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7 Vitamins and Minerals To fight Inflammation

(NaturalNews)
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Inflammation is our body’s first response by the immune system to fight infections, bacterial attacks. Acute inflammation is our body’s innate defence mechanism but chronic inflammation can be a reason or an underlying factor for various diseases and disorders like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and many more.

Some vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are particularly useful in our fight against inflammation.

Here’s a 7 phytonutrients that should always be part of your life

Vitamin E

This is another antioxidant vitamin that can help reduce inflammation. We find vitamin E naturally in nuts and seeds, including almonds and sunflower seeds, as well as in vegetables such as spinach and fruits like avocado.

Vitamin C

A large number of studies show the anti-inflammatory benefits of foods that are high in the antioxidant vitamin C. Good lower sugar sources include tomatoes and tomato juice. You can also find vitamin C in many other fruits with a low to moderate sugar content, including grapefruit and lemons. Try starting your day drinking water and fresh lemon juice, which will give your vitamin C a morning boost.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps reduce inflammation and insufficient vitamin D is associated with a range of inflammatory conditions. In combination with calcium, vitamin D also promotes weight loss. There are estimates that say that two-thirds of the population in the United States is vitamin D deficient. We get vitamin D naturally when we are out in the sun. In addition, we get it in foods such as fish, egg yolks, and organ meats. It’s also found in foods that have been supplemented with vitamin D, such as milk.

Vitamin K

According to some studies, vitamin K has shown defenses against heart disease, osteoporosis and similar conditions. Vitamin K1 can be found in kale, cauliflower, cabbage and spinach. The second vitamin K, K2, is found primarily in eggs and liver.

Coenzyme Q10

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, coenzyme Q10 has shown to be a huge help in providing relief against inflammatory conditions, such as gout or chronic arthritis. By eating more olive oil, salmon, sardines, avocado, parsley, walnuts, mackerel, broccoli and spinach, you can get more than enough Coenzyme Q10.

Glutathione

An antioxidant that fights against free radical damage, glutathione provides immense anti-inflammatory relief to the body. You can find it in avocados, tomatoes, apples, grapefruit and garlic.

Magnesium

This is mineral can help reduce inflammation. It’s estimated that 70 percent of all Americans are deficient in magnesium. This is an amazing statistic because magnesium is found in a large variety of foods, including dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, avocado, almonds, and many legumes. A magnesium deficiency is particularly common among men and women who are overweight That many of us are not getting enough of this mineral speaks to the poor quality of nourishment that exists in many of our lives.
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Why Stress Is Preventing You From Getting the Fitness Results You Want

(Huffington Post)
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Article source: makeyourbodywork.com

When you think of a good fitness routine, what comes to mind?

It’s likely that your list would include regular exercise, eating healthy food, and maybe getting good sleep each night. Here’s another item to add: Making time to de-stress.

Almost everyone faces a little stress from time to time, but when that stress builds up or becomes chronic, it can be powerful enough to prevent fitness gains from happening altogether.

Here are three reasons why stress can be such a fitness killer, followed by some practical techniques for de-stressing.

1. Stress Increases Food Cravings
Oftentimes people struggle to lose weight and are perplexed as to why. They are doing everything “right” but still aren’t getting the results they want. Stress might be the culprit.

Have you heard of the “fight or flight” response? This is a survival mechanism that causes the body to produce adrenaline when faced with stress. Historically it was helpful when the stress was physical danger (like being attacked by a hungry bear in the wild!), but today the response is triggered by much less-dangerous stress.

Stress from your job, school, or relationships can trigger adrenaline production. This is problematic because adrenaline is accompanied by cortisol, a hormone that causes hunger.

When stressed, your body will crave food even though the stressful event likely didn’t require much energy to deal with — You don’t burn calories stressing over a deadline at work like you would running away from an angry bear!

2. Stress Decreases Motivation
Think back to a time when you were really stressed out. Did you feel motivated to exercise? Were you compelled to cook a healthy meal for yourself?

Stressful situations often lead to feelings of being overwhelmed. Things in life seem too much to handle and it’s difficult to even consider doing something as simple as going for a quick jog.
This is one reason why exercise and healthy eating fall off track during stressful times. Your mind (and body) is focused on getting through that stress – Making healthy lifestyle choices gets put on the backburner.

3. Stress Reduces the Effectiveness of Your Workouts
Some people see exercise as a way to deal with stress. Yes, it can be a good way to take your mind off other things happening in life, but exercise is actually just another form of stress. It’s a physical stress on your body.

That sounds like a bad thing, but it’s really not. Physically stressing your body is what allows you to make progress. You push a little further and get better as a result. Unfortunately, when you are already dealing with other stressors in life, whether they are physical, emotional, or relational, your body has less capacity to deal with the stress of a workout.

Not only does your chance of injury increase during stressful times, but recovery from your workouts is also inhibited due to reduced quality of sleep. This means that you won’t get the same results from exercise that you would during less stressful times in life.

How to Fix Your Stress: Some Helpful Resources
It’s pretty clear that stress can have a huge impact on your ability to get fit and stay healthy. What can you do about it?

One of the most important de-stressing techniques is simply taking a few minutes each day to relax. This will look different for different people, but it can include any activity that allows rest for your mind and body.

There are some really helpful online tools that can be used to practice stress-reducing relaxation. One is Calm, a quick meditation that you can do on your computer or phone. You choose the length and the style of relaxation and Calm does the rest.

Another great tool is called Do Nothing For 2 Minutes. This simple website “forces” you to stop working. How you spend that 2 minutes is up to you, but the idea is to take time to just relax, perhaps practice some deep breathing, and allow your stress to dissipate.

One other great resource is the 42 Ways to Live Stress-Free guide. This is a compilation of the best techniques and resources that you can use to beat the stress that creeps into various parts of your day.

From waking up in the morning to dealing with stressful relationships, this guide has something for every type of stress you may be dealing with.

Stress is going to happen – It’s part of life. But learning a few techniques to prevent that stress from becoming a chronic problem is key for your mental health and your body’s ability to make the fitness improvements you’re looking for.

Exercising My Way to Better Parenting

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I love to cook and often reach for kitchen metaphors to explain life. I imagine my attention, for instance, as a stovetop. My priorities go on the front burners; less essential to-dos simmer on the back; and sometimes I flip the heat off the non-important things when I have too many flames going at once. When my son came along, for example, a major re-organization happened, and some of my passions—date nights, reading, exercise—got pushed to the rear to make space for parenting. Sadly, a few of those lights went out, and it’s only now that Felix is 5 years old and moving toward greater independence that I’ve had the energy to re-ignite them.

That might sound like a sad experience, but it’s actually been clarifying (if you’ll forgive another cooking image) because it’s helped me realize how important some of these passions are. Most fundamentally, I’ve learned how essential exercise is to keeping me not just sane but functioning at my best, especially as an introverted parent. This came as a surprise to me more than anyone.

When I was a kid, I never participated in organized sports and chafed at the term “athletic.” Athletes have good hand-eye coordination, sharp competitive edges, and cooperative team skills, I thought. That was not me. I felt gangly and physically awkward and struggled to open jam jars. I enjoyed sweating but felt calm and blissful afterward, not hyped up and aggressive. I preferred solitary activities such as running and yoga. In fact, I liked being alone so much, I usually ran in silence and not to music, which distracted me.

Then Felix came along, and exercise went from being a normal part of my week to an extravagance. I could do it only when the grandparents came to visit for a weekend, say. Otherwise, I felt guilty sticking my hard-working, fully employed wife with solo parent duty just so I could go to the park and run circles in the sunshine. That seemed unfair to her, and I pushed exercise far back on the burner hierarchy.

As my son left toddlerhood, time became less of a factor, but then money woes plagued me. My wife is the family breadwinner, and we’re a middle-class household. Joining a gym, buying expensive sneakers and socks, or taking a yoga class all felt like luxuries I couldn’t afford. I figured I should tighten my belt so we had more cash for babysitting, my son’s private pre-school program and after-school enrichment, or the family vacation. Of course, I didn’t need to tighten my belt literally: without regular physical activity, I was expanding.

That’s how it went for a few years. If I had them to do over again, I’d do ’em differently— because I felt increasingly like something was missing from my life, something vital. At the time, I would have said that my confidence and physical energy were not as high as they could have been if I had been exercising. But recently, I’ve learned I lacked something even more fundamental.

With a 5-year-old in public school, I now have the time and the cash to join the YMCA. For the past few months, I’ve been going about three times a week to use the elliptical and the rowing machines. Maybe because I am taking some time off or simply because I’m older now, I understand: exercising doesn’t just improve my body—it benefits my spirit.

For the first hour of every morning, my role is to support my family. I make breakfast and prepare my son’s lunch, and I help my wife get him out the door smoothly, dressed and ready for a day in kindergarten. When they leave, I dive into my writing work. In the afternoon, I’m on dad duty, hearing about the highlights and low points of my son’s day, talking to parents while he tears about the playground, helping him with his homework, and trying—though not always succeeding!—to be pleasant, loving, engaged, and patient. At night, it’s time to cook dinner, then clean and spend time with my wife, or go out with colleagues or friends.

I’m telling you this not because I think anyone cares much about the particulars of my schedule but because, like every parent who works, I occupy a variety of roles, and it seems that I am always playing some part. There is a bit of myself that I’m constantly extending into the social sphere—whether it be as a parent, husband, friend, or colleague—and, as every introvert knows, that’s draining. Maybe I’m not going to collapse flat out drained (though on some days, it is just that), but this slow suck of my energy and focus prevents me from performing to the best of my abilities. By week’s end, I can feel tired and irritable, if not down and depressed.

Unless, that is, I exercise. That’s one time during the day when I’m just me, a body in motion. I can run out my frustrations or work up a sweat when I’m feeling stuck in some aspect of my life. When my brain tires, I flip it off, bringing my attention to the body. I don’t have to talk to anyone or think about anything in particular. As my muscles burn, the verbal part of my brain quiets, and I recharge. Maybe not literally—some days, I’d like nothing more than to take a nap! But mentally, it’s as if I took a deep drink of water in between courses and cleansed my palate.

I feel more fully human and complete when I have a regular opportunity to shut my mouth, turn down my interior monologue, and settle deep into my body. With exercise back in my life, I’m a happier, more relaxed, and more energized parent and husband, and my family has noticed. In fact, sometimes when I’m getting edgy, my wife will say, “I think maybe you should get out for a run.” And she’s always right—running revives me.

It turns out that stovetop of mine is big and powerful enough to cook more dishes than I thought it could. In fact, when I take the time to do the things that rejuvenate me, I’m better able to handle life’s heat.

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This article originally appeared on QuietRev.com.

You can find more insights from Quiet Revolution on work, life, and parenting as an introvert at QuietRev.com.

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Body Fat Can Send Signals to Brain, Affecting Stress Response

(University of Florida)

The brain’s effect on other parts of the body has been well established. Now, a group that includes two University of Florida Health researchers has found that it’s a two-way street: Body fat can send a signal that affects the way the brain deals with stress and metabolism.

stress

While the exact nature of those signals remains a mystery, researchers say simply knowing such a pathway exists and learning more about it could help break a vicious cycle: Stress causes a desire to eat more, which can lead to obesity. And too much extra fat can impair the body’s ability to send a signal to the brain to shut off the stress response.

The findings are important and unique because they show that it’s not simply the brain that drives the way the body responds to stress, said James Herman, Ph.D., a co-author of the paper and a professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati,.

“It moved our understanding of stress control to include other parts of the body. Before this, everyone thought that the regulation of stress was mainly due to the brain. It’s not just in the brain. This study suggests that stress regulation occurs on a much larger scale, including body systems controlling metabolism, such as fat,” Herman said.

The findings, which reveal a novel fat-to-brain feedback network, were published in the June edition of the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology by a group that included Annette D. de Kloet, Ph.D., a research assistant professor in the UF College of Medicine’s department of physiology and functional genomics, and Eric Krause, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UF College of Pharmacy’s department of pharmacodynamics.

Researchers found that a glucocorticoid receptor in fat tissue can affect the way the brain controls stress and metabolism. Initially, such signals from the receptor can be lifesavers, directing the brain to regulate its energy balance and influencing stress responses in a beneficial way.

“The stress response in the short term is adaptive. It’s going to help you cope with stress,” Krause said. “The idea that fat is actually talking to the brain to dampen stress is new.”

The researchers found that steroid hormones known as glucocorticoids activate their receptors within fat tissue in a way that affects a main component of the metabolic stress response. Using mouse models, they found a unique connection between glucocorticoid signaling in fat tissue and the brain’s regulation of energy balance and stress response. Because glucocorticoid signaling is crucial to regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, fat tissue can directly affect central nervous system functions that link obesity, metabolic disease and stress-related problems, researchers concluded.

Understanding fat-to-brain signaling is a first step toward someday being able to influence the broad, complex relationship between stress, obesity and metabolism. Herman credited de Kloet for pressing the search for a fat-to-brain signaling network.

Now that researchers have established that a fat-to-brain signaling pathway exists, a fuller understanding of how it functions could someday lead to drugs or other therapies that ward off the negative effects of long-term stress.

“The big question is the nature of that signal to the brain. We need to learn how to go in and break that cycle of stress, eating and weight gain,” Herman said.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Florida.Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Annette D. de Kloet, Eric G. Krause, Matia B. Solomon, Jonathan N. Flak, Karen A. Scott, Dong-Hoon Kim, Brent Myers, Yvonne M. Ulrich-Lai, Stephen C. Woods, Randy J. Seeley, James P. Herman. Adipocyte glucocorticoid receptors mediate fat-to-brain signaling.Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2015; 56: 110 DOI:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.03.008