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Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 | 0 comments

Vitamins: What to Take, What to Skip

What you need, and how to get it

 

By Amanda Gardner

Vitamins and minerals are essential to any diet, and research suggests they may help prevent cancer and heart disease, not to mention other health problems. But reality check: Many studies have been conducted on vitamin-containing food, but not necessarily supplements.

In fact, if you eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fortified food, you’re probably getting all you need. But supplements do offer an easy, just-in-case form of health insurance.

Do you need them? Here’s a quick guide to beneficial nutrients and what they can do for you.

Beta-carotene

Found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and green peppers, among other foods, this antioxidant is converted in the body to vitamin A and is important for healthy vision, a functioning immune system, and good skin. But the evidence isn’t really there to recommend it for staving off cancer. In fact, a 2004 study found that supplements may actually raise the risk of lung cancer in smokers.

Bottom line: Skip the supplements if you’re a smoker, and try to get your beta-carotene from fruits and veggies, whether you smoke or not.

Calcium

Our bodies need calcium—mostly found in dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese—to maintain healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Bottom line: Supplements aren’t a bad idea if you hate dairy (and can eat only so much kale and canned sardines), but you may want to skip them if you’re prone to kidney stones or are a female over 70. A 2010 report linked supplements to heart-attack risk in older postmenopausal women. If you decide to go with supplements, don’t take more than 500 milligrams at a time, and pair them with vitamin D to improve calcium absorption.

Folic acid

Folic acid, which prevents neural tube defects such as spina bifida in babies, is found in fortified breakfast cereal, dark green vegetables, legumes, citrus fruit juice, bread, and pasta.

Bottom line: Getting 400 micrograms a day of this B vitamin, and 600 if you are pregnant or lactating, is a no-brainer. That amount should come from food, supplements, or both, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The jury’s still out as to whether folate combats cancer, heart disease, or mental illness.

Iron

You may not love the foods highest in iron (liver and other organ meats), but the mineral is critical for the proper functioning of red blood cells and, therefore, the prevention of anemia.

Bottom line: Try to get iron from dietary sources, which also include lean meats, seafood, nuts, and green, leafy vegetables. However, you may need a supplement if you’re anemic, or your doctor might prescribe them before surgery, says Jessica Anderson, a registered dietitian with the Coastal Bend Health Education Center, at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, in Corpus Christi. Women, especially those who are pregnant or menstruating, might also benefit.

Multivitamin

There is limited evidence that multivitamins may help prevent breast cancer, and an NIH panel in 2006 wasn’t convinced that popping the pills was worth it. Neither is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which said the only benefit could be to reduce cancer risk in people with poor nutrition. And a large 2009 study failed to find any beneficial effects of the vitamins for cancer or deaths among postmenopausal women.

Bottom line: Multivitamins aren’t a bad idea if “you’re on the go,” Anderson says. “But don’t expect major lifesaving benefits.”

Read the rest of this article at Health.com

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Posted by on Jul 10, 2012 | 0 comments

What Can Your Watermelon do for You?

 

What’s a summer day at the park or the pool without a few slices of juicy cold watermelon?!
Along with the scorching heat, summer brings a bundle of sensational season fruit. These fruits not only satisfy our taste buds, but are also great for a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Packed with vitamins and minerals, fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants, fruits are also approximately 80-90% water. What’s better to cool you down on a hot day than something almost completely made of water?
Watermelon, in particular, is one of the most beneficial summer treats – a jack, or fruit, of all trades. One of the main health benefits of watermelon is its status as apowerful antioxidant. Full of vitamins A and C, watermelon helps to neutralize free radicals that can lead to inflammation, general sickness and chronic illnesses such as heart attack or stroke. As well, the beautiful pink color of watermelon, due to beta-carotene, is a powerful ally against many types of cancer.
The juicy fruit is also offers a number of important cardiovascular benefits.  It contains arginine, which helps enhance blood flow, lowers blood pressure, and has been used as a natural remedy in the treatment of hypertension, erectile dysfunction and peripheral vascular disease.

 

The high water content of watermelon also aids in fast fat burning, helping to make your metabolism work more efficiently.

So, whether trying to slim down for that bikini body, stay hydrated, or simply avoid a summer sickness, watermelon can be a delicious and powerful way to stay healthy this summer!
BENEFITS OF OTHER SUMMER FRUITS:

Apricots – fresh apricots are good source of iron, vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium and fiber. The health benefits of apricots includes anemia, cancer, skin diseases, fevers, earache, indigestion and constipation.

 

Berries – The phytochemicals in blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries helps boost immunity, have a protective effect against cancer, protects against heart diseases and circulatory problems. Cranberries have a healing effect in urinary tract infection.

 

Peaches and plums – Peaches and plums contain good amount of vitamin C, beta carotene, antioxidant phytochemicals and anthocyanins, all of which help to eliminate the free radicals from the body.

 

Papayas and mangoes – Both fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin A and fiber. Eating sufficient amount of mangoes alone can make the body a rich store of vitamin A which lasts for months.

 

Cherries – Bright red cherries not only taste great but also contain ellagic acid which inhibits the growth of carcinogenic cells in the body.

Yours In Health,
John J. Koc, D.C.
16429 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ. 85032

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Posted by on May 24, 2010 | 0 comments

Get All The Facts

The Corn Refiners Association omits facts in an attempt to make high-fructose corn syrup seem as safe as sugar.

The Corn Refiners Association released an advertisement in which a guy and girl are discussing high-fructose corn syrup. The point of  this commercial is to convince the audience that high-fructose corn syrup is just as safe to consume as sugar. Unfortunately they did not give all of the health facts around high-fructose corn syrup, making their commercial a message of propaganda aimed only at increasing sales and disregarding their responsibility to accurately informing their consumers.

Fortunately, someone decided to set the Corn Refiners Association straight by creating their own video. This rebuttal takes place in the same setting as the original, but it mention the adverse health effects of high-fructose corn syrup. Watch both videos, (Posted below) and use this as an example of how important it is to research the facts and not take all information at face value.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVsgXPt564Q&hl=en_US&fs=1&]
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYiEFu54o1E&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Facts about high-fructose corn syrup:

High-fructose corn syrup has replaced pure sugar in many American products, including, Coca Cola and Pepsi products, cake mixes, cookies, breakfast cereals, etc. The reason for the transition from pure cane sugar to high-fructose corn syrup is because the US government subsidized the corn industry to produce this product in specialized factories around the United States. The production of high-fructose corn syrup is surprisingly not cost prohibitive to consumers because of the high tariffs placed on imported cane sugar by the United States.

Many people are concerned about the health affects high-fructose corn syrup has, including obesity and diabetes. High-fructose corn syrup has more fructose content than regular sugars, roughly 55% fructose and 45% glucose. This concentration of fructose is not natural, and diabetics and other individuals who have to monitor their blood sugar levels may not receive accurate glycemic readings after they ingest high fructose corn syrup. Because many sodas and processed foods are made with high-fructose corn syrup, regular consumption of these products has the potential to increase obesity and promote conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.

Finally, remember that no matter what foods you eat or diets you follow, moderation is always key. So far, research has shown conflicted results over this debate. In order to make the best diet decisions for you and your family it is important to educate yourself with information from several different resources, not just one commercial that shows one side’s view. I have attached a few links that you can follow for more information on high-fructose corn syrup, what it is, why it is used and other health concerns.

http://www.almightydad.com/fitness-nutrition/high-fructose-corn-syrup-the-facts

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-high-fructose-corn-syrup.htm

http://www.sweetsurprise.com/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fructose-corn-syrup/an01588

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