Friday, May 25, 2012

Sunny Facts - Vitamin D And You

A study by researchers at the University of California found that solar ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation can significantly reduce the risk of 16 different types of cancer by naturally stimulating the production of vitamin D in the skin. The study's authors are Cedric F. Garland, Dr. P.H., from the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and William B. Grant, Ph.D., director of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center (SUNARC). "Enhancing vitamin D status appears to be the single most important simple thing people can do to reduce their risk of cancer, apart from avoiding tobacco and moderation in the intake of alcohol," say Cedric Garland and William Grant. It has been frequently reported that those who work outdoors have a reduced risk of developing melanoma. The reasons appear to be twofold: • They develop a tan that blocks the penetration of ultraviolet radiation so it can't produce the free radicals that can lead to melanoma. • They produce lots of vitamin D.
The researchers recommend that people get their vitamin D from exposure to natural sunlight. Fair-skinned people who live in sunny regions of the country can produce about 1,500 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes of exposure at noon if only 10 to 20 percent of their body is exposed -- such as chest, back and arms. People should try to expose more of their skin surface for a shorter amount of time, rather than stay in the sun longer with minimal skin exposure, the study says. Darker-skinned people may need up to four times as long to make the same amount of vitamin D as fair-skinned people. The study recommends wearing hats to avoid prolonged sun exposure on more sensitive parts of the body, such as the face, and to keep moving when in the sun. Garland and Grant caution fair-skinned people to avoid over-exposure, since the skin produces sufficient vitamin D in just 20 minutes a day. To Your Health, John Hall

Friday, May 11, 2012

10 Simple Tips For Kicking Sugar Cravings

1. Avoid Processed Junk Foods You know from watching 'Hungry For Change' that sugar and processed foods can be as addictive as heroin. Eating sugar artificially stimulates a region of your brain called the nucleus accumbens, to produce dopamine, the pleasure neurotransmitter. Soon dopamine levels drop and we start to feel “flat”...or a bit “down”. We crave this pleasant, feel-good feeling sugar leads to addiction. 2. Boost Your Serotonin Serotonin, aka “the happiness hormone,” can be raised through a natural low glycemic diet, daily exercise and plenty of deep restful sleep. When you have sufficient serotonin, you are less likely to have cravings for sweets. 3. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With All Natural Stevia The all-natural sweetener, stevia, has zero calories, does not raise blood sugar levels and is 300 times sweeter than sugar. If you have sugar cravings and want to satisfy your sweet tooth safely, stevia is your best bet. Stevia comes in a liquid and powder form from your local health food store.
4. Drink Plenty of Water You may sometimes think that your body is asking for sugar, when in fact it’s dehydrated and really craving water! Try this simple delicious cravings-buster lemonade: In 8 oz. of water, add the juice of ½ lemon and 5 drops of stevia. You could also try a warm cup of green tea, sweetened with stevia with your meals. This way your sweet taste is satisfied and you won’t want a dessert. 5. Keep Your Blood Sugar Stable Eat several small, healthy meals throughout your day instead of three large portions to avoid dips in blood sugar. Your evening meal should be one of the preferred gluten-free grain-like seeds (quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth). If you do this, your body will produce more serotonin, you’ll feel happier and you’ll sleep much better at night.
6. Have Plenty of Greens Loaded with nutrition greens help boost your energy and help reduce cravings for sugar and processed foods.Green juices are an amazing way to add life giving and detoxifying plant chlorophyll to your bloodstream. As Jason Vale says in 'Hungry For Change', "juicing is the ultimate fast food, it is a 15 minute nutrient express to health". Some of my favorite and simple green juice recipes include: Green Juice Recipe Ideas: - Celery, lemon and pear (or apple) - Celery, cucumber, lemon (leave the skin on) and pear (or apple) - Celery, cucumber, kale, lemon and pear (or apple) - Celery, cucumber, lemon, parsley and pear (or apple) I also like to stir whatever green powders I have on hand, try barley grass, wheatgrass, spirulina or chlorella powders.
7. Eat More Sea Vegetables Loaded with vitamins and minerals, seaweed or sea vegetables make for a a great addition to salads and meals! They are mineral-rich while eating anything with sugar immediately depletes minerals from your body. Sprinkle dulse flakes on your salad or an avocado. Add seaweed to your soups for a rich salty and mineral flavour. mmm...
8. Eat and Drink More Fermented Foods and Drinks Fermented foods and drinks can be one of the most important ways to reduce or even eliminate cravings for sugar. Try live fermented kefir, sauerkraut, kim-chi, kombucha tea, natural plain yoghurt, coconut kefir or any of your favourite fermented foods. You’ll be amazed at how the sour taste of fermented foods and drinks relieves the desire for sugar and processed foods.
9. Learn Meditation & Stress Reduction Techniques Meditation can help ward off cravings by helping reduce stress. Stress creates the hormone cortisol, which increases your blood sugar. This is a vicious cycle that damages your adrenals and creates sugar cravings. Try a yoga or meditation class before or after work to calm your body and mind.
10. Try EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) If you’re looking to shift the desire for sugar, lose weight, stop a habit of binging or eliminate any addiction, you owe it to yourself to learn about EFT. EFT is an easy tool that anyone can learn in minutes. You simply tap on emotional acupressure points on your body while repeating key statements that help shift your body, mind and habits. To Your Health, J