Essential Nutrients

fishoilEvery living thing whether it be a plant or animal requires vitamins and minerals to function, maintain, and survive. These micronutrients are vital to our existence, as they are used in all bodily processes and functions. Any nutrient you are deficient in can cause significant harm to your body, this is also known as malnutrition. The main difference between vitamins and minerals is that vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air, or acid; and minerals are inorganic and hold on to their chemical structure. Vitamins are more fragile than minerals so when food sources are left out in the open or cooked they can loose necessary nutrients before it is even digested. Interaction between micronutrients is always occurring but can be good or bad depending on what is interacting for instance vitamin D allows our bodies to extract calcium from food sources traveling through the digestive tract. Since these interactions are not always cooperative it can lead to a deficiency of a mineral or vitamin, for example vitamin C blocks your body’s ability to absorb the essential mineral copper. There are two types of vitamins water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are stored within watery portions of food and get absorbed much quicker as they go directly into the bloodstream while food is being digested. These vitamins are imperative to free the energy from our food, build collagen, protein, and cells, produce and release energy, and assists in keeping tissues healthy.

Fat-soluble vitamins originate from fatty foods and oils and are not easily absorbed into the bloodstream like most water soluble vitamins. However these vitamins gain access to the blood via lymph channels in the intestinal wall. Fatty foods and oils are reservoirs for fat soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K and are stored within fat tissues and the liver, being released when needed. These vitamins support bone growth, protect vision and the body, and they interact positively. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored for long durations so if they accumulate too much over time it can cause toxic levels to build up, this can be due to over supplementation and rarely is it caused by food sources.

Major minerals are a necessity in your body and are stored in moderately large quantities. These major minerals are just as important as trace minerals and comprise of Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Sulfur. Possessing too much of one major mineral can lead to a deficiency of another and is usually caused by overload from supplements not from food sources, for instance too much phosphorus can impede your body’s ability to absorb magnesium. Trace minerals interact with each other just like major minerals and this can lead to deficiency of another if one becomes too excessive. A slight overload of manganese intensify iron deficiency. Some examples of trace minerals functioning in your body: Zinc helps blood clots, iron transports oxygen throughout the body, and selenium prevents cell damage. There are too many trace minerals too list so here are a few; Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Selenium and Zinc. Vitamins and minerals are all about keeping a balance, as long as there is a balance you will be healthy and full of well being.

Work Cited

http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/vitamins_and_minerals.htm

http://benefitof.net/benefits-of-trace-minerals/

All About Kale

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Kale is a very healthy and very interesting superfood. Did you know that there are over 50 varieties of kale? How about the fact that the state of Vermont is trying to make kale its state vegetable? Another interesting fact- instead of dying after a surprise frost, kale actually becomes sweeter when it is exposed to a night or two of frost. You see! Kale is a super interesting superfood.

Not only is kale interesting, it is also super good for you! Kale has vitamins A, C, and K. It is also loaded with important minerals such as iron, as well as healthy vegetarian protein, antioxidants, detoxifying chlorophyll, and more. Kale is considered a superfood because of its vast and plentiful nutrient profile.

Kale promotes detoxification, healthy elimination and weight loss, healthy cholesterol levels, healthy digestion, healthy eyes, healthy skin, healthy hair, healthy nails, and last but not least, a healthy immune system. Kale also prevents inflammation, slows the process of aging, and prevents oxidative damage.

Many people are new to kale even though it is quickly becoming one of the most talked about superfoods in our nation. Kale can be added to smoothies, used in salads, as a pizza topping, sautéed, grilled, baked, added to omelets, added to raw juices, pasta sauces, and more. If you have trouble finding kale where you live or if you have trouble keeping fresh kale in the fridge, you may want to read about organic kale powder. This supplement, which can be bought online and in health food stores, is the perfect alternative for those who do not have or do not like fresh kale. Organic kale powder can be easily added to smoothies and other recipes for a quick, easy, nutritional boost.

Tips to Making a Great Protein Shake

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Few people dispute the potential nutritional advantages to a protein shake, but most will also agree it is easy to end up with a chalky and undesirable shake as well. Thankfully, a few basic tips will leave people with a great tasting and nutritionally sound protein shake every time.

Start with Quality Protein Powder

The key ingredient of any protein shake is protein powder. Therefore, it stands to reason that any great protein shake must have a quality protein powder as its base. Look for protein powder options with quality ingredients and no artificial ingredients. It is preferable to stick to options that use organic, raw ingredients. Plant based protein powders (excluding soy) are typically easier to digest than dairy based protein. By choosing a protein powder that meets these requirements, people are certain to have a nutritious base ingredient that they can build their shakes upon easily.

Incorporate Fresh Ingredients

For quickness and convenience, a protein shake can be made with just water and protein powder, but protein shakes also lend themselves to being an easy way to incorporate extra fruits and vegetables into their diets. To make a tasty and antioxidant packed protein shake, add ingredients like bananas, spinach, blueberries, almonds, organic dairy, and any other fruit, vegetable, or nut source that sounds appealing.

Mix It Up

Rather than making the exact same protein shake day after day, people should find several protein shake recipes they enjoy and rotate through them frequently. Use the previously discussed quality protein powder consistently and then test out different protein shake recipes or simply experiment with different ingredients to find favorite combinations.

By changing up the ingredients in protein shakes, users will prevent burning out on eating the same thing day after day. Even more importantly, they will give themselves the health advantages different foods offer. For example, adding spinach to a protein shake increases folate levels while kale adds high levels of vitamin K.

Conclusion

There is no reason that protein shakes cannot be nutritious and packed with flavor. By following these simple guidelines, people can quickly and easily have a great protein shake every day.

Stress Reducing Rhodiola Rosea

yellowflowersTrying to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle can be stressful and even exhausting at times. Simply making a meal requires a bit more planning when you are trying to eat clean using only local and organic ingredients. When you go from very little exercise to a lot of exercise all at once, it can leave your body in a state of high stress which. If your body is constantly in a state of high stress, it can be damaging to your health and it can make weight loss nearly impossible. It truly is a vicious cycle.

I’ve recently started taking rhodiola rosea supplements and they have already done wonders for my stress levels. I can already tell that I am less anxious and able to deal with stress more effectively. I also feel that the supplements reduce the amount of stress caused by rigorous exercise, as I have noticed that my recovery time has decreased since starting to take the rhodiola. I’ve also noticed that I have been sleeping better and though the supplements have reduced my anxiety, they have actually given me more energy and endurance, as well.

After a little research, I’ve learned that the best rhodiola supplements contain wild rhodiola rosea root harvested from the Siberian Mountains. The root is then extracted to 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides to make the most beneficial extract. The extract is then dried and encapsulated making rhodiola supplementation quick, convenient, and easy. If you are wondering where to buy rhodiola rosea, I purchase my supplements online from a company that I have researched and trust. I recommend that you do your research, read the labels, and follow my guidelines in order to find the best rhodiola rosea supplement available.

Welcome

Hello! My name is Xavier Becerra and today is the first day of my journey to greater health. I wouldn’t consider myself unhealthy or overweight, so to say, but I could definitely have more energy and feel better about my health and my body.

To start this journey, I have decided to start purchasing my meat, dairy, and produce from local farms and farmers. I believe that our food system has become so corrupt, that it is of utmost importance to buy sustainably and responsibly produced food. In order to be healthy, you have to eat healthy food. In order to eat healthy food, you have to know how your food was produced, and the only way to do that is to talk to the farmer directly. When I need to purchase food ingredients that can’t be found on the farm, I try to buy USDA organic whenever possible to avoid pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, and GMOs.

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I have also decided to purchase a 2 year gym membership. I know that the gym isn’t for everyone, but a monetary commitment acts as motivation for me to keep going. I also plan to start working with a personal trainer, and I’d love to eventually get into crossfit. On the days that I can’t make it to the gym, I plan to spend at least 30 minutes walking my dog. The goal is to move my body as much as possible. I would say that I’m pretty average weight, but I would love to see my body composition improve.

I plan to use this blog to track my progress, share my workouts, post my favorite clean eating recipes, workout motivation, and more. I’ll also write about any supplements that I find helpful along the way. In high school I was a real supplement junkie, but I’d like to look more into holistic and herbal remedies now that I’ve learned the importance of fueling my body with real food.

If you have any questions or if you have a topic that you would like me to write about, please drop me a note in the comments section. I will try to be good about posting and answering comments at least once per week, if not more. I hope you enjoy my blog and I hope that you join me on my journey to health!