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Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

13. May 2010

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Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

Insulin is one of the most important hormones in the human body, and yet most people don't really understand why our bodies make it or how what we eat affects the levels of insulin we produce. More so than any other hormone, our diet is key in regulating insulin levels, and thus a number of biological processes. As you'll soon see, everyone should think about how what they eat impacts their body's insulin release to be at their happiest and healthiest.

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Understanding Our Bodies – Fiber!

24. March 2010

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Understanding Our Bodies – Fiber!

Most of us already know that we should be eating fiber - according to the Institute of Medicine, adults should be eating 20-35 grams of it per day. But why? What's so important about fiber anyway? What does it do for us physiologically? And does it matter what kind of fiber we eat? (Image Credit: Sami Taipale, flickr)

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Understanding Our Bodies: The Role of Antioxidants

26. October 2009

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Understanding Our Bodies: The Role of Antioxidants

Are antioxidants good for you? To answer that question, you have to understand reactive oxygen species, or ROS. And to do that, you have to understand how your cells produce energy. In this article, we uncover the processes of oxidation and explain it in the context of your health and well being.

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New Study Connects Leptin to Dopamine

10. August 2009

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New Study Connects Leptin to Dopamine

As I've been writing the "Understanding Our Bodies: The Physiology of Nutrition" series, I've tried to explain how the various chemical systems in our bodies relate to how and what we eat. For example, two of the biggest hormones that affect our eating habits - Leptin, the fullness hormone, and Dopamine, the brain's reward hormone - seem to have very different and unrelated effects on our bodies. But every day science is discovering just how interwoven and related our bodies different systems are. Just this week, for example, after explaining everything I could find about how dopamine relates to eating, scientists from the University of Michigan have discovered a new way that leptin regulates dopamine levels.

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Understanding our Bodies: Dopamine and Its Rewards

31. July 2009

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Understanding our Bodies: Dopamine and Its Rewards

As much as we’d like to deny it, there’s a lot more involved in our decision making when it comes to food than just the advice of our inner and outer nutritionists. For the most part, we know that we should be eating. Yet time and time again when a friend asks us if we [...]

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Understanding Our Bodies: Amino Acids Are Important

20. July 2009

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Understanding Our Bodies: Amino Acids Are Important

Whether the strategy is to cut carbs or to cut fat or to cut calories in general, just about everyone agrees that protein is good for you. But why? And do the sources make a difference? What about protein makes it so important, and what do you need to include in your diet to reap the benefits? What happens when we don't have it? (Thanks to Flickr user TKnoxB for the image)

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Understanding Our Bodies: Serotonin, The Connection Between Food and Mood

24. June 2009

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Understanding Our Bodies: Serotonin, The Connection Between Food and Mood

Continuing the series on The Physiology of Nutrition, I present to you the connection between food and mood - serotonin.

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Understanding Our Bodies: Leptin (The Fullness Hormone)

15. June 2009

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Understanding Our Bodies: Leptin (The Fullness Hormone)

Here is part one of a new series I call "Understanding Our Bodies" - nutrition based on how our bodies work. And to kick it off is a little explanation of the fullness hormone: Leptin.

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