Benefits of Amino Acids and Top Foods That Contain Them

Benefits of Amino Acids and Top Foods That Contain Them

Amino acids are extremely important, not just to athletes and bodybuilders, but to every person because it is imperative to the synthesis of proteins and the overall functioning of the body. In a nutshell, there are 20 total amino acids and 10 of them are classified as "essential," (not naturally made by the human body and must be obtained from foods eaten). When diets lack these essential amino acids, the body will begin to break down existing protein, (muscle tissue).

Why must people get them through food?

Unlike fat, amino acids cannot be stored in the body for later use. So you only use what you eat on a daily basis. Our tissues, cells, stomach enzymes and brain all get nourishment and protection from amino acids, so it is crucial we eat them everyday.

For a quick breakdown of the importance of amino acids, here is a helpful list:

✬ Assists in muscle building and overall muscle mass
✬ Helps reverse muscle breakdown
✬ Retains muscle mass (specifically from leucine, which reduces the expression of genes that break down muscle during periods of inactivity)
✬ Helps muscles recover after exercise
✬ Decreases abdominal fat (isoleucine, valine and leucine),
✬ Improves exercise performance
✬ Elevates mood
✬ Improves sleep quality

Top Foods that contain the greatest amount of natural amino acids:

✬ “Nuts and Legumes

Walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews and peanuts are all rich sources of the essential amino acid L-arginine. Arginine is known to boost immune function, assist in muscle metabolism and muscle mass and enhance collagen production and bone growth. Almonds and cashews are also top sources of isoleucine, another essential amino acid that stabilizes blood sugar and increases energy. Almonds and peanuts also boast high levels of the amino acid phenylalanine, which is thought to enhance mood.

✬ Hemp Seeds

Not only high is essential amino acids, hemp seeds also have a great amount of protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Try hemp milk or a rounded heap of hemp seeds in your morning smoothie or over oatmeal. They are very easy to digest and assimilate into the intestinal system well for most.

✬ Wild Fish

Wild fish of any kind (smallest on food chain is best) is another top source of many of the amino acids. Moreover, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, herring and sardines are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may have benefits in protecting against heart disease. Fish are abundant in the essential amino acids isoleucine, lysine and methionine.

✬ Natural Soy Protein

Soybeans and soy protein (from natural, unprocessed: tempeh, NON GMO soy beans, tofu, homemade soymilk) deliver high concentrations of several essential amino acids. Natural soy is rich in the essential amino acids isoleucine, lysine, methionine, tryptophan and valine.

✬ Cage Free and Free Range Eggs

Though I suggest and recommend that people eat vegetarian diets, for those who cannot give up all sources of animal meats, have eggs, which contain plentiful amounts of amino acids, specifically: methionine, isoleucine and lysine. Health Information News adds that eggs are a good source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid involved in the production of the mood-enhancing neurotransmitter serotonin and choline, a brain and eye developer for fetuses and new born infants" (Source:

Additional Sources:

9 Ways to Identify and Control Binging

9 Ways to Identify and Control Binging

The holidays are here, and though it is typically the season for festive gatherings with succulent indulgences, many of us find the guilty aftermath feeling of overeating and leftover party food stupors that lead us to our dreaded new year resolution goals of losing weight and eating right.

It should be no surprise that our feelings of being overweight and unhealthy are not the real problem (not just during the holiday season but throughout the year), it is simply a symptom of overeating.

To face the subject of weight loss in the eyes, people need to get to the root of the problem.

If regular eating habits of people who are obsessed over food, their weight, and appearances, overweight, or overweight and do not care about their unhealthy habits or are mindless while overeating, then this article will definitely drive them into a better direction toward healthier mental clarity and eating habits.

Trying to exercise harder or crash dieting to cover up unconscious overeating with a bandage is a dangerous and self-harming circular act of misery and confusion for the psyche.

Underneath the bandage, the overeating habits will still be there. And even if people were to lose the weight in this cycle, they will be most likely unable to sustain this type of behavior and keep their mental status content . . . unless they take a deeper look at why they eat.

Let’s take a closer look at binge eating.

Binge eating disorder

A disorder characterized by an overwhelming desire to eat large amounts of food can be a difficult problem to overcome. Some may need the assistance of an eating disorder treatment center.

In fact, this disorder may be especially difficult due to the fact that food is a necessary part of life. Unlike those with a drug problem or a smoking addiction, food cannot just be eliminated from one’s life.

How then can you overcome this challenge associated with binge eating disorder?

Binge eating is the most common overeating mechanism.

It is simply eating too much food. Often people binge eat to deal with stress, fear, anger or other tough emotions.

A common binge eating episode is eating a whole tub of ice-cream at the end of a stressful day. Another common binge eating episode is dieting and crashing.

This is one of the most common problems when it came to weight loss. People will diet to an extreme, eat too little an amount, and be able to keep that up for a few days.

However, on the 6th or 7th day, bodies and will powers would crash, and binge eating – basically eating all the fatty sugary foods they have been avoiding, would resume.

The following are 9 tips to help stop binge eating, or avoid binge eating in the first place.

1. Say NO to diets. Say YES to lifestyle changes.

Dieting does not work and is not sustainable. Rather than trying to diet to lose weight and looking for a quick fix, try to slowly improve eating habits over time.

Lifestyle changes are many times hard to acquire, so make small changes to your daily routine and eating choices. Instead of eating 5 junk foods a day, try eating 4 for the next 7 days.

Once you have done that successfully then trying eating 3 junk foods for the next 7 days etc. Perhaps just cut out soda for the first month. Maybe only eat sugary sweets on the weekends.

You do not have to go cold turkey and limit yourself in total. Remember small steps to the greater goal, but say NO to diets.

2. Fatty and sugary foods in controlled moderation.

Try to refrain from depriving yourself of foods you crave. This is a great tip, otherwise people tend to think about their off limit food even more, increasing their desire and craving for that food.

One day you will crash and binge on that food. Eat fatty and sugary foods craved in controlled moderation. Control the portion size.

It’s not a good idea to order a whole large pizza for yourself if you only plan on eating 2 slices. Rather, order a personal sized pizza.

3. Understand that weight loss and lifestyle changes are HARD.

Commercials for weight loss products make weight loss look so easy, but it is very challenging. Losing weight and keeping it off is one of the toughest goals one can achieve, that is why we are all not walking models in petite size clothes with perfect health.

However, over time and a healthy mindset, tying to lose weight will become less and less frustrating, as the lifestyle change takes over.

Soon, exercising will become as regular and comfortable to fit in your everyday itinerary as brushing your teeth and watching the news at night.

4. Give yourself permission and positive affirmations often.

There will be days where you are too week to say no, and will binge eat. It is perfectly alright to give yourself permission to feel different feelings and to forgive yourself.

Do not let the feelings of guilt creep in.

Do not try to be a perfectionist.

People are all wired differently and are NOT perfect. Rather, forgive yourself, fill negative thoughts with positive affirmations and move on.

If you let feelings of guilt and disappointment creep in, you probably will feel overwhelmed, give up, and binge eat some more.

Most importantly, relax and set aside time to enjoy life and take part in a fun activity.

5. Tell a friend.

Tell a trusted close friend of family member about your binge eating or overeating habits. More often than not they will be very supportive.

They will even ask you what they can do to help. Request that they ask you every now and then about your progress with improving your eating habits. This will help you stay accountable with your commitment to stop binge eating.

6. Educate yourself.

If you have tried to stop binge eating and cannot, and this is a very serious problem for you, then make a commitment to get it under control. You deserve it. Read everything you can find about the subject.

Enroll in an eating disorder treatment facility or attend therapy session. Be willing to learn and make yourself vulnerable.

7. Team up with others who are trying to stop binge eating.

Check out the Food Addiction online support group. It is free to join and will keep you motivated.

8. Eat mindfully, slowly and when hungry.

Many times binge eating is a result of restricting.

It’s a vicious cycle:

❧ restricting then binging
❧ then restricting because of binging.

Gauge physical hunger. If you are hungry, eat. If you are not hungry, ask yourself why you want to eat.

Are you feeding an emotion?

Take the time to ask yourself what you really want. Many times binging occurs as a result of deprivation.

Take time to prepare the food, sit and savor the meal. Make each meal as satisfying as possible. Your body will feel full and satisfied.

Lastly, binging generally equates with rapid eating. Give yourself at least 30 full minutes to eat each meal. Put your fork down and push away from the table.

This takes practice but will allow time for your body to become aware of satiety cues.

9. Keep a Food Journal

Keep track of food and mood. Notice how you feel before you eat, and how you feel after you eat. With this detail, you may notice the eating habits and better determine why you binge.

Do you binge when you are stressed?
Do you binge when you are happy or sad?

Perhaps this tip will also help you to relearn stomach hunger and differentiate it from mouth hunger.

Fibromyalgia and Pain: Natural Treatments 

Fibromyalgia and Pain: Natural Treatments

According to the American Chronic Pain Association, fibromyalgia is a medically unexplained syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain and a heightened and painful response to pressure (allodynia). Fibromyalgia (fī'brō-mī-āl'jē-ə) affects more than 6 million people in this country. Most of them are women, but it does occur in men as well. Other core symptoms are debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance, and joint stiffness. Some patients may also report difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness and tingling (paresthesia) and cognitive dysfunction.

Fibromyalgia is a term that's been used only fairly recently. It is not a new condition. Previous to this, it was referred to as soft tissue rheumatism or fibrositis or non-articular rheumatism.

 People with fibromyalgia may experience the following symptoms:

➮ Wide- Spread Aches and Pains
➮ Localized pain in the neck area
➮ Pain in the rib area
➮ Lower back pain
➮ Chronic Fatigue
➮ Tension Headaches
➮ Myofascial Pain Syndrome (means pain and inflammation in the body's soft tissues)
➮ Tender points in the thigh area
➮ Immune Deficiency Syndrome
➮ Depression
➮ Lethargy
➮ Sleep Disruption Problems
➮ IBS and related digestive problems
➮ Problems with concentration
➮ Irritability
➮ Anxieties
➮ Vulvar pain syndrome
➮ Nails and hair brittle and poor quality
➮ Weight gain
➮ Sugar cravings and a form of hypoglycemia

Many people live with pain for years before fibromyalgia is found as the cause.  A recent brain-scan study confirms scientifically what fibromyalgia patients have been telling a skeptical medical community for years: They're really in pain.

In fact, the study finds, people with fibromyalgia say they feel severe pain, and have measurable pain signals in their brains, from a gentle finger squeeze that barely feels unpleasant to people without the disease. The squeeze's force must be doubled to cause healthy people to feel the same level of pain—and their pain signals show up in different brain areas.

The results, published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, the journal of the American College of Rheumatology, may offer the proof of fibromyalgia's physical roots that many doubtful physicians have sought. It may also open doors for further research on the still-unknown causes of the disease, which affects more than 2 percent of Americans, mainly women.

Now, more healthcare providers are aware of the condition. This means that it can be addressed sooner. And there is a growing list of treatments that may help.

According to sources such as the National Institutes of Health, American Medical Association, and American College of Rheumatology, little is known about the cause of this type of pain, but the central nervous system does play a role. Unfortunately for this progressive disease, there is no cure for fibromyalgia but there are treatments that can help. Many people have found ways to have a good quality of life in spite of fibromyalgia.

The following are ways to live a more comfortable life with fibromyalgia:

➲ Plenty of sleep

Nap any time that you can.

➲ Move your body

Keep active-walking and low impact sports are great examples.
Meditation helps tremendously. This allows you to separate the mind from the pain

➲ Magnesium and Malic Acid supplements

Consult the doctor or a nutritionist to have your Magnesium level checked. It is a simple painless mouth swab

➲ Epson Salt baths

Take 2-3 warm Epson Salt baths a week (Epson salt contains Magnesium and soaking in a warm tub helps the body to absorb the mineral into the body better. Magnesium aids the muscles in better utilization of oxygen. When body magnesium levels are low, cramps, spasms, and pain may augment.)

➲ Eliminate Sugar from your diet.

No more sugar–sweets, candies, syrups, etc. Instead, use Xylitol 'from birch bark' - sweet with no bitter aftertaste. Xylitol can also help prevent tooth decay. Instead of adding sugar or artificial sweetener to your beverages or food, use Liquid Stevia. Do not use any artificial sweeteners.

More traditionally, Neurologists, Rheumatologists, Chiropractors, Psychiatrists, and pain specialists will address the symptoms of fibromyalgia and focus on the pain aspect in terms of medications. Solutions such as massage, muscle relaxants trigger point injections, nerve blocks, steroid shots and braces as well as surgeries are most popular. More progressive treatments include biofeedback and acupuncture.

❖ Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is another alternative pain treatment that is one of the most commonly tried for fibromyalgia. The benefits of massage are hard to demonstrate in a clinical study, but it does seem to be helpful for many types of muscle pain, including fibromyalgia. Massage is generally safe. It may certainly relieve tightness and promote relaxation, but it is not likely to provide any long-term fibromyalgia help.

❖ SAM-e

This is a great item for natural joint support and mobility, AND for emotional wellness. This very important supplement is backed by over 20 years of research. It helps to support positive mood balance, joint and liver function. SAM-e is found naturally in every cell in the human body and increases levels of important neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. It also protects the liver from fat infiltration.

❖  Co-Q-10

Research indicates that CoQ10 may support heart health by supporting cellular energy production.

❖ Beta Glucans, with ImmunEnhancer

Beta Glucans gives your body a very powerful nutritional boost for natural cellular defenses. Beta Glucans activates NK cells and is helpful to the immune system and against tumors. For a stronger immune system, take one Beta Glucan tablet a day.

❖ Liquid Calcium Magnesium

Best used in the morning and right before bedtime. People often need more calcium and magnesium than any other vitamin or mineral because they are the primary building blocks of bones, teeth, and muscles.

❖ Source Naturals L-Lysine

This is an all-natural stress fighter and immune booster. It can help regulate your immune system response - especially when you are under extra stress situations. Take extra L-Lysine when exposed to crowds and during flu season.

❖  Emer’gen-C

This handy packet of 1000 mg of Vitamin C and 25 different electrolytes in the ascorbic acid form delivers 8 times more potassium than Gatorade and other sports drinks. When you add water to the Emer'gen-C powder, it immediately effervesces to a powerful, delicious, and healthful activator of your metabolic functions.

❖  Glucosamine Chondroitin plus MSM

This helps with inflammation. MSM is an excellent source of safe and substantial relief. This helpful relief comes from MSM's pain reducing, anti-inflammatory and increased blood-supply properties. Soft tissue inflammation responds well to minerals which improve blood flow.

❖  Vitamin D

Both vitamin D and magnesium levels have been found to be low in people with fibromyalgia, but as of yet, there is no evidence that taking vitamin supplements are an effective fibromyalgia treatment. Vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin, does have some effects on nerve and muscle function, and some studies have suggested that low levels of vitamin D may be associated with chronic pain of fibromyalgia. In a small clinical study published online in the In a recent issue of Pain Medicine, fibromyalgia symptoms improved in 30 women after 8 weeks of vitamin D supplementation. However, other researchers have failed to find any association between fibromyalgia and vitamin D levels.

❖  Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of treatment for chronic pain and is based on ancient Chinese medical practices. There have been several studies on the usefulness of acupuncture in fibromyalgia. Three studies support the use of acupuncture combined with a pulsed electric current, a treatment called electroacupuncture.

❖  Capsaicin Application

Capsaicin comes from pepper plants and is considered a natural pain reliever. It’s the active ingredient in a variety of over-the-counter sprays and lotions. When applied to a painful area of the body, it stimulates the release of a body chemical called substance P. As substance P is depleted, the pain sensation seems to decrease. Capsaicin has been used for chronic pain in diabetes, cancer, and cluster headaches. It may also temporarily relieve fibromyalgia pain.

❖ Biofeedback

Biofeedback is an alternative therapy that uses the mind-body connection to help you learn to control your chronic pain with the power of your mind. The feedback may come in the form of muscle tension, skin temperature, or brain wave measurements. Biofeedback is helpful for many painful conditions when it is used along with other therapies.

❖  Melatonin Hormone

Melatonin is a natural hormone found in the body, thought to be involved in promoting sleep. Melatonin in pill form is often used as a sleep aid, but it has also been used for depression, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. The experts say there is not enough evidence to support its use for the chronic pain of fibromyalgia. However, many people do get fibromyalgia help from natural and alternative treatments despite the lack of research support.

Resources:, webmd,,,

11 Tips on How to Get Lean and Ripped

11 Tips on How to Get Lean and Ripped

Taking a well-rounded or “holistic” approach to getting lean and losing weight is key. There really is no secret potion or diet, exercise routine or magic food to shed the fat and gain muscle.

Certainly, there are many different aspects of a fitness and wellness equation that need to be respected and combined to reach optimum goals—be it diet, weight lifting or cardio—but all sides need to be addressed.

Perhaps the single most important factor, however, is your diet.

To get cut, understand that your body consists of three energy systems. First one is for exercises like jogging (slow twitch muscles), second for sprinting (fast twitch muscles) and the third one for lifting heavy weights.

When people desire fat loss, all three energy systems must be taxed at the same time.

A few quick tips to getting lean right off the bat:

1. Drink lots of water.

This sounds so easy, but water works just like a natural diuretic and aids transport carbohydrates into the blood dropping fat storage space. It’s also significant to maintain your body hydrated all through the day and particularly during the exercise.

2. Cut back on your number of sets and reps when you decrease your daily caloric intake.

3. Be sure to schedule at least one rest day in your program to get lean and/or ripped.

4. Vary your cardiovascular and weight exercises.

Do not always choose to run or do the recumbent bike for the same amount of time every day. Mix it up and work as many parts of your body all together as possible.

A healthy diet plan is going to be 80% of the formula to get noticeable results and help to see those hard-working muscles.

Minimally processed or restaurant bought foods, fiber-rich, and rainbow-colored vegetables and clean, lean proteins such as egg whites, lean chicken and turkey will help shed those pounds and lean you out as well.

5. No matter how much cardio, crunches, burpees , and lunges you do, no one is going to get ripped if they eat out every meal, or chow down a whole pizza when they get home from the gym.

Not only is portion size important, the types of food consumed are key, as well. Long term health is a life change. You have to be mindful of eating healthy in the morning, at work, when you get home, before sleep and on the weekends.

This means you need to go through your kitchen and throw out any temptations that will get in your way.

Getting your family to agree to take healthy steps and declarations toward a healthier lifestyle will also help you reach your goal.

Make a list of as many fruits and vegetables that you like and are willing to eat before you go grocery shopping, or visit your local farmers market or produce section of the grocery store and check out what is in season.

Make a secondary list of beans, legumes, spices, low fat & low sugar dairy products, plus lean meats.  Invest time in buying the foods that will fuel your everyday and experiment with different healthy recipes.

Additional tips on how to lean out and get ripped:

6. Eat less, more regular meals.

You have mainly likely heard this so many times, but this is very important in losing fat from the body, which will eventually permit your abs to be exposed.

On this particular note, always maintain your sodium intake under the control if you want to get ripped.

7. Combination of resistance cardio and weight training is the main way to get cut fast.

If you want to know how to get cut fast, you have to consider the discussed matters. If you cannot wait to get cut, you have to combine all the three systems of energy that are discussed before.

Most of the people do not have the proper knowledge of how to get cut and they fail to get their body ripped. The best way to start is to exercise on the resistance cardio named as called barbell complexes.

They are actually six exercises done one by one without delay in between. The base of these exercises came from the idea of never putting the barbell down once you started your workout.

8. Choose a quality protein.

But combine the protein with fiber-rich foods, such as lightly steamed dark leafy greens. Protein is very important because it contains essential amino acids which are the building blocks of our muscles.

Exercise makes protein consumption essential, in order to provide our bodies with enough nourishment to keep our muscles from atrophying and in pristine condition.

The second part of the reasoning is that protein provides satiety, meaning we feel full longer than eating the same amount in carbohydrates so, therefore, we have more resistance to junk-food temptations.

Protein does not have to be meat, either. Natural soy products and plant protein, such as Swiss chard, legumes and those found in dairy make great nutritional meat alternatives.

9. Do not forget your carbohydrates, which provide energy to our muscles, and all our organs including our heart and brain.

When exercising, carbs are the first resource that will be used for energy. Through aggressive marketing, carbohydrates have earned a very negative name in the diet and fitness arena.

Many studies have shown that bodies that are deprived of carbohydrates show severe decline in mental capacity (decision making, mood imbalances and memory lapses) as well as a physical decline in energy, coordination and strength.

Eating complex carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, bananas, for example) 30 minutes before a workout is going to give you the energy you need to really take your workout to a maximum level which in turn means better results.

Another point to consider is to keep your high glycemic carbs in the morning and right after your workout.

These include oatmeal, potatoes, white rice for example, and the morning and after our workouts are when our body needs a quick shot of carbs to replenish its stores and provide us with energy when we need it.

10. Change your workouts every 4 to 6 weeks, even if it’s the simple variation of doing your exercise routine in a different order.

P90X workout does a great job in keeping the body from plateauing and this is great for people who what to further their“get ripped and lean” aspirations.

Cycle weeks where you train with weights and weeks where you train with lighter weights but with more reps, running and cycling as a cardio choice with plyometrics and the elliptical machine (as examples).

Above all, engage in activities that you find fun and challenging. You will stick with exercises that you like. Additional suggestions are  pick-up game basketball,  one on one tennis game, indoor rock climbing, outdoor hiking, skiing, biking, or swimming, etc.

11. Additionally, when lifting weights and strength training, you want to reduce the amount of isolation work you do and do compound muscle training.

This would include movements such as bicep curls, triceps isolation exercises, leg extensions, lateral raises, and so on.

You can hit pretty much all the muscle groups in the body with the following exercises:

❧  Bench press
❧  Squat
❧  Deadlift
❧  Shoulder press
❧  Row
❧  Calf raise
❧  One ab exercise

Obviously, you can swap these exercises around; do a pull-up instead of a row or do an incline bench press instead of a shoulder press. Getting these core movements in, however, will keep you on top of your game.

Divide these up into either a full-body program performed two to three times each week or an upper/lower split performed four days each week, trying to keep it to a maximum of 15 sets per workout if you're doing upper/lower, and 20-25 if you're doing full body.

To maintain your muscle glycogen from workout to workout (for those who are doing a low-carb approach and not eating very many carbs elsewhere in their diet), consume 5 grams of carbs per 2 sets during the pre/post-workout period).

Additional Advice from on Diet reminds readers that the single most important factor in someone’s quest to get ripped will be their diet. Getting lean is mostly about dietary effort, a little bit of proper workout programming technique, smidgen of psychological (because, let’s face it, temptation is around every corner), and sheer determination.

Consume fewer calories than you need to maintain your weight. Fat loss is really just a simple mathematical equation; it considers the compounding factors where calories come from, times when your meals are being eaten, and so on. These are all personal preferences that help to determine whether or not you're able to stick with the diet in question.

Protein intake should equate to a minimum of one gram per pound of body mass in order to prevent muscle loss. Losing weight is of no use if you are not losing fat weight. That is the critical factor that will determine whether you end up looking like a smaller version of your current self at the end of the diet or a version that is leaner and appears more muscular.

Rather than giving you specific foods to eat, shoot for a calorie intake of between 10 and 12 multiplied by your body weight. This is a fairly good approximation of the calories you should be consuming for weight loss, along with one gram of protein per pound of body weight.

After that, aim for 15% of those remaining calories for fat (or higher, whatever your preference) and fill in the rest with carbs.

It should be clear, if you’ve ever tried dieting before, that certain foods will help satisfy your appetite better and keep your blood sugar levels under control (thus, preventing rebound hunger), so the more you can incorporate these types of foods the better the chances you’ll have when you try to get ripped.

Remember to take in some protein and carbohydrates around your workout period, for both muscle glycogen replenishment and to help give you the energy you need to get through the workouts in the first place.


Stress - What it Does to Your Body

Stress - What it Does to Your Body


Stress is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.

Stress is a normal part of life. Many events that happen to you and around you —and many things that you do yourself—put stress on your body. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts. The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked and stress-related tension builds.

Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress -- a negative stress reaction. Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.

Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try and relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems.

Consider the following:

✦ 43 % of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
✦ 75% to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
✦ Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
✦ The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace.
✦ Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.
✦ The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.
✦ Your body is hard-wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect you against threats from predators and other aggressors. Such threats are rare today, but that doesn't mean that life is free from stress.

On the contrary, you undoubtedly face multiple demands each day, such as shouldering a huge workload, making ends meet, taking care of your family, or just making it through the morning rush hour. Your body treats these so-called minor hassles as threats. As a result, you may feel as if you're constantly under assault but remember: you do not have to let stress control your life.

Understanding the natural stress response

If your mind and body are constantly on edge because of excessive stress in your life, you may face serious health problems. That's because your body's "fight-or-flight reaction" — its natural alarm system — is constantly on.

When you encounter perceived threats — a large dog barks at you during your morning walk, for instance — your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain's use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear.

Stress Overload

The body's stress-response system is usually self-regulating. It decreases hormone levels and enables your body to return to normal once a perceived threat has passed. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels and other systems resume their regular activities.

But when the stressors of your life are always present, leaving you constantly feeling stressed, tense, nervous or on edge, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on. The less control you have over potentially stress-inducing events and the more uncertainty they create, the more likely you are to feel stressed. Even the typical day-to-day demands of living can contribute to your body's stress response.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body's processes.

This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

⚠ Heart disease
⚠ Sleep problems
⚠ Digestive problems
⚠ Depression
⚠ Obesity
⚠ Memory impairment
⚠ Worsening of skin conditions, such as eczema
⚠ Lower gastrointestinal functions
⚠ Lower immune reaction -> higher risk for infections
⚠ Lower sexual functions

Sources: MayoClinic, WebMD,

Banish Back and Neck Pain With Natural Home Remedies and Exercises

Banish Back and Neck Pain With Natural Home Remedies and Exercises 

Back and neck pain can stem from simply sitting at your computer, like you may be doing now, back hunched, shoulders slumped forward and abs relaxed. Back pain can stem from a trauma or injury, sleeping on the wrong or old mattress, stress, a physically demanding job, or many other circumstances. Lower back pain and neck/shoulder pain are very common. Understandably, back pain caused by bad posture will affect people’s ability to do back pain relief exercises.

How can people relieve and banish back pain for good? The most popular remedies are:

✓ pain medications
✓ chiropractic
✓ orthopedics
✓ physical therapy
✓ epidural shots
✓ acupuncture
✓ surgery

There are simple home remedies that do not include any of the above that can help toward a pain-free and better healthful lifestyle without the back drama. No matter what the cause is, there are foundational base remedies which could ease the soreness associated with simple back anguish. Doesn’t hurt (too much) to try them!

✱ Massage therapy

Massage therapy matchless from the basic remedies because back pain is a temporary symptom pacifier therapy, it can help a lot. Whenever people experience pain that includes muscle tightening, pain and soreness, a massage could be really effective. Call a home masseuse or have your partner give you a massage.  Almost all massage chairs today are designed to mimic human massage, which is quite effective in dealing with back pains.

✱ Exercise

Exercising is a great way to ease back and neck pain, though sometimes the thought of moving your body may seem strenuous. Start slow and listen to your body. Consult a physical therapist or exercise professional before starting any new routine with back pain. Exercising helps to circulate the blood in the body. When muscles fail to get proper nutrients and oxygen due to a lack of circulation and movement, they weaken and leave people susceptible to chronic body stress and pain. The back muscles do not frequently get a good flow of blood circulating to it, therefore exercising is the best way to amend blood circulation to the back.

Strengthen the “right” abs

The abdominals consist of four separate muscles. The deepest muscle, the transverse abdominus (T.A.), runs horizontally and serves as a girdle for the internal organs, and it also supports the back. Learning to isolate the T.A. is very important. One way to do this is to stand with your back against a wall. In a neutral position, there should be a slight space between your lower back and the wall. When you tighten the T.A., your stomach will flatten, but your back should remain in neutral. Do not suck in the gut or shrug your shoulders. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. A more advanced version of this back pain exercise is performed in a quadruped position (on your hands and knees). Performed correctly, this ab strengthening exercise can help you banish back pain.

Pelvic tilt/cat-cow

The cat-cow stretch is a good exercise to help banish back pain; it loosens the hips and relieves tension and stiffness in the back. On your hands and knees, lift your head and make your back concave for the cow pose. Then arch your back, tighten your abs and tuck your hips underneath you for the cat pose. You might find you have more hip motion in one direction than in the other. Perform this exercise often, but be careful not to strain yourself. Make the motions smoothly and slowly, and don't snap your hips in one direction then the other.


Stretching because stressed muscles are more susceptible to being torn or tweaked, increasing the flexibility and stretch-ability of muscles, particularly after prolonged assumption from a single posture (sitting at a desk or performing the same movements for a long duration of time) will help to ease back and muscle pain. Stretching exercises can assist in keeping the muscles more flexible and help people avoid strains which could cause severe discomfort in the upper and lower back.

Tight hamstrings

Tight hamstrings are a common cause of back pain because they attach to the pelvis and any tightness affects the low back. The hamstrings become inflexible and weak if you’re stuck at a desk all day, if you sit during a long commute or are an person who just does not stretch as often you should. A good exercise to banish back pain is to stretch the hamstrings lying supine. A seated stretch can cause strain on the lower back if performed incorrectly. Using a towel, belt, stretch cord or dog leash, hook one foot in the cord and keep the other foot flat on the floor. Pull the involved leg straight up in the air, until a stretch is felt in the back of the thigh. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and  repeat this three times for each leg. Extend the opposite leg if you can for a deeper stretch. Again, this isn't a motion that can be performed harshly and you shouldn't be overextending your leg or causing pain. You should only feel a slight burning in your thigh indicating a good stretch, not pain.

Hip flexor stretch

When your quadriceps and hip flexors are tight, in conjunction with weak abs, they pull your pelvis forward, causing pain in your lower back because the quadriceps crosses the knee and hip joint. Kneel on your right knee with your left leg bent and your left foot flat on the floor in front of you. Lean forward and squeeze your right buttock as you do so. You should feel the stretch down the front of your thigh, and into the front of the hip. Switch sides. Kneel on a pillow or towel if your knee bothers you. This stretch to banish back pain can also be done while you lie on your stomach.

Trapezius stretch

As you're reading this, drop your shoulders. Did you realize they were up? Many people hunch their shoulders due to stress, tension or just as a learned posture. A constant slumped-over posture puts the trapezius muscle in a constant stretch position, which over time causes the muscle to tighten up to protect itself.

Stretching the trapezius on a regular basis will help relieve some tension and help prevent headaches. Attempt to bring the right ear to the right shoulder, keeping in mind that your shoulder should not come up to meet your ear. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat it 10 times. Hold onto the edge of the chair with your left hand for a deeper stretch, and remember to do both sides.

Open your chest

The pectoral muscles, or "pecs," tighten up when the shoulders are carried forward all the time, and as a result of doing too many bench presses and pushups. In a corner, put your forearms against the wall. Lean forward, pushing your chest toward the wall. Feel the stretch across the front of your chest and shoulders. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat three times. If you do not have an empty corner, the stretch can be performed one arm at a time in a doorway. Don’t lean too far forward; it should be a stretch, not painful.

Scapular retractions/rows

The muscles between the scapula (rhomboids) are most responsible for keeping the shoulders in proper alignment. In a seated or standing position, squeeze your shoulder blades together. A maximum contraction will make the shoulder blades touch. Do not shrug your shoulders and do not arch your lower back. Try this exercise to banish back pain in a prone position as well. Place a pillow or a rolled-up towel under your forehead to keep your neck and spine in a straight line. Lift your shoulders off the surface, squeezing your shoulder blades together, and then reach for your feet with your fingertips. Squeeze for five seconds and repeat 20 times. This exercise is the precursor to seated or bent-over rows performed in the gym.

These stretches to banish back pain can be performed every day, at any time. After about three weeks of consistent stretching, people should begin seeing an improvement in their posture and experience less back pain. However, if back pain continues, visit your doctor or physical therapist.


Alternative Treatments and Considerations for High Cholesterol

Alternative Treatments and Considerations for High Cholesterol 

There are many alternative treatments for lowering cholesterol naturally, especially taking a look at your diet and what you are consuming on a daily basis; but before you add or adjust any supplement or consider  alternative therapy to your daily regimen, talk to your healthcare provider.

Some supplements may interact with other medication you may be taking or have dangerous side effects.

Some of the herbal and nutritional supplements said to lower cholesterol include:

✪ Garlic

According to some studies, garlic may decrease blood levels of total cholesterol by a few percentage points.

Other studies, however, suggest that it may not be as beneficial as once thought. It may also have significant side effects and/or interactions with certain medications.

Garlic may prolong bleeding and blood clotting time, so garlic and garlic supplements should not be consumed prior to surgery and should not be taken with blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin (warfarin).

✪  Niacin

Niacin is a B vitamin that not only works to lower levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (fats) in the blood but also raises HDL cholesterol (the good kind) which protects the heart by gathering up LDL cholesterol in the blood and carrying it to the liver to be packaged for excretion.

The more HDL cholesterol people have in their blood, the more LDL will be excreted.

Niacin in doses high enough to have this effect must be prescribed by a health care provider due to potential side effects. Too much Niacin can cause skin flushing, dizziness, irregular heartbeat and liver damage.

✪ Guggulipid

Guggulipid is the gum resin of the mukul myrrh tree.

In clinical studies performed in India, guggulipid significantly reduced blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. The enthusiasm for using guggulipid as a cholesterol-lowering herbal agent, however, diminished after the publication of negative results from a clinical trial in the U.S.

Further research is necessary to determine the safety and efficacy of this herb.

✪ Red Yeast Rice

Red yeast rice has been found to lower cholesterol in studies and was previously found in the over-the-counter supplement Cholestin.

However, in 2001, FDA took Cholestin off the shelf because it contained lovastatin, a compound found in the cholesterol prescription medication Mevacor. Reformulated "Cholestin" no longer contains red yeast rice.

Other red yeast rice-containing supplements currently available in U.S. contain very small amounts of lovastatin. Their effectiveness is still questionable.

✪ Policosanol

Produced from sugar cane, policosanol was found to be effective in lowering LDL cholesterol in several trials.

Most policosanol supplements found in the U.S., including the reformulated Cholestin, contain policosanol extracted from beeswax and not the sugar cane policosanol.

There is no evidence that policosanol extracted from beeswax can lower cholesterol. Additional studies on sugar cane policosanol are needed to determine its effectiveness in lowering cholesterol.

✪ Other herbal products

The results of several studies suggest fenugreek seeds and leaves, artichoke leaf extract, yarrow, and holy basil all may help lower cholesterol.

These and other commonly used herbs and spices -- including ginger, turmeric, and rosemary -- are being investigated for their potential beneficial effects relating to coronary disease prevention.

Dietary Approaches to Lowering Cholesterol

Quality (natural) dietary fiber, natural soy foods, and plant compounds similar to cholesterol (plant stanols and sterols) can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).

✪ Fiber

Only plant foods (vegetables, fruits, legumes, unrefined grains) contain dietary fiber. The soluble fiber found in foods such as oat bran, barley, psyllium seeds, flax seed meal, apples, citrus fruits, lentils and beans are most effective in lowering cholesterol.

✪ Soybeans

Substituting soybeans or soy protein for other proteins has been shown to prevent coronary heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Soy protein is present in tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy yogurt, edamame, soy nuts, and many other natural food products made from soybeans.

✪ Phytosterols

Phytosterols (plant sterol and stanol esters) are compounds found in small amounts in foods such as whole grains as well as in many vegetables, fruits, and vegetable oils.

They decrease LDL cholesterol, mostly by interfering with the intestinal absorption of cholesterol. Phytosterols can be found in spreads (like cholesterol-lowering margarines such as Smart Balance), dressings for salads, and dietary supplements.

Additional phytosterol-fortified foods include Minute Maid Heart Wise orange juice, Nature Valley Healthy Heart chewy granola bars, CocoVia chocolates, Rice Dream Heartwise rice drink, and Lifetime low-fat cheese.

Dietary fiber, soybeans, and phytosterols decrease cholesterol levels by different mechanisms. Therefore, it is not surprising that the combined dietary intake of these foods and other plant substances, along with a low intake of saturated fats, is more effective at reducing cholesterol levels than each individual substance alone.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may also help lower cholesterol. Aim for at least two servings of fresh, wild, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, and sardines per week. Other dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flax seed and walnuts.

✪ Omega-3 fatty acids

These essential fatty acids have a favorable effect on cholesterol. Supplement sources include fish oil capsules, flaxseed and flax seed oil. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the rate at which the liver produces LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

They have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body; decrease the growth of plaque in the arteries, and aid in thinning blood. If you are considering taking omega-3 fatty acids, you should first discuss with your doctor if omega-3 fatty acid supplements are right for you (especially if you are currently taking blood-thinning medication).

Avoid partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated vegetable oils. These man-made oils are sources of trans-fatty acids are known to increase LDL cholesterol, lower heart-protecting HDL (good) cholesterol, and increase the inflammatory response in the body.

You can find trans-fats listed on the Nutrition Facts panel of packaged foods and most fast food and popular chain restaurants. Minimize consumption of trans-fatty acid-containing foods.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, The American Heart Association, and the Journal of Nutrition

Healthy Eating Basics: Where Should I Start?

Healthy Eating Basics: Where Should I Start?

One of the most popular questions I get from inquisitive minds often touches on the basics of eating a healthy diet. I always encourage people to take steps and little shifts to mindful and awareness food consumption that will lead to optimal health.

There are just so many "myths" and "truths" out there that have a direct impact on our lives (mental, emotional and physical wellbeing), that if we try to comprehend them all in one big chunk, we could be overwhelmed and throw in the towel before even committing to making a change for the positive.

Below are general guidelines I like to follow and suggest for people that need a gentle nudge toward the right way of doing things better when it comes to food decisions.

1. Be mindful of the refined, processed and manufactured foods that make it into your shopping cart and into your home and mouth.

Chronic inflammation, how we feel and perhaps how we act, is almost always directly linked to the quality of foods we eat—and packaged and processed foods do us no good.

Instead, aim for fresh, whole, live and organic (when possible) foods.

2. Refrain from quick digesting carbs (flour and sugar).

These food-like products increase inflammation as well because of the rapid increases in blood sugar that create abnormal reactions between proteins and sugars.

3. Eat healthy fats.

Choose coconut oil, extra virgin olive oils and other monounsaturated fats which counteract inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish, flaxseeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, and fortified eggs are also great choices.

Stay away from trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, margarine, soybean oil, corn, sunflower or canola and other GMO oils, vegetable shortenings, and omega-6 fatty acids.

4. Try to eat as close to a rabbit (limit animal by-products and meats) for protein.

Red meat, poultry, and dairy products are not only very acidic to the body (diseases cultivate in acidic internal environments), they are filled with unhealthy saturated fats and linked to a number of cardiovascular diseases and inflammation.

Try non-GMO whole soybeans, legumes, nuts, and dark leafy greens like chard, and kale which all have high levels of protein.

5. Use Essential Oils, Herbs, and Spices.

Not only to add a deeper level of flavor to your meals (and infuse into your water), these beneficial, natural anti-inflammatory agents are a kitchen staple that you should be adopting into your everyday routine.

I love to use lemon or grapefruit essential oil in my waters, ginger, turmeric, basil, dill, and black pepper in my main and side dishes and peppermint, lavender and lime in my desserts.

6. Hydrate and Drink your liquids!

My go to is clean, spring water (add lemon or lemon essential oils to luke warm water in the am to reset the body and flush out toxins), raw coconut water (pumped with electrolytes, magnesium, and potassium) and watermelon water with fresh lavender, matcha green tea for a treat.

7. Eat your rainbow.

Choose a rainbow variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

These are packed with live and protective phytonutrients and antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and reactive byproducts that contribute to a host of chronic diseases and ailments.

Emotional Eating: Causes and Tips

Do you find yourself constantly headed to the snack machine, kitchen pantry, refrigerator or digging in your children's "snack/junk" drawer (even when you are not really hungry?)

Perhaps you are just bored, or out of habit, you walk by your the employee's lounge to see what goodies are left by others. Maybe you are feeling extremely excited, happy, nervous, sad, or even mad at times and reach for something to soothe the nerves.

In fact, experts say that more than 75% of overeating and eating disorders are caused by emotions. We are almost pre-programmed and culturally conditioned to combine food with emotions.

It is no wonder emotional eating has become such a mainstream term to describe reasons why people are overweight, have body-dysmorphic issues as well as spend more than any other nation on weight loss and diet pills and programs, but remain one of the most unhealthy and overweight.

Below is an overview of the causes of emotional eating and tips to refrain from falling into the habit.

Top Possible Causes of Emotional Eating:

✵ Stress

When you are stressed it increases your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol makes you have cravings for salty, sweet, fatty foods.

✵ Trying to ignore your emotions

Eating can temporarily make you ignore your emotions (anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and shame).

✵ Boredom or feeling of empty

Eating to give yourself something to do, or to relieve boredom.

✵ Childhood habits

Think back to the way you ate as a child. If you were rewarded with sweets for good behavior it could have progressed into adulthood.

✵ Social influences

Getting together with friends or family is a good way to relieve stress, but it can lead to overeating. Most cultures celebrate (even in death) around food.

It’s easy to overeat because the food is there and you are not noticing what you are eating or how much, and people bond over food.

Surround yourself with positive minded people who care about the type of foods they consume and have a healthy disposition.


Marketers are very clever and place foods exactly where they know people will be attracted to them and most likely buy or "eat."

Places like sporting events, amusement parks and advertisements on the media. It is about the opportunity, and when it is knocking everywhere, people eat.


Self-esteem has a huge role to play here. Individual thoughts are extremely powerful, and a lack of will power, or one's thought of a lack of control, anger, sadness, unworthiness, or any other negative thought will bring on a cascade of action, many times pointing to the control of food consumption.


Eating because of physical cues. explains that this is like, skipping meals leads to a headache, and eating to soothe a physiological ailment to make body and mind "feel" better.


You need to understand why you are eating, and what is triggering your eating. It has been suggested to write down notes on when you’re eating because you are stressed or angry.

✻  Try to see if there are things in common with time, place and what you are eating. Every time you reach for food, ask yourself these questions.

✸ “Am I really hungry?”
✸ “How long ago did I eat?”
✸ “Is this healthy for me?”

✻ If you are eating for emotional reasons you need to replace that with something else. Learning the cues is the first step.

When you are leaning toward food to resolve situational obstacles or feel better in times of anxiety, sadness, anger, loneliness, and frustration, for example, turn toward a non-food source first.

✻ Writing down triggers, how you feel during times like this in a journal can help as well.

Keep a list of healthy activities that give you a good pick-me-up on a tough day handy and refer to them.

Here are more examples

1. Go for a walk or run outside in nature

2. Brush your teeth, floss and clean your tongue.

A clean mouth always makes me feel refreshed and does not tempt me to eat food again. Chew on some parsley or xylitol gum if you need oral stimulation.

3. Yoga and Meditation

4. Talk to others about your feelings

5. Make sure you are getting enough quality REM snooze.

Your body needs sleep, especially between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am. When people get below 7, work the night shift, stay up past 2 am and are fatigued, they tend to crave the foods that give quick pick me ups and end up choosing the wrong types of foods, resulting in gradual weight gain.

6. Seek support.

Find a support group or someone to talk to about your feelings and thoughts. Talk about why you are emotionally eating, what are your triggers and why are you feeling this way.

7. Take away any temptation.

Don't keep your comfort foods in your home so you don’t want it. Also if you are feeling upset or sad, don’t go to the grocery store (especially fast food restaurants) until you are not having those feelings. And generally, just stay away from fast food chains.

8. Learn from yourself.

If you do emotionally eat, make sure to forgive yourself and start over for the next day. Practice positive daily affirmations (like the one on my www.truthNhealthcom site).

Make sure you learn from it and make a plan for the next time you want to eat when you are not hungry.  Also, make sure you focus on the positive changes you are making and give yourself credit for making those changes.

9. When to seek professional help.

If you have tried self-help options but still cannot get control of your emotional eating try talking to someone who is an excerpt in the field. Therapy can help one better understand and the fundamental causes behind emotional eating and help tremendously.


Carbs Are Making Us Fat

Carbs Are Making Us Fat. 


❯ Simple science has shown that carbohydrates spike insulin.
❯ Insulin creates sugar.
❯ Sugar turns into fat.
❯ Fat packs on the pounds.

With so many years of our government’s famous food pyramid base promoting the consumption of simple carbohydrates (bread, pasta, potatoes), it is no wonder obesity rates are skyrocketing in numbers.

Most people actually do not know how to prepare meals without such carbohydrates. Think about a breakfast without starches, for example.

We've been programmed to incorporate carbs (especially processed carbs) into our three meals and many snacks so that we can have balanced nutrition. Or so we’re told.   

First thing’s first.

There are many types of carbohydrates which are all a part of the family of carbohydrate compounds:

❧ starch sugar
❧ milk sugar
❧ vegetable sugar
❧ fruit sugar

Not all carbohydrates are created equally. Carbohydrates consumed into the body from an apple is vastly different from the same amount of carbohydrates taken from a chocolate bar.

Sometimes labeled the “good” carb, complex carbohydrates, like whole grains and legumes, contain longer chains of sugar molecules; these usually take more time for the body to break down and use.

There are many sides doctors, nutritionists, athletes and even people with diabetes take when it comes to whether or not carbs should be a part of a person’s nutrition.

Scientifically speaking, carbs in the diet supply our brain with glucose when we study or do any mental work. Also, carbs give the body quick energy during exercise and dietary fiber is also a carb in a very complex form that is indigestible in the human body.

It forms the bulk in our stool and is essential for normal bowel function and evacuate of waste from our bodies. 

From the side of “Carbs are making people fat,” one of the most offending of the carb family is grains (which many people think are healthier than they really are).


These grains fall into a category called “refined carbohydrates.” Once harvested and shelled, all the protein, nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are taken away (or refined), leaving just a complex carb that has an immediate effect on the body, and raises insulin levels.

When insulin levels rise, it drives calories into fat tissue. Even when you are utilizing your body for active movement—work or exercise, your body can only process so much of the carb at a given time.

What is not used up is stored as fat. What people do not necessarily know is that this constant act of raising insulin is also making people accumulate fat.  

Another point to understand between carbs and the rise in weight is the modern processed carb and what they are made with.

Today’s carbs are processed with incredible amounts of refined sugar and reached new heights in the glycemic index—(meaning it has a lot of sugar in it and causes a faster and higher spike of insulin in the body to be released to balance blood sugars).


more insulin=more fat.

There are many studies that report the secretion of insulin beginning with the first thought of foods with carbohydrates!

Below is a link to a great info flow chart on how exactly carbs are making us fat: 

 Our bodies are very smart and will give us the urge to crave carbohydrates (if we listen and obey our cravings, we will be more functional, balanced and free from chronic ailments).

The problem is the quality of modern processed foods and the frequency in which we may consume them. These fast and processed foods create an addiction (not different from drug addiction) that tells our brains we need more and more so we may be craving the “bad carbs”fats).

Especially with the high amount of added sugar to the high carb and fatty food—ice cream, cake, doughnuts—and you have a double whammy. High-sugar foods increase your levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite and increases cravings.

In fact, high sugary carbs enhance the memory storage in our brains and release feel-good hormones and endorphins when consumed. 

Studies conducted by scientists at the University of Washington found out that junk foods high in carbohydrates and fat destroy the brain cells that control weight, leading to a vicious circle of obesity, scientists have revealed.

The study also showed the part of the brain containing neurons that control body weight, was inflamed. Surprisingly, after test subjects were taken off the high carb and fat diets, the inflammation stopped a few days later but then recurred after four weeks. 

What are the dangers of eliminating or not consuming enough carbs in our nutrition? 

Many Registered Dietitians argue that most people should always try to have at least 150 to 200 grams of carbs a day because our bodies can only process and utilize about 200 grams of carbs a day.

Not enough carbohydrates will force most bodies to:  

♦ Borrow protein from our muscles and immune system to make more carbs to keep us going. 

♦ Makes us binge-eat carbs until our system is reloaded. It takes 24 hours to re-load all our carbs after exercise greater than 30 minutes. Athletes will binge-eat every 3 days if they do not have enough carbs in their diet. 

♦ We can eat some carbs at least every 4 hours every day to continuously replace the carbs we are using for daily routines and for exercise. 


Take away:

Listen to your body and nourish it and give it energy by choosing fresh, made by Mother Earth carbs in the forms of vegetables, fruits and beans, legumes and sprouted whole grains* (barley, corn, oats, quinoa, rice and any other grain that contains the bran, germ and endosperm of the grain).

Limit or eliminate processed and refined carbohydrates that cause inflammation in the body.  

*Whole grains contain all of the parts of the original grain without being processed. They are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and contain some antioxidants that are not found in fruits and vegetables. 


Resources:,,, NPR,, MayoClinic, Livestrong,