Cardiovascular Health

To Supplement or Not to Supplement

To Supplement or Not to Supplement

Submitted by: Glenn Antoine

It is a known fact that vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients are essential to good health. If this world were perfect we would get all these nutrients from the food we eat on a daily basis. However, because this does not always happen, there are some convincing reasons to consider taking vitamin, mineral or micro-nutrient supplements.

Vitamins can help us overcome our lifestyle problems. On the whole, we are not very responsible when it comes to healthy habits. Many people play with their lives by smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, not getting adequate exercise or sleep, making poor choices in foods, and many other activities that lead to poor health. By taking vitamins every day, some of these negative effects may be counteracted.

Women in particular have special vitamin needs related both to osteoporosis and pregnancy issues. Although men can also have osteoporosis, it tends to attack women more and cause them greater suffering. By supplementing with calcium on a daily basis, much of the risk for osteoporosis can be offset and some of the latest research is showing that vitamin D plays a significant role in the prevention of osteoporosis. For women who are pregnant or considering having children, folic acid is an essential supplement. This B vitamin can prevent birth defects such as Spina Bifida in newborn babies. Lastly for pre-menopausal women there is overwhelming research showing that a large percentage of the population is iron deficient.

Men, too, have issues that can be fought through proper vitamin intake. Cardiovascular problems are thought to be reduced by taking vitamin E supplements. They are believed to play an important role in keeping the blood pressure and cholesterol levels low in most males aged forty and over. Keeping the arteries clean is an important factor in preventing heart attacks and vitamin E has been shown in research studies to accomplish this task.

Dieters have special supplementation needs of their own. Many young girls diet on a regular basis and consume far too few calories to accommodate their vitamin needs. While the wisdom of going on particular weight loss diets is a topic for another discussion, anyone on such a diet should look to vitamin supplements to avoid malnutrition and other maladies. Inadequate nutrition can cause a person to be vulnerable to various ailments and a weakened immune system.

Another great reason to consider vitamin supplementation is the potential cancer prevention some vitamins are believed to provide. Research has suggested that vitamin E and vitamin A prevent skin cancer. Many studies in recent years have found that other types of cancers may be similarly prevented by taking certain vitamins.

While there is never a fail proof plan when it comes to vitamin supplements, the evidence does suggest that risk may be reduced and conditions may be improved through supplementation. Due to all of the possible benefits, supplementation is definitely worth considering. Lastly, while I have not even scratched the surface of the benefits and the various nutrients that we need to optimize our body’s ability to rebuild and repair itself on a daily basis please take the time to ensure that you are getting these vital nutrients on a daily basis for a long healthy life.

References:

1) The American Society for Nutritional Sciences Website - 813S

2) PubMed Website Articles: Zinc Supplementation artid=131177

3) American Heart Association Website: Antioxidants - identifier=2062

4) American Heart Association Website: Homocysteine - identifier=442

About the Author: Glenn has combined his passion for health and fitness with a great business model that allows him opportunities that would have otherwise not been possible. For more information visit: http://www.aginghealthier.com/ or http://www.opportunityofyourlife.com/

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Cooking Healthy With Quinoa - This Super Food Belongs in Your Diet

Cooking Healthy With Quinoa - This Super Food Belongs in Your Diet

Submitted by: Susanne Myers

One thing that most of us have in common is the desire to feed our kids, and ourselves, nutritious food. But, when faced with the array of choices, it gets confusing. What's good, what's bad... it's not easy to distinguish the difference sometimes.

Even though quinoa has been around for thousands of years, it hasn't hit America's grocery shelves until recently. Over the last few years, quinoa has exploded in cookbooks, cooking shows, and the internet. This 'super-food' is becoming quite popular in many circles; including vegetarian, vegan, weight loss, gluten-free, and fitness diets.

Quinoa is a seed, a relative of beets, spinach, and Swiss chard. Because it is not a grass or grain, quinoa is considered the perfect food for those with grain, like wheat, sensitivities. The awareness of gluten-free diets may have likely brought quinoa into the limelight. However, quinoa is proving to fit into many diets for a wide range of reasons. Let's take a look at a few benefits that quinoa offers us all:

Protein: Not all foods considered high in protein contain all the essential amino acids in proper proportions for maximum effectiveness in the body, but quinoa does. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids in perfect proportions. In fact, quinoa has the same protein quality as milk. For a vegan, or a vegetarian who doesn't drink milk, quinoa is the perfect replacement food. Mix in some black beans in a simple soup or casserole, and you have the ultimate protein-rich super-food.

Minerals: The most concentrated amounts of minerals in quinoa are manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. With just one serving of quinoa, you will have more than half the RDA of manganese alone, neutralizing those damaging free radicals that are constantly attacking our organs. Along with manganese, quinoa contains high concentrates of magnesium and phosphorous which are both essential minerals aiding in bone health, heart and cardiovascular health, as well as nerve and brain health. Quinoa completes the mineral wheel with ample supplies of calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and selenium, all vital to our health and well-being.

Vitamins: The highest concentrated vitamin in quinoa is folate. Folate is a B vitamin that is essential for healthy red blood cell development as well as healthy tissue and organ development, most notably during a child's early years. Folate is also believed to fight the destructive cell developments of cancer. Other vitamins that can be found in a good supply in quinoa are vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6, all essential in the growth, repair, and functioning of vital organs, blood, and tissue.

Dietary Fiber: You probably hear a lot about dietary fiber in advertisements aimed at curing constipation. But, the fact is, dietary fiber is crucial for all of our body functions. With a whopping 21% RDA in one serving of quinoa, eating a regular diet including this super-food makes sense. Why? Not only does fiber aid the digestive system, it also is known to lower blood cholesterol levels. Studies also show that increasing fiber in your diet will help reduce blood pressure which promotes heart health. A good diet rich in fiber helps control blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugars. Along with these benefits, high-fiber diets also may help with weight loss, due to the fact that foods that are high in fiber and low in calories, like quinoa, fill you up without added calories.

It appears that if you had to choose one food to survive on, quinoa may be your best bet. This super-food contains just about everything a body needs - fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Add to that the fact that quinoa is low in calories, has zero cholesterol, zero sugars, and is low in sodium, and you've got the perfect food to add to your family's healthy diet.

How do you get more quinoa into your diet? You can do much more than substituting quinoa in dishes that call for rice or pasta. Rather, start by remembering that quinoa is a protein. With that in mind, think about quinoa like you do black beans, another vegetarian source of protein. Replace meat meals with quinoa meals on a regular basis to enjoy all the benefits of this super food. Go ahead and clear a spot in your pantry, because once you cook with quinoa, you'll be stocking up.

About the Author: Susanne Myers wants to help you learn what it takes to eat right and stay fit, even with a hectic lifestyle and a tight budget. Find healthy recipes and tips for cooking with quinoa as well as other nutritious foods. And, visit us often at www.HillbillyHousewife.com for even more ideas and tips for living well.

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Facts About the Glycemic Index

Facts About the Glycemic Index

Submitted by: Adrian Joele

One of the important factors when trying to loose weight is to choose foods that keep your insulin levels fairly constant. This is especially true in regards to carbohydrates. When we eat foods that contain carbohydrates, the carbohydrates are digested in the stomach and intestines and are absorbed into the bloodstream, generally in the form of glucose.

When the carbohydrates we eat cause the blood sugar to quickly rise to high levels,excess insulin can cause to much sugar to be absorbed by the cells.This results in a condition of low blood sugar. The subsequent stress on the body stimulates the adrena glands to secrete hormones into the blood. Metabolism rises, glucose is manufactured from stores in the liver and the entire body may be activated in what is called “fight-or-flight response.”

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a classification of ranking of carbohydrates, based on their potential for raising blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates that are broken down slowly and cause only a moderate increase in blood sugar, have a low Glycemic Index. Some carbohydrates fall in between.

Specifically, the Glycemic Index measures how much a 50-gram portion of carbohydrates raises your blood sugar levels compared with a control. The control is either white bread or pure glucose. Glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream faster than any other carbohydrate and is thus given the value of 100. Other carbohydrates are given a number relative to glucose. Foods with low GI indices are released into the bloodstream at a slower rate than high GI foods.

All carbohydrates cause some temporary rise in your blood glucose level. This is called the glycemic response. A number of factors influence this response: the amount of food eaten, the digestion and absorption rate of food, including the physical structure, ripeness, particle seize, the degree of processing and preparation, the commercial brand, the nature of the starch, acidity and the characteristics of the diabetic patient. These factors naturally effect each food’s glycemic index position or rank.

The slower your body processes the food, the slower the insulin is released and the healthier the overall effect is on your body. In addition, differences exist in the glycemic indexes due to the choice of reference food, the timing of blood sampling or the computational method used to calculate the glycemic index.

When you desire to lose weight, you choose the foods that raise your blood sugar level slowly. You’ll discover that many of those foods are high in fiber and will keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. And if you have been on a diet, you will be thankful for this. The longer you feel satisfied, the less temptation you will have to eat something in between your meals that will spike your blood sugar.

As fructose is a slow moving sugar, almost all fruits, except bananas and dried fruits, have a low GI. Also, all vegetables that contain lots of fiber, except carrot and corn. Whole grains, starches and pasta have a higher GI. On top of the list are white bread, refined grains and some potatoes.

Following the latest research it appears that women experience cravings about 10 times during the day. The most common times for these cravings to appear are at 10 am and 4 pm. Interesting enough, these cravings correspond almost exactly to your low blood sugar levels as well as your low levels of serotonin. This is a chemical that drives women to start eating. And because the drive is so strong, it’s quite difficult to overcome.

Research performed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Clinical Research Center uncovered this truth when it found a relationship between carbohydrates in the brain and weight loss. Dr. J. Wurtman, lead researcher of the study, demonstrated, that eating carbohydrates high on the GI raised the levels of serotonin in the brain.

The results also showed that women suffering from premenstrual syndrome eat to many carbohydrates and as a result gain weight. Others overeat when they are depressed, stressed or angry in an effort to balance these serotonin levels.

The objectives of diet management in diabetic patients are to reduce hyperglycemia, prevent hyperglycemic episodes, and reduce the risk of complications. For people with diabetes, the GI is a useful tool in planning to achieve and maintain glycemic control. High GI foods are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, causing an escalation in blood glucose levels and increasing the possibility of hyperglycemia. The body compensates for the rise in blood sugar levels with an accompanying increase in insulin, which within a few hours can cause hypoglycemia. As a result, awareness of the glycemic indices of food assists in preventing large variances in blood glucose levels.

A low GI pre-event meal may be beneficial for athletes who respond negatively to carbohydrate-rich foods prior to exercise or who can’t consume carbohydrates during competition. Athletes are advised to consume carbohydrates of moderate to high GI during prolonged exercise to maximize performance, approximately 1 gram per minute of exercise. Following exercise, moderate to high GI foods enhance glycogen storage.

The fat content of food is one of the components that affect the GI. Like fiber, fat acts like a brake on the absorption process. Apart from this fact, fat just make food to taste better. Fats also play an important role of signaling your body to stop eating. This is vital to any weight-management program. The fat that you eat causes the body to release a hormone called cholecystokinin. This hormone is stored in the stomach until notified by the presence of fat and is responsible for informing the brain that you’re satisfied. It really is a marvellous thing and it means you don’t have to deprive yourself.

Another factor that influence the absorption rate of glucose is the protein content of the food. Protein seems to have the greatest effect when it comes down to satisfying those hunger pangs,especially for a long period of time and makes you feel fuller. Protein also helps you to stay alert. However, we have to be aware of the good and the bad protein. Always make sure you choose the lean protein in either beef, fish, chicken or plant-based protein.

Protein itself rates zero on the GI scale, this means you don’t have to be sparingly by adding it to your diet, only watch the calorie content. It slows down the rise in insulin that happens when you eat any form of carbohydrate. This means, if you add some protein to a food that ranks high on the GI scale, you will counteract the spiking effect in insulin rise. Another benefit of protein is, that it keeps you feeling full longer after you eat it.It is therefore a good idea to add some protein to your breakfast. And if you take a snack, make sure it contains some form of protein.

If you like fish, you are doing yourself a favor. Fish not only slows down the spiking in your insulin level, it also contains a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Eat fish at least twice a week.

The Glycemic Index is an excellent tool. It provide you with a weight-management system that puts you in control of the foods you eat, how much you eat, the way you eat and when you like to eat. When you have a good variety of foods from which to choose, it makes it easier to stay with the system.

Try eating according to the Glycemic Index, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to keep your weight under control and you’ll also find that your energy level will rise as a bonus!



About the Author: Adrian Joele became interested in nutrition and weight management while he was an associate with a nutritional supplement company. Since 2008 he wrote several articles about nutrition and weight loss and achieved expert status with Ezine http://Articles.com. He has been involved in nutrition and weight management for more than 12 years and he likes to share his knowledge. Get his free report on nutrition and weight loss plus tips for healthy living, by visiting: http://www.nutrobalance2.net

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Synergy in Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation

Synergy in Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation

Submitted by: Adrian Joele

Most people who take vitamin and mineral supplements self-prescribe to what they think they should take, not even what is fashionable. As well as being a waste of money, this is likely to do more harm than good. Why? Because taking an extra dose of one vitamin can lower levels of another. Falling short of a particular mineral can prevent the absorption of another, seemingly unrelated one. A dose of an isolated vitamin or mineral that is too high can produce the same symptoms as a deficiency of another nutrient.

This is what nutritionists call synergy and it explains why taking extra calcium to build stronger bones may backfire on you. Too much calcium in the body can cause a deficiency in iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous by preventing their proper absorption. All these minerals are vital for good bone health and their ongoing deficiency can lead to osteoporosis - the condition you were trying to prevent by taking calcium supplements.

Vitamin D, which is also known as the sunshine vitamin, since the body need exposure to sunlight to make it, enhances the absorption of calcium, but too much can cause a potassium deficiency.

Vitamin A is an antioxidant that is said to help to prevent premature aging. It does help to maintain the surfaces of the body,including the skin, but too much increases the body's need for another antioxidant, vitamin E, which protect against heart disease.

Vitamin C remains the most popular of the self-prescribed supplements: an estimated ten million Britons take it every day. Research papers now prove that it has powerful antioxidant properties that protect against cancer and heart disease and show how it boosts the immune system to protect against infections and can even speed up wound healing. Yet not many people know that it works much better in the presence of vitamin A or that , to use it properly, the body needs calcium.

Ask any alternative cancer specialists what nutrients their patients should be eating and they will specify bioflavanoids. Though not a true vitamin, these are a group of biologically active substances found in plants that are sometimes called vitamin P.

As well as cancer-fighting properties, they also have an antibacterial effect in the body, where they promote healthy circulation, stimulate bile production for the breakdown of fats and lower blood cholesterol levels.

Foods that are rich in flavanoids include apples, beetroot, blackberries, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, dandelions, lentils,lettuce, oranges parsley, plums, peas, potatoes, rhubarb, rose hips,spinach, tomatoes, walnuts and watercress. But what you may not know is that they all work even better when taken with vitamin C, and vice versa.

Synergistic partners are rarely monogamous. To correct a deficiency in vitamin A, you also need six additional nutrients: choline, zinc, vitamin C, D and E, plus the essential fatty acids found in oily fish or evening primrose oil supplements.

To restore normal levels of vitamin C , you need the bioflavanoids, vitamin A, plus calcium and magnesium. Those last two minerals are so closely linked that if you plan to take a supplement, you need to follow a ratio of 2 : 1 in favor of the calcium. So if you are taking 800 mg of calcium, you need to take 400 mg of magnesium, too.

To correct a shortage of calcium in the hope of building stronger bones, you also need magnesium, boron, manganese, phosphorous, vitamins A, C, D and F, plus essential fatty acids.

To complicate the picture further, synergy may not affect the whole body but only specific cells, so the impact of what you are doing may be hidden. Smoking, for example, wipes out vitamin C in the body, but this deficiency may be confined to the cells of the lungs.

As you can see, when taking supplements you have to make sure that the vitamin and mineral balance in your body is maintained.

About the Author: Resource Box Adrian Joele has been involved in nutrition and weight loss for more than 10 years and he likes to share his knowledge. He obtained expert status with EzineArticles. Sign up for his free report on nutrition by visiting: http://www.nutrobalance2.net

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Babywearing and Baby carriers

Babywearing and Baby carriers

Babywearing and Baby carriers

About Babywearing

History

Babies have been worn for thousands of years in pieces of cloth tied to the parent's body.

Benefits

Babies who are worn cry less, experience less colic, learn more, and are easier to get to sleep. Babywearing helps regulate the baby's breathing, temperature and heart rate. Parents who wear their babies are more productive, have less stressful outings and travel. Babywearing is good exercise. Breastfeeding is more convenient when baby is worn in a sling.

Types of baby carriers

Baby Slings

Ring Slings

A ring sling is basically a long rectangular piece of fabric with 2 rings sewn on one end. The tail of the sling is threaded through the two rings and back through one of the rings. The baby's weight creates dynamic tension and locks the fabric in placed between the two rings.

Shoulder type

The way in which the rings are attached to the fabric will change the way in which the fabric sits on the shoulder. There are infinite combinations of pleats, gathers, and folds that can be fed through the two rings. Different methods will create a wider or narrower shoulder, and more or less spread on the back.

Open Tail VS Closed tail

The tail of a ring sling is the fabric that hangs down loose through the rings. The fabric may either be left loose, which is called an "open tail", or it can be folded into a "closed tail", a narrow strap of fabric. An open tail sling is more adjustable, you can pull on each edge of the fabric to tighten either the top rail of the sling (around the baby's shoulders) or the bottom rail of the sling (between your and the baby's body). A closed tail sling creates a handle that you can pull on to tighten the entire sling at once. Tightening the individual rails is more difficult in a closed tail sling.

Padded rails, padded shoulder, unpadded

Ring slings are available either unpadded, with padded rails, a padded shoulder, or any combination. Most common commercially available ring slings have a closed tail with padded rails, which is the least user friendly combination. Overly padded rails are more difficult to adjust, since the padding can not be pulled through the rings easily.

Pouch/Ring Sling Hybrid

The pouch/ring sling hybrid is a combination of a ring sling with a curved seam like a pouch sling (see pouch sling category below). The hybrid sling can have any shoulder type, and may be padded or unpadded, closed or open tail. Hybrids are usually narrower than ring slings, since the curved seam creates a deeper pocket for the baby. Hybrid slings are sometimes folded in half like a pouch sling, before attaching the rings at the shoulder, which also creates more of a pocket for the baby.

Ring Sling Fabrics

Ring Slings can be made of almost any fabric. Commonly available slings are made of bottom weight woven cotton and cotton blends, twill, sateen, denim and linen. Less common fabrics include jersey knit cotton, silk, wool, cashmere. The wrong side of the fabric will show in the tail of the sling, so if a ring sling is made of a single layer of fabric, it is important that both sides of the fabric be attractive. Ring slings can be made reversible and more supportive by using two layers of fabric.

Rings

The rings used for a ring sling should be tested and made specifically for the purpose. Thin rings, or those with weld marks, are not appropriate and may bend or break under the pressure. Thin rings can bend and slip through one another. Rings with rough weld marks may be abrasive and weaken the fabric.

Length

Ring Sling length is largely based on the wearer's preference. Ring slings can be as short as above hip level, or as long as knee length. If your sling has a pocket, it is good to have the pocket positioned at approximately hip level so that you can reach it easily. Most ring slings are one size fits most, so unless you are very petite or plus sized, you can probably wear almost any ring sling.

Pouch Slings

Fitted Pouches

Fitted, or sized, pouch slings are a simple tube of fabric with one curved end where the baby's bottom is positioned. The tube is folded in half in on itself to form a pocket for the baby. Fitted pouch slings are typically available in 4 to 10 lengths depending on the brand. The more sizes the better, because a snug, high fit is important for the comfort of the wearer. The size of the pouch is determined by the size of the person wearing it, not the size of the baby. It is common for new pouch sling users to wear the pouch too loose.

Adjustable Pouches

Adjustable pouches are the same tube style of sling as a fitted pouch sling, but they have a method of adjusting the length, so that one pouch will adjust over 3 or 4 sizes. This makes the sling wearable through weight gain and loss, and sharable between different caregivers. Each brand will have it's own method of adjustment, available adjustment methods are snaps, zippers, Velcro, or drawstrings. There are also some "semi adjustable" pouches that have a smaller degree of adjustment with a single button.

Pouch Fabrics

Pouches can be made of almost any fabric. Twill, sateen, and polar fleece are the most commonly used fabrics, but you can also find pouches made of jersey knit, silk, wool, hemp, or many other fabrics. If the fabric used is stretchy lengthwise, it is necessary for the length of the pouch to be shorter because the weight of the baby will stretch the sling out. A less stretchy fabric is more supportive for a heavier baby, and you always want the more stretchy direction of the fabric to run widthwise, not lengthwise. Pouches can also be made reversible, with two different fabrics.

Padded Pouches

Most pouches are unpadded, but there are some available that have light padding along one edge of the sling. This is mainly used in the hip carry, it cushions the back of the baby's legs. The padding is also useful for young babies without head control, the padding is worn on the outer rail of the sling and can prop the head up slightly.

Pouch/Wrap Hybrid carriers

Generally made of a very stretchy knit fabric, this type of carrier system usually is made up of one or two fitted pouches, and a short support sash that can be wrapped around the torso, or over one shoulder. Usually more comfortable for lightweight infants, they aren't supportive enough for babies over about 18 lbs. A more versatile alternative to the pouch/wrap hybrid is a stretchy knit wrap.

Wraps

A wrap is a long narrow piece of fabric that can be used in many different positions and can be wrapped around the wearer's body in many different ways.

Stretchy Wraps

Stretchy wraps are made out of cotton or cotton/lycra knit fabric. They are 5 to 6 yards long by about 25 inches wide. Stretchy wraps are most suitable for newborn front carries. Because of the stretchiness of the fabric, you can wrap your self first, and then stretch the fabric and pop the baby in an upright position against your chest. Stretchy wraps aren't suitable for a heavy baby; they tend to sag very quickly.

Woven Wraps

Woven wraps are probably the most versatile, supportive and comfortable carrier of them all. They also take much longer to master, but for a dedicated babywearer with an older child, it is worth it. Woven wraps are available in all lengths from 2.5 to 6 yards long. The length of wrap that you want will depend upon both your size and the positions and wrapping method that you want to carry your child in. They are made of cotton, wool, silk, or hemp. You can find excellent online instructions for the many different methods of wrapping.

Asian Inspired Baby Carriers

Mei Tai

The Mei Tai consists of a usually rectangular center body piece, with 4 long straps, one coming off of each corner. The top two straps go over the shoulders, and the bottom two straps go around the wearer's hips/waist. There are different methods of tying the shoulder straps. They can go over the shoulders like back pack straps, or be crossed over the chest or back of the wearer. The mei tai is typically worn on the wearer's front or back with the baby facing in toward the wearer, though it can be used on the hip or facing out on the front for short periods. Straps can be narrow or wide, padded or unpadded.

Onbuhimo

The Onbuhimo is similar to the Mei Tai, but it has just shoulder straps, no waist straps. There is a ring or loop at each hip that the shoulder straps are threaded through after being wrapped over the wearer's shoulders. The straps can be worn like the Mei Tai, either ruck sack style or crossed. The onbu is usually used as a back carrier with the baby facing the wearer, though it can be used on the front as well.

Podaegi/Hmong

The podaegi and Hmong are similar to the Mei Tai, but generally have a larger, wider body piece (called a blanket) that extends past the wearer's hips, with very long shoulder straps and no waist straps. The Podaegi can be tied over the shoulders like the Mei Tai, or just around the torso above the bust.

Structured Carriers

Back packs

Usually have an aluminum frame with a nylon seat for the baby to sit in. They are suitable for babies that can sit up unassisted. Bulky and heavy, and usually requires assistance to get the baby on the wearer's back.

Hip carriers

Mei Tai style carriers with a buckle around the waist, and a single shoulder strap designed to be worn diagonally across the body, with an older baby on the hip. Many can only be worn on one specific shoulder or the other.

Structured Asian Inspired Carriers

Basically a Mei Tai with buckles, snaps or clips on the waist band and shoulder straps. Widely available for newborns, there are also structured carriers that are suitable for toddlers and preschoolers. Very mainstream looking and accepted by a wider audience than the more traditional baby carriers.

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Author Bio
Sara Gower, President, Slinglings Baby Slings

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How Cancer Starts

How Cancer Starts

Submitted by: Adrian Joele

The process by which normal cells become cancer cells has to do with genetic damage,

that is, the genes that we have inherited become damaged.

Our body is build-up of approximately 75 trillion cells and there are many different

types of cells of every part of our body. They continually replicate themselves.

Each cell has a set of genetic instructions in its center, called the DNA, which controls cell growth, development and replication.

The DNA is the vital component that gets damaged, the chemical blueprint in genes,

in the form of oxidation and the main cause of this is reactive oxygen ( technically

eferred to as reactive oxygen species ) , or the more common name: free radicals.

When DNA is damaged by free radicals, it can replicate a damaged cell.

When this cell replicates itself, it can become cancer.

Cancer is fundamentally an oxidative process and many types of cancers depend on the

conversion of particular molecules in the cells or carcinogenic chemicals to reactive

oxidised forms. The oxidation is largely caused by free radicals.

Oxidation in our body is the main cause of many forms of cancer, heart disease,

atheroclerosis, adult onset of diabetes, cataracts, lung – and liver disorders and

degenerative diseases of the brain.

Every day, the DNA in each cell in our body faces about 10,000 attacks from cell-

damaging forces known as free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules

that have lost an electron.

Ironically, both chemotherapy and radiotherapy that are used to treat cance

cause more oxidation.

In healthy living cells, reactive oxygen species are formed continuously during

the process of respiration in the cells.

Although the body is well equipped to repair genetic (DNA) damage, the repair processes

are usually less than 100 % efficient. Despite even extensive repair, oxidized DNA is

usually abundant in human tissues. Significantly, damaged DNA is particularly abundant

in tumors. The damage rate may be up to 10 modifications in each cell every day,

so it is apparent that damage accumulates with age.

The CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition believes that this increase in genetic damage

with age is due to the cumulative effects of free radical damage and dietary and

environmental chemicals that damage genes.

Our bodies have to face daily an over production of free radicals, caused by our polluted environment, stressful lifestyles and mal nutrition. Free radicals are naturally produced as your body turns fuel to energy, you can get them also from stress, smoking and radiation from the sun.

These volatile molecules cruise around your body, trying to stabilize themselves by stealing electrons from other molecules. When they succeed, they create still more free radicals, causing a sort of snowballing procession of damage.

Free radicals don't just occasionally pop up here and there. Up to 5% of the oxygen that each cell uses is converted into free radicals.

Ionising radiation is a potent generator of reactive oxygen species, while tobacco smoke has been found to increase the DNA damage by 35-50%. Other well-known causes include:

many polluting chemicals, including the hydrocarbons from petroleum, many pesticides, the chlorine in town water supplies; iron in access of the body's needs: amines and nutrates.

It is a surprise to see iron, as being one of the essential nutrients, on the 'bad list', yet the effects of excess iron are so significant, that the increased incidence of testicular cancer this century has been attributed to the increasing iron content of the Western diet.

Can our body defend itself against oxidative damage by excessive free radicals?

The answer is: yes! Our body is equipped with very powerful defenses against free radicals and this is largely through antioxidants, which are consumed in the diet or made within our body, and enzymes.

Balance is the key. If there are not enough antioxidants available to neutrolize the free radicals, oxidative stress develops.

The key antioxidants in the diet are the carotenoids, vitamin A ( which we consume or make from carotenoids), vitamin C, vitamin E and the trace minerals selenium and zinc.

The prominent enzymes that destroy free radicals are called: superoxide dismutase, glutathione (particular melatonin) and a host of other natural compounds, such as those occuring in grape seeds and skins (OPC's) and in the herb Ginkgo biloba.

Vitamin E has been extensively researched and there is strong evidence that it is beneficial at much higher intakes than the current RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances) of 15 IU ( International Units). Vitamin E is especially required to protect unsaturated fats against oxidation.

The least amount found to inhibit oxidation is 40 IU per day, with 60 IU/day the minimum to enhance immune response. The Optimal level is 450 IU/day. Up to 800 IU has been found to be beneficial.

The researchers suggest an intake of 135 - 150 IU/day.

To obtain this amount from food, we would need to consume daily almost a kilogram of almonds, or 150 grams of soya oil, or 55 grams of wheatgerm oil, each of which would be not only unpractical, but even a harmful quantity of food.

That's why it make sense to supplement our diet with high quality nutritional supplements (multiminerals and antioxidants) to ensure that the optimal levels are being met.



About the Author: Adrian Joele became interested in nutrition and weight management while he was an associate with a nutritional supplement company. Since 2008 he wrote several articles about nutrition and weight loss and achieved expert status with Ezine http://Articles.com. He has been involved in nutrition and weight management for more than 12 years and he likes to share his knowledge. Get his free report on nutrition and tips for healthy living, by visiting: http://www.nutrobalance2.net

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Medical Scientists Are Investigating New Drugs To Help People With Chronic Kidney Disease With Anemia

by

Joseph

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious illness that affects the kidneys - organs which God created to filter waste products from the body. People who have CKD experience a gradual loss of kidney function which is often accompanied by a shortage of red blood cells.

Red blood cells transport oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, when these cells are lost, a person will become anemic. Oftentimes, physicians will prescribe iron pills or other medications that may help the red blood cells transport more oxygen, but they're not always successful.

Unfortunately there is no cure for CKD, the kidneys often continue to lose function over time.

But there is hope. Local doctors are investigating new medicines that may treat CKD anemia.

Perhaps you or someone you know is living with CKD. You could qualify to become a patient in a clinical trial which may offer new options for people with anemia.

As a CureClick Ambassador I want to share this information with my readers because it could be helpful for medically treating people who have CKD. Visit the research sponsor's website to learn more.

 

CureClick Chronic Kidney Disease CKD image

Conditions
Anemia, Chronic Kidney Disease

 

Age Range

At least 18 years old

 

For those of you whom are not familiar with clinical trials, here's some information that you can use:

What Are Clinical Trials?


Clinical trials are research studies to determine whether investigational drugs or treatments are safe and effective for humans.

All investigational devices and medicines must undergo several clinical trials, often times these clinical trials require thousands of people.

Why participate in a clinical trial?

People whom are eligible will have access to new investigational treatments that would be available to the general public only upon approval.

People whom are eligible for clinical trials will also receive study-related medical care and attention from clinical staff at research facilities.

Clinical trials offer hope for many people and gives researchers a chance to find better treatment for others in the future.

 

Disclaimer: I am not participating in this clinical trial. I am providing this information to my readers as a CureClick Ambasssador. Click on the links below to learn about my relationship with Cureclick and why I'm talking about clinical trials.

http://curec.lk/2k8jb9R

 

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Early to Bed Adds Up to Good Health

by

Michelle Stewart

Now when I started this article the other day it was late---too late to chat about sleep deprivation. I just couldn't give advice when I was absolutely doing the opposite. I went to bed. In what seemed like a few minutes I was awakened. It was not the alarm but a phone call at 4 a.m. from a family member locked out of their house!! How ironic is that? I go to bed to get some sleep and end up awake and on the road to take a set of house keys to someone. It was probably sleep deprivation that caused her to forget the keys.

How much sleep do we need?

The amount of sleep varies, but the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours for most adults. Now zzzs like anything else can vary based on individuals; some people can manage on six hours while others may need ten hours. Sleep needs are also affected by basal sleep, the amount of sleep your body regularly needs for optimum performance and sleep debt which is the accumulated amount of sleep lost due to poor sleep habits, illness or other factors affecting the quality of sleep.

Now you know I'm all about living the well-being lifestyle and cutting back on sleep is not a good thing. Sleeping hours are needed for the body to rest and rejuvenate. Affects of sleep deprivation can include: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, headaches, lack of attention, delayed motor skills.

Obesity: Research indicates that people who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk of becoming obese. The hormones that influence appetite are thrown out of balance; leptin controls hunger and it decreases, which makes you feel hungrier. Ghrelin the hormone produced by fat cells tells the body you need more fat calories, which creates cravings for foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates. This hormonal imbalance sets the stage for late-night binges on snacks that add up to a heavier weight.

People with poor sleep habits are tired and they often magnify the problem when they avoid or eliminate physical exercise. Regular exercise helps reduce stress, burns off calories and increases energy.

Heart Disease

Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones, which long-term are not good for the heart. Elevated stress hormones can damage blood vessels, leading to elevated or high blood pressure and heart disease.

Diabetes

This too can be a health challenge affected by lack of sleep. Diabetes has long been linked to obesity and being overweight. The fact that people may weigh more than recommended for their body type can be a predictor of the development of Type 2 Diabetes.

Headaches

This ailment falls into the discomfort that people identify as "feeling bad" when they are sleep deprived. There is also research indicating that lack of sleep can trigger headaches in predisposed individuals.

Cognition and Motor Skills

Less than the recommended amount of sleep affects cognitive processes--impaired attention, alertness, ability to concentrate, solve problems and use good judgment. Sleep deprivation can also impair motor skills and hand-eye coordination. In addition during the night, various sleep cycles play a role in "consolidating" memories in the mind. When you don't get enough sleep, it can affect your ability to remember what you learned and experienced during the day.

In our overscheduled days, we may consider a good night's sleep a luxury; that is a myth. Sleep is essential and in order to stay healthy we have to make it a priority.

Take Away: Sleep is essential for well-being. Turn off the television, mobile gadgets, personal computers and all those things that are too stimulating when it is time to turn out the lights.

Michelle J. Stewart is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator better known as the Nutrition Planner who has been leading the way to a healthier you for more than 25 years. Michelle is a Certified Wellness Coach whose motto is "EAT LESS MOVE MORE". She is a consultant for the food and beverage industry and offers expertise in corporate wellness, weight loss surgery, menu and product development. All opinions expressed are her own. Sign up for Michelle's Free Report 10 Weight Loss Tips for Life when you visit http://thenutritionplanner.com


10 Ways Tame Your Sweet Tooth

10 Ways Tame Your Sweet Tooth

Submitted by: Lorraine Matthews Antosiewicz

Consciously or not, the average American consumes 28 teaspoons of added sugars a day – that’s more than 90 pounds of sugar per year. The American Heart Association recommends women limit their added sugar to just 100 calories per day (6 teaspoons) and men to 150 calories a day (9 teaspoons). So, the bottom line is that most of us eat way too much. Read on to learn why this can be a problem and what you can do about it.

What’s the problem with added sugar?

If you eat or drink too much added sugar it can lead to health problems including tooth decay, overweight and obesity, difficulty controlling type 2 diabetes, higher triglyceride levels, and possibly heart disease. In addition, sugar is made up of “empty calories” — calories unaccompanied by fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Too much empty calories can crowd healthier foods from your diet.

What’s the difference between added sugar and naturally occurring sugar?

Added sugar is the sugar that manufacturers add to processed foods and drinks while they are being made. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks are by far the biggest sources of added sugar in the average American’s diet. They account for more than one-third of the added sugar we consume as a nation. Other sources include cookies, cakes, pastries, and similar treats; fruit drinks; ice cream, frozen yogurt and the like; candy; and ready-to-eat cereals. The sugar you add to your food at home is another source of added sugar.

Naturally occurring sugar, on the other hand, is the sugar found in whole, unprocessed foods, such as milk, fruit, vegetables, and some grains. One of the most common natural sugars is fructose, which is found in fruit. Another common natural sugar is lactose, which is found in milk.

How can I figure out how much added sugar I am consuming?

Start by looking at the Nutrition Facts Label (http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/nutrition-facts-and-food-labels/the-basics-of-the-nutrition-facts-panel) on your food or drink package. Keep in mind that food manufacturers do not have to list naturally occurring sugars and added sugars separately on the label. However, at least you can see how much “total sugar” is in each serving. If you divide the number of grams of total sugar by four, that’s how many teaspoons of sugar you are ingesting. For example, if the Nutrition Facts Label says that a food or drink contains 40 grams of sugar per serving, that information tells you that 1 serving contains 10 teaspoons of sugar (equal to 160 calories).

Next, check the ingredient list which lists ingredients in order by amount with the largest amount listed first. Look for the word “sugar” or one of its many sweet aliases (http://blog.fooducate.com/nutrition-101/quick-food-facts/sugar-synonyms/). If one of these ingredients is listed among the first few, the food or drink is likely high in added sugar.

How can I cut down on my consumption of added sugar?

To make it easy, here are 10 simple ways to minimize added sugar in your diet:

• Don’t add it to foods. This is the easiest and most basic way to immediately reduce the amount of sugar you’re eating. Biggest targets: cereal, coffee and tea.

• Skip sugary beverages like soda and sports drinks; and choose water instead.

• Limit your consumption of fruit juice. When you do have it, make sure it’s 100 percent fruit juice — not juice drink that has added sugar. Better yet, have fresh fruit rather than juice.

• Choose breakfast cereals carefully. Scan the ingredient list for unwanted sugar and sugar aliases. Try to choose brands that contain more total fiber grams than total sugar grams. Skip the colorful and frosted brands.

• Go easy on condiments. Salad dressings and ketchup have added sugar. So do syrups, jams, jellies and preserves. Use them sparingly.

• If you eat canned fruit, choose the one packed in water or juice, not syrup.

• Cut way back on processed foods. These are often high in added sugar, as well as sodium and fat.

• Skip the cookies, cake, pies, ice cream and other sweets. Instead, choose naturally sweet fruit for your after-dinner treat.

• Watch out for “fat-free” snacks. Fat-free doesn’t mean calorie-free, and most fat-free snacks are loaded with sugar.

• Look for recipes that use less sugar when you are cooking or baking.

About the Author: Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, MS RD, is a food and nutrition expert specializing in weight management and digestive health. She is committed to empowering people through education, support, and inspiration to make real changes that lead to optimal health and lasting weight loss. Take her Free Self-Assessment and learn how you can lose 20 lb. - or more. Jump Start your weight loss today! http://njnutritionist.com/freeassessment

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Get Up and Start Cooking With Margarine

Get Up and Start Cooking With Margarine

Submitted by: Sue Batty

Ever thought about giving up butter and using margarine instead for cooking? If not, then we are here to inspire you with some fantastic reasons why margarine makes a great butter substitute for cooking plus offer some exciting recipe ideas to liven up your lunches, dinners and baking.

First off, cooking with margarine instead of butter is a small step that can help you on your way to a healthy, balanced diet; did you know that the plant oils that margarine is made from contain omega 3 and 6 fats that keep our bodies fighting fit and ready for action? Including margarine in your cooking means that you’ll be increasing your intake of these essential nutrients (which the body can’t produce on its own) while simultaneously cutting down on the bad fats – quality margarine contains less saturated fats than butter and only mere traces of trans fats.

When you’re using margarine for cooking, be it frying up a juicy steak or grilling a delicious kebab, margarine has an extra bonus feature that lots of people don’t know about: it spits out far less when it gets hot like cooking oils and butter often can. Instead, liquid margarine goes clear to let you know that your pan is hot and ready to go – how good is that? Plus it is so versatile that you can use it straight from the fridge, without having to warm it up or wait for it to soften. It makes cooking and baking quicker and easier!

We have loads of great recipes to try online – there are those who swear that cooking with margarine is the key to the perfect curry; margarine can also add a thicker, richer consistency for warming winter soups. Why not try this fantastic margarine powered lasagne from Flora?

Preheat your oven to moderate 170°C (fan assisted), 350°F, gas mark 4. Then place 350g of mince, 1 large, chopped onion and I clove of peeled garlic in a pan and fry, stirring until the beef is browned. Crumble in one Knorr cube and stir in. Add 600g of canned chopped tomatoes, 2-3 tbsps of tomato purée, a handful of freshly chopped herbs; thyme, sage, oregano, pepper etc. and I large glass of red wine. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook the 175g of lasagna in boiling salted water for 10–15 minutes, until soft. For the sauce, bring 425 ml milk to the boil with 1 small onion, a carrot and a bay leaf. Leave to infuse for 10–15 minutes with no hear. Strain the milk and place back in the pan with 2tbsps Flora Cuisine and 25g of flour. Stirring constantly, bring to the boil and simmer for 2–3 minutes until thickened and smooth.

Cook in a preheated oven for 30–40 minutes – then serve!

Just six easy steps to a delicious lasagne for the whole family. So you see, switching to margarine for cooking doesn’t mean compromising on taste – with so many varieties of margarine there’s a blend to suit every taste and to fit every lifestyle choice – whether you’re vegan, losing weight, cutting down on salt or trying to lower your cholesterol! And, with so many recipes to inspire and excite, mealtimes need never be boring again!

About the Author: “I’m Sue Batty, the margarine experts, for many years now and I’m also a chef. I always use margarine in my cooking; I always have and I always will, because it’s the obvious healthy, tasty and simple-to-use solution to all of my cooking needs” – For more information and top tips on cooking with margarine, visit http://www.enjoymargarineeveryday.com/cooking-with-margarine

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