Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Burned Out? Natural Solutions That Can Help

Are you feeling burned out from all the hustle and bustle and stress of the holidays? Many people do experience being burned out and fatigued after juggling all their usual busy lifestyle routines with the added travel, shopping, cooking and family holiday traditions added in. We have some natural solutions to help you get your energy level back on track and ready to face the new year.

Burned Out? - Energy Boosting Foods
The types of foods you eat can affect your metabolism and the chemicals in your brain. These then have an effect on your mood and your level of energy. Foods that keep your blood sugar balanced and that help release brain chemicals that are mood boosters can help give you an energy boost when you are feeling burned out. Epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine are the chemicals in the brain that influence our energy and mental focus. When these are high, our energy levels are high. Increasing serotonin levels in the brain can also help with energy as it is a natural antidepressant.

Eating foods with carbohydrates from whole grains such as wheat bread, brown rice, and cereals can help increase levels of serotonin and are absorbed slowly by the body which means they help keep blood sugar levels stable. One study showed that people eating fiber rich cereals such as bran every day were found to be less tired than those who didn't. Findings were thought to be attributed to the fiber flushing out toxins that can be an energy drain. Foods that have the amino acid tyrosine help boost levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. This would include lean meats like pork, chicken, beef and turkey.

Eating foods rich in iron can help your energy level too as iron is needed to make the hemoglobin for red blood cells to take oxygen around the body. Foods that are rich sources of iron include oysters, red meat, egg yolks, spinach, liver and artichokes. The body also needs magnesium to convert sugars into a form the body can use for energy. Nuts such as cashews and almonds are high in magnesium as is halibut and bran cereal.

Stress of any kind is an energy drain. Eating foods rich in vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids can help lower stress hormones giving you more energy in the long run. Vitamin C is found in oranges, grapefruits, papaya, red bell pepper, broccoli, kale, kiwi and strawberries. Omega-3 fatty acid is found in fatty fish, bluegreen algae, nuts and seeds. Dark chocolate can also lower stress hormones and the caffeine and theobromine in it are natural mood and energy boosters.

Another way to boost your energy level is drinking water. Dehydration can deplete energy and slow down metabolism. You can also drink other unsweetened drinks, eat fruits and veggies with natural water and add foods that absorb water while being cooked to help stay hydrated.

Burned Out? Energy Boosting Supplements
DHEA
Recent research has found that DHEA plays a vital part in cellular energy production. As we age, our bodies produce less and less DHEA, which means that we feel less and less energetic. Taking a supplement with DHEA can increase energy with just 100 mg per day.

Glycogen
Glycogen is the fuel that is stored in our livers and converted to glucose when we need a quick burst of energy. Our bodies need glycogen any time we are under stress or need a quick energy fix. The best sources of glycogen are meats including liver and most cuts of meat. Another alternative is properly processed blue-green algae from Klamath Lake. This algae's cell wall is made up of glycogen that your body can use right away. AFA blue-green algae also contains easily assimilated nutrients including: essential fatty acids, active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, proteins, complex sugars, and phytonutrients that provide your body with nutrients it can easily use for better energy.

PEA
PEA has been shown to elevate mood and increase the quality of life. Not getting enough PEA can make it difficult to learn new things, make quick decisions, form new memories, stick to a diet, find pleasure in life and be in a good mood. According to the Natural Research Council of Canada, two foods very high in PEA are AFA blue-green algae and cheddar cheese.

Probiotics
If you have poor digestion, absorption of any nutrients can be a problem which means your body is not getting the nutrition it needs to produce energy. Probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus, both of which increase your body's ability to absorb nutrients, from both supplements and the food you eat, are a simple way to improve digestion. These friendly bacteria that live naturally in our guts are responsible for producing B vitamins, which contribute to good mood and energy production. Supplementing your diet with quality probiotic supplements can help keep a healthy supply of these friendly bacteria working for you.

Digestive Enzymes
To give your body additional support in the digestive process, take one to two capsules of enzymes with each meal. Enzymes help your body break down foods more quickly and efficiently, so your body doesn't have to work quite as hard to process your food. When you are feeling burned out, it is especially helpful to help your body save energy. Another way to save a little energy is to get your AFA bluegreen algae, probiotics and digestive enzymes in these convenient daily packets. Great for grabbing to take with you on the run and to avoid having to mess with several different bottles.

Energy Supplement Packets
Another way to make getting a lot of supplementation for improving energy in a convenient daily packet is with this box  of 30 packets filled with supplements with natural ingredients that include bluegreen algae, a variety of medicinal mushrooms, ubiquinol, standardized turmeric and gingseng. Ubiquinol is an active antioxidant form of coenzyme Q10 which is important for stress relief and improved energy. Tumeric is good for increasing serotonin in the brain and has been used in Chinese medicine for a very long time to treat depression. Ginseng is known for its usefulness in improving cognitive function, preventing fatigue and increasing energy and the mushrooms in this combination of supplements have been shown useful for everything from increasing mental clarity to providing cellular support and nutrition.

Burned Out? Other Energy Boosters
1. Exercise is another way to get a mood and energy boost when feeling burned out. 15 to 20 minutes a day of exercise that gets your heart rate going can lower stress hormones, help reduce symptoms of depression and boost endorphins in your brain.

2. Breakfast really is an important meal to get your day off to a good start. If you are experiencing a feeling of being burned out, then absolutely don't skip breakfast. Eating a breakfast that starts your day out with fiber and nutrition from carbohydrates from whole grains, some good fat and a lean protein will get your mood and energy level ready to face the day and keep your levels steadier throughout the day.

3. Dealing with stress is another must if you are already burned out. Stress will just decrease your already depleted energy levels even more. Find a way to cope with your stress and make time to do it. Stress coping techniques vary from individual to individual. While many find activities such as yoga, deep breathing techniques, meditation, and guided imagery to help relieve stress, others find a relaxing hobby or taking a walk in nature more to their taste. Whatever way works for you, find a way to decrease your level of stress.

4. Eating several small meals during the day instead of the traditional 3 meal a day plan, can help keep blood sugar levels stable, and keep energy and mood levels stable. Including a lean protein, a monounsaturated fat and a whole grain carb food with each of your small meals or snacks throughout the day will support your body with the nutrition it needs to maintain and balance energy levels.

We mostly enjoy the holidays and spending extra time with family, but it can sure be exhausting, stressful and deplete our resources leaving us burned out when it's all over. Give some of these natural solutions tips a try and get your energy level back on track. We hope you have a happy, energy-filled, motivational and peaceful new year.


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


Sources:
http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/52-healing-superfoods?s
http://www.webmd.com/parenting/family-health-12/slideshow-energy-foods
http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/ways-to-beat-stress

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