Friday, 5 April 2013

Healthy living: Vital vitamins

The best way to defeat the deficiency is through a change in your diet.
When you are diagnosed as vitamin deficient, is it enough to simply pop a multivitamin tablet?
The answer is no. In fact multivitamin pills — if taken without appropriate prescriptions — can be damaging in the long run. The best way to defeat the deficiency is through a change in your diet.  Looking for vitamin boosters? Well, here you go.
Support your immune system with… vitamin A:
Do you end up catching every flu and cold going around? If your immune system is bad, it can be due to insufficient level of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that neutralises the damage made by free radicals and thus support the skin, retina, liver, intestines, bones and adrenal.
Diet: Sweet potatoes, spinach, green leafy vegetables, carrots and apricots.
Boost concentration with… vitamin B1:
Feeling fatigued or foggy? Vitamin B1 can boost your concentration level by supporting the nervous system and increasing brain function. Vitamin B1 also protects the peripheral nerves, kidney, liver and heart.
Diet: Whole-grains, nuts, legumes, brewer’s yeast and asparagus.
Relieve eye fatigue and migraines with… vitamin B2:
If you have a high caffeine intake to counter fatigue and migraines, then vitamin B2 is right for you. It boosts red blood cell production and body growth.
Diet: Sprouts, broccoli, beans, avocados, asparagus and almonds
Ease digestion issues with… vitamin B3:
Vitamin B3 aids gastrointestinal tract health by ensuring normal secretion of bile, stomach fluids and proper maintenance of muscle tone. It also supports the spinal cord, skin, muscle, liver, kidneys and heart.
Diet: Yeast, sunflower seeds, legumes, and almonds.
Get happy and happier with… vitamin B6:
Feeling low or unhappy? Vitamin B6 gives balance to optimal nervous system functions and regulates mood swings, providing an effective treatment for depression.
Diet: Walnuts, oatmeal, lentils , carrots, bananas and avocado.
Increase iron levels with… vitamin C:
Vitamin C taken with your meal can facilitate intestinal absorption of non-heme iron (plant-based). It also supports ovaries, gums, adrenals, immune system and the liver.
Diet: Tomatoes, strawberries, raw cabbage, pineapple, peppers, parsley, guava, citrus fruits, broccoli and aloe vera juice.
Get healthy skin and hair with… vitamin E:
Want to reverse aging, heal scar tissues, improve hair and skin condition? Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that supports the muscles, liver, brain, skin and immune system.
Diet: Wheatgerm, sunflowers, hazelnuts, apricot oil, almonds, and nut/plant oils.
Reverse damage from antibiotics with… vitamin K:
With long term use of antibiotics, the digestive system can get disrupted and impair fat absorption, which can be corrected by the Vitamin K intake. It also supports bones, liver, pancreas and blood vessels.
Diet: Spinach, soy beans, oats, lettuce, kale, kelp and cabbage.

Omega-3 fatty acids tied to longer life: Study

Out of about 2,700 older Americans, researchers found people with the most circulating omega-3s – usually found in oily fishes such as tuna or sardines – lived about two years longer than those with the lowest levels, on average.
Dr Dariush Mozaffarian, the study’s lead author from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, told Reuters Health the findings suggest people should work more oily fish into their diets.
“The vast majority of Americans don’t eat two servings of fish per week. That would be ideal,” Mozaffarian said.
Omega-3 fatty acids have long been thought to offer protection against a lengthy list of health problems – from premature births to heart disease.
But study results have been mixed. Some relied on participants remembering how much oily fish they ate; others tested the effects of supplements on top of people’s usual diets.
For the new study, researchers took blood samples from 2,692 U.S. adults over age 65 in 1992 and 1993. The participants did not have heart disease at the beginning of the study.
Researchers measured the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in participants’ blood, and then tracked them until 2008 to see how many died from various causes.
Overall, 1,625 of the participants had died by the end of the study, the researchers reported Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Mozaffarian and his colleagues found people who had the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood at the outset were 27 percent less likely to die for any reason over the course of the study, compared to those with the lowest levels.
That worked out to be about two extra years of life after age 65 for people at the high end of the omega-3 fatty acid spectrum.
Most of that benefit, according to the researchers, came from a halving of the rate of heart disease deaths among people with high fatty acid levels.
The new study doesn’t prove omega-3 fatty acids were responsible for keeping people alive, according to Alice Lichtenstein, the director of Tufts University’s Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory in Boston.
“Those people who consume more fish also consumed a higher level of fruit, more vegetables and less red meat. The question is, is it just that they consumed more fish, or is it a dietary pattern?” said Lichtenstein, who was not involved with the new research.
She told Reuters Health the people least likely to die during the study seemed to have diets that mirrored recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Heart Association.
“I think people should avoid thinking any single food or supplement is going to be a substitute for a generally healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s this paper or any that comes out in the future, we need to face the fact that it’s the whole package and not just one individual component,” Lichtenstein said.

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