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 /


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 /


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.