Category Archives: Antioxidants
Antioxidants for Immunity: Where to Find Them
- All berries
- Red grapes
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Zinc: Found in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dairy products
- Selenium: Found in Brazil nuts, tuna, beef, poultry and fortified breads, and other grain products.
For optimal health and immune functioning, you should eat the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of the antioxidant vitamins and minerals. That’s the amount of a vitamin or nutrient that you need to stay healthy and avoid a deficiency.Here are the RDAs for some antioxidants:Zinc: 11 milligrams for men, 8 milligrams for women; if you are a strict vegetarian, you may require as much as 50% more dietary zinc. That’s because your body absorbs less zinc when you have a diet rich in plant-based foods.Selenium: 55 micrograms for men or womenBeta-carotene: There is no RDA for beta-carotene. But the Institute of Medicine says that if you get 3 to 6 milligrams of beta-carotene daily, your body will have the levels that may lower risk of chronic diseases.Vitamin C: 90 milligrams for men, 75 milligrams for women; smokers should get extra vitamin C: 125 milligrams for men and 110 milligrams for women.Vitamin E: 15 milligrams for men and women
How Foods Boost ImmunityCan’t you get antioxidants from taking a vitamin or a supplement? Yes, but you may be missing out on other nutrients that could strengthen the immune system. Foods contain many different nutrients that work together to promote health. For example, researchers delving into the mysteries of fruits and vegetables and the complex antioxidants they contain have discovered benefits of:
If you can’t get enough antioxidants in your diet by eating fresh produce, some experts recommend taking a multivitamin that contains minerals, too. But be cautious about taking individual immune system supplements to boost immunity. With antioxidants, as with most anything, moderation is key. Vitamins A and E, for example, are stored in the body and eliminated slowly. Getting too much can be toxic.
- Quercetin: a plant-based chemical (phytochemical) found in apples, onions, teas, red wines, and other foods; it fights inflammation and may help reduce allergies.
- Luteolin: a flavonoid found in abundance in celery and green peppers; it also fights inflammation, and one study showed it may help protect against inflammatory brain conditions like Alzheimer’s.
- Catechins: a type of flavonoid found in tea; catechins in tea may help reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) To the many traditional cultures around the world that have long utilized the spice in cooking and medicine, turmeric’s amazing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer benefits are no secret. But modern, Western cultures are only just now beginning to learn of the incredible healing powers of turmeric, which in more recent days have earned it the appropriate title of “king of all spices.” And as more scientific evidence continues to emerge, turmeric is quickly becoming recognized as a fountain of youth “superspice” with near-miraculous potential in modern medicine.
A cohort of scientific studies published in recent years have shown that taking turmeric on a regular basis can actually lengthen lifespan and improve overall quality of life. A study conducted on roundworms, for instance, found that small amounts of curcumin, the primary active ingredient in turmeric, increased average lifespan by about 39 percent. A similar study involving fruit flies revealed a 25 percent lifespan increase as a result of curcumin intake.
In the first study, researchers found that turmeric helped reduce the number of reactive oxygen species in roundworms, as well as reduce the amount of cellular damage that normally occurs during aging. Curcumin was also observed to improve roundworms’ resistance to heat stress compared to those not taking the spice. And in fruit flies, curcumin appeared to trigger increased levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an antioxidant compound that protects cells against oxidative damage. (http://www.lef.org)
“Given the long and established history of turmeric as a spice and herbal medicine, its demonstrated chemopreventive and therapeutic potential, and its pharmacological safety in model system, curcumin, the bioactive extract of turmeric, promises a great future in human clinical studies designed to prevent and/or delay age-related diseases,” explained the authors of a review on these and other animal studies involving turmeric.
Improve the quality of your life with therapeutic doses of curcumin
Even with all the data showing that it can help boost energy levels, cleanse the blood, heal digestive disorders, dissolve gallstones, treat infections, and prevent cancer, some health experts have been reluctant to recommend taking turmeric in medicinal doses until human clinical trials have been conducted. But unlike pharmaceutical drugs, taking turmeric is not dangerous, and civilizations have been consuming large amounts of it for centuries as part of their normal diets.
According to consumption data collected back in the 1980s and 1990s, the average Asian person consumes up to 1,000 milligrams of turmeric a day, or as much as 440 grams per year, which equates to roughly 90 milligrams of active curcuminoids per day at higher end of the concentration spectrum. And these figures, of course, primarily cover just the amount of turmeric consumed as food in curries and other traditional dishes, which means supplements with similar concentrations are perfectly safe and effective.
But the truth of the matter is that you can safely take much higher doses of both turmeric and curcumin, and doing so will provide even more benefits. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (OSU) has compiled a thorough list of turmeric’s benefits with detailed information about the doses used to achieve such benefits. You can access this list here:
You can also check out the Natural Attitude Turmeric extract formula available at the Natural News Store. This particular product contains a highly-bioavailable form of turmeric for maximum benefits:
Sources for this article include:
Astaxanthin one of the most neuroprotective supplements yet discovered; fat-soluble carotenoids protect the nervous system, brain and eyes
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) Over the past several years, astaxanthin has earned a reputation as one of the most potent and powerful nutritional supplements ever made. I first began spreading the word about astaxanthin in 2004 when I toured the BioAstin production farm in Hawaii and published a series of articles and interviews about it (http://www.naturalnews.com/astaxanthin.html). Since then, astaxanthin has become increasingly famous, being promoted by other natural health websites and, more recently, a national infomercial campaign run by another company.
Briefly stated, astaxanthin is a fat-soluble antioxidant with neuroprotective support. It has been extensively studied in clinical trials, and its manufacturer is able to make several qualified health support statements under existing FDA regulations, including*:
• May help protect the brain from abnormal neurological function.
• May help reduce the proliferation of breast cancer tumor cells.
• May help reduce inflammation in joints and tissues.
• Helps support increased muscle recovery and stamina.
• May help protect the body from cellular damage associated with highly oxidative foods.
• May help prevent UV damage to the eyes.
• May help the skin resist UV damage from excessive sunlight exposure.
Astaxanthin is used by endurance athletes, professional fighters, exercise enthusiasts and others who seek a competitive edge.
The Health Ranger’s personal experience with astaxanthin
I have personally used astaxanthin since 2004. It was a crucial part of my dietary supplementation during my years in hand-to-hand combat training, where even at age 38 I was out-lasting the 19-year-old kids in class. These days, I spend more time working on the ranch with a chain saw or hauling bags of feed to the chickens, and I take astaxanthin every day along with a high-quality fish oil supplement from Living Fuel (www.LivingFuel.com). Because astaxanthin is fat soluble, it works better when you take it with a fish oil supplement. The combination is extremely powerful from a nutritional science point of view.
I credit astaxanthin with protecting my brain function, helping me stay mentally sharp and also keeping my physical endurance high. It’s not unusual for me to walk 4-5 miles a day, and I sometimes do that while fasting for 24 hours, as I’m into intermittent fasting. In fact, yesterday I fasted all day while I was clearing brush, removing barbed wire, chain-sawing some fallen trees, and doing other basic farm work. Most people would have considered it a day of “hard work” and couldn’t imagine doing it on an empty stomach. But I did it fasting all day long, drinking only Roobios tea in the morning and taking some astaxanthin and fish oils the night before.
The Health Ranger’s top 3 nutritional supplements
If you want to stay alive and healthy while helping prevent chronic degenerative health conditions, there are THREE powerful supplements that I consistently recommend:
#1 – Vitamin D3. This is the single most important nutrient you can buy and consume. It alone can help prevent cancer, boost brain function, help prevent diabetes, prevent osteoporosis, protect heart health, protect mood and brain function, and much more. Nearly everyone is chronically deficient in vitamin D3.
#2 – Astaxanthin. As described here, this is the “king of carotenoids.” Simply the most powerful antioxidant known to modern science. It’s what turns the flesh of salmon bright red (and is believed to help grant them their phenomenal endurance while swimming upstream). (See available sources, below.)
#3 – Fish oil or marine oil (rich in omega-3s). This is crucial. A high-quality fish oil supplement boosts mood and brain function, prevents heart disease, improves skin health, and can even help lower high blood pressure by making your blood flow more easily. Some good providers include Nordic Naturals and Carlson Labs.
If you were to take only these three supplements and nothing else, you would very likely experience a profound difference in your health. In fact, if we wanted to turn America into a nation of healthy, intelligent people with genius children and highly productive senior citizens, we would want to hand out vitamin D, astaxanthin and fish oil supplements to everybody. It could literally revolutionize the future of any nation!
Of course, other nutrients are important such as vitamin C, magnesium, zinc and so on, but it has long been my belief that these top three (vitamin D, astaxanthin, fish oil) deliver the most profound positive results that people really notice and feel.
In other words, if you have not yet tried taking these three supplements every day for 30 days, you will, I think, be amazed at the difference they make. In fact, I urge you to do so.
Recommended sources for these top three supplements
Best Vitamin D3 supplement: Solgar Viamin D3 10,000 IU. This is a high-dose vitamin D in a softgel. It’s not vegan, however. But I like the small size and the high dose of D. I usually take one of these each day unless I’m getting a lot of sunlight, in which case I may skip the supplement.
Best fish oil: LivingFuel Super Essentials Omega-3 from www.LivingFuel.com – It’s a bit pricey but I trust the quality, and it naturally contains some vitamin D by itself. I also like Carlson Labs as a source for fish oils. Beware of cheap “big box store” brands of fish oils, as they are often loaded with dangerous chemicals such as methylparabens. Read the ingredients labels to check…
Best astaxanthin: The new 12mg astaxanthin now offered through the NaturalNews marketplace (see below). A smaller, more affordable 4mg size is also available. 4mg is considered by many to be more than enough for a daily dose, but I take 12mg personally.
12mg astaxanthin now available
After producing the 4mg size of astaxanthin for over 10 years, the BioAstin company (Cyanotech) has now made a 12mg size available. This 300% increase in the dosage is in response to the community of athletes, exercise advocate and professional trainers, fitness gurus and even military soldiers who wanted a higher dose of astaxanthin in the same size capsule.
Here are the NaturalNews approved partners that offer astaxanthin. This is a real-time list showing current prices and availability. Note, our newest partner, the “Superfood Nutrition Alliance” is a new California-based non-profit that offers nutritional supplements at low prices, then directs a portion of its revenues to donate superfood to U.S. veterans and active duty soldiers.
Astaxanthin is a powerful carotenoid, one of my top three supplements of all time, and an incredible value that will not be repeated. Take advantage of this now while supplies last.
Note: This is not a vegan supplement. The capsule is made with gelatin. The oil carrier inside the capsule is safflower oil. It is a relatively small capsule compared to fish oil capsules.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Fat cells are always looked at as the enemy, yet once they were our closest allies. Back in harder times when food was scarce, humans relied upon fat as a trusty backup fuel source.
Recently, however, a dark cloud of hate has enshrouded the once beloved fat cell. No longer is it seen as a benevolent contingency plan in times of need, but rather an irritating physique pariah that just pads our waist line, making us look older and less attractive than we think we are.
But what if we could get our fat cells to work for us and not against us? What if we could get our fat cells to actually help us burn more fat?
Sound like science fiction? It isn’t.
Adiponectin is an adipokine. Adipokines are hormones released exclusively from your fat cell (leptin is probably the most well-known adipokine).
Adiponectin is the lean body hormone responsible for:
- Increasing insulin sensitivity
- Increasing calorie burning
- Curbing appetite
- Increasing muscle efficiency
Wanna get some more of this stuff? Optimizing your adiponectin levels is actually simple. Here are the first three steps.
Antioxidants have a powerful affect on adipokines, especially adiponectin. Antioxidants primarily act at the mRNA level, increasing the expression of adiponectin genes by your fat cells.
There are three antioxidants that stand out regarding their ability to increase adiponectin, but as with many antioxidants, achieving the greatest effect requires more than just eating a lot of a certain food – you need a concentrated supplement.
A. Raspberry Ketones. Raspberry ketones are an antioxidant found in raspberries (and Biotest’s Hot-Rox® Extreme) that has several different actions within a fat cell. When exploring the efficacy of raspberry ketones on weight loss, Korean researchers found that it increases adiponectin expression and secretion. (1)
Raspberry ketones also increase the availability of hormone sensitive lipase, which is put in charge of slicing up stored fat so that it can be used for energy. (2)
B. Cyanidin 3-glucoside. The compound, also known as Indigo-3G™, is an antioxidant isolated from blueberries that has a wide range of anti-obesity activity within the fat cell, one of which is increasing adiponectin release and adiponectin gene expression. (3, 4)
C. Curcumin. I wrote an article on the benefits of curcumin and how it can block fat synthesis while increasing fat oxidation, and inhibit “the production of the mRNA of key enzymes involved in the storage of fatty acids.”
What I didn’t mention, however, is that curucmin also fights inflammation at the fat cell level while also increasing adiponectin production (not that you needed another reason to take curcumin). (5)
2. Monounsaturated Fats
Continually dubbed the ‘heart healthy’ fat, monounsaturated fats are found in:
- Olive oil
- Macadamia nuts
- Sesame oil
Along with being good for your heart, monounsaturated fats are also good for maintaining a lean body. Research published in Diabetes Care found that replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated fat (moving saturated fat from 23% to 9% of calories) resulted in increases in fasting adiponectin levels.
Furthermore, making the dietary switch to more monounsaturated fats led to a redistribution of body fat away from the abdomen. This is amazing considering total calorie intakes remained unchanged!
3. Move More and Get Lean
Adiponectin levels in your body are inversely proportional to the amount of body fat you have. This is a classic case of the rich getting richer. The leaner you are, the higher your adiponectin levels will be, the more you’ll burn fat, and the easier it will be to stay lean.
However, if you find yourself in a perpetual dieting offseason and are carrying around more weight than you should, fortunately Mother Nature has given you an out – exercise.
Exercise increases adiponectin levels (6-9), and it seems that how much correlates to your level of fatness. This is good news – the bigger your fat cells, the greater effect exercise will have on adiponectin, while the leaner you are (and the smaller your fat cells), the lesser of an effect exercise will have on adiponectin. (10)
It doesn’t seem like type of exercise matters either, so you’ll benefit equally from doing intervals compared to weight training compared. The key is to move more.
When Chris Shugart put together the Velocity Diet, he included a daily walk first thing in the morning (after taking Hot-Rox® Extreme, which contains raspberry ketones) as part of the protocol.
If you do this every day for 28 days, you’ll add an extra 28 hours of movement – more total movement time than most people do all month!
Research also shows us that people who move more have higher levels of adiponectin, so Chris’ Hot-Rox® Extreme/morning walk combination is a good adiponectin increasing protocol!
Lean for Life?
Truthfully, these tips are pretty straightforward. You don’t have any excuse not to be maximizing adiponectin levels. Get some antioxidant supplements, move more, eat more monounsaturated fats, and you’ll be on the fast track to getting lean for life.
Getting the most nutrition for your money isn’t as hard as you may think. To come up with the list of healthy foods below, Consumer Reports consulted a number of nutrition experts and food scientists. The foods are grouped by nutrient—antioxidants, calcium, fiber, omega-3’s, and protein—to make it easier to plan meals.
Whenever possible, select items that are labeled USDA certified organic, but note that the prices below are for conventional items.
Antioxidants—cheap ways to get a super nutrient fix
Cabbage – 16 cents per serving (½ cup cooked); $2.50 for one medium head (4 pounds).
Usually the cheapest member of the super-nutritious cruciferous family that includes broccoli and Brussels sprouts, cabbage is loaded with Vitamins A and C plus cancer-fighting sulforaphane.
Canned unsweetened pumpkin – 38 cents per serving (½ cup); $1.32 per 15-ounce can.
The bright orange hue is a tip-off to high levels of beta carotene, an antioxidant that might help protect vision. Skip the sweetened purees, which can be full of calories.
Dried plums – 31 cents per serving (¼ cup); $3.99 per 18-ounce container.
Often a little cheaper than its healthful cousins — dates, figs, and dried apricots — this concentrated version of a ripe plum packs antioxidants, fiber, and potassium. Portions are less because it is concentrated according to experts.
Frozen blueberries – 66 cents per serving (½ cup); $3.29 per 12-ounce package.
Keep a stash of these powerhouses in your freezer. They have been associated with the prevention of Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, according to experts.
Kale — 37 cents per serving (1/2 cup); $1.49 per bunch (about a pound).
Dark, leafy kale and other greens (collards, mustard greens, and Swiss chard) are sometimes cheaper than lettuce mixes and packed with Vitamins A, C, and E.
Canned tomatoes – 28 cents per serving (1/2 cup); $1.99 per 28-ounce can.
Heat-processed canned or boxed tomatoes contain more of the antioxidant lycopene than fresh ones. To keep sodium down, buy those with no salt added.
Calcium—feed your bones for less than $1 a serving
Canned salmon with bones – 32 cents per serving (1/4 cup); $2.24 per 14.75-ounce can.
The soft, edible bones are loaded with calcium, plus it’s a superstar for heart-healthy omega-3s (see below). To cut calories, look for salmon packed in water and to avoid mercury and other toxins, choose a wild Salmon variety.
Plain yogurt – 70 cents per serving (6-ounce container); $8.39 per case of 12.
Yogurt is a quick and handy way to get calcium. It’s also brimming with protein and good bacteria that aids digestion. To flavor it for fewer calories, stir in a bit of your own vanilla extract or all-fruit spread.
Nonfat dry milk powder – 17 cents per reconstituted cup; $5.99 per 26-ounce container.
This is just milk that has had the water removed, so it equals the calcium and protein of regular milk for around 10 cents less per serving. (3 tablespoons equals 1 cup of milk.)
Fiber—stay regular for less than 50 cents a serving
Edamame and green peas – 25 cents per serving of peas ( 1/2 cup) and 90 cents per serving of edamame (1/2 cup); $1.99 per 16-ounce bag (frozen peas) and $2.69 per 16-ounce bag (frozen edamame).
These legumes have a good amount of fiber and protein—about ¾ cup of peas has more protein than an egg.
Rolled Oats – 28 cents per serving (1/2 cup); $3.59 per 18-ounce container.
Because these fiber heavyweights soak up more water than instant oatmeal, they fill you up more, so you eat less. They’re also gluten-free. To shorten cooking time, you can soak rolled oats in milk overnight in the fridge and pop them in the microwave the next day.
Whole-grain spaghetti – 23 cents per serving (2 ounces); $1.59 per 13.25-ounce box.
When it comes to fiber, not all whole-grain pastas are equal. Check the package—a serving should have 5 grams of fiber or more. Use instead of white pasta.
Quinoa – 50 cents per serving (1/4 cup); $3.99 per 12-ounce package.
Quick-cooking quinoa has almost 50 percent more fiber than brown rice, plus a dose of protein; one cup of cooked quinoa has more protein than an egg, according to the experts.
White potatoes – 13 cents per serving (1 medium spud); $1.99 per 5-pound bag.
Do your health a favor and eat your potatoes unpeeled, which will give you another gram of fiber for every small potato.
Popcorn – 12 cents per serving (1/4 cup unpopped); $1.89 per 28-ounce bag.
It’s a fun and easy way to get some fiber; research shows that popcorn eaters get about 22 percent more fiber than non-popcorn eaters. But don’t pile on calories with butter.
Omega-3s—heart healthy bargains
Frozen shrimp – $1.36 per serving (3 ounces); $14.99 per 2-pound bag.
Though not as high in omega-3s as sardines, frozen shrimp is a good, low-calorie, and relatively cheap source. Look for U.S.-farmed freshwater shrimp, one of the most sustainable seafood choices on the market.
Canned sardines in water – $1.59 per serving (3.75-ounce can).
On the eco-friendly list of fish and a health bargain not to be missed, sardines (with bones) are rich in heart-healthy omega-3s and bone-saving calcium. The healthful fats in fish are also linked to arthritis relief, according to the experts.
Flaxseed – 11 cents per serving ( 3 tablespoons); $1.79 per 16-ounce bag.
This mighty seed has omega-3s and other fatty acids linked to immune-system strength, cardiovascular health, and cancer prevention. Be sure to grind the whole seeds so that they can be digested properly.
Tofu – 48 cents per serving ( 3 ounces); $2.39 for 14 ounces.
Tofu is an American Heart Association-recommended source of omega-3s. It’s also cholesterol-free and high in protein. Silky soft tofu is best suited to soups and desserts.
Protein—fuel up for as little as 18 cents
Dried brown lentils – 27 cents per serving (1/2 cup); $1.45 for 16 ounces.
Quick-cooking lentils need no soaking, so they’re easy to prepare. They’re a good source of protein, fiber, and folic acid (important for pregnant women).
Eggs – 18 cents per egg; $2.19 per dozen.
A large hard-boiled egg is packed with 6 grams of protein. Although eggs contain cholesterol, they aren’t high in saturated fat (which increases LDL levels), making them OK to eat regularly even when you’re trying to reduce your bad cholesterol.
Frozen turkey – $1.59 (per pound).
Don’t wait for the holidays! Frozen birds are a good deal all year. The ratio of lean to fatty meat is a trim 2:1, and there’s less saturated fat than in beef or pork.
Dried black beans – 24 cents per serving (1/2 cup); $1.45 for 16-ounce bag.
All beans (such as navy, cannellini, and pinto) are stellar sources of protein, fiber, and blood-pressure-friendly potassium, but darker beans pack more nutrients. Draining and rinsing reduces sodium.
Peanuts in the shell – 12 cents per serving (small handful); $1.99 for 16 ounces.
They’re a cheap protein fix, and they shell out more than 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients, including resveratrol, a phytochemical linked to a reduction in heart disease and cancer risk.