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 /


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.

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 /