Archive for March, 2012

Weight Loss Benefits of Raspberry Ketones

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Raspberry ketone has been touted as a wonder supplement for burning fat. The compound, which occurs naturally in red raspberries, helps boost metabolism and lower glucose levels in the blood. Achieving weight loss through diet and exercise alone can be challenging. It’s easy to plateau before hitting your goal weight, because your body gets used to the increased exercise and reduction in calories. Adding raspberry ketone to your daily regimen may be just the jump-start you need to shed those extra pounds.

Raspberry ketone increases the levels of norepinephrine in the body, which can raise body temperature and boost metabolism. The compound also increases the levels of a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. Less sugar in your blood and a faster metabolism result in decreased body fat and increased weight loss.

There are other benefits of raspberry ketone that extend beyond weight loss.

  • RaspberriesAs your body fat decreases, so may your cholesterol and blood pressure, boosting your overall health.
  • The antioxidants found in raspberry ketones can help repair damage caused by free radicals in the body and prevent future damage.
  • Patients with arthritis pain or those who have experienced sore muscles after exercising have reported pain relief while taking the compound. This may be due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • The supplement has also been shown to help protect against carcinogens in the body. In one study, after being administered raspberry ketone over a period of time, rats with liver cancer experienced a decrease in the size of their tumors. As more of the compound was administered, the tumors shrunk even more.

Although raspberry ketone is found in fresh red raspberries, you would have to eat an impossible amount of raspberries to achieve the same effects as a single dose of the supplement offers. However, eating raspberries and other whole foods is important. People taking the compound for weight loss should also strive to eat healthy meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables to achieve the maximum health benefits.

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Inflammation and Your Diet

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

You probably think of inflammation as redness or swelling that you can see and feel, when in fact, it can occur throughout the body, including in the digestive tract and the arteries. Inflammation is the immune system’s response to damage within the body, and chronic inflammation has been linked to many diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Inflammation often begins in the gut. The gastrointestinal tract is the hub for the immune system, because it’s the elimination center for viruses and bacteria that enter the body through food. The digestive system is also sensitive to the toxins and chemicals that people ingest daily and if not properly balanced can lead to problems such as IBS, hemorrhoids or ulcers. Although foods are not the only cause of inflammation in the body, changing your diet can help your body repair itself and improve your health.

Inflammation DietPeople with heart disease, cancer, colitis, arthritis and other inflammatory diseases can benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet. Individuals who are at risk for these diseases can help prevent illness through an anti-inflammatory diet. Foods like polyunsaturated oils, trans fats and sugar can increase inflammation. Common allergens such as casein, which is found in dairy, and gluten, which is found in wheat, can also lead to an inflammatory response by the immune system. Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, wild fish and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Ginger and turmeric have healing properties as well.

People who are having trouble losing weight may be suffering from an inflammatory imbalance. Eating 100 calories worth of inflammatory foods has a much different effect on the body than eating 100 calories worth of foods that reduce inflammation. The unhealthy foods can increase insulin and glucose levels, which can cause the body to hold onto extra weight. Eating right isn’t just about eating fewer calories and less fat; it involves maintaining a balanced immune system.

Gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea are often caused or exacerbated by inflammation. Eating foods that trigger an immune response can make symptoms worse. Many people are sensitive to eggs, soy, nuts, gluten and dairy. If these foods cause an inflammatory response in the digestive tract, it could wreak havoc on the entire immune system. An imbalanced gut can make it harder for a person to heal from any illness. Keeping the body balanced with diet is key to curbing inflammation and leading a healthier lifestyle.

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Quickly Overcome Sleep Deprivation

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Sleep deprivation can make your mind feel sluggish and your body lack energy. Just getting out of bed in the morning can be incredibly difficult, not to mention staying sharp for a morning meeting or getting a workout in during the afternoon. Getting a good night’s sleep does not have to mean taking sleep aids or medication. Simple readjustments to your lifestyle and making sleep a priority can help create a healthy daily rhythm and have profound effects on your quality of sleep.

The Importance of a Sleep Routine
Consistency is one of the keys to sleeping well. Continually changing the time you go to sleep and wake up in the morning can leave your body confused and lead to sleep deprivation. Although you may feel tired, you may still have trouble tuning out and falling asleep. Resetting your circadian rhythm, or natural sleep cycle, by going to bed and waking up at the same times every day can help your body know when it’s time to wind down at the end of a long day.

We place a significant emphasis on bedtime routines for children, but we tend to fall out of those habits as adults. Taking the time to relax before going to bed can help signal to your body that it’s time for sleep. Turn down the lights, turn off the television and put away your laptop a few hours before crawling into bed. Don’t participate in stimulating activities right before bed either. Try to stay quiet to set the mood for relaxation, such as taking a warm bath before bed. By having a routine every night, your body and mind can start to switch into sleep mode.

Overcome Your Sleep DeprivationEat Right for the Best Sleep
It may be obvious that you should avoid caffeine in the afternoon and early evening if you want to avoid sleep deprivation, but eating big meals, fatty foods or meals that may cause heartburn can keep you awake too. Other diet factors such as food allergies or sensitivities to dairy or gluten can cause restlessness that affects your sleep.

Drinking too many liquids before bed can leave you with a full bladder that interrupts your sleep. Once you wake up in the middle of the night, it can be difficult to go back to sleep, so it’s beneficial to try to prevent night waking before it occurs. Also keep in mind that although alcohol may make you drowsy, it can cause you to sleep lightly and wake frequently.

Exercise the Body to Stimulate Sleep
Exercising earlier in the day can help you sleep at night. Working out regularly helps relieve the anxiety and stressful thoughts that may keep you awake at night. Outside activity and being exposed to bright light during the day can help reset your circadian rhythm and prevent sleep deprivation. But keep in mind that exercise before bed may cause you to have trouble winding down right away, so make sure to exercise long before you plan on turning in for the night.

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