Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bedtime Snacks that Help You Sleep

It is always good (and healthier) to go for natural sedatives... those containing tryptophan, which is an amino acid component of many plant and animal proteins.

What does tryptophan do?

It is considered to be one of the ingredients necessary for your body to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter known for giving you the feelings of calm and making you sleepy.

Whats the trick here!

Well, you have to combine tryptophan containing foods with ample carbs... for this to work, it first has to make its way to the brain!

On the downside... all amino acids compete for that "transport" to the brain. Insulin is released when you add the carbs, which takes the competing amino acids and incorporates them into muscle, but leaves the tryptophan alone, making its way to the brain, convert to serotonin, and cause sleepiness.

Bedtime snacks that are serotonin-producing should not exceed 200 calories and should be eaten 30 mins before regular bedtime.

Here are a few great ideas/recipes:

For Adults
*6-8 oz container of non-fat, flavored yogurt topped with 2 tablespoons low-fat granola cereal
*Sliced apple with 1-2 teaspoons natural peanut butter
*3 cups low-fat popcorn – sprinkled with optional 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

For Teens
*One cup healthy cereal with skim milk
*Low-fat granola bar
*Scoop of vanilla or strawberry low-fat ice cream

For Children
*1/2 cup low-fat vanilla pudding
*1/2 banana with 1-2 teaspoons peanut butter
*One cup skim milk with a bunch of grapes (or other fruit)

For the original article, click here.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Vitamin D

As received by email (from: Organic Kuwait)

Thanks Jumana

Why Vitamin D Supplements Are NOT the Same as Sunlight?

The assumption that vitamin D supplements will protect you against diseases associated with low vitamin D levels is incorrect, according to Australian researchers. The report found that vitamin D supplements are immunosuppressive and may actually make diseases worse.

Vitamin D Nuclear Receptor (VDR) influences the expression of over 1,000 genes, including those associated with diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. According to the new study, supplemental vitamin D actually blocks VDR activation, which is the opposite effect to that of sunshine.

Instead of positively impacting gene expression, vitamin D supplements appear to suppress your immune system.

Vitamin D deficiency, the researchers pointed out, is likely not a cause of disease but rather is a result of the disease process. And increasing vitamin D intake may make the diseases worse.

The body regulates production of all the vitamin D it needs, the researchers said, and dysregulation of vitamin D by supplementation has been associated with many chronic diseases.


Monday, February 4, 2008

LOfat Pizza

Pizza anyone?

Have you tried LOfat pizza(s)?

1. Cheese Pizza

Kcal: 581
Fat: 20 gm
Protein: 36 gm
Carbs: 62 gm

2. Veggie Pizza

Kcal: 690
Fat: 20 gm
Protein: 39 gm
Carbs: 86 gm

What are you waiting for?