Monday, August 29, 2011

Start Your Day Right - EAT!

How important is breakfast? We know that children who skip breakfast have a harder time concentrating in school. Studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight and keep it off. People who eat a healthy, nutrient-rich breakfast are less likely to binge on high calorie foods at lunch. A nutritious breakfast also helps the body better handle the stresses of the day. Sounds like some good reasons to get up and eat breakfast!
So what makes a healthy breakfast? Include a blend of whole fiber-rich grains, fruit and some form of protein for optimum balance and nutrition. Have a little time? Make a veggie omelet and serve it with fruit. Try fruit, yogurt and granola for a quick tasty fix. Or if you eat breakfast on the go, try a nutrition bar or shake to help you get the nutrition you need in a portable form. There are so many available now that contain raw foods, superfruits, fiber and more.
It does not take a lot to fix a healthy breakfast, and it’s the most important meal of the day!

Friday, August 5, 2011

How much Vitamin D do we need for Optimum Health?

Vitamin D is used by 38 organs in the body – that’s a lot of vitamin D. But when the Institute of Medicine released the new RDAs for vitamin D in late 2010 – recommending 600-800 IU vitamin D per day – many were confused that the levels were not higher. An incredible amount of research has been done on vitamin D recently, and most studies used 1000 IU or higher. Why the discrepancy? It may lie in the testing for vitamin D, according to John J. Cannell, M.D, executive director of the Vitamin D Council. More and more people are having their vitamin D levels checked. Dr. Cannell notes that the reference value for vitamin D on a blood test is a range of 20-100 ng/ml, so if you test at 20 ng you fall in the “normal” range and are not considered to be deficient. But what about optimum health? I don’t want to just prevent the deficiency disease rickets, I want to FEEL good! So Dr. Cannell recommends that a level of 50mg/ml would be a better level to reach for. At this level, vitamin D can carry out its primary function to maintain calcium levels in the blood, but it also supplies enough vitamin D to provide the host of other potential benefits that research has revealed over the last few years, from fighting the flu to fighting diabetes. So how much does Dr. Cannell recommend people take to maintain that 50 ng/ml vitamin D level in the body? According to Dr . Cannell, 2000 to 5000 IU of vitamin D3 is an ideal level. It is what most doctors recommend their patients take, and what they themselves take. I recommend people get their vitamin D levels checked, then discuss and appropriate dosage with their doctor.