Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Beware of Misleading Nutrition Labels

February 13, 2009

nutritionlabelThere is so much confusion out there about which supplements to take to improve and maintain health that I’ve decided to write a series of posts on how to read and understand nutrition labels. Today, in part one, I’ll be discussing the advantages of pharmaceutical grade supplements, and what the difference is between them and the others, especially for those that suffer with digestive health issues. In today’s economy, it is more important than ever to make sure you are getting what you pay for, and unfortunately, that isn’t always the case when you are purchasing a cheaper brand of supplement or vitamin.

 

What are Pharmaceutical Grade Supplements?

Supplements that say pharmaceutical grade on the nutrition label are 98% pure. This means, for example, if you are trying to improve your digestive health by taking a supplement that contains 50 mg of Magnesium Malate in it, you will get at least 49 mg of the product in its pure form. Not only that, the product will contain virtually no added starches or fillers, which only serve to disrupt your digestion even more. On the other hand, a vitamin that doesn’t say pharmaceutical grade supplement on the label can have a variance of 30%-33%, which means it can claim to have no added starches and fillers but in actuality contain up to 33%. Moreover, this large variance also pertains to the amount of the vitamin or mineral you are taking to supposedly improve your health. So that great deal you thought you got on your vitamins turns out to be a total waste of your money, and even worse, it can actually be doing your body more harm than good.

 

Cheaper, lower grade supplements have a low absorption rate and tax your liver, kidney and endocrine system because they now have to use more energy to filter out the added fillers they contain. On top of that, if you are a person that suffers from poor digestive health, you may find yourself getting bloated and gassy because the cheaper brands, unbeknownst to you, contain products that your body can’t break down. Because these lower grade minerals and vitamins have less of the actual product you thought you were purchasing, they can sell them much cheaper. That’s why you see so many health stores advertising special deals like $6.00 for 60 pills. But these so-called deals are just a big waste of money because you are getting no health benefit from these supplements at all. Pharmaceutical grade supplements may look more expensive at first glance, but when you realize that you are actually getting exactly what the label says, you understand that it is really a much better deal.

 

Another option is supplements that say GMP on the nutrition label. GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practices, and these minerals and vitamins have a variance of 10%. So they aren’t as good as pharmaceutical grade supplements, but they are much better for your health than the cheaper, lower grade brands. Another example of how misleading nutrition labels can be is Whey Protein Powder. You may buy a protein powder that claims to be 100% whey; but if it doesn’t say pharmaceutical grade or GMP on the label it only means that the whey that is in the container is 100%, not that the container is 100% whey. So, for example, if you bought a two pound container of protein powder that says 100% whey but isn’t pharmaceutical grade, you could actually have 70% of whey in the container while the rest of the 30% is nothing more than fillers, which among other things, can be very disruptive to your digestive health.

 

I know how frustrating it is to try your best to take care of your health, only to find out you are being mislead or confused into thinking something is better for you than it really is. At New Performance Nutrition, we make and sell only pharmaceutical grade supplements, so you can be sure you are getting exactly what you need. Unfortunately, not every nutrition center or health food store can promise you that. So, if you don’t purchase your supplements through us, make sure you read the nutrition label and find ones that specifically say pharmaceutical grade or GMP on them. Your body and your wallet will thank you for it.

 

Make sure to check back next week, when I post part two of this series. Until then, if you have any questions or suggestions on what to add to this series, please add them to our comment section. And if you want to learn more about pharmaceutical grade supplements, please visit us at www.newpfc.com

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The Two Key Componants in Attaining Killer Abs

February 11, 2009

crunchesOne of the most common questions I get at my fitness center is, “how can I get killer abs?” The answer to that question isn’t as straight forward as you may think, because it involves diet as much as it does exercise. In order to get that long, lean, flat look most people desire, you have to reduce your body fat before you see any results. The reason for this is because excess fat wraps around your abdominal muscles like a blanket, covering up what you are building underneath. So before I move on to the type of exercises you want to do to build up your core muscles, let’s take a look at how your diet plays a part. 

 

Diet:

 

To begin with you want to avoid any junk foods that are filled with empty calories. Instead, your diet should contain proteins such as lean meats, beans and tofu because it helps repair muscle tissue damage done after exercise, and it is this cycle of damage and repair that builds up the muscles in your abs, as well as the rest of your body. Keep in mind your goal here is to lower your body fat, so stay away from fatty foods and foods filled with a lot of sugar. Instead of high calorie options, try choosing snacks and meals that are high in vitamins and energy and low in fat such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Not only will this type of diet help you get the killer abs you are looking for, it is far healthier for you and gives you the energy you need to keep up with your workout.

 

Exercise:

 

Once you have gotten your diet in check, it’s time to move on to a workout routine that properly targets your abs. Now when most people think about abdominal exercises, they think of crunches. The problem here is the fact that most people do them incorrectly, which not only gives them little to no results, even if they have lowered their body fat, but also, increases the risk of back injury. The key here is to do your crunches in an unstable environment. In order to achieve this, you want to make sure your feet are securely planted on the floor by weights-or anything else that will ensure they don’t move while you’re exercising-and that your body is raised by placing pillows beneath you or sitting and/or lying on an exercise ball. Doing your crunches this way gives you more bang for your buck because it A) targets more muscles in your abdomen and B) burns more calories.

 

This is just a general idea of the best way to get those killer abs so many of you are looking for. The specific type of crunches you do and whether or not you do them on pillows, sitting on an exercise ball or lying on one depends on what area of your abdominals you want to target. The most important thing is that you get the most out of your workout. Combining the proper diet-that helps you lower your body fat-with the proper workout, will help you get the results you are looking for. But keep in mind that every person is unique and different and may require their own individual workout routine and diet. Because of this, we at New Performance Nutrition work with our clients to put them on a personalized plan that is suited for their individual needs.

 

So whether you decide to seek out professional help, or you want to take it on yourself, remember to start off slowly and build up, incorporate a healthy diet that will lower your body fat and do your crunches in an unstable environment and you will be well on your way to a flatter, tighter stomach.

 

If you would like anymore information on fitness, nutrition or pharmaceutical grade supplements, please visit us at www.newpfc.com

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How to Fight the Cold and Flu and Win

February 9, 2009

coldfluIt’s that time of year again; the dreaded cold and flu season. As if I needed more proof of this, three of my clients are home sick as I write this. Health is something we all think about, but never more so than when we are laid out with a bad cold or a debilitating flu ourselves. But take heart because there are powerful foods and supplements you can take advantage of that will help you fight off what ails you.

 

Just to drive my point home, “anywhere from 5% to 20% of Americans get the flu each year, and more than 200,000 end up being hospitalized,” according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and many more than that will wrangle with a cold or two this year as well. The best thing you can do to ensure you aren’t part of this statistic is to keep yourself in optimal health, as this will help you prevent getting sick at all. Getting a healthy amount of antioxidants into your diet is one of the best ways to stay at your peak performance. And better yet, if you combine a healthy diet with specific pharmaceutical grade supplements, you will protect yourself even more.

 

Before I discuss the best way to incorporate antioxidants into your diet, let’s take a look at what they are and why they help maintain health. In an article for HealthCastle.com, Gloria Tsang, RD writes:

 

“antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” and hence prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals.

 Health problems such as heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, cancer etc are all contributed by oxidative damage. Indeed, a recent study conducted by researchers from London found that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of stroke by 25 percent. Antioxidants may also enhance immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.”

 

So you see how important these nutrients are to our bodies. The free radical damage Ms. Tsang talks about that contribute to much more serious diseases also contribute to that nasty cold you got or the flu you may get this season. The good thing is that it is easy to get these substances through our food. As mentioned above, antioxidants are found in large supply in vegetables and fruits. Some of the best fruits you can eat to help prevent getting sick are berries of any variety, and the best part is they taste so good. Now, if you combine this healthier way of eating with pharmaceutical grade supplements, you have a really powerful tool in fighting against ill health.

 

The best combinations of supplements you can take to ward off the cold or help shorten the duration of the flu are Zinc, Magnesium and Calcium along with a good multivitamin. Magnesium is one of the most depleted minerals in our body, and it is vital for our immune system, so in order to help maintain good health, you should take a supplement that combines Magnesium with Zinc, which helps provide your body with a restful sleep and Calcium, which plays a crucial role in other systems of the body, such as the health and functioning of nerves and muscle tissue. At New Performance Nutrition, we offer pharmaceutical grade supplements, which is important because these are the highest, purest doses of vitamins and minerals you can get without a prescription. If you buy these over-the-counter, you are more than likely getting a watered down version that will have little to no affect on you at all. This is why I hear so many clients saying that vitamins never help them prevent sickness. But if you take the proper supplements, in the strongest, purest form and you take them correctly, you will see a big difference.

 

Nothing is our lives is worth living for, if we don’t have our health. Being sick is no fun, to be sure. At best it’s annoying, at worst it can interfere with you daily life and even become life threatening. We all think we have to just suffer through a cold and bide our time to allow the flu to work its way out of our system, but you can do something to help prevent them at all, or at least alleviate the suffering you go through. A healthy diet filled with antioxidants, combined with pharmaceutical grade supplements are two of the best weapons you have. What about you? What have you tried and found that works to fight the cold and flu? Please leave your comments, suggestions and questions about your experiences in health.

 

If you want anymore information on what pharmaceutical grade supplements are and how they work, please visit us at www.newpfc.com.

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Supplements That Help Slow Down the Aging Process

February 6, 2009

supplementsLet’s face it; we all want to look and feel our best. Aging gracefully has been replaced by our never ending desire to find anything and everything that aids in the anti-aging process. That’s probably why “statistics show that 11.7 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures were done in the U.S. in 2007, up 2% from 2006,” according to an article by Miranda Hiti for Webmd.com. But there are easier and safer ways to look and feel younger, and they come in the form of easy to take supplements; specifically, Omega 3-6-9, which contain fatty fish oil that our bodies need for optimal health.

We’ll start by looking at the health as well as anti-aging benefits of the Omega 3 vitamin. These supplements contain the most important 2 fatty acids, which are EPA and DHA. These are in limited supply and are found in fish oil, meaning of course any oily fish such as salmon, herring and sardines just to name a few. A quick note here, salmon is the king of the Omega 3 world. You want to look for wild caught salmon though, as the farm raised variety contains a high level of Mercury, which is toxic to the body. You can also get the anti-aging benefits of this fish oil by ingesting it through supplements. Again, Omega 3 is a major player in the health world because, in part, it contain EPA, which is necessary for the efficient functioning of the brain and the body at the cellular level. EPA helps slow down the aging process because it reduces inflammation and can provide protection against cardiovascular disease, arthritis, skin conditions, depression and other mood-related disorders. All of these things are critical players in what ages us all.

Now we’ll move on to the anti-aging benefits of Omega 6 supplements, which among other things, helps ease the bloating and pain associated with PMS. It also maintains healthy skin, hair and nails and generally helps to bring about hormonal and emotional balance. Omega 3 and Omega 6 interact with each other so the balance between them is crucial for good health. When you are talking about slowing down the aging process, you want to ensure you are taking care of your body both inside and out, and as you can see, Omega 6 covers areas that the fish oil in Omega 3 doesn’t.

As for Omega 9, it aids in the process as well, and when combined with Omega 3 and Omega 6, provide a powerful tool in the anti-aging fight, and taking all three of these supplements together cover just about every aspect of our health. For example, the main property of these vitamins allows viscosity of cell membranes, which means they are pliable allowing our blood to flow more freely throughout our body; through arteries to veins and back to the heart and lungs. Proper blood flow means better health, and better health is what we need in the fight against aging. Besides helping us look better on the outside, these supplements keep us more vital and youthful on the inside as well. And we all know when we feel good we look good. This combination also allows cells to rid toxins from the body and help us absorb proper nutrients.

Aging is a part of life, and that’s a good thing because with age comes wisdom. But that doesn’t mean we have to get old before our time, or even that we can’t take advantage of the anti-aging benefits of the stuff nature has made available to us like healthy fish oil. Taking supplements of Omega 3-6-9 won’t stop the hands of time, but it will keep us at our peak performance, which is what we all want no matter how old we are. What are your thoughts on the aging process? Should we accept it and age gracefully, or should we fight it tooth and nail. Do you take any of the supplements mentioned, and if so, do you think they help keep you younger from the inside out? leave a comment, question or suggerstions, and let us know what your experiences have been.

If you would like anymore information on the health benefits of these, or any other, supplements, please visit us at www.newpfc.com

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What are Full Spectrum Probiotics and How Do They Help Improve Digestive Health?

February 5, 2009

I got so much feedback and so many questions regarding digestive health that I decided to write a follow-up to my earlier post titled Bloated and Gassy? How to Improve Your Digestive Health. In fact, “more than 70 million Americans suffer from digestive disorders that interfere with their work and lives,” according to the Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition. But there are ways to combat this annoying, and sometimes painful, problem. One of the best things you can do to help heal damage to your digestive tract is to take a full spectrum probiotic supplement.

Whether you have a chronic problem with digestion, or suffer from its affects on an occassional basis, you know how miserable it feels to live with poor digestive health. Taking a full spectrum probiotic can help heal the damage and alleviate or even eliminate the symptoms that plague you. Becuase they contain a combination of healthy bacteria and yeasts, probiotics help regenerate and repair damage that may have been done to your intestines, and restores the healthy balance of bactieria your body needs to digest and breakdown your food. This is how it’s described in an article by CBS Marketplace, “Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms, including Lactobacillus species, Bifidobaterium species and yeasts, which may beneficially affect the host upon ingestion by improving the balance of intestinal microflora.” So, who should take this supplement and why?

Anybody that has taken a course of antibiotics should absolutely go on a probiotic regimen. This is because along with killing off the bad stuff that’s making you sick, antibiotics destroy the good bacteria your body needs for proper digestive balance. In order to restore your body to optimal digestive health, you need to replace the good bacteria and repair the damage that has been done to your intestinal tract. You also may want to combine this with supplements of L-Glutamine. L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is essential for the health of the immune system and digestive tract that is very reparative and healing in the gut where it strengthens the mucosal cells and in turn helps leaky gut, sugar cravings and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Another supplement to consider adding is Folic Acid.

According to an article on the Today Show website, “Folic Acid is one of the B vitamins and B vitamins all work together to help our body’s metabolism; They are absolutely essential for the functioning of our nervous system, cardiovascular systems and our digestive tract.” So, you can see that combining these supplements with a course of probiotics is a powerful tool in promoting good digestive health. But you don’t have to have been on antibiotics to benefit or need this type of treatment. Anytime you get sick, or have been put on any type of medication, your body gets thrown out of whack and requires aids like these to restore proper balance to your system. And ladies, you are particularly prone to digestive issues during your cycle. This is because of hormonal fluctuations and a buil-up of blood in the uterus that presses on your colon. That’s why you may experience constipation during that time of the month. The good news is that probiotics are ok to take on a continuous basis

Poor digestive health is no fun, especially when it comes with painful constipation, gas, bloating and/or diarrhea. But you don’t have to let it interfere with your daily life. Taking a full spectrum priobiotic, and combining it with powerful supplements like L-Glutamine and Folic Acid can help ease the pain. I would like to hear what you have to say about this; what have you done to improve your digestive heatlh? Have you ever taken a full spectrum probiotic, and if so, did you find it helpful? Please leave your comments, suggestions or questions, and let’s continue the conversation.

If you would like more information about full spectrum probiotics and/or digestive health, please visit us at www.newpfc.com

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Bloated and Gassy? Ways to Improve Your Digestive Health

January 29, 2009

We’ve all experienced it, whether we want to admit it or not…gas and bloating. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes painful, especially when it’s accompanied by constipation. But these can also be signs of chronic health conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The good news is that with proper nutrition and a combination of the right supplements, you can alleviate, or even eliminate, these painful symptoms all together.

First and foremost you should consult with a doctor, to ensure the gas and bloating you’re experiencing aren’t signs of a more serious health problem. Once you’ve ruled out a medical condition that requires a doctor’s supervision and intervention, you need to take a look at the nutrition you’re feeding your body. To begin with, our muscles are made up of approximately 70% water, and slightly more for women, so hydration is key. Water is truly vital to our health, especially where digestion is concerened. One of the major functions of water in our body is to metabolize carbohydrates. Because gas is caused, in large part, by undigested food and water aids in metabolizing that food, it goes a long way in helping keep our bodies on track. The general rule of thumb where water is concerened is to drink 1/2 oz per pound of body weight. If you workout five hours or more a week, that amount should be doubled. There are also some guidelines, when it comes to nutrition as well as a combination of supplements you can take that will help ease the pain of gas and constipation as well.

Many people use supplements to improve their health in place of good nutrition. Instead, you should be looking at how a combination of the two can keep you at your peak performance and boost your body’s ability to heal itself. A diet in fiber-rich foods such as berries, which are not only the highest in fiber but also the lowest in glycemic index, are a great place to start. In fact, one of the things I recommend to clients of mine that have problems with gas, constipation and bloating is high-fiber cereal-no sugar added, berries and rice milk. I say rice milk because dairy is one of the worst things you can put in your body, if you suffer from any of these symptoms. There are so many alternatives to milk and dairy today that it isn’t difficult to replace them with healthier options such as rice milk. Once you implement better nutrition, you should start to see your condition improve. But if you have a tougher case, there is a combination of supplements you can take as well.

Used in conjunction with each other, Magnesium Malate, Lglutamine and Folic Acid are powerful tools in beating gas and constipation. Magnesium helps in the elimination process, Lglutamine-the largest amino acid-repairs damage in the intestine and Folic Acid is responsible for absorption in the large intestine, so taken together, you are covering the areas that may have been damaged by medications or poor eating habits. In fact, anybody that has been on a course of Antibiotics should follow it up with this combination. Antibiotics kill the good bacteria our bodies need to help prevent gas as well as other health issues. These supplements help restore the body back to the level it needs to be at, in order to function properly. This is also the combination I give my clients, whenever they are going through a bad bout of IBS, or any other issue that may be throwing their digestion out of whack.

Gas, bloating and constipation sound funny, but they can severly interfere with your life. Combining proper nutrition that includes a well-balanced diet, fiber-rich foods and plenty of hydration with the correct combination of supplements can improve your digestive health tremendously and give you back the freedom you need to go throughout your day. Please share your stories with us, and let us know what’s worked for you; and feel free to leave your comments, questions or suggestions.

If you want anymore information on digestive health, please visit us at www.newpfc.com

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