Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What Do Enyzmes Do?

Good question, what do enzymes do and more good questions might be what are enzymes and do you need enzymes? First of all there are different types of enzymes which are proteins that trigger chemical reactions in the body for various metabolic functions necessary to sustain life like digesting food and clotting the blood. That tells you basically what enzymes are and that you definitely need them in order to live. This article will concentrate on the digestive enzymes that help break down food into a form small enough to be absorbed and used by the body.

Enzymes in the Digestive Process
We can get enzymes from foods that we eat. The way digestive enzymes should work is that enzymes in saliva start working to break down food in the chewing process, then food makes its way down to the stomach where it encounters more enzymes and breaks down about 75% of the food over the next hour. After that hour hydrochloric acid mixes into the equation in the stomach to help in digesting proteins. Proteins have to be broken down into amino acids in order for the body to use them. It all moves next to the small intestine and the alkaline bicarbonate supplied by the pancreas neutralizes the acid. The pancreas also adds the digestive enzymes protease, lipase and amylase. Finally the food is totally broken down into usable components and nutrients go through the wall of the intestine to the bloodstream. Proteins have become amino acids, fats have become fatty acids and carbs have become glucose. This is ideally what happens in the digestive process. Problems occur when we don't have enough digestive enzymes from foods for this process to go smoothly. Raw foods supply the enzymes that we need, but once foods are cooked or processed, the heat kills off the enzymes. When the body finds itself without enough enzymes to do the job it needs to do, it looks for others ways to get the job done such as adding in more stomach acid or releasing more amylase in the saliva. These type of solutions though interfere with the "predigestion" phase and food ends up staying in the stomach with no digestion taking place during the first hour and causing the small intestine and pancreas to overwork. Since the digestion process at best takes a large amount of energy, when the system is not working smoothly you can be left feeling physically fatigued and with harmful bacteria and parasites taking over the intestines leading to poor gut health and diseases.

Digestive Enzymes
Eating a raw food diet may help you get the majority of the enzymes you need for proper digestion, but since most of us don't eat that way adding a digestive enzyme supplement to the diet may be useful. Liz Lipski, integrative nutritionist and author of the book, Digestive Wellness, is one of the experts that recommends digestive enzyme supplements for patients who experience bloating and gas several hours after eating and to help keep food moving through the digestive process. Adding in raw foods when you can to your diet can also help supply you with more enzymes. Eating raw nuts and seeds are an easy way to get some extra enzymes in to your day. Just eat as a snack by themselves or sprinkle on salads or on top of other foods. Pumpkin and hemp seeds, and almonds, pecans, and walnuts are some of the best for extra enzymes, but make sure you are eating them raw, not roasted, boiled toasted, fried or pasteurized. You also need to break down the protein inhibitors found naturally in nuts and seeds otherwise you will defeat the purpose of eating them for their enzymes as those inhibitors will stop enzymes from working on breaking down proteins and just add more stress on the pancreas. Soaking nuts and seeds before eating them will prevent this problem. The soaking time varies according to the nut or seed so you may need to do a little research on your favorites, but for an example, almonds and walnuts need to be soaked for 8 hours and pistachios and pine nuts only need 2 hours of soaking.

High Quality Enzyme Supplements
There are a multitude of digestive enzyme supplements on the market to choose from and prescription forms too. When looking for a high quality supplement examine the label. You want to look for one that lists the specific enzymes included with their FCC (Food Chemical Codex) Units. This tells you not just how much of the enzyme is present, but how effective it is. Since the enzymes need to work in differing pH environments as food passes through various parts of the digestive system, there needs to be more than one kind of protease as there is not just one kind that can work in all these environments. You also want to look for a supplement that does not include enteric coating. An enteric coating is used oftentimes to protect a medicine or supplement from stomach acid. In this case however there would be no benefit in the predigestion phase if the coating is used which means the supplement will only start working once the food gets to the intestines and do nothing in the stomach. The primary enzymes to look for when choosing a supplement are protease, amylase, lipase, lactase, glucoamylase, cellulose, hemicellulose, maltase and inverase. Taking a digestive enzyme supplement before meals has been found to help reduce problems with indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, food intolerances, and food allergies. People taking them also usually notice they have more physical and mental energy which is explained by the body being able to provide more energy that is not having to go into the digestive process. It is also recommended to drink sparingly at mealtimes as liquids diminish enzymes, cause more stomach acid and pepsin to be released and stress out the pancreas that is trying to compensate. Drinking water is definitely a healthy habit, but save it for in between meals.  

There are two digestive enzyme supplements we prefer that are natural plant-based food enzymes that have the full spectrum of important key digestive enzymes needed and listed with FCC Units. As an added bonus they both have a touch of AFA bluegreen algae added in for important vitamins and minerals. The first contains sixteen food enzymes to help the body break down fats, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, and is certified Kosher, Halal, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and GMO Free.

The second also has MycoPepsin, a protease enzyme, which has the ability to break down proteins under acid conditions similar to pepsin. MycoPepsin comes from the controlled fermentation of a non-genetically modified strain of Aspergillus niger. It has twelve active enzymes, bluegreen algae, fennel, ginger, and cayenne for extra digestive system support and is certified Kosher, Halal, Pleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and GMO Free.

Enzymes are essential to keep life going and to help us get the nutrition from our foods necessary for good health. Don't let your diet slow you down. If you can't get all the enzymes you need from the foods you eat, get a little help with a high quality digestive enzyme supplement, remembering to drink between meals not with them and by eating as many raw foods as you can each day.

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.



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mood Boost: Getting and Staying Happy

Food can be one of the keys to staying happy. You may think sacking out in front of the TV with a bag of chips or a greasy pizza or burger makes you happy, but this kind of happiness is fleeting. There are foods however that can give you a physical mood boost and support good health which makes you feel better in the long run and leads to happiness. As Travis Stork, MD says, the food we eat can support the ability the body has to heal itself. There are also foods that stimulate chemicals in the brain that are responsible for mood boost and our feelings of happiness.

Foods for Mood Boost
Foods that give you a mood boost are those that provide you with lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that create sustained energy levels and those that have the nutrition to affect chemicals in the brain that are responsible for mood and that help you get good quality sleep which is important in the staying happy formula.

Omega-3 fatty acids - When looking for foods to add to your diet that fall into this definition, those that have omega-3 fatty acids are at the top of the list. Studies show that having a diet lacking in omega-3's can be linked to depression and low mood. One study done with bipolar participants was scheduled to go for nine months and stopped after four because of the mood improvement brought on by omega-3's. Other studies have documented a decrease in depression and suicide risk due to omega-3's added to the diet. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, flounder, haddock, and herring, shrimp, dark-green leafy vegetables, various seeds like flax, chia and hemp, nuts, olive oil and AFA bluegreen algae are all rich in omega-3. Omega-3's have also been found to help stiff and painful joints and when you are pain free your mood is definitely better.

Foods for better sleep - Not getting enough sleep can certainly leave you cranky, fatigued, irritable and in a bad mood. Tart cherries are full of the hormone melatonin that can help with better sleep. The older we get the less melatonin we make naturally. Stress can also affect melatonin production. Tart cherries have the added benefit of anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce pain and soreness from physical work-outs. A diet lacking in copper has also been found to contribute to poor sleep. Bananas, avocado, potatoes, oysters, kale, shiitake mushrooms, and chickpeas are all good foods for adding copper to your diet. Not only do cherries aid in better quality sleep, they are also a good source of antioxidants that fight off the damaging free radicals that can affect the brain and its mood boosting chemicals.

Whole grains – Carbs from whole grains give you a boost in serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the brain chemical that produces feelings of calmness and happiness, reduces cravings for less healthy foods, aids sleep, and regulates mood. Whole grains have tryptophan which helps in producing serotonin. The fiber in whole grains also helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you more energy. Amaranth is an especially good grain with lots of antioxidants, minerals, fiber and iron. According to Elizabeth Somer, RD, Food & Mood author, protein foods can reduce serotonin levels because the amino acids they have keep tryptophan from getting to your brain. So when eating whole grains for a mood boost, eat them separate from proteins. Whole grains have the added advantage of lowering your chances for reflux as according to Ronald Primas, MD, Mount Sinai Hospital instructor of medicine, eating foods high in fiber keeps food moving through the stomach so it doesn't have the chance for food and acid to come back up.

Vitamin D – Mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light are full of vitamin D that helps in giving you a mood boost. Vitamin D affects the neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine that all affect mood. It is estimated that more than half of all Americans don't get enough vitamin D and studies show there is an increased risk for depression due to lack of vitamin D. A single cup of mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light can give you 100% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin D. Mushrooms also have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and give your immune system a boost. The healthier your immune system is, the less likely you are to contract colds, flus and other illnesses that do nothing for your happiness level. We also get vitamin D by exposure to sunlight and not getting enough time in the sun can lower production of serotonin and dopamine. Vitamin D is also essential for good bone health as it helps the body in absorbing calcium.

B vitamins - Another vitamin important to serotonin production is B9 or folate. Folate aids the brain in producing serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine which are all brain chemicals affecting mood. Folate can be found in dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach and in Brussel sprouts, beans such as pinto and garbanzo, asparagus, peanuts, soybeans, liver, lentils and sunflower seeds. Low Vitamin B6 levels can also contribute to depression. Foods high in Vitamin B6 include papaya, oranges, tuna, chicken, turkey, rice and wheat bran, garlic, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.

Chlorophyll – Adding foods rich in chlorophyll to your diet is another way to boost mood. Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plants that captures sunlight and converts it to usable sugars and foods. Chlorophyll is effective in rebuilding the blood and has also been shown to stimulate liver function and excretion of bile, strengthen immunity, and detoxify chemical pollutants. Numerous recent studies have also indicated that chlorophyll has anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties. Eating green foods can help replenish red blood cells thus boosting energy. The immune system particularly benefits from the chlorophyll in green foods since it is able to kill off bacteria and viruses and replenishes red and white blood cells which are part of the immune system. Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, cereal grasses like wheat and barley grass are great sources of chlorophyll as is AFA blue-green algae. AFA bluegreen algae also increases the production of mood-elevating substances in the brain, including tryptophan, endorphins, serotonin, and PEA. AFA has the lipopolysaccharides and C-phycocyanin that stimulate your natural stem cell activity and macrophages which support your immune system function. It is loaded with antioxidants in its trace minerals, vitamins, and pigments and has all the essential amino acids humans require. The amino acids in this form of AFA in particular provide the building blocks of healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters vital for proper brain function The deep blue pigment in this algae comes from PEA (Phenylethylamine) which is a precursor to an amino acid functioning as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. For an added boost to the immune system this algae/enzyme supplement provides the nourishment of plant-based proteolytic enzymes to combat stress of cellular oxidation and support the body's natural healing abilities.

As Hippocrates, stated way back in 431 BC, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Find your way to good health and happiness through these types of foods and you'll discover the secrets to staying happy.

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    basketmanFreeDigitalPhotos.net




Edible Microalgae, Jeffrey Bruno

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Have an Active Lifestyle? Keep It Going As You Age

Ever think you have such an active lifestyle that sometimes you don't know if you are coming or going? Well, when it all seems too much to juggle, you might want to cut back a bit and save yourself some stress, but staying active is actually a good thing, especially as you get older. Once you hit your senior years, you'll find it especially important to keep an active lifestyle going and that it will pay off in health benefits. If you are not leading an active lifestyle now, it's never too late to start. Get up and get moving now and you'll find yourself at less risk later for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer. You'll also sleep better, be less stressed, have better cognitive functioning, avoid being overweight, and balance your mood. Sitting around on the couch or in your recliner watching TV all day on the other hand will do just the opposite as you age. If you are in the 40% of adults that report they don't engage in physical activity in their time-off, you'll be paying for it with your health in your golden years. Studies on participants engaging in an active lifestyle versus those not active found that inactivity contributes to 6% of heart disease statistics, 7% of Type 2 diabetes statistics, 10% of breast cancer statistics, and 10% of colon cancer statistics. Inactivity as you age is thought to affect the metabolism in ways that increase the risk of these types of diseases and conditions. So even if you are really bad about exercising, doing something to get active is better than sitting around doing nothing. Just taking a 30 minute walk everyday will pay off in health benefits. 

Stay Active - No Excuses
With everything else there is to do, I know it can be difficult sometimes to work in the time for exercise. The good news is that you can find lots of things to add into your day that count in being active. Mow your lawn yourself instead of hiring it done, ride your bike whenever possible instead of jumping in the car, use part of your lunch break to take a walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, take the dog for a walk, join a sports team or take up a new sport. All of these ideas and more can be worked into your regular day, get your regular chores done and will increase your activity level.

Then of course there is the excuse of the weather interfering with getting your exercise – it's too hot, too cold, or too rainy. There are also ways to get your exercise and physical activity in working around the weather. When the weather is bad or too hot, do your exercise in the house, or join a gym with air conditioning, take up sports that can be played indoors like racquetball, do your walking or exercise in the early morning before it gets too hot, take up water sports to stay cool and active at the same time, join a sports team with games in the cooler evening hours and go for a walk at a mall or department store. If you want to insure healthy aging, it's time to really think about making an active lifestyle a priority and get going with it. Where there's a will, there's a way, so get creative with looking for ways to stay active instead of excuses to skip activity. Besides the benefits for the future, you'll feel better, look better, and have more energy now.

Supplement Your Active Lifestyle
Your 75 trillion cells are constantly under attack from free radicals which results in aging. Free radicals can react with your cells' DNA and RNA, the blueprints by which your cells duplicate themselves causing heart disease, chronic pain, and other ailments related to aging. Your own natural adult 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 age thus serving as a repair system for the body. You can give your adult stem cells a boost by keeping them nourished. 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.

Antioxidants also help in the fight against damaging free radicals. A good way to supplement your body with antioxidants is with blue green algae. Blue green algae contains a wide range of antioxidants in the form of specific trace minerals, amino acids, vitamins and especially pigments – an impressive variety of carotenes along with potent green and blue pigments. Replicated studies have shown the potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of phycocyanin which is found in blue green algae. (Bruno, Edible Microalgae)

Regular exercise and staying active also helps keep your digestive system working well. A healthy digestive system not only helps your body absorb nutrients it needs, but also boosts your immunity. To keep your digestive system in tip top shape requires healthy colonies of friendly bacteria or probiotics in your gut and digestive enzymes. Enzymes are necessary to aid digestion by metabolizing fat, proteins and carbohydrates and to be absorbed into the blood to clean long-term residual food particles. Most people don't get enough enzymes or probiotics from the foods they eat and this is where supplementation can help. You can get the nutrition of AFA wild bluegreen algae, probiotic power of acidophilus and bifidus and a high quality digestive enzyme all in one convenient packet for each day of the month. If you really want to up your enzyme intake, this enzyme/algae supplement gives you a combination of plant-based proteolytic enzymes, bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, as well as bluegreen algae. Not only do these enzymes help digestion, but bromelain in particular has been found to reduce inflammation. Enzymes make it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients it needs to function properly and help your body break down foods more quickly and efficiently, so your body doesn't have to work quite as hard to process your food. When you are feeling burned out or stressed, it is especially helpful to help your body save energy. With all this antioxidant protection, this supplement can also support the body as it deals with inflammation which can result from stress weakening the immune system.

If you lean towards a couch potato lifestyle, hopefully this article has given you something to think about in how important it is to get up and get moving. For those already engaged in an active lifestyle, good for you, keep it up. You're getting the health benefits now and investing in the benefits you'll have to slide into healthy aging.

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



Edible Microalgae, Jeffrey Bruno

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Do THIS to Avoid Catching That Cold Going Around

It's no secret that to avoid catching every cold going around, you need to have a strong immune system. Beta glucan research has been around for decades, and while also not a secret, its amazing benefits are not common knowledge to most people. This simple soluble fiber though has the ability to boost the immune system and ward off those nasty and irritating cold symptoms as well as other health benefits.

Beta Glucan: A Soluble Fiber
Plants we eat give us dietary fiber and benefit us by reducing our cholesterol level, helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels, keep bowel movements regular, support healthy hearts, and contribute to controlling weight. Fiber is divided into two primary categories, namely soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can be dissolved partly in water whereas insoluble fiber cannot be dissolved. Beta glucan is a soluble fiber that comes from the cell wall of whole grains like oats, bran, wheat, barley and red rice, and from Baker's yeast, some seaweeds, and mushrooms like maitake, reishi, Black Trumpet, Turkey Tail, oyster, Poria Cocos, and shiitake. You have probably seen the heart healthy label that many foods display. This is a label approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicating that food is a good source of beta glucan. According to the Institute of Medicine, adult males under 50 years of age should get 38 grams of fiber a day and women should get 25 grams. Males over 50 should get 30 grams and women 21 grams. For teens the amount recommended is 30 to 35 grams daily. There have been many studies over the years reporting the benefits of fiber and beta glucan in particular benefiting cholesterol and heart health, by slowing down digestion and the body's ability to absorb sugar. This helps stabilize blood sugar levels. It is also able to travel through the entire digestive tract and move cholesterol along which reduces your cholesterol levels. Although much of the initial research has been done on beta glucan in these areas, studies also report the benefits it has for boosting the immune system.

Beta Glucan and the Immune System
Research studies on beta glucan report that it may boost the immune system which can help you fight off colds and infections. Studies such as those done at Harvard University have found that, macrophages, which are white blood cells that kill off foreign invaders and stimulate other immune cells to fight them off, can be stimulated by beta glucan. Mushrooms have been used for their health benefits by just about every culture in the world for centuries. Many varieties contain biologically active polysaccharides mostly in the beta glucan category. Studies have found beta glucan to be effective against bacterial infections and viral infections and even able to lessen the duration of cold symptoms. Certain types of mushrooms are being found effective for immune support because they have polysaccharides, glycoproteins, ergosterols, and triterpenoids. These are all precursors to beta glucans. One way to get the power of mushrooms containing these compounds is with this mushroom supplement that has a combination of reishi, maitake, cordyceps, wild black trumpet, and Poria cocos or this algae/mushroom supplement made with reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei, with astragalus, beta glucan and wild AFA bluegreen algae.

Help your immune system to help you by avoiding all the germs and colds going around. Scientists have shown that beta glucan and many mushroom varieties have the ability to give your immune system a boost so it can stay strong and help protect you. Our bodies don't make beta glucan on their own. We have to get them from foods and supplements. Make sure you eat enough foods to get the beta glucan you need and if you can't then know that supplementation is available to help you fill in those nutritional gaps.

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, March 5, 2015

Aging Naturally: Best Skincare Strategies as You Age

As we find ourselves getting older, hair starts graying and skin starts wrinkling. Besides the impact this has on us emotionally, skin health is important for our protection. After all our skin is the largest organ in the body and the first line of defense in our immune systems. In aging, the skin produces less collagen and loses skin cells, becomes drier, and becomes less elastic. Much of this is due to hormone changes and causes wrinkling and sagging skin. For women, menopause has a strong effect on skin as estrogen levels are reduced. Another skin problem hormone changes can bring on is acne. You may think of acne as being a problem in the teenage years, but according to a survey in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, many adult women also experience acne. Of the participants surveyed, women in their 20's reported 50% having acne, women in their 30's reported 35% having acne, and women in their 40's reported 26% having acne. According to Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine, this is due to hormone surges that increase oils leading to bacterial inflammation. Ranella Hirsch, MD, past president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery, also observes that as we age our vision gets worse causing us to squint which can create lines around the eyes and Phil Haeck, MD, a Seattle plastic surgeon and the past president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons cites the wearing down of teeth as contributing to changes in facial structure and loose skin that wrinkles and sags. With all these things working against us in the aging process, it can be a challenge to maintain healthy and youthful looking skin, but there are many things you can do to help combat this problem. Good dental health, getting glasses or contacts as vision deteriorates, eating foods for healthy skin and making healthy skin lifestyle changes are some of the things to consider.

Tips on Caring for Aging Skin
There are lots of beauty products and medications that are available to keep skin glowing, smooth and youthful. Some work for some people and some don't. If you've found something in a bottle that works for you, that's great. But there are natural solutions for things we can all do and not do, that will help in keeping skin healthy as we are getting older. Here are a few we found experts recommend.

Reduce alcohol consumption – Drinking alcohol causes dehydration in the body which dries skin out, can dilate and damage blood vessels, and cause redness and swelling on the skin. Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink and drinking water as well if you do drink alcohol can help.

Stress – You know the more stress you have, the more it can affect your health and that includes the damage it can do to skin. The chemicals and hormones released in response to stress cause a sensitivity in skin that interferes with healing of skin conditions, can cause you to break out more and cause increased production of oil on skin. Stress can also cause various skin conditions to occur such as rashes, hives, and fever blisters. Marguerite Germain, MD, dermatologist in Charleston, SC, explains that stress causes the body to have an imbalance in hormones which can cause acne. When we are stressed out, we also tend to neglect skincare and exercise. Finding ways to cope with stress are very individual and what works for one person may not work for another person. Try a variety of stress coping techniques such as exercise, yoga, meditation, hobbies, journaling, talking with friends or even professional counseling until you find what works for you. Don't just guess at what will or won't work for you in managing stress; give different techniques a try. For example, you may think yoga is not for you, but according to research published in The Journal of Nursing Research, participating in a 90 minute yoga class can reduce stress significantly.

Exercise – Regular exercise can help with circulation which allows an increase in oxygen and nutrients to the skin and flushes toxins from your skin cells. This helps skin in collagen production and reducing wrinkles. While any type of movement can contribute to this, exercising to the point of sweating is good for helping unclog pores. Exercise also helps keep your muscles toned and is a stress reliever.

Stop smoking – If you are concerned about dry and wrinkled skin and you are a smoker, it's time to really put forth the effort to quit. Smoking causes collagen to breakdown and interferes with the blood flow to the skin. The act of smoking itself causes you to use those muscles around the mouth in a way that brings on even more wrinkling.

Hydrate Skin – As we age, we don't produce as much skin oil causing skin to be dry. Using a good moisturizing cream right after bathing or showering can help hydrate skin. Showering with hot water can destroy the natural moisture in your skin so use warm water when showering, bathing or cleansing.

Get Enough Z's – Lack of sleep can lead to puffy skin around the eyes, dark circles and pale skin color. Research shows that the best sleeping position is on your back as sleeping on the side or stomach can cause wrinkling and bags under the eyes.

Damage to Skin From the Sun – The sun is responsible for around 90% of all damage to skin. This damage can lead to wrinkles, dryness, and even skin cancer. Sunscreen, moisturizers, wearing a hat when outside, and long sleeves and long pants can help protect skin from the damaging rays of the sun. Don't forget the sunscreen and moisturizer on your hands too and wear gloves if need be. Remember to protect the skin around your eyes by wearing sunglasses that have UVA/UVB protection and that allow you to see well enough that you don't squint. When choosing a sunscreen, look for one that is a broad spectrum block with an SPF of at least 30. Be aware too that the sun's rays are at their strongest from 10 am to 2 pm and plan activities to avoid being outside during these times. Isaac Neuhaus, MD, dermatologic surgeon and associate professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, warns that you often can't depend on protective clothing to do the job as clothes light in color, wet, stretched or of unbleached cotton offer very little protection and in the case of the cotton can actually absorb UV rays, so don't neglect the sunscreen even if you think you are dressed for sunny weather. 

Cleansing Skin – Skin needs to be kept clean to stay healthy. This includes washing away the pollutants you've come in contact with throughout the day, removing dead skin cells and moisturizing skin to hydrate it. Find cleansers that are recommended according to your skin type to prevent extra dryness or oiliness. Dr. Gohara warns that over washing can dry skin by washing away the natural oils it has to keep it hydrated. This can cause an overproduction of oil that will clog pores and cause the skin to breakout. Emmy Graber, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the Boston University School of Medicine, recommends that the optimal amount of washing the face is two times a day and that scrubs and microbeads are not necessary and can have negative effects on skin and our environment. Using a washcloth and warm water are adequate with possibly a gentle cleanser.

Weather – It's not just sunny weather that can harm skin. Cold and windy weather can also take its toll on our skin causing it to dry, flake and irritate eczema and other skin conditions. When it's cold outside and we have the heat on inside, skin can also react negatively to that dry type of heat. Inside a humidifier can be helpful as well as drinking plenty of water to keep skin hydrated.

Foods for Healthy Skin
In the fight for healthy skin, there are certain foods that can help and those that don't help. Eating bright colored fruits and vegetables can help provide antioxidants to reduce the damage done by free radicals which can help keep skin more youthful. Research has found that colorful veggies such as red peppers, squash, pumpkin, and carrots increases the yellow, red and orange tones of the skin according to Elisa Zied, RD, nutritionist and author of Younger Next Week. These fruits and vegetables that are high in the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E are especially good for building collagen and nourishing skin. Adding selenium to these can help protect from sun damage and reverse wrinkles and discolorations. This mineral can be found in foods such as oysters, clams, crab, sardine and fish, nuts and seeds, lean meats, whole grains, beans and legumes. Food sources high in vitamin C include Bell pepper, oranges, strawberries and broccoli and for vitamin E include green leafy vegetables, nuts and eggs. One study published in in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reported that eating lots of foods with vitamin C reduced the chance of wrinkles, dry skin and flaky or scaly skin. If you are concerned about youthful looking healthy skin, avoid foods with unhealthy fats and simple carbs. Instead opt for complex carb foods and lean healthy proteins. Soy is another good food to add to the diet for healthy skin as it has isoflavones that resemble estrogen in the body. If acne is a concern then avoid sugars, dairy, and unhealthy fats as those have been found in research studies to contribute to acne. According to Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine, any foods that have a high glycemic index increase cortisol levels which makes acne worse.

If you are not getting enough of this good nutrition for healthy skin, supplements may be an option for you. Here are a few supplements that can help you get the nutrition your body needs for healthy skin.

Stem Cell Support Supplement  – Adult stem cells that naturally occur in the body are able to morph into other types of cells and go to where they are needed to repair damaged cells. When it comes to healthy skin, this is a good reason to make sure your stem cells have the nourishment they need to flourish.

Immune Support Supplement  – This supplement provides a combination of 6 mushrooms and beta glucan that have been shown to support the immune system with their anti-inflammatory properties as well as the good superfood nutrition of AFA bluegreen algae. 

Enzyme Algae Supplement  – Contains a wide variety of plant-based proteolytic enzymes--bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase that have been found useful in fighting inflammation, nourishing cells and reducing damage from free radicals. 

Joint and Cartilage Support Supplement  – This supplement provides vegetable-based glucosamine, chondroitin, UC-II® undenatured collagen and AFA bluegreen algae to aid in the support of joint and cartilage health to help your body keep up with all you do.

Don't wait until the signs of aging catch up with you and start showing on your skin. Get started making some of these lifestyle and nutrition changes now to help keep your skin healthy and looking good. If you already have those signs sneaking up on you or even full blown in your face, it's still not too late. You can make a difference by making a few changes now no matter what age you are.

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