Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maximize Your Brain

Your Brain Depends on several key nutrients in order to function at a high level:
1.      High Level Nutrition
2.      Effective Hydration:  *Brain is 80% water*
3.      High Oxygen Consumption & Tissue Extraction
4.      Novel Movement Stimulation:  Holistic movements incorporating balance & stability active different regions and stimulate new adaptations within the brain. 
5.      Joint & Spinal Proprioception:  Healthy joint & spinal motion is an "essential brain-enhancing nutrient ."  
6.      Sunlight   (15-30 minutes daily):  Vitamin D3 has a powerful cognitive and mood boosting affect.
7.      Rest:  7-8 hours daily
8.      Detoxification
9.      Gratitude, Love, & Laughter
10.   Purpose Driven Thinking
Your brain absolutely needs all 10 of these vital components.  If any of these is compromised, brain function will suffer. 
Nutritionally:  The brain tissue is primarily comprised of water and fatty acids, therefore, the 2 most important aspects of a healthy brain diet are:  Clean Water & Clean Fats.  Beyond that, the brain tissue is extremely vulnerable to free-radical and inflammatory attack.  In order to protect the brain from oxidative stress, a diet rich in high-quality anti-oxidants is crucial.  
Antioxidant Rich Foods:  Dark green veggies such as collard greens, kale, swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, and many others.  These nutrient dense foods donate an unpaired electron to cancel out the dangerous free radicals and free roaming metabolites.  A diet rich in anti-oxidants has been shown to improve brain function substantially. Here are some of the best:
Berries:  Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries are rich in vitamin C & other major phytochemicals that act as powerful anti-oxidants while also being low-glycemic and anti-inflammatory in nature. 
Vitamin E:  Eggs, Extra virgin olive oil, Almonds, Brazil nuts, Sunflower, Pumpkin Seeds & Hemp Seeds.  
Glutathione Rich Foods:  Undenatured Whey Protein, Asparagus, &  Avocados. are good sources that have been shown to elevate glutathione levels. 
Best Brain Based Fats:  The matter of the brain is 70% fat, therefore, outside of water this makes fat the most critical nutrient in the brain.  Here are the necessary fats that help to make a healthy brain. 
Saturated Fats:  EV Coconut Oil, Grass-fed meats. 
Alkaline Fats:  EV Olive Oil, Avocados, Almonds
Omega 3 Fats:  High quality Fish Oil (Nordic naturals Omega 3), Krill Oil, Grass-Fed Meats, Wild Fish, Flax Oil, & Walnuts. 
GLA:  Gamma-Linoleic Acid in Borage Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, & Black Currant, & Hemp Oil.
Toxic Fats:  High Omega 6 fats & hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans-fats)  French researchers in 1994 found that dietary trans fatty acids did indeed find their way into the myelin (outer layer) of brain cells, where they changed the electrical conductivity of the cells.
Furthermore, it was shown that trans-fats compete with Omega 3 fats for locations spots in the cell membrane.  This study and others have shown that when trans-fat incorporation is 2x greater when omega 3 fats are deficient.          Lipids 1994 April;29(4):251-8
Even worse for the brain is when we are eating trans-fats during pregnancy. This Canadian study showed the average lactating woman had 7.2% of the fatty acids in their breast milk being trans-fatty acids. These trans-fats have a powerful affinity for the neuronal cell membrane. 
Studies have shown trans-fats to consume location spots on the neuronal cell membrane, inhibiting EPA & DHA from their vital membrane functions, and thuscauses a structural & functional change in the cell leading to chemical & electrical imbalances in the brain.  Lipids 1996 March;31 Suppl:S279-82
Clean Water:   The primary solvent in the brain is water and electrolytes.  Normal brain function requires a large amount of water and vital minerals such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, & calcium. 
When the brain is dehydrated, electrical function is decreased, lower, energy efficient frequencies are established and higher level thought is turned off. Lowered frequencies of thought and function lead to depression, sadness, laziness, and general fatigue. Vital salts and clean water have been shown to restimulate the normal, healthy electrical brain frequencies. 
The Quality of Your Brain = The Quality of Your Experience of Life

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SuperFood Nutrition for the Summer

Eating by the season is a key aspect to healthy nutrition.  Fruits and vegetables are at their nutritional peak during their prime growing season.  Before the advent of refrigeration and the mass production and storage of foods everyone had to eat by the availability of the season.  This is natural and our body is innately designed to eat in this matter. 
Different seasons have their own unique qualities and energies.   Summer foods tend to be lighter and cooler.  They also should be packed of fluid and hydration boosting minerals to take on the heat & humidity of the summer. 
Here are some of my top food suggestions for eating by the season this summer.
1.  Avocados:  This amazing fruit is very high in healthy oleic acid.  This is a monounsaturated fat that helps increase fat metabolism.  It is also rich in the powerful carotenoid anti-oxidants lutein and zeaxanthin as well as Vitamin E (tocopherol).  These anti-oxidants decrease oxidative stress and allow for a healthier cellular environment.  Other critical components include ionic potassium and folate.  These elements are alkaline forming in the body, helping to buffer acidic wastes that accumulate within the human tissue and bloodstream.
Avocados are a terrific complement to a vegetable based meal.  Most vegetables, particularly in their raw state, contain a high amount of carotenoid based anti-oxidants.  Studies have shown that these anti-oxidants are lipophilic (fat-loving) and are absorbed best in the body when combined with a healthy fat such as oleic acid. 
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in March 2005 showed thatadding avocados to salad increased absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these carotenoids absorbed when avocado-free salad was eaten.    
2.  Blueberries:  This summer superfood is loaded with antioxidant phytonutrients called anthocyanidins.  These nutrients powerfully neutralize free radical damage to the collagen matrix of cells and tissues.  In addition, anthocyanins have been shown to improve capillary integrity and enhance the effects of Vitamin C.    
The anti-oxidant power of blueberries has been shown to be particularly useful in stabilizing brain function and protecting the neural tissue from oxidative stress.  The riper the berries the more anti-oxidant power they contain.  To assess the ripeness of the berries look at the color.  Riper berries are a darker blue.  Blueberry season is mid-late summer, June - August.  Most frozen berries are picked at maximal ripeness and frozen. 
3.  Cucumbers:  One of the best foods for your skin, joints, & energy levels.  Cucumbers are loaded with the mineral silica, which is an essential component for healthy connective tissue (muscles, ligaments, cartilage, bone, & skin).  It is also full of ionic potassium, magnesium, & vitamin C which give it a powerful alkalizing effect within the body.  Additionally, cucumbers are particularly rich in fluids that hydrate the skin, joints, and tissues. 
The combination of alkalizing elements, electrolytes, & fluids make it one of the world's best foods for enhancing energy levels.  Cucumbers are also great for stabilizing blood pressure and stimulating the body's natural detoxification process. 
1.       Utilize avocados in creamy, home-made guacamole recipes or simply slice on to a salad.
2.       Frozen blueberries are a terrific base for a cooling & satisfying shake.  They are also a terrific desert food to use for children, parties, & other events 
3.      Slice cucumbers and add apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, and herbs and spices for a great mid-day snack or meal.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lose Weight, Feel Great

One of the most widely publicized anti-aging hormones is human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is renowned for its ability to stimulate muscle development, bone growth, & fuel immune activity while switching your body into a potent fat burning machine.
HGH is known to provide us with many other benefits as well, such as enhancing skin repair (reducing wrinkling), restoring internal organs that have atrophied with age, reversing cognitive deterioration, and stimulating bone marrow cell production resulting in more red blood cells. 

After reaching 20 years of age, our natural production of HGH begins to decline at an average rate of 14% per decade.  By the age of 40, HGH production decreases by 30%  and by the time  you reach 60, it reduces by 80%. The decline in HGH is a factor in many aging effects like increase in body fat, thinning and wrinkling of skin, decrease in the function of immune system, decreased sexual desire and many more. 
However, there are individuals who maintain normal HGH production throughout their lifetime, due to greater cellular purity and sufficiency.  Statistics that are done on a sick, diseased country do not apply to those of us who know better.
 Growth hormone is secreted in abundant amounts when certain conditions are present such as a pure & sufficient body free of neurotoxic sludge, an optimal functioning nervous system, an alkaline diet that is appropriate for an individual's nutritional type, low stress, regular exercise, & good sleeping habits   When these conditions are sacrificed for a period of time, growth hormone secretion is limited.

HGH enters the blood stream in bursts during deep sleeping cycles.  The body's biological rhythm has it naturally produce more growth hormone during the critical 4-hour stretch between approximately 10pm and 2am.  Our ancient ancestors were typically in a deep sleep cycle during this time...however, in our society today we typically stay up later.  By being awake during this time period, we fail to maximize our own internal HGH stores.

Burst/surge training, or training at very high intensity's for short periods of time, greatly enhances HGH secretion.  This is part of the mechanism that allows us to "burn fat while we sleep," as HGH is a strong player in burning fat for fuel.  To maximize HGH secretion, our exercise sessions should follow these guidelines:
1.  Must be very high intensity:  80-100% max effort.  The heavy anaerobic exercise leads toan enzymatic adaptation to lactic acid and ion accumulation in the muscle. The burning caused by the lactic acid increases human growth hormone secretion process. 
2.  Must be short duration:  5-30 minutes, very long duration exercise enhances stress hormone (cortisol) production which has catabolic effects on your body.  From my experience in the fitness field, many people over-train, which can severely dampen their weight loss, energy levels, and immune function.

3.  Best done on an empty stomach.  This causes the body to dig deep into its stored glycogen (stored carbohydrate) within the liver and muscle.  Upon post glycogen depletion, the body adapts to make sure it sufficiently enhances glycogen production.  HGH is a powerful player in this process, so it is secreted in larger doses during these conditions. 

HGH is now one of the most popular prescriptions on the market.  People of all shapes and sizes purchase this and inject it into their bodies for its anti-aging benefits.  Because this sort of outside-in approach is a violation the natural order of health and healing it is not a long-term solution. 
When we supplement with natural factors our body is used to producing, the body stops producing the same level as it naturally would, creating a dependency.  Fortunately, there is a lifestyle that allows our bodies to produce HGH and other hormones in pure & sufficient quantities.  
Learn how you can implement burst training along with the healing diet to naturally balance your hormones and allow your body to shed fat and lose weight & increase your energy levels throughout the day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Alkalize & Hydrate for Incredible Energy

Water is one of the most critical elements to life.   In our earliest stage of development we are nearly 100% water and as the fetus develops it continues to be surrounded by a water based solution.  At birth we are approximately 80% water, as we go through our developmental stages, we lose some water and gain more mineral and protein density.  The average adult should be around 60-70% water, however, most become chronically dehydrated and drop around 45-60% water.  This creates problems in the body, that overtime, turn into chronic conditions.  

The chemical reactions in all plants and animals that support life take place in anionized water medium. Water not only provides the medium to make these life sustaining reactions possible, but water itself is often an important reactant or product of these reactions. In short, the chemistry of life is water chemistry  

At the cellular level, water plays a significant role alongside cholesterol and saturated fat as the very bonding adhesives in the cell membrane.  Together these important structures keep the cell strong and help it to resist toxic and infectious invasion. 

Some of the critical roles water plays in the body include:
1.      A medium for every metabolic (energy producing) reaction in the body
2.      A generator of hydro-electric & magnetic energy within the cell giving the body the power to live &  function (the bodies most efficient energy sources)
3.      A fluid to capture and pull out toxins in the urine and feces
4.      Lubricates and protects joints, organs, & tissues
5.      Expands sacromeres (muscle cell units) allowing for optimal cross-bridge attachment and greater muscular power, strength, & endurance.
6.      Electrolyte balance within and out of the cell.

Most people in our society carry an excess of acidic wastes.  This creates a significant burden in the body.  The blood stream must be at a 7.365 pH level, if it rises or falls one tenth of a pH unit, it's cause for a visit to the hopital's intensive care unit.  If blood pH moves two tenths either way, it's lethal.  and there is a very sensitive buffer system in place to maintain this. Therefore, the body does whatever it must in order to maintain a steady blood pH
Result:  Alkaline buffering minerals are stripped from:
                     Our bones & teeth (calcium)        
                     Our muscles & nerves (potassium)
                     Our arteries (magnesium)           
                     Our joints (sodium)
                     Excess acidity = stored in fat cells

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism  Jan '09
"When fruits and vegetables are metabolized they add bicarbonate, an alkaline compound, to the body," said lead author Dr. Dawson Hughes.  "Our study found that bicarbonate had a favourable effect on bone reabsorption and calcium excretion.  This suggests that increasing the alkali content of the diet may attenuate bone loss in healthy older adults."

Other research has shown that cancer thrives in an acidic, low oxygen environment.  Heart disease and blood vessel disorders
ed to low magnesium levels in the smooth muscle within the arteries, and joint degeneration is attributed to poor sodium and fluid content within the synovium that surrounds the joint.  All of these effects are due to the common cause of excess acidic wastes within the tissues of our body.  The contributing effect is a life cut short by lifestyle based degeneration and disease.   

On the Flip Side:  High-altitude mountainous cultures such as the Hunzas in Pakistan and the Vilcabambians of Southern Ecuador have been some of the healthiest, longest lived people in the world   Many have lived over 120 years, even up to 150 long, strong, and vibrant years. One of the unique things about these people has to do with their water supply. Most of their water comes into the villages from snow melt where it picked up highly alkaline minerals in the natural colloidal form as it passed through the mountains on its way down to the villages. Therefore, the water these vibrant cultures were consuming contained an alkaline pH. Based on this notion, alkalized water is one of the best ways of regaining your pH balance.

Learn the most cutting edge ways to super-hydrate and alkalize your body.  Add years of quality to your life with simple, easy to apply recommendations to balance your pH and provide the hydration every cell desires.