Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah

Tag Archives: omega 3’s

5 Foods to Prevent Winter Ailments

Winter presents a number of fitness obstacles. Shorter, darker days and icy roads can freeze training in its tracks, while a storm of season-specific health problems–including cold fingers and toes, stiff, achy joints, and even seasonal depression–can leave you wanting to skip your workout altogether. Luckily, making certain foods and drinks a regular part of your diet can help you avoid common winter problems, says David Grotto, R.D., author of 101 Optimal Life Foods. So before a winter woe sidelines you, try these consumable prescriptions for staying healthy all season long.

COLD HANDS AND FEET
FOOD FIX
 The amino acid arginine helps expand blood vessels and encourages blood flow, Grotto says. Arginine is found in protein-rich foods, including hormone-free poultry,  fish, as well as cashews, almonds, and peanuts, plus cereal grains, such as oats and barley. Tea, wine, cocoa, and dark chocolate can also help: They’re rich in catechins, tannins, and other bioflavonoid compounds that help improve circulation.

STIFF, ACHY JOINTS
FOOD FIX Anti-inflammatory omega-3s, found in abundance in such fatty fish as salmon, help reduce joint inflammation and even soothe exercise-induced muscle soreness. Omega-3s are so effective that in one study nearly 60 percent of neck-and back-pain patients taking fish-oil supplements were able to stop using NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen. Barbara Lewin, R.D., a sports nutritionist, recommends also reducing intake of omega-6 fatty acids (found in corn oil and red meat), as they can actually promote inflammation.


SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER
FOOD FIX
 Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., coauthor of The Serotonin Power Diet, explains that eating small doses of carbs (about 25 to 30 grams, or 120 calories’ worth) will help your brain produce serotonin. Consume the carbs without other foods (make sure your snack has no more than two or three grams of protein, which prevents serotonin production) and on a nearly empty stomach. Doing so will banish that SAD feeling within 20 minutes. Try an English muffin or half a bagel with jam, natural granola, pretzels, or even a a bowl or oatmeall.


THE COMMON COLD
FOOD FIX
 Vegetable soup: Research from the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that a bowl of chunky vegetable  soup has anti-inflammatory effects that ease symptoms of upper-respiratory-tract infections. The warm broth soothes throats, carrots provide beta-carotene (which is linked with immunity), and onions and garlic have antibacterial properties. Boost your stay-healthy odds with a daily cup of organic yogurt or kefir. A study published in 2008 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that long-distance runners who consumed the probiotic lactobacillus (found in yogurt and kefir) had shorter and less-severe bouts of respiratory illness than those who took a placebo.

DRY SKIN
FOOD FIX Research shows that essential fatty acids found in salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts, and olive oil can help skin cells stay hydrated. In fact, a study published in 2009 in the British Journal of Nutrition found that participants who took flaxseed-or borage-oil supplements for three months had a significant increase in skin moisture and a reduction in roughness. Grotto also encourages people to get plenty of ACES–his acronym for vitamins A, C, E, and selenium. “They’re all antioxidants that help heal our skin from the inside out.”

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Fat Butts May Be Healthy

Having A big Butt Can Be HealthyBy Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Managing Editor

Having junk in your trunk is healthier than a spare tire around the gut, new research suggests. The extra padding on the backside and thighs could even help to protect against disease.

The results come from a review that summarizes various studies on the health effects of different fat stores in the body, particularly around the hips and thighs.

“The fact that body fat’s distribution is quite important for your health has been known for some time now,” said lead researcher Konstantinos Manolopoulos of the University of Oxford in England. But this new article summarizes a body of research showing that such hip and thigh fat can help to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. The review also suggests a mechanism for conveying those benefits.

The next step is to figure out how our bodies decide where to store fat, say, in the stomach versus the butt. “Once this is understood then one could think about therapeutic approaches to make use of that,” Manolopoulos told LiveScience. “Maybe to make use [of it] in a preventive way by redistributing the fat.”

Manolopoulos and his colleagues detail their findings this week in the International Journal of Obesity.

Fat not created equal

When looking through the studies, the researchers found that not all fat is created equal.

Stomach fat is considered more metabolically active than lower body fat. While that may sound good, as this fat breaks down easily, the result is a release of substances called cytokines, which have been linked to cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and diabetes. In fact, research on mice reported in 2008 revealed that belly fat boosts inflammation and is linked with hardening of the arteries – known to increase the risk of heart attacks.

But scientists think lower body fat, like that around the hips and thighs, produces beneficial hormones that protect against these diseases, though more research is needed to firm up this expectation.

In addition, this lower body fat also traps fatty acids. While this long-term storage can make it tricky to slim down your butt and thighs, it’s healthier for you if some fat stays put.

“If fatty acids are not stored in fat but are stored in other organs like the liver or the arteries this makes you prone to develop diabetes and heart disease,” Manolopoulos said. He added, “One moment on the lips, forever on the hips. It really is exactly this phenomenon; the fat that goes there stays there,” on the hips and thighs.

Evidence of healthy butt fat

He says the most compelling evidence for the link comes from population studies showing the more fat individuals have in this hind area the less likely they are to develop diabetes and heart disease later in life.

Other evidence includes instances of Cushing’s syndrome, in which patients lose their hip and thigh fat while gaining stomach fat. These patients are known to have an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.

The scientists aren’t sure how the body decides where to store fat, but it’s partially genetic.

That genetic force can be seen in the gender differences in how fat gets stored, with women having much more of the healthy, lower body fat than men. And females have a much lower risk for heart disease, Manolopoulos said.

“As long as you are female and your hormones are female hormones you are protected from cardiovascular disease,” Manolopoulos said. “The moment you go into menopause and your hormones change, you lose your typical female appearance and you gain stomach fat and at the same time your risk for heart disease and diabetes becomes comparable to men of the same age.”

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