Thursday, August 31, 2017

Healthy Aging: Supplements for Heart Health

As we look towards healthy aging one of the big considerations is heart health. Most heart associated deaths are caused by heart attacks and congestive heart failure. High blood pressure, obesity, irregular heartbeat and other conditions that overwork the heart can weaken it and lead to congestive heart failure. If you are concerned about your heart health, it is a good idea to consult your health care provider and get testing done. Then you and your provider can determine if medications and/or supplements can help you with your heart health. For example, testing can show if you need to lower your LDL cholesterol level or raise your HDL cholesterol level. There are supplements that can help with healthy aging and supporting heart health. Let's look at some of these so that you will be informed on what is available when talking with your health care provider.

Omega -3
Omega-3 supplements or fish oil supplements can reduce your triglyceride level and may improve your blood pressure. Eating foods rich in omega-3 has been found useful in supporting heart health and brain health. Foods that are good sources of omega-3 include fish such as salmon, tuna, herring and lake trout. Other food sources for omega-3 are flaxseed, blue green algae, walnuts, olive oil, edamame, wild rice, soybean oil, spinach, kale and chia seeds. AFA algae is also high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and has a high percent of omega-3 fatty acids which has been found to be severely lacking in the American diet.

Coenzyme Q10
Supplementing the diet with coenzyme Q10 has been shown through scientific studies to have remarkable results on cardiovascular health and immunity and is essential for energy production at the cellular level. It also can help lower blood pressure. Taking a high-quality coenzyme Q10 supplement can help rebuild heart tissue, as well as rejuvenate the metabolic function of every cell in the body. Our bodies make some of this coenzyme, but we need more CoQ10 for healthy aging, since as we age our ability to manufacture it is reduced. Ubiquinol is an active form of Coenzyme Q10 which works much like antioxidants in keeping our cells healthy. There are very few foods that can supply us with enough so supplementation is important. One supplement that has the ubiquiol to help support cell energy, also has reishi mushrooms which are a complete whole food rich in proteins, enzymes, minerals, and complex polysaccharides and oyster mushrooms that give us fiber, vitamin D, niacin, iron and the antioxidant ergothioneine and has the many added benefits of superfood bluegreen algae loaded with omega-3s.Reishi mushrooms have been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. It is also high in beta glucans, polysaccharides and triterpenoid compounds as well as being rich in proteins, enzymes, and minerals. Oyster mushrooms are not only rich in protein, but high in B vitamins and lovastatin which helps balance blood cholesterol levels. Adding all these ingredients in with bluegreen algae provides a powerful tool for heart health support and healthy aging.

Garlic
Garlic has been found useful in lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels and in treating various heart related conditions such as atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries). The benefits from garlic seems to come from the chemical allicin that is in it. As with any supplement, they are not all the same. Make sure you are getting high quality supplements. In the case of a garlic supplement, some have less allicin than others and are therefore not as effective.

Psyllium
Supplements of psyllium can help lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and are useful with lowering risk of heart disease. Psyllium comes from the husk around the seeds of the herb Plantago ovata, also called blond psyllium and is commonly found in fiber supplements. Fiber supplements, eating fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains can all help in reducing cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Resveratrol
Resveratrol supplements can support heart health by reducing chronic inflammation that can lead to heart disease. Inflammation can lead to blood clots that block blood flow to the heart thus causing heart disease or heart attacks. You can also get resveratrol from the skin of red grapes, blueberries, and peanuts.

B Vitamins
B Vitamins which would include folic acid can help red blood cells stay healthy, reduce the risk of death from stroke and reduce the risk of heart disease. They can help with reducing homocysteine which is an amino acid that can lead to heart disease, blood clots, heart attack and stroke when found in high levels. Besides taking B Vitamin supplements, foods such as whole grains, fortified cereals, lettuce, spinach, beans, liver, fish and legumes are sources for these vitamins.

You are now armed with some information on supplements that have been found useful for heart health. This should give you some ideas to discuss with your health care provider if you are concerned about your heart health and healthy aging. If you are on any type of medications, it is especially important to consult your provider as some supplements do not mix well with some medications. Finding the right supplements for you can make a big difference in healthy aging and your quality of life as you age.

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/heart-disease/foods-heart-healthy


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Natural Solutions for Aches and Pains

We all overdo it sometimes and pay later with aches and pains. That's when many people reach for their NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen. This may be alright if we are talking about occasional use, but prolonged use of these drugs is not recommended. For those looking for more natural solutions for aches and pains, read on.

What Causes Aches and Pains?
Sore muscles are often caused by doing some type of work or exercise that your muscles are not used to. I usually am sore when I first get out each Spring and start working in my garden using muscles that have been pretty dormant all winter. According to Ethel Frese, PT, DPT, CCS, associate professor of Physical Therapy at St. Louis University, this type of soreness comes from microdamage done to muscle fibers and connective tissue. You feel the resulting aches and pains within 48 hours. Sore joints usually are caused by inflammation from overuse or an injury. Inflammation is the body's response to foreign invaders, irritation or injury and is characterized by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. Sometimes the body attacks itself with inflammation even when there are no foreign substances. Certain types of arthritis are good examples of the body misinterpreting the need for defensive action.  These types of arthritis are called autoimmune diseases, in which the body's normal immune system attacks and damages its own tissues.

Natural Solutions to Aches and Pains
Warm-up Exercise
Frese recommends doing warm up exercises before engaging in an exercise that will cause soreness and once muscles are warmed up from the exercise, then do stretching. You can also support your joints by strengthening muscle through weight bearing exercises. This can help prepare your muscles for whatever activity you will be engaging in that your muscles aren't used to. Stretching your body on a regular basis can improve the oxygenation in your body, relieve muscle tension and fatigue and increase your physical stamina. Doing just 15-20 minutes of light yoga or stretching in the morning regularly can help prepare your body for whatever physical activities lie ahead.

Inflammation Fighters
Muscle and joint pain can stem from inflammation due to damage from free radicals in your body. Free radicals result from conditions such as stress, heavy exercise, overwork, poor nutrition, and environmental toxicity. They damage the body, including cells, enzymes, and DNA, causing negative effects such as pain, inflammation, and chronic diseases. Antioxidants attack free radicals and get them out of your body, relieving pain, inflammation, and chronic symptoms in the process. Adding antioxidants to your diet can help give your body a fighting chance against free radicals, so when you know you're going to be doing extra physical workouts, load up on fruits and veggies. Vitamin C is one antioxidant that has especially been linked to helping prevent sore muscles. Research shows that spices like ginger and curry are natural anti-inflammatory spices so adding those to your diet can also help relieve soreness due to inflammation.

Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential ingredient for muscle relaxation and overall body calm. Many of us lack magnesium. If your muscles are sore and tense, and you find that you just can't relax, consider adding magnesium to your daily regimen. Just be sure to start slowly, since once your body has absorbed enough magnesium it will release the rest via your colon, usually in the form of diarrhea. Magnesium rich foods include green vegetables such as spinach, cereals and grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal and bran, lentils, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, and fruits such as bananas and figs.

Carbohydrates
Eating carbohydrates after a workout helps your body produce insulin which is needed for muscle building. They also help replenish your energy after an extreme workout by replacing glycogen and glucose. Many experts also recommend adding a lean source of protein such as chicken or dairy to your after exercise complex carb grain snack.

Supplements That Do It All

Here's an easy solution for dealing with your aches and pains from an active lifestyle, exercise, sports or overdoing it physically. This box of 60 packets gives you 30 packets of supplements to take before a workout and 30 to take after a workout – two packets each a day for a month's supply. The capsules in these packets have a variety of ingredients already measured out for you that:
  • provide a nutrient rich, whole food source for physical energy
  • have amino acids useful for reducing muscle damage
  • have anti-inflammatory properties
  • support joints and cartilage
  • have antioxidants to aid against damage from free radicals
  • provide protein rich plant sterols that support sports performance
  • provide cellular nutrition
  • nourish and protect the body from tissue breakdown resulting from the intensity of post-workout

Don't let your aches and pains keep you from doing the things you want to do and from keeping an active lifestyle. Using some or all of these natural solutions for aches and pains can help keep you active without all the sore muscles and achy joints afterwards.


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/pain-management/ease-pain-10/sore-muscles-joint-pain


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Have Leaky Gut Syndrome? Healthy Food Options and Supplements

Leaky gut syndrome is a real thing with real symptoms, but many in the medical community find it frustrating when it comes to treatment. They see it more as a manifestation of symptoms, but are not always clear on the cause or treatment to pursue. One thing that does seem to be agreed on though is that the condition can cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, brain fog, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, sore throat and pain in various parts of the body and is most probably due to the filtering function of the intestinal lining not working properly. Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that allows undigested food molecules, yeast, toxins, and waste to flow into the bloodstream. Normally, micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals and macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats, are broken down into small particles such as amino acids, and glucose. When larger macronutrients get into the bloodstream, especially proteins, the immune system releases white blood cells to attack them. This then causes swelling and inflammation as these white blood cells release chemicals that cause this reaction. Often the immune system can't keep up this attack and these invaders are able to get into body tissues causing inflammation in various body organs. The body is basically fighting itself at this point and the result can range from uncomfortable and painful symptoms to a variety of autoimmune diseases. One rule of thumb to follow in relation to leaky gut syndrome is keeping track of how many foods you show reactions to. If you have intolerance or sensitivity to more than 12 different foods, then the likelihood of having leaky gut syndrome is high.

You can see by the variety of symptoms why leaky gut syndrome is often baffling for health care providers. It can manifest in many different ways, in various parts of the body and with a wide array of symptoms. Some discoveries that help explain this variance include:
  • damaged microvilli in intestinal lining reduces amount of digestive enzymes being produced which means food is not being broken down into small enough particles and larger one are getting into the bloodstream
     
  • particles not broken down do not provide needed nutrients, vitamins and minerals for body to function properly
     
  • inflammation of the intestinal wall can result in constipation and/or diarrhea
     
  • when the body is trying to get rid of toxins through the skin, rashes result
     
  • tissue inflammation and increased toxicity can result in headaches, memory loss, extreme fatigue, and brain fog
     
  • an overworked, stressed, or poorly functioning immune system cannot handle "bad" bacteria and viruses causing ongoing sickness
     
  • yeast overgrowth leads to a variety of symptoms including gas, cravings for sugar, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, heartburn, mood swings, depression, and anxiety

Healthy Food Options for Leaky Gut Syndrome
It's not really the foods being eaten that are the problem here although certain foods not broken down properly can be labeled by the immune system as foreign invaders and targeted as such. The problem is really what happens to the foods we eat rather than the foods themselves. There are some foods though that can support the digestive process and are easier to digest than others. When it comes to leaky gut syndrome, the best defense is supporting the digestive system and the immune system and there are healthy food options and lifestyle changes that can help with this. Here are a few to get you started.

Reduce Stress
95% of visits to the doctor in the U.S. are from stress related conditions. Vitamins and minerals considered to be stress relievers include magnesium, B vitamins, especially B-12, coenzyme Q10, and chlorophyll. Your body uses these up quicker when under stress. So just when you need them the most to help you battle stress, you have a lack of them. Therefore, eating foods such as oysters, halibut, nuts and seeds, or spinach and other leafy greens will increase your intake of these vitamins and minerals to give you the extra stress relief. If you can't get enough from the foods you eat, then consider taking supplements of bluegreen algae which loaded with chlorophyll and magnesium and coenzyme Q10 that not only helps with stress relief, but also energy, cardiovascular system support and immune system support.

Dietary Changes
Antioxidants are very important in promoting a healthy immune system and in the prevention of disease. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage from free radicals and go around your body cleaning up toxins and substances that make your aches and pains worse during stress. Foods high in antioxidants include cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, beans, artichokes, Russet potatoes, pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts. A good way to choose high antioxidant foods is to look for brightly colored fruits and vegetables. If your leaky gut syndrome symptoms indicate that you have an overgrowth of yeast, modify your diet to cut out processed foods, sugars and starches.

Dietary Supplements
Vitamin D, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids can help with restoring the lining of the intestines. Omega-3 has also been shown as beneficial in inflammation reduction. Glutamine has been used to repair intestinal damage including the lining as well as reduce cravings for sugar. Slippery Elm has been used to protect the stomach lining, reduce the risk of ulcers and reduce acid in the digestive system. It also has antioxidants that can help with inflammation in the intestines We especially like this supplement  that is full of antioxidants to repair cellular damage from free radicals and is a stem cell support supplement. Stem cells exist in every organ and tissue in our bodies and produce over 30 types of growth factors and tissue chemicals, help recruit other local and systemic stem cells to focus on repairing damaged tissue, and are active in immune modulation to promote or suppress T-cell function. Supporting the health of your natural adult stem cells is a way to support your body's own renewal systems. The enzymes bromelain and papain can help support the immune system and reduce inflammation. Our favorite way to get these enzymes is with this supplement  that has both these enzymes to help combat the stress of cellular oxidation and breakdown and nourish cells.

Probiotics and Enzymes
You can get probiotics from food such as yogurt, but not enough to really do what you need which is to have enough of these "friendly" bacteria to combat the "unfriendly" bacteria and yeast that are causing problems. Probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus help in repairing damage to the wall of the intestines and reduction of inflammation. They also aid in the production of B vitamins like B-12 that help us deal with stress.

Digestive enzymes are needed to breakdown foods properly. Unfortunately we don't usually get enough of these from the processed foods and over cooked foods we eat. Taking digestive enzymes can help with the process of breaking down foods into smaller particles so that we get the nutrition our bodies need from them and don't have so many of the larger particles trying to get through the damaged filtering system of the intestinal wall. Enzymes also help with scouting out bad bacteria and toxins and removing them.

As you can see there are healthy food options and supplements that can help give you relief from your miserable symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. It is still a good idea to work with your healthcare provider especially if you have severe symptoms that could be an indication of a more serious condition, but these healthy food options and supplements can help get you on the way to having a more enjoyable and healthy life.

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/digestive-disorders/features/leaky-gut-syndrome
http://scdlifestyle.com/2010/03/the-scd-diet-and-leaky-gut-syndrome/
http://www.jigsawhealth.com/resources/leaky-gut-probiotics
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9336/8-supplements-to-heal-a-leaky-gut.html

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Is Stress Messing with Your Immune System?

Is stress messing with your immune system? If you are under chronic stress, then it most certainly is. Stress is one of the factors that can have a very negative impact on your immune system which leaves you vulnerable to disease. Your immune system reacts to stress hormones, but once the stress passes the immune system backs off. The problem with this is that chronic stress increases your level of cortisol and cortisol reduces the amount of prostaglandins your body produces. Prostaglandins are supposed to support immune function, but when their production is slowed down the opposite happens and they contribute to inflammation and a suppressed immune system. In a scenario such as this, prostaglandins, lipids in the body that among other things regulate inflammation, have been shown to contribute to migraines, cancer, arthritis and heart disease. Chronic stress can lead to reduced performance by macrophages, reduction of natural killer cells and slow down killer T cells which all negatively affect the performance of you immune system. 

There is no one solution to dealing with stress. What works for one person may not work for another. It is important for your immune system and overall health to find what works for you in relieving stress. Try a variety of stress reducing remedies to see what works for you. Whether it's some type of physical activity like exercise or jogging, starting a new hobby, meditation, massage or whatever, just find what helps you wind down and relax. In the meantime, if stress is messing with your immune system, here are some ways you can fight back.

Pace Yourself
According to Marc Schoen, PhD, an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, when you are coming from a stressful state don't go straight into full relaxation state. Instead slide gradually into it. He recommends 5 to 6 times a day doing short exercise periods, playing games or word puzzles and going into what he calls "slow relaxation" mode for a couple of days before hitting full relaxation mode (http://ow.ly/q8asL). 

Socialize
Studies have shown that if you have lots of connections with other people, you are less anxious and your immune system is stronger. That means take the time to stay in touch with friends and attend social functions. If you find yourself in a situation without friends or family to engage with regularly, join a hobby club, sports team or volunteer at a non-profit. Find ways to get yourself out of the house and interacting with others.

Eat Your Stress Away
Don't take this to mean sit down and eat a gallon of ice cream when you are stressed. That's not at all what we're talking about here. We're talking about eating foods that have stress relieving vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, B vitamins, coenzyme Q10 and chlorophyll. These type of foods are stress relievers, but when you are under stress, your body uses them up more quickly. So just at the time you need them the most, you don't have enough of them. Making sure in times of stress to eat foods such as oysters, halibut, spinach and other leafy greens, nuts and seeds and bluegreen algae will help in relieving stress and giving a boost to your immune system.

Our bodies also need more proteins when we are under stress. Be sure to get the "good proteins" though, as in the type from whole grains, soy, sprouts and bluegreen algae. Good proteins support your body's ability to handle stress, both physically and mentally. If you can't get all the extra protein you need from your food, consider taking this supplement with bluegreen algae and sprouts. Another great supplement to add to your diet is this one with nine different algae rich in minerals and phytonutrients, combined for full-spectrum nutrition.

Stay Physically Fit
Nothing makes you feel stress more than various aches, pains, and chronic health conditions. To avoid aggravating these conditions, take antioxidants. These "scavengers" literally go around your body cleaning up the toxins and substances that make your aches and pains worse during stress. Eating bright colorful fruits and vegetables will add antioxidants into your diet or you can take antioxidant-rich supplements such as sprouts, coenzyme Q10, and vitamin C.

Exercise is also important in staying healthy and for some people can work as a stress reliever. Whether it's going for a bike ride, working out at the gym, or taking a leisurely walk in the park, being active and moving your body can help reduce stress helping to strengthen your immune system.

Sleep It Off
Not getting enough sleep can lead to your body being stressed and a reduction of your immune system's killer cells. One study done at the University of Chicago reported men getting only 4 hours of sleep a night for a week showed only half the number of antibodies in the blood for fighting off flu as compared to men who got 7 ½ to 8 ½ hours of sleep.

The quality of sleep is also important. Good quality sleep requires entering the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep If you have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep eat a healthy light snack before bed and avoid heavy meals right before bedtime, develop a bedtime routine to train your body for sleep time and start getting it ready for bed, avoid doing other activities such as work or watching TV in bed, and make sure any exercise you do is at least 3 hours before bedtime.

Using these tips to reduce stress can help support your immune system function and get you in good condition for cold and flu season. Chronic stress can wreak all kinds of havoc on your body so get started now finding what works for you to get your stress under control.


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 at wholesale prices on our website.


Sources:
http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/top-10-worst-habits-your-immune-system
http://www.oprah.com/health/Dont-Let-Stress-Make-You-Sick-Stress-and-Immunity

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Got Brain Fog? This Will Help!

Can what we eat really help clear out brain fog? It sure can. Eating the right foods can actually affect the chemicals in our brains. Gary Wenk, PhD, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Ohio State University and author of Your Brain on Food, says that foods are chemicals similar to the ones in the brain which is why they can affect how the brain works and also why food can be addictive. Eating certain foods can help us focus, improve mood, improve concentration and clear out pesky brain fog.

How Food Works On Brain Fog
Certain types of foods help clear out brain fog by giving us a boost in the chemicals the brain uses to regulate mood and brain function. This would be chemicals like norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. For example, carbohydrates contain a nonessential amino acid, tryptophan. Tryptophan goes to the brain helping to create serotonin which is a mood regulator. So eating foods with good carbs like whole grains, legumes, veggies and fruits leads to improved mood and brain functions such as concentration. Many protein rich foods such as red meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, soybeans, tuna, shellfish, and turkey can also increase tryptophan levels.

Here are some other ways to eat your way to a better functioning brain and avoid brain fog.

Omega-3
This polyunsaturated fatty acid has been researched to see the link between it and depression. Results indicate that adding omega-3s to your diet can help with depression as they affect the neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel as well as flaxseed, olive oil, walnuts and bluegreen algae are all good sources for omega-3.

Folate
Folate is a B vitamin the brain needs to produce chemicals that affect mood. Harvard Medical School researchers found that increasing folate levels in depressed patients did give them a mood boost. Eating green leafy foods like spinach, Brussels sprouts and asparagus can help increase your folate levels.

Chocolate
Here's one most of us are happy to see on the list. Chocolate! There are studies showing chocolate can affect the brain much like marijuana does. It gives an extra boost to brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. A study in the UK attributed the antioxidant polyphenols found in cocoa as a cause for increased calmness and contentment which could of course help in the way we think and are able to concentrate. Unsweetened dark chocolate has the amino acid tryptophan which helps with mood boosting. This doesn't mean we have a license to indulge in unlimited milk chocolate bon bons however. Chocolate does still have sugar and adds calories so stick to dark chocolate with cocoa content of 65 percent or higher and in moderation to get the most benefits.

Caffeine
The Archives of Internal Medicine reported a research study in 2011 that found a 20% lower risk of depression in women that drank 4 or more cups of coffee daily. The conclusion is that caffeine can affect serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors that monitor adenosine levels that make us drowsy and bring on brain fog. This opens the way for brain stimulates like dopamine and glutamate to operate more fully.

Bluegreen Alage
The type of bluegreen alage that is the heart of the algae with the cell wall removed is especially useful for enhancing activity in the brain. Since the brain is the most nutrient-demanding organ in the body, bluegreen algae provides whole food nutrition to help feed it and the amino acids found in that are the building blocks of healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters vital for proper brain function. Bluegreen algae also provides essential omega-3 fatty acids and helps maintain normal, healthy blood chemistry of the blood that feeds the brain.

Another bluegreen algae supplement that can help in avoiding brain fog was originally created for high-performance athletes and active lifestyles where concentration and mental clarity were particularly important. This supplement combines organic wild bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni which all help contribute to brain health and function.

Adding some of these types of healthy foods can have many other health benefits, but if you are looking for ways to clear up brain fog then these are a few foods that can help you eat your way to clearer thinking.

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 at wholesale prices on our website.
 



Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/how-food-affects-your-moods
http://www.oprah.com/health/Foods-That-Boost-Your-Mood-Food-That-Improves-Your-Mood/
http://www.prevention.com/food/smart-shopping/5-foods-make-you-happier



Thursday, August 10, 2017

7 Tips for Healthy Aging

There are plenty of bottles lining the shelves at your local drug store that promise to pep you up, get rid of your wrinkles, lines and spots and make you appear and possibly feel more youthful, but for true healthy aging you've got to work from the inside out. When I say the inside, I mean not only good nutrition, but also attitude, stress level and other healthy life habits.

There are basically three major causes of aging. Cell and tissue damage from free radicals, enzyme depletion and reduced immune response in the body. But remember that our body cells don't really age. They are always being replaced by new cells. As far as these causes are concerned, there is plenty you can do to combat them on your trip to healthy aging. Here are a few tips to help you battle these causes of aging and to help work on yourself from the inside out.

Healthy Aging Tip #1 – Control Stress
Chronic stress increases levels of cortisol. Cortisol can affect bone density, add fat buildup in the tummy area and lead to reduction of lean body mass. Stress can also be tied to a variety of diseases linked to aging such as osteoporosis and Alzheimer's. Stress also reduces your level of IgA, a protein that is part of the immune system and helps fight off infections by preventing invaders from getting into the body.

There are numerous ways to deal with chronic stress and you need to try a variety until you find what works for you. One of the simplest is laughing. People who have more enjoyment out of life tend to show less signs of aging. Laughter can decrease stress hormones, increase immune cells, release endorphins and increase blood flow by improving blood vessel function. Laughing, social activities, music, yoga, meditation, sports, exercise, deep breathing, and massage are a few things to try out to reduce stress. Reducing stress or learning methods of coping with stress can go a long way towards healthy aging.

Healthy Aging Tip #2 – Enzymes
The food we eat needs to be properly digested for the body to get the nutrients it needs from it. When this happens, all the body organs and cells get the nutrition they need to stay healthy. To get enzymes from our foods, we need to eat lots of raw or lightly cooked vegetables and fruits and chew them completely. Overcooking and processed foods that so many of us have in our diets do not provide the enzymes we need for proper digestion. If this is the case for you, using a high quality enzyme supplement may be in order.

Healthy Aging Tip #3 – Nutrition
Yes, this is a biggie. From the types of food you eat, to the amount and everything in between, good nutrition is a key ingredient in healthy aging. Food is where we get our energy and nutrients to keep the body working optimally, to keep skin looking youthful and elastic, to keep our brains properly nourished and sharp; all things important when it comes to healthy aging. You probably know already the types of foods to be eating, whole grains for fiber, fruits and vegetables for antioxidants, lean protein, and essential fatty acids for healthy brain function. What you may not know is that as we age it is better to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day than to have the normal breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is because of changes in hormone levels and our metabolism is slower. Eating smaller meals throughout the day helps keep the metabolism stable.

Antioxidants in the diet are especially important in healthy aging. Foods high in antioxidants include bright colorful vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, blueberries, carrots, and leafy greens. Antioxidants are the body's protection from free radical damage. Particular antioxidants do even more for us as we age. For example, the antioxidant vitamin C can help reduce the chances of macular degeneration which can lead to blindness in older adults and helps skin look more youthful. Another antioxidant, resveratrol, found in grapes and red wine, can help in reducing risk of cancer, heart disease and premature aging.

When choosing the best anti-aging antioxidants you can look at the ORAC value of each antioxidant. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and measures the ability of an antioxidant to slow aging and neutralize free radicals. Blueberries, for example, have an ORAC value of about 26. Bluegreen alage has an ORAC value of 128! Blue-green algae is also effective at very low concentrations, so you don't have to add huge quantities to protect your cells. To make sure you are getting all the antioxidants you need to help with healthy aging, you should absolutely eat enough fruits and vegetables and in a perfect world that would be enough. But very few of us live in a perfect world and the truth is we don't get enough antioxidants from our foods. That is when supplementing with bluegreen algae can really help out. Our favorite bluegreen algae comes in a whole complete algae supplement for overall physical well-being and a version with the cell wall removed which is especially helpful for brain functioning.

Healthy Aging Tip #4 – Exercise
Exercise on a regular basis such as walking or aerobics can slow down muscle decline, and increase balance and coordination according to a study reported in the British Daily Mail in 2008. Other types of exercise useful for healthy aging include:
  • weight training or strength training to firm up saggy skin and work on muscle tone
  • cardio exercises for heart health
  • yoga to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and stress, and for bone health as it has been shown to increase bone density and improve balance.
  • fat burning exercises help maintain a healthy weight and prevent conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure
  • exercises such as fast walking, weight lifting, weight bearing type exercises and flexibility type exercises are all good for bone health
Ideally, we should get 30 minutes of regular exercise a day for circulation, strength and flexibility. If you can't do that, then at least do something that involves movement every day. Moving the body filters down to creating movement on the cell level. Exercises, such as particular yoga exercises, can help keep the digestive tract in good working order, tone up the arms, flatten the stomach, improve muscle tone, increase energy, and increase flexibility. Don't wait until you start to see signs of aging though. Start now before the signs of aging kick in.

Healthy Aging Tip #5 – Attitude
The internet and social media sites are full of stories of people in their 80's and 90's doing remarkable things such as complex yoga routines, bicycling long distances and dance routines requiring a lot a flexibility. I have a 93 year old friend who bustles around doing fundraising and a variety of work for area non-profits that I have a hard time keeping up with him. With age often comes a better understanding of who we are and a letting go of limitations and inhibitions that once prevented us from doing certain things. Often it brings an increased sense of confidence. It's a time when how we look and what others think of us is not as important as it used to be and we've learned to set boundaries. Having the attitude of "you're only as old as you feel" can help keep us active and youthful. Seeing aging from this perspective instead of as a downward slope to decline goes a long way toward keeping us active, alert, happy and productive.

Healthy Aging Tip #6 – Skincare
The state of our skin is a reflection of the state of our general health, so some doctors can literally tell the quality of your diet based on the condition of your skin. Plus, how our skin looks often is our first sign of aging when looking in the mirror and realizing that age is catching up with us. Dehydration is one of the major causes of aging skin. If you want healthy skin, drink plenty of water. In addition to keeping skin healthy and rejuvenated, drinking enough water also supports the body in flushing toxins, preventing water retention, and keeping our internal organs functioning at top efficiency.

Eating foods rich in essential fatty acids helps skin stay elastic rather than sagging. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are the most important essential fatty acids for our skin. To have healthy skin, you need foods that have 3 to 4 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids. Most Americans get just the opposite--eating foods that give them 10 to 20 times as much omega-6 fatty acids as omega-3 fatty acids! You can get the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs by eating seafood (especially deep-water fish like salmon and tuna), fresh fruit, dark-green leafy greens, micro-algae, seeds and nuts, and flax and olive oil. Adding just a little of each of these foods to your diet can make a significant difference to the appearance of your skin. AFA bluegreen algae has the exact ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making it one of Earth's perfect foods for healthy skin!

Your skin cares about what you feed it, whether it's nourishment from the inside out or from the outside in. With its powerful antioxidants and immune support, this antioxidant lotion helps provide natural plant-based topical protection from the challenging elements you encounter every day.

Healthy Aging Tip #7 – Bone Support
As we age, there is a double problem that can result with bone health. First we start losing bone at a faster rate than we can regenerate and replace it. That makes our bones more fragile. Second our muscles, joints and balance can all become weaker meaning we are more likely to have falls which can lead to breakage of these more fragile bones. That is why bone health is an important area to consider in healthy aging. Keeping muscles strong increases your ability to stop yourself if you start to fall and can reduce your risk of falling in the first place. Taking the recommended amount of calcium, Vitamin D, getting flexibility and weight bearing exercise regularly, cutting down on caffeine, and getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can go a long way to giving you the bone support needed for healthy aging.

There you have it. Seven ways to help you keep feeling and looking young as you age. Healthy aging can help make your elder years an enjoyable experience instead of the dreaded decline into health problems and uselessness. If you are only as old as you feel, then it pays to feel the best you can and be your healthiest no matter what 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 at wholesale prices on our website.


Sources:
http://www.oprah.com/food/Eating-and-Secrets-to-Healthy-Aging-Aine-McAteers-Blog/1
http://www.prevention.com/beauty/beauty/new-rules-aging
http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/anti-aging-diet


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How to Get a Flat Stomach, Finally!

Do you struggle with how to get a flat stomach? Does belly fat seem to be impossible to get rid of? Are you one of the 62% of women that report the body part they are most self-conscious of is their belly? If the answer to any of these questions for you is yes, then read on. We have a compilation of tips for how to get a flat stomach with all natural solutions.

Dieting Myths
First, there are a few myths that need to be corrected when planning your strategy in the battle of the bulge. We all know there are some foods that are more conducive to weight loss and to weight gain, but according to Alan Aragon, a Westlake Village, California nutritionist, your total calorie balance is what really matters (http://ow.ly/pEUXG). Burning more calories than you ingest keeps unused calories from turning into that unwanted belly fat no matter what types of foods the calories are coming from and is the key to how to get a flat stomach. Many people still believe that dieting means eating less food and that will lead to weight loss, but in actuality these type of diets cause the body to go into starvation mode. A body in starvation mode stores fat instead of burning it and the storage place of choice seems to be the belly area.

Another weight loss myth is to stay totally away from carbs and fats. But the right kinds of carbs and fats can actually help with weight loss. Stick to complex carbs such as in whole grains, vegetables and fruits as they provide fiber that can help you feel fuller with eating less than processed refined carbs. Since carbs need water for metabolizing which can leave you feeling bloated it is best to go with foods that have a lot of fiber and have more starch. This would be foods such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats and legumes. These types of carbs also take longer to digest, so whereas you don't have to stop eating them altogether, you should limit them to some extent.

Numerous studies show that eating monounsaturated fats can actually help you with weight loss. One such study in the British Journal of Nutrition from Johns Hopkins University researchers reported that people consuming a diet with lots of these type fats lost small amounts of weight and took fewer days to lose weight than those on diets with lots of carbs. (http://ow.ly/pEV77) Good sources of monounsaturated fats include avocados, nuts, olives and oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil. Monounsaturated fats can also help you feel fuller, thus eating less and add a lot of flavor so that your meals are still enjoyable and you don't feel as deprived as you do on bland diet type foods. Just don't go overboard with adding fats to your meals as all fats are high in calories.

Natural Solutions for How To Get a Flat Stomach
Now that we have cleared up some of the diet myths and misconceptions, here are some tips that will help you with how to get a flat stomach.

Read Labels –
Even those of us who strive to eat healthy need to be aware that processed foods quite often contain sugars. Of course the biggest culprit to watch for is high fructose corn syrup, but sugar can appear in various forms so check those labels before choosing anything you are buying at the grocery store. Sugar increases insulin production thus slowing your metabolism and making it harder to burn off calories. Many so called diet foods contain sorbitol and mannitol for sweetening. These are sugar alcohols that produce intestinal gas which cause bloating.

Deal With Stress –
Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by stress and anxiety. It also signals the body to store up fat, usually as belly fat. Using deep breathing, yoga and meditation to deal with stress and anxiety can help keep down the production of cortisol.

Exercise –
You didn't really think you were going to get away from exercise in striving to lose weight did you? Surprising many people still believe that if they just eat less or just eat certain foods or don't eat certain other foods they can lose weight without having to exercise. This may be true in some cases, but most of us find this type of weight loss short-lived and that it doesn't address the stubborn belly fat issue. Remember earlier in this article we said the key is to balance calorie intake with burning off calories. Exercise is a key ingredient to burning off fat. This includes muscle building exercises because the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism works and the more calories you are able to burn. Workouts that focus on firming up your abs can help you in your quest for how to get a flat stomach. You can find a good 10 minute workout that concentrates on your abs and flattening out your belly at http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/abs/express/get-a-flat-belly/?

Support Body's Digestion -
Your digestive system needs healthy friendly bacteria to digest your food. If you do not have enough of these bacteria working for you, your digestion is slowed and bloating occurs as well as having undigested food causing belly bulges. Yogurt and kefir are good sources of probiotics vital to this digestion process. When buying yogurt or kefir, make sure you get the ones with live active cultures. You can also add a full spectrum probiotic supplement to your diet. Our favorite probiotic supplement has twelve key good bacteria that are microblended with bluegreen algae and works great in conjunction with acidophilus and bifidus.

Digestive enzymes are crucial in helping break down all types of foods including fats, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, for improved digestion and optimal nutrition. Our diets alone don't give us the amount of digestive enzymes our bodies need for effective digestion, so adding a high quality enzyme supplement to your diet can help. Our favorite enzyme supplement is microblended with sixteen different natural, plant-based food enzymes, and a small amount of bluegreen algae to give the enzymes specific vitamins and minerals that help the body break down and assimilate a complete range of nutrients from your food. 

Drink More - 
This means primarily water, but can also include teas. Thirty minutes before eating, drink water and you'll find you eat less and can increase your weight loss by 44% with just this simple tip. In addition to what you do drink, pay attention to what drinks will add weight. Soda drinks can add 240 extra calories and as much as 65 grams of sugar and fancy coffee drinks can leave you with 239 more calories to deal with which can add up to 18 pounds a year if you have one every day. If you are a coffee drinker, go for plain coffee with maybe a little milk and very little sugar if you have to and you can cut that 239 calories down to around 63. If you just have to have that fancy coffee drink then start cutting down by getting a smaller size, having low-fat or fat-free milk and no syrup or whip cream. Many fruit juices can also have added sugar so get your fruit calories from the fruit itself and you'll feel fuller and get the extra fiber without any additional sugars.

I hope these tips give you some new ideas on how to get a flat stomach naturally. Getting rid of belly fat not only increases our self-esteem every time we look in the mirror, it also more importantly makes us healthier by giving us the motivation to eat better and exercise. There's no down side to that. 

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 at wholesale prices on our website.




Sources:
http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/30-greatest-flat-belly-tips-all-time
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/core-health?
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/abs/express/get-a-flat-belly/?
http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/small-changes-that-take-off-big-pounds/slide/15
http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lose-weight-as-fast-as-possible#section7


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Burned Out? Natural Solutions That Can Help

Kids home from school all summer, working extra hard to finish up at work getting ready for vacation, energy zapped from the heat? No matter what your situation, Summer has it's own challenges that can leave you burned out. Many people do experience being burned out and fatigued after juggling all their usual busy lifestyle routines with the added travel, entertaining kids, extra family time, etc... We have some natural solutions to help you get your energy level back on track and ready to face life again.


Burned Out? - Energy Boosting Foods
The types of foods you eat can affect your metabolism and the chemicals in your brain. These then have an effect on your mood and your level of energy. Foods that keep your blood sugar balanced and that help release brain chemicals that are mood boosters can help give you an energy boost when you are feeling burned out. Epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine are the chemicals in the brain that influence our energy and mental focus. When these are high, our energy levels are high. Increasing serotonin levels in the brain can also help with energy as it is a natural antidepressant.

Eating foods with carbohydrates from whole grains such as wheat bread, brown rice, and cereals can help increase levels of serotonin and are absorbed slowly by the body which means they help keep blood sugar levels stable. One study showed that people eating fiber rich cereals such as bran every day were found to be less tired than those who didn't. Findings were thought to be attributed to the fiber flushing out toxins that can be an energy drain. Foods that have the amino acid tyrosine help boost levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. This would include lean meats like pork, chicken, beef and turkey.

Eating foods rich in iron can help your energy level too as iron is needed to make the hemoglobin for red blood cells to take oxygen around the body. Foods that are rich sources of iron include oysters, red meat, egg yolks, spinach, liver and artichokes. The body also needs magnesium to convert sugars into a form the body can use for energy. Nuts such as cashews and almonds are high in magnesium as is halibut and bran cereal.

Stress of any kind is an energy drain. Eating foods rich in vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids can help lower stress hormones giving you more energy in the long run. Vitamin C is found in oranges, grapefruits, papaya, red bell pepper, broccoli, kale, kiwi and strawberries. Omega-3 fatty acid is found in fatty fish, bluegreen algae, nuts and seeds. Dark chocolate can also lower stress hormones and the caffeine and theobromine in it are natural mood and energy boosters.

Another way to boost your energy level is drinking water. Dehydration can deplete energy and slow down metabolism. You can also drink other unsweetened drinks, eat fruits and veggies with natural water and add foods that absorb water while being cooked to help stay hydrated.

Burned Out? Energy Boosting Supplements
DHEA
Recent research has found that DHEA plays a vital part in cellular energy production. As we age, our bodies produce less and less DHEA, which means that we feel less and less energetic. Taking a supplement with DHEA can increase energy with just 100 mg per day.

Glycogen
Glycogen is the fuel that is stored in our livers and converted to glucose when we need a quick burst of energy. Our bodies need glycogen any time we are under stress or need a quick energy fix. The best sources of glycogen are meats including liver and most cuts of meat. Another alternative is properly processed blue-green algae from Klamath Lake. This algae's cell wall is made up of glycogen that your body can use right away. AFA blue-green algae also contains easily assimilated nutrients including: essential fatty acids, active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, proteins, complex sugars, and phytonutrients that provide your body with nutrients it can easily use for better energy.

PEA
PEA has been shown to elevate mood and increase the quality of life. Not getting enough PEA can make it difficult to learn new things, make quick decisions, form new memories, stick to a diet, find pleasure in life and be in a good mood. According to the Natural Research Council of Canada, two foods very high in PEA are AFA blue-green algae and cheddar cheese.

Probiotics
If you have poor digestion, absorption of any nutrients can be a problem which means your body is not getting the nutrition it needs to produce energy. Probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus, both of which increase your body's ability to absorb nutrients, from both supplements and the food you eat, are a simple way to improve digestion. These friendly bacteria that live naturally in our guts are responsible for producing B vitamins, which contribute to good mood and energy production. Supplementing your diet with quality probiotic supplements can help keep a healthy supply of these friendly bacteria working for you.

Digestive Enzymes
To give your body additional support in the digestive process, take one to two capsules of enzymes with each meal. Enzymes help your body break down foods more quickly and efficiently, so your body doesn't have to work quite as hard to process your food. When you are feeling burned out, it is especially helpful to help your body save energy. Another way to save a little energy is to get your AFA bluegreen algae, probiotics and digestive enzymes in these convenient daily packets. Great for grabbing to take with you on the run and to avoid having to mess with several different bottles.

Energy Supplement Packets
Another way to make getting a lot of supplementation for improving energy in a convenient daily packet is with this box of 60 packets filled with supplements  containing a blend of marine and freshwater algae, tonic mushrooms, and sprouted grasses and grains, some of the most nourishing foods on the planet; combined with probiotics and digestive enzymes.

Burned Out? Other Energy Boosters
1. Exercise is another way to get a mood and energy boost when feeling burned out. 15 to 20 minutes a day of exercise that gets your heart rate going can lower stress hormones, help reduce symptoms of depression and boost endorphins in your brain.

2. Breakfast really is an important meal to get your day off to a good start. If you are experiencing a feeling of being burned out, then absolutely don't skip breakfast. Eating a breakfast that starts your day out with fiber and nutrition from carbohydrates from whole grains, some good fat and a lean protein will get your mood and energy level ready to face the day and keep your levels steadier throughout the day.

3. Dealing with your stress is another must if you are already burned out. Stress will just decrease your already depleted energy levels even more. Find a way to cope with your stress and make time to do it. Stress coping techniques vary from individual to individual. While many find activities such as yoga, deep breathing techniques, meditation, and guided imagery to help relieve stress, others find a relaxing hobby or taking a walk in nature more to their taste. Whatever way works for you, find a way to decrease your level of stress.

4. Eating several small meals during the day instead of the traditional 3 meal a day plan, can help keep blood sugar levels stable, and keep energy and mood levels stable. Including a lean protein, a monounsaturated fat and a whole grain carb food with each of your small meals or snacks throughout the day will support your body with the nutrition it needs to maintain and balance energy levels.

Summer can certainly be a lot of fun, but it can also be exhausting, stressful and deplete our resources leaving us burned out. Give some of these natural solutions tips a try and get your energy level back on track.


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 at wholesale prices on our website.
 



Sources:
http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/52-healing-superfoods?s
http://www.webmd.com/parenting/family-health-12/slideshow-energy-foods
http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/ways-to-beat-stress