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 12, 2013

The Flat Stomach Diet Anyone Can Use

Starting a flat stomach diet isn't all about fitting into tight jeans or looking good in a bikini, it's also about being healthy. Subcutaneous fat, is the fat we can see that accumulates just under the skin usually in the buttocks, hips, thighs, and abdominal areas. Seeing too much subcutaneous fat is an indication that we also have too much visceral fat. This is the fat that is around our vital organs such as liver, heart, lungs and digestive tract. This fat cushions the organs, but too much of it can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, colon cancer and other health conditions. Research is also finding fat to be linked to bone loss and other bone related problems. This is why getting on a flat stomach diet is important to keep healthy. Getting rid of visceral fat allows us to have better sleep, more energy and better overall health. According to Travis Stork, MD, emergency room doctor and a host of the daytime talk show The Doctors, diet and exercise work better on fat on the belly than on other body fat.

When we talk about a flat stomach diet though, we're not talking about a specific counting calories, follow this meal plan flat stomach diet. We are talking more about making lifestyle and dietary changes to get rid of fat and keep it off. Diet results will vary for individual people according to genetics, level of activity and other factors, but these lifestyle change tips can help reduce belly fat and leave you healthier overall.

FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #1 - BE A PICKY EATER
Start being picky about the kinds of foods you eat. Avoid processed foods and junk food with their preservatives, sugars, fats and salt. Opt instead for organic whole foods. Then find healthy nutritious foods that you enjoy that will fill you up. Finding what works for you to satisfy hunger without adding extra fat, sugar or salt will help you lose weight without feeling deprived or starved. Also consider the types of foods and how your body processes them. For example, it takes more energy to process protein than it does carbohydrates or fat or eating certain types of foods can increase metabolism or eating raw foods to get more enzymes helps digest the foods you eat. Start giving some thought to what foods you will and will not eat. This may involve making a big change in your diet, but establishing a new way of thinking about eating can be a lifelong change that will have a major effect on your health.

FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #2 - ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidant foods rich in flavonoids seem to be particularly good at improving metabolism and warding off belly fat. These are found most prevalently in fruits and vegetables which are also low in calories and help fill you up making them a good food choice. Pears, apples, onions, leeks, and sweet peppers all fall in the flavonoid category. Tea and dark chocolate are also good sources of flavonoids as long as you don't go overboard on the chocolate since it does have more calories than veggies. Berries are also a good source of antioxidants and studies have shown they can keep fat cells from increasing in size and help them release a hormone that helps in the reduction of inflammation and lowering blood sugar.

Ubiquinol is an active form of Coenzyme Q10 which works much like antioxidants in keeping our cells healthy. There are very few foods that can supply us with enough so supplementation is important. One supplement that has the ubiquiol to help support cell energy, also has reishi mushrooms which are a complete whole food rich in proteins, enzymes, minerals, and complex polysaccharides and oyster mushrooms that give us fiber, vitamin D, niacin, iron and the antioxidant ergothioneine and has the many added benefits of superfood bluegreen algae loaded with omega-3s.

FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #3 – MUFAS AND PUFAS
MUFAS are monounsaturated fats or monounsaturated fatty acids and PUFAS are polyunsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fatty acids. Both of these are in the "good" fats category as our bodies do need some fat in order to function properly. For example, fat is needed to dissolve certain vitamins that are vital for a healthy body. Research has found that eating MUFAS helps keep blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels stable, reduces the risk of heart disease and helps burn off belly fat. They are also more filling so you don't have to eat as much as with other foods to satisfy hunger. PUFAS can help release fat, increase metabolism and the body burns them faster than saturated types of fat. Good sources of MUFAS are nuts, olive oil, seeds, and avocados. PUFAS are found in fish and fish oils, bluegreen alage, nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of PUFAS and have many benefits for physical and mental health.

FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #4 – TRANSFATS
Transfats or trans fatty acids are considered one of the "bad" fats. This type of fat increases LDL cholesterol levels and lowers HDL cholesterol levels and can increase triglycerides. Some transfat is naturally occurring such as animal fat in meats, but transfat can also be created by taking vegetable oil and adding hydrogen to it. This is done to help give processed foods a longer shelf life and you may find it listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Margarine, cookies, crackers and pasta are some of the foods to watch for this to be listed in ingredients. Transfats can take fat from other parts of the body and move it to the belly section. Even those of us who read labels have to be careful because in the U.S. the label can list 0 grams of transfat if it contains less than 0.5 grams per serving. That may not sound like much, but eat several servings and it adds up. Avoiding foods that have this type of fat will help with your flat stomach diet.

FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #5 – EAT MORE SMALLER MEALS
First eat breakfast. You've probably heard this before that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but especially if you are on a flat stomach diet, don't skip breakfast. Besides eating breakfast, don't skimp on breakfast. You may be starting your day out with more calories, but it will pay off throughout the day. Eating a good healthy breakfast in the morning helps curb the appetite the rest of the day and starts your day out with a boost for physical and mental energy. Then the rest of the day start making the lifestyle change of going for several smaller meals instead of the typical 3 meals a day mentality. Eating several smaller healthy meals every few hours helps reduce cravings for unhealthy foods, helps keep you away from the junk food, keeps you feeling full thus avoiding hunger pains and keeps you from feeling food deprived so that you don't go on a binge later.

FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #6 – PROBIOTICS
When working on a flat stomach diet, good digestion is a must. If food doesn't keep moving through the digestive system it can become stuck which causes belly bulge. Probiotics, such as acidophilus and bifidus, are the friendly bacteria that naturally live in your small and large intestines. These bacteria help your body process and digest the foods you eat and move them through the digestive system. Foods such as yogurt and kefir with live active cultures can help give you some probiotics, but usually not enough. What I like to do is take these convenient daily packets of capsules that give me not only acidophilus and bifidus, but also digestive enzymes and 2 kinds of AFA bluegreen alage. The probiotics and enzymes add to a flat stomach diet by aiding the digestion process and the algae provides a rich source of omega-3 and a lean source of protein. In fact did you know this form of microalgae has 75% usable high quality protein compared to just 18% in red meat?

FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #7 – FIBER
Many research studies have reported that eating foods high in soluble fiber can help get rid of belly fat. This would include adding foods such as oatmeal, flaxseeds, beans – especially black beans, kidney beans and navy beans, vegetables like Brussels sprouts, turnips, sweet potatoes, and asparagus and fruits like apricots, oranges, grapefruit, and mangoes into your diet. If you are not used to eating a lot of these, then you may need to start slow adding them in to avoid gas buildup. Beans and legumes also have the "good" carbohydrates that can help keep burning fat after eating and help you feel full so you eat less. And to add even more to their health benefits, they are a lean protein source.

FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #8 – SODIUM
Cutting down on sodium and increasing fluids can help in a flat stomach diet by reducing water retention. Read food labels to see how much sodium they contain, stop reaching for the salt shaker, and avoid recipes with excess salt. When you consider that one teaspoon of table salt has 2325 mg. of sodium and Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends between 1500 – 2300 mg. a day, you can see how we easily can end up with too much sodium in our diets. We do need some sodium to help balance body fluids, transmit nerve impulses and help muscles contract and relax, but too much is bad for heart, kidneys, fluid retention and blood pressure. Start experimenting with various herbs and spices to flavor foods instead of the traditional salt and pepper flavoring.

Drinking more water can help increase metabolism, help the liver to convert stored fat into energy and help in burning off fat. Most people need about 2 quarts of water throughout the day. Drinking water is important, but drinking green tea everyday can also help in a flat stomach diet. Green tea has EGCG which is a great antioxidant for increasing metabolism.

There you have it, 8 tips to help you make lifestyle changes that will equal a flat stomach diet for you to develop for yourself. You may already be doing many of these things and you won't have so many changes to make. If you aren't then don't get overwhelmed and stressed out by these suggestions. Take one or two at a time and start incorporating them. Once you are comfortable with those you can add another suggestion. Any of these tips can help you get a flat stomach diet going for yourself, but more importantly they will help you develop healthy dietary habits for the rest of your life.


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.webmd.com/diet/features/lean-belly-prescription-diet-review?
http://www.cosmopolitan.com/advice/health/sad#slide-1
http://www.jillianmichaels.com/fit/lose-weight/flat-belly#slide=1
http://www.oprah.com/health/Get-Rid-of-Belly-Fat-Dr-Oz/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sodium/NU00284



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Got Brain Fog? This Will Help!

Can what we eat really help clear out brain fog? It sure can. Eating the right foods can actually affect the chemicals in our brains. Gary Wenk, PhD, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Ohio State University and author of Your Brain on Food, says that foods are chemicals similar to the ones in the brain which is why they can affect how the brain works and also why food can be addictive. Eating certain foods can help us focus, improve mood, improve concentration and clear out pesky brain fog.

How Food Works On Brain Fog
Certain types of foods help clear out brain fog by giving us a boost in the chemicals the brain uses to regulate mood and brain function. This would be chemicals like norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. For example, carbohydrates contain a nonessential amino acid, tryptophan. Tryptophan goes to the brain helping to create serotonin which is a mood regulator. So eating foods with good carbs like whole grains, legumes, veggies and fruits leads to improved mood and brain functions such as concentration. Many protein rich foods such as red meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, soybeans, tuna, shellfish, and turkey can also increase tryptophan levels.

Here are some other ways to eat your way to a better functioning brain and avoid brain fog.

Omega-3
This polyunsaturated fatty acid has been researched to see the link between it and depression. Results indicate that adding omega-3s to your diet can help with depression as they affect the neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel as well as flaxseed, olive oil, walnuts and bluegreen algae are all good sources for omega-3.

Folate
Folate is a B vitamin the brain needs to produce chemicals that affect mood. Harvard Medical School researchers found that increasing folate levels in depressed patients did give them a mood boost. Eating green leafy foods like spinach, Brussels sprouts and asparagus can help increase your folate levels.

Chocolate
Here's one most of us are happy to see on the list. Chocolate! There are studies showing chocolate can affect the brain much like marijuana does. It gives an extra boost to brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. A study in the UK attributed the antioxidant polyphenols found in cocoa as a cause for increased calmness and contentment which could of course help in the way we think and are able to concentrate. Unsweetened dark chocolate has the amino acid tryptophan which helps with mood boosting. This doesn't mean we have a license to indulge in unlimited milk chocolate bon bons however. Chocolate does still have sugar and adds calories so stick to dark chocolate with cocoa content of 65 percent or higher and in moderation to get the most benefits.

Caffeine
The Archives of Internal Medicine reported a research study in 2011 that found a 20% lower risk of depression in women that drank 4 or more cups of coffee daily. The conclusion is that caffeine can affect serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors that monitor adenosine levels that make us drowsy and bring on brain fog. This opens the way for brain stimulates like dopamine and glutamate to operate more fully.

Bluegreen Alage
The type of bluegreen alage that is the heart of the algae with the cell wall removed is especially useful for enhancing activity in the brain. Since the brain is the most nutrient-demanding organ in the body, bluegreen algae provides whole food nutrition to help feed it and the amino acids found in that are the building blocks of healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters vital for proper brain function. Bluegreen algae also provides essential omega-3 fatty acids and helps maintain normal, healthy blood chemistry of the blood that feeds the brain.

Another bluegreen algae supplement that can help in avoiding brain fog was originally created for high-performance athletes and active lifestyles where concentration and mental clarity were particularly important. This supplement combines organic wild bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni which all help contribute to brain health and function.

Adding some of these types of healthy foods can have many other health benefits, but if you are looking for ways to clear up brain fog then these are a few foods that can help you eat your way to clearer thinking.

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 samuiblue / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/how-food-affects-your-moods
http://www.oprah.com/health/Foods-That-Boost-Your-Mood-Food-That-Improves-Your-Mood/
http://www.prevention.com/food/smart-shopping/5-foods-make-you-happier

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 28, 2013

Have Leaky Gut Syndrome? Healthy Food Options and Supplements

Leaky gut syndrome is a real thing with real symptoms, but many in the medical community find it frustrating when it comes to treatment. They see it more as a manifestation of symptoms, but are not always clear on the cause or treatment to pursue. One thing that does seem to be agreed on though is that the condition can cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, brain fog, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, sore throat and pain in various parts of the body and is most probably due to the filtering function of the intestinal lining not working properly. Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that allows undigested food molecules, yeast, toxins, and waste to flow into the bloodstream. Normally, micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals and macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats, are broken down into small particles such as amino acids, and glucose. When larger macronutrients get into the bloodstream, especially proteins, the immune system releases white blood cells to attack them. This then causes swelling and inflammation as these white blood cells release chemicals that cause this reaction. Often the immune system can't keep up this attack and these invaders are able to get into body tissues causing inflammation in various body organs. The body is basically fighting itself at this point and the result can range from uncomfortable and painful symptoms to a variety of autoimmune diseases. One rule of thumb to follow in relation to leaky gut syndrome is keeping track of how many foods you show reactions to. If you have intolerance or sensitivity to more than 12 different foods, then the likelihood of having leaky gut syndrome is high.

You can see by the variety of symptoms why leaky gut syndrome is often baffling for health care providers. It can manifest in many different ways, in various parts of the body and with a wide array of symptoms. Some discoveries that help explain this variance include:
  • damaged microvilli in intestinal lining reduces amount of digestive enzymes being produced which means food is not being broken down into small enough particles and larger one are getting into the bloodstream
     
  • particles not broken down do not provide needed nutrients, vitamins and minerals for body to function properly
     
  • inflammation of the intestinal wall can result in constipation and/or diarrhea
     
  • when the body is trying to get rid of toxins through the skin, rashes result
     
  • tissue inflammation and increased toxicity can result in headaches, memory loss, extreme fatigue, and brain fog
     
  • an overworked, stressed, or poorly functioning immune system cannot handle "bad" bacteria and viruses causing ongoing sickness
     
  • yeast overgrowth leads to a variety of symptoms including gas, cravings for sugar, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, heartburn, mood swings, depression, and anxiety

Healthy Food Options for Leaky Gut Syndrome
It's not really the foods being eaten that are the problem here although certain foods not broken down properly can be labeled by the immune system as foreign invaders and targeted as such. The problem is really what happens to the foods we eat rather than the foods themselves. There are some foods though that can support the digestive process and are easier to digest than others. When it comes to leaky gut syndrome, the best defense is supporting the digestive system and the immune system and there are healthy food options and lifestyle changes that can help with this. Here are a few to get you started.

Reduce 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. Therefore, eating foods such as oysters, halibut, nuts and seeds, or spinach and other leafy greens will increase your intake of these vitamins and minerals to give you the extra stress relief. If you can't get enough from the foods you eat, then consider taking supplements of bluegreen algae which loaded with chlorophyll and magnesium and coenzyme Q10 that not only helps with stress relief, but also energy, cardiovascular system support and immune system support.

Dietary Changes
Antioxidants are very important in promoting a healthy immune system and in the prevention of disease. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage from free radicals and go around your body cleaning up toxins and substances that make your aches and pains worse during stress. Foods high in antioxidants include cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, beans, artichokes, Russet potatoes, pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts. A good way to choose high antioxidant foods is to look for brightly colored fruits and vegetables. If your leaky gut syndrome symptoms indicate that you have an overgrowth of yeast, modify your diet to cut out processed foods, sugars and starches.

Dietary Supplements
Vitamin D, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids can help with restoring the lining of the intestines. Omega-3 has also been shown as beneficial in inflammation reduction. Glutamine has been used to repair intestinal damage including the lining as well as reduce cravings for sugar. Slippery Elm has been used to protect the stomach lining, reduce the risk of ulcers and reduce acid in the digestive system. It also has antioxidants that can help with inflammation in the intestines We especially like this supplement  that is full of antioxidants to repair cellular damage from free radicals and is a stem cell support supplement. Stem cells exist in every organ and tissue in our bodies and produce over 30 types of growth factors and tissue chemicals, help recruit other local and systemic stem cells to focus on repairing damaged tissue, and are active in immune modulation to promote or suppress T-cell function. Supporting the health of your natural adult stem cells is a way to support your body's own renewal systems. The enzymes bromelain and papain can help support the immune system and reduce inflammation. Our favorite way to get these enzymes is with this supplement  that has both these enzymes to help combat the stress of cellular oxidation and breakdown and nourish cells.

Probiotics and Enzymes
You can get probiotics from food such as yogurt, but not enough to really do what you need which is to have enough of these "friendly" bacteria to combat the "unfriendly" bacteria and yeast that are causing problems. Probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus help in repairing damage to the wall of the intestines and reduction of inflammation. They also aid in the production of B vitamins like B-12 that help us deal with stress.

Digestive enzymes are needed to breakdown foods properly. Unfortunately we don't usually get enough of these from the processed foods and over cooked foods we eat. Taking digestive enzymes can help with the process of breaking down foods into smaller particles so that we get the nutrition our bodies need from them and don't have so many of the larger particles trying to get through the damaged filtering system of the intestinal wall. Enzymes also help with scouting out bad bacteria and toxins and removing them.

As you can see there are healthy food options and supplements that can help give you relief from your miserable symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. It is still a good idea to work with your healthcare provider especially if you have severe symptoms that could be an indication of a more serious condition, but these healthy food options and supplements can help get you on the way to having a more enjoyable and healthy life. 

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 Grant Cochrane / 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.jigsawhealth.com/resources/leaky-gut-probiotics
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9336/8-supplements-to-heal-a-leaky-gut.html

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Causes of Food Allergies and How to Avoid Them

Can the causes of food allergies be avoided? Well, consider first of all what causes food allergies. Food allergies are not the same as food intolerances and the causes of food allergies and food intolerances are different. Food intolerances are a digestive problem whereas food allergies are caused by the immune system deciding certain foods are something harmful to the body and attacking them. Food allergies can have symptoms ranging from mild rashes to life threatening swelling of the throat to the point the person cannot breathe. Food intolerances produce symptoms such as abdominal cramping, bloating, gas and diarrhea which are certainly uncomfortable, but not considered life threatening. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting statistics such as an 18% rise in cases of food allergies in children between 1997 and 2007, it would seem that food allergies are becoming more and more of a problem. According to Julia Bradsher, CEO of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, it is estimated that 3 million children in the U.S. have food allergies. Whereas some of these children will outgrow some of these food allergies, there are some that will remain with them for life.

Avoiding Causes of Food Allergies
According to the Mayo Clinic the most common foods that create allergic reactions are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts such as cashews and almonds, shellfish, fish such as bass, cod and flounder, soy and wheat. In the case of a food like peanuts that often carries allergic reactions into adulthood, the medical community has traditionally recommended that children not even begin eating them until after the age of 3. New research is looking at the reverse of this to see if introducing peanuts to children at an earlier age will allow the immune system to develop a tolerance for them. Since food allergies basically are a problem with the immune system identifying certain foods as foreign invaders in the body, one thing that can definitely be done to avoid the causes of food allergies is to boost the immune system. Here are some ways to do just that.

Eat Algae - Two studies show that "the inclusion of blue-green algae in the diet contributes to a reduction of anaphylactic and immune-type allergic reactions in animals" ("Edible Microalgae", Jeffrey J. Bruno, Ph.D.). This can work the same in humans by taking supplements of bluegreen algae to support the body's immune system and tolerance.

Increase Enzymes and Probiotics - Many food allergies are caused by poor digestion linked to the immune system. Poor digestion from such causes as "leaky gut syndrome," allows undigested proteins to enter the blood stream. This triggers the immune system into an allergic reaction. While enzymes and probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus are found naturally in the body, we often don't produce enough to help keep up with healthy digestion. Taking supplements of high quality digestive enzymes, acidophilus and bifidus can help breakdown all types of foods, help the body process food efficiently and eliminate waste, promote the normal movement of food through the intestine and support immune system function.

Eat Immune Boosting Foods – For healthy immune system support there are certain foods you can include in your diet that have been shown to give it a boost. These include:
  • Mushrooms which have been shown to increase production and activity of white blood cells. White blood cells are a part of the immune system that help fight off infections. Shiitake and maitake mushrooms seem to be the best ones for immune system support. Don't like mushrooms? Check out this supplement  to get the mushroom immune boost. It also has WGP beta-glucan which is also an immune system booster.
  • Tomatoes which contain lycopene that can aid in the fight against free radical damage to white blood cells with its antioxidant properties.
  • Oats which are a good source of beta-glucans that activate macrophages produced in your bone marrow and are an important part of the immune system.
  • Whey which contains cysteine, an amino acid that the body converts into the antioxidant glutathione that fights the damage to our bodies' cells caused by free radicals.

Take Bromelain – Bromelain is an enzyme that naturally occurs in pineapple and has been found to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is the body's reaction to infection or something it considers to be a foreign invader that is threatening the body. In the case of food allergies, the body is labeling a certain food as this foreign invader. It is suggested that Bromelain may work best when not taken with food. The solution for this for many may be this supplement that combines bromelain with phycocyanin which is the unique blue pigment from bluegreen algae, Ecklonia cava or Seanol® which is a marine algae, standardized turmeric, and wild bluegreen algae which helps support the body in fighting off inflammation.

It would be ideal of course to avoid the causes of food allergies altogether, but when someone does show symptoms of being allergic to certain foods that food will have to be avoided. Especially in the cases of life threatening symptoms. Keeping a food diary can help narrow down which foods are causing symptoms. Write down what foods are eaten, what symptoms are noticed and how long after eating that food the symptoms appear. This information along with allergy testing from a health care provider can help determine which foods will need to be avoided. As the immune system is strengthened over time, these foods may at some point be tolerated better and symptoms of allergic reaction reduced or eliminated. Even if you find you never tolerate a certain food, there are tons of other reasons to have a healthy immune system, so you certainly can't lose by giving it a boost and if it helps with the allergic reactions to foods then it's a double win 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.
 
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sources:
http://www.oprah.com/health/Diagnosing-Food-Allergies-in-Children/1
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-bromelain-bromelin
"Edible Microalgae", Jeffrey J. Bruno, Ph.D.

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, November 14, 2013

5 Ways to Improve Immunity This Winter

With cold and flu season quickly approaching, we are reminded that the best defense is to improve immunity to protect ourselves from these nasty bugs. The stronger our immune systems are, the less likely we are to catch a cold or flu. There are many ways to improve immunity and get our immune systems in tip top shape. Here are a few tips that can help.

1. Mushrooms
Certain types of mushrooms have been found to be a great natural source to improve immunity. They increase white blood cells and increase their activity which gives a boost to the immune system. There are a wide variety of mushrooms and some have been found useful in killing off bacteria, viruses, and yeast and even useful in fighting cancer. The type of mushrooms called polypores appear to have the most antiviral ability. There is even a polypore variety that has been found helpful in combating smallpox. Research has found the mushroom Agaricon effective in fighting off flu. Various mushrooms have been found beneficial in improving blood flow, balancing cholesterol and blood sugar, regenerating nerves, supporting the kidney and liver, and reducing the risk of heart disease as well as many other functions that can improve health.

Shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms seem to be the most effective to improve immunity. Here are a few reasons each of these mushrooms and a few others are particularly suited to improve immunity.

Shiitake - Lentinan is found in shiitake mushrooms. This polysaccharide is known for its antitumor properties and has been used effectively in the treatment of cancers, stomach problems such as ulcers and hyperacidity, and in liver support. Eritadenine is also found in these mushrooms and is used in lowering cholesterol. Shiitake mushrooms have been found to have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. This is especially helpful to improve immunity during cold and flu season with a variety of bacteria and viruses around to catch. This nutrient dense mushroom is rich in beta glucans, polysaccharides, glycoproteins, B vitamins, and ergosterol. Research is currently focused on its benefits for the immune system, cardiovascular system, immune modulation, liver function, cholesterol, and cellular oxidation.

Reishi – Ganoderic acid found in reishi mushrooms is used as a treatment for lung cancer, leukemia and other types of cancer. The reishi mushroom shows properties of antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antifungal abilities. It has been shown useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis, balancing blood pressure and cholesterol levels and reducing the prostrate related urinary symptoms in men. This mushroom is high in beta glucans, polysaccharides, and has 130 identified triterpenoid compounds. It is a complete whole food rich in proteins, enzymes, minerals, and complex polysaccharides. Research with this mushroom is currently focused on benefits to the cardiovascular system, liver function, circulation, cholesterol, inflammation, stress response, oxidative stress, immune modulation, cellular damage and immune system support.

Maitake - This gourmet culinary mushroom has excellent nutritional value through a variety of beneficial phospholipids, unsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides, antioxidants, beta glucans and plant sterols such as ergosterol. Scientists currently are studying it for its benefits for the immune system, liver function, endocrine system, circulatory system, bone and skeletal system, blood glucose, skin, immune modulation and cardiovascular system.

Cordyceps - This mushroom is rich in proteins, plant sterols, polysaccharides, antioxidants, and nucleoside derivatives. Scientific research currently is interested in its benefits for immune system, liver function, sports performance, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, circulatory system, immune modulation, cellular oxidation, blood glucose and kidney function. It has been found useful for endurance and strength and in warding off effects of aging. Cordyceps has been found to have antitumor properties, increase blood flow, balance cholesterol levels, give protection to liver and kidneys and there are indications it has antidepressant qualities.

Turkey Tail – This mushroom contains PSK and PSP which are both polysaccharide-protein complexes that are water soluble and contain polysaccharides, beta glucans, and protein. This mushroom is of special interest to the scientific community in regards to fighting cancer. Research on Turkey Tail revolves around benefits to immune modulation, digestive system, circulation, lymph system, immune system, liver function and cellular system. A 2011 study of women with breast cancer found Turkey Tail mushroom to improve immune system function. There is also interest in it for fighting infections such as HIV, Herpes, E. coli, candida albicans, and many others.

A simple way to get the immune boosting power of all these mushrooms and more is through a supplement. This particular mushroom supplement combines reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei, with astragalus, beta glucan and bluegreen algae for support to improve immunity.

2. Beta Glucan
Simply put beta glucan is a simple sugar that can come from yeast, bacteria, fungi or grains like oats, barley and rye. Not all beta glucans are the same however. They vary in structure and in the benefits they can provide. Beta glucan from yeast has been found to bind macrophages and stimulate them, thus benefiting the immune system function. The type of beta glucan found in baker's yeast is the most effective for immune system support. Grains such as oats and barley have a type of beta glucan found to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Beta glucans in general are known to help fight off bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics, release chemicals that support immune cells, reduce cold symptoms, and help regulate the immune system. Beta glucans are not something the body produces naturally. We have to get them from food or supplement sources. Wheat, shiitake mushrooms, rye, barley, oats, baker's yeast or our favorite mushroom with beta glucan supplement  are all good sources of beta glucan.

3. Algae
Another natural way to improve immunity is with algae. We love this algae supplement that combines 9 different types of algae for full spectrum nutrition. Here is how each of these can help you to improve immunity with whole food nourishment.

Dulse - A dark red sea algae rich in phytonutrients and pigments, high in plant-based protein, with important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6, B12, and A, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese.

Ecklonia Cava - A rich source of bioactive derivatives, mainly phlorotannins, including triphlorethol-A. These phlorotannins are strong antioxidants as well as a source of other benefits for supporting healthy living.

Fucoidan - A seaweed compound derived from brown sea algae and is a sulfated polysaccharide.

Kelp - A wild algae that occurs naturally in all the oceans of the earth and is a rich source of micronutrients and minerals including vitamins C and E, calcium, magnesium, boron, and trace elements that are necessary for strong bones and muscle function.

Bladderwrack - A brown algae found in the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans that is rich in vitamins and minerals and contains the sulfated polysaccharide fucoidan.

Dunaliella Salina - A sea microalgae with high carotenoid content (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein), antioxidants, and important vitamins.

Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) - A variety of bluegreen microalgae that is rich in chlorophyll, phycocyanin, a broad spectrum of minerals and phytonutrients, and vitamins A and K, and provides a complete protein profile.

Chlorella - A strain of green microalgae grown through freshwater aquaculture that is rich in nucleic acids, amino acids, peptides, polysaccharides, and minerals.

Bluegreen Algae - A bluegreen algae that is the only edible freshwater bluegreen algae in the world that grows abundantly in the wild, and is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. This algae is rich in phytonutrients, plant-based proteins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, as well as a wide spectrum of micronutrients.

4. Garlic
Allicin, found in garlic and released when crushing or chopping garlic, has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has been found to improve immunity and useful in fighting off colds. One study showed participants given a garlic extract for 12 weeks were two-thirds less likely to catch cold than those that were not given the garlic. Most sources indicate that cooking reduces the effectiveness and that using raw garlic is the best to improve immunity.

5. Tea
Tea has also been found to have the ability to improve immunity. Research has shown that tea can help boost the immune system in preparation for fighting off infections. One such study at Harvard reported participants drinking 5 cups of black tea daily for 2 weeks showed a significant boost in the interferon system's ability to fight off viruses. This could be explained by the amino acid L-theanine being found in black and green tea. The antioxidants found in tea have been found to reduce the risks of cancer and heart attack. Tea has antimicrobial properties and has been found beneficial in reducing the risk of diabetes, weight loss, and mental alertness. Teas that have been found to offer a variety of health benefits include green, black, white, Oolong,
Pu-erh, Chamomile, and Echinacea.

So don't wait until you get the cold or flu this winter, get started now to improve immunity and help your immune system get prepared.


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 Nujalee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/9-power-foods-boost-immunity
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

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Adult Stem Cells and Their Role in Healthy Aging

While research on the use of adult stem cells has not reached the point of declaring them as the new "Fountain of Youth", there are indications that they may be helpful in supporting healthy aging. There has been a lot of controversy over the last several years surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells for research, but adult stem cells are an entirely different matter. All stem cells have the remarkable ability to repair and regenerate your body. Embryonic stem cells are developed from the conception of a fetus. Adult stem cells however are in each of our bodies naturally. Those found in blood and bone marrow are already showing results in treating a variety of autoimmune and heart diseases. Therapies using adult stem cells have been used to treat diabetes, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, and leukemia. Many of these therapies and more are still in the experimental stages and research is still being done on them, but there is hope.

The Future for Adult Stem Cells Use
Researchers would like to take the use of adult stem cells further. They believe the potential is there to take your own stem cell from a healthy part of your body and use it to produce a heart cell or some other damaged body cell then put it in where there are damaged cells in the body. Another course of research is striving to be able to harvest your own adult stem cells at a young age and reintroduce them to your body when you are much older. One study done with mice reported that older mice showed an increased life span when injected with muscle stem cells of younger mice (http://ow.ly/qKhvy). The older mice were also found to be in better health through this introduction of younger stem cells. Johnny Huard, a stem cell expert at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburgh, believes stem cells may secrete a substance that can help people stay healthier as they age. 

How Adult Stem Cells Can Help You Now
Adult stem cells have the ability to divide and renew themselves for long periods of time, and they can give rise to specialized cells. Stem cells have the remarkable ability to repair and regenerate your body. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a skin cell. New stem cells can migrate to the areas of the body where they are needed most as we grow older thus serving as a repair system for the body. Adult stem cells can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as a person or animal is alive. No matter what age you are now, you can work towards healthy aging by giving your adult stem cells a boost by nourishing them. One way to do this is by taking a stem cell support supplement that has been shown to increase the growth of adult stem cells in in vitro laboratory studies, that supports the body's natural renewal system with nourishing ingredients, that provides nutrition that enables stem cells to flourish, and that protects existing stem cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. This supplement provides nutrition for adult stem cells to reproduce and has the antioxidant capacity to protect existing stem cells from the harmful effects of free radicals which is especially important during the natural aging process.

Other Natural Solutions for Healthy Aging
1. Supplements – There are two natural supplements we've found useful for healthy aging. The first has a blend of bluegreen algae, wheatgrass juice, cordyceps mushrooms, bee pollen, turmeric, noni, and green tea as a whole food source for physical energy. The second has a mix of bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane mushroom, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni to support mental processes that often decline with age.

2. Antioxidants – You see the signs of aging when you have healthy cells dying off or damaged by free radicals in your body. Eating a variety of bright colored fruits and vegetables loaded with antioxidants can help ward off wrinkles, eye disease, heart disease and cancer. Good foods for antioxidants include those with vitamin C, zinc, and beta carotene. This would include dark leafy green vegetables, carrots, peppers, oranges and grapes.

3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Eating foods rich in omega 3 supports brain health and heart health. Good sources of omega 3 include fish like salmon and tuna, bluegreen algae, olive oil, flax oil, and nuts.

4. Low-fat Dairy –As we age, we start losing bone at a faster rate than we can regenerate and replace it. That makes our bones more fragile. Our muscles, joints and balance also can all become weaker as we age, meaning we are more likely to have falls which can lead to breakage of these more fragile bones. That is why bone health is an important area to consider in healthy aging. Calcium and vitamin D are necessary for supporting bone health. Including low fat dairy products that are fortified with vitamin D in our diets can help support strong bones while keeping the cholesterol levels down.

Someday in the not too distance future, we may be amazed at the ways therapies using adult stem cells will be able to help us with healthy aging. As we await these new therapies from adult stem cells research there are things we can all do now to support healthy aging. You're never too young or too old to start on your way to healthy aging. So give some thought now to trying these tips and work towards having a healthy mind and body in your elder years.

Sources:
http://www.oprah.com/oprahradio/Stem-Cell-Research
http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/news/20080226/adult-stem-cell-therapy-shows-promise
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/01/120106-aging-mice-stem-cells-old-young-science-health/
http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/anti-aging-diet



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 stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net