Friday, January 22, 2010

Eating a balanced diet

AIM BarleyLife® for a balanced diet

Eating a balanced diet remains a challenge for both adults and children. Experts estimate that only one in five youths consume the minimum five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and 16 percent of youth do not meet any of the recommendations outlined in the standard food guide pyramid. Consumers of all ages are being urged to increase their intake of leafy green vegetables.1
AIM BarleyLife® is a convenient way to make sure that you receive the necessary vitamins and minerals that experts recommend. The leaves of the green barley plant are literally bursting with important vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants that are naturally occurring and balanced by nature. Nearly everyone, adults and children, can benefit from AIM BarleyLife®.

Rich in vitamins A and B
Beta-carotene is a precursor for vitamin A, and the beta-carotene content found in AIM BarleyLife® is substantial. Just one serving of AIM BarleyLife® provides nearly two times the amount of beta-carotene found in raw carrots, and eight times that found in raw broccoli. Vitamin A is essential for good eye health, as well as cardiovascular and immuno health. Vitamin A in its natural form as beta-carotene is especially desirable for its antioxidant properties since it helps to prevent harmful free radical damage in the body.

AIM BarleyLife® also contains the following B-complex vitamins:
• Folate—helps to produce and maintain new cells and is also essential for normal levels of homocysteine. (Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with increased risk of coronary events.)
• Riboflavin—important for energy metabolism as well as normal eyesight and healthy skin.
• Niacin—critical to more than 50 metabolic functions, including the formation of red blood cells, and for supplying energy to and maintaining the integrity of all body cells.
• Vitamin B6—important in protein metabolism, B6 provides the mechanism for the many amino acid reactions within the body; it readily mobilizes glycogen for the body’s energy supply when needed.
Increasing importance of vitamin K
Often overlooked in the vitamin or supplement aisle, is vitamin K (also known by the scientific name, phylloquinone). Increasing evidence now shows that diets containing ample amounts of vitamin K may help to ensure adequate bone density and protect against osteoporosis and hip fracture in postmenopausal women. Vitamin K also plays a key role in fetal development and is needed to maintain proper blood clotting.
In 2003, a Tufts University researcher published a detailed profile of vitamin K by asking some critical questions about the association between dietary vitamin K intake and bone mineral density. The results showed that the vitamin K concentration in most foods is very low,2 and that many adults aged 18 to 44 may be getting far less vitamin K than they need3 to protect against osteoporosis and hip fracture.
A typical serving of AIM BarleyLife® offers an abundant source of vitamin K, containing 100% of the recommended daily amount. However, those who take blood-thinning medications such as Coumadin® should exercise caution since vitamin K supplementation can impact the effectiveness of such medications. As with any dietary supplement, it is best to consult with your health care practitioner when adding something new to your daily regimen.

Minerals essential to good health
Excellent mineral content is another reason to consider AIM BarleyLife®. One serving provides considerable amounts of:
• Potassium—necessary to maintain water balance and cellular integrity
• Phosphorous—for the structural component of all cells; and to activate the B vitamins
• Manganese—for energy production; and also to enhance the antioxidant defense system by increasing concentrations of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD)
• Magnesium—a major mineral to improve blood lipid levels, increase energy production, and synthesize proteins
• Chromium—a critical component of the glucose tolerance factor; required for normal carbohydrate metabolism
• Iron—for oxygen supply to the cells as well as to maintain immuno health
• Calcium—for the structural integrity of bones and skeletal tissue, and to promote nerve transmission, and other important functions within the blood, muscle, and fluids of healthy cells and tissue.4

1 Institute of Food Technologists, press release: July 14, 2004.
2 J Nutr, Vol. 128, May 1998.
3 Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, 1995-2005.
4 Circulation, Vol. 106, Oct. 2002.

*Used with permission from AIM Partners Magazine

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