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Hot Ingredient Spotlight: Beet Powder

What is it?

Beet juice powder is a concentrated form of beet juice from red beets (Beta vulgaris) and a convenient way to get the benefits of fresh beets.

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Why you need it:

Beets are one of the highest vegetable sources of folic acid (known to prevent birth defects), potassium, betaine, betanins (responsible for the beet’s red hue), nitrates, and phenols. Beets and beet supplements also contain beta-carotene, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and C. They are considered a superfood because they are exceptionally high in antioxidants and phytonutrients.

best way to use:

In studies, drinking about 2 cups of beet juice daily reduced blood pressure in healthy adults. Mix powder with juice or water according to product instructions. It has a naturally sweet flavor.

exciting tidbits:

Beets may benefit erectile dysfunction. The boron in beets assists in the production of human sex hormones, while nitrates boost blood flow throughout the body. Beets were considered an aphrodisiac in ancient Rome.

supplements can help:

Support a healthy heart and circulatory system, as well as boost stamina and exercise endurance. Beets contain naturally occurring nitrates, compounds that improve blood flow throughout the body, including the heart and muscles. These nitrates naturally boost nitric oxide, which helps to open up the blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Beet juice can also boost exercise performance, according to recent research. In one study, drinking beet juice for six days enhanced overall physical performance and heart functioning during exercise. In a separate study, researchers found nitrates enabled people to exercise up to 16% longer by reducing oxygen uptake, thereby making exercise less tiring. The betaine in beets is known to help shield against liver disease by lessening fatty acid deposits.

editors’ product picks:

Pines International Beet REVISED

PINES INTERNATIONAL Beet Juice Powder

Activz Beet Powder 15oz_beet B

ACTIVZ Organic & Non-GMO Beet Juice Powder

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Optimize Your Workout with Pine Bark 

A proprietary antioxidant supplement made from French maritime pine bark, Pycnogenol improves exercise performance, according to an Italian study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. During an eight-week training program, researchers tested 100 mg daily of Pycnogenol against a placebo among 147 recreational athletes, and found that those taking Pycnogenol were able to do more push-ups and sit-ups. In another part of the study, 150 mg daily of Pycnogenol was tested against a placebo among 54 semi-professional triathletes. Those taking Pycnogenol were significantly faster, suffered fewer exercise-related cramps, and experienced less pain during and after running, say the study’s authors.

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amazing people

Allergy Sleuth

Dedication and persistence paid off when chiropractor Susanne Bennett found a natural cure for her son’s life-threatening allergies

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Susanne Bennett didn’t start out wanting to be an allergy doctor. Far from it. Bennett was pre-med at UCLA and looking forward to a career in sports medicine. But when one of her professors abruptly left teaching to enter chiropractic school, Bennett was intrigued. An athlete all her life, she saw chiropractic as a great way to help athletes perform better, heal their injuries, ease pain, and generally make people better without pharmaceuticals. It was a trifecta of philosophy, temperament, and interest. Four years later, she graduated from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic.

Within seven years, she had a busy and glamorous Los Angeles practice. She put in a stint with the L.A. Raiders, and worked extensively with athletes from soccer to rodeo. She ran a large rehab clinic packed with patients who needed her help. She got married, and had a beautiful son, Cody. She was living her dream.

Then Cody got sick.

Not just “stuffy nose sick,” mind you. We’re talking head-to-toe rashes, hives, and other reactions of all sorts. “At 5 months old, he started getting asthma,” says Bennett. “He couldn’t breathe. It was such a horrible experience. I could never go to sleep, I was so scared for him.”

The symptoms piled up. One night, Cody’s lips turned blue. The mystery deepened. Conventional medicine didn’t have a lot to offer. “Their drug and hospitalization options just sounded scarier and scarier,” says Bennett. “Things got so bad that our family doctor advised us to carry an EpiPen—an emergency injection that could save our son’s life—at all times.”

So Bennett decided to take things into her own hands and went on a mission to find out what was making her son sick. “I became 100 percent committed to finding an answer,” she says. “I read hundreds of scientific articles and dozens of books, and contacted doctor after doctor. Finally, little by little, I began to put the puzzle pieces together. I learned about foods that can trigger allergies and foods that can heal. I learned about how the water we drink can contribute to allergies. I learned about how to keep an allergy-free home, and how to clean the air we breathe.”

Detective Work

Cody was allergy free by the time he was 4 years old. Soon, other parents began bringing their kids to see Bennett, who also tried out her nutritional theories and elimination diets on her athlete patients. They started losing weight, she says. “They could breathe better. Their performance went straight through the roof.”

Her practice tripled. A book deal followed, and now, The 7-Day Allergy Makeover is available in bookstores everywhere. (You can also order online at the7dayallergymakeoverbook.com.)

The power of Bennett’s approach lies in her view of allergy symptoms. “Remember, joint pain, upset stomach, insomnia, anxiety, lack of concentration, fatigue—these can be ‘allergic’ symptoms,” she says. “This book is about getting at the root cause,” she explains. “Find the hidden signs of allergies, and the hidden triggers. You can clear up so many diverse symptoms by being a nutritional detective, and discovering the healing power of knowing what—and what not—to eat.”

Click here to download a copy of Dr. Bennett’s Allergy/Sensitivity Symptom Checklist.

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Amazing Wellness Giveaway!

We are celebrating Mother’s and Father’s Day by giving away an assortment of great all-natural products—perfect for busy, health-conscious moms and dads. Click below to enter and learn more about what’s up for grabs.

CLICK HERE: 3 Lucky Moms will win a Mother’s Day Health & Beauty Basket

Each basket will contain a different mix of the following products:

Almased

Creative BioScience Raspberry Ketone 1234

Flora Vegetal Silica for Healthy Skin, Hair, & Nails

Health Direct Sculpt ’N Cleanse Colon Cleansing Formula

Juvo Raw Meal

Natrol Tonalin CLA

NeoCell Beauty Infusion Collagen Tangerine Twist

nordic naturals Prenatal DHA and Baby’s DHA

Re-Body Meratrim

ReNew Life Ultimate Flora Women’s Care Probiotic

Reserveage Nutrition Collagen Hydra Protect with Ceramides

Reviva Labs Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Revival Labs Youth H2O

The Vitamin Shoppe Ultimate Woman Multivitamin

Wakunaga Kyo-Dophilus Probiotics Plus Cranberry Extract

3 Lucky Dads will win a Father’s Day Health & Fitness Bag

Each bag will contain a different mix of the following products:

Aubrey Organics Men’s Stock North Woods Shave Cream

Dreambrands M-Drive

Genuine Health Fast Joint+ Care with NEM

Himalaya Herbal Healthcare Ashwagandha

Irwin Naturals Prosta-Strong

Life Extension Ultra Natural Prostate

MHP Power Pak High-Protein Chocolate Pudding

Nordic naturals Ultimate Omega Sport

Ola Loa Effervescent Repair

Paradise Herbs ORAC-Energy Protein Greens

Quincy Bioscience Prevagen

Rainbow Light Men’s One Multi

Sun Warrior Warrior Blend Protein Powder, Vanilla

The Vitamin Shoppe Ultimate Man Multivitamin

Zing Bars

Note: No purchase necessary. Winners will be randomly selected. Deadline to enter is June 30, 2014. Winners will be notified via email by July 15, 2014.

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I Love Green Tea

A review of research, published in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, examined 20 clinical trials of green tea covering a total of 1,536 participants. Researchers found that drinking 5–6 cups of the tea daily reduced blood pressure, harmful LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol—all of which are markers for heart disease. The active ingredient in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is found in many supplements. Up to 200 mg daily of EGCG in supplement form would be the equivalent of drinking 5–6 cups of green tea. Try: Life Extension Mega Green Tea Extract, Decaffeinated, which contains 326.25 mg of EGCG per serving (1 capsule).

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Why Sencha Is No Matcha … and Matcha, No Sencha

There are more than nuances in flavor to differentiate Sencha and Matcha—there are also variances in nutritional content between these two popular Japanese green tea powders. Sencha, known for its slight astringent aftertaste, is grown in full sun and contains more antioxidants than Matcha. And Matcha, which is shade-grown and prized for its smooth, creamy taste, boasts more caffeine and calming L-theanine than Sencha.

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The Herb For High Blood Pressure

For people with Type 2 diabetes, fenugreek significantly lowers unhealthy levels of blood sugar, according to a review of 10 clinical trials published in Nutrition Journal. A collaboration of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and universities in Canada and Singapore found that taking at least 5 grams of fenugreek seed powder daily produced the best results: the herb lowered A1c levels, which measure average blood sugar levels over a 2–3 month timespan, by nearly 1 point—a significant amount. Researchers speculate that the herb, popular in Asian medicine and cooking, works by reducing blood sugar absorption and enhancing insulin production.

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Try it! Fenugreek seed capsules are widely available at vitamin stores (e.g., The Vitamin Shoppe Fenugreek Seed capsules), and Asian and Indian markets commonly sell fenugreek seeds, which can be ground and used as a spice.

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