Thursday, April 20, 2017

Can Service and Your Career Intersect? Yes!

Are you looking for a career that involves service and giving back while creating a sustainable income at the same time? If so, then we may just have the business for you. The company we have built our business through not only allows us to build a solid, reliable income stream, but gives us the flexibility to grow the business at our own pace, puts us in control of how large we want our business to be and gives us a legacy to pass on. As an added bonus, the company has instigated programs over many years that allow us to partner with them to provide wholefood products to children, adults and animals that are in need. This includes people that suffer from hunger and malnutrition, overseas troops in war zones and disaster survivors in North America and around the world. All the service projects are created to have a positive, sustainable impact on people for personal and local economic growth to nourish them on every level. One of the many service projects we are able to support is the GIVE initiative. Through this program we can each give a little or a lot depending on what we are called to do to help provide nutritional superfoods to adults, children and animals in need. Charities that receive funds or products through the GIVE program include Dr. Theresa Kohen Foundation (Philippines), Gentle Barn, Klamath Crisis Center, Only A Child (Guatemala), and Wild Animal Sanctuary.

A Study Supporting AFA Algae Nutrition
One of the exciting things about this program is that it provides recipients with a variety of products containing AFA bluegreen algae. This is a truly unique way to provide superior nutrition that not every company can give. How do we know AFA bluegreen algae can really help with the world hunger problem? One of the reasons is from a study done in Nandaime, Nicaragua that began in 1992 and included 2000 primary school children and 500 adults. This study was specifically designed to measure if AFA bluegreen algae could have a positive effect on those suffering from malnutrition.

About two-thirds of the people in Central America are affected by malnutrition. Nicaragua has a very serious public health problem due to malnutrition with a 72% hospital mortality rate for children and high rates of poor health and mortality from infectious disease in children. Malnutrition in children has been found to have a direct impact on their learning processes and school achievement. This study involved a sample group that was given one gram of the AFA bluegreen algae supplement for 5 days a week over a 6 month period. Just a few of the significant results included:

  • Children in the study group measured 14% having a normal nutritional status before the study. After 6 months of the algae supplementation, this increased to 79%.
  • Before the study 86 % of these children were found to be in a state of malnourishment. This dropped to 21% after eating algae. Those in the remaining 21% were those with the greatest nutritional deficiencies before the study. 
  • Before the study, 72% of the study group children had excellent or good school attendance measured as zero to three absences a month. After the 6 months of algae supplementation, this increased to 95%. Those with unsatisfactory school attendance measured as four or more absences a month went from 28% to 7%. 

Some of the conclusions the researchers reached from this study include:

  • The AFA bluegreen algae supplement reduced the prevalence of malnutrition and improved the nutritional status of these children significantly. 
  • The AFA bluegreen algae had a significant impact on the school attendance, attitude and participation in class through the increased nutritional status it gave the children. 
  • Children taking AFA bluegreen algae became ill less frequently which allowed them to have improved school attendance, thus becoming more interested in academics. 

This study is one of the things that says to us that AFA bluegreen algae truly is a superfood. Building our business for a steady income stream and being able to work with a company that gives back to people in need is the best of both worlds for us. If you think this sounds like something you'd like to be a part of, let us hear from you. We'd be happy to get you more information on how you too can build a sustainable business that helps yourself, your family and others.

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, April 13, 2017

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. This protein powder has bluegreen algae for extra nutritional value, sprouts, and protein digesting enzymes.

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 reported 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  on our website.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Avoid Nasty Cold and Flu Bugs While Traveling

During this vacation season there will be lots of traveling to visit friends and family or see new places and along with that can be extra exposure to cold and flu bugs. If you are flying to your destination, you can be at a 20% increased risk of catching a cold according to research presented in the Wall Street Journal. And the Journal of Environmental Health Research reported research findings that you are 100 times more likely to encounter cold germs on an airplane than in everyday life on the ground. If you think about it any kind of travel leaves you open to more germs with using public restrooms, eating out, being in closed quarters with others, and the stress involved, but airplane travel has some extra environmental conditions like the low humidity from being at higher elevations. In this type environment we are more likely to have a dry throat and nose which means the mucus that normally protects us is not available and we are more likely to become dehydrated which can cause conditions such as headaches, stomach problems, cramps, and fatigue. With air travel we also encounter security situations that can leave us more susceptible to germs. For example, passengers are sometimes required to remove shoes when going through security which according to the director of the Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Michael Zimring, MD, can lead to your picking up a bacterial or fungal infection. Vacation travel and just travel in general have more opportunity for exposure to germs since you are visiting more public places with crowds of people all breathing the same air, and as Dr. Keri Peterson, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, warns, touching the same doorknobs, escalator and stair rails, drinking from the same water fountains, and handling the same merchandise and utensils.

Natural Solutions For Avoiding Cold and Flu
All this extra exposure may make you reluctant to travel, but that doesn't have to be the case. Just be aware of the extra ways of encountering cold and flu bugs so that you can take action against them and you can increase your likelihood of staying well to enjoy your vacation no matter where you are traveling to.

Keep It Clean – One of the best ways to keep from ingesting cold and flu germs is to wash your hands frequently, especially after touching something that others have touched. Give some thought to what you are touching that anyone else could have touched before you – armrests, handrails, seat levers, remote controls, tray tables, faucets, door knobs, and anything else you touch that someone else could have. Use hot or warm water and soap, rubbing for at least 20 seconds, throughout your travels to wash your hands before you touch your mouth or nose and you'll help cut down on the amount of germs you let into your body as studies show that these germs can live for hours on objects or your own skin. If washing your hands is not possible, which it often isn't while traveling, you can use hand sanitizer to clean up. Alcohol based ones are specifically recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can use these not only to clean up your hands, but also on armrests, tray tables, remotes or any other objects that may have germs including door knobs and faucets in public restrooms. Hand sanitizing wipes are a convenient form to use when traveling and you can use them to open doors and turn on faucets so that you don't actually touch these places with your skin.

Drink – That means water! Drinking water will help you stay hydrated and boost your immune system function. Traveling and vacations often mean drinking alcohol and increasing caffeine to stay awake, but when traveling it's best to avoid these as they can add to dehydration. Experts also recommend that taking small sips of water throughout your travels, especially on airplanes, instead of drinking a lot at one time is more effective. Drinking hot drinks can also help keep the mucus in your nasal passages from suffering in a drier environment like on a plane. You can also use nasal sprays during your flight to help keep them moist and helping you fight off germs.

Boost Immune Nutrition - Before taking off on a trip, really boost your immune system nutrition a few days ahead. That means increasing your intake of vitamin C foods, and foods with antioxidants, beta glucans, zinc, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein sources. Avoid a lot of sugars and fatty foods too so that your immune system is working at its peak when you leave. Your immune system suffers when you don't have the right nutrients feeding it. One way to get a boost of these nutrients according to Karl Abrams, chemistry professor, is with AFA bluegreen algae. For instance, the carotenoids, such as found in AFA, give you the antioxidant protection for immune cells, boosts immune function by the protection it provides for the thymus gland, increases the amount, activity, and circulation of white blood cells and helper cells from the thymus that fight viruses and increases the activity of B-cells that create antibodies like IgA. You also find glutathione in bluegreen algae that is necessary for lymphocytes to replicate and the functioning of natural killer cells. For traveling, these packets of algae, probiotics, and enzymes are an especially convenient way to take all this nutrition with you. For AFA and extra antioxidant nutrition, this wholefood algae supplement is another good traveling companion as is this algae mushroom supplement with reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei mushrooms with astragalus, beta glucan.

Keep Your Germs to Yourself - Being aware of places that others touch a lot can help you avoid spreading germs. When going through security at the airport, Michael Zimring, MD advises making sure you are wearing socks and keeping them on when walking on the floor through security where many others have walked before you. Dr. Keri Peterson and other experts remind you to cough in your sleeve or elbow instead of your hands and to not touch your face getting germs on your hands. Bringing your own pillow or blanket if you plan to sleep on the plane, bus or train instead of using ones provided can also help you cut down on germ exposure. One you may not even have thought of is touching seats as you walk up the aisle, but many others have been touching those same seats. Just be extra aware of anything your hands may touch and either avoid those things or be sure to wash up afterwards. When traveling you also encounter lots of other people and some of those may be sick. If you really have to make sure you don't get sick for your vacation, you may want to resort to wearing a protective mask over your mouth and nose. If you are uncomfortable with that, then avoid contact with anyone you suspect is sick or "coming down with something" and use a Neti pot to flush out your nasal passages as soon as you can, as well as some of the other tips we've mentioned.

Cut Down on Stress - You get a double whammy on stress with travel which is stressful in itself and with the stress of preparing to get away on a trip. Stress takes its toll on the immune system giving us less protection for fighting off any cold and flu germs we encounter. When traveling, make sure you get adequate rest and don't forget to pack your stress fighting tools. If soothing music helps you relax bring your music with you, if you have a soothing scent that cuts down on your stress reactions bring it with you. And of course unless you are the one driving, you can always do some meditation to bring your stress level down. Even drivers can use deep breathing exercises. If you don't regularly use these techniques, check them out on the internet before leaving on your trip.

Keep Moving – Remember that regular exercise helps boost the immune system and cuts down on stress hormones. I know it may be hard to keep up with your regular exercise routine during a vacation or visiting others and especially when traveling, but look for ways to keep your body physically moving. Walk when you can even if that just means walking around the airport before your flight or that you stop the car to walk around a bit at a rest area. Take the stairs if you can instead of the escalator or elevator, walk in place while standing in line, and get creative with finding ways to work in whatever type of body movement you can.

No one wants to spend a vacation or road trip feeling bad or having to miss out on the fun being home sick in bed. Being aware of the extra germs circulating and where they may live is the first step to helping you avoid them. Remember these travel tips as you start your summer travels and you'll arrive at your destination healthy and ready to enjoy your time away.

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, April 6, 2017

Aging Gracefully: Staying Flexible and Active Naturally

Many people dread getting older and not being able to make their bodies do all the things it could when it was younger, but there are ways of aging gracefully that can help us enjoy life on into our senior years. Being able to stay active and get out to experience the world is something just about all of us would like to still be able to do and can be a reality by starting on a program of healthy aging now no matter what age you are now.

Benefits of Staying Flexible
One of the ways to accomplish this state of aging gracefully is to keep joints, tendons, and muscles flexible. In Ayurvedic practice, keeping the body flexible allows our prana or vital force to have good circulation. A flexible body with healthy joints means an increased range of motion and the freedom movement offers as well as having a positive impact on blood circulation, absorbing nutrients, excreting waste, and lymphatic flow. Stretching exercises, which could also include doing yoga, are a great way to naturally keep the body flexible and limber. The American College of Sports Medicine advises doing stretching exercises a minimum of twice a week on each major muscle group and doing each exercise around a minute. According to Lynn Millar, PhD, physical therapist and professor at Winston-Salem State University, your hips and hamstrings will benefit from stretching which will really pay off in flexibility and movement when you are older. She adds that doing stretching after exercise is a good time since you are the most flexible then. Getting into a regular yoga practice is also a good way to be sure you are getting your stretching time in and to increase your body's flexibility towards aging gracefully.

Foods for Flexibility
There are also certain foods that can help you be more flexible. Ripe, raw, in season fruit for example is one food that is considered valuable in a spiritual yoga practice. It is thought to increase ojas which support immunity, happiness and vitality. Fruits are also high in water content and since muscles are 76% water, they help keep muscles hydrated and working properly. Drinking enough water throughout the day is also important for this reason and to avoid muscle cramping, fatigue and injury. What you don't want though is to be eating foods that cause you to retain fluid which can lead to inflammation in muscles that you feel as soreness and stiffness. Eating more alkaline foods like most fruits and vegetables or spices like turmeric and ginger can help cut down on this type of inflammation. You can also add wholefood supplements to your diet with ingredients found to help with inflammation. This joint support algae supplement combines vegetable-based glucosamine, chondroitin, UC-II® undenatured collagen and wild AFA bluegreen algae and this enzyme algae supplement combines plant-based proteolytic enzymes--bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, with wild AFA bluegreen algae. These ingredients are reported to support the body's inflammatory response to physical exercise. Both these are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and GMO Free and have ingredients that have been shown to decrease inflammation, increase recovery time and flexibility, and reduce post-workout stress. Getting this nutrition from supplements and whole foods makes sense since the body has more difficulty producing these ingredients as we age.

Other foods that are said to promote flexibility include:

Sulfur-rich foods – Garlic, cabbage, kale, onions, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, and turnips are examples of foods that have sulfur that can help keep joints flexible. Many of the amino acids that make up tendons and ligaments have sulfur in them so adding these type foods can help beef them up.

Sea Vegetables – Seaweeds such as dulse, kelp, and nori are all good for connective tissues since they are rich sources of protein, chlorophyll, iodine, potassium, calcium and sodium which are all supportive nutrients for them.

Ghee – a type of clarified butter believed to be good for anti-aging, body flexibility and lubrication of tendons and ligaments.

Silicon – This is another important mineral to keep connective tissue healthy and can be found in vegetables such as cucumber, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, green beans, asparagus, and mustard greens.

Don't let old age keep you from keeping on. You can still get out, stay active and enjoy life. Just get started on a healthy aging plan that will help you keep your mobility and avoid the pain of inflammation and you'll find maybe aging doesn't have to be a dreaded condition.

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, March 30, 2017

Enhancing Youthful Skin from the Inside Out

Youthful skin not only improves our looks, and can raise our confidence and self-esteem, but also means healthy skin that helps protect the body. Typically we think of certain conditions that come about as skin ages such as wrinkles, lines, sagging, thinning, age spots, and drying. Research now shows that much of what we think of as aging skin is due to inflammation and has more to do with lifestyle and diet than how old we are. This is good news, since we can't turn back time on aging, but we can make diet and lifestyle changes to improve skin from the inside by eating foods for healthy skin.

Skin Aging From Inflammation
Inflammation that damages and ages skin can be the result of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules in cells that are weakened to the point that they lose an electron. These free radicals then go around taking electrons from other molecules and creating more free radicals and can cause inflammation in the body and lead to oxidation. Oxidation destroys the cells that produce collagen and elastin that are necessary for firm, clear, and resilient skin. Chronic inflammation can result from stress, hormone imbalance, being exposed to toxins and chemicals, over exposure to sunlight, X-rays, smoking, chlorinated water, pollution, and eating overcooked, fried, sugar-filled, and processed foods. This type of inflammation actually affects the mitochondria inside body cells causing them to die off prematurely and affecting skin by weakening collagen, clogging pores and dilating capillaries.

Antioxidants to the Rescue
The immune system is what we have to protect us from illness, health conditions, and damaging free radicals. In the case of chronic inflammation the immune system can be overwhelmed and need help. Antioxidants can help protect cells from the damage of free radicals and repair damage done. Antioxidants to include in a healthy skin diet to enhance youthful skin are:

  • Vitamins C, E, A, and B complex 
  • CoQ10
  • DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol)
  • ALA (Alpha-lipoic acid)
  • Carotenoids
  • Flavanoids

You'll find these in a diet of whole foods with lots of bright colored vegetables, fruits, green tea and fish and drinking plenty of clean, pure water. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a super antioxidant that unlike most other antioxidants, is able to penetrate oil and water which allows it to work on skin cells inside and outside the body. The body produces small amounts itself, it can be taken as a supplement, is found in skin creams and is in small amounts in foods such as meats, broccoli, spinach and brewer's yeast. The body also makes small amounts of DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) and it can be taken in supplement form or can be found in small amounts in salmon, anchovies, and sardines. Fish such as these are also high in essential fatty acids which help fight off inflammation, help produce the skin's natural oils, and support healthy skin. Coenzyme Q10 is a key antioxidant to cellular health, energy production, heart health and the immune system. CoQ10 is necessary for 95% of the energy our bodies need and while the body makes this coenzyme naturally, the production is reduced as we get older often making supplementation necessary. According to Karen E. Burke, MD, Vitamin C can help prevent damage from too much sun and vitamin E can help lessen the risk of wrinkles and damage from the sun. Foods for healthy skin with Vitamin C include bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens and for vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, and asparagus. Vitamin A can help moisturize skin and repair damaged skin tissue. You'll get vitamin A by eating foods like spinach, sweet potatoes, apricots, squash, pumpkin, liver, eggs, carrots and cantaloupe. Biotin, one of the B vitamins is another important antioxidant for keeping skin itch free and moisturized as well as being good for hair and nails. Biotin can be found in bananas, eggs, oatmeal and rice. Another B vitamin, Niacin, helps keep skin moisturized and helps reduce inflammation

If you're not getting this type of nutrition from the foods you eat, this wild whole food supplement program can help not only by giving you the basic nutrition of AFA bluegreen algae, probiotics, and digestive enzymes, but also the antioxidant power of kale sprouts, red clover sprouts, wheat sprouts, concentrated wheat sprouts, and Dunaliella salina algae, the minerals and phytonutrients of dulse, kelp, fucoidan, Ecklonia cava, bladderwrack, Dunaliella salina, spirulina, chlorella, and a blend of reishi, maitake, cordyceps, wild black trumpet, and Poria cocos mushrooms which have been studied for their positive benefits in immune system support. Another supplement that can help with getting antioxidants lacking in your diet is this AFA bluegreen algae, wild blueberry, green tea, and carnosine antioxidant and algae supplement.

You really can eat your way to better skin. Just start cutting out the sugary, processed, refined, unhealthy fatty foods and begin filling your diet with foods for healthy skin with all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that will make your skin glow and retain its youthful appearance.

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, March 28, 2017

Natural Weight Loss the Easy Way

If you are in the over 2 out of 3 adults in the U.S. that the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2010, reports to be overweight or obese then finding easy, natural weight loss solutions is something you'll want to explore. That's around 160 million people with more than 60% of women in the U.S. falling in the overweight range according to the National Center for Health Statistics of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and more than a third falling into the obese range. That same survey reports a third of children from 6 to 19 years of age also fall in the overweight and obese categories, so if you have children, finding ways to help them keep their weight down is also important. When we talk about overweight and obese and their ranges, you may wonder what that really means and how to know what category you fall into. These categories are based on your BMI or Body Mass Index.

How to Figure Out BMI
The BMI is a tool that is used to measure how much body fat you have according to your height and weight. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 puts you in the overweight category and anything over 30 is considered obese. You can calculate your own BMI by finding your height and your weight and going to this BMI calculator: So why on earth would you want to do this and label yourself as overweight or obese? Because too much body fat means there is also fat around your organs putting stress on them and that can lead to conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, colon cancer and more.

Healthy Weight Loss
Crash diets and losing lots of weight fast don't usually work out in the long run and are not a healthy way to lose weight. The healthiest way to lose weight is to eat a healthy diet, get more physical exercise into your day and burn up more calories than you ingest. This may take more time than a crash diet, but the results will last longer and you'll have made changes that will follow you and keep your weight steady over the rest of your life. Your goal should be to lose around one to two pounds a week. Katherine Tallmadge, RD, weight loss counselor, says eating a healthy diet and getting lots of exercise can help you lose at least three pounds a week safely. You can lose one to two pounds a week just by burning off 500 calories more than you ingest each day. According to the Dietary Guidelines for All Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture a healthy diet to strive for includes many different types of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, foods rich in calcium, and limiting salt and saturated fats. More specifically they recommend:

Fruits: 2 cups daily for 2000 calorie diet which would be the amount equal to a small banana, large orange or 1/4 cup dried peaches.

Vegetables: Include a variety of dark green and orange colored vegetables such as broccoli, kale, carrots and sweet potatoes as well as beans and peas like pinto, kidney, black, garbanzo, and lentils.

Calcium: Add 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt or one and a half ounces of cheese daily to your diet.

Whole Grains: Whole grains should be listed as "whole" on the food label. Include three ounces of whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta daily which would be equivalent to three slices of bread, 3 cups of cereal or half a cup of rice or pasta.

Lean Protein: Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. Stay away from frying meat and go with baking, broiling or grilling instead.

Fats: It is recommended that no more than 10% of calories come from saturated fats. Instead go for polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that would include fish, nuts, olive oil, flaxseed oil, and avocados.

Salt: Do not go over 2300 mg. of sodium daily which is about a teaspoon of salt. Michael Dansinger, MD from the NBC television show The Biggest Loser, adds to this that cutting down on sodium and starch can initially show as much as a weight loss of five pounds, but warns that this is fluid loss, not fat loss.

Weight Loss Food Tips: 

  • Michael Dansinger, MD says to avoid foods with starch, added sugar, and animal fat in meat and dairy and include fruits, vegetables, egg whites, soy, skinless breasts of poultry, fish, shellfish, non-fat dairy and only meats that are 95% lean. 
  • Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, who wrote The Flexitarian Diet, advises that eating lots of vegetables will help you feel fuller, drink lots of water, don't keep unhealthy foods around to tempt you, don't miss meals and eat them from a plate only instead of being allowed to grab snacks. 
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs have been found to actually help in weight loss. Stay away from saturated and trans fats as they only increase your weight, but adding foods like avocados, nuts, olives and oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil in small amounts can help you melt off pounds. One study in 2001 found participants that added MUFAs to their meals lost around 9 pounds while those who didn't gained around 6 pounds. 
  • Keeping track of what you eat with a food journal can help you stay focused on reducing calories by seeing in black and white how much you are really eating each day (and may not even be aware of) which gives you a sense of accountability according to Read It Before You Eat It author, Bonnie Taub Dix, MA, RD
  • Fiber can help you fill fuller with eating less. You not only get lots of fiber with black beans, but also one cup gives you 15 grams of protein with no fat and a half cup of white beans gives you 4 grams of resistant starch that helps burn fat and boost metabolism. Oats are another good fiber filled food with resistant starch and eating a half cup will give you around 4 and a half grams of this good carb. Eating brown rice is another good way to fill up with low calories, get resistant starch working for you, and is a good part of a low-energy-density diet that research has shown can help keep weight gain down over the long haul. 
  • Don't eat less than 1050 to 1200 calories a day according to Michael Dansinger, MD as this will cause you to lose muscle which causes your metabolism to work slower and doesn't give you the energy to get enough exercise. 
  • Grapefruit is another great addition to a weight loss diet. By eating a half a grapefruit before mealtime, you can lose as much as a pound a week. This is because grapefruit has something in it that lowers insulin which is the hormone for fat storage. There are certain medications though that you can't take with grapefruit so check with your healthcare provider to make sure you aren't on one of those. 

One of the dangers dieters face is not getting the right nutrition to feed the body in order for it to perform efficiently. Cutting calories shouldn't mean cutting nutrition. Taking AFA bluegreen algae supplements can give the body the important vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients it needs without adding lots of extra calories into your weight loss program. AFA has actually been found to support weight loss as a well-nourished body craves less unhealthy foods, has extra energy to get more activity, and has a positive mood to be more likely to stick with a healthy routine. Since AFA is high in chlorophyll, which works on the intestinal lining to enhance digesting and assimilating foods, it also helps provide nourishment on a cellular level. Add in high quality probiotic and enzyme supplements as with these AFA packets and you really get the most nourishment for your body from the foods you eat with a well-functioning digestive system.

Eating the right foods and supplements to support your body's health and encourage weight loss are good, but you really can't lose weight in a healthy way without exercise too. The key to weight loss is burning more calories than you eat and while you can boost your metabolism to burn off fat and calories, you really also have to be physically active. Experts recommend cardio and strength training exercises as the best and fastest way to burn up calories. Many experts advise exercising for an hour daily to really start losing some serious pounds. Another exercise weight loss tip many experts such as The American College of Sports Medicine recommend is to do your exercise in intervals. That means during your regular moderate exercise routine add periods of more intense exercise. For example, when going for a walk, add in some bursts of faster walking or even jogging. Adding these more intense intervals has been found to have a longer lasting effect as it can keep your metabolism increased and burning calories off for as much as 24 hours after you've exercised.

When you are ready to really get serious about losing weight, throw away the crash diets and fads and look at making long lasting diet and lifestyle changes. These tips give you safe, effective ways to stay healthy while losing that unhealthy weight.

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.

Abrams, Karl J, Algae to the Rescue!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Natural Solutions for a Happy Mouth

A happy mouth with healthy teeth and gums doesn't just mean a great looking smile; it could save your life. Research currently shows that gum disease can leave you at a higher risk for heart disease and other serious conditions. Among the problems that can start in the mouth and affect the rest of the body are oral cancer, bruxism, gingivitis, periodontitis, and xerostomia. Oral cancer is fairly easy to treat 90% of the time. If it is allowed to spread however to other parts of the body it is much more difficult. Bruxism is grinding the teeth which can wear teeth down so that they are more open to decay and caught early can be treated with a mouth guard. Gingivitis and periodontitis are forms of gum disease that lead to loss of teeth and are also treatable when caught early through regular dental checkups. Sam Low, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, says that most people don't pay attention to the signs of beginning gum disease until it's too late and they end up having to deal with the damage. Xerostomia is commonly known as dry mouth resulting from a decrease in saliva production. Less saliva means more decay and can lead to gum disease and many older people have this reaction from medications they take. These oral health problems are not just about older people though. The ADHA (American Dental Hygienists' Association) reports that 75% of teenagers have bleeding gums which is a sign of gum disease. You can help protect your teeth, gums and reduce your risk of oral health conditions getting worse or spreading with some simple natural solutions for good oral hygiene.

Oral Health Natural Solutions 
Diet – Eating a healthy diet helps keep your mouth healthy as well as the rest of your body. This means lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats and for the strength of teeth and healthy bone in the mouth including low-fat dairy. According to University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry's dean, Anthony M. Iacopino, DMD, PhD, omega-3 fatty acids should be part of your diet as they can help prevent inflammation which reduces gum disease risks. Adding fatty fish to your diet or eating AFA bluegreen algae can help you get more omega-3's known to support healthy gums. Good oral health also relies on cutting down on foods and drinks with sugar especially those that are carbonated and that stay in the mouth over a long period of time such as hard candy. When sugar is in the mouth, the bacteria that lives there uses it to make acids that can break down the enamel of teeth and lead to tooth decay. For good oral hygiene, eating crisp and firm foods like raw vegetables and fruits such as carrots, celery, and apples can help with cleaning especially if you are in a situation where you can't brush right away. Sugar free gum can also be helpful after meals when you can't brush as it helps make more saliva to wash out bacteria and neutralize acid.

Brushing – One of the most important steps in good oral hygiene is of course brushing and flossing. Experts recommend you brush your teeth at least two times daily, preferably first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and that you floss at least once a day. Since saliva production decreases at night when we sleep, Kathleen W. Wilson, M.D., internist at the Ochsner Health Center in New Orleans, advises getting all the plaque off your teeth before going to bed and again getting rid of any that accumulates overnight to keep teeth clean and reduce bad breath. In addition, it's important to remember to get a new toothbrush about every 3 months or if you use an electric toothbrush, change the head that often. This is important because bacteria can build up on your brush. Harold Katz, D.D.S. also recommends using a tongue scraper to get rid of plaque and bacteria on the tongue instead of using your brush on your tongue.

Check Up – If you have good oral health, it is recommended that you see your dentist for a dental exam and professional cleaning every 6 months. If you have oral health problems such as gum disease then you may need to go more frequently. Caryn Solie, RDH, president of the American Dental Hygienists' Association, advises starting children seeing a dentist as soon as they get their first tooth which usually is around 6 months of age. Permanent teeth can start coming in around 6 years of age and it is especially important to have started by then.

Fluoride – Fluoride is a mineral that helps keep tooth enamel strong and replace enamel worn away by acids formed from plaque bacteria and sugars. The majority of people in the U.S. have fluoride in their drinking water, but if you don't then you may need to check with your dentist about other ways to get fluoride such as getting a fluoride treatment or using a fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash.

Whitening – If you are prone to teeth stains you can substitute baking soda or salt for toothpaste to brush once a week. Brushing your gums with salt can also help with raw gums. Using apple cider vinegar as a mouth wash can also help with whitening teeth as well as reduce bacteria that can harm teeth and gums.

Probiotics – There are over 600 types of bacteria that live in the mouth. Just like in your gut, some of these are bad bacteria and some are friendly bacteria that help fight off the bad strains. Using probiotics orally can help keep plaque from forming, reduce inflammation and disease of the gums, reduce colonies of bad bacteria in the mouth, give you cleaner breath and whiter teeth. You can get specific oral probiotics in powder, capsule, or lozenge form or by eating fermented foods such as yogurt, cheese, miso, and tempeh. I like to use this probiotic supplement that has a mixture of of 8 key good bacteria that comes in a capsule which you can just pull apart, pour out the powder inside, mix with some water and use to rinse or gargle in the mouth before swallowing it.

Coenzyme Q10 – You may know that CoQ10 is important for heart health, but since gum tissue and heart tissue are closely related, it also helps keep your gums healthy. As we get older, our bodies don't produce as much of this vital coenzyme, stressful lifestyles use it up, and eating processed foods depletes our natural supply from foods. You can find ubiquinol which is the active form of CoQ10 in this algae supplement as well as olive biophenols that have been found to support bone health.

Bone health – When we think about bone health, we generally think about the bones that keep us moving, active and support us, but remember that the mouth has bone that needs to be kept healthy too in order to support the teeth and gums. Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important components for healthy bone. Dairy foods are a great source of calcium, but yogurt in particular is one of the higher dairy sources. If you don't do well with dairy, you can also get calcium from spinach, bok choy, mustard greens, sardines, fortified cereals and juices, beans, tofu, and fish. You can get vitamin D from being out in the sun, or from food sources such as milk, egg yolks and fish. Maitake mushrooms have also been found to support bone health and you will find them along with 4 other mushrooms in this algae and mushroom supplement. Mushrooms have the added bonus of reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system. Bee pollen is reported to help in supporting bone density and is found in this AFA algae supplement.

Having a happy mouth means having a happy you. Good oral hygiene leads to good oral health which not only means a great smile to pass on to the world, but can help you keep from developing more serious conditions. Take care of your mouth, teeth, gums, and bones by developing good oral hygiene skills now and it will pay off as you get older.

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.