Want To Be In A Good Mood? Eat These Foods

A number of lifestyle factors can contribute to depression, but one that’s often overlooked is what you put in your mouth. “Diet plays a huge role in depression,” says with Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine.

Do you crave sweet, salty, and fatty foods when you’re feeling blue? You’re not alone. But, says Dr. Calapai “If we eat better foods like lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fish, we short-circuit the junk food cravings and have higher energy levels and sharper mental focus.

Source: http://cancerfightersthrive.com

Vitamin D (sun exposure; fortified breakfast cereals, breads, juices, milk):

Vitamin D is required for brain development and function. Deficiency in this “sunshine vitamin” is sometimes associated with depression and other mood disorders.

“Smart” Carbs Can Have a Calming Effect

Carbohydrates are linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Experts aren’t sure, but carb cravings sometimes may be related to low serotonin activity. Choose your carbs wisely. Limit sugary foods and opt for smart or “complex” carbs (such as whole grains) rather than simple carbs (such as cakes and cookies). Fruits, vegetables, and legumes also have healthy carbs and fiber.

Tryptophan (protein sources including turkey, beef, eggs, some dairy products, dark, leafy greens):

An amino acid, tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. It’s not well understood, but low tryptophan seems to trigger depressive symptoms in some people who have taken antidepressants.

Increase your Intake of B Vitamins

People with either low blood levels of the B-vitamin folic acid, or high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine (a sign that you are not getting enough B6, B12 or folic acid), are both more likely to be depressed and less likely to get a positive result from anti-depressant drugs. In a study comparing the effects of giving an SSRI with either a placebo or with folic acid, 61% of patients improved on the placebo combination but 93% improved with the addition of folic acid.

Boost your Serotonin with Amino Acids

Serotonin is made in the body and brain from an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan is then converted into another amino acid called 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP), which in turn is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophan can be found in the diet; it’s in many protein rich foods such as meat, fish, beans and eggs. 5-HTP is found in high levels in the African Griffonia bean, but this bean is not a common feature of most people’s diet. Just not getting enough tryptophan is likely to make you depressed; people fed food deficient in tryptophan became rapidly depressed within hours.

Up your Intake of Chromium

This mineral is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because insulin, which clears glucose from the blood, can’t work properly without it. In fact it turns out that just supplying proper levels of chromium to people with atypical depression can make a big difference.

Select Selenium-Rich Foods

Studies have reported a link between low selenium and poor moods. The recommended amount for selenium is 55 micrograms a day for adults. Evidence isn’t clear that taking supplements can help. And it’s possible to get too much selenium. So it’s probably best to focus on foods:

• Beans and legumes
• Lean meat (lean pork and beef, skinless chicken and turkey)
• Low-fat dairy products
• Nuts and seeds (particularly brazil nuts – but no more than one or two a day because of their high selenium content)
• Seafood (oysters, clams, sardines, crab, saltwater fish, and freshwater fish)
• Whole grains (whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.)

Caffeine and Sugary Foods

Caffeine may be difficult for many people to completely eliminate from their diet. However, it is good to only have caffeinated drinks in moderation, particularly when you are experiencing depression-like symptoms. Caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns and make you feel anxious, both of which won’t help your depression. People who drink more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, the equivalent of four cups of brewed coffee, should consider cutting back.

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/livelovefruit/life-wellness

Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed as the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s.

Dr. Calapai started his practice in New York City in 1986 and for over 25 years he has hosted nationally syndicated radio shows, including his two weekly call-in shows on WABC 770-AM, where he offers health and medical advice. He has a show on Saturday morning 8-9am and Sunday evening from 6-7pm. He has consulted with numerous high-profile individuals including Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Fox series Gotham’s, Donal Logue and worked as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers hockey team as well as various modeling agencies.

Dr. Calapai received his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and he consults in Manhattan with practices on Long Island, in East Meadow and Plainview. He has appeared on News12 and in the pages of 25A Magazine and Social Life Magazine.

He is the author of E-books Heavy Metals and Chronic Disease, Reverse Diabetes Forever! Seven Steps to Healthy Blood Sugar, Top Ten Supplements You Can’t Live Without, and Glorious Glutathione. Learn more about Dr. Calapai on his website: http://www.drcal.net

Osteoporosis: Maintaining the Bone Bank Account

Osteoporosis is Latin for “porous bone.” It is a silent condition with no outward symptoms. The bones become weakened and brittle, and can break easily; a fractured rib may result from a simple cough. In older adults, osteoporosis can sometimes be an indirect cause of death, but more often it results in decreased quality of life.

Bone Structure

Bone is living, growing tissue. Throughout our lives, our bodies are continually breaking down old bone and rebuilding new bone. Known as bone remodeling, this two-part process consists of resorption and ossification. During resorption, old bone tissue is broken down and removed by special cells called osteoclasts. During ossification new bone tissue is laid down to replace the old. Osteoblasts are the cells that promote bone formation.

When we’re young, we gain more bone than we lose. Bones then progressively increase in density until a maximum level is reached, usually around age 30. But after about age 35, things change, and we start to lose more bone than we make. Over time, this causes bone density to slowly decrease, and bones become more brittle. In a lifetime, a woman may lose up to 38 percent of peak bone mass, whereas a man may lose only 23 percent.

9781612435558.02

The Bone Bank Account

Think of bone as a bank account where you “deposit” and “withdraw” bone tissue. In order to be able to make “deposits” of bone tissue and reach the greatest possible peak bone mass, you need adequate calcium, vitamin D and exercise. In many situations, bone loss (“overdrawing the bank account”) can be prevented by continuing to intake adequate calcium and vitamin D, maintaining a regular exercise program, and by avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol.

Osteoporosis develops when bone removal occurs too quickly, replacement occurs too slowly, or both. You are more likely to develop osteoporosis if you did not reach peak bone mass during your bone-building years. Bone density is much like a honeycomb. A person with good bone strength will have a tightly woven bone matrix, whereas someone with osteoporosis will have large gaps that make the bone weak.

Who Gets Osteoporosis?

Most people associate osteoporosis as a concern for women. However, 20% of people with osteoporosis are men, and as many as 2 million American men already have osteoporosis (WebMD). Overall, men typically have a higher bone mass than females, and men don’t experience the rapid loss women see as a result of menopause. Unfortunately, men seldom discuss this topic with their health professional; thus, osteoporosis may go undetected in men until much later in life.

Preventing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is not inevitable, and it is never too late for action. Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, it can be treated. However, prevention is always the best line of defense, and less costly. Being proactive is good advice no matter what a person’s age.

Interestingly, no matter what the person’s age, the procedures for maintaining bone strength and density are similar.

  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Obtain the daily recommendations of calcium and vitamin D. Consult your health professional or 
registered dietician regarding correct dosage.
  • Speak to your healthcare provider about any side effects of your medications.
  • Consult with your healthcare provider regarding bone density testing.
  • Engage in regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises; water resistance 
exercise has merit. Wolff’s Law states that forces applied to the bone have a direct relationship to strength of the bone. When the muscle pulls on the bone, the bone responds by becoming stronger. 
Individuals who have been physically active throughout their lives generally have stronger bones than do those who have led more sedentary lives. But it’s never too late to start exercising. Safely exercising with osteoporosis means finding the safest, most enjoyable activities based upon overall health and amount of bone loss. There’s no one-size-fits-all prescription. 
Manage your bone bank account with proper diet, healthy lifestyles and regular exercise RESOURCES 
URL Resource:
  • http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/living-with-osteoporosis-7/male-men

Dr. Karl Knopf has been involved in health and fitness for over 40 years. During this time he has worked in almost every aspect of the industry, from personal trainer and therapist to consultant. He retired in 2013, but while at Foothill College he was the Coordinator of the Adaptive Fitness Technician Program and Life Long Learning Institute. Currently Dr. Knopf is the Director of Fitness Therapy and Senior Fitness at the International Sports Science Association and is on the advisor board of PBS’s Sit and Be Fit Show. Find more information on exercise and osteoporosis in Dr. Knopf’s book, “Beat Osteoporosis With Exercise”, published by Ulysses Press. Order by phone at 1-800-377-2542; also available online at Amazon

Five Foods for Better Bone Health

Osteoporosis isn’t preventable through diet alone, but a balanced diet rich in certain power nutrients can contribute to better bone health and help other activities such as exercise and osteogenic stimulation become even more effective at retaining and producing new bone.

Most people know that dairy products including milk, cheese, and yogurt contain calcium and vitamin D that build stronger bones, but they don’t know that secret super foods such as pistachios contribute to better bone health as well. Dairy is great for bones, but lots of other foods contain additional essential vitamins and nutrients that lead to stronger, healthier bones at every stage of life.

Start your day with an egg.

eggs2

Eggs contain valuable bone-nourishing nutrients, making them a great choice for breakfast or an omelet dinner. In USDA tests, egg yolks contained 41 IU of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. The body produces vitamin D during sun exposure, but if you’re concerned about skin cancer, eggs are one of the few foods that contain ample amounts of the core nutrient. Eggs also contain vitamins B6 and B12, which reduce levels of amino acids that have been linked to increased risk of hip fractures later in life. The folate in eggs is another B vitamin that helps prevent bone loss.

Embrace olive oil.

A recent study from Spain suggested that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil might have a strong link to healthier bones. In the study, 127 men between ages 55 and 80 who ate a Mediterranean diet with lots of olive oil had higher levels of osteocalcin in their blood, a sign of healthy bones. Other similar studies have shown that bone disease occurs less frequently in the Mediterranean than in other parts of Europe. To work more olive oil into your diet, use it to cook with instead of vegetable oil, and add it to salad dressings for an extra flavor boost.

Savor some spinach.

Try substituting spinach for regular lettuce in your salads. Spinach contains tons of calcium; just one cup fulfills about 25 percent of an adult’s daily requirement. Spinach also contains natural fiber, iron, and vitamin A, a crucial nutrient for bone growth.

Dip into something good for you.

Slice up some fresh vegetables and go for a dip—guacamole and hummus are both great for bone health. Avocados are packed with vitamin K, which works closely with vitamin D to regulate osteoclast production. Osteoclasts remove old bone to make more room for healthy new bone deposits. Avocados contain boron, a mineral that helps bone metabolism and vitamin D efficiency, as well as copper, which produces collagen and elastin. The chickpeas in hummus contain iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K, all of which contribute to strong bones.

 Go nuts.

606.03BG - The Health Benefits of Walnuts 1

Nuts such as walnuts and pistachios are incredibly beneficial to bone health. Just one fourth of a cup of walnuts has 2.25 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, 100 percent of the recommended daily value. Research has found that Omega-3 fatty acids increase calcium absorption, reduce calcium loss, and improve bone strength through better collagen creation, which simultaneously helps with muscle formation. Walnuts also deliver boron, copper, and manganese. Pistachios contain manganese, iron, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, which all team up to create healthier bones.

Kyle Zagrodzky is president of OsteoStrong, the health and wellness system with that focuses on building stronger bones, muscles, and balance in less than 10 minutes a week using scientifically proven and patented osteogenic stimulation technology. OsteoStrong introduced a new era in modern wellness and anti-aging in 2011 and has helped thousands of clients between ages 8 and 98 improve strength, balance, endurance, and bone density. In 2014, the brand signed commitments with nine regional developers to launch 500 new locations across America. Today, OsteoStrong is becoming a brand with a global reach.

Source (egg picture) –  http://livingwithgastroparesis.com

Source (walnut picture) – http://blog.lifeextension.com

Why Vitamin D is Vital for Overall Health

Dr. John Cuomo, Executive Director of Research and Development at USANA Health Sciences answers important questions on why vitamin D is vital:

What are the main functions of vitamin D in the body?

body-vitaminD
sporce: http://health.harvard.edu

Vitamin D appears to have many functions in the body.  Every cell, regardless of where it is located has a vitamin D receptor.  This would indicate that vitamin D has multiple functions and the scientific evidence backs this up.  The best documentation of the importance of vitamin D is in bone health. Absorption and utilization of calcium appears to be a vitamin D controlled process. Other minerals including magnesium, boron and silicon may also depend on vitamin D to be absorbed and deposited into the bone matrix. The RDA data for vitamin D is based solely on the function for uptake and utilization of minerals for bone health.  So while bone health, and prevention of osteoporosis is an extremely important function of vitamin D, it is part of what makes vitamin D important to your health.  There are numerous studies showing that Vitamin D is also essential for overall immune system function and for muscle strength.  Epidemiological studies also show links to glucose metabolism, cell proliferation, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, impaired muscle function, infection, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, some cancers and CVD.

What are the best natural sources?

One of the best ways to get vitamin D is to expose your skin to sunlight.  15  to 30 minutes of sun exposure between the peak hours of 10am-2pm will make thousands of IU of vitamin D. Just be careful not to burn.  Dietary sources are lower.  Some product such as milk and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D, but the dose is usually low and the form is different than from sun exposure.  Some fish also have vitamin D but the amounts vary significantly.

Is the vitamin D in milk etc a chemically made version and, if so, does it differ (like vitamin e) from the natural source?

The story here is a little different than for vitamin E.  The form of vitamin D produced in skin naturally from sunlight is cholecalciferol or vitamin D3.  This is also the form used in most nutritional supplements like USANA Vitamin D tablets.  Milk is fortified with vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol.  While it is naturally derived, it is not the same as the D3 that we produce naturally from sun exposure.  In addition there are several clinical studies on supplementation with D2 vs. D3, and it looks like D3 is more bioavailable, and a better choice.

What are the best ways to take vitamin D to ensure you’ve taken enough?

Dietary sources are not sufficient.  Even though milk, orange juice and fish do contain vitamin D, all of the data we have seen indicates that the vast majority of Americans are vitamin D deficient.  The two best ways to get the vitamin D you need are to get adequate sun exposure to exposed skin (without sun block) or to take a good vitamin D supplement.  In addition, the only good way to tell if you have adequate stores of vitamin D is to have a blood test run.  If your doctor asks for this test, be sure they measure the amount of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in plasma, and the amount should be 40 – 60 ng/mL.

Does sunscreen stop us absorbing vitamin D?

Yes. To make vitamin D in the skin, UV light must hit the skin directly.  Sunscreen effectively blocks this, and almost no vitamin D will be produced if you apply sunscreen.

How often should vitamin D be taken?

A daily supplement of 2000 to 5000 IU of vitamin D.

Why is vitamin D important?

It supports healthy bones, immune function, muscle strength, glucose control, and may help prevent auto immune disease and heart disease.

John Cuomo, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of Research and Development. Dr. Cuomo’s experience in synthetic organic chemistry, manufacturing, and analytical methods make his contribution to USANA invaluable. He holds over 20 United States and European patents and is the author of numerous scientific papers.

Suggested Reading

The NY Times had an article this week on how Vitamin D may be able to fight off colon cancer that you can read here.

Why Vitamin D is Vital for Health

Dr. John Cuomo, Executive Director of Research and Development at USANA Health Sciences answers the important question on why this vitamin D is so vital:

What are the main functions of vitamin D in the body? Vitamin D appears to have many functions in the body. Every cell, regardless of where it is located has a vitamin D receptor. This would indicate that vitamin D has multiple functions and the scientific evidence backs this up. The best documentation of the importance of vitamin D is in bone health. Absorption and utilization of calcium appears to be a vitamin D controlled process. Other minerals including magnesium, boron and silicon may also depend on vitamin D to be absorbed and deposited into the bone matrix. The RDA data for vitamin D is based solely on the function for uptake and utilization of minerals for bone health. So while bone health, and prevention of osteoporosis is an extremely important function of vitamin D, it is part of what makes vitamin D important to your health. There are numerous studies showing that Vitamin D is also essential for overall immune system function and for muscle strength. Epidemiological studies also show links to glucose metabolism, cell proliferation, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, impaired muscle function, infection, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, some cancers and CVD.

slide5
Source: http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com

What are the best natural sources? One of the best ways to get vitamin D is to expose your skin to sunlight. 15 to 30 minutes of sun exposure between the peak hours of 10am-2pm will make thousands of IU of vitamin D. Just be careful not to burn. Dietary sources are lower. Some product such as milk and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D, but the dose is usually low and the form is different than from sun exposure. Some fish also have vitamin D but the amounts vary significantly.

Is vitamin D in milk a chemically made version and does it differ (like vitamin e) from the natural source? The story here is a little different than for vitamin E. The form of vitamin D produced in skin naturally from sunlight is cholecalciferol or vitamin D3. Milk is fortified with vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol. While it is naturally derived, it is not the same as the D3 that we produce naturally from sun exposure. In addition there are several clinical studies on supplementation with D2 vs. D3, and it looks like D3 is more bioavailable, and a better choice.

What are the best ways to take vitamin D to ensure you’ve taken enough? Dietary sources are not sufficient. Even though milk, orange juice and fish do contain vitamin D, all of the data we have seen indicates that the vast majority of Americans are vitamin D deficient. The two best ways to get the vitamin D you need are to get adequate sun exposure to exposed skin (without sun block) or to take a good vitamin D supplement. In addition, the only good way to tell if you have adequate stores of vitamin D is to have a blood test run. If your doctor asks for this test, be sure they measure the amount of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in plasma, and the amount should be 40 – 60 ng/mL.

Does sunscreen stop us absorbing vitamin D? Yes. To make vitamin D in the skin, UV light must hit the skin directly. Sunscreen effectively blocks this, and almost no vitamin D will be produced if you apply sunscreen.

Why is vitamin D important? It supports healthy bones, immune function, muscle strength, glucose control, and may help prevent auto immune disease and heart disease.

This guest post was written by John Cuomo, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of Research and Development. Dr. Cuomo’s experience in synthetic organic chemistry, manufacturing, and analytical methods make his contribution to USANA invaluable. He holds over 20 United States and European patents and is the author of numerous scientific papers.

The Role of Vitamins on Muscle Strength

Muscle is mainly made up of protein. Therefore, protein metabolism (breaking protein down into amino acids and combining those amino acids into new proteins) is critical for muscle building. Collagen is also made of protein and is the connective tissue in muscle that anchors muscles to bone. In addition, muscle function is dependent on energy production. The energy used by all cells is called ATP. Glucose (carbohydrate) is a key fuel for ATP production. We use glucose as the main fuel to produce energy in all cells, including muscle cells.

1. Vitamin D plays a very important role in immune and muscle function. There are numerous studies showing that vitamin D is essential for overall immune system function. Studies have shown that proper vitamin D levels in the body are associated with muscle strength and performance.

lean_muscle_chart_RGB

USANA research shows that to have an optimal range of vitamin D in the body, most people need to take 4000 to 6000 IU supplemental vitamin D every day. USANA’s Vitamin D supplement has 2000 IU of vitamin D per tablet. Keep in mind that vitamin D is also required for the uptake and utilization of calcium and phosphorous—and both of these minerals are required for muscular contraction and function as well as bone growth and strength. Phosphorous is also required for ATP production and energy metabolism.

2. Fish Oil or the omega-3 fats in fish oil may decrease muscle protein breakdown. This may be through improvements in insulin sensitivity, and insulin resistance is associated with muscle breakdown. There is also a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showing that fish oil helps enhance the effect of strength training in elderly women. Fish oil is most commonly obtained through supplements and food, such as a variety of fish.

3. Vitamin C is important for our muscles, and we need it to function properly. Vitamin C is required for collagen and elastin synthesis, and it is also an important supplement to take daily because it’s responsible for the health of the blood vessels, which support the muscles’ needs for oxygen and nutrients. Good sources of vitamin C include broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, and grapefruit.

4. Vitamin E is a very important antioxidant that helps cell membrane recovery from oxidative stress. Cell membrane reliability is essential for cellular function and growth. To add vitamin E into your diet, try almonds, spinach, carrots, and avocados. Many different oils are also good sources of vitamin E, such as olive oil, corn oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil.

5. An array of B vitamins are essential to muscle strength and tone. B1 (thiamin) is important for protein metabolism and the formation of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to cells, including muscle cells, and without oxygen energy, production is compromised. B1 nutrients can be found in cereal, bread, meat, rice, and nuts. B2 (riboflavin) is involved in energy metabolism, glucose metabolism, the oxidation of fatty acids, with some effects on protein metabolism. B2 nutrients can be found in cheese, eggs, milk, and peas. B3 (niacin) is essential for energy production. B3 nutrients can be found in milk, eggs, fish, legumes, and potatoes. B6 (pyridoxine) is important for protein metabolism, growth, and carbohydrate utilization. B6 nutrients can be found in soybeans, butter, brown rice, and fish. And B12 (cyanocobalamin) is important for the maintenance of nerve tissue and is essential for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, energy metabolism, and cell regeneration. B12 nutrients can be found in milk, poultry, eggs, meat, and liver. B7 (biotin) is important for amino acid metabolism, and amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Good sources of B7 include mushrooms, egg yolk, beef liver, and brewer’s yeast.

This guest blog post was written by Dr. John Cuomo, Executive Director of Research and Development at USANA Health Sciences.