Thursday, November 29, 2012

7 Natural Solutions to Beat Colds and Flus

This is the time of year that people refer to as cold and flu season. Why does it seem like we catch colds and flus more this time of year? It has been scientifically proven that it really isn't about the colder temperatures we are exposed to in winter months. The old adage about wear your coat outside or you'll catch cold turns out to be false. Our bodies however are under more stress during cold weather as we move from heated homes and cars to freezing outdoor temperatures. We also suffer from the lack of moisture in heated environments. Viruses can enter the body through mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, and mouth. You can pick up or touch something with a virus, then touch your nose, mouth or eyes and presto, you have given the virus a way into your body.

The Immune System
Colds and flus are both viruses. When your immune system is not operating at its peak then you are susceptible to developing a cold or flu. According the "Natural Science Daily" it's your cells that catch the cold first, and that happens when the cold virus binds to a cell. Once a cell becomes infected the virus can spread by reproducing itself and infecting other cells.

Did you know that the health of your digestive tract has a direct effect on how healthy your immune system is? Most people don't realize that the majority of lymph nodes are around the digestive tract area. These protect the body from invader cells getting in through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.

Natural killer (NK) cells are an important part of your immune response. According to a paper published in "The Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association," NK cells play an important role in neutralizing foreign invaders, including pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites, and diseased cells in the blood, lymph, tissues, and organs of the human body. When NK cells come in contact with these foreign bodies, they secrete biochemicals that neutralize them. That is, of course, why they are called natural killer cells. Scientific research shows that natural foods and herbs such as blue-green algae, astragalus root, and ginseng all support and boost the activity of NK cells.

Macrophages, a type of white blood cell, also play an important  role in the immune system in defending against invaders. Macrophages have to be moving and circulating throughout the body to work. Scientific research shows that certain substances stimulate your body's macrophages. Key among them is a substance found in brewer's yeast: beta 1,3 glucan. Beta 1,3 glucan is a specially extracted ingredient of brewer's yeast and is not the same as taking brewer's yeast, which will not give you the same results. Beta 1,3 glucan, taken orally, stimulates your body's innate immune system to, among other things, produce white blood cells, mobilize cells to "recognize" foreign invaders, and produce anti-microbial agents.

Colds vs. Flus
How do you know whether you have a cold or a flu? Both are caused by viruses, but cold symptoms are milder than flu symptoms. A sore throat usually kicks off cold symptoms followed by runny nose, congestion and cough. There can be a low temperature, but it is rarely over 101 degrees, and colds do not usually manifest with a fever. Cold symptoms commonly start going away after about a week. If they persist much longer, then there is a chance you have developed a sinus infection, allergies or some other condition than a common cold. Symptoms that start quickly and then see improvement after about a week indicate you probably have the common cold.

Flu symptoms, like cold symptoms, also can manifest with a sore throat, congestion, and cough but are usually also accompanied by higher grade fever, a headache, and achy muscles. Flu symptoms also show improvement after about a week, but can leave you lacking in energy and not feeling quite in tip top shape for weeks. If other symptoms persist longer than a week, you may need to consult your health care practitioner as flu can sometimes lead to other conditions such as pneumonia.

Regardless of whether you have a cold virus or a flu virus, the treatments are much the same. Antibiotics are only useful against bacterial infections and therefore will not help with colds and flus. The best treatment of course is prevention by keeping the immune system strong and allowing your body to naturally resist catching a cold or a flu when it is going around. If you do have a cold or flu, there are natural solutions that can help to relieve symptoms.

Natural Solutions to Colds and Flus
1. Get extra rest so immune cells can regenerate.

2. Water, water, water. Use water two ways. Wash hands frequently with warm soapy water for 20 – 30 seconds to get germs off the skin. AND drinking water is the most important ingredient for healing since you need it to flush the colds and flus out of your system

3. Eat more foods with antioxidants like bright colored fruits and vegetables. Stay away from sugary and processed foods.

4. Feed your friendly bacteria in your intestine by supplementing your diet with probiotics. Probiotics, especially acidophilus, produce substances which are antiviral and antifungal. Probiotics also support the immune system by supporting the function of the digestive system.

5. Demulcent and expectorant herbs like marshmallow, slippery elm, comfrey, mullein, and fenugreek help thin and clear out mucous. You can find most of these herbs in tincture form at your local health food store.

6. Supplement your diet with this immune system support product that contains a combination of reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei mushrooms with astragalus, beta glucan and Wild Bluegreen Algae. Pure, whole particle beta glucan helps with inflammation by mobilizing white blood cells to areas of injury or inflammation. These white blood cells (macrophages) remove damaged tissue quickly before it has time to trigger more inflammation. Adding a single capsule of this supplement each day to your diet causes your body to more actively defend against invading germs, viruses and antigens. This supplement can stimulate the macrophages into action, which in turn triggers an entire chain reaction of defense mechanisms in the body.

7. Take Vitamin C and bioflavanoid supplements as they will provide potent antioxidant benefits and support healing of the lung tissue.

Prevention is always the best medicine. So if you haven't caught a cold or flu so far this winter, now is the time to start strengthening your body's immune system and getting it ready to fight off the many viruses that can lead to colds and flus.

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Got Gas? Natural Solutions to Avoid It!

We all have gas and a certain amount after eating is completely normal. It is also normal for the body to release the gas. This is done either through belching or farting. On average, adults fart about 16 times a day. Each fart equals about ½ liter of gas or more than 2 cups of “shared air”. A fart is a mix of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, methane and hydrogen sulfide. The hydrogen sulfide is what causes the unpleasant odor sometimes associated with “passing gas”.

Gas created by swallowed air, such as when drinking soda, usually is released through belching. One of the most common causes of farting is poor digestion. Bacteria in our intestinal tract turns undigested sugars into gas that is released by farting. Excess gas that is not released causes bloating.

Certain foods tend to produce more gas than others. This can vary for each individual and sometimes it is a combination of certain foods that produces excess gas.

Foods to Avoid to Reduce Gas
  • Vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and onions and beans contain a sugar that is not absorbed or digested and our intestinal bacteria turns it into gas.
  • Dairy products can cause excess gas, especially for people that are sensitive to lactose.
  • Foods with sugar and simple carbohydrates can cause excess gas and bloating. That includes fructose, the natural sugar found in fruits, and the ever popular high fructose corn syrup found in the majority of processed foods. Foods that have fiber, sugars, and starches create gas when they are not digested and absorbed and result in being broken down in the large intestine.
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Artificial sweeteners or other foods with sugar alcohol
Natural Solutions to Avoid Excess Gas
  • Eat slowly to avoid swallowing air.
  • Avoid using straws for drinking as they lead to swallowing more air.
  • Steam foods instead of boiling them.
  • Avoid drinking during a meal, drink before eating instead to avoid losing stomach acid that helps break down foods.
  • Supplement your diet with digestive enzymes and probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus
Our favorite enzymes contain natural food enzymes that can help break down fats, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. It is also microblended with 25 mg of bluegreen algae, adding specific vitamins and minerals that many enzymes need for optimum ability to function. For the body to get the most out of food, the intestines must be healthy. Acidophilus plays a key role in supporting the health of the small intestine. Our favorite probiotic bifidus creates a favorable environment for the growth of "good bacteria" in the large intestine.

For some people, chronic or painful excess gas can be a symptom of more serious conditions including Irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer, peptic ulcer, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. If changes in diet and improving digestion don’t relieve painful or chronic gas, consult your health care professional to see if you have another condition and what treatment options are available. Everyone has gas, and for most of us improving the digestive system and making some dietary changes can help keep down the amount of gas in the body which means less need to belch and fart. It's that simple.

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Is Your Pet Depressed? Natural Solutions

Yes there is such a thing as pet depression. Pets of all kinds can develop pet depression. Depression does not necessarily manifest in the same way for pets as for humans though.

Behaviors to Watch for Pet Depression
  • lethargic behavior
  • loss of appetite
  • lack of motivation
  • dull coat
  • not showing normal activity level or showing changes in behavior
  • urination or defecation "accidents" in the house
Signs of depression can sometimes be a sign that there is an underlying health concern. Get your pet examined by a veterinarian. If medical reasons are ruled out then you may very well be dealing with pet depression.

Some causes of pet depression include:
  • moving to a new home
  • death of a person or animal friend
  • being around a lot of stress
  • being in an unsuitable management program or job
If your pet is depressed some things you can do to alleviate the depression are:
  • introduce another animal friend
  • increase exercise
  • spend extra playtime with your pet
  • look for ways to reduce the stress in the pet's environment 
  • keep to a normal routine
  • don't feed foods with a lot of artificial preservatives and additives
Nutrition for Pet Depression
Foods with a lot of artificial preservatives and additives can create a lack of energy and cause symptoms of depression. Many of the commercial animal foods are often very low in nutrition. Did you know that many dog and cat foods contain low quality ingredients, including diseased animal meat laced with high levels of antibiotics? All pets benefit from fresh foods - it's what they would eat if they were in the wild. Even dogs and cats do well with occasional greens and salads, as well as fresh meat.

Read the label of pet food before you buy it and avoid as many of the following as possible:
  •     BHA, Ethoxyquin, BHT: these are chemical preservatives
  •     Low quality protein: corn, wheat, and soy are examples
  •     Fats: most fats added to pet food are indigestible
  •     Artificial flavors or colors
  •     Corn syrup or sugar: just as bad for your pet as for you
  •     Byproducts: these include animal beaks, hooves, and guts
Commercial pet foods are usually heat-processed, which means they lack enough enzymes for proper digestion. Cats, dogs, and humans all need three basics to be healthy: probiotics, food enzymes, and minerals and trace minerals. No matter what brand of food you feed your pet, you can ensure that your pet thrives by supplementing their feed with these ingredients.

    Probiotics: support the balance of natural 'friendly' bacteria present in the body of all organisms (an example is Lactobacillus acidophilus). Probiotics support a healthy immune system, coat, and teeth/gums

    Food Enzymes: help your pet digest his food by aiding in breaking down food into forms your pet can use (examples include protease, amylase, and lipase)

    Minerals and Trace Minerals: used in almost every function of the body and are more easily assimilated than synthetic minerals By adding small amounts of these natural ingredients to your pet's food, you can boost the nutrition in your pet's food no matter what brand of food you feed. AThis powdered algae blend contains a variety of micronutrients, probiotics, enzymes and antioxidants in a powder form that is easy to sprinkle on your pet's food.

Good nutrition is an important step to keeping your pet healthy and reduce the risks of pet depression. Pet food nutrition doesn't have to be complicated. Just learn to read the labels, avoid foods with a lot of harmful or artificial ingredients, and supplement with probiotics, enzymes, minerals, and trace minerals as needed.

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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Want to Age Gracefully? 5 Simple Steps

Of course, who doesn't want to age gracefully! I don't think anyone wants to just wake up one day with sagging skin under the arms, wrinkles galore, a poochy belly and some of the other conditions we associate with growing older. The good news is you don't have to. You can do things now that will allow you to age more gracefully and stay feeling and looking youthful as you grow into old age.

There are three major causes of aging:
•Cell and tissue damage from free radicals
•Enzyme depletion
•Reduced immune response in the body

Remember that our cells don't really age - they are constantly being replaced by new cells. On the cell level, aging occurs because the body's cells are under constant attack by damaging, unstable molecules called free radicals. The body's antioxidant enzymes are supposed to help neutralize free radicals before they cause cell damage. However, many stresses of modern living often create free radicals in quantities well beyond the body's natural ability to cope with them.

The digestive tract is a key element in our immune systems. Modern lifestyles also are really good at killing off the beneficial bacteria in our intestines that the body needs to fight off diseases.  The natural solution to aging gracefully is to maintain a lifestyle that reduces these modern stresses and allows the body to take care of the free radicals and support the digestive system. Here are some ways to do just that:

1. Make sure you get plenty of antioxidants. Antioxidants, found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, fight off the effects of free radicals and prevent oxidative damage. Diets that help slow the process of aging tend to be those that have lots of raw fruit and vegetables, have more vegetable protein than animal protein, have whole grains and healthy oils such as omega 3. Limit the amount of meat, butter, eggs and dairy you eat and eat whole, organic foods whenever possible. That doesn't mean you can't ever have a chocolate donut or your favorite comfort food again. But for most of the time, eating healthy, drinking plenty of pure water every day and developing healthy eating habits. 

2. Supplement your diet with multivitamin and mineral supplements. Even if you are eating fresh foods not boxed and stuffed with preservatives, many of our foods still don't have the right vitamins and nutrients. The soil many of our foods are grown in has been depleted of these making supplementation a necessary component to get all the vitamins and nutrients we need. Make sure you get high quality however and avoid cheaper supplements with fillers and dyes. This supplement  has powerful anti-oxidants and this supplement with coenzyme Q10 can help the body fight off free radicals. Adding these enzymes is the simple solution to enzyme depletion and to insure enough enzymes to clean up waste in the body and cells.

3. Take probiotics to maintain digestive tract health. Probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus create a favorable environment for the growth of beneficial flora, promote the normal movement of food through the intestine, lower the pH of the intestine, manufacture specific B vitamins, and promote immune function. You might also consider doing cleanses one or two times a year to clear toxins out of the body.

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

5. Laugh and be happy (stress causes aging). People who have more enjoyment out of life tend to show less signs of aging. Having hobbies you enjoy, a spiritual practice, or work that you enjoy can go a long way to aging gracefully.

So you see you can reverse the effects of aging with very simple nutritional and lifestyle changes. Your body replaces all of its cells about once a year so you get a brand new you every year! To prevent aging, just start these 5 simple steps to support your body's natural processes for health.

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

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Natural Solutions: 7 Ways to Say Goodbye to Allergies

Allergies can range from seasonal allergies resulting from sources such as pollen, trees, plants, grass and weeds to ongoing allergies from other environmental sources like dust and dander to food allergies. What they all have in common however is the release of histamine from immune cells causing itching, swelling and a lot of mucous.

An allergic response is the body's way of reacting to the ingestion of substances such as pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and dust mites. The body reacts by producing histamine, which is a chemical responsible for the production of watery mucous attempting to wash away the irritating pollens. Anti-histamines block this natural response of the body. People who suffer from persistent allergic reactions either have deficiencies in digestive and metabolic enzymes or not enough histamine production or histamine not strong enough.

Healthy Immune System For Allergy Relief
There's no denying we live in a world full of toxic substances in our air, water, medications, cleaning products, personal hygiene products and foods. Fighting off these toxins puts a strain on the immune system. A stronger immune system is always a good thing. The most natural way to fight off allergies is to keep your immune system healthy and in good working order. Toxins have a negative effect on the good bacteria in our intestines leading to an overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria. This imbalance of good and bad bacteria creates an unhealthy digestive tract and an out of balance immune system.

Deficiencies in vital nutrients also adds to the problem. Vitamin D, omega 3 and omega 6 are among these. These are important to maintaining a healthy immune system that is able to fight off allergens and we don't get enough of these from the diets we typically eat.

Natural Solutions to Allergy Relief
There are natural solutions that can support the relief of allergic reactions and immune system function. Here are a few that can be helpful in saying good bye to allergies.

The histamine production centers in our bodies are controlled by our internal hydrologic cycles. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces per day and even more during allergy seasons.

Stress can add to the production of free radicals in the body which leads to cell damage. Reducing stress can help keep free radical production to a level that the body's natural antioxidant enzymes can neutralize them before they cause damage. Developing a meditation program is just one way to reduce stress.

The less pollutants, pesticides and preservatives we come into contact with, the better for the body. Using natural cleaning solutions, natural cosmetics, and eating fresh organic foods can help cut down on exposure to toxic substances.

Enzymes break down the irritating shell that surrounds each pollen molecule. This prevents your body from going into a histamine overdrive. Take 2 with each meal and 2 between meals. If you are enzyme deficient you may need more to restore your enzyme bank.

Wheat sprouts are powerful antioxidants that help your body cope with all the extra pollen in the air (as well as free radicals increased by environmental pollutants and stress) moving it through your system without a lot of allergy symptoms. Take 2 three times a day.

When you're gut is functioning properly, everything else works smoothly. Probiotics such as Acidophilus and bifidus help keep your gut in healthy, working order, which is the basis of total immune health. Take 2 acidophilus in the morning and 2 bifidus at night.

Detoxification can be used to remove impurities and eliminate toxins from the blood in the liver, through the kidneys, intestines, lungs and skin. There are many natural cleansing and detoxification methods you can get pre-packaged from your local health food store or can find on the internet to make yourself at home.

A balanced immune system, proper nutrients and supplements, and detoxifying can go a long way to freeing you from allergies.

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.