Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ready to Learn How to Have More Joy in Your Life?

Are you ready to figure out how to have more joy in your life? If so, then this is the article for you. Nope, this isn't an article about how to be more productive, how to be a better multi-tasker, or how to juggle your life more efficiently. Nope, this article is about the good stuff in life ... joy! Most of the time we write about how to live a healthier life by making practical lifestyle changes, but every now and then, we need to "go off script" and write about other stuff ... like joy.

After all, if you don't feel joyful in your life, why bother? We humans are not meant to be cogs in some great work machine. We are fully-functional emotional beings who are equipped to feel an entire range of emotions, from rage to boredom to joy. So today, we talk about joy!

How to Have More Joy -- Simple Ways
The emotion of joy often springs up unexpectedly in our lives, such as when we smell the sweet scent of spring flowers or when we hear some funny quote out of the mouths of babes. But we can also learn to live joyfully, on purpose, just as we can learn to laugh on purpose (you've heard about laughter therapy, right?). Check out these two simple natural solutions to a more joyful you!

Practicing Joy
Experts have actually studied the process of joy and written some great tips on how to have more joy in your life. Here are some links to web pages where you can learn about being joyful on purpose. These experts know what they are talking about ... and it can't hurt to try these tips. All you'll lose is a little time!

11 Things We Know About Joy
14 Ways To Find Joy
How to Find Happiness in Unexpected Places

Eating for Joy
In addition to practicing the "art of joy," you can also eat your way to a more joyful sense of being. It turns out that there is a chemical basis for the feeling of joy, mostly related to the health of our brains and our guts. Get the details in this article

So ... at the risk of sounding like a pun, follow these tips and "enjoy"!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to Have a Healthy Brain: Eat These Brain Foods

If you suffer from "brain farts," "brain fog," or other possible signs of poor brain health, then you'll want to know about the brain foods we discuss in this article. The fact of the matter is that you can literally eat your way to a better brain. This is important for all the obvious reasons, such as the fact that we literally can't do anything without our brains. However, did you also know that your brain is the most energy and nutrient-hungry organ in your body? Yup, it's an energy and nutrient hog. So you definitely need to feed your brain if you want a healthy brain.

But--and here's the kicker--your brain is not only a hog when it comes to nutrients, but it's also quite picky as to which nutrients it allows in past the "blood brain barrier." Only certain types of nutrients can get past the barrier to your brain, so feeding your brain with healthy brain foods can be slightly more complicated than you might think. But, don't stress your brain worrying about this. We will explain it all in clear detail below.

Get a Healthy Brain by Feeding It Brain Foods
The sad fact is that most Americans are starving their brain cells because they eat a SAD diet--that is, the Standard American Diet. The SAD diet lacks almost all the nutrients necessary to feed your brain! So how do you feed your brain? Before we can tell you that, we have to explain about the blood brain barrier, or BBB.

The BBB is just what is sounds like--a barrier that restricts which types of molecules can pass through and reach your brain. In layman's terms, the BBB basically only allows very small molecules (such as oxygen, hormones, carbon dioxide) to pass through. Other types of small molecules, such as glucose, can also pass through the BBB, but they have to first be paired with the appropriate proteins before they will be allowed to pass. As you can see, trying to feed your brain with the right brain foods that will pass through the BBB is a little more complicated than you might have thought at first.

What Kinds of Brain Foods Really Feed Your Brain?
Your brain has several types of "preferred" foods, namely glucose, essential fatty acids, and certain amino acids. Let's take a closer look at each of these.

Glucose
Glucose is basically sugar. It's not table sugar, but the sugars that your body extracts from digesting simple and complex carbohydrates. Best food sources for glucose include whole grains, complex carbohydrates, AFA blue-green algae, dark chocolate, and, in a pinch, a glass of juice. Skip the simple sugars found in candy bars because you will experience a brain crash after getting a temporary brain high from eating said candy bar!

Essential Fatty Acids
Did you know that "fat brains" are happy brains? It turn out that our brains are made up of about 60% fat, so our brains are always starving for essential fatty acids like omega-3. To get essential fatty acids to your brain, feed yourself brain foods like seeds and nuts, avocados, AFA blue-green algae, and deep water fish.

Amino Acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which your brain needs to function well. Your brain needs a variety of different amino acids to be well-fed. These amino acids include glutamine, GABA, isoleucine, phenylalanine, arginine, taurine, methionine, valine, lysine, glycine, leucine, alanine, and histidine. While you can certainly supplement these separately with capsules, it's much easier to eat healthy whole foods. These healthy brain foods are no different than the foods you would find on any healthy lifestyle diet plan: fruits and vegetables, plenty of unsaturated oils (olive oil is a good choice), and a variety of whole grains.

Dine well on brain foods and you will not only have a sharper mind, but you will also feel better. A healthy brain produces better moods, as scientific studies have recently indicated. A healthy brain is crucial no matter what kind of lifestyle you have or what levels of stress you cope with in your life. So eat right, rest well, and enjoy!


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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Healthy Aging: How to Help Your Aging Teeth

A big part of healthy aging is keeping your aging teeth healthy. After all, if you can't chew your food well, you can't live a healthy lifestyle and achieve everything you want to … like learning to water-ski at age 99 (and there is a man who does water ski at age 99 -- look it up in a past issue of National Geographic)! While many adults are under the misconception that they no longer have to worry about cavities as they age, they are operating under a misunderstanding. The fact is that aging teeth are more susceptible to damage, such as cavities, as time passes.

Other signs of aging teeth include:
  • cavities in the tooth root (due to gum erosion)
  • sensitivity to hot or cold
  • oral cancer
  • bone loss
  • receding gums
  • loose teeth
Healthy Aging Tips for Your Aging Teeth
Don't let the list of symptoms above scare you! Aging happens to all of us, whether we want it to or not. At the same time, there are practical steps you can take to support your aging teeth and keep them healthy as long as possible. In addition to visiting your dentist every six months, check out these natural solutions that support not just the health of your teeth, but your overall health as well! We are not kidding.

For instance, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, people who have periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease. From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, this isn't surprising since the heart governs gum health, and the tongue is considered the "root of the heart." So oral and heart health are obviously related. Therefore, by supporting your oral health you will also be supporting your heart health!

Tip #1: Prevent Acid Erosion
If you eat a lot of sugary or starchy foods, or drink carbonated beverages, then you are setting up your aging teeth for acid erosion. These types of foods and beverages tend to cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acid, which in turn eats away at the enamel of your teeth. Once the enamel on your teeth becomes thin or pitted, tooth decay starts to occur. Not good. How do you prevent this process from happening? Try these simple tips:
  • avoid sugary or starchy foods and carbonated beverages if possible
  • brush and floss at least twice daily (but wait 30 minutes if you have just eaten acidic food)
  • avoid snacking all day long, which causes mouth acid to remain high all day
  • if you can't brush and floss for a while, swish with water and chew sugar free gum
  • swish with mouthwash or chew gum with xylitol -- the bacteria in your mouth thinks xylitol is food and will focus on that rather than attacking your teeth
Tip #2: Support Gum and Heart Health
Did you know that the tissues of your gum and the tissues of your heart are very similar? That's why heart and gum health are so closely related. What's more, both your heart and your gums benefit from supplementation of an enzyme called co-enzyme Q10, of CoQ10 for short. CoQ10 is not only key to cellular health and energy production, but is extremely supportive of heart health and immunity. For instance, multiple studies have revealed that supplementation of CoQ10 has remarkable results on cardiovascular health, immunity, and rejuvenation of energy-producing processes.

Supplementation with CoQ10 is especially important for healthy aging, since our bodies reduce production of CoQ10 as we age. Taking extra Q10 is also important because a stressful lifestyle can deplete our natural supplies of CoQ10. In addition, most manufacturing processes (such as the refinement of grains) remove most of the CoQ10 that naturally occurs in the foods we eat. So if you want to support your gum and heart health, add CoQ10 to your daily regimen. Studies also show that omega-3 fatty acids can support gum health, and eating foods high in omega-3's (such as AFA blue-green algae and leafy greens) can reduce gum inflammation.

Tip #3: Prevent Dry Mouth
One of the biggest signs of aging is dry mouth. Dry mouth is often caused by certain medications. In fact, there are at least 800 known medications often taken by mature adults that list "dry mouth" as a side effect. Dry mouth can really harm aging teeth because of the reduction of the flow of saliva in the mouth. A healthy flow of saliva helps keep your teeth clean and also neutralizes mouth acid. To prevent dry mouth, chew sugarless gum (especially those fortified with xylitol) or swish with a mouthwash created specifically to prevent dry mouth.

There you have it … three simple natural solutions to support aging teeth so you can continue on the path of healthy aging. You can't stop time, but by taking practical steps to ensure oral health you can slow the effects of time on your body!


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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What is Indigestion and How to Avoid the Embarrassment and Discomfort

What is indigestion, really? Well, if you want the medical definition, here's what WebMD has to say about the topic:

"... indigestion is a term used to describe a feeling of fullness or discomfort during or after a meal."

What is Indigestion in Your Terms?
If you want to translate that into layman's terms, just think of symptoms like gas, stomach bloating, constipation, diarrhea, burping and acid reflux, and a general sense of discomfort in your digestive tract. You know the feeling ...

What's worse than the feeling of indigestion, which is bad enough, is suffering through indigestion in public. Whether you are at a dinner party or simply suffering from gas at the office after a "gut bomb" lunch, indigestion can range from uncomfortable to downright embarrassing! Luckily, there are quite a few common sense steps you can take to relieve those icky indigestion symptoms, such as stomach bloating.

Let's take a look at each symptom and see if we can't figure out the answer to the question, "What is indigestion?" in each case.

Stomach Bloating
Stomach bloating is really a sign that your stomach isn't properly digesting the food you just ate. As a result, instead of your lunch being properly digested and pushed through to the next stage of digestion, the food just sits in your stomach ... rotting, really, and generating a lot of uncomfortable gas that causes the bloating. Acid reflux and burping usually also originate from the stomach, and like stomach bloating, are a sign that the food in your stomach isn't headed in the right direction.

What can you do to "speed things along"? Some people have low stomach acid, believe it or not, and need to take supplemental Betaine HCL (available at your local health food store). Others need additional enzymes. Read how enzymes can help with stomach bloating problems during the digestive process.

Constipation
At the other end of the digestive system, there is constipation, or the inability to have regular bowel movements. Constipation can make you feel full and uncomfortable all the time, and is a signal that you have too little water in your digestive tract. Too little liquid in the digestive tract means that partially digested food gets stuck, unable to exit your digestive system. There are multiple natural solutions for constipation. Read this article for more details and simple solutions.

Diarrhea
The opposite of constipation is diarrhea, in which the digestive tract has too much liquid and bowels are runny. This condition could have you running for the bathroom often (and praying all the way that you don't have an accident). As with constipation, diarrhea is an indicator that your digestive tract is out of balance. Similarly, you can also use simple natural solutions to relieve this symptom of indigestion. Check out the details here.

Gas
Now if there is one symptom of indigestion that is truly embarrassing, it's gas. Not only is intestinal gas smelly, but if you are unable to pass gas you feel very uncomfortable. Either way, digestive gas is a complication that you definitely want to avoid. Read this article to find out how to avoid gas and how to cope with gas if you've got it!

Hopefully you now have a better idea of the answer to the question, "What is indigestion?" More importantly, the natural solutions suggested above should help you avoid the embarrassment of coping with the symptoms of poor digestion, like stomach bloating, gas, constipation and others. None of these solutions is difficult to implement or expensive ... you just have to be 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 at wholesale prices on our website.



Thursday, March 7, 2013

5-Minute Methods to De-Stress Your Way to a Healthy Lifestyle

Yeah, yeah ... we know. You have a crazy life and your smart phone schedule gives you exactly 5 minutes of "blank space" to de-stress your life. And yet, you want to live a healthy lifestyle, too, because you know stress has a seriously negative effect on your immune system, digestive health, and just about every other part of your body, mind, and soul.

So what do you do?

Simple ... read on! Follow these proven 5-minute methods to de-stress your way to a healthy lifestyle. You've got 5 minutes to de-stress, and we've got natural solutions for you that really do work!

Healthy Lifestyle Tips That Really Do Work in 5 Minutes
You'll be surprised at these simple 5-minute fixes that really can get you back on track for a healthy lifestyle, no matter how stressful your life is on a daily basis. These natural solutions have been tested by some of the most stressed and busiest people we know, so we know these approaches work. All you have to do to de-stress is try one or all of these approaches in that tiny open slot in your schedule. Ready? Let's go!

Healthy Lifestyle Tip #1: Active Meditation
A lot of busy and stressed people object to meditation for two reasons. First, slowing down is difficult for people who are busy and have very active minds. Second, many stressed people actually fall asleep during meditation, and find they awaken from such "naps" groggier than ever. Deepak Chopra and other meditation experts don't object to falling asleep during meditation, since they claim that people who fall asleep during meditation really need the rest. However, if your goal is to stay active and alert, falling asleep during your 5-minute meditation isn't really going to help you reach your goals.

Instead of a sitting meditation, try an active meditation. For instance, try a 5-minute power walk. On the first 2 1/2 minutes of the walk, you get to ask questions, talk to your guides or angels or higher powers and beings. Whatever you call the "higher force" in your life, connect with that force on the outbound part of your walk. Talk about your goals, ask for help, discuss your worries ... whatever you want. Then, on the way back (again, just 2 1/2 minutes), you get to listen. Listen for messages, look for signs from higher powers and beings, or just allow a sense of peace to enter your being. When you get back to your starting point, voila! You have completed your active meditation, and completed a natural solution for de-stressing your life. Try it ... many people tell us this form of meditation works very well!

Healthy Lifestyle Tip #2: Eat 10% Less
Here's an equation to ponder:

Digestion takes a ton of energy, and your brain is the most energy-hungry organ in your body.

So what does this mean to you, as a super-stressed and super-busy person? It means that if you tend to over-eat, even just a bit, then you are taking energy away from your brain and sending it straight to your stomach. Cultures known for long-lived people have long histories of eating light. So if you eat less, you'll not only live longer but you'll have a sharper brain as well! You will also have a lot less stress.

If you tend to overeat or even just indulge a bit too much in junk food, then cutting back your food intake by 10% can reduce the amount of energy your body spends on digestion. If you already eat the right amount of food for your height and weight, then try substituting 10% of your junk food intake with healthy foods. It's not that difficult to adjust your diet by just 10%, right? Plus, this healthy lifestyle adjustment won't take more than 5 minutes. In fact, just skipping that candy bar will SAVE you more than 5 minutes!

Healthy Lifestyle Tip #3: Get Enough Sleep
Lots of super-busy people don't get enough sleep because they can't turn off their brains and bodies at night. Research shows that people who don't have enough sleep tend to stress and worry more than people who do get enough sleep. So, if you take just a few minutes to prepare yourself for sleep, you'll tend to sleep better, which means you will wake up refreshed ... and voila! Less stress. Now we know that 8 hours of sleep is more than a 5-minute fix, but preparing yourself for a good night's sleep can be just a 5-minute fix. Check out these tips for ways to get a better night's sleep: http://bit.ly/13H9SlE

Most of all, take the time--just 5 minutes--to live a healthy lifestyle even during your super-busy day. You will appreciate that investment in your health later in life (no matter your current age or 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.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What Causes Allergy in Spring and How to Avoid Feeling Muddled

When spring springs forth, do you enjoy the beautiful flowers or do you wonder, "What causes allergy?" because you are so tired of all the sneezing, runny eyes, runny nose ...?

If those symptoms match what happens to you every spring, then you suffer from seasonal allergies, what is commonly called "hay fever." If you have hay fever, you are not alone. Did you know that 35 million Americans get hay fever every spring? That's a lot of runny noses and muddled brains. Luckily, you don't have to spend this spring in misery. In this article we offer three simple natural solutions that address the causes of allergy.

What Causes Allergy in Your Body During the Spring?
What causes allergy during the spring is pollen--those tiny grains that plants like trees and grasses release by the trillions. For many people, pollen isn't a big deal, but for people with hay fever, pollen causes a major immune overreaction. If you have hay fever, when pollen enters your nasal passages or lungs, your body mistakenly believes that the pollen is a foreign invader (normally bacteria and viruses) and goes on the attack. Your body releases antibodies to attack the pollen, and in the process, chemicals called histamines are released into the bloodstream. Histamines are responsible for hay fever symptoms, such as runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, and other symptoms of allergies.

Digestively, something else happens to your body when you suffer from allergies. Specifically, when you have an allergic reaction, your body releases an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). Research indicates that the levels of the good bacteria that live in your gut, called probiotics, can affect how much IgE your body produces, and how severe your allergy symptoms.

3 Natural Solutions That Address the Causes of Allergy
Now that you know what happens inside your body that causes all those miserable allergy symptoms, let's take a look at some natural solutions that actually address the causes of allergy.

Natural Solution #1: Eat Well
Research indicates that what you eat can really affect how badly hay fever will affect you. For instance, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can support your body's immune response so that it doesn't go overboard in response to pollen. Fresh fruits and vitamins provide plenty of vitamins (such as C and D) and antioxidants to help your body distinguish the real foreign invaders (bacteria and viruses) from pollen. In addition, drinking clear soups can help thin mucous and clear nasal passages. While we can't detail a full menu plan in an article of this length, just know that if you skip the "gut bombs" and eat fresh and healthy meals, your body will thank you. In turn, you will feel less muddled by hay fever symptoms!

Natural Solution #2: Take Acidophilus and Enzymes
Studies show that having a healthy population of acidophilus in your small intestine can reduce the amount of IgE that your body produces in response to pollen. Participants who took extra acidophilus during spring allergy season showed lower levels of IgE in blood tests. In addition, taking supplemental enzymes between meals can support your body's immune response. It turns out that your body uses the extra enzymes to englobe and remove pollen grains from your system, reducing the amount of overreaction from your body's native immune system.

Natural Solution #3: Add Antioxidants and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Medical and dietary experts indicate that foods high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids may help ease inflammation that are the result of hay fever. Both of these nutrients can be found in colored fruits, leafy greens, AFA blue-green algae, deep water fish, and nuts and seeds. Again, all of these foods are found in a healthy diet plan. If you are "on the run" and don't have time to cook and eat healthy, try taking AFA blue-green algae or this supplement that adds antioxidants to your diet in capsule form. Both can support your body's immune system and general health.

The good news about these natural solutions is that they not only support your body so that you don't get so muddled during allergy season, but these solutions are also good for heart health and overall immune health. That's a pretty good return for a few natural solutions that are simple to integrate into your life, right?

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.