How Do Some Supplements and Vitamins Aid in Preventing Concussions?

A concussion is a traumatic injury to the brain that occurs as the result of a blow to the head. It can also occur due to a sudden, severe jolt to the body that causes a rapid back-and-forth movement of the head and the brain. This sudden, jostling movement can cause the brain to shift inside the skull, resulting in chemical imbalances and other changes in the brain. If the injury is serious enough, it can result in brain damage. Concussions can be extremely serious, even fatal.

Is there any way to strengthen the body and brain to protect against serious injury in the event of a concussion? The good news is yes, there are many vitamins and supplements that can help the body protect itself to some extent against the worst effects of a concussive injury. This can help to avoid a concussion in many instances. Supplements and vitamins can also help to reduce the severity of the effects should a concussion occur.

Good nutrition is always important to stay in top physical condition. Adding supplements and vitamins to your body can give your body an extra edge when it comes to preventing or minimalizing some injuries, or helping to recover from them.

One of the most important things the body will need to help prevent further damage following an injury is protein. At least 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight is recommended. Because a concussion is most often accompanied by nausea, getting the extra protein from food isn’t usually possible. A milkshake made daily with pea and rice protein and 10 grams of creatine monohydrate. The creatine gives the cells what they need to produce energy. This provides the brain with an intense burst of energy. This energy is necessary so that the brain cells can begin the healing process immediately.

Vitamin D is necessary to supplement the body’s BDNF levels. A daily supplement of about 5,000 IU is recommended in the event of possible or potential concussion to provide the body with the appropriate serum levels of BDNF to help strengthen and repair the tissue of the brain.

It has been proven that glutathione significantly reduces damage done to brain tissue. Studies have shown that, when administered right away following possible concussive injury, damage can be reduced by as much as 70%. Since glutathione cannot be taken orally (it is destroyed by stomach acid), the best way to make sure the body has what it needs to produce glutathione. This is done by supplying the body with the building blocks it needs to maximize glutathione production. This is also done with supplements: selenium, Vitamins B3 and C, broccoli extract, and N – acetyl – L – cysteine.

Following an injury that may result in concussion, Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA can be instrumental in reducing inflammation, a crucial step in preventing serious brain damage. A high-quality fish oil in the first few weeks following the injury, followed by 2,000 to 4,000 mg daily for 90 days is the recommended dosage.

Magnesium is one of the most important nutrients for reducing concussive brain damage. It prevents post – concussion syndrome as well as delayed brain injury. It increases glutathione levels in cells and works to reduce inflammation. Studies have shown that immediately following a concussion magnesium levels in the brain drastically decrease. They fall by approximately 50$ and even worse, they remain at this reduced level for 5 days. A daily supplement of 600 mg of magnesium is recommended. It is also recommended to add a daily supplement of 40 mg of zinc following an injury. Zinc levels also drop markedly after an accident. Maintaining healthy zinc levels improves mood and cognition, which are both important in helping to prevent substantial damage from a concussive injury.

Turmeric contains curcumin, which is one of the most valuable and effective supplements when it comes to treating a concussion. Curcumin works to decrease cognitive impairment, reduce and repair membrane damage to the brain’s neurons, and works to regulate the brain’s energy use.

Taking vitamins and supplements as a part of your daily routine delivers many health benefits. Having them at maximum levels in your system will help to prevent or drastically reduce the damage that can occur during or after an accident. In cases where these injuries have the potential to lead to concussion, these benefits can prove invaluable in keeping the body and the brain safe, and may even be life-saving.

Having The Proper Amount of Protein Daily Is Key

Of all the diet plans out there, from the Atkins diet to fat reducing diets, none recommend that you reduce the consumption of protein, which highlights the critical role that it plays in your body and its development. Understanding the role that protein plays in the body can increase your attention to consuming it and in making sure that your body has sufficient protein to meet your life goals.

Fuel for the Body and Muscles
Protein is one of the most critical needs for your body and has many uses that can help your body’s functions. Protein is used to build and repair muscle and is therefore a critical component to prevent and recover from injury, as well as to develop the strength needed for the various jobs that you need accomplish. Since your body doesn’t store protein the way it does carbohydrates and fat, you need constant supplies of protein to be healthy.

Certain parts of your body are comprised almost solely of protein such as your nails and hair, though all of your cells have some protein included in them. Protein is also used to make the hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals that your body needs to in order to operate. Protein is one of the major building blocks of your bones, muscles, cartilage, and even your blood. Protein therefore plays a critical role in your endocrine system to keep your body functioning effectively.

Protein has other health benefits as well including weight loss. Eating protein reduces your appetite and fills you up, helping to contribute to a tighter waist. If you are on a diet and trying to lose weight, eating protein will help to prevent your body from using the muscle mass that you have as part of a catabolic process. Adding muscle mass and strength is important for weight loss as your muscles burn more calories than fat does, thereby leading to a healthier or slender you. Since muscle mass and strength is built with protein this is important for your body’s development

Side Effects of Insufficient Protein Consumption
One of the best ways to understand the role that protein plays in the body is by understanding what will happen to your body and what risks insufficient protein consumption plays. Without sufficient prote consumption your muscles will wither and additional stress will be placed on your bones and joints. Ou will experience a reduction of strength, energy, and stamina with insufficient protein consumption.

Recommended Levels of Protein Consumption
The amount of protein your body needs will fluctuate widely based on your age, size, and lifestyle. Men and women also need different levels of protein consumption. Individuals who are looking to add muscle to their frame will need more protein than those who have a less active lifestyle. As such, understanding the amount of protein that you need is challenging and is best done with a nutritionist or other medical professional. The United States Government recommends that the average adult consume .36 grams of protein per day per pound of weight..

Sources for Protein Consumption
Your body generally prefers to get their nutrients from food rather than from supplements as they are easier to process. Foods like lean meats and fish, eggs, tree nuts, legumes (chickpeas, peanuts beans, and peas), and tofu are all great sources of lean protein. Of course, other meats like beef and pork also contain lots of protein, but are saddled with fat and other side effects.

Individuals who find it challenging to meet their protein needs via their diet, without loading on additional calories and fat, are often best served adding protein supplements or shakes to their diet. These products can quickly add protein to your body quickly and timely, often to support the repair and development of muscles after a workout. Protein supplements are typically designed to inject protein into your body without the sugar and additives that may have other side effects on your body. Quality protein supplements are also helpful for individuals who simply are not consuming sufficient levels of protein in their diet due to other health problems, vegetarianism, or even financial limitations. Consider the need to add protein supplements into your diet and consult with a doctor or nutritionist if needed.

Protein therefore plays a critical role in your body and individuals are best served by monitoring the quantity of protein that they consume. Understand the needs of your body, the sources of protein that you commonly get, and consider ways to supplement your consumption of protein with protein shakes or supplements if needed. Sufficient protein can help our body to develop a maintain its strength appropriately and provide health benefits throughout your life

Choosing the Right Nutrition Bar – A Few Simple Tips

Nutrition bars have become a “go to” snack for many health conscious individuals. They are convenient, require no preparation, and are easy to store in a desk or take along in a purse or backpack. They require no refrigeration and come in a wide variety of flavors to suit every taste and palate.

Depending on the bar, they can function as a snack or as a meal replacement. There are literally hundreds of brands, recipes and flavors on the market which makes it hard to choose the best one for you. They vary wildly in terms of caloric content, ingredients, and Protein/Carbohydrate/Fat ratios. And, some of them are not much more than expensive junk food bars. All of this leaves you wondering, just how healthy are these bars?

If you want to choose a healthy bar, and one that works for your particular needs, you have to understand that it is all about the ingredients. And, you have to learn to read labels. Whether you are looking for a healthy snack, a protein boost, a carbohydrate fix or a meal replacement, you need to understand what is in the bar if you want to get the benefits you desire.

A good place to start is with the ingredient list and the nutritional facts label. Every bar has one, and just reading these two labels will tell you everything you need to know.

Regardless of whether you are looking for a nutrition bar that is high protein, high carbohydrate or a combination, there are certain ingredients that are simply not healthy for you.

For a nutrition bar to be healthy, it should not contain a significant amount of added sugar. Dried fruit such as dates, cranberries, apple etc should provide enough sweetness. If however there is added sugar, it should not be among the first 3 or 4 ingredients and it should not contain corn syrup of any sort. Nor should it contain any “sugar” with a chemical sounding name. Natural sugars such as honey, agave or brown rice syrup are healthier as long as they are used in small amounts.

While you do not want a nutrition bar to contain a lot of fats, there are good fats and bad fats. The body needs fat to function properly. Nuts and seeds are high in fat but these are good fats. They are good for your body and regulating metabolism. Bad fats include any product that contains hydrogenated fats. These should be avoided.

While it is beyond the scope of this article to provide detailed nutritional counseling, certain basics apply. Carbohydrates are digested quickly and give a quick burst of energy. Protein takes longer to digest and thus helps one feel fuller longer. Fats slow down the digestive process of carbohydrates and help with metabolic and brain function. Fiber helps move waste and toxins through the body ad any calories not used are stored as fat.

Based on their specific needs, you should look at the amount of fiber, calories, protein and carbohydrates in a whichever nutrition bar you plan to choose. Each of these items serves a particular purpose. So the individual needs of each consumer come into play here.

Perfect for runners, bicyclists and other athletes, anyone needing a burst of energy should opt for a high carbohydrate nutrition bar.

Many people are following a high protein or zone diet should pay attention to the Carbohydrate to Protein ratio. If the goal is to use the bar as a meal replacement it should contain about 1/3 each of carbs, protein and fats.

Nutrition bars can be a great addition to a healthy eating program. They can curb cravings, help level out blood sugar, give you a quick burst of energy or, in a pinch, act as a meal replacement. Choosing wisely can help achieve weight loss and good health. However, if you don’t pay attention, you may be buying very expensive candy bars.

4 Key Benefits of Taking Fish Oil Supplements

There are so many choices when it comes to health supplements, therefore, it can be difficult to decide which one will benefit you the most. This is where fish oil comes into play. Fish oil has numerous benefits that will not only help you from within, but also on the outside as well. Firstly, fish oil has been touted to be a great supplement to take if your interested in improving your cardiovascular health. Secondly, it helps to reduce inflammation on the outside and within the body. Thirdly, you’ll reap the skin benefits. And finally, it can also be used as food for your brain and help to combat a variety of mental health issues.

Cardiovascular Health
The first benefit that fish oil has is that it is beneficial for cardiovascular health. If you have high blood pressure, fish oil supplements may help to reduce your high blood pressure. According to CNN.com, the omega-3 found in fish oil has been shown to reduce triglycerides, lower blood pressure and reduce heart rhythm abnormalities. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil also prevent the blood from clotting fairly easily. Therefore, fish oil may be helpful for treating a variety of heart conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil also help to lower the level of bad cholesterol while increasing the levels of good cholesterol. So it can also be beneficial for cholesterol.

Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation occurs within your body when it senses infection. And if you have arthritis, osteoarthritis or any types of severe skin inflammation, such as eczema, fish oil can help reduce the side effects of these disorders. When you take fish oil supplements, they help to calm these nerves by balancing levels of omega-6 and omega-3 within your body. In accordance to the Linus Pauling Foundation, fish oil supplements have even been shown to benefit patients so much that some patients taking anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to be less dependent on these drugs.

Skin Benefits
In regards to skin health, fish oil supplements, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, help the skin in a variety of different ways. First, they improve the health of skin cells and their functioning. So, the healthier skin cells are, the better your skin will look. Omega-3 fatty acids also help give skin a smooth appearance and resilient texture. Research has also shown that they even help to prevent wrinkles and slow down the aging process. There’s even research that demonstrates how fish oil can also help prevent sun damage to the skin. So, not only will your skin look good, but you’ll age gracefully as well.

Brain Food
Fish oil is known as a brain food mainly because a lot of people eat fish to help cope with a variety of mental health disorders, including depression, psychosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, stress disorder and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. According to researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, in their research publication titled “Fish Oils and Bipolar Disorder: A Promising but Untested Treatment”, they state that fish oil be helpful in stabilizing the mood and help with the treatment of bipolar disorder.

Now that you are aware of the 4 benefits of fish oil supplements, now you can decide whether or not they are right for you. We’ve discussed that they provide the user with cardiovascular health benefits and help the heart in many different ways. We’ve also discussed how fish oil supplements help to reduce inflammation within the body. There was also a section on skin benefits. And lastly, fish oil helps provide the brain with food and this food helps to combat a variety of mental health problems

Fat Loss Tips for the Ultimate Beach Body

beach body

As summer is fast approaching it is important to find and cultivate sustainable ways to keep fat off and remain as healthy as you can. Staying in shape may be a challenge especially with a hectic lifestyle. Also many are confused and tricked into believing myths such as ‘crunches get you a lean stomach’ or spot fat burning. That’s why we offer some reliable tips on how to stay lean and fit especially in the summer!

Increase Your Protein Intake

Many people, especially women can be skeptical about this one because of a common misconception that protein makes you fat or you should only eat a lot of it when you work out. There’s nothing more misinformed! Protein is the most filling of macronutrients and it speeds up your metabolism. It will also protect your muscle for the optimal fat burning effect. Aim for at least a gram per pound of bodyweight.

Stay Hydrated

Most of our bodies is actually made up of water. It is absolutely essential for the functioning of all systems in our bodies including the digestive system and metabolism. 3 litres per day is a goal you should keep in mind. Drinking will flush and cleanse your body and keep you full so you can avoid food cravings.

Your Diet Should Be 90% Whole Foods

This tip, as opposed to many complex diets and restrictions thrown at us daily is simple. Stick to whole, natural and unprocessed foods most of the time. They have all you need to stay healthy and lean, including vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fill your menu with veggies, fruit, whole grains and lean meat, poultry and fish.

Bring Intensity Up To A New Level

To get leaner keep your workouts intense and avoid long breaks between sets. Continuously look for new stimuli for your body so it gets tired every time. You can take it up a notch from your usual 8-12 rep range to exhaust your muscles and keep your heart rate up for maximum fat loss.

Use Cardio Wisely

Don’t be one of the people who spend their lives on the treadmill with little or no result. Be smart – do good cardio (with the right heart rate for fat loss) or high intensity intervals a few times a week. Variety and consistency will bring more effect than doing it all the time – for hours every day.

 

Take Rest Seriously

Your body works and develops when you rest. Sleep maximizes that potential as during sleep you produce more growth hormone which helps your body heal, regenerate and develop. To see best results commit to 8 hours of sleep every night. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body can go into a stressed state, which can lead to elevated cortisol levels and other hormonal imbalances. Try to make your bedroom a stress free environment and avoid watching TV directly before bed. Take a relaxing bath or drink some herbal tea to help you unwind.