Our love of Sugar, Salt and Fat – and the Role the Food Industry has played

Chocolate bars, chips, pastries and jube jubes. There are few people who have had access to these processed foods who do not develop reoccurring cravings for them – everyone has a favorite “taste” and a favorite time to eat these sinfully delicious treats.

We enjoy eating these types of food because they stimulate the thousands of taste receptors on our tongue which in turn stimulate the reward and enjoyment portion of our brain.

Our enjoyment of sugary, fatty foods in their virgin form and limited quantities is natural – by searching out and finding these foods our ancestors were provided with the energy needed to survive harsh conditions and hard work with limited available sources of calories.

However, in our new age of sedentary lifestyles and processed foods the long term health effects of eating too much modern day junk can be detrimental to our physical and mental well-being.

In may then be of no surprise that a new science has been developed by the food industry that hijacks our brain- finding out what the perfect combinations of salt, sugar and fat are designed to trigger downright addicting behaviors in human food consumption.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/sugar-salt-fat-how-the-food-industry-got-us-hooked-on-an-unholy-trinity/article8989855/

So how can you avoid these traps? Reduce your processed food consumption. Doing this will offer so many health benefits and save you money! This is why YJ Sciences makes whole foods like Reshape and Restor  - so that you don’t have to sacrifice health for convenience.

 

 

 

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Starting the New Year off with health.

With the New Year upon us comes a fresh start – Spring is on the way, the days are getting longer, and the cool January air fills our lungs with freshness and energy. The New Year can also serve as a fresh mental start to goals and aspirations – and one goal that almost everyone has is improving their health and wellness as well as the health and wellness of their family.

Small changes can make big differences when it comes to our health – so, when it comes to changing our eating habits often “cutting down” versus “cutting out” is the goal.  However, when it comes to the consumption of “junk food” it seems that even seemingly lower amounts can have huge negative effects.  What’s scarier? The largest effects from junk food consumption are seen in adolescence!

A  recent Harvard study found that children consuming junk food high in fat and sugar more than 3 times a week had a 40% increase in the rate of asthma! And the risk of eczema and rhinitis also increased.

Not surprisingly, the study also found that the consumption of fruit appeared to safe guard children with these ailments – with those consuming more than 3 portions a week reducing their symptoms by 11-14%.

Staying on the same topic of healthy eating – it is no coincidence that within the same week another Havard study was released finding that berries show heart boosting effects for women: 3 or more servings of blueberries or strawberries a week may slash a women’s chance of heart disease by as much as 33%! Women who ate these berries less frequently had a higher risk of heart disease, even if they consumed other fruits and vegetables.

These two studies point out two important points: The first being that what you eat truly affects your overall current and future health, and the second being that simple dietary changes CAN make a huge difference.

With 7 pounds of 7 berries and 3 sea vegetables in Youthjuice, and a whole the food organic vegetable blend in Reshape, YJ Sciences makes filling the gaps in your nutrition is made simple.

Read the whole articles!

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Junk-food-linked-to-40-rise-in-childhood-asthma-and-eczema-say-scientists/?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GIN_NIUSAd&c=4%252BR0vTEMeefQ%252BHG%252BaGQW0BhOuCTjYdRO

http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Berries-show-heart-boosting-power-for-women-Harvard-study/?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BDaily&c=4%2BR0vTEMeed0uh9hTXSydpFP1eeP22WN

 

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Have a Very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a Festive Holiday Season

This is our last blog of the year – and we would like to take the time to repost some of our most informative and shared blogs….

We do this because we are sure there is information, stories, or inspiration that we have shared with you over the past year that you could use at this busy time.

It is always a good idea to reflect back on a year past and see what you can (and more importantly should) bring forward with you into your next year’s journey. With another year past and another year ahead, this is the time to look at your body, mind, spirit (and perhaps wallet) and ask “What have I succeeded at?” and “What can I improve on?”

Perhaps a resolution is in order –or, perhaps your resolution should be to never make a doomed-to-be -broken resolution again!

Either way, give yourself a pat on the back, you’re worth it! You did it! The next year is destined to be full of the ups and downs that make life so interesting – and although we cannot control much of life, we can control something cubically important: how we treat our bodies.

Eat well, exercise – and make sure to stay on track with your YJ and Reshape. Your body will thank you!

From all of us at YJ Sciences, we wish you and your family a healthy, happy Holiday Season.

http://www.youthjuiceblog.com/uncategorized/the-importance-of-a-good-nights-sleep/

http://www.youthjuiceblog.com/uncategorized/children-and-chemicals/

http://www.youthjuiceblog.com/education/ode-to-probiotics/

http://www.youthjuiceblog.com/uncategorized/obesity-bad-for-brain-by-hastening-cognitive-decline/

http://www.youthjuiceblog.com/uncategorized/so-how-much-protein-do-we-need/

http://www.youthjuiceblog.com/uncategorized/unsafesafe-plastics/

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The importance of a good night’s sleep

With the Holiday’s upon us we are all hopefully feeling festive – and we are all probably feeling a little stressed too! Tree to decorate, gifts to buy, parties to organize, baking to do, family get-togethers…these things are all fun in moderation but can really put a drain on those of us with limited time.

If you find yourself laying awake at night adding to your mental to-do list, you’re not alone!

But, as we all know, nothing is more important than a good night’s sleep and taking time out of your personal recuperation during those crucial night hours may be doing harm to your mind and body.

Sleep is important for many critical reasons:

  • The brain is able to reorder without the inputs it gets while awake.   The brain has a chance to exercise important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate due to lack of activity.
  • Sleep gives the brain an opportunity to reorganize data to help find a solution to problem, process newly learned information and organize and archive memories.
  • Sleep is a time for serious rest.  Sleep lowers a person’s metabolic rate and energy consumption.
  • The cardiovascular system also gets a break during sleep. Researchers have found that people with normal or high blood pressure experience a 20 to 30% reduction in blood pressure and 10 to 20% reduction in heart rate.
  • During sleep, the body has a chance to replace chemicals and repair muscles, other tissues and aging or dead cells.  Growth hormones are released during deep sleep.

*(see http://www.sleepdex.org)

Some Short Term Consequences of not getting enough sleep:

  • Decreased daytime alertness. Loss of just one and half hours sleep can result in a 32% reduction in daytime alertness.
  • Impaired memory and cognitive ability, the ability to think and process information.
  • Impaired immune system.

 

Some Long Term Consequences of chronic lack of sleep:

  • Anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Distorted perception
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of sense of reality
  • Low sex drive
  • Memory loss
  • Stroke
  • Tremors
  • Weight gain/ loss

…..you can see why getting a good night’s sleep when possible is imperative to good health and wellness.

So, what can you do to improve your sleep during this Holiday season?

There are many studies out there that are now focusing on how diet can affect sleep! And, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed powder are getting a lot of attention.

Pumpkin seeds and the powder from pumpkin seeds have relatively high amounts of the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid the body uses to make the feel-good and relaxation neurotransmitter serotonin. Pumpkin seeds also contain high amounts of zinc, which can help the brain convert tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin levels are typically low in people who cannot stay asleep and wake throughout the night.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/What-to-Eat-to-Get-Better-Sleep-How-to-Overcome-Sleep-Problems/2#ixzz2EgI6kF00

Pumpkin seed is the first ingredient in YJ Sciences Reshape – yet, another reason to make Reshape a part of your day during the Holidays and all year round to promote good health.

 

 

 

 

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Getting Over the Christmas Bulge

It’s that time again – the Holiday Season is in full swing come December with Christmas Parties, baking sessions, family dinners and special events. What does this mean for your social self? Lots of much needed (and soul nourishing) love during these dark Winter days. What does this mean for your waistline? Lots of un-needed additional fat and calories (but, as some would argue, also soul nourishing).

Is it possible to strike a balance? Denying oneself during festive times is anything but jolly; however, the realization of weight gain come January 1st can be an equal (and unhealthy) downer.

You can in fact both enjoy yourself and watch your waist line over the Holiday Season!

Some tips (from http://my.clevelandclinic.org):

1. Get moving

One of the most effective ways to maintain or lose body weight is to engage in regular, sustained aerobic activity (*).To burn off those extra calories, kick up your exercise. If you exercise for 30 minutes a day, increase it to 45 minutes. If you exercise three times a week, move it up to five times a week.

Exercise is a great way to burn those extra calories you may be taking in this time of year (remember those iced reindeer cookies you had with lunch?).

2. Aim for seven-a-day

Making sure you eat seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day is a great way to help fill-up your stomach but not your calorie level. When compared to other snack foods like chips, crackers and cookies, gram for gram, fruits and vegetables contain fewer calories and tons more nutrients. What’s more – the fiber in fruits and vegetables fill you up faster than traditional snack foods. Pack your refrigerator with bags of cut-up vegetables and whole or cut-up fruits. Grab a bag while on the go or at work. Make a pact with yourself that you’ll eat your five-a-day before you snack on any cookies or other holiday treats. You’re sure to take in fewer calories

4. Limit to one-a-day

While you can’t control every situation, you can control how much food goes into your mouth. If you are constantly bombarded with holiday parties and displays of desserts or candies you can still effectively help prevent overeating and weight gain. One way is the one-a-day method. Allow yourself one small serving of a cookie or piece of candy each day during the holiday season. Remember that you may have to compensate for it later in the day by reducing your total caloric intake or by burning a few extra calories while exercising. If you aren’t confronted with holiday foods that day, just skip your one-a-day – but don’t compensate and double-up on your serving the next day.

 

5. Always plan ahead – Never go to a party hungry

Before you go to a holiday party, eat a healthy snack such as a serving of your favorite fruit, fat-free yogurt or a low-fat, whole grain granola bar. When you arrive at the party, you won’t be craving hors d’oeuvres.

“If you’re going to a potluck dinner, bring a healthy dish to share such as a salad, veggie or fruit tray, or a low-fat pudding, Jell-O or fruit dessert,” says Zumpano. “That way, you’ll know you

7. Say No Politely

Many times you feel forced to eat foods because people keep putting it in front of you. Learn to say no politely, such as “No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious”, or “I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful”. You’ll find saying no isn’t so hard to do after all.

8. Focus on socializing

Don’t stand around the food table when you are at a party – focus your energies on making conversation with others instead of focusing on foods. Conversation is calorie-free.

Luckily YJ and Reshape can fit into your Holiday spirit. Make sure to be dedicated to taking your YJ each day – you may be getting less nutrition from your diet over the Holidays than usual (sugar cookies are not a good source of nutrients…) and are also most likely getting run down – so, you are going to need your YJ smoothies more than ever! Also, try incorporating YJ into the festivities – there are great alcoholic and non alcoholic drink ideas in the Resource section of Brand Partner’s Online Office!

Remember, the most important part of the Holidays is enjoying time with friends and family. So don’t stress – take a balanced, relaxed approach to your Holiday eating.

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It Is Up To Us

In continuation of last week’s post on children’s health, this week we wanted to share a poignant article with you about our children and their future health.  It is up to us (parents, grandparents… society) to save them from this world of “nutrient overload” in which we live.

The Heroic Generation That Changed the World: Part I

By  Boyd L. Jentzsch

Who would you be without a dream, without a quest, without a consuming desire to change the world in some small or great way, a change only you can make?

Consider this…

There is a generation of children growing up in our country. Their dreams are mere fantasies now. In time these silent urgings will take root, blossom, and mature into great life-dreams. Like all the generations before they will pursue these dreams, fulfilling the ageless miracle of rebirth born into the hearts of countless heroes. But this new generation will be different. Far different. And that difference will touch us all in ways we can barely imagine.

The newest generation was born into a mean world

This, the newest generation was born into a mean world. A very, very mean place. When you subtract the inevitable wars of their lifetime (there have always been wars), when you take away the crime, the poverty, the infectious diseases, (each in constant ebb and flow), this generation will bear the cruelest fate of all.

No other generation has been called to bear the terrible burden they alone have already been singled out to carry. No other children in the history of the world will know their terrible agony. And it has already begun.

If you will listen closely, if you will observe with eyes wide open, you will see what has never been seen before. You will hear silent cries growing in every place children inhabit. The pain of your close attention will pierce your heart, and you will cry, cry shamelessly from your depths, and you will ask, “What can be done? What can I do?” From this will a new hero arise?

Understand the special tragedy unfolding around you, the epic proportions of it all, and resolve to do something about it.

This newest generation has the cruel fate to be the first full generation to be born into a world of plenty. A world of surplus. A world of nutrient overload. A place of advertised enchantment wrapped around an abundance of food that will kill them. Is killing them. And you, and I, and the whole lot of us are unknowingly doing the poisoned feeding.

Children’s bodies can’t wait

Grasp the full power of what is happening to an entire generation of children. Comprehend the enormity of the tragedy. Then resolve to do something about it. If the world ever needed new heroes, if the world ever needed your resolve, your ardent quest, this is the time. Children’ bodies can’t wait.

Consider their plight. One out of three of today’s children, our children, will get Adult Onset (Type 2) Diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One out of three. If they are Hispanic, African American, Pacific Islander, it will be one out of two. 50%. One half. If Native American, it is already over 80%. 80%. The devastating assault has just begun. It is rapidly becoming global. Diabetes is just one of the killers.

A child born above-normal in birth-weight has an 80% chance of being dangerously overweight by time they are 3 years old. A child that is overweight at 8 has triple the risk of being an overweight teen. An overweight teen, is 3 times more likely to be obese in adulthood, even if they slim down in their late teens and early 20′s.

Obesity is not cosmetic

Obesity is not a cosmetic problem. It is a symptom of a pantheon of diseases. Diseases that kill slowly, but killers nonetheless.

Already one in eight of our children has Type 2 Diabetes or the precursors to it. (This devastating disease used to strike less than 3% of those over age 60.) Over 60% of these children also have deeply ingrained risk factors for heart disease. And if a child has even slightly elevated blood pressure at 8, they are highly likely to be hypertensive (high blood pressure) in their teens, only to see it dangerously rise in pressure as they grow older.

An obese 8 year old has the quality of life of a child undergoing chemotherapy, according to studies by child psychologists. They are remorselessly teased, pointed at, chosen last for recess games at school, and have great difficulty playing sports and games with their friends. Their difficulties have just begun.

Teen obesity follows hard on childhood obesity. Obese teens begin to show all the markers of heart disease, hypertension, and Type 2 Diabetes. The nearly irreversible damage to their bodies is already begun its pernicious work. It is deadly work that has only just begun.

Grasp the enormity of this unfolding pandemic:

• Most children with diabetes will go undiagnosed
• Children with diabetes are at high risk of permanent small blood vessel damage, leading to later stroke, kidney disease, and limb amputations if not prevented
• Obese children are 53 times more likely to have the risk factors for diabetes
• Diseases like cancer and heart disease are closely linked to improper childhood nutrition
• Rickets (soft bones), once eradicated, is making a comeback
• 7% of apparently healthy children have 3 or more risk factors for heart disease
• Overweight children have inflammatory signs which predict future heart disease and diabetes
• Between 34% and 65% of five year-old girls have ideas about dieting (5 year-olds. Dieting.)
• Dieting is the leading precursor to eating disorders and later obesity
• Irregular exercise, appetite suppressants, laxative use, vomiting, and binge eating predict excess weight gain
• Dieting girls have over three times the risk of obesity compared with non-dieters
• The psychological stress and social stigma of being overweight may be as damaging as the health effects
• The more overweight kindergarten and first grade children are, the lower their math and reading performance — the foundation for later academic underachievement
• If current trends continue, this generation of American children will grow up to be the most obese adults in U.S. history
• Long-term results of childhood obesity:
–Type 2 Diabetes
–Asthma
–Arthritis
–Liver disease
–Bowel cancer
–Sleep apnea
–Heart disease
–Lung disease
–Intestinal disorders
–Bone and joint complications
• The incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in children and adolescents has increased 500% in the past decade

The prime symptom of all these terrible outcomes is childhood obesity. Childhood obesity confronts one in six of our children. And while the number is rising rapidly — 85% of them will develop diabetes.

Adult Onset Diabetes is the fastest growing childhood disease in America.

The rest of the world is rushing to catch up. For the first time in history, more people worldwide will die of obesity, and related diseases, than hunger or malnutrition.

And it just gets worse:

• Obese adults make just 60% of the income of those with normal weight
• After 7 to 12 years of diabetes, most are on kidney dialysis (notice all the new places for this in the strip malls?)
• 80% of all limb and appendage amputations are of diabetics
• Diabetic men are much more likely to be impotent
• Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness
• Heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity dramatically shortens the lives of all those affected

For the first time in history, we are facing the first generation of parents who will see their children die of chronic diseases before they do. (CDC and World Health Organization, 2003.)

This is the tragic collapse of everything parenthood has ever stood for. As a nation, as a world, as parents and grandparents, we are losing an entire generation. Where will our world be without them? What will our nation be like without children growing to find and live out their dreams?

These children will have dreams, to be sure. They will be grand, and glorious, and beautiful dreams. But they will be stopped short. Their hopes will be shattered. As they ascend into their 20s and 30s, this generation will increasingly be called upon to manage the ravages of their diseases. They will be consumed by the drained energy, the loss of income, the incredible expense, the shrinking family resources to do anything but try to live another day with dignity.

What of their dreams? We all live vastly improved and luxurious lives because of the realized dreams of previous generations. The heroic quests of generations-past improve, enrich, and make our lives wondrous, unlike any that have ever lived on this Earth.

But, this new generation will not live many of their dreams. While they will greatly enrich us by their having been here, they will have fewer years to make our world even better for generations yet unborn. Their dreams, their hero quests, will hone closer to survival than to creating new visions for the future.

We are losing an entire generation of dreams

An entire generation of dreams, of heroic quests is being lost. We will all live diminished lives because of it, even while our hearts bleed for the continued pain of our children and grandchildren.

For those not afflicted, they will be drawn into caring for, and financing the diminished lives of so many chronic disease-stricken young adults, so few of whom will reach the ripe old age of 65.

And all of it, every bit of it, is totally preventable. Preventable. PREVENTABLE. The causes are known. The solutions are clear. It is not for want of caring that this is happening. It is not for want of knowledge that our children are suffering these undeserved calamities. It is for want of hearing, for want of seeing, for want of action that the already-devastating calamity is fully upon us. and upon them.

If you will listen closely, if you will observe with eyes wide open, you will see the terrible calamity that has never been seen before. And while you hear the silent cries growing in every place children inhabit, and while the pain of your close attention will pierce your heart, and you shamelessly cry from your depths, you will ask: “What can be done? What can I do?” From this will a new hero quest arise within you?

The difference between a dreamer and a hero is action

The solutions are known. The keys to a different future are readily in our hands. We just need a generation of champions — a generation of heroes to change the course of history.

Heroes must be informed, as to the causes, and the effective solutions. They must prepare themselves for the arduous task. They must reach out with more than compassion. They must know, understand. And act. For the difference between a dreamer and a hero is action. Concerted, knowledgeable, effective action.

This great cause, to save an entire generation, is the greatest single quest in the history of the world. The need is immediate — children’s bodies can’t wait. The stakes are enormous. The heroic effort required is infinite. We cannot wait. We cannot waiver. We cannot allow our feelings of inadequacy, our fears, our pride, or our vain ambitions to intercede.

If we succeed in this our collective quest, we will be known as the heroic generation that changed the world.

If we fail……. if we fail…….

We cannot fail. We must not fail.

Will we allow ourselves to fail? Will we pick up and carry our fallen and weakened friends upon our shoulders until they, too, are ready to join us in this our collective quest? Will we allow ourselves to doubt that we each, together, individually, can make a difference?

Who would you be without a dream, without a quest, without a consuming desire to change the world in some small or great way, a change only you can make?

There is a generation of children growing up in our country. Their dreams are mere fantasies now. In time these silent urgings will take root, blossom, and mature into great life-dreams… but only with your heroic quest.

If not you, who?

If not now, when?

The newest generation was born into a mean world.

It is the quest of our heroic generation to change that mean world into a world of celebration.

Are you part of that heroic generation?

Next week:
What we can do, what we must do, and how we will do it.
The Heroic Generation that Changed the World: Part 2

Epilogue:

No matter what you may dream, build, develop, or accomplish in this life, remember now, with a daily burning memory, that for you, for them, for the eternities, love only remains.

So chose this day what love you wish to remain. Whatever you create from this day forward will be your lasting memorial. A life-lived memorial of love.

This is the core, the true identity of the lasting hero. A real hero.

Ask yourself each day, as you close your eyes for the night: Have I been a hero today?

© 2007 Boyd L. Jentzsch

Like Mr. Jentzsch points out, it is up to us to step up to the plate and protect our children’s health. Don’t rely on “fast” foods or processed foods to provide your family with their nutrition. Stand up to fad product marketing which tries to determine you and your family’s health.

 This is why YJ Sciences is so proud and excited about our products. We create natural, whole food products that deliver true nutrition in a convenient and affordable way. No added sugars, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, or artificial flavors. Just wholesome healthy ingredients. When used in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise, YJ and Reshape fill the gaps – allowing you be the hero when feeding your family.

 

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Children and Chemicals

A recent article in the Vancouver Sun focused on the growing concern of babies’ and children’s exposure to synthetic chemicals. The same chemicals that a few decades ago were thought of as ingenious product additives (for example as preservatives, plastics, emulsifiers and sunscreens) are now showing to be linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, obesity, and allergies (to name a few).  Endocrine disruption, caused by chemicals that interfere with the hormone system in animals (including humans), have been linked to cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders such as learning disabilities, severe attention deficit disorder, cognitive and brain development problems, deformations of the body (including limbs); sexual development problems, feminizing of males or masculine effects on females, etc. (see Wikipedia for a good summary).

So, given the above information it would seem common sense to make baby-related items to be as non-toxic as possible. We naturally think of kids as being more fragile and sensitive to their environments ; in fact, pound for pound babies actually consume more food, liquids and air than adults.  In addition, babies are often exposed to household chemicals more frequently  – they inhale household dust while on the floor and can ingest more chemicals from chewing on plastic products.

However, it seems that many common baby and children’s products are laced with known toxins. In fact tests regularly show that babies have higher relative chemical loads in their bodies than adults.

A few examples:

Baby shampoos with formaldehyde-releasing chemicals,

Antibacterial soap with hormone-disrupting triclosan,

Car seats and pajamas containing cancer linked flame retardants,

Hard plastic baby cups containing endocrine disrupting bisphenol A (BPA).

What lessons can we learn from this article? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by such information because it feels like these chemicals are all around us and our children. However, don’t be afraid be proactive! There are alternative products out there.  For example, try to look for products free of things like parabens , phthalates, sulphates, BPA and petroleum based ingredients.  Just a little awareness in your consumerism can go a long way!

YJ Sciences believes strongly in protecting you and your family’s health – and in turn the health of our overall environment. This is why we use all natural, whole foods ingredients without added preservatives, artificial colours or flavours and we ensure that our product is manufactured in a certified GMP facility. We also make sure our packaging is made of the best food safe materials possible (for example, we use PET 1 plastic for our bottles), and that our packaging and shipping materials are fully recyclable and printed with earth-friendly inks.

LINK TO ARTICLE:

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Little+sponges+soak+good/7494193/story.html

 

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Pay Attention to Your Body for Good Health

Accepting aging graciously is an admirable intention that most of us would like to strive for.  Yet, what most people are not willing to graciously accept is premature aging. We all know someone (or are someone!) who lost their hair in their early 20’s, while at the same time we have a relative who still has a full head at 80.  Some women can do everything ‘right’ (eat well, sleep, use moisturizers, don’t smoke) yet have more wrinkles than their all too party hardy friend.

Everyone ages at different rates and what researchers call ‘biological age’ (the age your body’s cells seem) versus chronological age (the age you actually are) is something that has been of great interest for decades.

Although these outwardly signs of aging may seem cruel to one’s (naturally!) proud self do they actually indicate anything greater than cosmetic changes to our bodies?  A recent study showed that those individuals who look older for their age may actually have a greater risk of heart disease.

By following 11,000 Danish people (men and women) over 35 years it was found that people who look old — with receding hairlines, bald heads, creases near their ear lobes or bumpy deposits on their eyelids — actually had a greater chance of developing of heart disease than younger-looking people of the same age.

 So what’s the bottom line? Pay attention to who’s looking back in the mirror.  If you notice premature signs of aging get your heart and blood pressure checked.

 Also, make sure to take care of yourself! Eat right, exercise, sleep, reduce stress….we may not be able to change our genes (although sometimes it would be nice wouldn’t it?) but we can use the cards we were dealt to the best of our ability.

 Of course making sure Youthjuice and Reshape are part of your daily routine is a huge step towards maintaining a healthy you inside and out.

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Crow+feet+weak+heart+Looking+signal+greater+heart+disease+risk/7506748/story.html

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Stress: Not What You Need, But Probably What You Have

Stress has always been a part of life – however, what has changed over the past years is the type and amount of stress individuals have to endure.  Although the marvels of Western development have lead to great human achievements (such as conventional medicine, agricultural advancements and technology) what is becoming apparent is that all of this development may come at a potential cost: our wellbeing.

As important as it is to recognize the fortunes of living in a developed world it is equally important not to downplay the reality living in this world brings: we are constantly being inundated with information and expectations at all times of the day from all places and in all directions. We are living in a complex, connected and demanding society – which while allowing us to live longer, more rich and experienced lives than ever before, is also helping chronic stress be a normal part of daily life.

So, how do you know if your stressed…and how can stress actually effect your health?

Common effects of stress …

… On your body … On your mood … On your behavior
  • Headache
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sex drive
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Irritability or anger
  • Sadness or depression
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Angry outbursts
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Tobacco use
  • Social withdrawal

*chart taken from mayoclinic.com

If you are like most people, you are probably feeling stressed from just reading the above chart! Well, don’t worry – there are lots of things you can do to help lower your daily chronic stress levels:

Physical activity

Relaxation techniques

Meditation / Mindfulness

Yoga

Journal Writing

Talking to others

Asking for help

Most importantly, it is crucial not to downplay the importance of nutrition in how you feel both physically and mentally.  It is vital to get plenty of sleep and eat right! When stressed it is easy to turn to the nearest twinkie and can of Coke for quick relief.  But being busy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your healthy lifestyle – Youthjuice and Reshape make it easy to get the whole food nutrition you need to help manage your stress and look after your body during your busy life.

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Ode to Probiotics

Most thoughts of bacteria involve the nearest bottle of Lysol and dousing oneself in sanitizer.  However, over the past decade researchers have discovered a whole new world – and it lives on and in us! Before you get too frightened – don’t worry, this new world is an ecosystem that your body needs to be healthy.  In fact, it is thought that at any moment each human is walking around with trillions of bacteria cells: they outnumber human cells 10 to one. The normal non-disease causing bacteria found within and on the human body, often referred to as ‘good’ bacteria, are concentrated on the skin, around the genitals and within the intestines.  They provide important health benefits such as aiding in immune function, maintaining a healthy microbial environment on your skin and aiding in digestion.

However, what has seemed to interest researchers and food manufacturers alike recently is how to influence and encourage a healthy microbiota of the human gut through daily food consumption. Normal bacteria within the human digestive tract have several key specific functions including:

1)      the immune system – certain normal gut bacteria are known to influence the balance of two immune responses, one associated with autoimmune disorders and one associated with allergies.  Some studies have associated changes in the gut bacteria with an increased risk of allergies.

2)      certain gastrointestinal diseases, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome – for example, certain molecules produced by the gut flora may signal immune cells to suppress the disease’s characteristic inflammation.

3)      your weight.  As our gut microbiota aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, some individuals may be better at digesting and absorbing food than others.  Research has shown that obese individuals are home to different microbe populations than those people without a weight problem. There may be a causal link, with those obese individuals having always carried a different microbial gut community than others – or, it could be that diet actually influences our microbial community and hence contributes perpetually to weight gain.

It seems that on their own, our personal microbiota stay constant throughout our lives – a consequence of our exposure at birth.  However, it appears that the ingestion of ‘good’ bacteria through probiotics – naturally occurring or added to foods- can help create microbial balance within our gut to promote good digestion and a healthy, happy bio-community.  This is why we have ensured that YJ Reshape has 1 billion probiotocs/serving.

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