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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.

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

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Got energy?

Regardless of what complaint a person has when they visit their doctor, 85% of all patients complain of fatigue. It is one of the “Top 10” reasons for seeking medical help.

People feel tired. We need energy. So, where does energy come from? And, once we get energy, how do we keep it? Let me explain the process by which we produce energy and how we may form strategies to feel energetic every day.

The process of energy
First of all, there is a difference between having energy and feeling energetic. We produce a significant amount of energy even when we are asleep. Yet, most of us don’t feel particularly energetic when we wake up. There are times when we may feel energetic and yet scientific tests actually measure less energy. A good example of this may be seen when a person uses a caffeine-based stimulant such as a cup of coffee or a soft drink. They may feel more alert. Yet, they have less mental energy and they typically score poorly on mental performance tests. That means they cannot really think as well and solve problems as well when they are under the influence of caffeine. More than that, the alertness that they feel comes at a high price: drinking caffeinated beverages will ensure that you feel more fatigue later. The energy that you feel is not real energy.

Metabolism
Real energy is a process of burning calories found in foods and releasing the energy contained within them. This is the process of metabolism. The word metabolism is drawn from a Greek word meaning change. Metabolism changes food into heat. Heat is a form of energy. Therefore, the first step in producing lasting energy is to eat properly so we will have enough fuel to keep our inner fires burning. Betalains, found in Nopalea, prevent these fires of metabolism from becoming fires of inflammation.

Metabolism is governed by hormones that originate in a region of your brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus determines your energy needs and sends this information to your pituitary gland. The pituitary gland (often called the Master Gland) translates these signals into hormones and sends these messenger hormones on their way to other various glands. The two prominent glands for energy production are:

  • Adrenal glands – The adrenal glands respond with adrenaline when the hypothalamus detects danger. This process is often called the “fight or flight” response to stress. Adrenaline sends your body into an energy spending spree where it virtually cannibalizes your organ reserves for all of their stored energy. The fires of metabolism are turned down. Your hands and feet get cold and your core body temperature may drop below normal. Even when we are not in danger, caffeine and sugar (as well as other stimulants) mimic this process and trick your system into releasing adrenaline. The adrenaline rush is very addictive but it robs us of true energy. So, the second step in energy production is to turn down the stress response. We do this with adaptogens: plants known to help us reduce the impact of stress.
  • The thyroid – The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating your body temperature by adjusting your metabolism. Two primary fuel sources keep the thyroid gland functioning properly: Iodine and Tyrosine. Iodine is a mineral and Tyrosine is an amino acid – a building block of protein. Tyrosine is considered a non-essential amino acid because we do not need to get it in our diet. We can make it from an essential amino acid (one we must get in our diet) called Phenylalanine (LPA). However, getting Tyrosine in our diets is not a bad thing; it means that we will use less energy making Tyrosine from LPA.

    Nopalea is a good source of dietary Tyrosine and Energy Now! contains both LPA and Tyrosine to fuel healthy energy production. Energy Now! is a nutrient, not a stimulant. The ingredients in Energy Now! can help us feel energetic by supporting healthy metabolism.

Into the brain
Tyrosine and LPA fuel metabolism by supporting healthy thyroid function. Further, these important amino acids foster the sensation of energy and euphoria by serving as the building blocks for other brain chemicals, such as PEA and Nor-Epinephrine. PEA is the “hormone of love” and it is likely the reason why our energy is increased, our pain-perception reduced and even our appetite reduced when we fall in love. We want to support PEA metabolism to feel energetic! Nor-Epinephrine fuels the creation of energy in the brain and supports our nerves as we translate that energy into action.

To get energy from our brain to our body requires healthy nerves. Often, our metabolism is normal – our stress level is low and our nutrient reserves are high and still we do not feel energetic. The problem may not be as much in creating energy as it is in translating that energy through our nerves. Nerve health is supported by Vitamin B-12. People feel fatigued when they lack enough B-12 because they cannot transfer the creation of energy into the sensation of energy.

Conclusion
Health only comes from healthy habits practiced every day. Our bodies rely on nutrients and nurturing to remain healthy. Fatigue is a message from our body that something is wrong – and we need to learn to listen to our body to have energy and to feel energetic!

Take Control of Your Health
  • Practice the 10 Essentials for energy
    • Get your rest and exercise.
    • Eat a nutrient-rich diet.
    • Select relationships that energize you.
  • Support energy production with Energy Now!.
  • Reduce the impact of stress with Adaptogen 10 Plus.
  • Improve the sensation of energy with Vitamin B-12.
  • Decrease the impact of inflammation with Nopalea.

Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports…

  • OmegaPrime
  • Stress/Anti-stress
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.

Weekly Wellness Report with Brozos Minshew, TriVita’s Chief Science Officer

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Are you nutrient deficient? Your parents can partly be to blame

For the first time in recorded history, children born in North America today are not expected to live as long or as well as their parents. This startling trend may have its roots in the nutrition of our parents or grandparents. The trend continues through our generation. Truly, the “sins of the parents” are visited upon their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.How did we get into this predicament and what can we do to change the trend?

Poisonous fruit
Along with the advances in agriculture that reduced famines and starvation, the farming practices of the last century produced some pretty scary trends. For example, food grown in mineral-depleted soil has fewer nutrients to offer us. Food processed for increased storage is further reduced in nutrients. Flavor-enhancing additives, such as refined sugar, further impose a burden on our system. It is as if we are over-taxing our personal health resources and the “deficit spending” of this course is being passed on to our children.

Some scientists recognized this disastrous course 100 years ago. General awareness of the importance of nutrition has increased significantly in the past 50 years. However, commercial and other interests have kept the debate suppressed until recently. A landmark article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) June 19, 2002. It defined the need for nutrients in disease prevention. Though it was met with resistance, this article clearly opened the door for debate while confirming the truth we have known for a century: A body deprived of nutrients and nurturing will be prone to disease, disability and untimely death.

Further scientific exploration into the link between low nutrient reserves, a shortened lifespan, increased disease and unhealthy children was published that same year in the European Journal of Human Genetics.  It clearly detailed the link between poor nutrition in a person and the increase in disease in their children and grandchildren. The “root” of poor nutrition has erupted into obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other diseases that extend through generations. Habits and practices of 100 years ago are bearing “fruit” in our children!

Solutions
With this knowledge, the discussion around human nutrition has never been more important. We simply must change our habits if we are to change our destiny. For example, we must select food grown in mineral-rich soil and endorse farming practices that support ecology.

We must also discipline ourselves to take our nutrients every day. By doing this, we increase the opportunity for having healthier children. If we are past childbearing, taking our nutrients daily will improve our health and give us the opportunity to “model” responsible behavior for our children and grandchildren. Healthier kids mean a healthier family, a healthy community and even a healthier species.

The power to change the trend is in the choices you make every day.

Wellavoh
Men’s and Women’s Wellavoh (wel-lah vōh) is a multi-nutrient complex built upon the science of proper nutrition. Wellavoh is constructed to give you the nutrients you need today to help your body change the trend: the trend toward wellness. It contains the classes of nutrients we need to fill in the gaps left by poor diet and foods grown in nutrient-depleted soil.

Wellavoh is designed for adults and children age 10 and over. Take your nutrients every day and model healthy behavior for your children and grandchildren. Become part of the solution to declining health by making better choices in nourishing and nurturing your body today!

Take Control of Your Health

Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports…

  • Energy
  • OmegaPrime
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.

Super Fruit Found Containing Rare Detoxification Properties

A relatively new discovery has merged ingredients in nature in a way that science did not know was possible. These nutrients are called Betalains. Betalains were originally thought to be just a pigment – an inert color that made a plant pretty, but imparted no real health benefit.
Betalains exist in a wide variety (there are 24 Betalains), and each one completes a specific need in human health by supplying structure and function to every human cell.

A cell distressed by external toxins and internal deficiencies will eventually wither, collapse and die. If more cells die than can be replaced, we slip into a kind of “deficit spending” and our lean body mass withers. This is called sarcopenia or premature aging. Betalains can be used to shore up or strengthen the cell wall. This leads to rehydration of the cell and repair of sarcopenia, premature aging.

Some vegetables (beets and rainbow chard) contain a few Betalains; some desert plants contain a few more. Only the Nopal cactus of the Sonoran Desert contains all 24 Betalains. This is because the Sonoran Desert is the most extreme desert in the world and the Nopal plant needs all 24 Betalains to survive in this intense environment.

Nopalea (“No-pah lay’ uh”) is a tasty superfruit drink sourced from the fruit of the Nopal cactus (Opuntia Ficus Indica). This remarkable healing plant thrives in the Sonoran Desert of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. The healing properties of the Nopal cactus have been relied on for centuries by native peoples, and they’re now available in Nopalea, the first product in TriVita’s exclusive Sonoran Bloom™ line.

Discover Nopalea – the new health solution for today’s unhealthy world: http://www.sonoranbloom.com/13170419


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