Sugar Coated Sugar Substitutes

If I gave you a slice of red velvet cake and said it has no sugar and half the calories of a regular slice, but tastes just as good, that’s a pretty hard offer to resist. However, what I didn’t tell you about that slice is it may potentially cause cancer, diabetes, have an unpleasant laxative effect, and even lead to sexual dysfunction along with a list of other complications. Does that sound delicious? I don’t think so. Sugar substitutes may give people more leeway in their diet, but it can potentially cause serious health detriments down the line. Trust me, I know how great it sounds to be able to eat your favorite dessert without worrying about gaining weight because I have the biggest sweet tooth known to man, but the risk is just not worth it.

Most sugar substitutes may be “sugar coated” by advertisers into being the answer to easy weight loss, but they are just harmful chemicals in disguise. Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. Aspartic acid can cross the blood brain barrier and destroy neurons, ultimately leading to such neurological problems as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and even dementia. Phenylalanine can cause mood disorders such as depression since it has been shown to lower seratonin levels in the brain. Methanol is oxidized in the body into formaldehyde and formic acid, both of which are considered toxic. Formaldahyde is actually a well known carcinogen, and can cause DNA mutations, which can then lead to cancer.

Sucralose is another popular sugar substitute that has gained its appeal by being advertised as a derivative of sugar, making us think it is all natural. However, what the creators did was add chlorine atoms to the ends of sugar molecules so that they couldn’t link together and accumulate in the body. Instead, there was a small percentage of chlorine left behind (about 15%) after ingesting sucralose. So, in place of having sugar accumulate in the body, the consumer would have chlorine build up instead. Chlorine is a highly reactive atom and can also cause DNA mutagenisis and cancer like aspartame can, so how is sucralose any better?

Stevia is the newest sugar substitute in the US market today. It comes from a plant in South America, where it has been used as a sweetener for centuries. It has also been used in Japan for over 30 years now. Granted, there haven’t been any reports of adverse effects from using Stevia in other countries just yet, but the problem is that it’s still relatively new to us here in America. We tend to take things to the extreme and consume more than the average person in other countries. When using rats as test subjects, toxicologist have shown that taking stevia in large amounts for a long period of time can potentially cause infertility and tumor growth. So, as of now, stevia does seem like the “best” alternative if consumed in moderation, but again, why risk it?

In my opinion, brown sugar is your best bet when it comes to choosing a sweetener. It is unrefined, so it has less calories than refined white sugar. Also, honey is a great sweetener that comes with many health benefits as well including boosting your immune system due to having unique antimicrobial properties. So, the next time you see those pink, yellow and blue packets, think of how detrimental they can be to your health and take the natural route instead. I hope these tips help! Thanks for reading, this has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.



How to Improve your Memory and Focus without Adderall

Many of us struggle when it comes to remembering important information at crucial moments. Whether it is trying to remember where you last left your keys or what the answer is to question #23 on your history exam, it can be very frustrating when you cannot remember! However, there are ways to help improve your attention span, focus and memory naturally so that you can retrieve information more easily at any given moment.

What you eat can affect how well your brain functions. Your brain gets its fuel from glucose, which can be obtained from carbohydrates. So, eating foods free of carbohydrates would not be ideal prior to an important exam or presentation at work. However, make sure the carbs you eat are complex carbs, which can be found in such foods as whole grain bread and oatmeal. Complex carbs will give you longer lasting energy than simple carbs such as white bread or candy. Blueberries, pomegranate, and dark chocolate are all potent antioxidants that help protect the brain from oxidative damage, which naturally increases as we age. Salmon is a great source of omega-3, a major component in brain cell membranes, which helps with the transmission of signals and communication between brain cells. Nuts and avocado are high in vitamin E, which is known to increase blood flow. Increased blood flow causes an increase in the delivery of oxygen to the brain, which is needed for optimal brain function. Most importantly, keeping your brain hydrated is crucial, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Food substances to avoid, since they are known to impair brain function, include MSG, caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar and aspartame
Other factors that affect one’s memory and ability to focus include anxiety, exercise, sleep and practice. When someone is experiencing anxiety, their cortisol levels are high. High cortisol levels have been known to cause degradation of certain areas of the brain including the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain in charge of memory. Exercise is very helpful when trying to enhance memory and focus since it increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain. Exercise also helps by reducing anxiety and elevated cortisol levels, thus protecting the brain from degradation. Reading on a regular basis, whether it is a newspaper, book, or even a magazine, can also aid in improving memory and focus because it increases one’s attention span. When you pay attention to something, the chances of remembering it down the line is greater than if you were to not really concentrate on it at all. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is also very important. The temporal lobe, which is a brain region involved in language processing, is harder to activate in people who are sleep deprived. Also, cortisol levels are higher than normal in people who do not sleep at least 6 to 8 hours a night. When all else fails, try turning words into visual cues. Some people are visual learners rather than audio learners, so turning what you are reading into a mental picture, if possible, could help you remember it later.
There are also supplements that are available over the counter that have been proven safe and very effective. Ginko biloba extract has been proven to increase attention span and memory in healthy individuals as well as people with dementia. It works by significantly increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain. As mentioned earlier, vitamin E also helps increase blood flow, but make sure not to take more than the daily recommended dose because too much vitamin E can potentially be toxic. Fish oil is a great source of omega-3, which helps protect brain cells by maintaining their structure. Antioxidants, such as the ones mentioned earlier, are also helpful because they protect the brain from oxidative damage that can naturally occur as we age. Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant found in wine and is available as a supplement over the counter as well. 
A lot of people quickly turn to adderall to help them focus and prepare for school exams or even work projects, however, the side effects can be severe and may not be worth it down the line. Adderall is commonly reported to cause heart palpitations, chest pain, tingling sensations in the left arm (which is a sign of a potential heart attack) and even possible growth stunts in children. When there are natural and healthy alternatives out there, why resort to prescription drugs that have so many potential side effects? Hope these tips help! Thanks for reading. This has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.

Plain Yogurt Is Not As Plain As You Think

Are you trying to lose weight, lower your blood pressure, or even fight off a cold? Yogurt has been shown to do all those things and more. Yogurt is filled with essential nutrients that can make your body healthier and stronger. Here are some reasons why plain yogurt isn’t so plain.

Yogurt is packed with protein to help build lean muscle, which helps burn calories faster, even when you aren’t working out! People who had yogurt as a snack lost 81% more belly fat than those who skipped it. Yogurt also contains probiotics, also know as good bacteria that  help regulate your digestion and strengthen your immune system. It also boosts the amount of T-cells in your body, which help attack foreign viruses and bacteria to prevent infection. Yogurt is also high in potassium so it helps flush out the excess sodium that your body retains, and in turn lowers your blood pressure. Yogurt can also help build strong bones since it is naturally a great source of calcium. For people who suffer from acne, applying yogurt to your face can help get rid that. This is because yogurt also has many antibiotic properties that can kill the bacteria trapped in your pores. Since yogurt is naturally acidic, it also helps draw out the excess oil in your skin, leaving your complexion soft and smooth. Yogurt also helps deliver many vitamins and nutrients to your skin to give it a healthy, glowing appearance.

Try adding a cup of yogurt to your diet every day. It is low in calories and high in nutrients. If you are thinking I am advocating going to Yogurtland and stocking up on their yogurt, you are seriously mistaken. Stick to plain, old-fashioned yogurt because that will give you the most benefits. Thanks for reading, this has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.

Resveratrol: The Secret to Youth and Longevity

The benefits of red wine have been known throughout the world for quite sometime now. However, what is in red wine that makes it so beneficial? The answer is resveratrol. Clinical studies have recently proven the wonderful benefits of resveratrol, which spurred manufacturers to market this substance alone as a pill. Now, just one pill has the benefits of more than a hundred glasses of red wine without any intoxication or hangover the following day. Even though resveratrol’s benefits range from weight loss to fighting cancer; what makes it so unique is its ability to keep the body youthful and increase longevity.

Resveratrol may be hard to pronounce, but it’s easy to understand why it should be added to your daily diet. Resveratrol helps fight diabetes and aids in weight loss by keeping the body’s blood sugar levels low and increasing the body’s basal metabolic rate. It also helps fight heart disease by lowering cholesterol, inflammation, and blood clotting factors, all of which increase the chances of a heart attack or stroke. Resveratrol has also been shown to cause apoptosis in abnormal cells, such as in malignant tumors that arise with cancer. Resveratrol also inhibits the growth of the herpes simplex virus by interrupting a step in the early phases of the virus replication cycle. Supplementation with resveratrol has also been proven to significantly reduce plaque formation in mammalian brains, which is what can cause Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Since resveratrol is an antioxidant, it protects cells from being damaged by radicals in the body, which helps slow down the aging process. The more your cells are protected and stay free of damage, the longer your body will stay healthy and youthful. Last but not least, resveratrol has been shown to stimulate the SIRT1 gene, which is associated with longevity. The expression of this gene has been shown to prolong one’s lifespan through cellular regulation, boosting the immune system, enhancing genomic stability and increasing DNA repair.

The Fountain of Youth has been something people have sought for centuries, but now it is as easy to obtain as going to your local GNC, pharmacy, or any other health food store. I know some people like to drink red wine to wind down at the end of the day, and that is still ok to do even with additional resveratrol supplements. However, don’t forget, the benefits of just one resveratrol capsule is equivalent to that of over 100 glasses of red wine. Thanks for reading, this has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.