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Why You Need Vitamin D

 

Vitamin D is necessary for normal bone mineralization and growth, maintenance of muscle strength and coordination, cardiovascular health, and robust and balanced immune function. Vitamin D is unique among vitamins working more like a hormone at the level of our DNA. Vitamin D has a been estimated to regulate somewhere between 200-300 genes and likely why vitamin D has been linked to so many health outcomes.

Vitamin D promotes a healthy, balanced immune system through its key role in regulation and differentiation of immune system cells. It also has been linked to healthy endothelial function, which is important for cardiovascular health. And, it also helps maintain normal functioning of the nervous system.*

In addition, recent research has shown the following:

  • Vitamin D may play a role in keeping our lungs healthy, with higher concentrations of vitamin D resulting in positive effects on lung function and health.*
  •  Vitamin D may play a role in helping elderly people maintain lean muscle mass.*
  •  Healthy vitamin D levels are a key part of minimizing age-associated bone loss.
  • . Vitamin D supports the development and maintenance of bones and teeth by helping in the absorption and use of calcium.*

Calcium is the major structural element of bones and teeth. Your body needs several nutrients in order for calcium to be absorbed and used properly. Two of these nutrients are vitamin D and vitamin K. Vitamin D increases absorption of calcium from the small intestine so the body receives maximum benefit, while vitamin K helps make sure calcium builds up in the bones and not in soft tissues. Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Sources:

Food: There is a very small amount of vitamin D in a few foods, which makes it almost impossible to get the levels you need from food alone. However, some foods that include vitamin D are fatty fish, egg yolks, orange juice, and some cereals.

 Exposure to the Sun:  Every time we expose our bare skin to direct sunlight, we use ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to produce vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Sunlight can be a tricky thing, though, because too much can be a bad thing. You need to monitor how much sun exposure is needed for healthy vitamin D levels. The amount of vitamin D you actually absorb from sunlight differs depending on the time of day and year, where you live, and the color of your skin. The more skin you expose to the sun, the more vitamin D is produced. So those winter rays don’t necessarily produce the same amount of vitamin D that summer rays do.

Signs of Low Vitamin D

Feeling Down and Out – Turns out, when you run low on vitamin D, it takes a pretty serious toll on your mood. This is because our brains produce serotonin—a hormone that affects our moods—at a higher rate when we’re exposed to sunshine or bright light. And as I mentioned, more exposure to sunlight means more vitamin D.

Skin Color – Those with darker skin are at a higher risk for vitamin D deficiency because skin pigment has a direct correlation with how much vitamin D is absorbed. Some research suggests that those with darker skin may need up to 10 times more sun exposure than those with lighter skin to produce a comparable amount of vitamin D.

Age – Besides the fact that older people usually spend more time indoors, aging correlates to vitamin D deficiency in a couple of ways. First, the skin loses its ability to absorb as much vitamin D as we get older. And second, our kidneys slowly become less effective at converting vitamin D into the form used by our bodies.

Sweat – Excessive sweating (specifically, on your forehead) is a very common symptom of those facing vitamin D deficiency. So if you’re constantly wiping the sweat off your brow (outside of the gym), you might want to look into getting a blood test done to check your levels.

Achy Bones – Many people who are unknowingly deficient in vitamin D will complain of bones and joints that are achy or painful. This is because vitamin D is very important for maintaining strong bones. Calcium and phosphorus are essential for developing a healthy structure and strength of your bones, and you need vitamin D to absorb these minerals.

Excessive Weight – Vitamin D is fat-soluble—meaning that the fat in our bodies is how we collect and store it. So if you’re overweight, the excessive amount of fat in your body needs a comparable amount of vitamin D to absorb. So you’ll need a lot more vitamin D than someone with a lower percentage of body fat.

Gut Problems- Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. So certain gut conditions that cause a lower absorption of fat can also lower your absorption of vitamin D.

Get your supply of Vitamin D here:

Cal Mag + Vit D

This combination is ideal because the vitamins work together in the body.

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4 Steps to Self Improvement

 

Self-improvement is one of the most important aspect of living an abundant life. It is practice that needs to be consistently practiced to achieve good results. Areas to focus on are your health, your finances, your studying , or your business.

The important thing is to start slowly, take small steps, but don’t leave it there. Strive to get better every day. It is the long-term commitment to learning and self improvement that makes us better people.

How can you do this for the long-term?

  1. Make the decision to do it – This starts with your commitment. Don’t wait for a better time, a suitable time, or a convenient time. The best time to take care of your health is now. Make the commitment today to manage your finances better.
  2. Make a declaration – Announce your declaration to others. Hold yourself accountable. You can get an accountable buddy. If you keep your commitment a secret, it is easier to slip up. For example if you trying to improve your study methods, join a study group, or study with a friend. Let them test you to see if you are grasping the material.
  3. Make a determination – Don’t allow anything to knock you off your momentum. Be absolutely  determined to make this a permanent habit in you life. I you have been aspiring to start a business and be your own boss, commit to consistently working on your business everyday. Talk to people everyday, prospect everyday. If you start skipping days, it will be much harder to stay committed to your business.
  4. Get a mentor – You can always learn from somebody else, especially someone who has successfully done what you want to do. Get close to them, ask questions, and ask them to guide you. This should be somebody you trust and can confide in. It could be somebody in your study group, a friend, or a family member.

Self-improvement should be a life-long habit, not a passing fancy. Scientific research has proven that you need to do something for six weeks continuously to build a habit. Therefore, get that degree, build that business, improve your health today – and for the rest of your life.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What would you like to commit to?
  2. With whom will you share your commitment?
  3. What is preventing you to reach your goals?
  4. What changes can you make in your life to reach your goals?

 

 

 

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Butter vs. Margarine; Olive Oil vs. Vegetable Oil

The most recent studies suggest that natural saturated fats, such as those found in butter, may not significantly contribute to cardiovascular disease, though further study is warranted. In any case, butter is closer to a whole food than margarine. If you must opt for a spread that is not extra virgin olive oil, I suggest moderate amounts of grass-fed, organic butter.

Margarine was originally developed as a cheap substitute for butter, and has evolved from some fairly unappealing animal-based ingredients into a vegetable oil based spread with added chemicals that make it more flavorful and easier to spread. To achieve that solid, spreadable consistency, margarine manufacturers add hydrogenated vegetable oil, creating unhealthy compounds that may contribute to heart disease and stroke. In addition, the heat and chemicals used to harden vegetable oils produce trans-fatty acids , which can contribute to heart disease, increase cancer risks, promote inflammation and accelerate tissue degeneration.

Margarine raises heart attack risk, while natural butter does not. Grass-fed butter may even reduce heart attack risk due to the high Vitamin K2 content.

Olive oil has the highest percentage of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat of any oil. Quality olive oil also contains abundant in substances that have been shown to provide cardiovascular and anti-cancer effects, called antioxidants. And, of course, quality olive tastes wonderful; the vibrant green treat has probably helped many Americans realize that there is no need to sacrifice sensory pleasure in pursuit of healthy eating.

There has been a lot of fake olive oil in the market, therefore, always look out for the real deal. Buy small bottles of a certified organic oil. Check the label for the ICEA (Istituto per la Certificazione Etica e Ambientale, which means Ethical and Environmental Certification Institute) logo, and/or that of another organic certification body such as the USDA’s green-and-white ORGANIC logo.

You can also perform your own sensory test: top quality extra-virgin olive oil (which I believe should be used for all cooking, not just bread-dipping and salad-drizzling) has a natural peppery finish and a deep, “green” aroma of grass and artichoke. Such oils are not cheap, because they rely on careful cultivation that preserves olive oils legendary taste and health benefits.

Reduce your intake of polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as soybean, sunflower, corn and safflower oils), replacing them instead with extra virgin olive oil.

Most polyunsaturated oils promote cancer, inflammation, damage to the immune system and premature aging.

High-fat diets are not linked to heart disease. The science isn’t there to prove this.

 

 

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7 Amazing Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral with a major role in the metabolism of glucose, the production of cellular energy, and the manufacture of protein.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body. More than 3,750 magnesium-binding sites have been detected on human proteins, and it’s required for more than 300 different enzymes in your body. It seems Magnesium may be the magic mineral that cure almost all our ills.

Here are the benefits:

1. Diabetes:  Adequate intake of magnesium from food plus dietary supplement has significant improvement in waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.  A research team led by Yanni Papanikolaou (France), and colleagues assessed data collected on subjects, ages 20 years and older, enrolled in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2001-2010.

The study authors concluded that: “there is a beneficial relationship between dietary magnesium intake and
diabetes-related physiological outcomes.”

Magnesium intake may actually go a long way toward improving your condition, or warding off insulin resistance and     diabetes,  and also prediabetics with the highest magnesium intake may reduce their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by 71 percent.

2.  Cardiovascular Disease — A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which was done on 241,378 participants, found a diet high in magnesium could reduce the risk of a stroke by 8 percent.  Another study found that increasing magnesium through diet decreased the risk of a heart attack by 38 percent. Magnesium helps to dilate and relax your blood vessels. Low levels of this critical mineral, causes  blood vessels to constrict more, resulting in higher blood pressure.  Therefore magnesium does control blood pressure

3. Fibromyalgia — A study published in Magnesium Research examined how magnesium may improve outcomes for  fibromyalgia. The research indicated that increasing magnesium consumption reduced pain and tenderness and also improved immune blood markers.

4. Sleep Troubles – Did you know magnesium levels drop in your body at night? That means if you’re low in magnesium you may have trouble sleeping! So many of us have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep.  Low magnesium levels  may be a contributing factor as it plays such a key role in the function of your central nervous system.

5. Constipation – If your digestive system isn’t quite working as well as usual it may be because of magnesium. Your intestines tend to contract more when you’re low in magnesium, making it harder for waste to pass through. Ensuring you have enough magnesium is important for your bowels for two key reasons. One, it it helps relax your bowels, and two, it pulls water into your bowels creating an osmotic effect that makes passing waste easier.

6. Pancreatic Cancer –  One 8-year study of 60, 806 participants released in December of 2015 shows promise in using magnesium to prevent pancreatic cancer. For those at a higher risk of pancreatic cancer, adding a magnesium supplement to their diet may prove beneficial in preventing this disease. People should  get the daily recommendations of magnesium through diet, such as dark, leafy greens or nuts.

7. Alzheimer’s – The mineral can help rebuild weak nerve synapses and even help restore lost memory. Scientific studies show magnesium deficiency contributes to declines in cognitive function, especially in older patients. A  2010 animal study published in Alzheimer’s Weekly showed that increasing magnesium levels improved both short- and long-term memory.
Finally, another study conducted by Italian researching and published in Magnesium Research examined magnesium levels in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. They found that those with the lowest levels of magnesium had the poorest cognitive function.