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Beware of Heavy Metal!

No, this article is not about the music industry or even lifting weights. And although heavy metal can be a good thing, depending on who you are and what you like, what we are talking about here are the toxic metals that are showing up in laboratory analyses of food products and nutritional supplements.

The usual culprits that show up in testing are arsenic, mercury, lead and cadmium, but there are over 20 heavy metals to watch out for. Some are fairly common in our environment and are needed for good health, but high doses of others can be detrimental. Here are a few of the negative side effects that can occur from overconsumption of these heavy metals:

• A negative impact on mental function

• Damaged or reduced central nervous system function

• Low energy

• May lead to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease

• Long term contact may lead to cancer

It is important to be aware of what we are consuming because of heavy metal toxins like these that are sneaking into our bodies through our food supply. Several very common breakfast cereals, from corn flakes to granola to rice, have been tested for these toxic heavy metals and the results can be shocking to consumers.

But breakfast cereals are not the only ones to undergo such scrutiny. Nutritional supplements, especially protein powders, are failing the test as well. I saw one analysis of a very popular protein powder which showed that it contained more lead than old paint!

Symptoms of heavy metal toxicity through food can come on very slowly, and oftentimes they are mistaken as a problem resulting from something else. These symptoms can even subside, causing some people to brush off the danger. Some of the most recognizable symptoms are:

• Impaired mental function (motor, brain and language skills)

• Difficulty learning

• Insomnia

• Nausea

• Lethargy

Detoxes can be done to help rid the body of these heavy metals, and of course switching to better food choices is a great option as well. If you are concerned about the amounts of these heavy metals in your foods, and you should be, it is very easy to find the data which shows just what’s in your product of choice. With a little diligence, you may be unpleasantly surprised and that favorite cereal of yours may no longer be on the shopping list.

Chlorella “The single cell superfood”

When it comes to overall health, few people would think to look to algae as a wealth of beneficial nutrition. The simple, single-celled organism known to the nutritional world as chlorella is a whole food (meaning you can eat the entire thing) that packs a massive dose of healthy benefits. With every serving of chlorella you get a rich dosage of nutrients like:

• Vitamins such as A, C, E and K

• Minerals like calcium, zinc and magnesium

• Protein

• Chlorophyll

• Healthy fats

These are just a few of chlorella’s many nutritional benefits. But the benefits of chlorella do not stop with just what it contains. Eating this green superfood provides a wide array of benefits for an overall healthier life. Here are a few of the areas in which chlorella may improve your life.

• Removal of toxins – Toxins are everywhere in our world, and adding chlorella to your nutrition plan can help eliminate them from your body because it binds with them to safely remove them.

• Improved Digestion – Chlorella helps promote the growth of healthy bacteria, flora and probiotics in the digestive system. A healthy digestive system is vital for a strong immune system.

• Combating cancer – Chlorella’s natural high-carotenoid content helps prevent oxidation,

which can lead to cancer. Combining that with its immune-boosting and detoxifying qualities makes for a powerful anti-cancer agent.

• Fighting heart disease – Along with its powerful antioxidant properties, chlorella may

also improve LDL (the bad cholesterol) levels and high blood pressure.

There’s a reason chlorella is called a superfood, and with a list of benefits like this it’s easy to see why.

The simple addition of this “lowly” algae to your nutrition plan may be just what you need to improve your health. Even if you’re already a healthy person, chlorella offers a wide list of benefits that just can’t be ignored.

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

It’s right around the corner; the first day of the New Year and everything is going to be different from now on. How often have we told ourselves this? More importantly, how often have we told ourselves this, but ended up failing miserably within the first few days or weeks, and then we’re right back to our old routine? Why do so many Americans want to do something good in their lives, but then it winds up falling apart?

I have a few thoughts on the subject.

Change is hard – We’re creatures of habit, and when things don’t follow the same routine day after day, we tend to panic. We don’t like getting out of our comfort zone to try something new. I believe that’s why so many people live their lives envious of rock stars, athletes and actors. Those people took the path not chosen, put in the hard work, and became successful at it. There is a saying that the average overnight success took ten years to happen. If you want to stick to that resolution and achieve your goal, be prepared to put in the hard work that most people may not see.

Lack of support – Misery loves company. Sometimes people see you doing a good thing in your life and it makes them feel bad about what they’re not doing in their own. They may try to sabotage you. It may be consciously or unconsciously, but it will probably happen. A friend may tell you to skip a workout to go out for a greasy meal. A coworker may tell you you look unhealthy because you’re dropping unwanted weight. Your family may even ask why you’re doing this to yourself. You can’t let that hold you back. You will get plenty of positive reinforcement as well, and that’s what you need to focus on to keep you moving forward.

Setting the bar too high – If your resolution is to make $1 million next year, and your salary is only $35,000, you may want to adjust your goal. It could happen, but the odds are against you in an example like this. For a large goal like this, break it down into smaller goals. Maybe making $45,000 next year is a better option, plus saving $5,000 on the side. These goals will be easier to achieve and help keep your drive going, especially when you realize that you are attaining these goals.

Diving in too quickly – This is especially prominent with people who resolve to work out more. They’re at the gym 6 days a week, after months or years of not working out, and then within a few weeks, they’re done. Every January through February you can see this in any gym. Pace yourself. You will find that you’re not as sore (and that’s what usually keeps people from coming back) and you will see results with consistency.

Procrastination – I don’t see why we have to wait for a new year to make positive changes in our lives.

There’s no time like the present to follow that dream you’ve always had in the back of your mind.

If you’ve got a New Year’s Resolution waiting to happen, don’t let it go by the wayside like so many others have done. Put in the hard work, stick to it and keep pressing forward. You may find that it’s much easier to improve your life than you ever could have imagined.

Why You Eat? Hunger and Appetite

I have been asked countless times how to lose weight, how to get in shape, what is the best diet, etc. You must understand the purpose of eating.

You should be eating to nourish your body, first and foremost. Why do you eat? Do you eat because you’re bored? Because you are sad or depressed? Or do you eat for entertainment?

Why you eat is an essential component in weight loss & health. Why you eat has a direct correlation to what you eat and how often.

Know the difference between hunger & appetite.

As a former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight champion of the world, it is my job to be an expert in nutrition. My career and physical well being depend on it.

There are many fad diets out there.

There are also a lot of foods that yesterday you were told were not good for you and today  you are told they are.

There’s a lot of conflicting information.

A lot of these fad diets do work in the short term.

The problem is they have a yo-yo effect.

One of the ways you can tell that one of these diet plans is going to have a yo-yo effect is when they promise that you will lose a lot of weight in a very short amount of time.

Such as “Lose 75 pounds in 6 weeks!” or “Eat grapefruits and lose 100 pounds!”

It is a physiological impossibility for your body to burn that much fat in such a short period of time.You can lose that much weight, but what you are losing is a combination of muscle, fat, & fluids.

This can have a negative effect on your hormones, heart and bones Here is a fact about fat reduction: You have to eat to burn fat and fat burns during carbohydrate combustion.

Eating also maintains basal metabolic rate.

When you don’t eat, you lower your metabolic rate so your body basically goes into a state of hibernation saving its fuel supply in anticipation of another period of starvation!

You do have to eat to burn fat, but what you eat is an absolute prerequisite to healthy and permanent weight loss. With a safe weight loss plan you should lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

An effective weight loss plan will supply your body with adequate nutrients and the proper balance of nutrients allows your body to perform all of its’ metabolic functions.

A diet that is sustainable over a long period of time should include a variety of whole foods and lean meats prepared properly. Prepared properly means baked, broiled, grilled, or served raw when it is safe to do so. Prepared properly does NOT mean microwaved or deep fat fried.

Like I said before there is a lot of conflicting information on diet and nutrition. I believe this is due to the fact that there is too much theory & not enough application.

Revised & updated. Originally published as Aces 5 pillars of health.

What Are Paraben’s?

What Are Parabens?

You may see this word on typical items you use daily, and you may have even heard that you should avoid them, but what exactly are parabens and why should they be avoided?

The first answer is really quite a simple one. Parabens are a class of chemicals that are used as preservatives in pharmaceutical products, cosmetics and even in some foods. Parabens are found

most often in items such as:

• Shampoo

• Deodorant

• Sunscreen

• Toothpaste

• Processed Meat

• Topical Pharmaceuticals

There are some naturally occurring parabens, but nearly all of those used as preservatives are man-made. These parabens are relatively cheap to manufacture, and they are used to fight bacteria and fungus, which can grow easily in the warm, moist environment of a bathroom. Parabens actually replaced formaldehyde decades ago as the go-to preservative.

Since parabens have come under such scrutiny within the past few years, many companies have opted to eliminate their use from their products, and consumers are also eliminating products which contain parabens. But if parabens are fighting off bacteria and fungus from our daily-use items, do you really need to avoid them?

Studies on parabens have shown that they can adversely affect the endocrine system in humans, and that there is a link between parabens and cancerous tumors. Parabens have been found in breast tumors (1) and another study showed that exposure to butylparaben had a negative effect on the secretion of testosterone and function of the reproductive system in male mammals (2).

While parabens are definitely a few steps ahead of formaldehyde, better alternatives are still being sought out by the cosmetics industry. As far as the FDA is concerned, they are still “generally recognized as safe.”

The main thing you can do now to avoid parabens is to read the label of any product you’re buying.

If you see anything which contains the word paraben, don’t buy it. Many products nowadays even advertise that they’re paraben-free, and that’s always a welcome sign.

1 “Significance of the detection of esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (parabens) in human breast tumours”; Philip W. Harvey, David J. Everett; Journal of Applied Toxicology, January 8, 2004

2 Dr. S. Oishi; Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health; Archives of Toxicology, July 2002

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