Thursday, December 26, 2013

Healthy Living for Improved Immunity

For improved immunity there are healthy living steps you can take. No one likes being sick and keeping our immune systems healthy is something we can do to prevent or cut down on the amount of sick days we have to endure. The immune system is our defense system so working towards improved immunity is a big step in the direction to healthy living.

Improved Immunity From the Outside
Many people don't think of skin as part of the immune system, but it is actually our first line of defense in protecting the body from pathogens and protecting against the damaging effects of free radicals. Having healthy skin is a two part process. What you put on the inside of your body and what you put on the outside both contribute. For the inside, a healthy diet, plenty of fresh water, and sufficient exercise are important. For the outside, protection from sun damage by wearing a hat and long sleeves when outside in the sun, using a good sunscreen and nourishing the skin are all important. When looking for a skin lotion, consider not just what is in it, but also what is not in it. I like this lotion that is full of food-grade nutrients my skin craves, like vitamin E, organic blue-green algae, and wholesome oils, all of which work together to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, encourage skin cell renewal, stimulate the skin's immune system, and help protect against the effects of free radicals. Besides what it does have in it, it also does not have things that I don't want on my skin such as parabens, synthetics, and petrochemicals. This lotion has the added bonus of WGP Beta Glucan which is a powerful immunomodulator.

Improved Immunity From the Inside
Antioxidants –
Adding foods with antioxidants to your diet can give you a boost towards improved immunity. Antioxidants fight off free radicals that can damage healthy body cells. Since our bodies do not produce enough antioxidants naturally to deal sufficiently with free radicals we can get more of the antioxidant vitamins, minerals and enzymes we need through foods and dietary supplements. Foods that are high in antioxidants are bright colored vegetables and fruits like dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli and spinach, oranges, berries, red peppers, papayas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

Go To Bed -
Americans in particular are notorious for not getting enough good quality sleep each night. This is another source that negatively affects the immune system. A study done at the University of Chicago reported men getting only 4 hours of sleep a night producing much less antibodies than those getting seven and a half to eight and a half hours. Making sure you get the proper amount of uninterrupted sleep every night is another way to work towards improved immunity.

Bluegreen Algae -
Nutrients that support immune function include Vitamin A, beta-carotene, zinc, iron, B-vitamins, amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and nucleotides. An easy way to get all of these is by eating microalgae. Studies of school children report a significant decrease in sick days resulting in an increase in school attendance for participants that ate AFA blue-green algae. The carotenoids in AFA blue-green algae have also been shown to enhance immune function by giving protection to the thymus gland and antioxidant protection to white blood cells and other immune cells. Animal studies have found that those fed algae were the least likely to contract disease. (Jeffrey Bruno, Edible Microalgae)

For improved immunity, I like to include a supplement that combines pure ubiquinol, reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and bluegreen alage to my diet. This supplement was designed to activate cellular energy making it a support for a healthy cardiovascular system as well as improved immunity. Reishi mushrooms have been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properites. It is also high in beta glucans, polysaccharides and triterpenoid compounds as well as being rich in proteins, enzymes, and minerals. Oyster mushrooms are not only rich in protein, but high in B vitamins and lovastatin which helps balance blood cholesterol levels. Ubiquinol is an active antioxidant form of coenzyme Q10 that supports cardiovascular, nervous system and immune system health. Adding all these ingredients in with bluegreen alage gives me a powerful tool for improved immunity.

Avoid Chronic Stress -
There has been quite a bit of research done on how stress negatively affects healthy living in many ways. In regards to the immune system, stress can affect the cells such as macrophages and T cells that protect us against the foreign invaders that make us sick. Marc Schoen, PhD, an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, suggests that for improved immunity instead of going from high stress to a collapse state, it is better to let the body slide into relaxation at a slower pace. So for example, when coming off a high stress period include some exercise or some activities that require concentration. It is always a good idea for healthy living to find ways that work for you that are stress reducers. Many people think of yoga, meditation or relaxing in a bath with candles when they think of stress reducers. If that works for you then great, but if not consider other ways such as sports, hobbies, or some form of exercise.

Make Time for Friends-
Research has shown that healthy living is also linked to our relationships and activities with other people. Those who have relationships with other people at home, work, socially or are involved in community activities with others live longer and don't get sick as often. Laughter is often a component when we are involved in activities with other people and laugher has been shown to support immune cell function and be a stress reducer. Attitude may have some relationship to this as well since research has also shown that people who are more optimistic are less inclined to be stressed and have healthier immune systems than their more pessimistic counterparts. It is harder to get down in the dumps when surrounded by positive people, when staying active and involved with others and when having a good time, so making time in your busy schedule to go out with friends and for socializing is another step on the path to healthy living. If you start feeling guilty about being out having a good time when you feel you should be finishing a work project, just remember that it can actually be a step towards improved immunity which means you won't be taking sick time out later that will interfere with work.

In today's environments with lots of pollution, exposure to toxins, fast paced lives with stress, less than optimal food sources and lack of sleep, it takes work for healthy living and for improved immunity. The bottom line is start enjoying life more and you will stay healthier. Eat good food, support your diet with supplementation that gives you good nutrients, lighten up, have some fun and get enough sleep and you will find healthy living isn't all that hard to accomplish.


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.
 
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.oprah.com/health/Dont-Let-Stress-Make-You-Sick-Stress-and-Immunity
http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/top-10-worst-habits-your-immune-system
http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/foods-boost-immunity-mushrooms

Jeffrey Bruno, Edible Microalgae

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tips on Aging Gracefully with Antioxidants

If you are looking for tips on aging gracefully, antioxidants are a good place to start. Inside and outside your body, antioxidants can help you with a variety of age related health conditions such as wrinkles, cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, creaky joints, aches and pains, tiredness, and cataracts. Before we give you some tips on aging using antioxidants, let's explore a bit about what antioxidants are and how they work.

Antioxidants and Free Radicals
To understand how important antioxidants are, we first have to understand a bit about free radicals. The average human body is composed of over 75 trillion cells. Cells are essential components to health and longevity. Our cells though are under constant attack by damaging, unstable molecules called free radicals. Basically free radicals are molecules in cells that are weakened to the point that they lose an electron. This weakness is caused by such things as toxins in the body, exposure to UV rays, chlorinated water, pollution, and overcooked, fried and processed foods. These free radicals then go around taking electrons from other molecules and creating more free radicals. Free radicals damage the body, including cells, enzymes, and DNA, causing negative effects such as pain, inflammation, and chronic diseases.

Our bodies have free radical scavengers, called antioxidant enzymes, which help neutralize free radicals before they cause cell damage by replacing the missing electron. Our bodies do produce antioxidants naturally, but not enough to deal with all the free radical damage. Antioxidants are very important in promoting a healthy immune system and in the prevention of disease. They can possibly reduce the body's vulnerability to age-related health issues, thus helping us achieve a healthier life. Since our bodies do not produce enough naturally to deal sufficiently with free radicals we can get more of the antioxidant vitamins, minerals and enzymes we need through foods and dietary supplements.

Tips on Aging: Good Antioxidants for Aging Gracefully

Antioxidant foods to eat -
Resveratrol is an antioxidant compound found in the skin of red grapes, red wine, grape juice, peanuts, mulberries and a few Chinese herbs. It has been found to have antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. There are health conditions and medications that don't mix well with Resveratrol however, so be sure to check with your health care provider before taking supplements with this especially if you have any bleeding or hormone conditions or if you take prescription medications or supplements such as ginkgo, garlic or St. John's Wort.

Vegetables and fruits with bright colors are a good source for a variety of antioxidants. Studies have shown that eating foods high in the antioxidants vitamin C and E can help protect skin from UV damage and those foods particularly high in vitamin C can help fight dry skin and wrinkles. Another vegetable that is a good food for skin health is the tomato. Tomatoes contain lycopene which can also help protect skin from sun damage. One study done at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands reported findings that participants getting the most Vitamin C showed the lowest risks for stroke. Fruits and veggies high in antioxidants include:
  • Fresh and dried fruits, especially berries
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • kale
  • Carrots
  • Sprouted greens
  • Kale
  • Nuts
  • Green tea
  • Kiwi
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Bell pepper
  • Papaya
  • Tomatoes
Antioxidants to Put On -
Besides eating foods with antioxidants to combat free radicals, you can apply antioxidants right to your skin. There are beauty products that have been created with antioxidant molecules made small enough to be absorbed by skin pores. Antioxidants that help skin with aging gracefully include Vitamin C and E and coenzyme Q10. Antioxidants applied to skin can help protect against damage from the sun and air pollution. If you are looking for tips on aging for your skin then finding a moisturizer or serum with antioxidant protection can help reduce or prevent wrinkles, and improve the tone of your skin.

I like this lotion  with its powerful antioxidants and immune support, fortified with high-performance levels of WGP (whole glucan particle) beta glucan, bluegreen algae, and aloe vera, as well as vitamins A, C, and E and other key ingredients that nourish my skin while leaving it soft without an oily feel.

Antioxidant supplements -
Every cell must have energy to survive and function. Coenzyme Q10 is needed for energy in every normal cell of the human body. In fact, Dr. Karl Folkers, winner of the Priestley Medal for his work on CoQ10, has declared, "We know today that CoQ10 is essential for life to exist." This supplement not only gives you coenzyme Q10, but also a combination of premium antioxidants and bluegreen algae. It contains 82% of the daily value of antioxidant vitamin A (beta-carotene) and includes the highest quality organic, cold-pressed flaxseed oil which is a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.

Adult stem cells, that are already in our bodies and are not controversial like embryonic stem cell use is, maintain and renew body tissue and help in maintaining a healthy immune system. As we get older, we don't produce as many adult stem cells and they don't regenerate themselves as fast as when we were younger. This is where supplementation can help. Research has shown that certain nutrients such as are present in this stem cell support supplement can help promote the renewal of stem cells. It provides nutrition that supports the growth of stem cells and provides antioxidants that protect existing stem cells from free radical damage. One of the ingredients, carnosine, is an antioxidant amino acid naturally present in the human body that may delay the natural aging of cells and extend the lifespan of adult stem cells.

This antioxidant supplement  is loaded with chlorophyll, glutathione, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It contains a blend of kale sprouts, red clover sprouts, wheat sprouts, concentrated wheat sprouts, and Dunaliella salina algae.

The tips on aging with antioxidant use can help you get started towards aging gracefully, feeling and looking healthier and improving your quality of life. Whether you are eating them, putting them on skin or getting them through supplements, antioxidants are a key ingredient in a healthy lifestyle.


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.
 
Image courtesy of Photokanok / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.oprah.com/style/How-to-Apply-Topical-Antioxidants
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-resveratrol
http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/anti-aging-diet

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Living Healthy with Leaky Gut Syndrome

The term "leaky gut syndrome" seems to be a current hot topic, so it's probably not new to you. The alternative medical fields have recognized it for a long time, but now that the more conventional medical community has jumped on board we are hearing a lot more about leaky gut syndrome. In this article we are exploring ways of healthy living if you have leaky gut syndrome rather than looking at what it is and how it is caused. To read more about the causes and what it is see our article What is Leaky Gut Syndrome, Really?.

Living Healthy: Gut Health
Many people are just starting to realize that their gut health is crucial to their overall health. A wide variety of medical conditions and diseases are the result of an unhealthy gut. There are 2 things to consider in gut health. One is the health of the intestinal friendly bacteria and the other is the intestinal lining or barrier. The friendly bacteria in our guts promote normal intestinal function, protect against infection by controlling unfriendly organisms such as bad bacteria, fungus, viruses and yeast, play a critical role in regulation of metabolism and are a major part of the immune system. The intestinal lining is set up to let substances that feed the body through into the bloodstream and filter out substances like poorly digested food particles, large protein molecules, microbes, waste, toxins, antigens and pathogens from getting into the bloodstream. When the intestinal lining lets these type of substances into the bloodstream, which in turn carries it to body organs, many types of medical conditions, symptoms and autoimmune diseases can result.

One protein that has been recognized by research that particularly causes the intestinal lining to be more permeable is zonulin. People with autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease have been found to have high levels of zonulin and that it leads to leaky gut syndrome. Eating grains with gluten such as wheat that have the protein gliadin increases the body's production of zonulin, so if you suffer from leaky gut syndrome this is an important area to address in making dietary changes.

Living Healthy: Dietary Changes
That brings us to the first natural solution when dealing with leaky gut syndrome – changes to the diet. Sorry, but there is no getting away from that you will have to make changes to the types of foods you eat. To start your road to healthy living with leaky gut syndrome you have to repopulate your friendly intestinal bacteria and strengthen your intestinal lining so that it is able to do its filtering job. Besides cutting out wheat and other grains with gluten from your diet, you also need to cut out all sugars, processed foods, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and refined carbohydrate foods. It is best to eat only organic foods to avoid pesticides and GMOs that do not help the healing process. Foods high in fiber and essential fatty acids are important to add to your diet to deal with inflammation, clearing out bad bacteria and fungi, and promote intestinal healing. This would include fatty fish, bluegreen algae, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and nuts. Basically you want to change your diet so that you are not eating processed foods, any kind of sugar, or simple carbs that break down into sugars and replace them with complex carbohydrates, nutrient rich, fiber rich and whole natural foods. Be sure to drink lots of pure water too to help flush out toxins.

Living Healthy: Lifestyle Changes
There are quite a few things that we know contribute to destroying our friendly bacteria in the intestines. Besides the ones related to diet, these can include drugs such as antibiotics and NSAIDs, chronic stress, radiation, environmental toxins and chlorinated water. Being aware of these and making changes to avoid them can help keep the friendly bacteria we already have thriving.

When dealing with leaky gut syndrome it is extra important to find a way to deal with stress. 95% of visits to the doctor in the U.S. are from stress related conditions. Vitamins and minerals considered to be stress relievers include magnesium, B vitamins, especially B-12, coenzyme Q10, and chlorophyll. Your body uses these up quicker when under stress. So just when you need them the most to help you battle stress, you have a lack of them. There is no one way to relieve stress, so do some experimenting with various techniques to find what works for you. Some people find meditation, yoga or breathing techniques helpful while others find sports, exercise, or hobbies to work better for their stress relief. It is also important to get enough sleep when dealing with stress and leaky gut syndrome. Research shows that people who don't have enough sleep tend to stress and worry more than people who do get enough sleep. For some tips on other ways to deal with stress, see our article 5-Minute Methods to De-Stress Your Way to a Healthy Lifestyle.

Living Healthy: Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes
Probiotics are of course the friendly bacteria in the intestine and vital in protecting the digestive system from unfriendly bacteria, yeast and fungi. We quite often do not have enough of the good bacteria to fight off the bad. This is why supplementing the diet with high quality probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus are so important to gut health and healthy living with leaky gut syndrome. Digestive enzymes are another important component. They aid digestion by helping to break foods down which makes them easier for the body to absorb the nutrients it needs to function properly. A simple and convenient way to get the essential fatty acids and nutrition from bluegreen algae, probiotics acidophilus and bifidus, and digestive enzymes is with convenient daily packets containing all these. These help eliminate the "I don't have time" excuse. Just grab a packet on your way out the door and take it with you to eat in the car or at the office.

Living Healthy: Herbs and Supplements
Since leaky gut syndrome causes the body to be fighting against extra inflammation, give it some support with this supplement that combines phycocyanin (the unique blue pigment from bluegreen algae), Ecklonia cava (Seanol®, a marine algae), standardized turmeric, bromelain, and bluegreen algae.

You may also need to supplement your diet with extra nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium and conenzyme Q10. Leaky gut syndrome tends to leave the body short on these by interfering with the body absorbing them. Colostrum can also be used to help repair the gut lining and decrease inflammation.

Herbs that have been found helpful in dealing with damage from leaky gut syndrome include marshmallow root, slippery elm, licorice root, goldenseal, fennel seed, ginger root, Echinacea, garlic, grapefruit seed extract, and black walnut. Caprylic acid or octanoic acid which is a fatty acid in coconut oil can be useful for its antiviral and antifungal properties. DGL or Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice, is an herb that has long been used to treat digestive conditions and is made by removing glycyrrhizin from whole licorice. L-Glutamine, an amino acid, has been found particularly useful in repairing damage to the intestinal lining and decreasing cravings for sugar.

Living with leaky gut syndrome can be painful and interfere enormously with leading a normal and enjoyable life. If you live with it then you know what I am talking about. There's no time like the present to get serious about improving your life and taking control of your leaky gut syndrome symptoms. Hopefully you have some ideas now of things to do and can get started healing your gut and be on your way to living healthy.


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.
 
Image courtesy of voraorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9336/8-supplements-to-heal-a-leaky-gut.html
http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-5-heal-your-gut
http://www.naturalnews.com/038709_leaky_gut_syndrome_healing_solutions.html
http://www.womentowomen.com/digestive-health/leaky-gut-syndrome/


Thursday, December 5, 2013

How to Increase Immunity with Natural Solutions

Turns out Mom sure knew how to increase immunity when she'd pass out the chicken soup when we were sick. She may not have known that the amino acid cysteine created by cooking chicken simulates acetylcysteine which is a drug for bronchitis or that the chicken broth thins out mucus much like a cough syrup or that a University of Nebraska study found chicken soup could block inflammatory white blood cells so they couldn't build up in the bronchial tubes, but she somehow knew it was good for us when we were sick. I used to think my mom was psychic because she always seemed to know what I was doing, what I was thinking and how I was feeling without being told. Just a little scary, right? I realize now as an adult she was picking up on subtle clues from me that she was able to interpret by knowing me so well. The same thing is true when looking at your health and how well your immune system is working.

To know if your immune system is doing its job or not, do some observing of your overall health and diet. Here's a few questions you can ask yourself:
  • Do you seem to catch every illness that is going around? This is a big clue that your immune system may not be functioning its best. It is normal to get sick a few times a year with a cold, flu or virus, but more than that could be an indication of a weakened immune system.
     
  • Do you eat or drink much sugar? A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that even ingesting the amount of sugar found in 3 cans of soda a day could cause your white blood cells to fail in killing bacteria for 5 hours after eating or drinking sugary foods or drinks.
     
  • Is your nose dry? Mucus collects germs and helps to get them out of the body. If your nose is too dry and you are not producing enough mucus, you may be holding on to more germs than can be fought off.
  • Are you over-stressed? Stress has definitely been linked to a weakened immune system.
     
  • Do you get enough sleep? Inadequate sleep in amount or quality can over-stress the body and weaken the immune system.

If your answers to these questions indicate that your immune system is not doing the best job for you, then you may be looking for natural solutions for how to increase immunity. I have 2 tips today for how to increase immunity that Mom may not have known about or even heard of. Beta Glucan and Mushrooms. Let's take a look at how both of these work and can be natural solutions in how to increase immunity.

How To Increase Immunity: Mushrooms
According to Douglas Schar, DipPhyt, MCPP, MNIMH, director of the Institute of Herbal Medicine in Washington, DC, recent studies have shown mushrooms to be supportive of white blood cells that fight off infections. With their immunosupportive agents, they can help protect you from viruses, bacteria and even yeast. There are even mushrooms being used to kill cancer cells and for nerve regeneration. Shiitake, maitake, and reishi seem to be the ones that have the biggest impact for immune system support. Dr. Joseph Mercola tells us that polypores are the mushrooms that work best as antivirals and Paul Stamets has recently made the discovery that the polypore, Agaricon, can help fight off diseases such as smallpox and the flu. Dr. Mercola also believes it is better to go with a mushroom blend so that your body doesn't become resistant and adapt to one particular mushroom. There are 2 mushroom blend supplements that I like to help me with immune support. This one combines the powerful organic mushroom blend of reishi, maitake, cordyceps, wild black trumpet, and Poria cocos mushrooms and the other one  has a blend of reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei, with astragalus, beta glucan and bluegreen algae.

This second one leads us to the next immune support tip – beta glucan. One of the reasons mushrooms are being found effective for immune support is that they have polysaccharides, glycoproteins, ergosterols, and triterpenoids. These are all precursors to beta glucans. Let's take a look at beta glucans and how they are another of the natural solutions for how to increase immunity.

How To Increase Immunity: Beta Glucan
Beta glucan is a complex carbohydrate of the simple sugar glucose. It can come from cereals like oats and barley or from yeast, bacteria and fungi. Beta glucans differ in structure according to how the glucose is linked. Yeast beta glucan is linked in such a way that it has been found to enhance and stimulate macrophages, a type of white blood cell that kills off foreign invaders and stimulates other immune cells to fight them off. The beta glucan that comes from baker's yeast is the most potent anti-infective beta glucan immunododulator. This is the type that I get from this supplement  along with the mushroom blend. Since the body does not produce beta glucans by itself, we have to get them from the foods we eat or supplements. Baker's yeast, shiitake mushrooms, barley, oats, rye, and wheat are all sources of beta glucan. One study from Norway reported that when animals got beta glucan from eating oats and barley they were less at risk for contracting flu, herpes and anthrax. They found it to be an immune booster for people by increasing the effectiveness of antibiotics and helping wounds heal faster. Other studies have found beta glucan to be effective against bacterial infections and viral infections and even lessen duration of symptoms of the common cold.

With cold and flu season upon us, building up our immune systems is extra important to stay healthy and productive. So get out the chicken soup, mushrooms and beta glucans to help your immune system do the best job it can for you.

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

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

Thursday, November 21, 2013

How to Get Flat Abs, Really


Isn't it frustrating to be eating healthy and exercising and still find yourself facing the question of how to get flat abs? It is to me and one survey showed that 72% of women between the ages of 45 and 64 list this area as being the part of the body they feel the most insecure about. So I know I'm not alone. It is often very tricky to get that midsection flattened out. There are a variety of reasons for this including:
  • water retention
  • stored fat
  • poor digestion
  • diet
  • stress
  • age
How To Get Flat Abs Dos and Don'ts
Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, Georgia State University professor emeritus, says that the key to controlling belly fat is the acronym SED:
  • S: Strength training to preserve muscle mass 
  • E: Exercise aerobically to burn fat
  • D: Diet that is healthy, calorie-controlled, and includes heart-healthy fats
When looking at how to get flat abs there are some do's and don'ts that can't help. For example, you probably know that eating protein and fiber foods can help, but did you know that drinking alcohol can slow down the fat burning process? According to Diane Henderiks, R.D., personal chef and founder of Dish with Diane, alcohol is processed by the liver before carbohydrates and proteins are, so if you overindulge in alcoholic beverages that could be a contributing factor to your bulging belly. Let's take a look at some other do's and don'ts that play a role in the how to get flat abs game.

Do Cope with Stress
Finding a way to cope with stress whether it is meditation, deep breathing, a hobby, massage or whatever helps you relax is an important DO. When we are stressed or anxious our bodies produce more cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that signals the body to store fat. This fat is quite often stored in the abdominal area.

Don't Eat Heavy
This seems like an obvious don't, but take it further to include changing your eating habits to several smaller meals throughout the day instead of eating the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner. Many people are stuck in the routine of it is time to eat so let's eat instead of checking in with their bodies to see if they are actually hungry. Eating to satisfy the hunger instead of eating until you are full is another consideration. Do you really need to eat that huge restaurant serving for lunch or is your hunger satisfied by only half of it? Usually when I go to a restaurant I find the portions enough to make 2 meals or more instead of one if I really pay attention to hunger pains instead of focusing on cleaning my plate.

Do Build Muscle
Whereas fat tends to be stored instead of being used up by the body, muscle can help raise your metabolism and burn calories. To build more muscle make sure your exercise regimen includes strength or resistance training exercises. This would include exercises of the type that cause the muscles to contract against an external resistance to increase strength, tone, mass or endurance. The external resistance could be from objects such as weights or dumbbells or even your own body weight or exercise mat such as with lunges, leg abductions or plank type exercises.

Don't Miss Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, Americans getting 8 hours of sleep a night dropped from 35% to 26% in a 7 year period. A lack of sleep can slow down the metabolism and increase fat storage.

Do Support Digestion
Your digestive system needs healthy friendly bacteria to digest your food. If you do not have enough of these bacteria working for you, your digestion is slowed and bloating occurs as well as having undigested food causing belly bulges. Yogurt and kefir are good sources of probiotics vital to this digestion process. When buying yogurt or kefir, make sure you get the ones with live active cultures. You can also add a full spectrum probiotic supplement to your diet. Our favorite probiotic supplement  has twelve key good bacteria that are microblended with bluegreen algae. Digestive enzymes are another way to help with digestive support. Enzymes can help break down all kinds of foods including fats, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber for improved digestion.

Don't Eat Processed Foods
Processed foods generally have a lot of sugar. Check the labels on boxes, jars and packages and how many do you find that say high fructose corn syrup? Sugar can be hidden in these types of foods under different names so know what you are getting by looking up ingredients that you are not sure what they are. Or even better, just stick with natural, unrefined foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, and sources of lean protein. These are not only healthier for you overall, but will help you in your quest of how to get flat abs.

Do Ab Flattening Exercises
Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson recommends working on big and multiple muscle groups through exercise rather than isolation movements. That means doing exercises such as squats and lunges will be more beneficial in flattening abs than leg curls and burn off more calories. Exercise physiologist Tom Holland recommends also adding some periods of high-speed, more intense exercise into your routine to burn more calories in a shorter time period. To help you get the most out of your exercise routine, we've found taking this supplement  high in antioxidants and bluegreen algae superfood to be supportive in giving you a boost. When you feel good you improve your amount and quality of exercise. The nourishment from bluegreen alage and antioxidant nutrition help you feel your best. 

Do Eat Fat
What?? I'm trying to flatten my abs and you say eat fat! As long as it is the right type of fat and of course you don't overdo it, then yes. The fats to look for are the monounsaturated fats such as you find in olive oil, avocados, nuts, soybeans, flax and sunflower oil. Research is showing that this type of fat has many health benefits including helping lose belly fat. They also help you fill full so that you can avoid overeating.

Do Support Overall Health and Energy
Every body cell must have energy to survive and function. Coenzyme Q10 is needed for energy in every normal cell of the human body. Our favorite COQ10 supplement contains 82% of the daily value of antioxidant vitamin A along with a full spectrum of carotenoids (natural antioxidants) from red beta algae and bluegreen algae. In addition, this Conenzyme Q10 supplement is emulsified in organic cold-pressed flaxseed oil which makes the body absorb it better than powders and provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. CoQ10 is essential for life to exist, as it is an integral part of energy production within every cell. Having your cells energized and supporting overall health and vitality means you feel better and have the energy to get those ab flattening exercises done everyday.

When wondering how to get flat abs, consider these dos and don'ts and how making a few exercise and lifestyle changes can lead to a healthier flat bellied 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.
 
Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/30-greatest-flat-belly-tips-all-time
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/abs/express/get-a-flat-belly/
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/flat-belly-diet
http://www.prevention.com/fitness/strength-training/how-flatten-your-belly-and-reduce-stomach-fat-any-age

Thursday, October 31, 2013

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.

Fiber
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.

Probiotics
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.

Protein
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 (http://ow.ly/qkrkZ).

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 to increase metabolism, burn fat, digest a broad spectrum of substances, and clean up waste in the body.

Calcium
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.
 
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Sources:
http://www.cosmopolitan.com/advice/health/flat-belly-diet#slide-1
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/flat-belly-diet
http://www.oprah.com/health/3-Rules-to-Eat-By
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/core-health

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Healthy Living with Leaky Gut Syndrome

If there is anything the medical communities can agree on about leaky gut syndrome it is that not enough is known about it. Time was when the majority of doctors did not even recognize leaky gut syndrome as a real condition. The alternative medical community recognized the seriousness of leaky gut syndrome before traditional medical personnel and came up with some treatments to reduce symptoms. Even though the condition is becoming more accepted by doctors of all kinds, the dilemma still exists that there is just too much still not known and too broad a spectrum of causes and manifestations to have one simple sure-fire treatment. If there is a second thing that the medical communities all can agree on about leaky gut syndrome, it might be that healthy living habits such as diet and stress reduction are the best first lines of defense.

What Do We Know About Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Whereas there is some controversy and varying opinions and theories about what causes leaky gut syndrome, we're not totally in the dark about it. Here are some things that are generally accepted about it:
  • the intestinal lining which normally acts as a filter, only allowing very small particles through to the bloodstream, becomes more porous
     
  • larger molecules of undigested food, toxins, yeast and other waste are not being filtered properly by the intestinal wall and get into the bloodstream
     
  • the immune system identifies these extra particles as foreign bodies and reacts to them as such
     
  • the immune system cannot keep up with the extra stress put on it trying to fight off all these extra foreign bodies and they are able to pass into various body organs resulting in inflammations
     
  • the immune system becomes weakened and less able to fight off other types of bacteria, viruses and germs that cause sickness
     
  • symptoms include chronic diarrhea, constipation, skin rashes, headaches, brain fog, poor memory, food intolerances and fatigue and can lead to conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Celiac Disease, MS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, and Fibromyalgia

Immune System and the Gut
You may be asking yourself at this point what your gut has to do with your immune system. The intestinal system is actually the largest immune system organ. Dr. Campbell-McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, sums it all when he says:
"A well functioning gut with healthy gut flora holds the roots of our health. And, just as a tree with sick roots is not going to thrive, the rest of the body cannot thrive without a well-functioning digestive system."
The lining of the intestines with its millions of cells plays a huge role in immune system defense. Simply put, ideally as food is digested and nutrients extracted, the intestinal system exercises a screening process. Those particles that are ready to be passed along through the bloodstream to feed parts of the body are allowed through the tight junctions of cells making up the intestinal wall. These same tight junctions hold back particles that should not move on into the bloodstream or that are not yet ready to pass along. Micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and macronutrients, proteins, carbohydrates and fats, need to be broken down in order to be absorbed and used by the body. Proteins break down into amino acids, carbohydrates break down into sugars like glucose, sucrose and fructose and fats break down into fatty acids and glycerol. Until they are broken down into these small molecules that the body can use, they should not be allowed to pass through the intestinal wall.

In leaky gut syndrome, this process does not work ideally and toxins, undigested food molecules, yeast and other pathogens that should not be getting into the bloodstream are. Once these particles enter the bloodstream the liver jumps into action and attempts to filter out what the intestinal lining failed to. As the liver becomes overwhelmed fighting off all this extra overflow, other parts of the immune system jump in to help fight them off. At this point most of the immune system resources are being used to fight off these invaders and there are not as many immune resources left to attend to "normal" business. There are also so many of these invaders floating down the bloodstream to various body organs that the immune system cannot usually fight them all off. It releases white blood cells to help in fighting them. These white blood cells release chemicals that induce swelling and inflammation. As the invaders are absorbed into body tissues, the immune system's attempts to destroy them results in inflammations in whatever tissues and organs they have entered. The immune system in turn becomes overworked and stressed which can lead to a variety of autoimmune conditions.

You can see now why there are so many ways that leaky gut syndrome can manifest in such a variety of conditions and symptoms and where the controversy comes in for the medical communities. It is a problem for sure, but since there is still a lot of information lacking as to why this all happens and there are so many different locations in the body that can be affected and so many different results or reactions a body can demonstrate, it is often hard to pin down a diagnosis and treatment.

Leaky Gut Syndrome and Healthy Living
Now that you understand a bit about the problems leaky gut syndrome can cause and how it comes about, you might think you are doomed to living with it. Not true. And if you are living with leaky gut syndrome, you are probably a lot less interested in the causes and conditions than you are in getting relief from your symptoms. Having a basic understanding of how it all works though will give you insight into how these natural solutions can help.

Enzymes to Break Down Foods
Some sources we consulted indicate that if you show sensitivity to more than a dozen foods you can assume you have leaky gut syndrome. Undigested foods getting through into the bloodstream are seen as foreign invaders causing the immune system to put up defenses against them. Once the immune system recognizes these as "unfriendly" it will continue to do so anytime these same foods are introduced into the system. Increasing your intake of digestive enzymes can help break foods down into nutrients that will be used by the body. In other words, the problem isn't necessarily the foods you are eating, it is that they are being allowed into the bloodstream before they have been properly digested. It is also cited that those with leaky gut syndrome have low stomach acid. Since digestion begins in the stomach with hydrochloric acid breaking down foods, this can get the digestive process off to a bad start. Taking a digestive enzyme supplement can help facilitate the digestive process. Enzymes help in breaking down food into smaller particles, but they also go through the intestinal system removing toxins, bacteria and damaged cells. Bromelain and papain enzymes are also useful in reducing inflammation in the intestinal lining as well as other body tissues. Using enzymes to help fight off inflammation can give some relief to the overworked immune system.

Because many of the foods we eat lack the enzymes necessary for digestion, we have to take extra enzymes to help digest our foods. While raw organic foods usually have enough enzymes to digest themselves, so our bodies don't have to provide extra enzymes, most of the foods we eat are cooked, packaged, or otherwise enzyme-light. Taking enzymes with each meal helps ensure that your food is properly digested in the stomach before it goes into your intestines. Taking enzymes between meals also helps with digestion, since these enzymes roam the body and "digest" toxins, extra fecal matter, and even proteins that have slipped into the bloodstream through the stomach wall.

Healthy Eating
When dealing with leaky gut syndrome, it is helpful to be aware of the types of foods you are eating. The less ammunition, the shorter the battle. If you eat a lot of processed foods, foods high in refined sugar and preservatives, for example, you are adding fuel to the fire. These types of foods bring chemicals into the body that are identified as toxins. Sugar also feeds yeast and can lead to an overgrowth of them getting into the bloodstream and adding damage to the intestinal wall. In a system that is already overwhelmed with toxins and fighting them off, it can be helpful to eat foods that don't introduce more. To help the gut heal, eat food without any sugar, avoid foods with gluten, processed foods, dairy foods, alcohol, caffeine and simple carbs that break down into sugars. Instead eat whole foods that are high in fiber, essential fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, and are nutrient rich.

De-Stress
Stress is another factor that can lead to a weakened immune system. Finding a way to cope with stress can take another burden off the immune system that is already overworked. Exercise, meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, massage, sports or hobbies can all be stress relieving tools. Making sure you get enough good quality sleep can also help with stress. Various herbal teas and Rescue Remedy can be helpful in relieving anxiety associated with stress. Try a variety of different things to see what works for you to reduce stress.

Zinc
Zinc is a vital mineral for strengthening the intestinal lining. It can also help strengthen a weak immune system and helps in the building of 100 different enzymes. Calf liver, crimini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and spinach are all foods high in zinc. Other foods that are good sources of zinc include shellfish such as crab, lobster, shrimp, clams, oysters and mussels, lamb, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, oats, wheat germ, and yogurt.

Clean Your Digestive Tract
There are many ways to cleanse your body, but the simplest one I know of is to do a castor oil pack on your abdomen once a week for 4 weeks. Castor oil packs are an old Edgar Cayce remedy and they work really well to help your body get rid of any kind of waste. They work equally well on anything from clogged up intestines to unwanted bone spurs. Castor oil literally dissolves any kind of unnatural material in the body.

You can buy full castor oil packs (which include a wool flannel cloth, castor oil, and a heating pad) at most health food stores. You can also order these supplies online at the Heritage Store. You will also need to have some baking soda on hand for cleaning up after you have done the pack.

A short version of how to do the castor oil pack are as follows:
  1. Soak the wool flannel with castor oil, and place the flannel in an ovenproof dish.
     
  2. Warm the wool flannel in the oven, until warm to the touch. Meanwhile, plug in the heating pad and warm it. Also, mix the baking soda with water so it forms a paste.
     
  3. Once the wool flannel is warmed, place it directly on your abdomen, and then place the heating pad on top. Leave the "pack" in place for 1 1/2 hours.
     
  4. Once you are done with the pack, wipe your entire abdomen with the baking soda paste. This converts the toxins released by the pack into harmless salts that can be washed out of your body through the lymphatic system. This step is very important so don't skip it. If you do, your body will not be able to excrete the toxins released by the pack.
After cleansing your system with the castor oil pack, be sure to replenish the probiotics that live in a healthy intestine.

Probiotics
Probiotics are the "friendly bacteria" in your intestines that are necessary in the digestive process after food has passed out of the stomach and to fight off the bad bacteria and yeast. The probiotics acidophilus and bifidus are especially important. They can help in the healing process of the intestinal lining, help in the absorption of nutrients, and the normal movement of food through the intestines. Eating yogurt "beefed up" with probiotics can help, but to fully replenish your supply of healthy intestinal bacteria, oral supplements are your best bet. Yogurt tends to not have enough density of probiotics to truly replenish.

Hopefully you have some ideas now that will lead you to seek help with your symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. If you need more help, seek out a doctor or nutritionist that will be willing to help you work through the process. Including some or all these healthy living tips into your lifestyle are definitely a good place to start whatever other routes you take. Eating right, reducing stress, and supporting a healthy immune system will never lead you in the wrong direction on the path to healthy living.

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.
 
Image courtesy of John Kasawa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/leaky-gut-syndrome
http://scdlifestyle.com/2010/03/the-scd-diet-and-leaky-gut-syndrome/
http://www.naturalnews.com/038709_leaky_gut_syndrome_healing_solutions.html
http://www.jigsawhealth.com/resources/leaky-gut-probiotics

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Flu Vaccine - To Vaccinate or Not?

When flu season comes along many people are faced with the dilemma of whether to vaccinate or not with the flu vaccine. We hope to provide you with the information here to make an informed decision to vaccinate or not.

How the Flu Vaccine Works
The flu vaccine is different from other types of vaccines in that it has to be re-created every year because there are different strains of flu. Each year the people that make the vaccine have to try to figure out which strains will be dominant that year and design the vaccine accordingly. This is tricky, since without a crystal ball there is no way to guarantee that the vaccine they create will cover all the strains that will show up for the season. Then there are other factors that influence whether or not the vaccine will work for you or not. Age plays a role. Health officials predict the current vaccine to be 56% effective for children and adults up to age 64. For adults over 64, it is reported to be only 9% effective. For seniors however, the vaccine can prevent them getting a more severe version of the flu which reduces the chance of having to be hospitalized by as much as 70% and reduces the risk of death by as much as 80%. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that overall getting the flu vaccine reduces the risk of getting the flu by 70-90% and they especially recommend the flu shot for anyone with a weakened immune system such as those with HIV or cancer. It is also recommended that children under the age of 6 months do not get the flu vaccine.

Generally, the flu vaccine works best in healthy adults. The older you get, the weaker your immune system can become. The flu vaccine is made with a dead or weakened virus that doesn't give you the flu, but rather alerts the immune system to recognize it. Then if you are exposed to the flu, your immune system recognizes it as a threat to be fought off.

Your Immune System's Role
Since the vaccine is alerting your immune system to identify and fight off the flu virus strains in the vaccine, obviously the stronger your immune system is, the better able it is to combat the virus. Older adults often have weaker immune systems either because they don't produce as many immune cells as they did when they were younger or their nutrition doesn't contain enough of the nutrients they need for a healthy immune system. When deciding whether to vaccinate or not with the flu vaccine, also consider how you can boost your immune system. That way whether you decide to get the flu shot or not, your immune system will be in tip top shape to fight off not only viral infections like the flu, but also bacterial infections that also go around during flu season.

Natural Solutions for a Healthy Immune System
The immune system is a combination of cells and organs that fight off foreign chemicals, bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast, parasites and other invaders that make us sick. You have cells that block intruders and those that track down intruders to fight them off. Your body produces antibodies that can kill off intruders such as viruses and bacteria that make us sick. Keeping your immune system healthy and strong starts with eating a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep. Here are some other things that can help you in strengthening your immune system.

IgA -
IgA is a protein that is part of the immune system and helps fight off infections by preventing invaders from getting into the body. Stress reduces these levels leaving the immune system more vulnerable. Levels of IgA can be increased by activities such as laughing, social activities, music, and sex. Reducing stress or learning methods of coping with stress can go a long way towards strengthening your immune system.

Exercise –
Too much exercise can actually weaken the immune system. Exercising 3 times a week for 20 minute sessions can help strengthen the immune system.

Wash Hands -
Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to beat germs. Wash with soap and warm water periodically during the day especially before touching food, after interacting with someone who is sick, being out in public and after using the restroom.

Diet –
Antioxidants fight off the damage created by free radicals which age our bodies and weaken the immune system. Flavonoids in fruits and vegetables as well as Vitamin C, E and A are all antioxidants. Green tea is another good source of antioxidants. Zinc is also an important nutrient for a healthy immune system in the development of white blood cells that help fight off infections and is lacking in most of our diets. Eating foods such as lean meats, seafoods such as crab, oysters and lobster, peanuts, cashews, almonds, dairy products and wheat germ are all ways to get zinc in your diet. Avoid saturated fats and instead add the healthy fats such as omega-3 to your diet. Drink at least 2 quarts of pure water daily.

Intestinal Support –
The digestive tract is a large part of the immune system and healthy probiotics in this system are necessary to support good digestion and aid in the elimination of waste from the body. Lifestyles that include chlorinated water, environmental toxins, stress, and diets high in processed and refined foods as well as foods with many of the nutrients cooked out of them contribute to reducing our probiotic population. Taking supplements of acidophilus and bifidus can support the digestive system and the repopulation of these necessary intestinal flora. Acidophilus helps absorb nutrients in food, strengthens the intestinal wall, activates vitamin production and helps with overall food digestion. It also produces Acidophilin which is a natural antibiotic and inhibits growth of 23 toxic producing microorganisms. Bifidus helps absorb water from food, helps reduce bloating and gas and helps with elimination of waste from the body.

Immune Support Supplement –
To help fortify the body's immune system, you can also add a dietary supplement that contains WGP beta glucan. Beta glucan is a complex carbohydrate of glucose that can come from yeast, bacteria, fungi or cereals like oats, barley and rye. In the 1960s, scientists discovered the immune boosting properties of beta glucan. Numerous studies have shown WGP beta glucan to be able to activate macrophages which are a type of white blood cell in the immune system that help fight off invaders.

As you can see your immune system is the key to defending yourself against illness. When flu season comes around it's up to you whether you decide to vaccinate or not, but building a healthy and strong immune system is a must. I hope you now have the information you need to make the decision on whether to vaccinate or not when it comes to getting the flu shot and also have some ideas on changes you can make to your lifestyle to strengthen your immune system. Flu season comes around every year, make sure you are ready for it.

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.
 
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Essential Nutrients for Animals

For thousands of years, animals in the wild thrived on a diet of natural raw foods. These foods provided all of the nutrients, vitamins, organic minerals, trace elements, chlorophyll and antioxidants, as well as the beneficial bacteria and enzymes their bodies are designed to use. But today, whether animals live in our homes, on our farms, or are otherwise under our care, their diets are often dramatically different.

Many essential nutrients are heat sensitive; therefore, critical nutritional properties are destroyed by modern processing and storage methods. They are often replaced in animal feeds with synthetic minerals and vitamins, or vitamin isolates that do not provide the same benefits to the body that whole foods do. If these nutritional needs are unmet for an extended period of time, animals will develop an impaired immune system, evidenced by any number of symptoms, including allergies, dry skin, dull hair coat, and increased susceptibility to parasites.

In your quest to find holistic, natural answers for the health of your animal you can find great natural solutions in our online store. This product line, originally developed for humans, offers superior nutritional support for animals. Supporting the health and immune system of your animals with high quality nutrition is the best and most cost-effective choice for their bodies.

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.
 
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Monday, September 30, 2013

Recharge While You Sleep

We are all so pressed for time these days, that it can be difficult to recharge your energy. One of the best ways to increase your level of energy is to recharge while you sleep. The quality of your sleep determines how refreshed you feel when you wake up in the morning, and how much energy you have during the day. Adding some probiotics and bluegreen algae to your nightly regimen can really help you recharge while you sleep:

Bluegreen Algae with the cellwall removed:
This form of algae, which is core of the algae without the cell wall, relaxes the brain and allows you to get a peaceful night's rest. Take 1-2 capsules before bed.

Bifidus:
Bifidus is an important part of early childhood development, and strongly affects our self-esteem, confidence and sense of wholeness. Adding 2-4 bifidus capsules to your evening regimen can help you wake rested, confident and ready to charge into your day!

Enzymes:
While digestive enzymes certainly help us digest our food, on a metaphysical level, they can also help us digest and "work through" the knotty problems of the day. If you're facing a difficult situation or problem and need some solutions, take 2-4 enzymes before bed. Chances are that you will awaken with the needed solution!

As always, you can order all of these algae products online.

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.
 
Image courtesy of graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shiny Happy Pets

At one August Celebration, a gathering where many New Earth distributors get together and swap health and business tips and success stories, Elinda McKenna talked about the benefits of the algae products for animals. Want to know her signature line for all her emails?

"My dog and cats don't fart, they have clean teeth and gums, great, shiny coats and eyes and wonderful attitudes."

If you've ever been in a room with a stinky dog you know how bad it can get. Stinky breath, farts and "dog smell" are all signs of poor health. Same for cats, horses and most four-leggeds. The key to having shiny happy pets is to make sure they stay clean both on the inside and the outside. Here's how you get your pets from stinky to squeaky clean.

Clean on the Inside:
  •     Feed enzymes to help your pet digest his food - particularly commercial varieties.
  •     Add probiotics for a healthy immune system, coat, and teeth/gums.
  •     Give powdered algae for micronutrients including vitamins and trace minerals.
  •     Offer antioxidants for sick, aging, or working animals to prevent free radical damage.

We've found that staying clean on the inside helps our pets stay clean (and stink-free) on the outside as well!

Read more or order algae products online HERE.

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.
 
Image courtesy of akeeris / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Preventing Pollen Allergies and How to Reduce Symptoms

  1. A stronger immune system is never I repeat, never a liability....with one lone exception...if you have just received a transplanted organ....other than that lone exception...a stronger, healthier, more responsive immune system is the best friend we will ever have.
  2. What is the essence of the "allergic response"?
    Answer: the body reacting to the intentional or unintentional ingestion of pollen.....and pollen-like substances...pet dander, mold spores, dust bearing dust mites...etc. (the reaction to toxic fumes and fragrances is similar but involves a different causative agent.)In reaction to the ingestion of pollen and pollen-like substances, the body produces histamine, which is a chemical responsible for the production of watery mucous in an attempt to wash away the irritating pollens...Anti-histamines block this natural response of the body.
  3. What is pollen? Pollen is "a micro-spore of seed plants." Pollens are microscopic "seeds" and like all other seeds are surrounded by a protein skin that protects them from sprouting prematurely.
  4. The classic "allergic response" to any over-ingestion of pollens...should be the same for everyone....sneezing...watery mucous...and the urgent need to blow your nose and clear your throat of the nasty little pollens!!!
  5. Under ideal circumstances, the body possesses enough digestive and metabolic enzymes.......particularly the enzyme protease....to break down the protein skin of the pollen....thus neutralizing its antagonizing effects...the histamine flows in order to escort the neutralizing, and downsized (digested) pollens out of the body. This usually happens within a matter of minutes and can be over within a matter of minutes...with no further irritation or "allergic response" until the next over-exposure to pollens.
  6. People who suffer from "persistent allergic reactions"(ie symptoms that linger for more than the normal few minutes immediately following the over-exposure) suffer from two basic causes:
  •  deficiencies in digestive and metabolic enzymes...particularly protease and protease partner enzymes.
  • not enough histamine production, or histamine that is not strong enough when it is produced and needed.

Proactive Strategies:
  1. Drink more water... half your body weight in ounces per day...with a pinch of organic seasalt per ounce...and more during the allergy seasons. The histamine production centers of the body are controlled by our internal hydrologic cycles.
  2. Consume adequate amounts of digestive enzyme products.
    What's an "adequate amount"? It varies from person to person but a good rule of thumb is always before meals...1, 2, 3 or more capsules of digestive enzymes before all meals and snacks. You must "experiment" and find out what works best for you and your body! If you are "enzyme deficient" you may need to "restore your enzyme bank"(read Victoras Kulvinskas on enzymes.) Consuming digestive enzymes throughout the day is a really good idea...every hour...every other hour...before going to bed. This constant inflow of "protease" and other digestive enzymes will provide the needed assistance when pollens are ingested.
  3. Consume adequate amounts of bluegreen algae: whole algae and without the cellwall, acidophilus, bifidus, this sprouts and algae supplement to get lots of antioxidant power, CoQ 10, Mazama Mix,........because each of these products nourish and strengthen every cell organ, system and "function" of the body...
  4. When was the last time you did a good 30 days "cleanse"? A good cleansing at the change of each and every season can also be helpful!

To summarize:
  1. Take digestive enzymes to break down the protein skin of the pollens.
  2. Consume all the other above mentioned supplements to make sure all other "systems" are functioning at optimum levels...particularly the "system" responsible for the production of histamine....which is the body's own personal escort service for pollen....and many other irritating, foreign, toxic, and non-nutritious substances. (escort as in "exit" as in "get outta here")
  3. Drink adequate amounts of water every single day.
  4. Be proactive and keep learning common sense approaches to the improvement of your diet and lifestyle.

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.
 
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, September 9, 2013

Natural Diets for Your Pets

Did you know that over 60% of American families have at least one pet? Our pets are always there for us, loving us no matter what kind of mood we're in and offering lots of support. Because they are such an important part of our lives it's our job to make sure that they get all the nutritional support they need so that they'll stay healthy and happy for years to come.

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?

What can you do to make sure your pet is getting all the nutrition he or she needs?

OFFER ADDITIVE-FREE FOOD:
If you buy commercial pet food, make sure it has no additives, which can very detrimental to your pet's food. These days there are many organic, additive free foods on the market. Check on the Internet for a greater selection.

OFFER FRESH, ORGANIC FOODS:
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.

HAVE FRESH WATER AVAILABLE:
Offer your pet fresh, clean non-chlorinated water 24 hours a day. Hydration is just as important to your pet's health as it is to yours.

ADD ENZYMES:
Commercial foods are usually heat-processed, which means they lack enough enzymes for proper digestion. To make sure your pet can digest his or her food, sprinkle enzymes on their food. Order New Earth high-grade enzymes online.

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, August 1, 2013

Signs That Your Immune System Needs a Boost

How is your immune system working for you? Do you find yourself catching every "bug" that comes along while others you know seem to rarely get sick? The difference could be how you are treating your immune system. It may be that your immune system needs a boost to function more efficiently.

Your Immune System
First let's take a look at how your immune system works and how it protects you from catching those "bugs". Your immune system is made up of cells, tissues and organs all working together to protect your body by fighting off invaders that can cause infection. It consists of proteins and cells, bone marrow, lymph nodes, adenoids, appendix, blood vessels, thymus, tonsils and parts of the gastrointestinal tract and spleen. This network protects the body from antigens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins, and cancer cells. Antibodies, which are proteins, are produced by your immune system and along with white blood cells fight and destroy these antigens. As we age, our immune system doesn't function as well because lymphoid tissues shrink and our bodies don't produce as many white blood cells.

What Can Suppress Your Immune System?
There are many factors that can influence how successful your immune system is at protecting you. Here are a few that may be causing your immune system to not be doing an optimal job at fighting off illness.

Obesity –
We've all heard about the obesity problem in the U.S. and know how it can affect our general health. But did you know this is one factor that can cause hormonal imbalances and inflammation that affects how your immune system works? One study showed that people with a body mass index over 40 (which is definitely in the obese category) are more likely to become seriously ill with swine flu.

Diet –
Too much sugar in your diet can not only contribute to obesity which affects your immune system, but also can affect your white blood cells. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating 100 grams of sugar can significantly affect white blood cells' ability to kill bacteria for up to 5 hours after it is consumed. (http://ow.ly/jQN98) Other studies show that diets high in saturated fat also suppress your immune system function. Your diet should not have more than 30% fat and choosing healthier fats can help out your immune system.

Drinking Water –
The type of water you drink can also make a difference to your immune system. If your water source contains chlorine, it could be doing damage to the probiotics or good microflora in your intestinal tract. The EPA cautions that around 25 million people in the U.S. are drinking water from wells that have a higher level of arsenic than is safe. Arsenic has been shown to affect the immune system response to disease such as swine flu and is reported as being linked to some forms of cancer. Find out what is in the water you drink and you may need to consider filtering your water or using bottled water.

Stress –
Stress is another factor that can influence how well your immune system functions. Chronic stress ages the immune system leaving you much more vulnerable not only to colds and flu, but also to diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Finding ways to reduce stress and ways to cope with stress you can't avoid, such as yoga and meditation, will help support your immune system.

Age –

As we get older, our immune systems naturally cease to function as well. Although research has not shown the cause for this, theories speculate that older bodies are not as able to produce immune system cells or that nutrition could be the problem as elderly people often have diminished appetites and don't get the nutrition the immune system needs to stay strong and healthy. We do know that as we age lymphoid tissues shrink and our bodies don't produce as many white blood cells which contributes to the immune system not functioning as efficiently as when we were younger.

Natural Solutions to Boost Your Immune System
If you get more than three or four colds each year, then your immune system may need a boost. Start with getting enough good quality sleep, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet with lots of vegetables. Adding antioxidants to your diet is especially important as they fight off free radicals that can suppress your immune system. Vitamins C, E, and A and flavonoids found in fruits and vegetables are antioxidants that added to your diet can help give your immune system a boost. Green tea also has antioxidants. Zinc is a micronutrient that helps keep the immune system strong and often is lacking in our diets.

AFA Blue Green Alage
AFA blue green algae has a wide variety of micronutrients your body needs to stay in tip top shape. A type of algae supplement that is the whole algae can provide essential fatty acids, proteins, complex sugars, vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. The cell walls of this type of blue green algae are composed of peptidoglycan (carbohydrates and peptides), lipids (oils), polysaccharides (sugars) and proteins which makes it an easily digestible natural complex that is critical for the health and vitality of tissues and cells.

Another type of AFA blue green algae supplement that is the heart of the algae with the cell wall removed through a special process provides all essential amino acids which feed and enhance brain activity. This type of blue green algae is not only an abundant source of raw materials for enhancing activity in the brain, the most nutrient-demanding organ in the body, but also has amino acids which are the building blocks of the healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters vital for proper brain function. It also provides essential omega-3 fatty acids necessary for cardiovascular health and that support immune system health and helps maintain normal, healthy blood chemistry.

Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes also can help support immune system health. We have over 80,000 enzyme systems in our body and each has its own specific function. Some of these are designated to help with food digestion. Diets full of processed and cooked food that don't have any active enzymes keep our bodies from getting the enzymes needed to help with food digestion. This puts a lot of extra stress on the pancreas, liver and spleen as they then have to produce the enzymes we are not getting from our diets. This extra stress takes that energy away from the immune system causing it to be less effective. Adding a high quality digestive enzyme supplement to your diet can relieve this stress and help the body absorb the nutrients it needs from the foods you eat.

Probiotics
Probiotics are another important aid to your immune system. Acidophilus and bifidus are two of the probiotics found naturally in the intestinal tract. These "friendly bacteria" aid in the defense against "bad bacteria" and yeast in our intestines. Balanced levels of these beneficial microflora support proper digestion and help eliminate waste. When we do not have enough of these probiotics, more stress is put on our immune systems. Many of the foods we eat such as those high in fat and sugar, chlorinated drinking water, environmental toxins, antibiotics and other medications we take can all contribute to killing off these friendly bacteria leaving an imbalance. Taking high quality supplements of acidophilus and bifidus with active live cultures can help support the replenishing of these microflora.

All in One
So in our natural solutions section of this article so far, we have listed how 2 types of algae, enzymes, acidophilus and bifidus can all help support your immune system. If that sounds like a lot of hassle and a lot of bottles to you, then there is a way to get all these in one convenient packet. With 30 packets to a box, each packet contains one vegetarian capsule of each type of algae, 2 digestive enzymes, and a capsule of acidophilus and one of bifidus. Easy to grab on your way to work, when traveling or anytime and gives you the added nutrition for healthy digestion, assimilation and micronutrition.

WGP Beta Glucan Supplement
One last natural solution to help boost the immune system is a supplement that contains WGP beta glucan which studies have shown has the ability to activate macrophages, a type of white blood cell that is the body's first line of defense. Macrophages circulate throughout the body destroying foreign antigens.

You don't have to wait for cold and flu season to come around to get working on strengthening your immune system. Be one of those people that rarely catches the "bugs" going around by using the tips and natural solutions in this article to get your immune system in tip top shape so it can offer you the protection to fight off infections and illness.

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.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net