Healthy Hydration

Water is essential to every major process and function in the body — from circulation to digestion — so it’s important to keep it replenished. While refueling needs may vary, here are a few common recommendations:

Drink 8 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This is good advice for most of us, most of the time. But no single formula fits all. Men, athletes, or those who live or work in hotter climates may require more. Drink enough so your urine is pale yellow.

Limit caffeinated beverages. Try to keep caffeine intake to 200-300 mg per day (about 2-3 cups).

Drink water before, during, and after exercise. Nutritionists recommend 4-6 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise.

Consume fluids during or immediately after a meal. Liquids help break down food and keep the digestive process moving along. So eat, drink, and be merry.

Football Fan Fare

It’s tailgate time, and there’s nothing like gathering before the game to fuel up for all the fun. Score points for creativity with these healthy twists on traditional temptations:

Double coverage nachos. In place of store-bought chips, cut whole wheat tortillas into wedges, mist with olive oil and bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for easy transport, along with portable tubs of homemade guacamole, bean dip, and salsa.

Gridiron grill. Instead of brats and burgers, serve up salmon steaks. Add skewers loaded with chunks of tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and zucchini brushed in olive oil and lightly seasoned.

Pocket pile-on. Skip the subs and fill whole wheat pitas with turkey or chicken, tomato slices, bean sprouts, and spinach. Then top with mustard, hummus, or salsa instead of mayo.

Sweet score. Replace brownies and cookies with fruit kabobs and low-fat vanilla yogurt dip. Dust thick apple slices or nectarine halves with brown sugar and cinnamon before grilling.

Beverage blitz. Blend ½ iced tea with ½ lemonade. Add fruit juice to sparkling water and garnish with fresh fruit. Mix and heat unsweetened baking cocoa with a little honey, low-fat milk, and vanilla for a healthier take on hot chocolate.

Could a humble stir-fry be your life saver?

When Marla Maples Trump, ex-wife of the U.S. billionaire Donald Trump, goes into the kitchen to whip up a meal for herself and daughter Tiffany, she pours a dash of Bragg Organic Olive Oil into her wok, then tosses in some vegetables and finishes it off with a generous squirt of Bragg Liquid Aminos – an all-purpose seasoning made from 100% certified non-GMO healthy soybeans – which contains 16 amino acids, including the important L–arginine. This American health food has been a staple with the health crowd for over 88 years. Everyone who’s health-conscious – from the rich and powerful, to the Stars of Hollywood and Broadway, to Opera singers at the Met, to Rock and Roll Bands – including the ever-youthful Beach Boys, who often perform here in London – they use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos in their foods.

The Scientists at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, now believe that this simple amino acid could be a powerful weapon in the war on arteriosclerosis, a degenerative disease of the arteries, the number one killer in the Western World today. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and L–arginine – which is found naturally in foods such as meat, nuts, eggs and cheese – has long been favored by weightlifters, top bodybuilders and celebrities for its reputedly powerful fat-burning action. The soybean has long been recognized as one of the healthiest sources of amino acids – but the idea that you could use it as part of your everyday life – turning your raw, cooked and stir-fry foods into a health-giving experience – is still quite novel. Remarkably, however, this healthy trend in American cooking is backed up by some extraordinary new research.

L-Arginine Helps Prevent Arteriosclerosis

Preliminary results of trials conducted at Great Ormond Street Hospital suggest that L–arginine has a far loftier mission than mere bodybuilding. It is now beginning to be seen as a powerful tool for saving the lives of heart patients living under a potential death sentence from a variety of risks and triggers of arterial disease including these health robbers: high cholesterol, smoking, alcohol, diabetes, high blood pressure, stress, an unhealthy diet, family history of illness, obesity and lack of exercise.

Dr. John Deanfield, who is a consultant cardiologist heading the research at Great Ormond Street Hospital, says that, “The reason L–arginine is so important is because of its remarkable ability in restoring the function of vessel walls after only a month of treatment. Our past 10 years of research has shown us that the artery is not just a pipe with blood flowing in it, but that the wall of the artery is actively involved in the regulation of the vascular function. If you damage the cells in the lining of the artery – by smoking, or any of the other risk factors – then you are more likely to develop atherosclerotic and heart disease in time.”

It turns out that nitric oxide, which protects the vessel walls from the fatty deposits which cause disease, is naturally produced constantly in a healthy person. It is this same nitric oxide which acts to regulate the vessel walls, expanding them, for example, for increased blood flow when you run for a bus, exercise, etc. Perhaps more importantly, it also works to help prevent platelets and blood cells from sticking to the artery walls. But the ability of the arteries to produce nitric oxide becomes severely impaired when the arteries become corroded and narrow. That is when L–arginine comes into play. What doctors have discovered is that the artery walls absorb L-arginine, allowing an enzyme to break it down into vitally needed nitric oxide.

Recently, the Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital have been using ultrasound to examine the arteries of children as young as 5 for signs of arteriosclerosis. “It has been known for years that the process of damage to the artery walls often occurs in the first decade of life,” says Dr. Deanfield. “Children with high cholesterol in the first ten years of life already have damage to the endothelium (artery lining), much like teenage smokers and even people exposed to passive smoking.”

There are pathological studies of 20-year-olds showing evidence of arterial disease in apparently healthy individuals. Scientists now believe that preventive tactics using L-arginine might offer the chance to nip heart disease in the bud – at the earliest possible stage. The entire test group – young people in their teens, 20s and 30s – selected for the Ormond Street Hospital trial suffered from high cholesterol! After just 1 month of using L–arginine they showed a 50% improvement in artery function! The hospital plans to begin tests on a higher risk group, 40-year-olds with multiple risk factors but no clinical disease, to see whether L–arginine improves the survival rates of potential coronary and angina patients.

“This is a fantastic area of research and we are very excited by it,” says Dr. Deanfield. “In the past we have dealt with arterial disease patients using plumbing treatment. That means either a bypass or angioplasty – which is a balloon blown up in the artery to get rid of the narrowing there. Now we are asking whether we can actually alter and manipulate the function of the artery as a strategy for protecting against the consequences of arterial disease. In other words, you may have arterial disease, but we want to modify its activity to reduce its risk.” The benefits for healthy people with no coronary risk factors taking L–arginine are still unproven.

Also, pharmaceutical companies have yet to determine the adequate therapeutic daily dose for the amino acid, but a recommendation is expected within the next 12 months. Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital say that they picked their dose at random, and note that the dose required to restore proper functioning of the arterial lining might well be half that amount.

The jury is still out on whether this dark, tasty culinary sauce could be the elixir of life. But Dr. Mike Mullen, research fellow in the Vascular Physiology Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital, believes the Bragg Liquid Aminos used by Marla Maples has potential. Dr. Mullen said, “It is essential that people have a well-balanced diet, and anyone on a low-protein or vegetarian diet may have a shortage of L-arginine – although nuts, such as walnuts and brazilnuts, have high concentrations of it.” Amino acids used to be divided into essential and non-essential amino acids by nutritionists and scientists. Essential amino acids were those that had to be included in the diet since the body might not be able to create or synthesize them. L-arginine was once considered one of the non-essential amino acids, but now it’s regarded as a semi-essential. In other words, the body might be able to manufacture it, but it may not be reaching all the places it’s needed, so it’s wise to supplement your diet with L-arginine.

Bragg Distributors, Panacea Health in England would certainly agree. Bragg Liquid Aminos now comes in handy 6 ounce spray, 16 and 32 ounce and gallon containers. Also available is the delicious Bragg Raw, Organic, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar.

Bragg Books inspired the Tony Quinn Health Centers to start the first health stores in Dublin, Ireland. They are a supplier of Bragg products and books throughout the Emerald Isle. Tony Quinn feels that if your goal is simply to get a concentrated dose of L–arginine, then you can get it in a supplement. He says that Bragg Liquid Aminos offers the best source of balanced amino acids with L-arginine for the majority of people, especially for those on the run who can’t be bothered with supplements. Quinn says his customers say Bragg Liquid Aminos is “just delicious” and is the perfect all purpose seasoning for vegetables, soups, potatoes, meats, poultry, fish, tofu, stir-fries, rice and bean dishes, salads, even great for popcorn. Also makes a delicious broth.

A final word from Marla (marlamaples.com): “Bragg Liquid Aminos has L-arginine in it and is a delicious, healthy alternative to soy sauce. It doesn’t even have any added salt – only a small amount of organic sodium from the soybeans. If you find the taste too strong, you can mix it with distilled water in its spray dispenser, and spray it onto your food. I’m often busy and I feel that adding Bragg Liquid Aminos, a delicious, nutritional seasoning to my food is a simple way of eating in a healthy manner.”

Influencing Influenza

Each year 5%-10% of the US population will get the flu — and more than 200,000 will be hospitalized due to complications. But you can battle and beat the bug by arming yourself with these easy, proven tactics:

Scrub up. Your best defense is to wash your hands often and well. It may sound like a given but, according to an American Society for Microbiology survey, just 82% of Americans wash their hands after using the bathroom and only 38% wash their hands after sneezing. Keeping your palms and digits clean can greatly reduce viral attacks.

Take a shot. It is your best protection against certain strains, especially if you’re high risk for serious complications. Ask your doctor if a shot in the arm or nasal spray is right for you.

Eat right. Foods such as garlic, yogurt, sauerkraut, broccoli, apples, spinach, red onions, and blueberries help build your immune system and ward off illness-causing invaders.

Turn up the heat. Try sitting in a sauna once a week. An Austrian study found that participants who breathed in the hot air developed half as many colds as those who didn’t.

Preventing Cervical Cancer

Being told you have abnormal cells on your cervix can be extremely frightening. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cervical cancer – and there’s plenty you can do to prevent cervical cancer.

Around 370,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the world each year. The main risk factor for the disease is the human papillomavirus (HPV). Anything that increases your risk of contracting this virus is itself a risk factor for cervical cancer. This includes early sexual activity (young cells may be more susceptible to the cervical damage the virus may cause) and poor immunity. In addition, smoking is a separate major risk factor because nicotine triggers damage to cervical cells.

Symptoms and diagnosis

If you experience any bleeding after intercourse, or if you have bleeding between periods and a continuous vaginal discharge, you should see your doctor right away. Ask for a Pap smear to rule out cervical dysplasia – remember that harmless cervical erosion and cervical polyps can cause bleeding between periods, too, so don’t assume the news will be bad. Your doctor will perform a colposcopy to establish whether or not you have abnormal cell growth on your cervix, and, if you do, he or she will order a biopsy to establish whether or not the cells are cancerous.

Conventional Treatments

After a diagnosis of abnormal cell changes, your doctor will offer you the treatment that’s most appropriate for the extent of the abnormalities. The following aim to prevent cervical dysplasia becoming cervical cancer.

Diathermy The CIN grading that categorizes the cell changes in your cervix refers to cells on the surface of the cervical tissue. A doctor can destroy these abnormal surface cells quickly and easily suing heat (diathermy), giving you just a local anaesthetic. Although you may bleed for up to three weeks afterwards, this is a highly effective technique, and it’s unlikely that abnormal cell changes will recur. Afterwards, you should have six-monthly cervical tests, eventually spreading them out to yearly when your doctor says it’s okay to do so. Laser surgery (burning cells off with a laser) and cryosurgery (freezing them with a small probe) are also treatments for outer-surface cervical abnormalities.

Cone biopsy Sometimes it might be necessary to cut away the affected cells in your cervix rather than destroying them with heat. This is called a cone biopsy, and a doctor will often choose this method of treatment if he or she can’t see the cells clearly. Performed under local or general anaesthetic, a cone biopsy is so-called because your doctor uses a heated loop to extract a cone-shaped piece of tissue from your cervix. (The cut-away tissue is cone shaped because the part that’s removed closest to the vagina is wider than the tissue taken from the junction of the cervix, following the natural shape of the neck of the vagina).

Cone biopsy is both a treatment and a diagnostic technique. The abnormal cells are cut away (and it’s unlikely you’ll have a recurrence) as a method of treatment but are then sent to a laboratory for further analysis. You may have some bleeding for up to three weeks after the procedure with the tissue is healing.

Vaccine A vaccine is now available to young girls to try to help prevent them from developing cervical cancer. It’s normally given to girls around ages 11 to 12 and aims to protect them against becoming infected with HPV. The vaccination is extremely controversial because it reduces the risk of a girl contracting genital warts, and therefore (the argument goes) could lull girls into a false sense of security and encourage promiscuity. Some reports suggest that the vaccination can have a number of unpleasant side-effects, including nausea, muscle weakness, fever, dizziness, and numbness. More worryingly still, some doctors have reported instances of girls developing paralysis, convulsions, and sight problems after they’d being given the vaccine.

Your Diet

Nutrition plays a crucial role in helping to prevent cervical dysplasia, and the right balance of nutrients may even, according to some studies, reverse abnormal cell changes altogether.

First and foremost, boost your intake of immunity-boosting antioxidants, in particular beta-carotene (which the body uses to make vitamin A), which research shows can be significantly deficient in women with cervical cancer. Orange vegetables and fruits are a sure sign of good beta-carotene content, so stock up on carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe, among all the other brightly colored fruit and vegetables you see. In addition, leafy greens such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage are all good vegetable sources. Other important antioxidant nutrients are vitamins C (in citrus fruits, green beans, and so on) and E (also found in leafy greens, as well as nuts and seeds), and the minerals zinc (in legumes, nuts, and whole grains) and selenium (fish and shellfish, grains, and garlic).

In addition, pile your plate with foods rich in folic acid (leafy green vegetables, yellow vegetables, and citrus fruits). An important B-vitamin, folic acid has been shown to slow the mutation of abnormal cells.

Subliminal Programming

Procrastination, laziness, insecurity — they’re negative temptations that masquerade as valid excuses. Snuff out their destructive whispers and kindle determination with positive sparks. The flames of encouragement, duty, and will can ignite an attitude for success.

Speak the language of your subconscious. Thoughts are powerful things, and they can be negotiated using your mind. Refer to yourself in the first person and in the present tense to reflect now versus the future (I am walking 4 miles today). Avoid affirmations using negative words — like not (I’m not tired). Instead focus on the mindset you want to foster (I am charged with energy and vigor).

Imprint visual reminders. Impel your physical and mental willpower by posting motivational notes, positive images or objects, and inspiring mantras or quotes throughout your home or office. Keep it simple. Hang tokens of personal meaning — like a picture of your child, for whom you’ve promised to be healthy, or a role model. Write down the number of daily steps you aim to meet or a weight loss you hope to achieve and pin it everywhere. Seeing reminders often helps form impressions on your mind… where your greatest aspirations and the power to achieve them reside.