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healing foods!

Digestive Enzymes: The Missing Key to Great Health pa ge 2 6

8 AMAZING FOODS

THAT CAN HEAL YOUR HEART

OSTEOPOROSIS Rx THE REAL SECRET TO STRONG BONES

BATH BLISS DE-STRESS WITH NATURAL SOAKS (they work wonders!)

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February 2011

FEATURES

20 Heal Your Heart With Food Food can be your heart’s best friend: A leading nutrition expert reveals the top eight foods (and five essential supplements!) for preventing a first—or second—heart attack.

26 Top 10 Digestive Enzymes A Key to Great Health: Digestive enzyme supplements are often one of the missing pieces to better health. Find out why they are so vital.

DEPARTMENTS NEWS FLASH 6

CHOLESTEROL 18

NATURAL BEAUTY 30

The Latest Research: Get the skinny on weight management, honey, and chocolate.

Keys to Natural Cholesterol Control: Harness the power of diet, exercise, and supplements.

Bathing Beauty: Soak away your aches and pains with these natural bath tips and essential oil suggestions.

SHOP SMART 10 Vitamin D: Learn why this essential nutrient is changing from the “Sunshine Vitamin” to the “All-Year Vitamin.”

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ENERGIZE 19

GLUTEN FREE 32

6 Steps to More Energy: Get up and go with ginseng, guarana, and more.

Anemia: Cold hands and feet? Itchy Skin? You could have iron-deficiency anemia, common among celiac sufferers. Learn how to boost iron levels the gluten-free way.

HEALING EDGE 12

INDIGESTION 28

Build Your Bones: Discover the top foods and supplements for bone health.

Natural Solutions for Indigestion: Enzymes, minerals, and herbs can help.

NATURAL GOURMET 36

EXPERT’S CORNER 14

LIBIDO 29

Cocoa: Yummy and oh-so-good-for-you. You’ll love our recipe for Spiced Cocoa Nuts.

Blood Pressure Nutrients: Learn to treat and manage this “silent killer” naturally.

The Holistic Approach to Sexual Health: Lifestyle tips and more to help boost libido.

February 2011

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You Never Know Who You’ll Come In Contact With. Take extra care. Trust your immune health to Ester-C.* ®

Do everything you can in the fight to stay healthy. Wash your hands frequently… get plenty of rest … and take Ester-C® to help support your immune system.* Taken just once a day, patented Ester-C® is quickly absorbed into your system and stays there … providing advanced, active immune system support.* Now more than ever, trust your immune health to Ester-C®, * The Better Vitamin C®… how can you afford not to?

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LET TER FROM THE EDITOR

Welcome to Healthy Edge!

Editoral Director Nicole Brechka Art Director Judith Nesnadny Editor Tracy Rubert

I’m delighted to welcome you to the new and improved Healthy Edge magazine, a trusty tool to help you become a smarter, savvier shopper. Much of the health care in our country today is based around treating illnesses once they develop, and many patients find themselves rushed out of their doctor’s office holding a prescription they don’t fully understand. But the good news is, we each have the power to take charge of our own health and wellness using preventive care— in the form of natural foods and supplements. I hope that our magazine gives you the information you need to make the best choices for your health and wellness. I would love to hear from you—send any questions and comments to the email address below.

Associate Editor Ayn Nix Copy Editor Lillian Jackson Beauty Editor Sherrie Strausfogel Research Editor Sam Russo, ND, LAc Contributing Editors Antonina Smith, Vera Tweed

Production Director Cynthia Lyons Production Assistant Mark Stokes

Business & Editorial Offices 300 N. Continental Blvd., Ste. 650 El Segundo, CA 90245 310-356-4100; Fax 310-356-4110 Group Publisher Joanna Shirk 800-443-4974, ext. 708 Associate Publisher Bernadette Higgins 561-362-3955 Midwest Ad Manager Lisa Kurdziolek 812-275-5510 West Coast and Mountain Ad Manager Cindy Schofield 310-456-5997 Retail Development Group 16 Indian Trails Ridge Bedford, IN 47421 800-443-4974, ext. 703; Fax: 317-536-3708

Director, Retail Development John Potter and Custom Marketing 800-443-4974, ext. 702 jpotter@aimmedia.com National Sales Manager, Retail Rebecca Randolph 800-443-4974, ext. 701 rrandolph@aimmedia.com Business Development Karolyn A. Gazella 800-443-4974, ext. 707 Research Director Kristy Kaus kkaus@aimmedia.com Accounting & Billing Jim Finnegan 800-443-4974, ext. 705 jfinnegan@aimmedia.com Advertising & Retail Sales Coordinator Cyndi Smith 310-356-2272 cynsmith@aimmedia.com

Tracy Rubert Editor Please email me directly at TRubert@aimmedia.com.

For article reprints and reprint quotes, please contact PARS International at 212-221-9595

Chairman & CEO Efrem Zimbalist III Group Publisher & COO Andrew W. Clurman Senior Vice President & CFO Brian Sellstrom Healthy Living Group, General Manager Patricia B. Fox

THE HEALTHY EDGE. Vol. 1, No. 1. Published monthly by Active Interest Media, Inc. 300 N. Continental Blvd., Ste. 650, El Segundo, CA 90245; 310-356-4100; fax 310-356-4111. (c)2011 Active Interest Media, Inc. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by the columnists and contributors to THE HEALTHY EDGE are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. Fraudulent or objectionable advertising is not knowingly accepted. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all advertising content and for any claims arising therefrom. Articles appearing in THE HEALTHY EDGE may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. The information in this magazine is provided to you for educational purposes under Section 5 of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 and is not intended as medical advice. To obtain more in-depth information, contact your health care professional or other reliable resources.

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February 2011

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Omega Oils & Optimal Health Omega 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9’s belong to a group of fatty acids often referred to as “good fats.” The benefits of these oils are numerous – they serve to nourish brain, heart, eye, and kidney tissues.* They have been shown to benefit the immune system and digestive system health in addition to supporting healthy metabolism and a positive mood.*

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NEWSflash B Y VERA TWEED

the best

WEIGHT-MANAGEMENT DIET Many people can lose weight by following a strict diet over a short period of time but few can keep the weight off. However, a European study, the largest to date to compare different types of diets, has found the best way to prevent weight regain: Eat lots of lean protein and stick to low-glycemic carbohydrates—those that are slowly digested and converted to blood sugar. High-glycemic carbohydrates are primarily refined and high in starch and/or sugar, and convert rapidly to blood sugar. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, tested various diets on nearly 800 adults who had lost weight with a restrictive eight-week regimen. After that, lean protein (lean meat, low-fat dairy products and beans) and unrefined carbohydrates (whole, rather than refined grains and nonstarchy vegetables and fruits) enabled people to maintain weight loss without going hungry. Those eating high-carbohydrate, low-protein diets regained the most weight. Anything with a glycemic value above 70 is considered high. Medium is 56 to 69, and low glycemic is 55 and under. To learn more about the glycemic index, visit glycemicindex.com for trustworthy information.

LOW TO MEDIUM GLYCEMIC

HIGH GLYCEMIC

PROTEINS: lower in proteins

PROTEINS: higher in proteins

sourdough bread (54)

white/wheat bread (100)

most beans, 1/2 cup (7-10 g)

chicken breast, 3.5 oz (30 g)

oatmeal, long cooking (49)

pued rice (132)

peanut butter, 2 tbs. (8 g)

tuna, 6 oz can (40 g)

prunes (15); most fruits (23-65)

dates (103)

Cheese (cheddar, swiss), 1 oz (7-8 g)

tofu, 1 cup (40 g)

sweet potato (59)

baked potato (116)

yogurt (not greek style), 1 cup (8-12 g); greek yogurt, 1 cup (19-20g)

steak, 6 oz (42 g)

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Do You Know Where True Immunity Begins? Over 70% of the cells in the human immune system are located in our intestinal tract. Thus, having a healthy digestive system is critical for optimal health throughout the year, especially during times of seasonal challenges. In healthy individuals, the ratio between “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria is 85% to 15% with the “good” bacteria vastly outnumbering the “bad” bacteria.

Probiotics Win the Battle for Strong Immunity

I Only Recommend One Probiotic To My Patients

Probiotics do even more than their wellknown positive influence on the health of your gastrointestinal tract. An important aspect of health is how successfully your immune system recognizes and destroys bad bacteria and other pathogens everywhere in the body. In one study, the immune cells in human volunteers who ingested probiotics for three weeks were tested as twice as effective.

“I believe that Dr. Ohhira’s probiotic is the most powerful, most effective probiotic available anywhere. Dr. Ohhira’s patented delivery system ensures that the bacteria survive the harsh stomach acid and are still alive when they reach the small intestine. Dr. Ohhira’s is effective for common intestinal problems such as diarrhea, gas and bloating. I also strongly recommend one or two capsules of Dr. Ohhira’s probiotic daily as a preventative health measure.”

More Benefits of Probiotics s Create Healthy GI Tract Acids s Increase Absorption of Nutrients s Assist in Vitamin B & K Production

Strengthen Your Immune System for the Winter Season: Add Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® to Your Self-care Regimen!

Dr. Ross Pelton has a degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy. In 1984, he received his Ph.D. in psychology and holistic health. Dr. Pelton is the author of six books on a variety of health topics.

Now is the time for YOUR inner immunity to thrive Probiotics: An Incredible Boost for the Immune System The beneficial bacteria regulate our immune system in numerous ways. For example, they produce compounds that inhibit the growth of yeasts such as candida. They also manufacture natural antibiotics that kill toxic bacteria. Beneficial bacteria further protect the immune system by detoxifying the body.

Find Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® at fine health food stores everywhere. No refrigeration necessary.

Visit www.EssentialFormulas.com or call (972) 255-3918. Become a friend of Dr. Ohhira on facebook. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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NEWSflash Honey: Nature’s Cough Remedy For sore throats, honey soothes and fights bacteria more effectively than common pharmaceutical cough syrups, according to research at Penn State College of Medicine. In two studies, researchers found that honey was better than conventional cough syrup in suppressing nighttime coughs among children ages 1 through 18 years. For children (12 months or older) and adults, honey can also help to ward off infection, as it contains natural antibacterial ingredients and antioxidants. Take 1–2 tsp. and use honey to sweeten hot or cold beverages. To treat coughs, try a natural cough syrup that contains honey, such as Paragon Plus Ginger Cough.

chocolate: MORE BENEFITS DISCOVERED

L-Citrulline

Helps Arteries

Supplements of L-citrulline, an amino acid, can reduce arterial stiffness, according to a study of 15 middle-aged men published in the International Journal of Cardiology. With age, arteries lose elasticity, increasing risk for heart disease, stroke, dementia and death. In the study, men who took 5.6 g of L-citrulline daily showed improvements in their arteries in seven days. Try L-Citrulline by NutriCology.

Chocolate is good for the heart in more ways than one: Not only is it a symbol of love but it also helps to control blood pressure and reduce unhealthy clotting and plaque. It’s rich in antioxidants and packs a variety of minerals and natural mood-boosting ingredients—and it does even more. Among diabetics, chocolate helps to reduce cholesterol levels, according to a British study published in Diabetic Medicine. Another study, published in Nutrition Journal, found that what many consider to be the food of the gods can ease symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Beneficial chocolate is naturally high in antioxidants, but these can be lost in the manufacturing process. To reap health benefits, look for good quality dark chocolate with high cocoa content, or raw chocolate or cocoa powder. In studies, approximately 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of chocolate per day has enhanced health.

Editor’s note: See “Heal Your Heart with Food” on p. 20 for more information about cardiovascular health.

GINGER REDUCES MUSCLE PAIN

Ginger reduces lingering pain after exercise, according to a study published in Phytotherapy Research. Compared to placebo, 2 g of ginger taken 24 hours after a workout reduced pain by 13 percent the following day. Other studies have found that ginger reduces arthritis pain and motion sickness. 8

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SHOP SMART | BY JACK CHALLEM

VITAMIN D update Vitamin D is changing from the “sunshine vitamin” to the “all-year vitamin”

THE BASICS: Vitamin D has been getting considerable attention for its important role in maintaining strong bones and reducing the long-term risk of cancer. But it has many other health benefits, such as reducing back pain, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and related diseases, and susceptibility to colds and the flu. As a result of these findings, vitamin D is changing from the “sunshine vitamin” to the “all-year vitamin.” ALIAS: The two most common forms are vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and D2 (ergocalciferol). Vitamin D3 is preferred; D2 has only about half the potency. HOW VITAMIN D WORKS: We make our own vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Ultraviolet rays in sunlight initiate a series of chemical reactions that convert cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D, and the vitamin is subsequently turned into the hormone calcitriol. However, when we use sunscreen outdoors or spend most of our time indoors, we block this natural means of making this vitamin. HEALTH BENEFITS: Over the past several years, research has revealed multifaceted benefits of vitamin D. ■ BONE AND MUSCLE. You need vitamin D to make both bone 10

and muscle. Doctors used to believe that weak bones led to falls and fractures, but current medical thinking is that weak muscles lead to falls and broken bones. Several studies have found that supplementation reduces the likelihood of falls. ■ ACHES AND PAINS. In a study of more than 3,000 men, low vitamin D levels were associated with a 50 percent higher chance of suffering from “chronic widespread pain.” And a report in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, described six patients who had experienced severe back pain, two of whom who had undergone back surgery. All of the patients improved after taking 1,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily for at least three to six weeks. ■ MENTAL AND NEUROLOGICAL HEALTH. Two new studies suggest that low levels of vitamin D may contribute to cognitive decline and Parkinson’s disease and, conversely, that high levels of the vitamin may be protective. In the first study, researchers tested 858 seniors for overall thinking processes, attention, and their organizational ability. People deficient in vitamin D were 60 percent more likely to suffer from cognitive decline during the six-year study. Meanwhile, a 30-year study in Finland, found that high levels of vitamin D appeared to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease by two-thirds. ■ FLU PROTECTION. A study of Japanese schoolchildren found that vitamin D supplements reduced the risk of contracting the flu by 42 percent. The children also had an 83 percent lower risk of asthma attacks. ■ BLOOD SUGAR. An analysis of 28 studies found that people with high blood levels of vitamin D have a low risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases.

BACKGROUND CHECK: Vitamin D is safe. You would have to take 50,000 IU of vitamin D daily for several months to develop signs of toxicity. GLEANINGS: Three of every four Americans do not have optimal levels of vitamin D, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. HEADS UP: Researchers at the Medical University of Graz, Austria, found that people with low blood levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to die from any cause, compared with people who had high levels of the vitamin. WHAT SHOULD YOU TAKE: If you stand in the summer sun (in a T-shirt and walking shorts and without sunscreen) for about 10 minutes, your body will produce about 10,000 IU of vitamin D. Alternatively, take 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily, doubling that amount if you have a dark complexion.

February 2011

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Receive the vitamin D you need with Carlson Ddrops® When our skin is exposed to sunlight under the proper conditions, our bodies can make vitamin D3. Vitamin D is an amazing vitamin with many health benefits. Research has shown it supports healthy immune system function, bone health, a healthy mood and promotes muscle strength, among other health benefits. However, our body’s production of vitamin D is dependent on many factors, including exposure to the sun, where we live and the time of year. For many people, including young children, it is not always possible to achieve optimal vitamin D intake from

sun exposure. It is especially hard for our body to synthesize adequate amounts of vitamin D in the winter months, that is why supplemental vitamin D is an important alternative for people who want to receive optimal levels. Carlson Ddrops is highly concentrated: receive 400 IU, 1000 IU, 2000 IU or 4000 IU in ONLY one drop! These odorless, tasteless drops offer an easy way for the whole family to receive the healthy benefits of vitamin D3. One bottle of Carlson Ddrops conveniently offers a year’s supply of vitamin D3. Just one drop can be added to food or drink to obtain the desired dose.

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HEALING EDGE | BY JONNY BOWDEN, PHD, CNS

The Truth About BONE HEALTH All the calcium in the world won’t help your bones if you have chronic inflammation— a hidden cause of osteoporosis As far as I’m concerned, there’s no one on the planet who can teach us more about aging bones than R. Keith McCormick, DC. “Osteoporosis is not just the weakening of bones,” says McCormick, author of The Whole-Body Approach to Osteoporosis. “It is a weakening of the body’s entire physiology. When you have a chronic disease, you have to treat your whole body.” Indeed. And a quick explanation of what goes wrong when bones weaken will illustrate exactly what he means.

What Goes Wrong Osteoblasts are the cells that form the bone matrix, a honeycomb-like structure onto which minerals such as calcium are deposited (or absorbed), resulting in firm “mineralized” bones. While minerals continue to be deposited on that honeycomb, other cells—osteoclasts—are busy removing minerals in a process called resorption. The delicate balance between mineralization (building up) and demineralization (breaking down), between absorption and resorption is called remodeling. It’s actually very much like what happens when you remodel your bathroom. Workers remove debris (old, broken tiles) while other workers bring in fresh material(new tiles) and cement them down on the floor (the honeycomb, or bone matrix). The osteoclast workers remove debris, while their osteoblast partners begin the process of setting in new tile. The way the two types of cells, osteoblasts and osteoclasts, communicate is through a molecule called RANKL. This molecule allows the workers bringing in the new stuff to coordinate with the workers removing the debris. When the osteoblasts release RANKL, it tells the osteoclasts to take out just the right amount of trash. It’s a perfect system—until inflammation enters the picture.

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Inflammation and Your Bones

Arrest the Robbers

When you have chronic inflammation, your immune system is working overtime. One of the first things the immune system does when it’s activated is release T cells, and T cells produce RANKL. This tells the osteoclasts to keep on removing minerals, significantly weakening your bones. Other players in the bone-destruction game are the stress hormone cortisol (which leads to an imbalance between mineralization and demineralization), and oxidative damage from free radicals (which overstimulate the cells that tear down bone). This is why antioxidants play a big part in keeping bones strong.

When it comes to bone health, it’s particularly important to avoid what we call the bone robbers. “If you want good bones, you have to limit your alcohol intake, stop smoking, not salt your food excessively, go easy on the sugar, and not consume soda,” McCormick says. And what about supplements? Can they help? Absolutely. Here’s McCormick’s list of the top supplements for bone health: ■ Multivitamin-mineral: Taken daily. ■ Calcium: 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams daily. ■ Magnesium: 500 to 600 milligrams daily. ■ Vitamin D3: 1,000 to 2,000 international units daily. ■ Vitamin K: 1 milligram or more daily. ■ Daily antioxidant supplement: Look for one that contains extra vitamins C and E and selenium. Other helpful antioxidants include curcumin (found in turmeric), and NAC. ■ Fish oil: 2 to 3 grams a day (try Paragon Plus EPA/DHA Pure). ■ Flaxseed meal: 2 to 4 tablespoons daily. ■ Probiotics: 3 million to 20 million viable cells/daily. ■ Silicon: 10 milligrams daily (try Jarrow Formulas JarroSil). Add to this list FlexNow. It’s an extract of shea nut oil, which has been found to significantly reduce joint pain.

Why You Need NAC and Vitamin D McCormick is a particular fan of a powerful antioxidant known as NAC (N-acetylcysteine) because it specifically lowers reactive oxygen species within the osteoclasts themselves. “Every woman should be on 600 to 1,200 milligrams a day of NAC,” he told me, “especially after menopause.” McCormick thinks NAC is a good idea for men as well. He also recommends a blood test for vitamin D, which helps ensure that the body absorbs calcium. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with reduced calcium absorption, bone loss, and increased risk of fracture.

February 2011

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EXPERT’S CORNER | BY DANIEL CRISAFI, PHD

BLOOD PRESSURE Nutrients Scientist Daniel Crisafi, PhD, shares his favorite nutrients and supplements for normalizing blood pressure Supplements can boost your success of treating high blood pressure, often referred to as the “silent killer” because it typically has no symptoms. Untreated, high blood pressure can cause stroke, congestive heart failure, hardening of the arteries, mental decline, and premature death. The following supplements have been carefully researched for their blood-pressure-balancing benefits. Be sure to inform your doctor about your supplement usage, and never stop taking a medication without speaking with a qualified healthcare professional first. Also, keep in mind that nutrients work best in concert; in other words, the whole is more powerful than the sum of its parts.

Potassium/Sodium Hypertension is rare in populations with low sodium intakes (below 1 teaspoon, or 50 mmol daily). Unfortunately, in developed societies, processed foods add plenty of “invisible” sodium to our diets. But sodium alone isn’t the problem—it’s the combination of too much sodium and too little potassium. When potassium is depleted, the body’s cells gobble up the sodium to make up for the loss. We should be eating about five times more potassium than sodium (5:1). Instead, the typical Western diet includes half as much potassium as sodium (1:2). Salt-sensitive individuals tend to retain sodium and water, which increases blood pressure. Approximately 58 percent of hypertensive individuals are salt-sensitive. Groups more likely to be salt-sensitive include older adults, African Americans, or anyone related to a saltsensitive person. Also, people who have more inflammation tend to be more salt-sensitive. To prevent and treat hypertension, the Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of 50 to 65 mmol of sodium, and a minimum of 120 mmol of potassium. Potassium-rich foods include potatoes with skin, bananas, milk, orange juice, tomato juice, cooked spinach, avocados, prunes, raisins, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and red beans.

Magnesium Magnesium works with potassium to activate the sodium/ potassium pump, which pumps potassium into, and sodium out of, the cells. Magnesium also widens the blood vessels. Several population studies have linked high magnesium intakes with lower blood pressure readings. This mineral, which is at least as important as calcium for bone health, is depleted during stress. Magnesium-rich foods include seafood, tofu, legumes, kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, brewer’s yeast, Brazil nuts, and peanuts. Fruits and fruit juice, leafy green vegetables, and sunflower seeds are also good dietary sources of magnesium.

Calcium Researchers have observed that calcium supplementation appears to reverse the blood-pressure-raising impact of salt, especially in salt-sensitive individuals. Dietary sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines, canned salmon, hulled sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, black beans, tofu, wheat grass, barley 14

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EXPERT’S CORNER | BY DANIEL CRISAFI, PHD, continued grass, parsley, kale, spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, kelp, and other green, leafy vegetables.

Omega-6 fatty acids are available in corn, soybeans, vegetable oils, oils from seeds, beef, and milk.

B Vitamins

Fiber

A shortage of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 has been implicated in high homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is a by-product of methionine, an amino acid. Homocysteine is naturally present in the human body. However, several studies suggest that high levels of homocysteine may increase the risk for heart and blood vessel damage—damage that can lead to hypertension. A 2008 study in the European Journal of Medical Research found that hypertensive patients with kidney dysfunction have especially high homocysteine levels. Folic acid, in particular, relaxes blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow. Folic acid is plentiful in beets, black-eyed peas, brewer’s yeast, cabbage, eggs, dairy products, citrus fruits, most fish, soy flour, wheat germ, beef liver, soybeans, and dark-green, leafy vegetables. Vitamin B6 can be found in avocados, carrots, chicken, bananas, beans, meat, peas, spinach, sunflower seeds, walnuts, broccoli, brown rice, cantaloupe, and potatoes. Vitamin B12 is available in lamb kidneys and liver, liverwurst, clams, oysters, sardines, flounder, herring, mackerel, milk products, cheese, soy foods, sea vegetables, and alfalfa.

Dietary fiber is the material in plants that the human digestive tract cannot break down. Water-soluble fibers help reduce blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides,, and support balanced blood sugar levels. Insoluble fibers promote bowel regularity. A meta-analysis of 25 randomized, controlled trials featured in the Journal of Hypertension examined the connection between dietary fiber and blood pressure. Hypertensive patients who consumed more fiber showed a dramatic reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Note: Add fiber to your diet gradually. Iff you add too much, too soon, you are likely to experience bloating, gas, and diarrhea. In addition, spread your fiber intake throughout the day. Consuming all your fiber at once may reduce the benefits and increase your discomfort.

Essential Fatty Acids Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help insulin attach to the cells so it can deliver glucose to them. However, most Americans consume an imbalanced ratio, with 20 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega 3s (20:1). Instead, we should get four times more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6 fatty acids (4:1). We know blood sugar balance and blood pressure are inextricably entwined. A recent trial investigated the impact of omega-3-rich fish oil supplements on insulin sensitivity in overweight individuals. After 60 days, researchers found a decrease in both insulin resistance and diastolic blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, fish oil, flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil. Cod, tuna, salmon, halibut, shark, and mackerel are especially good sources of omega-3s. 16

Aged Garlic Extract An herb in the Liliaceae family, garlic is a pungent-tasting and -smelling plant that is a delicious addition to almost any recipe. But besides flavor, garlic provides a host of health-promoting nutrients, such as thiamin, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, protein, vitamin C, germanium, and selenium. Garlic has been promoted for its LDL-cholesterol-lowering properties, but it also demonstrates a mild blood-pressurelowering effect. Aged garlic extract (AGE), in particular, appears to lower blood pressure by increasing the flexibility of the arteries and improving blood circulation.

Nattokinase Derived from the Japanese soybean food natto, nattokinase is a potent dietary enzyme. At the University of Chicago in 1980, researcher Hiroyuki Sumi discovered the blood-clot-busting activity of nattokinase. Like aspirin, nattokinase helps thin the blood. In addition, it appears to dissolve the tiny fibers (fibrin) that hold blood clots together. In fact, nattokinase’s clot-dissolving properties have been

MEET OUR EXPERT Daniel Crisafi, PhD, is clinical director of pH Santé Beauté in Montreal Canada and holds a master’s degree in science, a PhD in biochemistry specializing in nutritional biochemistry, as well as a master herbalist degree. He is the author or co-author of several books and has over 20 years of clinical experience and has lectured extensively in North America, Europe and Asia. He is a recipient of the Canadian Health Food Association’s “Lifetime Achievement” award.

compared to plasmin, a clot-dissolving enzyme naturally present in the bloodstream. Natto also provides compounds called “angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors” (ACE). These compounds prevent angiotensin, a polypeptide hormone, from increasing water and salt retention in the body. In this way, natto protects against hypertension. Moreover, natto has been shown to decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Suntheanine Suntheanine is a proprietary form of the amino acid L-theanine, which is abundant in green tea leaves. L-theanine has been shown in clinical studies to alleviate stress, boost relaxation, lower blood pressure, and even boost the anti-tumor properties of chemotherapy. Researchers aren’t certain how L-theanine works. One theory is that this amino acid increases levels of the brain chemical gamma-aminobutryic acid, which has calming properties. It could also raise the levels of serotonin, a natural mood regulator, in the brain. A study from Iowa State University compared six L-theanine products. Five of those products contained high levels of D-theanine, a different amino acid that appears to block the absorption of L-theanine. Suntheanine was the sole product that provided pure L-theanine.

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Natural Calm速 is the best-selling magnesium supplement in the natural products market. It is a premium highly bioavailable water-soluble magnesium, which has received Better Nutrition's Best of Supplements Award and is approved by celebrity dietitian Ashley Koff, RD, and Mommy MD Guides. Magnesium activates over 300 enzymes in the body. This essential mineral acts as a natural stress protector and reduces the secretion of stress hormones. Daily maintenance of adequate magnesium levels through diet and supplementation contributes to overall well-being, healthy aging, relaxation and better physical performance (less cramping, fewer tensions and a reduction in other symptoms of low magnesium status). Natural Calm balances calcium intake, supports essential nerve, muscle and heart function, and helps maintain bone health as well as enabling energy transport and storage. If you're not already using Natural Calm, try it. Drink it like a hot tea or simply add Natural Calm to your water bottle and sip it during the day. De-stress naturally and experience the difference in your life.

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Keys to Natural Cholesterol Control IT IS ESTIMATED THAT MORE than 37 million Americans have high cholesterol. Because high cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease, being aware of your cholesterol level and keeping it in control is a major way to help reduce your risk for heart disease. The three keys to cholesterol control include diet, exercise, and supplement support. As always, be sure to check with your health care provider prior to changing your diet, exercise, or supplement routine.

oil supplements and/or diet to reduce heart disease risk.

REDUCE WITH DIET

MAINTAIN WITH SUPPLEMENTS

It’s well known that a low saturated fat, high fiber diet can help lower cholesterol. In addition, adding beneficial fats from nuts and fish also play a role in controlling cholesterol. A recent research review concluded that making nuts a regular part of your diet may help lower your cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flax, and chia seeds are known to help lower triglycerides and cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends Americans with heart disease obtain 1,000 mg of a combination of EPA and DHA Omega 3s through fish

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BY MARY ANN O’DELL, MS, RD

Provides 600 mg of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids from 2,000 mg natural fish oils.

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IMPROVE WITH EXERCISE Exercise helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels in different ways. Exercise helps you control weight and improve circulation in the body, two factors that help improve cholesterol control. In addition, exercise helps to increase your good HDL cholesterol and reduce the bad LDL cholesterol. So find something you enjoy doing and get moving for your heart.

Nature also provides numerous herbs that help in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Garlic is probably the most popular herb for heart health. Several studies have found that garlic lowers blood levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol—the “bad” forms of cholesterol—by as much as 20 percent. Dandelion, burdock, and turmeric are all mildly bitter and act to enhance and support the liver’s functions, including cholesterol metabolism and transport. Supporting the liver allows the body to more efficiently handle cholesterol.

PURE GAR® GARLIC 500 MG May support heart and overall health.* Made with Pure Gar® Odorless Garlic. Each capsule is equal to ½ clove fresh garlic.

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ENERGY ENHANCE

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Metabolic diet and adrenal support.* Contains Guarana and green tea for a natural source of caffeine.* Adrenal support nutrients and ginseng support sustained energy.*

6 Steps to More Energy BY SALLY KARLOVITZ, CN

DO YOU FEEL TIRED ALL THE TIME? If you answered YES, then keep reading because I have some good news for you. While fatigue can be caused by many things, including stress, pollution, poor diet, anemia, or low thyroid function, there are some very specific things you can do to combat fatigue and boost your energy levels naturally.

1. Get Enough Rest

5. Take Essential Vitamins

We live in a face-paced society where many people do not get enough sleep at night. Sleep is essential for the body to recover and restore itself and get ready for the next day.

Take a high-quality multivitamin every day to ensure you are getting enough of the nutrients needed by your body for optimum health. B vitamins are especially important for energy production in the body. B complex vitamins, as well as vitamin C, are depleted when the body is under stress, and they need to be replenished on a daily basis.

2. Control Stress Stress is a huge energy drainer and is often responsible for weakening the adrenal glands. Get control of your stress with deep breathing, exercise, and herbs such as Relora or Rhodiola.

6. Try Natural Energizers

4. Eat for Energy

Ginseng is probably the most well-known herb for energy for its support of endurance. Eleuthero is commonly used for energy and has the added benefit of helping the body handle stress. Brazilian Guarana is taken for its energizing properties, mainly related to its natural caffeine content. And Amazon Açai is an antioxidant-rich fruit prized for its ability to help boost energy and mental alertness.

Eat small frequent meals and snacks to keep your blood sugar steady. Emphasize complex carbohydrates and protein-rich foods that are low glycemic.

This is just the beginning! Make these positive changes now and see how much of an increase you feel in your endurance and energy levels.

3. Exercise Exercise is a key part of a life full of energy. Exercise improves your heart function and circulation, and helps you feel good! Even short bouts of exercise, 10-20 minutes at a time, can contribute to feeling more energized.

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AÇAÍ 1000 Antioxidant made with pure, whole organic Açai.* Supplies fiber, omega fatty acids and amino acids for healthy skin and immune system health.* With PureTrace™ trace minerals for improved absorption.*

The Healthy Edge

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heal your heart WITH FOOD 8 FOODS THAT HELP PREVENT A SECOND HEART ATTACK If you’re one of the 13 million Americans who have survived a heart attack or have been diagnosed with heart disease, take heart. You can take control of your heart health with the knowledge that certain foods have been shown to quell inflammation, which is the root cause of plaque buildup in the arteries. What’s the food prescription? Science has proven that the Mediterranean diet is the gold standard of heart-healthy eating and can reduce the risk of a second heart attack by up to 70 percent. The secret is simply to add in eight key anti-inflammatory food groups, a couple of supplements, and a short walk to your daily routine. That’s it! Together, they can significantly prevent—even reverse—heart disease. Here’s a list of the top artery-healing foods:

B Y JANET BOND BRILL, PHD, RD

GREENS AND OTHER VEGETABLES. Red, ripe, and juicy; dark green and leafy; bright orange and crunchy. This exquisite rainbow of colors is Mother Nature’s medicine chest— truly the class of foods that keeps our arteries healthy and clean. When you think salads, go for the “greens.” Spinach, for example, is one of the most nutrientdense foods on earth—so nix the iceberg and make this veggie your salad green of choice. Red-purple vegetables such as radicchio, red beets, and eggplant contain powerful pigments that protect the heart by bumping up its production of a natural antioxidant called glutathione. Eat like an artist and try to consume at least five colorful veggies every day.

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OATMEAL AND OTHER WHOLE GRAINS. Oats are a highly nutritious whole grain filled with beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that soaks up cholesterol and pushes it through the digestive system so that it’s not absorbed. Oats also contain a unique antioxidant that counteracts the destructive and atherosclerosis-inducing damage of unstable free radicals. Aim for getting in at least three servings of whole grains every day.

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EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL. Extracted from olives by crushing and pressing the whole fruit, olive oil is a golden elixir brimming with potent inflammation-suppressing antioxidants called polyphenols, as well as a nice dose of monounsaturated fat—the heart-healing kind of fat that reduces “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Make this your main fat (use in marinades and sauces, dress salads and flavor vegetables with it), and be sure you purchase olive oil with the words “extra virgin” on the label. This ensures that the oil has not been subjected to nutrient-robbing heat and chemicals.

FIGS AND OTHER FRUITS.

PHOTO BY JOHN KELLY

An apple a day may keep the doctor away but a fig a day keeps the cardiologist away. Figs and other fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins, and potassium and contain an extraordinary array of plaque-fighting polyphenols. Substitute fruit for fat in baking, sprinkle dried fruit on salads, add fresh fruit to smoothies, and try hot baked fruit for a delicious desert. Aim for at least three servings of fruit every day.

The Healthy Edge

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WALKING. Walking is one of the simplest, safest, and least expensive healthpromoting strategies. Walking each day protects the heart by increasing the size of “bad” cholesterol particles (bigger is better), increasing the amount of “good” cholesterol, decreasing inflammation, and targeting dangerous belly fat. Walking longer distances frequently is the best exercise prescription.

WALNUTS AND FLAXSEEDS. Yes, walnuts and flaxseeds are high in fat but it’s the good fat: the vegetarian omega-3 fat called ALA. Walnuts are also one of the best sources of vitamin E (an antioxidant that helps keep cholesterol from building up in plaque), and they’re also high in fiber. Top fat-free Greek yogurt with a few walnuts for a snack, and add walnuts to salads, casseroles, and baked goods. Flaxseeds are another wonderful plant source of omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats, a plus in countering the inflammatory disorder atherosclerosis. Add ground flaxseeds to morning oatmeal, pancakes, and baked goods.

SALMON AND OTHER SEAFOOD. Fatty fish that swim in the deep cold waters of the sea—such as salmon, halibut, and sardines—contain a large amount of the ultra heart-healthy omega-3 marine fats, DHA and EPA. Fish oil stabilizes plaque, reduces risk of sudden death, lowers triglyceride levels, and reduces inflammation. Fish oil has been shown to rev up the body’s ability to dissolve blood clots that can precipitate a heart attack by sealing off plaque-filled arteries. Aim for at least two fatty fish meals per week, and avoid fish high on the mercury scale: swordfish, marlin, shark, and tilefish.

PINOT NOIR AND OTHER RED WINE. Red wine is good for the heart. The deep garnet color is a clue that this “drink of the ages” is loaded with flavonoids (potent polyphenol antioxidants) as well as the vital antioxidant resveratrol. One important caveat: Moderation is the magic word, which means no more than one 5-ounce glass of wine a day for women and two for men.

LENTILS AND OTHER LEGUMES. A versatile low-fat plant protein, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) are full of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals and one of the best sources of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. Lentils are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, protein, vitamins, and minerals, especially iron—and all this for pennies on the dollar. Soy, another legume, is a near-perfect protein choice and great alternative to animal protein. Soy also exhibits a strong antioxidant capacity, linked with decreased inflammation of the arteries. To get your daily dose of legumes, substitute soy milk for cow’s milk; eat legume-based soups and chiles; toss lentils into pasta sauce; try hummus (made with chickpeas) as a dip with raw veggies; or sprinkle kidney beans on your salads.

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BONUS FOOD! DARK CHOCOLATE. Isn’t this great nutrition news? Dark chocolate—high in nonalkaline-processed cocoa solids—is packed with heart-healthy nutrients and has been shown to lower inflammation in the arteries as well as reduce blood pressure. Try a nightly cup of rich hot chocolate—made with 2 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, light soy milk, and a touch of natural sweetener. Or enjoy a small amount of dark chocolate (eat it by the piece, not the pound!) every day.

Top 5 Nutrition Supplements

for Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease

Not all supplements are created equally when it comes to treating and reversing plaque buildup. Here are five heartsaving supplements that should be in every heart attack survivor’s medicine chest: This B vitamin possesses the greatest capacity 1 NIACIN. of all drugs currently available to boost your (good) HDL cholesterol. The dosage ranges from 500 mg to 3 g per day. Niacin can cause an unpleasant flushing of the skin, which may last about an hour. Be aware that only niacin, not niacinamide (often used in flush-free forms), promotes healthy cholesterol levels. Try: Paragon Plus Niacin. D3. Research suggests that low vitamin D status 2 VITAMIN is associated with poor cardiovascular health. Many scien-

Adopting these simple steps into your day is a scientifically proven effective means to prevent and even reverse heart disease. No need to follow an austere diet plan that banishes your favorite foods forever. This easy lifestyle advice ensures that you will be satisfied, rather than deprived, as you (or your loved one) eat your way to better heart health. Take this advice to heart, as it will give you the knowledge, skills, and confidence to make simple but life-changing modifications to reverse your disease and live long and live well. As Hippocrates so wisely counseled centuries ago, “Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food,” and “Walking is man’s best medicine.” 24

tists believe optimum vitamin D levels are between 35 and 40 ng/mL. Take at least 1,000 IU daily. Certain fish oil products are naturally rich in vitamin D. Try: Paragon Plus Cod Liver Oil. OIL. If consuming 1 g of omega-3s daily from eating 3 FISH fatty fish—the amount in approximately 3.5 ounces of salmon—is not in the cards for you, consider taking a fish oil supplement. Even if you eat fish regularly, fish oil supplements are a smart addition to any health regimen. Use only molecularly distilled products. Try: Paragon Plus EPA/DHA Pure. PLANT STEROLS. Phytosterols, a plant’s version of 4 cholesterol, are highly effective in reducing (bad) LDL cholesterol because they are absorbed into the intestinal cells in lieu of cholesterol. When it comes to reversing heart disease—the lower the LDL cholesterol, the better. Try: Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Phytosterols Formula 107. SEED HUSK. Psyllium husk is one of the most 5 PSYLLIUM potent LDL cholesterol-lowering agents there is. An added benefit is that it promotes a healthy digestive tract, too. Follow label instructions with fiber products, and be sure to drink plenty of water. Consider taking away from food for optimal absorption. Try: Paragon Plus Psyllium Husk Capsules or Powder. Janet Bond Brill, PhD, is a registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist, and the author of Cholesterol Down:10 Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in 4 Weeks—Without Prescription Drugs and the new book, Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease. She is a nationally recognized nutrition, health, and fitness expert, specializing in cardiovascular disease prevention. Visit DrJanet.com or PreventaSecondHeartAttack.com.

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The Sunshine Vitamin Vitamin D helps support good health from head to toe

Dissolves under the tongue in 15 seconds According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 9% of children are “vitamin D deficient”, while 61% are technically running “insufficient”. Because of our patented Instant Disolve MicroLingual® formula, Superior Source is the most convenient Vitamin D supplement on the market! Perfect for children, those who have challenges swallowing and bariatric patients.

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Top 10 digestive By Vera Tweed

“They changed my life.” That’s what patients often tell Ellen Cutler, DC, after incorporating digestive enzymes into their daily nutritional routine. Why such dramatic results? “Enzymes are essential to life,” says Cutler, author of MicroMiracles: Discover the Healing Power of Enzymes, who has been using enzymes to treat many types of conditions for more than 25 years. “Even if you eat good food every day,” she says, “if you don’t digest it properly, it can seep from the small intestine into the bloodstream, and the immune system reacts.” Lack of energy and digestive discomfort are among the first symptoms, but there are many others: craving certain foods; weight gain; thyroid problems; bloating, heartburn, gas, indigestion or burping after meals; constipation or diarrhea; thinning hair; lackluster skin; weak nails; fatigue; sleep problems; arthritis or joint pain; depression; mood swings; headaches or migraines; ADHD; rashes; hives; hot flashes; PMS; and, sometimes, fertility problems. Poor digestion also speeds up the aging process. Enzymes are, by definition, catalysts that enable molecules to be changed from one form into another. Digestive enzymes enable food to be broken down into nutrients in our bodies to produce energy, and repair and maintain our physical structure and function. Our bodies also produce digestive enzymes. However, says Cutler, “If we don’t eat a predominantly raw food diet and don’t chew well, we don’t get enzymes from food, and our bodies can’t produce enough.” Given that most of the food Americans consume is not raw fruits and vegetables grown in nutrient-rich soils, most people could benefit from enzyme supplements. Each type of food, such as proteins, sugars, starches, and fats, requires a specific type of enzyme, so it’s best to get a formula that covers all the bases (see “Top 10 Enzymes,” right). In addition, protease, which enables efficient protein digestion, can be used as a separate supplement to alleviate autoimmune and inflammatory conditions and pain. Customized enzyme therapy is used by some health practitioners to treat many health conditions, including cancer. Digestive enzymes can also alleviate a major factor that increases risk for

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for disease, excess weight, and obesity. “If you start digesting your food,” says Cutler, “your body will be getting nutrients it never got, and you will feel balanced with less food.”

How to Benefit Digestive enzymes are safe for adults and children, says Cutler, and these are the best ways to use them: ADULTS. For optimum digestion of food and nutritional supplements: take plant-based digestive enzymes no more than 10 minutes before each meal or with your first bite. Choose a high-quality formula that contains the top 10 enzymes. For pain, inflammation or any autoimmune condition: take a protease supplement in between meals in addition to

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enzymes digestive enzymes with meals. Anyone with ulcers should consult a physician before taking between-meal protease supplements. CHILDREN. For health maintenance: take a digestive enzyme formula with two meals daily.

Understanding Enzyme Labels Unlike other supplement labels, those for enzymes don’t usually state quantities by weight (milligrams or grams). Instead, they indicate potency of each enzyme, with a number followed by a letter combination that is different for each enzyme. The number next to each enzyme signifies “active units” of that enzyme. “An ‘active unit’ is a measurement that describes how much of a given food an enzyme has the potential to break down,” explains Tom Bohager, author of Enzymes: What the Experts Know. The letters following the number of active units are a bit more complex. Each enzyme gets its own abbreviation, such as DU or HUT, to describe a specific type of test used to measure its potency. Bohager gives these examples: Protease (for digesting proteins) is measured by HUT, an abbreviation for “hemoglobin units in a tyrosine base.” Amylase (for digesting starches) is measured by DU, an abbreviation for “dextrinizing units.” While these phrases may seem like distracting jargon to most of us, to the scientifically savvy, they convey relevant information about how potency was determined. When reading labels, look at which enzymes are included in a product and aim for a comprehensive blend. And, you can use the number of active units to compare potency in different formulas. If you notice that one product, unlike others, uses different letters for a given enzyme, you might want to ask store staff for more information, to make sure you’re comparing oranges to oranges. Once you’ve chosen a product, follow its usage directions.

See how this natural solution can solve many health problems Top 10 Enzymes ENZYME Alpha-galactosidase

HELPS YOU DIGEST AND UTILIZE Carbohydrates in legumes that cause flatulence

Amylase

Starches

Cellulase

Cellulose (fiber) in fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds

Glucoamylase Invertase Lactase Lipase Malt diastase Protease (ideally a blend of alkaline, neutral, and acid proteases) Peptidase

Maltose, the sugar in grains Sucrose (sugar) Lactose (milk sugar) Fats Carbohydrates Proteins

Casein (in milk) and gluten (in grains) Note: Peptidase is not designed to cure celiac disease.

Look for a formula that also contains one or more of the following: ENZYME Xylanase Pectinase Hemicellulase Phytase Beta-glucanase

HELPS YOU DIGEST AND UTILIZE Plant fibers Pectin, a carbohydrate in fruits Plant fibers Minerals bound to phytic acid in plants Beta-glucan, a special type of fiber in yeast, grains, and medicinal mushrooms

The Healthy Edge

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Natural Solutions for Indigestion IF YOU ARE ONE of the more than 60 million Americans who suffer from digestive disorders, enjoying a family meal or a meal at a restaurant can become uncomfortable. Problems associated with the digestive tract can include indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, and constipation. People often reach for over-the-counter remedies to ease their symptoms, but treating symptoms is only a temporary help. Numerous natural remedies are available that can not only ease symptoms, but also strengthen the digestive system, getting to the root of the problem. ENZYMES. Enzymes are unique proteins that break down protein, fats, and carbohydrates from food, converting them into structures that make the human body work properly. A young, healthy body normally secretes enzymes into the gastrointestinal tract. Unfortunately, the secretion of enzymes, as well as enzyme activity levels, slows down with age. A lack of enzymes can result in difficulty digesting foods. Supplements containing enzymes such as protease, amylase, and lipase can be taken to correct common digestive problems including gas, constipation, heartburn, and indigestion.

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BY SALLY KARLOVITZ, CN

MINERALS. For those times when you do have a heartburn flare-up, try a blend of natural alkalizing minerals to neutralize the acid and give quick relief. Look for a blend of magnesium and potassium hydroxide, which act quickly, and calcium carbonate, which is a longer lasting mineral. These alkaline minerals are effective in buffering the acid in the stomach and reducing irritation, as well as soothing sore stomach tissue. In addition, these minerals do not interfere with normal gastric acid secretion as over-the-counter medications do. This stomach acid secretion is a normal process in the stomach, and inhibiting that process can lead to possible future problems. HERBS. The common cooking spice, ginger, has multiple benefits to the digestive system, including relieving nausea, improving digestion, and relieving gas and heartburn. Anise is another herb that can provide soothing support. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t suffer with digestive discomfort. Try a natural remedy to improve digestion, reduce unwanted symptoms, and enjoy your favorite meals.

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The Holistic Approach to Sexual Health

BY MARY ANN Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;DELL, MS, RD

MALE MAX

PEOPLE ARE BECOMING more and more interested in increasing their health, endurance, and vitality throughout their entire lifetime, and this includes sexual health. Sexual dysfunction is a problem experienced by both men and women. Thankfully there are natural approaches that help promote healthy libido and overall sexual health. LIFESTYLE SUPPORT A healthy diet is the foundation for optimum health. Nourishing your body with organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, nuts, and seeds will translate into improving health in your whole body. Exercise, stress reduction, and sleep are also important factors for sexual health. Exercise can help boost your mood and self-esteem, and those who exercise have increased sexual desire and greater satisfaction. Stress and lack of sleep are two killers of sexual desire. So make sure you are keeping stress under control and getting enough sleep to ensure you are feeling your best. HERBAL SUPPORT Numerous herbs have been found to play a role in enhancing libido in both men and women. Maca enhances sexual function and energy for both sexes. It has been shown to decrease anxiety, lower blood pressure, and increase DHEA in men. Maca works in women to stimulate desire and to help balance female hormones, one of the key issues of sexual dysfunction in women. To boost testosterone levels in men, Tribulus has been used as an aphrodisiac

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FEM FABULOUS for centuries. Gingko and Gotu Kola are herbs that improve circulation, while adaptogens such as Eleutherococcus and Ginseng help reduce stress and restore energy and balance in the body. In addition to these specific herbs, men and women should take a high-potency daily multivitamin to ensure they are getting the essential nutrients needed for optimal health. SCENTUAL SUPPORT People are also enticed by the sensuous appeal of fragrances. Several essential oils are known for their romance-inducing properties, including jasmine, patchouli, and rose. Try using scented candles or essential oil diffusers to infuse your room with an alluring scent and create an inviting atmosphere for romance.

used CoQ10 for quite a while, but heard that Ubiquinol may be better. Q: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve Is this true? is the reduced or active form of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), so it A: Ubiquinol yields the same benefits of CoQ10, but with an improved absorption. CoQ10 itself can be activated in the body, but this activation can be less efficient in some people, making Ubiquinol a preferred form of CoQ10 in those people. Numerous studies have been done on CoQ10 and the heart, showing it may help congestive heart failure and angina attacks. A 2006 clinical trial found that patients suffering from congestive heart failure exhibited significantly improved heart function after supplementing with the Ubiquinol form of CoQ10.

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The Healthy Edge

Feb2011_AKINSspread_28_29.indd 29

29

1/5/11 1:56 PM


NATURAL BEAUTY | BY SHERRIE STRAUSFOGEL

Bathing BEAUTY Make bath time blissful with some natural alternatives to chemical-laden products Soaking in a warm bath or taking a warm shower can be a delightful and therapeutic way to relax your body and mind. Hot water dilates blood vessels and opens pores so you can remove impurities with a scrub or some suds. Hot water also eases joint pain. If you have ever jumped into a cold pool, you know how cold water can shock the system. Cold water has the opposite effect of warm—it closes pores and locks in moisture. It’s good to close your pores after you cleanse to prevent them from being easily clogged by dirt and oil. Another benefit is that cold water makes your blood vessels constrict, which reduces swelling. End a warm bath or shower with a blast of cool water. Turning the tap to cold may also help boost your spirits. The shock of cold water can release endorphins. To make bath and shower time even more luxurious, use natural bath salts, scrubs, shower gels, and body lotions. Toss some soothing bath salts in the tub to unwind,

and keep a body scrub close at hand to exfoliate in the shower. When you exfoliate, you not only improve skin texture, you stimulate circulation and encourage toxins to escape through unclogged pores. All you need to do is scrub—gently. Grainy-textured scrubs give you dramatic results in just one application. Exfoliating with a scrub once or twice a week reveals the smoother, softer new skin beneath the dead cells. Be sure to seal in moisture with a body lotion.

Baths and showers become indulgent experiences when the products you use contain aromatic essential oils. Choose scents to match your mood, such as soothing and relaxing (lavender, geranium, or sweet orange essential oil) or energizing and invigorating (spearmint, ginger, or grapefruit essential oils).

Did you know? Research suggests that cold-water baths may alleviate mild depression and relieve itchy skin.

The truth about bathing comes clean: Washing wasn’t always popular. The ancient Babylonians invented soap about 5,000 years ago, but it didn’t catch on as a body wash right away. The Egyptians bathed in a combination of animal fats, vegetable oils, and salts. Even the Romans, with their famous heated baths, cleaned themselves by wiping dirt off with scrapers. The first real soap— made from wood ash and animal fat—appeared in the Middle East around the year 800.

30

February 2011

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GO GLUTEN FREE | BY MELISSA DIANE SMITH

Pumping Up YOUR IRON Got anemia or iron deficiency? Learn how to eat gluten free to boost iron absorption When Linda O’Neill was diagnosed with celiac disease a year ago, she was diagnosed with something else as well: anemia. Often accompanied by symptoms such as tiredness and weakness, anemia develops when a person’s blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells, resulting in oxygen-deprived organs. The most common types of anemia are iron-deficiency anemia, folate-deficiency anemia, and vitamin B12–deficiency anemia, each of which can develop as a result of celiac disease.

nonheme iron, the iron found in grains, vegetables, and fruit. Good sources of heme iron include beef, pork, buffalo, venison, elk, ostrich, and the dark meat of chicken and turkey. Beef and chicken livers are extremely rich sources, but because toxins tend to accumulate in liver, choose liver from organic or grass-fed animals whenever possible. Fish is relatively low in iron, but the iron it has is easily absorbed. Plus, adding fish to a bean meal can significantly increase absorption of iron from the beans. ■ Think

iron and vitamin C together. Vitamin C and other acids

Did you know? Those with mild anemia may not notice symptoms. Others with anemia may experience fatigue, dizziness, irritability, brittle nails, chest pain, cold hands or feet, irregular heartbeat, and various other symptoms.

O’Neill was diagnosed with irondeficiency anemia. While her doctor prescribed specific supplements for O’Neill, she also needed to adopt a completely gluten-free diet to allow her gut to heal so it could efficiently absorb the nutrients to overcome the anemia. In addition, she needed to learn the secrets of using diet to improve her body’s absorption of iron. Many people simply don’t know that what they eat and drink can affect iron status. If you have iron-deficiency anemia or if you want to prevent it, try these ironboosting food strategies: ■ Make your diet meatier. To maximize iron absorption in the body, include more sources of heme iron, the type of iron found in animal products, which is absorbed at a significantly higher rate than

32

improve iron absorption, so increase your consumption of vitamin C when you eat iron-rich meals. Try dishes that include citrus fruits, tomato products, or vitamin C–rich vegetables, such as broccoli, potatoes, and red, green, and orange bell peppers, with iron-rich meats. Or serve vitamin C– rich foods as side dishes with iron-rich meat entrées. If you are a vegetarian, include vitamin C–rich foods with vegetarian sources of iron, such as teff, amaranth, quinoa, white beans, chickpeas, and dried fruits, to help improve the body’s absorption of iron from those foods.

+

■ Beware

of iron depleters. Few people realize it, but factors that inhibit iron absorption include high-dose supplements and calcium-rich foods; phytic acid, which is found in grains and legumes; and drinking coffee or tea with meals. To limit these factors, don’t take calcium supplements and don’t eat calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products, at the same time that you eat ironrich foods or take iron supplements. Reduce your intake of grains and legumes, or try soaking grains or legumes before cooking to reduce phytic acid. Taking a phytase enzyme helps break down phytic acid as well. And if you’re a vegetarian, which puts you at risk of developing iron deficiency, get in the habit

of drinking tea or coffee between, instead of during, meals. Drinking tea with a meal reduces absorption of nonheme iron by 62 percent. However, eating adequate heme iron foods and food sources of vitamin C overcomes inhibition of iron absorption from even large quantities of tea.

February 2011

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GO GLUTEN FREE | BY MELISSA DIANE SMITH , continued

POT ROAST WITH VEGETABLES

make it!

SERVES 8

Made with iron-rich beef combined with vitamin C–rich tomato-based vegetable juice, this is an easy all-in-one dish to make to help boost iron levels. To add even more vitamin C to the meal, serve with a salad of greens, chopped red peppers, and fresh lemon juice–and–olive oil dressing. Have a cup of strawberries or an orange for dessert. Reprinted from Healthier Holidays Going Against the Grain, by Melissa Diane Smith. 1½ Tbs. organic extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven or deep saucepan over

1–1½-lb. organic chuck roast

medium-high heat; brown roast on both sides. Remove pan from heat.

¼

tsp. ground cinnamon (optional, for slightly richer flavor)

2. Sprinkle roast with cinnamon, if using. Put carrots, celery,

3

carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-inch chunks

2

celery stalks, cut into 2-inch chunks

onion, beans, potato, and garlic around roast; pour vegetable juice over all.

1

medium onion, quartered

½

lb. fresh green beans, snapped into 2-inch-long pieces

1

medium red-skin potato, quartered

5

cloves whole peeled garlic

1½ cups vegetable juice 1½ tsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves

3. Put pan back on stove; turn heat to medium-high. When liquid starts to bubble, cover, turn heat to low, and simmer 1 to 1–1½ hours, until roast and vegetables are tender, checking every 20 minutes to see that there is enough liquid and that roast isn’t sticking to bottom of pan. Add ¼ cup more vegetable juice or water, if dish seems too dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste; sprinkle parsley atop each serving. PER SERVING: 287 CAL; 18 G PROT; 18 G TOTAL FAT (7 G SAT FAT); 12 G CARB; 56 MG CHOL; 171 MG SOD; 3 G FIBER; 4 G SUGARS.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Melissa Diane Smith, a nutritionist who specializes in diet advice for optimal health, offers long-distance telephone counseling and coaching services to clients nationwide. She is the author of numerous books, including Going Against the Grain, and has spoken internationally on nutrition-related health topics.

34

February 2011

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11/29/10 2:12 PM


NATURAL GOURMET | BY JONNY BOWDEN, PH.D, CNS, AND JEANNETTE BESSINGER, CHHC

Crazy for COCOA The classic confection that’s actually good for you Welcome to our first column! For our first recipe we wanted to choose something that would not only delight your taste buds and provide great nutrition, but would also acknowledge the dual (and related) themes of February: Valentine’s Day and the heart! Valentine’s Day is all about love and romance, the universal symbol of love is the heart, and February is in fact American Heart Month, so what better ingredient to feature than chocolate? It’s good for the heart—and good for the soul! – Dr. Jonny and Chef Jeannette

The first gift I ever gave to someone not in my family was a heart-shaped box of chocolates. The recipient was my first girlfriend Madeline, sixteen years old, and neither she nor I were thinking much about health when we dug into those delicious chocolates together. But the fact is that chocolate—long considered the guiltiest of pleasures—is actually a great food for your heart. Cocoa is loaded with compounds called flavanoids, which are powerful antioxidants. The particular class of flavanoids found in cocoa are called flavanols, and they prevent fatlike substances in the bloodstream from clogging the arteries. Flavanols in cocoa also increase a key compound in the body called nitric oxide, which is critical for healthy blood flow, healthy blood pressure, and cardiovascular health. As an extra bonus, cocoa also contains magnesium, one of the most important minerals for heart health. So cocoa gets a gold star for health, and we already know how good it tastes. But this recipe is all about the nuts, and luckily uckily notes fro nuts have a resume just as impressive as the m Chef J Ty pically, cho cocoa that accompanies them. Nuts are a re eannette colate-co vered nuts with fat an fabulous food for the heart—in a major or are packe d sugar. T d his hearthas extra healthy ve Harvard University study, women whoo ate protein fro rsion m th no added e egg whit more than 5 ounces of nuts a week had ad sugars, bu e and t it will sati hard-core sfy even a a 35 percent lower risk of heart diseasee chocoholic . Xylitol is low glycem my favorite than those who didn’t. ic load sw eetener fo sweeter th r baking. It an erythri This easy, aromatic snack features is tol (its clo not quite se cousin), as sweet a three kinds of nuts, chocolate-covered d b u t s sugar. Eve not as sw n though eet, you c with an exotic hint of spice. Feel free it ’s a n u sually get swapping away with it in equal to use other types and combinations measure fo recipe like r sugar in this one b a of raw, unsalted nuts to make up 3 ecause m and desse ost sweet rt recipes sn ack cups total. aren’t noti by a slight ceably affe sugar red c te d uction. Un the other like some sugar alco o f h ENJOY! – Dr. Jonny ols, xylitol well and b also disso lends easi lves ly into mo products. st baked Try this sw e e t treat for a heart this happy Valentine’s Day! 36

SPICED COCOA NUTS MAKES 3 CUPS (SERVES 12)

1

egg white

2

Tbs. high quality cocoa powder

3

Tbs. xylitol

¼

tsp. vanilla

½

tsp. cinnamon

¼

tsp. salt

_1 8

tsp. ground cloves

1

cup raw unsalted almonds

1

cup raw unsalted cashews

1

cup raw unsalted hazelnuts

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, whisk egg white for at least 30 seconds se until light and foamy. 3. Add cocoa, xylitol, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and cloves, and whisk together until smooth. Stir in nuts until all are well coated. 4. Spoon nuts onto prepared cookie sheet in a single layer. 5. Bake 7 minutes, and stir nuts. Bake 7 minutes m more (be careful not to overcook or o they will scorch). 6. Allow nuts to cool completely and break 6 them th up, if necessary. They will harden as they the cool. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator. ref PER SERVING: 219 CAL; 7 G PROT; 18 G TOTAL FAT (2 G SAT FAT); 9 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 54 MG SOD; 3 G FIBER; 2 G SUGARS S

February 2011

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Akins Healthy Edge February 2011  

Akin's Healthy Edge Magazine February 2011

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