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The Drawbacks of A ‘Strict Diet’ to Lose Weight

# Diets require that you eat a certain way, with typical restrictions. Unless a diet is well-planned, it may emphasize too much of one nutrient at the expense of another . For example, a high protein diet is, as the name suggests, high in protein and fat. By default, this means that it’s hard to get a satisfactory supply of complex carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals with such a diet. Although some updated diet plans attempt to correct this imbalance with healthy choices, the million dollar question is : – Can you stick with that plan for the rest of your life? Research has shown that individuals who go on a strict diet tend to give up at some point. If they revert back to old (generally unhealthy) eating habits, they not only gain the weight back, but put on some more weight! This leads to a vicious ‘yo-yo’ affect in which he/she goes on yet another diet, and fails to lose weight. The only think one ends up losing is hope, motivation and knowledge about the right foods/habits to get on the right track.

Moral of the story – a healthy nutrition plan has no restrictions and allows you to eat a little of everything.

# Many diets require some degree of starvation. Starving is a surefire way to slow down your metabolism and gain weight in the long run! If you don’t eat enough, your metabolism shuts down so your body gets used to eating little calories. Your body develops a tendency to store fat, instead of lose it.

Moral of the story – a healthy nutirition plan does not involve starvation and also allows you to cheat occasionally!

# A diet can be an ordeal to sustain for many people. It can affect your social life (you can’t eat what your friends are eating), your state of mind and even your health. Any food restriction in diets (and if you find a best diet to lose weight, you can bet it involves some type of restriction) can be harmful because the body does not obtain a sufficient variety of nutrients. Also, if you give up on the diet, you not only regain the weight, but tend to ‘binge’ on the foods you missed and may even become worse in your eating habits!

A healthy eating plan is not hard to sustain, because it is a way of life.

The best way to find a diet that works for you is to experiment. Enjoy the foods you like in moderation. Only indulge if you really have to, and reduce the instances of ‘cheating’. I have. Try and get a diet plan and use it as a benchmark for what you can, and cannot eat. Read food labels and try and shop as healthy as you can.

In summary, the best diet to lose weight is healthy, something you can live with, and from which you can deviate once in a while. Good luck!


Good Foods for You


Your mom was right; vegetables are essential for building a healthy body. The earth provides us with a huge assortment of delicious vegetables that should be the basis of your healthy diet. As a rule, you should eat no less than 2 cups of fresh vegetables every day. Choose a variety of vegetables, including dark, leafy varieties like broccoli and spinach. Sweet potatoes are a delicious alternative to white, and carrots make an excellent snack. Chickpeas and dry beans including kidney, lima and pinto beans are packed with beneficial nutrients. Meeting your daily vegetable requirements is easy when you reach for a fresh spinach salad instead of French fries, or grab a bag of baby carrots instead of chips.

Eating Grains

Our food guide suggests that we eat six ounces of grains on a daily basis. The average slice of bread contains just one ounce. Cereal is an obvious choice, with about one ounce of grain per cup. If you want to boost your grain intake and eat less, choose whole grain products. Rice, pasta and crackers are also healthy grain choices to incorporate into your daily diet.

Favor Fruits

Sweet, delicious fruits make choosing healthy foods so easy. Try to eat two cups of fruit each day. That’s about the equivalent of an apple and a banana. Toss a handful of grapes into a salad, or slice a banana over a bowl of cereal. Fruit salad is a great way to get a variety of flavors in one sitting. Fruits can be canned, frozen or dried, but fresh is always the best choice. A glass of fruit juice can also count toward fulfilling your daily intake, although fruit juices should be consumed in moderation.


People of all ages need calcium for healthy teeth and bones. Kids from two to eight years of age require the calcium equivalent of about two cups of milk per day, while older kids, teenagers and adults need about three cups per day. At snack time, reach for calcium-rich yogurt and cheese. Watching your weight? Choose low-fat milk and dairy products. Even if you’re lactose intolerant, you can still reach your calcium requirements with lactose-free and calcium fortified food choices.

Meat and beans

Protein is a cornerstone of a healthy diet, and the food guide suggests no less than five ounces of protein-rich beans or meat every day. Remember, you’re making healthy choices, so avoid big fatty steaks and double quarter-pounders at the burger joint. Grill or bake your meat to reduce your fat intake. Enjoy nuts for a high-protein snack or salad garnish. Peas, beans and fish are other great ways to boost your protein.


Fat is an important part of your daily diet, but you can certainly have too much of this good thing. You can use butter and other high-fat foods, but do so in moderation. Too much of this type of fat can send your weight and cholesterol levels soaring. Rather than frying your foods in butter, margarine, shortening or lard, try sauting them in vegetable or chicken broth. Pass the butter, and reach for seasonings and fruit juice to add flavour to vegetables.

Processed foods are packed with salt, fats and additives, so try to limit your shopping to the fresh meat and produces aisles. If you must choose some pre-packaged foods, make sure to read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels before you buy. This is an important step to limiting your intake of sodium as well as saturated and trans fats.

Once you begin to make healthier food choices, you’ll begin to notice a change in all aspects of your lifestyle. Fueling your body with a nutrient-charged diet will give you energy and a brighter overall outlook. Those evenings of lying on the couch after consuming an eight-slice pizza will be behind you, as you begin to enjoy evening strolls after your healthy dinners. It’s not always easy to choose healthy foods, but your efforts will be rewarded with a lifetime of good health.


Anti Aging Vitamins, Dangers and Its Benefits

The benefits of taking vitamins is still being debated by scientists and doctors; however the general consensus seems to be that, when taken properly, they at least are not generally harmful. Some of the vitamins can build up to toxic levels in the human body. Any of the fat-soluble vitamins can reach dangerous levels if taken in excessive amounts. For example, Vitamin A is stored in the liver and fat cells of the human body and can reach toxic levels. DO NOT take more than the recommended dosage of Vitamin A.

Water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin B and Vitamin C are not stored in the body and the excess amount ingested will be passed in the urine. In fact you can see and smell excess Vitamin B being passed after taking a large dosage of it.

The shelves of vitamins offered in many different types of stores today are full of many different types of supplements including multivitamins and vitamins sold on their own (i.e. vitamin E or vitamin A supplements), or a few different supplements similar in nature being sold in one pill (i.e. vitamin B complex).

Since the body will not store the water-soluble vitamins it would be a good idea to take these supplements if your dietary habits are not well balanced. Some type of diets will restrict certain type of foods, which could also reduce your intake of vitamins, and minerals that your body requires for optimum health.

The danger of taking vitamin supplements occurs when the fat-soluble vitamins and certain minerals are contained in different pills that you may be taking or if you are on the supplements for an extended period of time. This overlapping of intake and length of time can lead to an overdose, which can cause damage to some of the organs in the human body such as the liver when taking to much Vitamin A.

To prevent injury from this type of situation, consumers should check with their doctors before starting any medications, even over the counter anti aging supplements, or supplements of any kind.

As we get older certain vitamins are no longer available to us in the required amounts. This is caused by the reduction of food intake and because our bodies are no longer as efficient in process all of the foods that we ingest. Up to one-third of older people can no longer absorb Vitamin B from their food. Vitamin B is needed to form red blood cells and keep nerves healthy.

If you are going to start some type of diet, or if you just feel that you need vitamins and supplements then find a good health care professional prior to starting any type of home treatment.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.


About Fat

Fat is a nutrient that helps the body function in various ways, For example it supplies the body with energy. It also helps other nutrients work and, when it becomes fatty tissue, it protects organs and provides insulation, keeping you warm. But the body only needs small amounts of fat. Too much fat can have bad effects, including turning into unwanted excess pounds and increasing cholesterol in the bloodstream.

There are different types of fat, and they have different effects on your risk of heart disease. Knowing which fat does what can help you choose healthier foods.

Total Fat. This is the sum of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats and transfatty acids in food. Foods have a varying mix of these three types.

Saturated fat

This fat is usually solid at room and refrigerator temperatures. It is found in greatest amounts in foods from animals, such as fatty cuts of meat, poultry with the skin, whole-milk dairy products, lard, and some vegetable oils, including coconut and palm oils. Saturated fat increases cholesterol in the blood more than anything else in the diet. Keep your intake of saturated fat low.

Unsaturated fat

This fat is usually liquid at room and refrigerator temperatures. Unsaturated fats occur in vegetable oils, most nuts, olives, avocadoes, and fatty fish, such as salmon.

There are types of unsaturated fat-monosaturated and poly unsaturated. When used instead of saturated fat, monounsaturated an polyunsaturated fats help lower blood cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fat is found in greatest amounts in foods from plants, including olive, canola, sunflower, and peanut oils. Polyunsaturated fat is found in greatest amounts in foods for plants, including safflower, sunflower, corn, soybean, and cottonseed oils, and many kinds of nuts. A type of polyunsaturated fat is called amega-3 fatty acids, which are being studies to see if they help guard against heart disease. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are some fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel.

Use moderate amounts of food high in unsaturated fats, taking care to avoid excess calories.

Transfatty acids. Foods high in trans fatty acids tend to raise blood cholesterol. These foods include those high in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as many hard margarines and shortenings. Foods with a high amount of these ingredients include some commercially friend foods and some bakery goods.

The best way to cook to reduce fat

There’s a host of lowfat cooking methods. Try these-but remember not to add butter or high-fat sauces :


Lightly stir fry or sautè(c) in cooking spray, small amount of vegetable oil, or reduced sodium broth.

Grill seafood, chicken, or vegetables.


Omega 3 and Depression

Some of us will have already heard that fish oil is brain food and in a way, that’s exactly what it is. Not only is the brain largely composed of fat, it needs the Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil in order to work properly too. Interestingly, people who are suffering from depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease and other brain-related conditions have been found to have low concentrations of the essential Omega 3 fatty acids in their blood, particularly Eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA and perhaps this is no coincidence.

No one really knows the exact mechanisms involved or how it works but the indications are that EPA thins the blood and helps it to flow more efficiently to the brain, enhances inter neural connectivity, increases serotonin levels, reduces inflammation, improves concentration and memory and even has a mood elevating effect. Consequently, it stands to reason that supplementing with fish oil might alleviate symptoms of depression and this is just what researchers have been finding out.

What the research says…

A Harvard study led by Dr Andrew Stoll in 1999 reported that fish oil can dramatically improve symptoms of Bipolar disorder (manic depression). Bipolar disorder is a type of depression manifesting itself as repeated episodes of depression and mania or both and it can have a devastating effect on the life of the individual and their loved ones. In Stoll’s study, 30 bipolar patients with a history of relapses were given either fish oil or a placebo in the form of Olive oil. The trial was supposed to last for 9 months but was stopped after 4 months due to the dramatic results of the fish oil group who were able to reduce their symptoms of depression and stay in remission significantly longer than the placebo group.

Then in 2002 researchers Peet and Horrobin tested the antidepressant effect of ethyl EPA, a particularly concentrated form of EPA, and found that a dose of 1 gram daily was effective against depression. Participants were assigned either to the fish oil group or the placebo group and given various doses of fish oil daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the trial, those taking 1 gram of fish oil showed a significant improvement over those in the placebo group and the conclusion was that this dose was particularly effective in treating people with persistent depression.

Yet another study by Puri et al involved giving EPA in addition to normal medication to a suicidal male patient suffering from severe depression. Not only was there a cessation of suicidal ideation and an improvement in all the symptoms of depression, but brain scans carried out before and at the end of the trial indicated structural changes to the brain after taking EPA. This study also suggested that EPA might enhance the efficacy of other medication for depression.

Other studies have revealed that there is a higher incidence of postnatal depression in countries with a lower level of fish consumption. This makes a lot of sense when we consider that Omega 3 fatty acids are particularly important during pregnancy and in the first few years of a child’s life when the brain is developing very rapidly and if the mother doesn’t get enough fatty acids whilst pregnant, she can find her supplies depleted as they are transferred to baby.

Here in the UK, the Durham trials are consistently reporting on the positive effect that fish oil can have on behaviour, concentration and learning in the classroom and an Australian study led by researcher Natalie Sinn even reported that fish oil was more effective than Ritalin for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.


It would be reasonable then to conclude that a lack of Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet or perhaps even a higher than normal requirement for Omega 3 fatty acids can result in low fatty acid concentrations in the brain, which of course might increase the risk of depression and other related disorders. Depression can affect any one of us at any time, it is indiscriminate of age, background or gender and the numbers are increasing year after year.

Could it be that an overall reduction in consumption of fish and therefore Omega 3 fatty acids might be contributing in some way to a rise in cases of depression? The evidence isn’t conclusive but the indications are that fatty acids certainly have a role to play in the prevention and treatment of all kinds of depression and mood related disorders. Research in this area is growing rapidly and no doubt we will be hearing a lot more about the benefits of Omega 3 and EPA in the future. In the meantime, fish oil is a safe and convenient supplement that can be taken by everyone to improve health in general.


Nutritional Supplements on Teenagers

There are some parents who are worried about the effectiveness of nutritional supplements on teenagers. Here, we’ll look at ways that teens can safely take advantage of vitamins and nutritional supplements without causing any harmful side effects.

Teens Should Work with Parents

Moms and dads should absolutely be a part of the decision to put a teenager on nutritional supplements and vitamins. Even if the young person just wants to beef up his or her daily regimen of vitamins E and C, parents should always be a part of the process. That way, everyone knows what the teen is taking.

Teens Should Talk with Their Physicians

If your son or daughter is into sports and has a desire to try creatine or another muscle-building nutritional supplement, it’s important to encourage him or her to talk with a physician or naturopath. Often, kids just hear about nutritional supplements from their friends, but they don’t really understand how or why they work. By getting some basic education, teens can make informed decisions. (For example, creatine has been known to help gain weight, which can be good for a skinny boy but devastating to an already-overweight girl.)

Teens Need to Be Concerned with Interactions

You may not know that your teen is on birth control, but if she is, she needs to be concerned with how her daily medication could interact or interfere with nutritional supplements and vitamins. The same goes for the teenager who is on diet pills or takes prescription migraine medications.

Whether you are certain your son or daughter is taking medications or not, you should urge him or her to investigate possible complications. After all, who wants to have something terrible happen? Truthfully, it’s often merely a matter of absorption (for instance, birth control pills can leech some nutrients from vitamins or make absorbing nutritional supplements difficult), but sometimes more serious concerns can develop from nutritional supplement and herb interactions.

Teens Should be Well-Informed

Just because a teen is still a child doesn’t mean that he or she shouldn’t understand what a nutritional supplement is going to do to the body. Make sure your kid knows how practical it is to investigate any nutritional supplements and vitamins before committing to purchasing them. You will not only be proud that he or she took the time to do so, you’ll also be relieved knowing that your son or daughter isn’t simply making a “fly by night” health choice.

No, you cannot hold your child’s hand throughout the years. But if you give him or her the tools to make good decisions throughout life, he or she will likely live an existence more in tune with nature.


About Coenzyme Q10

coenzyme Q10 has been widely used in Japan since 1974 as a drug for the treatment of the congestive heart failure which is a characteristic degenerative disease of old age, and for other cardiovascular problems. The heart tissue of patients with congestive heart failure characteristically shows signs of increased oxidation – i.e. free radical damage, and coenzyme Q10 is widely recognised as a powerful anti-oxidant, the most important defense against free radicals.

For those not medically trained the high concentration of coenzyme Q10 within the heart might be evidence enough of its crucial importance to this vital organ, and it’s also found in high concentrations in the brain, kidney and liver, equally vital organs which demand abundant supplies of energy.

But despite conceding coenzyme Q10’s value as an excellent anti-oxidant, conventional Western medicine is still reluctant to draw the obvious conclusion and prescribe it as a treatment for congestive heart failure or other diseases.

However, coenzyme Q10 is recognised in the US as a safe and effective nutritional supplement. In fact it’s commonly described as a fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance and is even sometimes known as vitamin Q10. But this restriction of its definition to that of a supplement should not be taken as lessening its value in any way.

Coenzyme Q10 has also been shown to have positive effects in retarding the advance of Parkinson’s disease, in reducing migraine headaches, in lowering blood pressure and to be of benefit for various cardiovascular conditions, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

The anti-oxidant properties of coenzyme Q10 are also very important in their own right, and it’s active in every cell in tackling free radicals. Being fat soluble, coenzyme Q10 also appears to move easily within the cells’ fatty tissues, such as membranes, preventing damage from the lipid peroxidation of these tissues caused by free radical attack. Coenzyme Q10 appears to be particularly effective against superoxides; these are the most damaging type of free radical because they’re released upon the metabolism of oxygen within cells, literally with every breath we take.

Worse still; superoxides react with other by-products of energy production to form hydroxyl, the most pernicious free radical of all, and to attack the mitochondria of the cells themselves. Since it is the mitochondria which ultimately produce the energy for all the body’s vital reactions, mitochondrial damage due to free radicals can only mean the production of less and less energy, and the gradual deterioration and degeneration of the entire organism. It has consequently been argued that the rate of mitochondrial damage is the key to the rate of aging itself.

And by one of life’s cruel ironies, just as the rate of free radical damage increases with advancing age, so the body’s rate of production of coenzyme Q10 decreases. Production actually appears to peak as early as around the age of 20 or thereabouts, and declines gradually thereafter, but with the rate of decline accelerating after age 40. By the age of 80, the average person is probably only producing a little over half of their peak levels. And this is just at the time when the ability to absorb other anti-oxidants from food is also declining rapidly.

The lesson appears clear: to maintain maximum youthful vigour for as long as possible it’s necessary to ensure the maximum possible supply of coenzyme Q10 throughout life.

Unfortunately, good food sources of coenzyme Q10 are hard to come by unless you’re a fan of offal, such as beef liver, or oily fish, like sardines. And even if you’re one of those who can stomach these foods, you’re unlikely to want to eat them in the kind of quantities you’d need to make a significant difference to the amount of coenzyme Q10 in your cells.


Supplements for Healthy Skin

Taking nutritional supplements of vitamins, minerals and some herbs go a lot further to providing anti-aging benefits than many expensive face creams and ointments.

Take Vitamin A for example. This handy vitamin treats acne and contains anti-aging benefits in the form of Retin-A, and smoothes out wrinkles and improves skin texture by plumping skin cells and revitalizing growth of collagen. Vitamin B-complex is also great for skin care, as is Vitamin E. Vitamin E and A should be taken together to provide optimal benefits, for their both work and react together to keep skin tissues healthy. In addition, Vitamin E has been found to drastically reduce the number of wrinkles and improve skin texture in guided laboratory tests in recent years. And believe it or not, Vitamin C is not just for colds. This vitamin packs a punch and enables the body to fight inflammation, prevent free-radical damage (the bad stuff that causes cell destruction) and acts as an anti-oxidant that helps create collagen. No need to get those injections, just get your vitamin nutritional supplements!

Many women fighting the battle against aging are also taking estrogen nutritional supplements, which helps to reduce dryness of the skin and reduces fine wrinkles. One of the best things people can to do prevent skin conditions and premature aging is to resist the urge to sunbathe and to always wear sun block with outside, especially during the hot summer months. Nutritional supplements that contain the right mixtures of many vitamins and minerals help to protect the skin against many free radicals that can cause skin damage, and even some cancers. Free radicals are also the enemy to youthful, fresh looking skin, and causes accelerated rates of aging in many. Vitamins and minerals like Vitamins E and C, as well as the mineral Selenium help to decrease the harmful effect of the sun on skin cells and can help to prevent further damaging.

In fact, doctors have noted that the use of selenium nutritional supplements shows promising results in the fight against skin cancer as well as several other types of cancer. Taken orally, supplements of 50 to 200 micrograms daily can offer interior protection against those damaging rays. Be advised however, that taking some nutritional supplements, while helping to protect the skin, are not by any means to be considered as a replacement to sun block lotions or creams, nor as an anti-cancer drug.

Because today’s generation is more aware of the damages of sun worshiping than our parents and grandparents were, it is possible that, due to the use of skin protection and proper use of nutritional supplements and minerals that this generation may actually see a reduction in the number of melanoma and other skin cancer cases diagnosed and treated this decade.

Proper skin care means watching the health of your skin, and protecting and nourishing it on a daily basis. A good nutritional supplement such as a multi vitamin can do wonders not only for your insides but your outsides as well.


Know This Supplement Checklist

Foundational Supplements:

* Multi-vitamin
* Essential Fatty Acid complex

The multi-vitamin will act as an insurance policy. Variety in your diet is great and you should strive for it, but not all of us get everything we need for optimal performance. And with the debates on food quality, it’s just a decent idea to take a multi- vitamin.

An EFA complex gives you so many benefits to fat burning and muscle building by increasing your metabolism and the heart healthy benefits, it’s just a must. Eating plenty of fish will help ensure you are getting your Omega acids but again, insurance policy and a decent foundational supplement.

And that’s it!

Performance/Muscle Building Supplements:

* Whey protein
* Creatine

Why isn’t protein a foundational? Because I believe that if you wanted to, you could get all your protein needs from whole foods. It’s not a foundational to take a shake even after a workout. And while you can argue that the body will absorb it better and such, it still doesn’t make it a must even as an insurance policy.

But it sure as heck does help. I think most bodybuilders will take some form of whey shake at some point during the day. My guess is in the morning upon waking up and after a workout.

Good old creatine. It’s proven in over 300 peer reviewed published articles on it’s improvements to the bodybuilding athlete.

Optional Supplements:

* Beta-Alanine
* Glutamine
* Casein
* Other proteins

An up-coming major player in coo hoots with creatine is beta- alanine. From my own research and experimentation, it’s a fine supplement and not a bank breaker. I do stack this with my BCAA supplement that has creatine in it. One to watch at the least.

Glutamine is something that gets a lot of attention but rarely do we find studies that show it’s clear link to bodybuilding. Needless to say…

You can try it out if you want.

Casein is just a slower digesting protein. Many people are firm believers in mixing proteins especially at night when you want a slower digesting protein. Some products have protein combinations in them already. Dairy proteins like cottage cheese have casein in them and make a very good nighttime snack.

Other proteins like egg white protein or vegetarian proteins might be something optional if you find it necessary or beneficial.

Experimental Supplements:

* Caffeine

Branch Chain Aminos are great. Especially in a pre-workout formula. At the moment, I’ve had great personal success using a BCAA powder with creatine mixed in it. Not something for everybody but if you are looking for that extra edge, BCAA style supplements sure do have a lot of valid research behind them to suggest a performance enhancement.

Caffeine for weight loss or a metabolism boost or maybe you just like your local coffee shop. I don’t experiment with it at all but I do like my coffee. Many people find that caffeine in coffee or green tea make good herbal weight loss products that are safe.

CLA is an old school healthy fat that get press every now and again. Lately there’s not much promise in terms of human weight reduction but again, something to consider. Don’t expert miracles. I tried it once. Interesting. Not a supplement that you’ll find in my closet though.

Remember, there are hundreds of supplements out there and the list is growing daily. These few are really all you’ll need in addition to your 5-6 meals a day.

If you were to stick just with the foundational supplements, you would still make fantastic progress and spend under $30 a month on supplements.


Benefits of Beta Carotene’s

Beta Carotene is a carotenoid. Carotenoids are light absorbing pigments occurring in plants and animals. Beta carotene stores light in plant leaves during the process of photosynthesis. Found in many plants including asparagus, apricots, broccoli, carrots, kale, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and tomatoes; it can easily be added to the diet naturally.

This carotenoid can absorb light wavelengths that evade chlorophyll. This can help to increase the range of usable light waves during photosynthesis. It also helps the plant reach for the light unless the light is too severe then it sends the plant growing into the opposite direction.

In the human body beta carotene through a series of conversions joins with opsin, the red pigment of the retina to make rhodopsin which is necessary for night vision. Rhodopsin is also called visual purple and it is the substance in the back of the eye that is responsible for the first steps in light recognition. Beta carotene may also serve as a cofactor in enzyme systems. These serve the enzyme in its catalyst functions.

The human body converts every one beta carotene molecule into two vitamin A molecules which are stored in the liver. People on average store a two year supply of this vitamin in the body. There are some vitamins which need to be replenished on a daily basis because they are not stored in the body. By contrast vitamin A is to be supplemented only with great caution because of the potential risk of overdose.

Beta Carotene not only helps with night vision, it aids in the treatment of some eye disorders. It helps to promote bone growth and teeth development and aids in the reproduction process Beta Carotene helps us to maintain healthy skin, hair and mucous membranes. It also builds the body’s resistances to infections, especially respiratory as it is an antioxidant and helps to remove free moving radicals in the body. Its thought to help prevent acne, impetigo, boils and open ulcers when applied to the skin. The symptoms of Beta Carotene deficiency are Night blindness, inability to create tears, subtle changes in the eyes, xeroderma, weight loss, poor bone growth, weakened tooth enamel, diarrhea, acne, insomnia or fatigue.

It will take several months of a Beta Carotene deficient diet before symptoms will begin to develop so don’t be concerned about a few days without eating carrots. Also don’t take beta carotene if you are allergic to Vitamin A. If you are pregnant do not take doses of Vitamin A larger than the Daily Value as it can cause growth retardation and urinary tract malformations in the fetus. Similarly don’t take doses higher than the daily value if you are breastfeeding.