Thursday, March 27, 2014

Best Foods for Your Immune System

Keeping your immune system strong means less time out sick and more time being able to enjoy life and get the things done that you want to do. Part of making sure your immune system is healthy involves getting enough sleep, exercising, coping with stress and staying socially active. All of these have been shown in studies to help improve your immune system function. There are also certain types of foods and whole food supplements that can help boost your immune system. Here are a few of these and what they have that helps in supporting your immune system.

Foods with Zinc
Most of us do not get enough zinc in our diets and zinc is a crucial mineral for boosting your immune system. Since beef is high in zinc,this is especially true for people that keep a vegetarian diet. 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. Vegetarians can get zinc from fortified cereals, sesame seeds, milk, yogurt, and miso. Miso, a soybean paste, is an especially good choice because it also has protein and B12 which are immune system boosters. If you really aren't getting enough zinc through your diet, there are zinc supplements that may be helpful.

Antioxidant Foods
Antioxidants are those molecular substances that your body needs to protect your cells from free radical damage, which in turn supports your immune system. To ensure that you get enough antioxidants, focus on eating plenty of bright colored fruits and vegetables. This would include foods like dark leafy greens, oranges and lemons, berries of all kinds, broccoli, red peppers, and papayas.

Elderberry and Goldenseal are often used in herbal tinctures as a support for your immune system and in fighting off colds and flu. Some test tube studies have reported that elderberry may actually block viruses that cause flu, but in light of more research being needed on this aspect, elderberry is high in antioxidants. Acai berries are another rich source of antioxidants, specifically anthocyanins. Watermelon contains the antioxidant glutathione that has been reported to fight infections and strengthen the immune system.

Broccoli not only has glutathione like watermelon, but also vitamin A and C which also help in supporting your immune system. Vitamin A is an antioxidant nutrient that comes from foods with beta-carotene. The body takes beta-carotene from foods and converts it into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is one of the vitamins that helps keep skin healthy and your skin is your body's first line of defense in the immune system for keeping out bacteria and viruses. Other foods high in beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, apricots, blue green algae, carrots, squash, pumpkin and cantaloupe.

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, is released when the garlic is crushed or chopped. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties, has been found to improve immunity and to be useful in fighting off colds.

Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are another important aid to your immune system. Acidophilus and bifidus are two of the probiotics found naturally in the intestinal tract. These "good bacteria" aid in the defense against "bad bacteria" and yeast in our intestines. Balanced levels of these beneficial microflora support proper digestion and help eliminate waste. When we do not have enough of these probiotics, more stress is put on your immune system. Many of the foods we eat such as those high in fat and sugar, chlorinated drinking water, environmental toxins, antibiotics and other medications we take can all contribute to killing off these friendly bacteria leaving an imbalance. Eating low-fat yogurt and kefir that have live and active cultures are a way to get more probiotics in your diet. When foods alone are not enough (and they usually aren't), taking high quality supplements of acidophilus and bifidus with active live cultures can help support the replenishing of these microflora.

Beta Glucan Foods 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 kill off foreign invaders and stimulate 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. Studies have found beta glucan to be effective against bacterial infections and viral infections and even lessen the duration of symptoms of the common cold in people.

Certain types of mushrooms are being found effective in supporting your immune system too because they have polysaccharides, glycoproteins, ergosterols, and triterpenoids. These just all happen to be 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. Mushrooms also have the mineral selenium and antioxidants as well as B vitamins riboflavin and niacin which are all helpful in maintaining a healthy immune system. If you are not a big fan of eating mushrooms, 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.

Live your life to the fullest by keeping your immune system strong and working to keep you healthy. These tips can give your immune system the boost it may need to 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.
 
Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Source:
http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-immune-foods?ecd=wnl_lbt_052213&ctr=wnl-lbt-052213_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Natural Solutions for Great Daily Energy

We all want to have enough daily energy to get all the things done that we want to do. But fatigue, mid-afternoon slump, and high stress lifestyles all make keeping up our daily energy a challenge. Fortunately there are natural solutions we can use to sustain daily energy to keep up with our busy lives.

Natural Solutions for Daily Energy
1. Get Enough Sleep – This may seem obvious, but many people do not get the 7 to 8 hours of sleep they need to be truly rested and performing at their peak. If you have trouble getting to sleep try establishing a bedtime routine with relaxing activities that will signal your body to get prepared for sleeping. Make sure you block out all light and that includes blue light from computers and TVs. Avoiding caffeine and exercise in the evening can also help you get to sleep.

2. Stay Hydrated – Dehydration can also cause you to be tired. Water is vital to keeping the body working properly and maintaining daily energy. Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink water, go ahead and drink all throughout the day and extra when exercising or doing other strenuous activity. You'll know your water intake is at an appropriate level if your urine is a light yellowish color.

3. Exercise – Before reaching for that afternoon cup of coffee, soda or candy bar, try doing some light exercise or go for a walk as a natural solution to boost daily energy. Getting regular exercise can help keep fatigue away.

4. Get a Checkup – If you have severe chronic fatigue, you may need to check with your health care provider to see if there are any underlying medical conditions contributing. Anemia in women is quite often a contributor to fatigue and may require taking extra iron. Heart conditions, fibromyalgia, food allergies and other medical conditions can zap daily energy.

5. Stabilize Blood Sugar – Keeping blood sugar levels stable can help with daily energy. When blood sugar levels drop fatigue occurs. Starting off the day with a good breakfast of protein and complex carbohydrates sets the pace for the day. Then instead of eating 2 more larger meals in the day, try eating several smaller meals with fruits, veggies, complex carbs and lean protein.

6. De-stress - 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. 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.

7. Feed Your Cells - At the cellular level our energy is determined by how well our mitochondria are working. The mitochondria are the "power houses" in our cells, and when not properly-nourished, can't produce cellular energy which causes a drain in daily energy. Our mitochondria need a substance called adenosine troposphere, or ATP for nourishment. ATP fuels the mitochondria in our cells as well as other important bodily functions such as muscle contraction and protein production. To produce ATP, our bodies need coenzyme Q10. When we are young, our bodies produce plenty of coenzyme Q10, but aging, stress, and disease can all interfere with the production of this vital coenzyme. The result is low daily energy.

8. Get Your 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 most cuts of meat and liver. For you vegetarians, 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 use for increased daily energy.

Another form of AFA bluegreen algae is the heart of the algae, with the cell wall carefully removed through a special separation process. This form of blue-green algae is small enough to slip through the blood brain barrier to feed hungry brain cells and help with mental clarity and stamina

9. Daily Energy Supplementation With Algae – Another natural solution for daily energy is supplementing your diet with high quality algae supplements that combine ingredients to feed your body on a cellular level and give the body extra energy. This supplement combines pure ubiquinol, reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and AFA bluegreen algae, designed to activate cellular energy to support a healthy cardiovascular system which can improve energy levels. Reishi mushrooms are 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 which is important for stress relief and improved daily energy.

Another supplement that is a natural solution for daily energy is this one that combines AFA bluegreen algae, wheatgrass juice, cordyceps mushrooms, bee pollen, turmeric, noni, and green tea, created to provide a nutrient-rich, whole-food source for physical energy and drive.

10. Cinnamon - Studies have shown that taking a whiff of cinnamon can make you feel more alert and increase your daily energy levels. Sucking on a cinnamon stick produces similar results. As a bonus, cinnamon has natural health-protective properties. If you don't have any cinnamon handy, peppermint has similar fatigue-fighting properties.

If you find yourself tired and sluggish, try out these natural solutions to see which ones work for you to increase your daily energy. Getting an increase in energy helps us live life to the fullest and makes it a more enjoyable 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 marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Source:
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/ss/slideshow-fatigue-causes-and-remedies?ecd=wnl_day_061413&ctr=wnl-day-061413_ld-stry_2&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Healthy Aging: Natural Solutions for Achy Breaky Joints

Part of healthy aging is to start paying attention to joint health. As we get older, our joints are one of the places we are likely to feel soreness and pain. Sore joints usually are caused by inflammation from overuse or an injury or 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. Inflammation is the body's response to foreign invaders, irritation or injury and causes 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 its defensive action.  These types of arthritis are called autoimmune diseases, in which the body's normal immune system attacks and damages its own tissues.

Fortunately, if you are engaging in a campaign of healthy aging, there are natural solutions you can adopt now to support your joint health and avoid some of the future pain and discomfort of inflammation. Here are a few of the natural solutions you can get started with.

Listen to Your Mother – If you had one of those mothers always telling you to sit up straight, start taking that advice to heart. Sitting and standing straight actually does protect all your joints. Exercise that can help you achieve better posture are swimming and fast walking.

Get Up and Move – This natural solution is pretty easy. Just don't stay in one position for too long a time. If you work at a desk, periodically get up and get your body moving. When sitting around reading or watching TV, change your position from time to time. Moving your body exercises your joints and means you'll be less stiff. Start doing exercises that move your joints through their full range of motion to also reduce stiffness and increase flexibility.

Use Your Big Muscles – Doing muscle building exercises and increasing your muscle strength takes stress off the joints. When you carry things, use your bigger muscles to take stress off too. For example, if you can carry things with your arms instead of your hands then you are using the bigger arm muscles thus strengthening them and taking stress off the hand and wrist joints. You can also support your joints by strengthening muscle through weight bearing exercises. This can help prepare your muscles for whatever activities you'll be doing that your muscles aren't used to.

Lose Some Weight – Losing weight can help take stress off joints and protect cartilage. You can reduce 4 pounds of pressure off your knees for every pound of weight you drop. That is taking quite a bit of strain and pressure off those joints!

Stretch Your Body – Stretching your body and doing stretching type exercises can help keep joints flexible and strong. Start a regular routine of stretching at least 3 times a week. 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 activity you are planning. Many experts advise doing some warm-up exercises before stretching to help joints, muscles and ligaments loosen up first.

Eat More Fish – Coldwater fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, and tuna give you omega-3 fatty acids that help with joint health and reduce inflammation. If you are not that fond of fish, AFA bluegreen algae is also loaded with omega-3s.

Joint Supplements
Algae and Plant Based Enzymes Supplement – This supplement gives you a combination of plant-based proteolytic enzymes--bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, with AFA bluegreen algae, to support your body's inflammatory response to physical exercise and free radical damage.

Algae and Glucosamine/Chondroitin Supplement – This supplement combines vegetable-based glucosamine, chondroitin, UC-II® undenatured collagen, and AFA bluegreen algae to support joints and cartilage. Healthy joint cartilage contains glucosamine naturally. In combination with chondroitin, glucosamine has been reported in studies to give relief to joint pain.

SAMe Supplements – SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine), is produced naturally by the body, but production decreases as we get older. There have been studies showing that supplementing with SAMe can work on joint pain much like anti-inflammatory drugs do.

Being proactive with your joint health and getting started now with some of these natural solutions will help you reduce the risks of pain and discomfort that joints attract in your elder years. No one wants to spend their retirement years riddled with aches and pains. Many people start financial planning for enjoying their retirement years, but can you really enjoy those years with pain and stiff joints? Add in a healthy aging plan to that retirement plan so you can really enjoy it!

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 scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Source:
http://arthritis.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-keep-joints-healthy?ecd=wnl_wmh_061413&ctr=wnl-wmh-061413_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Good Mood Foods That Make You Smile!

You may think that good mood foods are those fatty comfort foods like chocolate donuts that seem to make you happy... for a while. But on some level you know that those type of fattening, processed, refined sugar filled foods are not really good mood foods. You know they are not healthy for you, add weight, clog arteries, kill off your healthy intestinal bacteria and that smile on your face is short lived. Real good mood foods are those superfoods that increase your energy level, help you moderate your weight and/or stimulate the release of "feel good" chemicals such as serotonin that regulates mood or epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine that influence energy and mental focus. Real good mood foods feed your body the nutrition it needs to be strong and healthy. When you feel good and look good, your mood naturally gets a boost. But even more than that, there are foods that interact with the body to produce the chemicals that produce a happy feeling. Here are some tips for superfoods to add to your diet to keep you feeling good. 

Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium is an essential ingredient for muscle relaxation, overall body calm, and has a soothing influence on mood. The body also needs magnesium to convert sugars into a form the body can use for energy. Many of us lack magnesium in our diets. Magnesium rich foods include green vegetables such as spinach, cereals and grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal and bran, peas, beans, peanuts, lentils, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, cashews, almonds, halibut, and fruits such as bananas and figs. Don't overdo the magnesium though since once your body has absorbed enough magnesium it will release the rest via your colon, usually in the form of diarrhea.

Keep Blood Sugar Stable
Eating foods with carbohydrates from whole grains that are rich in fiber 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. Go with complex carbohydrates rather than simple carb foods to keep your energy level up throughout the day and avoid the fatigue from blood sugar crashing. Quinoa is a great grain for complex carbohydrates and also has all the amino acids your body needs (and can't make) for protein synthesis which builds muscle mass. According to Darryn S. Willoughby, PhD, director of the Exercise and Biochemical Nutrition Laboratory at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, building muscle mass increases your reserves of energy and increases your stamina. Cinnamon has also been shown to be effective in balancing blood sugar levels.

Not getting enough of the enzyme amylase can also result in unbalanced blood sugar levels and mood swings. The cooking processes often used in preparing food kill off many of the natural enzymes in foods. A high quality enzyme supplement can help you get the digestive enzymes your body needs.

Serotonin
Serotonin is the brain chemical that produces feelings of calmness and happiness and regulates mood. Eating foods with tryptophan helps in producing serotonin. Nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds and cashews are high in tryptophan. Tryptophan levels can also be increased by eating "good" carbohydrates like whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Walnuts are also high in antioxidants, have vitamin E which helps nourish the skin, selenium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. Serotonin levels are also increased by vitamin D. Getting 600 IU a day from foods has been shown to help with depression. Vitamin D can be found in fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel and raw fish is higher in vitamin D than cooked fish. If you are not a sushi fan, then look for vitamin D fortified cereal, dairy and soy products, white button mushrooms and possibly consider a cod liver oil supplement. The B vitamin folate, vitamin B9 to be precise, has been shown in research studies to reduce symptoms of depression. Folate aids the brain in producing serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Folate can be found in dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach and in Brussels sprouts, beans such as pinto and garbanzo, asparagus, peanuts, soybeans, liver, lentils and sunflower seeds.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Your brain needs omega-3 fatty acids to function. Specifically, the brain needs two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA. The best sources for omega-3 are coldwater fish like cod, mackerel, tuna, herring and salmon. These cold-water fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids because they, in turn, eat a lot of blue-green algae. Fish oil high in omega-3 fatty acids has been found through research studies to help prevent depression by affecting the brain's neurotransmitter pathways. If you are not a fish lover, then you've probably guessed that taking AFA bluegreen algae supplements will also get you the omega-3s you need. Other food sources for omega-3 are flaxseed, walnuts, olive oil, edamame, wild rice, soybean oil, spinach, kale and chia seeds.

Good Mood Foods Supplements
One of our favorite energy superfoods for a mood boost is this ginseng and edible mushroom supplement full of powerful natural ingredients that support regeneration and mental clarity. Ingredients that make this supplement a "natural" in energy foods and for a mood boost include:
  • Cereboost®, Standardized American Ginseng, long used in improving cognitive function, preventing fatigue and increasing energy.
     
  • Resveratrol, a polyphenol with antioxidant properties, found in skin of red grapes, some berries and peanuts.  
  • 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. Scientists currently are interested in its benefits for stimulation of nerve growth, neuropathy, age related memory function, mental clarity, and the neurological system.
     
  • Agarikon, a rare polypore or tree-based conk mushroom commonly found in the old growth forests of Oregon and Washington, revered by the ancient Greeks as an "elixir of life." Research today revolves around uses with inflammation, age related memory function, immune system, oxidative stress and cellular support.
     
  • Cordyceps, a mushroom rich in proteins, plant sterols, polysaccharides, antioxidants, and nucleoside derivatives. It has been used in extracts and formulas for health benefits throughout history.
     
  • Bluegreen Algae, rich in phytonutrients, plant-based proteins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, as well as a wide spectrum of micronutrients, making it a nourishing whole food that provides a broad range of benefits.

Another supplement we love for supporting the production of neurotransmitters to support mood and provide all the brain health benefits of algae is this supplement  that combines nine colorful algae giving you a unique richness of minerals and phytonutrients from the lake and sea. It is made with dulse, kelp, fucoidan, Ecklonia cava, bladderwrack, Dunaliella salina, spirulina, chlorella and pure wild bluegreen algae from Klamath Lake. Here is a breakdown of the whole food nourishment each of these ingredients is known for:

Dulse - A dark red sea algae rich in phytonutrients and pigments, high in plant-based protein, with important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6, B12, and A, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese.

Ecklonia Cava - A rich source of bioactive derivatives, mainly phlorotannins, including triphlorethol-A. These phlorotannins are strong antioxidants as well as a source of other benefits for supporting healthy living.

Fucoidan - A seaweed compound derived from brown sea algae and is a sulfated polysaccharide.

Kelp - A wild algae that occurs naturally in all the oceans of the earth and is a rich source of micronutrients and minerals including vitamins C and E, calcium, magnesium, boron, and trace elements that are necessary for strong bones and muscle function.

Bladderwrack - A brown algae found in the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans that is rich in vitamins and minerals and contains the sulfated polysaccharide fucoidan.

Dunaliella Salina - A sea microalgae with high carotenoid content (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein), antioxidants, and important vitamins.

Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) - A variety of bluegreen microalgae that is rich in chlorophyll, phycocyanin, a broad spectrum of minerals and phytonutrients, and vitamins A and K, and provides a complete protein profile.

Chlorella - A strain of green microalgae grown through freshwater aquaculture that is rich in nucleic acids, amino acids, peptides, polysaccharides, and minerals.

Bluegreen Algae - A bluegreen algae that is the only edible freshwater bluegreen algae in the world that grows abundantly in the wild, and is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. This algae is rich in phytonutrients, plant-based proteins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, as well as a wide spectrum of micronutrients.

If you find yourself at the mercy of your mood swings or just plain unhappy a lot of the time, take a look at what you are eating. Adding in some of the foods in the above tips can help give you a mood boost and get you smiling again.

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 photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Source:
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20621800,00.html?xid=healthyliving06192013


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Healthy Aging: Ways to Boost Memory

Maintaining the mental faculties is of great concern to many people as they get older, so when we look at healthy aging are there ways to boost memory and stay mentally alert in our senior years? There are many natural solutions we can employ that will help us stay mentally sharp as we age. We all have lapses in memory from time to time, no matter what age we are, but just thinking about growing old and having more than the normal lapses is scary to most of us. Whereas occasionally being forgetful or confused may not be so bad, Alzheimer's and dementia are paths that no one wants to go down. Between those two extremes there is a vast area that any of us could fall in. Here are some healthy aging tips that can help boost memory and help us maintain brain health.

Feed Your Brain
One of the most important things we can each do to reduce our risk of memory loss is to support a healthy brain. Many things in our environment today, such as pollution and pesticides, increase our exposure to toxins. The blood brain barrier works to protect the brain from toxins and allow in the nutrients it needs. Oxygen, water and glucose are able to pass through the blood brain barrier, whereas other molecules can be accepted or rejected. 

The human brain requires oxygen and a high concentration of nutrients. The brain's main source of energy is glucose. It also needs protein however and proteins are not able to pass through the blood brain barrier until they break down into amino acids. Research has shown that poly unsaturated fatty acid and especially DHA are vital for brain development. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, important nutrients for a healthy brain, are also able to permeate the blood brain barrier. AFA bluegreen algae has the amino acids that are the building blocks of healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters needed for the brain to function properly. It also provides a perfect balance of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and helps maintain normal, healthy blood chemistry that feeds the brain.

According to Tiffany Hughes, PhD, research assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, eating a diet that is heart healthy is also a healthy brain diet. Your heart needs to be healthy in order to pump blood and oxygen to your brain. This type of diet would include lean protein sources, lots of veggies and fruits, whole grains, and only the healthy fats like monounsaturated fats. Fruits and veggies loaded with antioxidants are especially important for brain health to protect brain cells from damage.

Keep Moving
Part of healthy aging is to stay active. Keeping involved in activities such as hobbies, community projects or organizations, and social engagements all help keep us moving forward, keep our brains working and staying sharp. Research studies have shown that seniors that have less involvement with other people have greater risk of memory loss than those that have strong social networks. Keeping your brain and mental processes working goes a long way towards maintaining your healthy aging quality of life. Exercise your brain with mind puzzles, games that involve thinking strategies, learning new skills or whatever you enjoy that will give your brain a work-out.

Physical exercise is another important component. Aerobic exercise can keep the mind sharp and has also been shown to increase brain tissue. Exercise is also good for increasing blood flow to the brain and supports nerve cells that control memory in the brain. Your health care provider should be consulted before starting any type of exercise routine or program to make sure there are no limitations you should be observing, and then get moving. Whether you go for walks, join an exercise class, take up yoga or Tai Chi, or swim, find the type of body movement that you enjoy, is physically easy for you to do and that you will do regularly and keep your body moving.

Coping With Memory Loss
If you find yourself dealing with some occasional memory lapses, there are strategies you can put into place now that will help you into the future. Using index cards with key phrases as reminders during meetings or social functions, getting in the habit of writing notes to yourself as soon as you think of something you need to do or when making an appointment, using alarms as reminders, emailing yourself reminders, beginning a habit of not agreeing to anything until you are near your calendar and can check for conflicts and can write a reminder on the calendar, and starting to establish particular places for important items to be kept and making sure you ALWAYS put them back there are all ways of coping. Having coping techniques in place can help reduce the stress that comes with those times of forgetfulness. When we are under stress, our bodies produce stress hormones which can be detrimental to memory. If you find yourself dealing with chronic stress, find a release that works for you to relax and keep your stress under control.

Supplements to Support Memory
One supplement we find useful for healthy aging combines bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni. 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 supplement we find helpful uses the power of three mushrooms, Lion's Mane, agarikon, and cordyceps, along with standardized American ginseng (Cereboost®), resveratrol, and AFA bluegreen algae. 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.

Instead of sitting around dreading old age, get proactive now and start using some of these healthy aging tips to boost memory and pave the way to have an active and enjoyable time in your retirement years.


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 federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Source:
http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/7-brain-boosters-to-prevent-memory-loss

Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to Slim Down with Smart Beverage Choices

When looking for how to slim down, we usually look at the foods we eat and the amount of exercise we engage in. But what are you drinking? That is something else to consider. Did you know that one fifth of our calories each day come from what we drink?

How to Slim Down: Drink Water
The best drink is of course water. Water doesn't add calories to your diet, helps flush toxins out of the body, keeps skin hydrated and youthful looking, keeps internal organs functioning properly, helps prevent constipation, increases circulation, replaces fluids lost through sweating and lots more. If drinking straight water doesn't sound good to you, try adding a little salt or lime to your water. Both salt and lime improve the taste of water, and a slice of lime tends to remove any chlorine that might be in it. Drinking water also helps in how to slim down by making you feel full if you drink before eating, thus you don't feel the need to eat as much.

How To Slim Down: Cut Out All Carbonated Soft Drinks
You probably know that carbonated soft drinks have hundreds of calories and should not be included on a how to slim down diet. But many people think switching to diet soft drinks makes a difference and is OK when trying to lose weight. This switch will cut down on some calories, but research hasn't confirmed that switching to diet soda makes a significant difference in weight loss. You still have to look at how many calories you take in each day versus how many calories you burn each day. Ask yourself is that soft drink really worth the extra exercise you'll need to do or would you rather switch to a totally non-sweetened, non-carbonated drink?

How To Slim Down: Drink Coffee and Tea Straight Up
Another tip for how to slim down is to drink coffee or tea without adding fattening sugar and cream to it. The caffeine found in green tea or black coffee does boost your metabolism for a short period of time, and can help you lose weight. To get the most benefit out of green tea, drink it hot and drink several cups per day. Coffee, like green tea, has no calories and has been found to reduce the risks of Type II diabetes, improve mental concentration and mood swings. Both these beverages have antioxidants that help the body fight off damage from free radicals. If you can't take your coffee straight black, stick with adding some skim milk or unsweetened almond milk to avoid adding too many calories to it.

How To Slim Down: What's Good and Bad About Juices
Fruit juices have vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that are good for you, but read the labels on the juices you buy. Many of them have added sweeteners. To get the nutrition and keep calories low, go for labels that show 100% juice or invest in a juicer and make your own. Vegetable juices have much less calories than fruit juices, but usually have more sodium. Making your own green smoothies with fruits and vegetables is another way to make sure you know exactly what you are getting in your juices. Adding some juice to a glass of water will give you an even lower calorie drink with some of the juice's nutrition added in. 

How To Slim Down: Make a Smoothie for Meal Replacement or Snack
Making your own smoothies or green drinks gives you the power to add in the ingredients of your choosing that you know will help you in how to slim down. Since milk has been found to help in losing weight, you can add skim milk or low fat yogurt into your smoothies to get a protein boost without the calories. Juicy fruits alone can be blended into a smoothie if you don't want to add in the extra calories of milk or fruit juice. Another tip for how to slim down is to use protein powder to make a smoothie drink that can be a snack or even a replacement for a meal. Powders that contain whey protein rather than soy show better results. Our favorite powdered protein supplement not only gives you 22 grams of protein from whey, but includes bluegreen algae, sprouts and protein-digesting enzymes as well as the omega-3 and omega-6s and all the other amino acids and whole food nutrition from blue green algae. Blending this powdered drink supplement with yogurt, fruit juice, milk or your favorite smoothie can help you stay away from fatty foods and satisfy hunger to combat overeating.

If you are looking for how to slim down, get enough exercise to burn off the calories you consume, eat low calorie meals with lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and watch what you drink. What you are drinking may be putting on that extra weight that you just can't seem to take off. Making smarter beverage choices may just be the key for you.

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Source:
http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-skinny-sipping?ecd=wnl_wlw_071013&ctr=wnl-wlw-071013_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d