Thursday, January 30, 2014

Natural Solutions for Boosting Your Immune System

Your immune system is your protection from virus, bacteria and yeast infection. If your immune system is weakened, it is not able to protect you from these type of foreign invaders and you are more likely to get sick. It may be a clue that your immune system is weak if you get sick more than a couple of times a year or if you are often fatigued even though you get adequate sleep. If your immune system is failing to protect you, there are natural solutions that can help.

What Weakens Your Immune System?
There are a variety of things that can cause your immune system to become weakened. Environmental toxins, stress, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and overuse of antibiotics are some of these. Stress can affect the number of killer T cells the body produces, adequate sleep is required for producing cytokines that protect against disease, and toxins found in household products can lower the effectiveness of your immune system.

What Strengthens Your Immune System?
You can help strengthen your immune system with natural solutions such as getting enough rest, finding ways to cope with stress, eating a healthy diet, and taking probiotics. When considering natural solutions to boost your immune system here are a few more specific things that have been found helpful.

Zinc
Most people in the U.S. do not get enough zinc in their diets and zinc is a crucial mineral for boosting your immune system. This is especially true for vegetarians as beef is high in zinc. Zinc aids in the development of white blood cells that are a part of your immune system that destroy foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. If you are a meat eater, then eating lean beef, pork, oysters and poultry will add zinc to your diet. Other sources of zinc for you vegetarians include fortified cereals, sesame seeds, milk, yogurt, and miso. Miso which is a soybean paste also has protein and B12 which are immune system boosters. Zinc supplementation may be necessary as our food sources often don't give us enough.

Beta Glucan and Mushrooms
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. 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. Animal studies have reported that eating beta glucan from oats and barley showed less risk of contracting flu, herpes and anthrax. 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 in people. Certain types of mushrooms are being found effective for immune support because they have polysaccharides, glycoproteins, ergosterols, and triterpenoids. These are all precursors to beta glucans. Mushrooms have been found 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. You can get the immune supporting power of beta glucan and six of the most extensively researched mushrooms that show positive immune system support together in this one supplement. It combines reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei mushrooms along with astragalus, beta glucan and bluegreen algae to help support your immune system function.

Alliums
Alliums are foods such as leeks, onions and garlic. Foods in this family are known to have natural antibiotic properties to help fight off germs. They have also been found useful in helping lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and there is research that suggests they can help reduce the growth risk of prostate, stomach and colon cancer cells. Allicin, found in garlic and released when crushing or chopping garlic, has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has been found to improve immunity and to be useful in fighting off colds.

Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice contains a variety of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and micronutrients and is rich in polysaccharides and flavonoids known to help fight damage from free radicals. It has been shown to have anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties and give an overall boost to your immune system. Aloe vera has been reported to affect an increase in lymphocytes, cytokines, interleukin and Natural Killer Cells that are all important parts of your immune system.

Your immune system health is important in helping to keep you productive and feeling good. If you suspect your immune system could use a boost, give some of these immune boosting natural solutions a try and help your immune system to help 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 zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.askdrmaxwell.com/2013/11/boost-a-poor-immune-system-naturally/

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Natural Solutions for Aches and Pains

We all overdo it sometimes and pay later with aches and pains. That's when many people reach for their NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen. This may be alright if we are talking about occasional use, but prolonged use of these drugs is not recommended. For those looking for more natural solutions for aches and pains, read on.

What Causes Aches and Pains?
Sore muscles are often caused by doing some type of work or exercise that your muscles are not used to. I usually am sore when I first get out each Spring and start working in my garden using muscles that have been pretty dormant all winter. According to Ethel Frese, PT, DPT, CCS, associate professor of Physical Therapy at St. Louis University, this type of soreness comes from microdamage done to muscle fibers and connective tissue. You feel the resulting aches and pains within 48 hours. Sore joints usually are caused by inflammation from overuse or an injury. Inflammation is the body's response to foreign invaders, irritation or injury and is characterized by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. Sometimes the body attacks itself with inflammation even when there are no foreign substances. Certain types of arthritis are good examples of the body misinterpreting the need for defensive action.  These types of arthritis are called autoimmune diseases, in which the body's normal immune system attacks and damages its own tissues.

Natural Solutions to Aches and Pains
Warm-up Exercise
Frese recommends doing warm up exercises before engaging in an exercise that will cause soreness and once muscles are warmed up from the exercise, then do stretching. You can also support your joints by strengthening muscle through weight bearing exercises. This can help prepare your muscles for whatever activity you will be engaging in that your muscles aren't used to. Stretching your body on a regular basis can improve the oxygenation in your body, relieve muscle tension and fatigue and increase your physical stamina. Doing just 15-20 minutes of light yoga or stretching in the morning regularly can help prepare your body for whatever physical activities lie ahead.

Inflammation Fighters
Muscle and joint pain can stem from inflammation due to damage from free radicals in your body. Free radicals result from conditions such as stress, heavy exercise, overwork, poor nutrition, and environmental toxicity. They damage the body, including cells, enzymes, and DNA, causing negative effects such as pain, inflammation, and chronic diseases. Antioxidants attack free radicals and get them out of your body, relieving pain, inflammation, and chronic symptoms in the process. Adding antioxidants to your diet can help give your body a fighting chance against free radicals, so when you know you're going to be doing extra physical workouts, load up on fruits and veggies. Vitamin C is one antioxidant that has especially been linked to helping prevent sore muscles. Research shows that spices like ginger and curry are natural anti-inflammatory spices so adding those to your diet can also help relieve soreness due to inflammation.

Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential ingredient for muscle relaxation and overall body calm. Many of us lack magnesium. If your muscles are sore and tense, and you find that you just can't relax, consider adding magnesium to your daily regimen. Just be sure to start slowly, since once your body has absorbed enough magnesium it will release the rest via your colon, usually in the form of diarrhea. Magnesium rich foods include green vegetables such as spinach, cereals and grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal and bran, lentils, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, and fruits such as bananas and figs.

Carbohydrates
Eating carbohydrates after a workout helps your body produce insulin which is needed for muscle building. They also help replenish your energy after an extreme workout by replacing glycogen and glucose. Many experts also recommend adding a lean source of protein such as chicken or dairy to your after exercise complex carb grain snack.

Supplements That Do It All

Here's an easy solution for dealing with your aches and pains from an active lifestyle, exercise, sports or overdoing it physically. This box of 60 packets gives you 30 packets of supplements to take before a workout and 30 to take after a workout – two packets each a day for a month's supply. The capsules in these packets have a variety of ingredients already measured out for you that:
  • provide a nutrient rich, whole food source for physical energy
  • have amino acids useful for reducing muscle damage
  • have anti-inflammatory properties
  • support joints and cartilage
  • have antioxidants to aid against damage from free radicals
  • provide protein rich plant sterols that support sports performance
  • provide cellular nutrition
  • nourish and protect the body from tissue breakdown resulting from the intensity of post-workout

Don't let your aches and pains keep you from doing the things you want to do and from keeping an active lifestyle. Using some or all of these natural solutions for aches and pains can help keep you active without all the sore muscles and achy joints afterwards.


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.webmd.com/pain-management/ease-pain-10/sore-muscles-joint-pain

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Healthy Aging with Brain Superfoods

Part of healthy aging that many of us are concerned about is brain health. I know seniors who are very sharp mentally, stay active and enjoy their senior years. Then I know those who have dementia or Alzheimer's. The first group is the one I definitely want to be in as I age. To ensure that I stay in that group, I strive to add brain superfoods in my healthy aging plan. After all, good nutrition is a key ingredient in healthy aging. That includes the types of foods we eat and the amounts we eat. Food is where we get our energy and nutrients for a healthy body that works at its peak. A brain that is not properly nourished cannot stay sharp.

Among the brain superfoods for healthy aging are whole grains for fiber, fruits and vegetables for antioxidants, lean protein, and essential fatty acids for healthy brain function. As we age it is also better to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day than to continue the 3 meal habit of breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is because of changes in hormone levels and our metabolism slowing down as we age. Eating smaller meals throughout the day helps keep the metabolism stable. Be sure however to start the day off with a good healthy breakfast, then move to the smaller meals or snacks throughout the rest of the day. Numerous studies show that those who eat a healthy, well balanced breakfast in the morning have better energy and concentration throughout the day, as well as improved short-term memory and attention.

Fight Off Free Radicals
Antioxidants in the diet are especially important in healthy aging. Our bodies' 75 trillion cells are under constant attack by unstable molecules called free radicals. Some of these free radical molecules are the result of natural processes in the body, while others come from the daily stresses of life, including air pollutants, smoking, alcohol, over-exertion, heavy exercise, and poor diets. As your 75 trillion cells are constantly attacked by free radicals, the result is aging. Specifically, free radicals can react with your cells' DNA and RNA, the blueprints by which your cells duplicate themselves. This can result in heart disease, chronic pain, and other ailments related to aging. Antioxidants are the body's protection from free radical damage because they not only stabilize the unstable free radical molecules, but also help with cellular repair, if and when your DNA is damaged. Foods high in antioxidants include bright colorful vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, blueberries, carrots, and leafy greens. The antioxidant vitamin E, from foods such as nuts and seeds, has been shown to help maintain cognitive abilities as we age and the antioxidant properties in dark chocolate has been found to help with mental focus.

Fuel Your Brain
Glucose the body makes from carbohydrates and sugars you eat, are one of the main fuel sources for the brain. The best brain superfoods to get your brain the glucose it needs are whole grains high in fiber, dairy foods and fruit. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids are another of the brain superfoods. Studies show people with diets rich in omega-3 have a lower risk of stroke, reduced chance of developing dementia, and maintain sharper mental faculties and memory functions as they age. In fact 60% of your brain is fat of the fatty acids type that form the cell membranes that cover neurons and other cell organs. These fats are also the main ingredient in your synapses and dendrites, which are the connections between your neurons. In other words, these fats form the parts of your brain that allow you to think making foods rich in fatty acids like omega-3 so important to include in your brain superfoods diet. Foods high in omega-3s include coldwater fish like cod, mackerel, salmon, tuna, herring and lake trout, fresh fruit, dark-green leafy greens, AFA blue-green algae, seeds and nuts, and flax and olive oil.

Keep Blood Flowing to the Brain
Nutrients and oxygen are carried to your various body organs through the blood. If you have a diminished blood flow the heart and brain are especially affected. Including whole grains and monounsaturated fats in your diet can help reduce buildup of plaque, support healthy blood circulation, and keep blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels stable. Peanut butter, avocados, nuts, olives and oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil are all brain superfoods with monounsaturated fats.

Supplement Your Brain
AFA bluegreen algae is loaded with omega-3 to support brain health. This supplement that has organic wild bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni was created especially for high-performance athletes and those with active lifestyles who depend on concentration and mental clarity. The blue green algae is a good source of whole food nutrition, bee pollen is reported to have a high amino acid content useful for stimulating memory and concentration, wheatgrass juice has been found to provide nutrients that support brain health and clearer thinking, and Gingko biloba has been used for a long time to promote increased memory and mental concentration by increasing circulation and providing increased oxygenation of brain cells. With all these combined, you can see how this combination is perfect for the support of brain health in healthy aging.

Another bluegreen algae supplement that supports brain health, regeneration and mental clarity is one that also combines the power of three mushrooms, Lion's Mane, agarikon, and cordyceps, along with standardized American ginseng (Cereboost®), and resveratrol. Cereboost®, Standardized American Ginseng, has long been used in improving cognitive function, preventing fatigue and increasing energy. Resveratrol is a polyphenol with antioxidant properties found in the skin of red grapes, some berries like blueberries, some Chinese herbs, cocoa and peanuts and has been found helpful in increasing blood flow to the brain. Lion's Mane, a mushroom that has been called "nature's nutrient for the neurons" due to NGF (nerve growth factor) being found in it, has been found to have benefits for age related memory function and mental clarity. Agarikon, a rare polypore or tree-based conk mushroom commonly found in the old growth forests of Oregon and Washington, has also shown benefits with age related memory function. Cordyceps mushrooms are rich in proteins, plant sterols, polysaccharides, antioxidants, and nucleoside derivatives for a variety of benefits for brain health.

If you are concerned about your mental faculties and brain health as you age, consider adding some of these brain superfoods to your healthy aging plan. They can help make the difference in what mental state you will manifest as you reach your senior years. Personally, I want to enter my senior years with as much brain function as possible. How about 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 stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/slideshow-brain-foods-that-help-you-concentrate?ecd=wnl_lbt_091813&ctr=wnl-lbt-091813_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What Causes an Allergy? What to Do

If you are suffering with watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing then you may not care what causes an allergy. You just want relief at that point, right. But if you are in between allergy attacks then understanding what causes an allergy can help you be ready to avoid future attacks. Basically causes of allergy are related to the immune system and its response to pollen, grass, ragweed, pet dander, dust mites and mold entering your system by touching, inhaling or swallowing it.

More specifically, here's the process of what causes an allergy.
  • You are allergic to one or more allergens and ingest it usually into your nasal passages or lungs.
     
  • Your immune system labels the allergen as a foreign invader, like it would for a virus or bacteria, and begins making antibodies to attack it.
     
  • The antibodies locate the allergen in your body and inform blood cells to release histamine into the bloodstream.
     
  • The releasing of histamine creates inflammation causing tissues around blood vessels to tighten and fluid to escape.
     
  • The escaping fluid becomes the symptoms you experience such as a runny nose, itchy watery eyes, and sneezing.

What To Do For Causes of Allergy
Here's a little bit more about what causes an allergy and what you can do to combat causes of allergy. When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). Research indicates that the levels of the good bacteria that live in your gut, called probiotics, can affect how much IgE your body produces, and how severe your allergy symptoms. Studies show that having a healthy population of acidophilus in your small intestine can reduce the amount of IgE that your body produces in response to ingesting allergens. Taking an enzyme supplement between meals can support your body's immune response because your body uses the extra enzymes to surround, break down and remove pollen grains from your system, reducing the amount of overreaction from your body's immune system by creating an excess of histamine.

I have found two other supplements that help with supporting the immune system and modulating the body's inflammation response. The first  uses a combination of phycocyanin (the unique blue pigment from bluegreen algae), Ecklonia cava (Seanol®, a marine algae), standardized turmeric, bromelain, and bluegreen algae. Bromelain is an enzyme that naturally occurs in pineapple and has been found to reduce inflammation. Ecklonia cava is a rich source of bioactive derivatives, mainly phlorotannins, including triphlorethol-A which are strong antioxidants. Curcumin, found in turmeric, has been the basis of much research and found to have benefit as an anti-inflammatory. The second supplement  I find helpful is one that combines six of the most extensively researched mushrooms that show positive immune system support: reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei, with astragalus, beta glucan and bluegreen algae. Besides the immune boosting support of these medicinal mushrooms, this supplement provides WGP beta glucan which is able to activate macrophages (type of white blood cell in body's defense system). Activating these macrophages can result in a stronger immune system.

More To Do For Causes of Allergy
Chances are you know what you are allergic to. If not, testing is available from allergy specialists that can help determine what allergens you will react to. Once you have this knowledge, you can try avoiding these allergens whenever possible. Find a good source that reports allergen levels in your area such as a pollen report and plan outings for days when the pollen count is low. If you have to go outside when counts are high, you might wear a filtering mask to help. Extra vacuuming of carpets and furniture can help reduce your exposure to allergens. And don't take them to bed with you! When your particular allergens are high, take a shower and wash your hair as part of your bedtime routine. Some people find HEPA air filters helpful too.

Knowledge is power. Empowering yourself with the information on what causes an allergy and natural solutions that can help with causes of allergy can help you avoid the miserable symptoms that accompany allergies and the side effects of the over the counter allergy medicines.

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.webmd.com/allergies/ss/slideshow-allergy-attack?ecd=wnl_day_092213&ctr=wnl-day-092213_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Healthy Aging: Supplements for Heart Health

As we look towards healthy aging one of the big considerations is heart health. Most heart associated deaths are caused by heart attacks and congestive heart failure. High blood pressure, obesity, irregular heartbeat and other conditions that overwork the heart can weaken it and lead to congestive heart failure. If you are concerned about your heart health, it is a good idea to consult your health care provider and get testing done. Then you and your provider can determine if medications and/or supplements can help you with your heart health. For example, testing can show if you need to lower your LDL cholesterol level or raise your HDL cholesterol level. There are supplements that can help with healthy aging and supporting heart health. Let's look at some of these so that you will be informed on what is available when talking with your health care provider.

Omega -3
Omega-3 supplements or fish oil supplements can reduce your triglyceride level and may improve your blood pressure. Eating foods rich in omega-3 has been found useful in supporting heart health and brain health. Foods that are good sources of omega-3 include fish such as salmon, tuna, herring and lake trout. Other food sources for omega-3 are flaxseed, blue green algae, walnuts, olive oil, edamame, wild rice, soybean oil, spinach, kale and chia seeds. AFA algae is also high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and has a high percent of omega-3 fatty acids which has been found to be severely lacking in the American diet.

Coenzyme Q10
Supplementing the diet with coenzyme Q10 has been shown through scientific studies to have remarkable results on cardiovascular health and immunity and is essential for energy production at the cellular level. It also can help lower blood pressure. This  coenzyme Q10 supplement offers this essential coenzyme as well as cold-pressed flaxseed oil, which is one of the richest sources of omega-3 and has omega-6 fatty acids, has carotenoids from red beta algae, contains a combination of antioxidants and bluegreen algae. Taking a high-quality coenzyme Q10 supplement can help rebuild heart tissue, as well as rejuvenate the metabolic function of every cell in the body. Our bodies make some of this coenzyme, but we need more CoQ10 for healthy aging, since as we age our ability to manufacture it is reduced.

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.Reishi mushrooms have been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. 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. Adding all these ingredients in with bluegreen algae provides a powerful tool for heart health support and healthy aging.

Garlic
Garlic has been found useful in lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels and in treating various heart related conditions such as atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries). The benefits from garlic seems to come from the chemical allicin that is in it. As with any supplement, they are not all the same. Make sure you are getting high quality supplements. In the case of a garlic supplement, some have less allicin than others and are therefore not as effective.

Psyllium
Supplements of psyllium can help lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and are useful with lowering risk of heart disease. Psyllium comes from the husk around the seeds of the herb Plantago ovata, also called blond psyllium and is commonly found in fiber supplements. Fiber supplements, eating fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains can all help in reducing cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Resveratrol
Resveratrol supplements can support heart health by reducing chronic inflammation that can lead to heart disease. Inflammation can lead to blood clots that block blood flow to the heart thus causing heart disease or heart attacks. You can also get resveratrol from the skin of red grapes, blueberries, and peanuts.

B Vitamins
B Vitamins which would include folic acid can help red blood cells stay healthy, reduce the risk of death from stroke and reduce the risk of heart disease. They can help with reducing homocysteine which is an amino acid that can lead to heart disease, blood clots, heart attack and stroke when found in high levels. Besides taking B Vitamin supplements, foods such as whole grains, fortified cereals, lettuce, spinach, beans, liver, fish and legumes are sources for these vitamins.

You are now armed with some information on supplements that have been found useful for heart health. This should give you some ideas to discuss with your health care provider if you are concerned about your heart health and healthy aging. If you are on any type of medications, it is especially important to consult your provider as some supplements do not mix well with some medications. Finding the right supplements for you can make a big difference in healthy aging and your quality of life as you age.

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/heart-disease/foods-heart-healthy

Thursday, January 9, 2014

How to Improve Energy and Reduce Stress with Natural Solutions

Do you find yourself being over tired, burned out, worn out and looking for ways to improve energy to get everything done that you want or need to do? There are many reasons this could be occurring (some which you will need to consult your health care provider about) and one of them could be that you are overstressed. We all know by now that stress takes its toll on us physically and mentally, but really can we avoid it? Probably not completely. We can find ways to cope with stress and reduce it though. One thing we can do is learn how to improve energy with natural solutions such as learning what foods and supplements can help deal with stress and give us a boost.

Certain foods can boost serotonin levels or reduce cortisol and adrenaline levels. Dark chocolate for example can lower stress hormones and the caffeine and theobromine in it are natural mood and energy boosters. Knowing which foods have an effect on body chemicals and hormones can go a long way towards how to improve energy levels.

How To Improve Energy and Reduce Stress with Foods
To choose the best food for stress relief, you have to first know which vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals will help you get out of stress. Here's a short list of stress-relieving vitamins and minerals:
  • magnesium
  • B vitamins, especially B-12
  • coenzyme Q10
  • chlorophyll

There's a bit of a Catch-22 when looking at how to improve energy and deal with stress when it comes to these vitamins and minerals. They help relieve stress, but your body also uses them up much more quickly when you are stressed. So just when you are stressed and need them the most, you are not getting enough of them and using them up faster than you can produce them. Natural solution – increase your intake of them. Here are some other foods to include in your diet when you are dealing with stress and/or looking for how to improve energy.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can help stabilize stress hormones and are helpful in improving mood. Fatty, cold-water fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, cod and herring are a good source for adding omega-3 to your diet. These cold-water fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids because they, in turn, eat a lot of blue-green algae. You can also get your omega-3s straight from taking bluegreen algae supplements, from dark green leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts, and flax and olive oils. Bluegreen algae also has chlorophyll and magnesium to help fight off stress.

Complex Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates influence the brain's production of serotonin. Complex carbs are the healthiest type of carbs to eat. They are slower to digest which leaves you feeling fuller longer and less prone to unhealthy snacking and they help stabilize blood sugar levels. Whole grain cereals and breads, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, barley and other whole grains and beans are all good sources of complex carbs.

Vitamins
Vitamin C has been found to reduce stress hormone levels and B vitamins, especially B-12, help us relax and soothes our nerves. Vitamin C can be found in dark green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, oranges, kiwi, guava, papaya and strawberries. Food sources of B-12 include clams, oysters, beef liver, fatty fish, crab, shrimp, dairy foods and fortified cereals. The friendly bacteria called probiotics found in your gut, produce the B vitamins in our bodies. Getting extra probiotics in your diet through foods such as yogurt and kefir or through probiotic supplements gives your body the ability to keep producing B vitamins, especially when you are stressed.

How To Improve Energy and Reduce Stress with Supplements
Since bluegreen algae has so many of the nutrients that help support stress reduction, here are a couple of supplements that not only have bluegreen algae in them, but other stress fighting ingredients too. The first one  I like has a combination of phycocyanin (the unique blue pigment from bluegreen algae), Ecklonia cava (Seanol®, a marine algae), standardized turmeric, bromelain, and bluegreen algae. Ecklonia cava and turmeric both give super antioxidant power to help in protecting cell damage. Turmeric has been used for ages in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine in a variety of health remedies. Turmeric in particular has been shown to help with stress related depression. Bromelain is an enzyme that occurs naturally in pineapple. Enzymes make it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients it needs to function properly and 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 or stressed, it is especially helpful to help your body save energy. With all this antioxidant protection, this supplement can also support the body as it deals with inflammation which can result from stress weakening the immune system.

Second is a supplement  that combines the power of three mushrooms, Lion's Mane, agarikon, and cordyceps, along with standardized American ginseng (Cereboost®), resveratrol, and bluegreen algae. This supplement was designed to support body-mind health, regeneration and mental clarity. Cereboost®, Standardized American Ginseng, has long been used in improving cognitive function, preventing fatigue and increasing energy. Resveratrol is a polyphenol with antioxidant properties such as found in the skin of red grapes, some berries and peanuts. Lion's Mane is a mushroom that has been called "nature's nutrient for the neurons" due to NGF (nerve growth factor) found in it. Agarikon is a tree-based conk mushroom that has been found useful in helping with inflammation, oxidative stress and cellular support. Cordyceps mushrooms are rich in proteins, plant sterols, polysaccharides, antioxidants, and nucleoside derivatives. This combination helps support the body to fight stress and the damages it can cause.

St. John's Wort is a plant based herbal supplement that has been used for many years in alternative medicine for a mood boost. It is thought that this herb has the ability to stop reabsorption of chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin by the brain's nerve cells which has made it useful in treating mild and moderate depression. There are some medications that do not react well with St. John's Wort, so be sure you consult your healthcare provider before using it.

You don't have to keep feeling low energy, burned out or stressed out. Eat your way to stress reduction and improved energy. How to improve your energy and reduce stress is as simple as knowing the right foods and supplements to consume to support your body in performing at its best.


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.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-diet-for-stress-management?ecd=wnl_wmh_102213&ctr=wnl-wmh-102213_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d


Thursday, January 2, 2014

How to Stay Slim Even if You Mess Up Your Diet

If you are like me, you've been working on how to stay slim and doing pretty good at it and then here comes the holidays. Extra fattening foods, big family meals, holiday parties, not enough exercise time and wham, I feel like the stuffed turkey. Many people at this point feel like they've blown it so might as well go all out and blow it big. This is not true though according to dietary and nutritional experts. Don't worry if you got off track with your normal diet during the holidays just get back to your regular routine of exercise and healthy eating and you'll find that you didn't forget how to stay slim just by a little overindulging for a day or two. The main things to remember are to not beat yourself up about it and don't give up on your healthy eating diet.

According to Rebecca S. Reeves, DrPH, RD, assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, everyone takes what she calls "time-outs" from their healthy eating plan from time to time. She suggests giving yourself permission to do this and then get back to your normal eating patterns. It doesn't have to be something to stress about. Allen Dollar, MD, chief of cardiology at Grady Memorial Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine warns that most Americans don't do this as a one time thing however and overeat continuously without giving thought to how to stay slim in relation to how they are eating and what they are eating. That is one reason there is a great percentage of the population that is overweight. For those of us playing the How To Stay Slim game though, there are things to do to help us get back on track after splurging during the holidays or anytime we overindulge.

Help Your Digestive System Out
When working on how to stay slim good digestion is a key ingredient. 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 so supplementing with high quality probiotics is needed. After getting off my normal diet and splurging, I like to take extra acidophilus, bifidus and this probiotic supplement with eight key "good bacteria" that are microblended with bluegreen algae that has the cell wall removed, Jerusalem artichoke, and a blend of acerola and rose hips, providing the entire digestive tract with superb probiotic support.

Another way to support digestion and to keep your metabolism high and your fat content low, is to add enzymes to your diet between and at meals. Enzymes help boost your metabolism, burn fat and clean up waste in the body. These enzymes contain amylase, cellulase, lipase, protease, and lactase for more efficient digestion to avoid the after-meal energy slump.

Resume Healthy Eating
After taking a "time-out" from your normal healthy eating, just get back to your normal eating patterns. Having one large meal with fattening foods is not going to make you obese overnight, but continuing to eat this way day after day will. It's not the end of the world to splurge, but get right back to your healthy eating routine by the next day. You might start out eating several smaller meals or healthy snacks throughout the day. Starving yourself the next day to compensate for overeating the day before is not a good idea. This strategy tends to make your body store fat and is not a healthy eating solution. Eat foods with antioxidant filled fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins and get your body back on its healthy slimming diet.

Stay Motivated
Don't get discouraged thinking that you "blew" your diet. Give yourself permission to occasionally overindulge without feeling guilty as long as your normal routine includes healthy eating habits and exercise. Stressing out, getting depressed or becoming negative will not help in learning how to stay slim and in fact can cause you to gain weight. To help you stay motivated and positive about losing weight you might want to get a weight loss buddy. This might be someone to plan exercise time with, someone to set calorie intake goals with or just someone to check in with for encouragement. After a splurge, absolutely do not go running to the scale to see how much you gained. This will only discourage you and is not a fair assessment. Wait until a couple of days or so later after you have returned to your normal exercise and eating routine and given a chance for extra water weight gain from eating extra salt time to subside.

Staying motivated, I find, has a lot to do with feeling good which is related to my body getting all the nutrients it needs. This is important to give me the extra energy boost I need to get back to a good solid exercise routine too. I like to include this box  of 30 daily packets filled with supplements containing natural ingredients that include bluegreen algae, a variety of medicinal mushrooms, ubiquinol, standardized turmeric and gingseng for extra support. 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.

Now that the holidays are over, it is the perfect time to recommit for the new year to healthy eating, developing an exercise routine and learning other ways of how to stay slim. Make this your New Year's Resolution and don't sweat it if you take a day off occasionally to overindulge. Just jump right back into your normal routine the next day and you'll continue on your way down the path to healthier living.

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Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/what-to-do-after-overeating?ecd=wnl_wlw_113013&ctr=wnl-wlw-113013_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d