Tag Archives: water

Drink Plenty: Water Is The Body’s Life Connection

Water drop
Water drop (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

 

The body is made up of approximately 55 to 75 per cent water. Water forms the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and perspiration and is contained in lean muscle, fat and bones. The human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water.

 

As the body can’t store water, we need fresh supplies every day to make up for losses from lungs, skin, urine and feces. An important element for the body. Water is needed to maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body, keep the bloodstream liquid enough to flow through blood vessels, help eliminate the by products of the body’s metabolism.

 

Water also helps to flush out toxins, regulate body temperature through sweating, lubricate and cushion joints and carry nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells, just to name a few. Drinking refreshing, clean water plays a major role in reducing the risk of certain diseases.

 

Česky: Pitná voda - kohoutek Español: Agua potable
Česky: Pitná voda – kohoutek Español: Agua potable (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The loss of body water through urination is greatly increased by the ingestion of decaffeinated and alcoholic beverages. These drinks have a diuretic effect, meaning they stimulate the kidneys to excrete more urine. Not only do we lose water, we also lose water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C, vitamin B (thiamine) and other B complex

 

vitamins. For every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you drink, you need to add an additional glass of simple pure water.

 

A diet containing lots of fruits and vegetables will supply about 4 cups of water per day. Even with a diet high in fruits and vegetables, it is still necessary to drink an additional 6 to 8 cups of water per day to supply enough water to meet the body’s daily needs. For every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you drink, you need to add an additional glass of pure water.

 

Dehydration occurs when the water content of the body is too low. This is easily fixed by increasing fluid intake. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, lethargy, mood changes and slow responses, dry nasal passages, dry or cracked lips, dark-colored urine, weakness, tiredness, confusion and hallucinations. Eventually urination stops, the kidneys fail and the body can’t remove toxic waste products. In extreme cases, this may result in death.
 

English: U.S. Army Sergeant Kornelia Rachwal g...
English: U.S. Army Sergeant Kornelia Rachwal gives a young Pakistani girl a drink of water as they are airlifted from Muzaffarabad to Islamabad, Pakistan, aboard a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter on the 19 October 2005. Français : Le sergeant Kornelia Rachwal de l’armée américaine donne de l’eau à une jeune fille pakistanaise au cours d’un voyage de Muzaffarabad à Islamabad (Pakistan) à bord d’un hélicoptère CH-47 Chinook le 19 Octobre 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Approximately six to eight glasses of a variety of fluids can be consumed each day. More than eight glasses may be needed for physically active people, children, people in hot or humid environments, and breastfeeding women. Less water may be needed for sedentary people, older people, people in a cold environment or people who eat a lot of high water content foods.

 

 

 

 

 

Water is one the most important substance on earth that supports the internal functions of human, animals and plants.

The average adult body loses about three and a half quarts daily in perspiration, respiration, urination and defecation. Body temperature is regulated through water. Water makes up 92% of the blood of the body and nearly 98% of intestinal, gastric, salivary and pancreatic juices. Water holds all nutritive factors in solution and acts as a transportation medium of these substances. Water is necessary for proper digestion of food.

One of the most important functions of water is to flush toxins from the body. The body holds onto water to dilute toxins so the only way to lose water weight is to stop eating the foods that are poisons to the body.Some people are holding up to 15 pounds of weight just in water! This leaves you looking puffy, bloated and swollen. Remember…the solution to pollution is dilution and this is why water and weight loss are so closely connected.

In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. Even mild dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%. One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied. Lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Are you drinking the right amount of water you should every day? Here’s an easy way to figure the proper daily amount. Take your body weight and divide it in two (150lbs. = 75lbs.) then change the pounds toounces, (75lbs. = 75oz.). This is how much water you should drink a day to maintain proper hydration. Be sure to increase your water intake slowly, or you will spend a great deal of time in the bathroom.

 

 

 

Water Affirmation
*Water refreshes and replenishes me.
*Water helps me maintain my good health and vibrant skin.
*I love water.
*I love drinking water.
*I drink enough water each day.

Source: http://www.tuberose.com/Water.html

Aspartic acid : The amino acid that increases stamina, good for fatigue and depression, and plays a vital role in metabolism.

Aspartic acid was first isolated in 1868 from legumin in plant seed.  Aspartic acid, also called asparaginic acid, is one of the nonessential amino acids. “Nonessential” means that our bodies produce it even if we don’t get this amino acid from the food we eat.

Aspartic acid is one of two amino acids (the other is glutamic acid) that has a negatively charged carboxylate group on the side chain. This gives aspartic acid an overall negative charge at physiological hydrogen ion concentrations (approximately pH 7.3).  Although aspartic acid is considered a non-essential amino acid, it plays a paramount role in metabolism during construction of other amino acids and biochemicals in the citric acid cycle. Among the biochemicals that are synthesized from aspartic acid are asparagine, arginine, lysine, methionine, threonine, isoleucine, and several nucleotides.

Function and Benefits of Aspartic Acid

  • Combines with other amino acids to form compounds that absorb and remove toxins from the bloodstream.
  • It has also found to play an important role in the neuroendocrine system for example in anterior pituitary it stimulates the following hormonal secretions of prolactin, growth hormone and luteinizing hormone
  • Because aspartic acid increases stamina, it is good for fatigue and depression, and plays a vital role in metabolism. Chronic fatigue may result from low levels of aspartic acid, because this leads to lowered cellular energy.
  •  It is good for athletes and helps to protect the liver by aiding in the removal of excess ammonia.
  • It helps to move certain minerals across the intestinal lining and into the blood and cells, aids cell function, and aids the function of RNA and DNA, which are the carriers of genetic wormation.
  • It enhances the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies (immune system proteins). Plant protein, especially that found in sprouting seeds, contains an abundance of aspartic acid.
  • It also aids in the detoxification of liver from various drugs and chemicals.

Deficiency Symptoms of Aspartic Acid

Deficiency symptoms of Aspartic Acid may include fatigue and depression.

Rich Food Sources of Aspartic Acid
  • Animal source: Aspartic acid is present in different types of meat like luncheon or sausage meat.
  • Plant sources: Aspartic acid is found in sugar cane, avocado, asparagus,  sugar beets, oat flakes, molasses, sprouting seeds etc
  • Supplements of asparatic acid are also selling in the market in the form of magnesium aspartate and in the sweeteners.

Valine : The essential amino acid that is needed for muscle metabolism, tissue repair, and the maintenance of a proper nitrogen balance in the body.

  Valine is a member of the branched-chain amino acid family, along with leucine and isoleucine. The three branched-chain amino acids constitute approximately 70 percent of the amino acids in the body proteins. As such, their value in the formation and maintenance of structural and functional integrity in humans is unmeasured. Valine is an amino acid obtained by hydrolysis of proteins and was first isolated by the German chemist Emil Fischer in 1901 from casein and is not only an essential amino acid but is also a branched-chain amino acid ( the others are isoleucine and leucine) found in high concentration in the muscles.

Valine is an aliphatic amino acid that is closely related to leucine and isoleucine both in structure and function. These amino acids are extremely hydrophobic and are almost always found in the interior of proteins. They are also seldom useful in routine biochemical reactions, but are relegated to the duty of determining the three-dimensional structure of proteins due to their hydrophobic nature. They are also essential amino acids and must be obtained in the diet. Valine is incorporated into proteins and enzymes at the molar rate of 6.9 percent when compared to the other amino acids.

Function and Benefits of Valine

  • Valine, an essential amino acid, has a stimulant effect. It is needed for muscle metabolism, tissue repair, and the maintenance of a proper nitrogen balance in the body.
  • It is one of the branched-chain amino acids, which means that it can be used as an energy source by muscle tissue.
  • It may be helpful in treating liver and gallbladder disease, and it is good for correcting the type of severe amino acid deficiencies that can be caused by drug addiction.
  • Valine has some stimulating effects. It plays role in the muscle metabolism and also helps in growth and repair of tissues. Valine also maintains nitrogen balance in our body.
  • Valine is the glucogenic amino acid so it provides glucose.
  • A disease known as maple serum urine disease results in case of error in metabolism of valine and it is then excreted in the urine.
  • Valine is found in high concentrations in muscle tissue.
  • Promotes mental vigor, muscle coordination and calm emotions.
  • Preventing muscle loss at high altitudes.
Rich Food Sources of Valine
  • Animal origin: Valine sources from animal origin includes meat, poultry, fish, dairy foods like cheese etc
  • Plant origin: Valine plant sources include lentils, peanuts, soy,
  • mushrooms,  sesame seeds and leafy greens
Deficiency Symptoms of Valine

  • Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) is caused by the inability to metabolize leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The disease is so named because urine from affected people smells like maple syrup.
  • A deficiency may affect the myelin covering of the nerves.

Petrified Wood: The Gemstone of Transformation

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What is Petrified Wood? Metaphysically speaking it’s a symbol of man’s infinite connection with nature. 

The process of petrification begins with three raw ingredients: wood, water and mud. A material formed by the silicification of wood, generally in the form of opal or chalcedony, in such a manner as to preserve the original form and structure of the wood. Also known as agatized wood; opalized wood; petrified wood; woodstone. Petrified wood has been preserved for millions of years by the process of petrification. This process turns the wood into quartz crystal which is very brittle and shatters. Even though petrified wood is fragile, it is also harder than steel.

Petrified wood (from the Greek root petro meaning “rock” or “stone”; literally “wood turned into stone”) is the name given to a special type of fossilized remains of terrestrial vegetation. It is the result of a tree having turned completely into stone by the process of permineralization. All the organic materials have been replaced with minerals (mostly a silicate, such as quartz), while retaining the original structure of the wood. Unlike other types of fossils which are typically impressions or compressions, petrified wood is a three-dimensional representation of the original organic material. The petrifaction process occurs underground, when wood becomes buried under sediment and is initially preserved due to a lack of oxygen which inhibits aerobic decomposition. Mineral-laden water flowing through the sediment deposits minerals in the plant’s cells; as the plant’s lignin and cellulose decay, a stone mould forms in its place.

In general, wood takes less than 100 years to petrify. The organic matter needs to become petrified before it decomposes completely. A forest where the wood has petrified becomes known as a Petrified Forest.

Elements such as manganeseiron and copper in the water/mud during the petrification process give petrified wood a variety of color ranges. Pure quartz crystals are colorless, but when contaminants are added to the process the crystals take on a yellow, red, or other tint.

Following is a list of contaminating elements and related color hues:

Petrified wood can preserve the original structure of the wood in all its detail, down to the microscopic level. Structures such as tree rings and the various tissues are often observed features. 

Metaphysical facts about Petrified Wood: Used to connect to past lives, for grounding, to attract wealth, strength and courage, reminds one of nature, used to stimulate the root chakra, brings about mental calm and centers the energy body.

 

Cleansing Your Gemstone

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How to clean your Gemstones

There are many ways to cleanse a gemstone. My preferred ways methods are to blow on them, use my hands and energize them then sweep the unwanted energy out into the air and towards the window, lastly i always put certain crystals in the window sill so they can recharge in the sunlight and moonlight..i’ll leave the ones i plan on not wearing for a month or so in there. Yes, it may be a long time to some people but if you take only the gems you won’t use for a while to put into the window to charge..you will forget about them for a while.

One simple way to cleanse a gemstone is to run cold water and hold the stone in your hands while water run over and through your cupped hands. You can also place your stone in the ocean to clean it, this method is beneficial since, salt water is very healing and purifying. I have heard some people bury a crystal as well. Placing a gemstone in soil sounds so organic. Of course those who know me, know how organic i like like to be. However, If you choose this method to cleanse your gemstones, please mark the ground where you place your stone. you certainly do not want to misplace it! Not a good idea, right… Exactly what i was thinking. So there is another way to bury a stone, it just came to me. You can use a flower pot with soil in it..Or even better use a pot with a plant in it and place some stones around the plant. I do this one and my plants grow very healthy too. Some crystals will want to stay in the soil with the plants. You will be able to tell if you should remove the crystal or not, by what you intuitively feel about it.

Plants and crystals can communicate with us. Yes its true. Anyway, I will save that information for another time. That’s definitely worth writing another blog post about. Another cool way to cleanse a gemstone is to do a meditation while holding your stones, then visualize running them through a fire. Be careful not to burn yourself during your visualization. Your meditation should feel good! OK Alright, i think we covered all the popular gemstone cleansing methods. Any other ways you prefer to cleanse your gems, please share your method and leave a comment.

Now we have covered cleansing gems with the 4 elements: earth, air, fire and water. There is just one more way you can cleanse your gems. HA! You can use the 5th element. What the heck is that you ask? Well you can use your third eye. Place a gemstone at your third eye and reset the gemstone back to clear. The third eye is localized in the pituitary body and the pineal gland. It is located at the point between the eyebrows. The third eye point expands up to the middle of the forehead when opened. Cleansing method and time depend on you. Some people say that darker stones should be cleansed for a longer period of time. Some say once a week is  sufficient for all stones that are worn on a regular basis. Crystals should be cleansed at some point, no matter which method you choose. People often wonder why gemstones need cleaning, they are in the atmosphere where they pick up energy, which is always traveling between everything. Gemstones can pick up anything in a room or space. For instance, If energy is left over from an argument, gemstones will pick that up too. Alright that’s all for now. Have fun with your crystals! Show them some love.

Strontium : The trace element which concentrates in the skeletal system and supports the function of osteoblasts, the cells that form new bone.

Strontium, which was discovered in 1808 and was named after the Scottish town of Strontian, is element number 38 of the periodic table of elements.It is in the same group of elements as calcium and magnesium. When most people hear about strontium they likely think about strontium-90, a highly dangerous, radioactive component of nuclear fallout. However, stable non-radioactive strontium is non toxic even when administered in large doses. As numerous studies for over half a century have demonstrated, this often overlooked mineral also appears to be one of the most effective substances yet found for treatment of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.Strontium is a non-essential trace mineral that is found in minute amounts in the body.  Clinically, it performs functions like calcium because of in vivo relevancy with calcium. It causes calcium to be retained in the body. Because strontium can increase the retention of calcium by the body, it is sometimes used to help prevent bone loss due to osteoporosis. It is known to contribute to the health of bones and teeth.

Health Benefits and Functions of Strontium

  • Strontium is helpful in reducing loss of bone minerals in osteoporosis.
  • It has been found important in reducing fractures and it is possible if it is used in the normal range.
  • These days strontium supplements are available in the market which is quite beneficial to our body if taken within normal range.
  • In a Mayo Clinic study, 85% of the patients suffering from osteoporosis who were treated with strontium supplements reported significant reductions of pain.
  • In another study, 353 women who had at least one fractured vertebra due to osteoporosis took either a placebo or a supplement containing strontium. The group taking strontium showed an increase of bone density of over 3% per year, and at the end of two years had significantly fewer recurring vertebral fractures.

Symptoms of Strontium Deficiency:

Its extreme of deficiency can lead to poor bone mineralization. Because strontium is not an essential mineral, there is no defined level of deficiency.

Foods Containing Strontium

Strontium is present in many foods especially grown in strontium rich soil along with some drinking water. The level of strontium in the plants is quite related to the strontium level in the soil in where it is grown. It is available in a various different forms such as strontium chloride, strontium carbonate, strontium gluconate strontium sulfate, and strontium citrate. It is easily absorbed from the body. It is found in various root vegetables including  spices, whole grains, brazil nuts, leafy green vegetables such as celery, lettuce, spinach and kale.  and root vegetables like radishes, turnips,carrots and parsnips, potatoes and legumes like beans, lentils and peas.


Source : http://www.drhoffman.com/447http://www.naturalnews.com/022238_strontium_bone_health.html

Fire Agate!

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Fire agate is Deep fiery red and brown with internal blast or ‘fire’, the result of a layer of clear agate over a layer of hydrothermally-deposited hematite, this crystal often exhibits a brightly colored, complexly banded pattern. Balances the root chakra. Agate is formed when water that is concentrated with silica comes into contact with iron oxide, and permeates into rock crevices to form an additional layer of rock.

Fire agate is a form of quartz with a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale. Found in the southwestern USA and Mexico. Agate is a micro-crystalline variety of silica, chiefly chalcedony, characterised by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are classically associated with volcanic rocks and can be common in certain metamorphic rocks.

Most agates occur as nodules in volcanic rocks or ancient lavas where they represent cavities originally produced by the disengagement of volatiles in the molten mass which were then filled, wholly or partially, by siliceous matter deposited in regular layers upon the walls. Agate has also been known to fill veins or cracks in volcanic or altered rock underlain by granitic intrusive masses. Fire agate can be hard to find.  

 

Fire Agate Metaphysical Properties and Benefits

 

Courage

Entrepreneurship 

Passion

Stomach

Healing

Power

Protection

Nervous

Endocrine systems

Night vision

Reduce hot flashes

Increases mental capability

Mental processing

Learning 

100% Raw Food Diets May Not Be The Best For You.

A picture taken, of A Green Salad.

 

 

 

Raw Food Diets – The Ayurvedic Perspective

by Claudia Ward, L.Ac

There is much confusion as to what is the healthiest diet for us to consume–a predominantly raw food diet or a cooked-food diet? On the one hand we have raw food enthusiasts recommending a natural diet of 100% raw food. This is based on the fact that raw food is high in nutrients, enzymes, and prana (life energy). Some raw foodists can get quite fanatical about their philosophy that cooked food equals “dead food” which has lost most of its nutrients. Others have their Chinese or Ayurvedic doctor recommend mostly cooked foods and see a lot of their health issues disappear on such a diet. Now who is right and who is wrong? I myself have experienced the benefits of raw foods and especially juicing, which manifest in increased energy, clarity of mind, radiant complexion, and weight loss, just to mention a few. There are certainly many documented cases of individuals overcoming serious health issues, some life threatening, through adherence to a raw food regime. And of course I have to agree, that some types of cooked food are not very good for you when consumed over a long period of time – fried foods, heavily salted food, over-cooked vegetables, microwaved food, etc.

However, everyone is different, and diet must be individualized. There is no one single diet that is “best” for everyone. Some people will do best on raw, others on macrobiotic diets. Also, a 100% raw food diet can be problematic – even though a good healing diet, it can create problems in the long run.

Orange, pear, apple
Orange, pear, apple (Photo credit: Joe Lencioni)

Below are the symptoms and problems associated with a long-term strict raw food or vegan diet:

* a general lack of vitality

* low body temperature (always cold)

* a weak digestive system with a loss of digestive strength

* food cravings

* rapid growth of grey hair

* stalled weight loss due to low metabolism

* emaciation

* amenorrhea (menstrual cycles cease), even in young women

* loss of libido

* hair loss and nail problems

* dental erosion

* insomnia and neurological problems

* constipation

* diarrhea

* infertility

Obviously, the modern Western diet sickens us with its overload of meat, salt, bad fats, white sugar, white flour, and its deficiency of living foods.

There is no question that cooking deactivates some vital nutrients, including enzymes, but cooking also makes digestion less stressful. Many people with poor digestion don’t handle raw foods or beans very well, which is in part why macrobiotic diets may have worked for some people recovering from various maladies. The higher proportion of nutrients in raw food is useless if the food can’t be digested, absorbed and assimilated. Cooking contracts vegetable foods, concentrating more nutrients with less bulk. Bitter greens like spinach and kale are generally more edible when cooked, because cooking also eliminates the oxalic acid, which interferes with calcium absorption.

Cooking significantly improves the digestibility/bioavailability of starchy foods such as potatoes and yams, squashes, grains, and legumes. Legumes need to be soaked and cooked thoroughly, otherwise they contain enzyme blockers, that inhibit protein and carbohydrate metabolism. They also contain lectins, phytic acid and saponins that are deactivated by cooking. Lectins play a role in certain auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory diseases. Green beans always need to be cooked until soft otherwise they are toxic! Raw beans are poisonous because they contain prussic acid, which is de-activated only by cooking. Beta-carotene absorption can be as low as 1-2% from raw vegetables such as carrots. Mild heating, such as steaming, appears to improve the extractability of beta-carotene from vegetables, and also its bioavailability. Mineral losses from cooking are insignificant.

 

diagram of a human digestive system

 

Lycopene in tomatoes has been hypothesized to be responsible for reducing the risk of some cancers and heart disease. The cooking of tomatoes with olive oil is a characteristic combination in the Mediterranean diet. Previous studies have shown that the absorption of lycopene is greater from cooked tomatoes.

The Ayurvedic Perspective:

There is not just one dietary approach that would be ideal for everyone. In order to correctly determine our optimal requirements we need to examine many factors. We have to take into account the individuals constitution (prakruti), the nature of their imbalance and symptoms (vikruti), the seasonal and climatic influences, stage of life, occupation, etc.

In general, those of a pitta, or pitta/kapha constitution, can do very well on some raw food in their diet, especially in the late spring and summer. But if someone has a severe vata imbalance, characterized by insomnia, excessive worry and anxiety, sense of being overwhelmed, spaceyness, dryness, gas, bloating, constipation, or amenorrhea, they may need nourishing, warm, moist, easily digestible cooked food as part of their healing journey.

Someone with a kapha imbalance can easily develop sinus problems, asthma, or allergies on a raw food diet.

My recommendation for those who chose to follow a raw food diet is to apply some of the ancient Ayurvedic wisdom to help avoid potential problems and help you stay well. Ayurveda recognizes our unique individual differences.

Balancing a Raw Food Diet With Ayurveda:

By using these simple Ayurvedic principles, any diet can be made more balancing:

* Daily warm oil massage (using unrefined, organic sesame oil), Ayurvedic-style, can be very helpful.

* Herbs with a calming action, including the commonly available chamomile tea. (Many other herbs are available, see an Ayurvedic health practitioner for recommendations.)

* Some raw-foodies report that running, cycling, swimming, or other aerobic exercise elevates their body temperature and also improves their digestion and the quality of sleep.

* Spices: ginger, cayenne, black pepper, cumin, coriander, fennel, etc. will improve digestion and metabolism. Pungent greens, like mustard, watercress, arugula, are alternatives to pungent spices.

* Tonic herbs: the Ayurvedic herbal blend triphala, strengthens the entire digestive system, and is extremely beneficial for the colon.

* Avoid cold food and liquids. Allow refrigerated items to return to room temperature before consuming.

 

ARS ginger

 

* Sipping hot water with meals, and in between meals, can help provide warmth to the body. The addition of a small piece of fresh ginger root (about 1/2 inch piece) to hot water will help considerably to increase agni (the digestive fire) and improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Adding fresh ginger or a little bit of flax seed oil or olive oil to a vegetable juice will increase the nutrient absorption, increase agni and not aggravate vata as much.

* Using a food blender, or consuming vegetable juices will decrease dryness.

* Adding fresh lime or lemon juice to foods also increases agni due to its sour taste.

* Using organic extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil or flax seed oil on salads and other dry foods will help diminish their vata provoking quality and provide necessary fatty acids to the diet.

* Chewing a thin slice of ginger sprinkled with salt before a meal will get the digestive juices flowing.

*Chewing fennel seeds after a meal will prevent gas or bloating.

* Relaxing for at least 10 minutes after a meal without getting up and rushing immediately will promote digestion and counteract fatigue after eating.

When it comes to deciding what foods to eat use common sense, eat according to your constitution, eat mostly cooked foods when the weather is cold, when it is foggy or in the evenings. Salads are best eaten at lunchtime (when the digestive fire is strongest), in summer, or when the weather is hot. I am always amazed when I go back to Europe, how healthy and grounded my friends are, even though their diet is not really 100% nutritionally correct (lots of wine, bread, pastries). How is that possible? I think the answer is that they sit down with their friends or families and take time in preparing and enjoying their meals. Here in California a lot of people are just sipping some green protein shake and hurry off to their yoga class. Now when you lovingly prepare your food, and really look forward to eating it, and enjoy every bite, guess what happens? All the digestive juices are flowing at the right time and the body will extract all the nutrients it needs. Food that is gulped down quickly, just because one thinks it is healthy, but is not really enjoyed will actually be harmful to your health!! It does not get digested well and wreaks havoc throughout your system.

So take time in preparing fresh meals, enjoy your food in good company and relax after eating! Happiness is the best digestive aid!

Vitamins B3 (Niacin) : The Essential vitamin Required For Processing Fat In The Body, Lowering Cholesterol Levels, And Regulating Blood Sugar Levels.

B3 is one of 8 B vitamins. It is also known as niacin (nicotinic acid) and has 2 other forms, niacinamide (nicotinamide) and inositol hexanicotinate, which have different effects from niacin.

All B vitamins help the body to convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body use fats and protein. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly.

Niacin also helps the body make various sex and stress-related hormones in the adrenal glands and other parts of the body. Niacin helps improve circulation.
Niacin is one of the most important nutrients in your diet, and it’s water soluble. That means that your body excretes excess niacin in your urine, rather than storing it. Therefore, you need to eat a steady supply of niacin each day to ensure that you don’t suffer from niacin deficiency.

Niacin protects your heart by lowering blood levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and preventing the accumulation of arterial plaque. Your digestive system, nervous system and brain need niacin to function. Niacin also helps your body make new DNA, and it helps your body use insulin efficiently to control blood sugar levels. Your body also needs niacin to process fats.

Functions

  • Maintains and strengthens gastro-intestinal tract, circulation, nervous system, and skin.
  • Needed for protein and carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Increases blood flow to skin, and extremities. Good for cold feet and hands.
  • Important in energy production, and metabolism of fat, cholesterol, and carbohydrates.
  • It helps the body produce many hormones.
  • Used in over 50 different chemical reactions in the body.
  • Helps regulate blood sugar, antioxidant mechanisms. Helps lower high cholesterol, and reduce early-onset arthritis and diabetes. It is excellent when used in treating early diabetes (but should not be used for advanced cases).
Niacin Rich Foods

Vegetarians need not worry because you can obtain plenty of niacin from vegetables and fruits. Eating these vegetables and fruits everyday can fulfill your daily quota of niacin. Niacin assists in the functioning of the digestive system, skin, and nerves. It is also important for the conversion of food to energy.

Fruit Sources : ( Avocado, Banana,  Boysenberries, Breadfruit , Cantaloupe,  Cherimoya , Dates, Figs, Guava, Loganberries, Lychee , Mango, Nectarine, Passion Fruit, Peach)

Vegetable Sources : ( Asparagus, Artichoke, Broccoli,  Butternut Squash, Collard Greens, Corn, Kale,  Mushrooms, Okra, Parsnip,  Peas, Potatoes,  Pumpkin,  Spirulina,  Spaghetti Squash,  Squash – winter,  Sweet Potato, Tomatoes, Turnip Greens)

Nut/Grain Sources : (Almonds, Barley,  Buckwheat, Millet,  Peanuts,  Rye,  Spelt,  Sunflower Seeds,  Wheat – Durum,  Wheat – Hard Red, Wheat – Hard White)

Legume Sources: (Adzuki Beans,  Fava Beans, Edamame,  Pigeon Beans,  Split Peas, Soy Beans,  Winged Beans)

Niacin Benefits

From energy release (by breaking fats and carbohydrates), hormones synthesis, protein metabolism and red blood cells formation, niacin plays an important role in almost 50 different processes of our body. Other niacin health benefits are:

  • Niacin is good for cardiovascular health as it keeps a balance between HDL and LDL within our system. It lowers LDL and raises the HDL levels that is important to maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the body. Despite many options available, niacin is most effective in increasing HDL levels. However, although niacin refers to both nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, it is only nicotinic acid that has a role in regulating cholesterol levels.
  • Niacin promotes blood circulation in the body. It helps in maintaining normal blood pressure levels and keeps blood triglyceride amounts in check.
  • Another vitamin B3 benefit is that it prevents atherosclerosis. The vitamin has been found to reduce the build up of plaques and also reverse their formation in arteries. However, the studies from which these findings were obtained, was carried out using both niacin and another cholesterol medication. Hence the absolute role of niacin against atherosclerosis still remains to be determined.
  • Certain studies indicate that niacin reduces the risk of a second heart attack in those who have high cholesterol levels and have suffered a heart attack already. Effectiveness of niacin for those who never had a heart attack is not yet clear.
  • Of the many benefits of niacin, one is that of vasodilation. Vasodilation refers to expansion of blood vessels. Niacin facilitates dilation of capillaries that are thinnest of blood vessels thus facilitating blood circulation. Skin is supplied with blood mainly through capillaries. When capillaries in skin dilate under the effect of niacin, it is known as niacin flush. In case the capillaries are blocked, blood supply may be altogether cut off from the area that the capillaries supply blood to. Hence niacin flush benefit involves regular passage of blood through the capillaries.
  • Vitamin B3 promotes insulin secretion and also improves insulin sensitivity. This role of niacin has been found to be very useful in maintaining optimum blood sugar levels and checking development of type 1 diabetes.
  • Niacin improves the health of our digestive tract. It also keeps our hair and skin healthy.
  • Niacin health benefits include treating depression, schizophrenia and inducing relaxation. This vitamin promotes the health of the central nervous system.
  • It is also known to be effective in preventing peripheral artery diseases, migraines and motion sickness.
  • Niacin helps in reducing risks of cataracts and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Niacin deficiency causes muscle weakness, muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, loss of appetite and dementia. One particular condition associated with vitamin B3 deficiency is pellagra. This condition is marked by dermatitis, old age dementia, sensitivity to sunlight, diarrhea and mental confusion.
Niacin Deficiency CausesNiacin deficiency is commonly referred as pellagra. There are two types of pellagra, primary and secondary. Cases of niacin deficiency can be found in countries where maize is the major staple food. This is because, the niacin found in maize does not get absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and these corns also contain less amount of tryptophan. Tryptophan, is basically a dietary nutrient that gets converted to niacin during metabolism. Such dietary habits cause severe and chronic niacin deficiency and is called primary pellagra. Some people consume enough amount of niacin, but due to some problem in the organs, the niacin is absorbed less in the body. This type of pellagra is called secondary pellagra. Pellagra can cause severe consequences if left untreated.Elder people are susceptible to niacin deficiency, because with the increasing age, the body loses the capacity of absorbing the nutrients from the food. Problems with digestive system and alcoholism are two more reasons that can cause niacin deficiency. Even chronic diseases like malignancies, cirrhosis of liver and pancreatic insufficiency may lead to deficiency of niacin. Sometimes, reactions with particular medication can cause niacin deficiency. Niacin deficiency can also be hereditary in some cases.

Niacin Deficiency Symptoms

The initial symptoms of niacin deficiency are quite vague, these include loss of appetite, indigestion and delirium. Pellagra is a result of excess niacin deficiency and it affects the skin to great extent. Thus symptoms of pellagra are observed only in patients with extreme niacin deficiency. Diarrhea, dementia and dermatitis are three major symptoms of pellagra. Niacin deficiency rashes are very severe and can make the skin scaly and dry. Pellagra also develops skin lesions and forms wrinkles. Irritability, psychological problems, confusion and excess sleep are some more symptoms of excess niacin deficiency. The person may also suffer from dehydration due to diarrhea.

The diagnosis of niacin deficiency is quite simple, since many of the symptoms are easily recognizable. The physician will also analyze the dietary habits of the patient, to find out whether the niacin deficiency is caused due to improper diet. Niacin deficiency treatment, includes administration of niacin supplements. balanced diet that includes lots of fresh vegetables and fruits can help in quick recovery from the deficiency. Most of the time niacin deficiency is caused due to multiple deficiencies of vitamins. Thus, the physician provides treatment that can help to recover the deficiency of the all the vitamins.

Daily Recommended intake of Niacin

Usually, too much niacin in diet does not pose severe health problems, since much of the niacin is flushed out of the body through urine. For adults, the daily recommended intake of niacin is 16 mg to 18 mg. For babies, 3 mg should be the daily intake of niacin. The recommended intake for children between one to three years of age, is 6 mg, while for those between 4 to 8 years of age it is 8 mg. Pregnant ladies or lactating mothers, require higher amount of niacin and hence, they should consult their doctor for exact amount of consumption. Any amount exceeding these numbers, can cause niacin overdose.