Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How to Help Constipation

Constipation ... it's not something people really want to talk about, yet almost everyone has been affected by constipation at one time or other in their lives.

Did you know that you are considered medically constipated if you have the following symptoms:
  • fewer than 3 bowel movements per week
  • hard stools 25% or more of the time
  • straining to have a bowel movement 25% or more of the time
Are you constipated? Afraid to admit it? Don't worry. If you are wondering how to help constipation, rest assured that there are numerous natural solutions.

How to Help Constipation: Start with Causes
There can be many causes of constipation, ranging from poor diet to pregnancy or a change in routine. Before you can know how to help constipation, you have to know the causes of constipation. Common causes include:
  • not drinking enough water (usually 6-8 glasses per day)
  • not enough fiber in the diet (about 35 grams per day)
  • lack of regular exercise or mobility
  • stress
  • eating too much dairy
  • overuse of laxatives (causes your digestion to become "lazy")
  • medication
  • depression
  • disruption to regular diet or routine
OK, so there are a LOT of causes of constipation. Now the question is, "What can you do to help constipation?"

The answer? "Lots!"

How to Help Constipation: Natural Solutions
Some of natural solutions that help constipation are very simple. For example, you can increase your water and fiber intake or start a regular exercise program. If you are traveling, you may need to pay even more attention to your water and fiber intake, as well as the amount of exercise you get.

If you take medication that causes dry mouth or is a diuretic, you may need to drink more water and take in more fiber than usual.

If you have become dependent on laxatives, which can actually cause your digestive system to shut down or become less active, you can transition away from the laxatives by adding more fiber and water to your diet. In addition, taking 2-4 acidophilus capsules in the morning, 2-4 bifidus capsules at night, and 2-4 enzymes with meals can help wake up your digestion. Expect to see results from this regimen within a few days (being sure to use spring water or well water to take these supplements). A full-spectrum probiotic, often works well in an "emergency" situation ... when you really can't go!

One sure key to success is an open mind. Be open to using multiple natural solutions when you consider how to help constipation. You may want to increase your water and fiber intake one week. The following week you might add in probiotics or enzymes. Finally, top off your new healthy regimen with a short period of exercise each day!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nutrition for ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)

By now most people are aware of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), either because they have this disorder or know someone who does.

But just in case you are wondering, "What is ADD? What is AD/HD?" ... here's some information:

The American Psychiatric Association defines ADD as being present "when children display inappropriate inattention, impulsivity, and sometimes hyperactivity for their mental and chronological age. ADD may be diagnosed as with or without hyperactivity."

What Causes ADD?
There is quite a bit of debate about what actually causes ADD, yet what we do know is that part of the problem is starvation of the brain. And since the brain is so closely connected to behavior and attention, we can't stress enough the importance of feeding our brains!

For instance, did you know that the brain is the "hungriest" organ in your body, requiring up to 10 times as much fuel and oxygen as any other organ? Children's brains need even more fuel, circulation, and oxygen, plus their brains are less protected against harmful toxins in the environment. No wonder there is such a high incidence of ADD and AD/HD in children.

Nutrition for ADD: How to Feed the Brain
Nutrition for ADD has a lot to do with getting enough fatty acids, such as DHA. High quality fatty acids are found mainly in marine life, and rarely in land-based foods. This means that our brains can often benefit from supplementing our diets with micro-algae, seafood, and other marine-based foods.

In fact, micro-algae, being at the base of the marine life food chain, are one of the richest sources of fatty acid for the brain. Specific types of algae are better than others. According to well-known researcher Gabriel Cousens, compared to spirulina, AFA blue-green algae "acts more effectively on the central nervous system, making it clinically useful for improving patients' 'mental and emotional health.'"

ADD has very much to do with mental and emotional health, thus any nutrition for ADD that improves a person's health in those areas is bound to be a good fit. These days many physicians are including AFA blue-green algae in their recommended ADD diet. Check this out:

"At least six research studies have demonstrated the benefits of AFA on improving children's cognition, mood, behavior, and academic performance ..." ("Edible Microalgae, Bruno).

Does that say something about the importance of AFA algae in terms of nutrition for ADD? Definitely, especially since surveys (Larry Christensen) have shown that ADD and AD/HD are disorders that are most likely to respond to dietary intervention.

ADD Diet vs. SAD Diet
The ADD diet is all about feeding the brain, focusing on providing enough essential fatty acids. AFA blue-green algae (especially the type with the cell wall removed) is a perfect source for those fatty acids.

On the other hand, many children are being fed the SAD Diet ... the Standard American Diet. The SAD diet (think fast-food gut bombs and dinners from a box) literally starves the brain and also adds toxins to the diet.

So ... ADD diet or SAD diet? The choice is clear, no?

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

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Allergic Reactions to Food

Allergic reactions to food ... got 'em? Then you are among the 60% of the population affected by food allergies. It is one of the most prevalent and also undiagnosed illnesses in the population (according to the American College of Allergists). The 8 foods that most commonly cause allergic reactions to food, according to the Mayo Clinic, are:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  • Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder)
  • Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp)
  • Soy
  • Wheat
Many people know if they have a milk allergy or an egg allergy, but did you know that there are also wine allergies and many other types as well? That's the bad news.

Allergic Reactions to Food: Good News
Now for the good news. There are natural solutions for people who have these allergic reactions to food--the use of nutritional supplements, for instance. Studies show that taking a substance such as blue-green algae can support your body's immune system and tolerance. Your immune system is usually responsible for allergic reactions to food. By boosting your immune system, you can reduce allergic reactions to food ... and even to pollen.

Two studies show that "the inclusion of blue-green algae in the diet contributes to a reduction of anaphylactic and immune-type allergic reactions in animals" ("Edible Microalgae, Heffrey J. Bruno, Ph.D.). Turns out inclusion of blue-green algae in the diet works for the human animal as well!

Other supplements that help can include enzymes, probiotics, Betaine HCL (for those with low stomach acid) and a number of fermented foods.

Why Nutrition Helps
It may seem odd that improving our diet with nutrition can help with allergic reactions to food, and yet it makes sense. That is because many food allergies are caused by poor digestion linked to the immune system. Poor digestion, also known as "leaky gut syndrome," allows undigested proteins to enter the blood stream. This triggers the immune system into an allergic reaction.

Luckily, the addition of nutritional supplements like AFA blue-green algae can support your body in a proper immune response. Studies show that "AFA blue-green algae contains carotenes and chlorophyll, both of which are able to dramatically stimulate specialized cells around the intestinal walls to secrete lubricating material and this help to prevent this type of allergic reaction" (Bruno).

In other words, AFA blue-green algae soothes the digestive system. An improved digestive system prevents that extreme immune response, and those allergic reactions to food.

Allergic Reactions to Food: Bottom Line
The bottom line of all of this scientific data is simple as can be:

1.    Got allergic reactions to food?
2.    Add AFA blue-green algae to your diet
3.    Feel better!

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