Thursday, January 12, 2017

Can Hawaiians Help You with Pain?

Pain, redness, swelling. All these can be signs of inflammation and while pain and swelling sound like bad things, that's not necessarily so. Actually inflammation is how your body fights infection, responds to illnesses from bacteria and viruses, reacts to ingesting allergens, injury, and overdoing exercise or physical labor. What happens in these conditions is that the body increases the blood flow to the area that is affected, moves white blood cells and other protective cells to combat bacteria and viruses, and releases chemicals that protect tissues around the area affected. While this causes us pain, redness and swelling for a time, it also means the body is repairing itself and that's good. But sometimes inflammation becomes chronic because the body just doesn't turn the reaction off or it starts triggering inflammatory action when it is really not warranted. Inflammation can also occur from free radicals running rampant in the body causing oxidative damage, stress, not getting enough exercise, being exposed to toxins, and diet concerns such as an unbalanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, not enough phytochemicals, too much fat and simple carbs, and eating too much refined and processed foods. Inflammation that becomes chronic can be linked to disastrous results like heart disease, cancers, and Alzheimer's.

What Does Hawaii Know
When it comes to reducing chronic inflammation, there are definitely some lessons we can take from Hawaiians. Two of these are noni and bromelain which is found in pineapple. The noni tree is a small evergreen tree that is native in places such as the Hawaiian Islands and the fruit and leaves have been used for centuries for healing. Native Polynesians call it the pain killer tree and it's been used for everything from colic and coughs, to constipation and liver disease to ulcers, high blood pressure and pain from arthritis and lots more. Many of this healing ability is credited to the flavonoids, antioxidant catechins, and polysaccharides it contains. Nutritionally it also gives you niacin, potassium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and dietary fiber. The other thing that can help with inflammation that comes from places such as Hawaii is pineapple. Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain that has anti-inflammatory properties. This enzyme, that is able to dissolve protein, affects the white blood cells, leukocytes, that contribute to inflammation.

Other Ways to Fight Inflammation
There are many other natural solutions through diet that can be used to help fight inflammation. Foods that contain antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E and selenium help fight off free radicals that damage body cells and cause oxidation in the body which can lead to inflammation. Some of the best sources for antioxidants are bright colored fruits and vegetables, green tea and edible mushrooms and for selenium are foods like oysters, clams, crab, sardine and fish, nuts and seeds, lean meats, whole grains, beans and legumes. Certain spices like ginger and turmeric also have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties so finding recipes to add these into your diet can be helpful. In the case of an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids being the cause of inflammation, fish oil, algae, or just eating fish can help. Research on participants with rheumatoid arthritis taking fish oil have shown a reduction in pain and stiffness. It also has ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which is a type of omega-3 that is a powerful antioxidant able to penetrate oil and water so it can work inside the body and outside on skin. Actually though ALA and other fatty acids like, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are found in fish and fish oil because fish eat algae and algae is their source for them. You can do the same and get the exact ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 that the human body needs from AFA bluegreen algae. AFA bluegreen algae in addition gives you phycocyanin which acts as a powerful antioxidant, phytonutrients, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, necessary trace minerals such as copper and chromium, 20 different amino acids including carnitine, and tyrosine, and a wide variety of vitamins including vitamin A and B vitamins which also help in coping with stress.

Supplement Your Diet With Inflammation Fighting Ingredients
It sounds great to reduce your inflammation by eating all the right foods like veggies, fruits, fish, healthy oils, nuts and whole grains, but we all know in our busy lives this doesn't always happen. You can still get the good nutrition you need by adding wholefood supplements to your diet. You can even get supplements with the bromelain and noni found useful for reducing inflammation. For a boost of antioxidant power, take a look at this supplement with a combination of bluegreen algae, wheatgrass juice, cordyceps mushrooms, bee pollen, turmeric, noni, and green tea and that is especially useful to take before a workout or strenuous exercise. To get in your bromelain as well as other plant based enzymes like papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase and some AFA bluegreen algae added in, you can try this supplement designed particularly for those with active lifestyles or athletes who overwork their joints and tissues. And for even more antioxidant power, there's this supplement that blends wild blueberry, green tea, carnosine, and organic wild bluegreen algae.

Eating right and exercising is always the best way to stay healthy and active. But when that is not an option, know that there are wholefood supplements that can help you get the nutrition your body needs to work at its optimal level. So take a lesson from nutritionists and from Hawaiians and eat those foods you know will support your body to do its best for you.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids – A Quick Explanation

If you are confused about the difference between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, you are not alone. Many health-oriented folks are aware that we need these fatty acids, but don't know the role that each plays in the body ... or how much of each we need.

So here's a quick explanation that might help: Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids both fall in the category called Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), which are fatty acids that our bodies need but which our bodies cannot produce. That means that we have to get EFAs from the foods and supplements we eat.

The optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is 3:1. The Standard American diet goes so far overboard with the omega-6's that the ratio is more like 20:1. Even those of us that try to eat healthy and get omega-3 fatty acids in our diets don't get off the hook. If you stock your diet with coldwater fish, chia seeds, dark-green leafy vegetables, various seeds, nuts, and flax and olive oil then you may be going overboard with your ratio in the favor of omega-3's. Tipping the scales too far in the omega-3 direction can cause changes to body cells, allergies, a reduction in sexual drive or suppress the immune system.  

Take a look at the types of food you eat. If you eat mostly from the Standard American diet then you are getting too many omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3 fatty acids. The obvious solution is to cut down on the processed and fast foods and make sure you add some of the omega-3 foods into your diet each week. If you are getting too many omega-3's in your diet, then we aren't recommending you head for the nearest fast food restaurant, but instead add some hemp seed,sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and raw nuts to your diet. Gamma-linolenic acid which is an active form of omega-6 is available in hemp seeds and linoleic acid which is the inactive form is available from the raw nuts, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds. When eating foods with linolenic acid, consuming foods with Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, zinc and magnesium will convert them to the active form.

The imbalance of too many Omega-6 fatty acids and too few Omega-3 fatty acids leads to problems. Why? Because hormones generated from Omega-6's tend to cause inflammation in the body, clotting of the blood, and cell proliferation. The Omega-3 fatty acids have the opposite effect. When we get equal amounts of both types of fatty acids, our bodies stay healthy. But the modern diet gives us way too many Omega-6's and too few Omega-3's.

The solution? Eat more fish. A simpler solution is to add AFA blue-green algae to your diet. Each algae cell contains 4.1 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and only 0.9 mg of Omega-6 fatty acids. Thus taking blue-green algae can help rebalance these fats in your system.

This balance is important since inflammation from too much Omega-6 can lead to chronic conditions such as coronary heart disease, many forms of cancer, asthma, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative diseases.

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


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Oxidative Damage from Free Radicals -- What?!

I don't know about you, but sometimes when I read a health article I get lost within the first couple of sentences. I'm relatively intelligent, but how many people can give you an instant definition of terms like:

  • oxidative damage
  • free radicals
  • antioxidants

You might know that all three of these things are related and that the first 2 are bad for you ... and have some idea that the last one is probably good for you. But you may still end up with a giant question mark over your head, especially if you start shopping at the health food store for "good for you" supplements.

Some Simple Health Definitions 
So what do all these phrases mean? Well, they actually are simpler than you think. Let's look at some simple definitions.

Oxidative Damage 
 What does that mean, really? To find out what oxidation does, just look at your car or any piece of metal left exposed to the elements, especially oxygen. When the metal interacts with the oxygen in the air, if not protected the metal will rust. That is a very simple example of oxidative damage.

Oxidative damage can also occur with skin cells. For instance, when you get a cut, the cells around and in the cut are exposed to oxygen and the process of oxidation occurs. While metal rusts, skin cells die. Skin cells can also die from excessive exposure to sun -- this is another form of oxidative damage.

Inside your body, cells interact with oxygen in the air you breathe and the food you eat. Through various complex processes, oxidative damage occurs and cells die off.

Free Radicals 
Free radicals are related to oxidation. Here's how. Cells damaged by oxidation are called free radicals, and end up missing a crucial molecule. These free radical cells then try to "rob" other cells to restore the missing molecule. In the process, the cell that is being robbed gets damaged. When that damage occurs to the DNA, the cell then becomes a mutant cell, and mutant cells are often the start of disease or chronic illness. One free radical cell can often start a free radical "cascade," with each damaged cell in turn damaging another cell. So in short, a free radical is a damaged cell that damages DNA in other cells causing mutation and disease. Whew! Glad that one is out of the way.

OK, this one is much easier to explain. Going back to the example of the metal in your car, an antioxidant is the body's equivalent of wax and paint, both of which prevent oxidation. Inside the body, antioxidants either prevent the oxidation process or stop the process before it "cascades." Vitamin C, for instance, captures free radical cells and neutralizes them, preventing oxidation from  happening to more cells. Other vitamins, like Vitamin E, stop the free radical cascade process.

These days, experts estimate that the free radical load is much heavier than it was 200 years ago. Almost everything we eat, drink, or breathe can cause oxidative damage. Exposure to outer substances, like smoke or asbestos, can do the same. That's why we need to add a variety of antioxidants to our diets. Our bodies simply can't keep up with all the free radicals being produced.

Powerful Antioxidants 
When deciding which antioxidants to add to your diet, consider that variety is important. Eating 10 servings of the same vegetable every day isn't going to help you much. Powerful antioxidant protection comes from whole food sources that provide a whole spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals. Consider adding:

- fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- legumes and nuts
- wheat sprouts, coenzyme Q10, blue-green algae

The effect of antioxidants is supportive over a long period of time rather than instantly dramatic. Just as waxing your car prevents rust, adding antioxidants to your diet supports your body in the face of chronic illness and disease. So know that you are doing something good for your body when you take antioxidants, even if you can't actually "see" the effects with your own two eyes!

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, December 29, 2016

Not All Calories Are Equal

If you've ever been on a diet then you know that calorie counting is often a part of the process. If you counted every calorie but still didn't lose as much weight as you wanted, it might be because not all calories are equal.

Recent studies show that calories from fat produce the most weight and fat gain, and calories from excess carbohydrates run a close second. The reason is that the body doesn't need to burn any calories to use fat. When you eat fat, it gets stored as fat right away. As they say, a bite of ice cream is "a second on the lips, an eternity on the hips."

Excess carbohydrates also present a problem. When you eat more carbohydrates than your body can easily digest, it converts those carbs to fat for easy storage. Calories from fiber and protein are less likely to be stored as fat since the body simply eliminates any fiber or protein it can't digest. Plus, the body burns calories as it digests fiber and protein.

So the next time you're counting calories and thinking about substituting ice cream for an equal calorie low fat dessert, think again. Fat calories become fat in your body. Reach for something healthy instead.

One of the lowest-calorie, highest energy whole foods your body can use is AFA bluegreen algae. This form of algae can also increase your metabolism, boost your energy, and cleanse your cells. And if you're looking for a sweet treat, look no further than these snack bars fortified with sprouted grains, greens, and bluegreen algae to give your body just the right nutritional punch.

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, December 27, 2016

New Year, New You, New Body and Mind!

Do you make a new year resolution every year? Have you got a new year resolution ready for 2017? If you are like most people, a resolution is made and then within a few months forgotten or given up on. Research shows that about 40% of us actually do make a new year resolution and according to a Harris Interactive poll, that 21% of those resolutions involve losing weight, 14% involve exercising and 7% resolve to eat a more healthy diet. The good news is that people are at least thinking about and making an attempt to improve their health. The bad news is that according to John C. Norcross, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Scranton and author of Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions, 60% of people who made resolutions in January have given up on them by July. Norcross cites a study from the Journal of Clinical Psychology as showing that people who make a new year resolution are 10 times more likely to be successful in making the change they desire than those who may want change but don't put it into a formal resolution. This is encouraging for those who do make resolutions, but there are still a lot of people wanting change and not getting results quickly enough to encourage them to keep at it. This is where some planning and gaining a new perspective on issues can help make your resolution more successful.

Change Your Way of Thinking
Heidi Reeder, PhD, author of Commit to Win: How to Harness the Four Elements of Commitment to Reach Your Goals, says most people think they need willpower and motivation to achieve their goals, but that actually what is needed is commitment to accomplish a long term goal. She suggests breaking long term goals down into smaller goals and rewarding yourself for each step along the way. When making your goal plan, look for the things that prevent you from achieving your goal and have a back-up plan for when those things come up. If your goal has to do with losing weight, David Grotto, RD, author of The Best Things You Can Eat, suggests that you make your resolution about eating healthier and not saying that you are going on a diet. Eating healthier is a lifelong commitment and lifestyle change whereas being on a diet implies that there is a start and a finish to it. When it comes to losing weight psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD has a good tip of rating how hungry you are from 1 to 10 and eat if you are in the middle of this range. This will prevent eating when bored or from habit when you aren't really hungry and help avoid overeating when you've gone too long and are really, really hungry.

It may just be that you need to change the way you look at your body and make sure you are setting realistic goals for your body type. This is an especially good concept to pass on to young girls and teens. People who have a positive body image are happier, more comfortable with themselves and more realistic about themselves. Those with a negative body image are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and even eating disorders. The main thing is that your body is healthy no matter what size you are. Sure, it doesn't pay off in health benefits to be over flabby and severely overweight, but this doesn't mean that we all have to be a size 3 either. Healthy bodies can be a variety of sizes and shapes. Rather than concentrating on the parts of your body that you don't like, begin looking for things you can appreciate about your body. This might be gaining appreciation for what an intricate and complex system the body is or the various functions and sensations it provides for us. Adequate rest, exercise and a healthy diet can also help raise self-esteem, energy levels, and give you a better body image perspective.

Boosting Self Image
Alice Domar, PhD, director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Boston IVF, suggests one way to change your body image is to start with making a list of alternative statements to the negative ones you usually make about your body or that others may throw at you. Become aware of the words you use when describing your own looks and others' looks. Also stay realistic about your body type and other factors. For example, it is not realistic to think that a 60 year old body can look the same as it did in its 20's. Studies show that practicing good posture can help improve body image and confidence so start being aware of sitting and standing up straight. There is also research that supports keeping track of your goal progress as you are more likely to be successful if there is a system of accountability or monitoring in place. Susan B. Roberts, PhD, professor of nutrition and of psychiatry at Tufts University suggests making substitutions for unhealthy snacks with a healthier option and that doing this 10 times consecutively will start your body craving the healthier snack. Managing stress is also an important part of boosting self image. Make it a priority this new year to find a way to deal with stress. Be sure to take vacation days that you have coming to you as we all need a break and the time to relax. For those with an active and stressful lifestyle there are whole food supplements that can help provide supportive nutrition to keep the body running at its peak. This supplement combines vegetable-based glucosamine, chondroitin, UC-II® undenatured collagen and AFA bluegreen algae to help the body keep up with all you do. This supplement combines a proprietary blend of plant-based proteolytic enzymes--bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, and organic AFA bluegreen algae to provide the nutrition necessary for the body to reduce the risks of inflammation and recover from physical exertion.

Even if you don't have a resolution ready to start on New Year's Day, it's not too late. Make your resolution today to change your attitude about your body and work towards a healthier body and a healthier lifestyle. Learning to love yourself and your body could be the best gift you ever give yourself.

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, December 22, 2016

How to Feel Great This Winter

Winter can be hard on our bodies because of cold weather, air that dries out our lungs and skin, constant flus and colds being passed around ... Yuck! The good news is that there are some basic steps you can take to feel vibrant and healthy this winter.

ONCE AN HOUR: Drink Up. In the dry winter air your body needs plenty of liquids. Drink pure water (or as close as you can get to it) at least once an hour. Drinking water throughout the day does more to nourish your skin and increase your metabolism than drinking lots of water at once.

ONCE A DAY: Feed Yourself. Since winter is the season in which nothing grows it's more important to feed yourself than ever. Have difficulty finding fresh fruits and vegetables that don't cost a fortune? Try feeding your body the green it needs with wild AFA bluegreen algae. It's the best square meal deal in a capsule in the world.

ONCE A WEEK: Boost Your Immunity. With all the colds and flus being passed from one person to another you need keep your immune system at top strength. It's simpler than you think. First, get plenty of sleep (at least 8 hours a day if you can). Second, get the immune boosting nutritional whole foods you'll find in this algae supplement that contains six of the most extensively researched mushrooms that show positive immune system support and a WGP Beta Glucan formula that has been proven effective even against germs and viruses.

ONCE A MONTH: Kick Start Your Metabolism. With all the hearty stews and extra protein we consume during the winter to stay warm we need to take steps to keep our metabolism in high gear. Enzyme therapy is a great way to speed up your metabolism. Just add 400 milligrams of high-potency enzymes to your diet 5 times daily.

ONCE A SEASON: Clean Out the Works. When winter begins to transition into spring it's a great time to clean out the inner plumbing. Doing a 3 day juice fast can be an excellent way to keep yourself lean and clean inside and out!

Give these tips a try to give yourself the healthiest winter ever.

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, December 15, 2016

Holiday Feasting? Go For It!

If you just can't say "No" to all the holiday feasting that's going on this season, don't bother. Just go for it. Eat, drink, and be merry ... just be sure to pack some extra probiotics and enzymes in your pocket. Having some extra acidophilus, bifidus, and a full spectrum probiotic  and enzymes on board will ensure that you don't suffer too many "Pepto Bismol" moments during the next few weeks.

Probiotics (this literally means "for life") are the good bacteria that live in your gut. These "good bugs" do a lot for you, including:

1. keeping your digestion going
2. producing B-12 vitamins to keep you calm and happy during the holidays
3. acting as a first line of defense against illness

Whenever you stress your body (like overeating at the buffet) or drink too much coffee or chlorinated water, you kill off the probiotics in your gut. Lack of probiotics means that your body won't get the benefit of all those actions listed above. You'll have indigestion, you won't feel calm and collected, and you're more likely to get sick. So yes, you definitely need to keep those probiotics healthy and lively in your gut. Taking extra probiotics during the holidays will keep the population of beneficial bacteria in your gut at healthy levels.

Enzymes are also key in keeping your holidays happier. Before you dive headlong into that holiday buffet, take the time to swallow 2 to 4 enzymes ... then eat. The enzymes will ensure that all the extra food and rich desserts you eat will be properly digested, preventing digestive side effects like bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.

One simple regimen to follow during the holidays is as follows:

  • 2 to 4 acidophilus in the morning before breakfast
  • 2 to 4 bifidus in the evening before bed
  •  2 to 4 enzymes before each meal
  • 2 to 4 of the full spectrum probiotic in the evening when all else fails!

Most of all, enjoy the holidays ... eat, drink, and be merry, and rest assured that the probiotics and enzymes will help you have a merry and healthy 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.