vitamins, alternative medicine, antioxidants

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A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Monday, July 27, 2009

How do doctors define obesity? (body fat, bmi,etc)

Written by Tena Moore


Obesity is defined as having excessive body fat that puts one’s health at risk. Although there are other ways to determine obesity, such as measuring body fat, most doctors usually determine obesity by using a ‘body mass index’ (BMI) number. A BMI number is generated by using the person’s height and weight to determine a number that will show whether a person is obese, overweight, a healthy weight, or underweight. For adults, a BMI number of 30 and over is considered obese.

Body Mass Index is found by using a specific formula:

Weight, divided by Height in Inches (squared), multiplied by 703 = BMI

Did that make sense? Here’s an example.

Let’s say I am 5’4” tall and weigh 147 lbs.

I would take my height and turn it into inches. There are twelve inches in a foot, so that is 64 inches. First, multiply 64 by 64 = 4,096, to get the height squared. Take the weight (147 lbs.) and divide it by the height squared, 4,096. Lastly, take that number and multiply it by 703. The answer is 25.2297 – in other words, my BMI would be 25 and slightly overweight. I could enter the ‘normal weight’ category, and increase my health, by losing a couple of pounds.

BMI Weight Categories:

Underweight: Less than 18.5

Normal Weight: 18.5 – 24.9

Overweight: 25.0 – 29.9

Obese – 30.0 +

If this seems like too much calculating, it is very easy to search online for a ‘BMI Calculator’ that will do the work for you. Just input your weight and height and the rest will be calculated automatically.



Other Posts

Organic food really is healthier
Drinking beats Exercise for Heart Health?
Green Tea May Protect the Brain From Problems Stemming From Sleep Apnea
Bilberry contains flavonoids called anthocyanosides
Angelica improves circulation



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The benefits of green leafy vegetables

Written by Tena Moore


Everyone knows that they should eat their leafy greens, such as kale, spinach and chard, but not everyone knows why. Although most people just think ‘because they are good for me’, that is not the half of it. Leafy greens are extremely healthy for the entire body and mind. Leafy greens boost the immune system, offer energy, help detoxify the body, and protect the body against many diseases, such as cancer. They are also known to offer benefits to the heart, bones and brain.

It’s a little challenging to lump all the leafy greens together to tell you the benefits; they all have their own health benefits. For instance, kale is known to help the body detoxify, keep the brain extra sharp, and decrease the risk of cataracts. Collard greens are known for easing menopausal symptoms, fighting cancers, and keeping the heart and lungs healthy. Spinach is known to protect the body against memory loss, heart disease, and cataracts.
Leafy greens are nutritional goldmines; they offer an abundance of phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins. They protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. They help prevent cell damage in the body, and some studies have shown they protect against diabetes and help reduce inflammation in the body, cutting the risk of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. In short, they offer just about every health benefit you can imagine, with no negative effects whatsoever.


Other Posts

Organic food really is healthier
Whole grains can shrink your mid-section and ward off disease
Get more sleep - Lose more weight
The Antioxidant Properties of Chocolate
English cider apples are rich in polyphenols which are also found in Red Wine



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Sunday, July 19, 2009

How Healthy are Almonds?

Written by Tena Moore


Almonds, like most nuts, are very healthy. Many large studies have linked the consumption of nuts to reduced risk of heart disease, and almond studies have shown them to help prevent cancer, increase levels of good cholesterol, and decrease levels of bad cholesterol.

Almonds are jam packed with nutrition. While vitamin E, magnesium, tryptophan, copper, phosphorus, manganese and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) are the most noted, almonds also offer calcium, iron, selenium, sodium and zinc. They also contain 6 grams of protein per ounce, and are a great source of dietary fiber.

Many people want to steer away from nuts such as almonds, based on hearing that they are high fat. Most people think that anything high fat must not be good for you and will make you gain weight. Although a quarter cup of almonds contains 18 grams of fat, 11 grams of that fat is monounsaturated fat – a very heart healthy fat. The key to almonds, just like any other food, is to be moderate with consumption. As a snack, almonds can help fill you up and deliver nutrients, and are a great choice as opposed to most snacks that truly are high in bad fats and can pack on the weight.





Other Posts

Organic food really is healthier
Can Sitting too long make you fat?
Low Carb Diet versus Low Fat Diet
Diet Drugs and Some Fairly Unappealing Side Effects
Simple ways for cutting calories



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Friday, July 17, 2009

Are hazelnuts good for you?

Written by Tena Moore (- if this post appears on any site other than Vitaminstuff.com it has been stolen)


Yes. The unsaturated fat, vitamins and minerals in hazelnuts make them a perfect, healthy snack. Unfortunately, nuts in general have received a bad rap over the years due to their high fat content. What most people don’t realize is that they must have fat in their diet, and the right type of fat is healthy, mono and polyunsaturated fat; the type of fat found in hazelnuts. The FDA reported in 2003 that eating 1.5 ounces of nuts, such as hazelnuts, per day may be able to reduce heart disease.

Hazelnuts offer so many vitamins and minerals; it’s challenging to list them all. You can find B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, folate, zinc, copper, manganese, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, selenium, and plenty of fiber and protein in hazelnuts. They are high in antioxidants and low in sodium and cholesterol. They are also known to help boost the immune system, promote digestion, and are a heart healthy food. Many of the vitamins and minerals found in hazelnuts are known for their cardio-protective qualities.

A low-fat dieting culture contributes to the misconception about hazelnuts, and nuts in general. Fat is needed for energy. You can either get your fat from ‘bad’ sources like sugary pastries and high-fat meats, or ‘good’ sources like nuts.



Other Posts

Organic food really is healthier
Eating antioxidants through an Antioxidant rich Diet
Bioflavonoids - Their Benefits and How to Include them in your Diet
Just what exactly is High Cholesterol?
A Gene that contributes to being overweight
What are all the vegetable oils?



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What are all the vegetable oils?

Written by Tena Moore (- if this post appears on any site other than Vitaminstuff.com it has been stolen)


The main edible vegetables oils that are used in cooking and biodiesel production are, in alphabetical order: coconut oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, olive oil, palm oil, peanut oil, rapeseed oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil. If you’re wondering why I haven’t included canola oil, one of the United States main cash crops, the reason is because it is a type of rapeseed oil.

Not all vegetable oils are edible. Castor oil, tung oil and linseed oil are oils made from vegetables that are inedible and used instead in paints, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, to name a few uses.

There are many, many other edible oils made from nuts, fruits and other plants, such as apricot oil, avocado oil, pine nut oil, cocoa butter (oil made from the cacao plant), almond oil, walnut oil, cashew oil, pecan oil, pistachio oil, hazelnut oil, macadamia nut oil, and flaxseed oil.

Other less popular edible oils are artichoke oil, babassu oil, ben oil, coriander seed oil, hemp oil, mustard oil, papaya seed oil, okra seed oil, perilla seed oil, pequi oil, poppyseed oil, prune kernel oil, quinoa oil, ramtil oil, rice bran oil, tea oil, thistle oil, tomato seed oil, and wheat germ oil.

There are, no doubt, other oils in other countries and little known oils that have not been included here.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Does Acupuncture help Arthritis?

Do you believe in alternative medicine? Many medical professionals do not, dismissing it as a bunch of mumbo jumbo that may actually harm patients by delaying diagnosis from a licensed physician.

The American Medical Association (AMA), which has come out neither officially for nor against the procedure, has released statements noting the lack of "well-designed, stringently controlled research" to back up its effectiveness.

Most attempts to supply such empirical evidence have been less than successful. A 2004 study by the Center for Integrative Medicine in Maryland attempted to document the effectiveness of acupuncture in osteoarthritis patients, but results were disappointing. While 40 percent of patients who received acupuncture saw improvement in their arthritis symptoms, success rates among the placebo group, who received fake acupuncture, were almost as high at 31 percent.

The BMJ journal also recently published an analysis of 13 studies of acupuncture for treatment of pain, which concluded that real acupuncture treatments were no more effective than the placebo ones.

Nonetheless, the popularity of alternative treatments such as acupuncture is on the rise.

The number of people who use acupuncture increased by 1 million between 2007 and 2002, according to a study published in December by The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Richard Nahin, director for research at NCCAM, said that acupuncture does have a visible effect on specific areas of the brain, an effect that can be observed through the use of magnetic resonance imaging.

Unlike traditional medicine, acupuncture, an ancient form of Chinese medicine, seeks to treat illness by balancing a person’s energy flow. It has been claimed to be effective for the treatment of pain, obesity, depression, infertility, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. But studies supporting these claims have been small, and have not been validated to ensure that positive results can be duplicated.

Yet more and more physicians today, particularly younger ones, are more open-minded in their attitude toward alternative medicine, perhaps in response to public demand.

Linda Lee, a gastroenterologist and director of the Integrative Medicine Digestive Center at Johns Hopkins, says there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to give credence to the efficacy of acupuncture. “We physicians are in the healing business, and we have to go beyond the pharmacological solutions to understand the whole person,” she said.

If you are considering acupuncture, be sure to go to a licensed practitioner who uses only single-use disposable needles. Keep in mind that some insurance companies do not cover the procedure. For more information about acupuncture, visit The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture website.



Other Posts

Carnosine has been hailed as the next super-antioxidant
DMAE boosts brain function by causing the body to produce more acetylcholine
Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10) helps deliver electrical charges to the mitochondria
DHEA supplements are said to help make muscles bigger, speed up the metabolism, increase libido
Garlic can be used to help treat hypertension and other underlying conditions that lead to cardiovascular disease
Black cohosh is a popular alternative to estrogen replacement therapy

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Skipping breakfast to cut calories. Recommended?

While breakfast may be the easiest meal to skip since most people hit the ground running in the morning, it is not recommended to skip breakfast as a way to cut calories. In fact, doctors and nutritionists say it is the most important meal of the day, especially for weight loss. Studies have shown time and time again that skipping breakfast can make your brain and body a little foggy, leading you to grab sugary snacks and sugary drinks in an attempt to give yourself a boost by mid afternoon. Studies have also shown that skipping breakfast can lead to eating more calories throughout the day to make up for the loss of energy.

While skipping breakfast to cut calories is not recommended, eating a well balanced breakfast is an important factor. Instead of grabbing a pastry or pop-tart, choose a breakfast that offers the body some fiber and protein to jump start your metabolism and keep you fresh and alert throughout the day. Eggs, dairy, and low-fat meats are great sources of breakfast protein and fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

If you are striving to cut calories, choose a breakfast that is nutritious without a lot of calories. Eggs are only 70 calories each and whole grain cereals can be accompanied by low-fat or fat-free milk options. In the end, eating a healthy breakfast will help you consume less calories throughout the day.






Other Posts

Organic food really is healthier
The Mediterranean Diet: A Heart Healthy Choice
The Basics on Veganism
Metabolism Myths
The Glycemic Index System for Ranking Carbohydrates



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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The difference between Vegetarianism and Veganism?

Written by Tena Moore


Simply put, vegetarians have chosen not to eat meat from animals. They do not eat fish, poultry, beef, pork or any other type of flesh from once-living animals. They do, however, still eat byproducts of these
animals, such as eggs and dairy. Vegetarians usually substitute tofu, tempeh, portabella mushrooms, and many other items in the place of meat without much effort. Vegetarian diets can remain very similar to the standard American diet through meat substitutes such as veggie burgers, tofu hotdogs, and fake chicken nuggets. There are also different types of vegetarians, from lacto-vegetarians that do not eat meat and eggs, to ovo-vegetarians that do not eat meat and dairy.

When someone says they are ‘vegan’, they are speaking about more than their diet choices; it is a complete lifestyle that adheres to respecting animals as living beings by not consuming animal products, not wearing animal products, and also not buying products that have been animal-tested. Vegans do not eat the meat of animals and do not eat their byproducts such as honey, dairy, and eggs. It also usually means that they do not wear leather, fur, silk, or wool, or buy products that have been animal-tested.

While vegetarians do not eat animals, vegans strive to live their lives without promoting killing, cruelty or exploitation of animals in any way.




Other Posts

Must You Take Statins For Cholesterol?
Organic food really is healthier
Alternative Medicine and Fibromyalgia
Ginger: A Natural Healer?
Alternative Medicine and Migraines
Alternative Medicine and Preventing the Common Cold



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Is complementary and alternative medicine Safe For Kids?

Written by Tena Moore


It’s no secret that complementary and alternative medicine (otherwise known as CAM) is growing in the United States. A recent study showed that nearly 36 percent of adults and 12 percent of children have used some form of CAM. The study was the very first study that included children. These treatments and therapies can range from yoga, acupuncture and hypnosis, to herbal tinctures, dietary supplements and homeopathic medicines.

While the use of CAM is growing, some are wondering if CAM therapies are safe for their children. To address this issue the American Academy of Pediatrics published a report urging pediatricians to advise their patients toward therapies that are best suited to them, whether or not the therapy is considered conventional or CAM. Although many doctors want more studies performed and more statistical data to back up CAM therapies, nearly 64 percent of medical schools are now offering CAM classes in their medical department.

What is a parent to do while studies are still being conducted and doctors still aren’t in agreement about CAM therapies? Seek out a well-informed CAM practitioner, talk to your family physician about CAM therapies and if possible, find a doctor or medical center in your community that deals with integrative medicine so that your children can benefit from conventional medicine and complementary or alternative medicine.


Other Posts

Limit Your Daily Calories and Lose Weight
Organic food really is healthier
Alternative Medicine and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Alternative Medicine and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Alternative Medicine and Lyme Disease

Alternative Medicine and Lupus



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Study Finds Red Meat Increases Risk of Macular Degeneration

Written by Tena Moore


Macular Degeneration, also known as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), affects one in seven individuals over the age of 50. AMD causes a loss of central vision in the eye, leaving peripheral vision untouched.

However, a new study by Dr. Elaine Chong of Victoria’s Eye and Ear Hospital in Australia has found that those who eat red meat more than 10 times a week significantly increase their risk of developing the disease earlier in life.

The study included 6,734 Melbourne residents between the ages of 58 and 69 years, and found that those who ate a lot of red meat, especially salami and sausage, were more likely to suffer from AMD.

Macular degeneration is only the latest disease to be linked to diets high in red meat. Obesity, heart attack, stroke, cancer and osteoporosis are also thought to occur more frequently in those who eat a lot of red meat.

The Meat and Livestock Australia disputed the findings, pointing out that most people in Australia don’t even eat red meat 10 times per week, and also that red meat is high in zinc, a mineral that has been shown to protect against macular degeneration.

Still, it is likely that attacks on red meat will continue. A recent study in the United States found that those who regularly consumed barbecued red meat were at an increased risk of dying from heart failure or cancer.





Other Posts

Acupuncture, Drug-Free Alternative for Pain Management
Developing a rudimentary beginning workout routine
Acupuncture Really Helps Osteoarthritis
Bee pollen may help build the immune system
The caffeic acid in propolis may help prevent colon cancer,
There’s also strong evidence that a taking 1,200 to 1,800 milligrams of bromelain each day can help relive painful inflammation



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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes and is not medical advice. Individuals wishing to use supplements or alternative medicine therapies should consult with their doctor beforehand.

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