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    Saturday, 28 April 2018 18:55

    Simple and Delicious Protein Powder Recipes

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    Protein powder is not just a supplement for shakes or other bodybuilding drinks. This versatile ingredient has a texture that makes it work well for a variety of other recipes. Since it is made from protein instead of grain, protein powder is ideal for crafting keto, low-carb or low-calorie treats. Here are a few great recipes that add protein to a diet while also creating tasty meals and snacks.

    Protein Powder Pancakes
    Enjoy a tasty and protein-packed breakfast by using protein instead of flour to make pancakes. This recipe can be made with any type of protein powder, including those with a chocolate or vanilla flavor. It is low in carbohydrates and contains no processed sugars, so it can accommodate most diets. One can easily toss in mix-ins like chocolate, fresh blueberries or nuts if desired.

    Ingredients:

    1 cup oats
    2 scoops protein powder
    2 Tbs. ground flax seeds
    2 eggs
    3 egg whites
    4 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1 banana
    1 pinch salt
    1/2 cup optional mix-ins
    Instructions:

    Place all ingredients besides the mix-ins in a blender or food processor and mix until a smooth batter forms.
    Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Keep in mind that the pancakes may fall apart if the heat is too low.
    Pour 1/4 cup of batter at a time into the pan.
    If desired, gently sprinkle some mix-ins on the pancake in the pan.
    Wait two to three minutes until the edges look slightly dry, and then flip the pancake.
    Cook a minute or two more and serve warm.


    Chocolate Protein Pudding
    This is a quick and easy snack that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It is ideal for those who are on a low-carb diet but miss rich desserts like pudding. This recipe makes a single snack-sized serving, but it can easily be doubled.

    Ingredients:

    1 scoop chocolate egg white protein powder
    1 tsp. cocoa powder
    3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
    1 - 3 tsp. milk
    Instructions:

    Mix together protein and cocoa powder.
    Gently stir powder mixture into Greek yogurt.
    Depending on the consistency of the yogurt, add a splash of water to make the mixture slightly thinner.


    Vegan Coconut Popsicles
    These Popsicles are the perfect treat for a hot summer day. They are very low in calories, so they are a great dessert for those trying to maintain a healthy weight. Another great benefit is that they are both vegan and vegetarian. Depending on flavor preferences, any type of frozen or fresh berry can be used. A Popsicle mold will make the whole process easier, but these Popsicles can be made without a mold if desired.

    Ingredients:

    1 1/2 cups strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries
    2 scoops vanilla protein
    1 cup soy milk
    1/2 cup coconut milk
    1 banana
    Instructions:

    Finely dice 1/2 cup of berries and set aside.
    Blend remaining berries, protein powder, milk and bananas until smooth.
    Set out the Popsicle molds and put a few of the sliced berries in each mold. If no molds are on hand, small cups or an ice cube tray can be used.
    Pour the Popsicle mixture on top of the berries.
    Insert Popsicle sticks into each serving.
    Freeze at least four hours or until firm.


    Chocolate Protein Cookies
    This recipe uses coconut flour and Brazil nuts instead of wheat, so it is gluten-free as long as a gluten-free powder is used.

    Ingredients:

    1/2 cup chocolate pea protein powder
    1/4 cup coconut flour
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 cup dried coconut flakes
    1/4 cup ground Brazil nuts
    1/4 cup milk
    1 egg
    1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
    Instructions:

    Preheat the oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Mix together protein powder, flour, baking soda, coconut flakes and ground nuts in a large bowl.
    Mix together milk and egg in a small bowl.
    Slowly add milk mixture to protein powder mixture, stirring to combine the entire time.
    Gently fold in chocolate chips.
    Divide cookie batter into 12 equal balls and put them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
    Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cookies are firm but slightly soft in the center.
    Cool completely and serve.
    Cinnamon Protein Powder Oats
    Adding protein powder to a morning bowl of oatmeal might seem like a great idea, but many people realize that it can be quite tricky. Using whey protein with super-high heat can lead to curdling that causes an unpleasant texture to form. Follow these steps to make a filling bowl of oatmeal that also contains plenty of protein.

    Ingredients:

    1/2 cup rolled oats
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1 chopped apple
    1 cup almond milk
    1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    Instructions:

    Combine rolled oats, cinnamon sticks, apple and milk in a small pot.
    Place pot over medium-high heat until it boils.
    Turn heat down until the oatmeal simmers.
    Let the oatmeal cook, anywhere from five to 15 minutes, until it reaches desired level of softness.
    Remove from heat and gently stir in whey.
    Serve topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
    Nutty Protein Powder Bites
    Those who are bored of eating plain protein powder or dry granola bars will enjoy this snack. These protein balls taste delicious, and they contain plenty of healthy fats. They can be stored at room temperature for quite a while, so they are a great protein boost on a hike. If desired, these protein bites can be customized with any tasty mix-in.

    Ingredients:

    1/2 cup whey protein powder
    1 cup nut butter
    1/4 cup agave nectar
    1 - 2 Tbs. coconut oil
    1/4 cup coconut flakes, crushed nuts, dried fruits or other mix-ins
    Instructions:

    Place all ingredients, except coconut oil, in a bowl and stir to combine.
    Start with 1 Tbs. of coconut oil and slowly add more if the mixture seems dry.
    Divide mixture into 1/8-cup size portions and roll into firm balls.
    Store in an airtight container until ready to eat.

    Saturday, 23 September 2017 13:26

    What are the Health Benefits of Vitamin K2?

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    Is Vitamin K2 the Next D3?

    Just as there has been an explosion of positive science on the importance of vitamin D3, another nutrient, vitamin K, is showing tremendous promise in the treatment of a wide range of health conditions. In fact, since most people are not getting anywhere near the level of vitamin K in their diet, it is one nutrient that you simply need to learn more about.

    Vitamin K as a Supplement

    The importance of vitamin K supplementation has been known for a long time. Case in point is that since 1961, vitamin K1 injection has been given to all newborn babies to prevent hemorrhagic disease of the newborn. This condition occurs because of a lack of vitamin K. When a baby is born the intestinal tract is sterile. Since a major source of vitamin K (in the form of K2) is synthesized from gut bacteria and most women do not have high concentrations of vitamin K in their breast milk, the baby must rely on the amount of vitamin K delivered through the placenta before birth until the gut microflora gets established.

     It now appears that it is not just newborns that can benefit from vitamin K supplementation as new clinical data shows tremendous benefits in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease.

    Vitamin K Primer

    Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is most famous for its role is in the manufacture of clotting factors. However, recent studies have shown that vitamin K is also necessary for building healthy bones and may play a role in treating and preventing osteoporosis. 

    There are several forms of vitamin K designated as K1, K2, and K3. The first form, K1 or phylloquinone is derived from plant sources. K2 or menaquinone is produced by bacteria and found in some fermented foods. There are several different forms of K2 based upon the number of molecules known as isoprenoids that are attached to the menaquinone backbone. MK-7 is the most important commercial form of vitamin K2. It contains seven isoprenoid residues attached to menaquinone. K3 is a synthetic form.

    Vitamin K is often neglected as a vitamin because the conventional wisdom is that deficiency is thought to be quite rare because there are good dietary sources of K1 and gut bacteria can produce K2. Rich sources of vitamin K1 are dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, and green tea. Good sources are asparagus, oats, whole wheat, and fresh green peas. MK-7 is found in high concentrations in natto (a fermented soy food popular in Japan). A three ounce serving of natto provides 850 mcg of MK7.

    Vitamin K in Osteoporosis

    Vitamin K plays an important role in bone health as it is responsible for converting the bone protein osteocalcin from its inactive form to its active form. Osteocalcin is the major non-collagen protein found in our bones that anchors calcium into place within the bone. Low intake of vitamin K1 is linked to osteoporosis and hip fractures. Since vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables, it may be one of the protective factors of a vegetarian diet against osteoporosis.

     Various forms of vitamin K supplements have been used in human trials examining its effects on bone health: vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), menaquinone-4 (MK-4, a form of K2) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7). The results with these first two vitamin K supplements (K1 and MK-4) are much different than those achieved with MK-7. Most of the double-blind studies with vitamin K1 have shown only modest or mainly no effect on bone density and while studies with MK4 have shown positive results in reducing bone loss and fracture rates, the dosage used (45 mg/day) was well beyond a nutritional effect and more likely the positive results are due to a drug-like effect at such high dosages.

     MK-7 has been found to be more potent and more bioavailable as well as to have a longer half-life than MK-4. MK-7 is also more effective than K1 in activating osteocalcin and stays in the blood circulation much longer.

    In a landmark major clinical published in the March 23, 2013 issue of Osteoporosis International, MK7 . 2013 Mar 23, MK-7 supplementation at relatively low dosage levels (180 mcg per day) produced tremendous effects on improving bone health. In the study, 244 healthy postmenopausal women took either the MK-7 or a placebo for 3 years. Bone mineral density of lumbar spine, total hip, and femoral neck was measured by DXA; bone strength measures of the femoral neck were also calculated. Vertebral fracture assessment was performed by DXA and used as measure for vertebral fractures. Measurements occurred at baseline and after 1, 2, and 3 years of treatment.

    MK-7 intake significantly improved vitamin K status and active osteocalcin levels, and decreased the age-related decline in bone mineral concentration (BMC) and BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck. It did not increase either measure at the total hip. Bone strength was also favorably affected by MK-7 – a key determinant of fracture risk. Lastly, MK-7 significantly decreased the loss in vertebral height of the lower thoracic region at the mid-site of the vertebrae. These results highlight the importance of MK-7 supplementation in postmenopausal women.

    MK-7 in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the entire body, but especially the joints. There is abundant evidence that RA is an autoimmune reaction, in which antibodies develop against components of joint tissues, but what exactly triggers this autoimmune reaction has centered on genetic factors, abnormal bowel permeability, lifestyle and nutritional factors, food allergies, and microorganisms. RA is a classic example of a multifactorial disease, wherein an assortment of genetic, dietary, and environmental factors contribute to this disease. 

    Based upon preclinical studies showing another form of vitamin K2 (MK-4) blocked the development of arthritis in the experimental animal model of RA, it was suggested that MK-4 might offer benefit in human RA. Human studies following and it was shown MK-4 supplementation reduced RA disease activity associated with a marked decrease in clinical and biochemical markers. However, since MK-7 has greater bioavailability than MK-4 after oral administration, researchers were quite curious if even better results might be produced with this form. 

    To clarify the therapeutic role of MK-7 added to normal therapeutic regimen of RA in patients with different stages of the disease, 84 RA patients (24 male, 60 female) (average age=47.2 years) were enrolled in a randomized clinical trial. The patients were divided into MK-7 treated group (n=42) and a control group (n=42). MK-7 capsules were administered in a dose of 100 mcg/day for three months in the first group without changing other medications. 

    To assess the benefits with MK-7, the clinical and biochemical markers on RA patients treated with MK-7 and the control group were assessed before and after three months. The results showed a statistically significant decrease in MK-7 treated group for the levels of the following markers of inflammation: erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), RA disease activity score assessing 28 joints, C-reactive protein (CRP) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-3). In addition, MK-7 also increased the level of the active form of osteocalcin, an important marker of bone health. The benefits noted with MK-7 were directly related to increased levels of MK-7 in the blood.           

    The authors’ conclusion was, “MK-7 represents a new promising agent for RA in combination therapy with other disease modifying antirheumatic drugs.”

    Comments:

    Just as the popularity of vitamin D3 increased in health food stores after an explosion of positive scientific investigations, it appears that there is a similar phenomena occurring with vitamin K, specifically MK-7. It is important for health food store retailers to understand the different forms of vitamin K and the effective dosage ranges used in clinical studies. For osteoporosis, the general recommendation is 180 mcg of MK-7 per day. For RA, the dosage used in the clinical trial was 100 mcg of MK-7 per day. For general health, most experts recommend an intake of 80-120 mcg of vitamin K1 or K2.

    Obviously, in patients on anticoagulant therapy with warfarin (Coumadin), vitamin K supplementation is contraindicated. Otherwise there are no other known issues with taking vitamin K1 or MK-7 at recommended dosage levels.

    Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:06

    How to Choose Your Kid’s Multivitamin

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    Multivitamins are the most commonly used supplement, and there are seemingly endless choices out there. If you stressed about which product to choose for yourself before becoming a parent, selecting the best multi-vitamin for your child is probably even scarier. This article will explain how to determine if a multivitamin is right for your child, and what to look for in the right product.

    Multi-vitamin supplements for kids and adults vary greatly in the nutrients they provide and their quality.  For everyone regardless of age, eating a whole foods diet rich in vegetables, fruits, high-quality protein and healthy fats should be where we get the bulk of our nutrient needs met.

    Since this isn’t always 100% possible (especially challenging if your kid is a picky eater), a multi-vitamin might be necessary.

    Why Does My Kid Need a Multi-Vitamin?

    Your child is growing rapidly every day (physically and mentally), and proper nutrition along with physical activity is critical for their short and long term health. Even more importantly than for adults, children should be eating as much of their diet from organic and local foods as possible, and definitely need plenty of exercise.

    Certain key nutrients are especially important for kids, such as omega 3 fatty acid for neurological development and the beta-carotene form of vitamin A for vision and immune health. Whether it’s extra nutrition for the picky eater or general support for your active kiddo, a good quality multi is probably a good idea. Here’s how to choose your kid’s multivitamin.

    It Should Taste Good But Be Low in Sugar

    You want your kid’s multivitamin to taste good enough that they’ll take it, but you’ll also want to avoid products that are high in sugar and/or include artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. Look for products that are no more than 3 grams of sugar per serving, like these.

    Avoid Artificial Additives, Hydrogenated Oils, and Synthetic Dyes

    This rule goes for adults, too, but is even more important not to expose your kids to potentially risky additives and ingredients that are often included in supplements. For this reason, an organic brand that comes from a reputable company is best. Check out this informative article on dangerous ingredients commonly added to supplements.

    Watch Out for Iron

    Children need iron, but taking too much can be very dangerous to their health, even fatal. If your child’s multivitamin has iron, make sure you keep it locked in a safe place where they can’t take more than the safe daily dose.

    Better yet, choose a multi without iron and make sure your kids get enough from food sources, such as beef, lamb, sunflower seeds, clams, whole grains and dark, leafy green vegetables.

    Free of Allergens

    Be sure that the multi-vitamin is free of allergens, as these can be potentially dangerous for your child’s health. Common allergens include yeast, dairy, soy, corn and artificial ingredients such as preservatives, flavorings, and dyes.

    Includes Minerals and Omega 3 Fatty Acids

    Not only should your kid’s multi-vitamin include at least 100% of the DV for all essential vitamins, but it should also include omega 3 fatty acids and minerals. Especially chelated forms of minerals will make absorption easier.

    Following these basic guidelines can ensure that you choose the best and safest multi-vitamin to support your child’s growth and overall health. However, make sure that whichever multi you choose is in addition to a nutrient-dense diet and plenty of water.

    Browse multivitamins for kids and make sure they’re getting a complete nutrient profile. Vitamin World’s come in chews, gummies, and coated capsules.

     

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017 09:39

    3 Biggest Diet- Myths Busted

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    3 Biggest Diet Myths Bustedwink

    Have you ever wondered what is fact and what is fiction when hearing about the endless diet plans and weightloss methods? If so, you’re not alone. 

    We’re busting 3 of the most common myths surrounding dieting and nutrition.

    Myth #1: Eat a Low Fat Diet to Lose Weight 

    The trend to eat a low-fat or fat-free diet has long been a confusing one. In theory, it sounds correct. How can one eat fat to lose fat? But recent studies have brought to light the knowledge that has been around for hundreds of years: eating natural, healthy fats are good for you. 

    When people eat man-made “low-fat” versions of foods that are meant to be naturally fatty, they are introducing chemicals into their diet.

    Butter, lard, dairy, oil and meat are healthier and can lead to having a leaner body than eating chemically-altered foods like non-fat dairy, margerine and meat alternatives.

    Myth #2: Eating Red Meat Can Kill You 

    With the vegan and vegetarian craze spreading in recent years, many people are under the impression that eating red meat is bad for your health and even can lead to heart disease and death. 

    However, according to Dr. Michael Roussell, eating four to five ounces of lean red meat a day can lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol and protect your heart by decreasing triglycerides numbers.

    So why does the media continue to publish claims that red meat will kill you? The research simply isn’t there. According to an article on MarksDailyApple.com, “that health according to the media and health according to reality are two very different things.” 

    So not only is red meat not killing you, it is actually healthy for you, containing multiple vitamins, minerals and iron.

    Myth #3: Eat Less to Lose More 

    While it’s true that weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you are taking in, the types of food and how often you eat are important. 

    When people go on crash starvation diets, they may lose weight right away. However, as soon as “normal” eating habits resume, the weight will come back and often more than before.

    According to a report in American Psychologist, it is difficult for peole to stick to strict diets for a long period of time. They will feel deprived and hungry. 

    In addition, not all foods are created equal in terms of calories. Depending on what you choose to eat while trying to lose weight, you may end up eating more of a healthier, more filling food than before.

    Monday, 18 September 2017 12:37

    Vitamin A and its Benefits

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    Though considered a key building block for healthy eyes, a strong immune system and cellular growth, Vitamin A is not one of the most talked about vitamins, leaving many to try to search out information on their own. A biologically-active compound, Vitamin A is found in both plant and animal sources. In this post, we’ll take you through the two different types of this vitamin, its numerous health benefits, and ways to incorporate this nutrient into your diet.

    Types & Where to Get It

    The active form of Vitamin A, also known as retinoid or retinol, is fat-soluble and comes from animal products such as eggs, dairy products, kidney and liver. The other version, beta-carotene, is considered to contain the highest A Vitamin activity. This type can be found in plant sources like carrots, spinach, apricots, cantaloupes, and sweet potatoes, as well as some others we’ve mentioned in the past found here.

    Its Benefits

    As mentioned above, beta-carotene is important in maintaining the immune system and healthy eyes but this powerful antioxidant does much more than just that. It keeps skin and tissues of the digestive tract and respiratory system healthy and supports bone growth. You may have also heard the term retinol used in skin care as it’s a common ingredient in topical treatments for conditions such as acne and wrinkles.

    Deficiency

    Most of us get enough Vitamin A from our natural diets but too much can be dangerous. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for healthy adult females is 700mcg/day, while healthy adult males can take up to 900mcg/day. People suffering from Vitamin A deficiency may need more than these amounts but should consult with their physician first as deficiencies are rare. This type of deficiency is more common in those with poor diets or digestive disorders.

    You should have a doctor test your Vitamin A levels first, but if you are looking for retinol beauty creams or Vitamin A supplements, your local Vitamin World Associate can help you determine the right product for you.

     

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