Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Can Oxygen Be Unhealthy for You? What?

"Blah, blah, blah, oxidative stress, blah, blah ..."

This is usually what people hear when I talk to them about oxidative stress, and I don't blame them. Their eyes glaze over and you can tell they are thinking about what's on cable TV tonight rather than what's going on inside their bodies every time they inhale a lungful of oxygen.

Isn't Oxygen Good for You?
Yup, oxygen is good for you and good for your body. As you have probably already figured out, you can't live without it. But it turns out that oxygen can also be harmful to your body. Without going into a lot of detail that will cause your eyes to glaze over, let's just say that oxygen is a very active catalyst and it does active things in your body, like energize, metabolize, and burn. If left unchecked, your body suffers from oxidative stress because all that metabolizing and burning produces free radicals. Free radicals in your body, like free radicals at a political rally, are definitely not good for the health and stability of your body!

What is a Free Radical?
A free radical is basically an unbalanced molecule floating around your body, and when a free radical comes into contact with your cells, it causes bad things to happen to good cells. For instance, free radicals can:

1. Damage the protective outer layer of a cell
2. Interfere with basic cellular functions like enzyme activity
3. Damage and alter your DNA

In other words, free radicals are bad news for the body!

How to Prevent Damage from Free Radicals
The good news is that your body naturally balances out all the free radicals created by the oxidative process by producing antioxidants or using them from foods we eat. Antioxidants are basically a group of nutrients that keep the free radicals in check. Examples of antioxidants include:

  • enzymes
  • trace minerals
  • amino acids
  • fats
  • carbohydrates

Want some names to go with those nameless antioxidants? OK, here are some examples:

  • co-enzyme Q10
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin C
  • beta-carotene

To ensure that your body gets all the antioxidants it needs to fight off free radicals, you need to eat foods that are high in these nutrients. Examples of antioxidant foods include:

Supplements: blue-green algae, co-enzyme Q10 (or ubiquinol –the bioavailable form), vitamin C
Fruits: Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries
Vegetables: Beans, artichokes, and Russet potatoes
Nuts: Pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts
Spices: Ground cloves, cinnamon, and oregano

So breathe deeply, eat antioxidant rich foods, and live a long healthy life! According to Richard G. Cutler, a gerontology researcher:

"The more antioxidants found in the body, the longer an individual's life will be. In order to live a long and health life, antioxidants should be a staple of any nutritional program."

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Indigestion: The Natural Approach

Belching, burping, gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea ... need we say more? What's the one word that sums up all of these symptoms? Indigestion. Anyone who has ever over-indulged, traveled to a foreign country, or tried out a new restaurant has had indigestion. As you well know, when you have indigestion you want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. It's also better for your long-term health if you use natural approaches that work with rather than suppress your natural digestive function. When it comes to indigestion (how to get rid of indigestion, that is), there are two ways to go: prevention before it happens and fixing the situation after you've already got it.

Prevention 
The first step in dealing with indigestion is prevention. There many different ways to prevent indigestion and you just have to choose the right one for the occasion.


  • Overindulgence: If you know you are going to be eating at a big buffet, take 2 digestive enzyme capsules before you leave for the buffet and slip 2-4 more in your pocket to take at the buffet. Enzymes help your body digest the food as you eat, preventing symptoms like gas, bloating, and belching. Enzymes with cayenne have even more digestive power.
  • Travel: If you're going to be traveling to a foreign country (or any location where the food and water will be different) you definitely need to plan ahead for indigestion. Take Ume Plum tar or Ume Plum balls before, during, and after your trip. The balls and tar have highly concentrated Ume Plum, which is the most alkaline substance you can eat. Indigestion is an extremely acid condition and anything alkaline, like Ume Plum, will neutralize it. Be sure to get the highly concentrated tar or balls, which will appear almost black in color and should be available at your local health food store or online.
  • Anytime: Sometimes indigestion just sneaks up on you. To protect the long-term health of your digestive system, adding probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus to your daily regimen can be helpful. Probiotics are the "healthy bacteria" that live in your gut and help you digest your food on a daily basis. Stress, chlorinated water, alcohol, and sugary foods all kill probiotics, which can lead to indigestion. Restoring these probiotics ensures that your gut stays healthy all the time. Be sure to take the probiotic capsules that are kept in the refrigerator as the off-the-shelf variety tends to be ineffective. The probiotics in yogurt also tend to have little effect.


Fixing Indigestion
If you already have indigestion, you can use the methods mentioned above to improve the situation. In dealing with indigestion after the fact, try these solutions.

Olive Oil: To calm a queasy gut, take 1 teaspoon of cold-pressed olive oil every 2 hours.

Alkathyme: Like the Ume Plum tar, alkathyme is an alkaline substance that will counter the acidity of indigestion. Alkathyme is an Edgar Cayce cure and is available online. Add 5 drops to a glass of non-chlorinated water and drink 1 glass per 2 hours.

Enzyme Therapy: If you forgot to take enzymes before you started eating, take them afterward to ease indigestion. Take 1-2 capsules every hour to speed digestion and prevent food from fermenting in your gut.

If you have ongoing problems with indigestion, you of course will want to see your healthcare provider to make sure there is not a more serious problem, but knowing some natural remedies for indigestion can really save you some trouble and discomfort when you overindulge or just feel a little digestive upset occasionally.  All of these remedies are available online if not at your local health food store.


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, May 11, 2017

Be Kind to Your Knees

Being a former ballet dancer, I have seriously abused my knees such that, later in life, they can sometimes hurt. So I'm writing a post on how to be kind to your knees in everyday life.

According to noted Tai Chi master Michael Chou of Los Angeles, CA, improper use of or failure to use the knees is one of the primary causes of back pain, leg pain and joint pain in the lower body. In a recent workshop, Chou explained that the knees form a major part of the body's shock absorption system, and that proper use of the knees prevented excessive strain on the other joints and the spine.

He also pointed out that most people bend over at the waist when picking something up off the ground rather than bending the knees to get closer to the ground. Because the knee joints are such a vital part of the body's structural system, it's important to consciously use them as much as possible. More importantly, the knees tend to deteriorate from lack of use. Chou added that one should use the knees frequently -- or eventually lose the use of them at all! Use 'em or lose 'em.


If you are like me and have already abused your knees, nutrition is one natural way to address any knee pain you might experience. 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.

Joint Friendly Diet
Fruits and vegetables are an especially important part of a joint friendly diet 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. Antioxidants like wheat sprouts and nutrients that stimulate your body to produce stem cells both help joint mobility and decrease pain. Natural nutrition is a better solution than over-the-counter inflammatory drugs, which can suppress healing and cause side effects, such as stomach ulcers. 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.

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.

If your lifestyle just doesn't support your getting all the antioxidant providing foods you need, a wholefood supplement may be called for.

Glucosamine supplements have 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.

Remember to be kind to your knees and they will be kind 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.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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Is Your Lifestyle Heart Healthy?

Do you practice heart healthy habits in your lifestyle? Many Americans don't as evidenced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics that around 600,000 people die of heart disease every year in the United States. The most common type of heart disease is coronary heart disease which is responsible for 385,000 deaths a year. This type of heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis, is the leading cause of heart attacks. Men typically get this disease earlier than women by about 10 years. It is thought that women receive some protection by having elevated levels of estrogen in their systems during their childbearing years.

Factors of Heart Disease
Factors that can contribute to heart disease include high cholesterol, nicotine from smoking, and high levels of glucose. As a result of these irritants, plaque builds up in the arteries in response to the lining of the arteries becoming inflamed. When the plaque becomes inflamed so much that it ruptures, a clot forms which blocks the artery and cuts off the flow of blood to the heart. This is known as a heart attack.

In the past there have been preventative measures suggested to reduce the risk of heart disease such as hormone therapy, low carbohydrate diet, high protein diet, Vitamin B supplements, and Vitamin E supplements. These are being found now to have no significant impact on reducing heart disease and in some cases can lead to other health concerns.

Prevention is the Best Medicine
The best prevention for heart disease is eating a diet high in Omega 3, low in trans fats and saturated fats, low in cholesterol, and high in fruits, vegetables and fiber. Stay away from fried and greasy foods, limit salt and alcohol consumption, exercise regularly and lower stress. Foods that have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease include fish such as herring, sardines, tuna, salmon and mackerel, and soy protein because it contains fiber, vitamins and minerals and has low levels of saturated fat. Also be aware of chemicals in your food like caffeine, MSG, and other food additives and avoid these. According to studies reported in the Doctors Health Press, when the body stops producing as much CoQ10 later in life, the results can lead to aging, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Supplementing your diet with coenzyme Q10 provides a natural form of support for the heart and is easy to do with this algae supplement that combines ubiquinol (the active form of coenzyme Q10), reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and AFA bluegreen algae.

Stress
Stress is recognized as a contributor to heart disease as it creates a rise in blood pressure, increases the heart rate and causes a release of stress hormones. Learning to cope with stress is an important skill to develop to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started on a stress reduction program:

  • Eat foods that contain magnesium
  • Get enough B vitamins, especially B-12
  • Chlorophyll can help you feel more vital and less stressed, which equals less emotional eating. Chlorophyll is found in highest concentrations in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, as well as wheat grass and blue-green algae.
  • Learn to recognize situations and events that stress you out and avoid them if possible or come up with a plan of how to cope with them if you can't avoid them.
  • Schedule times during the day to escape from the stress of everyday living. This might be times to meditate, read, or take a walk. Don't just say you'll do them, actually schedule them into your day like an appointment otherwise it is too easy to put off.
  • Engage in physical activity. Bicycling, walking, a fun exercise dance class or any activity you find enjoyment doing. You may need to schedule these into your day or week too.
  • Set boundaries. Be realistic about how much time you can devote to community organizations or family. Learn what your limits are before you become stressed and know when to stop committing to do things or when to ask for help.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of adequate sleep can increase the likelihood of being stressed.


The earlier you get started on these heart healthy habits, the better your chances are of beating the statistics of developing heart disease. It's never too late and your heart will thank you for it.

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, May 4, 2017

5 Simple Ways to Renew Your Body and Mind

As winter blows out and Spring emerges, many people associate this time with getting a fresh start with a good Spring cleaning and that's a perfect time to look at renewing body and mind and spirit. Here are some ideas of small, manageable healthy goals you can set to give yourself a Spring cleaning inside and out.

1. Renew With Food
Adding antioxidants to your diet helps protect your body cells from damage by free radicals, helps repair damage done to them, can lower blood pressure, balance cholesterol levels, improve blood circulation, protect vision, support weight loss, relieve stress, and reduce the risk of inflammation and chronic disease. Some healthy ways you could choose to incorporate more antioxidants into your diet include:


  • Drink green tea – Full of catechnis, drinking green tea can help in losing weight, reduce the risk of some types of cancer, reduce your LDL cholesterol level, increase your HDL cholesterol level, and decrease risk of hypertension. According to Roseville Health and Wellness Center's certified personal trainer, Harmony Boeh, R.D., you get more antioxidants from tea bags or steeping loose tea leaves than from instant, bottled, or decaf teas and 3 cups a day is optimal for supporting heart health.
  • Eat a square of dark chocolate – Cocoa has antioxidant flavonols research has shown can improve blood circulation to the heart and brain, improve vision, and lower blood pressure. Stay away from milk chocolate and bars full of sugars and look for dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa. Don't overdo even this kind of chocolate though as it can add calories. Stick to a 1 ounce square daily or a few times weekly.
  • Eat breakfast and include antioxidant foods – People who don't eat breakfast are 4 times more at risk for obesity. Eating a healthy breakfast helps set the tone for the day and keeps you feeling full throughout the morning so you can avoid snacking. There is also research showing that having the same or very much the same breakfast every morning can help you eat less, fill you up quicker, and maintain your weight loss over time. Adding berries to your oatmeal, cereal, or just by themselves will help you start your day off with antioxidant protection.
  • Eat algae – AFA bluegreen algae just by itself has lots of good nutrition for the body, but this antioxidant algae supplement not only gives you the nutrition from algae, but also adds in natural antioxidants including wild blueberry, green tea, and carnosine. Not only do antioxidants help fight off free radical damage, but they help nourish our natural adult stem cells which can then become other types of body cells and be used to repair damaged cells anywhere in the body. If your hectic schedule keeps you from getting enough fruits and veggies in your diet to provide antioxidant protection, this may be an easy way for you to renew body and mind with more antioxidants and all the nutrients AFA bluegreen algae provides.
  • Eat an earlier, healthier bedtime snack – Research reports that eating an hour or two before going to bed can lower your stroke risk by 76%, but eating at night showed an increase of 3 ½ pounds a year of weight gain. This indicates it is better for your health to eat your bedtime snack earlier in the evening than right before bed. Eating an earlier bedtime snack can also cut down on the high calorie snacks many eat at night. Start finding healthy foods you can substitute for your usual snacks and think fruits and veggies to add more antioxidants. If you eat candy at night, dark chocolate could be a substitute, for chips and dips try carrot sticks with hummus, or switch out a bowl of ice cream with some yogurt and berries. Get creative or do some searching on the internet for healthy antioxidant snacks. If you are still reaching for unhealthy snacks at night, stop and ask yourself if you are eating because you are hungry or is it more from boredom or stress. If it's not due to hunger then look for other ways to deal with these other reasons.
  • Clear out the sugar – Eating refined sugars leads to all sorts of health problems, weight gain and can increase the amount of free radicals your body has to deal with. By reducing the amount of sugar you eat along with increasing your antioxidants, you can help reduce the amount of free radicals that can cause cellular damage. Make a date to go through your kitchen pantry or cabinets and read the labels. Dr. Oz recommends especially looking at the first 3 ingredients listed and getting rid of any products that list sugar as one of these. Remember that sugar can be disguised in products with added sugar names that end in –ose or sugar alcohols that end in –ol. The exception to those ending in –ose would be lactose from milk and fructose from fruits and vegetables.


2. Renew Your Spirit
Even if you have tried meditation before and had problems with it, give it another try. This time change your approach. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol levels, renew your Spirit, clear your mind, and establish a time of sacred space to connect with your inner being. There are many different ways to meditate and even walking meditations for those who just can't sit still. Try out different styles of meditation and find one that works for you. If you've had trouble with meditation in the past, start slow and work your way up. You may need to just start with a minute and work your way up slowly to more time. Find a time and a place without distraction and give yourself these few minutes filled with silence and deep breathing.

3. Renew With Movement
Start and end your day with body movement. Stretching as soon as you get up in the morning and before going to bed at night increases your flexibility helping you to get going in the morning and to wind down at night. If you can develop a routine of doing a few yoga poses, they can help you get in stretching as well as engage body and mind and Spirit. Then throughout the day look for more ways to move your body. If you work at a desk, get up and walk around periodically, stand up and walk around while on the phone, walk in place while reading a report, or take a brisk walk on your lunch break. A brisk walk for just half an hour a day lowers your risk of stroke and heart attack as much as 30%. You can also set your aim for taking 10,000 steps a day and start wearing a pedometer to keep track of your progress. Just using this instrument may make you more aware of chances to walk and increase the average number of steps for most women in this country from 4912 steps daily to the 10,000 step goal. Your goal might also be replacing inactivity with activity. For example, if you typically come home from work and become a coach potato, make your goal that week to skip a half hour of TV for an activity that includes moving your body. That could be going for a walk, going to the gym, dancing, riding a bike or anything else that gets you moving.

4. Detox To Renew
Our bodies have a lot of toxins to deal with including heavy metals, pesticides, pollutions, microbial toxins and solvents and the liver and kidneys are our primary organs that deal with detoxifying the body. In addition, having healthy bacteria and lining in the intestines helps decrease the amount of toxins that are able to get into the bloodstream. Bluegreen algae has been found to provide compounds that can help the body avoid build-up of toxins such as the amino acids methionine and glutathione and B-vitamin precursors. Chlorophyll which is prevalent in bluegreen algae also helps the liver by stimulating it, increasing the secretion of bile, and protecting liver cells. Research has also shown that bluegreen algae can help protect the kidneys from drug and chemical toxicity. Eating algae with these convenient daily packets that have 2 forms of bluegreen algae, as well as probiotics and digestive enzymes, to keep the intestines working well against toxins, is an easy way to meet a goal for body detox. You can also help your body detox by starting off your day drinking a glass of lemon water each morning. Squeeze half a lemon into a glass of water to help cleanse your liver and wash out body toxins and fats. There are also many foods you can start adding to your diet that will help cleanse and detoxify the body. These include apples, grapefruit, flaxseeds, cabbage, beets, blueberries, avocados, garlic and cranberries.

5. Renew With Positivity
When looking to renew this Spring, don't forget to add renewal of mind and Spirit to renewing the body. According to Dr. Andrew Weil and other experts, much unhappiness comes from negative and depressive thoughts running rampant through our minds. Positive psychology founded by Dr. Martin Seligmen was designed to clean out the mind of these thought toxins for improved mental health, much like clearing toxins out of the body leads to improved physical health. Some of the exercises proposed by this philosophy include writing down three positives each day of good things in your life and why they are working well for you, making a list of your strengths and finding ways to use them during your day, and once a week taking 5 minutes to write down all your negative thoughts and then tear up the paper. You can also increase your positivity by looking for random acts of kindness to perform for others or by doing volunteer work that allows you to be of service to others. Start becoming aware of negatives when they enter your mind and resolve to make a conscious choice to replace them with some positive thought.

This is a great time of year to renew your body and mind as well as your Spirit. Don't let yourself be sidetracked by past failures or by telling yourself you don't have the time. You and your health deserve and need to be taken care of and there are many things you can do that take only a few minutes to make a big difference in your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Set simple goals and take just one step at a time and you'll not only be more successful at meeting your goals, but will also see the big difference these successes can make in your life and 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.


Sources:
http://www.oprah.com/health/Dr-Oz-on-How-to-Renew-Your-Body-Mind-and-Soul
http://familyhw.com/2012/12/fresh-start-19-easy-ways-to-renew-your-body-mind-and-spirit/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-hyde/cleansing_b_1375150.html
Bruno, Jeffrey, PhD, Eat Light and Feel Bright