Thursday, July 28, 2016

Common Food Allergies and Natural Solutions

Are you one of the many Americans suffering with common food allergies? Do you have to carry an epipen with you wherever you go and scrutinize every food label before eating anything? It is estimated that there are 3 million children in this country with common food allergies and 3,000 emergency room visits a year due to symptoms of common food allergies, so you are not alone. Another common food related problem is food intolerances. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, there are between 30 and 50 million people in the U.S. that are lactose intolerant. If you have either of these problems with food there are natural solutions that can be helpful. The first place to start is to understand how common food allergies and intolerances develop. 

What Causes Common Food Allergies?
A true common food allergy is the result of the immune system identifying food fragments as something to attack and fight off. A simplified description of what occurs is that proteins in foods not broken down by enzymes, stomach acid or cooking methods are able to pass through the gastrointestinal lining into the bloodstream and can then move on to body organs. The immune system then recognizes them as foreign invaders and attacks them causing a variety of symptoms in a variety of ways. When our bodies don't recognize food particles in the bloodstream, we become allergic to them. The next time we eat this kind of food, our body immediately goes into a food allergy reaction. Symptoms can include, a tingling or itchy feeling in the mouth, trouble breathing or swallowing, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, hives, loss of consciousness or stomach pain. Anaphylactic reactions can also cause death even if they just start out with milder symptoms.

There are 8 foods that are considered to be responsible for 90% of food allergy reactions. In the U.S. the FDA requires food manufacturers to label products that contain these 8 top foods that are considered the most common food allergies. They are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. 

What Causes Food Intolerances?
Whereas common food allergies can be dangerous and potentially life threatening, food intolerances are not usually. They may be unpleasant and even painful, but not something one can potentially die from. Food intolerances are a condition existing in the digestive system. Lactose intolerance is one of most familiar of food intolerances. This is an inability to digest the sugar that is in milk and other dairy due to not having enough of the enzyme lactase. Symptoms of food intolerances can include gas, stomach pain and cramping, bloating, diarrhea and being nauseous and generally occur within 30 minutes to 2 hours of eating a food not tolerated. Those with food intolerances can sometimes eat small amounts of the foods that they are intolerant of whereas those with true common food allergies cannot eat those foods at all.

Natural Solutions
Bluegreen Algae -
By boosting your immune system, you can reduce allergic reactions to food. Since many food allergies are caused by poor digestion linked to the immune system, improving the diet with nutrition can help with common food allergies. Two studies show that "the inclusion of blue-green algae in the diet contributes to a reduction of anaphylactic and immune-type allergic reactions in animals" (Edible Microalgae, Jeffrey J. Bruno, Ph.D.).

Probiotics -
Probiotics, the "friendly bacteria" that live in our intestines, do the majority of the work of digesting our food once it has passed through the stomach. Acidophilus and bifidus are among the most important of these friendly bacteria, and provide a barrier between the intestines and the bloodstream, as well as help us to fully digest our food. These microbes in the intestines not only help with digestion, they produce vitamins such as B6 and B12, help with absorbing minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium, and fight off the bad bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. As Venket Rao, PhD, emeritus professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto says, a regular supply of probiotics can help the good guys outnumber the bad ( The benefit from probiotics extends to your immune system by it producing its own type of antibiotic and producing more cytokines connected to the immune system.

The food most people are familiar with that contains probiotics is yogurt and/or kefir. This isn't very helpful if you have milk allergies or milk intolerance though. Since fermentation of foods is caused by microbes, eating foods such as sour pickles, sauerkraut and miso can be another source of live microbes or probiotics. Mary Ellen Sanders, PhD warns that once these foods have been pasteurized they don't have live microbes. Look for products labeled as raw fermented or make them yourself. Supplements such as acidophilus and bifidus are another natural solution for those who can't tolerate milk products or have milk allergies. There are other foods these days that claim to have probiotics added to them. Just be sure to read the labels and make sure they have live active cultures.

Enzymes -
Enzymes are very important because they are key to healthy and complete digestion. Eating enzymes with and between meals can support digestion and help with food allergy symptoms. When taken with food, enzymes help ensure proper digestion and prevent food particles from entering the bloodstream. When taken separate from food, the enzymes are able to pass through the intestinal barrier (just like the food particles) to digest the food particles in the bloodstream. This prevents the immune system from thinking that food is an invader, thus preventing the immune response that causes food allergy symptoms.

Lactose-Free Products –
For those who have a lactose intolerance, look for products labeled lactose-free or lactose-reduced. Those allergic to milk will not be helped by these products as they still contain the milk protein that causes their allergic reaction. Eating dairy products along with other foods may also help the lactose intolerant as this helps slow down digestion and makes it easier for the body to absorb the lactose.

Prebiotics -
A prebiotic is any source of food for probiotics. For the most part, prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrate fibers called oligosaccharides. You can't digest oligosaccharides but your friendly bacteria can. Since you can't digest these fibers, they remain in your gut and feed the friendly bacteria living there. Foods that are good sources of these fibers include bananas, asparagus, artichokes, oats, garlic, onions, legumes and barley. Eating a diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can also help supply prebiotics to feed your good bacteria and help them stay healthy.

If you have problems with common food allergies or food intolerances, don't despair there is help for you with some of these natural solutions. If you have an allergy to a food that produces life threatening symptoms, you of course need to avoid those foods and be sure to always check labels or ask what ingredients are used to make dishes and always have an epipen with you. One lesson I learned recently was to ask what type of oil was used in preparing dishes when my grandson who has a peanut allergy is with me as many restaurants have started using peanut oil. For milder reactions and intolerances still be sure to read those food labels, get creative with combining foods you can eat safely and support your immune system and digestive system so they work at their best and do their best for 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.

Edible Microalgae, Jeffrey J. Bruno, Ph.D.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Why You Only Need Micro Amounts of Micronutrients

Nutrients fall into two categories: micronutrients and macronutrients. Macronutrients are the carbohydrates, fats and proteins that we get calories from. Micronutrients do not have calories, include vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, bioflavonoids and antioxidants and our bodies need them to operate properly. Macronutrients and micronutrients are created by the body breaking foods down into its chemical parts. The amount of these nutrients you get depends on the type of food you eat and the quality of the food you eat. For example, eating processed foods gives you many more macronutrients than micronutrients because vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals are destroyed through processing. This means you get a lot of calories without getting many vitamins and minerals. Processed foods and fast foods are not the only culprits these days in not providing micronutrients. Crops grown in mineral depleted soil, as much of our food is today, also does not provide the proper amount of micronutrients or macronutrients. The best defense against this is to eat locally grown fruits and vegetables raised through organic farming techniques and meat from grass fed animals.

Amounts of Macronutrients and Micronutrients
Our bodies need many more macronutrients than micronutrients because they provide the calories from carbs, proteins and fats that our bodies need for energy and good health. The amount of macronutrients we need a day are measured in grams. We need much smaller amounts of micronutrients and measure out daily intake in milligrams or micrograms. While there can be health problems from not getting enough micronutrients, there can also be risks or side effects from getting too much of them.

Some of the examples of risks of getting too much of a micronutrient are niacin which too much of can cause itching, and heat on the upper parts of the body and vitamin B6 which is a fat soluble vitamin that can be stored and become toxic. Too much vitamin A can result in hip fractures in elder women and birth defects if pregnant women get too much. Too much vitamin D can lead to high levels of calcium appearing in the blood, bone loss, kidney stones, and negative impacts on the heart, lungs, nervous system, kidneys and blood vessels. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine sets UL levels that recommend the highest level of micronutrients per day that can be consumed from food, water and supplements without health risks. It is important because of risks that can occur from too little or too many micronutrients to get enough of them but not exceed the UL. The UL can vary according to age and sometimes by sex so consulting your healthcare provider or finding out the recommended amount for your age group is important. If you are supplementing your diet with vitamins, it is also important to read the labels to make sure they fall within the level recommended for you. It is especially important for children to get enough of the right nutrients to support their physical growth and cognitive development without taking so much that physical risks occur.

The best way to get all the nutrition we need is of course from fresh healthy food and avoiding processed and fast foods. The healthiest, freshest foods are going to come from locally grown, sustainable farming methods. Then supplementing that diet with high quality AFA bluegreen algae will provide the essential fatty acids, plant-based proteins, complex sugars, vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and phytonutrients your body needs for good health. 

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



Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mood and Food: The Missing Link

In the past doctors and scientists did not believe that mood and food were linked, but nutrition and neuroscience research today are making many rethink that position. Studies have shown that there is a definite link between mood and food. For example, many studies have reported an increased level of depression, anxiety, mood swings and other mental and emotional conditions in participants who eat lots of processed foods. One such study showed a 42% increased risk of depression for adults with diets high in trans fats such as found in processed foods. There is hope though for improving mental health and mood through changes in diet. Research studies are also showing that a change in diet can change chemical and physiological changes in the brain which can in turn change behavior and mood.

So what kinds of foods can help us keep an upbeat, positive mood? Here are a few of the missing links for many people in the mood and food connection that can be added to the diet to keep an upbeat mood.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain by the nonessential amino acid, tryptophan. Serotonin works as a mood regulator, contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness and helps decrease food cravings. Foods high in carbohydrates without protein or fat added can increase the amount of tryptophan you get as well as how much actually gets into the brain through the bloodstream. High protein and fat foods suppress serotonin when their amino acids compete with tryptophan keeping it from getting to the brain. Simple carbohydrates that are easy to digest will give an immediate mood boost and complex carbohydrates, which take longer to digest, boost mood over a longer period. When adding carbohydrates into your diet as a mood and food solution to boost your mood, look for foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

Omega 3
Since the brain is important to mood and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid is important to brain health, it only makes sense that eating foods high in omega-3s will help with mood. This is supported by a study from the Harvard School of Public Health that reported women with diets high in omega-3 and low in omega-6 showed significantly less risk of depression. In the mood and food connection, omega-3 serves to increase serotonin levels in the brain and have an effect on the brain's neurotransmitter pathways. Foods high in omega-3 include fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and tuna, flaxseed, walnuts, canola and olive oils, and bluegreen algae. Omega-3 has been found so good at reducing symptoms of depression that one study scheduled for 9 months on participants with bi-polar disorder was discontinued after only 4 months because of the mood balancing attributed to increased omega-3. If you have concerns about eating fish due to mercury, there are fish that are still high in omega-3, but low in mercury. If you are just not a fish eater, bluegreen algae is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid.

Vitamin D is one of the vitamins that is known to increase serotonin levels. 600 IU a day of vitamin D from food sources is the most common recommendation. This can vary from person to person and may be something you will want to check out with your health care provider to find the optimal amount recommended for you. Folate, vitamin B9, is used in the brain to synthesize mood chemicals. Research at Harvard Medical School has reported that increasing folate in depressed patients shows an improvement in mood. Oranges and papaya which are high in both vitamin B6 and folic acid have been studied in regards to depression. Results indicate that people showing symptoms of depression do not have enough vitamin B6 or folic acid in their diets. To get more folate in your diet, add dark green leafy vegetables like Brussels sprout, broccoli, lettuce, spinach and asparagus and foods such as lentils, avocado, mango, oranges, and wheat bread.

Superfood Mood Booster
Here's another natural mood booster tip to add to your mood and food solutions. This powerful superfood capsule of bluegreen algae combined with reishi and oyster mushrooms, ubiquinol, and polyphenols from olives was created to activate cellular energy for heart support. Ubiquinol is a form of Coenzyme Q10 that is found in almost all our cells, tissues and organs and is a potent antioxidant that has been shown in studies to have antidepressant properties. Reishi mushrooms are known for their ability to help the body to maintain balance which can include emotional and mental balance. Oyster mushrooms are high in B vitamins that aid brain health. You can see how this combination of superfoods can be a tremendous aid for mood support.

Probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus are natural occurring "good" bacteria in the body. 90% of these good bacteria are in the intestines and they play an important role in the production of neurotransmitters. They are also important in producing and absorption of B vitamins. So you may have never considered that your intestinal system plays a significant role in the link between mood and food, but you can see now how it does. The naturally occurring probiotics in our systems are constantly being killed off by a variety of lifestyle conditions, so supplementing your diet with acidophilus and bifidus is a great way to support digestive health and keep replacing your system's "good" bacteria which in turn leads to mood boosting support.

It's not all that hard to make the connection between mood and food and by just making a few dietary changes, eating your way to a happier 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.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Aging Gracefully by Eating Well

Diet is very important in aging gracefully. When we talk about aging gracefully that includes all the aspects of aging not just looking younger. Skin health is a part of the overall picture of aging gracefully, but brain health, bone health, joint health, energy level, cardiovascular health, and digestive health, just to name a few, also need to be considered. Think about the types of problems we all typically face as we age. It's not just about wrinkles and liver spots. Most people see changes in eyesight, hearing, circulation, elimination, bone strength, and many other bodily functions that younger people take for granted. Skin health is important though and not just for how we look. The skin is the first line of defense in the immune system for keeping out germs. My 90 year old neighbor has such paper-thin skin that almost any contact with it causes skin to peel back leaving it open to infection. There are foods and food supplements that can help our bodies towards aging gracefully. Here are a few types of foods to include in the diet that can go a long way towards helping you in aging gracefully.

Aging Gracefully: Foods that Alkalize
Eating too many foods with processed sugar, artificial sweeteners, meat, dairy and refined grains can lead to over acidity in the body which can then lead to a variety of chronic health conditions. When there is too much acid present, the body tries to balance itself. If it cannot get the alkaline from foods we eat then it often will draw from bones and tissues. Eating alkaline foods can help balance the acidity. Some foods that can help with alkalizing are:
  • avocados
  • radishes
  • beets
  • carrots
  • turnips
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • spinach
  • garlic
  • lemons
  • eggplant
  • sea vegetables
  • mushrooms
Aging Gracefully: Foods with Healthy Fats
Fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are healthy omega-3 fatty acids needed for the brain and nervous system in particular. Omega-3 is also known to lower cholesterol, lower risk of dementia, reduce the risk of stroke and help with inflammation that can cause atherosclerosis. Since our bodies produce very little of these naturally, we must get them from the foods we eat. Coldwater fish like salmon, tuna, halibut and mackerel are a good source because the fish eat algae with is a rich natural source of these omega-3s. If you are not a fish lover, then other sources include walnuts, flaxseed, leafy green vegetables and of course you can eat bluegreen algae supplements. When eating nuts remember that while many varieties have antioxidants, proteins and other health benefits such as reducing LDL and raising HDL cholesterol, go easy on them so as not to overdo the fat and calories.

When adding fat into your diet, make sure you avoid transfats and saturated fats and stick with the healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Other foods with healthy fats include:
  • Cod which has selenium to protect skin from sun damage
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Olive oil can help with memory, and high cholesterol
  • Avocados which also have biotin for hair and skin health
  • Peanut butter
  • Canola oil
  • Tofu
  • Sardines
  • Eggs
Aging Gracefully: Foods with Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect cells from oxidative damage, help with cellular repair, replace lipids in the membranes that have been damaged and act as cleansers or scavengers for free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that contribute to the aging process by damaging healthy cells. Eating foods with antioxidants can help fight off the damage caused by these free radicals which is most noticeably seen as wrinkled skin, but can lead to more serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants can be found in colorful vegetables and fruits like berries, beets, and tomatoes. Here is a list of some foods that are high in antioxidants that can help in aging gracefully.
  • Leafy greens like lettuce, broccoli, spinach, and arugula provide antioxidant vitamins A and C
  • Blueberries
  • green tea
  • sprouts 
  • garlic
  • blue green algae 
  • edible grasses 
  • tumeric 
  • Tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, asparagus and red cabbage are high in the antioxidant lycopene
  • Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale are not only high in vitamin C, but also beta-carotene, fiber, calcium, iron, zinc and folate
  • Beans not only are a good source of antioxidants, but also of lean protein and fiber
  • Grapes have the antioxidant resveratrol which can help in reducing the risk of cancer, promote a healthy cardiovascular system and aid in fighting signs of aging
  • Blood oranges have anthocyanins to help fight off damage from free radicals and UV rays
  • Brazil nuts contain selenium that helps produce antioxidant glutathione for healthy skin and repairing damaged cells
Aging Gracefully: Foods with Fiber
Fiber is important for digestive and heart health. Adding whole grains and other high fiber foods to your diet can lower the risk of Type II diabetes, support healthy blood vessels, help prevent acid reflux, lower cholesterol, aid in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, and help with weight loss and constipation. There are 2 kinds of fiber both of which are important to balance in your diet. Insoluble fiber from foods such as seeds, grains and vegetable and fruit skins and soluble fiber such as found in oatmeal, nuts and beans. Some foods with soluble fiber act as a prebiotic to feed the healthy bacteria in our bodies which is essential for not only a healthy digestive system, but also immune system health. When adding more fiber to your diet be sure to also drink more water to avoid constipation. Foods that are good sources of fiber include:
  • oats
  • quinoa
  • barley
  • wheat
  • brown rice
  • raspberries
  • pears
  • apples
  • bran flakes
  • lentils
  • black beans
  • artichoke
  • green peas
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
Aging Gracefully: Healthy Digestion Support
Even if you are eating a healthy diet, you don't get the benefits from it if you aren't digesting it properly so that your body gets the nutrients from it. Making sure you have a healthy digestive system and that the foods you eat are broken down into particles the body can use will ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs in a form it can use. When food is digested properly, blood and nutrients are able to circulate freely to the skin which keeps it healthy and vibrant looking. Adding food enzymes to the diet can complete the metabolization of fat, proteins and carbs when taken with food. Taken between meals they are absorbed into the blood and can help clean out residual food particles. There are four types of enzymes that break down food molecules:
  • lipase for fat molecules
  • protease for protein
  • cellulase for cellulose 
  • amylase for starch molecules
Enzymes found naturally in foods become inactive when food is over cooked or processed. Most of us don't get all the enzymes we need for proper digestion for this reason. Not having enough active enzymes puts extra stress on the pancreas, liver and spleen as they have to work overtime to produce enzymes that we are not getting from the foods we eat. Adding pickled, and lightly cooked or raw fruits and vegetables to your diet can help get you extra enzymes. Taking a high quality digestive enzyme supplement that can breakdown foods under acid conditions such as one containing Mycopepsin is another way to increase your enzyme level.

The beneficial bacteria in our intestines is also very important to the digestive process. They support proper digestion and help eliminate waste. The problem is that there are so many things that can throw off the balance of these friendly bacteria. Antibiotics, antacids, other medications, radiation, stress, chemicals in our food, water or air are just some of the things that can contribute to throwing off this balance allowing an overgrowth of yeast and unfriendly bacteria. Adding probiotics to the diet can help balance the friendly bacteria which aid in the digestive process and take stress off of the immune system.

Latobacilluls acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidus, better known as acidophilus and bifidus, are found naturally in the intestines. Acidophilus is needed for nutrient absorption and is found along the wall of the small intestine. It activates vitamin production, helps in digestion of food, and in lactose tolerance. Bifidus helps with absorbing water from foods, helps prevent bloating and gas, and aids in the eliminating of waste materials. Adding foods with live active probiotic cultures such as yogurt to your diet or probiotic supplements can help you keep a healthy balance of these digestive helpers working for you.

Aging Gracefully: Fighting Inflammation
Inflammation in the body can wreak havoc with everything from causing skin to look older to affecting bone density and muscle mass to arthritis. Inflammation normally is an immune system response to fight off infections and foreign invaders in the body. There are times however when this response is triggered when these conditions are not present which can result in swelling in the body's tissues and sometimes damage to the tissues. This over-response of the immune system can sometimes be attributed to eating a diet high in processed and refined foods with sugars and food additives, transfats, and fried foods. Eating anti-inflammatory foods can help fight off the damage from this chronic inflammation. This would include most of the foods we've already mentioned such as whole grains, fatty fish, dark leafy greens, nuts and a variety of vegetables such as tomatoes and beets. Another natural solution to support the body in dealing with inflammation is using whole food supplements such as a supplement we like that combines plant-based proteolytic enzymes--bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, together with wild bluegreen algae, and this one with six of the most extensively researched mushrooms that show positive immune system support: reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei, with astragalus, beta glucan and wild bluegreen algae.

Yes, diet is a key when it comes to healthy aging. Whatever age you are now you can start considering what you want your senior years to be like and eat accordingly. Getting older doesn't have to be so hard when you have a diet and plan for aging gracefully.

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.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How Much Water Should You Drink Really?

As a society we've grown up being told that we're not drinking enough water, so consequently all of us have become more conscious of hydration, which is good. The human body is 60-75% water, so we definitely need to keep our fluid level high. Plus, adequate water intake has been shown to:
  • Help the body flush toxins
  • Improve the condition of our skin
  • Prevent water retention
  • Keeps bowels functioning efficiently
  • Assist in weight loss (by helping you stay full and flushing toxins)
  • Help all of our internal organs function more efficiently
However, some research also shows that some people are drinking too much water. Called over-hydration, the practice of drinking too much water can cause the salt content in your bloodstream to become diluted. As a result there is less salt available to your body's tissues, which can affect your brain, heart, and muscle function.

So how much water should you really drink? Most health agencies and organization recommend a formula like this to get an estimate of how much water you should drink a day:
  1. Calculate 75% of your body weight if you are normally active and 50% if you are not active to find your daily water intake in ounces. For example say you weigh 150 pounds and are normally active, taking 75% of 150 pounds would be 112.5 pounds.
  2. Covert that figure to ounces (112.5 ounces).
  3. Add 16 ounces each for a dry climate or strenuous exercise to get your total suggested water intake. In our example that would look like 112.5 oz. + 16 oz. (exercise) + 16 oz (dry climate) = 144.5 ounces a day.
Having listed this formula, many holistic physicians also recommend that you listen to your body. Pay attention to when you are thirsty and respond by drinking water. Don't force yourself to drink water when you're not thirsty and don't ignore thirst signals either. Also, most experts recommend that you spread your water intake evenly throughout the day and keep a watch on your urine for signs that you are getting enough water. Adequate water intake means that your urine will stay a light color and not have a strong or bad odor.

Once you're drinking enough water you might also want to consider how you can increase your body's ability to release toxins (which are carried out of the body by water). We suggest adding probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus, two forms of friendly gut bacteria that also act as natural antibiotics. Also, avoid drinking chlorinated water whenever possible. With plenty of water and good nutrition you can look forward to a new healthier 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.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

What is Inflammation and What to Eat to Avoid It

What is inflammation? It is one of your body's defense mechanisms, which is a good thing...usually. Sometimes however the body gets confused and becomes inflamed at the wrong times or responds to the wrong stimulus and then inflammation becomes a bad thing. When your body senses an infection or a chronic condition that it considers is a "threat", it reacts by becoming inflamed. Blood flow is increased to the affected area, white blood cells and other protective cells move to act against bacteria and viruses, and protective chemicals are released into tissues around the affected area. These actions fight off what the body identifies as foreign invaders and if there truly is one such as a virus or bacteria, then this is a good thing. But there are times when the body sets off this defensive reaction and no foreign invader is present. Certain types of arthritis would be an example of this. Or there are times when something passes into the bloodstream such as food particles which are not foreign invaders, but are identified as such since they are in a place they really shouldn't be. In these cases the immune system ends up damaging the body and its tissues. Inflammation can also be caused by free radical damage to the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that attack the body. These are often created from the stresses of modern living such as chlorinated water, pollution, stress, heavy exercise, overwork, poor nutrition, and environmental toxicity.

Foods As Natural Solutions For Inflammation
There are certain foods that contribute to a weakened immune system and aid in leading to what is inflammation that is not necessary. Eating food that is high in sugar and saturated fights is an example of these. According to Scott Zashin, MD, clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, this type of diet causes the immune system to be over active which may result in joint pain, fatigue and damaged blood vessels. There are also foods that can help strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. Some of these include:

  • Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Broiled or baked fish is much preferable for a healthy diet than fried. AFA bluegreen algae is also a very good source of omega-3.
  • Whole grains high in fiber and low in added sugar.
  • Nuts, especially almonds, that are high in fiber, calcium, vitamin E and other antioxidants.
  • Milk products, low or non-fat with calcium and vitamin D.
  • Vegetables high in antioxidants such as bright colored tomatoes (which also have lycopene), squash, broccoli, and other dark green leafy veggies. Blueberries, green tea, sprouts, garlic, blue green algae, edible grasses and tumeric are also good sources of antioxidants.
  • Beans are a lean source of protein and have lots of fiber and antioxidant vitamins.
  • Bromelain is an enzyme that naturally occurs in pineapple and has been found to reduce inflammation.
  • Hot peppers high in capsaicin which is known to reduce inflammation.
  • Beets with antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C and betalains (plant pigments).
  • Turmeric known to be a natural anti-inflammatory spice, used most often in curry and that turns off a protein that can set off inflammation.
  • Garlic with inflammation fighting properties found to work much like NSAIDs

Supplements As Natural Solutions For Inflammation
As mentioned above AFA blue green algae is a great source of omega-3 and antioxidants which both help fight off damage from free radicals and inflammation. Here are some bluegreen algae supplements that contain other ingredients reported to be helpful when dealing with inflammation.

Algae & Sprouts Supplement  – This blend of kale sprouts, red clover sprouts, wheat sprouts, concentrated wheat sprouts, and Dunaliella salina algae is loaded with chlorophyll, glutathione, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients for the best of nature's antioxidants to nourish the body.

Algae & Antioxidant Supplement  – Along with the antioxidants found in AFA bluegreen algae, this supplement adds the antioxidant power of wild blueberry, green tea, carnosine.

Algae & Plant Based Enzymes Supplement  – A combination of plant-based proteolytic enzymes--bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, with bluegreen algae, to support your body's inflammatory response to physical exercise and free radical damage.

Now that you have information on what is inflammation, how it affects you and natural solutions to help you combat it, you can be on your way to strengthening your immune system, helping to ease pains, and nourishing yourself on a cellular level. When you feel good, you are more likely to exercise, get good quality sleep and eat healthier. It all adds up to a healthier 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.