Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ways to Avoid Brain Fog

We all have times that we space out, can't think of the word we want to say, forget where we put something and other similar types of brain fog moments. While this may be annoying, it is not a real problem unless it begins happening on a regular basis. In fact a study done by Harvard University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland reports that our brains are naturally inclined to wander anytime they are able to such as when resting or doing mundane tasks. If true brain fog occurs to the point that it interferes with life, then it becomes a much more serious problem. It is thought that brain fog can be a result of a variety of conditions such as stress, toxicity, lack of exercise, hormonal imbalances, and poor sleep. Brain fog is a condition that can happen to someone at any age characterized by symptoms such as:
  • not thinking clearly
  • forgetfulness
  • memory problems
  • fatigue
  • cognitive processing problems
  • depression
  • lack of mental clarity
  • dizziness
If these symptoms are ongoing, professional help may be needed.

Brain Foods For Brain Fog
Reasons for brain fog are not really clear, but experts do know that the brain works best when it gets the right type of nourishment, enough oxygen and blood and the digestive system is healthy. A healthy digestive system is important because the probiotics in the intestines actually play a role in determining mood, with neuropeptides that transmit brain signals, and in overall brain health.

One of the first things to consider with the symptoms of brain fog is what types of foods you eat. Some types of foods are better brain foods than others. Certain types of brain foods help clear out brain fog by giving us a boost in the chemicals the brain uses to regulate mood and brain function. The brain demands a lot of nutrition to keep it working properly, but it also is protected behind the blood brain barrier which makes it more difficult to get the nutrition it needs to it. The blood brain barrier is a layer of cells that only allows the smallest fat-soluble molecules and micronutrients to reach the brain. To improve brain health, concentrate on eating foods that have the specific nutrients the brain needs that can also pass through the blood brain barrier. Glucose (the brain's main source of energy), essential fatty acids and specific amino acids are all necessary brain foods.

Glucose Brain Foods
Glucose is the sugars your body makes by digesting carbohydrates. Complex carbs are healthier for you than simple carbs so adding whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa, and starchy vegetables like potatoes, beans, peas and lentils to your diet will help feed your brain. Glucose is a small enough molecule to be able to pass through the BBB, but these molecules must first be paired with the appropriate proteins before they will be allowed to pass.

Protein/Amino Acid Brain Foods
The brain needs protein to function properly however proteins are not able to pass through the blood brain barrier until they break down into amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which your brain needs to function well. Your brain needs a variety of different amino acids to be well-fed. These amino acids include glutamine, GABA, isoleucine, phenylalanine, arginine, taurine, methionine, valine, lysine, glycine, leucine, alanine, and histidine. Lean sources of protein are of course healthier for you overall. This would include foods such as white meat chicken or seafood, beans, soy, and dairy.

Healthy Fat Brain Foods
Since the brain is 60% fat, it needs healthy fats to nourish it. Fatty fish with omega-3 fatty acids are a good brain food to add to your diet as a diet with high levels of omega-3 has been linked to lower risk of dementia and lower stroke risks and slower mental decline and enhanced memory as we get older. Other food sources for omega-3 include chia seeds, dark-green leafy vegetables, avocados, various seeds, nuts, and flax and olive oil. Coconut oil, even though it is a saturated fat, is also considered a good source of fat for brain health.

Other Brain Foods
You can get all the brain food nutrition mentioned above in AFA bluegreen algae, especially the form with the cell wall removed. It contains glucose and essential fatty acids and is a rich source of phenylalanine, an amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier faster than any other amino acid. It has all 20 amino acids our bodies need for the building blocks of healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters needed for proper brain function. It also provides a perfect ratio of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, helps maintain normal, healthy blood chemistry that feeds the brain, and provides an ideal balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, complex sugars, and fiber.

Other good brain foods include those with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that also have many of the nutrition already mentioned. That means lots of bright colored veggies, fruits and sprouted foods. Studies report that foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries have positive effects on brain function and protect the brain from free radical damage. Basically a diet full of lean protein sources, lots of veggies and fruits, whole grains, and only the healthy fats like monounsaturated fats that is good for overall health is also one that promotes brain health. In addition avoiding too much caffeine and alcohol, refined sugar and processed, fast or junk foods is necessary.

Other Natural Solutions for Brain Fog
Since toxicity can be a contributor to symptoms of brain fog, many people find fasting, cleanses and flushes beneficial. These may be solutions to check with your healthcare provider first however depending on your physical and medical status to make sure they are safe for you. In some cases these type of strategies can weaken or worsen conditions. Another natural solution is to exercise your brain by working on improving concentration and focus. This could include techniques such as one recommended by Michael Kane, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro of clearing out clutter from your workspace and only picking one task at a time to work on. This allows your full concentration to be focused on that task without seeing all the others tasks that you still need to get to. Jonathan W. Schooler, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara advises actively participating in meetings if your mind tends to wander in these situations as a way of maintaining concentration. 

Start becoming aware of when you start to lose focus or concentration and take conscious breaks rather than allowing your brain to take the breaks for you. There are also herbal supplements that have been found useful for some people in promoting mental clarity such as Gingko Biloba. Since AFA bluegreen algae has so much of the nutrition that the brain needs, there is a supplement that not only contains AFA algae but also bee pollen, vitamin A, enzymes, antioxidants, gluten-free wheatgrass juice, Hawaiin noni, Lion's Mane mushrooms, eleuthero, ginkgo biloba, and turmeric. 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. Gingko has been used for a long time to promote increased memory and mental concentration by increasing circulation and providing increased oxygenation of brain cells. Curcumin, found in turmeric, has been the basis of much research and found to have benefit for enhancing memory, for enhancing nerve growth in areas of the brain and as an antidepressant. It is also being studied and used in relation to treating Alzheimer's.

Whether you have an ongoing condition of brain fog, or just want to keep your brain healthy in general, feeding your brain with the right brain foods is crucial. According to the severity of your brain fog, you may also need to seek professional help and/or employ brain exercises and strategies for increasing concentration or focus. However you choose to proceed, starting to work on your brain health now will pay off as you age in keeping you mentally sharp, focused and enjoying life.

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

Image courtesy of Stuart

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Natural Solutions for Hair Loss

Have you been noticing that your hair is thinning or that you are losing more hair than normal? There are a variety of reasons for hair loss and there are natural solutions for how to have healthy hair including making sure your diet includes particular foods for healthy hair.

Reasons for Hair Loss
Hair grows in phases. According to Lucinda Ellery, women's hair restoration expert, most people have 150,000-200,000 strands of hair. Around 100 of these strands are shed per day. Each one of your hairs has a growing phase of 2 to 3 years in which the hair grows about 1/2 inch each month and then a resting phase of 3 to 4 months. Hairs then are shed and new hairs grow to replace them. As we age and our bodies go through changes, so does our hair. The phases slow down which may mean growth does not happen quickly enough to replace the amount being shed. This is true for women as well as men. Many men experience male pattern baldness by age 60 linked to patterns in genes and sex hormones. Women can also have a form of pattern hair loss that may be hereditary. Instead of the typical receding hairline men experience, women usually see their hair thinning in places or a wider part line.

Dr. Mickey Barber, president of Cenegics Carolinas, says that the three biggest causes for hair loss are stress, iron deficiency, and hormone changes. Hair loss can also be a result of a lack of certain vitamins in your diet or too much vitamin A, physical trauma, or various health conditions. In the case of physical stress to the body, hair will generally grow back as the body heals or recovers. If you take more than 5,000 IU of vitamin A daily, then according to the American Academy of Dermatology, you may experience hair loss. This can be reversed by simply backing off to the recommended amounts of vitamin A. Other reasons for hair loss can be a direct result of your diet. Your hair needs specific nutrition to be healthy. Nutritionist Rania Batayneh, author of The One One One Diet, explains that if you don't get enough of the right type of foods for healthy hair, chances are the nutrition you do get is routed to parts the body considers more important than hair, like muscles and organs. That leaves your hair literally starving for nutrients it needs to grow and glow.

Nutrition for Healthy Hair
Some of vital nutritional elements hair needs to be healthy are:


Hair is made up of mostly protein so getting enough protein in your diet to build muscle and to have enough left over to nourish your hair is a must. Healthy proteins include lean types of meat such as white meat poultry, beans, lentils, tofu, kale, broccoli, squash, dairy and eggs. Eggs not only are a good source of protein, but also give you vitamin D, zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron for hair health. AFA bluegreen algae is another good source of protein as it has 75% usable high quality protein as well as vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids and trace minerals.

Vitamin B and Biotin
Low levels of vitamin B can also contribute to hair loss. Bioton is an essential B vitamin that promotes healthy hair growth, increases hair elasticity (prevents breakage), and protects against dryness. Another great thing about biotin is that it also contributes to the healthy digestion of fats and carbohydrates. We can replenish the body's supply of B vitamins naturally by replacing the probiotics or "friendly bacteria" in our intestines. These friendly bacteria produce the B vitamins in our bodies and taking probiotic supplements like acidophilus and bifidus can give your body a boost to keep producing these vitamins. You can also get biotin in foods like beans, breads, egg yolks, fish, liver, meat, dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, whole grains, and poultry. Lentils are another good source of biotin and give you the protein, iron, and zinc needed for healthy hair. Greek yogurt is a good source for another B vitamin, B5 or pantothenic acid as well as vitamin D, both good for hair and follicle health.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids
You may know that omega 3 fatty acids are good for your brain, but they are also good for your hair, follicles and scalp. Our bodies don't produce omega-3 on their own so we must get them from food sources. Salmon, tuna and other fatty fish, walnuts, avocado, Brussels sprouts, flaxseeds, olive oil and AFA bluegreen algae are all rich in omega 3s. Walnuts not only give you omega 3 fatty acids, but also biotin and vitamin E which contribute to healthy hair. 

Zinc helps keep glands on the scalp healthy that produce oils to help hair grow. Oysters, beef, wheat germ, nuts, eggs, and chickpeas are all zinc foods for healthy hair.

Iron is needed for red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. That includes oxygen to your scalp necessary for hair to grow. Foods with iron include red meat, egg yolks, oysters, dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, whole grains, beans, peas, lentils, and AFA bluegreen algae.

All In One Nutrition
For those of you on the run with busy schedules, you can get all these nutritional elements in these convenient packets of capsules that contain two forms of AFA bluegreen algae, acidophilus, bifidus and a digestive enzyme. A box has 30 packets so you're set for the month to grab the nutrition your hair and the rest of your body needs as you head out the door. Nutrition and eating foods for healthy hair are a key ingredient in keeping your hair growing, strong and looking great.

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.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Easy Joint Health to Keep You Active

How often do you really think about your joints? If you aren't having problems with them, the chances are you don't think about them often and take for granted all the things they allow your body to do. But if you suffer with joint stiffness, achy joints, or the pain of arthritis, you may think about your joints a lot.

Importance of Joint Health
A joint is the place where two bones meet. They get support to keep the bones from rubbing against each other from cartilage and synovium which are smooth tissues and synovial fluid. Movable joints also use cartilage to help you move by allowing the bones to glide over each other. Taking care of your cartilage, ligaments, muscles and bones is important to keep your joints healthy and avoiding joint stiffness and achy joints. Aging, injury and being overweight can cause damage and wear on the cartilage and joints and can lead to arthritis. Arthritis isn't just for the elderly. Younger people can also be at risk for it. Osteoarthritis is the most common form and affects around 21 million adults. Rheumatoid arthritis, gout and Juvenile arthritis are some of the other forms that make up the conditions affecting over 50 million Americans. According to Sharon Kolasinski, M.D., an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, one-third to one-half of doctor visits are attributed to musculosketal problems.

Osteoarthritis begins when the support around the joints is no longer providing the cushioning needed for protection. This occurs because of cartilage wearing down from things like aging, any type of injury whether big or little that has occurred to a joint, inflammation that damages cartilage, loss of muscle mass that happens as we age and the strain joints and cartilage endure from carrying around too much excess body weight.

You don't have to settle for joint pain and stiffness no matter what age you are. There are natural solutions you can use to help support joint health. Here are a few to consider.

Keep Those Joints Moving
To maintain good joint health and prevent achy joints and joint stiffness, the key is to continue moving them. Exercise is a big part of that, but also just not staying in one position for too long can help. If you work a lot at a desk, get up and move periodically. If you are sitting for a long period of time at least shift your position from time to time. Since extra weight puts a strain on joints and cartilage, weight loss exercise can also be important. Did you realize that studies show you put four times more stress on your knees for every extra pound you are carrying around? That's a lot of potential damage to your knee joints, not to mention the strain on hips and your back!

Stretching exercises are recommended by experts for keeping joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles fit. They do however warn that stretching should be done after some warmup exercise instead of on cold muscles. Low-impact exercises are preferable to high-impact to lower the risk of joint damage. Walking, bike riding and swimming are examples of low-impact exercise. Other helpful exercise includes strength training exercise since having strong muscles can relieve some of the stress to joints. Doing range of motion exercises can help keep joints flexible and lessen the chance for joint stiffness. Be sure to check with your health care provider before taking on any type of exercise program to make sure it is safe for you.

Nutrition to Support Joint Health
Eating a well-balanced healthy diet is important for building strong muscle and bone which in turn supports joint health. In particular, make sure you are getting omega-3 fatty acids into your diet as it adds a lot of benefits for your health. For joints studies have found that omega-3's can help reduce inflammation that can lead to joint pain. Omega-3 is found in foods such as coldwater fish like cod, mackerel and salmon, fresh fruit, dark-green leafy greens, AFA blue-green algae, seeds and nuts, and flax and olive oil. Your diet also needs to include those foods that will give you strong bones. That means making sure you are getting the right amount of calcium. Good food sources for calcium include milk products, broccoli, kale, figs, and fortified cereals. The calcium won't help you though if you don't get the right amount of Vitamin D to help your body absorb it. Some research has also shown that Vitamin D supports joint health by helping to reduce inflammation in joints. Our bodies create Vitamin D mainly from our exposure to sunshine so getting outdoors a little bit every day is important. If you are unable to do this, a Vitamin D supplement may be required. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider to see if this type of supplement is right for you. You can get Vitamin D from some foods such as dairy products, and fortified cereals or soy and almond milk. Muscles need protein to stay strong which means making sure you have lean protein foods such as white meat chicken, beans, legumes, soy, seafood and nuts in your diet. Your healthcare provider may need to be consulted if you are not sure what the right amount of protein is for your age and sex. Antioxidants are another important part of a healthy diet that can help with joint health as they help repair the damage done to the body by free radicals. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are the best way to get antioxidants into your diet.

Supplements to Support Joint Health
If you know you are not getting the right type of nutrition to support healthy bones, muscles, cartilage and joints, there are supplements that can help. Glucosamine is probably one of the best known. While more research is needed, there have been studies reporting glucosamine and chondroitin being used successfully to relieve joint pain. One study at the University of Utah School of Medicine reported glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate being able to give pain relief to those suffering with pain from moderate to severe osteoarthritis. Both glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally occurring in our cartilage. Check with your healthcare provider however before using supplements of this type as they may interfere or be harmful to take in conjunction with other medications you may be on such as blood thinners.

SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine), is another well-known supplement that has been found useful in coping with joint pain. SAMe 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. Turmeric, ginger and boswellia have also been reported to work as well as some anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce joint pain from osteoarthritis. Ginger in particular may thin blood so be sure to check with your healthcare provider to see if this is safe for you especially if you are on any blood thinner medications. 

One way to add glucosamine and chondroitin along with undenatured collagen, and organic AFA bluegreen algae is with this supplement. The same type of nutrition needed for the body to recover from heavy activity or exercise is also the same type that supports joint health. This supplement  combines a proprietary blend of plant-based proteolytic enzymes--bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, and organic AFA bluegreen algae to provide the nutrition necessary for the body to reduce the risks of inflammation and recover from physical exertion.

Laugh Your Way to Better Joint Health
According to Sebastien Gendry, director of the American School of Laughter Yoga in Pasadena, laughter can be used for managing pain. Research has shown that laughter has many health benefits and one of those benefits is giving a boost to the immune system. Laughing can also increase the blood circulation and reduce stress. Hasya, or laughter yoga, incorporates activities and breathing that promote laughing which causes a release of endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that give us a lift and make us feel better that Gendry believes can work like a natural painkiller.

Try out the natural solution tips that will work and be safe for your situation to relieve your achy joints and joint stiffness. Joint pain can be very restrictive for everyday life so taking care of your joints now will pay off as you get older. If you already suffer from joint pain or arthritis use some of these tips to get relief and if you don't have joint pain now, get a jump on it and don't wait until it sets in. Life can be more enjoyable and productive when pain-free.

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.

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