Tuesday, October 30, 2018

7 Strategies for Bone Health at Any Age

I remember growing up watching my grandmother suffer with severe osteoporosis and hearing my mother warn me how important it was for me to take care of my bone health. It's true that whether you are already a senior and noticing a difference in your bones or whether you are a younger person seeing your elder's concern, maintaining strong bones is something to start working on now. This means primarily making sure you are getting the right nutrients through healthy eating habits and exercise to keep bones healthy. The two most important of these are to make sure you have a diet adequate in calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is needed for bone structure while vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium as well as contributes to the growth of bone. Ideally, you start getting both of these when you are young to build a good foundation for strong bones, but even if you didn't, it's never too late to start. Even if you find yourself facing osteoporosis, you can reduce the effects and strengthen bones now by stocking up on calcium and vitamin D. So how much of each of these is the optimal amount for you? It varies according to age, gender, and other factors, but the recommended amounts of calcium if you are between 18 and 50 years of age is 1000 milligrams and over the age of 50 women need 1200 milligrams while men only need this amount after the age of 70. Vitamin D is measured in international units or IU's. Before the age of 50 200 IU's is the recommended amount and after that age 400 to 800 IU's are recommended. You may need to check with your healthcare provider to decide on the exact amount for your situation and as to whether you may need a calcium supplement or not because too much calcium can also be detrimental causing heart problems and kidney stones. Since a lot of the vitamin D we get is from exposure to sunlight, this can also vary especially for those who have to avoid the sun due to risk of skin cancer, and is an area where your healthcare provider can be useful in determining the right amount of supplementation for you. If you are past the age of 30, your bones are beginning the process of getting thinner. For women, this process increases after menopause. This makes it important to start establishing healthy eating habits now at whatever age you are to get your bones strong enough to carry you through into your golden years. The main way to do this is by adding foods with calcium and vitamin D into your diet. Here are some ways to do just that.

1. Dairy
Milk and dairy products made from milk are undoubtedly one of the best sources for calcium. You get 300 milligrams of calcium out of one eight ounce glass of milk. The good news is that this is true whether the milk you drink is whole, skim, or low-fat so you can still reduce fat and get the same amount of calcium. That eight ounce glass of skim milk is 90 calories, but for those calories you get 30% of the calcium you need for the day. You can also get milk that is fortified with vitamin D so that your eight ounce glass is doing double duty. You can also get other dairy products that are fortified with vitamin D such as yogurt. If you're looking to get more protein in your diet then Greek yogurt is a winner, but if you're looking for more calcium and vitamin D, go with the non-Greek varieties. Just one cup of yogurt gives you the same amount of calcium as that eight ounce glass of milk so if you don't like drinking milk, this may be the solution for you. And good news for those who are lactose intolerant – dairy products that are lactose free still contain the calcium you need. Cheese is another dairy product that you can look to for calcium, but it does also have more fat so go easy on it. More weight gain means more weight your bones and joints have to deal with. A small amount of cheese goes a long way as a source of calcium with one and a half ounces having 30% of the amount you need for the day. Egg dishes that include the yolk can help you add some extra vitamin D to your day if you need a bit more as they can give you six percent of your daily recommended amount.

2. Fish
If dairy just doesn't settle well with you or you are just looking for some alternatives for calcium and vitamin D then take a look some types of fish. Sardines are a great source of calcium and three ounces of them gives you more calcium than one cup of milk. Salmon and other fatty fish not only give you vitamin D, but also omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to help in reducing bone loss. Three ounces of sockeye salmon will give you all the vitamin D you need for the day. Olive oil, edamame, walnuts, blue green algae, wild rice, flax seeds and chia seeds are all high in omega-3. In fact, AFA bluegreen algae not only gives you omega-3 but is another food source for calcium. Get the nutritional punch of algae as well as the probiotics and enzymes to help with digestive and immune system support in these packets of wholefood supplements. Or even better, you can get all this plus the nutritional support of marine and freshwater algae, tonic mushrooms, and sprouted grasses and grains with this wholefood algae supplement program. This combination gives your immune system the support to fight inflammation and the antioxidants to help your body to fight off free radical damage. And since omega-3's have been found to have an impact on bone health, this supplement  gives you not only the organic flaxseed oil and olive biophenols for extra omega-3, but also has AFA bluegreen algae, organic reishi and oyster mushrooms for immune support and ubiquinol the active form of Coenzyme Q10 found to support energy production, heart health and immune system support.

3. Greens
There are many green veggies you can get calcium from. For example, a cup of cooked spinach not only provides about a fourth of the calcium you need for the day, but also gives you fiber, iron and vitamin A. Collard greens are another green leafy vegetable that give you 25% of your calcium for the day. Other calcium rich greens include bok choy, Chinese cabbage, kale and turnip greens.

4. Soy
Soy and soy products such as tofu or soy milk that is fortified with calcium are another good source for this bone supporting mineral. You can get 400 milligrams of calcium from just half a cup of tofu and about 300 milligrams from a cup of soy milk. Studies have found that soy contains isoflavones that add to strong bones and can help reduce the risk of bone disease in some cases.

5. Fortified Foods
There are many other foods these days that are fortified with calcium and/or vitamin D. Many brands of orange juice for example have been fortified with calcium and can give you as much as milk. Many brands of cereal have been fortified with vitamin D and calcium and can give you as much as 1000 milligrams of calcium in one cup. Look for whole grain, low sugar cereals to maintain a healthier diet. 

6. Let The Sun Shine In
As we've already said, vitamin D is needed in order for the body to absorb calcium from foods. Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D from being exposed to sunlight. If you live in an area that doesn't get a lot of sunlight or have been warned to stay out of the sun because of the damage it can do to skin then you may need to consider taking a vitamin D supplement. This is something to talk over with your healthcare provider to see if it is appropriate for you, but if it is recommended he or she will probably advise taking around 600 IU daily if you are under the age of 70 and 800 IU for those over 70.

7. Exercise
Besides diet changes, the next best thing you can do for your bones is the right exercise. Regular strength training and weight bearing exercise will strengthen bones and reduce bone loss. The combination of strength training with weight bearing will cover arm bones, spine, leg bones, and hips. Good exercises to incorporate for bone health include walking, dancing, tennis, yoga, jumping rope, skiing, taking the stairs, and other high-impact type exercise in which you use your body weight or gym type weights to put stress on your bones and muscles. This type of exercise makes your body add more bone giving you a higher bone density level.

There you have 7 ways to boost your bone health no matter what age you are and no matter what shape your bones are in now. Don't wait until you suffer with the pain of bone loss or joint pain. Start now adding in the right exercise and getting your calcium and vitamin D and you can get your bones ready to face the after 30 challenges that come as we 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.


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Natural Solutions to Stop Stress

Is your life full of stress, stress, stress? Sometimes I get stressed just thinking about all the stress we are all surrounded by in this day and age. When we experience stress our "fight or flight" response is activated. According to Ash Nadkarni, MD, an associate psychiatrist at Brigham & Women's Hospital, this gets the adrenaline going, makes the heart beat more quickly and causes a rise in blood pressure. When stress hormones are chronically present over time it increases the risk for health problems such as anxiety, depression, heart disease, increased weight, and cognitive problems. None of us can totally live stress free lives, but there are natural solutions we can employ for how to relieve stress and reduce the effects of stress on our health.

Nutrition For Dealing With Stress
Certain foods can actually physically help you deal with the effects of stress. There are foods that can increase serotonin levels which can calm the body and those that can reduce levels of cortisol and adrenaline which are triggered by stress. Complex carbs are good for increasing serotonin as well as balancing blood sugar levels. This would include foods such as whole grains in cereals, breads and pastas. Vitamin C can help control levels of cortisol from spiking, boost the immune system and help maintain blood pressure levels. Black tea is also good at relieving stress and reducing levels of cortisol. Eating foods with magnesium, B vitamins and chlorophyll are good for coping with stress. When under stress, the body uses up these stress relievers so that just when you need them the most, they are the least available to you. Eating lots of leafy greens, halibut, oysters, nuts, seeds and bluegreen algae can give you the extra nutrition you need to support your body through the times you are coping with stress. B vitamins, produced in the intestines, especially B-12, help us relax, soothe our nerves and help us deal with stress. Having healthy probiotics in your gut can give your body a boost to keep producing these vitamins and help your body cope with stress as well as support overall digestive system function and gut health.

Our bodies also need more proteins when we are under stress and good proteins include those from whole grains, soy, sprouts and bluegreen algae. Good proteins support your body's ability to handle stress, both physically and mentally. Another supplement we find useful in providing nutrition for stress relief combines bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni. This nutritional combination gives support to help you function when stress overwhelms you.

Exercise For Dealing With Stress
Exercise provides another natural solution for dealing with stress as it releases endorphins which boost mood. Aerobic exercise is a good way to increase oxygen circulating in the body, relax muscles, as well as increase endorphins and reduce cortisol and adrenaline. Exercise also gives you a chance to get away from work and other stressful situations giving you a much needed break and a chance to regenerate and refocus mentally. Even just going for a ten minute walk can revive you and allow you some time to de-stress.

Change Your Surroundings to Relieve Effects of Stress
Looking for a real natural solution for coping with stress? Change the colors you surround yourself with. According to Molly Roberts, MD, president of the American Holistic Medical Association, colors like blue, green and grey can help soothe and calm. Visual cues from these type colors affect the brain nerve pathways that control emotion. If you find yourself under a lot of stress take a look at changing the color of your walls, furniture, and even the screen saver on your computer. Organizing your environment can also help give you some relief from stress. Clutter and being disorganized add stress to your life. Lauren Napolitano, PsyD, a psychologist at Bryn Mawr Hospital in Pennsylvania, advises that organizing your physical environment can also help organize your emotions. Clear out your desk, drawers, closets and anything else you see regularly that is in disarray.

Create Balance For Dealing With Stress
Creating balance in your life is another way to naturally cope with stress. You know the saying "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". Well, it also makes Jack a stressed out boy and you too. Making time in your life to spend time alone and to enjoy the company of others can help decrease stress levels. Oprah Winfrey shares her way of dealing with stress by finding a quiet place to go that she can be alone, breathe and find the stillness inside that connects her with all other living things and then she smiles at the wonder of this. Rita Eichenstein, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Towers in Los Angeles, recommends singing as a way of relieving stress. Chanting in meditation or singing your favorite tunes can relax the mind as the sound vibrates through the body and has been shown in research studies to decrease cortisol and lower blood pressure levels. When looking to create balance it is important to consider all aspects. Pushing yourself when you are sick, tired or hungry only increases stress. You may think you are being more productive by refusing to stop work to eat or rest, but actually you are just increasing the likelihood of burn-out and becoming sick enough that you can't ignore your body's needs anymore. A well balanced body that has optimal health can withstand more stress too so it can take on more stressors than a tired, sick or hungry body. The key to balance though is not too much of any of these either way. Too little or too much sleep can both be detrimental, so find just the right amount to stick with. The same applies to hunger – skipping meals can increase stress, but so can eating too much.

You can't banish all stress from your life, but you can learn ways of coping with stress to keep it from overwhelming you. Good nutrition and exercise that support stress relief, some lifestyle changes and awareness of what triggers your stress can all go a long way to helping you triumphant over the stress in your 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.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Boost Your Stem Cells with Nutrition to Boost Your Youth!

While research on different types of stem cells continues, it has been around long enough for us to know certain things about how stem cells can benefit us. In case you haven't been in the loop on stem cell literature and are still wondering "what are stem cells?", here's a simple, basic answer. There are basically two types of stem cells called "adult stem cells" and "embryonic stem cells". Stem cells are unique in that they are not assigned a specific function like most body cells are. Once the body identifies a particular type of cell that needs replacing, it can signal a stem cell to become that type of cell. This is especially beneficial for replacing and regenerating cells that have been damaged. Embryonic stem cells are those that come from a developing embryo and are controversial for several reasons when it comes to their use. These are the cells that divide repeatedly forming all the various types of body cells needed for an embryo to develop and grow. Adult stem cells are found in adults and children naturally throughout the body's tissues and organs. The term adult simply refers to stem cells not associated with an embryo. Once a baby is born, the stem cells found in his or her bone marrow and umbilical cord are considered adult stem cells.

Adult Stem Cells vs Embryonic Stem Cells
Most of the controversy surrounding stem cell research has revolved around the use of embryonic stem cells. Early research based on extracting stem cells from embryos was desirable because those stem cells were easily located and they are able to easily change into other types of cells. Not all adult stem cells can do that and they are harder to locate in the body. Adult stem cells are best at changing into the type of cell it is found in to aid in the repair of that particular organ or tissue. More recent advances however have learned how to use adult stem cells in a way that allows them to develop the ability to change into other types of cells. Further advances in research have also identified the benefits of adult stem cells from bone marrow and from the blood in the umbilical cord. In addition, newer research has reported the importance of the number of stem cells circulating in the body. The more stem cells you have circulating throughout the body, the more health benefits you receive. Scientists have discovered correlations between conditions such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, muscular dystrophy, kidney failure and other serious chronic diseases and the number of stem cells circulating in the bloodstream. Adult stem cells also have the advantage of being naturally found in your own body which makes it less likely for your immune system to identify them as foreign invaders and attack them or reject them. Therapies using adult stem cells have been used successfully to treat diabetes, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, and leukemia.

With all this newer research showing the advantages that are available from adult stem cells, many people believe they can avoid the controversy around embryonic stem cells and stay with therapies that only involve the use of adult stem cells. Following this plan, it becomes obvious that supporting and increasing the number of adult stem cells in the body is a must. This is especially true because as we age not only do we need more help in repairing damaged cells, we have less stem cells available to us. There are some ways research has shown that we can use to support the strength and number of our own naturally occurring adult stem cells.

Exercise to Boost Your Stem Cells
One of the more recent discoveries is that you can boost the stem cells in your muscles through exercise. This is good news as we age and are prone to losing muscle mass. Marni Boppart, professor of kinesiology and community health, recognizes that exercise is not always a viable option for some due to disabilities and restricted activity, so more research is needed to discover how these stem cells can be used to prevent and restore muscle loss. For those that can engage in exercise, that is the best way to help with age related muscle loss and boost those related stem cells. In addition, exercise helps increase your HGH (human growth hormone) that is important to health and fitness. Another related benefit of exercise is that it has been shown to decrease the age related process that causes our telomeres to become shorter. Telomeres are found at the end of each chromosome and the older we get the shorter they become resulting in health problems and shorter life span. The effect exercise has on the telomeres can actually lead to a longer life.

Nourishment for Your Stem Cells
There are also several things you can do to nourish your stem cells and improve your body's ability to repair itself. Getting amino acids, such as glutamine, GABA, isoleucine, phenylalanine, arginine, taurine, methionine, valine, lysine, glycine, cysteine, leucine, alanine, and histidine into your diet is important. Glycine, glutamate and cysteine are needed to produce glutathione. Studies are showing that increasing glutathione levels is another way to slow down the process of telomere shortening. This is especially good news for those unable to engage in high intensity exercise programs. Good sources of amino acids are fruits, vegetables, unsaturated oils, and whole grains, and the amino acids needed to produce glutathione in particular are found in whey protein, animal foods, AFA bluegreen algae, and eggs.

Another way to nourish your adult stem cells is through supplementation. Supplementation as a way of supporting adult stem cells has been supported by research such as a study in the Journal of Translational Medicine that reported findings of a nutritional supplement stimulating stem cells. In vitro laboratory studies have shown ingredients found in this stem cell support supplement able to provide nutrition for adult stem cells which they need to be able to reproduce and as having the antioxidant capacity that is known to protect existing stem cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. The amino acids and other superfood nutrition of organic AFA bluegreen algae combined with natural antioxidants such as wild blueberry, green tea, and carnosine provide the powerful nutrition boost behind this supplement.

While research is continuing on stem cells and stem cell therapies and there is still a lot to learn, there are several things research has uncovered as to how stem cells can help slow down or reverse some of the age related damage our bodies go through. This is a promising field of research for health and as new research and therapies are revealed there is a lot of hope for dealing with chronic health conditions. We have learned a lot though about how important our adult stem cells are especially as we age. Start taking care of your own natural stem cells and they'll help you achieve a longer, healthier 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.


Thursday, October 18, 2018

How to Keep Your Mind Health and Your Memory Strong

Our brains use up more of our nutrients than any other organ and other than the heart it uses up most of our energy. That means in order for your brain to work well it has to be getting enough of the nutrients it needs to perform well. According to the 2012 CDC Second Nutrition Report, Americans don't get enough of the nutrition they need with vitamin B6, vitamin D and iron being the biggest deficits and vitamin C and vitamin B12 coming in close after that. Other studies such as a 1997 study by Munoz et al. found that only 1% of the 3307 children studied were getting the RDA recommended amount of vegetables and most of those reported that a fourth of those veggies were French fries (does that really count?). This is not good news. In order for the brain to function properly it needs certain essential fatty acids, glucose, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants.

The brain is very prone to oxidative damage and damage from free radicals. This could be because of the large amount of unsaturated fatty acids found there, the large amount of oxygen that it uses, the activity of the mitochondria that contributes to more free radicals being formed, and the large concentrations of metals like iron, zinc and copper. Regardless of why the brain is so susceptible to oxidative damage, antioxidants are needed in the diet to help fight off this type of damage. Blueberries are not only a great source of antioxidants but research studies such as a 2010 study found in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that participants drinking blueberry juice for a two month period showed a significant improvement on learning and memory tests. Studies have also reported finding that blueberry supplements contributed to an improvement in brain functioning and memory in elder participants with dementia. Then there have been animal studies such as one that found blueberries might be responsible for decreasing symptoms of cognitive deficits that can come with aging such as Alzheimer's and dementia and protect the brain from free radical damage. Dark chocolate is another good antioxidant food for brain health as it also increases production of serotonin and endorphin which can strengthen the ability to concentrate according to Natalie Stephens, clinical dietician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. One study from 2013 reported finding that participants drinking 2 cups of cocoa daily showed an increase in blood flow to the brain and had better performance on memory tests. You do have to be careful that you don't overdo the dark chocolate though as it can add extra calories to your diet. According to nutritionist JJ Virgin, green tea is another good choice for not only antioxidant properties, but also for the amino acid theanine which has been reported to improve mental alertness and focus.

Essential Fatty Acids
About 60% of the brain is made up of fat and the brain needs certain healthy types of fat to function properly. Omega-3 fatty acids are absolutely necessary for brain health and in particular EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexanoic acid) are the two types of omega-3's that are most important to the brain. If you take a look at the food chain you find that these omega-3's often start with microalgae according to Dr. Stephane Cunnane and Dr. Kathy Stewart (2010). You can skip right to the source though by taking a high quality algae supplement especially this one that has the cell wall removed by a special process allowing for the nutrients to cross over the blood brain barrier. This type of algae also provides other good brain nutrition including B vitamins and amino acids that contribute to healthy brain functioning. Eating fatty fish like salmon, nuts and flaxseeds are also a way to get more omega-3's in your diet. Studies done on the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on brain health have found they can reduce the risk of dementia, contribute to boosting memory by making brain synapses stronger, and repair brain cells.

Your brain also needs sugar to fuel it, but the type of sugar it needs is glucose. Glucose is made by the body from the carbohydrates you eat whether simple or complex. Complex carbs are the healthier choice as they also help in lowering cholesterol levels and create brain power by reducing plaque buildup which increases blood flow to the brain. This would include whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa and foods like potatoes, beans, peas, and lentils. Other good food sources for glucose include AFA blue green algae, and dark chocolate. Whereas glucose is a small enough molecule to pass through the blood brain barrier, it needs to be paired with an appropriate protein to do so.

Amino Acids
The brain needs protein to function properly however proteins are not able to pass through the blood brain barrier until they break down into amino acids. There are over 500 identified amino acids that exist, but there are only 22 that are needed to build proteins that are essential for life to exist. These are categorized as either an "essential" or "non-essential" amino acid. An essential amino acid is not one that is more necessary or important than a non-essential amino acid, but is one that the body cannot produce on its own and therefore has to come from foods we eat. Fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids is not only a great protein source for brain health, but also has the healthy fats that are important for the brain. You can also get the amino acid protein building blocks you need by eating white meat chicken, seafood or other lean meats, sea vegetables, spirulina, AFA bluegreen algae, brewers yeast, some types of vegetables such as cabbage, beets, beans, and spinach, soy, dairy, and whole grains. AFA bluegreen algae is a particularly good choice as it contains glucose and essential fatty acids and is a rich source of phenylalanine, an amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier faster than any other amino acid. It has all 20 amino acids our bodies need for the building blocks of healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters needed for proper brain function. It also provides a perfect ratio of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, helps maintain normal, healthy blood chemistry that feeds the brain, and provides an ideal balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, complex sugars, and fiber.

More Brain Food
Other foods you can add to your brain food diet to help with memory, focus and other cognitive skills include beets, bananas, spinach, and eggs. The nitrates in beets helps get more blood and oxygen to the brain thus improving performance, bananas are loaded with potassium that contributes to brain health, spinach contains lutein, folate, and beta-carotene which according to dietitian Tara Gidus have been found to help reduce the risk of dementia, and eggs including the yolk are a good source of DHA omega-3 which helps memory and mood and have choline that helps keep brain cell membranes healthy according to health coach Lori Shemek. There are also herbs that have been researched for their effect on brain functioning such as ginkgo biloba and ginseng. You can get Ginkgo biloba as well as the whole food nutrition of AFA bluegreen algae, eleuthero, wheatgrass juice, bee pollen, Lion's Mane mushroom and noni in this algae brain support supplement. That means not only do you get the memory enhancing benefits of Ginkgo biloba, but also the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, B vitamins and other nutrients that feed the brain. In addition, 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.

Feeding your brain what it needs will help you keep a strong healthy mind and memory. Get started feeding you brain now the nutrition it craves and must have for optimal brain health. It will pay off in increased memory, focus and the ability to concentrate now and will help you keep your brain functioning well as you get older. That's a win-win!

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.

Bruno, PhD, Jeffrey, Eat Light & Feel Bright

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Getting Fit While Avoiding the "No Pain, No Gain" Syndrome

Exercise is definitely a good way to get fit, but there is a difference between getting fit and over doing it. If you adhere to the "No Pain, No Gain" philosophy, you just may be overtraining. This can mean you are putting too much stress on your muscles, tendons and joints. Every time you exercise you break down muscle tissue. Your body responds by generating a response to inflammation to repair the damage caused. Continuing to produce this type of damage without time for the body to heal can throw your body into a constant inflammatory state. Usually after overtraining or over exercising, we back off on our exercise and give the muscles a rest, but there are also other solutions that can help your body recover when you overdo it.

Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining
How do you know if you are overtraining? If you are engaging in a lot of exercise or training you can push your muscles past their limit so that they will need to rest in order for the body to repair them. You'll feel the fatigue and it can splash over into other areas of your life and not just your workout performance. You may notice that you are going slower, feel tired and are not performing up to par. You may also be irritable, have sore muscles, feel faint, experience sleeping problems, be depressed, be especially bothered by even small pains and you may find that your resting pulse is higher than it normally is. You may also find that you lose interest in your training or exercise program. All of these signs and symptoms are indications that you are overtraining.

Nutrition for Overtraining
Many of these symptoms of overtraining can be helped by making sure you are getting enough calories. If you are physically exerting your body more than normal, then you need more calories for energy replacement and your muscles need more vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It is recommended that those who engage in heavy exercise on a regular basis or intense training programs have a diet that includes 15% protein, 25% fat, and 60% carbohydrates. Getting the right vitamins through diet is also an important consideration. For example, you need B vitamins for breaking down those fats, carbs and proteins and the body uses them fast enough that they need to be constantly replaced.

One of the more serious problems with overtraining is the inflammatory response that is activated. Inflammation is the body's response to foreign invaders, irritation or injury. This is good when it is needed, but too much can cause the body to become confused and attack itself damaging its own tissues. Too much heavy exercise can contribute to free radicals that 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. The best source for antioxidants is brightly colored fruits and vegetables, so make sure you are getting plenty of these. Other dietary considerations to help recovery from overtraining include:

- Protein – and the amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, iron and other nutrients it has is necessary for muscle building and needed to repair damage done to muscles. Eating good lean protein foods just before or after a heavy exercise period can help the body recover faster. Fish, chicken, and lean red meats give you the most complete protein. Vegetarians need to know how to combine different sources of proteins to make sure they get all the essential amino acids they need. For example, have grains along with legumes or dairy products.

- Complex carbohydrates - such as from whole grain breads and cereals, rice and pasta, fruits and vegetables are needed for extra energy. Yes, too many carbs can cause you to gain weight, but you don't have to worry about that if you are doing heavy exercise that is burning it off. Running 15 miles burns off about 1500 calories, so the more heavy training you do, the more carbs you need to fuel your muscles.

- Healthy fats – such as monounsaturated fats found in avocados, nuts, olives and oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil are the type to add to your diet to help it recover from overtraining. Saturated and trans fats add to the inflammatory state in the body as well as contribute to problems with your arteries and should be avoided.

- Hydrate – Sweat from heavy exercise causes fluid loss. During exercise have water to drink and be sure to drink right after cooling down from an exercise period to replace the fluids you've lost.

Resting for Overtraining
Rest is another important component for recovery from overtraining. Your body needs time to heal damage done to muscles, tendons and ligaments from heavy exercise and from free radical damage. Allowing them the time to heal properly will make muscles stronger, whereas not taking the time to let them heal can lead to further damage. Not only can symptoms of overtraining come about through not taking breaks in between heavy exercise periods, but also through repetitive exercise. Doing the same routines over and over again creates an imbalance in muscle strength.

Supplements for Support
There are whole food nutritional supplements that can also help give your body the support it needs due to inflammation caused by heavy exercise. This supplement works especially well when taken before workouts to provide a whole food source for maximum energy from its combination of AFA bluegreen algae, wheatgrass juice, cordyceps mushrooms, bee pollen, turmeric, noni, and green tea. Another supplement with nutrition for those engaging in heavy exercise combines plant-based proteolytic enzymes--bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, together with organic AFA bluegreen algae. And this supplement has the nutrition of vegetable-based glucosamine, chondroitin, UC-II® undenatured collagen, and organic AFA bluegreen algae that has been found useful in helping support healthy, flexible, and strong joints and its supporting cartilage.

Exercise is a good thing, but like many other good things, you can have too much. If you are in heavy training for a particular sport or event, make sure your training program includes the nutrition you need and the time to rest overworked muscles.

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


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Preventing Sugar Overload on Halloween

Is Halloween a fabulously fun event at your house or a total nightmare? It could be either one according to your perspective and experience. On the one hand it can be lots of fun for the kids with costuming, using creativity and imagination, parties to go to, making Jack-O-Lanterns, and maybe trick or treating and even if you don't have kids, many adults enjoy these same aspects of Halloween. On the other hand, Halloween usually means lots and lots of SUGAR and that can be a nightmare especially for families that stress healthy eating. You and your children can still enjoy Halloween though without the sugar highs and lows by using a few of these Halloween tips and making some healthy Halloween treats.

Healthy Planning Before Halloween
Start out with a plan to at least cut down on some of the sugar that comes with Halloween. This plan could be that instead of trick-or-treating, you get together with a social group or other families that encourage healthy eating and have a Halloween party. Then instead of the typical candy associated with Halloween, offer healthy fun Halloween snacks. You'll find a ton of them on the internet. One of the cutest I saw lately was cutting a banana in half by width and using raisins for eyes and mouth to make ghosts. From there you can always use oranges or Cuties to make pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns, round cheese and pretzels to put together a spider and lots more. Just use your imagination or put out a variety of healthy foods and let the kids make a party game out of coming up with their own scary creations. With a party you can obviously control the sugar intake much easier, but some families just love the tradition of trick-or-treating. That's Ok too. There are still ways to make a plan to cut down on sugar. First, make sure you and/or your child eats a good healthy meal before hitting the streets. That will help cut down on snacking between houses. Even better, make a rule that nothing gets eaten until you get home. That is a good rule for all sorts of safety reasons these days as candy can be tampered with. At our house the rule was that Mom had to inspect all candy and anything looking suspicious, tampered with or open went in the trash. I always had some extra dollar store toys or healthier treats to trade for anything I felt needed to be thrown away. In your plan include an explanation of why your family chooses to eat healthy and decide together on a reasonable amount of candy that can be collected. Anything over that amount can maybe be saved for a later time or given away or just plain thrown out. Again you can cut down on disappointment and arguments by having some healthy treats or small toys to "trade". My grandson has severe food allergies and therefore our routine at Halloween was for his mom to take him trick-or-treating and save my house for last. I would have special treats that he could eat or little toys for me to trade him for the candy with nuts or milk products that he could not eat. He always thought that was special and we never had any problem getting him to trade. Once you set an amount of candy that is appropriate within your family, stick to the plan. Let the children decide which pieces they will keep and which they will get rid of to help them feel a part of the process.

Catching Up After Halloween
Even if you are trying to lose weight it's OK to have an occasional splurge. That leaves your body not feeling deprived and will actually support your weight loss plan instead of sabotaging it. So count Halloween as a splurge and the day after get yourself back on track with your healthy eating plan right away. Be sure you drink lots of water the next day to help rid your body of the excess sugar and other indulgences. For the next few days really pack your meals and snacks with lots of good veggies and fruits, whole grains and lean proteins. Make time to fit in some extra exercise too so that you boost your metabolism and sweat out the unhealthy stuff. Really get your body right back on craving the healthy foods instead of sugary and fatty foods. Microalgae can also help you do this as shown through studies done in the 1980s that reported eating bluegreen algae helped improved insulin resistance, improved the uptake of glucose, regulated cholesterol, increased protection with antioxidants which reduced oxidative stress, and improved blood lipid profiles. Studies such as these have long found that many green plants including algae have insulin-like antigens that are able to decrease blood glucose levels and help blood sugar levels stay more stable. Since algae is loaded with minerals, antioxidants, soluble fibers, amino acids, essential fatty acids and tons of healthy nutrients, it can help support your body with healthy nutrition before Halloween and after. After a sugar splurge you also want to be sure to beef up your probiotics as sugar is detrimental to those friendly bacteria we depend on for digestive and immune health. Acidophilus is one of the most effective probiotics for battling sugar side effects, and supports the health of the small intestine. Bifidus is another helpful probiotic, and supports the health of the large intestine. The easiest way to get all the good nutrition from AFA bluegreen algae, probiotics and digestive enzymes to help your digestive system survive your sugar splurge is with these convenient packets that include them all. Start taking them before Halloween hits and continue once Halloween is over.

Halloween doesn't have to be so scary with thoughts of sugar and fat ruining your diet or healthy eating plan. Just get a Halloween plan made and use some of these support ideas to help your family have a fun and safe Halloween this year.

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 websiteSign up for our twice monthly email newsletter for even more health and nutrition related articles.

Image courtesy of  zirconicusso  /  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Bruno, PhD, Jeffrey, Eat Light and Feel Bright

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Sleepless and Sleepy? Try These Tips

Sleepless nights leaving you sleepy the next day? Your body needs sleep to recharge itself and have energy for the next day. And it's not just how much sleep you're getting but the quality of that sleep that counts. For example, REM or rapid eye movement is a stage of sleep that we enter after about one and a half hours into sleep time. This stage is necessary for restoring the body and it is the stage in which we dream. If this stage is interrupted it can cause a lack of energy the next day or trouble with concentration. If you have sleepless nights or insomnia leaving you worn out, here are some tips that can help.

Exercise for Sleeplessness
Get your vigorous exercise done early and avoid this type of exercise three to four hours before bedtime. Having a regular exercise routine can help you get a good night's sleep, but done too close to bedtime gives you a surge of energy that is hard to come down from to get to sleep. Exercises that can be helpful for some people just before bed are the types like yoga and tai chi that are more gentle.

Changes in the Bedroom
If you have trouble sleeping it may be that you need to make a few changes in your sleeping environment. The blue light you get from electronics like the TV, computer, cell phone or even your digital clock emit waves that can interfere with the quality of sleep you get. Some people find that dimming the regular lights in the bedroom or even the whole house a few hours before you go to bed can give your body a gentle signal that it is time to start resting and prepare for sleep. Melatonin which is the hormone that helps you sleep is triggered by dimming lights. If you like to read in bed to help you relax before going to sleep use a lower watt bulb like a 15 watt. You can also prepare your body for sleep by setting up a routine that will send a signal that sleep time is near. Find a calming activity to do such as making that your meditation time or soaking in a warm tub. Make the activity something you can do each night to set it up as a routine that your body will start recognizing as a signal. If you are the type that goes to bed and all the worries of the day or what is to come starts nagging at you and keeping you awake, make part of your routine a journaling time. Write down all the worries and if you want to include possible solutions. This allows you to get them all out, put them aside, turn your mind off and get to sleep.

Avoid Naps
Napping during the day works for some people, but for others it can interfere with getting to sleep at night. If you fall into that category and really need a nap in the middle of the day, try going for 15 to 20 minutes for a power nap or just letting your body rest and rejuvenate without going into deep sleep. You can also try avoiding the nap altogether and go for a walk instead or drink some ice water. Then re-evaluate and see if you really still need that nap.

Nutritional Solutions
If you are a coffee drinker or take medications that have caffeine, try to avoid these in the second half of the day. Caffeine can not only keep you awake but impedes getting to the deep stages of sleep the body needs to really rejuvenate. It can take up to 8 hours for the caffeine effects to dissipate so avoid adding to your caffeine fix about 6 hours before bed if you think this could be the reason for your sleeplessness.

Taking the form of AFA bluegreen algae with the cell wall removed before bedtime helps some people relax their brain so they can get a good night's sleep. Another supplement some find helpful by taking at night is bifidus or Bifidobacterium bifidum which is a type of beneficial bacteria found naturally in the intestines. This bifidus supplement has added bluegreen algae and the prebiotic inulin to noursish the bifidus. Bifidus is an important part of early childhood development, and strongly affects our self-esteem, confidence and sense of wholeness. Taking 2-4 bifidus capsules before bedtime can help with waking up rested and confident.

Sleep is a very important part of healthy living. Stop tossing and turning, counting sheep and having sleepless nights. Give some of these sleep tips a try and find out what works for you to get a good night's sleep.

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 websiteSign up for our twice monthly email newsletter for even more health and nutrition related articles.