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



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