Multivitamins: What You Should Know

vitaminsMany people turn to vitamin supplements to ensure that they get the appropriate daily dose of substances like iron, vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids or probiotics.

Before you get swept away in this convenient trend, there are a few things you should know, however. Woman’s Day Magazine offers the following 10 facts about multivitamins:

  • Consider temperature and storage requirements. Supplements that contain oils or probiotics should be refrigerated to prevent them from becoming exposed to too much heat, light and oxygen.
  • Different medications may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. Aspirin or birth control effect the body’s vitamin C levels, for example, and a boost in intake may be necessary.
  • Folate, or folic acid, is a B vitamin which the body often struggles to absorb. Contrary to popular belief, a synthetic type is better than naturally-derived folate in this case.
  • If you are a vegetarian, or don’t eat much meat during the week, you may want to consider a vitamin B12 supplement. This is a crucial substance that supports the body’s blood supply and nervous system, and is found mainly in animal products. Though some dark green vegetables, such as spinach, have B12, the plant form is not well-absorbed by the human body.
  • Be careful not to get too extreme. Vitamins are good for you, but large doses can effect digestion, moods and even the liver. Do your research, and maybe even consult with an expert.
  • Iron can be dangerous in large doses- if your multivitamin contains iron, make sure to take only the recommended amount each day. If you are pregnant or anemic, a doctor can recommend the appropriate dose for your needs.
  • Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, so take them with a bit of fatty food to maximize their benefits. Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, include B and C.
  • Prescription medications may interact with certain vitamins, or deplete your body’s stores. Discuss the possibility with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do your research when you buy your vitamins, as labels can be misleading. The FDA regulates vitamin supplements like food, and not like medications.
  • Vitamin supplements cannot replace a healthy diet. Your daily routine and dietary habits will have a much stronger impact on your health than your multivitamin can.

Godly Weight Loss?

Can God Stop You Eating Cookies?

According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, undertaken by scientists at Canada’s University of Waterloo, if you really believe in God, He – or She – can help you lose weight in the form of temptation resistance.  The research – undertaken using word-game experiments amongst 353 students – found that simply by mentioning the word God or God-related words, dieters were able to benefit from the deity and His minions!  The study also found however that those students who felt in their hearts that they could count on God to help them get to their goal weight actually ended up not doing so well with this kind of vocabulary.

The Experiment

The study began with a word task ‘warm up’ in which participants were asked to form sentences from some God-related and other non-God related words.  In the next task they were given letters and had to form as many words as possible in five minutes; this was used to ‘measure’ their motivation.  Students were asked if they thought God would help them with their goals and those who thought He would perform worse if they had seen God-related words before the test.

Temptation Resistance

On the next set of experiments, participants had to see if they could resist temptation more once they had been reminded about God.  Those who said healthy eating was important to them consumed less cookies after reading a passage about God than those who read a passage that did not relate to God.

 

Eat Like the Meds on World Kidney Day

Today is World Kidney Day.  This is a day about spreading awareness on kidney disease and how it can be treated.  Many people don’t quite realize the importance of maintaining the health of their kidney to preserve their overall welfare.  Of course, everyone knows they need their kidneys, but until something goes wrong, they don’t think much of them.  Therefore, awareness is key and that is exactly what the institution of March 10 World Kidney Day seeks to achieve.

Diet Changes To Fight Diabetes

One possible consequence emanating from kidney disease is diabetes, a chronic illness that is affecting more and more individuals around the world.  An analysis from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that the Mediterranean diet played a “’protective role’ in lowering HDL cholesterol and triglycerides as well as blood pressure and glucose levels.”


So next time you’re at the store, be sure to add some olives, olive oil, fresh produce, nuts and grains to your basket, for a healthy heart, kidneys and to lower your diabetes risk.

Traveling Home with Pumpkin Cookies

Thanksgiving has finally come. I’ve been looking forward to having a bit of a break from college life and returning homeward to enjoy the familiar atmosphere of my childhood – especially my mother’s Thanksgiving dinner. But this year I decided that I want to contribute to the dinner as well. Since I obviously can’t carry home a 14-pound turkey, I looked around for a holiday themed recipe that would be easy to make in advance, freeze, and transport home in an ordinary container. So if you’re going to be a guest somewhere, here is a great idea for an edible contribution to your host’s Thanksgiving table:

Low-fat Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ tsp allspice

¼ c. softened butter

½ c. canola oil

½ c. sugar or sugar substitute

1 c. canned pumpkin

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. chopped pecans

1 c. dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together butter, oil, brown sugar and sugar (substitute).

Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla.

Gradually add in flour mixture.

Beat at low speed until well blended

Add in chopped pecans and cranberries.

Drop cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets in heaping spoonfuls.

Flatten slightly with back of spoon.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Cookies can be stored tightly at room temperature for about a week, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Enjoy!

Maintaining Healthy Calcium Levels


As a student, it’s so easy to forget to eat properly.  But for optimum health, it’s so important.  What’s good to look at (even at a relatively young age) is your family history.  If you have a mother and grandmother for example who suffered from osteoporosis then you want to keep your calcium levels elevated.  Even if you have no symptoms of brittle bones or problem teeth, chances are, as you age, you will.  So in this case, you can enrich your diet with calcium in a relatively easy way.  Good sources of the mineral include: dairy produce, tahini, sesame seeds, spinach, broccoli.  No matter what your taste buds enjoy, there are dozens of recipes on the Internet these days that will tempt them somehow.  Taking a calcium supplement isn’t a bad idea either, but do not think it is in place of the calcium-enriched diet.  Take notes from a proper physician on what the best supplement would be. You can even do an early detection test for osteoporosis if it is in your family, but the best thing to do is take preventive measures, like adding it to your diet earlier rather than later.

Keep Track of Your Waist Size

New research suggests that not only your weight, but your waist size, plays an important role in determining how long you live.  Researchers found, after looking at the data from 100,000 men and women, that those with the largest waistlines have about twice the risk of dying.

They even found that big-waisted people with healthy body mass indexes had a higher risk of dying.  Every 4 inch increase in waist size was associated with a 25% greater risk of death, says Eric Jacobs, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society.

The study found that the ideal waist size is less than 35 inches for men and 30 inches for women.

Jacobs explains that the take-home message from this study is: “It’s important to watch your waist, not just your weight and to start eating better and exercising more if you see your waist size starting to increase.”