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January 2, 2018 by Joseph Fermin 0 Comments

Animal Protein vs. Plant Protein – Nutrition Studies 5 (1)

PROTEIN AND WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BODY?

When you eat a portion of food with protein in it (and almost all foods contain some amount of protein – even salad!), your body breaks down the protein into its amino acids. These amino acids travel through the body. The amino acids are recombined to create new proteins (remember, there are 10,000+ different types of protein in your body!). So, some of the veggie burger you ate turns into muscle proteins, some into hair proteins, some into hormone proteins, and so on.

If a cell doesn’t have the code for a specific protein, the protein doesn’t get made. Some specialized cells produce specific kinds of protein that other cells don’t, even though all the cells in a body carry the same exact DNA. Some genes, or sequences of DNA information that code for the production of a protein, are expressed more or less depending on what kind of cell it is. Hair follicle cells produce keratin protein abundantly, other cells in the same body produce none at all. In a man, testicle cells not only produce sperm cells, but those same cells create a chemical signal to the other cells in the body. That chemical signal that gets released into the blood by the testicle cells is called Testosterone.

Eating Wisely for Maximum Health

Diet is one of the top culprits responsible for feeling lethargic and low in energy. Perhaps your energy levels have been in an inactive state for quite some time now, or maybe you’re just looking for that extra kick-start to make you feel better. Proper meal planning plus a well structured Vitamin Plan will maximize your body’s energy output. Here are seven ways which you can kick-start your energy levels:

1. Choose your food wisely. Set yourself up for success by choosing your meals in advance. Planning is your best bet for eating healthy. To maintain energy throughout the day try pairing a protein with a carbohydrate. Try my favorite mid-morning snack: blueberries and cottage cheese.

2. Eat small frequent meals. Try eating six small meals a day. Maintaining your blood glucose levels throughout the day will help in sustaining energy levels and thus avoiding dips, which can lead to fatigue. Finding time to eat six small, healthy meals a day can be difficult. Try a protein shake. They are super simple to make! Just add 1/3 cup of Whey Protein Powder, one banana, ½ cup of orange juice, 1 cup of plain or fruit yogurt. This is a great way to supplement a meal and is a right balance of protein and carbohydrates.

3. Eat a good breakfast. Eating breakfast helps jumpstart your engines and increase your ability to concentrate and keep on track for the day ahead. Sticking with a good protein source and a complex carbohydrate such as foods with high fiber content will help slow digestion down, helping maintain your energy. Try one whole egg, two egg whites and, one piece of whole-wheat toast, and 1 cup orange juice.

4. Avoid simple sugars. Simple sugars like those found in candy, soda, cookies, and even some so-called “energy bars,” can spike glucose (sugar) levels in the blood and move too much into your cells, which results in a crash. When your glucose levels come down too quickly, the feeling of fatigue and low energy can kick in. A few hours later, you may find yourself craving a quick sugar fix again.

5. Go Low Fat. Eating a high-fat meal may make you feel sluggish and sleepy. Try a low-fat meal, especially during lunch to keep you going throughout the day.

6. Keep yourself well hydrated. Once you find yourself thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and low energy levels. Make sure you drink at least 8-10 glasses of water each day to maintain hydration, more if you are exercising.

7. Moderation is Key. Remember not to do anything too extreme when you first begin to alter your diet for the long haul. A reduction is important. Don’t try to eliminate all the foods that you love and crave. Eliminate them slowly. Individuals often find that the more committed they are to a nutrition and exercise program the less likely they are to desire or even want to eat unhealthy foods.

A healthy diet will not only help you boost energy levels but is key to a successful weight loss plan. Pairing good nutrition habits with an exercise program will lead you on your way to success.

pile of food
December 6, 2016 by Joseph Fermin 6 Comments

The Links Between Your Hormones and Diet 5 (1)

Hormone and Diet

Hormone and Diet, We all know that hormone levels decline as we age. Although this is part of normal aging, there are several ways lifestyle decisions that you can make to improve your health and optimize your hormone levels. In the first article in this series, we described the importance of exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. This week, we discuss how your diet can affect your Hormone and Diet levels and reduce the symptoms of aging-related diseases.

The Effects of Dysregulated Hormone Levels and How to Fix Them

Several Hormone and Diet are important for maintaining a healthy metabolism and immune system, and allowing levels to fall too low or climb too high has a series of negative consequences. However, there are many natural ways to alter hormone levels without resorting to pharmaceuticals.

The problem: Estrogen is critical for female fertility and reproduction. When levels fall too low, it results in symptoms such as low libido, and altered menstrual cycle, mood swings, and depression.

The dietary solution: Although estrogen cannot be obtained from the diet, phytoestrogens are a family of compounds found in a number of foods. They exhibit weak estrogen-like effects. Good sources of phytoestrogens are soy and flaxseed. For example, the isoflavones (a type of phytoestrogen) in soy were reported to reduce the symptoms and improve the health and quality of life of postmenopausal women [1]. Of course, too much soy can lead to unwanted estrogen-like effects so it is important to consume in moderation.

Hormone and Diet , soy foods

The problem: Testosterone is the primary male sex Hormone and Diet. Low testosterone levels lead to an increased fat mass, a reduced muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, low libido, fatigue, and depression.

The dietary solution: A number of dietary supplements have been linked to increased testosterone levels. For example, low vitamin D levels are associated with hypogonadism, and increasing vitamin D levels could increase testosterone levels [2]. Vitamin D-rich foods include fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, egg yolks, beef liver, and vitamin D-fortified foods including milk and cereals.

vitamin d foods

The problem: Insulin is a critical metabolic hormone that regulates fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism and promotes the absorption of glucose from the circulation into muscle, fat, and the liver. Insulin levels that are too high lead to hyperinsulinemia, which is the cause of a number of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Conversely, hypoinsulinemia, or low insulin levels, can lead to weight gain, poor concentration, fatigue, and a lack of motivation.

The dietary solution: The best way to prevent insulin-related symptoms is to reduce your risk of insulin resistance. This includes not consuming excess calories and selecting complex carbohydrates. For example, avoid refined products such as white bread and pasta, and instead select whole grain breads, beans, bran, lentils, vegetables, and oats.

good carbs

The problem: Cortisol is a stress Hormone secreted by the adrenal glands; it plays a key role in the fight or flight response. Although this is a critical Hormone and Diet, excess circulating levels can lead to increased stress, hypertension, and obesity. This can be particularly problematic in peri- and postmenopausal women, who are already more susceptible to obesity.

The dietary solution: Alcohol and caffeine can both increase cortisol secretion. Therefore, these products should be avoided if you are under chronic stress or if you are peri- or postmenopausal. In addition, studies suggested that the weight loss caused by following either Nordic nutrition recommendations or an paleo diet reduced cortisol levels [3].

foods for diet

Eat the Right Type of Food

There are many other ways that eating certain foods can be beneficial or have negative effects on the levels of specific Hormone and Diet. However, one of the main concerns with the modern-day food-chain is the high levels of hormones in many items we consume. Although meat can provide valuable nutrients, it is important to remember that not all meat is created equal! Many animals consumed in the United States are not fed a natural diet: they receive antibiotics and hormone-based diets, which could have the knock-on effect of altering hormone levels in anyone consuming the resulting meat. Therefore, it is always best to reduce meat intake and select organic, grass-fed meat and meat products whenever possible.

The changes in hormone levels that we all experience can be very stressful, and you might be confused about how you can reduce your symptoms. Making just some dietary changes, together with a regular exercise program, really can make a difference!

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References

  1. Messina, M., Soy foods, isoflavones, and the health of postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr, 2014. 100 Suppl 1: p. 423s-30s.
  2. Lee, D.M., et al., Association of hypogonadism with vitamin D status: the European Male Ageing Study. Eur J Endocrinol, 2012. 166(1): p. 77-85.
  3. Stomby, A., et al., Diet-induced weight loss has chronic tissue-specific effects on glucocorticoid metabolism in overweight postmenopausal women. Int J Obes (Lond), 2015. 39(5): p. 814-9.