Snorting These Two Spices Keeps You 25 Percent More Alert

According to the results of a study at Wheeling Jesuit University, participants demonstrated increased alertness and decreased levels of frustration, anxiety and fatigue when exposed to peppermint and cinnamon scents.

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Merely smelling or snorting cinnamon and peppermint can improve performance several types of memory tasks. Like many spices, both cinnamon and peppermint have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So they could be expected to exert a range of health-boosting actions, and they do have a centuries-long history of medicinal use around the world.

Cinnamon is one of the most potent antioxidants in the world and . regular consumption can lower blood sugar, help digestion, ease arthritis, lower blood pressure and even ward off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. When it comes to the highest antioxidant values on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, cinnamon comes in third only lower than clove and sumac.

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Top 12 Most Healthy Benefits of Lentils (#11 Really Surprised Us!)

Lentils may be individually small, but they pack one heck of a nutritious punch. They’re full of essential minerals and nutrients like potassium, iron, folate, zinc, and calcium – all of which are important for your body’s well being. And they provide one of the richest sources of dietary fiber on earth. If you haven’t already made lentils a part of your weekly diet plan, here are twelve reasons why you should seriously consider doing so.

The Top 12 Health Benefits of Lentils

1. High in dietary fiber. Here’s a fun lentils nutrition fact: just one cup provides you with 63% of your recommended daily allowance of dietary fiber. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber — both of which are important for your overall health.

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Dog Tired? Top 7 Foods for Fantastic Energy

Are you tired all the time? Feel like you just cannot put one foot in front of the other? You are far from alone.

Every day people ask how they can just get a little more pep in their step. Whether it’s an energy food, an energy supplement or some form of exercise they can do to beat the fatigue, energy seems to be the one thing everyone wants a little bit more of.

This is not just a personal crisis, it’s darn near a national emergency. We are all burned out, overextended, under-rested and overstimulated. In short, we are just plain, flat-out tired.

And it is affecting everyone. It’s not just the sick that are tired. The busy mom, the stressed-out dad, the busy executive and the average teenager. Across this country, people are falling asleep in their Wheaties®…which may be part of the problem.

In this article, I’m going to help you help you ease your fatigue and regain energy with seven delicious, energy-boosting foods that will skyrocket your stamina and help you take on the world.

You Truly Are What You Eat

Let’s face it: Food is fuel. Every single organ and cell in your body needs the food you take in to give it the nutrients it needs to function. But—and this is the key—not all fuel is created equal.

Your body thrives on nutrients and macronutrients from healthy proteins, fats and carbohydrates. However, if you fill the tank with sugars, trans fats and allergens, the body (just like a car) may run, but not effectively nor efficiently. In time, it will break down.

Fortunately, the opposite is also true. If you feed your body what it needs, it can do miraculous things. It can ease depression, protect against diabetes and heart disease and even fend off memory loss or even Alzheimer’s disease. And energy? Forget about it! The right food is truly the secret to great, long-lasting energy.

If you want to perform like a high-tech, well-oiled machine, then you have to fuel your body like one. You wouldn’t stick any old gas into the tank of a Ferrari racecar, would you? Of course not! Nor should you fuel your body with chips and doughnuts.

Fuel yourself with rich, nutrient-dense, whole food that keeps your blood sugars level, gives you sustained energy all day long, feeds your cells the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals they need to function optimally and nourish yourself with the healthy protein and fat you need for growth, performance, health and, of course, energy.

The following seven foods can help you boost—and more importantly sustain—your energy day in and day out. Remember, at the end of the day, food is your number one fuel. Choose wisely.

Energy Food #1: An Apple a Day

Apples are one of the best energy enhancers around. While they are best known as a great source of the anti-inflammatory compound quercetin, apples are also a great source of boron, which is key for energy. In fact, one study found that college students who took 3 mg of boron stopped falling asleep in class!

Aim for at least one apple a day.

Energy Food #2: Potent Pomegranate

Pomegranates may be all the rage here in the United States, but this funny little fruit has been used medicinally in the Middle East, Iran, India, Egypt and Greece for thousands of years.

High in antioxidants (especially polyphenols) and ellagic acid, pomegranates have been found to help repair free-radical damage. Specifically, research indicates that pomegranates may play a role in preventing and treating cancer and heart disease.

On the energy front, pomegranates’ high nutrient profile gives your cells the fuel they need for optimal speed and stamina. And speaking of stamina, the pomegranate has been coined “Nature’s Viagra®” due to its positive effect on erectile dysfunction. No wonder it has long been associated with love, sensuality and, yes, energy.

Enjoy one 4- to 8-ounce glass of unsweetened pomegranate juice per day.

Energy Food #3: Pile on the Peppers

I’m not talking about any old peppers…I mean hot peppers. Hot peppers like cayenne, habaneros and jalapenos contain capsaicin, a nutrient that is known to boost metabolism and energy.

Capsaicin is a vasodilator, meaning it helps to dilate and relax your blood vessels, which in turn increases circulation. It also increases body temperature, suppresses body fat accumulation and promotes energy metabolism.

Dice up a couple of hot peppers and add to your favorite chicken or beef dish a couple of times a week.

Energy Food #4: Quirky Quinoa

Hot on the heels of the gluten-free craze, a funny little grain called quinoa has emerged. This ancient grain isn’t even a grain at all. It’s a seed, and it has the highest protein content of any “cereal” grain around. Plus, quinoa is loaded with both fiber and iron.

And quinoa is gluten-free to boot. Let me tell you why this is key.

Gluten is one of the top three food allergens in this country. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats. If you are allergic to gluten (i.e. celiac disease) or have a gluten sensitivity, eating these types of grains can make you bloated and tired. By eating gluten-free, you can regain your energy (and lose the belly bloat).

Quinoa is such an energy powerhouse that legend says the Incan armies would march for days on end fueled by nothing more than “war balls,” which were made up of quinoa and fat. While you may not make war balls for the office potluck, quinoa is sure to help you battle through even your toughest day.

Aim for ½ cup to one cup of quinoa three to four times a day.

Energy Food #5: Get Nutty

If you are looking for a quick energy boost, reach for raw, unsalted nuts and/or nut butters. Nuts are a great source of healthy fat, protein and fiber. The protein and fat keep you full and your blood sugar stable, while the minerals boost energy and stamina.

My favorite nuts are almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts, as well as their butters. Just be sure to avoid the overly salted versions.

Aim for one ounce of nuts (or nut butters) a day.

Energy Food #6: Sassy Sardines

It may sound “canny,” but sardines may be pretty close to the perfect energy food. These salty little suckers are a quick, easy, first-class source of both protein and omega-3 fats, both of which are critical for energy and metabolism.

Look for sardines packed in sardine oil or olive oil. Avoid those with soybean or cottonseed oils. Enjoy with crackers, on top of a salad or straight out of the can.

Aim for one can of sardines a couple of times a week.

Energy Food #7: Head This Whey

High-quality whey protein powder is one of the most readily absorbed protein sources around. Plus, whey contains all of the amino acids your body needs in ideal balance. This translates to sustained energy.

Just be careful when choosing a whey protein powder, as many are just milkshakes in disguise. Look for a product that comes from grass-fed cows, is pesticide-free and doesn’t contain artificial flavors or sweeteners. If it also contains added nutrients, all the better.

Aim for one scoop whey protein powder a day.

For a true energy boost, combine several of these energy foods in one fatigue-busting apple pie smoothie. In a blender, mix 8 ounces water, one scoop whey protein powder, one apple (chopped), 2 teaspoons cinnamon and one tablespoon pecan butter (or one ounce chopped pecans). Blend well and enjoy!

 

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Understanding and Overcoming Thyroid Dysfunction

by Chris D. Meletis, ND

Thyroid

One of the most common reasons patients visit my office is because they are chronically tired and fatigued. Although there are many causes of fatigue, a poorly functioning thyroid gland is often the culprit behind their low energy levels.

If you’re fatigued, this may be your problem as well. Low thyroid function or hypothyroidism not only can zap your energy levels—it can also be to blame for other symptoms such as:

  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Pale, dry skin
  • Sluggishness
  • A puffy face
  • Hoarse voice
  • Elevated blood cholesterol and liver enzyme levels
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Muscle weakness
  • Heavier than normal menstrual periods
  • Brittle fingernails and hair
  • Depression (more…)

Time to clear some of the confusion on Iodine supplementation

Despite some controversy over supplementing with iodine, most health writers, nutritionists, and practitioners agree that it is important for proper thyroid functioning and cellular metabolism. The thyroid gland is an important regulator for most of the endocrine system. (more…)

Protein Activates Wakefulness and Calorie Burning

Scientists have discovered that protein turns on specialized brain cells that keep you awake, keep your metabolism humming along, and keep you motivated to accomplish goals. In contrast, carbohydrates without enough protein do not activate these brain cells which may result in a tired head and body and potential weight gain due to sluggish metabolism. (more…)

Grape Seed Extract Boosts Muscle Energy & Calorie Burning

Several new studies are demonstrating a potent energetic improvement in muscles following supplementation with grape seed extract. These animal studies are unique as they are able to document which genes are getting activated, helping to prove the molecular function of grape seed extract to enhance energy production and exercise ability. (more…)

Restore energy and lift your mood with vitamin B12

A deficiency of vitamin B12 can manifest itself as depression, mania, chronic fatigue, poor sleep, lack of concentration and more. Without enough B12, our health and energy levels suffer. Because B12 plays a crucial role in turning carbohydrates, protein and fat into energy, it is necessary to have adequate levels of B12 to extract energy from the food we eat. B12 also protects brain cells and affects our state of mind. (more…)

Calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Part I

What is a calorie? In the world of physics, a calorie is the amount of energy required to heat 1 gram of water by 1 degree. In nutritional terms, calories mean food energy, energy in turn signifies how much we burn and how much we store. Somewhere in the equation is the first law of thermodynamics, which is generally interpreted as: calories in must equal calories out. If we apply this law to human metabolism we get the conventional wisdom: to lose weight you need to eat less and exercise more. No-brainer, right?

Let’s explore these concepts in a little more detail. I am no physicist (I can just see my physics lecturer nod fervently to this statement). If I can slowly walk my subtle-as-a-sledgehammer brain through these abstract concepts, so can you.

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Boost Mood and Blow Away Fatigue With These Overlooked Vitamins

In the constellation of vitamins, D has been the rising star for the past several years. But, amid the D mania, a quieter movement has emerged as researchers and nutritionists become aware of the critical need for B vitamins, especially among those who suffer from headache, fatigue, mood, stress and menstrual disorders.

The truth is, B vitamins are real multi-taskers and are involved in many critical processes. They are sparkplugs in everything from energy metabolism to detoxification to mood to immunity and gut health. This is why it’s so important to make sure we aren’t running low. (more…)