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5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3
We all know omega-3s are good for your health. We also know the benefits of omega-3 range from protecting your heart, brain and eyes to supporting joint health and reducing inflammation. The definitive list of omega-3 benefits would certainly be a long one - there are tens of thousands of academic studies of the benefits of omega-3 intake. We take a look at some surprising, lesser known benefits of omega-3.
1. Omega-3 may help sleep
Recent research from Oxford University has produced a number of fascinating insights into the importance of a particular type of omega-3 and children's learning. In these studies, children with low levels of '
' (a specific type of omega-3) scored significantly worse on tests for memory, behaviour, concentration, reading and numeracy than children who had sufficient DHA levels. Furthermore, the researchers consequently noted that increasing DHA levels in the children with low DHA by using a DHA supplement helped them improve their performance and bridge the gap to their peers. Increasing DHA levels increased learning outcomes. What does this have to do with sleep? The Oxford team have recently expanded on their study. Their most recent results show that low DHA levels
can lead to poor sleep in children. Giving a DHA supplement to the children in the study with low DHA levels improved the quality of their sleep.
2. Omega-3 may support male fertility
A 2010 study published in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the relationship between omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in fertile and infertile men. Fertile men tended to have higher omega-3 levels than infertile men. Further research is required to consolidate and expand on these findings. However, the results from the study do echo the findings of several animal studies in rats and guppies - both animal studies showed a link between fertility and omega-3 levels.
3. Omega-3s may protect ageing brains
From the University of Maryland's
overview of omega-3 research
A number of studies show that reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with increased risk of age related cognitive decline. Scientists believe the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is protective against age related cognitive decline."
4. Omega-3s may support stronger bones.
Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D may not be the only
nutrients for supporting strong bones
. Several studies have looked at the relationship between omega-3 intake and bone density. Whilst further research is required, there is preliminary evidence to suggest there may be a link between omega-3 levels and maintaining bone density over time.
5. Omega-3 may help menstrual pain
Preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggests women who take fish oil during menstruation may experience a decline in menstrual pain.
5 Superfoods For Your Heart
Keeping your heart healthy is as much about putting the right nutrients
to your body as it is about keeping the wrong substances
Foods that contain saturated fats, salt and high levels of processed sugar are all "No-no's" (as is smoking). If you are concerned about your heart, eating well and avoiding the above foods and toxins may help. Eating more of the below 5 superfoods for a healthy heart may also be of benefit to overall heart health. Looking after your heart is serious business. As this article is being written, heart disease is the leading underlying cause of death in Australia.
If you have serious concerns about heart health, talking to your doctor should be your first step. Eating the foods below may help support your heart, but just eating these foods and neglecting other lifestyle factors that can contribute to heart problems will not guarantee a healthy heart.
5 Superfoods For Your Heart
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease according to the Australian Heart Foundation. Omega-3 may also help reduce inflammation of blood vessels and reduce blood clotting.
Chia-Crusted Salmon recipe
for a tasty, healthy way to get more salmon into your diet.
2. Chia Seeds
are - like salmon - rich in omega-3. In fact, on a pund-for-pound basis, chia seeds contain more omega-3 than salmon. Furthermore, chia seeds are rich in fibre. Diets high in fibre can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Chia Cacao Coconut Cluster recipe
for a treat that you won't believe is heart-healthy.
3. Tofu and/or Soy Milk
Both of these food sources contain niacin, folate, calcium magnesium and potassium. These nutrients are crtitical to help support the heart.
Banana Split Smoothie recipe
- a delicious way to drink soy milk and top up fibre, protein and antioxidants.
is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for helping prevent potential cellular damage caused by free radicals - unstable molecules that are present in our body and attack cells in an effort to stabilise themselves. This damage can cause inflammation, and a
ntioxidants can thus protect our body from the inflammation. Inflammation can be an aggravating factor in heart disease. Preliminary studies also suggest acai
be helpful for reducing blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.
Acai Berry Breakfast recipe
for a heart healthy start to the date.
You may have heard of studies that suggest a potential link between daily (dark) chocolate consumption and heart health. This link is likely because dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa) is rich in polyphenols: substances that can help reduce clotting, blood pressure and inflammation. What you may not know is that dark chocolate, and the cocoa used to make it, are actually the nutritionally inferior by-products of
raw cacao. Raw cacao
is rich in a number of nutrients that are critical for supporting heart health. It is the base ingredient used to make cocoa / dark chocolate (cacao is processed and cooked to turn it into cocoa, whihc is then processed further to create dark chocolate. This processing and cooking destroys much of the original nutritional content, so choosing cacao over cocoa is a good idea).
Choc Chilli Cacao Mousse recipe
for a decadent, heart-friendly dessert.
------ This article is presented by our online health partner Health365. To
buy Nature's Way Superfoods online
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For men's health.
Why Men Need Zinc
Zinc is what is known as an 'essential mineral'. This means that your body needs it but cannot produce it... you have to get zinc from foods or supplements. Zinc plays a number of roles in our body, including helping us fight disease and healing wounds. However, zinc also delivers some particularly important benefits for men. Let's take a look at why men need zinc.
Why Men Need Zinc
1. Zinc May Support Prostate Health
Prostate health is an uncomfortable topic for most men, and if you have a prostate problem, things get even more uncomfortable when you have to go and see your doctor. However, given that prostate cancer is the sixth highest killer of men in Australia (2012 figures), taking prostate health seriously is important. Studies have shown that cancerous prostates have lower than normal levels of zinc that normal prostates. The zinc in prostate cells appears to have a protective property, and the lower zinc levels may mean lower levels of protection.
2. Zinc may support a healthy heart
Preliminary studies suggest zinc may be critical in maintaining a healthy heart, and may even help improve heart health after a heart attack. Given that coronary heart disease is the leading killer of men in Australia, and men are significantly more likely to develop heart disease, supporting your heart by ensuring you get enough zinc is a good idea.
3. Zinc may help increase sperm quality
One of the symptoms of zinc deficiencies in men is lowered sperm count. Low zinc can lead to low sperm count, which may adversely affect your chances of having a family. ------ This article was brought to you by our online health partner, Health365. For more information on
How To Lose Your Beer Belly
A beer belly used to be a mark of the great Australian larrikin. Someone who enjoyed a bit too much of all the good things that life had to offer. A loveable lout more concerned with having a good time with friends than worrying about his health. However, with increasing rates of obesity-related diseases killing men off in our thousands, plus increasing pressure on men to conform to a particular body image, it is no longer 'OK' to be lugging that extra weight around your midriff section. Whilst we don't mean to suggest you should lose that beer belly to bow to societal pressures of what a man's body should look like, we
condone dropping excess body fat in the name of increasing your health and extending your life expectancy.
3 Important Tips: Losing Your Beer Belly
1. Drink in moderation
Excessive alcohol can lead to midnight kebabs and $5 pizza slices (don't act like you don't know what we are talking about). However, alcohol consumption can have several other effects on our bodies that can hinder weight loss / contribute to weight gain. Firstly, alcohol can mess with our metabolism. Our livers are responsible for metabolizing fats to use them for energy. When we drink, our livers are
workinghard trying to process and metabolise the alcohol we have just had. This can mean less of the fat we have eaten is used for creating energy. Further, many common mixers that we consume with alcohol contain high levels of processed sugar. This causes a very interesting problem - our body has an amazing ability to assess what food we need for energy production, and what food is excess. It will take that excess unused energy source and store them for later use in the form of body fat. This is particularly true for processed sugars in drink mixers - our body can only use so much of the huge amount of potential energy that the sugars provide, so most of it gets stored for later use in the form of body fat. This can cause weight gain.
That's right... there are no miracle cures for the beer belly. Combining a mix of cardiovascular (think jogging, swimming, aerobics classes) and resistance training (think bench press and squats) can produce the optimal mix of fat-burning exercise. Cardiovascular exercise (aim for 45 minutes at a time) forces your body to tap into it's fat stores to create the energy needed to complete that exercise. Resistance training, on the other hand, can help your body use up more energy for hours after you leave the gym. Weight training can leave your metabolism high and your body using alot of the food you eat to repair itself. Furthermore, a person with higher muscle mass uses more energy in a day than a similar person with less muscle mass, meaning adding some muscle mass can help turn more of the food you eat each day into energy energy rather than fat.
3. Overhaul your diet
Chances are if you have a beer belly then your diet may be more to blame than beer itself. Consider a complete overhaul of your diet, and try the following tips:
Reduce your portions – no need to feel bloated after every meal.
Drink 8 to 12 glasses of water, spread throughout the day. Proper hydration is a key prerequisite to help you metabolise food.
Cut down on sugary, fatty, fried and processed food (white bread, chips, pizza, fast food, cool drinks, chocolate bars, cake, etc.).
Eat more wholegrain cereals, breads and pastas rather than their white alternatives. Wholegrain foods release their energy more slowly, meaning less chance they will be stored as fat by your body.
Eat more raw and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Choose lean, low-fat meats and grill or roast rather than fry them.
Eat five balanced, smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large ones – it’ll improve your metabolism.
Eat more soluble fibre (unpeeled apples, oats, cherries etc.). It iwll help you feel fuller for longer.
What about Fat Burning Supplements?
All we can say is "Buyer Beware". There are some products - such as our
SlimRight Green Coffee Bean
products - that
aid weight loss and fat metabolism when used in conjunction with good diet and exercise. At the same time, there are other products whose only weight loss effect is emptying your wallet. If you are going to try a metabolism boosting supplement, try to protect yourself from fraudsters by
buying Australian products from Australian retailers
rather than buying overseas brands online. Overseas products are not as heavily regulated as Australian products, and their quality and efficacy cannot be guaranteed. The tight regulatory guidelines Australian weight loss products must comply with helps protect consumers.
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Check out our range of
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3 Superfoods For Men's Health
You may scoff at the term 'superfoods', but believe us when we say ..
Rest & Restore Night MultiVitamin For Men
Do you feel worn out, fatigued, not 100%? You may be going to bed stressed, which may cause sleep problems, resulting in feeling tired the next day.
Rest & Restore Night MultiVitamin For Men
is formulated to help you physically unwind by helping to relax your muscles and mind so you don't take your stress to bed. It also restores your body while you sleep.
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