Archive for Women Business Owner

False: Turkey = sleepy

Does your husband always come up with the excuse that he is too tired to help you with the dishes after a big thanksgiving meal?  “It’s nap time!” he exclaims.  Little does he know that the old “there is too much tryptophan in my turkey” excuse is really not an excuse at all.  The truth of the matter is turkey does not contain any more tryptophan than typical poultry, about 350 milligrams per four ounces.  What is tryptophan anyway?  Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning that the body can’t manufacture it. The body has to get tryptophan and other essential amino acids from food.  How does it work?  Tryptophan helps the body produce the B-vitamin niacin, which helps the body produce serotonin, a chemical that acts as a calming agent in the brain and plays a key role in sleep.

You might think that if you eat a lot of turkey, your body would produce more serotonin and you would feel calm and want a nap. Nutritionists and other experts say that the tryptophan in turkey probably won’t trigger the body to produce more seroton­in because tryptophan works best on an empty stomach. It’s not fair to blame your poor innocent turkey for all the yawning on Thanksgiving day!

So, why are we all so tired after a big Thanksgiving meal?  First of all, big is one of the operative words.  We tend to eat a lot more at one sitting thinking we are not going eat these foods again until next year. Don’t forget the stuffing, mashed potatoes, biscuits, oh yes, and dessert.  All those carbohydrates can put anyone into a food induced coma.  Another reason could be that some of us are drinking alcohol with our meals.  There is nothing like a nice bottle of chardonnay with your turkey and alcohol tends to make us tired.  Also, many of us wake up early to get the bird in the oven and are on our feet cooking and preparing for the gathering.

Are you going to let your family know that you are on to them, or are they going to get away with the after dinner nap or sitting on the couch for the football game while you’re in the kitchen cleaning up?

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Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D This Winter?

Time to get cozy—cooler weather is here! The days are shorter, the sky is bleaker, and most of us want to stay indoors for longer periods. Bundle and snuggle!

Unfortunately, this means that you’re in danger of not getting enough vitamin D this season.

You may already know that it’s good for the bones and teeth by helping our bodies use calcium. But that’s not all—this powerful vitamin can do much more, according to studies. Vitamin D is a major focus of research these days for its other, lesser-known roles in these conditions:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer (colorectal, breast, prostate)
  • Autoimmune disease (Type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis)
  • High blood pressure
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Depression  (Consider the lack of sunlight and its role in both vitamin D deficiency and seasonal affective disorder)

While optimal doses are still to be determined, one thing is clear—the standard daily 400 IU (International Units) dose may be too low. Many scientists believe that 2000 IU daily is safe for most adults, and even that’s conservative.  Some practitioners are now recommending 800-1200 IU for most patients.

So what’s sunshine got to do with all this? Simply put, we can make our OWN vitamin D with the help of the sun and its ultraviolet B (UVB) rays!  And it doesn’t take much exposure… Approximately 15-20 minutes three times weekly has been recommended by many scientists. Go easy—face and arms, casual exposure. NO BURNING! Just enough to produce a slight pinkness in fair-skinned people (if your skin is dark, you’ll likely need more; as much as a couple of hours).

Problem is, many of us won’t get even this much exposure. During this season there’s less sunlight (and therefore UVB) to absorb. Imagine a line running from Richmond VA (east) across the United States to San Francisco CA (west). If you live above this line (37° N), you will probably not produce sufficient vitamin D from November through early March.  The further north you live, the longer the “vitamin D winter”.

Cloud cover and pollution also affect how much UVB light we receive. Those who live in foggy areas or big cities may need more vitamin D. Altitude is another factor—in a good way.  Every 1000 foot increase in elevation is roughly equivalent to one degree closer to the equator. So, if you live in Denver (the Mile High City), it’s like being 5° further south.

The elderly don’t synthesize vitamin D when exposed to UVB as readily as younger adults. (They’re more likely to stay indoors too). Dark-skinned individuals may have half the vitamin D in their blood when compared to fair-skinned people (the more melanin in the skin, the less vitamin D synthesized). And obesity has been associated with vitamin D deficiency.

So how do you get enough vitamin D during this season? Foods rich in vitamin D include salmon, mackerel, tuna, milk, and mushrooms. You might also wish to supplement. Start with a good multivitamin; your physician can test you and let you know if you need even more.

Vita Nutritionals can help too. Our multivitamin formulas (Superior Wellness for Men, Superior Wellness for Women) have 200 IU and 400 IU of vitamin D, respectively, per serving. And our bone health product (Calcium Quadraplex + Mag and D) contains 800 IU of this powerful supplement.

Until next time, stay warm. Go out if you like, stay in if you must, but make sure you get your Vitamin D!

Science for Lifesm

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You need your Zzzz’s

 

Many of us admittedly have too much on our plate!  Not for dinner, but in life.  I don’t remember the last time I heard somebody say, “Wow, I have a lot of free time on my hands” or “Boy, do I feel energized today”!  The truth is, I’m just plain tired.  I think we’re a nation of tired people. So, why is this worth blogging about?  Not only are most of us tired at the end of the day, we’re tired when we wake up each morning.

 True, there are a bunch of different reasons that I’m tired, but most nights I just don’t sleep well.  Sleep deprivation is a common occurrence in modern culture and in my life. Every day there seems to be twice as much to do and half as much time to complete it in. While some people may like to believe that they can train their bodies to require less sleep, you really can’t. Sleep is crucial for concentration, memory formation, and repairing and rejuvenating the cells of the body. Both mentally and physically, a good night’s sleep is essential for your health.

Sleep disorders are a very common medical issue that affects more than 70 million Americans each year. While some people suffer from mild sleeping problems, such as the occasional nightmare, others have extremely severe sleep disorders that can negatively affect their health if left untreated. In fact, 95 percent of people suffering from a sleep disorder remain undiagnosed.  You know the one’s…”I didn’t sleep well because I ate chocolate right before bed,” “I have too much on my mind,” “ I don’t remember if I washed the cub scout uniform,” “ did I pay the electric bill?”…and the list goes on!  That’s the stuff that goes through our minds in between counting sheep. 

Finding an effective remedy is difficult. Some sleep aids require a visit to your doctor, dealing with unpleasant side effects, and facing the possibility of becoming dependent on the drugs. Even over-the-counter sleep aids can be habit-forming. So, what’s the answer? Melatonin – a naturally-occurring compound that regulates sleeping cycles and also has value as a possible antioxidant.  If you are having trouble sleeping it is recommended that you take a natural sleep aid containing melatonin roughly one half hour before going to sleep. One of the frequently reported advantages of melatonin is it doesn’t leave users with a hangover like effect the next morning. Most over the counter sleep aids tend to leave you feeling a bit drowsy the morning after. There is no one right dose from person to person. It seems every person reacts differently to melatonin. For some 1.5 mg may work while another person may need to take 3 mg of melatonin before going to bed. The fact is, melatonin is helpful for falling asleep. In the Vita Nutritionals® product VN Relax, we offer 3 mg of melatonin along with 1 mg of B-6 which produces serotonin and the combination of the two ingredients in each tablet, make for a restful night. Now I just need to remember to take it! 

Here are some additional strategies that may help you catch some zzz’s a bit easier every night.

  • Go to bed at the same time or nearly the same time every night.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • Write down your worries and to-do list on paper before going to sleep.
  • Sip some chamomile tea.
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal right before bed.
  • Read (I know that makes me sleepy)

Sleep tight, don’t let the bed begs bite…that’s a whole other topic!

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“Fire, burn; and cauldron, bubble.”

 

“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,…
–Macbeth (IV, i, 14-17)

Eww! Those three witches from Macbeth used these creepy ingredients (and many others) to stir a cauldron full of darkness, chaos, and conflict. This vile recipe makes me shudder with disgust. Yecch!

But did you know that these were actually century-old nicknames for herbs? “Eye of Newt” is actually a type of mustard seed. Yellow, with a black spot, it looked like a newt’s eye. “Toe of Frog” (or “Frog’s Foot”)? Bulbous buttercup (has a bulb at the base of its stem). “Wool of Bat”? Holly (its leaves look a bit like bat’s wings).“Tongue of Dog”? A plant called Hound’s Tongue (its leaves look and feel like a dog’s tongue-pictured).

Long ago, herbalists and midwives used these vividly descriptive (some would say magical) names for these plants. Many healers couldn’t’ read, so to make it easier to pass the knowledge along, these names were used instead. Just imagine having to remember these four ingredients by their botanical names: Brassica spp., Ranunculus bulbosus, Ilex aquifoleum, and Cynoglossum officinale!

Nowadays, many of these herbs can be grown at home or purchased from herbal shops and natural food stores. Maybe you’ve seen or even used some of these. “Erba Santa Maria” is Spearmint (makes a yummy tea).  “Jupiter’s Nut” is Walnut. “Palma Christi” isCastor (as in castor oil). “Seed of Horus” is Horehound (An expectorant, often found in syrups and candied. In ointment, it’s used for wounds too). “Witches’ Aspirin” is White willow bark (contains substances related to aspirin).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Many herbs and their products are NOT to be taken internally. Traditionally, some plants were eaten or used in teas and infusions, and some were applied as balms, baths, and wraps. Sometimes they were burned as incense (the smoke was said to make prayers visible). Some were simply carried as adornments or charms, according to folklore (for example, “Five Finger Grass” or cinquefoil, is said to attract money when its tiny leaves are carried in a wallet or purse. Hmm….)

In any case, remember that not all herbs or plant products are safe to eat or drink, just because they are “natural”.

At Vita Nutritionals®, we make no claims of magic or miracles with our products. You won’t find “knuckle of this” or “tail of that”. We simply provide the best supplements available. QUALITY ingredients, backed by SCIENCE—that’s what we do.

Hope you had fun with this bit of herbal folklore. May your cauldron bubble over with supreme wellness and vitality! Have a happy, safe, and HEALTHY Halloween!

“Double, double, toil and trouble;

Fire, burn; and cauldron, bubble.”

–Macbeth (IV, i, 10-11)

 

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Pumpkin

With Fall upon us, ‘tis the season for pumpkins! My family loves this time of year and we have pumpkins of all sizes around the house. My kids paint the little ones and then we carve larger ones with fun faces.  We also eat pumpkin in many different ways! There’s pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, and of course, pumpkin pie. I also found some yummy looking recipes for pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin pancakes! A lot of us treasure this season just so we can eat that delicious stuff, but did you know all of the wonderful things pumpkin can do for your body? Pumpkins taste great and are a great source of fiber, vitamins C and E, and potassium. They are also chock full of caratenoid pigments like alpha-carotene, along with beta carotene and lutein. There are many benefits pumpkin provides, such as cholesterol lowering, bone health, kidney stone prevention, anti-inflammatory benefits, and anti-oxidative properties. Pumpkin seeds have many health benefits too, some of which include a good source of protein, zinc, and other vitamins, and are even said to lower cholesterol. One gram of pumpkin seed protein contains as much tryptophan as a full glass of milk. Pumpkin seed oil contains fatty acids that help maintain healthy blood vessels and nerves, and are loaded with essential fatty acids that help to maintain healthy blood vessels, nerves and tissues.

Perhaps the most noteworthy of the benefits of pumpkin are specific to prostate health.  Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH), which involves an enlarged prostate, commonly affects men over the age of 50. The components in pumpkin seed oil interrupt the chain of events that cause the enlargement, and provide potential prostate benefits. The carotenoids and omega-3 fats found in pumpkin seeds are also being studied for their potential prostate benefits, as men with higher quantities of carotenoids in their diet are less prone to suffer from BPH.

 

Men can get a daily pumpkin fix with the Vita Nutritionals® products Superior Wellness for Men and Daily Prostate! And women can eat all the pumpkin dishes this season and know you’re getting some healthy stuff too!

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The Excitement is Building!

Our products are in and the excitement is building as we near the launch of www.vitanutritionals.com.  I am so excited, in fact, that I’d like to share some more information with you on our fantastic science and research based supplement kits that will be available on our website.

All of our kits were developed to address specific health issues and to help you on your way to optimum wellness.

We will offer 7 different kits with a men’s and women’s version of each.  The Men’s Health Kit and Women’s Health Kit are designed specifically for the different basic health and supplement needs of men and women.  Our other kits, which include Diabetic Support, Cardio and Cholesterol Support, Joint and Bone Support, Immune Support, Vision Support, and Memory Support, are designed to focus on the needs of men or women with specific conditions or health concerns. You can also create your own kit with any 4 of our 15 products with more on the way!

It is my hope that these kits will make it easy and convenient to improve and maintain your health. Please watch out for the launch of
www.vitanutritionals.com – coming soon- to purchase your kit and start on your journey to better health and living Science for Lifesm !

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