Thursday, November 27, 2014

Give a Square Meal to the Hungry This Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving will be here and gone and some of us will have missed the opportunity to express our gratitude. The expression of gratitude through serving at a soup kitchen is one rewarding way to share your blessings by providing a square meal to those that don't often have one. For yourself keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to chase the holiday blues away and a self-rewarding way to perpetuate the idea of thanksgiving throughout the year with a daily reminder of all there is to be grateful for. Sometimes the most frustrating and challenging family and personal crisis can be the springboard of growth when we look for the messages and learn from them through the practice of gratitude.

Sharing your gifts with others through donations can be a rewarding expression of gratitude. When you send that check to your favorite charity you never know how much will actually go to feeding the hungry and less fortunate. Or to be even more discerning with your charitable dollars how much of the food your dollars actually buys is of quality ingredients providing a nutritious square meal.

As I am somewhat self-indulgent I have always been grateful for Thanksgiving pies. Did you know that in the 17th and 18th centuries pocket pies were given to travelers and labors so that they could have a nutritious square meal during their travels, in the fields or on the scaffolds of work? In carrying on this tradition there is one way to ensure the idea of Thanksgiving throughout the year by sending this nutritious boxed square meal to help feed impoverished and undernourished children, adults, and animals all over the world. By ordering this type of donation you will be able to share your gratitude and blessings with those less fortunate, while enjoying your holiday pies. This square meal can be mixed with either hot or cold water (or with juice or milk, according to availability and preference) and quickly dissolves into a delicious granola-flavored meal. In addition to a daily dose of vitamins that meet or exceed the daily requirement for children of all ages, each serving of this cereal also delivers a significant measure of AFA bluegreen algae--nature's perfect food!

This Thanksgiving enjoy the festivities with family and friends and consider sharing all the blessings you have gratitude for with others. There are so many ways to pay it forward from simply holding a door open for someone whose hands are full to volunteering at a hospital or soup kitchen. Even the busiest of us can take a few minutes to place an order online that will provide a box of 30 nutritious meals to someone in need. 

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 MilesFreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Artful-Ideas-for-Thanksgiving
http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Oprahs-Gratitude-Journal-Oprah-on-Gratitude
http://www.oprah.com/food/The-History-of-Pie-Thanksgiving-Desserts
http://teamnewearth.com/www/Products-Give

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Easy Strategies to Avoid Gaining Weight This Winter

Winter can be a great season with holidays, winter sports and snuggling up in front of a fire, but it can also be a season for many of us for gaining weight. Holiday meals and parties, being less active, and hanging around the house more all lead to extra eating and extra calories. Here are some easy strategies we've gathered from experts to boost your metabolism and avoid gaining weight this winter.
  • Go for the lower calories foods at holiday parties such as the veggie tray or fruits rather than the cookies and fudge. If salad is on the menu, use oil and vinegar dressing and avoid fatty dips by choosing hummus or other bean dips instead. High protein snacks such as cheese or lean meats are also good choices to fill you up without as many calories. Stay away from the selections with more carbs and fats or limit yourself to just a bite or two of these. 
  • Do strength training exercises to increase muscle as muscle burns much more calories than fat does and activating muscle raises your metabolism. 
  • Instead of eating the typical big 3 meals a day, go with eating more smaller meals or snacks throughout the day. This cuts down on between meal snacking, but also increases metabolism so you are burning off more calories. 
  • Get plenty of sleep. When you don't get enough sleep it affects hormone levels that raise your appetite level and keep you from feeling full when you are through eating. 
  • More calories are burned up through digesting protein than by digesting carbs and fats. Increase the healthy protein foods in your diet and decrease the number of carbs you eat. 
  • Even a slight amount of dehydration can slow metabolism down. Drink plenty of water necessary for processing calories and eat foods with high water content. 
  • A natural and healthy way to keep your metabolism high and your fat content low is to add enzymes to your regimen between and at meals. Enzymes help boost your metabolism. These enzymes  contain amylase, cellulase, lipase, protease, and lactase for more efficient digestion to avoid the after-meal energy slump. These enzymes with an extra boost contain cayenne and other substances to increase metabolism, burn fat, digest a broad spectrum of substances, and clean up waste in the body.
  • Drinking green tea with its caffeine and catechins boosts the metabolism and can increase the amount of calories burned off during exercise by 17%.
  • Jennifer Lovejoy, Ph.D suggests eating snacks such as cheese, carrots, or cereal with high fiber and skim milk before going to a holiday party so that you aren't as hungry when you show up and not as likely to overeat. I find that two other good snacks to curb appetite before going out are this snack bar fortified with sprouted grains, greens, and bluegreen algae and this drink mix that gives you 22 grams of protein per serving from whey and with sprouts and protein-digesting enzymes.
  • Stress causes a release of cortisol in the body. This hormone causes our appetite level to increase, we eat more and what we are eating is not usually healthy foods but more in the comfort food category. Find a method of releasing stress that works for you and fits in your schedule so you actually do it. 
  • If you like spicy food then you are in luck as hot peppers containing capsaicin are one of the good metabolism boosting foods. 
  • Cinnamon can help keep blood sugar levels stabilized which translates into a decrease in appetite and food cravings. It also adds a holiday flavor to anything from oatmeal to yogurt or coffee and tea. 
  • Alcohol can also be high calorie. If you are at a party that you want to have an alcoholic beverage, tone it down with just a bit of alcohol and lots of tonic or mineral water. 
  • Your digestive system needs healthy friendly bacteria to digest your food. If you do not have enough of these bacteria working for you, your digestion is slowed and bloating occurs as well as having undigested food causing belly bulges. Yogurt and kefir are good sources of probiotics vital to this digestion process. When buying yogurt or kefir, make sure you get the ones with live active cultures. You can also add a full spectrum probiotic supplement to your diet. Our favorite probiotic supplement has twelve key good bacteria that are microblended with bluegreen algae. Other good probiotics to help with digestive function are acidophilus and bifidus.

You can enjoy this winter and holiday festivities without gaining weight this year. Just take a few of these simple tips to heart and use them to have a happy, healthy winter and holiday season.

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 AmbroFreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://click.messages.webmd.com/?qs=e151607b9c9599dc51ecbbf425c5d70dc71cafc98f28310864195a51b65f7475ea071f6ca6551783

http://www.oprah.com/health/Holiday-Season-Diet-Plans-from-Obesity-Doctors

http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-boost-your-metabolism?ecd=wnl_wlw_092714&ctr=wnl-wlw-092714_nsl-ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d

http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-video/stress-high-fat-and-your-metabolism?ecd=wnl_wlw_092714&ctr=wnl-wlw-092714_nsl-ld-stry_1&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d

http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-weight-gain-shockers?ecd=wnl_wmh_092014_tod_1pm&ctr=wnl-wmh-092014-tod-1pm_promo_4&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/dietitians-stay-slim-secrets?ecd=wnl_lbt_091014&ctr=wnl-lbt-091014_nsl-ld-stry_1&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D

http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-fat-fighting-foods?ecd=wnl_wmhA_082614&ctr=wnl-wmh-082614_nsl-ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D

http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-diet-mistakes?ecd=wnl_day_072814&ctr=wnl-day-072814_nsl-ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Adult Stem Cells and Their Role in Healthy Aging

While research on the use of adult stem cells has not reached the point of declaring them as the new "Fountain of Youth", there are indications that they may be helpful in supporting healthy aging. There has been a lot of controversy over the last several years surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells for research, but adult stem cells are an entirely different matter. All stem cells have the remarkable ability to repair and regenerate your body. Embryonic stem cells are developed from the conception of a fetus. Adult stem cells however are in each of our bodies naturally. Those found in blood and bone marrow are already showing results in treating a variety of autoimmune and heart diseases. Therapies using adult stem cells have been used to treat diabetes, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, and leukemia. Many of these therapies and more are still in the experimental stages and research is still being done on them, but there is hope.

The Future for Adult Stem Cells Use
Researchers would like to take the use of adult stem cells further. They believe the potential is there to take your own stem cell from a healthy part of your body and use it to produce a heart cell or some other damaged body cell then put it in where there are damaged cells in the body. Another course of research is striving to be able to harvest your own adult stem cells at a young age and reintroduce them to your body when you are much older. One study done with mice reported that older mice showed an increased life span when injected with muscle stem cells of younger mice (http://ow.ly/qKhvy). The older mice were also found to be in better health through this introduction of younger stem cells. Johnny Huard, a stem cell expert at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburgh, believes stem cells may secrete a substance that can help people stay healthier as they age.

How Adult Stem Cells Can Help You Now
Adult stem cells have the ability to divide and renew themselves for long periods of time, and they can give rise to specialized cells. Stem cells have the remarkable ability to repair and regenerate your body. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a skin cell. New stem cells can migrate to the areas of the body where they are needed most as we grow older thus serving as a repair system for the body. Adult stem cells can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as a person or animal is alive. No matter what age you are now, you can work towards healthy aging by giving your adult stem cells a boost by nourishing them. One way to do this is by taking a stem cell support supplement that has been shown to increase the growth of adult stem cells in in vitro laboratory studies, that supports the body's natural renewal system with nourishing ingredients, that provides nutrition that enables stem cells to flourish, and that protects existing stem cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. This supplement provides nutrition for adult stem cells to reproduce and has the antioxidant capacity to protect existing stem cells from the harmful effects of free radicals which is especially important during the natural aging process.

Other Natural Solutions for Healthy Aging
1. Supplements – There are two natural supplements we've found useful for healthy aging. The first has a blend of bluegreen algae, wheatgrass juice, cordyceps mushrooms, bee pollen, turmeric, noni, and green tea as a whole food source for physical energy. The second has a mix of bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane mushroom, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni to support mental processes that often decline with age.

2. Antioxidants – You see the signs of aging when you have healthy cells dying off or damaged by free radicals in your body. Eating a variety of bright colored fruits and vegetables loaded with antioxidants can help ward off wrinkles, eye disease, heart disease and cancer. Good foods for antioxidants include those with vitamin C, zinc, and beta carotene. This would include dark leafy green vegetables, carrots, peppers, oranges and grapes.

3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Eating foods rich in omega 3 supports brain health and heart health. Good sources of omega 3 include fish like salmon and tuna, bluegreen algae, olive oil, flax oil, and nuts.

4. Low-fat Dairy –As we age, we start losing bone at a faster rate than we can regenerate and replace it. That makes our bones more fragile. Our muscles, joints and balance also can all become weaker as we age, meaning we are more likely to have falls which can lead to breakage of these more fragile bones. That is why bone health is an important area to consider in healthy aging. Calcium and vitamin D are necessary for supporting bone health. Including low fat dairy products that are fortified with vitamin D in our diets can help support strong bones while keeping the cholesterol levels down.

Someday in the not too distance future, we may be amazed at the ways therapies using adult stem cells will be able to help us with healthy aging. As we await these new therapies from adult stem cells research there are things we can all do now to support healthy aging. You're never too young or too old to start on your way to healthy aging. So give some thought now to trying these tips and work towards having a healthy mind and body in your elder 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 AmbroFreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.oprah.com/oprahradio/Stem-Cell-Research
http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/news/20080226/adult-stem-cell-therapy-shows-promise
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/01/120106-aging-mice-stem-cells-old-young-science-health/

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stop Being Sick and Tired: Tried and True Natural Solutions

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? If you seem to catch every flu, cold or other illness that goes around it could be that you need to boost your immune system. Your immune system is designed to fight off germs; identifying them as foreign invaders in the body and attacking them before you get sick. If your immune system is not in tip-top shape, you don't have that protection. Besides catching a cold or flu this winter, sinusitis is a common ailment to develop. This often results from an inflammation after having a cold or allergy response that causes swelling in the sinus tissues. Symptoms can range from a stuffy nose and sore throat to headache and fever to pain in the face and fatigue and usually there is yellow, green or clear mucous from the nose. If this is the result of a cold which is a viral infection, antibiotic treatment will not help even though that is what many medical providers will prescribe. If there is yellow or green mucous present, the sinusitis could be a bacterial infection, so antibiotics could be helpful, but it will usually clear up within a two week period even without them. Consider that antibiotics carry their own risks from killing off the friendly bacteria in your gut to spreading antibiotic resistant bacteria. If you have persistent symptoms longer than 2 weeks, you may certainly need to consult your healthcare provider, but there are natural solutions that can help relieve symptoms and boost immune system function to try during that two week period. Here are some of the natural solutions we found experts recommend trying.

Keep Germs Out
Of course the best medicine is always prevention. No one wants to be sick so taking precautions to avoid catching a cold or flu is preferable. One of the best things you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands frequently, especially during cold or flu season. Use warm water and soap and wash for at least 20 seconds. This will help you wash away viruses or bacteria that you may pick up on your hands and then enter the body by you touching your mouth or eyes. Did you know it is estimated that most adults touch their own face 15 times an hour? That's a lot of opportunity to ingest those germs that you pick up on your hands. Since germs are able to actually stay on wet skin even easier than dry skin, be sure to also dry your hands thoroughly and keep dry towels available. You might also want to consider using paper towels for drying rather than cloth to avoid spreading germs especially if you share a bathroom with someone who is sick. Using a sanitizing cleaner to keep household surfaces free of germs can also help you avoid spreading them especially since a flu virus can live on a surface for as long as 8 hours. Tieraona Low Dog, MD, the author of Life Is Your Best Medicine, recommends cleaning doorknobs and phones and other things that people touch a lot and using essential oils in purified water to make your own cleanser. Lavender, rosemary, and tea tree all make good sanitizer sprays. Don't forget about your work environment either. Everything from vending machine buttons to sink faucets to breakroom refrigerators can be harboring viruses, so be sure to wash your hands at work after touching places that others touch frequently. Even if you, co-workers or family members aren't showing symptoms of illness, don't assume those germs aren't around. A study from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada concluded that during cold or flu season there are about 8% of people carrying the virus that aren't showing symptoms.

Natural Remedies for Symptom Relief
If you do get sick, you'll need plenty of rest. I know that it is often hard with our busy schedules to take the extra time off for rest, but think about it this way. If you stay home and rest the chances are that you will have a shorter time of sickness which means you'll perform better sooner and won't risk spreading your germs to others. That's a win-win. To help relieve the misery of your symptoms you can use a neti-pot or squeeze bottle to flush irritants out the nasal cavity and hydrate nasal tissues. If you have a cough, you can take a spoonful of honey instead of cough syrup. This does not apply for young children though as honey is not recommended as being safe for them. There are also herbal remedies that can help relieve some of the symptoms of a cold and reduce the amount of time the symptoms hang on. Echinacea and vitamin C are two that help some people with colds and elderberry has been found helpful the same way with the flu and one study reported those taking elderberry syrup showed improvements in flu symptoms four days sooner than for those not taking elderberry. Richard Nahas, MD, assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa also reminds us that crushed garlic contains allicin which can help fight off viruses. This is confirmed by a British study that reported participants taking allicin supplements were found to have 63% less colds than participants taking a placebo. You probably know that if you are sick you should drink lots of fluids, but there is evidence that getting those fluids going before getting sick can help you avoid a virus. Jamey Wallace, MD, chief medical officer at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, says this works by keeping the mucous membranes and immune cells in them hydrated which means they will work better at fighting off viruses. He suggests that you take your body weight divided by 3 and that will give you the amount of ounces to drink daily. Then add another glass of water to that for everything you drink that has caffeine or alcohol. Another natural solution to deal with symptoms according to David Nieman, DrPH. is eating lots of fruit as a study he helped conduct reported those eating at least 3 servings a day of fruit had 25% less days of respiratory symptoms during the cold and flu season. This could be due to the vitamin C and/or the polyphenols in fruits with antiviral properties. Taking probiotics is another good natural solution as one study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport reported athletes taking probiotics every day had 40% less colds and an analysis done in 2011 of 10 different studies concluded that 42% of those taking probiotics were less at risk for getting a cold. Mike Gleeson, PhD, professor of exercise biochemistry at Loughborough University in England especially recommends taking Lactobacillus which can reduce the likelihood of getting respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.

Boost Immune System
The best protection you can have to avoid getting a cold or flu is an immune system that is working at its best. This means getting adequate quality sleep, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and maintaining good hygiene. In addition, adding foods or supplements with omega-3 fatty acids can help protect lungs from infections and support immune function by stimulating phagocytes which are immune system cells that fight off those invaders that bring illness. Vitamin D has also been shown in studies to give the immune system a boost and ward off colds. A study at Harvard reported participants with low vitamin D levels were 36% more at risk for getting an upper respiratory infection. This could be due to vitamin D being instrumental in the production of cathelicidin which is a protein that is able to kill viruses. Astragalus and zinc are also known to boost immune system function as are many medicinal mushrooms. A study in 2013 showed an increase in the production of immune cells in participants that ate shiitake mushrooms. Reishi, cordyceps, maitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei are other mushrooms that have been shown to have anti-viral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties and support the immune system. You'll find all these plus astragalus, beta glucan and organic wild bluegreen algae in this supplement.

Use Your Mind
According to a study from the University of Wisconsin, Madison done in 2012, employing mindfulness techniques such as meditation can significantly reduce the risk of contracting a cold. This study reported a 40 – 50% reduction in the number of illness contracted and sick days accrued during the cold and flu season. Another study at the University of Virginia showed that varsity swimmers practicing the Chinese mind-body exercise Qigong a minimum of once a week showed 70% less incidence of respiratory infections than those practicing it less. It is speculated that these type results could be due to these types of practices reducing stress which weakens the immune system. Which brings us to another point... stress. Finding a coping system or way to manage stress is crucial during the cold or flu season to keep your immune system functioning at its peak.

Stop being sick and tired this cold or flu season and give your immune system the help it needs to keep you healthy. If you do get sick give some of these natural solutions a try to see which make you feel better by giving you some relief of symptoms. Then make a note for yourself which ones help you because you will probably need them again as cold and flu season comes around every year.

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

Image courtesy of David Castillo DominiciFreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/allergies/ss/slideshow-sinusitis?ecd=wnl_wmh_100514&ctr=wnl-wmh-100514_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d
http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/prevention-relief-13/slideshow-cold-flu-tips?ecd=wnl_men_092714&ctr=wnl-men-092714_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D
http://www.prevention.com/immunity
http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/colds-flu-prevention-strategies-and-immune-boosters
http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/natural-solutions-boost-your-immune-system
http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/more-proof-probiotics-boost-immunity

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Holiday Pre-Season Anti-Stress Guide

Just when you think you have all the stress you can endure through work, family, maintaining a home, community and social engagements, here come the holidays! While this can be a joyous time it also can add extra stress. Are you ready with an anti-stress plan for all the extra stress the holidays bring? The additional travel, shopping, overeating, tension of guests and weather changes that come with the holiday season can bring on lots of harmful stress. Stress can negatively affect the digestive system, immune system, cardiovascular system, adrenal function, cause headaches, weight gain, depression, reduced libido, diarrhea, affect memory and just plain wear us out to the point that energy levels are low. According to Michael Smith, ND, of the Carolinas Natural Health Center in North Carolina, most of us don't even know how stressed out we are. The American Psychological Association reported in the 2009 Stress in America study that 24% of adults have a high level of tension which was a 42% increase over the year before. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 18.1% of adults deal with some type of anxiety disorder. That's a lot of people dealing with stress and anxiety and often holiday time just piles on more.

How Stress Works
When we are physically, mentally or emotionally stressed, the brain signals the adrenal glands to release hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This isn't entirely bad if you just need that kick in the pants to meet a deadline and then everything returns to normal. But when chronically stressed, the body stays in this mode and that's when health problems can start. In addition, cortisol can harm the friendly bacteria in our intestines that are part of the immune system's arsenal for fighting off bacteria and viruses that can make us sick and that help with digestion.

The best way of dealing with stress in the holidays is to get an anti-stress plan together before the holidays hit. Here are some of the ways we found experts recommend of how to deal with stress.

Laugh and Smile
Smiling and laughing are both good ways of dealing with stress. Even if you don't feel like you have anything to smile about, using your smile muscles helps decrease stress responses your body makes and can help with lowering your heart rate. When you laugh you send more oxygen to organs and increase your blood flow which reduces stress and lowers stress hormones. Make sure this holiday season you take the time to watch a comedy, read a funny book or just get together with friends or family that make you laugh and smile. Even if it means you don't quite get all your holiday hustle and bustle errands done, you'll be giving yourself the gift of health.

Take a Breather
When really feeling stressed take a whiff of lavender or rosemary. Studies have shown that these aromas can lower cortisol production and cause us to relax. If you are on painkillers or anti-anxiety medicines, check with your doctor before using lavender as it can have an effect on them. If you live in an area where you still have grass through the winter, go out and smell some fresh cut grass and that will help stop stress hormones from releasing. Just deep breathing itself is relaxing for that matter as it increases oxygen levels in the bloodstream. Some experts recommend doing sessions of conscious deep breathing, making sure you breathe in a way that expands the abdomen and breathing out slowly. Doing this for ten minutes can really help your body relax, be more energized, lower blood pressure and boost your immune system. If you don't have ten minutes, then just do it as often throughout the day as you can.

Relaxation Can Be Music to the Ears
Studies have also shown that music can aid relaxation and help in dealing with stress. One study reported an increased reduction of cortisol for participants listening to Latin choral music over those listening to a rippling water recording. It turns out that there is a difference in how music affects the mood according to what type of music is used. For example, another study showed improvement in mood for participants listening to Mozart, but did not get similar results from other instrumental music pieces and worse results when listening to music from the "Schindler's List" soundtrack. If the music you are listening to makes you happy and adds to your smiling, then there is probably benefit to it. With the holidays, this could be carols and other spiritual tradition music pieces. If you aren't sure what to listen to, then try singing yourself. Whether you are a great singer or not, singing has been reported to boost mood and help in managing stress. It's also a good way to incorporate deep breathing into your day and can boost the immune system.

Sweat Off That Tension
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, decreases adrenaline levels, increases oxygen to the lungs, boosts metabolism and digestive function, helps make new brain neurons and increases dopamine and serotonin production with are hormones that regulate mood and give us a lift. Whether you do an intense workout or just go for a long walk, exercise is a great anti-stress tool. If you can do your exercise outdoors then you get an extra benefit in boosting mood. If you are really stressed, a 30 minute workout can do wonders, but if you don't have that kind of time, do what you can and look for ways to incorporate exercise into your day. You might park farther away from the door at work or a store so you have to walk further or walk in place while folding laundry or cleaning or include family dance time in your holiday activities.

Nutrition Tips
You probably know that eating fast food, junk food, sugary foods and simple carb filled foods are not good for you. In times of stress your body is subjected to oxidative damage from the stress and then these types of foods add even more. The problem is that the holiday season is often filled with just these types of foods. Don't beat yourself up about indulging in some of these foods over the holidays as there is research that show eating some high-calorie comfort type foods can help reduce stress responses as they act as a kind of natural reward. Just be sure you don't overdo eating these types of foods and then make sure you get lots of fresh fruits and veggies for antioxidant protection from free radicals to fight off the oxidative damage they cause, foods with omega-3 fatty acids like olive oil, salmon and walnuts to help boost mood, and drink green tea for the antioxidants and to relax. Foods with magnesium, B vitamins, cholorphyll and lean protein also help the body in dealing with stress. That means incorporate foods such as leafy greens, halibut, oysters, nuts, seeds, whole grains, white meat poultry, sprouts and bluegreen algae into your holiday meals.

Clean Up
Studies also show that being unorganized and dealing with a cluttered home or work space can add to anxiety and stress. Before the holidays get here start working on cleaning out drawers, cabinets, closets, your desk and other workspaces. Make lists ahead of time for those extra holiday chores you need to get done and schedule them in on your calendar spreading the tasks out over time so you don't end up with a big hectic rush the day before. Find your holiday decorations or dishes and get them cleaned up and organized ahead of time. You can get the whole family into the holiday spirit by dividing up some of these chores among other family members and don't think you have to do it all. It may be that it is time to let go of some of the traditional activities you are used to doing to save your sanity and your health. As life moves forward, so must we. If you are stressing out about cramming everything into a short period of time, re-think and re-prioritize your activities and go with the ones that are most important to you and your family.

Anti-Stress Supplements
Nutritional supplements can also be helpful during the holiday season to help in dealing with stress. Fish oil supplements can help get your omega-3 fatty acids in for reducing cortisol levels and thus reducing stress. Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins through whole foods supplements are also good supplements for an anti-stress plan. Probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus can help support the digestive system that may have to be working overtime during the holidays and support the friendly bacteria in your system. Those friendly bacteria also help produce the B-12 vitamins that help keep you calm and happy. A good digestive enzyme supplement will also help counteract the damage of sugary, fatty foods and overeating by helping with digestion, and fighting off gas, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn and bloating. Then there is of course bluegreen algae to get the chlorophyll and magnesium as well as lots of healthy nutrients to help your body in dealing with stress. Just to make it easier during the holiday season, get all these in convenient packets you can carry with you easily when traveling or just running around getting your errands done or while at the gym. Another algae supplement that can help get you through the holidays and through a stressful active life in particular is this supplement with a combination of organic wild bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni that was created for those with a demanding, high-stakes lifestyle, where heightened focus and mental clarity is a critical factor. Ubiquinol is an active antioxidant form of coenzyme Q10 which is important for stress relief and improved daily energy and is good for the heart. Heart nourishment is important to joy, which is after all what the holiday season is all about, right? You'll find it in this supplement that also has reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and AFA bluegreen algae. 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.

We hope you have a wonderful, relaxing holiday season this year whatever traditions you celebrate. Get a jump on holiday stress now by using some of these tips for dealing with stress and make this the healthiest holiday you've ever had.

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 photostockFreeDigitalPhotos.net



Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/balance/ss/stop-stress-now?ecd=wnl_wmh_091914_tod_11am&ctr=wnl-wmh-091914-tod-11am_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d
http://www.webmd.com/balance/rm-quiz-moods?ecd=wnl_menC_090314_tempC&ctr=wnl-men-090314-tempC_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d
http://www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-stress?ecd=wnl_men_061814&ctr=wnl-men-061814_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d
http://www.naturalsolutionsmag.com/handling-stress/stress-ruining-your-health

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sugar Cravings? Yikes ... What to Do After Your Sugar Fix!

Get this:

-- The average American consumes his or her body weight in sugar each year! --

Wow, is that scary or what? That factoid comes from the American Heart Association, so it is not an urban myth. More specifically, the average American eats between 22 and 50 teaspoons of added sugar per day... adding up to about 150 pounds of sugar per year.

While sugar is sweet, the side-effects of eating that much sugar are not so sweet. Eating sugar to excess can lead to obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Sugar can also affect your mood, how you feel, and mess with your skin. Sugar side effects are definitely bitter rather than sweet. In fact, the above list of sugar side effects should give you pause the next time you consider munching on a candy bar or slurping down a chocolate malt!

The Worst Sugar Side Effect
We are all tempted to get a sugar fix from time to time, whether because we need some comfort food, we want to celebrate something good, or we just have a sugar craving. The reasons don't actually matter, but the side effects of sugar do matter. As discussed above, sugar can dramatically affect our health in numerous ways.

What we did not mention above is one of the most insidious and dangerous sugar side effects: the destruction of probiotics in the gut. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that live in the gut and perform an amazing number of important bodily functions. These functions include:
  • acting as a first line of defense against foreign invaders
  • producing enzymes to digest food and deliver nutrients throughout the body
  • moving food through the digestive system, preventing constipation, gas, bloating, etc.
  • preventing harmful fungi from invading and taking over the gut (candida is a good example of harmful fungi)
  • support liver and kidney function
  • move toxins out of the gut and body
And that is just the short list of what the beneficial bacteria that live in our gut do for us. For us to remain healthy, studies show that we need to have a ratio of at least 6:1 of healthy to harmful bacteria in our guts.

So... taking all of this into consideration, you can see how damaging it is to eat excess sugar, which destroys the probiotics in the gut. Sugar not only destroys the probiotics, but also stops the gut from performing all of its digestive, immune, and other functions.

How to Avoid the Worst Sugar Side Effect After a Sugar Fix
Clearly eating too much sugar is a bad idea, but did you know that chugging even a single gigantic milkshake in a single sitting can have a serious effect on the probiotics in your system? Not only does it destroy a certain percentage of probiotics, but it can actually cause more sugar cravings. Seriously! One of the benefits of probiotics that we did not mention above is that probiotics can actually reduce sugar cravings. Why? Because the healthier we are (the higher the ratio of healthy bacteria in our gut), the less we crave sugar. So eating too much sugar kicks off a vicious cycle in which probiotics die off, sugar cravings increase, we eat more sugar, and even more probiotics die. The whole cycle is basically a downward spiral into poor health!

If you haven't guessed already, one of the best ways to avoid sugar side effects after eating a giant sugar fix is to take some probiotics. Acidophilus is one of the most effective probiotics for battling sugar side effects, and supports the health of the small intestine. Bifidus is another helpful probiotic, and supports the health of the large intestine.

We suggest taking probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus as a daily supplement. When you have eaten a sugar fix, take extra probiotics (especially acidophilus) with pure spring water as soon as possible. This reverses the vicious cycle described above, and starts your body on an upward spiral of health.

If you MUST have a sugar fix, don't worry. Just take some probiotics afterward to fix the effects of the sugar fix!

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 stockimagesFreeDigitalPhotos.net