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Amino Acids: Are You Getting What You Need? Part 1

You learned it in high school biology: amino acids are the building blocks of life.  They form proteins and are required for every metabolic function of the body.  When we speak of nutrition, we always talk about the importance of protein in our diet.  But at the core of protein is amino acids; they are what’s left when protein is digested and they are what our body needs to survive.  And at the core of Moringa has each and every one of the 23 amino acids that build, support and maintain strong bodies.

Protein and amino acids are vital to our bodies.  As a refresher, thousands of proteins make up cells, which give them structure and helps them operate properly.  Proteins, made of amino acids, help give the body energy, facilitate communication between cells and constantly create new cells.  Without amino acids, we could not break down, digest and distribute nutrients from food, grow and develop both physically and mentally, and repair body tissue, among many other normal bodily functions.

There are three main types of amino acids:

1)      Essential Amino Acids – These are amino acids that cannot be produced by our bodies.  Therefore, we must consume all essential amino acids through plant and animal proteins.

2)      Nonessential Amino Acids – These are amino acids that our body can produce even if we do not get enough through food intake.

3)      Conditional Amino Acids – This subset of amino acids are typically nonessential amino acids that the body can produce except in times of stress or illness.

moringa-powder_1How do we make sure we get enough amino acids?  By eating protein, of course.  Complete proteins are those that contain every amino acid.  Moringa is an example of a complete protein!  On the flip side, incomplete proteins are lacking one ore more amino acids.  Sometimes by combining foods, such as whole grain rice and beans, we can create a complete protein.  While not every meal needs to contain every amino acid, it’s important to get a balance of them throughout the day.

Protein and amino acids can come from a variety of food sources.  For many of us, meat is what comes to mind first when we think of protein. Meats often add necessary fat and calories to our diets.  Lean meats are definitely a good source of protein, but there are many other proteins, including plant-based proteins, that add diversity and flavor to your diet.  Eggs, Moringa, cheese, yogurt quinoa and soy are excellent choices for complete proteins.  Beans, nuts, lentils and whole grains are incomplete proteins when they are eaten on their own, but still very beneficial to the body.

Protein intake depends on age, weight and a person’s level of activity.  Typically, the formula of “0.4 x body weight  = total number of grams of daily protein” is sufficient  But for athletes or those who live extremely active lifestyles, more protein may be required.

In the coming weeks we will be breaking down each amino acid to explain why they are important for our bodies.  And we’ll continue to ask the question: Are you getting what you need?  With Moringa, you certainly are!

5 Sports to Try this Fall

With a new season comes fresh perspective and an occasion to try new things.  As the weather cools and leaves start to change colors, we have a great opportunity to make changes in our physical activity.  And changing up how you exercise can not only keep you engaged and motivated, it can also work muscle fibers differently, which strengthens your body.

Today we’re sharing our top 5 fall sports for exercise:

1)      Soccer:  The World Cup may be over for another four years, but this fall is a terrific time to hit the field for some aerobic fun.  Playing soccer requires about 90 minutes of running up and down a field.  Even with very little skill, the running alone is a fantastic aerobic workout.  Plus the sliding, jumping, kicking and constant changing direction in a game of soccer builds strength by keeping muscles actively working in multiple ways.  As long as you avoid the more sedentary goalie position, soccer may be your most enjoyable way to staying fit this season.

2)      Hiking:  The crisp air and beautiful fall hues make hiking a natural choice for exercise over the next few months.  If you were waiting for the summer heat to melt away to check out some new trails at your local nature center or head to the mountains for a weekend hiking getaway, now’s the time.  Like walking, hiking incorporates a variety of muscles from your core to your calves.  Forget the squats, lunges and pushups in the gym.  Get nature’s best workout while enjoying the great outdoors.

Cycling_courtesy of fitbie.com3)      Cycling:  Similar to hiking, cycling is a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty of the season while getting in your workout.  Cycling is one of the most functional sports because you can bike to a destination, such as meeting friends for coffee or going to a movie.  If you’re lucky enough to live relatively close to work, cycling can save money on gas and wear-and-tear on your car, plus it’s an environmentally friendly.  Cycling tones your quadriceps, glutes, calves and hamstrings from pedaling, but gripping the handlebar also shapes the muscles in the upper body as well.  Another bonus:  on rainy days, you can head to a cycling class to keep your wheels spinning.

4)      Tennis:  Hitting the tennis court is a lot more bearable with a cool fall breeze and is an excellent source of exercise.  With virtually constant running, lunging and swinging, tennis is both aerobic and anaerobic, which helps burn fat and calories.  In fact, tennis can burn more calories than an aerobics class.  Tennis also improves agility, flexibility, balance and coordination, as well as strategic thinking and good sportsmanship.

5)      Ice Hockey:  To really cool off this fall, lace up your skates and join a recreational ice hockey team.  Alternating vigorous activity with periods of recovery like in a game of hockey offers great cardiovascular, muscular and bone benefits that lead to improved strength and weight loss.  Pushing skates on ice uses different muscles than running and requires balance. Additionally, ice hockey involves focus and strategy, and also encourages teamwork in a fun, competitive social environment.

Nature’s most nutritious superfood, Moringa, is the perfect companion for your fall-time sports.  With more antioxidants than any food on the planet and an astounding 90+ nutrients, Moringa helps sustain energy, support the natural process of breaking down and rebuilding muscle fibers and reduce recovery time between workouts.  Whether you’re going for a goal, lunging in for match point or climbing a mountain, boost your new fall exercise routine with the best all-natural nutritional supplement for your body:  Moringa!

Natural Home Remedies for Sunburn, Headaches, Coughs and More

It happens to all of us: We wake up with a splitting headache or a nasty cough on a day we just don’t have time to deal with visiting the doctor or the pharmacy.  Well, some health concerns do require doctors and perhaps some medication, but not always.  In fact, your body may respond better to a natural remedy as a first line of defense.

Before you roll over and moan again, consider some easy and inexpensive home remedies that you probably have lying around your house right now:

Migraine Headaches:  Sweet smelling oils can help alleviate a piercing migraine through aromatherapy. Rub the oil directly on your temples to soothe the nerves that may be creating the tension in your head.  Peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus or rosemary work particularly well.

Cough:  Theobromine found in dark chocolate can help relieve a nagging cough.  Now that’s a yummy way to heal yourself!  Also try honey and Vitamin C just before bed to nip nighttime coughing in the bud and get your body working to fight off your illness while you sleep.

Nausea:  Many pregnant women know that ginger can curb nausea.  Raw sliced ginger, like the kind you eat with sushi, is helpful.  Or you can soak ginger root in hot water and then freeze it into ice chips to suck on throughout the day.

moringa-oil_1Sunburn:  Moringa oil is one of the best ways to relieve sunburn and encourage new cell growth rapidly.  Because Moringa oil is high in oleic acid, it penetrates deeply into layers of skin to heal, while also promoting new skin cells to the surface for refreshed, soothed, radiant skin.

Sleeplessness:  If you’re having trouble catching your zzz’s, try drinking cherry juice before bedtime.  Not only is it full of antioxidants, but it also contains the natural sleep aid melatonin.

Sore Throat:  Many teas offer relief for sore throats.  You can make your own throat-soothing concoction with honey, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar and water.  If you can’t stomach that alone, drop it into some Moringa tea.  The over 90 bio-nutrients in Moringa will boost your immune system to work on attacking the root cause of the sore throat.

Another sore throat solution is garlic.  Soak garlic in hot water – or Moringa tea! – and drink it until the pain subsides.  Studies have shown that garlic contains antimicrobials that kill bacteria causing sore throats.  Plus warm liquid is always soothing.  But beware, as you are banishing your sore throat, you may scare off some friends with your garlic breath!

Hiccups:  Coarse granules such as sugar or salt can calm the spasms in the diaphragm causing hiccups.  When the nerves in the diaphragm get irritated, they trigger hiccups.  That’s why hiccups set in when we have erratic breathing patterns, like when we are laughing hard or choking.

Next time you need a health-aid, check for natural home remedies before heading to the drug store.  There’s usually a natural way of healing yourself that’s worth trying first.