Want a Healthy Brain? Eat an Apple!

Robyn Benson

Published on July 25, 2014

We all want to be healthy, but at times we’re just not sure how to get there because all of the health “noise” we hear on TV or read about on Facebook. It can all be confusing and overwhelming. One day something is good for you and the next day it’s bad for you. No wonder I have so many people asking me to help them decipher the confusion. The bottom line is; eating healthy is probably the best, fastest and most nutritious way to get there.  Even the simplest fruits can help you maintain a healthier lifestyle. Let’s take a closer look:

Your brain can do so much better with a red, juicy apple

Want a healthy brain? Eat an apple! Studies have shown that the apple isn’t just the healthiest fruit, but the healthiest food as well. You might not be surprised to hear this but the fact is, the apple contains an antioxidant that is called quercetin, which reduces the number of neurons dying in your brain. Oxidation and inflammation lead to neuron death, but with more apples added to your diet, you can prevent this.  As a result, your neurological health improves and the power of your brain increases. It also helps stave off Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia according to studies. Note: Always choose organic fruits and vegetables.

Reduce heart disease with bananas

The most significant dietary change an individual should make is to reduce their intake of sodium and add more potassium to their diet. Rich in B6, Vitamin C, potassium and fiber, bananas can keep your heart functioning properly and effectively.

Studies claim that consuming higher potassium amounts reduces the chances of death due to ischemic heart disease by 49%.

Burn fat with grapes

Grapes contain resveratrol which has a number of health benefits such as protecting your blood vessels from being damaged, reducing bad cholesterol and preventing the formation of blood clots.

Another interesting fact about resveratrol and is that it can reduce the ability of a cell to store fat by as much as 130%. And that’s not all; it will cause disintegration of your fat cells at a rate of 246% higher than average.

Reduce wrinkles with oranges

We all know the benefits of oranges when it comes to Vitamin C but what few know is that when applied topically, oranges have the ability to improve the appearance and overall health of our skin. It can even help reverse skin damage caused by pollution and the sun – and – it helps reduce wrinkles by improving overall skin texture. This all comes about because Vitamin C plays a vital role in our skins ability to produce collagen, which is a firming component of our skin. Vitamin C in oranges also helps our skin absorb vitamin E and iron, producing a glowing complexion!

Prevent Cancer with Pears

More than any other fruit, pears contain the most fiber which helps our bodies pass food much easier through the digestive tract. The beauty of the pear though is that this gritty fiber also helps remove cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. In turn, this helps in reducing the risk of developing colon cancer. Pears also contain flavonoid phloretin which has been found to induce and inhibit growth in colon cancer cells, human melanoma, as well as liver and leukemia cancer cells in lab studies. The consumption of pears has also been associated with lowering the risk of breast cancer.

So sink your teeth into these luscious fruits and reap these amazing health benefits.

Source: www.medicaldaily.com

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Do You Have Vitamin D Deficiency?

Robyn Benson

Published on June 26, 2014

Vitamin D is an important nutrient for your overall health, particularly for your bones, skin and brain.  The beauty of it is that over 90% of the vitamin D that we need is produced by the sun. Many people assume they are getting enough sun and consuming enough nutrients to cover the amount needed but what they fail to realize is that most of us do not get even the minimum amount of sunlight daily and we definitely do not get the required nutrients through the foods we eat.

As far as vitamin D is concerned, your daily recommended value is 600 IUs for children and those under seventy. If you are older than seventy, the dosage should increase to 800 IUs.  Research has also stated that children can consume additional quantities up to 1,000 IUs and adults can increase to 1,500 IUs.

Another thing that most of us fail to realize is that if you are not consuming enough vitamin D, you are at risk for osteoporosis and other bone diseases. It may also increase your blood pressure and you could suffer from diabetes.

So, how do we know if we have vitamin D deficiency? If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you probably aren’t getting enough vitamin D on a daily basis.

You have aching bones

When winter blows through, do your bones and muscles ache? Those with vitamin D deficiency will have achy bones and muscles come winter and their joints will also be stiff when they get up after sitting too long.

You feel melancholy

Do you find yourself feeling more melancholy than normal – especially during the winter? Vitamin D can increase the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in your body, which can elevate your spirits. Vitamin D supplements improve positivity in a person when compared to those who do not take any supplements. As for women, those over seventy do not see any impact on their mental health by taking vitamin D in increased quantities.

You are 50 or older

As we grow older, our skin no longer produces vitamin D in the required quantities. Our kidneys become less productive and sluggish when converting vitamin D into a form that our bodies can put to use. Another issue with older adults is that they spend most of their days inside; depriving their bodies of healthy vitamin D.

Note: As electronics have become more of a focal point in our lives, even younger adults and children are suffering from lack of vitamin D.

You are obese

Although you suffer from being obese, your body still produces vitamin D in the same quantities – however – the presence of fat definitely impacts the levels in the bloodstream.  Since vitamin D is fat soluble, this implies that the more fat you have, the more diluted the vitamin D in your body.

Your skin is darker

Did you know that our skin pigment is a natural sun screen? What that means for those with darker colored skin is that they need up to ten times the amount of sun exposure than those with light skin to produce the same amount of vitamin D.

You have a very sweaty head

Okay, this one is a little strange but this is one of the first, classic symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

You have a gastrointestinal condition

Because of the way gastrointestinal conditions affect fat absorption, those with inflammatory bowel disease, celiac or Chrohn’s may be at a greater risk for vitamin D deficiency.

So the question is; how do we get enough vitamin D?

Since vitamin D production can only occur on unprotected skin, sensible sun exposure is the key. Please note that I’m saying sensible here. If you are one of those that gets a mild sunburn after spending just 30 minutes outdoors without sunscreen then you can safely stay outside for 10 to 15 minutes before applying. For maximum absorption, expose your legs, arms and abdomen if possible.

Of course it all depends on where you live as to how much outdoor vitamin D we are exposed to. Those who live in the colder northern states might only get sunlight from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, depending on the angle of the sun and time of year. That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of the outdoors even if it’s for 30 minutes a day.

How do you make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D every day? Share in the comments.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

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Happiness Helps with Weight Loss

Robyn Benson

Published on May 13, 2014

Do you want to lose weight? Great, are you motivated enough to do this? I know so many people who badly want to lose weight, but they face just one problem. They cannot follow a strict diet, and when they are expected to be on one, they feel hungrier and end up eating more. Obviously, if you want to lose weight, you still have to control your diet, but it does not mean that you start depriving yourself of food and feeling hungry most of the day. How is this possible? Here are a few suggestions:

Be happy

Sounds easy? It is. How does this affect your diet? New research has shown that when your spirits are high and your emotions are positive, you prefer to eat nutritious food. On the other hand, if you are down, you gobble unhealthy food.

If a person is happy, they can see the bigger picture and figure out all things that are good for them in the long run. In contrast to this, when a person is in a bad mood, they just want immediate gratification and will welcome all the doughnuts and bad food offered to them.

So cheer up! Happiness just might be the key to weight loss and keeping that weight off this year.

Eat slowly

How fast do you eat? If your answer is too fast, then learn to slow your pace. There are so many nutritional experts who advise against gobbling down your food quickly – myself included.  Why? Because your brain needs some time before it can notify you that you are full.

Have you ever tried eating slowly? If you have and haven’t had much luck at it, there is fork with an electronic sensor in it called HAPIfork. If you try eating too fast, the device will light up and vibrate. Sound a little extreme? Maybe but if it helps to slow your eating habits down, it might be worth it.

Consume more fruits

Fruits are sweet (controls your sweet tooth) and provide nutritional benefits as well. Include them in plentiful quantities in your diet and you may be able to shed some of those calories. Lingonberries, which have been known for preventing weight gain can also regulate your blood sugar levels.

Track your progress with a text message

I know this part is difficult; no one likes to keep a journal but people who are actively trying to lose weight need accountability. One fun way of keeping track is by simply reporting – through a text message – some basic info, such as the number of steps you walked daily and whether or not you consumed fast food.  Ask a friend, family member or even your trainer to text you a daily question about your diet or exercise goals. It’s amazing how helpful having that accountability can be.


There are more and more studies that show a profound connection between insufficient sleep and obesity and studies now show that lack of sleep can have a serious effect on your waistline. Not getting enough shut eye interferes with your metabolism which prompts you to eat more. It becomes a vicious cycle as we sit mindlessly in front of the TV or computer screen long after we should be in bed.

The takeaway here is this; don’t dread starting a “diet.” Just make healthier choices and watch the weight come off without depriving yourself.

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