Thursday, November 16, 2017

Got Chronic Pain? Natural Solutions to Support Your Body

Are you living with chronic pain or know someone who is? Did you know 100 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain? That's $635 billion spent in treatments and loss of workers' time. That's a lot! There is some good news though for chronic pain sufferers.

New Evidence About Chronic Pain
There is new evidence that chronic pain may not just be the result of an underlying condition. New studies are showing that chronic pain can be its own condition. After living with pain for so long, the brain can actually store the memory of it, so that even after the original disorder causing the pain is gone, the pain remains. There is some evidence that suggests chronic pain can even be genetic.

Treating Chronic Pain
Traditionally, chronic pain has been treated with medications that target inflammation or block pain. There are studies now showing that chronic pain can respond well to untraditional types of treatment including acupuncture, massage, hypnosis and that even positive thinking can make a difference.

Natural Products Can Support Your Body
We have several products to recommend that can provide natural solutions to help support your body for optimal health and give immune system support.

Stem Cell Support–
This stem cell support supplement is a unique blend of natural ingredients including green tea extract, wild blueberry, the antioxidant amino acid carnosine, blueberry extract, and vitamin D, all of which support your body's own renewal systems. Many of the ingredients in this supplement are antioxidants. As oxidation of iron causes rust, our bodies heal less effectively if cells are damaged by free radicals. Antioxidants are very important in promoting a healthy immune system which can aid in prevention of disease leading to chronic pain symptoms.

Sprouts Supplement –
This supplement contains a super concentration of custom-grown wheat sprouts, bluegreen  and Red beta algae. These three ingredients combined supply the body with antioxidant nutrition that may help combat the destructive effects of highly unstable, reactive molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals are a by-product of normal metabolism, and the human body is designed to handle a limited amount of them. When the body is subjected to various forms of stress, including emotional pressures, overexertion, environmental pollutants, and the aging process, the production of free radicals can quickly overextend those limits leaving the body vulnerable to attack and disease that can lead to chronic pain.

Immune System Support Supplement –
This supplement fortifies your immune system so it can better fight to keep you healthy. It is an all-natural supplement, containing the active ingredient WGPtm beta glucan, a patented form of the complex carbohydrate beta glucan, which is found in the cell walls of baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and has long been known to have immune boosting properties. It also has six of the most extensively researched mushrooms that show positive immune system support: reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail. A stronger immune system means less disease and the chronic pain that can result.

Bluegreen Algae –
Bluegreen Algae is designed to promote physical health and immune system function. A healthy immune system leads to the body being able to fight off disease, some of which can lead to chronic pain.

Coenzyme Q10 -
This supplement contains ubiquinol, the active and bioavailable form of a a special enzyme activator called coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 is essential for life to exist, as it is an integral part of energy production within every cell. Studies have shown that if the essential levels of CoQ10 are allowed to decline, and the body's vital organs and systems cannot meet their energy requirements, serious health concerns may arise. The combination of 100 mg of ubiquinol, a synergistic blend of organic flaxseed oil, olive biophenols, organic reishi and oyster mushrooms, and wild bluegreen algae in this supplement can aid in keeping a healthy immune system and give the body the essential levels of CoQ10 it needs to stay fit.

If you suffer with chronic pain, it's good to know there are natural solutions that can help. Check with your health care provider and see if he or she is aware of the newest information and if any of these natural solutions can help with your pain. If your provider is not aware, be pro-active in finding one who is. You owe it to yourself to see if there is a natural solution to relieve your chronic pain.



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, November 14, 2017

Anxious Much?

We all have life conditions pop up that make us anxious and this is a normal way to react to stress. Some amount of anxiety can actually be useful as it motivates us to take care of things that we maybe have procrastinated on getting done. Problems occur however if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety so much that it moves you into the category of having an anxiety disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health statistics, 18.1% of adult Americans are reported to be in this category for 12 month prevalence and 22.8% of adult Americans are reported to have a severe anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders include conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can really interfere with everyday living, make us moody, and even lead to poor memory and a decrease in cognitive functioning. Stress causes the body to release cortisol, so when we are anxious due to stress, this cortisol release causes our blood sugar and blood pressure to go up, causes the body to store extra fat, interferes with getting quality sleep, and causes a reduction in energy. Henry Emmons, MD, author of The Chemistry of Calm, warns that being constantly bombarded with stress makes the nervous system stay in a stressed state which can cause us to feel anxiety and be overwhelmed by even small stressful events.

Anxiety and Diet
What you eat and what you don't eat may not be a "cure" for anxiety, but there are foods that can help with anxiety symptoms and some that can contribute to anxiety. Research has shown that there is a definite correlation between mood and stress and food. Eating a healthy diet keeps hormones functioning the way they should which improves your sense of well-being and can help reduce anxiety. When cortisol is released and we feel stressed and anxious and our blood sugar levels rise, we tend to crave and reach for comfort foods that are generally sugary, simple carbs, fried, processed, caffeinated or alcoholic. These are the worse types of foods to eat for anxiety though. They may give you a temporary boost in energy, but are soon followed by the "crash" that increases fatigue, stress and anxiety. Dr. Oz and other experts advise eating foods with amino acids and complex carbs that have been found to increase brain chemicals like serotonin that put us in a better mood, help us stay calm and sleep well and that help in stabilizing blood sugar levels. Foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains like oatmeal, barley, whole wheat breads and quinoa, foods with tryptophan like oats, kale, bananas, soy and poultry, and foods with magnesium such as black beans and tofu are all good foods to eat if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety. Foods with vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids are also thought to be good for stress reduction.

For those people that are stressed by having too much to do in a day and don't take the time to eat right, wholefood supplements can help fill the nutritional gaps. AFA (aphanizomenon flos-aqua) bluegreen algae, with the cell wall for physical well-being and without the cell wall for mental well-being, is one way to get omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, and a wide array of other nutrients, vitamins and minerals and the extra protein that can help with stress relief. Vitamin B12 is also important when dealing with stress and anxiety as it helps the body to relax. This vitamin can be found in liver, tuna, yogurt, cottage cheese and AFA bluegreen algae. This form of algae has been found to have high levels of B12 which other types of algae do not. In fact some types of algae can interfere with the body's absorption of B12, so make sure if you need more B12 that you take the right kind of algae. The friendly bacteria in your intestines also makes vitamin B12. Taking probiotic supplements like acidophilus and bifidus can help increase your B12 levels.

Another AFA bluegreen algae supplement we find useful combines bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni. This combination 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 nutritional combination means support to help you function when stress overwhelms you.

The herbal supplements Kava, Valerian or St. John's Wort may also be helpful for some people in dealing with stress and anxiety. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking herbal supplements, especially if you are on medications, to make sure they are safe for you.

Anxiety and Digestion
When you are stressed and anxious, it is also common to have stomach or intestinal problems. The stomach actually has its own nervous system, the enteric nervous system. The receptors in the intestines react to fear, worry or anxiety and can cause diarrhea, nausea and heartburn. Anxiety activates the body's fight or flight response. When this happens it takes most of the brain's concentration and attention. This cuts back on energy for other brain functions such as control of the muscles used in digestion. For those who experience short term occasional anxiety, this is not noticeable, but when it is a more chronic condition it can interfere with the digestive process and lead to symptoms of gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation and diarrhea. Anxiety can also lower your serotonin levels. Serotonin is needed to send signals to the intestines and lower levels means an interruption in these signals. Anxiety and stress also have a negative effect on the friendly bacteria in the gut necessary for proper digestion and for performing immune system functions.

Some people find the herb lemon balm helpful in calming an anxious stomach and others find some relief with iberogast. If anxiety is messing with your digestive system then supporting your natural probiotics with supplements such as acidophilus and bifidus may also be helpful.


Natural Solutions for Dealing With Anxiety

Schedule Time for Relaxing
Taking time on a regular basis to engage in activities that are relaxing can help stop stress and anxiety before they start. What is relaxing for one person may not be relaxing for another so try out a variety of techniques and activities such as meditation, yoga, hobbies, exercise, listening to music, swimming, sports or anything else you can think of that may be relaxing for you. The main point is that you be sure you make the time regularly for your relaxation time. This gives your body time to recoup from stress and makes it less likely that you will go into anxiety. If you have a really busy schedule, make the decision that your relaxation time is just as important as anything else on your list and schedule the time into your day planner or calendar app. After all, this is for your health, so it really is as important or more so than whatever else you have to do. 

Breathe
A relaxation technique that many find helpful is deep breathing. When we are anxious and stressed we tend to not breathe as deeply and don't get as much oxygen to the body. This is also something anyone can do anywhere and anytime that doesn't cost anything. Going outside to walk around in a nature setting to do your breathing can add additional benefits. Dr. Oz suggests keeping a balloon with you that you can blow up during the day when stress takes over. To blow up a balloon you have to use long slow breaths that come from the diaphragm. This type of breathing lowers the blood pressure, slows the heart rate and calms the body with extra oxygen.

Develop Social Networks
Research studies have found that having positive social interactions on a regular basis is a good way to deal with stress and anxiety. Being around friends stimulates the body to release oxytocin which is a hormone that makes us feel good. Laughter has also been found to be good for reducing stress and boosting the immune system. Making time to be with friends, having a good time and laughing together can help you release the stress and anxiety of the day or week that has built up.

Write Your Worries Away
Worry is often a cause for anxiety. The mind wanders and starts thinking about all the things you should have done, didn't do, wished you'd done differently, have to do tomorrow, can't remember if you did and so on. It's exhausting just thinking about all there is to worry about. Then just when the body needs to rest from the day you find you can't turn your brain off and all the worries come rushing in. Then you are more anxious and stressed the next day because you didn't get enough sleep. If this sounds like something you experience, Sue Patton Thoele, author of The Mindful Woman, suggests that you try writing down on paper all the worries and negatives that are going through your mind. This helps you acknowledge them, vent a bit and then put them away so you can get to sleep. Dr. Oz suggests a similar exercise in which you make a list of your 10 biggest worries or stressful events coming up for you and writing up a strategy for how you will deal with each of them. 

See which of these natural solutions for diet or lifestyle changes work for you to help you reduce anxiety, stress and give you the relaxation time your body needs. A stressed body and mind are no fun and can lead to big health problems. It's much better to get on a program now that allows you to deal with stress and anxiety and make it a priority in 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.


Sources:
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20425626,00.html
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/index.shtml
http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/treatment/diet
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/expert-answers/coping-with-anxiety/faq-20057987
http://www.doctoroz.com/article/dr-ozs-worry-cure-diet-plan

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Filling the Gaps in a Modern Diet - Solving Nutrition Problems

This may sound a bit silly coming from a nutritional counselor and doctor of Chinese Medicine, but I no longer try to "eat right" all the time to get all my nutrition. Eating right no longer does the trick in our modern diet, so I have to resort to other means.

Having examined the content of the food we buy at the grocery store, I've realized that there are no longer enough vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals in the food the keep my body happy. Even the best "organic" produce doesn't have enough "goodies" to satisfy my nutritional needs. This leads to some serious nutrition problems.

Nutrition Problems: What's Wrong with Our Food?
The short answer to that question is that we, as a population, are producing more food with less soil, and the soil is getting poorer with each passing year. As you've probably already figured out, the food we grow gets most of its nutrition from the soil. Of course, you need sunlight and water, too, but the soil is the source of much of the vitamin, mineral, and trace mineral content in our food. Today, farmers don't allow fields to lie fallow much, and don't re-mineralize the soil, and as a result we have food that looks the same (or even better) than it did 50 years ago, but has some serious nutrition problems.

For instance, according to the Kushi Institute of Becket, Massachusetts, the vitamin and mineral content in our fresh vegetables have declined a lot. They studied USDA nutrient data that covers the years from 1975 to 1997. According to their study, average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables have declined 27 percent, iron levels have dropped 37 percent, vitamin A levels, 21 percent; and vitamin C levels, 30 percent. In other words, Popeye wouldn't get nearly the same bang for his buck out of a can of today's spinach as he would from a can of spinach of the 1975 vintage.

Now carry that same nutrition gap up the food chain. If you're not a vegetarian, then not only are you eating nutrient-poor vegetables, but the source of your meat is also becoming nutrient-poor. Cows, pigs, lambs, and other animals are being fed lower-quality grass, hay, and other vegetative matter (I won't get into the whole debate about livestock feed because it is way too complicated). Suffice to say that the nutritional content of all of our foods (unless we grow it ourselves) is getting lousier by the year, resulting in nutrition problems that many of us aren't even aware of.

What to Do About Nutrition Problems in the Modern Diet
I live on a micro-farm so I can grow some of my own food. We grow some fresh vegetables for ourselves, and we grow most of our own hay for our horses. We fertilize with natural substances (manure, emulsified fish "goo," and volcanic rock dust mixed with blue-green algae) as much as possible.

But this doesn't cover our food for the whole year. So like most other people, we have to shop for food in our local stores. Knowing what I know about the nutritional content of the food I'm buying, I don't worry so much about buying the right stuff there. Instead, I focus on creating a foundation with supplements that I know circumvent the nutrition problems created by food I buy at the grocery store.

On a daily basis I consume:

1. High-Quality Probiotics and Enzymes: acidophilus, bifidus, and enzymes fortified with mycopepsin and cayenne

2. Blue-Green Algae: never heated above 105 degrees and freeze dried at the source in Klamath Lake, both with and without the cell wall

3. Antioxidants: wheat sprouts, coenzyme Q10, stem cell support, and WGP beta-glucan for a boost in immunity

With these three categories of supplements, I know I've got all the nutritional bases covered. That doesn't mean I live on jelly doughnuts and Cheetos, but it does mean that I don't worry so much about whether I buy this brand of carrots or that brand. The same goes for our dogs and cats. We buy the best available natural food possible for them, and then fill in the nutritional gaps with some of the items I've listed above. The horses get the same treatment: my wife views hay as horse entertainment, not as total nutrition.

The really neat thing is that it doesn't take much to solve these nutrition problems. The list above may seem like a lot, but it's not. It's a few capsules in the morning and a few at night. The horses, dogs, and cat get even less because they don't live with as much stress as humans do, so they need even less help. The cost of these supplements isn't huge, and the fact that I get to skip worrying about what I'm eating is totally priceless!

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, November 2, 2017

Easy Strategies to Avoid Gaining Weight This Winter

Winter can be a great season with holidays, winter sports and snuggling up in front of a fire, but it can also be a season for many of us for gaining weight. Holiday meals and parties, being less active, and hanging around the house more all lead to extra eating and extra calories. Here are some easy strategies we've gathered from experts to boost your metabolism and avoid gaining weight this winter.

  • Go for the lower calorie foods at holiday parties such as the veggie tray or fruits rather than the cookies and fudge. If salad is on the menu, use oil and vinegar dressing and avoid fatty dips by choosing hummus or other bean dips instead. High protein snacks such as cheese or lean meats are also good choices to fill you up without as many calories. Stay away from the selections with more carbs and fats or limit yourself to just a bite or two of these. 
  • Do strength training exercises to increase muscle as muscle burns much more calories than fat does and activating muscle raises your metabolism. 
  • Instead of eating the typical big 3 meals a day, go with eating more smaller meals or snacks throughout the day. This cuts down on between meal snacking, but also increases metabolism so you are burning off more calories. 
  • Get plenty of sleep. When you don't get enough sleep it affects hormone levels that raise your appetite level and keep you from feeling full when you are through eating. 
  • More calories are burned up through digesting protein than by digesting carbs and fats. Increase the healthy protein foods in your diet and decrease the number of carbs you eat. 
  • Even a slight amount of dehydration can slow metabolism down. Drink plenty of water necessary for processing calories and eat foods with high water content. 
  • A natural and healthy way to keep your metabolism high and your fat content low is to 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.
  • Drinking green tea with its caffeine and catechins boosts the metabolism and can increase the amount of calories burned off during exercise by 17%.
  • Jennifer Lovejoy, Ph.D suggests eating snacks such as cheese, carrots, or cereal with high fiber and skim milk before going to a holiday party so that you aren't as hungry when you show up and not as likely to overeat. I find that another good snack to curb appetite before going out is this snack bar fortified with sprouted grains, greens, and bluegreen algae.
  • Stress causes a release of cortisol in the body. This hormone causes our appetite level to increase, we eat more and what we are eating is not usually healthy foods but more in the comfort food category. Find a method of releasing stress that works for you and fits in your schedule so you actually do it. 
  • If you like spicy food then you are in luck as hot peppers containing capsaicin are one of the good metabolism boosting foods. 
  • Cinnamon can help keep blood sugar levels stabilized which translates into a decrease in appetite and food cravings. It also adds a holiday flavor to anything from oatmeal to yogurt or coffee and tea. 
  • Alcohol can also be high calorie. If you are at a party that you want to have an alcoholic beverage, tone it down with just a bit of alcohol and lots of tonic or mineral water. 
  • 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. Yogurt and kefir are good sources of probiotics vital to this digestion process. When buying yogurt or kefir, make sure you get the 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. Other good probiotics to help with digestive function are acidophilus and bifidus.

You can enjoy this winter and holiday festivities without gaining weight this year. Just take a few of these simple tips to heart and use them to have a happy, healthy winter and holiday season.

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.


Sources:
http://click.messages.webmd.com/?qs=e151607b9c9599dc51ecbbf425c5d70dc71cafc98f28310864195a51b65f7475ea071f6ca6551783

http://www.oprah.com/health/Holiday-Season-Diet-Plans-from-Obesity-Doctors

http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-boost-your-metabolism?ecd=wnl_wlw_092714&ctr=wnl-wlw-092714_nsl-ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d

http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-video/stress-high-fat-and-your-metabolism?ecd=wnl_wlw_092714&ctr=wnl-wlw-092714_nsl-ld-stry_1&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d

http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-weight-gain-shockers?ecd=wnl_wmh_092014_tod_1pm&ctr=wnl-wmh-092014-tod-1pm_promo_4&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/dietitians-stay-slim-secrets?ecd=wnl_lbt_091014&ctr=wnl-lbt-091014_nsl-ld-stry_1&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D

http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-fat-fighting-foods?ecd=wnl_wmhA_082614&ctr=wnl-wmh-082614_nsl-ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D

http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-diet-mistakes?ecd=wnl_day_072814&ctr=wnl-day-072814_nsl-ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Shocking Effects of Poor Digestion

You may not realize just how important your digestive system is and all the ways it keeps your body running, but healthy digestion is a key element in good health. You probably know that heartburn, constipation and diarrhea can all occur if your digestion system are off, but poor digestion and an unhealthy digestive system can cause lots of other problems especially since the gastrointestinal tract is a very large part of your immune system. If it's not working properly your body loses that vital resource to fight off foreign invaders which can make you sick. .

How the Digestive System Works
First let's get an understanding of exactly what the digestive system is and how it works. It actually starts in your mouth as soon as you put food in and chewing is the first step. The more time you spend on chewing, the more the food is broken down before it continues on down the esophagus to the stomach. There are also digestive enzymes, like amylase, in saliva in your mouth which helps in the breakdown. The mouth actually can also absorb many of the nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, the body needs right away. Once the food gets to the stomach, it breaks down more by mixing with acids and enzymes like pepsin. This stage is vital for proteins to be broken down into polypeptides and amino acids. Next stop is the small intestine where around 100 trillion microorganisms that live there help break it down even more. This is the step where the liver adds in bile and the pancreas adds in digestive enzymes, both adding to the breakdown process as the food travels through around 30 feet of intestine. In the small intestine are villi lining the tract. Villi take the nutrients that have now been extracted from the food and put them into the bloodstream. The digested food then has to pass through the ileocecal valve and into the large intestine which finishes off any digestion that is needed, absorbs water from food and decides what is still usable and what needs to go out as waste.

Causes of Poor Digestion
Anxiety
People suffering from anxiety commonly exhibit symptoms of digestive problems. Much of this comes from the way anxiety works on the brain. Anxiety activates the body's fight or flight response. When this happens it takes most of the brain's concentration and attention. This cuts back on energy for other brain functions such as control of the muscles used in digestion. For those who experience short term occasional anxiety, this is not noticeable, but when it is a more chronic condition it can interfere with the digestive process and lead to symptoms of gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation and diarrhea. Anxiety can also lower your serotonin levels. Serotonin is needed to send signals to the intestines and lower levels means an interruption in these signals. Anxiety and stress also have a negative effect on the friendly bacteria in the gut necessary for proper digestion and for performing immune system functions.

Food Sensitivity
Digestive problems can also be caused by sensitivity to certain foods. For example if you are lactose or gluten intolerant and eating foods with these, you may experience digestive problems after eating. This is a condition in which the digestive system is unable to digest certain sugars or proteins. Food sensitivities or intolerances usually produce symptoms such as abdominal cramping, bloating, gas and diarrhea and an elimination type diet may be needed to find out which foods are at the root of the problem.

Aging
Around 40% of older people have at least one and often more digestive problems during a year. According to Ira Hanan, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center, constipation is the biggest culprit. It is not uncommon as we get older to have heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux (GERD-type diseases) because we don't produce as much stomach acid as when we were younger. Many people think these digestive problems are due to too much stomach acid, but according to Dr. Mercola and other experts, it is the producing of less stomach acid than we need for proper digestion that occurs as we age responsible for these symptoms. When there are lower levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, the pancreas does not get signaled to produce the right amount of enzymes needed for digestion. This can cause the intestines to become clogged and result in constipation. Along with aging comes the slowing down of the muscle contractions that move food through the digestive system. That causes more water to be absorbed from waste and manifest as constipation. Constipation can also be attributed to some of the medications that older people typically take.

Not Enough Healthy Friendly Bacteria
Good digestive health is also dependent on a good, healthy balance of friendly bacteria in the intestines. These are also known as probiotics. These friendly bacteria, such as acidophilus, do well in an acid environment and are able to make lactic acid from stomach acid to add to the acidic environment of the small intestine. A healthy supply of these probiotics is necessary to clean up toxins, help rid the body of waste, and kill off bad bacteria. If you don't have a good balance of these probiotics, you may notice symptoms of gas, bloating, stomach cramps, intestinal cramps, stinky bowel movements, constipation, and diarrhea

Poor Nutritional Habits
Processed foods, sugary foods, junk food and fast foods can all contribute to killing off your good bacteria and feed the bad bacteria and yeast. Around 80 million people have too much yeast that has grown in the intestines. This can lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, yeast infections, migraines, weight gain and other conditions. Eating too fast, skipping meals, eating when upset, or on the go are all other nutritional habits that are not conducive to good digestion. Eating too much protein all at once can lead to putrefaction which is a process where bacteria in the intestines are turned into toxic gases and chemical substances.

Natural Solutions for Poor Digestion
If you are having digestive system problems, stay away from fried, sugary and processed or junk foods. Make sure you are eating enough fiber-type foods and easy to digest foods. Plan meals that only have one to three different foods to give your digestive system a break from having to work too hard. Exercise helps your body with the digestion process too and if you are dealing with a condition stemming from anxiety or stress, jogging has been found effective. Saving water for an hour after eating or 10 minutes before eating can also help your digestion. Drinking with a meal can water down the chemicals needed for proper digestion. Make sure that in between meals you do drink enough water however as that is important for digestion and overall health.

Dr. Mercola suggests that supplements of probiotics, enzymes and hydrochloric acid can aid the digestive system. My favorite probiotics are this form of acidophilus designed to help the body process food efficiently and eliminate waste and this form of bifidus that contains the beneficial Bifidobacteria, which lower the pH of the intestine and helps in the manufacture of specific B-vitamins. Digestion requires lots of energy and the more energy it takes to digest food, the less that's available for other physical and mental activities. Digestion of enzyme-deficient food is especially hard on the body, affecting its natural vitality and feelings of well-being. These enzymes contain amylase, cellulase, lipase, protease, and lactase for more efficient digestion, to avoid the after-meal energy slump, and help break down fats, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. You can also get all these probiotics and enzymes as well as the superfood nutrition of a blend of marine and freshwater algae, organic mushrooms, and sprouted grasses and grains, some of the most nourishing foods on the planet; in convenient packets. These packets supply you not only with supplements for your digestive system support but also Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids, a complete amino acid profile, beta glucans in their most bioavailable forms, over 60 micronutrients and 130 triterpenoids.

Digestive problems are no fun and can interfere with quality of life. No matter what age you are, digestive problems can occur and as we get older, the risk only increases. Start making some changes to your eating habits, some dietary changes and supplementation if you need it to help your digestive system do the best job it can 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.


Sources:
http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/digestive-problems
http://www.examiner.com/article/top-5-causes-of-poor-digestion 
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/01/06/what-you-need-to-understand-about-your-digestive-system-to-improve-your-health.aspx
http://drlwilson.com/articles/DIGESTION.htm
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-disease-eating-healthy
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/digestive-health-aging

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Take These Steps if Stress is Ruining Your Life

In the world we live in I don't know anyone that doesn't deal with stress, do you? Stress has become a part of life for most of us. But how much stress is too much? When we are under so much stress that we start having stress symptoms that are detrimental to our health and well-being, it is definitely time to find some stress relief. The American Psychological Association found in its 2009 Stress in America study that 24% of adults have a high level of stress and tension. This was 42% more than reported the year before (http://ow.ly/BlAe4). If you are in that percentage, stress relief is important because a body that stays in a stressed state and can't return to a resting state can affect body organs, cells, and cognitive processes.

The Effects of Stress
When we are under stress the brain signals the adrenal glands to release adrenaline and cortisol. This can sometimes be useful according to Jill Evenson, ND, president of the Wisconsin Naturopathic Physicians Association as it gives us a boost that helps us get projects done on time (http://ow.ly/BlAe4). The problem comes when we are always in that mode and the stress hormones don't return to a normal level. Roberta Lee, MD, author of The SuperStress Solution, calls chronic amounts of stress superstress (http://ow.ly/BlAe4). Too much worry and anxiety can also be GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). Chronic stress symptoms include extreme fatigue, headaches, reduced libido, and memory problems. GAD affects around 7 million Americans, many of whom don't even know they have it. People with GAD experience tenseness and anxiety almost all the time whether there is a reason for worry or not and can show stress symptoms of pain in the muscles, diarrhea, headaches, tremors, and nausea. These people can't stop worrying and are not able to relax (http://ow.ly/BlAH9). No amount of on-going stress is good, but if you are in either of these stress categories, finding stress relief strategies that work for you is especially important. Here are a few natural stress relief ideas to consider. 

Stress Relief Diet
With everything that involves your health, a good place to start is to look at your diet. It is tempting when rushed and stressed to grab fast food meals and sugary, simple carb comfort foods. When you are under stress however, these are exactly the types of foods that will not benefit you. Michael Smith, ND, of the Carolinas Natural Health Center in North Carolina, explains that eating these types of foods cause more work for the body (http://ow.ly/BlAe4). Since damage from oxidation occurs from eating fast food, junk food, simple carbs and sugars, a body that is already having to fight off oxidative damage caused by stress then has to deal with all this extra damage from a poor diet. The type of foods to eat when you are under stress are those with lots of antioxidants to help fight off damaging free radicals. Bright colored fruits and vegetables are the best antioxidant food sources. Green tea also has antioxidant power and has a calming effect.

Here are a few specific foods that can help with stress relief recommended by Tara Geise, a registered dietitian in Orlando, Florida, and a spokesperson for American Dietetic Association (http://ow.ly/BlBZq):

1. Asparagus – has folic acid needed to make serotonin helps with mood stabilization

2. Dairy – Dairy products like cottage cheese and milk have protein and calcium to help keep blood sugar levels stable and milk has antioxidants, B2 and B12 vitamins that help fight off damage to body cells from stress.

3. Beef – has zinc, iron and B vitamins for mood stabilization.

Whole grains and monounsaturated fats as well as lean protein foods will also benefit the stressed out body. Complex carbohydrates help the brain make serotonin and keep blood sugar levels stable. Monounsaturated fats can be high in calories so you don't want to go overboard with them, but they should be included in a stress reducing diet. Avocados for instance have more potassium than bananas and help keep blood pressure at a good level. Foods with vitamin C have been shown through research studies to help return blood pressure and stress hormone levels to normal quicker. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids such as found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and herring help maintain even levels of stress hormones. AFA bluegreen algae is also high in omega-3 for those who don't have time to make fish or just don't like it. Caffeine and alcohol can actually make stress worse and should be avoided during high stress periods.

Movement for Stress Relief
Another strategy for stress relief is body movement. This could be a formal exercise program or just getting out and doing things you enjoy that move your body such as swimming, bicycling or dancing. Exercise reduces levels of adrenaline being released, increases oxygen to the lungs, releases endorphins which make us feel good, delivers more nutrients to your muscles, supports digestion and metabolism, and helps your immune system clear toxins out of the body. So whether you join an exercise class, follow an exercise video at home, do basic exercises on your own, go for power walks on your lunch break or join a sports team, make sure you get at least half an hour of moving your body three or four times a week, if your healthcare provider agrees you are healthy enough to do so.

Learning to Relax for Stress Relief
There are various types of relaxation techniques that can be engaged in or learned. Some people find relaxation through massage or sitting in a massage vibration chair. Others find water such as a hot springs pool or hot tub relaxes them. Some people find relaxation in hobbies such as gardening, cooking, or woodworking. Michael Smith, ND advises that just taking 3 long, slow breaths can be relaxing as this will calm the autonomic nervous system and give you more energy, help the immune system function better and reduce blood pressure (http://ow.ly/BlAe4). Another stress relief strategy found particularly useful for people with GAD is cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a type of therapy done with a counselor that helps you explore those things that cause you anxiety and teaches you techniques for calming and relaxing (http://ow.ly/BlAH9). You may need to try out a variety of relaxation techniques to find what works for you. The main thing is to keep trying until you find one that works. Your body needs those relaxing down times, so don't give up if you don't find something right away.

Supplements for Stress Relief
There are some supplements that can be helpful for stress relief. Especially for those people that are stressed by having too much to do in a day and don't take the time to eat right, supplements can help fill the nutritional gaps. Fish oil supplements are one way to get omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, but you can also get a wide array of other nutrients, vitamins and minerals as well as omega-3 and the extra protein that can help with stress relief by taking AFA bluegreen algae with the cell wall for physical well-being and without the cell wall  for mental well-being. If your stress goes hand in hand with anxiety, then the herbal supplement Kava, Valerian or St. John's Wort may be helpful. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking herbal supplements especially if you are on medications to make sure they are safe for you.

Since stress can interfere with your digestive health and cause problems with normal digestion and worsen symptoms if you have an intestinal disorder or disease, supporting your digestive health with probiotic supplements such as acidophilus, bifidus, or a full spectrum probiotic supplement may be helpful for you. One of your gut functions is to produce B vitamins. B vitamins, especially B-12, help us relax, soothe our nerves and help us deal with stress. When we are stressed, we tend to use up our body's supply of B vitamins just when we need them most and need to replace them. Having healthy probiotics in your gut can give your body a boost to keep producing these vitamins and help your body cope with stress as well as support overall digestive system function and gut health.

Hopefully among these tips you get some ideas for how to deal with your stress. We live in a time that we can't completely do away with stress, but finding ways of stress relief can keep stress from ruining your life and your 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.

Sources:
http://www.naturalsolutionsmag.com/handling-stress/stress-ruining-your-health
http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/ss/slideshow-general-anxiety-overview?print=true
http://www.bhg.com/health-family/mind-body-spirit/natural-remedies/superfoods-for-stress-relief/
http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-diet-for-stress-management?print=true

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

5 Ways to Improve Immunity This Winter

With cold and flu season quickly approaching, we are reminded that the best defense is to improve immunity to protect ourselves from these nasty bugs. The stronger our immune systems are, the less likely we are to catch a cold or flu. There are many ways to improve immunity and get our immune systems in tip top shape. Here are a few tips that can help.

1. Mushrooms
Certain types of mushrooms have been found to be a great natural source to improve immunity. They increase white blood cells and increase their activity which gives a boost to the immune system. There are a wide variety of mushrooms and some have been found useful in killing off bacteria, viruses, and yeast and even useful in fighting cancer. The type of mushrooms called polypores appear to have the most antiviral ability. There is even a polypore variety that has been found helpful in combating smallpox. Research has found the mushroom Agaricon effective in fighting off flu. Various mushrooms have been found beneficial in improving blood flow, balancing cholesterol and blood sugar, regenerating nerves, supporting the kidney and liver, and reducing the risk of heart disease as well as many other functions that can improve health.

Shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms seem to be the most effective to improve immunity. Here are a few reasons each of these mushrooms and a few others are particularly suited to improve immunity.

Shiitake - Lentinan is found in shiitake mushrooms. This polysaccharide is known for its antitumor properties and has been used effectively in the treatment of cancers, stomach problems such as ulcers and hyperacidity, and in liver support. Eritadenine is also found in these mushrooms and is used in lowering cholesterol. Shiitake mushrooms have been found to have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. This is especially helpful to improve immunity during cold and flu season with a variety of bacteria and viruses around to catch. This nutrient dense mushroom is rich in beta glucans, polysaccharides, glycoproteins, B vitamins, and ergosterol. Research is currently focused on its benefits for the immune system, cardiovascular system, immune modulation, liver function, cholesterol, and cellular oxidation.

Reishi – Ganoderic acid found in reishi mushrooms is used as a treatment for lung cancer, leukemia and other types of cancer. The reishi mushroom shows properties of antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antifungal abilities. It has been shown useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis, balancing blood pressure and cholesterol levels and reducing the prostrate related urinary symptoms in men. This mushroom is high in beta glucans, polysaccharides, and has 130 identified triterpenoid compounds. It is a complete whole food rich in proteins, enzymes, minerals, and complex polysaccharides. Research with this mushroom is currently focused on benefits to the cardiovascular system, liver function, circulation, cholesterol, inflammation, stress response, oxidative stress, immune modulation, cellular damage and immune system support.

Maitake - This gourmet culinary mushroom has excellent nutritional value through a variety of beneficial phospholipids, unsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides, antioxidants, beta glucans and plant sterols such as ergosterol. Scientists currently are studying it for its benefits for the immune system, liver function, endocrine system, circulatory system, bone and skeletal system, blood glucose, skin, immune modulation and cardiovascular system.

Cordyceps - This mushroom is rich in proteins, plant sterols, polysaccharides, antioxidants, and nucleoside derivatives. Scientific research currently is interested in its benefits for immune system, liver function, sports performance, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, circulatory system, immune modulation, cellular oxidation, blood glucose and kidney function. It has been found useful for endurance and strength and in warding off effects of aging. Cordyceps has been found to have antitumor properties, increase blood flow, balance cholesterol levels, give protection to liver and kidneys and there are indications it has antidepressant qualities.

Turkey Tail – This mushroom contains PSK and PSP which are both polysaccharide-protein complexes that are water soluble and contain polysaccharides, beta glucans, and protein. This mushroom is of special interest to the scientific community in regards to fighting cancer. Research on Turkey Tail revolves around benefits to immune modulation, digestive system, circulation, lymph system, immune system, liver function and cellular system. A 2011 study of women with breast cancer found Turkey Tail mushroom to improve immune system function. There is also interest in it for fighting infections such as HIV, Herpes, E. coli, candida albicans, and many others.

A simple way to get the immune boosting power of all these mushrooms and more is through a supplement. This particular mushroom supplement combines reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei, with astragalus, beta glucan and bluegreen algae for support to improve immunity.

2. Beta Glucan
Simply put beta glucan is a simple sugar that can come from yeast, bacteria, fungi or grains like oats, barley and rye. Not all beta glucans are the same however. They vary in structure and in the benefits they can provide. Beta glucan from yeast has been found to bind macrophages and stimulate them, thus benefiting the immune system function. The type of beta glucan found in baker's yeast is the most effective for immune system support. Grains such as oats and barley have a type of beta glucan found to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Beta glucans in general are known to help fight off bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics, release chemicals that support immune cells, reduce cold symptoms, and help regulate the immune system. Beta glucans are not something the body produces naturally. We have to get them from food or supplement sources. Wheat, shiitake mushrooms, rye, barley, oats, baker's yeast or our favorite mushroom with beta glucan supplement  are all good sources of beta glucan.

3. Algae
Another natural way to improve immunity is with algae. We love this algae supplement that combines 9 different types of algae for full spectrum nutrition. Here is how each of these can help you to improve immunity with whole food nourishment.

Dulse - A dark red sea algae rich in phytonutrients and pigments, high in plant-based protein, with important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6, B12, and A, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese.

Ecklonia Cava - A rich source of bioactive derivatives, mainly phlorotannins, including triphlorethol-A. These phlorotannins are strong antioxidants as well as a source of other benefits for supporting healthy living.

Fucoidan - A seaweed compound derived from brown sea algae and is a sulfated polysaccharide.

Kelp - A wild algae that occurs naturally in all the oceans of the earth and is a rich source of micronutrients and minerals including vitamins C and E, calcium, magnesium, boron, and trace elements that are necessary for strong bones and muscle function.

Bladderwrack - A brown algae found in the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans that is rich in vitamins and minerals and contains the sulfated polysaccharide fucoidan.

Dunaliella Salina - A sea microalgae with high carotenoid content (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein), antioxidants, and important vitamins.

Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) - A variety of bluegreen microalgae that is rich in chlorophyll, phycocyanin, a broad spectrum of minerals and phytonutrients, and vitamins A and K, and provides a complete protein profile.

Chlorella - A strain of green microalgae grown through freshwater aquaculture that is rich in nucleic acids, amino acids, peptides, polysaccharides, and minerals.

Bluegreen Algae - A bluegreen algae that is the only edible freshwater bluegreen algae in the world that grows abundantly in the wild, and is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. This algae is rich in phytonutrients, plant-based proteins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, as well as a wide spectrum of micronutrients.

4. Garlic
Allicin, found in garlic and released when crushing or chopping garlic, has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has been found to improve immunity and useful in fighting off colds. One study showed participants given a garlic extract for 12 weeks were two-thirds less likely to catch cold than those that were not given the garlic. Most sources indicate that cooking reduces the effectiveness and that using raw garlic is the best to improve immunity.

5. Tea
Tea has also been found to have the ability to improve immunity. Research has shown that tea can help boost the immune system in preparation for fighting off infections. One such study at Harvard reported participants drinking 5 cups of black tea daily for 2 weeks showed a significant boost in the interferon system's ability to fight off viruses. This could be explained by the amino acid L-theanine being found in black and green tea. The antioxidants found in tea have been found to reduce the risks of cancer and heart attack. Tea has antimicrobial properties and has been found beneficial in reducing the risk of diabetes, weight loss, and mental alertness. Teas that have been found to offer a variety of health benefits include green, black, white, Oolong,
Pu-erh, Chamomile, and Echinacea.

So don't wait until you get the cold or flu this winter, get started now to improve immunity and help your immune system get prepared.


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.


Sources:
http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/9-power-foods-boost-immunity
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/12/31/organic-mushrooms-for-immune-support.aspx
http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2009/dec2009_The-Immune-Enhancing-Benefits-of-Beta-Glucans_01.htm