Learn The Reasons Why You May Need A Roof Replacement

No matter what type of roofing system your home has, it is still a great idea to have your home inspected at least once a year to keep it working properly. You may own a home with a metal roof, shingle roof, or even a shake roof. It is easy to determine which type of roof you have by the materials it consists of. If you are still unsure, an expert can help you determine the type and help you with a plan to keep up with proper maintenance.

Overtime a roofing system can start to wear down due to many factors. These may include weather conditions, moisture, and proper installation and ventilation. Your roofing system should last about twenty years but if you do not address problem as you notice them, your roof may not last as long as it should. With regular home repairs and good attention to any areas that need repair, your roofing system can last many more years than you expect.

Your roof may start to rot in certain spots, or may show signs of normal wear and tear. This still may not mean you need a total roof replacement. It is best to have a home improvement expert to fully inspect and determine if your homes roofing system needs to be repaired or replaced. You may be surprised to learn that your roof may just need a few minor repairs instead of a new roof. Sometimes your shingles can start to curl up, or maybe even blister and start to lose your shingle. If you notice any of these problems contact a professional roofing company to address any spots before the damage gets worst.

Since your home is your largest investment, you plan to take extra precaution to ensure it stays in top shape. You can do inspections of your home yourself every few weeks just to be on the safe side. If your roof has a default, it could ruin your inside ceiling, along with your furniture and other belongings. This can be very costly to the homeowner and cause a lot of headache.

Be sure to contact your local residential roofers to get your home's roofing system inspected for any signs of damage before it's too late. Remember, catching any signs of damage early can prevent major damage and save you and your family money in the long run. You can also save money on your electric cost by ensuring your roof and window systems are properly insulated.

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Business Gift Guide

There are many reasons to give a business gift to a colleague or client. The types of gifts vary for each occasion. It is paramount to understand who and what type of business, general relationship, policies on gift amount limits, culture and region when you decide giving a business gift is appropriate. So try to avoid the embarrassing pitfalls of giving too much or too little by using this guide to help steer you towards success. Here are a few reasons to consider gifting:

Holidays

Birthday

Special Occasions

Motivation

Recognition

New Clients

Client Retention Campaigns

Branding

Trade Show & Events

Awards

Speakers

Valued Supplier

Advertising Incentives

Special Programs

“No Reason at all”

Individual Taste: Adopt the policy that a gift is for someone else and try to gear your selection towards their tastes and preferences. The catch is that you need to know a few things about their tastes and preferences. Finding out can be an adventure. A few examples are: foods, favorite sports teams, music, events, authors, travel destinations, color preferences and hobbies.

Probe: You may never know unless you ask. Without being “captain obvious” about your intension, a pointed conversation covering general topics should get you the basic background information you need for appropriate planning. Birthdays, special occasions and promotions are just some areas to consider. Where and when is up to you.

Alternative Probing: Sometimes a conversation with your recipient is not an option. Fear not, because making a tactical “back door” call to their colleague or secretary should provide you with at least one target event. Be upfront by explaining your intension: let them know that your gift is a surprise and always remember to thank them for the information. If you are motivated, you could even drop your contact a quick note or a card expressing your gratitude. Remember, “All hail the mighty secretary!” A gatekeeper is seldom impressed. This is your chance to do so when they feel involved in what you are doing.

Your Calendar: Keep your database flourishing with important dates. For example, a personal call on someone’s birthday may just make all the difference in your relationship, even if you leave a voicemail. Having a current calendar assists by helping you avoid last minute shopping. You can plan your ordering and delivery of your gift(s) in a targeted manner.

Creativity: Sometimes creating your own occasion offers a twist to the norm. For a few of your colleagues and clients, certain holidays or occasions offer a mountain of gifts. They have no idea, or in some cases do not care where they came from. Sending a small token may be appropriate, but stand out from the crowd by giving off-season gifts in a scheduled manner. Be consistent. You will have the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Your Budget and Legal Allowances: This becomes a juggling act for business people in any number of industries and government to make the gift fit with legal allowances. Some entities allow $25, while others up to $75 or more. We suggest you get the facts for yourself before you continue through our suggestions below. However, if there is no legal cap on your ability to invest in your gift(s), then you need to decide what the breakout of your budget will be. A gift should never look like a bribe! Some companies issue a blanket maximum, while others base budgets on performance levels or even a flat budget. It is up to you to decide how you break that out. Most importantly, try never to embarrass a superior by out spending him or her.

What to give: Now you know what your colleague or client would consider a great gift, your budget is set, but how do you decide what to purchase? That directly correlates with the value of that person as an asset to your organization and your professional relationship with them. Remember, never too personal, but something which will be appreciated. This is a cold statement, but a complete reality. Would you purchase a $2500 watch for a salesperson that loses you money consistently or for the one that just made you a $250K profit this quarter? Sometimes multiple gifts following a theme will be greater then giving just one item as well. For example, if you give a nice bottle of wine, accompany that with tasteful stemware or a jazzy corkscrew. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions broken out by organizational level:

    A. CEO/Board Members/VP and Director: At the highest levels, we suggest you try to stay with a more traditional route of standard corporate gifting. This may include quality pens, personalized notepads, desk clock, fine wine, trips or even art. If you are a CEO reading this, then all bets are off and you will garnish presents as you please. For everyone else, depending upon your level and the size of your company, sometimes less is more. K.I.S.S. absolutely applies to you.

    B. Middle Management/Supervisor/Supplier: For folks in the middle of the management structure, we suggest a mix of both traditional and non-traditional gifting. These people are the rising stars in most organizations and why not let them feel like it! We still suggest quality pens and desk clocks, but also add tickets, Mp3 players, PDA, dinners, flowers, as well as a weekend “get-away”. The possibilities are enormous!

    C. Colleagues/Counterpart/Employees/Speaker: These folks are in the trenches with their sleeves rolled up! Treat them well, for motivation and productivity may just rise! Most at this level really don’t expect much. The “WOW” factor might not have to either when it comes to gifting for them. We suggest personalized desktop or travel items, flowers, tickets, gift baskets, gift cards, wines and even surprise them by letting them off for the afternoon on a Friday.

    D. Your Boss: Since this person directly decides if you collect your paycheck and pass go, be extremely tactical when looking for an appropriate gift. Only you know your boss’ personality. Depending upon the size of your company, you may get to know them rather well. If the organization is immense, you may need to ask a close colleague. To repeat from above: Do not out spend your superiors!

    E. Your Client: Who keeps the lights on? Your clients do! Since in most cases, your competition is waiting for a slip up, never give them that opportunity. Your database should have multitudes of information about them and their like/dislikes. Trust your instincts, your budget and stay within those parameters. Think about your best client for a moment. What is their birthday? Favorite activity? Goals? Expectations of you? That should already have your brain fired up about what you need for them. We probably do not even need to suggest anything, but, in case you do not have the answers, may we suggest considering all the above? What are they truly worth to you? As a reminder, this is a generalized guide and not written exclusively for multi-million dollar corporations or sole proprietorships, so we must leave it at that. Only you know what your client is worth.

    F. Trade Shows and Events: Who just walked up to you? Good thing you probably got their business card. After a few hundred of them, those cards are all you have to remember them by. We suggest bulk purchase items with your company logo. Believe it or not, plastic bags are very appropriate when people are collecting information from many companies over a short period. The standardized gifts of pens, calculators, hand sanitizer, note pads and stress balls all fit the bill.

Surprise: Hand delivering a gift may require an appointment (for something else of course) and offers The Personal Touch. However, some gifts need to be delivered by a courier.

Thank You: Professional gifts are a great way to say thank you. This not only can help you to brand yourself, but your company as well. Gifts show respect for the recipient when they are thoughtful by acknowledging your relationship. Plus it is a great way to keep your business card in their hand and your company on their mind.

Gift Wrapping: One of the most overlooked ways to “un-impress” someone is to give them a gift that looks like you wrapped it in twenty seconds or less. The quality of the gift can be diminished by the first impression. There are many brands and styles of gift wrapping out there. Make sure yours is appropriate. BusinessGifts.me always suggests The Personal Touch when choosing how to impress. Beautiful rice paper vs. newspaper is just one example of how to make even that $50 box of chocolates look like they are so much more. Not all gifts need you to wrap them, because the status and prestige of the store it came from can offer a much higher impact to the recipient. High end brand names are stand alone. Think about receiving a “gold bag” of chocolates accompanied by a “blue box” of jewelry with satin ribbon. We rest our case.

Correspondence: Even the most lavish gifts can be compromised if you give a generic or unprofessional card. If at all possible, handwrite a sincere and professional note.

Delivery: Face to face delivery is the best way to give your recipient their gift. Practically, this is hardly ever an option. If that is the case, always send your gifts first class or a similar option with your preferred business carrier. The third class delivery option may save you a few bucks, but could insult the person receiving it.

Gift Etiquette: If you delivered the gift yourself and they opened it right in front of you, it is very appropriate to see how they have or are enjoying it. Tickets, dinner reservations or other date-sensitive gifts fall into this category. But, not always, so use your best judgment when venturing into the topic. They will usually bring it up first. Asking: “Did you get my gift?” is probably the absolute worst thing to do with your recipient if you have not received a thank you yet. What if they did not receive it? You could stand a good chance of ruining the surprise. Plus, it is quite frankly poor etiquette. Surprising someone is a personal excitement which they may need to enjoy during the right moment in their day. A wrapped gift offers anticipation and excitement when sitting on the edge or a desk.

We hope this guide has been helpful to you in understanding what business gifts represent and can help steer you in the right direction in your decision. It is always recommended that you check any questions you may have with the appropriate parties. Remember The Personal Touch can make all the difference. Please visit our store!

The Top 7 Largest Crystal Chandeliers In The World

The growing popularity of crystal chandeliers has really take its toll and from its popularity in which have reached all over the world. Let me give you the Top 7 Largest Crystal Chandeliers in the world. You want to know the prices of it? Well even I can’t compute, so without further a do here it is:

Going at the 7th place is the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, Illinois.

The smallest-biggest chandelier in the world, the chandelier in the Theatre is known as the ‘Duchess’ took two years for ‘her’ to be born, and cost one and a half million dollars before her birthday. That was one and a half million, back in the 1920s, when you could buy a house for a person’s weekly wage nowadays. Now let me see you do the math on that one.

#6 on the list can be found at The Jai Vilas Palace houses two chandeliers, each one weighing 3.5 tons. To test whether the roof would take their weight, ten elephants were used to stamp on the roof, to make sure, now that is what I call durability, don’t you think? The palace was designed by a British colonel during colonial times in India, and has survived until now. The gold paint used in the room the chandeliers are in, is estimated to weigh 58 kg. Now how much would that be?

At Dolmabahce palace in Istanbul, Turkey The #5 ranked largest Crystal Chandelier is found. A 4.5 ton chandelier resides at the Dolmabahce palace in Istanbul. It contains 750 lamps, and is made of Bohemian crystal. It was a gift from Queen Victoria of Britain, to the Ottoman Empire in the late 1800s. The building also houses the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat chandeliers in the world, with even the staircases being made of Baccarat crystal, imagine that much royalty in one home.

In Knokke Casino in Belgium us where the #4 ranked resides. Well Knokke is a seaside resort close to the Dutch border, and is home to one of Belgium’s ten casinos, and also one of the world’s seven biggest chandeliers. The Belgians are so fascinated by their chandeliers that they even have a word for ‘chandelier room’ which is Kroonluchterzaal, I can’t say it, no matter how hard I try. The chandelier is made of Venetian crystal, 22,000 pieces of it to be exact, and includes 2,700 lamps creating light for the crystals to refract. It has a diameter of 8.5m and a height of 6.5m. The entire structure weighs 6 tons. Well how about that.

#3 on our hit list is at the Palais Garnier Opera, France. The chandelier in the Palais Garnier in France, a country known for its fascination with things beautiful, objets d’art, also weighs 6 tons. It is in a fitting setting. The building, which is home to France’s traditional operas, is very ornate, decorated with marble friezes, columns, and statues around its interior. Napoleon began its construction in 1858, and it stands even today. The huge chandelier is actually in the auditorium where the operas are played out. So when you watch operas in the theater for sure you’ll be fascinated with its chandelier as well.

The #2 rank is at the Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara, Turkey. God has always been the source of man’s greatest inspiration to create so many beautiful cathedrals and churches have been designed and created for religious purposes and the chandelier at the Kocatepe Mosque, in Ankara, Turkey, holds to that tradition. It weighs 7.5 tons, is 5.5m in diameter, and has 32 sidelights and 4 corner lights. The mosque is used by around 80,000 worshippers, and the building itself, along with the chandelier, is considered one of the great triumphs of Turkish architecture.

The undisputed #1 rank goes to Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Oman.

The largest chandelier known in the world, and weighs 8.5 tons. The actual chandelier is made of Swarovski crystal, has gold-plated metalwork, and hangs down for a length of 14 metres. It has a diameter of 8m to go with this height, making the size of the chandelier comparable to a five-storey apartment block or block of flats. It contains staircases and platforms necessary for maintenance, and has 1,200 dimmable halogen lamps triggered by more than 36 switching circuits. Well talk about high maintenance there.

What Factors To Consider When Choosing Between Auto Shops And Mobile Repair Services

Are mobile car repair services an option, and if it is, does this option make sense or will it cause more harm than good, to yourself and to your environment?

There are types of repairs that can be executed at home, or any location, with ease. Some home repair services, however, can become an even bigger problem for you. Knowing which services should be done where can save you from more serious problems that can be prompted by ignorance about home repair services.

Fixing or Changing a Problem Battery

Fixing a battery can address many problems with failed start-ups. Practically all automotive organisations and repair services have specially equipped vehicles that are customised in order to fix any battery problem. The vehicles carry diagnostics devices, supplies and all kinds of tools to make sure your battery is fixed, or replaced. If there’s something that can’t be addressed while at home, these services can send a wrecker to tow your automobile to where it needs to be properly serviced. Used batteries are taken to recycling plants.

Fixing or Replacing Windshields and Windows

Cracked or Broken windshields can easily be remedied at almost any location. An issue that might come up when working on glass installations is temperature and moisture due to the fact that the adhesives used are quite sensitive. This type of job may require a sheltered or heated area. And, of course, glass installations will not work in the rain. The larger mobile repair services are adequately equipped to handle the waste produced during installation.

To save some money, look into car wreckers in Australia for used windshields and glass.

Scratches and Dents Repaired Sans Paint

Professionals who are experienced with this type of work do not have any difficulties when delivering this service, no matter the location of the vehicle. Using a large skillset and many different tools will make quick work of any dent or scratch in need of fixing, and without the need for repainting. Having paint-free body work is a great environmentally safe type of repair.

Automobile Chassis and Body Work

Automobile chassis and body work should not be done outside of a traditional auto shop. First of all, it produces a lot of noise which is sure to be a problem for any neighbouring homes or establishments. Acquiring second hand parts from a car wreckers in Australia may require getting a paint job and can seriously mess up a space. Although used parts from car wreckers in Australia are an affordable and great alternative to buying new parts, they tend to be a little dirty. Auto paint can only be used in an area where conditions are controlled to protect the work from forming bubbles in the paint and to keep the environment around the work area safe. Reusing automotive parts from car wreckers in Australia is an excellent practise in recycling and sustainability for the environment.

How to Evaluate a Construction Software Vendor

One of the most difficult facets of a Construction Management Software selection project for a sizable construction company is that of picking the right Construction Management Software vendor. Obviously, there are a number of suppliers of Construction Software who would like us to believe their product is the best there is. They go to great lengths to market the strengths of their products, and to differentiate the weakened weaknesses of other software vendors' products. Such is the game of the free enterprise business system.

There are some things you can do to help you "separate the wheat from the chaff," as the saying goes. As is true with most major business enhancement endeavors, it is well worth it to do lots of research and homework before actually soliciting software sellers to come in to demonstrate their products and services. If you do not do this, and you end up with a vendor who is full of hot-air promises but can not deliver, there will be regrets. Likewise, depending how deeply involved and entrenched in the project the hot-air vendor before before you realize that they are not satisfactory, you could lose a lot of time and money on getting now. Some suggestions to minimize or prevent such risks follow:

1. Do the research! Check with internet resources, listen to other construction company recommendations, see what the Better Business Bureau has to say, and look in financial newspapers, bulletin boards, etc.

2. Look for red flags! Have any vendors been sued for non-performance or deceptive practices? Has the Construction Management Software package itself been kept up to date with technology and business practices? Has the vendor shown stability in their own business arena with regard to staff turnover, profits, employee treatment and satisfaction, and the like? Has the Construction Management Software vendor been taken over or bought out by others?

3. Look for green flags! Do not forget to look for positive, as well as negative issues about Construction Management Software vendors. Has the vendor been recognized for any substantial or meritorious software-related accomplishments? Has the software vendor been cited for Community and Public involvement? Have they been recommended by any of your business colleges and associates?

4. Sift, sift, sift! Once you've done the research and developed your evaluation matrix to plug in your findings, you can begin to sift all the data so the finest and best Construction Management Software vendors will become readily apparent. After you jump the data once, do it twice; even three times. That way, you will be sure to have eliminated those Construction Management Software vendors who might not be all they are cracked up to be. Let the data speak for itself; try to leave emotions and sentiments out of the equation, since those things tend to add confusion.

5. Insist on the best! Be assertive with your final selection of Construction Management Software vendors with regard to the individuals that they will be assigning to work on your software selection and implementation process. Do not forget; you are paying them to give you their best possible product or service. If, at any time during the selection process, you feel the vendor representative is not working out, do not be too hesitant about letting the vendor know that. Again, it's your money!

Hotels and Staying Tips For a New York City Visit

New York City (NYC) is one of the most popular and visited city in the world. If you are planning to visit NYC for Vacations then it's very important to know about staying.

There are so many rental apartments and flats available especially for tourists and visitors or if you want to enjoy your vacations with staying in luxury and well priced hotels then-

The Plaza Hotel: The 19-story luxury hotel in New York City is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Park South in Manhattan. The Plaza has achieved landmark status by New York City's Landmark Commission in 1969. It is named after the plaza on which it is situated. It is only Hotel in the NYC which is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

The Waldorf-Astoria: The famous landmark hotel that was built in 1931 in the Deco style. It's very popular luxury hotel in New York City and has been housed into two historic landmark buildings. It has three American and classic European restaurants, and other features like parlor; boutiques for the visitors are included in the main lobby of the hotel. The hotel has its own railway platform as a part of Grand Central Terminal.

The Algonquin Hotel: It is one of the historic hotels located at 59th west, 44th street in Manhattan in New York City. The hotel was built on 1902 with 174-rooms in it. It was originally constructed as a residential hotel but was quickly converted into traditional lodging. It is famous for its two things, First, the Vicious Circle, where the celebrities usually usually met in 1920s and the second is the hotel's resident cat, which can be found none nonchalantly holding court in the lobby of the hotel.

How to Get Rid of Sleep Lines

So you forgot to sleep on your back. Or maybe you simply cannot sleep on your back. Maybe you can only get a good night’s sleep on your stomach. Maybe you wear a CPAP mask. Whatever the reason, now you have a sheet tattoo design across your not-so-rosy cheeks. The pillow was not your friend and now you look like an ultimate fighter complete with facial scars. And you have a meeting in an hour.

What to do? Wear a full-face mask during the night? Sew tennis balls into the sides of your jammies? Fill the creased canyons with pancake make-up? Too late for those extreme steps? Break out the Botox? Overkill.

Try the following three steps next time you look into the mirror in the morning and see the dreaded skin creases.

1. Slap yourself around. Yep, we have all tried it. And it works. Get some stimulation going. Follow a little cheek slapping session by alternating hot and cold water slaps. Go with cold first. I have found it gets the face muscles taught and frigid. Then when the hot water hits, something about the release of blood into those areas from which it has just retreated gives the crevasses a plumping up.

2. Re-crease the creases. Now go one by one and reverse crease the main offenders. You may not be able to do this for all the little indentations, but there will be a few major linear dents, which will be noticeable across a meeting room. Pinch the skin around them and fold the opposite direction. Do this gently, if you pinch too hard the capillaries underneath may burst. The lines will not go away immediately, but you’ve redistributed the fleshy fluids away from the fold.

3. Apply a deep moisturizer. Moisturizers lubricate the skin and fill in spaces in the skin’s cells. Use a water-based product. These tend to absorb more quickly. A good moisturizer will trap water in the outer layer of your facial skin.

Sometimes I do these steps twice on bad mornings. The lines will not immediately retreat, but I have found that they disappear within several minutes. So use this routine next time you get bed face bad, and you’ll stride with confidence into your day, with a nice glow on your face to boot.

Washing Lines – My Indoor Eco System

The picture of a back garden laced with lines with stretcher poles and the daily wash blowing in the breeze is a typical scene from the forties and fifties.

Today we have TV programs dedicated to lifestyle, which includes the redesign of the back garden to be a place of leisure. Ponds and paving, arbors and flower arranging seem to be the main themes. Complete with a patio, swing seat, table and chairs and even a Co2 producing heater; the leisure garden is the new must have.

In all the articles and reports made for television programs not one provides a possibility for washing poles and washing lines. In many washing powder advertisements they feature strongly but not so in real life.

My solution is to fit multiway washing lines that are ideal in a bathroom or in the kitchen. Anywhere with two opposite walls where the main housing can be fitted and the special hooks to catch and hold the carrier installed on the opposite wall.

They can be installed outside being permanently available for use on sunny days and with their four washing lines that provide up to 4 meters (69 ft) of washing line space for the daily wash.

For many years the idea of ​​washing lines went out of fashion replaced by the tumble dryer which offered an instant answer to how to dry washing on wet days. However, the tumble dryer has proven to be one of the costliest ways to dry laundry. A report estimates that each tumble dryer consumes an average of 460 Kw / hours per year – and that is just the average!

Multiway washing lines have come into their own in recent years because they are their very own little eco-system. Fully expandable and, of course, retractable they pull out to dry when needed and retract fully to allow full use of space.

Washing lines are a simple, compact solution which dries the wash without dominating the garden. Gives the choice of drying indoors or outdoors and is a flexible eco-friendly drying system for all seasons.

Body Detox – Cleansing Inside And Out!

One thing that can help improve your health is through body detox. If you are feeling tired, stressed and exhausted, if you always have a bloated stomach, and if your body is aching all the time, it is about time for you to cleanse your body. It can help relieve all these symptoms, especially if you are always exposed with a toxic society. Detox diet can be done once a year so not to make things worse. Detoxifying is a way of cleansing the human body which will leave the person relieved.

We can not deny the fact that our environment is already polluted. Every day, we are exposed with poisonous substances or what we also call toxins which enter our body. Cancer, heart diseases and other health problems are due to these accumulated toxins. Here, we are advised to take some time to detox your body so to flush out poisons. It takes a lot of courage to change our eating habits, takes a lot of time to cleanse our bodies, and takes a clean body inside and out to be forever happy.

How To Keep Your Body Dirt-Free

As we live each day, our body is exposed to the dirt-filled environment. Our physical body becomes like a sponge and is being soaked into poisonous substances. As we breathe, as we eat, and as we go and do our daily routines, we come into contact with these poisonous substances that can harm our bodies. Unknowingly, these substations are accumulated and they build up in our system. Sources of these poisonous and harmful substances are just everywhere. But do not worry; there are still ways on preventing them to harm our bodies.

The answer to your problem is through a body detox. It is a process of cleansing your inner body so that it will get rid of the amassed poisons from different sources such as foods and the environment. Neverheless, it will also help your body to function excellently. Another effect of body detox is losing some extra weight of the body. And finally, side from this, you will feel active and energetic as well. Cleansing the body and at the same time, you lose some unwanted pounds! So amazing!

Conclusion

In summary, body detox is the most effective way of cleansing the body not just outside but more importantly, it cleanses the body internally. This is a great way to keep your body fit and healthy as well.

Antioxidant Products

This effectively minimizes rancidity, retards lipid oxidation, without any damage to the sensory or nutritional properties, resulting in maintaining quality and shelf-life of meat products. However, intrinsic factors are available in live muscle to prevent lipid oxidation. These factors are often lost after slaughtering during conversion of muscle to meat, primary/secondary processing, handling, or storage of meat products, necessitating further supplementation with extrinsic antioxidants.

For this reason, synthetic antioxidants, such as butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), were extensively used to delay, retard, or prevent the lipid oxidation by scavenging chain-carrying peroxyl radicals or suppressing the formation of free radicals. However, because of the concern over the safety of these synthetic compounds, extensive work is being carried out to find novel and naturally occurring compounds to delay the oxidative degradation of lipids, improve quality, and maintain the nutritional value of foods. Thus, natural antioxidants have greater application potential in the meat industry because of the consumers’ acceptability over the synthetic antioxidants. However, the application of plant extracts, herbs, spices, and essential oils with antioxidant effects is still distant for the major reasons of limited data about their effects in different meat products.

The meat industry is demanding antioxidants from natural sources to replace synthetic antioxidants because of the negative health consequences or beliefs regarding some synthetic antioxidants. Fruits, vegetables, by-products, and other plant materials provide good alternatives. Some of these antioxidants, apart from oxidation inhibition, may also affect other quality attributes positively or negatively, and ultimately affect consumer acceptability of the product. It has been shown that treatment with some natural sources can cause changes in the color of meat or meat products. Spices have shown to affect the flavor profile of treated meat and poultry products. Depending on the product, these flavors may be viewed as negatively or as positively by sensory panels. Some ingredients negatively affect the technological properties of meat and meat products, such as texture and emulsion properties. The safe edible use of these natural sources also depends on their health-related issues because some of these may also contain anti-nutritional or even toxicological factors. Thus, while establishing a new source of natural antioxidant for use in the meat and meat product at small, medium, or commercial level, following should be considered:

· The in vitro antioxidant activity should be based on various different analytical techniques. The activity should also be confirmed in targeted products during various processing conditions; thus, the effects of cooking, pressure, product ingredients, and so on, on antioxidant potential should be confirmed.

· The active ingredients/molecules of crude, concentrated or/and raw material should also be identified, and efficient conditions for extraction/separation of that particular molecule possessing potent antioxidant activity should be studied.

· Apart from oxidation inhibition, other product attributes should also be considered. Thus, the overall cumulative effect of identified antioxidants should be evaluated in different products before reaching to a conclusion. For example, if one source is a very potent antioxidant, it can also affect the color and sensory properties negatively and lower the acceptability of the final product; then a proper conclusion should be drawn to establish these negative implications. Some natural antioxidants are also sensitive to light, temperature, and pH which results in reduction of antioxidant potential. Thus, future studies should also be directed towards exploring the storage and processing environment effects on the antioxidative potential of natural antioxidants.

· Economics is the other main factor on which sustainability of any industry depends. Thus, economical extraction conditions should be well addressed relative to yield, time, infrastructure requirements, treatment materials, as well as the availability of natural sources. The correlation between economics of antioxidant use and economics of oxidation spoilage should also be considered before making any conclusion for the meat industry.

· Mere conclusions based on in vitro, in vivo, or in producto antioxidant activity is not suitable when new unconventional antioxidant sources are discovered. Thus, nutritional and toxicological studies (in vitro/in vivo) must be done to ascertain the safe edible use of these natural sources. This is the most important point because the meat industry is rejecting synthetic antioxidants on the basis of negative health-related issues; thus, while accepting new natural antioxidants, these must be analyzed for the same health-related consequences.

A Case For Whole Food Supplements

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is lacking in many vital nutritional components. Being largely composed of prepackaged, convenience foods with few naturally grown food products; this diet has contributed to an epidemic of not only obesity but also extreme nutritional deficiency. While many commercially available vitamin and mineral supplements exist, they are manufactured in an artificial way that reduces bioavailability and promotes chemical contamination. As Americans are not likely to return to eating home grown food directly from their garden, the solution to the nutritional deficiency of America can be found in Whole Food Supplements which are vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient rich products made from actual food concentrates.

The Problem with the Standard American Diet

In the first part of the 1900’s most Americans ate a healthy, whole food diet because they had no choice. All food was grown either by the family or obtained from immediately local sources. America in the 1900’s was a largely agrarian society with most people living in rural areas and able to grow their own food. During the last century, a massive migration to urban areas has occurred. This has meant that even if one has the desire, most people no longer have the ability to produce self grown food. Either because there is no land or because many do not know how, very few people have a garden and even fewer produce protein in the form of dairy products and animal husbandry.

In spite of this developing migration, during World War II, families were encouraged to have a “victory garden”. This was not to ensure that Americans had a great diet but actually to ensure that American families could feed themselves at all, while allowing most of commercial food production to be sent to the troops overseas. That was the last period in history that America got most of their nutrition from locally grown food.

Beginning around the 1950’s, Americans did begin to recognize the value of vitamins and minerals within their diet. This was discovered because more and more pre-prepared, highly processed food products became available and nutritional deficiencies began to emerge.

After the end of World War II, many families became two-income families. In addition, many more single parents are now raising children by themselves. This means that in most homes, all of the adults present in any one household are likely employed outside of the home full-time leaving little time for food preparation alone much less any time for food production. America has become a convenience food nation consuming much of the diet from unnatural food sources.

Prepackaged and easy to prepare food products are just that, food “products”. Though they may contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats and some “essential” nutrients, they are not real food. The entire food supply chain is rife with contamination and chemical processing and many Americans are unaware of how little nutritional value the food that they consume every day contains. So much publicity and education has focused on the so called food pyramid. The governmental and educational agencies that have devised the perfect American diet have never truly addressed the lack of nutrients, other than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of basic vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Calcium.

While these RDA levels of vitamin and mineral consumption may be an absolute bottom line essential to avoid obvious diseases of deficiency such as scurvy or rickets, they are hardly adequate and do not reflect but a small portion of the nutrients contained in whole food, necessary for promotion of health and prevention of disease.

A Crisis in America: Obesity and Other Diseases in the Face of Malnutrition

The main focus of the American diet in recent years has become reducing fat and increasing carbohydrates in the diet. This stream of thought was intended to reduce the growing epidemic of obesity but over the past 20 years, obesity has risen into numbers that appear to be a crisis for Americans. In fact, over the past 20 years the number of adult Americans who are obese has risen by 60% to an unprecedented level of almost 35% of American adults being considered obese. A much worse situation is that a similar number of approximately 32% of American children qualify as overweight or obese. For the first time in American history, the life expectancy of these children may be lower than that of their parents or grandparents.

This has led to an epidemic of heart disease, diabetes and other weight related problems occurring in record numbers not only in adults but seen in children as young as 18 months of age. Additional diseases that may be related to a lack of appropriate nutrients other than simple vitamins in American diets may include a wide variety of conditions ranging from immune disorders implicated in conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and Cancer to psychiatric and neurological conditions such as ADHD, Autism and Depression.

Most people believe that obesity occurs simply because people eat too much. While that is true in part, obesity also results from continuously consuming the wrong types of food. In the 1900s when Americans were consuming a largely natural, whole food diet directly from farm to table, obesity was an extremely rare occurrence.

As our diet has changed from an agrarian society’s nutrient rich food supply to the urbanized highly processed, artificial foods, our total food consumption has risen. This is in part because, though the body gets more calories from more food, it is still starved of nutrition causing one to eat even more. In addition, in our sedentary lifestyle our bodies actually need less food than when we lived and worked each day on the farm, yet we still eat more because of lack of proper nutrients, abundance of easily obtained processed food and other psychological conditions such as stress eating. In the end, America has become a nation of people who are obese but still malnourished and disease ridden.

An Attempt to Fix the Problem

The ideal diet truly would be that of returning to whole food “farm to table” eating where families either grow their own food and prepare it within minutes of harvesting or at a minimum obtain locally grown food from the market and prepare it within a day or so of harvesting. In today’s society this is no longer possible. Even when fresh vegetables and fruits are consumed as a large portion of the diet, our nation’s food supply is contaminated by the use of pesticides, herbicides and hormones and much of the nutrient value is lost by transportation of the food crop from thousands of miles away. Food is harvested before it is truly ripe, irradiated, stored cold and transported across states, nations and even oceans before it arrives in our grocery stores as tasteless, substandard, nutrient poor produce.

Many people are attempting to eat only organic, locally grown produce for this reason. While this may be an improvement over the nutritional value of the standard American diet, it is nearly always much more expensive and therefore unaffordable for many and unavailable for others as most markets do not focus on obtaining such products. So this effort, while valiant is still not enough.

The good news about the American nutritional situation is that it is quite easy to fix. Given appropriate nutrition, the human body has an amazing ability to heal itself. Many diseases and conditions caused by overconsumption and malnourishment can be easily corrected by supplementation with whole food nutritional products.

As Americans cannot rely on the food supply to provide adequate nutrition and also cannot count on the source, quality and purity of most commercially available nutritional supplements, the only answer appears to lie in whole food supplementation.

What is a Whole Food Supplement?

Whole food supplements are defined as nutritional supplements derived entirely from food. This is a much more natural and beneficial method of obtaining nutrition from food and herbal supplements alike.

Unfortunately, most commercially available nutritional supplements including vitamins, minerals and herbal products are made completely of single ingredient extracts or worse, artificially synthesized in a lab using chemical processes. While synthesized supplements may in fact provide basic vitamins and minerals known to be vital, artificially prepared products are missing many of the alkaloids, antioxidants and phytochemicals that are thought to play a major role in complete nutrition and disease prevention.

The same is true for herbal supplements and treatments as most commercially available herbal products do provide an extract or synthesized form of the primarily active chemical within the herb, they are still missing many of the synergistic ingredients thought to provide additional benefits of herbal and nutraceutical treatment.

Simply Taking Vitamins isn’t Enough

Vitamins and Minerals are absolutely necessary for life but the RDA is generally both inadequate in its estimate and unattainable through the average American diet.

While many commercially available nutritional supplements are available at every corner, through necessity, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does little to regulate the manufacturing of food supplements such as vitamins, minerals and herbal products. The FDA cannot apparently manage even its’ main tasks of regulation of the pharmaceutical industry and assurance of the safety of the American food supply.

In the last several years, many counterfeit pharmaceutical products have been discovered such as flu medication being sold online, manufactured outside of the United States was found to be gelatin capsules filled with sheetrock particles. In addition Americans have seen case after case of E. Coli and Salmonella contamination of both American and foreign farm crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions and peppers enter our grocery stores. Some of these products were even the so called “organic” products, purported to be safer than traditional crops.

Why a Whole Food Supplement

As there is inadequate supervision of the pharmaceutical and food production industries, there is even less of the nutritional supplement market. The average vitamin or nutritional supplement is manufactured using chemical synthesis and heat processing which destroys the nutritional value of the product within. In addition, many commercially available products are manufactured with fillers, additives, preservatives and other dubious chemicals. Whole food supplements are not.

Within the last several years, significant shortcomings have come to light in terms of foreign made food and health products. Many products have proven to be contaminated with not only the known chemicals that are present in the American food supply but also with much more dangerous unknown chemicals that should never enter the manufacturing process. The only way to ensure that this does not happen is to purchase high quality products from a company with a well established reputation for maintaining high standards of manufacturing and purity. As whole food supplements are natural products, it would be optimal if the manufacturer employed practices of sustainability and green policy.

The ideal food supplement manufacturer recognizes that vitamins do not exist in isolation. The nutritional value of whole food is due to the interweaving of the entire spectrum of nutrients with vitamins and minerals acting in a synergistic fashion with hundreds of other plant alkaloids, phytochemicals and enzymes. The cofactors and bioflavonoids such as terpenes and isoflavones present in whole foods and whole food supplements are integral in the process to restore biochemical balance to the body.

This is quite easy to identify when examining the label of a nutritional supplement, vitamin or herbal product. Though the FDA doesn’t do an adequate job of monitoring the food supply or pharmaceutical industry, they have established standards of labeling which include appropriate identification of all ingredients contained in a supplement. Close examination of most regular supplements when compared to whole food supplements will show that most products contain synthetic vitamins, chemicals and filler products while whole food supplements contain natural vitamins and minerals obtained from concentrated food sources such as fruits and vegetables.

Supplements manufactured from whole food sources will contain not only the natural form of vitamins and minerals but also all of the important phytochemicals and phytonutrients important to restoration of nutritional health and prevention of disease derived from whole food concentrates.

Choosing a Quality Supplement

Whole food supplements are nutritional products which have been manufactured directly from food. Food grown in natural conditions is concentrated using carefully designed and conducted cold processing techniques. These methods allow the concentration of the entire spectrum of nutritional value without removing the phytochemicals, alkaloids and other valuable natural substances that ensure adequate nutritional support and help to prevent disease.

When choosing a whole food supplement one should ensure that the product is from a manufacturing company known to have a long standing reputation for quality and experience in whole food processing. The products should be constituted entirely of whole food products which have been refined using cold processing without the nutrient reducing effects of extreme heat, pasteurization and irradiation. They should also be free of artificial filler products and preservative chemicals. The manufacturer should have a process of testing for purity and guarantee of quality and ideally should offer a money back guarantee if one is not satisfied with the product. For the American consumer, optimally an American product will be purchased an in an effort to aid the environment, a company with “green” policies should be chosen to promote sustainability of the food supply.

Specific Nutrient Needs

Vitamin A

Vitamin A and the carotenoids are highly present in many vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables along with fish and animal livers and are essential for:

o proper functioning of the eye and skin including the gastrointestinal tract

o acts as an antioxidant, protecting against cancer and diseases of aging

o important in support of the immune system for protection against viruses and infections of the organ linings of bladder, kidneys, lungs and mucous membranes

o essential for protein utilization

Vitamin A deficiency causes dry hair, skin, eye disorders, fatigue, reproductive difficulties, frequent colds and infections, and skin disorders.

Traditional vitamin supplements will typically contain synthetic Vitamin A Palmitate and/or beta carotene isolate. Whole Food Supplements will contain Vitamin A1, Vitamin A2, retinal, retinoic acid and a number of more the 500 carotenes all of which are precursors to Vitamin A along with essential fatty acid, natural sugars, minerals and other phytonutrients found only in whole food.

Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B is actually a number of similarly related compounds found in yellow and green fruits and vegetables particularly leafy green and cruciferous vegetables along with nuts, grains, eggs, dairy products and meats and are known to be essential for:

o maintenance of skin, eyes, hair, liver and mouth

o healthy gastrointestinal tract and brain functioning

o coenzymes involved in energy production

o proper functioning of nervous system particularly in the elderly

Specific Vitamin B Deficiencies:

B-1 Thiamine deficiency – Beriberi, canker sores, mental disorders such as dementia, depression and dizziness, fatigue, indigestion, diarrhea, numbness and muscle atropy

B-2 Riboflavin deficiency -mouth sores, cataracts, dermatitis, hair loss, neurological symptoms on skin, light sensitivity, seizures

B-3 Niacin deficiency – pellagra, bad breath, skin and mouth disorders, memory impairment, confusion, depression, muscle weakness

B-5 Pantothenic Acid deficiency – abdominal pains, skin disorders, hair loss, muscle spasms and poor coordination, immune impairment, low blood pressure

B-6 Pyridoxine deficiency – eye, skin and mouth inflammation, mucous membrane disorders, lack of wound healing

B-12 Cyanocobalamin deficiency – pernicious anemia, unsteady gate, dizziness, drowsiness, depression, hallucination headaches, memory loss, tinnitus, spinal cord degeneration

Folic Acid deficiency – certain types of anemia, fatigue, mental disorders, insomnia, diarrhea, spina bifida in developing infant

Traditional Vitamin B supplements will generally contain only the synthetic form of one or more of the B vitamin group, while whole food supplements will contain all of the Vitamin B family along with the added benefits of phytonutrients such as inositols, PABA, biotin and choline derived from concentration of whole foods.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is found in citrus fruits, berries and green vegetables and is essential for:

o tissue growth and repair

o adrenal gland function

o healthy gums

o production of anti stress hormones and interferon

o absorption of iron in the gastrointestinal system

o metabolism of amino acids and vitamins

o activity as an antioxidant and support of the immune system

Vitamin C deficiency causes Scurvy, poor wound healing, gum disease, edema, weakness, frequent infections, fatigue, and joint pains.

Traditional Vitamin C supplements will have only Ascorbic Acid or Ascorbate, while Whole Food Supplement vitamin C will contain phytonutrients such as rutin, bioflavonoids, tyrosinase, ascorbinogen, vitamin C factors such as J, K and P along with mineral co-factors necessary for vitamin C activity all derived appropriately from whole food.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is present largely in dairy food products but also in fish and fish oils, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, egg yolks and sweet potatoes and is necessary for:

o bone and teeth growth and development in children

o muscle performance including skeletal and cardiac muscle

o prevention of bone and tooth loss in elderly

o thyroid and immune system functioning

o normal blood clotting

Vitamin D deficiency includes rickets, osteomalacea, loss of appetite, burning of mouth and throat, diarrhea, insomnia, and visual difficulties.

Most commercial Vitamin D products including prescription formulas will contain only Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) which is less absorbable and more difficult to use but has a longer shelf life than it’s cousin Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) while whole food supplements will contain significant amounts of Vitamin D3 along with many other beneficial phytonutrients in the form of whole food concentrates.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is found in cold pressed vegetable oils, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and grains and is essential for:

o antioxidant activity important for the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease

o circulation and tissue repair

o blood clotting and healing

o skin and hair health

Vitamin E deficiency may result in damage to red blood cells, nerve destruction, infertility, menstrual problems, and neuromuscular disorders.

Traditional vitamin E supplements will generally include only one of the 8 active components of the vitamin E family, alpha-tocopherol. Whole food supplements will contain not only alpha-tocopherol but also the 7 other alpha, beta, gamma and delta forms of both tocopherol and tocotrienol derived from concentrated food.

Calcium

Calcium is vital for the formation of bones and teeth and the maintenance of gums. It is essential for the functioning of all muscular tissue, particularly the heart and participates in cellular functioning in virtually every area of the body. Calcium is highly present in dairy products, meaty and oily fish and green leafy vegetables.

Calcium deficiency can lead to brittle bones, teeth and nails, skin disorders, cardiac disorders such as high blood pressure and heart palpitations, cognitive impairment, hyperactivity and seizure disorders.

Calcium contained in most traditional supplements will contain only calcium carbonate or calcium citrate with the possible addition of Vitamin D or may contain D1-calcium-phosphate which is completely insoluble and cannot be absorbed. Whole Food Supplement calcium products will contain additional nutrients such as amino acids and vitamin C which are necessary for calcium absorption and utilization.

Iron

Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin which is vital to the supply of oxygen throughout the body. Iron is also important for production of many important enzymes within the body. It can be found in meats, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, nuts and grains in large amounts as well as a number of herbs such as alfalfa and milk thistle.

Deficiency of Iron includes symptoms of anemia, weakness and fatigue, hair loss, mouth inflammation, fingernail malformation and mental impairment.

Most commercially available iron supplements will contain iron sulfate or iron gluconate as a singular product or in combination with other vitamins and minerals. Iron is best absorbed in the presence of vitamin C and when consumed as a constituent of a food source. Whole food supplement iron will result in better absorption and less stomach upset as it is derived from whole food.

Magnesium

Magnesium is vital as an enzyme catalyst especially with regard to energy production. It also aids in cellular calcium and potassium uptake which makes it essential for the transmission of muscle and nerve impulses. It can be readily found in many foods especially animal products such as dairy, meat and seafood but also in many fruits and vegetables such as apples, apricots, bananas, whole grains and soy products.

Deficiency of magnesium will cause muscular irritability, mental disorders, chronic fatigue, chronic pain syndromes, depression and pulmonary disorders along with being a factor in hypertension and sudden cardiac death.

Traditionally prepared magnesium supplements will contain only magnesium usually in the form of magnesium chloride or magnesium sulfate while whole food supplements will contain other minerals such as calcium and potassium along with vitamin c and other nutrients from whole food concentrates necessary for the proper absorption and utilization of magnesium.

Zinc

Zinc is important in the growth and function of reproductive organs and may help regulate oil gland activity and prevent acne. It is essential for protein and collagen synthesis and vital to the functioning of a healthy immune system and has been shown to have potent antiviral activity. It plays a major role in wound healing and the sensation of taste and smell. It is also a constituent of many physiological chemicals such as insulin and various enzymes. Zinc is highly present in eggs, fish, beans, meats, mushrooms and many seed such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Deficiency of zinc may result in a loss of taste and smell and may cause the fingernails to become weak and thin. Other signs may include delayed sexual maturation, growth impairment, disorders of sexual organs of both males and females, fatigue, hair loss, slow wound healing and recurrent infections.

Many commercially available supplements will contain either zinc gluconate as a singular product or in combination with other minerals without regard as to the appropriate ratios for optimal absorption and utilization within the body. As whole food supplements are derived from actual food, the appropriate ratios necessary for maximum benefit are already present established by nature.

Unique Benefits of Whole Food Supplements

According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), over 70% of Americans do not consume enough whole food products to provide even the RDA of vitamins. While vitamins are necessary for life, ordinary vitamin supplements will not entirely fill the gap. Unlike most commercial dietary supplements which are stand alone chemicals, whole food supplements contain any number of several thousand known and unknown phytonutrients such as:

o Carotenoids

o Polyphenols (Flavonoids)

o Phenols

o Indoles

o Lignans (Phytoestrogens)

o Phytates (Inositols)

o Saponins

o Sulfides and Thiols

o Terpenes

Research has proven these nutrients to be protective against many diseases. Some types of phytonutrients are known to provide such benefits as enhanced immunity, cancer prevention, detoxification and DNA repair.

Carotenoids

The phytonutrient category of carotenoids has been shown to protect against certain types of cancer, optical failure from diseases such as macular degeneration and assist in the prevention of cardiac disease. Carotenoids are partially responsible for the vibrant colors of many fruits and vegetables.

Carotenoids can help prevent vitamin A deficiency by acting as precursors to Vitamin A which assists the body in manufacturing Vitamin A. In addition several carotenoids are known to be anti-oxidants and may protect against diseases of aging and exposure to environmental toxins. Carotenoids may also be a factor in the prevention and treatment of other diseases such as:

o Cancer – including cervical, throat, lung, prostate and skin cancers

o Heart disease – including angina pectoris and congestive heart failure

o Infections – including AIDS, Chlamydia, Candidiasis and pneumonia

o Immune system mediated disorders – including rheumatoid arthritis, and photosensitivity

o Other conditions – such as asthma and osteoarthritis

A balanced formula of carotenoids such as found in whole foods and whole food supplements will be better absorbed than individual supplements as too much of any one carotenoids may inhibit the absorption of others. This is one of the many reasons why whole food supplements are more beneficial than simple vitamin supplementation.

Carotenoids known to be present and beneficial can be found in the following fruits or vegetables:

o alpha carotene – carrots

o beta carotene – green cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, yellow/orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots

o beta cryptoxanthin – orange fruits such as mangos, peaches and apricots

o lutein – leafy green vegetables such as turnip greens, collard greens and spinach

o lycopene – red fruits such as watermelon, guava, tomatoes and red grapefruit

o zeaxanthin – green vegetables such as green beans and broccoli, yellow food such as eggs mangos and citrus fruits

Polyphenols

Polyphenols (Flavonoids) are known to be active antioxidants and are thought to be important in preventing diseases caused by oxidative stress such as some cancers and some forms of cardiac disease and some inflammatory processes which cause diseases such as arthritis and other diseases of aging. Some examples of polyphenols found in food products include:

o anthocyanins – red foods such as berries, red cabbage, red grapes

o flavones – celery and parsley

o ellagic acid – berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

o catechins – tea, wine and chocolate along with other tart foods such as berries and apples

o flavanones – found in citrus fruits

o coumarins – found in grains and grasses such as wheat grass

Phenols

Phenols encompass a number of anti oxidant nutrients such as Resveratrol and are known to be powerful antioxidants. Phenols have proven to be effective in the prevention of age related disorders and many diseases caused in part by oxidative stress such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Phenols are present in purple fruits such as grapes and blueberries along with wine and tea.

Indoles

Indoles are known to aid in hormone production and maintenance of balance. Indoles are also thought to provide cellular protection against cancers such as colon cancer and endometrial cancer along with others. They are largely present in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbages.

Lignans

Lignans (Phytoestrogens) have weak estrogen like activity which is important in the prevention and possible treatment of hormone mediated cancers such as breast, testicular and prostate cancer. They also may block inflammatory processes which may aid in the treatment of diseases such as arthritis and platelet aggregation leading to stroke. Lignans highly present in flax seed and soy products but are also found in other grains such as wheat, barley and oats along with beans and vegetables such as garlic and broccoli.

Inositols

Phytates (Inositols) may help lower blood cholesterol and aid in prevention of mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Inositols and Phytates are present in large amounts in grains, nuts and melon family members such as cantaloupe, squash and cucumbers.

Saponins

Saponins are known to lower cholesterol and may act as an immune booster protecting the body against infections from viruses, bacteria and fungi. They may also provide some protection against heart disease and have proven to be effective in the treatment of cancer. Several anti cancer drugs are based on the saponin molecular structure. Saponins can be found in foods such as asparagus, red onions, alfalfa sprouts, and soybeans.

Thiols

Sulfides and Thiols are vital to the functioning of the cardiovascular system including the smooth muscles of the arteries and arterioles and the linings of both veins and arteries. Thiols have proven instrumental in the development of plaques contributing to atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction and stroke. Sulfides and thiols are highly present in members of the odiferous Lilly family such as garlic, onion, chives and leeks

Terpenes

Terpenes are thought to protect against cancer and free radical damage which may contribute to diseases of aging such as stroke and alzheimers disease. Terpenes are highly present in foods such as green foods, grain and soy products and also in many herbs such as Gingko biloba.

These phytonutrients are just a few examples of natural molecules known to aid in promotion of health and make the case for the use of Whole Food Supplements. There are thousands more, yet to be identified that are present and beneficial and cannot be synthesized in a lab. Supplementation with isolated vitamins and minerals alone will not solve a nutritional deficiency.

As Americans are unlikely to return to the farm, consumption of a whole food supplement appears to be the only way to actually bridge the nutritional canyon that the American diet has created due to a lifestyle of convenient packaged food that is easy to prepare but sorely deficient in nutritional quality.

Water Quality Is Most Important For Aquaponics

Sure, you also need light and food for your plants and fish, but water, the aqua in aquaponics, is the lifeblood of your system. Most of your aquaponics problems will be caused by poor water quality. So, it is vital that you keep your water quality as high as possible. There are several water quality factors you need to control. Let’s start with what I call the 3 H’s: pH, GH, and KH.

Start With Good Water.

It is much easier to maintain good water quality if you start with water of good quality. If the tap water in your home is not as good as it should be, you may want to have water delivered if it available in your area. of course, you should test that water before adding it to you tank.

If you have the time and patience, you could run your water through a reverse osmosis (ro) filter to remove all the bad stuff. If you have a large system and a small capacity RO filter, this might take days rather than hours to accomplish. What to do if you have to start with bad water!

Adjust the pH

The pH of water is expressed as a number that reflects the acidity of alkalinity of water. The number can ranges from 0 to 14 with pure water being a 7.0 which is consider neutral. Technically, pH is a measure of hydrogen ions in water. The p comes from a German word “potenz” or power. The H stands for hydrogen. The H is capitalized because it is customary to capitalize element symbols. But enough chemistry, what we need to know is what pH number we are looking for and what to do if our water does test to that number.

Fish can survive is a fairly wide range of pH but plants are a bit more fussy. For most of us, a pH range of 7.0 to 7.5 is a good compromise. If your water tests out of that range, you can add pH up or down products until you get to the right number. You should do this slowly, over a period of days, if you have already added fish. When you get to the target range, you can maintain it by adding a pH buffer. If you do add a buffer, make sure it is safe for both plants and fish.

Tap water in most cities will be 8.0 or above. This is done to reduce the risk of leeching harmful particulates from water pipes. Think Flint, Michigan. The tap water in my hometown, Las Vegas, Nevada tests between 8.2 to 8.4. It took me several days to adjust it to the pH I wanted.

Products to raise or lower pH are available in most pet stores, hydroponics stores, or online on Amazon. You will also find kits for testing pH in these places. You can use test strips, test kits, or test meters. The kits and strips may not be quite as accurate as a test meter. Test meters are not all that expensive, so you might want to invest in one of these.

Adjust for Hardness

The tap water in Las Vegas qualifies as “very hard. I think it is so hard that if you look closely, you can see small rocks floating in it! When I first tried to measure the hardness with a test kit with witch you keep adding and counting drops to a test tube until the test solution changes color, the number of drops got so high that I quit counting and concluded that, yes indeed, the water was hard.

There are two types of water hardness: general hardness (GH) and carbonate hardness (KH). General hardness (GH) is usually the measurement of calcium and magnesium ions in the water. General hardness is not usually a concern except that it will can leave unwanted mineral deposits on faucets, bath tubs, and toilet bowls. But your fish and plants do require these minerals for good health.

Carbonate hardness (KH) is the measure of bicarbonate and carbonate ions in the water. The important factor of GH is the effect it has on the pH of the water. Too high, and it will be difficult to lower pH, too low and the pH may undergo big changes which can be harmful to your fish. So we need it to be just right, a reading between 4 to 12 dKH which you can measure with an API test kit.

Other Water Quality Issues

Temperature, levels of ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and dissolved oxygen are also very important in maintaining good water quality. We will cover those in other articles. However, if you get all your H’s right from the beginning, you will have a head start on maintaining good water quality in your aquaponics system.

What to Bring in Germany

When you love traveling around the world or around different places, you know what to do before you go to that certain place you are going to visit. What is it? You research even just a little about that place. You find out about the different tourist attractions of the place, learn what foods are to be tried, check how much the cost of their public transportation, and of course, determine the costs of the hotels or lodging places there. By researching such information on the place you are going, you will also know what other things bring along from the basic ones. Right now, let us learn what things bring when you are going to visit or have your vacation in Germany.

Germany is a European country that is bordered with other countries as well as bodies of water in the north point, specifically the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. With such geographical position, this country has a seacoast and also a mountainous region. Either you go swimming or you go hiking and skiing. So before you pack up for Germany, decide first which places of the country you are going. If you choose to go to the beach, then of course, bring your swimming gears. Just a swimsuit or a pair of shorts will do so that it will not take so much space in your bag. If you opt to go to the mountains, then bring your jacket and a small water bottle or jug. Your jacket is useful in skiing, while your water bottle is useful in your hiking. You may think of buying a bottle of water there. Yes you can, but bringing your own jug is useful wherever you go.

Another thing you have to bring when you go to Germany is your camera. It may be a digital camera, Polaroid camera, or an SLR camera, as long as you have one. You would not want to just remember your experience in your mind, right? It would be so wonderful to remission memories of your travels when you see photos of it and of course, you in those photos. In every place you go, have a photo of it. You will surely enjoy the photos once you get home.

Lastly, do not forget to bring a map of the places you are going to visit. Just in case you get lost, at least you have a map with you to help you find your way. Others may not see it as important but it is very significant indeed. It has helped a lot of people already and it will certainly aid you in your travels. Remember that in a map, you will not only know the place, you will also get to know shops, restaurants, and other things you need to visit when you travel there.

Here are the things you have to bring when you go to Germany. These are additional things, other than the basic ones you bring like your money, identification card, clothes, etc. Have fun traveling in Germany!