Top 5 Benefits of Meditation for Heart Health

Meditation practices can be intimidating for a lot of people. In fact, just stepping foot inside a yoga studio is enough to send some people running for the door.

But, an estimated 1 in 3 American adults dies every year from heart complications, and the simple act of sitting down and focusing for a few moments may help you beat these odds.1

Here the top 5 benefits of meditation for a heart health:

Lower Blood Pressure

Transcendental meditation is a practice that dates back thousands of years to the Vedic traditions of India. Popularized in the 1960’s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, transcendental meditation programs have been used for centuries to reduce psychosocial stress – a major contributor to cardiovascular disease.

Numerous studies have confirmed the ability of transcendental meditation to reduce stress levels, thus also lowering blood pressure.2,3

Stress Reducer

Many people experience stressful situations, but if you are dealing with prolonged periods of stress (also known as chronic stress), you aren’t alone. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic stress, potentially putting their health at risk. When stress is excessive, it can directly contribute to heart disease by raising blood pressure and even cholesterol levels.

Numerous clinical studies have shown that mindfulness meditations are effective in reducing stress, depression, anxiety, and distress.4,5

heart health | Princeton Nutrients

Better Mood

The loss of your good mood can hurt your cardiovascular health just as much as other risk factors. When your mood begins to affect your mind, your body enters a state of emergency readiness, elevating anxiety and sending nervous tension skyrocketing.

Lift your mood and lower the emergency response system in your body with a short meditation every day. Researchers have found mindfulness practices boost psychological health. In one study, meditators reported significantly higher levels of self-compassion, lower levels of fear and negative emotions, as well as higher levels of life satisfaction than those who did not practice.6-8

Are you ready to try a meditation? You can do this heart-awareness practice anywhere you are, right now.

Sit in an upright, comfortable position and close your eyes.
Become aware of your breathing, and place your focus on your heartbeat.
As you listen to your heart, do not be distracted by thoughts in your mind or sensations in your environment. Simply allow them to pass without losing your focus to them. If you find this difficult, repeat this phrase (mantra) when you become distracted: “Truth, consciousness, bliss.”
Do this for 5-10 minutes, then open your eyes.

heart health | Princeton Nutrients

Reducing Your Risk Factors of Heart Disease

Small lifestyle changes, such as beginning a meditation practice,  can have a major impact on improving your cardiovascular disease risk. Here are the main risk factors to avoid in order improve your health, and maybe even save your life:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Cholesterol imbalance (HDL “good” under 40, and LDL “bad” over 160)
  • High blood pressure
  • Not enough regular exercise
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Overweight/obese
  • Diabetes
  • High stress levels9

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S. Reduce your risk factors as soon as possible, and aim to meditate at least 15 minutes every day to further protect against cardiac events—as well as adapting other healthy practices in your life, such as losing weight, exercising and quitting smoking.

Meditation helps to reduce stress, but believe it or not, just sitting quietly can take some getting used to. So, be patient with yourself and start small. Dedicate yourself to a few minutes daily and it will pay off in a big way.

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Sources:

1. New statistics show one of every three U.S. deaths caused by cardiovascular disease. December 16, 2015 Categories.

2. Maxwell V. Rainforth, PhD, Robert H. Schneider, MD. Stress Reduction Programs in Patients with Elevated Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2007 December ; 9(6): 520–528.

3. Gianfranco Paratia, Andrew Steptoec. Stress reduction and blood pressure control in hypertension: a role for transcendental meditation?

4. Khoury B, Sharma M. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for healthy individuals: A meta-analysis. J Psychosom Res. 2015 Jun;78(6):519-28.

5. Jain FA, Walsh RN. Critical Analysis of the Efficacy of Meditation Therapies for Acute and Subacute Phase Treatment of Depressive Disorders: A systematic Review. Psychosomatics. 56 (2): 297–302.

6. Shian-Ling Keng, Moria J. Smoski. Effects of Mindfulness on Psychological Health: A Review of Empirical Studies. Clin Psychol Rev. Jun 11.

7. Strauss C, Cavanagh K. Mindfulness-Based Interventions for People Diagnosed with a Current Episode of an Anxiety or Depressive Disorder: A Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials. PLoS ONE. 9 (4): e96110.

8. Jain FA, Walsh RN, Eisendrath SJ. Critical Analysis of the Efficacy of Meditation Therapies for Acute and Subacute Phase Treatment of Depressive Disorders: A systematic Review. Psychosomatics. 56 (2): 297–302.

9. http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-risk-factors

Why You Should Supplement with CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10)

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, occurs naturally in the body. It provides energy to cells, and is also an antioxidant that helps protect them from damage. Unfortunately, most of us don’t produce enough of this enzyme as the years go by. In addition, people with health issues such as heart disease and diabetes don’t have enough CoQ10 in their bodies. Whether you get it through diet or through the use of supplements, these are just a few of the benefits your body may be able to realize when you make sure you have an ample supply of this substance in your system.

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How To Build Muscle The Healthy Way (5 steps)

Summer’s almost here! And that means showing off a lot more skin. So, it’s only natural that you want to build muscle and tone up for swimsuit season!

However, Building muscle mass is not an overnight, easy task. In fact, it takes dedication, a commitment to regular workouts, and a healthy diet to reach your goals. That’s why you won’t find just anybody on the cover of bodybuilding magazines. The pros know what it takes to bulk up and stay healthy at the same time. But do you?

It isn’t a terribly complicated process, however today, in the world of fitness, it seems like most people are getting this all wrong. If you’re ready to bulk up, but want to do it in a healthy way, we’ve got you covered.

Here is how to bulk up the healthy way, in five steps:

1. Go Lean

This first step is an important one, and it is absolutely necessary. In order to add pounds of dense muscle tissue to your frame, you have to conquer your diet. That means that you’ll need to start by removing all of the junk foods in your refrigerator, pantry, and cabinets. As a general rule, anything with more than 10 ingredients goes in the trash.

Studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets aid in the preservation of muscle mass, and carbohydrates come in many forms.1 One of the most damaging of these forms is sugar, and if an item is packaged, that means that it is processed. This almost always means it also contains loads of empty calories in the form of sugar. And sugar goes by over 50 different names. These include corn syrup, lactose, sorghum, maltodextrin, and agave … just to name a few.

By eliminating junk foods loaded with sugar and other potentially diet-busting ingredients, you can achieve lean body mass much faster than with just exercise alone. This will prepare your frame for the bulking phase of your bodybuilding efforts.

Build Muscle | Princeton Nutrients

2. Start Making Gains

Most people like to start the bulking phase when they have between 10-15 percent body fat. And science has confirmed that is the ideal place to start, as people tend to make better gains at that BMI percentage.2

You can find out your BMI percentage at your local gym from a qualified trainer, or you can estimate your BMI (Body Mass Index) here. Once you know your baseline, or starting point, you can gradually begin to work on muscle gains. As you see the gains start to develop, you’ll need to keep close track of your BMI to know how fast the growth is happening in order to stay at a safe pace. Ideally, you want to gain slowly, adding muscle tissue at a rate of .5 to 1 pound per week. Just do not over bulk, as this can damage the soft tissues of your body, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and even skeletal tissue.

3. Set the Regimen

Professional bodybuilders know that this is where it all happens. Without a set plan, you can’t commit to a successful regimen. Dedication to your workout routine is what will deliver the bulky physique you’ve been wanting. So, do not rush through developing this plan with your trainer. The right preparation before you start bulking can make a big difference in your results. Once you set the workout regimen and start doing the work, you will begin to see results. And then … you may want to step up your game.

Build muscle | Princeton Nutrients

4. Add Supplements

Once you start your regimen, you’ll start to see results. But if you’ve never done a bulking phase before, you might not realize just how far your body can go. The pros on the cover of bodybuilding magazines don’t get that way just by going to the gym a few times a week. Their secret to those massive gains often lies in their careful selection of specific nutritional supplements.

Here are the three best bulking supplements to feed your growing muscles:

Whey Protein. A superior protein to soy, which is a cheap filler protein found in many bodybuilder bars. You may want to opt for a whey protein powder for maximum effect.3

EFAs. Essential fatty acids are a vital nutrient needed inside every cell of your body. Without enough EFAs, you won’t be able to add bulk. Your body does not naturally produce EFAs, so you have to consume them in foods like olive oil, salmon, and almonds. You can also opt for an omega-3 supplement for your daily dose of EFAs.4

Creatine. It sounds like a single supplement, but creatine is actually a stack. Made up of three separate amino acids: glycine, methionine, and arginine, creatine is a must if you want to bulk. It works to generate more energy within your muscle cells, known as ATP, to boost your gains fast.5

5. Do a Cutting Phase

Once you have the bulk you set out to achieve, you will want to lean out with a time-honored trick of the pros known as “cutting.” Essentially, this step burns off the top layer of fat that covers your muscles. Test your BMI before and after this phase, and you’ll see how it helps bodybuilders look so “cut.” It is the final, defining step of the bulking process, and you’ll love the way it shows off your hard work.

To cut, add a fat burner supplement during this step, or simply reduce your fat content in the kitchen.

That’s it! Just five steps are needed to build bigger muscles and the bulky physique you’ve been dreaming of. Don’t let the time frame scare you off, either. With a commitment to your goals, and dedication to these steps, you’ll get there.

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Sources:
1. Anssi H Manninen. Very-low-carbohydrate diets and preservation of muscle mass. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006; 3: 9.

2. Eric R Helms, Alan A Aragon. Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014; 11: 20.

3. Carol A DeNysschen, Harold W Burton. Resistance training with soy vs whey protein supplements in hyperlipidemic males. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

4. Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids Have Positive Effect On Muscle Mass, Study Shows. May 9, 2007. Université Laval.

5. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33.

10 Lifestyle Habits that Will Ruin Your Libido

Many people associate a diminishing libido with a fading attraction to their partners. But perhaps it’s not them, it’s you. Is the way you live causing a lack of interest in sex? Several lifestyle factors can contribute to a diminished sex drive. If you find your libido needs a jumpstart, there are changes you can make in your life that may help.

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Why Acacia Fiber Is Amazing for Your Gut

If you feel like you don’t eat nearly enough salad and oatmeal to fulfill your daily fiber quota, you’re not alone! While nutrition is best consumed through healthy foods, sometimes it’s also helpful to boost your intake with a supplement. To up your fiber ante, you might want to consider acacia fiber. This phenomenal plant food, also known as gum arabic or acacia gum, can do wonders for your digestive health.

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Are You A Man Over 50? 8 Health Tips To Do Now

A clean bill of health is easy to maintain when we are young. However, as we age, it can become more difficult to stave off common health problems that usually hit by middle age. For men, this can include heart attack, stroke, prostate problems, gallstones, broken bones, as well as vision and memory loss.

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5 Brain Exercises that are Fun (and Challenging)

Brain exercises? Just like your biceps need an exercise regime to stay, so does your brain. Although you may not love going to the gym, brain exercises are pretty fun… and really effective to boost cognitive functions, including memory, speed, calculation, concentration, and more. Also known as neurobics, brain aerobics can be performed by anybody at any age. Like cross-training for your brain, neurobics are a great way to retrain your brain to develop new neurological pathways and improve mental fitness. But that’s not the only way to prevent memory loss and boost mental fitness.

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(NEWS): Eat Your Fruits and Veggies — Your Mental Health Might Depend on It

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, but now there may be another reason to load up on fresh produce — it helps boost mental health, clarity and motivation, according to a study published in the journal PLOS One.

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What Is Functional Medicine and How Can It Help You?

When you have an illness, the typical scenario goes something like this: You notice some symptoms, visit your primary care physician, and he or she attempts to get rid of your discomfort by prescribing you medication. You take the pills as instructed, and, after some time, the symptoms disappear. Functional medicine, on the other hand, approaches disease by finding – then remedying – the underlying cause, as opposed to only managing and masking symptoms. Continue reading “What Is Functional Medicine and How Can It Help You?”

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In the rolling deserts of West Africa and India lives a type of tree that doesn’t look like much on the outside. It’s neither majestic nor too colorful. Frankly, it’s kind of drab. But, inside its trunk, it holds a powerful secret – the ability to help reduce your pain. Continue reading “Boswellia Serrata Extract – Reduce Pain with Tree Sap?”