Tuesday, July 31, 2018

5 Habits That Are Wrecking Your Immune System

Your immune system is your first line of defense in protecting your body from disease and sickness. Your immune system has a full time job taking care of you, but what have you done for your immune system lately to help keep it healthy and strong? Could be you eat plenty of foods with antioxidants that help boost your immune system, but are you doing things that can also hurt your immune system? If you engage in any of the 5 habits below, you could be wrecking your immune system, no matter what other healthy things you do for it.

Wrecking Your Immune System Habit #1 – Smoking
Yes, we all know that smoking is really bad for us and can lead to all kinds of diseases to the heart and lungs and cause cancer. Even if you don't smoke, just being around smokers can be detrimental to your health and to your immune system. Cigarette smoke can contain around 4000 chemical compounds of which 43 are identified as carcinogens. Non-smokers live around 7 years longer than smokers. If you are around people that smoke, the secondhand smoke can be almost as bad as if you were smoking yourself. It is estimated that around 3,000 non-smokers die of lung cancer in the U.S. each year because of secondhand smoke and 300,000 children develop respiratory tract infections from being exposed to secondhand smoke. If you are still smoking, whatever age you are, it's not too late to quit and still do your immune system and general health a world of good. If you don't smoke, good for you, but you can still do your body a favor by avoiding being around those that do. That doesn't mean you have to ostracize your smoking friends and family members, just set boundaries such as no smoking in your house or car. If you are at an event where smoking is allowed and your friend lights up, just excuse yourself and tell them you'll meet up with them in a bit. Many states these days have laws about not smoking in public places so it is easier than ever to escape from secondhand smoke.

Wrecking Your Immune System Habit #2 – Not Enough Sleep
When you wake up in the morning, do you still feel tired? If so, then you are probably not getting enough sleep or not enough quality sleep. This can affect the number of killer cells in your immune system that combat germs and leave you more vulnerable to getting sick. Studies have also shown that lack of sleep can lead to changes in the body that resemble those brought on by aging, reduces the number of antibodies in your immune system, increases the stress hormone cortisol and can lead to intestinal problems, heart disease and other medical conditions. Adults generally need between 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night to stay healthy.

Wrecking Your Immune System Habit #3 – Stress
Chronic stress is another factor that has been shown to wreck your immune system. Studies have shown that this type of stress can weaken the immune system leading to a variety of diseases, cause increase in stress hormones that can lead to cancer growth increase, lead to cardiovascular disease, cause a reduction in killer cells, and cause reduced performance of macrophages.

With today's fast paced world, stress is hard to avoid and a little stress is not that bad. It is the chronic stress that you need to find a way to counteract. This type of stress causes the body to produce too much cortisol, a stress hormone, and adrenaline, both of which negatively affect your immune system. Find what works for you to be able to have some relaxation time. It doesn't matter whether it is exercise, a hobby, meditation, or yoga, it just matters that you find a way to unwind. Recent studies have found that laughter is a good medicine for stress reduction by decreasing stress hormones and increasing white blood cells your immune system uses to combat illness. Even the anticipation of an upcoming laughter filled event was shown in one study to reduce levels of stress hormones and increase levels of endorphins and growth hormones which are both beneficial to your immune system. Reducing stress can also help you sleep better which as we said before helps boost your immune system.

Wrecking Your Immune System Habit #4 – Being a Couch Potato
Yes, being a couch potato can be harmful to your immune system. What we mean specifically by this is being inactive, not socializing and not exercising. Many health conditions could be avoided by having a regular exercise program. This would include the 50 million people in the U.S. with high blood pressure, the 13.5 million with heart disease and 8 million with Type 2 Diabetes. Just 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week can go a long way to helping your immune system circulate your white blood cells. You don't want to overdo the exercise though as that can actually negatively affect your immune system. Just don't be one of the one in four adults in the U.S. that doesn't do any exercise at all and consult your health care provider if you have restrictions or conditions that may determine how much exercise is right for you. A daily 30 minute brisk walk for most people is the right amount and has been shown to increase leukocytes which are immune cells for fighting infections. Studies also show that people with fewer social interactions get sick more often. So getting up off that couch watching TV every night and going out to a sports event, visit with friends, a concert or other social activity that puts you in contact with other people can improve your immune system health. One study showed results that subjects between the ages of 18 and 55 that had more contact with others were 4 times less likely to get cold viruses. Another study done with college students showed that those who felt alone had less immune system response to a flu vaccine and those who had friends and social connections had a stronger immune system response.

Wrecking Your Immune System Habit #5 – Taking Antibiotics Too Often
Antibiotics can sometimes be needed to treat bacterial infections. Too often though, we are given antibiotics for other types of illnesses that are not bacterial in nature. This causes several problems for the immune system. One problem is that your immune system is weakened as shown by lower levels of cytokines, which are hormones that are part of the immune system. Another problem is that overuse of antibiotics and antibacterial soap can create a resistance to them. In other words, over using them can cause them to stop being effective against bacteria. If you need to take antibiotics, just make sure what you are fighting off is a bacterial infection and not a virus or other type of infection. Also be sure to take the entire amount prescribed by your health care provider. Don't stop just because you start feeling better. That can sometimes cause the bacteria that caused the illness in the first place to not be completely gone and then you have to start over later with a whole new round of antibiotics. Do it right the first time so you don't have to introduce more antibiotics than you need to into your body. Antibiotics are also known to kill off the beneficial flora in your intestines. Part of having a healthy immune system is having a healthy gut which requires having a sufficient population of "good bacteria" to help control the "bad bacteria". If you are on antibiotics or just finishing a round of antiobiotics, taking a probiotic supplement and digestive enzymes can be helpful for restoring a healthy gut. 

Natural Solutions: Enzymes for Natural Immune System Support
The strength of your immune system depends a lot on the health of your gut. Digestion takes a lot of energy and the more energy needed to digest food, the less energy that is available for other things the body needs to be doing. Foods deficient in enzymes are especially hard on the digestion process which drains the body of vitality and feelings of well being. Our food sources today just don't have enough enzymes to help keep the digestive process working well. Cooking and processing of foods kills the enzymes in them and even raw foods we buy are not fresh and pure enough to have all the enzymes we need. A high quality digestive enzyme supplement can help the body with the digestive process so that the body gets the nutrients it needs from the food it eats. Enzymes are necessary for everything in the body to function correctly from breathing, to thinking to circulating the blood. They are responsible for every chemical reaction associated with the body's metabolism.

Natural Solutions: Support Your Stem Cells for Natural Immune System Support
Adult stem cells that occur naturally in our bodies are used to maintain and repair other cells in the body that are damaged. Their ability to divide and become other types of cells that have a specific job in the body makes them useful for immune system support. They can also remain inactive for a long time waiting until they are needed to repair cells damaged due to disease or injury. Scientists are currently working on experiments that show some types of adult stem cells are able to be genetically modified to be programmed as other cell types. For example, the cells that produce insulin that become damaged due to diabetes could be created from other pancreatic cells that are programmed to become those insulin producing cells. Regardless of what is to come from all the research with adult stem cells, we do know that the stem cells we have in our bodies serve to promote or suppress T-cell function, are able to differentiate into different tissues, produce over 30 types of growth factors and tissue chemicals and help recruit other local and systemic stem cells to focus on repairing damaged tissue. Taking a supplement that can support stem cell growth and function and is full of antioxidants will support the immune system and help fight damage from free radicals.

I hope this article has helped you to see how important it is to keep your immune system healthy and ways to support it as well as habits you can avoid that do not support it. A healthy diet with lots of antioxidants, get out and enjoy the world and people in it, stay active, stay away from cigarette smoke, get enough sleep and don't overdo antibiotics, then if you need supplemental help, know that it is available to help you in your quest for a happier, 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 at wholesale prices on our website.


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/10-immune-system-busters-boosters
http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/top-10-worst-habits-your-immune-system
http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/habits-hurt-your-immune-system
http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics4.aspx


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Super Skinny Yummy Snacks

Snacking can be very detrimental if you are trying to lose weight or it can be great. Many experts recommend eating lots of small meals or a healthy snack throughout the day instead of the traditional 3 larger meals to lose weight. It really all depends though on what type of snacks you are eating. If you go for candy bars, cookies, potato chips and other types of sugar filled, fatty snacks then you are not headed down the path to weight loss. But there are plenty of healthy snack ideas that can turn yummy snacks into weight loss boosters.

According to assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, Susan Bowerman, RD, eating a healthy snack can boost your energy and give your body the nutrition it needs as well as contribute to losing weight. For example, protein helps build muscle which can increase metabolism allowing you to burn more calories and fiber helps curb cravings for fatty and sugary foods as well as assisting digestion. Bowerman advises sticking with a 200 calorie or less healthy snack that combines ten grams of protein and five grams of fiber foods for weight loss. This could include a fruit and a protein food like an apple or around 15 grapes and some milk or low cal yogurt or half an avocado with low fat cottage cheese. Get some omega-3's going for your brain in the protein/fiber mix by adding three ounces of tuna and five to six whole wheat crackers or about 15 – 20 almonds. For a great low calorie sweet treat try a pear topped with Ricotta cheese and cinnamon.

Some other healthy snack ideas that give you protein and fiber include:
  • Steamed edamame (soybeans)
  • Carrots and hummus
  • A boiled egg with about 15 spears of asparagus
  • A slice of cheese with some air popped popcorn
  • 2 teaspoons of peanut butter and 5 celery sticks
  • This snack bar with sprouted grains, greens, bluegreen algae and almonds

Convinced yet that you can snack your way to weight loss? Give some of these healthy snack ideas a try and see if eating several small snacks such as these help you get through the day without feeling deprived, starved, or left with cravings for unhealthy foods. After all what have you got to lose but maybe some weight?

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.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20682477,00.html?xid=healthyliving01072015
http://womenshealthsa.co.za/nutrition/smart-shopping/super-skinny-snacks/

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Secret to Avoiding the Midday Slump

Most people do experience a slump in energy in the early afternoon. The body operates on a cycle called the circadian rhythm and early afternoon is a time the body tends to go into a resting phase. The problem this creates is that most of us can't just stop work or other obligations to go take a nap and let the body rest. A contributing factor to this slump is that it is usually right after lunch and what we eat can add to the drowsiness we experience. Grabbing a fast food lunch or foods with lots of carbohydrates and sugar only serves to add to the fatigue. Our age also plays a role as the older we are, the more fatigue is likely to set in. There are other factors that can attribute to the afternoon slump. Here are some and some natural energy boosters that can help.

Fatigue and the Pancreas
Your pancreas operates as part of the digestive and the endocrine systems. The pancreas produces digestive enzymes and secretions that contribute to the digestive process, once food enters the small intestine. As part of the endocrine system, it produces insulin that regulates how much sugar enters the blood. When we eat foods with lots of sugars and carbohydrates, our blood sugar levels increase and the pancreas has to produce more insulin. This causes a rise in tryptophan in the brain and the bloodstream. Tryptophan helps regulate serotonin and melatonin levels, which are neurotransmitters that affect mood by causing us to relax. Eating healthier alkalizing foods such as fruits and vegetables can reduce the workload on the pancreas and lower the amount of tryptophan being produced which can leave us more energy. Also, adding a high quality digestive enzyme supplement to your diet with meals can relieve the stress put on the pancreas, liver and spleen and help the body absorb the nutrients it needs from the foods you eat. If you find you are still dragging, take extra enzymes in between meals.

Natural Energy Boosters: CoQ10
Coenzyme Q10 has been extensively studied since being discovered in 1957 and found to have significant benefits for cardiovascular health. Peter D. Mitchell won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1978 for discovering how important CoQ10 is for energy production. CoQ10 is essential for life to exist, as it is an integral part of energy production within every cell. In fact CoQ10 is necessary for 95% of the energy our bodies need. Having a lack of this vital coenzyme affects the amount of energy our bodies are able to produce. It is found naturally throughout the body, but as we age our ability to manufacture it is reduced. A stressful lifestyle can also deplete our natural supplies of CoQ10. One way to be sure of getting enough CoQ10 is through supplementation. I like this supplement that has Ubiquinol, the active form of CoQ10 as well as reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and AFA bluegreen algae for extra superfood nutrition.

How To Boost Energy
Do you ever find yourself going for the coffee pot or a candy bar in the afternoon to keep alert and going? Caffeine has been found to interact with brain chemicals that create an energy boost, but caffeine and sugar can cause your blood sugar to plummet after an hour or two. Plus, caffeine can cause increased stress in your heart rate, respiration, muscle coordination, and thought processes if you drink too much. For some people, drinking coffee in the afternoon also interferes with being able to go to sleep at night. Here are a few other ways to deal with the midday slump period of the day.

Prioritize High Energy Tasks – It's too bad that our workplaces aren't more like kindergarten where an afternoon nap is mandatory, but since your boss probably isn't going to give you time off every day to grab a nap, you can plan your work according to which tasks need greater focus. Fred Turek, a biology professor and director of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, suggests saving tasks that need accuracy and creativity for times other than the midday slump period. Planning out your workday to give those types of tasks the highest priority in the day and saving more routine type tasks for the after lunch slump can help you stay productive all day and keep the boss happy.

Move It – Physically moving your body is another way to make it through the midday slump period. This doesn't mean you have to stand at your desk and do calisthenics. You can simply go to the copy room to make your copies, walk to the water cooler to get a drink or go to a co-workers office to consult with them or anything else that requires you get up and move to another location.

Power Nap – If you have the time at the end of your lunch break to close your eyes and rest for even a few minutes, this can help some people. My mother has always been able to lie down and close her eyes for exactly 10 minutes and get up refreshed and ready to go on to the next thing on her list. For some people the amount of time may be more, but a 20 to 30 minute nap or rest is enough to recoup their energy level. For others, taking any amount of nap interferes with being able to go to sleep at night. Give it a try and see which type you are and if this is a technique that helps you or not.

Eat Energy Boosting Foods – Sugary and processed carb foods don't create a stable energy level throughout the day. The body simply burns these up too quickly. So skip the donuts and concentrate on complex carbs with fiber from whole grains and good healthy proteins. These will keep your blood sugar levels stable and sustain your energy level longer.

Supplement for Active People – I like this supplement that is a nutrient-rich, whole-food source for physical energy and drive. With a combination of AFA bluegreen algae, wheatgrass juice, cordyceps mushrooms, bee pollen, turmeric, noni, and green tea, it was created for high-performance athletes and those with active lifestyles.

I hope this gives you some ideas what causes that midday slump we often experience and of how to boost energy to get yourself through it. Try some of these out and see what works for you in your situation. If you've got other suggestions of things that work for you, share them by leaving a comment below. 

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.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/want-more-energy-heres-what-really-helps
https://office.newearth.com/ProductDetail.aspx?item=21621
http://www.wellnessresources.com/tips/articles/q10_boosts_energy_nerves_muscles_metabolism/
http://www.naturalnews.com/024833_CoQ10_energy_supplement.html
http://www.healthalkaline.com/healthy-foods-pancreas-disease-symptoms-pancreas-function/
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/20/business/worldbusiness/20iht-workcol21.4.7188541.html?_r=2&

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Eat Your Way to Decreased Stress

We all have stress in our lives to varying degrees, but finding ways of how to handle stress are very important for our health. One way of dealing with stress is to start with what's in your kitchen. There are certain foods that can help relieve stress and anxiety and certain foods that make stress and anxiety worse. If you are under a lot of stress or have anxiety, it is good to avoid foods that are fried, high in refined sugars and alcohol as these only serve to contribute to the problem.

How to Handle Stress With Food
When making adjustments to your diet to help in coping with stress, you want to add in foods that have been found to trigger the brain chemicals that calm us and that suppress the cortisol release that adds to stress and anxiety. You also want to add foods to your diet that are rich in magnesium, iron, zinc, antioxidants, B Vitamins, and potassium. These nutrients have all been found to be especially beneficial in dealing with stress. 

Magnesium
Whole grains are a great addition to the diet when coping with stress and anxiety. They help boost your energy levels and are a source for tryptophan which is needed to produce serotonin, the brain chemical that produces feelings of calmness and happiness. If you aren't able to tolerate gluten, then you can turn to seaweed to get not only the magnesium you need, but also the tryptophan that will help raise serotonin levels.

Iron and Zinc
Zinc and iron are also important nutrients to add to your diet when fighting stress and anxiety and balancing mood. Maca root powder can easily be added to many recipes and drinks and is loaded with phytonutrients which include magnesium and iron. It has also been found to boost energy and stamina which is helpful when dealing with stress. Zinc can be found in almonds which also have the added bonus of being a good source of iron, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B2, vitamin E, and healthy unsaturated fats which all help in decreasing stress. Almonds as well as other nuts like walnuts and pistachios also help increase your energy, lower blood pressure and reduce stress hormones.

Antioxidants
Bright colored fruits and vegetables are your best source for antioxidants. In this category, blueberries really stand out as they not only have stress relieving antioxidants, but also are high in fiber, have vitamin C which is also good for stress relief, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, and are low in calories. Studies have also been done reporting that eating blueberries helps reduce depression, insomnia and mood disorders that can be brought on by stress. Green tea is another great antioxidant with its polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins that help with calming body and mind. Green tea also has the bonus of the amino acid theanine that aids with mental focus and helps with being able to relax. Dark chocolate is another source of antioxidants that gives you the natural mood booster of theobromine and has magnesium. It has also been found to help lower cortisol that causes stress and anxiety. Look for chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa content and without added sugar or milk. You can also get all the extra nutrition of AFA bluegreen algae as well as the antioxidant power of green tea, carnosine which is an antioxidant amino acid naturally present in the human body, and blueberry with this antioxidant algae supplement. While looking at the benefits of antioxidants, also consider Coenzyme Q10 which is especially noted for its benefits for heart health. In Chinese medicine, heart health relates to the source of happiness and therefore helps in dealing with stress. This algae supplement not only gives you ubiquinol, the active and bioavailable form of Coenzyme Q10, but also organic flaxseed oil, olive biophenols, organic reishi and oyster mushrooms, and wild AFA bluegreen algae.

B Vitamins
Experts such as registered dietitian Tara Geise, who is also a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, recommend adding foods with B vitamins to your diet to help counteract the hormones that are released in reaction to stress, to help with mood stabilization and for helping to produce serotonin. Vitamin B9 or folic acid, B6 and B12 are especially useful in coping with stress. Good stress fighting foods to help you get B vitamins into your diet include asparagus, tuna, and brown rice.

Potassium
Potassium is an important mineral for helping muscles relax. The more relaxed we are able to be, the less stress can take its toll on us. Spinach is not only a good food source for potassium, but also magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron and A, B, and C vitamins. Eating avocados will also provide potassium as well as fiber, healthy fats, protein, and vitamin C and vitamin E. Oranges not only have potassium, but also vitamin C, pectin which is a soluble fiber, and antioxidants to all help with stress.

Brain Support in Dealing With Stress
The more stressed we are, the more susceptible to fatigue and the less we are able to focus and think clearly. To combat this stress cycle, we can support our energy levels and brain functioning with certain foods to give the brain a boost. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the best ways to help feed your brain, increase serotonin levels, and reduce cortisol and adrenaline that add to stress. Salmon and other fatty fish are one of the best food sources of omega-3. If you just don't like fish though, you can get your omega-3 the same way the fish do... with algae. Even better, add in eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni to some wild bluegreen algae with this wholefood supplement and you'll really be giving your brain the nutrients to give it a boost. Bee pollen is reported to have a high amino acid content useful for stimulating memory and concentration, wheatgrass juice has been found to provide nutrients that support brain health and clearer thinking, and Gingko biloba has been used for a long time to promote increased memory and mental concentration by increasing circulation and providing increased oxygenation of brain cells. This combination can give your brain a lot of nutrition to help it function when you find yourself overwhelmed by stress.

You don't have to let stress get the best of you. Making some additions and subtractions to your diet can help you in dealing with stress, stimulate brain chemicals that will help you in coping with stress and help you be able to function at your best.

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.bhg.com/health-family/mind-body-spirit/natural-remedies/superfoods-for-stress-relief/
http://www.northernpts.com/_blog/Physical_Therapy_Tips/post/10-superfoods-that-fight-stress/
http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/treatment/7-foods-that-fight-anxiety

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Not Sure Why You're Gaining Weight? Some Common Reasons

Are you watching what you eat, exercising and still find yourself gaining weight? It's frustrating, but there are other reasons for that unexplained weight gain and things to do about it. Here are some of the common culprits that can explain why you're still gaining weight.

Hidden Calories
We often count calories of all the foods we eat during the day and stay within the guidelines for our build, but forget about what we are drinking. You probably know that alcoholic beverages can add on calories quickly and avoid soda for the same reason, but forget that juices, sports drinks, and other liquids also have calories. They also don't give us the same bang for our caloric buck as food of the same amount of calories does. I know many people think that if they drink a diet soda with low or no calories then that is totally acceptable when trying to lose weight. But as Terry Davidson, PhD, director of the Ingestive Behavior Research Center at Purdue University in Indiana, explains this confuses the signals to the body that let it know how much it needs to eat. Studies have shown that drinking diet drinks can actually lead to weight gain and interfere with your metabolic process.

When it comes to food, even if you stick to a diet of healthy foods they still have calories and you have to watch overdoing it. For example, many people think eating nuts make a great healthy snack, but they have fats and calories so eating too many will add to your calorie intake. According to Bob Wright, Director of Education Hilton Head Health, studies report people who think they eat healthy foods were found to eat more. Then we have the problem of adjusting how many calories we need as we are losing weight. The less you weigh, the less fuel your body needs to perform. One of the biggest culprits of hidden calories though is sugar. Many foods that you wouldn't imagine have sugar do have it in some form. For this reason it's important to read labels and look for ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup or sugars. A diet doesn't really work if you find yourself hungry all the time so eating small healthy snack sized meals throughout the day with lean proteins, fruits, veggies, complex carbs and healthy fats will keep you from reaching for snacks with extra calories, keep you from being hungry and feeling deprived and stressed and help you get those extra pounds off. When planning for those snacks, pick something that will give you lots of good nutrition for the least amount of calories. This wholefoods snack bar with algae and sprouts is a good way to get all the nutritional benefits of bluegreen algae with the added bonus of antioxidant power of sprouts and some healthy fats. 

Adjust Your Exercise
If you are on a regular program of exercise, good for you. Exercise is definitely part of a healthy lifestyle. But your exercise program could be one of the reasons you are still seeing weight gain. Not all weight gain is from fat, muscle also has weight. If you are doing exercise that builds your muscle mass, you may be seeing weight gain from it. And according to Wayne Westcott, PhD, senior fitness executive at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, your muscles can become over familiar with the same exercise routine done each day. This means they are not as challenged and don't have to work as hard at them. Less work, less calorie burn. Try shaking up your routine and finding different exercises that will meet your fitness goals. Many people also use exercise as a trade-off for consuming more calories. While it's true that if you just burned off a few hundred calories with exercise, you could eat extra, but that just puts back on the calories you burned off so you are back where you started on the calorie scale. And it's a whole lot easier to not eat those extra calories in the first place than it is to burn them off later.

Inadequate Sleep
If you are not getting enough good quality sleep, this can explain why you are still gaining weight. Not getting adequate rest affects hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. So the next day our bodies may think they are hungry when they are really just tired. Lack of sleep can also affect the metabolism so that we aren't burning calories efficiently. Being up late at night often leads to extra snacking too.

Poor Digestive Health
Many of our foods don't have the digestive enzymes we need to fully digest all our food. As a result undigested food sits in the gut and shows up as belly fat. Eating raw and lightly cooked veggies and fruits and/or taking a high quality enzyme supplement can help get more digestive enzymes working for you. Your digestive system also 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. Eating fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir can help you get some of these probiotics, but you can also take probiotic supplements such as acidophilus and bifidus.

Stress
When we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol which increases appetite. You probably have a favorite comfort food that you crave when you are stressed and this is why. Most of the times these cravings are for unhealthy and high calorie foods. According to Dr. Elissa Epel research shows that people often turn to eating to relieve chronic stress. Finding activities to deal with stress such as hobbies, meditation, sports or whatever helps you relax can help you avoid turning to food for relief.

Medications
There are certain medications that can be responsible for extra weight gain. These include steroids such as prednisone, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and medications to treat migraines, seizures, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It is never a good idea to just stop any of these to avoid the weight gain however. Work with your healthcare provider to see if there is an alternative that will treat your condition without the weight gain. In some cases it may just be that the medication is causing you to retain fluid and eating less salty foods can give some relief. In some cases it may be that the weight gain is a short term symptom that will get better as your condition improves. Just don't get stuck in the trap of thinking if you are going to be gaining weight anyway from medication then you can indulge all you want. The more you put on now, the harder it will be to get it off later. So keep to eating a good healthy diet with the recommended calories for you.

Medical Conditions
There are medical conditions that can also lead to extra weight gain. Hypothyroidism and Cushing's syndrome are two examples. If your thyroid is not working correctly, your metabolism works slower. There are prescription medications and other alternative treatment options for thyroid conditions, so check with your healthcare provider or a good naturopath or holistic medicine practitioner if you suspect you have a problem of this type. With a condition like Cushing's there is too much cortisol being produced and weight gain can result. This is another instance where working with your healthcare provider can be helpful. There are other medical conditions that can cause weight gain too, so getting a thorough physical to rule out any serious health concerns may be something you'll want to consider if you are having trouble finding the source of your extra weight gain.

Aging Metabolism
As we age, our metabolisms slow down. This is especially common for women as they begin menopause. Harriette Mogul, MD, associate professor and director of research of adult endocrinology at New York Medical College in Valhalla, presents research results that contribute this to a rise in insulin levels. If this is a cause for your weight gain, there are medications and dietary changes that can be used for treatment. Since insulin levels are not something doctors regularly check, you may need to request this test done to confirm a diagnosis. Remember too that metabolism can also be slowed down by dehydration. So be sure you are drinking plenty of good quality water throughout the day. Dr. Jackie Buell also cautions that dieting can lead to not getting enough calories for the body to function properly and that includes how your metabolism works. So if you are dieting and cutting down on calories, make sure you are getting enough calories from nutritious food sources to keep your body fueled and working properly.

As you can see, even if you eat healthy, watch your calories and exercise regularly there is still room for weight gain to sneak in. Hopefully some of these tips will help you discover where your extra weight gain may be coming from. Whether it's from medication or a medical condition that you need to consult with your healthcare provider about, from hidden calories that you can take control of, or your exercise routine needing a tweak, you don't have to give up on losing those extra pounds.

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/diet/ss/slideshow-weight-gain-shockers?ecd=wnl_wlw_020915&ctr=wnl-wlw-020915_nsl-ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d
http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/a3441/surprising-reasons-youre-gaining-weight-56569/
http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/nutrition/11-surprising-reasons-youre-gaining-weight/ss-BBaNZh3

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Live Long and Prosper with Sprouted Greens!

Adding sprouted greens to your diet is definitely a way to live long and prosper. Research has shown that seed and bean sprouts have more nutrition than just the seed or bean itself. This is because extra vitamins, antioxidants and enzymes are formed as a seed is in the sprouting process. A study at Johns Hopkins in 1997 reported finding 50 times more glucoraphanin in broccoli sprouts than in mature broccoli. Glucorphanin is a compound found mainly in broccoli that some experts have reported can reduce the risks some chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Sprouts of various types have also been found to improve immune system function, blood purification, improve mood, maintain the balance between acidity and alkalinity in the body, detoxify the body, guard against ulcers, feed the body on a cellular level and improve energy by stabilizing blood sugar levels. Green sprouts, which are the germinated seeds of grains or legumes, are good sources of fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, micro-nutrients, antioxidants and best of all they are low in calories and are digested and used by the body easily.

According to Chris D. Meletis, N.D., naturopathic physician and director of science and research at Trace Minerals Research in Roy, Utah, in 2007 it was reported that 89% of Americans don't get the amount of fruits and vegetables they need. If you aren't getting 5 to 7 servings of veggies and fruits each day in your diet then green sprouts may be just what you need to live long and prosper.

Green Sprouts and Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is what makes plants green and is very important in the process of photosynthesis which is how plants get energy from the sun. Chlorophyll has a structure much like human red blood cells. Eating green foods can help replenish red blood cells thus boosting energy. Plants with chlorophyll are also a good way to get vitamin K, necessary for clotting the blood, into your diet naturally. Chlorophyll has also been shown to stimulate liver function and excretion of bile, strengthen immunity, and detoxify chemical pollutants. The best way to make sure you are getting chlorophyll in your diet is eating algae, cereal grasses or green sprouts.

Maintain Acid-Alkaline Balance
Another benefit of green sprouts is that they can help your body maintain the proper balance of acidity and alkalinity. Having a pH level that is too acidic can affect how many of the body systems work. According to Brandon Bert, cofounder of Amazing Grass, San Francisco, CA, eating processed foods, drinking too much coffee or alcohol, having a diet with a lot of meat or dairy and being under too much stress can all raise acidity in the body. He emphasizes that one detriment of having a pH level in the acidic range is that it increases the amount of fat the body stores to protect the organs from too much acid. A pH level of 7 on a scale of one to fourteen is the balance that greens can help the body maintain through the alkaline effect they produce.

Green Sprouts and Immunity
Greens have been shown to nourish the body cells helping them to work at their best. This includes the immune cells which need to be in good working order to fight off damage from free radicals and foreign invaders that enter the body and can make us sick. The immune system particularly benefits from the chlorophyll in green foods since it is able to kill off bacteria and viruses and replenishes red and white blood cells which are part of the immune system. According to Brandon Bert, chlorophyll's ability to detox and to ward off the growth of bacteria makes it a real asset to immune system function.

An Easy Way to Add Green Sprouts to Your Diet
If you are on the run and holding down a demanding busy lifestyle, it can be difficult to get all the greens you need to stay healthy into your daily meals. This is where supplementation can be a great solution. Synthetic vitamins just don't do the trick when it comes to how the body takes in the nutrients it needs and converts them to a form it can use. This is a complex process and vitamins from a pill often don't have the extra components that should naturally go with it in order for it to be helpful. Getting sprouted greens from real wholefood sources is necessary. These wholefood sources however can be in a supplement form which are merely the concentrated form of the food source put in powder form. This wholefood supplement gives you a combination of kale sprouts, red clover sprouts, wheat sprouts, Dunaliella salina algae and AFA bluegreen algae making it rich in chlorophyll, glutathione, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. The nutritional value of this combination of wholefood ingredients gives you:
  • the antioxidant power, vitamin K, minerals, vitamins, lutein and zeaxanthin compounds, carotenoids and flavonoids of kale sprouts
     
  • the protein, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants associated with red clover sprouts
     
  • the fiber, protein, essential minerals, amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, active enzymes, and the powerful antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD) from wheat sprouts
     
  • all the nutritional value from AFA bluegreen algae and Dunaliella Salina, a sea microalgae with high carotenoid content (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein), antioxidants, important vitamins, a high concentration of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and a broad spectrum of readily assimilated minerals

All this together in capsule form gives you an easy, convenient way to get those all-important green foods and green sprouts into your diet. So no more excuse to be one of the many people not getting enough fruits and veggies in their diets. Just take your sprouts in capsule form along with you where ever you go throughout the day and enjoy all the benefits green sprouts can give you so you can live long and prosper.

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