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Good Nutrition for Good Health

goodnutritiongoodhealthJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

The long-term effects of unhealthy eating now rank higher than smoking as a direct cause of poor overall health as we age. Poor nutrient intake results in a higher risk of developing multiple preventable chronic diseases, and unfortunately, premature death. An unhealthy diet largely consists of oversized portions, processed foods, sugary beverages and more calories than are needed to maintain a healthy weight, and lacks sufficient intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, fiber, and the critical nutrients needed for proper bodily function. When we regularly consume foods s that are full of added sugars, unhealthy fats and excess sodium, such as double cheeseburgers, extra-large fries and supersized soft drinks, are many of us thinking about what happens when the meal is over? Of course, some certainly are.

However, the majority may never give any thought to the added burden placed on the body to digest and process non-nutritive foods nor the increased risk of a shortened and poor quality lifespan that an unhealthy lifestyle can bring.  

Not a pleasant thought, but the reality is that without good nutrition, good health is not possible. According to the Center For Science In The Public Interest, an unhealthy diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle is the leading cause of disability and the loss of independence. Statistics show that only a small percentage of the general population follows a diet consistent with nutrient guidelines recommended by the USDA. Occasionally indulging in low-nutrient foods as a special treat may not be problematic. However, the evidence is clear that eating poorly most of the time can have deleterious health consequences that many may not associate with their diet.

In the short term, unhealthy eating habits may negatively affect:

  • Energy production, resulting in fatigue or sluggishness
  • Brain function, resulting in lowered cognitive abilities, poor memory and reduced concentration
  • Exercise capabilities, muscle strength and endurance, resulting in physical weakness and poor coordination
  • Digestion, resulting in heartburn, indigestion, bloating, and acid reflux
  • Neurotransmitter production, resulting in lowered mood and difficulty controlling emotions
  • Blood sugar and insulin levels, resulting in unstable blood glucose levels, insulin resistance and weight gain
  • Stress levels, resulting in food cravings, overeating, weight gain and poor sleep

Per the World Health Organization, over time a nutrient deficient diet and lack of physical activity contributes to major nutrition-related chronic diseases:

  • Cardiovascular disease – Cardiovascular disease is to a large extent attributed tounbalanced diets and physical inactivity.
  • Type 2 diabetes, eye and kidney diseases – Obesity and inactivity largely account for the escalating rates of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can lead to increased risk of stroke, as well heart, kidney and eye disease.
  • High blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels – These are all factors in the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome and increased risk of developing chronic diseases.
  • Osteoporosis – Adequate vitamin C and calcium, along with sensible sun exposure and physical activity is necessary to strengthen bones and muscles.
  • Obesity – The imbalance between low energy expenditure and high caloric intake are the main determinates in the obesity epidemic.
  • Osteoarthritis – The most important relationship between diet and arthritis is a healthy weight. A whole food nutritious diet has anti-inflammatory effects to help ease arthritis symptoms. Combining a healthy diet with regular exercise will assist weight loss, and take pressure off joints for pain reduction.
  • Cancers – Although tobacco use is still the number one cause of cancer, dietary factors contribute significantly. Maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol, and ensuring adequate whole food intake can reduce cancer risks.

Remember for many people chronic disease is not inevitable. The quality of food consumed in relation to physical activity are the key determinates of nutrition related chronic diseases. Making better food choices puts you in control of your health and quality of life. Physical activity to balance energy intake plays an equally essential role in determining health and longevity and is key to maintaining proper weight for optimal health. When you make healthy nutrition and physical activity a priority, weight loss and improved metabolic health should naturally follow. To foster strength, energy and health, eat nutritious foods and find time to be active every day.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements that support overall health and healthy aging:

PGX DailyPGX® Daily by Bioclinic Naturals – PGX® provides a highly viscous blend of purified soluble fibers that support healthy glucose and cholesterol levels already within the normal range. Its many diverse benefits include support of a healthy glucose metabolism, lowered glycemic index of meals, reduced appetite, improved regularity and more normalized blood sugar. PGX® Daily Granules also available for those who prefer to mix the fiber with a beverage of choice. Gluten, dairy and yeast free.

Cardiogenics®...Cardiogenics® Intensive Care by Metagenics – This comprehensive formula provides a blend of minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and botanicals in support of healthy coronary artery blood flow, heart muscle function and overall cardiovascular health. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Advanced...Advanced Inflammation Support by Complementary Prescriptions – This multi-modal botanical formula is designed to help combat inflammation triggered by sleep deprivation, poor diet, sedentary behavior and other unhealthy lifestyle factors.

 

Cal Apatite Bone...Cal Apatite Bone Builder® Forte by Metagenics – This premium formula provides bone health support with vitamin D3 and a full spectrum of macro and micro minerals that naturally comprise healthy bone. Research backed MCHC supplies naturally occurring minerals, bioactive bone growth factors, type 1 collagen protein and vital bone proteins for enhanced bone nourishment. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

References:
Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases. http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/trs916/summary/en/
Why Good Nutrition is Important. https://cspinet.org/eating-healthy/why-good-nutrition-important
Disease Prevention. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/disease-prevention/
Short Term Effects of Bad Eating Habits. http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/how-stress-can-make-us-overeat
How stress can make us overeat. http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/how-stress-can-make-us-overeat
Long Term Effects of Bad Eating Habits. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/longterm-effects-bad-eating-habits-10555.html
The Importance of Good Nutrition. http://www.tuftsmedicarepreferred.org/healthy-living/expert-knowledge/importance-good-nutrition

Fight Chronic Inflammation with Nutrition

InflammationFoodJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

The body’s truly amazing inflammatory response can be considered both a friend and a foe. Acute inflammation can begin within seconds of an injury or pathogenic invasion and involves an influx of white blood cells – the body’s first responders that seek to attack and destroy injurious pathogens and initiate the healing process. Once the threat is neutralized, anti-inflammatory compounds move in to complete the course of healing. An inflammatory response that turns on and off as needed signifies a healthy, well balanced immune system. Chronic inflammation happens when the body overcompensates, sending an inflammatory response to a perceived threat when an inflammatory response is not required, and leaving the immune response on high alert. This misguided and unfocused immune response can result in attacks on healthy cells and internal organs, opening the door for illness and disease. Unresolved, low-grade chronic inflammation is believed to be at the core of a wide range of chronic conditions.

While often symptomless until a loss of bodily function occurs, slow simmering chronic inflammation stokes the fires of a variety of conditions including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer, depression, and unrelieved chronic pain, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Inflammation triggers can include genetics, obesity, chronic stress, poor nutrition, dysbiosis, allergens, pollution, a sedentary lifestyle, alcohol abuse and smoking. Because the Standard American Diet (SAD) relies heavily on processed and manufactured foods and refined sugar, flour and oils, many of us live in a pro-inflammatory state of health. Optimizing nutrition with anti-inflammatory foods, eliminating toxins, reducing stress, staying hydrated, exercising, and prioritizing sleep are all ways to rein in chronic inflammation.

Support for a normal inflammatory response remains at the center of a healthy, pain-free life. In addition to healthy lifestyle habits, one of the best ways to quell inflammation is through a nutrient dense diet. Studies have identified certain foods that can either inflame or douse the fires of uncontrolled chronic inflammation. Inflammatory foods to avoid include fried foods, soda, refined carbs, and red and processed meats. A steady diet of these foods burdens the body with free radicals and, in turn, can lead to a shortened lifespan. Gluten, dairy, soy and other known dietary irritants may also result in inflammation in those with sensitivities or allergies. Anti-inflammatory foods include leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, tomatoes, berries, cherries and oranges. Along with Tulsi and Matcha teas, spices such as turmeric, rosemary, ginger, and cloves pack a powerful anti-inflammatory punch and are very effective at subduing the inflammatory response.

Given the proper nutrients, the body has the ability to put out the fires of inflammation. Dietary components can either trigger or prevent inflammation from taking hold in your body. Choosing the right foods may help reduce the risk of illness, and improve mood and overall quality of life, while choosing the wrong foods could accelerate inflammatory disease processes. When the body lacks essential and critical nutrients, it is unable to function properly and cannot keep inflammation in check.

To help reduce inflammation:

  • Focus on your diet. High-glycemic index foods, such as snack foods, refined carbs and sugar laden foods, raise inflammatory markers along with blood sugar. Avoiding fried foods is key to reducing free radical formation believed to be at the root of low-grade inflammation. Following a largely plant based diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, which has lots of veggies, fruits, fish, whole grains, healthy oils and moderate amounts of red wine, will provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which help to curb inflammation. The best advice is to eat real whole foods, especially foods high in antioxidants and phytonutrients.
  • Strive for a healthy weight. Excess body fat contributes to insulin resistance, which leads to high blood glucose levels known to cause inflammation that can damage blood vessels and organs. Keeping insulin levels low is key to preventing chronic inflammation.
  • Reduce your toxic burden that creates free radicals. As much as possible, switch to natural cleaning and beauty products to reduce toxic exposure. Choose organic fruits and veggies when you can. Foods such as garlic and onions help to detoxify the body. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts, help to maximize your phytonutrient intake and increase your body’s ability to detoxify.
  • Take a breather. High stress and anxiety levels increase inflammatory activity. Studies show that people who suffer from chronic stress or long-term anxiety also experience high levels of inflammation. Gentle exercise such as yoga or tai chi, mindful breathing and relaxation techniques can help to reduce stress, which in turn cools inflammation.
  • Seriously, get moving. Between commuting, working and TV watching, the average American sits for 10 hours or more each day. Research shows that this level of inactivity is not easily offset even for those who exercise an hour each day, have a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight. If you must sit for long periods of time, get up and move around for at least 5 minutes every hour. As often as possible, limit the amount of time you spend sitting.
  • Helpful nutritional supplements include omega-3 essential fatty acids, selenium and antioxidants. Omega-3’s fight overall inflammation and help reduce oxidative stress. Ginger and turmeric are great tasting spices that have strong anti-inflammatory properties. One often overlooked nutrient is the essential mineral selenium. Selenium, especially in combination with vitamin E, offers not only antioxidant protection but also supports thyroid and immune function.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products that support overall wellness, healthy aging and a healthy inflammatory response:

Celapro® by Metagenics®Celapro by Metagenics® – This highly concentrated blend of tissue protective phytonutrients includes D-limonene, curcumin, green tea extract and lycopene formulated to provide free radical protection and support healthy cellular aging and proper DNA replication. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Zyflamend Whole Body by New ChapterZyflamend Whole Body by New Chapter15% OFF This botanical formula provides a full spectrum of whole herbal extracts traditionally used to support a balanced whole body inflammatory response after exercise, relieve minor pain and soreness, and support movement and flexibility. Gluten free, Non-GMO, vegetarian formulation.

 

AntiOxidant Formula by Pure EncapsulationsAntiOxidant Formula by Pure Encapsulations – This formula offers a broad spectrum range of synergistic antioxidant nutrients to promote cellular health and enhance the body’s natural defenses against free radical damage in all bodily cells. Gluten free, soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

PGX Daily by Bioclinic NaturalsPGX Daily by Bioclinic Naturals – This clinically studied proprietary complex provides three high viscosity fibers to help normalize blood sugar levels, support balanced blood cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Gluten and dairy free formulation.

 

Phytoganix™ by Metagenics®Phytoganix™ by Metagenics® – This powdered formula provides a highly nutritious and diverse daily supply of phytonutrients from certified organic sources in support of good nutrition and overall wellness. Gluten free, vegetarian formulation.

 

References:
Inflammation: Causes, Symptoms & Anti-Inflammatory Diet. http://www.livescience.com/52344-inflammation.html
Reducing Whole Body Inflammation? http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401013/Reducing-Whole-Body-Inflammation.html
Put Out the Fires of Diabetes Inflammation. http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/put-out-the-fire-of-diabetes-inflammation/
A 3-Step Plan to Get Rid of Inflammation Naturally. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7079/a-3-step-plan-to-get-rid-of-inflammation-naturally.html
The Enemy Inside you. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/chronic-inflammation
10 things I Tell Anyone Who Wants to Fight Inflammation. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14686/10-things-i-tell-anyone-who-wants-to-fight-inflammation.html

Hormones and Weight Loss

Obesity_HormonesJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Forty years ago, there were twice as many underweight people as there were obese people. Fast forward to 2016 and you’ll find more people are obese than underweight. Almost a fifth of the world’s obese adults live in just 6 high income English speaking countries, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the U.K. In the U.S. alone, nearly 40% of adult women are obese. Factor in those who are in the overweight and the severely obese categories and you may begin to understand the public health crisis we are now facing. Although the U.S. accounts for only 5% of the world’s population, we account for approximately 13% of the global total of obese people. An estimated 160 million Americans are overweight or obese, including 60% of women, 75% of men and 30% of our children, who have an increased likelihood of carrying obesity into adulthood.

The rise in obesity is a major public health concern and the rising rate of obesity among children is especially troubling, as childhood obesity is known to have severe negative health consequences that include the development of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. For adults, along with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, obesity can lead to health risks such as osteoarthritis, chronic kidney disease, fatty liver disease and a shorter life expectancy. To be sure, some people have successfully managed to lose weight, yet many others struggle to slim down or maintain any weight loss they have achieved. While it’s easy to blame an individual’s lack of willpower, excess calorie consumption or sedentary lifestyle, the fact that obesity is so prevalent suggests something more may be going on.

That something may have a lot to do with brain and gut hormones and how they impact not only our food choices but the amount of food we choose to eat. Why is it such a struggle not only to lose weight but to maintain any hard earned weight loss? Research has shown that there are numerous hormones that act on specific centers in the brain and impact hunger, satiety, and cravings. Insatiable hunger and overpowering cravings have to do with leptin, a powerful and influential hormone released by fat cells. Leptin suppresses appetite by signaling the brain, particularly the hypothalamus, when the body is satiated and its energy stores are full. The more overweight we are, the more leptin producing fat cells we have. So why does this not signal us to stop eating?

It has to do with leptin resistance, which happens with obesity and continuous overexposure to leptin. You may have plenty of leptin floating around, but the brain doesn’t recognize it’s there. Evolution may be partially to blame, as when the brain doesn’t receive the satiety signal it erroneously reacts as though the body is starving, although there may actually be more than enough stored energy. As a result, we consume additional calories, while the body reduces energy expenditure as it endeavors to achieve energy homeostasis, leading to fewer calories burned. Working in tandem with leptin, insulin acts as a hormonal appetite regulator. Insulin receptors are widely distributed within the brain, leptin’s primary target. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that high levels of insulin block leptin at the brain. They concluded that in order to lose weight, insulin levels needed to be dramatically lowered, as both insulin and leptin resistance are associated with obesity. The impairment of their ability to transfer information to receptors places insulin and leptin resistance front and center as core factors in the obesity crisis, along with increased risk of chronic disease. As a result of our steady diet of sugar, processed foods and refined flour, our baseline insulin levels have increased.

Visceral fat or belly fat produces large numbers of inflammatory cytokines, which block the effects of leptin, contributing to resistance. One key to reducing leptin and insulin resistance is to reduce diet-related inflammation by avoiding processed foods and increasing soluble fiber intake. Consuming omega-3 fats and antioxidant-rich foods can also help to improve leptin and insulin resistance. There are many other brain and gut hormones that impact appetite regulation, including ghrelin, the hunger-stimulating hormone and dopamine, the reward hormone. To help manage and stabilize appetite hormones, eat on a regular schedule to prevent hormone spikes, eat a balanced, high fiber diet that includes high quality proteins, unprocessed carbohydrates and healthy fats, get sufficient sleep and commit to regular exercise.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality products that support weight management:

PGX Daily by Bioclinic NaturalsPGX® Daily by Bioclinic Naturals – This proprietary blend provides a combination of 3 highly viscous, water soluble fibers that support healthy glucose and cholesterol levels already within the normal range. PGX® helps to normalize blood sugar levels, improves regularity and supports reduced appetite and healthy weight loss. Gluten, dairy and yeast free formulation.

 

CLA by Ortho MolecularCLA by Ortho Molecular –  Conjugated Linoleic Acid supports reduced body fat and increased muscle mass when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. CLA helps to speed fat metabolism as well as aid in metabolizing fat deposits. Gluten and soy free formulation.

 

AntiOxidant Formula by Pure EncapsulationsAntiOxidant Formula by Pure Encapsulations – This broad spectrum, synergistic formula offers a range of antioxidant nutrients to support cellular health and enhance the body’s natural defense against free radicals. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

OmegaGenics® EPA-DHA 500 Lemon by Metagenics®OmegaGenics® EPA-DHA 500 Lemon by Metagenics –  This formula provides a concentrated source of omega-3 essential fatty acids to promote cardiovascular and overall health and healthy blood lipids. Sustainably sourced from cold water fish. Contaminant free, gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

References:
The vast majority of American adults are overweight or obese, and weight is a growing problem among US children. http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/vast-majority-american-adults-are-overweight-or-obese-and-weight-growing-problem-among
One fifth of adults worldwide will be obese by 2025, predicts study. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/mar/31/one-fifth-of-worlds-adults-will-be-obese-by-2025-study-predicts
Appetite Hormones. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/070115p26.shtml
Hormonal Regulators of Appetite. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2777281/