, fat metabolism, and intestinal health. When it comes to health, not all carbs are created equally. Be sure to choose complex carbs, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, as these contain nutrients fiber to support elimination and feed beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that 45-65% of daily calories come from complex carbohydrates. Choose wisely.

Fats – Fats provide a backup source of concentrated energy that the body uses when glucose runs low. Dietary fats are necessary for absorption and storage of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat cells insulate the body and help to sustain a normal core temperature. Fats provide the essential fatty acids necessary for brain health, immune function, healthy inflammation response, proper nerve signaling, and blood clotting. Although dietary fats are only now overcoming the decades old anti-fat recommendations, the USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that 20-35% of daily calories are sourced from healthy fats, including grass fed animal products, coconut oil, nuts and avocados.

Vitamins and Minerals – Essential to sustaining overall health, vitamins and minerals work synergistically, performing hundreds of supportive roles in the body. Some of these roles include keeping bones strong and healthy, bolstering the immune system, repairing cellular damage, and converting food into energy. Vitamin and mineral insufficiency can result in illness and disease, while sufficient quantities can provide substantial health benefits. Adhering to a healthy diet along with supplementation helps ensure you are getting the micronutrients necessary to support long-term health and longevity.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other supportive nutrients in support of overall health and wellness:

BioNutrient MultiBioNutrient Multi by Energetix® – This well designed, clean dietary supplement provides whole food nutrition with highly bioavailable vitamins and chelated minerals in support of optimal bodily function. Gluten free.

 

Minimal and...Minimal and Essential Antioxidant and Multi-Vitamin Formula This once daily multivitamin, mineral and antioxidant formula provides a full spectrum of nutrients to meet the minimum daily requirements of vitamins and some minerals. Gluten, dairy and soy free formulation.

 

Multi CapsMulti Caps by Progressive™ Labs – This high potency multiple vitamin and mineral formula provides 100% or more of the recommended daily amounts of 13 vitamins, plus minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and enzymes. Contains soy and iron.

 

PurePals with Iron ...Pure Pals with Iron by Pure Encapsulations® – Designed for children aged 2 and older, this chewable formula provides a broad-spectrum, scientifically-based blend of bioavailable vitamins, minerals and bioflavonoids in support of optimal health, immune defense and healthy cognitive function. Natural cherry flavor. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO, hypoallergenic formulation.

 

Daily Multi Vitamin...Daily Multi Vitamin and Mineral for Dogs by Dancing Paws – Lest we forget the health of our furry family members, this unique canine chewable complex is formulated to provide optimum nutrient levels with guaranteed potencies of human quality essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

 

Daily Multi Vitamin...Daily Multi Vitamin and Mineral for Cats by Dancing Paws – This unique feline vitamin, mineral and antioxidant complex is designed to promote normal growth and longevity with optimal nutrient levels in guaranteed potencies. Pull apart capsule for easy dosing; simply sprinkle on food.

References:
How Does Food Impact Health? https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/food-medicine/how-does-food-impact-health
Macronutrients in Health and Disease. http://www.nutritionmd.org/consumers/general_nutrition/macro_protein.html
Protein. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/
6 Primary Functions of Proteins. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/6-primary-functions-proteins-5372.html
Do Humans Need Carbohydrates to Be Healthy? http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/humans-need-carbohydrates-healthy-6670.html
Three functions of Fat in the Body. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/three-functions-fat-body-3402.html

 

How To Maintain A Healthy Weight

HealthyDietExerciseJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

If you are currently at a healthy weight, bravo! During the aging process, changes in activity levels, shifting hormones and a slower metabolism make it harder to maintain weight, as well as easier to gain weight. Some may think that physical activity can negate an unhealthy diet, however the combination of healthy eating and daily physical activity is found to be most beneficial for weight maintenance. Studies show that exercise benefits overall health, disease prevention and longevity. However, without a healthy diet, exercise alone appears insufficient to prevent weight gain or maintain weight loss.

Successful weight loss is defined as intentionally losing at least 10% of initial body weight and maintaining that loss for a minimum of one year. There’s a perception that no one is ever successful when it comes to long-term weight loss maintenance. Limited data shows that approximately 20% of overweight individuals are successful at maintaining their weight loss for five years or longer, showing that long-term weight maintenance is indeed possible with adherence to key health behaviors. While a 10% weight loss may not change an obese condition to a non-obese state, the health benefits of reduced heart disease and diabetes risks are substantial.

Those who have struggled to lose weight know that weight loss is a long and arduous process. Studies show that along with a healthy diet, the maintenance of weight loss, while difficult, is supported by one hour of daily moderate physical activity or by 30 minutes of vigorous daily activity. The amount of physical activity needed to sustain a healthy weight may still depend on the individual. However, along with a calorie controlled diet, exercise consistency as well as intensity appear to be key factors. To be sure, successful weight maintenance requires persistence. Regularly stepping on the scale to identify any weight gain of more than three pounds is a signal to maintain healthy habits to ward off additional weight regain.

Staying at the same weight as you age is now considered a successful way to reduce disease risk and maintain long-term health. Dr. I-Min Lee, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health states, “It’s so hard to lose weight and maintain the loss, so whatever weight you are, you should try to stay that weight – that is a success.”

-Most weight loss occurs through decreased caloric intake. Choosing nutritious foods along with the appropriate number of calories will help to prevent weight gain.

-Physical activity burns calories needed for energy. Reducing the number of calories consumed, combined with calories burned does aid weight loss.

-Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), scientific evidence shows the only way to maintain weight loss over time is with regular physical activity.

-While weight reduction reduces chronic disease risks, physical activity reduces risks beyond that of weight loss alone. In additional to being integral to weight maintenance, physical activity is a vital part of heath management.

-Per the National Institutes of Health, multiple studies have shown that both men and women who exercised more had significantly greater weight loss maintenance than those who exercised less.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements to support long-term health and weight maintenance:

Weight Management...Weight Management Profile by ZRT Laboratory – This at home weight management profile test kit identifies hormone imbalances that affect weight control, such as increased appetite, loss of lean muscle and weight gain. Test results are sent directly to you. Test kit includes collection instructions and materials, prepaid shipping label and a 15 minute in-person or telephone consultation.

Skip-A-Meal...Skip-A-Meal Shake by Progressive Labs – Skip-A-Meal is formulated for weight management by providing a satisfying, high protein, low calorie meal replacement with added vitamins and minerals. One serving provides 24 g of whey protein. Available in Chocolate (shown), Strawberry and Vanilla flavors.

PGX Weight Loss Meal...PGX® Weight Loss Meal Replacement by Bioclinic Naturals – This high fiber blend provides whey protein and medium chain triglycerides clinically shown to enhance body fat loss, preserve lean muscle, and induce satiety. A full complement of vitamins and minerals ensure support for healthy macronutrient metabolism. Available in Double Chocolate, French Vanilla (shown) and Very Strawberry flavors.

Garcinia CambogiaGarcinia Cambogia by Nutritional Frontiers – This product supplies hydroxycitric acid (HCA) derived from a small pumpkin-like fruit in support of appetite suppression, reduced food intake and weight loss.

 

Metabolic Lean ...Metabolic Lean™ by Douglas Laboratories – This weight management formula provides clinically studied ingredients that aid proper fat metabolism, glucose regulation, and insulin modulation. Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.

 

References:
Long-term weight loss maintenance. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/222S.long
Study shows keys to successful long-term weight loss maintenance. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140106115351.htm
How Much Exercise Prevents Weight Gain? http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/health/06regi.html
Preventing Weight Gain. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/prevention/
Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/index.html
Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html
Long-term weight-loss maintenance: a meta-analysis of US Studies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11684524

 

Earth’s Care™ – Featured Brand

EarthsCareSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Professional Supplement Center now carries Earth’s Care™, a line of high quality personal care products formulated with pure and natural, nutrient-rich ingredients proven to soothe, heal and rejuvenate the body. Formulated without artificial ingredients, petrolatum, sulfates, parabens, or phthalates, Earth’s Care’s proprietary blends utilize botanicals, essential oils, beeswax, flowers and other ingredients used for centuries in natural remedies. Carefully crafted and manufactured in the USA, these health and beauty products are designed to bring relief for symptoms of dry and damaged skin, joint and muscle pain, bruising and more.

All products are produced in an FDA registered facility in Southern California under rigorous quality control procedures and the highest quality standards. Along with their commitment to the ideals of natural wellbeing, integrity and excellence, Earth’s Care™ champions sustainability and social responsibility and, as such, proudly supports 1% for the Planet, a global alliance of over 1400 member companies dedicated to preserving and protecting the natural environment. Earth’s Care’s innovative and effective products utilize 100% recyclable packaging, many are allergy tested, and none are ever tested on animals.

To see more products from Earth’s Care™, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

Muscle & Joint RubMuscle & Joint Rub – Formulated with natural camphor, arnica montana and botanicals, this product provides natural relief for symptoms of minor pain, bruises, muscle aches, strains and sprains. Ideal for minor injuries, arthritis, minor backaches, and sore muscles related to physical activity. Allergy tested.

Dry & Cracked Skin...Dry & Cracked Skin Balm – This deeply penetrating moisturizer quickly soothes rough, cracked or damaged skin on hands, elbows, and heels, leaving skin visibly smoother and softer. Suitable for everyday use, this blend features essential oils and herbal extracts known for their beneficial properties.

Anti-Itch CreamAnti-Itch Cream – This proprietary, non-greasy formula provides the powerful combination of menthol and camphor for the temporary relief of pain and itching associated with minor skin irritations, sunburn, insect bites, and minor cuts and scrapes, as well as poison ivy, oak and sumac.

Arthritis CreamArthritis Cream – This high potency, deeply penetrating cream temporarily relieves joint and muscle pain due to arthritis, backaches or minor injuries. This odorless, proprietary formula contains capsaicin, derived from hot peppers, which reduces the sensation of pain in the affected area. The initial, but temporary, burning sensation normally dissipates with regular use.