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 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.

Image courtesy of  imagerymajesticFreeDigitalPhotos.net