Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Joint Health: Don't Let Your Joints Become Squeaky Wheels

It only makes sense that healthy joints equal a more active and enjoyable life so taking good care of your joints is an important part of your healthcare. It also makes sense that exercising your joints will help keep them moving and active. But did you know that according to health expert Jason Theodosakis, M.D, there are foods you can add to your diet to support joint health? And when talking about joint health, consider this doesn't just mean the point where the two bones come together. It also includes cartilage, the tissue between the joint bones, tendons, the tissue that connects muscles to bones, ligaments, the tissue that connects bones to other bones, and synovium, the lubricant fluid that protects from bones rubbing each other. To keep your joints working for you and keeping you active and mobile, just doing the right type exercise and making sure you are eating foods that help keep joints strong can make a big difference.

Exercise for Joints
A big problem when it comes to joint health is being overweight. Joints carrying around too much weight are at an increased risk of being damaged and developing arthritis. A regular program of exercise can help keep your weight down and not put this type of stress on your joints. There are studies that propose aerobic type exercise that increase the heart rate to be good for reducing swelling in joints. If you are not healthy enough for this type of exercise or have joint conditions already that prevent it, then you can go with a lower impact type aerobics like step aerobics or some type of other exercise that still gets your joints moving like possibly walking, swimming, or bike riding. The main thing is to get up and move. If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, take breaks to get up and move around. The less you move in the day the more at risk you are to have stiff and painful joint problems. Your exercise program should also include exercises that build strong muscles and ligaments like some type of weight training. These help support the joints and protect them.

Besides exercise, you can help protect your joints and strengthen them by maintaining good posture when sitting or standing and distribute weight equally on both sides so that you aren't putting too much stress on the joints on any one side of your body. Be sure to always protect your joints during activities that have the risk of injury by using pads, braces, guards or a helmet. When exercising your joints, make sure you are doing exercises correctly as you can cause damage by not doing them the way they are intended. If you are not sure what exercise will be good for you or how to do specific exercises, seek out a professional for advice. Some exercises may not work for you due to other health conditions you have, so check with your healthcare provider to make sure the exercise program you plan to embark on is one that is within your limits. Even if you are doing the correct exercises for you in the correct way, exercise can take a toll on joints. This algae joint support supplement provides the enzymes bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase that can help provide cellular nutrition for the body to be able to recover more quickly from the stress of exercise.

Diet for Healthy Joints
Diet too is another way to control weight so as not to overburden joints. Consider that every pound of weight you gain causes your knees to be under four times the amount of stress. That's a lot to expect of your knees if you add on a lot of extra pounds. That means eating a diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, whole grains and lean proteins just like you would for a weight loss diet or any other kind of healthy diet plan. The fruits and vegetables are an especially important part as they provide you with antioxidants to fight off free radicals that can be damaging to joints. Make sure for joint health that you are particularly including the antioxidants vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium. Good food sources for vitamin A include dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, mangoes, butternut squash, and asparagus. For vitamin C make sure you are eating foods such as grapefruit, papaya, oranges, mangoes, berries, broccoli, red peppers and asparagus. Vitamin E can be added to the diet by eating foods such as avocados, whole grain bread and cereal, peanut butter and seeds such as sunflower. And selenium can be found in salmon, Brazil nuts, oatmeal and brown rice. If your lifestyle just doesn't support your getting all the antioxidant providing foods you need, a wholefood supplement may be called for. This algae antioxidant supplement can help provide those missing antioxidants from your diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids are another component of a joint health diet as these can help with swelling and joint pain especially for people with arthritis. Research studies have reported that supplementation with omega-3 has led to participants being able to use less NSAID's to control their joint pain. Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and tuna are good sources of omega-3 as are green veggies, nuts, seeds, and AFA bluegreen algae. Olive oil will not only give you another way to get omega-3 fatty acids, but the University of Catania in Italy has reported findings in animal studies that using extra virgin olive oil helped produce more lubricin which is a protein in the synovial fluid that lubricates joints.

Don't forget adding in foods that will build strong bones and muscles since these help support the joints. That means calcium from foods such as milk, yogurt, broccoli, kale, and figs and the vitamin D to help the body absorb the calcium. Muscles also need protein to stay strong. Stick with lean sources of protein such as chicken, lean meat, beans, legumes, soy products and low-fat dairy. Kefir and yogurt not only give you calcium and protein, but also provided probiotics that help with the digestive system. One study done with kefir reported the bacteria L. casei was found to help reduce inflammation and stiff joints in participants.

Alternative Solutions for Joint Support
Turmeric which contains the antioxidant curcumin has been found in research to be as effective at relieving joint pain and inflammation as 800 mg of ibuprofen. Glucosamine supplements have also been found effective in keeping cartilage healthy and supporting joint health. Healthy joints naturally have glucosamine and chondroitin in the cartilage. This glucosamine algae supplement also gives you chondroitin, and UC-II® undenatured collagen to nourish joints and their supporting tissues. Another supplement option that has been found in research to be effective with controlling joint pain and inflammation is orange peel extract. This is due to the nobiletin which is a bioflavonoid found in it. To get some of this from real oranges be sure to leave the white layer on the orange when peeling it or use the whole orange with the peel on to grind up in a smoothie type drink.

No one wants to be stuck sitting on the sidelines, especially when it comes to enjoying life. Taking care of your joints will help insure that you stay active, mobile and able to keep on going.

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  scottchan  /  FreeDigitalPhotos.net





Sources:
http://www.naturemade.com/resource-center/articles-and-videos/joint-and-bone-health/food-and-nutrients-that-fuel-joint-health#a0qT20MK1ga8RAyc.97
http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/caring-your-joints
http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/joint-food

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Natural Solutions for Longevity

Throughout history mankind has longed for and searched for a fountain of youth valuing longevity as a treasure. It could be that you need look no further than your kitchen for lots of natural solutions as your own fountain of youth. Researchers studying populations around the world find that there are groups of people that seem to live longer on the average and much of this is attributed to their healthy eating habits. For example, compare the life expectancy in Okinawa found to be 81 years to the worldwide average of 67 years or the group Seventh Day Adventists studied showing a longevity of 4 to 7 years more than other populations in the U.S. or the people of San Blas islands where high blood pressure and heart disease are almost non-existent. When groups such as these are studied, their diet seems to be a major factor that researchers give credit for these longevity statistics. Diets with lots of low calorie, high fiber vegetables and low in saturated fats seem to be something they all have in common.

Healthy Food and Healthy Eating Habits
What else do you need on your plate besides fruits and vegetables to establish healthy eating habits that can add to your longevity? An equally important question is what you should not be eating that decreases your longevity. If your meals consist of lots of fast food, junk food, processed meals, high sugar, trans fat and simple carb filled foods, then you are taking a big risk with your health as this type of eating leads to creating an inflammatory state in the body which can result in many diseases including heart disease and diabetes. This type of eating increases free radicals in the body which damage cells and doesn't give you the antioxidants you need to help combat these damaging molecules or to repair the damage they do. Fruits and veggies are loaded with antioxidant protection making them the number one food items to include at mealtimes. Dark chocolate also has lots of antioxidants and researchers attribute the longevity of the San Blas islands group in part to the amount of it they consume. In fact, antioxidants have been extensively researched and found to help with everything from supporting heart health to brain health. The Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University has long been doing research on antioxidants concluding that they protect the brain from changes that can come with age that can result in memory loss and dementia. When looking to get more antioxidant foods in your diet, look for bright colored fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, pomegranates, tomatoes, carrots, squash, broccoli, grapes, sweet potatoes, and Bell peppers. When you can't get all the antioxidant protection you need from your diet, you can still get an antioxidant boost from a wholefood supplement such as this one.

Another consideration in looking at a longevity diet is how much salt you consume. Even if you don't use the salt shaker much, many processed foods contain high amounts of salt. Read labels and look for products low in salt or salt-free and use herbs or spices to flavor foods instead of salt. This will help you combat high blood pressure and new research indicates that it could help protect brain cells and lower the risk of memory loss as you age. As neuroscientist Aron Troen, PhD at Tufts University explains, the vasculature that sends oxygen and nutrients to the brain can sustain damage from high blood pressure and thus increase the chance of cognitive problems as we age.

For healthy eating habits that increase longevity, nutritional researcher Joel Fuhrman, M.D. encourages a diet of foods that have a high vitamin, mineral, phytochemical content and includes allium compounds, glucosinolates, aromatase inhibitors, flavonoids and lignans. That means eating healthy food like green leafy and cruciferous veggies such as kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, spinach, lettuce, and cauliflower, berries, beans mushrooms, onions, seeds such as flax, chia, and sunflower, and nuts. He also advises avoiding foods that are processed and have refined white sugar and flour, and high fat dairy and other high fat animal protein foods. His list of foods to avoid for healthy eating includes foods with trans fats, processed meats like sausage, hot dogs and lunch meats, fried foods, and foods with lots of refined white sugar, white flour, and that are high in salt.

Go With the Grain
Other important components to establishing healthy eating habits include adding whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins to your plate. Whole grains have been found to help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, stabilize blood sugar levels giving you more energy, help keep you feeling full longer and are slower to digest so they help keep weight down. They also help boost serotonin levels in the brain that help maintain feelings of calmness and happiness, can help you reduce your cravings for less healthy foods, help you get a better night's sleep, and help keep your mood stable.

Fatten Up Your Diet the Right Way
The right way to fatten up your diet is not by gorging on cookies, cakes, and chips. These are all full of trans-fats which increase free radicals in the body, increase LDL cholesterol levels, reduce HDL cholesterol levels, increase triglycerides, add to belly fat, and contribute to inflammation, cardiovascular disease and other unhealthy conditions. On the other hand there are healthy fats that the body and in particular the brain need to function. These types of fats include essential fatty acids, monounsaturated , and other unsaturated fats. Eating fatty fish such as salmon and tuna will help you add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet that research shows is particularly good for heart health, fighting depression and memory loss as you get older. Nuts, dark-green leafy vegetables, various seeds such as chia and flax, and oils such as flax or olive as well as AFA bluegreen algae are other good sources for omega-3's. For a cost-effective, convenient and easy way to not only get the powerhouse nutrition of AFA bluegreen algae, but also the probiotics and digestive enzymes to help your body absorb nutrients, these supplement packets offer a great natural solution.

Now that you know what healthy eating habits can add to your longevity and which foods to definitely avoid, you'll see why your own fountain of youth is right in your own kitchen. Making some dietary changes and including wholefood supplements to fill in the nutritional gaps can help you "live long and prosper" and there's no time like the present to get started on adding some of these natural solutions to your regimen.

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   stockimages  /  FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/eating-longevity
https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article13.aspx

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Youthify Your Body and Mind at Any Age

You've heard the old saying "you're only as old as you feel" and if you think about it this is true when it comes to body and mind aging. I know people that appear old even though they may not be that old in years and then I know people who are up in their 80's and 90's that I would guess were younger. What age you are isn't as important in the grand scheme of things as how healthy you are and how much you are able to enjoy life. If aging means you are not mobile, full of aches and pains or disease, your mind and cognitive abilities are suffering, and you just don't look or feel your best then no wonder it is something we dread. But if aging means we are able to retire and spend more time with family, traveling, enjoying hobbies we've never had time for before and being mentally alert, disease-free and able to get around well, then that's a whole different story and one that gives us something to look forward to. No matter what age you are now, there are things you can do to "youthify" your body and mind now to help you slide into your senior years with a healthy body and mind.

Antioxidant Foods For Your Body
Our over 75 trillion cells are essential components to health and longevity. These cells however are constantly under attack by damaging, unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are molecules in cells that are weakened to the point that they lose an electron. This weakness is caused by things such as toxins in the body, exposure to UV rays, chlorinated water, pollution, and overcooked, fried and processed foods. These free radicals go around the body taking electrons from other molecules and creating more free radicals. The damage they do to the body, including cells, enzymes, and DNA, can lead to pain, inflammation, chronic diseases and aging. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals before they cause cell damage by replacing the missing electron. Adding more antioxidant foods to your diet can help give you the antioxidant power to combat free radical damage. Bright colorful vegetables and fruits are one of the best sources for antioxidants. Carrots are full of beta carotene, tomatoes are full of lycopene, both of which help protect skin from damage and repair damaged cells. Studies show that pomegranates not only help protect skin, but according to Dr. Oz the juice is reported to also help lower high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, reduce the chances of atherosclerosis setting in and may even lower chances of Alzheimer's. Berries are another good source of antioxidants and they also help the body produce collagen which helps you maintain youthful looking skin. The goji berry is a superfood giving you more vitamin C than oranges and carotenoids for antioxidant power. According to anti-aging expert and author, Nicholas Perricone, MD, it also has iron, 18 amino acids, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, B vitamins and vitamin E, and triggers human growth hormone to be released in the body which means better sleep, a memory boost and improved immune system. Green tea is very high in catechin polyphenols that give you a big antioxidant punch. It also has EGCG that may help in preventing heart muscle damage and according to Amy Yee, PhD, a professor of biochemistry at Tufts University, studies show it may help reduce the risks of some types of cancer. There have also been studies such as one from Japan published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that indicate drinking a cup daily can help keep cognitive abilities functioning well as you age.

Dietary Changes
When starting on a healthy aging diet, besides getting in antioxidants, one of the best foods to add is those with omega-3 fatty acids. Nicholas Perricone, MD, author of 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity, lists the benefits of omega-3 as helping with mood stabilization, keeping bones strong, reducing inflammation, helping to keep skin youthful looking, and it aids the body's enzymes in removing stored fat to use as energy. Wild salmon, nuts like walnuts, seeds such as chia, and AFA bluegreen algae are some of the best food sources for omega-3. Another way to get not only the omega-3's and omega-6's in the right balance, but also lots of antioxidants and other vital nutrients is with this program of  convenient packets of whole food supplements with superfoods from the water, Earth and forests. From the forests come organically grown mushrooms from wild spores, from the Earth comes sprouts and grasses with phytonutrients, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, folate, and fiber with the antioxidants in a form the body can easily absorb, and from the water dulse, kelp, fucoidan, Ecklonia cava, bladderwrack, Dunaliella salina, spirulina, chlorella and AFA bluegreen algae for a wide array of rich minerals and phytonutrients including over 60 micronutrients and 130 triterpenoids.

Other foods to include on your healthy aging diet are those that are high in water content. This would include foods such as melons, cucumbers, apples and peaches. These types of foods, as well as drinking plenty of fluids, help reduce wrinkles and keep the body hydrated. Avocados are another good food for helping skin stay youthful looking as they add to hydration, have oils that make skin tough and have the good monounsaturated fats that help fight off inflammation. Also make sure you include foods with the youthful skin supporting minerals zinc, copper and selenium in your healthy aging diet as well as soybean products such as soymilk, tofu, and edamame that according to Paula Simpson, BASc, RNCP, can help with slowing the aging process.

In addition to what you eat, consider how much you eat. Some of the oldest people in the world live in Okinawa, Japan and studies of their eating habits show they eat only until they are about 80 % full according to Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones. Research from St. Louis University supports this with their findings that people eating less calories showed lower amounts of T3 which is a hormone known to slow down metabolism and suspected to play a role in aging.

Deal With Stress
Stress can take a toll on body and mind and is something we all have to deal with in our fast-paced lives. Studies show stress triggers adrenaline and cortisol which increase blood pressure and heart rate and negatively impact physical and mental health. Herbert Benson, MD, director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine in Boston, attributes between 60 and 90 percent of visits to the doctor as being related to conditions such as depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, high blood pressure and heart attacks that are all results of stress. In his book, The Relaxation Response, he recommends a type of meditation that uses a mantra for even just 10 minutes a day to help relieve stress. Yoga is another way to help with stress relief and involves a type of breathing that can help strengthen awareness of the body and mind connection. Yoga breathing has been reported to help with getting more oxygen to cells, removing toxins from the body, increasing skin's glow, and reducing the risk of illness. The poses used in yoga have been found to exercise your body inside and outside and have positive benefits especially for digestive, reproductive and immune systems.

Don't wait for old age to hit and find yourself struggling through it. Start using some of these diet and lifestyle change tips now and prepare yourself for it. We can't stop the clock from moving forward or stop ourselves from aging, but we can do our best to make our senior years enjoyable by staying healthy and promoting anti-aging techniques now.

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  photostock  /  FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/mind-body/feeling/10-all-natural-ways-to-stay-young/
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20356118,00.html
http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/advice/g1463/anti-aging-foods/

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Probiotics: The "Good Guy" Bacteria That Live in Your Gut

Where our bodies and health are concerned there certainly are a lot of villains we have to contend with. Stress, drugs such as antibiotics and NSAIDs, radiation, toxins in our air, water, medications, cleaning products, personal hygiene products and foods, bad bacteria, yeast, viruses, sugary and fatty foods, and chlorinated water are all villains that threaten our health. Luckily we also have some of the good guys on our side in the form of good bacteria or probiotics. We normally think of bacteria as being bad guys that make us sick and those do exist, but probiotics are the live bacteria that live in our bodies that protect us from the bad forms of bacteria. The word itself, probiotic, comes from the Greek words pro and biotic and translates as to signify promotion of life.

Benefits of Probiotics
To begin with, our digestive system and the process of digestion is very reliant on probiotics. They help with keeping the intestines healthy and able to break down foods, absorb nutrients, and eliminate waste. When we are exposed to the villains that can destroy our good guy probiotics, we can replace them by eating foods with probiotics and taking probiotic supplements. This becomes necessary when our bad bacteria outnumber our good bacteria not only to help with digestion, but also to reduce symptoms from digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome that bring on cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. According to Dr. Shekhar K. Challa, a gastroenterologist and the author of Probiotics For Dummies, if your intestines are loaded with good bacteria there isn't as much room for bad bacteria to live. In addition to being vital for digestion, probiotics play a major role in immune system function. The good bacteria fight off the bad bacteria as well as yeast and viruses. One study showed participants given a probiotic drink showed an increase in the production of lymphocytes which indicates more white blood cells that are part of the immune system. There are other studies that show probiotics can help with mood disorders, skin conditions, maintaining good oral health, and possibly have an impact on weight loss. Our probiotics in the intestines also produce our B vitamins. When we are under stress we produce cortisol and we use up our B vitamins fighting it off. Replenishing our supply of probiotics can help the body keep making these needed B vitamins.

Good Bacteria
There are many different types of probiotic bacteria and they mostly fall into two groups – Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. There are many different types of fermented foods that you can get probiotics from such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, pickles, tempeh, Kimchi and Kombucha tea. There are also a wide variety of foods these days that advertise they have added probiotics. Just be sure to read labels when you buy products and look for ones with live active cultures. Also be aware that the FDA does not regulate probiotic supplements the same as medications, but rather as foods. Be sure you are getting supplements from a reputable company and they are labeled with a high amount of CFUs (colony forming units). The probiotic supplements I prefer come from a company that has been in business for decades, manufactures products in an onsite NSF Good Practices registered facility and is USDA certified organic by Pro-Cert Organic Systems which is the number one food certifier in North America. Taking acidophilus and bifidus as well as this full spectrum probiotic provides lots of friendly bacteria to boost your healthy colonies.

Now that you know how important your probiotics are for digestion, getting nutrients from food, supporting good mood, handling stress, fighting off illness, and possibly even for weight loss, make sure you have a good supply of them working for you. Increasing your fermented foods and taking high quality probiotic supplements is an easy way to get all these benefits.

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  nenetus  /  FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/what-are-probiotics
http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/6-healing-benefits-of-probiotics
http://www.medicaldaily.com/mental-health-benefits-probiotics-good-bacteria-may-improve-mood-fight-depression-328882

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Have Vibrant No-Hassle Hair Every Day

Tired of bad hair days? To have vibrant healthy hair you have to start from the inside by eating foods for healthy hair. It doesn't matter how many hair care products you pour your money into and use if you aren't on a diet for healthy hair. So what does a diet for healthy hair look like and what foods should you include?

Iron and Zinc
According to Cleveland Clinic dermatologist, Wilma Bergfeld, MD, eating foods with iron and zinc can aid in the growth of hair follicles. Zinc also helps the hair follicle oil gland function well. Not having enough iron and zinc in your diet can increase the risk of hair loss, dandruff, and slow growing hair. To get more of these minerals in your diet include foods such as lean cuts of red meat, soybeans, lentils, shellfish like crab, lobster, clams, and oysters, fortified cereals and pastas, and dark leafy green vegetables. If you are getting your iron from plant sources, be sure to eat foods with vitamin C at the same time to help with the body being able to absorb the iron.

Protein
Protein keeps hair strong as well as aiding in growth and damage repair. A lack of protein in the diet can cause new hairs to stop growing and as you lose older hairs with no new ones to replace it, the results are hair loss. Keratin is the hardened proteins that give hair its structure. Without enough protein to form keratin, hair is slow to grow and becomes weak. Good protein sources include lean meats such as chicken and turkey, soybeans, black-eyed peas, beans, lentils, low-fat dairy products, and tofu.

Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet for healthy hair help keep it hydrated and aid in growth for maintaining shiny vibrant hair. Good sources for omega-3 include fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, flounder, halibut and mackerel. Or if you are just not wild about fish you can get your omega-3 the way the fish do – from algae. AFA blue green algae is a very rich source of essential fatty acids, including DHA and EPA needed for healthy hair. Ever wonder why salons do seaweed wraps? It's because it has so many of the nutrients needed for healthy hair. You can give yourself a seaweed wrap from the inside with this full spectrum algae product that combines 9 colorful algae including dulse, kelp, fucoidan, Ecklonia cava, bladderwrack, Dunaliella salina, spirulina, chlorella and wild AFA bluegreen algae. Kelp from the oceans is a rich source of micronutrients and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, boron that also provides vitamins C and E. Bladderwrack is a brown algae from the ocean rich in vitamins and minerals and contains fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide. Dulse is a dark red sea algae rich in phytonutrients and pigments, high in plant-based protein, and that contains important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6, B12, and A, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese. Dunaliella salina is sea microalgae with a high content of carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein), antioxidants, and important vitamins. Eckonia cava Kjellman is an edible seaweed that is a rich source of bioactive deritavatives such as phlorotannins, including triphlorethol-A which is a strong antioxidant.

Vitamins
Among the vitamins needed for healthy hair are B vitamins such as B7 or biotin, B5 or pantothenic acid, folate, B6, and B12. These help not only with hair growth but also in keeping the scalp and hair follicles healthy. Foods to get more of these type B vitamins into your diet include eggs, peanuts, almonds, wheat bran, salmon, and avocados for biotin, Greek yogurt for pantothenic acid, dark leafy greens like spinach and kale for folate, pork, salmon, shellfish, beans, chicken, oatmeal, eggs, peanut butter, fat-free and low-fat dairy foods for folate, B6 and B12. To have strong healthy hair, make sure your diet also includes vitamins C and A. Vitamin C not only helps the body absorb iron your hair needs, but also is good for collagen production that hair and skin both need to grow. Vitamin C helps keep hair from getting brittle and splitting too. Bell peppers of the red, yellow or green varieties are good for vitamin C as is guava, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes also give you the vitamin A hair needs to stay healthy from the antioxidant beta-carotene. Vitamin A helps scalp glands produce sebum to keep hair hydrated and vibrant, aids in hair growth, and helps keep the scalp hydrated to prevent dandruff. Good food sources for vitamin A include dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, mangoes, butternut squash, and asparagus. It is recommended that you get your vitamin A from beta-carotene foods because too much vitamin A can actually result in loss of hair.

Now you know what foods to include if you're looking for a diet for healthy hair. Remember, strong, vibrant healthy hair has to start from the inside with the nutrition you feed your body. You may find hair care products that you like and that you think also add to your hair's growth, shine or volume, but without those foods for healthy hair at the foundation, no amount of hair care product is going to do the trick by itself. Just make a few dietary changes though and you'll be on your way to having the thick, glowing, healthy hair you want.

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  stockimages  /  FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20734150,00.html
http://www.webmd.com/beauty/hair-nails/ss/slideshow-foods-healthy-hair
http://www.joybauer.com/photo-gallery/best-foods-for-hair-health/eggs.aspx

Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day - Ways to Renew Body and Mind

I hope you are having a great relaxing Labor Day weekend and getting to spend some time with family and friends. It occurs to me that having a long weekend is a great time to really take a look at the lifestyle I’m leading and commit to making changes. As we get older, our bodies change and if we want to continue being active then now is the time to start putting together an anti-aging plan. I encourage you to do the same this Labor Day. Here are some areas to take into consideration.

Diet
This is a big one. Take a look at what you are eating right now. Are you at a Labor Day barbeque grilling up burgers and hot dogs with all the fatty sides like chips or fries? Think about how you could still have that family barbeque with healthier foods and anti-aging foods. Fish such as salmon, tuna, halibut or trout, for example, is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that keep your brain healthy and may even reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s and that are definitely good for keeping your heart healthy, improving circulation, and good for keeping your skin looking youthful by making skin cells stronger allowing them to hold in moisture. Instead of having the typical barbeque salads full of fatty mayo, go for salads with olive oil dressings and you’ll be adding even more omega-3 to your meal. If you’re not a fan of fish, then consider switching that hamburger to a lentil burger. Just do some searching on the internet and you’ll find lots of great recipes to make your own bean burgers that are actually really good. This will give you lean protein and fiber and keep you away from the saturated fats you get with burgers that can lead to heart disease, clogged arteries, and diabetes. Get a little more fiber in by carefully considering the bun for your lentil burger and make sure you go with a whole grain variety. This will help keep your blood vessels healthy and reduce the risks of Type 2 diabetes. Then to continue with a diet that fits your anti-aging plan, fill your plate up with lots of fruits and veggies to give you the antioxidants that help fight off free radical damage. The more brightly colored they are usually the more antioxidant properties they have. A fruit and veggie tray is a great side at a barbeque or picnic. One of the best fruits to include that will support more youthful looking skin are pomegranates full of vitamin C that assistant professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, Debra Jaliman, MD, says protects against wrinkles from sun exposure, protects collagen, and helps fight off free radical damage because the seeds have ellagic acid and punicalagin. And what’s a backyard barbeque without watermelon? If you have watermelon on your menu today, good for you. You’ll be getting lots of antioxidant power, vitamin C, lycopene, potassium and extra hydration from the water content. Also good for you if a big green salad is on your menu. Leafy green vegetables give you antioxidant power and omega-3s, but also support the liver, provide calcium, good proteins and other vital minerals and vitamins. If you’re not having salad then consider using lettuce, spinach or kale on your burger. Spinach also has beta-carotene and lutein that are good for skin and eye health.

More Relaxation Time
Along with looking at diet in your anti-aging plan, stress is another big consideration. While you are enjoying your long Labor Day weekend, what are you doing? Are you taking some time to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of your everyday stress filled life? When we are under stress the brain signals the adrenal glands to release adrenaline and cortisol. If this happens on a regular basis it can sabotage our anti-aging plan diet by making us crave unhealthy foods and overeating. There goes the healthy diet right out the window. Then there’s the toll stress takes on the body by creating more free radicals to do damage to cells. When developing a plan for coping with stress one of the first things to start with is making sure you get enough good quality sleep. Studies show that getting six hours or less of sleep each night can put you at increased risk for heart attack or stroke, make you more likely to get angry, affects your mood, weakens your immune system, and affects your mental abilities. The amount of sleep each person needs is individualized, but for the most part 8 hours is the recommended amount. After making sure you get enough sleep, look for other ways to take time to relax. Maybe that just means that you take 5 minutes out of your workday to watch an affirmation or meditation video or just close your eyes and breathe deeply. It might mean that you are in a situation to take regular days off or vacations or that you have regular spa days scheduled. Research based on studies of the mind-body-spirit link find that introducing a spiritual component to life can be a powerful tool and that in this vein Kundalini yoga meditation is particularly helpful in dealing with stress. For other people, engaging in a sport or exercise program helps them burn off the stress and lets their bodies relax. And while you are thinking about exercise, consider exercising your brain too as part of an anti-aging strategy. Challenging the brain to stretch and learn new things has been proven to have a big impact on your mental state as you age.

My Labor Day Commitments
Here’s the list my family came up with to commit to for lifestyle changes:
1. Eat fatty fish for dinner at least twice a week.
2. No more Ranch salad dressing. Substitute olive oil and vinegar dressing.
3. Drink at least 1 cup of green tea each day. (Has catechins and polyphenols great for anti-aging)
4. At least twice a week substitute fruit for dessert instead of something sugary.
5. Take a daily packet of wholefood supplements that include two kinds of AFA bluegreen algae, acidophilus, bifidus and digestive enzyme.

This last item on the list is one that I think is very important. It is the safe-fail. If none of the other items happen during the week (even if we have the best of intentions to do them), then I know having the nutritional back-up of AFA bluegreen algae, probiotics and enzymes will help pick up the slack. AFA bluegreen algae provides all 20 amino acids we need providing a complete source of protein in an amino acid profile nearly identical to human breast milk, essential fatty acids including Omega-3 and Omega-6 in the right balance, phenylethylamine (PEA) the mental energy activator, powerful antioxidants such as chlorophyll, superoxide dismutase, glutathione, and phycocyanin, dozens of essential vitamins (including B12), minerals, and trace elements, an ideal balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, complex sugars, and fiber. Add in the probiotics and enzyme and I know our digestive systems get a boost to get all the nutrition we can out of the foods we eat and that we are supporting our immune health. It’s a simple way to boost that anti-aging strategy to a new level with just a packet of capsules to take each day.

Now look back over my list. Just five simple things that my family and I think we can do to make changes in our lives. Does it look like something you and your family could commit to? If so, then jump on board the anti-aging wagon with us. If not, I challenge you to come up with your own list and share it with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page. You just might come up with something to share that someone else will find doable. What a great way to pass healthy living on to others.

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 amenic181  /  FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/anti-aging-diet
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/aging/anti-aging-tips/seven-anti-aging-tips.htm
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/plans/anti-aging/the-best-anti-aging-foods/

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Better Vision: Natural Solutions to See the World More Clearly

If I could have three wishes as I age they would be to remain mobile, stay mentally alert and fit, and to retain my vision with healthy eyes. I think most people would agree that keeping these abilities in our senior years would make life more enjoyable. The problem is that losing these are a valid concern as our bodies' age. I have recently written about the first two concerns so today I am looking at natural solutions for healthy eyes and vision. The number of seniors affected by conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration runs in the millions. To keep from joining this growing population of statistics here are some natural solution tips to help you see the world more clearly.

Natural Solutions For Healthy Vision
Protection from UV rays – Ultraviolet rays from the sun can increase your risk not only for skin cancer, but also for cataracts and macular degeneration. Wearing sunglasses when outside made to block out the UVA and UVB rays can help you protect your eyes.

Have your eyes checked – Having regular eye exams is important since many eye diseases can be caught and treated early. It is recommended that you see an eye specialist every one to two years.

Guard against too much computer time – Spending too much time at the computer can lead to straining your eyes, blurry vision, dry eyes and cause you to have trouble with distance vision. Special computer glasses or setting the computer monitor so that your own prescription glasses work to see the screen can help you avoid these problems. Taking short breaks from the computer every so often or at least looking away from the screen periodically can also help. Be aware too of staring too much and make yourself blink often.

Protect your eyes from damage – If you are doing tasks such as woodworking, yardwork or any activity or sport where there is a chance of getting something in your eyes or hit in the eyes, be sure to wear protective safety glasses. Even if it's never happened before; better safe than sorry since this is such an easy thing to do and it only takes one time to really do damage to your eyes.

Foods For Healthy Eyes
According to the National Eye Institute, you can decrease your risk of certain eye conditions that are associated with aging such as cataracts and macular degeneration by making sure you include foods in your diet that have omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin. Eating a healthy diet that helps you keep a good weight for your body size also can help reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes which is the number one cause of adult blindness.

Omega- Fatty Acids – Without enough of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids in particular diabetic retinopathy or damaged blood vessels to the eye are more likely which can lead to blindness. Your retinas in particular need DHA some of which they have naturally, but not having enough can cause dry eye syndrome according to the director of refractive surgery at Montefiore Medical Center, in New York City, Jimmy Lee, MD. For good health, you need 3 to 4 times as many omega-3's as omega-6's, but most Americans get a lot more omega-6's than omega-3's. To get more omega-3's in your diet start eating fatty fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel and trout, peanuts and walnuts which also have vitamin E that is good for eye health, AFA bluegreen algae which has the exact ratio of fatty acids the body needs, avocado, Brussels sprouts, flaxseeds, olive oil, edamame, and chia seeds.

Zinc – Zinc is an important mineral for protecting healthy eyes by aiding in the production of melanin which can also help with night vision. Foods to add to your diet to get more zinc include oysters, beef, beans, nuts, fortified cereals, sesame seeds, milk, yogurt, and miso.

Vitamin C – The American Optometric Association advises adding vitamin C in your diet to keep blood vessels to the eye healthy and lessen your risk for cataracts. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study reported those who are at high risk for macular degeneration or loss of vision acuity can reduce their risk significantly with the addition of 500 mg of vitamin C a day. This means adding foods to your diet such as orange juice, citrus fruits, berries, sweet potatoes, kiwi, Bell pepper, spinach which also has vitamin E and lutein, and broccoli.

Vitamin A – Vitamin A is an antioxidant nutrient that comes from foods with beta-carotene. The body takes beta-carotene from foods and converts it into Vitamin A. Fruits and veggies that are orange colored like pumpkin, cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash, are good sources for vitamin A as are prunes, spinach, liver, and eggs.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin – Both these antioxidants exist in the eyes to help protect them and fight off damage from free radicals. Having enough helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration and is important for healthy retinas according to nutritionist Joy Bauer. Good food sources for these include leafy green veggies like kale, collard or turnip greens, and spinach, egg yolks which also have zinc, oranges, corn, green peas, broccoli, romaine lettuce, and green beans.

Can't Get Eye Nutrition In Your Diet? No Worries!
With our busy lifestyles it isn't always easy to eat the way we know we should. Cutting up salad greens and veggies and fruits ahead of time or on the weekends to munch on all week can help out, but you can also consider adding wholefood supplements to get the extra nutrition you need. When it comes to eye health as well as gut health, immune system support and overall nutrition in general it's hard to beat this AFA bluegreen algae program of convenient packets. With this program you get a month's worth of two types of daily packets of capsules. One gives you the nutritional value of two kinds of AFA bluegreen algae, acidophilus, bifidus, and digestive enzymes. The other packet provides wholefood nutrition that gives you the omega-3's, omega-6's, amino acids, beta glucans, and antioxidants you need from sprouted grasses and grains, marine and freshwater algae, and tonic muschrooms as well as over 60 micronutrients and 130 triterpenoids. It is also a product that is Organic, Kosher, Halal, Vegan, Dairy Free, and GMO Free. Besides giving you the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies cannot make themselves and we have to get from foods, this supplement program also has ingredients specifically found beneficial for eye health such as bladderwrack which is a brown ocean algae with fucoidan and kale sprouts high in lutein and zeaxanthin.

Don't wait until your vision starts to suffer to take care of your eyes. Healthy eyes are one of the things that will let you enjoy your senior years and way too important to take for granted. Make getting your eyes examined regularly, protecting your eyes from damage and adding the nutrition to your diet that will help your eyes stay healthy a part of your retirement plan to get started on now. It will pay off big time in the future.

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 stockimages  /  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sources:
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20680738,00.html
http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/good-eyesight
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/16/foods-for-vision_n_3280781.html