Friday, February 26, 2010

Quantity More Important than Quality for Adult Sleep

For years, it has been thought that senior citizens don't require as much sleep as younger adults. However, a study at the University of California San Diego is turning that assumption on its head. For older folks, it appears that the amount of sleep they get is quite important when it comes to memory and other cognitive processing activities. What's not as important as we age is the quality of sleep we get.

Indeed, reports,  sleep quality doesn't have much effect on seniors -- but it does matter to younger adults:

Sleep quality seemed to have no effect on performance, Drummond said. “For older adults, the absolute minutes of sleep they got last night has a significant influence on performance today,” he said.

On the other hand, in younger folks, the quality of sleep, and not the total amount, affected memory the next day, Drummond found. Young adults who slept in consolidated chunks performed better and had higher brain activity in certain regions than those who woke up frequently during the night, regardless of total minutes slept.

Apparently, as we age, we still need the same amount of sleep. Just because older sleepers tend to toss and turn more, doesn't mean they don't need as much sleep. In fact, if they don't get the same amount of sleep as they did when they were younger, they are more prone to memory problems . As a result, the study lead, Sean Drummond, points out that it is vital for seniors to concentrate on quantity of sleep. reports on his findings:

“Sleep last night does impact performance and brain function today, and it does so differently depending on whether you’re in your mid-20s versus your mid-60s,” he said. “Older adults need to get a certain amount of sleep. Young adults need to get that sleep in a consolidated chunk.”

This is yet another example of the awareness we need as we age. Understanding our body's evolving needs as we age can help us live longer -- and with a better quality of life.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Avoiding The Aisles At The Grocery Store Can Help Keep Off Unwanted Pounds

Shopping the perimeter of your local grocery store and avoiding the aisles will give you a head start on fighting the battle of the bulge.
"In most grocery stores, the aisles are filled with canned goods, frozen and boxed dinners that are loaded with fat and extra unnecessary calories," said Gaye Lynn Hicks, RD, LD, with The Methodist Weight Management Center in Houston. "The perimeter features fruits, vegetables, lean meats and other healthy fair."

If you simply cannot avoid going down the aisles, it's important to be aware of food labels and find foods with the fewest amount of ingredients -- three to four instead of 6 to 8.

"The top 5 ingredients listed make up the food, the rest are preservatives and additives to give it flavor. Many times this leads to additional fat and calories," Hicks said. "It should be a red flag if you see they are adding a large amount of sugars and fats. Women only need 200 calories of added sugar per day and men 300 calories."

Your body gets all the nutrients, sugars and fats it needs from the daily requirements of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, dairy and whole grains. All of these items are located around the perimeter of most grocery stores.

"If 90 percent of what is in your shopping cart is from around the perimeter of the store, you are eating a clean, healthy diet," Hicks said.

For instance, she said, low-fat milk offers the same proteins and calcium as whole milk, but you are cutting out all the extra saturated fat. Lean chicken, without the skin, will give you the protein you need without the fat. Five to 10 servings a day of fruits and vegetables will also help you keep off unwanted pounds. Some healthy items will be found down the aisles such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and some spices. In fact, when it comes to spices and seasonings, do it yourself. This way you have more control over what is being put into your food.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Dandruff

Dandruff is not life threatening or even a serious health concern, but it can cause damage to your self-esteem. Skin cells on the scalp generally die and fall off every month or so, which rejuvenates the scalp. But in cases of dandruff, the skin cells turn-over at an accelerated rate, resulting in the unsightly white flakes in your hair and on your shoulders. Certain types of dandruff itch and the scalp can be irritated.

What Causes Dandruff?

Dandruff is usually caused by a fungus or bacteria. But different types of dandruff have different causes:
  • Fungus: The fungus known as Pityrosporum ovale is the principal cause of most cases of dandruff. This fungus is present in most people, and can grow out of control, causing dandruff. If you have dandruff but your scalp does not itch, it is most likely caused by this fungus.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis: When your scalp is itchy, red, flaky, or when you have rashes or redness around your nose and eyebrows, you may have seborrheic dermatitis. This condition can be aggravated by cold air and stress.
  • Dry scalp: Contrary to popular belief, dry scalp is not the cause of dandruff. In fact, most dandruff sufferers have oily scalps, along with topical fungal infections. Drying out the scalp can actually help reduce dandruff flakes by helping to kill the fungus, which thrives on moist environments.
  • Psoriasis: Most likely a mild type of autoimmune disorder, psoriasis is difficult to diagnose and more difficult to cure, and it can be the cause of dandruff and other skin problems. See Autoimmune Disorders for more information.
  • Anxiety: Stress and emotional anxiety have been linked to skin and scalp problems, and are known to make dandruff worse.
Treatments for Dandruff

A great herbal cure for dandruff: Mix equal amounts of the dried herbs, dandelion root, chamomile, burdock root, horsetail, chaparral, rosemary, coltsfoot, and lavender, and two parts nettle. Boil sufficient water for a hair rinse in a saucepan, then remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the mixture of herbs over the top and let cool. (Do not add the herbs while the water is boiling.) Strain the herbs and pour the decoction over your hair after shampooing. Many people don’t wash their hair with shampoo at all (it causes dryness) and exclusively use the hair tea daily. Bye, bye dandruff!

Here are some other things you can try:
  • Nutrients: Zinc has been found to reduce dandruff in some people, bran, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are good sources. Vitamin A and all of the B vitamins are also effective against dermatitis.  Dark green leafy vegetables, squash and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin A; beans, lentile, chilis, and yeasts are full of B vitamins.  Also, get enough selenium and vitamin E for better overall skin health. Whole grains  and nuts and seeds are rich in both. 
  • Herbs: You can combat fungal and bacterial infections that cause dermatitis and yeast infections with apple cider vinegar, oregano oil, and tea tree oil (all topical). St. Johns wort is also an antifungal and antibacterial. Some people claim to have cured their dandruff and dermatitis using apple cider vinegar baths and rinses.
  • Reduce antihistamines: Antihistamines can exacerbate dandruff problems, especially in cases of seborrheic dermatitis.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Do TV Ads Affect Children's Diets or Cause Obesity?

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Health Research and Policy have received a $2.2 million federal grant to determine whether or not TV food advertising affects children's diet, physical activity and weight.

The four-year project, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is unique because it will separate out the effect of food advertising from the amount of time that children watch TV.

"A number of studies have shown that increased TV watching is associated with higher weight outcomes among kids, but they haven't been able to determine whether or not this is directly due to the type of ads children see," said Lisa Powell, research professor of economics at UIC and lead scientist on the study.

Watching television may also contribute to obesity because children are sedentary and likely to snack while they watch TV.

The research, Powell said, can provide important information for policymakers and public health advocates about the potential effectiveness of regulating television food advertising to children and using TV media campaigns as policy tools for improving these health outcomes.
Previous research conducted by Powell and her colleagues showed that 98 percent of food-product ads viewed by children ages 2 to 11, and 89 percent of those viewed by adolescents ages 12 to 17, were for foods high in fat, sugar or sodium.

The current study is the first to combine food, beverage and restaurant ad ratings and nutritional data with individual data on obesity to analyze the relationship between product exposure, nutritional content of ad exposure, and food consumption, diet quality and obesity, according to the researchers.
The study will also examine the relationship between exposure to health promotion ads -- those that encourage eating fruits and vegetables or getting regular physical activity -- and individual behaviors related to diet, activity and weight outcomes.

By measuring the types of ads that children of different ages and races are exposed to, the researchers hope to be able to determine if advertising practices and television viewing patterns contribute to differences in diet and obesity among white and black children.

This work builds on previous studies Powell and her colleagues have conducted examining the effects of environmental factors on children's obesity.

Powell hopes this study will play a crucial role in determining whether or not stronger regulation may be needed for food advertising on children's programming.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Don't worry, be happy! Positive emotions protect against heart disease

People who are usually happy, enthusiastic and content are less likely to develop heart disease than those who tend not to be happy, according to a major new study

The authors believe that the study, published in the Europe's leading cardiology journal, the European Heart Journal, is the first to show such an independent relationship between positive emotions and coronary heart disease.

Dr Karina Davidson, who led the research, said that although this was an observational study, her study did suggest that it might be possible to help prevent heart disease by enhancing people's positive emotions. However, she cautioned that it would be premature to make clinical recommendations without clinical trials to investigate the findings further.

"We desperately need rigorous clinical trials in this area. If the trials support our findings, then these results will be incredibly important in describing specifically what clinicians and/or patients could do to improve health," said Dr Davidson, who is the Herbert Irving Associate Professor of Medicine & Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center (New York, USA).

Over a period of ten years, Dr Davidson and her colleagues followed 1,739 healthy adults (862 men and 877 women) who were participating in the 1995 Nova Scotia Health Survey. At the start of the study, trained nurses assessed the participants' risk of heart disease and, with both self-reporting and clinical assessment, they measured symptoms of depression, hostility, anxiety and the degree of expression of positive emotions, which is known as "positive affect".

Positive affect is defined as the experience of pleasurable emotions such as joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm and contentment. These feelings can be transient, but they are usually stable and trait-like, particularly in adulthood. Positive affect is largely independent of negative affect, so that someone who is generally a happy, contented person can also be occasionally anxious, angry or depressed.

After taking account of age, sex, cardiovascular risk factors and negative emotions, the researchers found that, over the ten-year period, increased positive affect predicted less risk of heart disease by 22% per point on a five-point scale measuring levels of positive affect expression (ranging from "none" to "extreme").

Dr Davidson said: "Participants with no positive affect were at a 22% higher risk of ischaemic heart disease (heart attack or angina) than those with a little positive affect, who were themselves at 22% higher risk than those with moderate positive affect.

"We also found that if someone, who was usually positive, had some depressive symptoms at the time of the survey, this did not affect their overall lower risk of heart disease.

"As far as we know, this is the first prospective study to examine the relationship between clinically-assessed positive affect and heart disease."

The researchers speculate about what could be the possible mechanisms by which positive emotions might be responsible for conferring long-term protection from heart disease. These include influence on heart rates, sleeping patterns and smoking cessation.

"We have several possible explanations," said Dr Davidson. "First, those with positive affect may have longer periods of rest or relaxation physiologically. Baroreflex and parasympathetic regulation may, therefore, by superior in these persons, compared to those with little positive affect. Second, those with positive affect may recover more quickly from stressors, and may not spend as much time 're-living' them, which in turn seems to cause physiological damage. This is speculative, as we are just beginning to explore why positive emotions and happiness have positive health benefits."

She said that most successful interventions for depression include increasing positive affect as well as decreasing negative affect. If clinical trials supported the findings of this study, then it would be relatively easy to assess positive affect in patients and suggest interventions to improve it to help prevent heart disease. In the meantime, people reading about this research could take some simple steps to increase their positive affect.

"Like the observational finding that moderate wine consumption is healthy (and enjoyable), at this point ordinary people can ensure they have some pleasurable activities in their daily lives," she said. "Some people wait for their two weeks of vacation to have fun, and that would be analogous to binge drinking (moderation and consistency, not deprivation and binging, is what is needed). If you enjoy reading novels, but never get around to it, commit to getting 15 minutes or so of reading in. If walking or listening to music improves your mood, get those activities in your schedule. Essentially, spending some few minutes each day truly relaxed and enjoying yourself is certainly good for your mental health, and may improve your physical health as well (although this is, as yet, not confirmed)."

In an accompanying editorial by Bertram Pitt, Professor of Internal Medicine, and Patricia Deldin, Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, both at the University of Michigan School of Medicine (Michigan, USA), the authors pointed out that, currently, no-one knew whether positive affect had a direct or indirect causal role in heart disease, or whether there was a third, underlying factor at work, common to both conditions. Nor was it known for certain whether it was possible to modify and improve positive affect, and to what extent.

"Randomised controlled trials of interventions to increase positive affect in patients with cardiovascular disease are now underway and will help determine the effectiveness of increasing positive affect on cardiovascular outcome and will provide insight into the nature of the relationship between positive affect and cardiovascular disease," they wrote.

"The 'vicious cycle' linking cardiovascular disease to major depression and depression to cardiovascular disease deserves greater attention from both the cardiovascular and psychiatric investigators. These new treatments [to increase positive affect] could open an exciting potential new approach for treating patients with known cardiovascular disease who develop depression. If Davidson et al.'s observations and hypotheses stimulate further investigation regarding the effect of increased positive affect on physiological abnormalities associated with cardiovascular risk, perhaps it will be time for all of us to smile."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Try Cutting Sodium From Your Diet

Most experts recommend 2000 mg of sodium a day - with new research this has become even lower - down to a rounded teaspoon. Keep in mind thatsalt is not only what comes out of the shaker, but rather what goes into the food during processing and manufacture. For instance, although you may not add salt to canned or ready-made soup, usually one serving has enough salt for the entire day in just one small bowl.

"Salt is everywhere - be smart and on the lookout! Lower salt intake might reduce the incidence of high blood pressure, stroke, or even heart attack.," said National Jewish Health Cardiologist Dr. Andrew Freeman. Dr. Freeman offers the following tips.

Vary your flavoring. Use spices without salt. Use garlic, pepper or spice preparations like Mrs. Dash. If you must use salt, consider using sea salt which is low in sodium or potassium chloride which has no sodium.

Avoid lunch meats. Almost any preserved or processed meat such as salami, bologna, ham, sausage and hot dogs are loaded with enough salt - sometimes as much as 2-3 days worth in one sitting.

Beware of cheese. Cheese and cheese spreads
are often loaded with salt to make them taste good, but look carefully at the amount of sodium in your favorite cheeses.

Stay away from prepackaged meats. Prepackaged uncooked meats and chicken breasts often are "brined" in a sodium bath to help improve the flavor.

Bouillon cubes. Many people think making soup from scratch with bouillon cubes is low in sodium, but check again. Most brands cubes are loaded in salt!

Check the label. Look for sodium on the label. Sometimes it will say "low salt" on the package, but always check the sodium on the label. Also check the serving size. Manufactures are clever and may make it seem like the product has low sodium - for a very small serving size.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Treatment Tuesdays - Prostate Health

The size of a mere walnut, the prostate gland is small but critically important to men’s health. It produces semen, the fluid that carries sperm from the testicles, and it regulates the flow of urine from the urinary tract, or urethra. It also comes into contact with the rectal cavity and the bladder.
According to Dr. Earl Mindell, almost every man experiences prostate trouble at least once in his life. In fact, a studies show that 1 out of 6 males will develop prostate cancer. That will result in almost 170,000 prostate removals and nearly 31,000 deaths from prostate cancer.

Fortunately, you can, for the most part, prevent prostate disorders if you start a program of good nutrition early. Prostate disorders range from prostate infection to enlargement to prostate cancer.

Principal symptoms of prostate disorder include:
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Dribbling and urgency to urinate
  • Increased nighttime urination
  • Dramatic reduction of ejaculate
  • Weak ejaculation
  • Lack of sexual desire
  • Difficulty achieving full erection
  • Terminal blood in urine
What Causes Prostate Disorders?

The most benign prostate disorder is infection. The prostate can become infected by viruses and bacteria from the rectal cavity (constipation and poor colon health may be a factor), or the urethra (sexually transmitted). Infection could result in painful urination or difficulty urinating (swelling of the prostate). This can be treated with a prostate cleanse and anti-inflammatory herbs.

It’s important to note that oral sex exposes the prostate to more bacteria than vaginal or even anal sex. Also, environmental toxins have been observed in patients with prostate cancer.

The most common prostate disorder is prostate enlargement, known as prostatitis. When the prostate swells, it blocks the flow of urine, making it difficult or even impossible to urinate. This normally is treated with antibiotics or surgery, but natural cures include the use of anti-inflammatories, prostate massage, and dietary changes.

Finally, there is prostate cancer, the most severe of the prostate conditions. Incidence of prostate cancer in America is on a sharp rise. Experts are still unsure as to the exact cause of prostate cancer, but suspect that genetics, nutrition, hormones, and environmental toxins all play a role. Studies suggest that diets high in saturated fat and sodium nitrate increase risk for prostate cancer, as does a sedentary lifestyle. No wonder prostate cancer is so common in the United States!

Treatments for Prostate Health

The best treatments for prostate health are preventative ones. Concerning the prostate, it’s much better to eliminate the risk of disease than to treat it after the fact. Here are some key points:
  • Eliminate saturated fats and excess sugars and starches from your diet. Reduce the amount of meats and processed foods you eat—especially partially hydrogenated oils. Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables (lightly cooked or even raw)
  • Drink green tea at least once a day. Better yet, trade coffee for green tea
  • Make sure to get an adequate amount of Vitamins B, C, and E and omega fatty acids in your diet. Flax and hemp seeds and oils are good sources of fatty acids, nuts and lentils are good for vitamin E, and many different fruits contain vitamin C
  • Exercise frequently and engage in sexual activity (including masturbation) regularly
  • Get plenty of movement. A sedentary lifestyle is the enemy of the prostate
  • If your diet has been poor for a long time, consider a colon cleansing
  • Combinations of phyto- (plant-based) estrogens are useful in treating prostate disorders.  
  • If you suffer from prostate infection or enlargement, then in addition to the practices listed here, take saw palmetto along with anti-inflammatory and circulation-stimulating herbs (lemongrass, cumin, tumeric, mistletoe extract, sage, pygeum, pumpkin seed extract and sterolins) also get plenty of zinc in your diet - beans, nuts, almonds, whole grains, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are good sources
Other Considerations

Excess alcohol and caffeine play havoc on the prostate, as do coagulated dairy products (hard cheeses, for example). Excess meat consumption is also a prostate irritation, as meat generally is not completely eliminated and remains in the bowels, infecting the prostate. For this reason, it’s a good idea to include plenty of dietary fiber from raw fruits and vegetables, salads, and nuts. Soy products are also helpful.

Avoid excess alcohol and cigarette smoke, including secondhand smoke. Avoid excess caffeine and stress, as they promote hormone imbalances that can affect the prostate.

Monday, February 15, 2010

High levels of vitamin D in older people can reduce heart disease and diabetes

Middle aged and elderly people with high levels of vitamin D could reduce their chances of developing heart disease or diabetes by 43%, according to researchers at the University of Warwick.

A team of researchers at Warwick Medical School carried out a systematic literature review of studies examining vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders. Cardiometabolic disorders include cardiovascular disease,type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods and is also produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are good sources of vitamin D, and it is also available as a dietary supplement.

Researchers looked at 28 studies including 99,745 participants across a variety of ethnic groups including men and women. The studies revealed a significant association between high levels of vitamin D and a decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (33% compared to low levels of vitamin D), type 2 diabetes (55% reduction) and metabolic syndrome (51% reduction).

The literature review, published in the journal Maturitas, was led by Johanna Parker and Dr Oscar Franco, Assistant Professor in Public Health at Warwick Medical School.

Dr Franco said: “We found that high levels of vitamin D among middle age and elderly populations are associated with a substantial decrease incardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

“Targeting vitamin D deficiency in adult populations could potentially slow the current epidemics of cardiometabolic disorders.”
All studies included were published between 1990 and 2009 with the majority published between 2004 and 2009. Half of the studies were conducted in the United States, eight were European, two studies were from Iran, three from Australasia and one from India.


The need for vitamin can clash with the need to protect your skin from sun damage. That is why Boku Super Food contains one of the few vegan diet sources of vitamin D. Boku's Super Tàke Mushroom blend contains 14 kinds of medicinal mushrooms that have already absorbed plenty of vitamin D2 so your skin doesn't have to! Each scoop of Boku contains 20% of the recommended daily allowance. Your body digests and internalizes the vitamin D from ingesting the powdered mushrooms in your Boku drink!

Here's to your health!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blueberries and Probiotics Counteract Intestinal Diseases

You thought blueberries were good for you before! Sure they are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, but now “new research from the Lund University Faculty of Engineering in Sweden shows that blueberry fibre are important and can alleviate and protect against intestinal inflammations, such as ulcerative colitis.”

“The researchers tested various types of diets of husks, rye bran and oat bran with or without a mixture of probiotic bacteria. The results showed that the protective effect of blueberries was reinforced if they were eaten together with probiotics.

‘The probiotics proved to have a protective effect on the liver, an organ that is often negatively impacted by intestinal inflammations,’ explains Ĺsa Hľkansson.

Blueberries are rich in polyphenols, which have an antimicrobial and antioxidative effect. The combination of blueberries and probiotics reduced inflammation-inducing bacteria in the intestine at the same time as the number of health-promoting lactobacilla increased.”

Read the full article here:

This is great news for blueberry lovers and just goes to show how natural foods can be as good or better than manufactured medicines.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Is Obesity in the Eye of the Beholder?

This is what Sherry Rauh believes may be the case in her WebMD feature "Is Fat the New Normal?"
She notes that 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese which makes being seem like heavy the "average" body type. This is becoming more true as "the average American is 23 pounds heavier than his or her ideal body weight."  The problem with this is that people tend to "equate 'normal' with average" and we are left with the idea that it is normal to be overweight, which may be detrimental to the health of many people.
Another interesting point that Rauh makes is that being overweight has a lot to do with where you live and who you associate with as people ten to emulate what they are used to. This means that they best thing that you can do for those around you is to be a healthy role model. If you tend to eat well and get regular exercise your positive actions have a good chance of rubbing off on thse closest to you!
Read all of Rauh's article here:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Perfect Valentine's Gift for a Health Nut!

Share the gift of health with your Valentine!

Our Valentine’s Day bundles include:
  • 3 Potent Life Bars with Organic Raw Maca MiracleTM– One of each flavor!
  • One 10 Day Sample of BōKU® Super Food
  • One 1oz  BōKU® Immune Tonic

OR one case of 12 Potent Life Bars – Goji Berry, Cacao Crunch or Pink Salty Peanuts!
case of potent life bars
All of these products contain powerful antioxidant and adaptogenic ingredients sure to give you plenty of vim and vigor this Valentine’s Day.

The Potent Life Bars and Super Food also contain organic cacao which is high in PEA (Phenethylamine), a neurotransmitter known for enhancing mood and promoting feelings of love and well-being. Both products also contain maca root which is believed to increase virility and libido as well as maintaining other hormonal factors.

Either Valentine’s Day BōKU® bundle can be purchased at: for $21.95 – use coupon code “V2010” for free shipping!

Who would have thought that extra nutrition could let you have the best Valentine’s Day ever!

Healthy Recipes - My Valentine Smoothie

This recipe will add some zing to your Valentine’s Day.


1 cup organic cranberry juice
6 strawberries
1/2 banana (chopped)
1 scoop BōKU® Super Food


Blend and Enjoy

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Energy Enhancement

High energy makes us feel better and younger, helps us get more done, and even stimulates creativity and will. Energy is the currency of our very life force. So how do we get more energy for the body and mind? How do food and other fuel sources translate into energy? And how do we increase the “octane” of our fuel for the energy efficiency of our bodies?

The answers to those questions are both simple and complex. On a physical level, our bodies use one primary type of fuel for energy: glucose. It’s that simple. Glucose that enters the bloodstream is converted by the body into glycogen, which is then burned as fuel in the cells.

What Causes Low Energy?

The chemical energy our body uses for fuel comes from blood sugar. Different forms of sugar enter the bloodstream through our normal digestion and food conversion processes. When we need energy for physical activity, the hormone insulin transports blood sugar into the cells, where it can be used for fuel or stored as glycogen. The liver also converts much of this glucose into energy or glycogen. Excess sugar is excreted from the body through urine or converted into fat. This process can break down in many places, causing low energy, nervous high energy, and energy “crash” (rapid energy loss). Low insulin levels (diabetes), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), low blood pressure, and poor cell health can all affect the production of energy.

Other conditions that can affect energy levels include poor liver health, adrenal imbalance, thyroid imbalance, and even insufficient muscle mass (not enough muscle to fat ratio).

Energy Enhancements

So how do we get more energy? What are the safest and most effective ways to increase energy and get more of life’s sweet nectar? Well, let’s start with a few basic principals. Here are the essential concepts for increasing body energy:
  • Improve the quality of your fuel: Find the optimal mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats for your body, so it can more effectively convert these elements into fuel. The optimal mixture is not the same for everyone.
  • Reduce the quantity of your fuel intake: Generally, eating less food results in more energy efficiency. Oxidation from overeating causes the body to slow down, as does the excess stored fat that overeating causes.
  • Clean your engine: Clean out your liver and purify your blood for increased energy. This will support the chemical processes that carry glucose into the cells, where it is used as energy. It also wouldn’t hurt to clean your intestines, as this is where sugars get extracted from foods and passed to the bloodstream.
  • Streamline your body: Losing excess fat and increasing muscle mass will give you more energy and improve energy conversion from the food you eat.
  • Attend to “other” energies: Steer clear of high frequency wires, unnecessary x-rays, and other foreign energies. Keep your emotional archives clean, your heart light, and your self-image positive.
Other Considerations

Glucose is the most important and most used source of energy for our tissues and muscles. Most of this glucose should come from complex carbohydrates (grains, vegetables, beans) for best energy conversion. People with higher metabolisms or those on a muscle-building program can increase their intake of carbohydrates. Sucrose (sugar) is a combination of glucose and fructose; the glucose is quickly and easily converted into energy by our liver and muscle tissues. Note that energy from fructose (fruit and corn syrup) is converted into energy only by the liver, and any excess will be converted into fat and stored as body tissue. It’s best to stay away from excess fructose, especially high-fructose corn syrup, commonly added to juices. For long-term energy, it also helps to boost your protein levels.

Pure cocoa is an excellent antioxidant and helps normalize your circulation, not to mention improve your mood. Eat dark, bittersweet chocolate for a hit of cocoa and sucrose, but keep this in check as you can easily consume too much sucrose. Energy without caffeine is built by taking a things like ginseng, suma (South American root sometimes called Brazilian ginseng), maca (Peruvian 
root called Amazon ginseng), and organic minerals from seaweeds. Spirulina is an excellent energy source for its vitamin, mineral, and protein content, not to mention the chlorophyll.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Schizandra berry is a well-known adaptogenic herb. Due to its ability to increase strength and balance body systems, Chinese herbalists recommend the dried berry for relief from exhaustion and fatigue, and they believe that it can increase both your energy level and your life expectancy.