Feel Good Everyday With These 6 Vitamins

Vitamin sources are essential for good health and wellness.
Vitamin sources are essential for good health and wellness.

The one thing we want everyday when we wake up is to feel good. Have you ever noticed the difference in how you feel when you eat right, exercise and get the proper amount of sleep for your body the previous day? You feel like you can face anything, right?

You can and should strive to feel like that everyday and it starts with your nutrition. We eat right for the benefits of vitamins and nutrients we need to function properly. When we do that, we sleep better, workout better and handle our daily tasks better.

Here are 6 Vitamins you should be getting to feel good everyday of the week.

Beta Carotene –  Beta Carotene is known as the vanity vitamin in some circles. You will benefit from this vitamin in the form of healthy vision, good skin and a strong immune system. While you can get this vitamin in the form of a supplement, it’s best to look into good old fashioned nutritional sources. Carrots, sweet potatoes and green peppers are a few of the many food sources to enjoy.

Iron – (One of my favorites) While some sources of iron are not that popular in the taste department, it is a critical vitamin for your overall well being. Have you ever bent down and stood up real fast, only to feel light headed? Yeah, that usually indicates low iron. The organ meats (liver) are known to have the highest sources of iron, but if you’re as grossed out as I am with eating another living animals internal organs, there is still hope.

Iron can be found in other abundant sources such as seafood, nuts and leafy green vegetables. This is one of my favorite vitamins because I love all of those and there are so many ways to prepare them. You can also get iron in supplement form, especially if you’re anemic, but make sure you always compliment any supplement with natural nutrition.

Potassium – Potassium is a favorite among most people because it is so easy to get this nutrient and enjoy it! While potassium is most notably found in bananas, you can also get your fix from raisins, leafy greens, milk and oranges. It can lower and regulate your blood pressure, regulate your heart rhythm, and counteract too much sodium (which you shouldn’t have too much of anyway).

Vitamin D – If you’re an athlete, or you like to be out in the sun, Vitamin D will, without a doubt, be your favorite.  This vitamin is said to be a 1-2 punch along with calcium, which is optimal for your bones. Not enough vitamin D can result in osteoporosis and problems in the wellness of children. If you’re an athlete, more so involved in a contact sport, you should make vitamin D supplements a mainstay in your cabinet.

One of the interesting things about this particular vitamin is its source is gained primarily through sun exposure. This is a good thing (another reason to be outside this summer).

Calcium – Calcium would be the “cross” to the “jab” of vitamin D. Along with vitamin D, calcium plays a large role in bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. The subject of  calcium is tricky because the sources that are most known for this nutrient are in dairy products. I, myself don’t eat a lot of dairy, so if you’re the same in that regard you can still get the benefits through leafy greens like Kale and mustard greens.

Vitamin C – The Granddaddy of them all, vitamin C is the most important vitamin for your body and its overall health and wellness. You can get vitamin C through so many different sources such as citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit), bell peppers, berries, leafy greens and broccoli. While taking a supplement is a great way to get a daily dose of this nutrient, it is recommended to rely on your food sources for the best impact.

 

 

Guest Post – Health Benefits Of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a popular nutrient found in citrus fruits, juices and supplements, offering numerous health benefits. Vitamin C can help you control your blood pressure, protects you from infection and can even prevent cancer causing agents in your body. Below are the benefits you can get from this powerful nutrient.

Prevents cardiovascular disease

Vitamin C is a great way to prevent cardiovascular diseases. In the first stages of atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries), your white blood cells start to stick to the endothelium walls. This cycle continues on until the walls of your blood vessel begin to lose its elasticity and become thinner. The weakening of the vessel and plaque build-up can result in a condition called “atherosclerosis”. The condition is very dangerous as it can cause heart attacks and strokes.

Vitamin C can prevent atherosclerosis by normalizing the white blood cell. This part is what the cell use to stick to the vessel wall during the first stage of atherosclerosis. Vitamin C helps ensure your cardiovascular health is properly maintained.

Antioxidant properties

There are free radical molecules inside your body which can cause cancer. Free radicals can cause damage to your cells by stealing one of the electrons from its atom. This causes a chain reaction where the atoms inside the cell become free radicals and start turning others into free radicals as well.
Antioxidants prevent free radicals from damaging your cells. They do this by donating an electron to the free radical molecule. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which can eliminate free radicals and prevent certain types of cancers.

Reduces blood pressure

Hypertension is a dangerous condition where your blood pressure is elevated. This pushes your heart to pump pressure around your body at a difficult rate. The increased blood pressure can cause organ damage and cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin C is able to lower blood pressure. The vitamin is a natural diuretic which promotes urination and good digestion. This helps relax your blood vessels which can lower the rate of blood being pumped by your heart. As mentioned above, Vitamin C can also prevent your white blood cells from creating plaque build-up. This can also ensure your blood pressure is normalized.

Decreased risk of lead poisoning

Lead poisoning is a condition where your body has a large amount of heavy metals. Adults usually experience abdominal pain, loss of appetite, constipation and diarrhea as symptoms of this disorder. On the more serious side, individuals can experience delirium, seizures and comas.

Vitamin C can prevent toxicity by reducing the amount of lead in your blood. This was discovered more than a decade ago by researchers in San Francisco, California. They found a significant reduction in lead level when they gave a high dosage of vitamin C to their patients.

Remember, you need a good daily intake of vitamin C in order to reap the benefits mentioned above. Consider adding some fresh fruits to your meals or buying vitamin c supplements

About The Author

Katherine Flowers does research for Elite Vitamin Zone regarding current trends in health and fitness. She shares her experiences and regimen, including intake of vitamin supplements to help readers lead a healthy lifestyle.

5 Ways To Keep Your Workouts Interesting

fitness8Every now and then (especially this time of year), it becomes harder to keep your health and fitness regimen in check. You still might be shaking off some of that holiday sluggishness and the last thing you want to do after a long day at work in the Winter, is hit the gym or workout when you get home.

This is, however, the most crucial time you should get up and at em. Here are 5 ways to keep your workouts interesting so you don’t fall completely off.

1. Try a new workout plan – It’s not written in stone that you have to stick to the same workout regimen for the rest of your life. When you’re feeling like you need to switch it up from the normal routine, by all means, do so. If you’re a traditional gym rat, try a form of martial arts instead. If you’re a martial artist, try a kettle bell routine.

This will stimulate the mind and muscle. You’re muscles love new activity, so do something that will make your body say “Whoa!”

2. Add a Workout Partner – Sometimes all you need is a little company. If you work out like a lone warrior, that’s great. But there’s nothing like a motivator to keep you going. Bring your spouse or your best friend to the gym with you for an incentive. What better way to spend time with that special someone than doing a fitness activity together.

Or getting a workout group of your closest friends to chat and hang out with while you get into shape.

3. Create a soundtrack for your workout – The Rocky theme is the Rocky theme for a reason. Motivational music can be essential for those times when you just Do Not feel like working out. We are in a beneficial time of technology so take advantage of it. Now you can make a playlist, upload it to your iPod and rock. Music is a great motivator.

Tip: Start your motivational playlist Before you even start your workout. This way you’re already pumped.

4. Make it Competitive – This coincides with #2. Having a workout partner is great to help pass the time, but even more so for a little friendly competition. If you’re on the track, make it interesting with your buddy doing some wind sprints. If you train in a martial art, your friends make the best sparring partners.

If you don’t have anyone who shares a passion for fitness the way you do, you can take up a recreational sport to stay in shape. There are always leagues and clubs to get involved with in any kind of activity to get good spirited competitive physical fitness.

interesting workout25. Change your surrounding – This is one of my favorites and a rather easy one to do. Sometimes all you need is a little change of scenery to keep your workout interesting. The treadmill is great for a rainy day or during the winter season. But when it’s 70 degrees outside, the sun is shining and the air is clear you need to head out that trail and go for a run (or walk).

Any workout you do indoors is twice as fulfilling outside on a great day.

So how do you keep your workout interesting? Yoga, Pilates, Crossfit, Tai Chi?  Please share and leave a comment below.

Guest Post – Importance of Physical Therapy in Our Daily Life

physical therapyPhysical Therapy is a vast arena that covers almost all the aspects of health care and wellness. In fact the correct physical therapy acts as a preventative care and helps to overcome many ailments that can prove to be fatal in the long run. Now the question is, does one therapist deals with all the kinds of ailments? Well, the answer is no. Just like every ailment is different, in the same manner the therapists who deal with the ailments are also different and specialize in the specific sphere. Orthopedic, geriatric, neurological, cardiovascular and pulmonary, pediatric, health and wellness and other types of rehab therapy are some of the areas where physical therapy is carried out as a preventive measure.

But don’t think that physical therapy deals only with exercise and so on. It also includes research, patient education, counseling of patients, as well as planning treatments procedure as per the individual requirement of the patient. If you are still not satisfied, why don’t you read on to find out how this therapy brings about a complete change in the lifestyle of the patient?

Importance of visiting a physical therapist on a regular basis:

The logic with which you visit your general physician as a means of a regular check up, in the same way you need to visit a physical therapist. The regular check up will give you a clear idea of your physical well being and whether you need any kind of treatment or not. The therapist opts for a detailed evaluation of one’s neurological, muscle, skeletal, pulmonary and cardiovascular in order to get a clear idea about the individual’s health status. If the Physio Clinic comes across any kind of symptoms, they will suggest the required treatment so that the ailment is rectified before it can get any worse or damaging. There are many amongst us who are not comfortable of visiting a physical therapist as they think that people who are suffering from any kid of injury or physical ailment should consult them only. But this is a completely wrong notion.

Prevention of Surgical Treatment:

One of the major reasons why physical therapy is recommended because it helps to prevent the surgery because when you are visiting a therapist he will give you a clear idea about your health and so you will know whether there is anything wrong with you. And in case you are suffering from any kind of ailment the therapist will make sure that you are treated properly before you have to go for any kind of surgery. This not only saves your money on the operation and medications on the long run but it also saves the individual from any kind of side effects that might occur because of the surgery. So physical therapy is a multi-edged sword.

physical therapy2Helps an individual to maintain their physical strength:

As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass and if we are one of those individuals who hardly takes part in any kind of physical activity, then there are high chances that we will suffer from mobility problems. But one can keep all of this at bay if they make it a point to visit the physical therapist at regular intervals. The therapist aims at an overall development and well being of an individual and hence they will ensure that your physical strength remains intact even if you are getting old.
So even if you have never considered physical therapy so far, it does not mean that you cannot. It is never too late to take care of one’s body. So go ahead and fix an appointment with the therapist today only.

Author Bio
The above article has been written by Francisca Straut. This is her G+ profile – https://plus.google.com/+FranciscaStraut/posts

Why You Should Start Your New Year Everyday Of The Year

new years hangeoverHealth and Wellness is Life, Not a Resolution

I was never into New Years Resolutions that much, but I have made some in the past. What sticks out to me when thinking about some of them is the anticipation of actually kicking them into full gear. From late November to late December I would eat whatever I wanted and make decisions to skip workouts because a new year was coming and I was gonna be hard edged about my regimen at the stroke of midnight on January 1st.

I would even neglect keeping my house in order and get a little disorganized. All because I knew that a new year was right around the corner and I was gonna be even more focused than the last.

But what happened when I went about it this way? The same thing that usually happens to all of us.

Usually….

The new year comes, we wake up motivated and on fire to improve, it lasts for a couple of days, maybe weeks…and then we stop.

But why do we stop?!

I have my theories as you might.

Here’s my main theory.

The anticipation of the resolution to improve is bigger than the desire to improve. When we want to use fitness to improve our health and wellness, we set a mark in time and start from that point. Then when the excitement is gone, so is our motivation. When we want to start eating right, we set a mark in time (usually after a holiday where food plays an intricate part), start from that point and then we stop.

This can be a vicious cycle that can filter throughout our lives and, before you know it, put us in a tailspin of:

“I need to…”

“Starting on (this date)….I’m gonna do this”

“My new years resolution is to….”.

So with that being the case, why not just make everyday of your life a “New Years Day”?!

Think about it!

Every morning you wake up, you have something you want to improve, sustain, grow, work towards or accomplish because it’s “New Years” and it’s time to get it right!

Use that motivation to keep the consistency going on a daily basis and watch the magic happen.

Remember…

It’s all about a change of attitude, lifestyle and the way you think. Success is about making small changes Everyday to see LARGE results over time.

See Also: 5 Ways To Start The Healing Process For A Healthy New Year

3 Crucial Benefits Of Yoga

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Yoga for health and wellness

You may very well know what yoga looks like, but it offers so much more when you delve into the meaning and benefits that it gives you for health and wellness.

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means union of the mind, body and spirit. While it has many physical benefits, it can actually filter throughout your life and have a tremendous positive effect on your well being.

More relaxation, better sleep, better focus in tense situations, better posture and an inner peace are just a few benefits that scratch the surface.

More Relaxation For Better Sleep – Life can be full of stress, from the minute we wake up in the morning until the minute we lay back down at night. Family, bills, work and dealing with many different personalities throughout the day can take a tremendous toll on your inner peace.

The breathing techniques of Yoga are great stress relievers in that they help remove negative feelings and emotions from your mind. 15 minutes of yoga breathing daily can help you prepare for the day, and find that peaceful calm at the end of the day.

The breathing techniques of yoga, however, do not have to be limited to a single yoga session. Yoga breathing can be done anywhere, any place and anytime. This especially comes in handy during those stressful times at work.

Yoga has been known to reduce muscle tension, calm the mind and slow the heart rate. These are all very important for getting a good night sleep.

It’s up to you when you choose to do yoga, but in terms of better rest, doing yoga an hour before you go to sleep can work wonders for how you wake up the following morning.

Calms The Mind – As stated before, yoga calms the mind. It’s chaos of the mind that ages us prematurely. It’s chaos of the mind that stresses us out, causes us to medicate and indulge in things that eventually hurt us in the long run. And it’s chaos of the mind that causes us to lose sleep, slouch, over eat and spiral into an indulgence of destructive thinking and behavior.

Studies have shown that a few sessions of yoga per week increase work productivity, better sleep patterns and an overall functionality of the body.

Better Posture – The standing and sitting postures of yoga are outstanding for developing core strength and better overall posture. Your core strength is in many ways directly related to your lower back, which is the base for good posture. Movements like downward facing dog are great for stretching your spine while the interchanging involved in the position has a contracting effect on your core.

Slouching has never been good for the back and it has been said by many that people feel a difference in their breathing and posture shortly after a few sessions.

Figuring out how to turn the noise off in the mind is the key to inner serenity and yoga can be an aid to do this very thing.

7 Sugar Packed Foods To Avoid That Will Keep You Away From Your Doctor

All that taste good, isn’t gold.

One of the worst things to do when trying to live by good principles of nutrition is to eat certain foods that we might not think to be extremely bad, but are destroying us from the inside. It can get very bad because often times they are “healthy foods” that taste so good, but are packed with the most sugar and cosmetically damaging ingredients you can imagine.

Here are 7 Sugar Packed Foods that will keep you away from your doctor and protect your wallet in the process.

1. Instant Oatmeal – They say it’s like eating dessert for breakfast. Granola is awesome to the taste, especially mixed with some nuts and raisins, but it’s more sugar than it’s worth. One packet can have up to a third of sugar to a bowl. Skip the instant oatmeal and try some shredded wheat instead (avoid the powdered sugar too).

2. Chinese Food – I looove Chinese food just like the next person, but in an actual Chinese restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, I know how hectic a day can get at the drop of a hat and before you know it, you don’t even have time to prepare a good healthy meal. However, instant Chinese food can really do a number on your teeth. Instead try having some authentic Chinese food instead. It might cost a few extra dollars, but your body will thank you in the long run.

Fast Food Breakfast.

3. Fast Food Breakfast – I shouldn’t even have to mention this, but I will anyway. Just the fact that more and more fast food chains are starting to serve breakfast now let’s me know there’s an issue. Egg Mcmuffins, sugar crusted doughnuts, scones, butter soaked bagels and hot chocolate might be mouth watering just to think about, but your sugar level goes through the roof with every bite.

Instead, try  plain yogurt and a little granola. Or, if you really want to be hard core, some spelt flake cereal with almond milk and bananas (one of my favorites) You get protein, potassium and fiber all in one. Not to mention you won’t go into a coma by 11 a.m.

4. Fruity Ice Cream – This one hurts. Ice cream is my favorite dessert of ALL time. If I could, I’d eat it everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But here’s why I don’t. Your average size cup of ice cream that you would get at a known parlor contains about a days worth of saturated fat. So think about when you have a little cup after lunch and then a cone after dinner. That’s a lot of damage in something so little.

Again, this is when yogurt can really come in handy. Try some plain yogurt with organic fruit mixed in to satisfy that craving.

5. Sugar Packed Smoothies – This one here is just dirty. I used to go to a well know smoothie franchise and get a strawberry smoothie just about every other afternoon in the summer, until I found out I was drinking pure sugar. Smoothies like that are made with juice as opposed to real whole fruit.

What I recommend (because I actually did it) is to play it safe and make your own. Go to the farmers market, pick up some organic fruit and just do the deed yourself. You save time, money and you’re in complete control.

Related: The 6 Colors of Fruits and Vegetables For Your Health and Wellness

Breakfast Muffin

6. Breakfast Muffins – I was never into the whole breakfast muffin thing until I tried one once when I was on my way to a meeting and didn’t have time to make breakfast. Wow!! It was at that moment that I saw what all the fuss was about every time I would pass Starbucks. A typical whole grain muffin can pack as much sugar as the mouth watering pastry sitting next to it in the display case, believe it or not.

If you have to go there with the carbs in the morning, try a plain croissant instead. It’s a lot lighter and you’re stomach will thank you for it at the end of the day (speaking from experience).

7. Hot Pretzel – I spent half of my life in New York, so I know how a well prepared hot pretzel can make you stop in your tracks and forget everything going on around you. However, a hot pretzel along with the melted cheese and salt can bring a tidal wave of calories right to your lower abdomen (you know, the area that won’t seem to go down even after a thousand leg lifts).

Instead try a raisin pretzel with cream cheese (still a treat). It’s a lot less of a caloric intake…and if you have to have one, eat it before your workout or strenuous activity.

It’s best to avoid these foods altogether,  but realistically speaking, if you have to indulge, limit it to once a month or once a season. Moderation is the key to health and wellness.

I’d like to hear from you! Please comment or share on some of your favorite foods that gave you a rude awakening with your health.

The 6 Colors Of Fruits and Vegetables – How They Help Your Health and Wellness

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Fruits and Vegetables by their color provide endless benefits to your health and wellness.

It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables should be the cornerstone for any nutritious diet. But have you ever broken down your favorites by their respective color group? The different color groups serve a particular purpose in your health and wellness.

Next time you walk into the grocery store or farmers market, look at how much color you find in the produce section. Orange, red, purple, white, green and yellow are the main groups you will see. These are the colors for your fruits and vegetables. With an assortment of different fruits and veggies to try from these 6 groups of colors, you should almost never tire of trying different nutritious dishes for your benefit,

Orange – Carrots, oranges, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, carrots, mangoes and papaya. Orange vegetables are packed with beta-carotene, which has been shown to improve eyesight and fight cancer.

White – Onions,  potatoes, shallots, turnips, white corn, white nectarines, white peaches, mushrooms, bananas, cauliflower, pears and garlic. White fruits and vegetables are packed with beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG and lignans. They are known to boost the immune system and are great for breast and prostate cancer prevention.

Green – Artichokes, arugula, asparagus, avocados, broccoflower, broccoli, broccoli rabe, brussel sprouts, celery. Green fruits and veggies are full of vitamin C, folate, calcium, fiber, chlorophyll and protein. The nutrients found in green vegetables have been known to reduce cancer risks, regulate digestion, improve and protect your vision and boost your immune system.

Red – Blood oranges, cherries, radishes, raspberries, red apples, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon. Red fruits and vegetables contain hesperidin, lycopene and fiber and are known to reduce the risk of cancer, high blood pressure and can reduce many cases of arthritis.

Yellow – Apricots, butternut squash, grapefruit, lemon, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, persimmons, pineapple, and cantaloupe. Orange fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene, flavonoids, potassium and vitamin c. Eating this group daily has shown to promote healthy joints, aid in a healthy alkaline balance and build healthy bones.

Purple – Eggplant, elder berries, grapes, plums, pomegranates, prunes, figs and raisins. Purple fruits and veggies have been known to boost the immune system, support healthy digestion, fight inflammation and  reduce the risk of cancer cells.

With the rise of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and respiratory illness, the consumption of these fruits and vegetables is of major importance to your health and wellness. If you have a busy lifestyle, you can always get a blend at your local juice bar, or make a tasty one yourself. But don’t let a busy lifestyle compromise your efforts to eat these natural foods in their entirety.

A  good vegetable eaten everyday with each meal can make a tremendous difference in how you feel and function. Try a vegetable omelette for breakfast, a spinach salad for lunch, a small fruit salad for an afternoon snack and mixed vegetable side for dinner. See how easy it is to get it all in?

I want to hear from you!

What are some ways you manage to get your daily fruit and vegetable intake?