Archive for Geek4

Krill Oil and 5 Simple Diet Changes With Big Rewards

5changes

Leah studied every poster on the walls, for the third time.  Maybe the fourth.  She’d lost track.  She was certain she couldn’t remember a thing from any of the posters with the exception of one.  It hit close to home since she was sitting in the exam room waiting for the doctor to talk to her about test results.  High cholesterol and high blood pressure was a family trait that had contributed to the death of two of her grandparents.  With all the stress she’d been under with work and her personal life over the past year, she’d let her health become less of a priority.

When her doctor gave her the results, he confirmed her suspicions.  Her HDL cholesterol was at 38 (High risk.  Optimal levels are 60 or more) and her LDL cholesterol was at 164 (optimal levels are 100 or less).  She was braced and fully expecting her doctor to recommend drastic measures to correct the problem – ridiculous diet changes and medication.  Leah was surprised when he recommended trying a natural approach before medication instead.  He also suggested some changes to her eating habits that didn’t seem like a major overhaul.

You don’t need to revamp your entire diet completely to boost your health significantly.  Here are five easy changes you can put into action for substantial results.

1. Fruits and Veggies – We all know fruits and veggies are good for us, but did you know according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics they should fill half your plate at every meal?  Yeah, you’re going to have to make room by skipping on some of that pasta you’d really rather have, and for good reason. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, fruits and vegetables make you less likely to get heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.  Ideally you should be getting 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of veggies daily.

2. The Fats War – Saturated and Trans fats (bad fats) can raise your bad cholesterol level and your risk of heart disease.  So, there are definitely on the “minimal consumption” list.  If you cut back on animal-based foods like butter, bacon, and untrimmed meats, as well as snacks like cookies and crackers, you can keep the bad fats to a minimum.

I know, it’s hard to give up the things we love, but it doesn’t have to be impossible.  Eating less of the bad fats can be as easy as switching from whole milk to fat-free milk and eating a turkey burger instead of a quarter pounder with cheese.  You do need some fat, though.  So go with plant-based foods like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados.  There’s also fish (such as salmon) that’s high in good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids.

Research consistently shows that Americans do not get the necessary amount of Omega-3s in their diet, as little as one-fifth recommended daily amount (250 mg per day).  This makes krill oil supplements that much more important, especially with these new potential benefits for people with high fat diets.

3. Water, Not Cappuccino – If you’re bypassing water for soda, coffee, sports drinks, and juices you’re very likely overdoing it with added calories and sugar.  Water, however,  goes a long way in boosting your health.  Every cell in your body needs it to work properly.  So, trade that Yoohoo for water. Iknow you’ve heard this before: shoot for 6 to 8 glasses a day.  Starting and ending your day with a tall glass of water will help and keep a water bottle with you during the day.

4. Eat More Fiber – Fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans can also lower your cholesterol and boost digestion.  Not to mention, fiber makes you feel fuller longer, which is great for keeping off extra pounds.  Getting more fiber is as easy as replacing refined breads (white breads typically) with whole-grain breads, choose brown rice instead of white, and switch to whole-wheat pasta (I did and my kids never noticed).  You can also add fiber to your usual food by sprinkling high-fiber cereal in your yogurt or adding flaxseeds to your salad.

5. Portions Distorion – Most of us don’t have a clue about portion sizes.  So, reaching for a smaller plate may be the easiest thing you can do to help control your portion intake.  A study by Cornell University found that people eat less that way.  Why? It’s an optical illusion of sorts. Your mind is tricked into eating less because you think you’ve eaten more.

A few strategies for keeping your portions in check:

  • Eat from a plate, not from a bag.  That means your Doritos will last longer than one episode of Big Bang Theory.
  • Buy single-serve portions, or, divide them up when you get home to make it easier to grab a ziploc bag instead of a family sized one.
  • Eat slowly.  You love food.  Admit it.  So savor the flavors and aromas of every bite instead of inhaling them.

Being healthy doesn’t always have to be inconvenient or difficult.  Sometimes it’s just about a few changes at a time.  Don’t wait until you’re studying posters on the wall at your local doctor’s office to realize you can make a difference in your health.

Rag-Tag Research Geek Recommendation

Krill Oil has been found to be one of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. We recommend the anti-inflammatory powerhouse Black Label Krill Oil™ which contains 300mg of Omega-3.

I See Therefore I am: Omega 3’s and AMD

omega3

There was no getting around it. Francine was nervous.  She had studied day in and day out for that test. Instead of going out with her friends on Friday night, she studied. When her mom wanted to go shopping for some holiday decorations, she studied.  As the phone rang and it was the boy she was waiting forever to call her and ask her out, she studied.

Now, as she handed in the paper to the professor, her hands were visibly shaking.  Her whole life depended on this test.  If Francine aced this class, the degree she had worked so hard for was hers. If she failed, it was back for another year. She didn’t know if she could stomach that.

“Thank you, Francine. I will email you your grade in a few hours, okay?” The professor looked up at her with a polite smile.

No, you jerk, you can grade it now! The thoughts screamed through her head.

“That would be great, Professor Mackey. Thanks.” Her tiny feet scampered from the classroom, leaving behind the remaining students to finish out heir exams.  Now came the worst part. The wait.

Francine raced home, and as she bolted through the front door, she didn’t even pause to say hi to her dad, who was staring curiously at the dishwasher in the kitchen.  He lifted up his finger, as if to say something, no doubt accusing her or her brother of overloading the thing, decided against it and closed his mouth.

She made her way to her room, swung open the door and landed face first on her bed.  The cool, cold pillow felt like heaven against her face.  It was a bit of peace in an otherwise stressful day.

Suddenly her cell phone was ringing. The caller id said it was from the school. Oh my God, she thought. I failed. That’s it. I’m done. I’m never moving out. I’ll be picking out Christmas sweaters with my mom for the rest of my life.

“Hello, Francine?” It was her professor. Why was he calling?

“Yes? Hello, Professor Mackey.”

“Listen, I know I said I was going to email but this deserved a call. Your my first student ever to get a one hundred on the exam. Congratulations!”

Francine’s cell phone hit the floor as she fainted, landing next to it.

“Hello? Hello? Francine? Are you still there?”

 Omega 3’s pass the test

There is no concrete treatment. There is no definitive cure. It is painful and scary. 40% of Americans over the age of seventy have some form of it. Its Macular Degeneration or AMD for short.  And its responsible for restricting the lives of so many people, forcing them to give up driving and other freedoms they had enjoyed for so many years.

That’s why this is absolutely incredible.  A new study by the Ophthalmos Research and Education Institute in Cyprus has blown the doors wide open on what is possible with Omega-3’s when it comes to AMD.

Try this on for size – 100% of the people suffering with AMD in their clinical trials reported significant improvements in eye sight when supplementing high doses of the fatty acid. Perfect score! Within five months, every single one of the subjects acute vision scores had improved.

This is the exact opposite of other studies done with the supplement and AMD.

“We Hypothesize the reason that our open label experiments with high-dose omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of dry AMD was successful is a consequence of both (a) the increased dosage and (b) the higher levels of EPA delivered with our omega-3 fatty acid formulation,” said Researcher Tassos Georgiou in response to the difference in studies.

If that wasn’t enough, Researcher Elaine W-T Chong and her team of vision specialists compiled nine massive studies and analyzed the data on omega-3’s and AMD.  They found, across the board, that there was a roughly 38% less chance of developing the disease when omega-3’s and fish were consumed at least twice a week.  88,974 people in total were studied. All had similar dietary patterns of seafood and supplements.

Every time we turn around, omega-3’s are adding to their list of amazing health benefits. Perfect scores are hard to come by and rare in the health field, especially. This time omega 3’s aced the exam.

Rag-Tag Research Geek Recommendation

Krill Oil has been found to be one of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. We recommend the anti-inflammatory powerhouse Black Label Krill Oil™ which contains 300mg of Omega-3.

Omega 3: The Secret Ingredient to Reducing Depression

salmonmed

Depression can get any of us, Katrina learned. A mostly happy, cheerful
person with a great job and loving family, she had everything she had
ever wanted in life. But, she suddenly found herself blue. It wasn’t
that she had put her happiness in the hands of possessions or wealth, or
any of the other traps that lead to unhappiness. She was just down and
couldn’t get up.

A foodie by nature, she found herself excited about a new bistro opening
up just a few blocks from her home. They served the kind of food she had
eaten growing up: fresh fish, fresh seafood on occasion, tons of
vegetable dishes, locally grown beef, simple-but-delicious salads. The
kind of food Katrina’s grandmother had brought to the table so often in
the summers of her youth.

She went there once, then again, then again, until ordering the seared
salmon became a regular habit. At first her lunch trips there were the
only thing she had to look forward to. Over time, her life seemed to
clear up, the clouds were lifted, and she went back to her usual,
peacefully content ways.

This isn’t an example of someone discovering happiness in a
nostalgia-inducing local business. What Katrina experienced was actually
something grounded in science. Recent research has shown a close tie
between omega-3 fatty acids and the reduction of depressive symptoms.

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health, University of
Delaware and Eastern Virginia Medical School found that women with high
blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids have a 49% reduction in risk of
serious depression symptoms. The exact mechanics of why this happens
aren’t quite nailed down yet, but many believe it’s due to omega-3 and
it’s ability to encourage serotonin flow. In case you’re wondering,
serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and emotions.
Feel good juice, in sillier terms.

This means you should look to add some more omega-3 to your diet. It’s
found in found, especially salmon and cod (not to mention fish oil
supplements), shrimp, scallops and tofu are great. The best sources 
are walnuts and ground flax seeds.

Remember the Mediterranean Diet we’re always blogging about? The people
from those regions tend to live longer and be happier. All that fresh
fish they’re eating is rife with omega-3, no to mention all the nuts in
their diets.

Of course, the BEST source we have found is krill oil.

While the test didn’t show any significant impact in men, the bros out
there would still do well to focus on fresh foods as well as a
supplement routine. Omega-3 is also proven to play a role in the
reduction of rheumatoid arthritis, cancer prevention and cardiac diseases.

All that fresh salmon Katrina was eating was actually helping lift her
out of the fog, along with many of the other items on the menu. You may
not have a bistro pop up in your neighborhood, but your local grocery
store or fresh food market will serve just as well.

How do you get your omega-3 fatty acids? Have you noticed any depressive
symptoms floating away as a result? Let us hear about it in the comments.

Omega 3’s May Just Be The Key To The Fountain

fountain of youth

The ripe, lush green of the forest surrounded the explorers from all sides. Birds chirped in the distance and magical rays of sunshine protruded through the dense treetops above, seemingly leading the group down the overgrown trail. The front man, Sir Alexander Dewight, signaled the others to follow, seeing a break in the brush up ahead. In one hand he carried a map so old, the slightest breeze could make it crumble and in the other, his trusty shotgun for protection. As beautiful as the forest seemed, dangers could be lurking around any bend.

“According to the map,” he said, his thick British accent instantly noticeable, “we are right on top of it.” He swiveled his head side to side, looking for any sign of an entrance to a hidden lair. “It has to be around here somewhere!”

“Sir Dewight, what if this whole thing is a ruse? You know, people have been searching for this place for a thousand years.” The voice was unmistakable. It was Henry, the young apprentice the university had made Dewight take along on the expedition.

His face lost all emotion and became as serious as a heart attack. As Dewight turned around, lifting his face so the brim of his hat wasn’t covering his dark and serious eyes, he focused on Henry.

“My dear boy, not finding something isn’t the same thing as it not existing. Just ask the scientists who invented penicillin or the Wright Brothers when they gave us the gift of flight. It is near us. Make no mistake. I feel it. Soon you will feel it too and we will give the world everlasting life. The Fountain of Youth is real, Henry-,” as Dewight spoke, his eyes grew wider and wider, “and your standing on it!”

Every day, a small fear deep inside my soul grows a little louder, a little stronger. Each minute that ticks by, we know is a minute closer to our own end. Its the great tragedy of being mortal. Researchers have been digging for anything that will extend life as we know it and up the quality as well. They may have stumbled upon a big piece of the puzzle.

Cellular aging is the culprit. Omega-3’s have shown they may be the answer. Researchers at the University of Southern Australia conducted a study with 33 adults to see what affects omega-3’s had on the process. One group took the supplement for six months, the other did not. Their results were very encouraging, showing there may be a very big link between ingesting omega-3’s and slowing the cellular aging process.

Another HUGE sign that the omega 3’s were the good guys, comes from a study down by the Division of Cardiology at San Francisco General Hospital, which attempted to look at the fatty acids in relation to heart disease.   Patients who took omega 3’s over the next five years (after developing the disease) were in better shape then those who didn’t. While the study admits, they don’t yet understand the link (they guessed omega-3’s slowed a process called telomeric aging) they firmly believed the fatty acid was linked to better overall heart health.

We all want our Fountain of Youth. We are ALL afraid on some level of getting to the “end of the road.” But nature has a funny way of giving us clues (and the tools) to extend our life spans. Omega 3’s may just be the water from the fountain.

Omega 3’s Continue to Make Researchers Happy

Omega 3's Continue to Make Researchers Happy

“So, the sun makes the flowers grow?” Little Jenny looked up at her Grandpa, waiting for him to reply. Grandpa was the smartest person she knew. He had an answer for everything. She shivered a bit as they walked that field, staring down at the budding plant life all around them.

 “Yes, the plants turn the sun light into food. Its quite amazing. The more sunshine the happier they are. The faster and more beautiful they’ll grow.” Ted Wickers loved explaining things to his adorable Granddaughter. She was the apple in his eye and the two spent a lot of time together now that Mom and Dad were working. Full time. Jenny wasn’t quite old enough yet for school.

 “Can I use my nightlight to grow flowers, Grandpa?”

“No, honey. Plants need a special light that only comes from the sky.”

 “What if the sun goes away?” Everyday, her logic was growing more and more.

 “Well,” Grandpa Wickers replied, “ When there’s no sun, there’s no food. No food means the plants don’t stay happy and they grow less and less.”

 Jenny bent over to pick a flower that had just sprouted with brilliant red pedals. “I don’t ever want to make the plants sad, Grandpa. I’ll tell Mom to put all of ours outside.”

Feeling anxious is not abnormal. But when anxiety starts to effect everyday life, its time to treat the problem. Who wants to live in a constant paralyzing grip of fear? There are many remedies you can try to stem the nervousness but the one that caught our attention was new found evidence that shows DHA Omega-3’s might help with the symptoms and lower the overall risk of suffering from anxiety and depression.

A recent study by the University of Ohio showed a direct link between decreased inflammation and lowered anxiety levels in students. In a brief summary, Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, the head researcher and author of the study, said, “”We hypothesized that giving some students omega-3 supplements would decrease their production of proinflammatory cytokines, compared to other students who only received a placebo. We thought the omega-3 would reduce the stress-induced increase in cytokines that normally arose from nervousness over the tests.”

They then gave one group of students fish oil supplements which contained the Omega-3’s to equal about five servings of fish in a single day (too much seafood for me, man), and interviewed each student on weekly intervals. When it was all said and done, the students who had received the daily doses of Omega-3’s were reported a roughly 20% drop in their anxiety levels, the other group (which took nothing) stayed the same! Link to  this study:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159111004685

Amazing, considering all the already known positives to a Omega-3 supplement! But what if we didn’t have enough Omega-3’s in our diet? Would the opposite hold true? Not surprisingly, new studies show the reverse effect when our bodies lack it.

The University o Pittsburgh decided to go the other route and deprive their groups of Omega-3’s. “Diets lacking omega-3 fatty acids — found in foods like wild fish, eggs, and grass-fed livestock — can have worsened effects over consecutive generations, especially affecting teens,” the study cited from its findings. It’s a fascinating read: http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(13)00578-7/abstract

The finding were actually a little scary considering researchers there believe that not only does neglecting YOUR bodies need for the essential fats harm YOU but potentially your unborn children as well. Adolescents who didn’t have healthy levels of Omega-3 in their systems acted out more, learned slower and were generally more hyper!

So I guess the answer is – If you want your children to behave, feed ’em fish. For adults, omega 3’s found in krill oil are the ticket!

In all seriousness, these are just two of the eye-opening studies coming out in recent years as we better understand how our bodies work and what the need. But one thing is still clear. Omega 3’s are like sunshine and we are the plants. The more we take in, the healthier we will be.

More Reasons Why Krill Oil Rocks (As If There Weren’t Enough Already)

KrillOilRocks

Ginny put down the screwdriver and stepped back to look at the car she had just finished restoring, a 1965 Chevy.  When she had purchased the old rust bucket from a junkyard outside of town, the man behind the counter had tried to talk her out of it.

 “Its for spare part,” he had said, “she’s too far gone to be restored.” Read more

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