Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Life and The Pulsating Human Cell

Come to think about it, the pulsating human cell is the most fascinating of all elements. It's the smallest unit of life, yet the most significant. Without cells nothing will live that lives. I've been fascinated with the human cell for some time now, and I hope as you read along you will be too.

There are about 37 trillion cells in the human body, the majority measuring between 10 to 20 mm in size, seen only under a microscope. The pulsating cell is what makes physical life possible. Each cell has an outer semi-permeable boundary called the plasma membrane that regulates what substances enter and leave the cell.

Cell types are identified by their tissues of origin. Broadly speaking tissues are classified into three categories, all of which originate from the three primitive germ layers of the embryo. They are:

The endoderm forms the epithelium, which is the tissue that lines the cavities and surfaces of the pharynx, respiratory tract, digestive tract and urethra.

The ectoderm forms the epithelial tissues of the nails, hair, glands of the skin, nervous system, external sense organs, and the mucous membrane of the mouth and anus.

The last of these tissues is the mesoderm. It forms the connective tissues, bones, cartilage, muscle, blood and blood vessels, lymphatics, lymphoid organs, notochord, pleura, pericardium, peritoneum, kidneys and gonads.

The cytoplasm is the interior of the cell enclosed by the plasma membrane. It consists mainly of water, space for the nucleus, the various organelles, salts, dissolved gases and nutrients. The cytoplasm is the protected area where all chemical reactions for maintaining and propagating the cell occur.

The nucleus is the command and control center where the genetic information of the cell is stored in the DNA. The nucleus uses this information to communicate with the organelles in the cytoplasm to maintain and create new cells by mitosis, a process where the DNA is copied such that there are two exact copies of the genetic information for each of the daughter cells.

Command information secreted from the nucleus through special pores are transcribed on messenger RNA to connects with ribosomes in the cytoplasm.

The ribosomes are attached to the endoplasmic reticulum which provide a surface area for the assembling of amino acid into protein. In the cytoplasm, the messenger RNA or mRNA connects with ribosomes to begin the formation of protein.

The endoplasmic reticulum is the working area within the cell. It is of two types, the rough or granular endoplasmic reticulum where the ribosomes are located, and the smooth endoplasmic reticulum where chemical reaction like the synthesis of lipid occurs.

The golgi apparatus is the sorting and transportation system in the cell. After proteins are made, the golgi apparatus sorts them into vesicles to be transported to locations in the cell where they are needed to influence chemical reactions, or repair organelles and the membrane of the cell when needed.

Waste from cellular activities, bacteria and foreign materials in the cytoplasm  are disposed of by the lysosomes and peroxisomes organelles. The lysosomes contain acid and digestive enzymes that breakdown foreign materials, cellular debris and dead organelles using the beta-oxidation process. The peroxisomes breakdown fatty acid molecules and rid the cell of toxic peroxides.

Cellular activities require energy, which is provided by the mitochondria in the form of adenosine triphophate (ATP). By the digestive process, foods are broken down to simpler molecules such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The sugar from carbohydrates are transferred to the mitochondria, where they are combined with oxygen to produce energy to enable the cell to carry out the vital functions of repairing and building tissues to keep the body healthy.

With these few words, I hope I have brought the pulsating human cell from obscurity into its rightful place into the spotlight. We are what our cells are. When they malfunction we become sick. How healthy and happy we are, depends on the level of care we provide our cells.

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Explore Your Spirituality

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Boosting Your Immune System Naturally

If by saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", you mean the entire panoply of fruits, vegetables and herbs including teas, then you are on the right track. By eating a large variety of these natural foods in meals and homemade juices, you will receive many of the micronutrients your immune system needs to keep you healthy naturally.

Whenever possible buy organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, as this will protect you from pesticide residue that may be found on inorganic produce. Where you cannot find organic produce, inorganic produce is better than nothing. But, don't forget to wash both organic and inorganic produce before you eat or juice them.

Washing your fruits, vegetables and herbs should cost you nothing more than finding a large bowl, 1 tablespoon of table salt, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Fill the bowl with water about an inch to the brim, add the table salt and lemon juice, and stir until the salt dissolves. Put the produce in the mixture for 5 minutes, drain out the mixture and refill the bowl with fresh water, then rinse the produce. After rinsing they are ready to be eaten or juiced.

That said, it is important to know that fruits, vegetables and herbs do not cure diseases, they maintain good health once you have acquired it. Therefore, not going to see your doctor when you are sick, and hoping that fruits, vegetable and herbs will cure you is a bad idea.

Having regular medical check-ups to uncover any hidden illness you might have before it is too late should be your top priority. Early discovery of diseases are much easier to cure and cost less than when in their advance stages. Once you are medically cured, you can then maintain your good health naturally with juices made from fruits, vegetables and herbs, along with a balanced diet and regular age-appropriate physical exercise.

These sensible foods and physical exercise will go to strengthen your immune system, which is responsible for protecting your organs and metabolic processes. Your immune system comprises of specialized cells, proteins, tissues and organs designed to defend your body against invading microorganisms and harmful substances.

The major players in your body immune system are the white cells or leukocytes, produced in the bone marrow. Their job is to seek out disease-causing microorganisms and toxic substances, and destroy them.

Leukocytes are of two kinds: phagocytes and lymphocytes. Phagocytes are cells that capture and chew up invading microorganisms, while lymphocytes recognize microorganisms which were once in the body and destroy them. Lymphocytes are made up of B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes, both important in your body defense system.

So far I have been talking about specialized cells responsible for defending your body. When healthy, these cells are able to fully defend your body against disease-causing microorganisms and toxic substances. However, they can be weakened or completely destroyed by certain deficiencies. Among these deficiencies are:

Immunodeficiency Disorder is when part of the immune system is missing or not working properly. An example of this immune deficiency is AIDS; where the B and T lymphocytes or phagocytes are either severely weakened or destroyed.

Autoimmune Disorder is when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body healthy organs and tissues, as though they were invading microorganisms. An example of this deficiency is lupus.

Allergic Disorder is an overreaction of the immune system to exposure to antigens in the environment. An example is asthma. Allergens in the air will provoke an allergic disorder resulting in sneezing, or anaphylaxis in severe cases.

Cancer of the immune system is when the immune cells reproduce out of control. For example, abnormal growth of the leukocytes and lymphoid tissues will cause cancers such as, lymphoma and leukemia in children and in adults.

When diagnosed with any of these immune deficiencies, get the best medical care available to you, and tell your doctor about your regular intake of homemade juices from fruits, vegetables and herbs. Tell your doctor also about the type of teas you are drinking to help him or her evaluate and incorporate your effort to naturally boost your immune system into your overall treatment.  

You will notice that I have put a lot of emphasis on the cell to press the argument that the key to maintaining good health naturally is taking care of your cells. Once your cells are provided the right micronutrients from homemade juices, a balanced diet and adequate oxygen from age-appropriate physical exercise, your immune system will get a boost, and keep you healthy naturally.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How to Maintain Good Health Naturally

To maintain good health naturally depends primarily on healthy cells. Cells are like  bricks in a wall. Build a wall with weak bricks and it will fall. In the same way, poorly nourished cells will build unhealthy muscles and internal organs. The key is to properly nourish your cells with a balanced diet. 

By a balanced diet, I mean a diet that contains carbohydrate, protein, essential fats, vitamins, mineral salts and fiber; obtained from fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, lean meat, poultry and low fat dairy products. When eaten in small to moderate portions these provide the body with the essential nutrients it needs to be healthy and strong.

Carbohydrates converted to glucose is your body's main source of energy. Proteins provide the amino acids for building your muscle and internal organs. Essential fats help your body absorb nutrients, as well as nerves transmission, not forgetting the important roles of vitamins, mineral salts and fiber.

When you look at your muscle, your heart or brain tissue  under a microscope, you will see billions of cells packed together to form them. Each cell functions as a separate unit. It has receptors to take in nutrients, oxygen and water; process them for its use, and dispose of the waste, as carbon dioxide into the blood stream.

Physically, we are nothing more than trillions of life cells packed together. When these cells are properly nourished and functioning well, your body performs at its best. When they are poorly nourished they do not function well, and you become sick. The trick is to keep your cells happy and they will keep you away from the doctor.

The starting point for maintaining good health naturally is to eat a balanced diet containing the essential nutrients mentioned above. Juices from the pancreas, liver and small intestine dissolve the food you eat into semi-liquid form to allow the nutrients to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into your blood.

The nutrient-rich blood goes through the liver where all harmful substances are removed. It continues through the lungs where carbon dioxide (waste from cells) are removed, and oxygen is added from the air you breath. Reaching your heart, the nutrient and oxygen-rich blood is pumped on its way to the trillions of cells in your body; with each cell receiving sufficient nutrients and oxygen to repair and maintain itself.

With a balanced diet you will have a healthy body able to withstand the physical exercise you need to do to improve your blood circulation, improve oxygen levels in your blood, strengthen your heart muscle, increase energy levels, lower blood pressure, strengthen your bones, reduce body fat, improve muscle tone and strength, reduce stress and anxiety, and help you get a good night sleep.

Research has also shown that physical exercise increases the levels of the brain chemicals called norepinephrine and dopamine that can boost your mood, and help you to retain memories of facts and events. To get all these health benefits you don't need to spend a lot of money, or do intensive physical exercises. Aerobic exercises like brisk walking and swimming, or jogging and running if you are able to do so, will do.
Your cells are all you got. They make you who you are. When you feed them with junk foods and do no physical exercise, they will give you an overweight body prone to diseases. Feed them with a balanced diet and do regular physical exercise, and they will give you a well toned and healthy body that performs at its best.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Diet and Fitness: The Natural Remedy for Erectile Dysfunction

30 million American men are afflicted with erectile dysfunction, according to estimates by the American Foundation for Urologic Disease, and of that number 50-70% are men over 40 years old.

Men in their twenties and thirties are not spared either. The high incidence of smoking, stress, junk foods consumption, and lack of physical exercise are some of the reasons young men are increasingly having erectile dysfunction problems. For a young man, not being able to maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse is devastating.

There are many reasons for erectile dysfunction. Experts believe that 80 to 90% of erectile dysfunction cases are related to physical conditions, such as neurological disease, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and prostate cancer treatment, and 10 to 20% to psychological causes including stress, anxiety, depression, fear of sexual failure or a feeling of inadequacy.

When an erection becomes limp, blame it on phosphodiesterase type 5 or PDE5. It is an enzyme which converts cyclic guanosine monophosphate or cGMP - a key biochemical component of the erection process - from its active state to its inactive state.

When the function of PDE5 is inhibited, cGMP concentration, in response to sexual stimulation helps the smooth muscles in the penis to relax and widen, allowing more blood to enter it to maintain an erection.

The trick is to stop the functioning of PDE5 from converting cGMP from its active to inactive state. PDE5 inhibitors such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis have been on the market for some time now. They increase the concentration of cGMP in the penis by inhibiting PDE5, and have become the remedy of choice for many men seeking oral remedies for erectile dysfunction.

Alternatives to these pharmaceutical drugs include, L-Arginine, Ginseng Panax, Ginkgo Biloba, Cayenne Pepper, as well as Ginger. The effectiveness of these alternative remedies are still under investigation by the medical establishment, but there are anecdotal evidence that they have worked for some men who have tried them.

More recently though, research has shown that the type of foods we eat affect our blood circulation. Junk foods containing low fiber and high saturated and trans fats, increase body fat and cause plaque to form on the walls of the arteries, making them to harden and constrict. This slows down blood flow to all parts of the body including blood flow to the male organ when you need it the most.

A balanced diet should include carbohydrate, protein, essential fats, vitamins, mineral salts and fiber obtained from fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, meat, poultry, and low fat dairy products. These, when consumed in small to moderate quantities will reduce your body fat, and needless to say, dissolve the plaque deposits in your arteries and improve your blood circulation.

As I've often said, all good diet will give your body more calories than you can burn off by normal activities. Regular physical exercise is essential to burning off excess calories, keeping your body in good health and top shape to perform at its best when you need to. So don't forget to do regular physical exercise, as part of your diet and fitness daily regimen.

Look, I'm being straight up with you. If you are young and overweight, you will often find that your sexual performance is only half what you are capable of doing. Unless you are a rich guy, and even that, your girl may go to another man for the satisfaction you cannot give her. Start eating a balanced diet, start doing some serious physical exercise to bring down your weight, and don't lose your girl or wife.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

What You Can do About Weight Gain to be Healthy and Happy

Above everything the food you eat and how much physical exercise you do determine the condition of your health.

Knowing the right types of foods to eat and preferring a balanced diet, rather than junk foods, or limited food types, can make a big difference whether your body performs at its optimal level, or reduce you to walking through life like a person with a millstone tied to his or her leg.

Every morsel of food you put in your mouth comes with calories. At the end of the day you would have eaten more calories than you can burn with normal activities. Regular physical exercise will ensure that you burn off the excess calories, which when left alone turn to body fat. Excess body fat is the source of stroke, heart diseases, diabetes and a myriad of other deadly diseases.

Research has shown that with proper management of the foods we eat, and regular age appropriate physical exercise, the body can be healthy and active well into our seventies. This been the case, the question is why do many people suffer a decline in health and vigor in their fifties?

The answer is more obvious than we realize. With our present fast-paced and high-stressed lifestyle, it's easier to do the wrong things regarding the right foods we need to eat to maintain proper functioning of our bodies, and the required physical exercise to keep our bodies strong and trimmed.

Added to this, in most household both parents have to work; not only that but also for long hours. There is not enough time or patience to plan a balanced home meal. More often than not, people eat what they can get their hands on, and that often means junk foods and prepackaged foods which contain more salt, sugar, saturated and trans fats than are healthy for the body.

Again with work and household activities including watching TV taking much of our waking hours, it's no surprise why many people are unable to find time to do physical exercise.

Dedicating an hour a day to physical exercise requires knowledge of the health benefits to be obtained, focus and a resolve to make physical exercise part of your daily routine. Your focus should lean more toward finding time for physical exercise than putting it off for another day that often never comes.

The problems of weight gain is all around us. Our kids are more heavier than kids in previous generations, not to mention their vulnerability to diseases that only adults had in previous generations. Weight gain is creating problems in our marriage and sexual relationships. We know the solutions. What is lacking is the resolve to do them.

With the combination of a balanced diet containing all the essential nutrients your body needs, and regular physical exercise to burn off excess calories in your body, you can be sure to enjoy both a trimmed and healthy body, and optimal performance at home and at work.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Important Tips You Need to Know Before Starting a Weight Loss Program

We are concern about weight because we are gaining weight and can see the health risks ahead. Even worse is to start a weight loss program without a plan, as there are pitfalls in losing weight that you need to avoid.

Don't restrict your daily diet to less than 1000 calories a day, unless you are under the supervision of a doctor. Severely restricting your diet can lead to serious health complications. It will also signal to your body that it's starving, and so slow down your metabolism to conserves stored fat, and defeat your weight loss effort.

Don't cut out one or more food groups, including fats from your diet. Your body needs an adequate supply of all the essential nutrients in order to stay healthy. In every food group there are good and bad choices for weight loss. Stick to the good ones. The key to healthy dieting is to eat a balanced diet.

Don't purge. Whether by emetics, diuretics, induced vomiting or laxatives, they rob your body of more than the nutrients that you're getting rid of; they may deplete the electrolyte in your body to a dangerous low level where it begins to affect the proper functioning of your cells and internal organs.

After you have checked all the 'don'ts', it's time to get to the 'dos'. Decide on your ideal weight: the weight you are comfortable with, and also attainable. If you are in your forties, your ideal weight can't be the same as when you were in your twenties.

Experts in the weight loss field have found that short-term attainable goals interspersed with short breaks work better in attaining your ideal weight. For one thing, this method is easy to sustain over a long period of time. For another, people on diet lose weight steadily for about 12 weeks, then hit a plateau. This is where the experts say you should take a break from dieting to a weight maintenance diet.

The reason for the break is that after 12 weeks of dieting your body has received the signal that you are starving, it kicks into slow metabolism, begins to conserve its stored fat, and then you stop losing weight.

When you get on a maintenance diet, for at least 8 weeks, your body's metabolism will return to normal allowing you to lose weight slowly until you get back on the diet program again. The trick is to do 12 weeks of dieting, break for 8 weeks of maintenance diet, then back on dieting for another 12 weeks, and then a break until you get to your ideal weight; at which time you should stay on the maintenance diet to maintain your ideal weight.

Researchers have found that more than half of the people on diet who take off significant amounts of weight do not maintain that weight loss once they get off the diet program. By practicing weight maintenance in stages, you'll be allowing your body time to adjust to your new weight level as you move from one stage to another.

While this is going on, don't forget that physical exercise is what allows you to lose weight without endangering your health. All good diet programs give the body more calories than it can burn with normal activities. Regular physical exercise burns off the excess calories in your body to ensure that you succeed in your weight loss program.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

What is More Important: The Nutrition in Foods or Counting Calories

The types of foods you eat are not as important as the nutrition in those foods. Foods are important to us because of the nutrition they provide our bodies to be healthy, to grow and the energy to perform. Therefore cutting out certain types of foods from your diet to lose weight without looking at their nutritional content may not be in your best interest.

Most of the diets program you hear about work by simply removing food types from your daily diet. This often means eating less of certain foods than you normally do, or entirely removing certain food types from your diet altogether. The basic premise is that by restricting your diet you will lose weight.

It's great if the foods you are cutting out are junk foods because in terms of nutritional value, you don't need them anyway. The problem arises when you totally stop eating a food that you are used to eating regularly, you will get cravings for that food, and eventually cheat on your diet and render it useless. Your best bet is to choose a diet program that doesn't restrict you too severely.

Another problem with many diet programs is that they tend to focus more on one particular aspect of the food, instead of it's overall nutritional value. For instance, many popular diet programs are based on eliminating fat, sugar or carbohydrates from your diet without looking at the overall nutritional picture. This has lead people to make wrong choices on what they eat.

For instance, people who are trying to cut out carbohydrates from their diet will choose to drink diet sodas instead of fruit juices. It's true that the diet soda has less carbohydrates than fruit juice, but less healthy. Your best bet is to drink the fruit juice and get all the different vitamins and minerals, instead of the diet soda that gives you nothing more than sugar.

When looking for nutritious foods that will help you lose weight and maintain good health, avoid prepackaged foods. These foods are often very high in salt, sugar and lacking in the vitamins and minerals that fresh foods are rich in. They are also filled with chemical preservatives. Avoid them whenever possible and choose fresh foods like fruits and vegetables for snacks.

Eating out is a big challenge for people on diet. It's not always possible to customize the food you get in a restaurant. You get what is on the menu. Therefore, it's best to eat in restaurants that serve low fat meals. They may be a bit pricey, but it's a price worth paying if your aim is to maintain a healthy weight.

The alternative to eating out is to eat more often at home. By cooking your own food, you can be sure that you are keeping track of the amount of salt and sugar you consume. By choosing a wide variety of food types, you are able to avoid eating too much of any one type of food, thus ensuring a balanced diet for you.

What is important in a diet program is the amount of nutrition it gives your body to keep it trimmed and healthy, rather than the counting of calories, grams of fat or carbohydrates. Your focus should be on eating a balanced diet, small to moderate food portions, regular physical exercise, and you can be sure you will get that trimmed and healthy body you desire.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

9 Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol Level

Lower Your Cholesterol and Add More Years to Your Life

High cholesterol level, particularly the bad cholesterol (LDL) is the main cause of stroke, heart attack and other deadly diseases. The effort you make today to lower your bad cholesterol level, while moderately increasing your good cholesterol (HDL) level will practically safe your life. No kidding about that.

The most effective and safest method to lower your cholesterol levels is through diet and food supplements. There have been some successes in lowering cholesterol by drug treatment, but if you want to avoid the known and unknown side effects of these drugs, go the natural way by dieting, food supplements and physical exercise.

Right from the start, a diet low in saturated and trans fats and rich in fibers will lower your cholesterol level. The problem many people have is how to move away from the high fat, high calorie and tasty foods they have eaten all their lives to a low fat, low calorie and fairly tasty diet they must now eat to add more healthy years to their lives. These are the 9 steps to lower your cholesterol.

The first thing you need to do is to reduce the amount of red meat in your diet. Replace it with white meat like poultry and fish which have low fat level.

Eat less saturated and trans fats, replacing them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil and canola oil. This means you should start having skimmed milk, low cholesterol spread or light cheese. These light products may not be as tasty as the ones with high fats, but they will lower your bad cholesterol level.

A healthy diet means a healthy digestion. Foods that are high in fiber like whole grain cereals or muesli will help lower your cholesterol by eliminating dietary fats.

Stop frying your foods and start grilling them. Grilling your foods not only prevents the addition of fats to them, but also prevents the loss of vitamins from the vegetables; therefore you will eat healthier.

Eating out can be a challenge to lowering your cholesterol. How you overcome that is to eat mainly in restaurants that serve low cholesterol dishes. For instance, you should ask for the dressings and gravies to be served separately so that you can control the quantity you eat. Here less is better. Eat a healthy salad instead of French fries; it is not as tasty but will lower your cholesterol level.

Don't be a couch potato. Start doing physical exercise every day. You can do aerobic dancing, walking, jogging, swimming, or playing basketball. Which one you choose is alright. What's important is that you do some physical exercise every day.

Always read the label on the food products you are buying to be sure they do not include high amounts of the stuff you need to avoid such as, saturated fats like coconut oil and palm oil, sodium, sugars and enriched flour. 

Few people know that alcohol beverages are high in calorie. Drinking too much alcohol while on a diet program will not lower your cholesterol level, although, the latest research has shown that a glass of red wine per day can lower cholesterol in some cases.

A cholesterol lowering medication, if prescribed or recommended by a physician will help lower your cholesterol level, if combined with a diet low in saturated fats and high in fiber.

The good news about taking the above steps to lower your cholesterol levels is that at the same time you will reduce your body fat, lose weight and get that healthy and trimmed body you've always wanted. It's a win win situation, so go for it.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Diet and Fitness: A Winning Combination

Taking diet and fitness programs seriously has become the clarion call to this generation, because to varying degrees every household in the U.S. is touched by weight-gain and obesity, not to mention the deadly diseases including stroke and heart attack that flow from them.

Diet and fitness is all about choosing the right combination of diet and fitness program to maintain a healthy weight and a proper functioning body. This include three levels of activities. 

A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet should include carbohydrate, protein, essential fats, vitamins, mineral salts and fiber; obtained from fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, meat, poultry, and low fat dairy products - all consumed in small to moderate quantities.

Carbohydrates converted to glycogen is the body's main source of energy. Proteins provide the building blocks for muscles and internal organs. Essential fats helps the body absorb nutrients and assist with nerves transmission; not forgetting the important roles of vitamins, mineral salts and fiber.

Food Portions
The control of food portion is essential to weight control and fitness; eating small quantity of low fat and high fiber foods at regular intervals, say five times a day, keeps you from becoming too hungry, and needing to eat a super sized meal at one sitting.

Eating a wide variety of food types offers you a higher chance of getting all the essential nutrients your body needs. For instance, wholegrain bread and cereals for vitamins and minerals; leafy green vegetables for iron; fruits for carbohydrate and fiber; and lean meat, fish, poultry and low fat dairy products for protein.

Physical Exercise
Diet alone cannot give you the healthy body you desire. The reason is all diet programs give us more calories than can be burned with normal body activities. You need to workout to burn off the excess calories. There are few things you need to know though, before starting your workout or fitness program.

Have a plane for your fitness program, regarding time allotment and the type of workout to be done. What time of the day works best for you, or are you one who prefers to workout whenever you can find the time.

A big obstacle to working out at home is the television. It's always tempting us to turn it on, grab the remote control, sit on the couch with a bag of potato chips, or a processed snack in hand, and watch the hours go by. The antidote to watching the television is to turn it off. If you can't, at least while watching your favorite show, do some pushups, situps or squats.

For snacks munch on fresh or dried fruits and cooked or raw vegetables. Stay away from processed foods like chips, doughnuts and cakes. They load you up with unnecessary calories with no health benefits.

If you are a member of a gym, decide before hand what type of training to do once at the gym. Will it be cardio or weight lifting; walking or running on the treadmill; low intensity workout or up tempo; sagittal plane or frontal and transverse planes; aerobic dancing or yoga. Your gym instructor will be glad to help you decide.

Now that you know dieting alone cannot get you the healthy weight you desire, nor can physical exercise alone get you a healthy body; a sensible combination of diet and fitness is your best bet. You will get the body you desire without starving yourself, or endangering your health.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

The Importance of a Sensible Protein Diet While Trying to Lose Weight

Like many Americans, if you are concern about your weight and the diseases associated with weight-gain, choosing a sensible protein diet is a major step toward putting you on a weight-loss glide path without endangering your health.

Protein is an essential nutrient for maintaining good health. In its basic form protein consists of amino acid chains. Of the 22 amino acids that do create protein, 8 of these can only be obtained from a protein diet.

Because these amino acids are essential for proper body function a low protein diet can affect very important physiological activities in the body. For instance, the building of your skin, hair, nails and internals organs all depend on amino acids, and maintained by a balanced protein diet.

Muscle tissue as well as new tissue growth need protein for their activities and can receive adequate levels from a balanced protein diet. Protein helps to transport nutrients and oxygen to your cells, as well as aids in the maintenance and production of antibodies.

The protein sources for a balanced protein diet include animal and plant based proteins. Animal proteins are found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and diary products. They are called complete protein because they have all the essential amino acids the body needs.

Plant protein sources include  fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and soy.  These are called incomplete protein because they lack one or more of essential amino acids. Therefore, those who rely mainly on plant based protein need to add protein supplements to their diet.

While animal based proteins are complete proteins, very high consumption of animal based protein diet could have adverse health effects in the form of disease and obesity. Individuals who eat very high animal based protein diet are often overweight and unhealthy. They also have elevated bad cholesterol levels.

Heart disease, strokes and osteoporosis are often the result of a high animal based protein diet. It is therefore important that you maintain a balanced protein diet. By substituting part of your animal protein diet with plant protein you can be sure that your body protein requirements are met without the health hazard associated with high intake of animal based protein.

Replacing saturated and trans fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats while on a balanced protein diet can improve your health immensely. Combined with regular exercise a moderate protein diet including both animal and plant based proteins help in weight control and optimal functioning of your body.

Plant based proteins have many benefits including raising good cholesterol levels while reducing bad cholesterol levels, help in preventing arterial plaque build up, which could cause artery hardening and blockages. Plant based protein like soy and spirulina are helpful in reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks, as well as improving calcium retention in the body.

since less calcium is excreted in the urine while on a plant protein diet, problems such as kidney stones are lessened. For this and other reasons already mentioned, it is important to be mindful of the types of protein you eat leaning more toward a sensible combination of plant and animal based proteins, as both types of proteins are essential for maintaining a healthy weight and proper functioning of your body.

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