Monday, November 08, 2010
I read this today and wanted to share it with you .. I have followed this principle for a couple of years now and have found it has worked for me ..Enjoy!!.
Mega Benefits of Omega-3's
These Healthy Fats Belong in Everyone's Diet
-- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator
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In a college nutrition class I took back in the 90’s, I overheard a classmate boasting to a small group about how she only ate fat-free food. Most of America was still in the clutches of the fat-free craze, and my classmate’s views weren’t at all uncommon. Dietary fat was being blamed for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and many other impairments of health. But instinctively, I thought that banning fat was a bad idea—I just didn’t have the facts to back up my theory. Now, a decade later, research is proving my hunch—that some types of fat can actually prevent disease and improve health. The key lies in a general understanding of fats, and in knowing which fats to emphasize in your diet.
The Fat Family Tree
The family of fat is very complex, so to make it less confusing, picture it as a family tree. At the top, there are two different families of fat—saturated fat and unsaturated fat. Saturated fat (butter is one example) is packed with hydrogen atoms, making it solid at room temperature. Unsaturated fat (like olive oil) contains fewer hydrogen atoms, so it is liquid at room temperature. The family of unsaturated fat includes two children: monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. In the polyunsaturated fat family, you'll find omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, and it is the omega-3 family that has been making headlines in the nutrition world.
3 Types of Omega-3's
There are actually three types of fatty acids that are collectively referred to as omega-3's: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Besides being hard to pronounce, they are extremely important to your health. Omega-3's are "essential" fatty acids, because they are necessary for health and must be included in your diet (because the human body cannot manufacture them on its own). But what exactly are they used for, and what do they do for human health?
Mega Health Benefits
Extensive research indicates that omega-3 fats reduce inflammation, helping to prevent inflammatory diseases like heart disease and arthritis. In addition to warding off inflammation, omega-3’s are also essential to the brain, impacting behavior and cognitive function, and are especially necessary during fetal development. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM), omega-3’s may also:
Improve artery health by helping to reduce plaque buildup and blood clots in arteries that lead to the brain.
Improve cholesterol by lowering triglycerides and elevating HDL (good cholesterol) levels. These benefits come primarily from DHA and EPA. Learn more about fats that fight cholesterol.
Improve joint health by reducing joint tenderness and stiffness associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Improve bone health by positively impacting the body's calcium levels, reducing the incidence of bone loss.
Improve mental health by helping to insulate nerve cells in the brain, allowing these nerve cells to better communicate with one another. People who are deficient in omega-3’s may suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and ADHD.
Improve skin health by helping to alleviate symptoms related to skin disorders like acne and psoriasis.
Improve bowel health by reducing inflammation of the bowels, helping alleviate symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Improve lung health by reducing inflammation in diseases like asthma. To read more on this topic, click here.
Improve menstrual health by reducing the pain associated with PMS and menstruation.
Help prevent cancer. Colon, breast, and prostate cancers have all been correlated with low intakes of omega-3's.
Sources of Omega-3’s
The three different types of omega-3’s are found in specific types of foods.
ALA is found in foods of plant origin. The richest source of ALA is flaxseed, but it is also found in hempseed, canola oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, linseeds, walnuts, and walnut oil. Once ingested, the body converts ALA into EPA and DHA, allowing it to be more readily used by the body. However, this conversion isn't very efficient. That's why experts recommend including EPA and DHA sources in your diet as well. *Note: Flaxseed oil supplements are available in liquid and capsule form, but always consult your health care provider before taking any supplements.
DHA is found in seafood, algae, and coldwater fish such as salmon, sardines and albacore tuna. *Note: Fish oil supplements and vegetarian DHA supplements (containing algae) are also available in liquid and capsule form, but always consult your health care provider before taking any supplements. Only use fish oil supplements that have been certified to be free of heavy metal contaminants like mercury.
EPA is found in many of the same foods as DHA, including cold-water fish such as salmon, and sardines, as well as cod liver, herring, mackerel, and halibut. *Note: Fish oil and vegetarian algae supplements are also good sources of EPA, but always consult your health care provider before taking any supplements. Only use fish oil supplements that have been certified to be free of heavy metal contaminants like mercury.
Enriched eggs that contain all three types of omega-3 fatty acids are readily available these days. These eggs are enriched by adding flaxseed or algae to the hens' diets so that they produce eggs that are rich in healthy fats. According to the Flax Council, omega-3-enriched eggs provide almost half of the recommended daily level of ALA and one-quarter of the recommended daily level of EPA and DHA—the same amount that can be found in 3 ounces of fish.
To get the recommended levels all types of omega-3's, aim for:
2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed (or 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil) daily. To learn more about storing and using flaxseed, click here.
2 to 3 servings of the above-mentioned fish sources per week. In general, fresh fish contain more DHA and EPA than frozen fish. To learn more about fish selection and safety, click here.
Omega-3's might seem overwhelming at first. But once you understand the types and "mega" health benefits that come with them, you'll be on your way to improving your health. Now that's something to brag about!
This article has been reviewed by Tanya Jolliffe, a SparkPeople healthy eating expert.
This has been the basis of my Nutrition for the last two years .. I am loving it ,
and it is certainly working for me!!.
I love you all Susie
Sunday, November 07, 2010
This article was sent to me in a email this morning.
I passed it on to several friends... one of these special friends... suggested that I post it on Sparks so here it is in its entirety
If you have seen it before .. That's good .. if you think it is a fake .. well that's your decision .. but I am going to heed it .. No more cling wrap on plastic for me... even if it does say microwave safe.. I am using pyrex dishes from now on.
Sheryl Crow's oncologist told her: women should not drink bottled water that has been left in a car.
The heat reacts with the chemicals in the plastic of the bottle which releases dioxin into the water. Dioxin is a toxin increasingly found in breast cancer tissue.
So please be careful and do not drink bottled water that has been left in a car.
Pass this on to all the women in your life. This information is the kind we need to know that just might save us!
Use a stainless steel canteen or a glass bottle instead of plastic!
LET EVERYONE WHO HAS A WIFE / GIRLFRIEND / DAUGHTER KNOW PLEASE!
This information is also being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center .
No plastic containers in microwaves.
No plastic water bottles in freezers.
No plastic wrap in microwaves.
Dioxin chemical causes cancer, especially breast cancer.
Dioxins are highly poisonous to cells in our bodies.
Don't freeze plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic.
Recently the Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital , was on a TV program to explain this health hazard.
He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating food in the microwave using plastic containers....
This especially applies to foods that contain fat.
He said that the combination of fat, high heat and plastic releases dioxin into the food.
Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Pyrex or ceramiccontainers for heating food. You get the same result, but without the dioxin.
So, such things as TV dinners, instant soups, etc., should be removed from their containers and heated in something else.
Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's safer to use tempered glass, such as Pyrex, etc.
He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the styrene foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons...
Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Cling film, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave.
As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food.
Cover food with a paper towel instead.
This is an article that should be sent to anyone important in your life!
I consider all my Sparkies friends important to me .. So hopefully this will help you think about the consquenses of not heeding this warning...
I love you all Susie
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
I found this article today browsing through the net, and I wanted to share it with you.
I am a firm believer in..
There is a cure for everything in nature. This article has confirmed it .. Susie.
Fruits and vegetables are sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Some of these nutrients may also be found in other foods. Eating a balanced diet and making other lifestyle changes are key to maintaining your body's good health.
Diets rich in dietary fiber have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects including decreased risk of coronary artery disease. Excellent vegetable sources:
navy beans, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, lima beans, white beans, soybeans, split peas, chick peas, black eyed peas, lentils, artichokes
Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman's risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect. Excellent vegetable sources:
black eyed peas, cooked spinach, great northern beans, asparagus
Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Good fruit and vegetable sources:
sweet potatoes, tomato paste, tomato puree, beet greens, white potatoes, white beans, lima beans, cooked greens, carrot juice, prune juice
Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections. Excellent fruit and vegetable sources:
sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, collard greens, winter squash, cantaloupe, red peppers, Chinese cabbage
Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keep teeth and gums healthy. Excellent fruit and vegetable sources:
red and green peppers, kiwi, strawberries, sweet potatoes, kale, cantaloupe, broccoli, pineapple, Brussels sprouts, oranges, mangoes, tomato juice, cauliflower
Good sources: These foods contain 10 to 19 percent of the Daily Value per reference amount.
Excellent sources: These foods contain 20 percent or more of the Daily Value per reference amount.
*The Institute of Medicine recommends that women of childbearing age who may become pregnant consume 400 micrograms of synthetic folic acid per day to supplement the folate they receive from a varied diet. Synthetic folic acid can be obtained from eating fortified foods or taking a supplement.
I am not saying we need not eat meat .. I could not go without meat...
But we need to eat it in smaller and less frequent quantities.
I have been eating mainly fish, and heaps of vegetables and fruit.. and I can tell you from my experience.. I am feeling so much better in my health, mind, and body ..
I have an appointment with my doctor coming up soon and I will let you know what his thoughts and feelings are regarding my health .
Monday, November 01, 2010
I have been pondering on this Sparkpeople article for quite some time and I have come to the conclusion that we are not making enough time for ourselfs
. Many of us lead very busy lives ,We are care givers, or have dependant children or grandchildren, or we have our own parents that need us.
Whatever it is that seems to be our first priority, we must also make time for ourselfs.
If we are not healthy and fit ,who is going to take our place when we cannot? We must be the ones that ask ourselves this question.
Are you really interested in your goals, or are you fully committed? One of the most common complaints among goal setters nowadays is that there’s just not enough time to get to the ones that “really matter.” The real culprit is that most people don’t raise their goals beyond the level of general interest. They’re waiting for a vague time in the future when other things won’t get in the way or when they wrap things up. In other words, when it’s more convenient. And of course, that time never comes, does it? If your goals are truly that important to you, don’t let anything stand in your way. You have the power to say ‘no’ and to set your priorities. Make that commitment and you automatically create an obligation that you’re bound to fulfill.
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