Thursday, October 19, 2017

Reduce Stress for a Healthy Lifestyle

To have a healthy lifestyle, stress reduction is a must. 70% of visits to the doctor can be attributed to stress. Stress signals the body to release cortisol which raises your blood sugar and your blood pressure and has been known to increase cravings for sugary and fatty foods. Cortisol also encourages the body to store body fat. Stress interferes with getting good quality sleep. Not getting enough quality sleep can lead to weight gain, lack of energy, poor memory and cognitive function and have a negative impact on your immune system. Stress can also affect digestion, cause heartburn, stomach cramping and diarrhea and research is showing it can affect brain tissue that regulates emotions and self-control. It can also be linked to skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne, and to an increase in risk of stroke.

Natural Solutions for Reducing Stress
  1. Stock up on healthy snacks when cravings hit. You know to maintain a healthy lifestyle it's better to snack on fruits and veggies than on donuts and potato chips.
  2. Exercise can help reduce weight gain and relieve stress, so instead of reaching for your favorite comfort food when stressed, go for a walk.
  3. Prepare yourself for sleep by establishing a bedtime routine, don't eat a heavy meal right before bed, and turn off all lights including blue light such as the kind from smart phones or PDAs.
  4. Massage therapy can help reduce stress, anxiety, pain, muscle tension and insomnia stemming from stress. If you find yourself stressed beyond your limits of coping, try getting a massage.
  5. Socializing and laughing are another natural solution for dealing with stress. Laugher has been shown to support immune cell function, be a stress reducer and research has shown that a healthy lifestyle is linked to our relationships and activities with other people.
  6. Eat foods that have stress relieving vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, B vitamins, coenzyme Q10 and chlorophyll. Eating foods rich in vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids can help lower stress hormones, but when you are under stress, your body uses them up more quickly. So just at the time you need them the most, you don't have enough of them. Making sure in times of stress to eat foods such as oysters, halibut, spinach and other leafy greens, nuts and seeds and bluegreen algae to help in relieving stress.
  7. Supplements that can help with having a healthy lifestyle through stress reduction include:
  • Our bodies also need more proteins when we are under stress. Be sure to get the "good proteins" though, as in the type from whole grains, soy, sprouts and bluegreen algae. Good proteins support your body's ability to handle stress, both physically and mentally. If you can't get all the extra protein you need from your food, consider taking this supplement with bluegreen algae and sprouts. Another great supplement to add to your diet is this one with nine different algae rich in minerals and phytonutrients, combined for full-spectrum nutrition.
  • Another supplement we find useful combines bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni and was created especially for high-performance athletes and those with active lifestyles who depend on concentration and mental clarity. The blue green algae is a good source of whole food nutrition, bee pollen is reported to have a high amino acid content useful for stimulating memory and concentration, wheatgrass juice has been found to provide nutrients that support brain health and clearer thinking, and Gingko biloba has been used for a long time to promote increased memory and mental concentration by increasing circulation and providing increased oxygenation of brain cells. This combination means support to help you function when stress overwhelms you.

You can use these and other natural solutions to help reduce stress for a healthy lifestyle. If you find yourself dealing with stress that can affect your health, making some lifestyle changes, eating foods that help reduce stress and taking supplements that can help with stress reduction are natural solutions that make sense for you.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Great Sources of Sustainable Food

As more people jump on board the "green" movement and turn to sustainable living practices, sustainable food sources are becoming in big demand. Informed citizens are more aware than ever about issues such as global warming, pollution of air and water, depletion of natural resources, soil erosion and many others that have led them to seek out everything from alternative energy sources to sustainable food.

Sustainable Food
Sustainable food involves a comprehensive practice of how food is raised, harvested, packaged and supports local communities. It comes from crops and animals raised using sustainable agriculture practices that protect the environment and the planet, replenish and conserve natural resources, provide healthy high quality food that does not use processing methods, support humane methods of raising animals used for food sources and support local community economies. Some of the ways we can all support sustainable food include buying products with minimal packaging to reduce waste, eating less animal products and more veggies, fruits and grains that are locally produced, and supporting products that are imported from other countries that carry a Fair Trade certification. Eating a diet of mainly fruit and vegetables has been shown in numerous studies to have a positive effect on blood pressure, increase life expectancy, be heart healthy and reduce risks of Type II diabetes and obesity. A reduction in the demand for meat also increases the availability of usable space to humanely treat animals as well as reduces the need for feeding these animals with grains rather than grass and the use of antibiotics and hormones that reduce the quality of our food.

AFA Alage: The Earth's First Sustainable Food
AFA (Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae) bluegreen algae from Klamath Lake in Oregon is one of Earth's first foods, the first oxygen producing organism that is responsible for 90% of the photosynthesis on this planet and a perfect source of sustainable food. Algae has been used as a plant based supplement to the human diet for thousands of years and this AFA bluegreen algae in particular provides a balanced source of protein, all 20 amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, antioxidants, fiber, carbohydrates and complex sugars. Unlike other vitamin and supplement sources, algae being a single cell is 98% absorbable. This nutrient rich algae regenerates itself quickly, grows in a unique, healthy ecosystem, is harvested by a company using a sustainable, ecologically sensitive harvest technique with minimal environmental impact and that offers a business plan that provides a strong and sustainable opportunity by creating a solid, reliable income stream. Any way you look at it, AFA bluegreen algae from Klamath Lake fits the sustainable food and sustainable living model.

As an example of how powerful a superfood AFA bluegreen algae is, consider a study done with malnourished children in Nicaragua. This study reported children given 1 gram of an AFA supplement every day for six months greatly improved in all areas (physical appearance, nutritional status, school attendance, behavior and academic performance), while the control group children's conditions became worse.

Other Sustainable Food Sources
Sustainable food sources can be found in just about any area. Granted those living in more rural areas may have an easier time finding local farmers or being able to have a home garden, but there are ways to engage in sustainable food practices no matter where you live. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs, farmer's markets, small organic grocery stores that buy from local farmers, shared community gardens and finding a space for growing patio gardens in pots or hanging baskets are all sources for sustainable food. There are also innovative businesses being formed all around the country that support sustainable food practices. For example, in Brooklyn, New York local grocers and restaurants can get produce year round that is free from pesticides from Gotham Greens' rooftop greenhouse. Other companies are concentrating on eliminating packaging by allowing customers to bring their own containers or provide pick your own fruits and vegetables. To see some of the companies engaging in these type of businesses check out this website.

Our future and the future of the planet depends on adopting sustainable agriculture practices. No matter where you live or what type of community you live in, you can start contributing in some way to supporting or producing sustainable food. Pick one or more of the practices we have explored in this article and make the commitment to increase your health and save the planet in whatever way you can. 

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Flat Stomach Diet Anyone Can Use

Starting a flat stomach diet isn't all about fitting into tight jeans or looking good in a bikini, it's also about being healthy. Subcutaneous fat, is the fat we can see that accumulates just under the skin usually in the buttocks, hips, thighs, and abdominal areas. Seeing too much subcutaneous fat is an indication that we also have too much visceral fat. This is the fat that is around our vital organs such as liver, heart, lungs and digestive tract. This fat cushions the organs, but too much of it can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, colon cancer and other health conditions. Research is also finding fat to be linked to bone loss and other bone related problems. This is why getting on a flat stomach diet is important to keep healthy. Getting rid of visceral fat allows us to have better sleep, more energy and better overall health. According to Travis Stork, MD, emergency room doctor and a host of the daytime talk show The Doctors, diet and exercise work better on fat on the belly than on other body fat.

When we talk about a flat stomach diet though, we're not talking about a specific counting calories, follow this meal plan flat stomach diet. We are talking more about making lifestyle and dietary changes to get rid of fat and keep it off. Diet results will vary for individual people according to genetics, level of activity and other factors, but these lifestyle change tips can help reduce belly fat and leave you healthier overall.

Start being picky about the kinds of foods you eat. Avoid processed foods and junk food with their preservatives, sugars, fats and salt. Opt instead for organic whole foods. Then find healthy nutritious foods that you enjoy that will fill you up. Finding what works for you to satisfy hunger without adding extra fat, sugar or salt will help you lose weight without feeling deprived or starved. Also consider the types of foods and how your body processes them. For example, it takes more energy to process protein than it does carbohydrates or fat or eating certain types of foods can increase metabolism or eating raw foods to get more enzymes helps digest the foods you eat. Start giving some thought to what foods you will and will not eat. This may involve making a big change in your diet, but establishing a new way of thinking about eating can be a lifelong change that will have a major effect on your health.

Antioxidant foods rich in flavonoids seem to be particularly good at improving metabolism and warding off belly fat. These are found most prevalently in fruits and vegetables which are also low in calories and help fill you up making them a good food choice. Pears, apples, onions, leeks, and sweet peppers all fall in the flavonoid category. Tea and dark chocolate are also good sources of flavonoids as long as you don't go overboard on the chocolate since it does have more calories than veggies. Berries are also a good source of antioxidants and studies have shown they can keep fat cells from increasing in size and help them release a hormone that helps in the reduction of inflammation and lowering blood sugar.

Ubiquinol is an active form of Coenzyme Q10 which works much like antioxidants in keeping our cells healthy. There are very few foods that can supply us with enough so supplementation is important. One supplement that has the ubiquiol to help support cell energy, also has reishi mushrooms which are a complete whole food rich in proteins, enzymes, minerals, and complex polysaccharides and oyster mushrooms that give us fiber, vitamin D, niacin, iron and the antioxidant ergothioneine and has the many added benefits of superfood bluegreen algae loaded with omega-3s.

MUFAS are monounsaturated fats or monounsaturated fatty acids and PUFAS are polyunsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fatty acids. Both of these are in the "good" fats category as our bodies do need some fat in order to function properly. For example, fat is needed to dissolve certain vitamins that are vital for a healthy body. Research has found that eating MUFAS helps keep blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels stable, reduces the risk of heart disease and helps burn off belly fat. They are also more filling so you don't have to eat as much as with other foods to satisfy hunger. PUFAS can help release fat, increase metabolism and the body burns them faster than saturated types of fat. Good sources of MUFAS are nuts, olive oil, seeds, and avocados. PUFAS are found in fish and fish oils, bluegreen alage, nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of PUFAS and have many benefits for physical and mental health.

Transfats or trans fatty acids are considered one of the "bad" fats. This type of fat increases LDL cholesterol levels and lowers HDL cholesterol levels and can increase triglycerides. Some transfat is naturally occurring such as animal fat in meats, but transfat can also be created by taking vegetable oil and adding hydrogen to it. This is done to help give processed foods a longer shelf life and you may find it listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Margarine, cookies, crackers and pasta are some of the foods to watch for this to be listed in ingredients. Transfats can take fat from other parts of the body and move it to the belly section. Even those of us who read labels have to be careful because in the U.S. the label can list 0 grams of transfat if it contains less than 0.5 grams per serving. That may not sound like much, but eat several servings and it adds up. Avoiding foods that have this type of fat will help with your flat stomach diet.

First eat breakfast. You've probably heard this before that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but especially if you are on a flat stomach diet, don't skip breakfast. Besides eating breakfast, don't skimp on breakfast. You may be starting your day out with more calories, but it will pay off throughout the day. Eating a good healthy breakfast in the morning helps curb the appetite the rest of the day and starts your day out with a boost for physical and mental energy. Then the rest of the day start making the lifestyle change of going for several smaller meals instead of the typical 3 meals a day mentality. Eating several smaller healthy meals every few hours helps reduce cravings for unhealthy foods, helps keep you away from the junk food, keeps you feeling full thus avoiding hunger pains and keeps you from feeling food deprived so that you don't go on a binge later.

When working on a flat stomach diet, good digestion is a must. If food doesn't keep moving through the digestive system it can become stuck which causes belly bulge. Probiotics, such as acidophilus and bifidus, are the friendly bacteria that naturally live in your small and large intestines. These bacteria help your body process and digest the foods you eat and move them through the digestive system. Foods such as yogurt and kefir with live active cultures can help give you some probiotics, but usually not enough. What I like to do is take these convenient daily packets of capsules that give me not only acidophilus and bifidus, but also digestive enzymes and 2 kinds of AFA bluegreen alage. The probiotics and enzymes add to a flat stomach diet by aiding the digestion process and the algae provides a rich source of omega-3 and a lean source of protein. In fact did you know this form of microalgae has 75% usable high quality protein compared to just 18% in red meat?

Many research studies have reported that eating foods high in soluble fiber can help get rid of belly fat. This would include adding foods such as oatmeal, flaxseeds, beans – especially black beans, kidney beans and navy beans, vegetables like Brussels sprouts, turnips, sweet potatoes, and asparagus and fruits like apricots, oranges, grapefruit, and mangoes into your diet. If you are not used to eating a lot of these, then you may need to start slow adding them in to avoid gas buildup. Beans and legumes also have the "good" carbohydrates that can help keep burning fat after eating and help you feel full so you eat less. And to add even more to their health benefits, they are a lean protein source.

Cutting down on sodium and increasing fluids can help in a flat stomach diet by reducing water retention. Read food labels to see how much sodium they contain, stop reaching for the salt shaker, and avoid recipes with excess salt. When you consider that one teaspoon of table salt has 2325 mg. of sodium and Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends between 1500 – 2300 mg. a day, you can see how we easily can end up with too much sodium in our diets. We do need some sodium to help balance body fluids, transmit nerve impulses and help muscles contract and relax, but too much is bad for heart, kidneys, fluid retention and blood pressure. Start experimenting with various herbs and spices to flavor foods instead of the traditional salt and pepper flavoring.

Drinking more water can help increase metabolism, help the liver to convert stored fat into energy and help in burning off fat. Most people need about 2 quarts of water throughout the day. Drinking water is important, but drinking green tea everyday can also help in a flat stomach diet. Green tea has EGCG which is a great antioxidant for increasing metabolism.

There you have it, 8 tips to help you make lifestyle changes that will equal a flat stomach diet for you to develop for yourself. You may already be doing many of these things and you won't have so many changes to make. If you aren't then don't get overwhelmed and stressed out by these suggestions. Take one or two at a time and start incorporating them. Once you are comfortable with those you can add another suggestion. Any of these tips can help you get a flat stomach diet going for yourself, but more importantly they will help you develop healthy dietary habits for the rest of your life.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Got Burnout? Natural Supplements So You Can Enjoy Life Again

Burnout can leave us feeling tired, unmotivated, moody and depressed. There are many factors that can lead to burnout from lifestyle stress to adrenal fatigue or burnout. According to Dr. James Wilson our lifestyles have become more and more stressful over time, but our bodies haven't changed.

Adrenal Fatigue or Adrenal Burnout
The adrenal glands, which are just over our kidneys, secrete over 50 vital hormones. Among these are the ones necessary for producing energy by converting carbs, proteins and fats into blood glucose. The adrenal glands also help the body deal with stress. When we are under great periods of stress these glands don't work properly which means the more stress we have, the less energy production takes place and the less able the body is to deal with the stress. Stress factors that can contribute to this type of adrenal fatigue or adrenal burnout include allergies, smoking, lack of sleep, poor nutrition and too much caffeine. Adrenal fatigue or adrenal burnout can cause symptoms such as anxiety, sleep problems, salt cravings, dizziness, low blood pressure, sugar cravings, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, and palpitations.

How to Deal With Adrenal Fatigue or Adrenal Burnout
Finding ways to allow your body to relax is the best way to give your adrenal glands a break and help you cope with lifestyle stresses. Yoga, a soothing warm bath, aromatherapy, massage, meditation, taking naps, and deep breathing are all natural solutions to help relieve stress. Light, regular exercise such as walking or a slow bike ride not only can help with stress relief, but getting outside in the sunshine and fresh air gives your pineal gland a lift and sharpens your stress response. Other stress relievers that can help relieve adrenal fatigue include laughing, avoiding negative people, eating nutritious regular meals that include antioxidants, magnesium and calcium foods, and getting adequate amounts of B vitamins and vitamin C.

Nutrition To Help with Stress and Mood
There is a proven link between mood and the foods we eat. When stress levels are high, there are certain foods that can help combat the damage caused by stresses and help stabilize our moods. Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be very effective at mood stabilization, even in the case of bipolar disorder. This type of fat feeds the brain which is a vital player in mood. B vitamins, especially folate and B12, have been reported in studies to have a positive effect on mood also. Our bodies should produce enough B vitamins, but many people are not able to absorb these vitamins from foods. This is typically a problem in the digestive tract and taking a quality probiotic supplement can help with production and absorption of B vitamins. Coenzyme Q10 is another contributor to good mood. According to Chris D. Meletis, ND, based on a January 2013 study, CoQ10 may have some antidepressant properties.

Serotonin is a hormone that has a key role in mood. Tryptophan is an amino acid needed for regulation of serotonin levels. The more serotonin that exists in your bloodstream, the better your mood is. Our bodies cannot create tryptophan on their own, so we have to get them from foods like plant and animal proteins or from supplements.

Supplements For Burnout
If you are stressed enough that it is making your life miserable, you're tired and overwhelmed, chances are you aren't finding the time to fix nutritionally balanced meals that have the types of foods with the above mentioned properties. If that is the case for you, then there are whole foods nutrition available from supplements that can help. Here are some of our favorites that are not synthetic vitamins or supplements, but actual whole foods nutrition from wild foods of the earth, forests, oceans and freshwater sources.

Algae such as AFA bluegreen algae, chlorella, kelp, fucoidan, Dunaliella salina, Ecklonia cava, dulse, and bladderwrack are rich in minerals, proteins, Omega-3 fatty acid and Omega-6 fatty acid, chlorophyll and other vital phytonutrients. This algae supplement combines 9 colorful algae for neurotransmitter support which affects mood.

Mushrooms from the forests are rich in antioxidants, beta glucans, enzymes, polyphenols, proteins, and triterpines and are among nature's most nutrient-dense foods. Mushrooms such as cordyceps, reishi, maitake, wild black trumpet, and Poria cocos are thought to be among the most powerful and beneficial foods on earth and can all be found in this whole food supplement for a rich source of proteins and antioxidants. Then there is an antioxidant supplement full of chlorophyll, glutathione, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients delivered through a unique blend of kale sprouts, red clover sprouts, wheat sprouts, concentrated wheat sprouts, and Dunaliella salina algae.

Our bodies need more help than ever to deal with the stressful lifestyles we find ourselves facing today. Find a way to spend some time relaxing and giving your body a break from stress, and if you can't make yourself find the time or energy to fix regular nutritious meals, then at least check out some of these supplements to give your body the support it needs during really stressful times.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Can Wild Foods From the Forest Boost Your Health?

As we turn more and more to sustainable food sources, the forest is a natural place to look to for a great source of healthy food. One of the biggest treasures to be found in the forests are edible mushrooms. Edible mushrooms have many health benefits including those resulting from the antifungal, antiviral and antiprotozoan properties they have. Mushrooms are the fruiting body of fungi which nourish the forest trees and protect them from invaders and disease making scientists refer to them as "the forest's immune system". People over the ages have used wild mushrooms for food and healing and today many pharmaceuticals, like penicillin, come from fungi compounds. Current medical research is focusing on uses for the immune system, neurological and endocrine system, blood glucose and circulatory system, cellular oxidation, kidney and liver function, cardiovascular system and sports performance.

Mushrooms as Foods for Health
Here are the mushrooms and the benefits they provide that you will find in our wild superfood mushroom supplement that provides a powerful source of proteins, enzymes, minerals, trace minerals, beta glucans, polysaccharides, antioxidants and natural vitamin D.

Rich in proteins, plant sterols, polysaccharides, antioxidants, and nucleoside derivatives, this mushroom is being researched for benefits for immune system, liver function, sports performance, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, circulatory system, immune modulation, cellular oxidation, blood glucose and kidney function.

High in beta glucans, polysaccharides, and with 130 identified triterpenoid compounds, this mushroom is a complete whole food that is rich in proteins, enzymes, minerals, and complex polysaccharides. Benefits for the cardiovascular system, liver function, circulation, cholesterol, inflammation, stress response, oxidative stress, immune modulation, cellular damage and immune system are being researched.

Beneficial phospholipids, unsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides, antioxidants, beta glucans and plant sterols such as ergosterol are all found in this mushroom. It is being researched for benefits to the immune system, liver function, endocrine system, circulatory system, bone and skeletal system, blood glucose, skin, immune modulation and cardiovascular system.

Poria Cocos
Rich in beta glucans, polysaccharides, fiber, and triterpenes, this mushroom is currently being researched for its benefits to the gastrointestinal system, nervous system, inflammation, joint and cartilage systems, kidney function and cardiovascular system.

Black Trumpet
Polysaccharides, polyphenols, beta glucans and trace minerals from this mushroom are leading research to focus on benefits to immune system, blood glucose and cellular integrity.

No need to forage and gather your own mushrooms. You can get the sustainable whole foods products made from organically grown wild spores and harvested from the old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest in simple capsule form. They are a great addition to a diet of healthy food to support good nutrition and optimal health.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Prebiotics to Feed Your Good Bacteria

Most people know that probiotics are the good bacteria in their gut and a necessary part of the immune system. But did you know that you also need prebiotics to feed your good bacteria? So what exactly is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics?

Probiotics, which you are probably familiar with in your yogurt or kefir, are the good bacteria in your gut that give you one of your first lines of defense against sickness. The most common good bacteria are those in the Lactobacillis and Bifidobacterium families. The benefits of probiotics include:
  • helping the body produce vitamin K, which boosts the immune system
  • help with absorption of nutrients from foods
  • protecting the digestive system from unfriendly bacteria, yeast and fungi
  • supporting normal movement of food through the intestines
  • helping with symptoms of ulcers, leaky gut syndrome, and symptoms of allergies

Even though we have probiotics in our intestines, they can be killed by stress, antibiotics, chlorine, and other unhealthy lifestyle habits. Yogurt and kefir are foods that can help replenish these good bacteria, but they don't have enough density of probiotics to truly give you the amount you need for good health. This is why supplementing with high quality acidophilus and bifidus are important to support good digestive health.

Now that you know how important probiotics are to your health, you also have to know that these good bacteria have to be fed. What do probiotics eat? Prebiotics. A prebiotic is any source of food for probiotics. For the most part, prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrate fibers called oligosaccharides. You can't digest oligosaccharides but your good bacteria can. Since you can't digest these fibers, they remain in your gut and feed the good bacteria living there. Oligosaccharides are found mostly in fruits, legumes, and whole grains. For instance, soybeans, oats, whole wheat, and barley all have oligosaccharides. Another common source of these fibers is inulin, which can be derived from Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, and chicory root. Any easy way to get your probiotics and prebiotics at the same time is with this convenient powedered supplement that also has AFA bluegreen algae, digestive enzymes, and antioxidant-rich wheat sprouts.

Your gut health contributes greatly to your overall health and depends on having healthy live good bacteria. Feeding your probiotics with prebiotics will help keep them healthy and working to keep you healthy. 

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Causes of Food Allergies and How to Avoid Them

Can the causes of food allergies be avoided? Well, consider first of all what causes food allergies. Food allergies are not the same as food intolerances and the causes of food allergies and food intolerances are different. Food intolerances are a digestive problem whereas food allergies are caused by the immune system deciding certain foods are something harmful to the body and attacking them. Food allergies can have symptoms ranging from mild rashes to life threatening swelling of the throat to the point the person cannot breathe. Food intolerances produce symptoms such as abdominal cramping, bloating, gas and diarrhea which are certainly uncomfortable, but not considered life threatening. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting statistics such as an 18% rise in cases of food allergies in children between 1997 and 2007, it would seem that food allergies are becoming more and more of a problem. According to Julia Bradsher, CEO of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, it is estimated that 3 million children in the U.S. have food allergies. Whereas some of these children will outgrow some of these food allergies, there are some that will remain with them for life.

Avoiding Causes of Food Allergies
According to the Mayo Clinic the most common foods that create allergic reactions are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts such as cashews and almonds, shellfish, fish such as bass, cod and flounder, soy and wheat. In the case of a food like peanuts that often carries allergic reactions into adulthood, the medical community has traditionally recommended that children not even begin eating them until after the age of 3. New research is looking at the reverse of this to see if introducing peanuts to children at an earlier age will allow the immune system to develop a tolerance for them. Since food allergies basically are a problem with the immune system identifying certain foods as foreign invaders in the body, one thing that can definitely be done to avoid the causes of food allergies is to boost the immune system. Here are some ways to do just that.

Eat Algae - Two studies show that "the inclusion of blue-green algae in the diet contributes to a reduction of anaphylactic and immune-type allergic reactions in animals" ("Edible Microalgae", Jeffrey J. Bruno, Ph.D.). This can work the same in humans by taking supplements of bluegreen algae to support the body's immune system and tolerance.

Increase Enzymes and Probiotics - Many food allergies are caused by poor digestion linked to the immune system. Poor digestion from such causes as "leaky gut syndrome," allows undigested proteins to enter the blood stream. This triggers the immune system into an allergic reaction. While enzymes and probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus are found naturally in the body, we often don't produce enough to help keep up with healthy digestion. Taking supplements of high quality digestive enzymes, acidophilus and bifidus can help breakdown all types of foods, help the body process food efficiently and eliminate waste, promote the normal movement of food through the intestine and support immune system function.

Eat Immune Boosting Foods – For healthy immune system support there are certain foods you can include in your diet that have been shown to give it a boost. These include:
  • Mushrooms which have been shown to increase production and activity of white blood cells. White blood cells are a part of the immune system that help fight off infections. Shiitake and maitake mushrooms seem to be the best ones for immune system support. Don't like mushrooms? Check out this supplement  to get the mushroom immune boost. It also has WGP beta-glucan which is also an immune system booster.
  • Tomatoes which contain lycopene that can aid in the fight against free radical damage to white blood cells with its antioxidant properties.
  • Oats which are a good source of beta-glucans that activate macrophages produced in your bone marrow and are an important part of the immune system.
  • Whey which contains cysteine, an amino acid that the body converts into the antioxidant glutathione that fights the damage to our bodies' cells caused by free radicals.

Take Bromelain – Bromelain is an enzyme that naturally occurs in pineapple and has been found to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is the body's reaction to infection or something it considers to be a foreign invader that is threatening the body. In the case of food allergies, the body is labeling a certain food as this foreign invader. It is suggested that bromelain may work best when not taken with food. The solution for this for many may be this supplement with a combination of plant-based proteolytic enzymes—bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, together with  wild bluegreen algae - all ingredients found to help support the body in fighting off inflammation.

It would be ideal of course to avoid the causes of food allergies altogether, but when someone does show symptoms of being allergic to certain foods that food will have to be avoided. Especially in the cases of life threatening symptoms. Keeping a food diary can help narrow down which foods are causing symptoms. Write down what foods are eaten, what symptoms are noticed and how long after eating that food the symptoms appear. This information along with allergy testing from a health care provider can help determine which foods will need to be avoided. As the immune system is strengthened over time, these foods may at some point be tolerated better and symptoms of allergic reaction reduced or eliminated. Even if you find you never tolerate a certain food, there are tons of other reasons to have a healthy immune system, so you certainly can't lose by giving it a boost and if it helps with the allergic reactions to foods then it's a double win for you!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.

"Edible Microalgae", Jeffrey J. Bruno, Ph.D.