Heart Healthy Whole Eggs

heart healthy eggsWhole eggs are in!!

Gone are the days of only eating egg whites so go ahead, eat the yolks. Studies show that other diet and lifestyle factors are more strongly linked to heart disease and strokes.  Reducing sugar and refined carbs, including fiber rich foods, choosing vegetables good fats and prioritizing fitness are valuable for losing weight and lowering health risks.

Recent studies show that eating eggs daily does not impose risk even in adults with heart disease. Truth be told, eggs, with the yolks, are one of nature’s perfect foods. They contain healthy protein, good fats and are full of essential vitamins and minerals. They are one of the few food sources of vitamin D but also contain B vitamins, vitamins A and E, selenium, zinc, choline, phosphorus and iron. Eggs also are high in antioxidants which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. But, you may ask, “What about all of the cholesterol in whole eggs?” Not to worry, you can eat approximately 7 eggs per week without raising the cholesterol levels in your blood.

If you only eat egg whites, you are missing out on the most nutritious part of the egg, the yolk. So go ahead, eat the whole egg.

Sources:

  • Ballesteros et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004;80(4):855-61
  • Berger et al. The American Journal of Nutrition. 2015 Aug;102(2): 276-294
  • Greene et al. Journal of Nutrition. 2005 Dec;135(12):2793-8
  • Katz et al. American Heart Journal. 2015 Jan;169(1): 162-9
  • Nimalaratne et al. Food Chemistry. 2011 Nov;129(1):155-161
  • Sacks et al. Lancet. 1984 Mar 24;1(8378):647-9

B’s are the Bomb! Are you getting essential B-Vitamins?

Good nutrition is essential for good health and the possible prevention and resolving of many conditions. Getting enough vitamins and minerals are necessary part of leading a healthful life. But it is almost impossible to get all of your vitamins from food, especially with all of the processed food available. One group of vitamins that play an important, if not overlooked, role in your overall health are the B vitamins. B vitamins are an integral part of every system of your body, even down to the inner workings of your cells.

There are eight B vitamins that do various things in the body. The following is a list of benefits of each B vitamin.

 1. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)-is essential for converting carbohydrates into energy from food. It is also important for heart, muscle and nerve function.

  • Food sources: Nuts, legumes, cauliflower, lean meats and sunflower seeds.
  • Deficiency can lead to vision problems, weakness/fatigue, mental problems and heart issues.

2. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)-is important for growth, the production of red blood cells and the conversion of carbohydrates into energy.

  • Food Sources: liver, eggs, nuts, fish and some dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Deficiency can lead to cracks in the corners of the mouth, eczema, eye irritation, a risk of heart disease due to high homocysteine levels.

3, Vitamin B3 (Niacin)-helps breakdown food for energy. It also helps with the function of the digestive system, skin and nerves. It is involved in widening blood vessels to      increase blood flow.

  • Food Sources: fish, chicken, beans, nuts, eggs, pork, salmon and beef liver.
  • Deficiency can contribute to digestive problems, depression, headache and thinning of the hair.

4. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)-is important for the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. It is crucial for growth, the production of hormones and cholesterol.

  • Food Sources: Beans, avocado, liver and vegetables in the cabbage family including broccoli.

5. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)-affects over 60 proteins in the body, including those involved in the nervous system, red and white blood cell production, the immune system and heart disease.

  • Food Sources: meats, oily fish, poultry, whole grains, avocados, watermelon, bananas and peanuts.
  • Deficiency can lead to heart disease due to increased homocysteine levels, skin problems, impaired memory and concentration and increased risk for kidney stones.

6. Vitamin B7 (Biotin)-is involved in the production of amino acids, proteins, hormones and fatty acids.

  • Food Sources: egg yolks, chocolate, legumes, mushrooms, bananas, tomatoes, whole grains and nuts.
  • Deficiency is rare.

7. Vitamin B9 (Folate)-is used to produce chemical messengers in the brain, proteins and DNA. It is also important for pregnant women to prevent certain birth defects.

  • Food Sources: avocado, bananas, beets, oranges, asparagus, broccoli, green leafy vegetables and peas
  • Deficiency can lead to elevated levels of homocysteine that may increase the risk of heart disease. Low levels may also cause depression, anemia, problems with concentration, memory and hearing.

8. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)-critical for the production of red blood cells, the manufacture of DNA and nervous system function.

  • Food Sources: the only sources are animal products, including meats, milk and other dairy, eggs and fish. Some cereals and grain products are fortified.
  • Deficiency increases the risk of bone fractures, balance problems, weakness, depression, memory and hearing loss. Vegans and some vegetarians may become deficient in vitamin B12 due to the lack of animal product consumption.

Since many of us do not have the most healthful diet by not eating our fruits, veggies and other foods high in B vitamins, supplementation with a vitamin B complex may be a good idea. The B complex vitamins in our shop are activated and of the highest quality. Activated B vitamins means they can be used immediately with having to be converted by your body, like many of the other B complexes available.

All of the B vitamins have a wide variety of roles in the body that are crucial to being well. If you are deficient in any of these vitamins, your body may not be working at an optimal level, especially if you are stressed and feel tired all of the time. Our supplements are pharmaceutical grade and are of the highest quality with the highest absorption rate. Check out our activated B complex supplements below.

 

Source: University of Maryland, medical reports and articles on vitamins
*The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

There’s Nothing Fishy About Fish Oil

salmon

You have probably heard that you should eat fish at least twice a week but do you really know why?

Fish and fish oil are high in omega-3 fatty acids. When you ingest fat from foods, it breaks down into fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are the “good guys” that help to lower triglycerides in the blood and too many triglycerides can increase your risk for heart disease. Among the omega-3 fatty acids are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). DHA and EPA are important for not only heart health, but for brain and eye health and reducing inflammation. They are also very important for infant health and development.

On the other hand, omega-6 fatty acids have been vilified but this is not necessarily the case. Omega-6s are necessary to the body but too much can cause inflammation. Americans, in general, are consuming way too much omega-6s because the main source is vegetable oils, like soybean oil. Most processed foods contain large amounts of omega-6s. The goal is to have a lower omega-6 to omega-3 ratio and this is achieved by consuming less processed and fried fast food and eating more fish or fish oil.

Unless you eat fish several times a week and don’t eat processed food, you could benefit from taking a fish oil supplement. Our fish oils are high in quality and assured to be without any heavy metals like mercury.

Please see our fish oil supplements for both adults and children below the related articles.

Sources:

  • American Heart Association on Fish and Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Effect of Fish Oil Supplementation
  • Public Library of Sciences, Low Blood Long Chain Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Direct MS Org, Omega 3 fatty acids, inflammation and autoimmune, Simopoulous, MD, FACN

*The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Chocolate Actually Is, Good For You!

Decadent, rich, smooth, delicious, creamy, luxurious. These are all words that describe chocolate. But there’s another word that is not typically associated with chocolate, healthy. Yes, healthy. There are many health benefits of chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

Chocolate has been enjoyed by people going back to Pre-Columbian Mexico. The Mayans and Aztecs were known to make a beverage from the cocoa tree and when the conquering Spaniards returned to Spain in 1528, they brought the newly discovered chocolate beverage. The first eating chocolate was introduced in 1847 in England but it attracted more attention when a Swiss chocolateer added milk and ultimately sugar in 1874.

Today, we can appreciate why the Mayans and Aztecs found chocolate appealing. The dark, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth properties of chocolate are not only craved by many as a special treat, but also has several health benefits.

Dark chocolate with a high cacao content, is very nutritious. Fiber rich cocoa contains other nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Dark Chocolate and cacao also have a respectable fatty acid profile of mostly heart healthful fats.

Dark chocolate is also full of powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants scavenge through the body searching for the destructive free radicals. The antioxidants make the free radicals less harmful to the cells of the body. These antioxidants include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, among others. Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than some fruits, including blueberries and Acai berries.

The flavanols in dark chocolate may also protect your skin against the sun. This bioactive compound improves blood flow to the skin while increasing skin hydration and density. This activity reduces redness and protects against sun-induced skin damage. Next time you are planning for a vacation in the sun, try eating a little dark chocolate in the weeks or months prior to your departure.

Your skin isn’t the only part of your body that benefits from dark chocolate. The flavanols not only increase blood flow to your skin, but also to your brain. This may improve cognitive function, verbal fluency and lowers particular risks of disease, especially in the elderly with mental impairment. Cacao also contains the stimulants caffeine and theobromine, which can also improve short-term brain function.

Another little known health benefit of high cacao chocolate is that it may improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the lining of arteries to produce nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is a gas that sends signals to the arteries to relax. This relaxation lowers the resistance of the blood flow, hence reducing blood pressure.

Cholesterol is also affected by the compounds in dark chocolate. It has been shown that these protective antioxidant compounds reduce the “bad” LDL cholesterol, increases the “good” HDL and results in a lower risk of long-term heart disease. One study found that the risk of cardiovascular death was reduced by 50% over a 15 year period in elderly men. This and other observational studies show that there is a benefit to your heart when dark chocolate is included.

Although the dark chocolate you enjoy contains some sugar, there is substantial evidence that the cacao in chocolate provides many health benefits, especially against heart disease. This does not mean that you should consume whole chocolate bars at a sitting. You can enjoy and savor one or two squares as a treat throughout the day but make sure you purchase quality chocolates with at least 70% cacao content.

Lose the guilt knowing that your chocolate treat can be good for you!

 

http://csis.pace.edu/

nutritiondata.self.com

Crozier, et al. Chemistry Central Journal. 2011. 5:5.

Taubert, et al. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2007. 298(1): 49-60.

Francis, et al. Journal of Cardiac Pharmacology. 2006; 47 Suppl 2-S215-20.

Giovambattista, et al. Hypertension. 2012; 60:794-801.

Smit et al. Psychopharmacology. 2004; 176:3: 412-419.

Buijsse et al. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2006; 166(4): 411-7.