Stress and Cortisol Levels
Stress is a natural reaction that occurs when the body floods with hormones that elevate the heart rate, blood pressure, and energy levels to help prepare for the "fight-or-flight" response. During the fight-or-flight response, a chemical (ACTH) is released to trigger the adrenal glands, which then releases cortisol and adrenaline. Released cortisol results in a burst of new energy and strength that causes you to fight or flight. Cortisol also suppresses the growth process, digestive system, reproductive system, and the response of the immune system, which is why too much cortisol release can become dangerous.
Tips to living a stress free/corticol-balanced lifestyle:
1. Make time for enjoyable activities
2. Identify the stressor: monitor your state of mind throughout the day, and write down when you're feeling stressed along with your thoughts and mood. From here develop a "way out," or a plan to prevent this from occurring often.
3. Build strong relationships: research shows that negative, hostile relations with your spouse, friends or family can cause immediate changes in stress-hormones. However, relationships can also act as stress-buffers.
4. Walk away when you're angry: re-group and count to 10, then reconsider how you are going to respond. Walking boosts Endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters, so when they say "walk away" it really is to calm you down! Try to commit to 30 minutes of daily exercise (walking, running, weight-bearing, yoga, Zumba, etc.)!
5. Rest your mind: stress keeps more than 40% of adults lying awake at night. To ensure 7-8 hours of sleep per day cut back on caffeine, remove distractions such as television and cell phones from your bedroom and go to bed around the same time each night. Yoga exercises also help reduce stress and boost immune functioning.
6. Get help: if you are too overwhelmed consult with a psychologist to help you manage your stress levels effectively.
Hair loss is so common that it affects nearly 50% of women, and a whopping 80% of men. No wonder the hair care has been the largest corporation of the beauty business!
FDA approved supplements:
For over-the-counter hair care, The Food and Drug Association (FDA) approval is not needed; therefore leaving the manufacturing company to make sure the product is "safe" for individuals and their scalps.
There has only been one FDA approved hair supplement sold over-the-counter proven to treat hair loss in both men and women –Minoxidil (Rogaine, Theroxidil, Re-Stim, and Re-Stim+) by stimulating hair growth and inhibiting hair from thinning. This supplement has been found to be effective in 2/3 men and 1/5 women, being most effective on those less than 40 years who have recently experienced hair loss.
Understand, the relationship between nutrients and hair loss is most often related to an underlying nutrient deficiency. Limited 2013 research shows that women with hair loss had wildly lower serum vitamin D levels compared to those not experiencing hair loss, and 2015 studies found a significant increase in the regrowth of hair after six months of omega-3 and 6, and antioxidant supplementation.
Common Causes of Hair Loss:
This B-vitamin is needed for all macronutrient metabolism, which makes it so detrimental to our nutrition. A deficiency in biotin can lead to a poor metabolism and undernourished hair follicles. Although research shows this deficiency can lead to severe hair loss, there is no evidence that shows biotin prevents hair loss.
Good food sources of Biotin include:
Overall, it is important to understand that this list of 14 proteins, vitamins, and minerals can all come from food items! If you feel you are having hair loss, try enhancing your diet with more nutrient-dense food items of all varieties, because you may be experiencing a nutrient deficiency.
Be full. Be fit. Be your own beautiful profit.
Is breakfast really the best meal of the day?
We’ve heard for years, “breakfast is the best meal of the day,” but why? According to Merriam-Webster, breakfast used to be defined as, "breaking the fast," but now according to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is defined as, “breakfast is the first meal of the day that breaks the fast after the longest period of sleep and is consumed within two to three hours of waking; it is comprised of food or beverage from at least one food group and may be consumed at any location.” This definition was created to set better standards for the overall meal with differences in lifestyles. Of a 64 sampled group of RD’s, 82% said breakfast needs to have some solid food involved; whereas, 8% believed breakfast could be solely defined as a beverage and 28% believed a breakfast should have a minimum amount of calories ranging between 200 and 500 to be considered breakfast.
Personally, I fall in all three categories. I believe you can have a liquid beverage or a solid meal as long as you are consuming enough balanced macronutrients! If you have a smoothie with a banana and milk, no that is not considered breakfast, but if you add some spinach, yogurt, peanut butter, flax seed and avocado, yes that would be considered a nutrient dense breakfast!
Why is it so important to have breakfast within the first couple of hours of waking up?
Skipping breakfast has been seen in 15% of Americans with about 32% being young adult men. According to the American Heart Association, studies show strong evidence relating skipping breakfast to a greater risk of overweight, obesity, diabetes, CVD and hypertension. It is also associated with impaired glucose metabolism with a higher fasting glucose; thus, increasing hemoglobin A1C (the three month average of the glucose or sugar in our blood). Those who skip breakfast have been less likely to consume fewer nutrients throughout the day, which can end up in nutrient deficiencies.
From past experience, I would assume if you skip breakfast you would be likely to snack more often later in the day or have larger meals at lunch, and dinner, but according to several studies, breakfast skippers tend to not overcompensate with calories at later meals. From my dietetic knowledge, going about 16 (give or take) hours without eating, from after dinner, throughout the night and then skipping breakfast until lunch, I would say your body can go into starvation mode. This means that the body will use its lean muscle mass for energy because it is not getting glucose from food, which means it's storing more fat for later use. You also have to take into account if you begin over consuming at lunch and dinner as well as unhealthy snacks due to having more hunger cues, the body now has the extra stored fat, as well as the extra stored glucose from the overconsumption of macros; thus potentially leading to weight gain. BE CAREFUL!!
Tips to a healthy, nutrient dense breakfast
Be Full. Be Fit. Be Your Own Beautifull Profit.
Why is vitamin D good for the body? Vitamin D helps maintain Calcium and Phosphorous in the bones for proper mineralization. Vitamin D is also good for bone health, growth and remodeling by osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Osteoclast is a bone cell that absorbs and breaks down bone tissue allowing for the development of new bone. Osteoblast is a large cell that is responsible for bone formation and reformation. Our bones are constantly being broken down and re-built, which is why it is important to consume the correct amount of calcium and vitamin D to maintain proper bone growth. Vitamin D has other roles in the body as well, such as influencing cell growth, immunity and inflammation.
Where can I get vitamin D?
Daily intake is about 600 IU or 15 mcg
Not getting enough sunlight or vitamin D intake?
Even if you have a high amount of daily vitamin D intake, is important to know that if you are exclusively breastfeeding to provide your child with a vitamin D supplement!
Too much vitamin D from the sun cannot occur as the heat on the skin photodgrade's pre-vitamin D3 and vitamin D3, as well as produces various non-vitamin D forms, thus limiting vitamin D3 itself. Vitamin D toxicity from food itself is extremely unlikely, and is more likely to occur in long-term supplemental intake of 10,000+ IU/day.
Tolerable Upper Limit
This 4,000 IU daily intake is tolerable to most individuals, but will not cause any symptoms or toxicity.
Stay tuned for more information on fat-soluble vitamins and supplemental use of vitamins.