Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

"When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude."
– G.K. Chesterton

This quote by G.K. Chesterton is so appropriate as we celebrate Thanksgiving and think of all we have to be thankful for and show gratitude for. In fact, being thankful, showing gratitude and facing life with a positive attitude creates more of the same in our lives. Whether you call it Law of Attraction, the level of your being attracts the level of your life, what goes around comes around, you reap what you sow, or like attracts like it all boils down to the thoughts, emotions, actions, and energies that you put out affect what you bring to or create in your life. If you are surrounded by negative people, negative circumstances, and just plain negativity in general, maybe it's time to check your positivity barometer. What types of thoughts are you thinking, what are your predominant emotions, what messages do you say or think about yourself, and how do you treat others? If you are creating negative energy in your life, this is the perfect time to start turning all that around. Get yourself a gratitude list started and find things you can add to it daily. In case you're having a hard time beginning, take a look at some of the ways we found from various sources that you could start using to get you in the positive space for giving thanks and to create more positive things to be thankful for in your own life. These lists are just to get your creative juices flowing with some examples, then you can add to these lists or create your own.

Giving Thanks: Small Wonders to Be Thankful For
1. Cuddly warm socks or your favorite old shirt to kick around the house in.

2. The unconditional love or adoration of a pet.

3. Modern appliances that make our lives easier.

4. A beautiful sunset.

5. The smell of baking cookies or bread.

6. Freshly washed sheets on the bed.

7. Being able to make a gratitude list and having the freedom to put anything you want on it.

8. Taking a walk, breathing in fresh air and the fact that you can do both these.

9. Your favorite book, music or TV show on a rainy day.

10. Getting a letter or card in the mail from a friend.

Giving Thanks: Expressing Gratitude
1. Pay special attention to the food you are eating at a meal and use all your senses to enjoy it and be thankful for it.

2. For every text you get today on your phone send out a silent blessing of gratitude that you have this technology that allows you to stay connected to others you care about so easily.

3. Show your gratitude for the beauty you find in nature by creating a table centerpiece or some artwork using items you find outside – pebbles, flower buds, leaves, twigs, etc...

4. Send a card to a service worker to thank them for the job they do. Could be your local firefighters, police, sanitation worker, or military personnel.

5. I love what my friend whose son died at age 12 does every year to express gratitude for the time she had him in her life. Every year on his birthday and Christmas she goes to the toy store, picks out what she would have bought for him and sticks the amount of cash it costs under the box. In her mind she can just see some other little boy or girl wanting that toy that maybe mom or dad can't afford and finding the money right there to pay for it and make that small dream come true for them.

6. Take a few minutes each day this week to just sit in silence and reflect on the people and circumstances in your life that you have to be thankful for. Send this energy out to the Universe.

7. Take the time to write a note to an employer about an employee at a restaurant or store who was especially attentive or helpful to you.

8. As you are walking around a store, the mall, or park or wherever you walk, really look at the people you pass, smile at them, and think of one nice thing you notice about them. You don't have to say it out loud, just think it in your head. Nice hair, love your shoes, what a graceful way of walking she has, how natural that guy is with his child, etc...

9. Write up a gratitude list with all you have to be thankful for – big and small. You might even pass it around the table at Thanksgiving dinner and let your loved ones add their own gratitudes to it.

10. Here's a harder one. Write a thank you note to someone who has caused you frustration or even anger. Look for the lesson behind why this person entered your life and what there could be to learn from the situation. You don't actually have to send the letter if that makes you uncomfortable. The point is to find the good in difficult situations and the lessons adversity can bring us.

Giving Thanks: Spreading Positivity
1. Silently bless a stranger as you walk by them. You might also do a Pay It Forward action for them. It could be something as simple as opening a door for them, holding the elevator, or putting some coins in a parking meter that has just expired.

2. Help undernourished children, adults and animals around the world by donating this 30 pack of nutrient packed, easy to prepare cereal or healthy snack bars.

3. Invite someone that you think might be alone at Thanksgiving to share your Thanksgiving meal. Think about if an elderly neighbor has lost a spouse and has grown children that live far away, or a co-worker who doesn't have family near.

4. Do some volunteer work in something that interests you or that you are grateful for. If you love reading, volunteer at the library, if you are thankful for the doctors and nurses that took care of you or a loved one volunteer at the hospital. If you just don't have time for regular volunteer work, volunteer for single events like a pet adoption day, a soup kitchen, or a kid's event. If you don't even have time for that, make some Christmas toy bags or toiletry bags to give to charity or just pluck a card off one of your local Toy Drive trees and fulfill a child's Christmas dreams.

5. Write your own prayer or blessing of thanks to share at dinner on Thanksgiving. You can get really creative and do it in verse or rhyme or have a chorus that everyone can join in on like a chant.

6. Make decorations to brighten up your home for whatever you celebrate – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, the Fall season, Winter Solstice, ... Be creative and place your intention on positive thoughts and the joy you experience making and displaying your creations.

7. Visit a nursing home to share a special talent you have with the elders. If you are musical play and sing for them, if not, offer to lead some games or storytelling. Check with the recreation director and discuss what talents you have to offer to brighten an elder's day.

8. Make a goal of complimenting 5 people today. It could be people you know or might be strangers you encounter. Just pick 5 people throughout the day to say something nice about them to them.

9. Burn a copy of a song to a cd that you find great pleasure in or that moves you and send it to a friend.

10. Do a small act of kindness for a neighbor. For example, my mother walks her dog up and down her street each morning. She picks up each neighbor's newspaper off the sidewalk and places it on their porch. She has done this every day for years and many people probably think the paper is put there by the delivery person, but I know the truth and it makes my mom feel good to do this small act and makes her feel she is doing something nice to show appreciation for her neighborhood and her neighbors.

I hope you have a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving Day. I hope that no matter what your life circumstances are, you find many things to be thankful for, find ways to express them and put that positive energy out into the world. Remember the more positive you put out the more positive that will return to you.

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.


Sources:
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/thanksgiving-ideas/g2925/things-youre-thankful-for/
http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/practices/features/view/16274/27-ways-to-practice-brthanks-giving
http://womanitely.com/creative-ways-give-thanks-thanksgiving/

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Simple Steps for Healthy Vision

Think of all we do and enjoy in the world through our eyes when we have healthy vision. If you started losing your sight how much would you be missing or how much would your lifestyle change? I know it definitely frustrates me to have to find my reading glasses to read food labels or recipes that I used to have no problems reading. This is definitely something to consider as we age since our eyes undergo changes that affect our vision as we get older. Even if you are not at risk genetically for certain eye diseases, your vision doesn't always stay as sharp once you hit middle age.

Eye Conditions
The older we get the less flexible the eye lens is and that makes it harder for the eyes to focus. This is a condition called presbyopia that commonly starts around middle age and is the reason we have to hold print at arm's length sometimes to read it. Glasses or even just reading glasses may help when you start noticing this happen. Another condition that often comes with aging is dry eyes since as we age our eyes don't produce tears as easily as they once did. Left untreated, this condition can harm your vision because our eyes need the moisture to remain healthy. Artificial tear type eye drops may help, but if the condition continues you may need to seek help from an eye care professional. Floaters are another common condition that can occur as we age. This happens when eye fluid starts breaking down as we get older and we see specks floating around. This is usually not a condition to worry about unless the floaters start increasing and may also have light flashes with them. Floaters can sometimes be an indication of a tear in the retina which an eye exam could determine. More serious eye conditions include cataracts resulting from a buildup of protein on the inside of the eye's lens and cause vision to be cloudy, AMD (age-related macular degeneration), and glaucoma from optic nerve damage. If you have diabetes that is not under control, you can have additional eye problems as a result since the blood vessels in the eyes can become damaged by high blood sugar.

Nutrition for Healthy Eyes
Many of the conditions mentioned above come with aging and since we can't stop getting older we have to look for other solutions to help keep our vision healthy. There are many foods that have been found to support vision health. If you are looking for ways to naturally keep your eyes working the best you can, be sure to get regular eye checkups and try adding some of the following foods and nutrients into your diet.

Omega-3 Foods
If you have dry eyes, or suspect cataracts or macular degeneration are affecting your vision, then adding in foods with omega-3 fatty acids can help. They are also good for keeping your retinas healthy. These types of foods would include fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, halibut, and mackerel, fish oil supplements, nuts like walnuts, almonds and pistachios, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, black currant seed oil and AFA bluegreen algae.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin
These two carotenoids naturally occur in the retina area of the eye and absorb UV light and blue light that can negatively affect the macular part of the eye. Eating foods that contain lutein and zeaxanthin can help cut down on free radical damage in the eyes, and lower the risk of macular degeneration, and cataracts. You'll find them in foods like eggs, leafy green vegetables like spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, collard greens, and turnip greens, avocados, peas, and yellow and orange vegetables and fruits like papaya and squash. When you can't work all the veggies you need for antioxidant protection, this program of wholefood supplements can help you get not only lutein and zeaxanthin and other antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, fiber and proteins, but also the omega-3 fatty acids that support eye health.

Whole Grains
Whole grains help lower your glycemic index which lowers your risk of age-related macular degeneration. They also have the vitamin E, zinc and niacin that help support healthy eyes. Quinoa, brown rice, whole oats, and whole wheat breads, cereals and pastas are some of the foods to include in your diet to get more whole grains.

Antioxidant Vitamins
Vitamin C foods can help lower your risk of getting cataracts and macular degeneration and can be found in foods such as kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and Bell Peppers. Vitamin A is another important vitamin for eye health and can be found in carrots, pumpkin, apricots, mangos, sweet potatoes, red peppers, and cantaloupe, as is vitamin E found in almonds, peanut butter, broccoli, spinach, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds. Just one of the great things these antioxidant vitamins do for the body is to provide protection from the damage to cells by free radicals and to repair damage already done. They also help nourish your natural adult stem cells which have the unique ability to become other types of cells and go to where there are damaged cells to replace them. This is such a vital reason to make sure your diet includes lots of fruits and veggies, but if you just can't work them all in then this antioxidant algae wholefood supplement may be your answer. Since parts of the eye are particularly susceptible to free radical damage, getting antioxidant protection and nourishing your stem cells to replace damaged eye cells is all part of eating for good eye health.

Zinc Foods
Zinc is an important mineral for maintaining good eye health as it can reduce the risk of macular degeneration, night blindness, and cataracts, and support the health of the retina. Good food sources for zinc include sunflower seeds (which also are good for vitamin E), oysters, turkey, beef, pork, shellfish, eggs, peanuts, sesame seeds, yogurt, miso, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, chickpeas, and whole grains.

Now that you know what your vision is facing as you age, take steps now to protect it. Adding some of these foods that support eye health will help you protect your precious vision and keep your eyes healthy at whatever age you are.

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



Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/healthy-vision-as-you-age-14/default.htm
http://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/foods.htm
http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/top-foods-to-help-protect-your-vision

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Get Healthy with Baby Steps

We all have good intentions of getting more exercise and eating right, but then life happens and we find our well-meaning goals have been laid aside. Sometimes with everything else there is to do, it just isn't easy to take your health to the next level even though you know it will give you more energy to get things done and leave you feeling better. Maybe it's time to get off this merry-go-round and give yourself a break. You don't have to do it all at once. Baby steps are a way to start improving your health by picking just one or two simple things to commit to and then doing them. Pick something that will fit with your lifestyle and your schedule and you'll be more likely to succeed. Once you have these first baby steps worked into your day, then go back and pick another one or two. You can slowly build up to better overall health and healthy lifestyle habits without putting so much stress on yourself this way. Here's a few simple healthy improvements you can add to your daily routine that can help you get started making a difference in your health.

Get Some Extra Sleep
Not only do you not perform your best when you haven't had enough sleep, research also indicates that you are at increased risk of heart attack. A study out of Norway found that those waking up still tired were 27% more likely to be at risk for heart attack than those waking up rested and refreshed. They also found a 30% increased risk for people prone to waking up throughout the night and 45% increased risk for those that had trouble going to sleep in the first place. One theory experts believe explains this is the release of more cortisol associated with insomnia that can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes and thus to cardiovascular disease. We also tend to make poorer health choices when we are over tired. For example, if you are exhausted it is easy to skip exercise or opt for a take-out meal instead of cooking. If you have trouble winding down before bedtime, try starting a night routine that will signal your body that it is time for sleep. Some people find meditation helpful in clearing the mind and winding down and others find journaling a way to get out the stresses of the day and be able to relax. Whatever works for you, make a goal of getting to bed at a certain time and waking up at a certain time each day to get your body into a regular rhythm. You can also try a more relaxing way to wake up in the morning instead of being shocked awake by a noisy alarm. Leave your window blinds up so the sun can shine in on you. This will signal the brain to switch from producing melatonin to adrenaline for a slower more relaxed wake up call.

Boost Your Immune System
When we feel good, we have better days and get more done. When we are sick or feel drained the opposite is true. This is one good reason to give your immune system a boost since it is in charge of keeping sickness and germs at bay. Here's an easy tip for an immune system boost. Drink a glass of red wine as it has resveratrol and polyphenol antioxidants that can help reduce risk of chronic inflammation that can lead to heart disease and that help keep bad bacteria and viruses from taking over. You can also get resveratrol from the skin of red grapes, blueberries, and peanuts.

Get a Vitamin D Boost
Research is finding that getting adequate amounts of vitamin D is essential to health and that most of us are not getting enough. Getting enough vitamin D can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes, make asthma symptoms better and can even help reduce the risk of getting some cancers. Vitamin D is also needed for strong bones as it helps the body absorb calcium. It has been recommended that you get between 600 and 800 IU a day of vitamin D, but newer research is suggesting we may need as much as 4000 IU daily. Some foods are fortified with vitamin D, but the most common way we get it is by exposure to sunlight. If you aren't getting outside enough, make a goal to spend some time outdoors or if that isn't possible you may need to consult your healthcare provider about supplementation.

Hydrate
Your entire body needs to stay hydrated to work right and drinking water throughout the day increases your metabolism which helps you burn off calories. Water is calorie free and helps you feel full to avoid snacking on unhealthy foods. Your immune system also performs better when the cells are hydrated, your skin benefits when you drink lots of water, and drinking water helps your body flush out toxins and keeps your circulation going well. If drinking plain water all day doesn't appeal to you then try adding natural sugar-free flavorings like a squeeze of lemon, orange or strawberries or even some herbs like mint.

Healthy Joints Keep You Going
If your joints and muscles are aching, you are less likely to exercise or get out and enjoy yourself. It also makes it harder to just perform basic tasks and work that you need to get done. Using a natural anti-inflammatory can help if this is an ongoing problem for you or just for those times when you physically overdo it and are paying for it the next day. Curcumin, turmeric, boswellia, and ginger have all been found as effective as some prescription medications for pain relief. You can get these as herbal remedies or from food sources. Enzymes like bromelain found in pineapple have also been found to be effective at reducing inflammation. An easy way to get not only bromelain, but also the enzymes papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, and some wild AFA bluegreen algae for extra nutrition, is with this algae and enzyme supplement.

Make Time for a Massage
Getting a massage may sound frivolous to some, but according to research from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, you can increase white blood cells to help fight off germs with a 45 minute massage and reduce inflammation, allergy symptoms and asthma symptoms. A massage can also help you get some relaxation time and reduce stress which is detrimental to your health. So taking a little "me" time in the form of a massage is an easy health benefit boost to make.

Make a Weekly Meal Plan
If you plan out your meals for the week, you will be more likely to eat healthy and be in control of the nutrients you get. Without a plan, when life gets busy or stressful, it is too easy to order out for pizza or drive through for fast food. Include a variety of color in your meals when you are planning and go heavy on the veggies, fruits and whole grains. Add in lean protein that will also give you omega-3 fatty acids as they help with reducing inflammation, are heart healthy, and good for your brain. Think fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or mackerel or adding seeds or nuts to your meal as in walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds or go for adding leafy green veggies to your meal. Also include a lunch plan that lets you take healthy foods from home instead of eating out at work. You may find chopping up lettuce and veggies ahead of time for the whole week will help you stick to this type of lunch plan. And don't forget breakfast. Your mom was right, it is the most important meal of the day. Eating a good healthy breakfast in the morning helps curb the appetite the rest of the day and starts your day out with a boost for physical and mental energy. Good breakfast foods include yogurt, fruit, whole grain cereals, eggs, and try adding seeds, nuts and lean proteins in for an extra boost.

Add Some Protein To Your Diet
Lean protein added to your meals can help you take off some unwanted weight as protein builds muscle and your body burns more calories from muscle than it does from fat. A study at the University of Sydney reported that those eating low amounts of protein showed around 2 pounds extra weight gain a month compared to those eating more protein. Protein foods also many times have zinc and B vitamins that help you fight off colds and flus and boost the immune system. If you want to start getting more protein into your diet, start thinking of foods you eat now that you could switch. For example, instead of cereal with fruit, switch to low-fat cottage cheese with fruit, or switch out your mashed potatoes for baked beans.

Add Some World's Healthiest Foods to Your Diet
Whole Foods has a list they call the World's Healthiest Foods. They base these choices on criteria such as the foods being nutrient dense (nutrients compared to calories), organic if possible, not containing synthetic, artificial or irradiated ingredients, their availability in most places and their affordability. Some of the top choices are asparagus, avocados, beets, Bell peppers, Bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots in the vegetable category, apples, apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, figs, grapefruit, grapes, and kiwi in the fruit category, nuts and seeds that include almonds, cashews, flaxseeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts, grains that include barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa, rye and whole wheat and the beans and legumes category that includes black beans, dried peas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans and lentils. If any of these foods are ones you've never tried or that are lacking in your diet, pick one or two new ones to try adding on a regular basis to your meals.

Supplements For Extra Nutrition
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can't get in all the home cooked meals and lunches packed from home. This is when some wholefood supplementation can really help you out with getting the nutrients your body needs to function well with the convenience and ease of taking some supplement capsules. The easiest way I've ever found to get all the great nutrition that AFA bluegreen algae has to offer along with probiotics and digestive enzymes is with these convenient daily packets that I can grab on the go. For some extra energy I like to add in this algae ubiquinol supplement with pure ubiquinol (which is the active form of Coenzyme Q10 known to be especially good for heart health), reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and some wild AFA bluegreen algae. Then to make sure I'm getting the antioxidant protection my cells need I throw in this antioxidant algae supplement. Then I know that I have all my nutritional bases covered when life gets extra busy.

All of these suggestions are easy, affordable and can make a big difference in your health. So pick one or two and get started taking those baby steps towards improving your health and living a healthier lifestyle.

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.



Sources:
http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/easy-effortless-ways-get-healthy
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14078/26-ridiculously-easy-ways-to-be-healthy.html
http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php

Thursday, November 12, 2015

7 Ways to Have a Healthy Happy Heart

You've heard the saying, "the heart wants what the heart wants" referring to love associated with this organ, but in reality it's the heart needs what the heart needs when it comes to keeping your physical heart healthy. The heart along with blood and blood vessels including arteries, veins and capillaries make up your cardiovascular system or circulatory system as it is also called and are responsible for the circulation of blood to deliver nutrients and oxygen throughout the body and taking waste to the organs that provide elimination of them from the body. In recent years it seems people are more aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy heart and taking steps to boost their heart health, but the sad news is that the American Heart Association still lists cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in Americans. By making some dietary and lifestyle changes however we can improve our cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of killing diseases and conditions such as heart attack, stroke, arteriosclerosis, and hypertension. For a healthy heart make sure your diet has the following nutritional components included.

1. Antioxidants for a Healthy Heart
Antioxidants provide protection from free radical damage and help repair damage done to body cells from free radicals and oxidative stress. The rule of thumb for antioxidants is that the more colorful the veggie, the more antioxidants it provides. For a healthy heart, green veggies full of carotenoids are particularly important. Not only do you get antioxidant protection from vegetables, but you also get heart healthy fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. Tomatoes are another good vegetable to add to the diet for a healthy heart as they contain lycopene, an antioxidant carotenoid found to reduce the risk of heart attack, reduce bad cholesterol levels, and help in keeping blood vessels open. They are also a good source of potassium that is good for heart health. Another great category of antioxidants for heart health are flavonoids that can help keep blood pressure stable and reduce inflammation. Berries get their red and blue colors from anthocyanins which are flavonoids that are reported to help keep blood vessels open and help reduce high blood pressure. One study done with women from 25 to 42 years of age reported a 32% less risk of heart attack for those eating blueberries and strawberries more than 3 times a week. Pomegranates are another good source of anthocyanins and also have polyphenols, another flavonoid, that are heart healthy. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit are also good sources of flavonoids and vitamin C. Research has found that adding these to the diet can lower strokes resulting from blood clots by 19%. Before adding some of these antioxidant foods to your diet though, check with your healthcare provider, especially if you are taking statins or blood thinners, as some of these foods may not be safe in conjunction with these medications.

When adding antioxidants to your diet for a healthy heart, consider switching your morning coffee to green tea that has catechins. Studies have shown green tea to positively affect cholesterol levels and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Then treat yourself to some dark chocolate with its flavonoid polyphenols. Just make sure you are getting real dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa and not milk chocolate. Another reason antioxidants are particularly good for heart and the whole body is the nourishment they provide for your natural stem cells. Stem cells have the unique ability to become any other type of cell the body needs and be able to go to places with damaged cells and replace them. By nourishing your stem cells you help them reproduce and the antioxidants protect these stem cells from becoming damaged by free radicals. When your schedule keeps you from getting the antioxidant protection you need in your diet, this antioxidant algae supplement may be a solution for you with its wild blueberry, green tea, carnosine, and organic wild bluegreen algae.

2. Healthy Food: Fats
Your body, especially the brain and the heart, needs healthy fats. One of the types of fats that can help reduce abnormal heartbeat, reduce the triglycerides in the blood, help reduce plaque in arteries, and reduce blood pressure is omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines several times a week can help you get these healthy fats. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios and peanuts not only give you these healthy fats for the heart, but also fiber and vitamin E that are also heart healthy. Fish oil supplements, seeds such as flax and chia, healthy oils like olive and flax, and AFA bluegreen algae are other good sources for omega-3's. Monounsaturated fats are another healthy type of fat that can add to the health of your heart and cardiovascular system. This is the type of fat found in avocados, nuts, olives and oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil. Studies have found that eating a diet high in grains, fruits, and vegetables along with nuts and olive oil can lower the risk of death from heart attack or stroke by 30%. Monounsaturated fats have also been found to lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels.

3. Vitamins and Minerals For a Happy Heart
Vitamin B3, Niacin, has been reported to have more effect on lowering LDL cholesterol levels than certain statin drugs, making it an important vitamin for a healthy heart. Vitamin D is another important vitamin as studies show that a lack of this vitamin can lead to doubling the risk of heart attack, stroke or other heart conditions as a result of high blood pressure and diabetes. We get most of our vitamin D by being out in the sun, but you can also get it from some fatty types of fish, eggs with the yolk included, and fortified foods such as dairy and cereals. For minerals that add to heart health, add foods rich in magnesium and potassium. For magnesium add in foods such as almonds, seaweed, whole grains, blueberries, dark chocolate, and leafy greens like spinach. You can add potassium to the diet by eating foods such as potatoes, avocados, oranges, tomatoes, bananas, beans and legumes.

4. Coenzyme Q10 For a Healthy Heart
Coenzyme Q10 also known as CoQ10 performs much like antioxidants and helps in adding to cells' energy production that all organs need to function properly, and lowering risks of blood clots. Studies on CoQ10 have reported findings of a decrease in the risk of death from heart attack, a reduction in the chances of additional heart attacks after an initial one and less chest pain afterwards by taking supplements with this coenzyme. The body does make a little of this coenzyme itself called ubiquinol, but if you are at high risk for cardiovascular disease it may not be enough especially if you take statins to lower cholesterol which can interfere with the body's ability to produce the small amount that it does naturally. This may be a case when supplementation could be helpful. This ubiquinol algae supplement not only gives you the good nutrition of AFA bluegreen algae but also 100mg of pure ubiquinol delivered in a blend of organic flaxseed oil, reishi and oyster mushrooms, and polyphenols from olives. You can also get small amounts of CoQ10 from eating fish, some meats, and whole grains, but not enough to significantly replenish the levels your body needs to produce energy for jobs such as the heart pumping blood, the brain to process information, lungs to process oxygen or for muscles to move.

5. Lean Protein for a Healthy Heart
Your body in general needs protein to function well and stay healthy, but many sources of protein include unhealthy types of fat that are detrimental to heart health. Plant sources of protein such as beans, lentils and peas can help solve this problem in your diet. Just look at one study reporting a 22% reduction in the risk of heart disease for those eating legumes a minimum of 4 times weekly compared to those eating them less than once weekly. These types of lean proteins can also help control blood sugar levels that can lead to cardiovascular disease.

6. Healthy Food: Fiber
Adding fiber to your diet is a great way to lower cholesterol levels as co-director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, Lauren Graf, explains that fiber absorbs cholesterol from foods in the digestive tract allowing the body to eliminate it instead of adding it to the bloodstream. Adding a minimum of 25 or 30 grams a day of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains such as oatmeal to your diet will help get you the fiber you need for a healthy heart.

7. More For a Healthy Heart
Other additions to the diet that can help with a healthy heart include red yeast rice as it contains compounds that act much like statins do in lowering cholesterol as well as being able to increase HDL cholesterol, hawthorn berry that can relax arteries for better circulation, and garlic with allicin that can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce plaque buildup in arteries. For an easy way to get a complete nutritional boost this wholefood supplement program gives you a blend of marine and freshwater algae, tonic mushrooms, sprouted grasses and grains along with the probiotics and digestive enzymes to unlock the benefits these superfoods provide all in packets of capsules to grab anytime, anywhere and on the go.

Just a few additions to your already healthy diet and some lifestyle changes like reducing stress and getting good cardio exercise into your week can make a huge difference on your heart health. So make sure you are not only giving your heart what it wants, but also what it needs when it comes to heart healthy nutrition and it will help you keep on keeping on and beat the statistics of cardiovascular disease.

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.


Sources:
http://www.thebetterhealthstore.com/newsletter/021210_top-ten-heart-health_01.html
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplements-heart-healthy
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20720182,00.html

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Natural Solutions for Focus and Attention

We all have trouble focusing and giving our full attention in situations at times, but if you find this happening more and more, it could be your brain isn't getting all the brain food it needs to perform at its best. We often expect that our cognitive faculties aren't going to be quite as sharp as we get older, but according to research reported in the British Medical Journal we can start showing reduced memory and the capacity to reason as young as 45. Our brains use a majority of the nutrients we eat and use a great percentage of our energy. Even though the brain in an adult is only about 2% of our body weight it uses around 20 to 25% of our energy and that's just when it's at rest. According to the CDC Second Nutrition Report In 2012 American adults and children are severely lacking in the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and other nutrients that the brain needs to function. For a healthy brain that will support focus, attention, concentration and memory here are a few brain foods that can help.

Seeds and Nuts
Nuts and seeds in general are rich in vitamin E that can help keep you sharp as you get older and have the amino acids and essential oils that help you be able to focus better. Almonds in particular make a great brain food snack as they give you vitamin E and magnesium that can help give you a boost in energy and concentration when you are feeling drained. Adding flaxseeds to your cereals, salads and yogurt is a good way to get some extra magnesium, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber for a brain boost. All these nutrients help the brain stay mentally sharp and able to focus clearly. AFA bluegreen algae is another good source for the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that the brain craves including the perfect ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids. This form of AFA with the cell wall removed allows the nutrients to cross the blood brain barrier more easily.

Blueberries
You probably know that blueberries are high in antioxidants which are good for brain health because they fight off damage from free radicals which the brain is particularly susceptible to. But did you know that the anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol and tannins antioxidants all found in blueberries are reported to keep your brain sharp and focused by helping get more blood and oxygen to the brain. In fact some research has found eating blueberries can boost concentration and memory for as long as 5 hours. For an added bonus they also help with protection against heart disease, dementia and cancers.

Wholefood Algae Booster
When you really need to be focused, sharp and able to concentrate, here's a winning combination - the wholefood nutrition of organic wild bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni. Ginkgo biloba has long been used to enhance memory, bee pollen has a high amino acid content for stimulating memory and concentration, and wheatgrass juice has been reported to have nutrients that support brain health and clearer thinking. All these along with the wholefood nutrition of AFA bluegreen algae are available in this algae supplement. For a super easy way to get a wide variety of nutrition for body and brain, this blend of marine and freshwater algae, tonic mushrooms, and sprouted grasses and grains, give you some of the most nourishing foods on the planet; combined with probiotics and digestive enzymes.

Water
You probably know how important staying hydrated is for your body and that the body can go for much longer periods of time without food than it can water. But do you know how important drinking water is for your brain? All your thought, memory processes, and brain functions depend on the energy production for which water is vital. Research shows drinking water can help your focus, mental clarity, and help you think faster.

Protein Foods
Orexin neurons are cells in the brain that keep you awake and protein can stimulate these. You can give your brain a protein boost with lean meats, dairy, eggs and fish. For an extra brain boost go with fatty fish like salmon as research has shown that the DHA essential fatty acids have a positive effect on memory and can protect against disease that affect cognitive abilities such as dementia. A deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to mood swings, depression, lack of energy and poor memory and your fatty fish being full of this fatty acid makes it a great brain food.

Leafy Green Vegetables
Another category of great foods for antioxidant protection as well as carotenoids is leafy green vegetables. One study done in 2006 reported findings in Neurology showing that eating a minimum of 2 servings a day of leafy green vegetables can increase mental focus to that of someone 5 years younger than your current age. They also are a good source for B vitamins that are good for memory and focus and have folic acid for mental clarity.

Green Tea
While on the subject of antioxidants that protect the brain, green tea deserves a mention. It can also be a pick-me-up and give you improved focus and attention because it has caffeine and l'theanine that helps release that caffeine slowly instead of in a single burst that leaves you spiking then crashing later.

Dark Chocolate
When looking for a healthy treat, you can satisfy your taste buds and give your brain a boost with dark chocolate. It has some caffeine to wake you up and has antioxidants for protecting from free radical damage. But the extra brain boost comes from the magnesium you get from the chocolate that helps fight off effects of stress and helps trigger endorphins and serotonin, the feel good hormones. The flavonols it contains also improve circulation which means help getting more blood to the brain. You won't get the same results from regular milk chocolate candy bars that are full of sugar though. Those just give you a short lived rise in blood sugar that wears off quickly leaving you worse off than before. Look for dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa. As long as you are getting the real cocoa, you don't have to stick with bars either. A study from Northumbria University in England used cocoa in shakes with students and reported findings of better performance on math tests after drinking these shakes.

Avocados
Avocados are a good brain food for several reasons. One, it is a good source of healthy fat and the brain needs lots of good fats to function properly. Two, they support blood flow to the brain and three, they have fiber that can help you from getting distracted by feeling hungry.

You depend on your brain and all its functions for so much. Make sure it can depend on you in return to give it the nourishment it needs to work at its best. You and your brain can make a great team and as long as you give it what it needs, your brain will help you by keeping you alert, attentive, focused, sharp and able to depend on it to remember all you have to remember.

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Sources:
http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/4_foods_to_help_you_focus_better
http://alifeofproductivity.com/9-brain-foods-that-will-boost-your-ability-to-focus/
http://www.medicaldaily.com/brain-boosters-foods-can-help-improve-your-intelligence-alertness-focus-and-memory-289182
Bruno, Jeffrey PhD, Eat Light and Feel Bright

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The X Factor in Health: Are You Missing Colors in Your Diet?

Take a look in your closet at all the different colors you put on the outside of your body. Chances are you have a lot of different colors there and not just one or two. Did you know that putting a wide variety of colors on your inside can help you take your health to the next level? For many people a variety of colors of food is the X factor that is missing from their diets. Too many people stick with brownish and tannish colors on their plates as in meats, potatoes and simple grains. If your plate isn't as colorful as your wardrobe it's time to make a change by adding a wide variety of colorful vegetables and fruits to your meals.

It may help you to know why creating a rainbow on your plate is beneficial to your health and the most simple answer is phytochemicals, but Creative Nutrition Solutions owner, Molly Morgan, RD, CDN, warns that you don't need to get caught up in all the scientific data about what colors give you what types of nutrition. Instead just go for a wide variety of colors. For example if you are partial to fruits and veggies of a particular color, shake it up a bit. If your shopping cart is full of lettuce, spinach and kale, that's great, but add in some carrots, beets, squash, and as many other colored foods as you can. The X factor and the next level to strive for erasing it is to start trying new foods and go for many different bright colors.

Fruits and Veggies in Your Diet
There are so many advantages to adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. They are low calorie, have only natural sugars, don't have much fat or salt if any and give you complex carbs, fiber and lots of other healthy nutrients. Fruits and vegetables get their colors from the group of phytochemicals known as flavonoids. Flavonoids have been found to decrease risks of cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer as well as being good for protecting the lungs. There are several different varieties of flavonoids including flavonols such as myricetin that you find in berries, grapes, and spinach, and quercetin found in onions, apples, and broccoli; flavones such as apigenin found in lettuce and parsley and luteolin found in beets and Brussels sprouts; flavanones such as hesperetin and naringenin found in citrus; flavan-3-ols such as catcehin found in tea and dark chocolate and epicatechin found in teas and legumes; and anthocyanidins found in blue, purple and red veggies and fruits. The main thing to remember about this, as many experts including the Produce for Better Health Foundation will tell you, is that these types of phytochemicals have antioxidant properties to protect the body from free radical damage and oxidative stress. If you already eat a lot of fruits and vegetables then you are of course getting phytochemicals in your diet and some antioxidant protection. But experts such as Kathy Hoy, EdD, RD advise using color as a guide to getting a variety of phytochemicals as many of them work together to provide us ultimate protection.

Creating a Rainbow on Your Plate
David Heber, MD, PhD and Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD are among the nutritional experts that divide plant based foods into groups according to color and the phytochemicals they provide. Instead of getting too caught up in the various color and color mixes though, the main thing to remember is to go for a wide variety of colored fruits and veggies on your plate. Just so that you know what different colors of foods are best for, here is a short list of some colors to consider, what they are helpful with and what foods fall in each category.

Blue and Purple – Color comes from the anthocyanin pigments they have. Rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and particularly good for heart, blood pressure, memory, reducing inflammation, and according to Gloria Tsang, RD, can help reduce chance of blood clots forming and reduce risk of some cancers. Foods in this group include blueberries, grapes, purple potatoes, prunes, plums, eggplant and pomegranate.

Green – The green color comes from chlorophyll and these foods are full of phytochemicals called isothiocyanates that help promote enzymes produced in the liver. This phytochemical and one called indoles also found especially in green cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage have been reported to help protect against cancer. Clinical dietician Susan Kasik-Miller, MS, RD, CNSC also applauds green veggies for their vitamin K, folic acid, potassium, carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids. Your eyes also get benefit from green foods that have lutein and zeaxanthin and you get vitamin C and vitamin E. Other particularly good green foods include Brussels sprouts, spinach, avocado, kiwi, pistachio nuts, asparagus, arugala, artichoke, honeydew melon, celery, kale, and bok choy.

Red – Red fruits and vegetables get their color from the pigment lycopene which is a carotenoid antioxidant known to be good for lowering the risk of cancer and for heart health. They also have flavonoids giving you antioxidant protection and that help reduce inflammation as well as anthocyanins, vitamin C and folate. Foods in this group include tomatoes, cranberries, watermelon, guava, pink grapefruit, red cabbage, cherries, strawberries, beets, red peppers, apples, red onion, and kidney beans.

Yellow and Orange – Rich sources of beta-carotene antioxidants, beta-cryptoxanthin, omega-3's, folate, and vitamin C that have been found to be helpful with immunity, eye health, skin, regulating blood sugar, and bone health. Foods in this group include carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, apricot, cantaloupe, mango, oranges, lemons, papaya, and pineapple.

Other Phytochemicals – Not all your good phytochemicals have bright showy colors. There are many flavonoids that are considered colorless or white fruits and vegetables, but that have lots of antioxidant properties to help fight off damage from free radicals. Some may have an outer peeling only with a brighter color and then be white inside like apples, pears, and bananas. Don't discount these though because of their white coloring. They are good for dietary fiber that can reduce the risk of stroke and lower cholesterol levels. In fact one study in 2011 done in conjunction with the American Heart Association and Dutch scientists reported a 52% reduction in risk of stroke for people eating large amounts of these white fruits and vegetables. Also in this group is cauliflower, onion, potatoes, parsnips, garlic and mushrooms.

The Color of Algae
When it comes to color, AFA bluegreen algae can give you a rainbow in itself as algae is known to have some of the most effective antioxidants in the plant world. Microalgae contains a rainbow of antioxidant pigments including cholorophyll that provides the green color and has been found to stimulate liver function and excretion of bile, strengthen immunity, and detoxify chemical pollutants. Studies indicate that chlorophyll has anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties as well as antioxidant effects that combat damage from carcinogens. Phycocyanin, the blue pigment in blue green algae, provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and is particularly effective working with chlorophyll. Phenylethylamine, or PEA, comes from the deep blue pigment in algae and has been shown to elevate the mood, decrease appetite, act as a natural mental energy activator and help biomodulate emotions and mood swings. Bluegreen algae is reported to have a wider variety of antioxidant pigments and carotenoids than most other plant based foods and than just green algae. For a wider variety of algae and seaweeds all in one capsule take a look at this algae supplement with 9 colorful algae for superfood nutrition. So if you can't get all your colorful veggies in during the day, you have another way to still get your colorful foods.

Next time you go grocery shopping, think colors. Start filling your basket with as much variety to put inside your body as your closet has in clothes for the outside of your body. It's time to up your health game to the next level and get rid of those drab colors. Get creative and try new foods by adding a rainbow to your plate and it will pay off in taking your health to the next level.


Sources:
http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110308p34.shtml
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-multiple-colored-fruits-vegetables-4676.html
http://www.healthline.com/health-blogs/diet-diva/health-benefits-colored-food
Bruno, PhD, Jeffrey, Eat Light to Feel Bright