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Carotenoids are a group of red and yellow fat-soluble compounds that pigment different types of plants, such as flowers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and carrots, as well as animals, such as salmon, flamingos, and goldfish. The ingestion of carotenoids is essential to human health, not only because some convert into Vitamin A, but also because they have antioxidant effects, which may combat such diverse problems as cancer and macular degeneration.
Carotenoids also help prevent heart disease by inhibiting lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) from sticking to artery walls and creating plaques.
Up to one-third of the Vitamin A consumed by humans comes from the conversion of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, the two most active of the over 600 carotenoids that have been identified. These two compounds combat early cancers, regulate the immune system, and maintain the integrity of the skin, lungs, liver, and urinary tract, among other organs. Food sources include eggs, liver, milk, spinach, and mangos.
Lycopene is a carotenoid that offers protection to the prostate and the intestines. It has also been associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer.
Found in tomatoes, it remains intact despite the processing involved in making ketchup and tomato paste. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin seem to aid in the prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration, and can be found in spinach and collard greens.
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Dried fruit has nearlydouble theantioxidantcontent, ouncefor ounce, of itsundried counterpart. Keep in mind that it has about twice the number of calories too.
Canned fruit, packed in its own juice rather than sugary syrup, has almost exactly the same nutritional content as fresh and frozen produce.
Cantaloupe is a great source of potassium, which is necessary for proper heart function and preventing muscle cramps. About one cup has 547 milligrams. One banana has about 450 milligrams.
Chocolate appears to improve heart health and blood pressure, which you may know, but it also may bolster diabetes prevention. An Italian study found that dark chocolate stimulated hormones to transport sugar from the blood into cells for fuel.
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Caffeine is best known for its stimulant, or “wake-up,” effect. Once a person consumes caffeine, it is readily absorbed by the body and carried around in the bloodstream, where its level peaks about one hour after consumption.
Caffeine mildly stimulates the nervous and cardiovascular systems. It affects the brain and results in elevated mood, decreased fatigue, and increased attentiveness, so a person can think more clearly and work harder. It also increases the heart rate, blood flow, respiratory rate, and metabolic rate for several hours. When taken before bedtime, caffeine can interfere with getting to sleep or staying asleep.
Exactly how caffeine will affect an individual, and for how long, depends non many factors, including the amount of caffeine ingested, whether one is male or female, one’s height and weight, one’s age, and whether one is pregnant or smokes. Caffeine is converted by the liver into substances that are excreted in the urine.
Some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others.
With frequent use, tolerance to many of the effects of caffeine will develop.
At doses of 600 milligrams (about six cups of coffee) or more daily, caffeine can cause nervousness, sweating, tenseness, upset stomach, anxiety, and insomnia.
It can also prevent clear thinking and increase the side effects of certain medications. This level of caffeine intake represents a significant health risk.
Caffeine can be mildly addictive. Even when moderate amounts of caffeine are withdrawn for 18 to 24 hours, one may feel symptoms such as headache, fatigue, irritability, depression, and poor concentration. The symptoms peak within 24 to 48 hours and progressively decrease over the course of a week. To minimize withdrawal symptoms, experts recommend reducing caffeine intake gradually.
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If you cook rolled oats in boiling water, with a bit of raw butter perhaps, it’s very good for you. Even those who have a low carb tolerance, can consume oatmeal when soaked overnight prior to boiling the next day. This deactivates the enzyme inhibitors that cause digestion problems.
Back to heart health for a moment: one study focused on millers, individuals who mill oats, and found that those who ate the most of their own product had the least amount of heart disease. Even for those who did not consume as much as the other millers, all of them had less heart disease than the general population.
This is a staggering find, and one you should consider when thinking to yourself, “What should I have for breakfast today?” Just think what adding blueberries and walnuts would do for you! And, for those of us into bodybuilding and protein, including a scoop of high-quality whey (or soy if you’re a vegan or vegetarian) protein creates the ideal “quick and healthy” meal.
Oatmeal is also reasonably high in protein and all the B vitamins. And, if you eat oatmeal with a bit of milk (or the protein mentioned earlier), you’ll get enough protein to substitute for a meal consisting of ham and eggs.
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Calcium. Recommended intake 1000 mg/day Calcium helps strengthen bones, teeth, and muscle tissue. It regulates heartbeat, muscle action, nervous function, and blood clotting.Best sources of calcium are: dairy products
Chromium. Recommended intake 300 mcg/da. Chromium helps with glucose metabolism and it increases the effectiveness of insulin. Best sources of chromium are: corn oil, clams, whole grains, and brewers yeast.
Copper. Recommended intake 3 mg/day Helps with the formation of red blood cells, bone growth and health. Works with vitamin C to form elasin.
Iodine. Recommended intake 150 mcg/day Iodine is a component of hormone thyroxine; it helps in the production of thyroid hormones, which control metabolism. Best sources of iodine are: seafood and iodized salt.
Iron. Recommended intake 30 mg/day Iron helps with haemoglobin formation. Improves blood quality. Increases resistance to stress and disease. Best sources of iron are: meats, organ meats, and legumes.
Magnesium. Recommended intake 500 mg/day Helps with acid / alkaline balance. Important in metabolism of carbohydrates and minerals. Can improve strength by increasing protein synthesis. Best sources of magnesium are: nuts, green vegetables, and whole grains.
Manganese. Recommended intake 5 mg/day Helps with enzyme activation; carbohydrate and fat production; sex hormone production; skeletal development.Best sources of manganese are: nuts, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Phosphorous. Recommended intake 1000 mg/day. Helps with one development and is important in protein, carbohydrate, and fat utilization.Best sources of phosphorous are: fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and grains.
Selenium. Recommended intake 150 mcg/day. Protects body tissues against oxidative damage from radiation, pollution, and normal metabolic processing. Best sources of selenium are: seafood, organ meats, meats, and grains.
Zinc. Recommended intake 25 mg/dayInvolved in digestion and metabolism. Important in the development of the reproductive system. Aids in healing. Best sources of zinc are: meats, liver, eggs, seafood, and whole grains.
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