The Facts about Proteins

Introduction:

Protein is something we hear a lot about. But how much do we really know about protein. The purpose of this article is to take a look at the facts about protein.

What are proteins

Proteins are nutrients that are essential to building muscle mass. Each gram of protein contains 4 calories. Protein makes up about 15 percent of a person’s body weight. Chemically, protein is composed of amino acids, which are organic compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur. In a previous article, Dietary supplements the facts; more detail is given on amino acids.

The functions of proteins

Protein is found in all animal products, and it is essential to our lives because it’s part of every cell in our bodies.

Their importance— the importance of this nutrient, which is really just a large molecule made up of amino acids, has been known for a long time. These basic building blocks of proteins are linked together by unique chemical bonds called peptide bonds. To stress the importance of proteins, the word protein comes from the Greek word Proteios, which means of foremost importance.

They Provide Structure—I mentioned previously about amino acids being the building blocks of proteins, but it is also true to say that proteins themselves are building blocks of the body.

This leads to the first important function of protein, which is to provide structure. Structural proteins make up integral parts of the body. For example, keratin is a type of protein found in the hair, nails and skin that helps give these structures strength. That’s externally, but internally, inside the body, protein provides structure to every cell. Collagen, which is a structural protein, found in various connective tissues, provides the framework for the ligaments that hold our bones together and the tendons that attach muscles to those bones.

They Regulate Body Processes—Proteins also regulate body processes. For example, enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions in the body. Without them, basic activities like breaking down the foods we eat would happen too slowly to support life. Enzymes can be thought of as proteins that shift the body’s processes into high gear, much like our morning coffee gets our day moving along.

Body processes are also influenced by hormones, which are proteins that regulate the activity of cells or organs. Hormones are like chemical messengers that carry an order from one part of the body to another, much like FedEx carries packages from point A to point B. For example, insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar by carrying a message to the body cells about how much sugar is present in the blood.

They Cause Biochemical Reactions—Enzymes are a type of protein that aid the thousands of biochemical reactions that take place within and outside of the cells

The structure of enzymes allows them to combine with other molecules inside the cell called substrates, which cause reactions that are essential to our metabolism.

Enzymes may also function outside the cell, such as digestive enzymes, which help digest sugar.

Some enzymes require other molecules, such as vitamins or minerals, for a reaction to take place.

Bodily functions that depend on enzymes include:

  • Energy production
  • Blood clotting
  • Digestion
  • Muscle contraction

To not have enough or improper function of these enzymes can result in disease.

They Maintain Proper pH—PH is the balance between acidity and alkalinity in the body. When your body fluids contain too much acid, it’s known as acidosis.

Proteins play a vital role in regulating the concentrations of acids and bases in the blood and other bodily fluids.

The balance between acids and bases is measured using the pH scale. It ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 7 neutral and 14 the most alkaline.

Examples of the pH value of common substances include:

  • pH 12: Soapy water
  • pH 10: Milk of magnesia
  • pH 7.4: Human blood
  • pH 5: Black coffee
  • pH 4: Tomato juice
  • pH 2: Stomach acid

A variety of buffering systems allows the bodily fluids to maintain normal pH ranges.

A constant pH is necessary, in view of the fact that even a slight change in pH can be harmful or potentially deadly.

One way the body regulates pH is with proteins. An example is hemoglobin, a protein that makes up red blood cells. Hemoglobin binds small amounts of acid, helping to maintain the normal pH value of your blood. The other buffer systems in the body include phosphate and bicarbonate.

They Balance Fluids—Proteins regulate body processes to maintain fluid balance.

Albumin and globulin are proteins in our blood that help maintain our body’s fluid balance by attracting and retaining water.

If we don’t eat enough protein, our levels of albumin and globulin eventually decrease.

Consequently, these proteins can no longer keep blood in your blood vessels, and the fluid is forced into the spaces between your cells. As the fluid continues to build up in the spaces between the cells, swelling or edema occurs, particularly in the stomach region.

This is a form of severe protein malnutrition called kwashiorkor that develops when a person is consuming enough calories but does not consume enough protein. However, Kwashiorkor is rare in developed regions of the world and occurs more often in areas of starvation.

They boost Immune Health—Proteins help form antibodies, to fight infection. Antibodies are proteins in the blood that help protect the body from harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses. When these foreign invaders enter the cells, the body produces antibodies that tag them for elimination. Without these antibodies, bacteria and viruses would be free to multiply and overwhelm the body with the diseases they cause.

Once the body has produced antibodies against a particular bacteria or virus, the cells never forget how to make them. This allows the antibodies to respond quickly the next time a particular disease agent invades your body. As a result, the body develops immunity against the diseases to which it is exposed. Vaccines function on this principal.

They Transport and Store Nutrients—Transport proteins carry substances throughout the bloodstream — into cells, out of cells or within cells.

The substances transported by these proteins include nutrients like vitamins or minerals, blood sugar, cholesterol and oxygen. For example, hemoglobin, mentioned earlier, is a protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to body tissues. Glucose transporters (GLUT) move glucose to your cells, while lipoproteins transport cholesterol and other fats in your blood. Protein transporters are specific, meaning they will only bind to specific substances. For example, a protein transporter that moves glucose will not move cholesterol.

Proteins also have storage roles. Ferritin is a storage protein that stores iron.

Another storage protein is casein, which is the principal protein in milk that helps infants grow.

They Provide Energy—Proteins can supply the body with energy.

Protein contains four calories per gram, the same amount of energy that carbs provide. Fats supply the most energy, at nine calories per gram. However, the last thing your body wants to use for energy is protein since this valuable nutrient is widely used throughout your body.

Carbs and fats are much better suited for providing energy, as your body maintains reserves for use as fuel. Moreover, they’re metabolized more efficiently compared to protein. In fact, protein supplies your body with very little of its energy needs under normal circumstances.

However, in a state of fasting (18–48 hours of no food intake), your body breaks down skeletal muscle so that the amino acids can supply you with energy.

Your body also uses amino acids from broken-down skeletal muscle if carbohydrate storage is low. This can occur after exhaustive exercise or if you don’t consume enough calories in general.

In summary, protein can serve as a valuable energy source but only in situations of fasting, exhaustive exercise or inadequate calorie intake.

It looks like protein has many roles in the body. It helps repair and build the body’s tissues, allows metabolic reactions to take place and coordinates bodily functions. In addition to providing the body with a structural framework, proteins also maintain proper pH and fluid balance.

Finally, they keep the immune system strong, transport and store nutrients and can act as an energy source, if needed.

Collectively, these functions make protein one of the most important nutrients for the health of the body.

How to get Protein in your diet

As you can see, getting enough protein is important for optimal health. For this reason, the recommended daily intake (RDI) for protein is 50 grams per day.

However, some researchers believe that many people should be eating significantly more than this amount.

A high protein intake can help with weight loss, increase muscle mass and improve health, to name a few.

Here are some easy ways to eat more protein.

Cheese SnacksSnacks are a good way to get extra protein into your diet, as long as you choose the right types. Many common snack foods are very low in protein, such as chips, pretzels and crackers. To give an example, a 28-gram (1-oz) serving of tortilla chips has 137 calories but only 2 grams of protein.

In contrast, the same amount of cheddar cheese contains 7 grams of protein, along with 20 fewer calories and 4 times as much calcium.

Additionally, cheese doesn’t seem to raise cholesterol levels much, even in people with high cholesterol. In fact, cheese may even benefit heart health.

Eggsmany breakfast foods are low in protein, including toast, bagels and cereals.

Although oatmeal contains more protein than most cereals, it still only provides about 6 grams in a typical 1-cup serving. On the other hand, three large eggs provide 19 grams of high-quality protein, along with important nutrients like selenium and choline.

What’s more, several studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast reduces appetite and keeps you full for several hours, so you end up eating fewer calories later in the day.

Eating whole eggs can also modify the size and shape of your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol particles in a way that may decrease heart disease risk.

Have a Protein Shake for Breakfast A shake or smoothie can be a great breakfast, depending on the ingredients. Many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables or juice, but little protein. Protein powders make it easy to create a high-protein shake. There are several types on the market, including whey, soy, egg and pea protein. Whey protein powder has been studied the most and seems to have an edge over the others when it comes to helping you feel full. One scoop (28 grams) of whey powder provides about 20 grams of protein, on average.

Here is a basic whey shake recipe. To boost the protein content even more, use more protein powder or add peanut butter, almond butter, flaxseeds or chia seeds.

Whey Protein Shake

  • 8 oz (225 grams) unsweetened almond milk.
  • 1 scoop of whey powder.
  • 1 cup fresh berries.
  • Stevia
    or another healthy sweetener, if desired.
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

AlmondsAlmonds are extraordinarily healthy. They’re high in magnesium, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, yet low in digestible carbs. Almonds also contain 6 grams of protein in a 28-gram (1-oz) serving, which makes them a better source than most nuts. Although a serving of almonds contains around 167 calories, studies have shown that your body actually absorbs only about 129 of those calories because some of the fat isn’t digested.

So as a suggestion, sprinkle a few tablespoons of chopped almonds over yogurt, cottage cheese, salads or oatmeal to increase your protein intake and to also add flavor and crunch.

Greek YogurtGreek yogurt is a versatile, high-protein food. An 8-oz serving provides 17–20 grams of protein, depending on the brand which is about twice the amount in traditional yogurt. Greek yogurt is made by removing whey and other liquids to produce a richer, creamier yogurt. Research shows Greek yogurt increases the release of the gut hormones GLP-1 and PYY, which reduce hunger and make you feel full. In addition, it contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to promote fat loss in some studies. Greek yogurt has a tangy flavor that goes well with berries or chopped fruit. It can also be used as a substitute for sour cream in dips, sauces and other recipes.

Add Protein to Your SaladsSalads are have plenty of vegetables that provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help protect from disease. However, they often contain only a few grams of protein, which will most likely lead to hunger after an hour or two.

To add protein to your salad, top it with any of the foods below. A 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving of these foods will give you the following amounts of protein:

  • Cheese: 22 grams.
  • Tuna: 26 grams.
  • Salmon: 25 grams.
  • Chicken or turkey breast: 30 grams.

It’s good to Include a High-Protein Food with Every Mealwhen it comes to protein, it’s not just the total amount you take in every day that matters. Getting enough at each meal is also important. Several researchers recommend consuming a minimum of 20–30 grams of protein at each meal. Studies show that this amount provides fullness and preserves muscle mass better than smaller amounts eaten throughout the day.

Select foods from this list of delicious high-protein foods in order to make sure you meet your needs at every meal.

Select Leaner, Slightly Larger Cuts of MeatSelecting leaner cuts of meat and increasing portion sizes slightly can significantly boost the protein content of your meal. What’s more, your meal may even end up being lower in calories. For example, compare these two steaks:

  • Rib eye steak (fatty): 18 g protein and 274 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz).
  • Top sirloin steak (lean): 24 g protein and 225 calories per 112 g (4 oz).

[See the difference?!]

Bottom Line: choosing leaner cuts of meat and slightly larger portions is an easy way to increase your protein intake. The leaner, the meaner! LOL!

Add Peanut Butter with FruitFruit is rich in antioxidants, nutrients and fiber. However, it’s very low in protein. Peanut butter is a delicious, high-protein food with a creamy texture that complements firm fruits such as apples and pears. By spreading 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on sliced fruit will boost the total protein content by 8 grams. Additionally, studies suggest that peanut butter may decrease appetite, reduce blood sugar levels and promote heart health.

Eat Lean JerkyLean jerky is a convenient way to get more protein into your diet. But, it is important to choose a healthy type.

Many types of jerky contain sugar, preservatives and various questionable ingredients. They’re also frequently made from lower-quality meat. Some jerky and “snack sticks” come from grass-fed beef, bison and other free-range animals. Choosing jerky from grass-fed animals will provide better-quality meat with higher amounts of healthy omega-3 fats. Lean jerkies or snack sticks contain about 7 grams of protein per 28 grams (1 oz). They can often be stored for several months without refrigeration and are ideal for travel.

Cottage CheeseCottage cheese is a tasty food that’s also very high in protein. A one-cup (225-gram) serving contains 25 grams of protein and 220 calories. A 2015 study found cottage cheese to be as filling and satisfying as eggs. What’s more, the full-fat type is a good source of CLA, which may promote fat loss and lead to improvements in body composition. Cottage cheese is delicious on its own. But you can also try it with chopped nuts or seeds, cinnamon and stevia or another sweetener for a quick breakfast. Additionally, smaller amounts of cottage cheese make a great snack.

Bottom Line: Cottage cheese is a versatile, high-protein food that makes you feel full and may help improve body composition.

Canned Fishcanned fish is a fantastic way to boost protein intake. It requires no refrigeration, so it’s great for travel. It can be enjoyed as a snack or with a meal. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel are also excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can fight inflammation and improve heart health. A 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving of canned fish contains between 20–25 grams of protein and 150–200 calories.

Ideas for serving canned fish include combining it with healthy mayo, serving it on top of a salad or eating it straight from the can.

Tip: Eating protein first at meals can help you feel full and keep blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high.

The bottom line

Getting enough protein is very important. A high protein intake can help you lose weight and gain muscle, while improving your body composition and metabolic health. Fortunately, this is easy to do if you follow the simple tips above.

In today’s busy society, it isn’t always easy to get the nutrients we need. That’s where dietary supplements come in handy. Amazon (paid link)
has a vast selection of protein supplements that can help in getting the protein one needs. To observe and purchase click here. (paid link)

Please feel free to leave any question or comment below.

Good Health!!

 

 

 

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Prostate Revive Review: my personal experience

I am writing this review based on my personal experience with Prostate Revive. This article contains a Prostate Revive Review.

What is Prostate Revive

Prostate revive is an all natural nutritional supplement offered by Medix Select, a line of dietary supplements. Medix Select is one of the nation’s premier nutraceutical companies—a company that sells natural products (mainly vitamins, minerals or herbs) for the benefit of health. I‘m using other supplements offered by Medix Select and I can honestly say, their products work!

A great product for prostate health!

Prostate Revive was formulated specifically for men by Dr. Brownstein who is a board certified family physician and one of the foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. His specialty is family medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Prostate Revive contains 15 natural ingredients when combined provide normal prostate health, urinary frequency and flow. It also reduces the possibility of inflammation to prostate tissues.

Other symptoms of an enlarged prostate that may be alleviated include:

  •  Frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate, especially during the night
  •  The discomfort of sitting even for short periods
  •  Performance issues with intimacy

Please note that if these symptoms are not corrected, an enlarged prostate can cause serious urinary problems.

What are the ingredients of Prostate Revive

The natural ingredients of Prostate Revive are as follows:

  • Saw Palmetto Extract: This is the extract of the dwarf palm plant. It is one of the well-known cures for prostate problems. The benefit of this extract is that it reduces or prevents the transformation of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is a sex steroid, meaning it is produced in the gonads. It is also an androgen hormone.

Androgens are responsible for the biological characteristics of males, including a deeper voice, body hair, and increased muscle mass. During fetal development, DHT plays a vital role in the development of the penis and prostate gland.

At age 40, when the level of DHT begins to rise, the level of normal testosterone lowers. This is one of the main reasons why the size of the prostate increases; causing more pressure on the urethra thus restricting urine flow.

  • Beta-Sitosterol: The benefit of the plant is that it lowers the level of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme to reduce DHT.
  • Pomegranate Fruit Extract: The extract of the pomegranate fruit have powerful antioxidant effects. This product helps to keep the prostate cells healthy. According to the Mayo Clinic, some early research suggested that drinking pomegranate juice slowed the progression of prostate cancer, but additional research has failed to confirm those results.
  • Pumpkin Seed Powder: It contains phytosterols; which reduce the enlargement of the prostate and reduce the transformation of testosterone into DHT. Besides, the results of one small study showed that pumpkin seed improves urinary disorder in human overactive bladder.
  • Pygeum: It is a bark of an African plum tree.
  • Boswellia Gum Extract: The extract is used to sustain joint health also, to promote appropriate inflammatory response.
  • Stinging Nettle Root: helpful in relieving the urinary problems due to an enlarged prostate
  • Lycopene: Lycopene is typically found in tomatoes. It has enormous antioxidant effect.
  • Flower Pollen: The extract of the flower supports the healthy size of the prostate and helps to relieve urinary symptoms. Several studies suggest that the use of flower pollen extract for the management of chronic prostatitis patients is beneficial.

    These are all natural ingredients!

  • Hydrangea Root Powder: The powder has a powerful antioxidant. It supports the size of the prostate and its functioning.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is known for its antioxidant effects.
  • Selenium:
    Considerable research highlights the importance of selenium for optimal prostate health. It has properties that can control inflammation.
  • Vitamin D3: is one of the most powerful healing chemicals in the body.
  • Vitamin E: Known for its antioxidant resources, vitamin E provides prostate health support.
  • Zinc: Scientists have long known that zinc plays a fundamental role in maintaining the health of the prostate, especially as you grow older. Zinc is also helpful in maintaining the proper size of the prostate.
  • Copper: Copper is a trace mineral vital to the health and function of the prostate. A nutritional supplement designed for optimal prostate health should always maintain a correct balance between zinc and copper, because zinc can reduce the absorption of copper in the body.

Note that these ingredients are said to be well-known and powerful.

The advantages of Prostate Revive

Prostate Revive can enhance your urination by increasing the flow and promote better sleep at night by reducing your trips to the bathroom. It can also provide you with serious anti-inflammatory properties preventing prostatitis. It may enhance your ability to reduce leaking during urination. Lastly, it could potentially minimize the frequency with which you are going to the bathroom overall.

It is safe, as the supplement is made of merely natural ingredients. So, they cannot have a bad influence on health. As of the publishing of this article, no side effects have been reported of Prostate Revive.

My personal experience

My personal experience with Prostate Revive has been a very positive one with regard to my prostate. Once I recognized the symptoms, I didn’t wait until they got worse, I took action. I began using this product 8 years ago after using another product for about 2 years which was working, but I was impressed with the ingredients of Prostate Revive.

I have an enlarged prostate and I was having the following symptoms:

  • Weakened urine stream
  •  Up to three bathrooms trips at night
  •  Inadequate prostate function

All of the above functions normalized while taking Prostate Revive. I now make 0-1 trips to the bathroom at night. The improvements began after about 7-10 days after commencing usage. At some point I stopped taking it out of neglect and the symptoms began to return. At that point, I resumed taking it and I haven’t stopped since and I have had no side effects.

I am examined annually by a urologist and the prostate is still enlarged but normally for my age, with no inflammation or symptoms.

If you or someone you know is having issues with their prostate, I highly recommend this product.

It is available at Amazon in 30 or 90 day supply.  Click here for prices.   (paid links)

For more detailed information on the prostate see my article: https://universal-health-products.com/all-about-the-prostate/ 

Please feel free to leave any question comment or concern below

 

 

 

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The Facts about Carbohydrates: are they really that bad

Carbohydrates, also known as carbs are a well-used term today. The

Are they really that bad?!!

conventional wisdom of the day is to avoid them. But are they really that bad? This article will yield the facts about carbohydrates and you can decide for yourself.

What are carbohydrates

Carbohydrates (aka carbs) are one of the main types of nutrients. The others are proteins and fats. Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy for the body. The digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). The body uses this sugar for energy for the cells, tissues and organs. It stores any extra sugar in the liver and muscles for when it is needed.

Carbohydrates are known as simple or complex, depending on their chemical structure. Simple carbohydrates include sugars found naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products. They also include sugars added during food processing and refining. Complex carbohydrates include whole grain breads and cereals, starchy vegetables and legumes. Many of the complex carbohydrates are good sources of fiber.

Carbohydrates have somewhat of a bad reputation, especially when it comes to weight gain. But carbohydrates aren’t all bad. Because of their numerous health benefits, carbohydrates have a rightful place in our diets. In fact, the body needs carbohydrates to function properly.

But some carbohydrates might be better for us than others. There is a need to understand more about carbohydrates and how to choose healthy ones.

Carbohydrates are found in many foods and beverages. Most carbohydrates occur naturally in plant-based foods, such as grains. Food manufacturers also add carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of starch or added sugar.

Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include: vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, milk, seeds, and grains.

There are three main types of carbohydrates:

  • Starch. Starch is a complex carbohydrate, meaning it is made of many sugar units bonded together. Starch occurs naturally in vegetables, grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.
  • Fiber. There’s quite a bit of talk about fiber and its benefits these days. Well, fiber also is a complex carbohydrate. It occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cooked dry beans and peas. [More on fiber below]
  • Sugar. Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrate and occurs naturally in some foods, including fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products. Types of sugar include fruit sugar (fructose), table sugar (sucrose) and milk sugar (lactose).

Why is fiber important?

Fiber promotes a healthy digestive system by keeping the bowels moving. It also can help prevent obesity and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes by slowing down digestion and keeping you full longer.

Fiber can be soluble (dissolves in water) or insoluble (does not dissolve in water).

Soluble fiber can be found in most fruits; some vegetables, including corn, peas and carrots; oatmeal and oat bran; nuts, seeds and dry beans. When mixed with water during digestion, this type of fiber becomes a thick, gelatin material. Soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol (related to heart disease risk) and blood glucose (related to risk for diabetes).

Insoluble fiber is also found in a variety of foods, especially foods made with whole wheat flour, wheat bran, brown rice, whole grain cereals, couscous, most vegetables, and fruits. Insoluble fiber helps the body move waste through the digestive system. It also can help prevent small blood clots that can cause heart attacks or strokes.

Both kinds of fiber are important. Adult women should try to eat at least 20 grams of fiber a day. Men should try to eat 30 grams a day. The easiest way to include fiber in the diet is to eat a variety of foods that include raw, whole fruits and vegetables, beans, and whole grain breads, pastas and cereals.

Facts about carbohydrates

Terms such as “low carb” or “net carbs” often appear on product labels. Typically, “net carbs” is used to mean the amount of carbohydrates in a product excluding fiber, or excluding both fiber and sugar alcohols.

One means of classifying carbs is the glycemic index. The glycemic index classifies carbohydrate-containing foods according to their potential to raise your blood sugar level.

Weight-loss diets based on the glycemic index typically recommend limiting foods that are higher on the glycemic index. Foods with a relatively high glycemic index ranking include potatoes and white bread, and less healthy options such as snack foods and desserts that contain refined flours.

Many healthy foods, such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products, are naturally lower on the glycemic index.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories. So, for a consumption of 2,000 calories a day, between 900 and 1,300 calories should be from carbohydrates. That translates to between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates a day.

Reading product labels are required reading in today’s world. The carbohydrate content of packaged foods can be found on the Nutrition Facts label on each package. The label shows total carbohydrates — which includes starches, fiber, sugar alcohols, and naturally occurring and added sugars. Labels might also list separately total fiber, soluble fiber and sugar.

Despite their bad reputation, carbohydrates are vital to our health for a number of reasons.

These are found in the next section.

What carbohydrates do

Provide energy – Carbohydrates are the body’s main fuel source. During digestion, sugars and starches are broken down into simple sugars. They’re then absorbed into the bloodstream, where they are known as blood sugar (blood glucose). From there, glucose enters the body’s cells with the help of insulin. Glucose is used by the body for energy, and fuels all the activities — whether it’s going for a jog or simply breathing. Extra glucose is stored in the liver, muscles and other cells for later use, or is converted to fat.

Protects against disease – Some evidence suggests that whole grains and dietary fiber from whole foods help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Fiber may also protect against obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is also essential for optimal digestive health.

Controls weight – Evidence shows that eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help you control the weight. Their bulk and fiber content aids weight control by helping you feel full on fewer calories. Contrary to what low-carb diets claim, very few studies show that a diet rich in healthy carbohydrates leads to weight gain or obesity. The key word is healthy. More on this in the next section.

The fact is, Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet, and provide many important nutrients. Still, not all carbs are created equal.

Let’s look at how to make healthy carbohydrates work in a balanced diet:

  • Limit added sugars. This is a big one. Added sugar probably isn’t harmful in small amounts. But there’s no health advantage to consuming any amount of added sugar. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that less than 10 percent of calories you consume every day come from added sugar. Therefore, we have to stay clear of highly sweetened drinks and any item that contains high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient (which is in a lot of products these days). Large quantities of added sugar should be avoided at all costs.
  • Emphasize fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Select whole fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables without added sugar. Other options are fruit juices and dried fruits, which are concentrated sources of natural sugar and therefore have more calories. Whole fruits and vegetables also add fiber, water and bulk, which help to feel fuller on fewer calories.
  • Choose whole grains.
    Whole grains are better sources than refined grains of fiber and other important nutrients, such as B vitamins. Refined grains go through a process that strips out parts of the grain — along with some of the nutrients and fiber (i.e. white flour, white rice).

      We must choose wisely!

 

  • Stick to low-fat dairy products. Milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products are good sources of calcium and protein, plus many other vitamins and minerals. Consider the low-fat versions, to help limit calories and saturated fat. And beware of dairy products that have added sugar.
  • Eat more legumes.
    Legumes — which include beans, peas and lentils — are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. They are typically low in fat and high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium, and they contain beneficial fats and fiber. Legumes are a good source of protein and can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more saturated fat and cholesterol.

So we must choose our carbohydrates wisely. Limit foods with added sugars and refined grains, such as sugary drinks, desserts and candy, which are packed with calories but low in nutrition. Instead, it’s best to go for fruits, vegetables and whole grains [fiber].

Carbohydrates and weight

A common question regarding carbs today is: does eating carbohydrates initiate weight gain or make it challenging losing weight? Well that depends. Eating too many calories from any type of food will cause weight gain. It goes back to fiber. Foods with low fiber content often contain a lot of calories without any nutrients. They are metabolized into glucose very quickly. This sudden spike in the blood glucose level triggers the pancreas to produce more insulin, a hormone that promotes fat storage. This means it is easy to gain weight by eating too many of these types of foods.

Foods with high fiber content are metabolized more slowly without causing a big insulin rush. The body can use them as energy over several hours. In general, foods with high fiber content are higher in vitamins and minerals so they are healthier foods to eat.

Another common question regarding carbs is: is it possible to eat a healthy diet without eating carbohydrates at all? Weight loss is the most common reason why people decide to go on low carb diets. Experts in diet and nutrition agree that a low carb diet can be a good way to jump start weight loss, but it is hard to follow for a long time. Another caution is that many low carb diets include large amounts of unhealthy oils. Low carb diets that are high in animal fat may actually increase the risk of heart disease. And the long term effects of very low carb or no-carb diets are not known. A diet that includes a moderate amount of healthy carbohydrates like whole grain products, fruits and vegetables is the best diet for long-term weight management and health. It is also the easiest kind of diet to follow.

So again— we must choose our carbohydrates wisely but not avoid them altogether. Our bodies need carbs so let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

As I like to say: all things in moderation!

Please feel free to leave any comment or question below.

Good health!

 

 

 

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All About the Prostate

Ever wondered exactly what the prostate is all about? Where it’s located or what it does? Maybe you know about it but have more questions? The intent of this article is to inform you the reader, all about the prostate.

What is the prostate gland

Walnut – Approx size of a normal Prostate

It is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It’s believed to be about the shape and size of a walnut.

It rests below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds part of the urethra, the tube in the penis that carries urine from the bladder.

What does a prostate gland do

The prostate helps produce some of the fluid in semen, which carries sperm
from the testicles when ejaculation takes place.

Facts about the prostate

As men age, the prostate can become larger. It’s a standard part of aging for many men.

Diagram of the Prostate

By the time a man reaches the age of 40, the prostate might have gone from the size of a walnut to the size of an apricot. By the time he reaches 60, it might be the size of a lemon.

Because it surrounds a part of the urethra canal , the enlarged prostate can squeeze that tube. This causes problems when attempting to urinate. Typically, these problems don’t occur until age 50 or older, but they can start earlier.

You might hear a doctor or nurse refer to this condition as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH for short. It is not cancerous. More on this coming in the next section below.

Diseases of the prostate gland

BPH – is an enlarged prostate. BPH is common condition and it is unlikely that a male over 50 can prevent it. Age and a family history of BPH are two things that increase the chances one might get it.

A few stats that shed light on this likely hood:

  • Some 8 out of every 10 men will eventually develop an enlarged prostate.
  • About 30% of men will find their symptoms troublesome.
  • About 90% of men over the age of 85 will have for benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Estrogen has also been associated to prostate enlargement. As men age, less testosterone is found in the blood stream creating a larger percentage of estrogen. High levels of estrogen have been documented as an indicator for this condition as well.

Symptoms

If one has trouble starting to urinate or have to urinate a frequently, especially at night, these could be signals that one has an enlarged prostate. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling the need to urinate suddenly out of the blue with no sensation of build-up
  • The need to strain to get any urine flow to commence
  • Urination may stop and start several times
  • The bladder doesn’t empty completely after urination

It’s important to see a doctor upon discovery of the early symptoms of BPH. Although uncommon, it can lead to serious health consequences such as kidney or bladder damage.

A larger prostate doesn’t mean you’ll have additional or worse symptoms. It tends to be different for each person. In fact, some men with extremely giant prostates have few, if any, issues. But in any case, a physician should be alerted either way.

How a physician handles this condition depends on the details of the case – the age of the patient, how much trouble it is causing, and more. Treatments may include:

Observant waiting – If a patient has an enlarged prostate but are not bothered by symptoms, he may be advised merely to get an annual checkup, which might include a variety of tests.

Lifestyle changes – This includes cutting back on how much fluid intake at night and before bedtime, especially drinks with alcohol or caffeine.

Medicine – Common treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are alpha-blockers, that lessen benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms, and what’s referred to as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, or 5-ARIs, that aid with shrinking the prostate. Many men may take them together.

The FDA now requires labels on the 5-ARIs to include a warning that they may be linked to an increased chance of a serious form of prostate cancer. These medications are dustasteride (Avodart) and finasteride (Propecia and Proscar). The combination pill Jalyn conjointly contains dutasteride together of its ingredients.

Surgery – Men with severe symptoms who haven’t been helped by other treatments may have to turn to surgery. This requires a consultation with a physician about possible risks and outcomes.

Prostatitis

This is infection or inflammation of the prostate; it’s not the equivalent of BPH, though some of the symptoms are similar.

It may have an effect on men from their late teens well into adulthood. Symptoms include:

  • Chills and fever
  • Sexual problems
  • Trouble passing urine

Treatment usually includes antibiotics.

If one has recently had a catheter or other medical instrument put into the urethra, there is a higher chance of getting bacterial prostatitis. Some sexually transmitted diseases, such as; Chlamydia may also cause ongoing infection and inflammation.

Preventive Prostate Care

As a preventative measure, a doctor can use a variety of tests to check on the condition of the prostate. A few of them include:

Digital rectal exam The doctor puts on a glove and gently inserts one finger into the rectum to check the size and shape of the prostate. The exam checks for things such as size, firmness, and any lumps.

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test – This blood test checks the amount of a protein called PSA that is produced by prostate cells. Higher levels may be a sign of cancer. By themselves, they are not proof that an individual has prostate cancer.

Higher levels may conjointly incline to an enlarged prostate, inflammation or prostatitis. But, levels may be low even with men who have prostate cancer, so the results must be discussed with a physician.

Prostate biopsy Men with high protein (PSA) results or alternative symptoms of cancer might have a tissue sample taken of their prostate to conclude whether or not cancer is existing.

Cancer screening – Screening for prostate cancer is debatable. Different kinds of advice and guidance are available from various sources. It is best to talk to a physician about what is the best option. This discussion should take place:

  • At age 40 for men who have more than a nuclear family (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age.
  • At 45 for men with a higher chance for the condition: this includes African-Americans and men who have a father, brother, or son who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer at 65 or younger.
  • At age 50 for men with an usual chance for prostate malignancy.

Note: Routine PSA screening is not recommended for men older than 70.

Diet There are foods that are bad for the prostate.

What foods are bad for the prostate?

  • red and processed meat
  • saturated fat
  • high-fat dairy
  • alcohol

We’ll look at these individually.

Red MeatA diet high in meat, particularly if it’s cooked well-done, may be associated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. This may be due to heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These are carcinogens (a substance or agent that can cause cancer) found in cooked meat. HCAs have been linked to the development of several cancers.

HCAs are compounds shaped throughout hot temperature cooking like broiling or grilling. The World Health Organization Trusted Source suggests that both red and processed meats may be associated with increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Examples include:

  • beef
  • pork
  • sausage
  • hot dogs
  • lunch meats

This is depressing!

Instead of red or processed meats, these protein sources make healthier choices for the prostate and overall health:

  • lean poultry, like skinless turkey or chicken
  • beans and legumes, like split peas, chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans, and kidney beans fresh or canned fish, such as tuna, salmon, or sardines
  • nuts and nut butters

For someone who isn’t a fan of cold cut sandwiches, one might try making a chicken salad sandwich instead. Also, perhaps experiment with meat alternatives, like tofu or tempeh, which can be marinated and sautéed to create a flavorful sandwich filling.

One might also experiment with eating meat-free for some meals or days of the week. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Grill up fish fillets instead of steaks.
  • Replace the meat in the favorite chili or stew with beans.
  • Dice up tofu and marinate it in the favorite sauce, then stir-fry it and mix it with veggies and a side of rice.
  • Make a black bean burger instead of a hamburger.

Dairy Consuming large amounts of dairy products may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. According to analysis printed within the Journal of Nutrition, drinking whole milk may increase the risk of progression to fatal prostate cancer. Skim and low-fat milks also increase the risk of low-grade stages of the disease. It’s best to try to limit dairy consumption. At the very least, one should stick to fat-free and low-fat varieties, as they can be healthier for the prostate.

Therefore, aim to eat less of these foods:

  • whole milk
  • full fat ice cream
  • full fat cheeses
  • full fat cream cheese
  • full fat butter
  • full fat yogurts

Instead, try eating low-fat or nonfat versions of the favorite dairy products. You may also try alternatives to dairy products. For example, you may find the following non-dairy options for milk at the grocery store.

  • Almond milk
  • coconut milk
  • flax milk
  • soy milk
  • cashew milk
  • rice milk
  • hemp milk

Each of these non-dairy milks has a unique flavor, so if one type isn’t satisfactory, simply try another type. Be watchful of added sugars to these milks however, as many are sweetened (e.g. I use unsweetened almond milk). There are also non-dairy ice creams that use these milks as a base.

To learn more about alternative milks, click here.

Alcohol (watch the booze) Large amounts of alcohol consumption may put one at higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Researchers, utilizing information from over the thousand men taking part in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, uncovered that serious heavy alcohol drinkers were doubly as probable to be diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer as moderate drinkers. Heavy drinkers are defined as those who consume more than three drinks a day or more than 20 drinks in a week.

For men, the recommendation for drinks per day is no more than two.

A single drink is equal to:

  • 1.5 ounces of a hard liquor (40 percent alcohol)
  • 5 ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol)
  • 12 ounces of standard beer (five percent alcohol)

There are several alternative drinks to consider instead alcohol. These include:

  • non-alcoholic beers or wines
  • sparkling water or water mixed with fresh fruit juice
  • tea or coffee
  • sparkling juices

One can also try making an alcoholic-free version of the favorite cocktail. For example, a virgin pina colada.

Saturated fatsSaturated fats have been linked to heart disease, but their association with prostate cancer is still uncertain. Some studies Trusted Source have found a link between saturated fat intake and risk for advanced prostate cancer, but not all studies have confirmed these findings. While more studies are needed, reducing the intake of saturated fats may benefit the prostate and one’s overall health, since it creates more room for fiber and nutrient-dense plants.

Saturated fats are found in:

  • processed foods
  • baked goods
  • meat
  • salad dressings
  • dairy products

One might attempt replacing some of the saturated fats in the diet with healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in such foods as:

  • fish
  • nuts
  • avocado
  • seeds
  • olive oil

Supplements

In my article https://universal-health-products.com/dietary-supplements-the-facts/ I discuss in detail the benefits of dietary supplements to provide us with the beneficial nutrients we need for our bodies.  This includes the prostate gland.

It can be difficult to not consume the above foods, so my rule of thumb is unless you have a condition that prohibits the consumption of a certain food, consume all things in moderation. It’s the excess consumption that can get us into so much trouble.

Please note that changing one’s diet may help reduce the cancer risk, but it’s a good idea to consult a physician before making any dietary changes or taking supplements if you are on treatments or medications for other conditions. Some foods and supplements may interact with certain drugs and therapies.

Further Tips for prostate health

There are several other lifestyle changes that may help keep the prostate healthy. One might try making these changes to his routine:

  • Fill the plate with fruits and vegetables. Also, choose whole grains or legumes on the side.
  • Move the body most days of the week. Getting in consistent exercise is not only good for overall health, it may also improve mood. One does not need a gym membership either. A brisk walk around the neighborhood a short hike will suffice. If one hasn’t exercised much in the past, a physician may suggest a good routine that can be followed to get started.
  • Keep the body at a healthy weight. A doctor may even refer suggest a dietitian for someone who needs some extra help creating a weight loss plan.
  • Make an appointment with a physician to discuss cancer risks and to have a prostate exam. Recommendations for screening vary, but it’s generally a good idea to get checked when in the fifties or if there is an elevated risk of developing cancer.

Please feel free to leave any questions comments or concerns below.

Good health!

 

 

 

 

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The Important Digestive System

In my article post, https://universal-health-products.com/all-about-the-endocrine-system/
I promised to cover all the systems of the body in the future. I’m going to follow through on that promise by continuing with the important digestive system. All the systems are extremely important and they depend on each other to accomplish the goal of optimum performance of the body.

The important digestive system is referenced that way because it is responsible for all the systems in the body.

What is the digestive system

The digestive system is a sort of distribution plant inside the body. It takes in food and moves it through organs and structures where the processing (digestion) happens. The fuels and nutrients needed are extracted, and the digestive system discards the rest. This takes approximately 75 hours (3 days) for the complete process.  So there are several meals being processed by this plant simultaneously but at different stations of the process.

Why is digestion important

For starters, what is digestion? It is the process by which food is changed to simpler form after it is consumed. Why is digestion so important? Digestion is important for breaking down food into nutrients, which the body uses for energy, growth, and cell function and repair. Food and drink should be converted into smaller molecules of nutrients before the blood can absorb them and carry them to cells throughout the body.

Without digestion and the digestive system, there would be no ability to get the nutrients in food to the necessary cells, and we would die.

Functions of the digestive system

To accomplish the goal of providing energy and nutrients to the body, the major functions that take place in the digestive system are:

  • Ingestion
  • Secretion
  • Mixing and movement
  • Digestion
  • Absorption
  • Excretion

Descriptions of each function are below.

Ingestion – The first function of the digestive system is ingestion, which is the intake of food. The mouth is responsible for this function, as it is the oral cavity through which all food enters the body. The mouth and abdomen also are liable for the storage of food because it is waiting to be processed. This storage capacity allows for food consumption only a few times each day and the ability to ingest more food than can processed at one time.

Secretion – within the course of each day, the gastrointestinal system secretes around 7 liters of fluids. These fluids embody spittle, mucus, acid (hydrochloric), enzymes, and bile. Saliva moistens dry food and contains salivary amylase, a digestive enzyme that begins the digestion of carbs. Mucus serves as a protective barrier and lubricant inside of the GI tract (the canal through which food travels). Hydrochloric acid helps to digest food with chemicals and protects the body by killing bacterium currently present in our food. Enzymes are like small organic chemistry machines that dismantle massive macromolecules like proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids into their smaller components. Finally, a digestive juice named bile is employed to emulsify massive lots of lipids into small globules for simple digestion.

Mixing and Movement

The gastrointestinal digestive system uses 3 main processes to maneuver and blend food:

  • Swallowing. Swallowing is the method of exploitation using sleek and skeletal muscles within the mouth, tongue, and pharynx to push food out of the mouth, through the pharynx, and into the esophagus.
  • Peristalsis. Peristalsis is a muscular wave that travels the length of the digestive tract, moving partially digested food a short distance down the tract. It takes many waves of peristalsis (muscle contractions) for food to travel from the esophagus, through the stomach and intestines, and reach the end of the GI tract.
  • Segmentation. Segmentation occurs only in the small intestine as short segments of intestine contract like fingers squeezing a toothpaste tube. Segmentation helps to extend the absorption of nutrients by compounding food and increasing its contact with the walls of the gut.

Digestion – Digestion is the method of turning massive items of food into its element chemicals. Mechanical digestion is the physical breakdown of huge items of food into smaller items. This mode of digestion begins with the grinding of food by the teeth and is sustained through the muscular blending of food by the abdomen and intestines. Bile produced by the liver is also used to mechanically break fats into smaller semi-liquid objects. While food is being mechanically complete as digested, it is also being chemically digested as larger and more complex molecules are being broken down into smaller molecules that are easier to absorb.

Chemical digestion begins in the mouth with salivary enzymes in saliva splitting complex carbohydrates into simple carbohydrates. The enzymes and acid within the abdomen continue chemical digestion, but the bulk of chemical digestion takes place in the small intestine thanks to the action of the pancreas. The pancreas secretes an extremely robust digestive cocktail known as pancreatic juice, which is capable of breaking down lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids. By the time food has left the duodenum, the early part or beginning of the small intestine, it has been reduced to its chemical building blocks—fatty acids, amino acids, monosaccharides, and nucleotides.

Absorption – Once food has been reduced to its building blocks, it is ready for the body to absorb. Absorption begins within the abdomen with easy molecules like water and alcohol being absorbed directly into the blood. However, most absorption takes place within the walls of the gut, which are densely folded to maximize the surface area in contact with digested food. Small blood and lymphatic vessels containing a liquid body substance within the intestinal wall obtain the molecules and carry them to the remainder of the body. The large intestine is also involved in the absorption of water and vitamins B and K before the solid waste leaves the body.

*Excretion – The ultimate role of the digestive system is the excretion of waste in a method called elimination or defecation. Defecation removes undigested substances from the body in order that they do not accumulate within the gut. The timing of elimination is controlled voluntarily by the cognizant part of the brain; however it must be accomplished on a regular preferable daily basis to steer clear of a backup of indigestible materials.

Organs of the digestive system

The following organs work together to help our bodies process the foods we eat.

  • Mouth

    Digestive System
    The Digestive System

  • Pharynx of the mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Small Intestine
  • Liver and Gallbladder
  • Pancreas
  • Large Intestine

Mouth – Food begins its journey through the gastrointestinal system within the mouth, also known as the oral cavity. Our teeth grind the food we eat and mix it with saliva to form a kind of ball, known as a bolus.

During the blending, a catalyst known as salivary enzyme starts breaking down carbohydrates. Once the food is soft and relatively flexible, the tongue pushes it to the back of the mouth and swallows it down the pharynx.

Pharynx – The pharynx, also known as the throat, is a funnel-shaped tube connected to the latter end of the mouth. It is a muscular tube that runs from the back of your nose down into your neck.

Esophagus – The esophagus is a flattened, muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. As food is swallowed, the esophagus expands. It takes food between one to eight seconds to pass through the esophagus, depending on the texture of the food.

Stomach – The stomach or abdomen is a muscular pouch that is J-shaped, which receives food from the esophagus and sends it to the small intestine. Inside the stomach, food is churned around and mixed with enzymes and acid until it’s a liquid, called chyme. The abdomen is the main location for macromolecule (protein) digestion and uses powerful enzymes, known as pepsins, as well as hydrochloric acid to digest foods like meats, milk, and cheese.

Small Intestine – The small intestine is a long muscular tube that is approximately an incredible 24-feet, that is divided into three distinct parts: the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum (say those three rapid times). Each of the three (3) elements is a major location of digestion and absorption. Absorption ,is known to be a crucial part of the gastrointestinal system that brings the molecules from the processed food into the blood and, ultimately, the cells.

Liver – The liver has many functions. First, it produces the digestive fluid bile, which the small intestine uses to help digest the fats in food. It also metabolizes proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; helps regulate blood-sugar levels; stores glycogen for quick energy; makes fibrinogen, which clots blood; makes vitamin A; and recycles worn-out red blood cells.

Gall Bladder – Tucked under the liver, the gallbladder is a storage container for bile, a yellow-green fluid made up of salts, cholesterol, and lecithin. The small bowel (intestine) uses gallbladder-produced digestive juice (bile) to digest fats.

Large Intestine – The last part of the digestive tract, the large intestine, is a muscular tube that is about 5 feet long. It’s divided into the cecum, colon, and rectum. Together, these segments fasten up the loose ends of digestion. This includes completing any nutrient absorption and processing the wastes into feces. The large intestines also make some types of vitamin B and vitamin K.

Diseases of the Digestive System

Many diseases and health conditions – such as ulcers, GERD, IBD and celiac disease, just to name a few – lead to dysfunction in the digestive system. The host of diseases are too numerous for this article. For a detailed list and description of digestive diseases, click this link.

Prevention

However, as I like to say: prevention is better than cure! One way to insure digestive health is with a proper diet and a proper dietary supplement regime. Part of that regime should include a probiotic supplement. In my article/post: https://universal-health-products.com/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/
full detail is given on probiotics; their descriptions and advantages.

Amazon offers a huge selection of probiotic products as well as other nutritional items. Simply click here to take a peak.

To help prevent digestive diseases, let’s look at some doctor recommended preventative tips:

  • Get plenty of fluids to keep system flushed. Good sources include water, broth, and soups.
  • Eat a variety of foods that contain dietary fiber. The recommended amount is 25-30 grams per day. Fresh fruits and vegetables aid in digestive health.
  • Chew food thoroughly, and don’t overeat.
  • Limit your intake of fats and alcohol.
  • Avoid raw shellfish if you’re not sure the source is a safe one.
  • Exercise daily
  • Get proper rest
  • Wear clothes that fit properly; clothes that are tight on the abdomen can cause stomach problems.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before preparing food and eating.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom, changing diapers, handling garbage, handling raw meat, and handling pets or their waste.

Some digestive diseases cannot be prevented, such as Crohn’s disease. Remember these are preventative tips. If the onset of a digestion problem commences despite these tips, and your digestive problems persist, please consult your doctor promptly.

Please feel free to leave a comment, question or concern below.

 

Good health!

 

 

 

 

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The Current Health Problems in America

Gaining a meaningful understanding of America’s overall health and well-being is the first step toward improving it.  Prevention is better than cure and it is important to know what the health concerns are in order to take action to prevent them.  It pays to know your enemies well in order to defeat them.  Therefore, this article’s purpose is the shed light on the current health problems in America.

The Symbol of Healing

What are the current health problems in America

There are 10 health conditions that have a great effect on Americans.  Starting with the least effect:

The Symbol of Healing

Crohn’s Disease/Ulcerative Colitis – This chronic disease causes inflammation in the digestive tract. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Crohn’s affects your gut and the opening of your intestine. However, the illness will have an effect on any part of your gastrointestinal tract.” This disease can lead to ulcers, abscesses, fistulas, malnutrition and more. In addition to being painful and debilitating, the condition can lead to life-threatening complications.  National Health Effect 2.7%

Psychotic Disorders – People with psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and delusional disorder, often have trouble maintaining a sense of reality. These disorders can have a significant detrimental effect on a patient’s quality of life.

National Health Effect t 2.9%

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – A chronic inflammatory lung disease, COPD causes airflow from the lungs to be obstructed. The primary cause of COPD is cigarette smoking.

National Health Effect 3.3%

Excessive Alcohol Use Disorder – The National Institutes of Health define alcohol use disorder as a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not consuming.  Very high blood alcohol levels may result in coma or death, and withdrawal from alcohol can cause hallucinations or even seizures.

National Health Effect 3.3%

Substance Abuse Disorder – Also known as a drug use disorder, a substance use disorder involves an overuse of, or dependence on, a medication or toxin. Addiction will cause serious mental and physical injury, overdose and even death.

National Health Effect 3.4%

Type 2 Diabetes – In people with diabetes, blood sugar levels rise higher than normal. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, is generally caused by obesity and lack of physical activity in about 90% of cases in the U.S.

National Health Effect 5.5%.

Coronary Artery Disease – High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes can all damage or injure the inner layer of the arteries. Over time, the damage can worsen and become coronary artery disease, putting you at much higher risk of heart attack.

National Health Effect 7%

Elevated/High Cholesterol – When levels of cholesterol are too high, fatty deposits can begin to build up in blood vessels and arteries, restricting blood flow. High cholesterol can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.  It can be hereditary or from the result of unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices,

National Health Effect 8.6%

Chronic Depression – is a mental illness characterized by a constant sense of hopelessness and despair, making it difficult to work, sleep or eat. The condition which frequently goes undiagnosed or untreated, affects adults, teens and even children.

National Health Effect 9%

Hypertension – This disease has the highest effect on the nation’s overall health and well-being.  Hypertension occurs when the force against the artery walls is too high, which can cause heart attack or stroke.   It is often related to advanced age, obesity, smoking and stress.  More commonly known as high blood pressure, hypertension is “a common disease in which blood flows through blood vessels, or arteries, at higher than normal pressures,” according to the National Institutes of Health. Hypertension is additionally called the silent killer as a result of it having no early vital symptoms however; it creates an additional load on the heart and blood vessels.

National Health Effect 12.5%.

Concerning the elderly

Senior patient consulting with her doctor

The conditions mentioned thus far affect the general population in the US.  However, in addition to these conditions, there are specific conditions that affect the elderly.  Some of these are repetitive but can affect the elderly differently.

Successful Aging

Successful aging is defined as maximizing your potential and minimizing the negative effects of getting older (i.e. the weakening of mental and physical abilities).

Senior patient consulting with her doctor

Genetics is for certain one key to successful aging. If one’s parents and grandparents have lived long and healthy lives, the odds are one can expect the same.  But, there’s a lot more to aging successfully than solely genetics. Eating right and physical exercise, making sure you get regular check-ups and screenings, and focusing on preventive care are very important to how well one ages.

Again, prevention is better than cure.  As I mentioned and it is important to know what the health concerns are in order to take action to prevent them. Even if you’re not elderly, it pays to know your enemies well in order to head them off.  You can also pass this information to an elderly relative or friend.

Physical Activity and Nutrition – Research and analysis indicates that staying physically active will faciliate prevention or delay certain diseases, including some cancers, heart disease and diabetes, and also relieve depression and improve mood. Limited physical often accompanies advancing age, but it doesn’t have to. Check with your local churches or synagogues, senior centers for exercise and walking programs. Like exercise, eating habits are often not good if one lives and eats alone. It’s important for victorious aging to eat foods plentiful in nutrients and avoid the empty calories in candy and sweets.

Excessive weight and Obesity – Being overweight or obese increases the chances of dying from  a host of illnesses.  hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, gallbladder illness, arthritis, sleep disorder, breathing  issues, dyslipidemia and mucus membrane, breast, prostate, and colon cancers. In my article https://universal-health-products.com/all-about-obesity contains detailed information on obesity.

*Substance Abuse – Substance abuse usually applies to drugs and alcohol. These are two areas that aren’t often associate with seniors, but seniors, like younger people, may self-medicate using legal and illegal drugs as well as alcohol, which can lead to serious health consequences. In addition, seniors may purposely or unwittingly mix their medications and use alcohol. Because of the stereotypes regarding senior citizens, many medical people fail to ask seniors about possible substance abuse.

Tobacco – There isn’t too much to say about this one except, tobacco is the single greatest preventable cause of illness and premature death in the U.S.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that smokers who attempt to quit are a lot more victorious once they have the support of their doctor.

HIV/AIDS – This one shocks the average citizen.  However, believe it or not, between 11 and 15% of U.S. AIDS cases occur in seniors over age 50. Between 1991 and 1996, AIDS in adults over 50 rose more than twice as fast as in younger adults. Why?  Seniors are unlikely to use condoms, have immune systems that naturally weaken with age, and HIV symptoms (i.e. fatigue, weight loss, dementia, skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes) are similar to symptoms that can accompany advanced age. Again, stereotypes concerning aging in terms of sexual issues and drug use keep this dilemma largely unrecognized. That’s why seniors aren’t well recognized in analysis, clinical drug trials, prevention programs and efforts at intervention.  Needless to say, this needs to change.

Mental Health – Dementia is not part of aging exclusively.  Dementia can also be caused by illness, reactions to medications, vision and hearing problems, infections, nutritional imbalances, diabetes, and renal failure. There are several varieties of dementedness (including Alzheimer’s Disease) and a few maybe temporary. With accurate diagnosis, management and help are necessary. The most common late-in-life mental state condition is depression. If left untreated, depression within the aged could result in suicide. Here’s a shocking fact: The percentage of suicide is higher for senior white men than for all other age groups, including adolescents.

Injury and violence – Among seniors, falls are the principal cause of impairment, hospital admissions for injuries, and deaths due to those injuries. One in each three (3) seniors (age sixty-five and older) do fall annually. Strategies to scale back injury embody exercises to boost balance and strength and medicine review. Preventing injuries can help reduce the occurrence of injury. Home security is necessary to prevent intrusion. Home-based fire deterrent devices ought to be in place and simple to use. People aged sixty-five and older are doubly as probably to die during a home fire as the general population.

Immunization – the flu and respiratory illness, mainly pneumonia, and are among the highest 10 causes of death for older adults. Emphasis on Influenza vaccination for seniors has helped. Pneumonia remains one amongst the foremost serious infections, especially among women and the very old.

Because nearly forty percent (40%) of all deaths in America are often attributed to smoking, poor exercise habits, inadequate diet, and alcohol misuse, it’s pretty easy to see how we can add years to our lives. Don’t smoke, exercise, eat healthy food and moderate or eliminate any alcohol consumption. Clearly, healthy behavior decisions are one prescription for victorious aging.

The purpose of this article is to bring awareness of the broad picture of health concerns for the general population and seniors alike and encourage a sense of prevention.  Proper diet, exercise, and rest all play a part in prevention.

Also, important are the preventative health products we use to supplement the preventative measures.  If you need to begin a supplement regime or need additional supplements to your existing one, Amazon has a great selection to offer from organic foods to organic supplements and the like, there’s something for everyone. Simply click here to take a look.

Please feel free to leave any question or comment you may have below.

Good health!

 

 

 

 

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