Archive for November, 2009

A Misunderstood Effect of Tryptophan and Turkey

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Turkey and TryptophanIt’s common for people to experience drowsiness after the large turkey dinners that are often a part of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Although most people attribute the drowsiness to the tryptophan in turkey, this is unlikely to be the cause. Despite this somewhat negative perception of tryptophan, it’s actually an important nutrient that has considerable benefits.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that’s needed by the body to assemble proteins that are involved in numerous biological functions. Tryptophan is also an essential amino acid which means that it cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained through diet. When tryptophan is not consumed in adequate amounts, it can lead to a number of issues including mood disorders.

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The Insanity of Black Friday

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

 Original photo by Outsanity Photos

For many Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday is not only synonymous with turkey, but also the sales fliers for Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving, millions of people get out of bed ridiculously early and contend with traffic jams and mobs of people for what they perceive to be great bargains. Despite the hype, these so called bargains aren’t always what they appear to be.

Although Christmas decorations seem to appear earlier each year, even before most people buy their Thanksgiving turkeys, Black Friday is the unofficial start of the Christmas season. Some people have made a tradition of shopping on Black Friday while others deal with the insanity just to save money. Either way, I just don’t see it being worthwhile.

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Why You’d Be Crazy to Consume Aspartame

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Aspartame - Sweet MiseryAspartame, more commonly known as NutraSweet or Equal, is an artificial sweetener that’s commonly found in many diet sodas and other low calorie products. Aspartame is a dangerous substance that should have never been approved, and because of the modern obsession with restricting calories, millions of people are risking their health by consuming the many products that contain it.

Aspartame has been reported to have upwards of 100 side effects, many of which are neurological or related to impaired nervous system function. Aspartame usage has even been associated with the diagnosis of serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, brain tumors, and even death. Under the NutraSweet label, aspartame is sold in more than 100 countries, is found in more than 6,000 products, and is consumed by more than 250 million people which includes more than two thirds of the American population. The fact that aspartame has significantly compromised the lives of many people is very real and its use is a serious risk that lacks any reasonable justification whatsoever, especially when natural alternatives exist that are much safer.

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The Elusive Answers to Good Health and Success

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Deep ThoughtWith the advancement of science and the ease of sharing information through the internet, it’s become easier than ever to find answers to our questions and problems. However, because of this ease of access, it’s easy to assume that there’s always only one correct answer and that it’s easy to find. Whether it be in regard to health or life in general, people who fall victim to this common trap are failing to recognize one of the most important aspects of achieving success.

Some people simply expect others to provide them with the answers to all of their concerns, and when this doesn’t happen, they fail to consider themselves as part of the problem. Although this type of mentality may not do much harm when applied to small tasks, it can have disastrous effects on your health, your happiness, and even your family life. As such, whenever faced with a problem or challenge, it’s essential that you recognize yourself as a significant part of the solution and take full responsibility for the outcome. An important but sometimes uncomfortable part of this is enabling yourself to draw your own conclusions and make informed decisions based on them.

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What You Should Know About Essential Fatty Acids

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Fish Oil PillsAlthough the importance of essential fatty acids has become a mainstream topic, many people still don’t know exactly what they are or why they’re important. As a result, it’s common for such people to be consuming them in imbalanced or inadequate amounts and be wasting money on supplements that they don’t need.

As with most widespread health information, the food industry takes full advantage of the benefits and popularity of essential fatty acids by using them to market foods that are highly processed and unhealthy. Because of this, many people are consuming these critical fatty acids from less desirable sources and may be compromising their health as a result. To avoid this, it’s important that you know what essential fatty acids are, what they do, and what the best sources are.

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Making a Killing with Psychiatric Drugs … Literally

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Depressed Woman Taking MedicationMore people than ever are taking psychiatric medications, many of which have dangerous side effects. Many of these people don’t even need the medications that they’re taking, and in some cases, the side effects can be fatal or cause permanent damage that’s much worse than the original diagnosis.

Psychiatric medications kill approximately 3,000 people every month which is more than two and a half times the number of people killed by homicide. Many people who take psychiatric drugs aren’t aware of such risks, and to make matters worse, many of these drugs are just barely more effective than a placebo. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of deception and conflict of interest behind the marketing, research, and prescribing of these medications, and it’s important for anyone who is or will be taking them to be aware of it.

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A Closer Look at My Personal Eating Habits

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Steak DinnerBased on some of the questions I get about my diet, I thought it might be helpful to write about my personal eating habits in detail. Since I often say that a healthy diet doesn’t have to be overly elaborate or time consuming, I think it’s only right that I explain from experience how it can be done.

Although my interest in preparing elaborate meals is growing, I generally don’t like to cook, especially not on a regular basis. However, I’m dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to support my health and wellbeing with excellent nutrition. Based on these factors, nutritional quality and efficiency are the focal points of my diet. Although my meals would never be mistaken for the work of a gourmet chef, I’m able to follow a very healthy and satisfying diet without having to dedicate a lot of time to it. By reading about my eating habits, hopefully you’ll realize that healthy eating doesn’t have to be as difficult or complicated as you may think.

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The Keys to Great Digestive Health

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Restore Your Digestive Health by Jordan Rubin and Joseph BrascoDigestive issues have become extremely common and are often a result of the typical modern lifestyle. Unfortunately, most people perceive digestive issues as nothing more than an inconvenience and fail to recognize that they can easily lead to compromised health and disease.

Digestive issues range in form and severity from mild cases of gas and bloating to severe cases of Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis which can require that sections of the intestines be surgically removed. Mild digestive issues are so common that most people consider them normal. However, they’re an undeniable indication of compromised digestion, and over time, can progress to more serious issues including food sensitivities, toxicity, susceptibility to illness, and autoimmune diseases, all of which can effect the entire body and initiate a downward spiral of poor health.

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Why You Must Respect Your Energy Like a Bank Account

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Woman Tired from ExerciseMost people struggle to get out of bed each morning and rely on stimulants to get them through the day. Despite this, they pack each day full of activity and force themselves to do things that they don’t have the energy for. It seems that nearly everyone is guilty of this to some extent which is why it’s so important to realize how much this can affect your health and wellbeing.

Americans are getting an average of less than 7 hours of sleep each night and are busier and more stressed than ever. The physiological burden of dealing with an unprecedented number of activities and responsibilities each day and the excessive amount of stress that they create increases our need for sleep each night, but despite this increased need, many of us are compounding the problem by sleeping less.

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Don’t Help Wal-Mart Degrade the Quality of Organic Food

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Wal-Mart Organic FoodWal-Mart stores are well known for their variety and low prices, but are often criticized about the questionable approach to their success. Among the many negative impacts that Wal-Mart is often accused of, their tremendous influence is degrading the quality of organic food.

Wal-Mart is the largest public company in the world and is the largest grocery retailer in the United States. They are able to offer such low prices because they use their prominence to pressure wholesalers into selling them goods at a significant discount. Although this is a great business tactic, it encourages wholesalers to compromise their level of quality in order to meet the demand. One such compromise is the use of cheap offshore labor. In fact, Wal-Mart has been accused multiple times of dealing directly with foreign suppliers that run sweatshops and is even known for treating their own employees poorly.

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