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Nutrition is King: Supporting Healthy Brain Function

healthy brain function

 What You Need To Know

You probably are aware that there is a lot of information on how to support healthy brain function via what you eat.

Well, rest at ease, because this guidebook is intended to do some of the heavy lifting for you.

Here you will find a quick snapshot of the top 5 posts that show up on Google results for boosting brain power with nutrition.

First, I have gone through and done a thematic analysis and compiled the easy-to-read results for you. I’ll explain which foods or nutrients, in particular, were common in each of the posts.

Second, I also provide the list of foods that were only mentioned once in only one of the articles to give a more extensive list of options to make sure you find something valuable to your personal lifestyle.

Finally, I expound on the findings and provide a little spin with the easy list on other items that may aid you in your endeavor to keep your brain healthy.

nutrition is king superfoods

By the end, you will not only be an expert in the ways of eating healthy for powerful brain function, but you will also be given easy tips that you can do today to help you support healthy brain function.

I’m not going to tell you that reading this post will change your life in a very important way, but I will go as far to say that there are tips here that will support the health of your brain quickly and easily.

Some of the tips are so easy you won’t have to think twice about including them in your diet.

Articles Included

The superfoods and nutrients below have been compiled from the following posts. We have deemed these posts as the winners of invaluable information on this topic as chosen by popularity, readability, as well as valuable content.

  1. MindBodyGreen’s 20 Foods To Naturally Increase Your Brain Power by Dr. David Perlmutter
  2. BBC Good Food’s 10 foods to boost your brainpower by Jo Lewin- Associate nutritionist
  3. Forbes’ 12 Best Foods To Boost Brain Power by Jennifer Cohen
  4. Mercola’s Top 7 Foods for Your Brain by Dr. Mercola
  5. Health Connect’s Boost Your Brain Power With Nutrition By Nathan Drendel

Popular Superfoods

The following foods have been compiled from the posts in the order of popularity. Keep in mind, just because a food was mentioned in each post does not make it more or less valuable than another that may be mentioned in only one.

One might say that the more popular options serve as more available or with higher utility, but no such claims are made here. Each food or source from each post had a clear description of its value, and some were backed by additional researched sources.

Walnuts health

1. Nuts

All five articles mentioned some source of vitamin E. Four of the articles mentioned nuts in general. Of those, three of them said walnuts specifically. Vitamin E, as specified in several of the above sources, is an antioxidant that serves the purpose of protecting the cells from oxidative damage. In turn this antioxidant process helps defend the brain from normal cognitive decline.

 

Salmon health

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

All five articles mentioned a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Three of the articles specified wild salmon, one said oily fish in general, and one specified chia seeds.

According to these articles, Omega-3 fats serve several purposes for the brain, let alone throughout the body. According to “Boost Your Brain Power With Nutrition”, Omega-3 fatty acids are “critical in brain development in all ages, as they are the building blocks for the brain.”

“10 foods to boost your brainpower” says that omega-3s offer increased levels of DHA and that that fight against normal loss of cognitive function and memory loss.Coconut Oil health

3. Coconut Oil

Three of the articles mentioned coconut oil (20 Foods, Top 7, 12 Best) Without getting too in-depth on the chemistry and anatomy of coconut oil and our brains, our brain needs fuel to function properly. Coconut oil helps provide the good fats “medium-chain triglycerides (MCT)” to help fuel the brain properly.

 

Blueberries health

4. Blueberries

Three of the articles said blueberries (20 Foods, 10 Foods, Top 7). Blueberries are another great source of antioxidants while also being relatively low in fructose.

 

Turmeric health benefits

5. Turmeric

Three said Turmeric (20 Foods, Top 7, 12 Best) Turmeric is a spice often found in curry and supports healthy brain function.

 

Broccoli benefits

6. Broccoli

Three said broccoli (20 Foods, 10 Foods, Top 7). According to the articles, broccoli is a great source of vitamin k and choline, both of which are known to support healthy brain development.

Pumpkin Seeds

7. Pumpkin Seeds

Three said pumpkin seeds (20 Foods, 10 Foods, 12 Best). Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc which has shown to help support memory and thinking.

Dark Chocolate Benefits

8. Dark Chocolate

Two said dark chocolate (20 Foods, 12 Best). Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids supporting normal/healthy blood vessel function and in turn supporting healthy blood flow to the brain aiding in proper cognitive function and memory.

Flavonoids may not be the easiest to get if you aren’t a fan of dark chocolate or do not drink red wine. Because of their vital importance, USANA has a supplement that not only helps you get all the benefits from the flavonoids, but do so with a yummy grape flavored coding. Proflavanol® C100 may be a supplement worth looking into! To learn more, check out the product here.

 

Spinach

9. Spinach

Two said spinach (20 Foods, 12 Best). This is an additional source of many vitamins including vitamin K and some B vitamins acting as “brain-protecting antioxidants.”

 

Exercise

10. Exercise

Two mentioned exercise *even though these are food posts (20 Foods, 10 Foods *as a note afterword). I only include it here on my own synopsis because good, consistent exercise is not only imperative to support healthy brain function, but serves so many invaluable purposes for our overall health. Plus, this is a comprehensive list compiling allthat these articles said, so . . .voila! Here it is.

More Foods For Thought

The rest are foods that were only stated once by only one of the articles, and I will not be going into their value further as much of it overlaps with the sources already mentioned.

If you would like further information on any of the following items, feel free to go right to the source abbreviated on the side of each item. You can find links to each article listed in the “Articles Included” section above.

Olive Oil (20 Foods)

Eggs (20 Foods)

Dandelion Greens (20 Foods)

Kimchi (20 Foods)

Jicmaca (20 Foods)

Avocado (20 Foods)

Red Wine (20 Foods)

Almonds (20 Foods)

Whole Grains (10 Foods)

Tomatoes (10 Foods)

B6, B12, B9 (Folic Acid) Specifically (10 Foods)

Blackcurrant Boost (10 Foods)

Sage (10 Foods)

Anthocyanin (Berries, Eggplant, Red Cabbage) (Boost Your)

Bee Pollen (12 Best)

Bone Broth (12 Best)

Beets (12 Best)

Maca (12 Best)

The Easy List

I hope the above comprehensive list will help you with options and ideas to include in your diet. However, while all of these foods contribute to some function of our brain, there is value in ease and utility. Our lives are busy, and there are many components to our bodies that we need to pay attention.

In the name of simplicity and reality, I’ve provided you with an easier list to digest. Below are three options/ideas that if you only chose to include one of in your daily routine, you’ll be contributing to the health of your brain right now, and may even see noticeable change within a short period of time.

1. The two birds with one stone approach.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a triple threat. Or more for that matter. Choose foods and routines that kill two or more birds with one stone (don’t go kill any birds).

Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t hard to get anymore, even if you don’t like fish. If you’re going to be focusing on your health at all, let alone specifically your brain function, don’t hesitate to start including Omega-3s in your diet now.

Fortunately, the science on the Omega-3 supplement has come a long way. USANA is one supplement provider you may want to look into if you know you’re not getting enough of this important nutrient.

Do you hate fish so much that you’re afraid of even the smell or aftertaste? Me too. This is not a problem with USANA’s product. Infused with lemon oil, all you get when you swallow this easy capsule are light and refreshing lemony reminders you’ve been healthy today. Click here to find out more and get yours today!

BIOMEGA™

2. Keep it simple.

Go nuts for nuts. Again, while there are many foods and nutrients out there that help our brain function properly and support overall health, the more we can accomplish with less, the more likely we’ll be to do it, and to keep doing it.

When in doubt, snack on nuts. Eating nuts will do a variety of good for supporting a healthy brain function as well as supplying the nutrients necessary for healthy cells as they decrease the antioxidants on a cellular level.

If you have some extra time, and you’re not familiar with nutrition on the cellular level, watch this video that goes into the science of having healthy cells. So, you’re interested in learning more or buying USANA’s CellSentials™? Click here for additional information.

CellSentials™

3. Easy help.

Sometimes the best approach when trying to begin a new healthy habit is to take the thought out of it. Be well informed and research your products, but after you’ve done so and committed to the new product, make the action as easy to keep doing as possible.

Sometimes we don’t want to think about what to cook for dinner that will not only be yummy and different, but will also get us the nutrients we lacked in the day.

For tired nights and long days when you tend to just “make what you have,” or heat up leftovers, and so many other times that we simply aren’t getting all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need, adding supplements to your meals are one great answer.

USANA Health Sciences’ product Ginkgo-PS™ is a specific supplement designed to aid healthy brain function.

For centuries, many cultures have supplemented with Ginkgo biloba to promote mental acuity. USANA took the highest quality Ginkgo extract and paired it with phosphatidylserine, another unique ingredient with an important role specific to brain function.

This advanced formula helps you stay on top of your game. From remembering where you parked to focusing on that big project, make brainwaves with Ginkgo-PS. Click here to learn more and get yours today!

Ginkgo-PS™

 

Remember

To recap, there are many nutrients you can take to help support healthy brain function. We believe that when you simplify, you are more likely to add something to your daily routine or diet.

The more likely you are to add a superfood or supplement to your daily routine and diet, the more likely you are to make it a habit. In turn, the more likely you form a healthy habit, the more likely you are to see quick and dramatic changes.

The three steps we’ve provided above are ways you can make a change in your health today and see results quickly. These steps coupled with the compiled list of five top sources on boosting brain power via nutrition gives you a complete guide on changes you can make today to boost your brain power.

If you wish to shop for other supplements please click here

Healthy Cove

Eat Pretty: Recipes to Promote Healthy-Looking Skin

Eat Pretty: Pink

 

You’ve probably heard the phrase “eat pretty” recently. It’s the popular idea that nutrition is a key factor of inner and outer beauty, both feeling and looking good through the foods we eat. As we’ve written about before, there are many ways to promote healthy-looking skin, and food is certainly a factor. Today, I want to share some recipes with you that incorporate foods that may promote healthy skin and general health, including a delicious dessert using cocoa.

That’s right: dark chocolate is on the approved list. So go grab a piece and let’s get to it.

Lemon Herb Salmon

Eat Pretty: salmon

I’m a big fan of baking instead of frying when possible, and this low-grease recipe is a skin superstar with omega-3-rich salmon. Plus, less grease, along with reducing added sugars, could promote that coveted glowing skin.*

Ingredients

2 lb. salmon
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
3 large lemons
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Instructions

  1. Add olive oil to a small mixing bowl.
  2. Chop the fresh herbs and add to the olive oil.
  3. Zest two of the lemons into the olive oil herb mixture.
  4. Add the minced garlic.
  5. Squeeze in the juice of two lemons and whisk well.
  6. Place the salmon skin side down in a shallow baking dish.
  7. Top with the lemon herb mixture.
  8. Thinly slice the additional lemon and place on top of each piece of salmon.
  9. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator for an hour to marinate.
  10. Remove from the refrigerator and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Healthy Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant compound that protects against oxidative damage.*  This tomato sauce recipe will stay good for five days, meaning you can make it over the weekend and enjoy it during the week with pastas, fish, or grilled chicken.

Eat Pretty: Tomatoe Soup

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp. dry red wine
½ tsp. dried basil, crumbled
½ medium red onion, minced
14 oz. diced tomatoes in juice
½ tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
Coarse salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently until softened (about 7 minutes).
  4. Stir in tomatoes and juice, wine, oregano, and basil.
  5. Simmer 8 minutes or until lightly thickened.
  6. Season with salt to taste.

Lemon Avocado Toast with Eggs

My breakfast seven days a week. Kick off your morning with a high-protein, high-fat (the good kind) meal that will you give you plenty of sustained energy and antioxidants. As my friend Rich mentions in his blog post, eggs contain proline, which is used for collagen production and help normal skin cell regeneration.* Bet you didn’t think trying to eat pretty could taste this good.

Eat Pretty: Egg

Ingredients

2–3 eggs
½ avocado
1 slice whole-wheat bread
Olive or avocado oil
Lemon juice
Feta cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook eggs to taste in medium skillet using oil (I prefer fried eggs for this recipe). Add feta halfway through cooking to melt.
  2. Toast whole-wheat bread while eggs cook.
  3. Spread/mash avocado over toast and apply lemon juice liberally.
  4. Top avocado toast with the cooked eggs.
  5. Add light seasoning or hot sauce.

Salad for Glowing Skin

This salad combines lots of fresh ingredients like kale, which contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, and other phytonutrients. Carrots aren’t my favorite, but they blend in well with the great variety of other ingredients. Sometimes the best way to eat something you don’t like is to trick your taste buds!

Eat Pretty: kale

Ingredients

For the salad:
2 cups mixed greens (spinach, kale, rocket, chard, romaine lettuce), roughly chopped
2 peaches, stone removed, cut into thin slices
2 carrots, cut into thin ribbons
1 small onion, finely diced
5–7 small mint leaves
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into small chunks
½ cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia)

For the dressing:
½ lime, juice only
½ lemon, juice only
2 tsp. organic mustard
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

1. Toss all the salad ingredients in a large bowl to combine.
2. Add the dressing ingredients to a blender and blend to a creamy sauce.
3. Pour dressing over the salad and mix to combine.

Edamame-Ginger Dip 

This dip is unique, delicious, and contains real ginger. Gingerol, a compound found in ginger, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that could lead to clearer, healthy-looking skin.

Ingredients

8 oz. frozen shelled edamame
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. tahini
1 clove garlic
1/8 tsp. salt
Hot pepper sauce to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook edamame according to package directions.
  2. Puree the cooked edamame, water, soy, ginger, vinegar, tahini, garlic, salt, and hot sauce in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Chill for one hour. Serve with rice crackers or carrot sticks.

Sugar-Free Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies

Eat Pretty: Fudge

Dark chocolate fans, rejoice: these brownies are more fudge than cake and will satisfy your sweet tooth without the added sugars. Have your cake and eat pretty, too.

Ingredients

¾ cup white whole-wheat flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ tsp. vanilla stevia (adjusted to taste)
¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¾ cup nonfat milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, vanilla, and vanilla stevia.
  3. Stir in the Greek yogurt, mixing until no large lumps remain. Stir in the milk. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.
  4. Spread the batter onto the prepared pan. Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 13–16 minutes.
  5. Cool completely to room temperature in the pan, and let the brownies sit for at least six hours at room temperature for the fudgiest texture before serving.

Beauty from the Inside

Essential beauty means different things to different people. To “eat pretty” is to look at beauty from the inside as it expands to the outside. To me, it’s that good feeling after eating a healthy meal, knowing that I’ve contributed to healthy-looking skin down the road.

My go-to recipe is the one I make every day, the lemon avocado toast (paired with generous amounts of coffee, another rich source of antioxidants). What are your favorite foods and recipes that follow the Eat Pretty mantra? Leave a comment below.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Healthy Cove

Living a Healthy Lifestyle Is Actually Doable

Healthy Lifestyle

Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled to live a healthy lifestyle. I know I sure have. And it can be super easy to feel down on yourself every time you skip the gym or choose drive-thru for dinner. Especially when you see all the moms on Instagram who post videos of their insane home workouts and healthy meals (while somehow still managing to raise their kiddos), or the pics of the shirtless guys by the pool with abs for days.

If we’re comparing ourselves to some perfect image of health, it’s no wonder living a healthy lifestyle can seem so daunting.

But maybe it doesn’t have to be so hard.

Here are three small ways you can get started living a healthy lifestyle today.

1: Drink Up

If you think about it, water is pretty darn important. About 71 percent of the earth’s surface is covered in water, and about 60 percent of the adult human body is made of water. So if you thought you were a meat suit running around, think again. You’re really more of a mermaid. YAS!

Here’s just a few of the benefits that come from drinking water:

  • Can help increase energy and relieve fatigue
  • Helps to flush out toxins
  • May improve your skin complexion
  • Aids in circulation and digestion
  • Transports nutrients
  • Helps maintain body temperature and absorption

Water You Waiting For?

Make it a habit to keep a water bottle on hand. Keep one at your desk, throw in one your gym bag, and even keep a glass on your kitchen table—wherever you need a visual reminder to drink up.

When was the last time you took a drink of water? (Take a swig now.)

2: Meal Prep

Unfortunately, it’s true what they say—beach bods are made in the kitchen. If your goal is to lose fat or build more muscle, eating healthy meals is a must. Fortunately, this is where meal prepping can be extremely helpful. Not only will this prevent the McDonald’s employees from knowing you on a first-name basis, but you’ll save on money and time as well. Think about it—buying food in bulk to prepare healthy meals will be much cheaper than grabbing fast food every night.

Meal prepping will also help you to stay on track with your healthy eating when you’re busy, because you’ll already be prepared with ready-made meals.

From Apples to Zucchinis

The premise for meal prep is simple. Start by setting aside one day a week for prepping, and decide how many meals you’d like to prepare.

For example, let’s say that every Sunday afternoon, you will prepare dinners to last Monday through Friday. To start, select a few healthy recipes beforehand to try out and be sure to have all your necessary ingredients on hand. From there, cook up enough food and chop enough fruits/veggies to last a week.

Rubbermaid offers a pretty good selection of cool containers that work great for separating your meals into convenient servings so they are good to go whenever you need them. Check out some other comparison brands for convenient storage ideas. You can even use something as simple as plastic baggies to store your veggies or snacks.

Cook Up Some Health

If cooking is your jam and you love trying new recipes, try switching things up each week with different healthy recipes like savory chicken stir fry, zesty taco quinoa casserole, or even grill up some healthy Hawaiian BBQ salmon burgers.

If you prefer an easier, healthy meal each day and you’re okay with something simple like chicken with a baked sweet potato or veggies, it can still taste anything but boring. You can cook up boneless, skinless chicken breasts beforehand, and then season them the day of. Monday could be a nice lemon pepper seasoning, Tuesday, drizzle your chicken in Buffalo sauce, make Wednesday’s chicken Cajun-style, and so on. You can also toss in a delicious and easy-to-make black bean, corn, and quinoa salad for an extra kick of flavor.

Git ’Er Done

Meal prepping is also great for multitasking. Listen to a podcast or audiobook while you cook, or get caught up on your favorite guilty-pleasure show. You can even start a load of laundry while you’re at it.

As an added perk, you’ll probably discover that you are actually cutting down on time spent in the kitchen. After preparing dinners for the week, you may find yourself throwing together the next day’s breakfast or lunch before cleaning up.

It’s a great way to get a lot done all at once.

3: Work Out a New Workout Program

Exercising is another way you can live a healthy lifestyle, and there are tons of great health benefits associated with regular exercise like weight loss and improved boosts in energy.

The great news is, there are so many interesting exercise options to choose from. So if you’re not a fan of running or lifting weights at the gym, don’t do it. Instead, pick something you really like.

Here’s a few fun options:

  • Dancing—Bollywood dancing, ballet, ballroom—the list goes on and on with dance options. You could even take a twerkout or Zumba dance class at a local gym, or play an hour of Just Dance on your Xbox Kinect or Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii.
  • Hiking—If you’re a nature lover, hiking totally counts as exercise. You could also go for long daily walks, try rock-climbing, or get into mountain biking.
  • Yoga—There are so many different kinds of yoga classes you could try. If you don’t mind the heat, go with hot yoga. If you’re an acrobat at heart, give acroyoga a try. There’s even a thing called goat yoga with baby goats and it looks delightful. Seriously, look it up.
  • The Sky’s the Limit—This is your chance to get really creative. Try hula-hooping, jump roping, unicycling, water aerobics, or even larping. (Stands for live action role-playing. Think of mock sword fighting in your favorite Zelda costume.)
  • The C’s—Try a home calisthenics program or CrossFit class at the gym. These kinds of workouts will really build your overall muscular strength and endurance. And okay, it doesn’t start with a “C,” but let’s add karate to the list for kicks.
  • DIY Workout—Invent your own mini workouts to do throughout the day. Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Do calf raises when unloading the dishwasher. Get down and plank while waiting for your tea kettle to boil. Do tricep dips on your couch during TV commercials. Taking these little extra steps can definitely add up in a good way.

When All Is Said and Done

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, there isn’t a magical cure-all. But by taking little steps such as these every day, you really can improve your overall health, and by doing so, improve the quality of your life.

How do you live a healthy lifestyle? Comment below with your favorite examples.

HealthyLifestyle-Checklist

Healthy Cove

LIVER DETOXIFICATION PATHWAYS

liver detoxification

The liver is an essential organ. It plays a role in metabolism, digestion, energy storage, and hormone production. It is also the major detoxifying organ in the body.

Detoxification in the liver is broken into two categories. They are known as Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification pathways.

Phase I Liver Detoxification Pathway

Phase I liver detoxification is the first line of defense against toxins. It consists of a group of enzymes known as the cytochrome P450 family. The enzymes help neutralize substances like alcohol and caffeine. They offer protection by converting these toxins into less harmful ones.

The byproducts of Phase I liver detoxification can still pose a toxic threat to the body. If the toxins are allowed to build up and stay in the liver, they can damage DNA and proteins. It is the role of Phase II liver detoxification, to make sure that those toxins do not build up. Which provides final neutralization of the toxins so that they can be removed by the body.

Phase II Liver Detoxification Pathway

Phase II liver detoxification neutralizes the byproducts of Phase I liver detoxification and other remaining toxins. This is done by making the toxins water-soluble. That way they can be excreted from the body. This process is known as conjugation. Glutathione, sulphate, and glycine are the primary molecules responsible for this process.

Under normal conditions, Phase II liver detoxification enzymes produce low levels of glutathione. Under times of high toxic stress the body increases production of glutathione.

Glutathione

Glutathione is so important for humans, it is known as the “master antioxidant.” It is called this, because it is the most abundant antioxidant in the body and it can regenerate itself in the liver.

Glutathione is found in asparagus, avocado, spinach, broccoli, and some supplements. Sadly, food sources of glutathione are poorly absorbed into the body. Digestive enzymes can break it down before it can be absorbed. There is also no direct transport system for glutathione.

Although glutathione is poorly absorbed, diet does play a part in the body’s levels. The body needs key building blocks to manufacture glutathione. Certain foods and nutrients are known to provide them. Eating these building blocks can increase the body’s production of glutathione. These include seleniumvitamin Ecruciferous vegetablesalpha-lipoic acid, milk thistle, and N-acetyl cysteine.

glutathione foods

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also important in liver detoxification pathways. It helps protect liver detoxification enzymes, created in phase I and phase II liver detoxification pathways, from oxidative damage. Vitamin C helps protect liver tissues from oxidative damage. Some research also suggests that vitamin C may play a role in toxin removal.

Vitamin C is tightly controlled in the body. Blood levels are mainly determined by vitamin C intake and kidney regulation. Research shows that some phytochemicals may increase plasma vitamin C, even in the absence of vitamin C consumption.

Foods richest in vitamin C

  • cantaloupe
  • grapefruit
  • honeydew
  • kiwi
  • mango
  • oranges and other citrus fruits
  • strawberries
  • watermelon

Clinical Research on Increasing Glutathione Production

Scientists conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on a blend of nutrients. The purpose was to determine if they promoted increases in plasma glutathione and vitamin C.

The study intervention group used the product Hepasil Plus, provided by USANA Health Sciences. Hepasil Plus contains biotin, choline, milk thistle extract, N-acetyl L-cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, broccoli concentrate, green tea extract, olive fruit extract, and turmeric extract.

Fifteen healthy volunteers participated in the study. Subjects were given Hepasil DTX or placebo for 28 days. On days 1, 14, and 28, blood samples were drawn to measure plasma vitamin C and glutathione.

Study Results

  • Hepasil DTX increased plasma glutathione two hours following the first treatment and significantly increased plasma glutathione eight hours after treatment.
  • Plasma glutathione levels increased 74 percent by the end of the study.
  • Hepasil DTX significantly increased plasma vitamin C as soon as two hours
    following the first treatment. This was maintained during the entire acute phase (0-8 hour time points)

The results showed a synergistic effect of these nutrients. The treatment formula boosted both glutathione and vitamin C levels. It upregulated the body’s ability to utilize glutathione in detoxification reactions. It also increased the body’s antioxidant capacity.

A follow-up report showed that the increases in both glutathione and vitamin C have clinical benefits. Subjects taking Hepasil Plus were significantly more resistant to oxidative damage than those taking the placebo.

Study Conclusion

The results back up previous research showing that some phytochemicals may increase plasma vitamin C, even in the absence of vitamin C consumption. It also offers a specific blend of ingredients that can be used to increase the body’s glutathione production.

 

Please note that Hepasil Plus (canadian) and Hepasil DTX (american) are the same product, because of Canadian regulations, the name has to be changed. Spring is a great time of the year to shed the winter sluggishness and renew through elimination to have healthy cells regenerate. If you are interested in this product you can purchase it from my website by clicking on this link shop USANA here.

Coast Lifestyle

HOW STRESS AFFECTS YOUR WEIGHT

stress affects your weight

Your work meeting ran late. Your car wouldn’t start immediately. You’ve hit every red light on the drive home. You realize you have no groceries at the same time hunger hits.

Surely, you’ve experienced a night like this and didn’t handle it gracefully. That’s because when you are experiencing stress—no matter how insignificant—the demands on your mind and body have exceeded the resources you have to cope with them. It’s hard to deal with each stressor when you’re standing at the crossroads of eight different frustrating scenarios.

Some nights like this might be unavoidable. But it’s important to learn about the long-term, negative impacts of stress so you can keep yourself healthy, well, and whole.

A common concern with ill-managed stress is an impact on the ability to maintain a healthy weight. There are a lot of factors that explain how stress affects weight. Your body’s response to stress—the hormones it releases—can impact fat storage. Stress can cause shifts in your microbiome. And, on top of that, the stress eating—turning to comforting, unhealthy foods—used to cope can compound the issues.

Below, you’ll get in-depth explanations of these bodily responses and the vicious stress cycle. But before you explore the impact, let’s discuss the different types of stress and your body’s response to it.

Types of Stress

Short-term stress happens quickly, over a short duration of time. It could be bad traffic or a long line at the store when you’re in a hurry. A short-term stressor might be small, but it’s something you’re able to handle without much difficulty.

Long-term stress is an ongoing battle against your stressor(s). It can be repetitive, continuous situations or conditions that feel insurmountable. For example, a lot of people struggle with crippling debt or maybe going to a job they hate. These types of looming stressors can last for months and even years.

Your body handles these stressors differently. From chemical pathways to behavioral changes, a lot can happen in response to stress. Let’s explore your body’s response to stressors to better understand how you can stay healthy while overcoming life’s obstacles.

The Short-Term Stress Response

Short-term stress happens when your body reacts to a risk, whether it is real or perceived. Let’s say you’re home alone and you hear an unfamiliar sound. Your brain may process this as a risk. You might assume it’s an intruder, even if the sound is not.

Before you determine the sound was just the washing machine, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. And your adrenal glands secrete the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine.

These hormones make your body prepared for survival mode, should the need arise. Increased hormone levels elevate your heart rate, blood pressure, and they increase the rate at which fat and carbohydrates in your system are broken down. Basically, these hormones are changing your metabolism to fuel this heightened state to be ready to fight or run away. Once the threat is eliminated, your body can return to its normal state.

The Long-Term Stress Response

Since the exposure to the “risk”—again perceived or real—is prolonged during long-term stress, your body can be strained physically and psychologically. Instead of short-lived spikes in the flight-or-fight hormones, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol, the primary stress hormone.

Cortisol’s presence doesn’t wreak havoc on the body. The strain comes from elevated levels for a prolonged period of time. The body becomes accustomed to these levels, establishing a new baseline tolerance. Consequently, if high stress levels are maintained, the secretions will continue to increase.

High levels of cortisol stimulate your appetite. On top of that, it can influence a rise in insulin levels. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar. As the insulin level raises, blood sugar levels drop. This can create cravings for especially calorie-dense foods to regain a reasonable blood sugar level.

The Vicious Cycle of Stress & Weight Gain

The sequence of events above may not seem that harmful on the surface. However, if cortisol continues to course through your system for days, weeks—even months—on end, a vicious cycle is born. Elevated cortisol leads to increased insulin levels, which leads to lower blood sugar, and finally sugar cravings.

It’s not surprising that if you experience stress without relief, you might reach for “comfort foods” to sustain you. These foods are aptly named. They often supply a lot of energy in the form of refined sugar. They’re rich in fat to boot. And your brain experiences a calming effect from these foods.

In a way, comfort foods provide a short respite from the stress response. But this positively reinforces the frequent consumption of comfort foods. When you experience this relief, it’s likely you’ll reach for a similar food the next time you’re stressed and hungry. If the cycle continues long-term, there are implications for weight gain.

But there’s more to it than the cycle of stress eating. Cortisol activates lipoprotein lipase (LPL), an enzyme responsible for depositing and storing fat. A group of researchers found a correlation between high cortisol levels and central fat accumulation (distribution of fat around the midsection).

The group studied women at rest and subjected them to stress tests. Measurements of participant cortisol levels and psychological responses were taken after each rest or testing session. The researchers found that these correlations back up the existing hypothesis that long-term stress and “stress reactivity” can lead to greater central fat accumulation.

The Impact of Stress on Your Microbiome

A recent study in mice reiterated that stress has physical implications too, not just psychological ones. The researchers took a group of mice and fed half of the male and female mice a high-fat diet and then exposed the entire group to mild stress for a prolonged period of time.

The most notable finding was in the group of female mice not on the high-fat diet. After the stress period, their gut microbiota had changed. Though they were not eating a high-fat diet, their microbiome told a different story. Over time, the bacteria in their gut shifted to resemble that of the mice fed a high-fat diet.

Though this study was conducted in mice, the lessons and implications are clear. First, the biological effects of stress are far-reaching. It affects how you feel emotionally. But stress also changes the body physiologically. Second, the conclusion also implies that eating well alone is not enough to keep your body as healthy as it could be. While diet is important, so is your response to stress.

Tips for Managing Versus Coping with Stress

While they may sound similar, managing and coping with stress are two very distinct behaviors. Management involves planning ahead and building systems of support before stressors become overwhelming. Coping implies a sense of survival or just scraping by during an episode of stress.

Creating a stress-management plan doesn’t have to be stressful—it can be simple! It takes a little bit of forethought and planning, but once in place, it can help you through a hectic day. Consider the list below and think of how to personalize each for your life.

  • Create a support system. You likely already have a network of family and friends. But it’s helpful to pinpoint exactly who in your web can help you and when. And don’t just name them—write them down. It’s easier to reach out for support when a name and number are ready to use.
  • Block out alone time. This actually means time spent alone—free from distractions and visitors. You’re encouraged to physically block out these times on your calendar, too. This way colleagues or family can’t schedule over your time to recharge. If you’re a busy person, don’t give this up if you don’t have a free hour. Even five minutes alone can help.
  • Prioritize your tasks. It’s always gratifying to check off items on a to-do list. But often the easiest tasks get checked first, leaving the larger, more important tasks waiting for too long. Be honest with yourself when creating and prioritizing your list.
  • Make time for self-care. This doesn’t necessarily mean treating yourself in the way of bubble baths and bon-bons. It means actually taking care of yourself by eating balanced meals, sleeping well, and exercising, to name a few. Taking care of your body shouldn’t be a luxury, so make these self-care pieces a priority.
  • Be active! Exercise can intimidate some, but it can be enjoyable if you tailor it to your interests. Whether it be a leisurely walk or a vigorous game of soccer, both are valid options for getting your body moving. Research has shown that regular exercise can lower cortisol levels and boost endorphins.

Thanks to Ienna Templeton