Tag Archives: Health

Health Benefits of Drinking Red Wine

Ending the evening with a little vino is more guilt-free than you know. The health benefits of drinking red wine have been studied for decades, and research shows that it pays off to indulge.

Just one glass of high-quality wine a day can provide numerous health benefits, including:

Red wine#1. Boosting Heart Health

The polyphenols in wine make it beneficial for keeping blood vessels from forming blood clots. Likewise, research shows that drinking red wine can slow down the development of atherosclerosis, which causes a fatty buildup of cholesterol in your artery walls. In the same way, resveratrol, an antioxidant in red wine, can protect heart tissue from damage after a stroke or heart attack by keeping your arteries relaxed so more blood can flow through.

In fact, moderate amounts of wine are almost as effective as aspirin for your heart health, though overindulging can quickly lead to the opposite effect.


#2. Lessening the Alzheimer’s Disease Risk

Avoiding Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia is a high priority for anyone. Especially one that’s seen the impact of the disease on their family or friends. Adding red wine to your routine might lower your risk.


Research shows that people who eat a Mediterranean diet (which prominently features red wine) are 28 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, and 48 percent less likely to progress from mild impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. These benefits are attributed to resveratrol. Resveratrol is considered a crucial antioxidant for reducing antioxidant stress and inflammation. This can lead to reduction of the cognitive decline over time. 

#3. Providing a Natural Antioxidant Boost

Free radicals cause endless problems for your health and contribute to the development of chronic diseases. These diseases include cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular issues and more. However, the potent antioxidant properties of red wine give your body what it needs to stay healthy and fight off this damage.

 

Resveratrol is essential for fighting inflammation, and quercetin can reduce the effects of aging. Beyond fighting chronic disease, red wine might keep you healthier on a daily basis, too. A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who drank 14 weekly servings of wine were 40 percent less likely to come down with a cold, making a single glass a smart choice for staying healthy.

 

#4. Helping Manage Diabetes

Drinking red wine may change how your body processes glucose, research shows. Researchers have found that red wine slows how quickly glucose passes through your bloodstream. It does this by inhibiting the enzymes that handle glucose. This helps prevent spikes in blood sugar that can contribute to type 2 diabetes, meaning that wine may have a role in a diabetic diet plan. White wine seems to be only 10 percent as effective, making red the clear winner.

 

While the health benefits of red wine are profound, it’s important to remember that more wine doesn’t lead to more health benefits.  It can cause more problems than it helps if you are not careful. So take a drink for your health, but remember to enjoy in moderation.

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The Benefits of Coffee

Stop feeling guilty about your favorite part of every morning — it turns out a daily coffee habit is good for more than just waking up. For one thing, we just made it through the holidays, so enjoy that coffee! Also, research is revealing there’s a lot more to coffee than caffeine content and, in reality, this AM go-to might be a smart solution for maintaining your health.

Enjoy a Cup of Coffee
Coffee’s Health Benefits

Black coffee averages just two calories per cup, and its high antioxidant levels make it one of the best sources for these cancer-fighting “vitamins”. Beyond jump starting your day, each cup contains following benefits for your health.

Good for Your Heart

Looking for an easy way to protect your heart? Coffee might be key. Research from Israel has found that drinking about 16 ounces of coffee per day can lead to an 11 percent lower risk of heart failure. Unfortunately for major addicts, the study didn’t find much benefit to drinking more coffee than this.

Makes You Smarter

Everyone knows that drinking coffee will improve your energy, but there is evidence that the caffeine it contains can actually improve your thinking capabilities, too. When you drink a cup of coffee, the caffeine gets absorbed into your bloodstream where it travels to your brain and alters its functioning. This caffeine blocks a neurotransmitter called Adenosine, which causes other neurotransmitters like dopamine to fire more instead. Not only does this elevate your mood, but it also improves reaction times, logical reasoning skills, and your attention span, which (temporarily) improves your thinking abilities and productivity.

Coffee Helps You Burn Fat!

The increased energy you feel when you drink coffee does more than affect your brain, it also causes your body to burn more calories. Some studies have found caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3 to 11 percent, while others show that caffeine specifically increases your body’s fat-burning capabilities by as much as a 30 percent.

Improve Physical Performance

The caffeine in coffee seems capable of waking up both your brain and your body, according to research. Studies have found that caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which triggers adrenaline, the “fight or flight” hormone in your body and preps it for physical exertion. In this way, a cup of coffee can improve physical performance by 10 percent or more, and the benefit is most pronounced for endurance sports like running, biking, or swimming. This means that a cup of coffee might be a smart idea before your next major workout.

Coffee Helps Fight Depression

Depression is pervasive, affecting almost five percent of the U.S. population. However, coffee might make a difference in your day-to-day happiness. A study from Harvard found that women who drink four or more cups a day were 20 percent less likely to be depressed, and similar studies found that the same amount of coffee can half the risk of suicide. These benefits are mainly attributed to coffee’s ability to produce mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine.

The research is continuing to POUR in, and coffee has more going for it than just a way to make it through midday fatigue. Drinking black coffee every day can help you lose weight, improve your fitness level, keep you happier and even improve your mental abilities. So, grab your mug and get sipping!

Probiotic Supplementation for Gut Health

Take a look at the exploding market for all things antibacterial, and you’ll be forgiven for thinking that the human race is waging biological warfare against bacteria. However, people and microbes (probiotic) have lived symbiotically since the beginning of time, and many types of bacteria actually help your gut health and help your body function better.  

Probiotic supplementation

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are, simply, beneficial bacteria. These microbes positively benefit your digestive system and help improve your gut health.

Two common varieties, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, help suppress the growth of harmful bacteria in your gut to keep it functioning properly. For this reason, doctors often prescribe probiotics health supplements and fermented foods (especially dairy products) as a natural solution for treating digestive discomfort. But, with many options available online and in-store, there’s no reason not to start exploring the benefits and find a probiotic that’s right for you.

What Do They Do to Your Body?

A well-functioning digestive system is a key to good health. Every meal you eat impacts the mix of microbes in your gut, and studies are increasingly showing that an imbalance of helpful and harmful bacteria is linked to disease — too much bad bacteria can lead to health problems like irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, food allergies, and more.

By improving your ratio of beneficial microbes daily through probiotics, you may reduce your risk of developing these symptoms. These bacteria work to improve mineral absorption, aid hormone production and prevent gut dysbiosis while minimizing your risk of developing leaky gut syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome.

But the benefits go deeper than just your digestive system. Studies show increasing your level of probiotics may lower your cortisol level, which leads to more positive mental health and less risk of anxiety, depression, and stress. Preliminary research is also showing that regular doses of probiotics might lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

How Can You Get Enough?

Boost your probiotic levels naturally through food or from a natural supplement.

Probiotic Supplements

Probiotic supplements come in capsule, tablet, and powder form, and there are a variety of brands, bacterial strains, and purported benefits to sort through. To make the right decision, keep the following advice in mind.  

  • Check the CFU (Colony Forming Units). This number will be on the front of the box and usually ranges from 3-50 billion CFUs. The larger the number, the more potent the product. (Note: this does not say anything about QUALITY of the product.)
  • What strains are present? Everyone’s body reacts differently to bacteria strains, which is why investing in a supplement with a wide variety of bacteria is likely to make a bigger impact on your health.
  • What’s the shelf life? Probiotic supplements contain live bacterial colonies, meaning that they lose potency over time. Look for products that were recently manufactured and store them in a cool, dry place in your home to extend the lifespan.

Food

Probiotic cultures are common in fermented dairy products, as well as pickled vegetables and soy products in limited amounts. To keep them in your diet, make sure to regularly eat unpasteurized yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, soft cheeses, pickles and other fermented foods. Today, some products like granola bars, cereal, and soy milk are also probiotic fortified.

Remember, everyone responds differently to certain strains, so make sure to experiment with what works for you. As always, please email or bring in a picture of your probiotic for the doctor to review for you. While we carry multiple great products, we recognize that other brands are still of great quality. 

How to Get More Exercise

It’s common knowledge: exercise is good for the mind and body. Specifically, exercise may help to regulate your appetite[i] and weight[ii], lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers[iii], and mediate symptoms of depression[iv], anxiety[v], or insomnia[vi]. But how much exercise should you be getting?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least two and a half hours of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week. It may be difficult to tease apart moderate and vigorous activity. Moderate physical activity makes you move a bit more than normal activity but will not leave you panting for breathe. Examples of moderate physical activity include mowing the lawn, raking leaves, swimming, and brisk walking. On the other hand, vigorous physical activity significantly increases your heart rate and includes activities like running, jogging, dancing, and jump roping. In addition to aerobic activity, adults should also aim to work out with activities that aim to strengthen and build muscle.

Exercise OR Illness

 

Unfortunately, being aware of the recommendations doesn’t make it any easier to fit room in your schedule for an exercise routine. But luckily, there are some easy ways to squeeze exercise in your life. If you find yourself low on time, you can incorporate exercise into your daily activities to reach your weekly minutes. You may not even have to stray far from your couch or desk to boost your physical activity.

  1. Opt for the Stairs: Using the stairs is an easy way to temporarily boost your heart rate. Plus, climbing the stairs may be just as fast, if not quicker, than waiting for and taking the elevator.
  2. Park Far Away: The extra minute or two it takes to walk from the end of the parking lot to the store entrance can quickly add up to make you more physically active. Plus, parking further away will save you the time and frustration associated with finding that perfect spot.
  3. Take a Walk with your Dog (or Child!): Including loved ones into your physical activity routine will help both of you stay physically active and make your work-out more enjoyable.
  4. Maintain Realistic Goals: While a big goal may temporarily hype you up for exercise, it may be difficult to maintain. So instead, choose realistic goals. Aim to lose an extra five pounds, strive to run a full mile, or sign up for a 5K in your community.
  5. Walk the Mall: Few people can motivate themselves to walk or run outside when it is snowy, icy, or rainy. For these occasions, take a brisk walk at your local mall instead.
  6. Reward Yourself with Goals: Keep yourself motivated with rewards for diligent exercise. But instead of treating yourself to dessert or a week of rest, give yourself a prize like sneakers or athletic wear that will help you stay on track with longer-term goals.
  7. Trade in Your Chair: Swapping your rolling chair for an exercise ball will help you strengthen your core and abdominal muscles.

By incorporating exercise into your daily life, you can easily up your physical activity level. But when starting a physical activity regimen, ease your way into it and stretch thoroughly before working out to avoid aches or injury. In addition, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, first speak with your doctor to make sure you take all precautions to keep yourself safe and healthy. While it may take time to establish an exercise routine or develop physical activity habits, remember that some physical activity is better than nothing.

 

Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to share it with people that you love and care about. As always, we provide COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATIONS to discuss your individual case and determine if we are a good fit to help you improve your heath.

[i] Martins, C., Morgan, L., & Truby, H. (2008). A review of the effects of exercise on appetite regulation: an obesity perspective. International Journal of Obesity, 32(9), 1337-1347.

[ii] Fogelholm, M., & Kukkonen‐Harjula, K. (2000). Does physical activity prevent weight gain–a systematic review. Obesity reviews, 1(2), 95-111.

[iii] Warburton, D. E., Nicol, C. W., & Bredin, S. S. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Canadian medical association journal, 174(6), 801-809.

[iv] Ströhle, A. (2009). Physical activity, exercise, depression and anxiety disorders. Journal of neural transmission, 116(6), 777-784.

[v] Ströhle, A. (2009). Physical activity, exercise, depression and anxiety disorders. Journal of neural transmission, 116(6), 777-784.

[vi] Reid, K. J., Baron, K. G., Lu, B., Naylor, E., Wolfe, L., & Zee, P. C. (2010). Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in older adults with insomnia. Sleep medicine, 11(9), 934-940.

Thanksgiving, The Holiday That KEEPS On Giving

5 Tips to avoiding that “holiday bulge”.

Oh boy, my favorite holiday is right around the corner. When was the last time you heard someone talk about that AMAZING holiday body they have been working on? Let’s just say that a holiday body is NOT the same as a bikini body.

As much as I LOOOOOVE Thanksgiving, it usually isn’t known for how well it makes us feel or even how it shrinks our waistline. In fact, it is probably one of the worst holidays when it comes to our health.

For those of us who TRY to make healthy eating choices, the holidays do not do us any favors. It is really hard to be social, visit with family, AND make healthy food choices. Unfortunately, that is the state of our society.

With that being said, let me move on to my first tip. It is a big one and it is also a very simple one.

1. Drink Water

Drink two full glasses of water FIRST THING when you wake up on that day when you know that there may be some “questionable” food choices (in fact, I do this every day). This does a lot for your health and isn’t THAT hard. Oh and trust me, I have heard it all about why you “can’t” do it.

“I am not thirsty.”

“I am full.”

“I will puke.”

“I just can’t do it.”

Yes, I know it isn’t the most exciting or enjoyable thing to do FIRST THING when you wake up. I had the very same thoughts the first time I did this, but it can be done. If you can only manage one glass of water, then do that, but two is ideal. This will not only help your body detox in the morning, but it will help you stay hydrated when you do eat those salty traditional foods. It will also fill you up and may suppress some of your hunger. Many times our body will satisfy dehydration with the feeling of being hungry. I recommend that most people increase their water intake and the guideline that I typically start with is to recommend that you drink half of your body weight in ounces per day. Again, this is a starting point and I will alter this depending on your individual case.

2. Eat it all.

Wait, did I just say that? Yep. Go ahead and enjoy your Thanksgiving by eating anything you want.

Now here is the catch, you can do this ONLY if you commit that it is just for ONE day. Let’s be honest here. You did not get your current body composition (all the muscle, fat, and bones) from ONE day of eating. It took many days of eating great food and exercise to give you that beach body, or many days of eating bad food to give you your “winter coat”.

WARNING: If you normally eat healthy, then eating bad food for one day will result in you feeling AWFUL. If you have done this, then you know what I am talking about and you likely will not make that terrible decision again.

Eat Better, Feel Better

3. Eat THIS, not that.

Start off with meat and veggies. By starting with protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates, your body will likely not crave the high simple carbohydrate foods like mashed potatoes, bread and stuffing. I won’t lie to you here, I have a bread problem. If bread is the first thing in front of me, then it is going to be a bad day. Thankfully I have learned that I have a bread problem and now I do my best to avoid it until after I have filled my belly. This makes eating a lot of it almost impossible and saves me from a LOT of simple carbohydrates.

4. Game Time!

I love football season! As much as I love it, I try to find time before I sit down on the couch for the day to get out and play some catch or two hand touch football outside. I know, I know, it is cold. All I ask is that you get some exercise before you eat that holiday meal. Be creative and burn some calories. You will be a big hit amongst the children in your family if you play some type of game. My only requirement is… to have FUN.

5. Bring Your Own Dish.

I am not saying that you need to replace the menu this Thanksgiving, but I am suggesting that you bring something that is more…”friendly” to your health. Although there are many options out there, I have selected a few good sources for replacing an item.  I would probably start with dessert if you want to only bring ONE thing. Check out the sites below!

Great Thanksgiving Recipes

Yummy Paleo Options

Dessert Alternatives

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Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to share it with people that you love and care about. As always, we provide COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATIONS to discuss your individual case and determine if we are an option to help you improve your heath.

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