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The link between diet and your energy level

How is your energy level?
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is the ability to lead a socially and economically productive life.”

Does that describe you? Or, like many people in North America, are you just too tired to think about being socially and economically productive?

The scope of the problem
If you feel too tired to do much more than read this article, thank you very much. I appreciate your time and I will hopefully give you a few good ideas on how to increase your energy. You don’t have to feel alone. Up to 85% of the people who visit a doctor for any reason also complain of being chronically tired. It seems that we are in the middle of an energy crisis that has nothing to do with petroleum production!

When we talk about energy we need to distinguish between the ability to survive and the feeling of being energetic. We must admit that even the sickest person is converting nutrients to energy in order to survive. Yet, we want to do more than survive – we want to feel energetic. We want to thrive! We want to have the energy to dream and then have the energy to live those dreams. We want to feel our best every day.

Food and energy
As I mentioned, energy comes from the way our body burns nutrients; nutrients such as fats, protein and carbohydrates must be metabolized. The word metabolism is from a Greek word that describes the process of burning wood to create heat. It also describes creating energy from food. So, an energetic life is possible with a healthy diet and healthy metabolism.

This description outlines the two-steps needed to create and sustain an energetic feeling: Improve our “burn” rate (metabolism) and improve our “fuel” source (diet).

Polyphenols increase metabolism. Polyphenols are extremely rare nutrients found in certain foods and concentrated in Energy Now!®. Energy Now! increases the burn-rate of the food we eat. A balanced diet must include:

  • 7 to 9 servings of fruit and vegetables (for adults)
  • 30+ grams of high quality protein
  • 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily

However, when it comes to providing energy, fat is the undisputed champion.

Sugar from the foods we eat provides us with ready energy, but it doesn’t last very long. Proteins are converted to energy at a much slower pace and provide us with a more stable supply of energy – five times as much energy per gram as sugar. Fats provide us with stamina. Healthy fats burn slowly and steadily up to eight times longer than sugar. So, for stamina that lasts all day and into the evening hours, select foods high in “good” fats and take an EFA supplement.

Many experts say that we should get as much as 30% of our total calories per day from fat. This may mean more than 70 grams of fat for a 2,200 calorie per day diet. That’s a lot of fat! But don’t reach for the French fries just yet. You see, all foods contain fat. Fat is as important for plants as it is for humans. So, select fats from foods that are known for high energy, such as vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes and certain types of fish.A note on metabolism
Metabolism occurs inside the cell in a tiny energy factory called mitochondria. Other cell functions are dependent on DNA, with half of the DNA coming from your mother and half from your father. Mitochondria have their own DNA, inherited only from your mother’s side of the family. (Your energy level will likely be similar to your mother’s energy level.)

The mitochondria DNA is very easily damaged and very slowly repaired. The antioxidant ECGC is shown to repair mitochondria DNA damaged by stress, deficiency or toxins. Energy Now! is a concentrated source of ECGC.

With the proper nutrients, you can help restore both the energy of metabolism and the feeling of being energetic!

Take Control of Your Health
  • Eat a diet high in “good” fats
  • Eat high quality proteins daily
    • Supplement LPA (L-Phenylalanine) and Tyrosine
  • Eat a diet low in refined sugar
  • Reduce your stress
  • Reduce exposure to toxins
  • Load up on antioxidants and polyphenols

Learn More…

Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports…

  • Nopalea
  • Stress


Please note that Weekly Wellness Report topics will be chosen at the discretion of Brazos Minshew and based on general relevance.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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TriVita’s Weekly Wellness Report With Brazos Minshew, TriVita’s Chief Science Officer

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Test Yourself for “D”eficiency

With your thumb, press on your sternum (breastbone). Is it tender or painful? Now, press on the tibia (shin bone) of both your legs. Is it sore or tender? If the answer is “yes” to both of these tests then you have a 93% chance of being Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D may be the most prevalent vitamin deficiency in our culture. What is Vitamin D and what does it do for us?

Function of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is both a vitamin (vital amine) and a hormone. It acts as a vitamin when it binds with calcium for proper absorption. Humans cannot digest calcium without adequate amounts of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a hormone (a messenger inside your body) because it directs cells, organs, muscle and bone in daily activity. It is a hormone because your body creates it in response to sunlight on your skin. It participates in weight loss, the function of your immune system, blood sugar regulation and basic human metabolism.

Humans mobilize essential fatty acids, such as Omega-3, with Vitamin D. In order to properly use calcium and Omega-3 you simply must have enough Vitamin D. Yet, many people don’t.

Signs of deficiency
The test above is one way of checking for low levels of Vitamin D. You see, calcium and other minerals are delivered to an area in your bones that is like a gelatin matrix. This gelatin matrix hardens into sturdy bone. Calcium can only arrive in this matrix if it is escorted by Vitamin D. If you are deficient in Vitamin D, this matrix will revert back to gelatin near the surface of the bone. Tenderness and bone pain will result.

This kind of bone pain can be seen in cases of osteomalacia (softening of the bones), as well as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and even the pain associated with chronic depression.

Further, Vitamin D deficiency can result in:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Psoriasis

Eventually, Vitamin D deficiency may lead to cancer (especially breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer), osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.Reasons for deficiency
The primary reasons people become deficient in Vitamin D are cultural. For instance, women that wear veils in certain cultures are almost universally deficient in Vitamin D, as are submariners who spend extended time submerged. Neither group spends much time with their skin exposed to direct sunlight. The most common reasons for Vitamin D deficiency in North America also relate to lack of exposure to sunlight and infrequent consumption of cold-water fish. Cold-water fish such as wild salmon, mackerel and sardines are good food sources of Vitamin D – as well as good sources of calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Many foods have been supplemented with Vitamin D, but this has not resulted in an overall increase in Vitamin D levels. This is likely because food and supplement manufacturers rely on an inexpensive form of synthetic Vitamin D called “ergocalciferol” – a form of Vitamin D-2. Food sources of Vitamin D and supplements such as TriVita’s Bone Growth Factor, VitaCal-Mag D and Leanology Capsules use Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol), which is the same form that your body makes from sunshine.

What to do?
If your bones are tender or if you have a low blood level of Vitamin D the solution may be as simple as increasing your sun exposure (see the Weekly Wellness Report, “Is the Sun our Enemy?“). Spend 20 minutes daily in the sunshine with 40% of your skin surface exposed. Morning and evening sunshine is best; afternoon sun is acceptable. Never allow yourself to sunburn.

When supplementing with Vitamin D always choose D-3. It is also good to remember that this is a “fat soluble” vitamin. That means that you can store the nutrient for many days.

I will often suggest two capsules of TriVita’s Bone Growth Factor or two tablets of VitaCal-Mag D to be taken at every meal. Test the tenderness in your sternum and shin bones every 6 months. Reduce your supplements to one capsule or tablet per meal when the tenderness has disappeared from the sternum and shin bones.

If Leanology Capsules are a more appropriate source of Vitamin D for you (if you are overweight and otherwise in a low-risk category for osteoporosis), taking two capsules at each meal is a good strategy. However, since most overeating occurs in the evening and since Vitamin D reduces appetite, it may be best to take three to six Leanology capsules all in the evening.

It is good to get a blood test for appropriate blood levels of Vitamin D twice a year and a DEXA scan of your bones at least every two years to help you structure a supplement program.

Eventually, health comes down to healthy habits practiced every day. Every day we should nourish our body and nurture our spirit for sustained health.

Take Control of Your Health
  • Spend time in the sun daily
    • 20 minutes in the morning or evening sun
    • 10 minutes morning and evening work also
    • Expose 40% of your skin surface to sunshine
    • Never allow yourself to sunburn!
  • Eat foods high in Vitamin D
    • Cod liver oil
    • Fortified milk
    • Salmon, mackerel and sardines
    • Egg yolks
    • Beef liver
  • Take Vitamin D supplements
  • Take Vitamin D supplements with food – especially foods high in Vitamin D

Learn More…

Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports…

  • Energy
  • Nopalea

Send us your topic suggestions!
If you have specific health topics you’d like Brazos Minshew to discuss in upcoming reports,
click here to submit your suggestions.

Please note that Weekly Wellness Report topics will be chosen at the discretion of Brazos Minshew and based on general relevance.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

TriVita’s Weekly Wellness Report With Brazos Minshew, TriVita’s Chief Science Officer

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Inflammation Hot Spots

The process of inflammation starts with injury, toxicity, deficiency or emotional distress. One particular deficiency that causes inflammation is a genetic deficiency called MTHFR. This deficiency is relatively common – perhaps the most common genetic deficiency in North America. It is related to the way we manufacture proteins. A sign that we have MTHFR deficiency is elevated homocysteine.

MTHFR deficiency creates pools of homocysteine that ignite inflammation like bonfires in specific tissues of your body. The strategies for reducing this inflammation depend greatly on where the bonfire starts. And, like many forest fires, inflammation often features multiple fronts that require different strategies for quelling its flames.

Burning brain
The delicate tissues of the brain are common victims of inflammation from an MTHFR deficiency. Elevated homocysteine feeds the fire that melts fragile neurons. Movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease and dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease are associated with elevated homocysteine.  Further, inflammation in the brain associated with MTHFR and elevated homocysteine are also implicated in autism, ADD/ADHD, bipolar depression and schizophrenia.

MTHFR deficiency is addressed by increasing folates in the diet. Folates describe a B vitamin from foliage – leafy green vegetables. Actually, all fruits and vegetables contain some folate. Eating the optimum amount of folate can go a long way to filling the deficiency associated with MTHFR and elevated homocysteine. Remember, the optimum number of servings for fruits and vegetables is:

  • 5 servings for children
  • 7 servings for women
  • 9 servings for men

Make sure you eat vegetables of every color – eat a rainbow!

Supplements such as HCY Guard® provide nutrients that help “re-methylate” homocysteine in the presence of this MTHFR deficiency. Inflammation is normalized by the anti-inflammatory Betalains found in Nopalea™. Essential fatty acids and EFA supplements such as OmegaPrime® serve as primary building blocks for a healthy brain. Also, Omega-3 EFA, Betalains and ECGC polyphenols in Energy Now!® serve to help the body protect DNA strands and create stem cells that are needed to repair delicate, fragile brain tissues.

Burning bones
Bones are living tissue. Osteoblast cells lay down a matrix of collagen proteins and build minerals around it. Collagen provides tensile strength for the bones and minerals provide compression strength for the bones. Homocysteine shatters this matrix and melts the collagen in your bones (and elsewhere), resulting in brittle bones. Further, without collagen, minerals cannot form and the bones become porous. The end result is often osteoporosis.

Folates and plant hormones such as Vitamin K found in leafy green vegetables help reduce the impact of MTHFR deficiency and increase the opportunity for osteoblasts to make healthy bone. Healthy bones also require significant amounts of Vitamin D. Sunshine is the best source of Vitamin D; however, in North America it is not always possible to get enough healthy sun exposure to meet our Vitamin D needs. Supplements such as Bone Growth Factor and VitaCal-Mag D can help give us the nutrients we need for healthy bones. HCY Guard can help the body reduce inflammatory homocysteine and Betalains from Nopalea can help reduce the impact of inflammation.

Burning blood
MTHFR deficiency was discovered when scientists began searching for the reasons why heart disease and stroke seemed to cluster in certain families. It was discovered that these families shared a genetic deficiency that required far more folate than their diet provided. Folate deficiency depletes Vitamin B-12 and compounds the homocysteine problem. Homocysteine ignites LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the bloodstream and creates the inflammation at the root of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and stroke.

A high folate diet focusing on leafy green vegetables can fill this deficiency. Supplements such as HCY Guard, Nopalea and OmegaPrime can help the body ease’ the fire in the delicate tissues lining the blood vessels. According to the VISP study (Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention) this comprehensive strategy can fill the deficiency created by MTHFR, put out the fire fueled by homocysteine, and reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.

Conclusion
Inflammation hot spots build fires around your body in places like your brain, your bones and your heart.

  1. A high folate diet can fill the deficiency that causes these body bonfires.
  2. Safe daily sun exposure along with exercise and peaceful sleep can help build a solid foundation for wellness.
  3. Appropriate supplementation can help satisfy the needs created by MTHFR while putting out the fires of inflammation and creating vigorous cells for health today and a healthier tomorrow.
Take Control of Your Health
  • Eat 5, 7 or 9 servings of fruit and vegetables
    • Eat a rainbow – include leafy green vegetables (see “Dietary Sources of Folate” below)
  • Supplement appropriately:
  • Sleep peacefully every night and enjoy activity every day

Learn More…

Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports…

  • Vitamin D
  • Energy


Please note that Weekly Wellness Report topics will be chosen at the discretion of Brazos Minshew and based on general relevance.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Prostate Cancer and PSA Screening: a Must Read

First, prostate cancer is not your typical cancer. It tends to spread slowly in the overwhelming majority of men afflicted. The insidious nature of prostate cancer means that if a man is diagnosed at age 60, it is very likely the disease will not progress for many years before causing any serious complications or risk to one’s life.Treatment options for prostate cancer are numerous and range from targeted chemotherapy or radiation to surgery to oral hormone therapy.

Which treatment is best is dependent on whether the cancer has spread outside of the prostate and the extent of the spread.

Symptoms can start at age 40 or earlier Lately, medical authorities are revisiting the two-decades-old question of prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening. Physicians routinely discuss PSA testing with men ages 40 and over as this is the age when men typically begin to notice symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Some physicians recommend PSA screening at an even earlier age, so don’t wait until you have symptoms. These symptoms may include more frequent urination, decreased urinary stream, trouble fully emptying the bladder, and/or nighttime awakening to urinate. Examination of the prostate entails a digital rectal exam to assess for the prostate’s size, contour, shape and to detect any nodular growths that may indicate an underlying cancer. Because digital rectal exam can assess only the surface of the prostate gland, PSA testing is often recommended by medical practitioners to complement the screening for cancer.

Long-term scientific trials have been undertaken to determine the benefits of PSA testing. The outcomes are mixed.

One recently completed study done in the United States confirmed that PSA testing did not lessen the overall death rate due to prostate cancer. Another European study involving 18,000 men had a slightly different outcome. This study concluded that there was some benefit in reducing overall death due to prostate cancer in men who were screened using PSA testing, compared to men who were not screened.

Unfortunately, prostate cancer is rather common. Many men will have this disease and be blissfully unaware, regardless of whether or not they took a PSA test. The decision to screen with the PSA test should be discussed with a trusted healthcare practitioner.

Lowering the risk of prostate cancer and prostate problems can be accomplished by eating a low saturated-fat diet, consuming fresh fruits and vegetables with plenty of antioxidants and appropriate supplemental products designed to facilitate proper prostate function.

If you are in need of a natural supplement to help facilitate proper prostate function, visit: http://www.trivita.com/13170419


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