News and Research on Magnesium for Sleep

Posts tagged ‘natural insomnia remedy’

Conquer Insomnia: Nutrients and Minerals that Help You Get Better Sleep

Sleep better with nutrition and nutrientsGuest Post by Sharon Walsh of BestMattressReviews.com *************************
Presented by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
*************************
Adults need a full seven to eight hours of sleep every night to stay healthy, yet many people get far less.  Stress, medical conditions, and poor sleep hygiene can all come between you and the rest you need. Sleep hygiene refers to those habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis.

There are also positive interactions that occur between the sleep hormone melatonin and the foods you eat that can help you sleep better. The right foods help set your circadian rhythms so that when it’s time to hit the pillow, you’re ready to settle down for the night. Cirdadian rhythms are guided by our internal body clock.  These cycles tell our bodies when to sleep, rise, and eat – regulating many physiological processes. The cycles are triggered by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature.

Tryptophan – More Than Turkey

The tryptophan found in turkey is legendary in the food world for making people drowsy. While the sleep-inducing properties in your Thanksgiving dinner may have more to do with the size of the meal than the one slice of meat you eat, tryptophan does also help you sleep, but not in the direct way many people think. The body uses tryptophan to make serotonin and melatonin, both of which are natural hormones made in the brain that help set your circadian rhythms.

Tryptophan can be found in far more foods than turkey. If you’re looking for other natural sources, try adding these foods to your diet for an extra boost:

  • Walnuts: Walnuts are not only a good source of tryptophan but a natural source of melatonin itself. They make a great bedtime snack.

  • Seeds and Nuts: Pumpkin and squash seeds, in particular, provide a quick dose of tryptophan.

  • Cheese: If you’re looking for a healthy kick, try reduced-fat mozzarella or add something a little different like Fontina and Edam.

Calcium – Dairy and More

A warm glass of milk is more than an old wives’ tale. The calcium in dairy products and many other foods help the brain use tryptophan to make melatonin. Cheese, yogurt, milk, and even ice cream have the calcium your body needs to help regulate your sleep cycle. If you’re looking for non-dairy foods to get a calcium boost consider trying:

  • Spinach and Other Leafy Greens: These brightly colored vegetables are loaded with nutrients. Other greens like kale and collard greens also have high amounts of calcium.

  • Fortified Orange Juice: Calcium is important for many body processes. It just makes sense to add it to this popular breakfast drink. A quick glass of orange juice also gives you a dose of vitamin C.

  • Enriched Grains: Enriched grains and breads give you some versatility in how you get your calcium.  Quinoa may be even a better choice, as it offers approximately 60-100 mg of calcium, not to mention a high amount of potassium, zinc and protein.

Develop Good Sleep Hygiene (Habits)

All your healthy eating may go to waste if you don’t develop good sleep hygiene. Your sleep environment can make or break your ability to get a full night’s rest. If you suffer from insomnia or need to get a few more hours of rest, try:

  • A Bedtime Routine: Not just for kids, a bedtime routine can trigger your brain to start sending the ‘sleep’ signals to the rest of your body. A warm glass of milk (remember the importance of calcium), a warm bath, writing the next day’s plans down in a journal, are a few ideas to get you started. You can include anything that helps you relax.

  • Cutting Screen Time: The bright light from televisions, e-readers, and smartphones can fool the brain into thinking it’s daytime, which means reducing melatonin and staying awake. Start shutting down your screens at least an hour before bedtime to keep your circadian rhythms in sync.

  • Bedtime Snack: While you want to avoid a heavy meal before bed, if hunger pains keep you awake, try eating a healthy snack. A handful of nuts, seeds, or cheese and crackers makes a good snack because they have ingredients that promote sleep.   Raw almonds or almond butter are good choices as almonds contain 266 mg of calcium per 3 1/2 ounces.

Keep these sleep-healthy tips in mind in order to increase the quantity and quality of your nightly rest and have more energy in your days!

This natural health news blog is presented by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

This article is a guest post provided by https://www.bestmattressreviews.com/

 

Article source: https://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/blog/2018/01/28/good-sleep-nutrients-to-help-you-get-more-of-it/

The Top Foods and Nutrients for Good Sleep

Sleep better with nutrition and nutrientsGuest Post by Sharon Walsh of BestMattressReviews.com *************************
Presented by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
*************************
Adults need a full seven to eight hours of sleep every night to stay healthy, yet many people get far less.  Stress, medical conditions, and poor sleep hygiene can all come between you and the rest you need. Sleep hygiene refers to those habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis.

There are also positive interactions that occur between the sleep hormone melatonin and the foods you eat that can help you sleep better. The right foods help set your circadian rhythms so that when it’s time to hit the pillow, you’re ready to settle down for the night. Cirdadian rhythms are guided by our internal body clock.  These cycles tell our bodies when to sleep, rise, and eat – regulating many physiological processes. The cycles are triggered by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature.

Tryptophan – More Than Turkey

The tryptophan found in turkey is legendary in the food world for making people drowsy. While the sleep-inducing properties in your Thanksgiving dinner may have more to do with the size of the meal than the one slice of meat you eat, tryptophan does also help you sleep, but not in the direct way many people think. The body uses tryptophan to make serotonin and melatonin, both of which are natural hormones made in the brain that help set your circadian rhythms.

Tryptophan can be found in far more foods than turkey. If you’re looking for other natural sources, try adding these foods to your diet for an extra boost:

  • Walnuts: Walnuts are not only a good source of tryptophan but a natural source of melatonin itself. They make a great bedtime snack.

  • Seeds and Nuts: Pumpkin and squash seeds, in particular, provide a quick dose of tryptophan.

  • Cheese: If you’re looking for a healthy kick, try reduced-fat mozzarella or add something a little different like Fontina and Edam.

Calcium – Dairy and More

A warm glass of milk is more than an old wives’ tale. The calcium in dairy products and many other foods help the brain use tryptophan to make melatonin. Cheese, yogurt, milk, and even ice cream have the calcium your body needs to help regulate your sleep cycle. If you’re looking for non-dairy foods to get a calcium boost consider trying:

  • Spinach and Other Leafy Greens: These brightly colored vegetables are loaded with nutrients. Other greens like kale and collard greens also have high amounts of calcium.

  • Fortified Orange Juice: Calcium is important for many body processes. It just makes sense to add it to this popular breakfast drink. A quick glass of orange juice also gives you a dose of vitamin C.

  • Enriched Grains: Enriched grains and breads give you some versatility in how you get your calcium.  Quinoa may be even a better choice, as it offers approximately 60-100 mg of calcium, not to mention a high amount of potassium, zinc and protein.

Develop Good Sleep Hygiene (Habits)

All your healthy eating may go to waste if you don’t develop good sleep hygiene. Your sleep environment can make or break your ability to get a full night’s rest. If you suffer from insomnia or need to get a few more hours of rest, try:

  • A Bedtime Routine: Not just for kids, a bedtime routine can trigger your brain to start sending the ‘sleep’ signals to the rest of your body. A warm glass of milk (remember the importance of calcium), a warm bath, writing the next day’s plans down in a journal, are a few ideas to get you started. You can include anything that helps you relax.

  • Cutting Screen Time: The bright light from televisions, e-readers, and smartphones can fool the brain into thinking it’s daytime, which means reducing melatonin and staying awake. Start shutting down your screens at least an hour before bedtime to keep your circadian rhythms in sync.

  • Bedtime Snack: While you want to avoid a heavy meal before bed, if hunger pains keep you awake, try eating a healthy snack. A handful of nuts, seeds, or cheese and crackers makes a good snack because they have ingredients that promote sleep.   Raw almonds or almond butter are good choices as almonds contain 266 mg of calcium per 3 1/2 ounces.

Keep these sleep-healthy tips in mind in order to increase the quantity and quality of your nightly rest and have more energy in your days!

This natural health news blog is presented by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

This article is a guest post provided by https://www.bestmattressreviews.com/

New Reviews of Top Natural Sleep Aid Sleep Minerals II

Sleep better with Sleep Minerals II natural sleep aidThere are a high percentage of people who encounter nightly insomnia and sleeplessness all over the world.  In the United States, the National Sleep Foundation reports that up to 25% of adults have tried sleeping drugs in an effort to get some sleep.  These medications come with extensive side effects and are not always effective.

Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs is a natural insomnia remedy that contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium.  Customer reviews show that it works well for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, muscle cramps, menopause insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, and teenage insomnia.

Sleep Minerals II also contains vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form mixed with natural rice bran oil, making it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

James F. Balch, M.D., author of “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” writes that: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”

Here are some of the latest reviews of Sleep Minerals II from customers all over the world:

S.K. of Indianapolis, Indiana says: “I have been using Sleep Minerals II. I use it religiously every single night. I suffered from YEARS of anxiety-related insomnia. Nothing helped. My doctor couldn’t find a medicinal combination of medications to treat my anxiety well enough to allow me to get some good sleep. On my first night of Sleep Minerals II, I was able to sleep all the way through the night. I’ve been using it for almost two years now. I am absolutely 1000% satisfied with this product and have even recommended it to my friends and family when they discuss their sleep issues with me.”

K. C. of Homer, New York says: “I am writing to you a true believer of Sleep Minerals II.  I never write product reviews…. good or bad.  I had originally ordered your sleep minerals product and thought I would give it a try.  Well I had given it to the entire family.  We ran out of it and I really thought it wasn’t working.  I quickly realized within a couple nights that without them the entire household was not falling asleep as easily as they were before!  So I immediately ordered more.  I will not let that happen again.”

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

I.C. of Ontario, Canada says: “I have Lupus, which is an autoimmune condition.  I’m not allowed to take vitamins like vitamin C or anything that builds up my immune system.  If I do, my immune system gets stronger and attacks me.  I have diabetes, a thyroid condition, arthritis and other issues.  The Sleep Minerals is just subtle enough that it helps me sleep and gives me the minerals I need – especially calcium. I have arthritis throughout my whole body and the minerals help this a lot.  In fact, the Sleep Minerals lessens all of my symptoms greatly and has helped me to go into remission.”

W.W. of Perth, Australia says: “I have been taking the Sleep Minerals for the past 15 nights and am noticing an improvement in my ability to go back to sleep when waking during the night.  I have also been able to start reducing the medication that I have been taking for the past 7 years for sleep.  I will definitely keep taking them and hope to keep reducing the prescription meds and continue to feel more rested during the day.”

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

J.H. of Manitoba, Canada says: “Sleep Minerals II has made a huge difference in my life as I was having debilitating leg cramps that used to occur every night.  My legs were sore even into the next day.  These have now become history.  My sleep is also so much better and now I don’t worry constantly about my calcium and magnesium levels.  I am 70 years old and look forward to a very healthy old age. I suffered with sleep deprivation for a very long time and I will continue to pass the word on to my friends about how Sleep Minerals II has changed my life.”

M. T. of Tasmania, Australia says: “I received the Sleep Minerals II about a week ago and have been taking the softgels about an hour before bed. The last two nights I have slept well. The best side effect I have found, however, is that the night sweats and hot flashes I had constantly throughout the day, have almost completely stopped. And if I do have one, it is 95% less than I previously experienced. So far I’m very happy with the Sleep Minerals.”

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

 

Article source: http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/blog/2018/02/08/newest-reviews-of-sleep-minerals-ii-worldwide/

Remedies for Insomnia: Soothing Music Proven to be Effective

sleeping ladyThe National Sleep Foundation defines insomnia as difficulty with falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, especially when someone has the opportunity to do so.  The effects of insomnia include fatigue, low energy, decreased productivity at work and school, depression, and an increased chance of accidents.

Sleeping drugs are resorted to by up to 25% of the U.S. population, yet because of their strong side effects and next-day grogginess, many people are actively seeking natural remedies to calm insomnia and provide them with restful sleep.  The well-known sleep minerals calcium and magnesium are good examples of relaxing nutritional therapies for insomnia.

James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”  And Doctor William Sears writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin.”

Two interesting studies from the Journal of Advanced Nursing have emerged which show that listening to soothing music before bedtime is another effective way to reduce sleeping problems.  In the first study, 94 students between 19 and 28 years old with sleeping difficulties were divided into three groups. Group one listened to relaxing classical music for 45 minutes at bedtime.  Group two listened to an audio book, and group three made no changes to their bedtime routine.

The results showed that after the 3-week study period, classical music was proven to significantly improve sleep quality.  Symptoms of depression were reduced markedly.  There were no improvements in sleep in the other two groups.

The second study took place in Taiwan with 60 adults between the ages of 60 and 83.  They were divided into two groups.  Half of the participants were allowed to listen to their choice of music from among several different sedative music tapes at bedtime.  At the end of the study, the group listening to the music experienced longer sleep duration, less night time awakenings, better perceived sleep quality and fewer daytime symptoms of insomnia.

The researchers noted that music can decrease anxiety and blood pressure and can cause its positive effects on sleep due to muscle relaxation and providing a distraction from repeated thoughts.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.

Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium and is effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia. It is delivered in a softgel form mixed with natural rice bran oil, making it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Tammy M. of Meridian, Idaho says: “I was plagued with insomnia for five years and desperate for a breakthrough. Nothing has helped me more than Sleep Minerals — I*m so sold on them I could go door to door promoting them.  I*m 60 years old and have never slept so soundly.”

Music and minerals may just be the very best combination for combating insomnia and increasing energy and well-being.

 

 

Article source: http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/blog/2017/10/31/insomnia-remedies-soothing-music-proven-to-be-effective/

Melatonin Rich Fruits for Sleep: Nutrition Breakthroughs

Composition of various exotic fruits isolated on white background

Getting a good night’s sleep is a satisfying, energizing, and vital part of a healthy life.  However, per the National Sleep Foundation, almost six out of ten Americans report having insomnia at least a few nights a week..

Melatonin is a natural hormone made in the brain by the pineal gland that helps regulate the sleep and wake cycles.  Researchers in recent studies have found that eating tropical fruits such as pineapples and bananas, and also certain vegetables, can naturally increase melatonin in the body and help to improve sleep.

Melatonin levels start rising in the evening and go up to a peak level in the early hours of the morning, perhaps around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m, and then it reduces.  Melatonin production also declines with increasing age. This may partially explain why some people can sleep fine for a few hours and then suddenly find themselves wide awake in the night and unable to go back to sleep.

The research study showing how tropical fruits increase melatonin was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.  Thirty healthy volunteers ate one fruit at a time with a one-week wash-out period between fruits.  Significant increases in melatonin were observed after eating pineapple (a 266% increase), banana (180%) and orange (47%).  The researchers made important discoveries about fruit consumption for those people with age-related melatonin deficiency symptoms such as sleeplessness and insomnia.

Eating more vegetables can increase melatonin levels in the body as well.  Ninety-four Japanese women participated in a recent study.  Half of the women ate high amounts of selected vegetables for 65 days, while the other half were told to avoid the same vegetables.

At the end of the study, the average daily intake of melatonin from eating the vegetables was 1,288 nanograms, while the non-vegetable group had an increase of a mere 5.3 nanograms.  (For reference, a nanogram is a common measurement in research studies and equals one billionth of a gram, and there are 28 grams in an ounce).  Another Japanese study tracked consumption of vegetables such as tomato, pumpkin, spinach, Japanese radish, cabbage, carrot, etc., and discovered there was 16% more melatonin in the women with the highest vegetable intake.

Supplements of synthetic melatonin are made commercially in a lab.  Because they often offer several milligrams per supplement, which is far more than the body makes naturally, common side effects of these supplements can include daytime sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, nightmares, anxiety and irritability.  Melatonin supplements are only recommended for short-term use and are best used under the guidance of a doctor.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, the brain can be assisted in its melatonin production by taking calcium supplements. William Sears, M.D. writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”  It’s important to note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium (in a 2 to 1 ratio) is important to overall health, and that these two minerals should be taken together for best results.

Digestibility and absorption are important factors in selecting the best forms of calcium and magnesium to use. For example, Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs is a natural insomnia remedy that contains highly absorbable forms of these minerals and it’s effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia. Sleep Minerals also contains vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form mixed with natural rice bran oil, making it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days of use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake up once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.  This has been a great improvement.”

Fruits, vegetables and absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium are good remedies to increase melatonin in the body and help with better sleep.  For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Calcium Linked to Longer Lifespans in Women

Calcium is a sleep remedy

Calcium is a sleep remedy

Greetings to you,

An article from the science news website known as Eureka Alert shares the results of a study on how calcium extends lifespans in women.

Here is the news article:

Calcium supplements linked to longer lifespans in women – Study finds calcium-rich diet, supplements provide equal benefits

Chevy Chase, Maryland—Taking a calcium supplement of up to 1,000 mg per day can help women live longer, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Calcium, an essential nutrient for bone health, is commonly found in dairy products as well as vitamins. Although calcium is an essential nutrient for bone health, past studies have linked calcium supplements to heart disease risk. Researchers analyzing data from the large-scale Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study sought to clarify this issue and found moderate doses of calcium supplements had a beneficial effect in women.

“Our study found daily use of calcium supplements was associated with a lower risk of death among women,” said the study’s lead author, David Goltzman, MD, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. “The benefit was seen for women who took doses of up to 1,000 mg per day, regardless of whether the supplement contained vitamin D.”

The study monitored the health of 9,033 Canadians between 1995 and 2007. During that period, 1,160 participants died. Although the data showed women who took calcium supplements had a lower mortality (death) risk, there was no statistical benefit for men. The study found no conclusive evidence that vitamin D had an impact on mortality.

“Higher amounts of calcium were potentially linked to longer lifespans in women, regardless of the source of the calcium,” Goltzman said. “That is, the same benefits were seen when the calcium came from dairy foods, non-dairy foods or supplements.”

This news is provided to you courtesy of Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II.

Best of health,

Jobee Knight
President
Nutrition Breakthroughs

 

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-05/tes-csl052013.php

Hair Loss Research: Study Shows a Promising Natural Remedy

Image

Natural Remedy for Hair Loss

A full head of beautiful hair and an attractive appearance are highly desirable things.  For some people, losing their hair can cause a great deal of stress.  Among the causes of hair loss are heredity, hormones, aging, poor circulation, a poor diet, and illness. While drugs can be used to regrow a bit of hair, they also have side effects.

Many health-minded people have spent some time searching for a natural treatment solution that could regrow hair. According to a recent study in the “Archives of Dermatology”, their search just may be over. 

Alopecia is a general word that means loss of the hair on the head or baldness.  Loss of all of the scalp hair is known as alopecia totalis. Loss of all body hair is termed alopecia universalis.  Alopecia areata occurs when the hair falls out in patches.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to achieve therapeutic health benefits.  It dates back thousands of years to the time of Cleopatra.  Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts which are derived from the flowers, leaves, bark and roots of various plants. They contain the plant’s active “lifelike” properties and are said to be the “blood” of the plant. 

Among these essential oils are cedarwood, lavender, rosemary and thyme, all of which have been used to treat alopecia for over a hundred years. However, no scientific study has been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of these substances until now.

A revolutionary aromatherapy study was recently published in the “Archives of Dermatology.”  Isabelle C. Hay and co-researchers from the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Scotland studied 86 people with diagnosed alopecia areata.  The trial lasted seven months and while the trial took place, the participants stopped using topical (skin) and oral alopecia medications. 

Instead, half of the people used a blend of cedarwood (2 drops), lavender (3 drops), rosemary (3 drops) and thyme (2 drops), in a carrier oil mix of jojoba oil (1/2 teaspoon) and grapeseed oil (4 teaspoons). The placebo group used just the carrier oils.  Patients were taught to massage the oil into the bare areas of their scalp for two minutes each evening and then wrap a warm towel around their head to enhance absorption.

At the beginning of the study, and again after three and seven months, professional photographs were taken of each patient’s scalp. Changes as seen in the photographs served as the primary outcome measure.  Mapping and measuring of the bald patches was also done to determine results.

An impressive 44 percent of the group using the essential oils significantly improved.  The average area of hair regrowth with the essential oils was 104 square centimeters, compared with nearly zero for those using the placebo.  According to one intriguing photograph provided by the researchers, considerable hair regrowth occurred with one male patient who had both alopecia areata and severe male pattern hair loss.

These results show aromatherapy to be a safe and effective treatment for alopecia areata.  The researchers were proud to have successfully applied an evidence-based method to an alternative therapy.  Evidently, one or more of the essential oils is able to promote hair regrowth.  And unlike standard medical therapies, the essential oils have a very low risk of side effects and are not nearly as costly.

This health news is brought to you by www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com.  Since 2001 Nutrition Breakthroughs has been providing natural health articles and effective natural remedies.  Their mission is to provide nutritional supplements that actually work and get results, and therefore help people to avoid drugs and their side effects.

Since 2009, their natural sleep remedy Sleep Minerals II has been keeping that promise — by soothing even the worst insomnia and helping everyone from teenagers to seniors to get a good night’s sleep.  For more information on the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II, visit this page.

Colorful fruits and veggies fight disease and increase health

By Jack Saari, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Research Center

The most naturally colorful place in a supermarket is the produce department. Recent studies indicate that those colors are sending us a message. It seems that the color-producing chemicals in fruits and vegetables, nature’s packaging scheme, are advertising the health benefits of those plants.

What are these chemicals? A term coined to describe plant chemicals is phytonutrient, ‘phyto’ meaning plant-based. Some phytonutrients, colors or pigments, may already be familiar to you. These include lycopene, which makes tomatoes red; lutein, the color of corn; and beta-carotene, which gives carrots their orange color. The green color of chlorophyll is evident in leafy vegetables, but in many cases hides the presence of other pigments such as lutein and beta-carotene.

Other chemicals may be less familiar, for instance, the broad class of compounds called anthocyanins, which impart the vibrant reds (strawberries, cherries), blues (blueberries) and purples (grapes, plums) to many fruits. How do these colored chemicals protect us? A clue is provided by how they protect plants. While plants need light to survive, excess light energy can be destructive. In times of plant stress, light energy beyond what plants can use causes formation of highly reactive oxygen radicals. This so-called oxidant stress can damage the plant. In agricultural terms, this reduces yield.

Carotenoids in plants, in particular, lutein and zeazanthin, have been shown to prevent this damage by acting as antioxidants. Many of the colored phytonutrients have structures that make them good antioxidants. To increase yield, plant scientists are trying to find ways to increase the amounts of these naturally protective chemicals in crops.

Nutritionists in turn are trying to increase the amounts of plant-based foods in our diets. That’s because the colored phytonutrients can do for us what they do in plants. Many diseases have at their core the excess production of oxygen radicals. These radicals can mutate DNA to cause cancer. They can oxidize LDL (bad cholesterol) to promote atherosclerosis. Oxygen radicals can trigger clotting, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Excess light, in addition to damaging plants, can damage the eye. In general, aging is thought by many scientists to result from accumulation of oxygen radical damage. Scientists are finding that consumption of plants with their high concentrations of antioxidant phytonutrients can combat many of the diseases mediated by oxygen radicals.

But fighting oxidant stress may not be all they do. Research is beginning to show effects of phytonutrients on cancer growth, hormone function, immune response, inflammation and blood vessel function that are independent of their antioxidant nature. From these findings, it is not surprising that consumption of tomato products has been linked to reduction of both cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Foods containing alpha- and beta-carotene, such as carrots and spinach, have been shown to reduce coronary heart disease. Lutein and zeazanthin, present in corn, carrots and dark green vegetables, are also components of the eye’s macula and thus essential for prevention of macular degeneration. Consumption of blueberries has been shown to improve memory, coordination and balance in aging rats. Strawberry extracts have been shown to prevent aging as simulated by a high oxygen environment in rats. Sour cherries appear to benefit arthritis sufferers by reducing inflammation.

And don’t ignore white. Though unpigmented vegetables such as garlic and white onions may lack colorful pigments, they nonetheless contain important protective phytochemicals.

Another side benefit of adding colorful plant-based foods to your diet is that they replace high-calorie foods in your diet. Along with exercise, this can contribute to weight reduction. As we know, excess weight is a risk factor for both cancer and heart disease.

How many servings of fruits and vegetables should we eat a day?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommendation (www.mypyramid.gov) actually is five to nine servings a day three to five of vegetables and two to four of fruit.

You may balk at the idea of nine servings, but don’t be distressed by the number. Serving sizes are not that big. Most would fit in the palm of your hand. The key is variety, not bulk.

So get healthier. Go out and color your diet.

via http://www.ars.usda.gov

Comments from the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs: When deciding what to eat, seek out brightly colored fruits and vegetables for greater health. Good eating leads to good health for all parts of your body, including your heart and brain, and leads to higher levels of energy during the day and better, deeper sleep at night.

This article is provided by http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II. Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of the best minerals for sleep and relaxation: Calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.  For more information visit
http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

Study Shows Calcium Helps Sleep and Remedies Insomnia

Warm milk has long been a highly recommended folk remedy for insomnia. Regarding this, William Sears, M.D. says: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”

Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep.  In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase.  The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency. Restoration to the normal course of sleep was achieved following the normalization of the blood calcium level.
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This health tip is brought to you by http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II.  Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D — all combined in a softgel with carrier oils for fast assimilation.

Lyn K., Los Angeles, CA. says “I’ve had chronic insomnia for some years now and had been taking other calcium products to help with my sleep.  No other insomnia remedies have worked as effectively or consistently as Sleep Minerals II. I can count on it whenever I need help falling asleep at night or going back to sleep in the middle of the night.”

For more information on Sleep Minerals II visit http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

Study Shows Calcium and Vitamin D Keep Bones Strong after Menopause

In a recent study from the British Medical Journal, it was confirmed that taking both calcium and vitamin D together on a daily basis significantly reduces the risk of bone fractures.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, women can lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the five to seven years after menopause, making them more susceptible to osteoporosis and fractures.  In a recent study from the British Medical Journal, it was confirmed that taking both calcium and vitamin D together on a daily basis significantly reduces the risk of bone fractures.

The research was based on a review of seven controlled trials comprising almost 70,000 people throughout the U.S. and Europe. These findings are important because this is one of the few studies to show that vitamin D alone does not reduce the risk of fracture.

John Robbins, a professor of internal medicine and co-author of the study says: “What is important about this very large study is that it goes a long way toward resolving conflicting evidence about the role of vitamin D, either alone or in combination with calcium, in reducing fractures.  My earlier research in Sacramento included more than 1,000 healthy, postmenopausal women and concluded that taking calcium and vitamin D together helped them preserve bone health and prevent fractures. This latest analysis, because it incorporates so many more people, really confirms our earlier conclusions.”

The National Osteoporosis Foundation defines osteoporosis as porous bone; a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue.  This can lead to fragile bones and an increased susceptibility to fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist, although any bone can be affected.  The foundation estimates that 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, of which 80% are women and 20% men.

Regarding the use of calcium and vitamin D together, Robbins said: “This (recent) study supports a growing consensus that combined calcium and vitamin D is more effective than vitamin D alone in reducing a variety of fractures.  Interestingly, this combination of supplements benefits both women and men of all ages, which is not something we fully expected to find.”

In addition to strengthening bones, recent research has shown that calcium is also an effective insomnia remedy, as well as being an important agent to lower blood pressure, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and protect against colon cancer.  More and more nutritional supplements are being formulated with calcium and vitamin D because of their wide array of benefits.

In order to prevent a magnesium deficiency, supplements should contain a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium (twice as much calcium as magnesium). The original research on this recommended ratio appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews.  In addition, a softgel form is more digestible than tablets.  Softgels that are formulated with carrier oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption, reduce calcium excretion, and increase bone density.  One formula that has these qualities is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com.

Sleep Minerals II is a unique natural insomnia remedy and bone strengthening product which maximizes calcium absorption with six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils.  Lyn K. of Los Angeles, CA. says: “I’ve had chronic insomnia for some years now and had been taking other calcium products to help with my sleep.  No other insomnia remedy has worked as effectively or consistently as Sleep Minerals II.  I can count on it whenever I need help falling asleep at night or going back to sleep in the middle of the night. This is what sets it apart from the rest – it works reliably. It also eases my menopause symptoms, evens out my hormonal changes, and seems to put my body into a healthy balance.”

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends the following good preventive measures for maintaining bone health, including getting the daily-recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D, engaging in regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol.

Here’s to the health of your bones and to every part of you.

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

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