Tag Archives: protein

Improved Diet = Improved Health

ImprovedDietJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

For almost a century federal dietary guidance was designed for avoidance of nutrient deficiency diseases, such as scurvy and rickets. Other than obesity, minimal attention was given to reducing the risk of degenerative chronic conditions. In the past two decades there have been substantial advances in understanding the relationship between diet and health, as well as broad agreement that overall dietary modifications improve the chance of a healthier life and reduce the prevalence of diet-related chronic disease. Family history, environmental concerns, healthcare access and other health-promoting lifestyle factors, such as regular exercise and healthy sleep, are all determinants of health and wellbeing. While there is clear evidence that the daily diet directly affects both short and long term health, research shows American dietary patterns are very slow to improve.

Dietary advice has improved, but are we listening?

It’s been almost 20 years since nutrition experts, that historically promoted high-carb/low fat diets, disavowed their disastrous advice to shun all dietary fats and instead urged Americans to focus on whole grains, nuts and healthful fats. A study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported some improvements in the Standard American Diet. A cross-sectional analysis among 44,000 adults found that the quality of the average American’s diet improved by two percentage points between 1999 and 2016. Researchers found decreased intake of low-quality carbohydrates and added sugars, as well as increased intake of  high-quality carbohydrates, including whole grains, plant proteins and nuts. Yet, after two decades of updated nutrition advice the majority of overall diet composition remains derived from nutrient deficient refined carbs and unhealthy fats.

Some of us are actively pursuing a healthier lifestyle.

To be sure, Americans have many different approaches to eating. While some focus on taste and nutrition, other focus on convenience. Those who focus on healthy eating say they are relatively satisfied with their diets. A majority of people who focus on convenience say they should probably eat healthier most days. When asked to confront their own eating habits, most Americans admit to nutritional shortcomings. Yet, 72 percent of adults acknowledge that healthy eating habits and exercise are the most important factors for healthy lifespan improvement. As well, the majority know that both the quality and the quantity of food consumption is a public health concern. While this public awareness shows that millions of Americans are moving in the right direction, considerable challenges lie ahead to improve the majority of American’s diet and health.

Why nutrition matters:

The typical American diet is too high in calories, unhealthy fat, sodium and added sugars, and too low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium, and fiber. A low nutrient, low fiber, high sugar diet contributes to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis and many types of cancer. As well, unhealthy eating is the leading cause of mortality and disabilities stemming from bone fractures, heart attacks, strokes and lower-limb amputations. Improving the diet promotes healthy weight maintenance, reduces cancer risk, prevents strokes and supports cognitive function, cardiovascular health, strong bones and teeth, better mood, improved memory, overall wellbeing and healthier longevity.

If you’re really not sure what to eat, go for vegetables. Nine out of ten Americans fail to meet the five a day serving requirement. Full of fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients, vegetables help protect the heart, the eyes and the brain, lower the risk of diabetes and some cancers, help maintain healthy blood pressure, protect blood vessel walls and support bone health. To support whole body heath, the American Heart Association recommends approximately 2100 calories of nutritious whole foods each day.

  • 5 daily servings of vegetables (one serving equals 1 cup raw leafy greens or ½ cup cooked or raw vegetables)
  • 4 daily servings of fruit (one serving equals one medium sized piece of fruit or ½ cup cut up fruit)
  • 6 daily servings of whole grains (one serving equals 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of cereal or ½ cup cooked rice)
  • 3 daily servings of dairy (one serving equals 1 cup milk or yogurt or 1.5 oz. of cheese)
  • 3 daily servings of healthy fats and oils (one serving equals 1 tablespoon)
  • 8-9 weekly servings of poultry, meat and eggs (one serving equals 3 ounces of meat or one egg)
  • 2-3 weekly servings of seafood (one serving equals 3 ounces)
  • 5 weekly servings of nuts, seeds, beans and legumes (one serving equals ½ ounce of nuts, ¼ cup of beans or 1 tablespoon nut butter)

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of healthy nutrition:

Spectrum VibranceSpectrum Vibrance by Vibrant Health®: This concentrated blend of powdered, whole food plant nutrients provides a broad range of nutrient-rich red, yellow, blue and green fruits and vegetables, as well as bioactive food substances and antioxidant-rich botanical extracts. One serving is equivalent to 4.5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Delicious Greens...Delicious Greens 8000 Original Flavor by Greens World Inc.: This powdered concentrate blends certified organic vegetables and fruits with enzymes, probiotics, natural fibers, vitamins, minerals and more to deliver the antioxidant power of 8000 ORAC units. Naturally flavored with orange and spearmint. No added sugar. Free of wheat, MSG and preservatives. Vegetarian formulation. Additional flavors available: Berry, Chocolate, Mocha Café, Fruit Punch and Strawberry Kiwi.

Spectra Purples™Spectra Purples™ by DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont: This proprietary powdered supplement blends 19 whole fruits, vegetables and extracts containing health promoting purple phytonutrients in support of healthy aging and cognitive, cellular, immune and cardiovascular health and function. Also available: Spectra Greens™, Spectra Oranges™ and Spectra Reds™.

PaleoRedsPaleo Reds® by Designs for Health®: In support of healthy aging, this proprietary whole food powder combines a variety of high quality colorful fruits and vegetables known for their phytonutrient and antioxidant compounds. Contains over 70% organic ingredients. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation. Also available: PaleoGreens® (unflavored) and Lemon/Lime.

Trends in Dietary Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat Intake and Diet Quality Among US Adults 1999-2016. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2751719
Improving America’s Diet and Health: From Recommendations to Action. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235259/
New Survey Shows Changes in American Diet Trends. https://www.nutritioncoalition.us/news/2018/6/20/new-survey-shows-changes-in-american-diet-trends
What’s on your table? How America’s diet has changed over the decades. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/12/13/whats-on-your-table-how-americas-diet-has-changed-over-the-decades/
Our Food Is Killing Too Many of Us. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/26/opinion/food-nutrition-health-care.html
Public views about American’s eating habits. https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2016/12/01/public-views-about-americans-eating-habits/
Suggested Servings from Each Food Group. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/suggested-servings-from-each-food-group

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.

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


Nutrients for Healthy Hair

HealthyHairJacquie Eubanks RN BSN



Healthy looking hair is a good visual indicator of overall health. Hair is growing tissue, the health of which is positively influenced by proper nutrition and physical wellbeing and negatively influenced by stress, inadequate sleep, hormonal imbalances, smoking and dietary deficiencies. Similar to other bodily cells, hair requires care and nutritional support to remain strong, yet soft, manageable and vibrant. A balanced, nutritious diet including adequate protein, omega-3 essential fatty acids and B-complex vitamins is vital to fortify both the hair and the scalp. As well, inadequate nutrition will affect not only overall health but will strip your hair of its natural beauty.

We are born with approximately 5 million hair follicles, 100,000 of which are located on the scalp. While hair is simple in structure, its growth process is not. Each hair travels through four stages over a period of years as part of the growth cycle. The hair that we can see and touch is composed of cells packed with keratin, a protein rich in sulphurous amino acids. These cells rapidly die as the amino acids form chains and the hair is gradually pushed upwards through the hair shaft.

A steady supply of nutrients is needed to maintain normal, healthy hair growth during the lengthy growth phase. As the root receives nourishment and hormones from blood vessels, the living cells divide, grow and build the hair shaft, which eventually emerges through the skin. Along the way, oil glands moisturize the hair. From the beginning of growth to the falling out stage, each hair will pass through the anagen or growing phase, the catagen or regression phase, the telogen or resting phase and finally the exogen or shedding phase.

The growth phase lasts an average of 3 – 5 years and may sometimes last as long as 7 years. Because each hair may be at a different stage of the growth cycle, it’s normal to lose 50 – 100 hairs a day, as the individual hairs progress to their shedding phase. Once an old hair detaches from the follicle, a new one will begin to grow to take its place. How can you know if your hair is truly healthy? It’s shiny and smooth and has lots of elasticity. It detangles easily and sheds the normal amount.

Nutrients that enhance the health of your hair and scalp and help your hair reach its full potential include:

Protein – Necessary for cell growth and repair, protein boosts hair strength and helps to keep hair healthy. A diet that is too low in protein can result in dry, brittle or weak hair. Extremely low protein intake may result in hair loss.

B-complex vitamins -Biotin, niacin and cobalamin help to restore shine and thickness and protect against hair loss and brittle hair. B vitamins promote new hair growth and healthier texture, and protect against dryness, flaky scalp and breakage.

Iron – Too little iron is a major cause of anemia-related hair loss in women of child bearing age. When serum iron levels fall, the nutrient and oxygen supply to the hair follicle is disrupted, which can affect the hair growth cycle and result in shedding. Premenopausal women should ensure their diet includes iron rich foods, such as spinach, beans or seafood. A simple blood test can indicate iron deficiency. Consult your healthcare provider before supplementing with iron.

Vitamin C – Vitamin C aids the absorption of food-based iron, and supports the production of collagen, which strengthens the capillaries that supply nutrients to the hair shafts. Vitamin C can improve hair growth, prevent hair loss and promote thicker, healthier hair.

Vitamin D – In addition to addressing vitamin D deficiency, a vitamin D supplement is important for hair follicle cycling and may help to activate hair growth.

Vitamin A – The body uses vitamin A to make sebum, an oily substance created by our hairs’ sebaceous glands. Sebum acts as a natural conditioner, supporting the health of the scalp and preventing dryness and itchiness.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids – EPA and DHA not only support heart and brain health, they also regulate oil production and help to keep the skin, scalp and hair hydrated. Omega-3’s help to boost hair shine and prevent dry hair and flaky scalp.

Zinc and selenium – Zinc and selenium support hair growth and help to prevent hair loss and dry, flaky scalp.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements to support and enhance the health of your hair:

Hair, Skin & NailsHair, Skin & Nails by Now Foods – This clinically advanced formula provides the nutrients that nurture the health of hair, skin and nails, including a patented and bioavailable form of solubilized keratin that helps to maintain full, lustrous hair. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation.


Hair/Skin/Nails UltraHair/Skin/Nails Ultra by Pure Encapsulations – This formula provides key building blocks and proper nutrients that support skin elasticity and hydration, healthy hair, and nail strength. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


BioSil® Skin, Hair, NailsBioSil® Skin, Hair, Nails by Natural Factors – This formula helps to thicken and strengthen hair, increase skin elasticity and strengthen nails. BioSil® aids in generating collagen by supporting the body’s own collagen producing cells. Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.


Hair, Skin and Nails Plus Formula (82924-)Hair, Skin and Nail Plus Formula by Douglas Laboratories – This formula supplies beneficial amounts of the specific vitamins, minerals and botanicals that support the health of hair, skin and nails. Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.


6 Nutrients for Healthy Hair. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20734150_4,00.html
How hair grows. https://www.aad.org/how-hair-grows
What to eat for healthy hair. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-eat-healthy-hair
Vitamins & Minerals For Hair That’s Healthier, Stronger and Shinier. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/18/vitamins-minerals-for-hair-health_n_3451747.html
6 Supplements for Glowy Skin and Gorgeous Hair. http://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/supplements-skin-hair/#05