Health Benefits of Pumpkins

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Halloween is the time of year when we think about pumpkins.  But it’s always the time of year to think about eating right.  In that regard, pumpkins are frightfully good for us, not in a jack-o-lantern but in our diet.

Pumpkins are very beneficial for heart ailments and also help in reducing cholesterol.  […]

Who Exactly Takes Nutritional Supplements and Why?

I shot this video in the parking lot of a local store that sells  nutritional supplements.  As you can see, the parking lot is busy,
and customers entering and leaving the store exhibit a wide range of age  and characteristics.

People who take nutritional supplements are sometimes labeled as
“Health Nuts” as if they were part of some weird minority. It might surprise you to learn that most U.S. adults, 68%, use dietary supplements according to an October, 2015 survey by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

This Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs, found that when it comes to safety, quality and effectiveness of specific dietary supplement categories, Americans have the most confidence in the “Vitamins & Minerals” category (85%).  Results show that the vitamins and minerals category has the highest  usage compared to specialty supplements, herbals & botanicals, and sports nutrition and weight management.  79% of male supplement users and 77% of  female supplement users take vitamins and minerals, followed by vitamin D (32%),  vitamin C (27%) and calcium (24%) which are three nutrients that government reports have  identified as shortfall nutrients. Continue reading Who Exactly Takes Nutritional Supplements and Why?

Which Diet Is Best For You?

Popular diet plans for vibrant healthOkay, you’ve made the decision to lose some weight, maybe a little, maybe a lot.  If you’re typical, you’ve dieted before.  At any given time, nearly 50% of American women and 25% of American men are on a diet.

A survey of 4,000 women by the Society for Women’s Health Research found that, on average, women go on two diets a year with each diet lasting about five weeks.  This means that by the time she’s 70 years old, the typical woman has been on 104 diets and spent a total of 10 years counting calories.  41% of the women surveyed said they felt they were constantly on a diet.

One-fourth of the women in the survey admitted that despite their efforts to lose weight, they didn’t lose anything at all.  The average woman has failed at 10 diets in her lifetime.

There are so many different diets out there that it’s difficult to determine which one is the best for you.

Advertisements on television feature claims to melt the fat off and show before and after pictures of men and women who have been successful.  They all look miserable and desperate in their “before” picture and bubbly and cheerful in their “after” picture.

I wish they’d publish the name and telephone numbers of these people so that I could check up on them a couple of years later!  Maybe I’d ask them to send me a picture.  I suspect they’d be looking more like their “before” picture than their “after” picture.  Odds are that they’re already searching for a different diet to try.

In an effort to help Americans weed through what seems like an endless array of weight-loss plan options, the magazine U.S. News & World Report recently published the results of their six month study on the best diets.   Continue reading Which Diet Is Best For You?

Get Fat! Omega-3 Fatty Acids That Is.

Omega-3 SupplementsWhen the words oils and fats are mentioned, health-conscious individuals tend to run for cover. What they fail to realize is that there are good fats and bad fats.  Complete avoidance of intake of oils and fats would actually be detrimental – rather than beneficial – to their health.

The Truth about Fish Oil

Essential fatty acids must always be part of our daily diet – without them, we take one step closer to our deaths.  Essential fatty acids are divided into two families: omega-6 EFAs and omega-3 EFAS.

Although there are only very slight differences to distinguish the two groups of essential fatty acids from each other, studies have revealed that too much intake of omega-6 EFAs can lead to inflammation, blood clotting and tumor growth.  The good news, however, is that the opposite is true for omega-3 EFAs.  Omega-6 EFAs can be found in vegetable oils while omega-3 EFAs can be found in fish oils among other foods. 

Omega-6 vs. Omega-3

Physicians and scientists believe that the imbalanced intake of omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs is the cause behind increasing cases of various health problems.

As mentioned earlier on, omega-6 EFAs can be found in vegetable oils.  This includes but is not limited to corn oil and soy oil, both of which contain high amounts of linoleic acid.  Omega-3 EFAs on the other hand can be found also in marine plankton and walnut and flaxseed oils.  It should be significant to take note that fatty fish and fish oils contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), fatty acids that have been observed to provide many benefits to the human body.  In the early 1970’s, a study on Greenland Eskimos have revealed that one of the major reasons why they rarely suffer from heart problems is because of their high-fat diet (mainly composed of fish).  Continue reading Get Fat! Omega-3 Fatty Acids That Is.