Category Archives: Getting And Staying Fit

5 Health Concerns Men Should Never Procrastinate About

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and taking care of our emotional well-being are all-important elements of living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining an optimal level of health. Medical experts and research has confirmed repeatedly that the lifestyle choices we make are crucial for healthy aging, and preventing various diseases that can result in premature death.

However, prevention goes a step beyond, with preventative medical care that can alert both men and women to various medical conditions that can lead to serious complications that can affect health and shorten one’s lifespan. Early detection and monitoring for high-risk conditions is an essential element of good healthcare.

When it comes to healthcare, men tend to see doctors less and do not pay as much attention to their possible health concerns as women do. They can often go years between doctors’ visits—missing valuable opportunities for screening and detection of possible physical diseases.

Here are some health concerns worth keeping on top of so that you don’t end up with unnecessary complications:

• High blood pressure: Men are just as prone to high blood pressure as women. High blood pressure is largely hereditary but can be influenced by environmental factors such as caffeine intake, intake of salt, and obesity. Unless the blood pressure is extremely high, you will have no symptoms and the blood pressure will be left unchecked and unnoticed. Visit your doctor every five years or so to have your blood pressure obtained. Try to check your blood pressure at stations found in most pharmacies. Numbers of 140/90 or greater bear a visit to your doctor.

• Colon cancer: Colon cancer is the second largest cause of cancer death among men. Fortunately, it is largely preventable by being screened for colon cancer, beginning at age 50 (and sooner if it runs in the family). It involves having a colorectal specialist insert a camera at the end of a flexible tube into the colon to look for and remove cancer-causing polyps. This procedure is called a colonoscopy and it should be repeated every ten years as a screening measure, starting at 50 years of age. Keeping a high fiber diet that is low in fat can also reduce the risks of colon cancer.

• Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, after skin cancer. Doctors know that there are basically two types of prostate cancer—slow growing and fast growing. Either way, it is worth getting screened for prostate cancer through the use of digital rectal examination every five years at the doctor’s office. Some doctors also draw blood for prostate specific antigen or PSA. This number can be high in enlarged prostate conditions or in prostate cancer. If it is elevated, doctors can try and determine if it is related to cancer or not.

• Smoking Cessation: Lung cancer caused by smoking is the number one cause of cancer deaths in America. The simplest way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is to never smoke or to stop smoking as soon as possible. There are many ways to quit smoking, including medications like Chantix® or nicotine replacement modalities. Gum, lozenges and patches are available that contain nicotine to help you get off the smoking habit. There are even vapor cigarettes that can provide nicotine but not the harmful carcinogens. The Centers For Disease Control recommend only one screening test for lung cancer, known as the low-dose computed tomography, through the test is not always accurate and has its own risk factors. The LDCT uses an X-ray machine that scans the body and uses low doses of radiation to created detailed pictures of the lungs.

The CDC recommends yearly lung screenings for those who: have a history of heavy smoking, smoke now or have quit within the last 15 years and are between 55 and 80 years old. Heavy smoking is defined as smoking at least one pack of cigarettes per day for one year. A 30 pack-year history can equate to 1 pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years.

• Heart Disease: Men are at a greater risk of heart disease than women are and must begin making strides toward lowering their risk early in life. Things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, lack of exercise, and family history contribute to a high risk of heart disease. Especially with men who have family histories, measures should be taken to reduce the other risk factors. This means adopting a heart healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat. It means a commitment to exercise at least thirty minutes per day, five days a week. Finally it means seeing a doctor to find out about risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. If these are elevated, your doctor may prescribe medications that can further reduce your risk of getting a heart attack.

• The Family Connection: Besides all the conditions listed above, it is also a good idea to find out about any medical conditions that run in the family as genetics can play a big role in the development of certain diseases.

Oftentimes, children, parents, and grandparents share similar health problems because inherited factors put family members at risk through genes. Disease often results from the combined effects of minor changes in multiple genes, and each gene then contributes in a small way to the symptoms of and development of disease.

Heart disease, diabetes, and cancer account for 7 of every 10 deaths in the United States, and they are considered genetic diseases because they run in families. Gathering a detailed family history can give you important information as to your risk factors and that awareness can be used to monitor for and possibly prevent the onset of problems whenever possible.

Scary Results From Eating Too Much Protein

According to statistics, most individuals in the US take in 3-5 times more protein than they need. An ideal protein intake is about 0.5 grams (500 mg) of protein per pound of lean body mass. This calculates to about 40-70 grams of protein per day. While high protein diets are extremely popular, eating excessive amounts of protein can be damaging to your health.

The Dangers Of Eating Too Much Protein

If you eat more protein than your body really can use can cause problems with your overall health and fitness in several ways.

Too much protein can lead to these health issues:

Increased blood sugar
Weight gain
Too much body fat
Stress on your kidneys, which must get rid of excess protein
Loss of minerals from your bones
Dehydration
Cancer cell stimulation

That being said, you need to know that your body cannot live without protein. While some amino acids can be made by the body, several essential amino acids cannot be made by the body tissues but must be taken in through food sources. Your amino acids are what make the protein that helps grow muscle, bony tissue, enzymes, and several hormones your body needs to survive.

Your body processes protein less efficiently as you age so that eating enough high quality protein becomes more important. You also need more protein during pregnancy so the fetus can use that protein in order to grow. Regular people who are not aging or pregnant can stick to eating 40-70 grams of protein daily as suggested.

There is an upper limit as to how much protein your body has the ability to make use of. We eat, on average, much more protein than our bodies need as well as too much carbohydrate-containing foods and not enough foods high in healthy fat.

Part of the problem is that the consumption of meat has risen to a great degree in the last century. Most of this meat is not high quality meat and comes from animal farms where animals are fed grains that have been genetically altered instead of grass in a pasture. You should eat meat that has been pasture-fed but even this can lead to protein excesses in the body.

What Protein Does In Your Body

Hamburger

According to statistics, most individuals in the US take in 3-5 times more protein than they need.

When you eat protein, your body takes what it needs and converts all of the rest of it into sugar and finally into fat. When your blood sugar levels are increased from eating too much protein, you put yourself at risk of getting infections by yeast (called Candidiasis) and pathogenic bacteria. The growth of cancer cells is stimulated by the excesses of sugar and fat in your body.

There is a biochemical pathway known as the mammalian target of rapamycin that is stimulated by having too much protein in your system. This pathway plays a role in cancer formation. In order to avoid stimulating the pathway, you need to keep your protein levels to the proper amounts.

Eating too much protein causes stress on the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for removing the nitrogenous waste products in the bloodstream and when there is too much protein, both the excess protein and water is lost through the kidneys, resulting in dehydration. This was proven in a research study that involved athletes who engaged in endurance sports.

Less Protein May Prolong Your Life

There have been recent research studies that relate to calorie restriction and longevity. In particular, restriction of protein intake leads to a longer life, particularly restriction of the amino acid known as methionine. This is found in high levels in meats. Other research indicates that the balance of amino acids might be the most important factor in gaining a long life.

Calculating The Amount Of Protein You Need

You need to know exactly how much protein you need to consume in order to be healthy. It can be calculated as taking in 500 mg of protein per pound of lean body mass or about 40-60 grams of protein daily. If you are excessively exercising or are pregnant, you need to take in about 25 percent more than that.

You also need to remember that a serving of protein is about the size of one deck of cards. Then you need to estimate the amount of protein you need. Your lean body mass is your percent body fat subtracted from a hundred. Make that into a percentage and multiply that by your total weight in pounds. Multiply that number into 0.5 grams per pound to get your protein requirement for the day.

What Foods To Eat

To get the protein you need, but not too much, choose protein found in eggs, dairy products, meat, fish, legumes, seeds, and nuts. Forty grams of protein isn’t really very much: about two hamburger patties. You do not need to be a vegetarian to avoid eating too much protein. Read food labels and look up the amount of protein in the foods you are eating. If you are eating too much, just adjust your diet so you are eating the right amount of protein.

Best Food Choices To Prevent Cancer

Far too many lives are negatively impacted, or taken too soon by a wide variety of dangerous and relentless cancers. Scientists are hard at work trying to discover the cure to this deadly disease, and all its different varieties but in the meantime, is there anything we can do differently in our diets to prevent cancer?

Diet is well known to play a key role in so many aspects of both good and bad health. Nutrients from food are used by the body for countless internal process, energy, healthy immunity, and brain health. Nutrients are also essential for avoiding disease, including heart disease, the common cold, and even cancer.

Research has shown that eating a healthy, balanced diet with fruits and vegetables can help in all aspects of maintaining good health. There are even some specific foods that are considered cancer-fighting powerhouses. Perhaps they are already part of your diet, but if they are not, now is a great time to start incorporating the following cancer preventing, and delicious foods.

Garlic

Science suggests that the sulfur that is released from this fragrant food can have cancer fighting powers. It can prevent cancer from forming in your body and accelerates the repair of DNA. Real garlic cloves are a better option than a supplement, and it’s best to peel the cloves and crush or mince them. Then let them sit for 20 minutes before you cook them so the enzymes have time to activate and release the sulfur. Raw garlic can be enjoyed in salads, sprinkled over cooked meats, fish and poultry or steamed vegetables.

Broccoli

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage are all packed with enzyme producing phytochemicals that become active as you chew. Eaten cooked or raw, these veggies help protect against stomach and intestinal cancers.

Tomatoes

Food Choices To Prevent Cancer

Diet is well known to play a key role in so many aspects of both good and bad health.

Have you ever wondered what gives tomatoes that lovely red color? It’s a phytochemical called lycopene, and its concentration is higher in tomatoes than any other foods. Tomatoes are most prepped to protect from cancer when they are cooked or processed, because your body can more easily break them down and absorb the vital nutrients.

A wonderful dish with tomatoes is grilled tomatoes parmesan. Cut a whole tomato in half, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and bake at 375F on a cookie sheet with a little olive oil for about 5 to 6 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

Cooked Carrots

Carrots are loaded with antioxidants, and beta carotene which has been linked to slowed cancer growth. This naturally sweet and well-loved veggie is most beneficial cooked as light steaming releases essential antioxidants, so you’ll help keep all the nutrients intact if you steam them whole, and then cut them before enjoying. Add fresh raw garlic over the steamed carrots to double the cancer fighting benefits!

Strawberries

Berries are small, but mighty when it comes to health benefits, and antioxidant-rich strawberries are one of the best in the bunch for cancer prevention. Additionally, they contain Ellagic acids, which have shown the ability to slow tumor growth and protect against mouth and esophagus cancers. Moreover, they are a great food to eat for naturally healthy and white teeth.

Berries make great snacks, powerful breakfast foods over a whole grain cereal or Greek yogurt and they are awesome low calorie desserts.

Spinach

Spinach is a great source of nutrients, fiber, and carotenoids. Carotenoids are important in cancer prevention because they flush out the free radicals in our bodies before they have a chance to settle in and do any damage. You’ll get more benefits from eating this green, leafy super hero raw or just slightly cooked and wilted.

You can eat spinach raw in salads or enjoy it sautéed for just a couple of minutes in olive oil with a dash of fresh garlic and a little salt.

Whole Grains

Eating whole grains contributes to well balanced and tasty diet. They also contain antioxidants called lignans that can be helpful in prohibiting cancer cells from multiplying. When you’re selecting breads, cereals, and side dishes such as rice or pasta, always go with the whole grain varieties for a healthy dose of fiber and antioxidants to help ward off cancer.

Limit Meat, And Choose Hormone Free

Meat is a great source of protein, but can often be tinged with growth hormones that were given to the animals to make then larger, faster. These hormones have been linked to cancers, so choosing hormone free options will help protect you. Meat should also be enjoyed in moderation, and not overcooked to the point of charring.

Bottom Line

Healthy, fresh, whole natural foods not only contribute to good health, but can also heal and restore balance in our bodies. Conversely, eating junk and processed food can actually do the opposite by depriving the body of the nutrition it needs to function at its best, and to maintain optimal immunity in order to fight disease.

Incorporating these powerful foods into your diet will help protect against cancer, and give you delicious and long lasting health.

Poor Nutrition And Fatigue – Is Your Diet Exhausting You?

Fatigue is strongly related to what you eat, how much you eat, and the timing of meals. There are foods that can make you fatigued and foods that energize you. For example, foods high in tryptophan, like turkey, can cause you to feel fatigued and sleepy. Other foods can improve your nutrition so that you feel immense energy instead of fatigue.

Your body runs off fuel that is provided by the food you eat. Cells that support high energy require carbohydrates, healthy enzymes, proteins, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats in order to run properly.

Your body is less fatigued if you eat a healthy diet, and avoid foods that are processed or too high in sugar and fat.

Fatigue As It Relates To Meal Size

The timing of your meals can affect your level of fatigue. Have you ever felt fatigued or dragged out after eating an especially large lunch or supper? You feel this way because the body has changed its focus and is expending energy in order to digest the food you just ate and has no more energy left for other things and that is why you feel so tired. In order to avoid feeling this way after meals, you should eat smaller meal portions more frequently and spaced out over the course of your day. This fuels your body on a regular basis and is a good weight loss method as well.

Processed Foods And Fatigue

Things like fast food items are designed for comfort while eating them. Unfortunately, greasy fast food only staves of hunger and does not fight fatigue. Other processed foods, including high sodium canned foods, sugary candy, packaged foods, meals in a box and meat that has already been cooked at the factory are filled with preservatives and salt. These and other aspects of processed foods will make you fatigued after eating them and never provide the body the nutrients it needs.

On the other hand, fresh whole foods do provide all the essential nutrients your body needs and nothing it does not. Vegetables, lean unprocessed meats, wild and brown rice and fruit in moderation are your best choices for high energy packed meals.

Caffeine And Fatigue

While caffeine is technically a stimulant, you feel only a temporary jolt of energy, followed by a crash in which you are greatly fatigued. The less caffeine you consume, the better you will feel in the long run. If you can’t avoid caffeine, just drink plain black coffee. The caffeine in sodas and energy drinks is offset by the sugar and miscellaneous substances found in these foods. These can only make you more tired.

Proteins And Fatigue

Select lean cuts of meat with less saturated fats. Chicken, and fish are good choices, and tuna with tomato and cucumber slices makes a great lunch. Eating fish is especially helpful because it contains omega 3 fatty acids that not only fight fatigue but also help with heart health.

Sugar And Fatigue

Refined carbohydrates like table sugar and the fructose in juices do not provide your body with nutrition. The same is true of white flour and foods made from it. These are foods that cause wide fluctuations in your blood sugar, which leads to fatigue. Instead of sugary foods, eat complex carbohydrates found in vegetables and whole grains. These are slow to digest, which prevents blood sugar spikes because they contain fiber. The fluctuations in blood sugar are diminished and you stand a lesser chance of suffering from fatigue after eating them. Whole oats in the morning make for an energy blast through the day. Raw veggie salad for lunch will get you through the afternoon hump.

Nuts And Fatigue

Nuts are great energy foods, your best choices are Brazil nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, and pecans. Eat them in their natural state, unsalted and unflavored to get all the nutrient benefits. Nuts are an excellent pick me up after the nutrition of lunch has worn off and you need an late afternoon snack.

Hydration

Water is essential to fighting fatigue. When you drink plenty of water, you are less dehydrated and your body works better. Make sure you drink more water than you drink coffee and sodas.

Supplements And Fatigue

Not everyone can get all the nutrients they need from the food they eat. If this is you, consider buying and taking a multivitamin. Not all vitamins are created alike, so you’ll want to speak with a doctor or nutritionist about the kinds of nutrients you need to stay healthy and energized.

Final Thoughts

You can keep your energy level up by watching what you eat and when you eat. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to fatigue and this is easily changed by altering your diet to contain plenty of energy-inducing whole fresh food.

The Health Benefits of Tea

Have you noticed lately that drinking tea is becoming very popular? Many health sites are promoting the benefits of drinking more tea and less coffee. Tea is a wonderful drink. It tastes great, there are lots of varieties available and many cultures have been drinking tea for centuries. Just look at how much tea people in countries such as China, Japan, India and Europe drink. This trend is now spilling over into North America like crazy.

Green tea has been around for a very long time and is one of the best teas that you can drink for your health. It is known for helping your body eliminate free radicals, it’s great for weight loss and contains anti-aging properties.

Most of the health benefits of tea come from EGCG, [Epigallocatechin Gallate] which is a very powerful and natural antioxidant. As you know antioxidants work to remove all kinds of harmful radicals from your body. Those which can damage your cells, cause cancer and reduce your lifespan. Free radicals are also connected to the aging process which is why it can be slowed down by drinking Green tea. Another benefit of EGCG is that it helps to speed up your metabolism so that it is easier for you to lose weight. Plus drinking lots of green tea just makes you feel better overall.

Green tea does contain caffeine, but not as much as coffee does. It also contains an important amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. This is important as L-theanine helps to increase activities in your brain which help to reduce anxiety. So drinking more green tea when you are feeling stressed out is a good thing.

Benefits of Tea

Have you noticed that drinking tea is becoming very popular?

All tea comes from the same plants – green, black and Oolong teas. The difference between black and green tea is the process that it goes through. Green tea does not go through a fermentation process – this process removes the EGCG – which is why it retains its health benefits.

Green tea can also help you fight tooth decay, fight off all kinds of bacteria and infections. Studies have shown that green tea is great at repairing your immune system and helps with preventing heart disease and other illnesses. It can be helpful at reducing your chances of developing breast and/or prostate cancer. The studies that were conducted looked at Japanese people who drank at least 5 cups of green tea per day.

The benefits of drinking black tea include helping you to reduce bad cholesterol and to healing your blood cells. Plus it helps to keep your heart healthy.

The major difference between green and black tea is the amount of antioxidants it contains. Green tea is highest on the list, with black and Oolong teas coming in next.

If you don’t like the taste of green tea you may want to try a variety that includes some mint in it. Always look for teas that are natural and contain no hidden chemicals. It really is worth your while, and your health, to drink several cups of green tea each day. Try switching it out for your morning coffee. You may not miss it as much as you think and you might realize that you just want something warm to drink each morning.

Remember that the health benefits of tea are numerous and it is definitely something that you should be including in your diet regularly.