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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Vitamin C and High Cholesterol

High cholesterol, something that can strike more than fear into a person’s heart if it goes untreated. Conventional medications for the treatment of high cholesterol may or may not be effective, but they certainly cause side effects muscle pain, nausea, and if taken for too long, liver damage. Clearly medication is not a long-term measure, which is why many people try to find a natural remedy for high cholesterol; something that can lower cholesterol levels, and keep them down. Is Vitamin C a natural remedy for high cholesterol? That is what we will discuss in this article. But first…

The Skinny on Cholesterol

The truth is that most of the cholesterol in your body does not come from the diet, but is produced by your own body. What? How could your own body do such a thing to you! But cholesterol is vital for the body to function, as it is used in cell repair and maintenance. When doctors or nutritionists talk about high cholesterol, they are referring to the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol travels in the blood so that it can be used anywhere in the body as and when it is needed. However, if blood levels become too high, cholesterol deposits itself onto the walls of your arteries, as a kind of “plaque.” As the cholesterol builds up, the blood has less and less space to travel through the arteries. This causes a build-up in pressure, and high cholesterol easily leads onto hypertension, and hypertension severely increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

So, a natural remedy for high cholesterol must seek to lower cholesterol in the blood, rather than eliminating it all together. What natural supplement could help in this?

Vitamin C’s role in High Cholesterol Treatment

Vitamin C is considered an excellent natural remedy for high cholesterol because of its properties in dealing with the effects of high cholesterol and because it actively reduces cholesterol levels in the blood.

Vitamin C deals with the effects of high cholesterol

Vitamin C is a good natural remedy for high cholesterol because it helps to widen arteries and so minimize the effect of cholesterol deposits on the artery walls. A study conducted on rabbits showed that high doses of Vitamin C can prevent the narrowing of arteries by anywhere between 4% and a whopping 50%. Counteracting the effects of high cholesterol in this way effectively “buys time” for you, so that Vitamin C can reduce cholesterol in other ways.

Vitamin C deals with the cholesterol in your blood

Vitamin C also helps in increasing fibrinolytic activity, which is responsible for removing cholesterol plaque from the arteries. A number of studies conducted on animals suggest that Vitamin C can reverse plaque formation caused by high cholesterol, making it an excellent natural remedy for high cholesterol. Vitamin C also eliminates excess cholesterol in the bloodstream by converting it to bile.

Vitamin C keeps the cholesterol levels down

Vitamin C isn’t just a natural remedy for high cholesterol, it can also maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood. There is a continuous recycling process where excess cholesterol in the blood is removed and converted to bile (as mentioned above). This process only occurs when you have enough Vitamin C in your body. However, in the absence of enough Vitamin C, the conversion of cholesterol into bile is affected and cholesterol accumulates in the bloodstream.

Vitamin C does all of the above. Safely

Vitamin C is also incredibly safe compared to high cholesterol medications, and even compared to other vitamins, having no known fatal dosage or side-effects. If Vitamin C is taken in extremely high dosages then minor side-effects can occur, such as stomachache or diarrhea, but we’re talking huge dosages here. People have been reported taking 150 times the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C (RDA of around 100mg). Up to 2000mg of Vitamin C daily is considered by most experts to be completely safe, with no harmful side effects.

Best Carb Foods for Your Diet

Carbohydrates are often categorized as simple carbs and complex carbs. If your diet is high in the former this can result in a cycle of short bursts of energy followed by “sugar crashes” which is when you suffer from cravings, mood swings and that lethargic feeling. Simple carbs include sucrose (table sugar), glucose, fructose (fruit sugar), and lactose (dairy sugar).

Examples of complex carbs on the other hand include bread, pasta, rice and vegetables. These are digested much slower than simple carbs and therefore offer a more steady release of energy. If your goal is weight loss, then all carbs should be reduced but more so simple carbs as a result of their impact on your blood sugar levels.

However, fibrous carbs such as green vegetables are one of the best carb foods you can eat for several reasons and you should endeavor to eat lots of these carbs. They are very low in calories, and in some cases even contain “negative calories”, which means that they contain so few calories that your body actually uses more calories to digest and process these foods.

An even more important distinction to make when choosing the best carb foods to help you lose weight is whether it is natural or refined. Natural carbs can be simple carbs such as fructose which is what is in fruits, or complex carbs which include starches such as potatoes and fibrous vegetables. Refined carbs on the other hand would include sucrose which is your average table sugar, and other refined sugars, or highly processed starchy carbs such as white bread and white rice.

Refined carbs are a terrible choice of food, and have little or no benefit to your body. Unfortunately, the typical western diet is shockingly high in refined carbs. What’s more, not only do these foods have many of the healthy nutrients sucked out of them, they are digested and processed by your body very quickly, like simple sugars are, which explains why you feel tired and lethargic after a typical Western lunch, especially when it’s washed down with a high-sugar beverage.

Another way to identify what the best carb foods to eat are is by referring to the GI, or glycemic index, values. The glycemic index shows the effect certain foods have on your blood sugar level. The lower the GI value, the less effect it has on your blood sugar level, and the steadier the release of energy will be. Red lentils, for example, have a very low GI value, while white rice has a very high GI value.

Ideally, when choosing the best carb foods to help you lose weight, you want to focus on natural complex carbs, especially fibrous vegetables, with a moderate amount of natural simple carbs, such as fruits and dairy products. As explained, avoid highly processed and refined carbs, especially sugars, and where possible, stick to low and medium GI foods.

Something you should keep in mind is that consuming refined carbs and sugars are extremely detrimental to your health, except when necessary, and have very high GI values, and the fact is most of us have far too much of them in our diet. When combined with unhealthy fats especially, these result in immediate fat gain. Examples of such foods include pastries, fried foods, and ice cream.

My advice is to avoid all high-sugar foods (and that means a lot of “low fat” foods contrary to what you may think at first), especially if they contain unhealthy fats, and high-sugar beverages such as soft drinks, sodas and alcoholic drinks. The best carb foods will always contain little or no sugar and very little fat content.

 

Healthy Body

The skin is the largest organ in the body, and the most exposed. Most people don’t take proper care of their skin – either due to hectic work or due to pure ignorance.

Vitamins A, C, E, selenium, and zinc are especially important to maintain beautiful and healthy skin. Foods that are rich in these vitamins and minerals include :

Apricots
Cantalope
Carrots
Eggs
Broccoli
Citrus fruits
Tomatoes
Papaya
Almonds
Avocado
Olive oil
Walnuts
Sunflower seeds
Cabbage
Chicken
Liver
Onions
Seafood
Oats
Tuna
Cauliflower

This is just a partial list of foods rich in the vitamins and minerals you need for healthy skin. Foods and drinks you need to eliminate or reduce your consumption of include alcohol, sugar, and saturated fat. Coffee and tea should be limited to two cups a day.

Since the skin often mirrors the health of the whole body, eating a healthy diet provides you a healthy body and as an extra benefit, healthy skin.

Healthy Hair

Healthy hair depends on eating foods high in protein and certain vitamins and minerals. Inadequate protein intake over a lengthy period can force hair into the resting phase with shedding a few months later. Five amino acids are of particular relevance to hair growth – cystine, cysteine, methionine, arginine and lysine.

There a number of different specific hair vitamins and minerals that can play a major role in helping a person have a healthy head of hair. Vitamins necessary for healthy hair include vitamins A, B6, biotin, inositol, and folic acid. Minerals needed to good hair growth are magnesium, sulphur, silica and zinc.

Extra hair vitamins are likely to be needed if a person is generally unwell or is undernourished as their hair will show damage and may even stop growing. For example, brittle hair is an indication of iron deficiency while prolonged and severe hair loss can mean inefficient functioning of the liver or the thyroid.

Healthy Teeth

The health of your teeth and gums, the lack of plaque and debris, and the freshness of your breath can be a constant reminder of the status of your overall health. A healthy body generally means healthy teeth as well.

As with promoting healthy skin and healthy hair, eating healthy foods (such as lots of fresh fruits and vegetables) also helps encourage healthy teeth. These foods tend to help scrub the plaque off of our teeth before it can turn into tartar. It is tartar that can cause pockets in the gums where bacteria can take root and cause decay.

Vitamin C deficiencies can result in bleeding gums and loose teeth as well as mouth sores The Vitamin B complex is also essential to a healthy mouth as deficiencies can cause cracking and bleeding of the lips as well as open sores and lesions on both the inside and outside of the mouth.

Calcium is the super nutrient that keeps bones and teeth strong. Vitamin D is another important factor in keeping our teeth and bones healthy. Spending a total of about one hour each week in the sun will normally provide you all the vitamin D you need.

Besides causing other problems with our health, too much fluoride can cause permanent staining of our child’s teeth. It can also cause brain degeneration and certain cancers. So be very careful to rinse completely after brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and after a fluoride treatment at the dentist.