Thursday, February 15, 2018

Flat Belly Foods to Help You Get That Flat Stomach

Having a flat stomach is about much more than just looking good and feeling good about how our bodies look. The excess belly fat that is common among many Americans creates health risks too. Belly fat leads to increased risk of cardiovascular and other diseases more so than fat in other places such as our hips and thighs. No matter what we eat, the formula for a flat stomach has to include the number of calories consumed being somewhat equal to the number we burn off. Food is simply fuel for the body. If we put more in than our bodies can use up, then it stores up as fat. The alternative is to increase our activity level and use up more. There are some foods though that have been shown to be helpful in getting that flat stomach. Eating flat belly foods can help us get that flat stomach and improve our overall health. What are flat belly foods? Here are some of the types of food that can help achieve our goal of a flat stomach.

Monounsaturated Fats
It may sound strange to say that eating fat will help keep you from getting fat, but many researchers have found just that. That doesn't mean all fats, it applies specifically to monounsaturated fats. . Stay away from the greasy fast food and other foods with trans fats. The Institute of Medicine recommends that 20-35% of your calorie intake be these foods with the "good" fats.

Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Prevention and Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, former nutrition director at Prevention recommend in their book, Flat Belly Diet, that sticking with 1600 calories a day will help you get a flat stomach and still have energy, a healthy immune system, and keep muscle strong. Part of the secret of this diet is eating foods with monounsaturated fatty acid in every meal as they indicate that these types of fats actually help reduce belly fat. This is the type of good fats found in foods like peanut butter, olive oil, and avocados. They also emphasize eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, lean protein, and very little red meat and avoiding processed foods.

There is research that reports eating foods loaded with soluble fiber can help get you that flat stomach. Eating fiber makes you feel fuller so you don't need to eat as much to feel satisfied. Less calories in of course mean less calories to burn up. Foods high in fiber include beans, fruits, whole grains and vegetables. Some of the foods with the highest amounts of fiber are artichokes, split peas, lentils, black beans, raspberries and barley.

Your digestive system needs healthy friendly bacteria to digest your food. If you do not have enough of these bacteria working for you, your digestion is slowed and bloating occurs as well as having undigested food causing belly bulges. Flat belly foods that are good sources of probiotics vital to this digestion process are yogurt and kefir. When buying yogurt or kefir, make sure you read the labels and get ones with live active cultures. You can also add a full spectrum probiotic supplement to your diet. Our favorite probiotic supplement has twelve key good bacteria that are microblended with bluegreen algae.

You need protein to build strong muscle and maintain muscle integrity and strength. This doesn't mean chowing down on lots of steaks and hamburgers though that have a lot of fat if you are seeking the flat stomach. Good proteins come from lean sources such as beans, soy, and dairy, and if you need a meat fix then opt for white meat chicken or seafood. Be sure to take the skin off the chicken before cooking as it contains lots of saturated fat. If you notice that you are losing weight, but not dropping in waist size, this can be an indication that you need more protein or need strength training, according to Alan Aragon, a nutritionist in Westlake Village, California (

Protein powder drinks are another good source of protein. Studies such as one in The Journal of Nutrition are showing benefits of choosing whey powder over soy. In this study it is reported that those who added whey protein to their diets showed less body fat and smaller waists than those that used soy protein.

Personally, I love getting protein with smoothies. They are easy and fast to make, and easy to take with you when you are on the run. I can add in fruit or veggies for some extra fiber and antioxidants, some yogurt for probiotics and protein and my favorite organic whey protein powder for a real boost.

Metabolism Boosting Foods
Increasing your metabolism can also help burn fat and get you closer to your goal of a flat stomach. Capsaicin is a chemical compound that creates a sensation of heat from irritating nerve endings. It is mostly found in various types of peppers and has been found to give a boost to metabolism. Green tea is another metabolism booster. Some studies have reported an increase in metabolism of 4-10% when drinking two to four cups of green tea a day. Staying hydrated also helps keep your metabolism working at its peak. Being even mildly dehydrated can slow down your metabolism, so be sure you are drinking plenty of water.

For a natural and healthy way to keep your metabolism high and your fat content low, add enzymes to your regimen between and at meals. Enzymes help boost your metabolism. These enzymes contain amylase, cellulase, lipase, protease, and lactase for more efficient digestion to avoid the after-meal energy slump. These enzymes with an extra boost contain cayenne and other substances to increase metabolism, burn fat, digest a broad spectrum of substances, and clean up waste in the body.

We typically think of dairy foods as being fattening, but not getting enough can actually lead to your body making more fat. This is explained in a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition as calcitriol, a compound that increases fat cell production, being stimulated by a lack of calcium. You can actually go further towards getting a flat stomach by making sure you get extra calcium.

Snack Bars
Yes, I know there are lots of snack bars out there that vary in protein, calories and overall nutrition. You really have to read labels and compare to make sure you are getting one with the right nutrients to fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied, but without adding a lot of extra calories or unnatural ingredients that you'll have to now burn off. My favorite snack bar is made with high-quality, organic ingredients, is fortified with sprouted grains, greens, and bluegreen algae so I know I'm getting good nutritional value from it. It also has almond butter for a smooth texture and is sprinkled with minced almonds which helps make it great tasting as well as nutritious and convenient when I'm busy or on the run.

Now that you know some flat belly foods to get you on the way to a flat stomach get started on burning away that belly fat for a healthier 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 at wholesale prices on our website.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

5-Minute Methods to De-Stress Your Way to a Healthy Lifestyle

Yeah, yeah ... we know. You have a crazy life and your smart phone schedule gives you exactly 5 minutes of "blank space" to de-stress your life. And yet, you want to live a healthy lifestyle, too, because you know stress has a seriously negative effect on your immune system, digestive health, and just about every other part of your body, mind, and soul.

So what do you do?

Simple ... read on! Follow these proven 5-minute methods to de-stress your way to a healthy lifestyle. You've got 5 minutes to de-stress, and we've got natural solutions for you that really do work!

Healthy Lifestyle Tips That Really Do Work in 5 Minutes
You'll be surprised at these simple 5-minute fixes that really can get you back on track for a healthy lifestyle, no matter how stressful your life is on a daily basis. These natural solutions have been tested by some of the most stressed and busiest people we know, so we know these approaches work. All you have to do to de-stress is try one or all of these approaches in that tiny open slot in your schedule. Ready? Let's go!

Healthy Lifestyle Tip #1: Active Meditation
A lot of busy and stressed people object to meditation for two reasons. First, slowing down is difficult for people who are busy and have very active minds. Second, many stressed people actually fall asleep during meditation, and find they awaken from such "naps" groggier than ever. Deepak Chopra and other meditation experts don't object to falling asleep during meditation, since they claim that people who fall asleep during meditation really need the rest. However, if your goal is to stay active and alert, falling asleep during your 5-minute meditation isn't really going to help you reach your goals.

Instead of a sitting meditation, try an active meditation. For instance, try a 5-minute power walk. On the first 2 1/2 minutes of the walk, you get to ask questions, talk to your guides or angels or higher powers and beings. Whatever you call the "higher force" in your life, connect with that force on the outbound part of your walk. Talk about your goals, ask for help, discuss your worries ... whatever you want. Then, on the way back (again, just 2 1/2 minutes), you get to listen. Listen for messages, look for signs from higher powers and beings, or just allow a sense of peace to enter your being. When you get back to your starting point, voila! You have completed your active meditation, and completed a natural solution for de-stressing your life. Try it ... many people tell us this form of meditation works very well!

Healthy Lifestyle Tip #2: Eat 10% Less
Here's an equation to ponder:

Digestion takes a ton of energy, and your brain is the most energy-hungry organ in your body.

So what does this mean to you, as a super-stressed and super-busy person? It means that if you tend to over-eat, even just a bit, then you are taking energy away from your brain and sending it straight to your stomach. Cultures known for long-lived people have long histories of eating light. So if you eat less, you'll not only live longer but you'll have a sharper brain as well! You will also have a lot less stress.

If you tend to overeat or even just indulge a bit too much in junk food, then cutting back your food intake by 10% can reduce the amount of energy your body spends on digestion. If you already eat the right amount of food for your height and weight, then try substituting 10% of your junk food intake with healthy foods. It's not that difficult to adjust your diet by just 10%, right? Plus, this healthy lifestyle adjustment won't take more than 5 minutes. In fact, just skipping that candy bar will SAVE you more than 5 minutes!

Healthy Lifestyle Tip #3: Get Enough Sleep
Lots of super-busy people don't get enough sleep because they can't turn off their brains and bodies at night. Research shows that people who don't have enough sleep tend to stress and worry more than people who do get enough sleep. So, if you take just a few minutes to prepare yourself for sleep, you'll tend to sleep better, which means you will wake up refreshed ... and voila! Less stress. Now we know that 8 hours of sleep is more than a 5-minute fix, but preparing yourself for a good night's sleep can be just a 5-minute fix. Check out these tips for ways to get a better night's sleep:

Most of all, take the time--just 5 minutes--to live a healthy lifestyle even during your super-busy day. You will appreciate that investment in your health later in life (no matter your current age or lifestyle)!

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 at wholesale prices on our website.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

How to Support Your Memory with Natural Solutions

How's your memory? Where did I put my keys? What did I come in here for? Who was I supposed to call? Do any of these sound familiar? Probably. Most of us have memory lapses from time to time. Memory loss can range from occasional forgetfulness to Alzheimer's and dementia for a variety of reasons.

What Causes Memory Loss?
Memory loss can come from many different sources including
  • disease
  • head injury
  • lack of sleep 
  • depression
  • alcohol and drug use
  • medication
  • strokes
  • loss of brain cells
  • stress
Nutrition and Memory Loss
The brain needs a diet that includes high quality fats and proteins to function properly. Vitamin B1 and B12 are especially important to prevent memory loss. For good brain health you need a diet with foods that provide amino acids and nutrients the brain needs to function well. These include peanuts, eggs, grains, soybeans, potatoes, legumes, almonds, beets, milk, fish, meat, bananas, yogurt and cheese.

Natural Solutions for Memory Loss
Although no one natural solution has been found to completely combat all types of memory loss, there are several supplements that have been found to improve memory, reduce the risk of severe memory loss or benefit memory recovery to some extent. Some of these include:
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Omega-3 
  • Acetyl-L carnitine (amino acid)
  • Vitamin E
  • Asian ginseng
Healthy Brain
The most important thing we can each do to reduce our risk of memory loss is to support a healthy brain. Many things in our environment today, such as pollution and pesticides, increase our exposure to toxins. The blood brain barrier works to protect the brain from toxins and allow in the nutrients it needs. Oxygen, water and glucose are able to pass through the blood brain barrier, whereas other molecules can be accepted or rejected. 

The human brain requires oxygen and a high concentration of nutrients. The brain's main source of energy is glucose. It also needs protein however and proteins are not able to pass through the blood brain barrier until they break down into amino acids. Research has shown that poly unsaturated fatty acid and especially DHA are vital for brain development. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, important nutrients for healthy brain, are also able to permeate the blood brain barrier.

How Algae Supports Brain Health
Studies have shown that AFA blue-green algae can help reduce stress. It also contains beta-carotenes and antioxidants that can help protect the central nervous system from oxidative stress.

Brain tissue is mostly made of lipids which are especially sensitive to oxidative damage. "Beta-carotene offers powerful anti-cancer, anti-aging, and antioxidant properties without the toxic risks of taking fat-soluble vitamin A." (Jeffery Bruno, Edible Microalgae). Studies have shown that beta-carotene may provide protection against memory impairment and general brain damage. Microalgae is one of the richest sources of beta-carotene.

This form of bluegreen Algae is the heart of the algae with the cell wall removed and is an abundant source of raw materials for enhancing brain activity. Amino acids found in this type of algae is the building blocks of healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters needed for the brain to function properly. This type of algae also provides essential omega-3 fatty acids and helps maintain normal, healthy blood chemistry that feeds the brain.

How to Support Your Memory with Natural Solutions - The Bottom Line
In a nutshell, a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables and nuts that also includes dairy, fish, poultry and olive oil has been shown to be optimal in supporting a healthy brain. Add exercise and learning new things to this type of diet and, of course, eat your algae, and you will be on your way to good brain 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 at wholesale prices on our website.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

On the Road to Healthy Aging

Aging happens to all of us, but it doesn't have to be so obvious. There are steps we can take to continue to look youthful, feel good, and stay productive on into our senior years. What are the top 3 causes of aging?
  • Cell and tissue damage from free radicals because the body lacks antioxidants
  • Reduced immune response
  • Enzyme depletion

Did you know that you can reverse the effects of aging with very simple nutritional and lifestyle changes? Here are some basic ways to get started:

Regular exercise for circulation, strength and flexibility
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of pure water every day
  • Add bluegreen algae to your diet
  • Limit the amount of meat, butter, eggs and dairy you eat
  • Eat whole, organic foods whenever possible
  • Laugh and be happy (stress causes aging)
  • Take the probiotics acidophilus and bifidus to improve immune response
  • Use enzyme therapy to clean up waste in the body and cells

Remember that our cells don't really age - they are constantly being replaced by new cells. If you simply support your body's natural processes by using the guidelines above, staying youthful is easy!

Not a believer yet? Here is a bit more about how these tips have been shown to work for anti-aging.

Controlling Stress
Chronic stress increases levels of cortisol. Cortisol can affect bone density, add fat buildup in the tummy area and lead to reduction of lean body mass. Stress can also be tied to a variety of diseases linked to aging such as osteoporosis and Alzheimer's. Stress also reduces your level of IgA, a protein that is part of the immune system and helps fight off infections by preventing invaders from getting into the body.

There are numerous ways to deal with chronic stress and you need to try a variety until you find what works for you. One of the simplest is laughing. People who have more enjoyment out of life tend to show less signs of aging. Laughter can decrease stress hormones, increase immune cells, release endorphins and increase blood flow by improving blood vessel function. Laughing, social activities, music, yoga, meditation, sports, exercise, deep breathing, and massage are a few things to try out to reduce stress. Reducing stress or learning methods of coping with stress can go a long way towards healthy aging.

The food we eat needs to be properly digested for the body to get the nutrients it needs from it. When this happens, all the body organs and cells get the nutrition they need to stay healthy. To get enzymes from our foods, we need to eat lots of raw or lightly cooked vegetables and fruits and chew them completely. Overcooking and processed foods that so many of us have in our diets do not provide the enzymes we need for proper digestion. If this is the case for you, using a high quality enzyme supplement may be in order.

This is a biggie. From the types of food you eat, to the amount and everything in between, good nutrition is a key ingredient in healthy aging. Food is where we get our energy and nutrients to keep the body working optimally, to keep skin looking youthful and elastic, to keep our brains properly nourished and sharp; all things important when it comes to healthy aging. You probably know already the types of foods to be eating, whole grains for fiber, fruits and vegetables for antioxidants, lean protein, and essential fatty acids for healthy brain function. What you may not know is that as we age it is better to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day than to have the normal breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is because of changes in hormone levels and our metabolism is slower. Eating smaller meals throughout the day helps keep the metabolism stable.

Antioxidants in the diet are especially important in healthy aging. Foods high in antioxidants include bright colorful vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, blueberries, carrots, and leafy greens. Antioxidants are the body's protection from free radical damage. Particular antioxidants do even more for us as we age. For example, the antioxidant vitamin C can help reduce the chances of macular degeneration which can lead to blindness in older adults and helps skin look more youthful. Another antioxidant, resveratrol, found in grapes and red wine, can help in reducing risk of cancer, heart disease and premature aging.

When choosing the best anti-aging antioxidants you can look at the ORAC value of each antioxidant. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and measures the ability of an antioxidant to slow aging and neutralize free radicals. Blueberries, for example, have an ORAC value of about 26. Blue green algae has an ORAC value of 128! Blue green algae is also effective at very low concentrations, so you don't have to add huge quantities to protect your cells. To make sure you are getting all the antioxidants you need to help with healthy aging, you should absolutely eat enough fruits and vegetables and in a perfect world that would be enough. But very few of us live in a perfect world and the truth is we don't get enough antioxidants from our foods. That is when supplementing with blue green algae can really help out. Our favorite blue green algae comes in a whole complete algae supplement for overall physical well-being and a version with the cell wall removed which is especially helpful for brain functioning.

Exercise on a regular basis such as walking or aerobics can slow down muscle decline, and increase balance and coordination according to a study reported in the British Daily Mail in 2008. Other types of exercise useful for healthy aging include:
  • weight training or strength training to firm up saggy skin and work on muscle tone
  • cardio exercises for heart health
  • yoga to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and stress, and for bone health as it has been shown to increase bone density and improve balance.
  • fat burning exercises help maintain a healthy weight and prevent conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure
  • exercises such as fast walking, weight lifting, weight bearing type exercises and flexibility type exercises are all good for bone health

Ideally, we should get 30 minutes of regular exercise a day for circulation, strength and flexibility. If you can't do that, then at least do something that involves movement every day. Moving the body filters down to creating movement on the cell level. Exercises, such as particular yoga exercises, can help keep the digestive tract in good working order, tone up the arms, flatten the stomach, improve muscle tone, increase energy, and increase flexibility. Don't wait until you start to see signs of aging though. Start now before the signs of aging kick in.

The internet and social media sites are full of stories of people in their 80's and 90's doing remarkable things such as complex yoga routines, bicycling long distances and dance routines requiring a lot a flexibility. I have a friend in his 90's who bustles around doing fundraising and a variety of work for area non-profits that I have a hard time keeping up with. With age often comes a better understanding of who we are and a letting go of limitations and inhibitions that once prevented us from doing certain things. Often it brings an increased sense of confidence. It's a time when how we look and what others think of us is not as important as it used to be and we've learned to set boundaries. Having the attitude of "you're only as old as you feel" can help keep us active and youthful. Seeing aging from this perspective instead of as a downward slope to decline goes a long way toward keeping us active, alert, happy and productive.

The state of our skin is a reflection of the state of our general health, so some doctors can literally tell the quality of your diet based on the condition of your skin. Plus, how our skin looks often is our first sign of aging when looking in the mirror and realizing that age is catching up with us. Dehydration is one of the major causes of aging skin. If you want healthy skin, drink plenty of water. In addition to keeping skin healthy and rejuvenated, drinking enough water also supports the body in flushing toxins, preventing water retention, and keeping our internal organs functioning at top efficiency.

Eating foods rich in essential fatty acids helps skin stay elastic rather than sagging. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are the most important essential fatty acids for our skin. To have healthy skin, you need foods that have 3 to 4 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids. Most Americans get just the opposite--eating foods that give them 10 to 20 times as much omega-6 fatty acids as omega-3 fatty acids! You can get the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs by eating seafood (especially deep-water fish like salmon and tuna), fresh fruit, dark-green leafy greens, micro-algae, seeds and nuts, and flax and olive oil. Adding just a little of each of these foods to your diet can make a significant difference to the appearance of your skin. AFA bluegreen algae has the exact ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making it one of Earth's perfect foods for healthy skin!

Your skin cares about what you feed it, whether it's nourishment from the inside out or from the outside in. With its powerful antioxidants and immune support, this antioxidant lotion helps provide natural plant-based topical protection from the challenging elements you encounter every day.

Bone Support
As we age, there is a double problem that can result with bone health. First we start losing bone at a faster rate than we can regenerate and replace it. That makes our bones more fragile. Second our muscles, joints and balance can all become weaker meaning we are more likely to have falls which can lead to breakage of these more fragile bones. That is why bone health is an important area to consider in healthy aging. Keeping muscles strong increases your ability to stop yourself if you start to fall and can reduce your risk of falling in the first place. Taking the recommended amount of calcium, Vitamin D, getting flexibility and weight bearing exercise regularly, cutting down on caffeine, and getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can go a long way to giving you the bone support needed for healthy aging.

If you are ready to seriously start on an anti-aging campaign, these are the points to consider and hopefully these tips will help you get started to finding your own fountain of youth.

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, January 25, 2018

Fatigue Dragging You Down? Discover the Miracle of Energy

Do you find yourself suffering from fatigue and out of ideas on how to boost your energy? If so, you're not alone since a third of primary care patients in the United States list fatigue as a complaint and seek medical help to the tune of seven million doctor visits each year. While it may be a good idea to seek help from your healthcare provider to see if there is an underlying medical condition causing your fatigue, there are also natural solutions you can use to boost your energy level. Here's some ideas from experts on what can cause energy drains and ways to beat fatigue that you might not have thought of.

  • According to Kathleen Vohs, PhD, having to choose from several alternatives can zap energy. The Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany advises going with gut instinct to make choices. That helps you avoid the stress, the going back and forth measuring pros and cons and all the other mind drains involved in decision making. 

  • According to Thomas Lauda, Ph.D., an L.A. management coach, spending time with uplifting people will give you a boost too. And if you typically drag in the afternoon, schedule your daily activities in a way that the most demanding tasks are done in the morning. Leave the afternoon for tasks that are ones that will keep your attention and stimulate you. 

  • Holding on to regrets is also an energy drain according to Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, PhD, chair of the department of psychology at Yale University. Regret and remorse raise blood pressure which can translate to fatigue. One study from 2011 reported findings in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin that showed putting those regrets in a context of comparing your situation to that of others who have things harder helps lift fatigue. 

  • Pay attention to the colors you surround yourself with. Certain colors like red, yellow, and orange can boost energy by attracting the attention which gears up the brain. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, says the best color to help boost adrenaline is orange. Find orange colored items to wear and surround yourself with. Avoid dark colors as they trigger the release of melatonin which is a calming and sleep inducing chemical. White colors can create a boost in serotonin, the chemical that makes us feel good and red can increase the body's blood flow and stimulate adrenal glands. 

  • Doing yoga for 90 minutes twice a week for as little as 3 months can reduce your tiredness by 57%. A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports that even if you stop yoga after the 3 months the energy boost continues. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD reports that the meditation involved in yoga reduces stress which helps keep fatigue away. 

  • Glycogen is the fuel that is stored in our livers and converted to glucose when we need a quick burst of energy. Our bodies need glycogen any time we are under stress or need a quick energy fix. The best sources of glycogen are most cuts of meat and liver. For you vegetarians, another alternative is properly processed blue-green algae from Klamath Lake. This algae's cell wall is made up of glycogen that your body can use right away to boost energy. 

  • According to Dr. Oz, eating eggs and cantaloupe together is a way to get a protein and complex carb snack that is low in calories. You get the sugar boost from the cantaloupe which is slowed down by the egg's protein for sustained energy. 

  • Jump. That's right, just jump up and down. This simple move raises the heart rate, gets oxygen moving in the body and gives a mental boost. According to Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness, says even bouncing on the bed can release endorphins and increase your energy level. 

  • Feed your body on a cellular level to give your body extra energy. This supplement combines pure ubiquinol, reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and AFA bluegreen algae, designed to activate cellular energy to support a healthy cardiovascular system which can improve energy levels. Reishi mushrooms are high in beta glucans, polysaccharides and triterpenoid compounds as well as being rich in proteins, enzymes, and minerals. Oyster mushrooms are not only rich in protein, but high in B vitamins and lovastatin which helps balance blood cholesterol levels. Ubiquinol is an active antioxidant form of coenzyme Q10 which is important for stress relief and improved daily energy.

  • Pamela Dalton, PhD, MPH, a senior research scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia suggests smelling mint for an energy boost. It can increase stamina and help you produce faster and more accurate work. 

  • The pancreas produces digestive enzymes and secretions that contribute to the digestive process, once food enters the small intestine. As part of the endocrine system, it produces insulin that regulates how much sugar enters the blood. When we eat foods with lots of sugars and carbohydrates, our blood sugar levels increase and the pancreas has to produce more insulin. This causes a rise in tryptophan in the brain and the bloodstream. Tryptophan helps regulate serotonin and melatonin levels, which are neurotransmitters that affect mood by causing us to relax. Eating healthier alkalizing foods such as fruits and vegetables can reduce the workload on the pancreas and lower the amount of tryptophan being produced which can leave us more energy. Also, adding a high quality digestive enzyme supplement to your diet with meals can relieve the stress put on the pancreas, liver and spleen and help the body absorb the nutrients it needs from the foods you eat. If you find you are still dragging, take extra enzymes in between meals.

  • Avoid fatigue by making sure your gut health is in optimal condition to produce stress fighting and energy producing B vitamins. Probiotic supplements such as acidophilus and bifidus can help keep a healthy supply of friendly bacteria in the gut. Even better, get the nourishment of AFA bluegreen algae, enzymes and your probiotics all put together in convenient daily packets.  

  • Eating several small meals or snacks throughout the day instead of three heavier meals can also help keep fatigue away. This can help keep blood sugar levels stable which in turn helps keep energy levels stable so you don't experience the mid-afternoon slump. Foods to include in these snacks are fruits, veggies, complex carbs and lean protein. When I don't have time for a meal, I find these snack bars with AFA bluegreen algae, sprouts, and greens give me a healthy balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and micronutrients from whole-food sources, with no chemical additives for sustained energy. Fruits, especially those with vitamin C, can reduce stress hormones leaving you with more energy. Studies show that 80% of us in this country don't get the recommended amounts of fruits in our diets though. Many experts, like Joan Salge Blake, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, believe that is because people tend to eat the same fruits over and over and get burned out on them. Women typically eat apples, bananas, oranges and watermelon. They could get the same nutrition as from these fruits by expanding their choices to include papaya, quince, kiwi, plantains, guava, star fruit, kumquats, and Asian pears. 

  • You may already turn to coffee or other caffeinated drinks for a quick energy boost, but this could be causing your fatigue. When you drink too many of these beverages, your metabolism gets out of whack going up and down. Caffeine can also drain energy by being dehydrating. It's OK to drink some caffeine, but overdoing and not drinking water at the same time is a set up for fatigue throughout the day. 

  • The prickly pear or Nopal cactus, according to Dr. Oz, has properties to help beat fatigue. You can get it fresh, dried, in jams and jellies or supplements all of which provide the antioxidants to help detox the liver and reduce fatigue caused by inflammation.

See any natural solutions in this list that you haven't tried? No time like the present to give them a try. Maintaining your energy level and overcoming fatigue will help you enjoy your days and raise your happiness level by leaps and bounds.

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, January 23, 2018

How to Slim Down: Why You Should Focus on Your Abs and Waist

New Year's has passed and, as usual, weight loss tops the list of resolutions that people have made for the year. That's not surprising. What IS surprising is how little people know about how to slim down in healthy and easy ways. Of course, most people know the usual formula for slimming down: eat less, exercise more, drink more water, and eat healthier. But these days the art of how to slim down has become more of a science. That's why this article is dedicated to the fact that you should focus on your abs and your waist if you want to lose weight this year.

How to Slim Down: Why Focus on Abs and Waist?
If you want to slim down, take a look at your profile in the mirror. Chances are that your mid-section, meaning your abdominal area and your waist, are areas where you would love to lose weight. There might also be other areas in your body where you would like to drop a few pounds, but health-wise, slimming down your waist is much more beneficial than, say, losing that double chin.

When it comes to slimming down, why should you focus on your waistline? Here's what medical experts (WebMD) want you to know:
  • waist-size is a good measure of overall health (women should not exceed 35 inches, men 40 inches)
  • an excessively large waist increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure
  • abdominal fat is worse than other kinds of fat because it wraps around internal organs, increasing your health risks
  • your waist is one area you can focus on and specifically lose weight, called spot-toning (as opposed to other areas, like saggy underarms)
That should give you plenty of medical reasons for focusing on your waist when you think about how to slim down this year. There are also some pretty nice benefits when it comes to the "looks" department. Slimming down your waist might get you back into those skinny jeans or allow you to wear that body-hugging wrap that you have hidden in the back of the closet!

How to Slim Down Your Waist: 3 Tips You Can Use
Knowing you need to trim your waist size and actually getting it done are two different things. In this section we offer you 3 simple tips that should make it simple to slim down your waist. These tips are based on a simple principle: a bulky waistline is composed mostly of fat and undigested food.

Tip #1: How to Fight Fat to Lose Belly Weight
As we talked about above, belly fat is more detrimental to your overall health than any other kind of fat in your body. For instance, fat on your hips and thighs rests just under the skin, and doesn't interfere with the function of your vital organs. Belly fat, on the other hand, can wrap around vital organs like your liver, kidneys, and intestines, decreasing their function and increasing all kinds of health risks. So knowing how to fight fat, especially in your belly, is important. Here's what you might not know about fat:

 ** Each pound of fat contains 3,500 calories! **

Yup, that's right. We said three thousand five hundred calories. That is a lot of calories. So to fight fat, you have definitely got to watch what you eat and get more active. That's a general rule when it comes to how to slim down. In addition, when it comes to how to fight fat, you can also:
  • eat more fiber and protein
  • decrease your intake of carbohydrates and simple sugars
  • add cinnamon and hot chili spices to your food
  • eat fat-fighting foods like grapefruit (your body uses more calories digesting grapefruit than the fruit has)
  • drink coffee and green tea in limited amounts to increase metabolism
If these sound like good methods for how to fight fat, read this post for more details.

Tip #2: How to Slim Down by Getting Rid of Undigested Food
We don't mean to gross you out, but a large portion of what people call a "beer belly" is really not at all related to beer. Instead, it's undigested food that is basically rotting in the intestines, creating a lot of bulk around your waistline. What's the reason for this? The foods we eat don't have enough digestive enzymes that our bodies can fully digest our meals. In addition, our bodies don't produce enough digestive enzymes to process our foods--that's just a factor of aging and the modern environment. That's the bad, icky news.

The good news is that there is a really simple natural solution to take care of the problem. This natural solution is to add probiotics to your daily regimen. 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, moving them through the digestive system so that they don't become stuck there, adding bulk to your waistline. While these bacteria are natural to our intestines, many factors in life can kill off these friendly bacteria. These factors include drinking chlorinated water, stress, antibiotics, environmental pollutants, taking any of a variety of medications ... and those are only a few of the examples.

To remedy this problem, we suggest taking 2-4 capsules of potent acidophilus in the morning, and 2-4 capsules of bifidus at night. Separating these probiotics between morning and night gives each type of bacteria time to reach its natural place in the gut (acidophilus lives in the small intestine while bifidus lives in the large intestine). To get the most bang for your buck, it is important to choose a probiotic that is guaranteed live, is stored in the refrigerator for preservation, and can survive the acidity of the stomach. Our favorites are this form of acidophilus and this form of bifidus.

Tip #3: Add Enzymes to Prevent Undigested Food
The tip above helps you get rid of the undigested food (also called intestinal plaque) that is rotting in your gut. This tip helps you prevent the problem altogether by helping your body fully digest your food the first time around. With enough digestive enzymes, your body can easily digest whatever food you eat so that there's nothing left to sit around in your intestines. Choose a  full-spectrum enzyme that digests carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, plus can withstand the stomach's acidic environment. Taking 1-2 enzymes with each meal (and chlorine-free water, of course!) will not only help your body fully digest your food, but will also prevent you from getting the "after lunch sleepies." That sleepy feeling that you get after lunch is a sign that your body is working really hard to digest the meal you just ate ... and that your body isn't doing a very good job since it is lacking the necessary digestive enzymes. So take enzymes with meals.

If you really want to focus on how to slim down your profile, another way to use enzymes is to take enzymes between meals. When there is no food to digest in your stomach, your body will use digestive enzymes as scavengers, sending them around to clean up any trashy cells, unwanted and undigested food, and clearing up the blood. This general cleaning process applies to your body in general, as well as to your abdominal area.

Our favorite full-spectrum enzyme that has been fully-tested to survive the acidic stomach environment and to digest food is here. If you're not sure about the power of the enzymes you take, just try the oatmeal test. Cook up a small bowl of oatmeal. Open and sprinkle a capsule of enzymes on the oatmeal. Within 15 minutes or so, if your enzyme is up to snuff your oatmeal will turn into a soupy-substance that you could drink. That tells you that your enzymes are actually live, active, and working. We've tried the oatmeal test over and over with our favorite enzyme, and it works every time. Plus, it's fun!

How to Slim Down Your Waist: Not Too Hard, Right?
Adding a few supplements to your daily regimen and really focusing on fighting fat doesn't seem too hard, right? These tips on how to slim down are really pretty simple to incorporate into your daily life, and the results are very beneficial. If you are not convinced, go back to the top and read the list of negative impacts that belly fat has on your life. Then weigh it against the simple steps given here to trim your profile and fight belly fat. Sounds like you don't give up too much (except fat) and you get a lot, right?

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, January 11, 2018

How to Improve Energy and Reduce Stress with Natural Solutions

Do you find yourself being over tired, burned out, worn out and looking for ways to improve energy to get everything done that you want or need to do? There are many reasons this could be occurring (some which you will need to consult your health care provider about) and one of them could be that you are overstressed. We all know by now that stress takes its toll on us physically and mentally, but really can we avoid it? Probably not completely. We can find ways to cope with stress and reduce it though. One thing we can do is learn how to improve energy with natural solutions such as learning what foods and supplements can help deal with stress and give us a boost.

Certain foods can boost serotonin levels or reduce cortisol and adrenaline levels. Dark chocolate for example can lower stress hormones and the caffeine and theobromine in it are natural mood and energy boosters. Knowing which foods have an effect on body chemicals and hormones can go a long way towards how to improve energy levels.

How To Improve Energy and Reduce Stress with Foods
To choose the best food for stress relief, you have to first know which vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals will help you get out of stress. Here's a short list of stress-relieving vitamins and minerals:
  • magnesium
  • B vitamins, especially B-12
  • coenzyme Q10
  • chlorophyll

There's a bit of a Catch-22 when looking at how to improve energy and deal with stress when it comes to these vitamins and minerals. They help relieve stress, but your body also uses them up much more quickly when you are stressed. So just when you are stressed and need them the most, you are not getting enough of them and using them up faster than you can produce them. Natural solution – increase your intake of them. Here are some other foods to include in your diet when you are dealing with stress and/or looking for how to improve energy.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can help stabilize stress hormones and are helpful in improving mood. Fatty, cold-water fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, cod and herring are a good source for adding omega-3 to your diet. These cold-water fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids because they, in turn, eat a lot of blue-green algae. You can also get your omega-3s straight from taking bluegreen algae supplements, from dark green leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts, and flax and olive oils. Bluegreen algae also has chlorophyll and magnesium to help fight off stress.

Complex Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates influence the brain's production of serotonin. Complex carbs are the healthiest type of carbs to eat. They are slower to digest which leaves you feeling fuller longer and less prone to unhealthy snacking and they help stabilize blood sugar levels. Whole grain cereals and breads, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, barley and other whole grains and beans are all good sources of complex carbs.

Vitamin C has been found to reduce stress hormone levels and B vitamins, especially B-12, help us relax and soothes our nerves. Vitamin C can be found in dark green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, oranges, kiwi, guava, papaya and strawberries. Food sources of B-12 include clams, oysters, beef liver, fatty fish, crab, shrimp, dairy foods and fortified cereals. The friendly bacteria called probiotics found in your gut, produce the B vitamins in our bodies. Getting extra probiotics in your diet through foods such as yogurt and kefir or through probiotic supplements gives your body the ability to keep producing B vitamins, especially when you are stressed.

How To Improve Energy and Reduce Stress with Supplements
Since bluegreen algae has so many of the nutrients that help support stress reduction, there is a supplement that not only has bluegreen algae in it, but also a combination of proteolytic enzymes—bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase. Enzymes make it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients it needs to function properly and help your body break down foods more quickly and efficiently, so your body doesn't have to work quite as hard to process your food. When you are feeling burned out or stressed, it is especially helpful to help your body save energy.

Turmeric has been used for ages in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine in a variety of health remedies. Turmeric in particular has been shown to help with stress related depression. 

St. John's Wort is a plant based herbal supplement that has been used for many years in alternative medicine for a mood boost. It is thought that this herb has the ability to stop reabsorption of chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin by the brain's nerve cells which has made it useful in treating mild and moderate depression. There are some medications that do not react well with St. John's Wort, so be sure you consult your healthcare provider before using it.

You don't have to keep feeling low energy, burned out or stressed out. Eat your way to stress reduction and improved energy. How to improve your energy and reduce stress is as simple as knowing the right foods and supplements to consume to support your body in performing at its best.

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.