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       Facts On Health, Fitness & Nutrition

Red Wine Benefits

What's in Red Wine that is good for the heart?

Red wine is a particularly rich source of antioxidants flavonoid phenolics, so many studies to uncover a cause for red wine's effects have focused on its phenolic constituents, particularly resveratrol and the flavonoids. Resveratrol, found in grape skins and seeds, increases HDL cholesterol and prevent blood clotting. Flavonoids, on the other hand, exhibit antioxidant properties helping prevent blood clots and plaques formation in arteries.

A Litany of Red Wine Benefits         

  • Ulcers

Wine diminishes certain bacteria that can cause ulcers.

  • Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Studies have shown that resveratrol can protect against the encroachment of Alzheimer's by inhibiting beta-amyloid protein that creates the plaque found in Alzheimer sufferer's brains. It may also slow the progress of dementia.

  • Colds and Respiratory Ailments

Red wine's antioxidants have shown to help ward off the common cold. It also may help against bronchitis, emphysema, and pneumonia.

  • Obesity and Longer Life

A study has also indicated that obese mice that have consumed large doses of wine live longer than those fat mice that abstained.

  • Stroke

Moderate drinking indicates reduced risk of stroke.

  • Bones

A couple of glasses of red wine may help build stronger bones.

  • Longer Life

Overall, moderate drinkers have shown a tendency to live longer than abstainers.

These are just a sampling of consequential benefits derived from red wine.

However, it is important to remember that these benefits are based upon moderation rather than heavy or binge drinking.

Does Muscle Weigh More Than Fat?

Fat is bulky and lumpy so if you carry an extra five pounds of fat, you'll be lumpier than with five pounds more muscle. A five pound pile of fat will take up more space (volume) than a five pound pile of muscle. The correct way to state the muscle weighs more than fat scenario is, "Muscle is heavier by volume than fat."

A woman weighing 150 pounds with 19% fat will look much smaller (and be much healthier) than a woman at 150 pounds with 35% fat. They weigh the same, yet the composition is different. Because muscle is more dense than fat the person with less fat and more muscle will look smaller.

Stop being so obsessed with body weight and start paying attention to body composition. How much body fat do you have compared to muscle? Simply seeing how much you weigh isn't very helpful.

Muscles

Muscles play an important role as they act as the body's engine in consuming energy (calories). As you exercise more, your muscle mass increase, which in turn accelerates the rate of energy or calories consumed. Increasing your muscle mass will raise your metabolic rate helping you reduce excess body fat levels and lose weight the healthy way. You may also find that as you exercise more your weight may stabilize or even increase as your muscle mass grows and your body fat decreases.

Body Fat Percentage

A person's body fat percentage is the total weight of the person's fat divided by the person's weight and consists of essential body fat and storage body fat. Essential body fat is necessary to maintain life and reproductive functions. The percentage for women is greater than that for men, due to the demands of childbearing and other hormonal functions. Essential fat is 3–5% in men, and 8–12% in women. Storage body fat consists of fat accumulation in adipose tissue, part of which protects internal organs in the chest and abdomen. The minimum recommended total body fat percentage exceeds the essential fat percentage value reported above.

How Dieting and Exercise Affects Your Body Fat Reading

It is important that you combine sensible eating with physical activity if you want to lose weight and reduce your body fat level.

Quick fixes, fad diets, that promise dramatic weight loss, do not work in the long term. Yes you may lose weight quickly in the beginning, but once you stop following the diet (which is almost certain) you will simply put this weight back on and probably more! The dramatic weight loss is due to the fact that you are losing body water, not body fat. Your body uses up the easiest available energy sources first, which are the carbohydrate stores (glycogen) in the muscles. As water is stored with the glycogen, this means you could lose several pounds in water alone.  

Once all the glycogen has gone, then your body uses the protein found in the muscles, leading to loss of muscle mass. Your metabolism slows down, meaning you need less and less calories in order for your body to function. To continue losing weight you need to eat even fewer calories. When you return to your normal eating habits, your slower metabolism will store the extra calories it doesn't need as fat, meaning you regain the weight lost. Your body fat percentage reading will also go up, putting you at greater risk of health problems. By following a sensible long-term healthy eating plan, combined with regular exercise, then you should see your body fat percentage readings decline at a slow, steady rate, along with your weight.

When you begin a new exercise routine, particularly if it includes resistance or strength training, do not be alarmed if your weight increases slightly. This is because you are building muscle tissue, which is denser than fat.

The development of muscle tissue through exercise has been shown to encourage stronger, healthier bones. It's important that users should aim to develop and maintain healthy bones through plenty of exercise along with a calcium-rich diet; there is no healthy range or target for Bone Mineral Mass.

Eating to Lose Weight

You need to eat to burn body fat. This is a fact: The first nutritional demand of your body is energy. Without adequate energy, your body will convert muscle protein into energy to feed your brain, nervous system and red blood cells.

These particular tissues do not possess the metabolic machinery to burn fat. They only burn carbohydrates. When your intake of carbohydrate falls below these tissues demand, the body begins to convert tissue protein into carbohydrate to meet their need. The net result is a loss of muscle tissue.

Yes, the scale may say you have lost "weight", but you have lost the very tissue that burns fat. Muscle tissue burns 70% of the fat in your body; so losing muscle sacrifices your ability to burn body fat.

In fact, the "weight" you lose on a diet can represent up to 10 to 20% of those pounds in muscle loss. This poor dieter will not only regain this weight, but then some. All because they have compromised their ability to burn body fat.

This is also why people gain weight as they get older.

Aging causes muscle loss, so does inactivity. Have you heard of the saying"Use it or lose it"? this is true of your muscle.

Inactivity leads to muscle loss and muscle loss causes a lowered capacity to burn fat, so you wear more of it.

The bottom line is this: At any time, or for whatever reason, you lose your muscle; you lose your capacity to burn fat. Diets, aging and inactivity all lead to a decreased amount of muscle weight and an increased amount of fat tissue.

Aerobic exercise rebuilds your muscle and teaches it to burn more fat. Eating right gives you the nutrients you need to make that muscle. The food pyramid outlines how to eat to get the nutrients you need, so let us deal more specifically with energy needs and where that energy needs to come from.

FOOD PYRAMID

In order to burn just the fat and not the other lean tissue in your body, you need to meet your minimal energy requirement, which is your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

BLACK PEPPER

Along the spice trail to India, black pepper was like black gold. The ebony spice was so sought after in ancient times and in the Middle Ages those peppercorns could be substituted for currency and used to pay for everything from taxes to dowries. Black pepper’s ability to spice up bland foods and disguise lack of freshness made it indispensable in the time before refrigeration and before the global spice trade made exotic seasonings common. But black pepper’s benefits extend well beyond the mere culinary. As it turns out, in pepper’s case, what is pleasing to the palate is also good for the body.

The characteristic spice of black pepper stimulates the taste buds, which signals the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid, a necessary component of healthy digestion. If not enough hydrochloric acid is produced when food passes to the stomach, heartburn and indigestion can ensue. In addition, if food sits in the stomach undigested for too long, it can become a fuel source for unfriendly bacteria in the intestines, leading to gas, diarrhoea, or constipation. Black pepper’s pungent taste can therefore help pass food along and quell digestive discomfort.

In many kitchens, where there is salt, there is pepper. While salt can cause water retention and other undesired effects when added to food, pepper, on the other hand, is a diuretic. It encourages urination and sweating, which help rid the body of harmful toxins. As a result, evidence shows that black pepper may help keep the liver healthy. Pepper can also be handy in the kitchen for treating minor cuts. It can help stop bleeding, and its antibacterial and antioxidant properties help ward off germs and promote healing.

Piperine, black pepper’s active ingredient, is the culprit in such nose irritation. But it shouldn’t be sneezed at: this alkaloid may have anti-carcinogenic properties. Along with its cancer-fighting potential, Piperine may enhance the bioavailability of some nutritional substances and drugs as well as have anticonvulsant properties. Though Piperine’s sneezy effects may be unwelcome in the nose, they are a boon for breaking up congestion.

New evidence from the Central Food Technological Research Institute in India suggests that black pepper can help keep cholesterol in check. The outer layer of the peppercorn is thought to stimulate the breakdown of fat cells and increase metabolism. While warding off undesirable fat and cholesterol, black pepper is also a source of necessary nutrients, including manganese, vitamin K, iron, and dietary fibre.

Though today we can’t plunk down a stockpile of peppercorns to pay our credit card bills, black pepper keeps our lives rich in other ways. A dash of freshly ground black pepper may add not only zing to our food but also pleasure to our post-meal experience and years to our lives.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

HEALTH BENEFITS—PEPPER:

- provides necessary nutrients like manganese, vitamin K, iron and dietary fibre

- can help pass food along and prevent indigestion by stimulating hydrochloric acid production

- may help keep the liver healthy by ridding the body of toxins

- can help break up congestion with active ingredient Piperine

- may help keep cholesterol in check

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