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Articles to Better Your Health

Vitamins and Minerals Work in Tandem

Here are 8 nutritional examples of how vitamins and minerals work in tandem.

Brought you to you by our amazing friends at Reliv International

Every now and then, we hear about studies reporting that one single vitamin wasn’t shown to have an effect on a certain condition — such as vitamin C and colds. Often these simplified findings occur because the study looked at the vitamin in isolation rather than how it naturally interacts with other nutrients to benefit our health.

Nutritional relationships are highly complex. Many vitamins and minerals work in tandem with others to enhance absorption, effectiveness and health benefits. They’re like family — they NEED each other. This is called synergy. Synergy is all about how a group of powerful nutrients work together to give more benefits than they would individually.

Here are some examples of nutrition combos that work synergistically for better health benefits:

*Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron. So eating dark green vegetables or citrus with meats, fish or beans is a smart nutrition choice to boost iron levels and enhance production of healthy red blood cells.

*Eating good fats, such as olive oil, canola oil or even a simple avocado, nuts or cheese, with a salad chock-full of veggie helps your body absorb more of the beneficial phytochemicals.

*Working together, folic acid, vitamin B6 and B12 protect the heart by reducing the level of an artery-damaging amino acid. So eat plenty of B6 and folate vitamin sources such as spinach, broccoli, tomato juice, beans, bananas and watermelon along with B12 sources such as meats, chicken, fish, shellfish, milk and eggs.

*Vitamin C and phytoestrogen found in various fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans (including soy) work together to prevent or delay dangerous plaque build-up in the arteries.

*Vitamin D and calcium go hand in hand because vitamin D is needed to help your body absorb calcium. In addition, the combination of the two nutrients increases bone mineral density and reduces fracture risk in postmenopausal women.

*A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that eating a broccoli-tomato combination significantly suppresses prostate tumor growth more than eating broccoli or lycopene-rich tomatoes alone.

*Pairing the catechins in grapes and the quercetin in apples may improve cardiovascular health by making blood platelets less sticky so they don’t clump together and clog arteries.

*Adding lemon to your green tea not only makes it taste good, it also helps your body absorb at least three times more of tea’s healthy catechins.

Relìv Makes Synergistic Nutrition Easy

Over two decades ago, Relìv introduced products developed on the principle of synergy — long before synergy became a buzzword in the nutrition world. Rather than focus on one or two specific vitamins, Relìv products are carefully balanced with a complex blend of nutrients that work together, synergistically, for optimal health. Two shakes a day of Relìv nutritional supplements combined with eating a variety of fresh, whole foods will ensure your body is receiving the nutrition it craves to function its best.

Go ahead… retweet this article to your family and friends! Also love hearing comments from the readers so go ahead and say something below!

Cheers to Your Optimal Health

Katrina van Oudheusden

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Food Allergies, Health, Health and Wellness, kids vitamins, Sports Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Benefits of Soy

As we so over and over again… soy is starting to get a better reputation for being good for you. The best soy is the non-GMO soy. Be careful and read your labels.

Hope you find this article informational and look forward to your comments below.

Powerful Benefits of Soy

Written by Gloria Tsang, RD of
Published in February 2006

Benefits of soy( has most interested scientists in recent years is the discovery of phytochemicals and the profound benefits of soy on human health. Benefits of soy include promoting heart health and healthy bones, preventing cancer and alleviating menopausal symptoms.

Soy beans contain high amounts of protein, including all essential amino acids (the only such vegetable source). Soy beans are also a rich source of calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, B-vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and fiber.

Benefits of Soy: Heart Health

The cholesterol lowering effect of soy milk and its role of heart disease was widely recognized in the mid 90s when the results of a meta-analysis of 38 clinical studies were published. The results demonstrated that a diet with significant soy protein reduces Total Cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (the “Bad” cholesterol) and Triglycerides.

The average consumption in these studies was 47 grams per day of soy protein, which is a considerable amount. One way to include this is to try a soy protein beverage or powder that may add 20 grams preserving. Soy protein was effective even in people who were already following the American Heart Association’s 30 percent-fat diet. Soy protein appears to lower triglyceride levels while preserving HDL cholesterol.

Researchers Erdman & Potter in 1993 reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition a 12 percent drop in cholesterol when 20 to 25 grams of soy protein and fiber were included in the diet. Soy beans contain soluble fiber, which is known to interfere with the absorption and metabolism of cholesterol.

As a result of these findings, in 1999, FDA authorized a health claim about the relationship between soy protein and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) on labelling of foods containing soy protein.

A heart health claim can be found on qualified soy products.

Health Claim:
Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of [name of produce] provides [amount]g of soy protein.

A few recent studies released in 2005 found that soy only had a modest effect on cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association no longer recommends soy for heart disease. FDA is currently reviewing its policy on soy health claim. So what should you do? Enjoy your soy foods like before. It may not lower cholesterol to an extent we originally thought, but it certainly does not harm our health!

Benefits of Soy: Healthy Bones

Many soy foods are naturally high in calcium (some fortified with calcium because it is a good source of a particular coagulating agent). In addition, soy also contains magnesium and boron, which are important co-factors of calcium for bone health.

Isoflavones in soy foods may inhibit the breakdown of bones. Daidzein, a type of isoflavone, is actually very similar to the drug ipriflavone, which is used throughout Europe and Asia to treat osteoporosis. One compelling study completed by Erdman in 1993 focused on post-menopausal women who consumed 40 grams of isolated soy protein daily for 6 months. Researchers found that these subjects significantly increased bone mineral density as compared to the controls.

Another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in September 2005 also found that intake of soy food was associated with a significantly lower risk of fracture, particularly among early post-menopausal women.

Benefits of Soy: Menopause

In Japan, where soy foods are commonly consumed daily, women are only one-third as likely to report menopausal symptoms as in the United States or Canada. In fact, there is no word in the Japanese language for “hot flashes”.

Current studies showed that soy only helps some women alleviate menopausal symptoms. Indeed, soy is more effective in preventing than alleviating hot flashes. Despite these findings, the North American Menopause Society in 2000 recommended that 40 – 80mg of isoflavones daily may help relieve menopausal symptoms.

Benefits of Soy: Cancer

Among all cancers, data on soy and prostate cancer seems to be the most promising; many studies support its role in the prevention and possible treatment of prostate cancer.

While some studies showed soy offers a protective effect against breast cancer, a few studies showed the estrogen-like effects in isoflavones may be harmful for women with breast cancer. American Institute for Cancer Research stresses that data on soy and breast cancer are not conclusive, and more work is needed to be done before any dietary recommendations can be made.

What we know at this point is the phytoestrogens in soy foods are “anti-estrogens”. In other words, they may block estrogen from reaching the receptors – therefore potentially protecting women from developing breast cancer. Studies found that pre-menopausal women may benefit from eating soy foods as their natural estrogen levels are high.

However, this may not be true to post-menopausal women. Studies found that soy could become “pro-estrogen” in women with low levels of natural estrogen. In other words, concentrated soy supplements may add estrogen to the body and hence increase breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women. Therefore, post-menopausal women should avoid taking concentrated soy supplements until more is known. Eating soy products, however, is not harmful.

Benefits of  SoyBenefits of Soy – the Bottom Line:
Although it is still inconclusive that soy can prevent any diseases, many studies have shown promising results. Include soy products such as edamame, tofu, tempeh, soy milk etc in your diet and enjoy the possible health benefits they may bring.

With increasing public concerns regarding genetically modified foods, look for soy products which use non-genetically modified soy crops in their production.

Benefits of  Soy Soy products Available:

  • Calcium-fortified soy milk
  • Tofu
  • Soy nuts
  • Edamame
  • Tempeh
  • Miso
  • Other products such as soy patties, soy cheese, soy yogurt and breakfast cereal

Cheers to Your Optimal Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

July 21, 2010 Posted by | Health, Health and Wellness, Soy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Burger Diet Increases Kids’ asthma and wheezing risk

Don’t say you weren’t warned:

Burger Diet Increases Kids’ asthma and wheezing risk

There was a study done just recently that stated eating a diet of mainly burgers can increase the risk of asthma in children. When you look at the number of available fast food chains and what is typically served in school cafeteria this is starting to make sense. One of the biggest down falls of our burger is the fact that they now contain ammonia. Check out this article, ammonia treated burgers. for more information about how the meat companies are taking floor scraps and adding them back into your meat.

This maybe one of the contributing factors to why our children are starting to develop help risks. Our food is so chemically alter or enhanced that it doesn’t even resemble the food of 20 years ago. I know we believe we are making progress, but I feel we are actually taking steps backwards with our food. One of the basic things we need to survive is food and right now I truly believe it is also the one thing that is killing up because it no longer has any nutritional value.  Our immune systems are at an all time low and we are seeing our kids develope asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and many more ailments that we typically see with older people.

So my caution to you.. Start being more aware of what you eat and the need to supplement is greater now than ever before.

To find more on the study for “” click on the link.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this article. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

Cheers to Your Optimal Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

July 20, 2010 Posted by | Food Allergies, Health, Health and Wellness | , , , , , | 1 Comment

9 Easy Energy Boosters

Looking for a simple solutions to increasing your energy?

9 Easy Energy Boosters

written by our friends at Reliv International.

Have the lazy, hazy days of summer zapped your energy? Maybe it has less to do with the season, and more to do with your lifestyle. Don’t spend one minute more slumped on the couch. Try these easy energy boosters instead:

Time your sleep right. Getting enough sleep — about seven to eight hours a night — may seem like an obvious solution to lackluster energy. Quantity is important but so is your timing. Your body processes, such as hormone secretion, digestion and restorative processes, follow a 24-hour cycle (your circadium rhythm) related to natural light exposure. For example, some restorative hormones are primarily released during sleep between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. If you’re not sleeping during that window, then you’re missing out on important body functions that affect your energy levels. Overall, if you stay up late and then sleep in late the next morning, your natural cycle becomes out of sync and you start to feel run down. So get to bed by 10 p.m. each night for maximum energy each day.

Drink plenty of water. Even being slightly dehydrated can sap your energy. Work six to eight glasses of water into your daily diet – and be consistent.

Count on complex carbs. Sugar may give you a quick rush, but you’ll crash quickly. Instead reach for complex carbohydrates such as those found in whole grains. Complex carbs are digested more slowly so your blood sugar levels remain steadier, which prevents the crash often seen after eating simple carbs found in sugary snacks.

Pump up protein. Protein such as that found in lean cuts of meat, nuts, eggs, dairy, beans and soy helps boost the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine that increase mental focus and energy.

Get your fiber fix. Fiber slows down digestion for more sustained energy. Work in healthy fiber foods such as berries, greens, cauliflower, broccoli and beans.

Multiply the magnesium. Low levels of magnesium can cause fatigue. This important mineral plays a vital role in converting blood sugar into usable energy.

Bolster your Bs. B vitamins are the keys that unlock energy. The B vitamin complex includes B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) B6, pantothenic acid, biotin, B12, choline and folate (folic acid). This powerful group is needed for multiple functions, including maintaining healthy brain cells, producing neurotransmitters, metabolizing carbohydrates, and helping create red blood cells to carry oxygen to the brain. They also help regulate mood.

Move it. A brisk, 10-minute walk will perk you up when you’re feeling droopy. Studies show it increases energy for two hours afterwards. Even better, get into a regular exercise routine. Exercise releases “feel good” endorphins and sends more oxygen through your bloodstream to invigorate you. Work chunks of movement into every part of your day for maximum energy.

Take a tech break. A constant onslaught of texts, e-mails and phone calls results in frequent zaps of adrenaline that exhaust you over time. Unplug for at least an hour a day to connect with yourself and reap the energizing effects of downtime.

For a steady stream of energy all day, start your mornings with a nutrient-packed shake made with Relìv Now® or Relìv Classic®. And if you need a quick energy boost later in the day, grab a Relìvables™ Healthy Snack Bar or a handful of Relìvables Soy Nuts. Both choices offer a great source of fiber, healthy soy protein and whole grains to keep you motoring through your day.

Curious… are you finding this information helpful? Is there anything else that you would like to see here? Please comment below with your comments and suggestions.

Cheers to Your Optimal Health

Katrina van Oudheusden

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Health, Health and Wellness, Nutrition | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Insider Look on the Road to Wellness

I would highly recommend this insider look on the road to wellness. This chart depicts the top highlights from the past 200 years and how we view wellness.

Click on this Link

Would love to hear your comments and feedback. Most interesting piece for me was that the American Cancer Society was founded in 1913. And the fact that the Adkins diet filed for bankrupcy. Guess you really can only eat so many onions a day…

Cheers to Your Optimal Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Health, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Wellness | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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