Thursday, April 30, 2015

Allergies Kicking Your Butt? Kick Back with This!

If allergies are kicking your butt, get proactive and kick back with natural solutions. While there are allergy drugs to use, they can often leave you sleepy and unable to keep functioning throughout the day. On the other hand a great many people are able to control their symptoms due to allergens with supplements, herbs, lifestyle changes and/or other natural alternatives such as acupuncture or acupressure.

About An Allergy
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, around 35 million people in this country report they have allergic reactions to some type of allergen. Categories of allergens identified by this agency include those resulting from animals such as pet dander, roaches, and waste from dust mites, allergies from foods such as wheat, nuts, eggs, and shellfish, stings from insects such as bees and wasps, reactions to mold spores, allergies to drugs like penicillin, reactions to particular plants like pollens from grasses, weeds and trees, and reactions stemming from other materials such as latex or certain metals. If you have an allergy to one of these types of items, your immune system responds when you come in contact with the allergen. The immune system is designed to protect you from infections, bacteria, viruses, and other things that can harm you and make you sick. In the case of an allergy, the immune system identifies the allergen as a foreign substance that can hurt you and responds by attacking it. According to what you are allergic to, this produces symptoms such as sneezing, watery and itching eyes, runny nose, coughing, a rash, welts, and even difficulty breathing. If you have symptoms such as these and are not sure what they stem from, this is where your health care provider may be able to help. They can perform scratch tests and blood tests to help identify what allergens you react to and help you select medications, supplements or other alternatives that can help control your allergy symptoms.

Natural Solutions for An Allergy
Michael Cantwell, M.D., M.P.H., lead physician at the Institute for Health and Healing at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, David Rakel, MD, founder and director of the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine Program and other experts agree that there are natural solutions that can help allergy sufferers. They recommend beginning by examining your environment and stresses to see if there is a way to eliminate the source. In some cases people have found that just by moving to a new location, they avoid the allergen and thus eliminate symptoms. That may be extreme for most people, but there are still other ways to manipulate the environment in ways that will reduce exposure to the allergen. HEPA filters, keeping windows closed, using dust mite covers on pillows and mattresses, and rearranging your schedule to avoid being outside at times when pollen counts are high are examples of some of this type of solution.

There are also shots and drops for under the tongue that your healthcare provider can help you with that put a small dose of the allergen into your system so that your immune system begins recognizing it and stops attacking that substance when it encounters it. Along this line is homeopathy treatments which focus on the allergy symptoms rather than the source of the allergy. Certain types of acupressure have also been found helpful for some people in controlling allergy symptoms.

In the herb category, supplements or tinctures of nettles have been found to have antihistamine properties and some people find benefit from goldenroot, grapefruit seed extract, Butterbur, echinacea, spirulina, cat's claw, and Tinospora cordifolia which is an herbal tablet that comes from India. Other natural solutions include using a neti-pot or other types of saline nasal rinses, Quercetin which is a bioflavenoid some fruits, vegetables and wine contain, the enzyme bromelain found in pineapple, and Sinupret that combines botanicals European elderflower, sorrel, cowslip, verbena, and gentian root. Which of these supplements, if any, will be helpful for you depends on the type of allergy you have and what allergen you react to. Before using these types of solutions it is of course a good idea to check with your healthcare provider to make sure they will safely mix with any medications you are on or are safe to take for your particular medical situation.

For food allergies there has been some research indicating that the use of probiotic supplements to boost the friendly bacteria in the intestines helps create a barrier to keep food allergens out of the bloodstream. Digestive enzymes can also help with proper digestion and keeping food particles out of the bloodstream by passing through the intestinal barrier. Enzymes, especially those with protease, can also help your body cope with pollens that have been ingested. In the case of severe life-threatening food allergies however, these are not a substitute for avoiding those foods you have an allergic reaction to, so keep your Epipen handy and keep away from those foods.

Michael Cantwell, M.D., M.P.H., lead physician at the Institute for Health and Healing at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, advocates getting plenty of down time and rest during allergy seasons as stress worsens allergy symptoms and reduces the effectiveness of the immune system. Many varieties of mushrooms have been found to help in boosting immune system function. This algae and mushroom supplement  combines six of the most extensively researched mushrooms that show positive immune system support: reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei, with astragalus, beta glucan and bluegreen algae. Besides the immune boosting support of these medicinal mushrooms, this supplement provides WGP beta glucan which is able to activate macrophages (a type of white blood cell in the body's defense system). Activating these macrophages can result in a stronger immune system. Getting extra antioxidants into your diet can also help strengthen your body's defenses. That means eating lots of fruits and vegetables as well as possibly supplementing with an antioxidant booster like this sprouts supplement, blue green algae, or green tea extract. Antioxidants will help reduce the inflammation in your body which means less of the miserable allergy symptoms.

According to David C. Leopold MD, director of Integrative Medical Education at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in San Diego, whichever method you use to control allergy symptoms should be started several weeks before the symptoms occur. It is easier to stop symptoms before they occur than after. So don't wait until you are suffering and miserable with allergy symptoms. Get a plan going in advance whether it is manipulating your environment, making some lifestyle changes or adding supplements, diet changes or herbal remedies.

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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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Renew, Rebound, and Flex for Happy Joints

Living with joint pain can be very debilitating and really interfere with your lifestyle. When painful joints set in, it's hard to keep up with being active and getting everything done that you want and need to do. So how can you renew those joints, help them rebound from painful inflammation and allow them to flex and be happy joints again? There are some natural strategies that you may find helpful that will allow you to eat your way to happier joints.  

Superfoods for Joint Health
Elizabeth Somer, nutritionist and author of Food & Mood, is one of the experts that support the philosophy of diet being so important to overall health and how we feel now and in future years. She recommends adding various superfoods to your diet that support overall health with controlling weight and fighting off disease. She also reminds us that we won't find superfoods in processed and packaged foods. To get superfoods into the diet, you'll need to seek out the freshest, highest quality real food sources that you can get.

Cruciferous Vegetables
According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, broccoli is one of the best foods you can eat for protecting your joints from osteoarthritis. Arthritis occurs from inflammation in the joints and osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis in which the cartilage associated with joints have broken down. A study Dr. Oz cites reports that broccoli has sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, bioactive chemicals that help support your joint health. You also find this combo in broccoli sprouts in even higher levels and also in Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, horseradish and collard greens.

Antioxidant foods are another good addition to the diet to help keep inflammation away that can lead to joint pain. Antioxidants help the body fight off damage caused by free radicals and the cellular oxidation that can occur. They also support the growth and health of your natural adult stem cells that give the body a way to repair damage. Blueberries are high on this list as they are a rich source of antioxidants, phytoflavinoids, vitamin C and potassium. Eating fresh vegetables and fruits are the best way to load up on antioxidant protection and in general the more color one has the higher it will be in antioxidants. Green tea is another good natural source of antioxidants and rich in polyphenols and flavonoids. It is also one of the ingredients in this antioxidant-algae supplement along with wild blueberry, carnosine, and organic wild AFA bluegreen algae.

Omega -3 fatty acids are another component of superfood for joint health. Not only does it help fight off arthritis, but is also good for heart health, mood and brain health. You'll get omega-3's from eating foods such as wild salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, ocean trout, olive, walnut and canola oil, flaxseed, AFA bluegreen algae, and fortified eggs. Flaxseeds also called golden linseeds are an excellent and cost effective way to get more omega-3 in your diet. The oil from these seeds makes a good moisturizer for skin and the seeds can be added to smoothies, dressings for salad, added to cereal or yogurt or ground up to add to foods. Avoid cooking with them however as the heating process strips the nutritional value away.

When considering ways to keep joints healthy, you have to also consider bone health which means calcium and vitamin D. 1000 mg daily of calcium is recommended by the USDA for adults up to age 50 and 1200 mg for adults over the age of 50. Dairy products are of course a good way to get your calcium in, but you can also get it from sardines, tofu, soy, kale, bok choy, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, turnip greens and foods such as orange juice or cereals that are fortified with calcium. Vitamin D gets the calcium from the intestines and kidneys into the bloodstream. Without this nutrient, even if you get enough calcium, it can just end up leaving the body as waste and not being used to strengthen bones. Cod liver oil, fish such as tuna and salmon, milk fortified with Vitamin D, egg yolks and being outside in the sunshine all are ways to get Vitamin D.

When it comes to fighting off damage from free radicals and stress of cellular oxidation that can lead to inflammation, plant-based enzymes are another food to have on your side. Enzymes are involved in every metabolic process in the body and research findings report positive results on how they affect inflammation, support joint health and combat cellular oxidation. This enzyme and algae supplement gives you the power of bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, along with wild AFA bluegreen algae.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Healthy joints naturally have glucosamine and chondroitin in the cartilage that exists between the joint bones. Studies done on glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have reported they are able to provide relief from joint pain. Be aware however before taking these type of supplements that there are certain medications they don't mix with like blood thinners. As with any type of supplement, check with your healthcare provider if you are on medications to make sure they are safe for you. Eating vegetables rich in sulfur such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, radishes, garlic and Brussels sprouts also aids in the formation of glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin. When looking for supplementation, we like this one that not only has vegetable-based glucosamine, chondroitin, and UC-II® undenatured collagen, but also a dose of AFA bluegreen algae thrown in for extra nutrition.

Keeping your joints healthy and flexible will keep you moving, active and enjoying life. Eating these superfoods can help you accomplish that goal. And when you can't get in all the superfoods you need, know that there are high quality wholefood supplements available to help fill in the 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, April 9, 2015

Pop This to Enhance Physical Performance and Reduce Stress

Our energy level, overall health, mental functioning and physical performance are tied into what we feed our bodies. The problem is that between busy schedules, poor food choices and food sources that lack all the nutrition the body needs, it is often hard to get in all our nutrients. The type of lifestyle many of us lead also keeps us under a lot of stress which is also detrimental to our health. This is why so many people are turning to nutritional whole food supplements that can help fill in the gaps for the lack of nutrition in the diet. When looking for whole food supplements, I look for those rich in essential nutrients to get the most nutrition I can by popping the least amount of capsules into my mouth. I also don't want to have a whole cabinet full of supplement bottles. That's why I find this whole food supplement program perfect for me. Everything is pre-packaged in convenient daily packets of capsules that are easy to grab on the go and that are loaded with the nutrition of marine and freshwater algae, wild mushrooms, sprouted grasses and grains, as well as probiotics and digestive enzymes. Take a look at all the nutritional value this program has to offer.

AFA Bluegreen Algae
AFA bluegreen algae is one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth being loaded with phytonutrients, plant based proteins, minerals, essential fatty acids and micronutrients. We have to get amino acids from the foods we eat for the body to have usable proteins for energy, muscle building, keep organs healthy, feed skin, hair, and bones and aid the body in repairing and regenerating. AFA bluegreen algae has all the essential amino acids similar to the proportions found in human breast milk. The green color of algae comes from chlorophyll created by photosynthesis that acts as a powerful antioxidant and that the body uses to stimulate liver function and excretion of bile, strengthen immunity, and detoxify chemical pollutants. Another powerful antioxidant found in AFA is glutathione that is important for many metabolic functions, including iron metabolism, the synthesis and repair of DNA and proteins, and enzyme function. Our brains and nerve cells require omega-3 fatty acids such as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) to function properly and our bodies can't make these on their own. Some people take fish oil supplements to get these essential fatty acids, but actually fish can't synthesize them either. They get it from the algae they eat, so why not go right to the source? AFA bluegreen algae also contains PEA, an amino acid precursor functioning as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator, phycocyanin that has powerful antioxidant properties and is a rich source of phytonutrients, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, necessary trace minerals such as copper and chromium, 20 different amino acids including carnitine, and tyrosine, and a wide variety of vitamins including vitamin A, B vitamins (which also help in coping with stress), and vitamin K.

Acidophilus and Bifidus
The beneficial bacteria that lives in our intestines is constantly at risk from things like stress, antibiotics, processed foods, pesticides, chlorinated drinking water, environmental toxins, and antacids. We need these friendly bacteria, or probiotics, however to keep the digestive system healthy and functioning properly so the body can get all the nutrition it can out of the foods we eat, in producing B vitamins, and to help support the immune system in fighting off foreign invaders. Acidophilus helps keep the small intestine balanced by cleaning out the harmful by-products that can interfere with proper digestion and in helping the body process food. The acidophilus found in this supplement program also contains the pre-biotic inulin which comes from GMO-free chicory root to feed and nourish probiotics. Bifidobacterium bifidum or bifidus works in the large intestine which is responsible for absorbing water from food and taking what the body doesn't use out as waste. The bifidus offered as part of this supplement program is freeze-dried through a process that preserves the effectiveness of the bacterial organisms and includes bluegreen algae and inulin as a prebiotic.

Digestion requires a lot of energy and the more we use in digesting foods, the less we have for physical and mental performance. Ideally, we would eat foods that give us the enzymes we need to properly digest foods to get the nutrition we need. Unfortunately, cooking and processing of foods kills off the food's natural enzymes. Even raw foods often don't have the enzymes we need unless they are fresh from the garden which most of us don't have access to. Food enzymes are necessary to work with the body's digestive enzymes for digestion to work properly. The enzyme supplement offered in this whole food supplement program has 16 natural plant based food enzymes to help the body breakdown fat, carbs, protein and fiber and some AFA bluegreen algae mixed in.

Algae and Seaweed Combo
Included in this program is also a whole food supplement that combines nine colorful algae for a supply of minerals and phytonutrients from the lake and sea. Included are dulse, kelp, fucoidan, Ecklonia cava, bladderwrack, Dunaliella salina, spirulina, chlorella and pure wild grown AFA bluegreen alage from Klamath Lake. Chlorella is a green microalgae grown through freshwater aquaculture that is loaded with nucleic acids, amino acids, peptides, polysaccharides, and minerals. Spirulina is a type of bluegreen microalgae that is a rich source of chlorophyll, phycocyanin, a broad spectrum of minerals and phytonutrients and vitamins A and K. Kelp is a wild algae that is found in all the oceans on the earth and is rich in micronutrients and minerals including vitamins C and E, calcium, magnesium, boron, and trace elements. Bladderwrack is a brown algae from the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that has vitamins and minerals and fucoidan which is a sulfated polysaccharide. Dulse is a dark red sea algae which contains phytonutrients and pigments that are high in plant based protein, and important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6, B12, and A, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese. Dunaliella Salina is a sea microalgae high in carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein), antioxidants, important vitamins, minerals and a high concentration of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Ecklonia Cava is an edible seaweed which is a rich source of phlorotannins, including triphlorethol-A.

Sprouts and Algae
Offering a nutritious source of chlorophyll, glutathione, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from kale sprouts, red clover sprouts, wheat sprouts, concentrated wheat sprouts, and Dunaliella salina algae is this sprouts and algae supplement included in the program. The kale sprouts are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin K as well as other minerals and vitamins, lutein and zeaxanthin compounds, carotenoids and flavonoids. Red clover sprouts are a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes and antioxidants. Wheatgrass juice is a natural source of antioxidants and phytonutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, chlorophyll and the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Wheat grass also does not contain wheat allergens such as gluten. Wheat sprouts are a good source of fiber and protein and have a variety of essential minerals, vitamins, amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as high levels of active enzymes and none of the gluten or other allergens linked to wheat.

Mushrooms and Algae
The last supplement included in this wholefood supplement program provides the powerful nutrition of mushrooms with algae. Reishi, maitake, cordyceps, wild black trumpet, and Poria cocos mushrooms are combined with AFA bluegreen algae providing beta glucans, polysaccharides, triterpenoid compounds, fiber, polyphenols, protein, enzymes, minerals, trace minerals, beneficial phospholipids, unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, and plant sterols such as ergosterol. Much research has been done in recent years with various varieties of mushrooms and report how mushrooms are able to benefit improved blood flow, balancing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, regenerating nerves, supporting the kidney and liver, reducing the risk of heart disease and have properties that are valuable in immune system support.

As you can see if you are looking for whole food supplements that give you the most nutrition bang for the buck, are convenient and easy to take on the go, and loaded with the components straight from nature that you may be missing from your diet, this one has a lot to offer.

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, April 2, 2015

Bad Skin, Hair, or Nails? Try This!

Do you struggle with bad skin, dull breaking hair or weak nails? The solution might be just a few bites away. For fabulous hair, skin and nails you have to start with healthy hair, skin and nails and that means feeding them the nutrition they need. Like Lisa Drayer, R.D., author of The Beauty Diet, says, your skin can't look its best unless it is getting the nutrients it needs. So what nutrients do your skin, hair and nails need to be healthy? Protein for one since hair especially is made up of keratin which is a protein. Other musts are the B vitamin, Biotin, omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin A, iron, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium and lots of antioxidant foods.

Foods For Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails
Here are some of the foods for healthy skin, hair and nails that give you those nutrients that experts recommend.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids – Omega-6 such as found in safflower oil, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds helps with dry flaky skin and omega-3 such as found in flaxseeds, chia seeds, dark green leafy veggies, olive oil, and wild salmon and other coldwater fatty fish helps keep away wrinkles and fine lines on skin. Salmon also has selenium and vitamin D. AFA bluegreen algae also gives you the exact ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids that the human body needs.

Zinc – Pumpkin seeds, oysters, beef, wheat germ, nuts, eggs, chickpeas, fortified cereals, sesame seeds, milk, yogurt, miso and cashews give you zinc necessary for supporting the oil of hair follicles and growing skin and nails. Zinc also helps develop white blood cells that are a part of your immune system that destroy foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses.

Vitamin A – Spinach, sweet potatoes, apricots, squash, pumpkin, liver, eggs, carrots and cantaloupe provide this vitamin for nourishing skin and hair cells. Carrots in particular help keep skin from producing too many cells that can trap dead skin cells and cause pores to clog up according to Howard Murad, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine.

Selenium – Brazil nuts, lean meats, whole grains, beans and legumes, oysters, clams, crab, sardines, and canned tuna have this trace mineral needed for the body to make antioxidant enzymes and protect elastin which is the protein that keeps skin smooth and reduces sagging. Selenium has antioxidant properties that help protect body cells from damage and is important to our metabolism, immune response and thyroid function.

Vitamin C – According to a study reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants taking 4 mg. of vitamin C every day over a 3 year period presented with 11% less wrinkling of the skin. This is because vitamin C is needed to produce collagen and has antioxidant properties to protect cells from free radical damage. Eating sweet potatoes, kiwi, Bell pepper, oranges, strawberries and broccoli are good ways to get vitamin C into your diet and sweet potatoes also have vitamin A. 

Biotin – Eggs, peanuts, poultry, brown rice, mushrooms, almonds, wheat bran, salmon and avocados give you this B vitamin needed to promote healthy hair growth, increase hair elasticity which means less breakage, protect against dryness and keep the scalp healthy. Increasing your intake of probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus, can help your body increase its natural production of biotin.

Iron – Especially good for strong nails, iron can be found in lentils which are not only a good source of iron, but also protein. Pairing iron with vitamin C foods helps the body absorb the iron. Spinach is not only a good source of iron, but also contains folate, lutein good for eye health, vitamin C and E, potassium, calcium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids that can help cell growth and have water to help keep skin hydrated and reduce wrinkles.

Vitamin E – Almonds and other nuts, green leafy vegetables like spinach, seeds, olives, asparagus, and eggs with lots of vitamin E help protect skin from damaging UV light from the sun. Walnuts and many other nuts not only give you vitamin E, but also omega-3 fatty acids.

Calcium – Calcium is not only needed for strong bones and teeth, but also for strong nails. Dairy foods are a great source of calcium, but yogurt in particular is one of the higher dairy sources. If you don't do well with dairy, you can also get calcium from spinach, bok choy, mustard greens, sardines, fortified cereals and juices, beans, tofu, and fish.

Antioxidants – Bright colored vegetables and fruits are the ideal way to get antioxidants to fight off the damage to skin and hair cells in particular. Tomatoes have lycopene that helps protect your skin from free radicals caused by damaging sun rays. The body is better able to absorb lycopene from cooked tomatoes. Drinking green tea is another great way to get antioxidant protection and also has the extra benefit of anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Dark chocolate is loaded with flavonols which are a type of antioxidant that can protect skin from damage from the sun. Be sure to look for dark chocolate though that has a minimum of 60% cacao for high antioxidant value. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, blueberries give you the most antioxidant protection out of 40 fruits and vegetables they were compared to.

Filling in the Nutritional Gaps
If you have a hard time getting all these nutrients into your diet, nutritional supplements may be the answer for you. This algae supplement with 9 different algae and sea weeds gives you minerals and phytonutrients from lake and sea including dulse which is high in plant-based protein, iron, calcium, vitamins B6, 12, and A, Dunaliella salina which is loaded with beta-carotene for forming vitamin A, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids, kelp and bladderwrack with vitamin C and E as well as calcium and other trace minerals to nourish skin and hair, Eckolnia cava with antioxidant power to fight off oxidative stress, and fucoidan found to support collagen production. It is also organic, Halal, paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and GMO free. Then there is this algae/antioxidant supplement formulated with natural antioxidants including wild blueberry, green tea, carnosine, and organic AFA bluegreen algae providing a way to get the vitamin D the body needs without the exposure to sunlight that can damage skin and get the nutrients skin needs to restore elasticity from the inside out.

If you are looking to get better looking, stronger and healthier skin, hair and nails, look no further than your refrigerator or pantry. You can literally eat your way to this goal by just adding some of these healthy foods for skin, hair and nails into your diet.

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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