Thursday, November 29, 2018

Healthy Living for Improved Immunity

For improved immunity there are healthy living steps you can take. No one likes being sick and keeping our immune systems healthy is something we can do to prevent or cut down on the amount of sick days we have to endure. The immune system is our defense system so working towards improved immunity is a big step in the direction to healthy living.

Improved Immunity From the Outside
Many people don't think of skin as part of the immune system, but it is actually our first line of defense in protecting the body from pathogens and protecting against the damaging effects of free radicals. Having healthy skin is a two part process. What you put on the inside of your body and what you put on the outside both contribute. For the inside, a healthy diet, plenty of fresh water, and sufficient exercise are important. For the outside, protection from sun damage by wearing a hat and long sleeves when outside in the sun, using a good sunscreen and nourishing the skin are all important. When looking for a skin lotion, consider not just what is in it, but also what is not in it. I like this lotion that is full of food-grade nutrients my skin craves, like vitamin E, organic blue-green algae, and wholesome oils, all of which work together to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, encourage skin cell renewal, stimulate the skin's immune system, and help protect against the effects of free radicals. Besides what it does have in it, it also does not have things that I don't want on my skin such as parabens, synthetics, and petrochemicals. This lotion has the added bonus of WGP Beta Glucan which is a powerful immunomodulator.

Improved Immunity From the Inside
Antioxidants –
Adding foods with antioxidants to your diet can give you a boost towards improved immunity. Antioxidants fight off free radicals that can damage healthy body cells. Since our bodies do not produce enough antioxidants naturally to deal sufficiently with free radicals we can get more of the antioxidant vitamins, minerals and enzymes we need through foods and dietary supplements. Foods that are high in antioxidants are bright colored vegetables and fruits like dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli and spinach, oranges, berries, red peppers, papayas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

Go To Bed -
Americans in particular are notorious for not getting enough good quality sleep each night. This is another source that negatively affects the immune system. A study done at the University of Chicago reported men getting only 4 hours of sleep a night producing much less antibodies than those getting seven and a half to eight and a half hours. Making sure you get the proper amount of uninterrupted sleep every night is another way to work towards improved immunity.

Bluegreen Algae -
Nutrients that support immune function include Vitamin A, beta-carotene, zinc, iron, B-vitamins, amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and nucleotides. An easy way to get all of these is by eating microalgae. Studies of school children report a significant decrease in sick days resulting in an increase in school attendance for participants that ate AFA blue-green algae. The carotenoids in AFA blue-green algae have also been shown to enhance immune function by giving protection to the thymus gland and antioxidant protection to white blood cells and other immune cells. Animal studies have found that those fed algae were the least likely to contract disease. (Jeffrey Bruno, Edible Microalgae)

For improved immunity, I like to include a supplement that combines pure ubiquinol, reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and bluegreen alage to my diet. This supplement was designed to activate cellular energy making it a support for a healthy cardiovascular system as well as improved immunity. Reishi mushrooms have been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properites. It is also high in beta glucans, polysaccharides and triterpenoid compounds as well as being rich in proteins, enzymes, and minerals. Oyster mushrooms are not only rich in protein, but high in B vitamins and lovastatin which helps balance blood cholesterol levels. Ubiquinol is an active antioxidant form of coenzyme Q10 that supports cardiovascular, nervous system and immune system health. Adding all these ingredients in with bluegreen alage gives me a powerful tool for improved immunity.

Avoid Chronic Stress -
There has been quite a bit of research done on how stress negatively affects healthy living in many ways. In regards to the immune system, stress can affect the cells such as macrophages and T cells that protect us against the foreign invaders that make us sick. Marc Schoen, PhD, an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, suggests that for improved immunity instead of going from high stress to a collapse state, it is better to let the body slide into relaxation at a slower pace. So for example, when coming off a high stress period include some exercise or some activities that require concentration. It is always a good idea for healthy living to find ways that work for you that are stress reducers. Many people think of yoga, meditation or relaxing in a bath with candles when they think of stress reducers. If that works for you then great, but if not consider other ways such as sports, hobbies, or some form of exercise.

Make Time for Friends-
Research has shown that healthy living is also linked to our relationships and activities with other people. Those who have relationships with other people at home, work, socially or are involved in community activities with others live longer and don't get sick as often. Laughter is often a component when we are involved in activities with other people and laugher has been shown to support immune cell function and be a stress reducer. Attitude may have some relationship to this as well since research has also shown that people who are more optimistic are less inclined to be stressed and have healthier immune systems than their more pessimistic counterparts. It is harder to get down in the dumps when surrounded by positive people, when staying active and involved with others and when having a good time, so making time in your busy schedule to go out with friends and for socializing is another step on the path to healthy living. If you start feeling guilty about being out having a good time when you feel you should be finishing a work project, just remember that it can actually be a step towards improved immunity which means you won't be taking sick time out later that will interfere with work.

In today's environments with lots of pollution, exposure to toxins, fast paced lives with stress, less than optimal food sources and lack of sleep, it takes work for healthy living and for improved immunity. The bottom line is start enjoying life more and you will stay healthier. Eat good food, support your diet with supplementation that gives you good nutrients, lighten up, have some fun and get enough sleep and you will find healthy living isn't all that hard to accomplish.

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.


Jeffrey Bruno, Edible Microalgae

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Recharge While You Sleep

We are all so pressed for time these days, that it can be difficult to recharge your energy. One of the best ways to increase your level of energy is to recharge while you sleep. The quality of your sleep determines how refreshed you feel when you wake up in the morning, and how much energy you have during the day. Adding some probiotics and bluegreen algae to your nightly regimen can really help you recharge while you sleep:

Bluegreen Algae with the cellwall removed:
This form of algae, which is core of the algae without the cell wall, relaxes the brain and allows you to get a peaceful night's rest. Take 1-2 capsules before bed.

Bifidus is an important part of early childhood development, and strongly affects our self-esteem, confidence and sense of wholeness. Adding 2-4 bifidus capsules to your evening regimen can help you wake rested, confident and ready to charge into your day!

While digestive enzymes certainly help us digest our food, on a metaphysical level, they can also help us digest and "work through" the knotty problems of the day. If you're facing a difficult situation or problem and need some solutions, take 2-4 enzymes before bed. Chances are that you will awaken with the needed solution!

As always, you can order all of these algae products online.

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, November 22, 2018

The Holiday Pre-Season Anti-Stress Guide

Just when you think you have all the stress you can endure through work, family, maintaining a home, community and social engagements, here come the holidays! While this can be a joyous time it also can add extra stress. Are you ready with an anti-stress plan for all the extra stress the holidays bring? The additional travel, shopping, overeating, tension of guests and weather changes that come with the holiday season can bring on lots of harmful stress. Stress can negatively affect the digestive system, immune system, cardiovascular system, adrenal function, cause headaches, weight gain, depression, reduced libido, diarrhea, affect memory and just plain wear us out to the point that energy levels are low. According to Michael Smith, ND, of the Carolinas Natural Health Center in North Carolina, most of us don't even know how stressed out we are. The American Psychological Association reported in the 2009 Stress in America study that 24% of adults have a high level of tension which was a 42% increase over the year before. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 18.1% of adults deal with some type of anxiety disorder. That's a lot of people dealing with stress and anxiety and often holiday time just piles on more.

How Stress Works
When we are physically, mentally or emotionally stressed, the brain signals the adrenal glands to release hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This isn't entirely bad if you just need that kick in the pants to meet a deadline and then everything returns to normal. But when chronically stressed, the body stays in this mode and that's when health problems can start. In addition, cortisol can harm the friendly bacteria in our intestines that are part of the immune system's arsenal for fighting off bacteria and viruses that can make us sick and that help with digestion.

The best way of dealing with stress in the holidays is to get an anti-stress plan together before the holidays hit. Here are some of the ways we found experts recommend of how to deal with stress.

Laugh and Smile
Smiling and laughing are both good ways of dealing with stress. Even if you don't feel like you have anything to smile about, using your smile muscles helps decrease stress responses your body makes and can help with lowering your heart rate. When you laugh you send more oxygen to organs and increase your blood flow which reduces stress and lowers stress hormones. Make sure this holiday season you take the time to watch a comedy, read a funny book or just get together with friends or family that make you laugh and smile. Even if it means you don't quite get all your holiday hustle and bustle errands done, you'll be giving yourself the gift of health.

Take a Breather
When really feeling stressed take a whiff of lavender or rosemary. Studies have shown that these aromas can lower cortisol production and cause us to relax. If you are on painkillers or anti-anxiety medicines, check with your doctor before using lavender as it can have an effect on them. If you live in an area where you still have grass through the winter, go out and smell some fresh cut grass and that will help stop stress hormones from releasing. Just deep breathing itself is relaxing for that matter as it increases oxygen levels in the bloodstream. Some experts recommend doing sessions of conscious deep breathing, making sure you breathe in a way that expands the abdomen and breathing out slowly. Doing this for ten minutes can really help your body relax, be more energized, lower blood pressure and boost your immune system. If you don't have ten minutes, then just do it as often throughout the day as you can.

Relaxation Can Be Music to the Ears
Studies have also shown that music can aid relaxation and help in dealing with stress. One study reported an increased reduction of cortisol for participants listening to Latin choral music over those listening to a rippling water recording. It turns out that there is a difference in how music affects the mood according to what type of music is used. For example, another study showed improvement in mood for participants listening to Mozart, but did not get similar results from other instrumental music pieces and worse results when listening to music from the "Schindler's List" soundtrack. If the music you are listening to makes you happy and adds to your smiling, then there is probably benefit to it. With the holidays, this could be carols and other spiritual tradition music pieces. If you aren't sure what to listen to, then try singing yourself. Whether you are a great singer or not, singing has been reported to boost mood and help in managing stress. It's also a good way to incorporate deep breathing into your day and can boost the immune system.

Sweat Off That Tension
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, decreases adrenaline levels, increases oxygen to the lungs, boosts metabolism and digestive function, helps make new brain neurons and increases dopamine and serotonin production with are hormones that regulate mood and give us a lift. Whether you do an intense workout or just go for a long walk, exercise is a great anti-stress tool. If you can do your exercise outdoors then you get an extra benefit in boosting mood. If you are really stressed, a 30 minute workout can do wonders, but if you don't have that kind of time, do what you can and look for ways to incorporate exercise into your day. You might park farther away from the door at work or a store so you have to walk further or walk in place while folding laundry or cleaning or include family dance time in your holiday activities.

Nutrition Tips
You probably know that eating fast food, junk food, sugary foods and simple carb filled foods are not good for you. In times of stress your body is subjected to oxidative damage from the stress and then these types of foods add even more. The problem is that the holiday season is often filled with just these types of foods. Don't beat yourself up about indulging in some of these foods over the holidays as there is research that show eating some high-calorie comfort type foods can help reduce stress responses as they act as a kind of natural reward. Just be sure you don't overdo eating these types of foods and then make sure you get lots of fresh fruits and veggies for antioxidant protection from free radicals to fight off the oxidative damage they cause, foods with omega-3 fatty acids like olive oil, salmon and walnuts to help boost mood, and drink green tea for the antioxidants and to relax. Foods with magnesium, B vitamins, cholorphyll and lean protein also help the body in dealing with stress. That means incorporate foods such as leafy greens, halibut, oysters, nuts, seeds, whole grains, white meat poultry, sprouts and bluegreen algae into your holiday meals.

Clean Up
Studies also show that being unorganized and dealing with a cluttered home or work space can add to anxiety and stress. Before the holidays get here start working on cleaning out drawers, cabinets, closets, your desk and other workspaces. Make lists ahead of time for those extra holiday chores you need to get done and schedule them in on your calendar spreading the tasks out over time so you don't end up with a big hectic rush the day before. Find your holiday decorations or dishes and get them cleaned up and organized ahead of time. You can get the whole family into the holiday spirit by dividing up some of these chores among other family members and don't think you have to do it all. It may be that it is time to let go of some of the traditional activities you are used to doing to save your sanity and your health. As life moves forward, so must we. If you are stressing out about cramming everything into a short period of time, re-think and re-prioritize your activities and go with the ones that are most important to you and your family.

Anti-Stress Supplements
Nutritional supplements can also be helpful during the holiday season to help in dealing with stress. Fish oil supplements can help get your omega-3 fatty acids in for reducing cortisol levels and thus reducing stress. Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins through whole foods supplements are also good supplements for an anti-stress plan. Probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus can help support the digestive system that may have to be working overtime during the holidays and support the friendly bacteria in your system. Those friendly bacteria also help produce the B-12 vitamins that help keep you calm and happy. A good digestive enzyme supplement will also help counteract the damage of sugary, fatty foods and overeating by helping with digestion, and fighting off gas, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn and bloating. Then there is of course bluegreen algae to get the chlorophyll and magnesium as well as lots of healthy nutrients to help your body in dealing with stress. Just to make it easier during the holiday season, get all these in convenient packets you can carry with you easily when traveling or just running around getting your errands done or while at the gym. Another algae supplement that can help get you through the holidays and through a stressful active life in particular is this supplement with a combination of organic wild bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni that was created for those with a demanding, high-stakes lifestyle, where heightened focus and mental clarity is a critical factor. Ubiquinol is an active antioxidant form of coenzyme Q10 which is important for stress relief and improved daily energy and is good for the heart. Heart nourishment is important to joy, which is after all what the holiday season is all about, right? You'll find it in this supplement that also has reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and AFA bluegreen algae. Reishi mushrooms are high in beta glucans, polysaccharides and triterpenoid compounds as well as being rich in proteins, enzymes, and minerals. Oyster mushrooms are not only rich in protein, but high in B vitamins and lovastatin which helps balance blood cholesterol levels.

We hope you have a wonderful, relaxing holiday season this year whatever traditions you celebrate. Get a jump on holiday stress now by using some of these tips for dealing with stress and make this the healthiest holiday you've ever had.

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, November 15, 2018

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

"When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude."
– G.K. Chesterton

This quote by G.K. Chesterton is so appropriate as we celebrate Thanksgiving and think of all we have to be thankful for and show gratitude for. In fact, being thankful, showing gratitude and facing life with a positive attitude creates more of the same in our lives. Whether you call it Law of Attraction, the level of your being attracts the level of your life, what goes around comes around, you reap what you sow, or like attracts like it all boils down to the thoughts, emotions, actions, and energies that you put out affect what you bring to or create in your life. If you are surrounded by negative people, negative circumstances, and just plain negativity in general, maybe it's time to check your positivity barometer. What types of thoughts are you thinking, what are your predominant emotions, what messages do you say or think about yourself, and how do you treat others? If you are creating negative energy in your life, this is the perfect time to start turning all that around. Get yourself a gratitude list started and find things you can add to it daily. In case you're having a hard time beginning, take a look at some of the ways we found from various sources that you could start using to get you in the positive space for giving thanks and to create more positive things to be thankful for in your own life. These lists are just to get your creative juices flowing with some examples, then you can add to these lists or create your own.

Giving Thanks: Small Wonders to Be Thankful For
1. Cuddly warm socks or your favorite old shirt to kick around the house in.

2. The unconditional love or adoration of a pet.

3. Modern appliances that make our lives easier.

4. A beautiful sunset.

5. The smell of baking cookies or bread.

6. Freshly washed sheets on the bed.

7. Being able to make a gratitude list and having the freedom to put anything you want on it.

8. Taking a walk, breathing in fresh air and the fact that you can do both these.

9. Your favorite book, music or TV show on a rainy day.

10. Getting a letter or card in the mail from a friend.

Giving Thanks: Expressing Gratitude
1. Pay special attention to the food you are eating at a meal and use all your senses to enjoy it and be thankful for it.

2. For every text you get today on your phone send out a silent blessing of gratitude that you have this technology that allows you to stay connected to others you care about so easily.

3. Show your gratitude for the beauty you find in nature by creating a table centerpiece or some artwork using items you find outside – pebbles, flower buds, leaves, twigs, etc...

4. Send a card to a service worker to thank them for the job they do. Could be your local firefighters, police, sanitation worker, or military personnel.

5. I love what my friend whose son died at age 12 does every year to express gratitude for the time she had him in her life. Every year on his birthday and Christmas she goes to the toy store, picks out what she would have bought for him and sticks the amount of cash it costs under the box. In her mind she can just see some other little boy or girl wanting that toy that maybe mom or dad can't afford and finding the money right there to pay for it and make that small dream come true for them.

6. Take a few minutes each day this week to just sit in silence and reflect on the people and circumstances in your life that you have to be thankful for. Send this energy out to the Universe.

7. Take the time to write a note to an employer about an employee at a restaurant or store who was especially attentive or helpful to you.

8. As you are walking around a store, the mall, or park or wherever you walk, really look at the people you pass, smile at them, and think of one nice thing you notice about them. You don't have to say it out loud, just think it in your head. Nice hair, love your shoes, what a graceful way of walking she has, how natural that guy is with his child, etc...

9. Write up a gratitude list with all you have to be thankful for – big and small. You might even pass it around the table at Thanksgiving dinner and let your loved ones add their own gratitudes to it.

10. Here's a harder one. Write a thank you note to someone who has caused you frustration or even anger. Look for the lesson behind why this person entered your life and what there could be to learn from the situation. You don't actually have to send the letter if that makes you uncomfortable. The point is to find the good in difficult situations and the lessons adversity can bring us.

Giving Thanks: Spreading Positivity
1. Silently bless a stranger as you walk by them. You might also do a Pay It Forward action for them. It could be something as simple as opening a door for them, holding the elevator, or putting some coins in a parking meter that has just expired.

2. Help undernourished children, adults and animals around the world by making a GIVE donation.

3. Invite someone that you think might be alone at Thanksgiving to share your Thanksgiving meal. Think about if an elderly neighbor has lost a spouse and has grown children that live far away, or a co-worker who doesn't have family near.

4. Do some volunteer work in something that interests you or that you are grateful for. If you love reading, volunteer at the library, if you are thankful for the doctors and nurses that took care of you or a loved one volunteer at the hospital. If you just don't have time for regular volunteer work, volunteer for single events like a pet adoption day, a soup kitchen, or a kid's event. If you don't even have time for that, make some Christmas toy bags or toiletry bags to give to charity or just pluck a card off one of your local Toy Drive trees and fulfill a child's Christmas dreams.

5. Write your own prayer or blessing of thanks to share at dinner on Thanksgiving. You can get really creative and do it in verse or rhyme or have a chorus that everyone can join in on like a chant.

6. Make decorations to brighten up your home for whatever you celebrate – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, the Fall season, Winter Solstice, ... Be creative and place your intention on positive thoughts and the joy you experience making and displaying your creations.

7. Visit a nursing home to share a special talent you have with the elders. If you are musical play and sing for them, if not, offer to lead some games or storytelling. Check with the recreation director and discuss what talents you have to offer to brighten an elder's day.

8. Make a goal of complimenting 5 people today. It could be people you know or might be strangers you encounter. Just pick 5 people throughout the day to say something nice about them to them.

9. Burn a copy of a song to a cd that you find great pleasure in or that moves you and send it to a friend.

10. Do a small act of kindness for a neighbor. For example, my mother walks her dog up and down her street each morning. She picks up each neighbor's newspaper off the sidewalk and places it on their porch. She has done this every day for years and many people probably think the paper is put there by the delivery person, but I know the truth and it makes my mom feel good to do this small act and makes her feel she is doing something nice to show appreciation for her neighborhood and her neighbors.

I hope you have a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving Day. I hope that no matter what your life circumstances are, you find many things to be thankful for, find ways to express them and put that positive energy out into the world. Remember the more positive you put out the more positive that will return to you.

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


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

7 Ways to Have a Healthy Happy Heart

You've heard the saying, "the heart wants what the heart wants" referring to love associated with this organ, but in reality it's the heart needs what the heart needs when it comes to keeping your physical heart healthy. The heart along with blood and blood vessels including arteries, veins and capillaries make up your cardiovascular system or circulatory system as it is also called and are responsible for the circulation of blood to deliver nutrients and oxygen throughout the body and taking waste to the organs that provide elimination of them from the body. In recent years it seems people are more aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy heart and taking steps to boost their heart health, but the sad news is that the American Heart Association still lists cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in Americans. By making some dietary and lifestyle changes however we can improve our cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of killing diseases and conditions such as heart attack, stroke, arteriosclerosis, and hypertension. For a healthy heart make sure your diet has the following nutritional components included.

1. Antioxidants for a Healthy Heart
Antioxidants provide protection from free radical damage and help repair damage done to body cells from free radicals and oxidative stress. The rule of thumb for antioxidants is that the more colorful the veggie, the more antioxidants it provides. For a healthy heart, green veggies full of carotenoids are particularly important. Not only do you get antioxidant protection from vegetables, but you also get heart healthy fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. Tomatoes are another good vegetable to add to the diet for a healthy heart as they contain lycopene, an antioxidant carotenoid found to reduce the risk of heart attack, reduce bad cholesterol levels, and help in keeping blood vessels open. They are also a good source of potassium that is good for heart health. Another great category of antioxidants for heart health are flavonoids that can help keep blood pressure stable and reduce inflammation. Berries get their red and blue colors from anthocyanins which are flavonoids that are reported to help keep blood vessels open and help reduce high blood pressure. One study done with women from 25 to 42 years of age reported a 32% less risk of heart attack for those eating blueberries and strawberries more than 3 times a week. Pomegranates are another good source of anthocyanins and also have polyphenols, another flavonoid, that are heart healthy. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit are also good sources of flavonoids and vitamin C. Research has found that adding these to the diet can lower strokes resulting from blood clots by 19%. Before adding some of these antioxidant foods to your diet though, check with your healthcare provider, especially if you are taking statins or blood thinners, as some of these foods may not be safe in conjunction with these medications.

When adding antioxidants to your diet for a healthy heart, consider switching your morning coffee to green tea that has catechins. Studies have shown green tea to positively affect cholesterol levels and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Then treat yourself to some dark chocolate with its flavonoid polyphenols. Just make sure you are getting real dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa and not milk chocolate. Another reason antioxidants are particularly good for heart and the whole body is the nourishment they provide for your natural stem cells. Stem cells have the unique ability to become any other type of cell the body needs and be able to go to places with damaged cells and replace them. By nourishing your stem cells you help them reproduce and the antioxidants protect these stem cells from becoming damaged by free radicals. When your schedule keeps you from getting the antioxidant protection you need in your diet, this antioxidant algae supplement may be a solution for you with its wild blueberry, green tea, carnosine, and organic wild bluegreen algae.

2. Healthy Food: Fats
Your body, especially the brain and the heart, needs healthy fats. One of the types of fats that can help reduce abnormal heartbeat, reduce the triglycerides in the blood, help reduce plaque in arteries, and reduce blood pressure is omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines several times a week can help you get these healthy fats. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios and peanuts not only give you these healthy fats for the heart, but also fiber and vitamin E that are also heart healthy. Fish oil supplements, seeds such as flax and chia, healthy oils like olive and flax, and AFA bluegreen algae are other good sources for omega-3's. Monounsaturated fats are another healthy type of fat that can add to the health of your heart and cardiovascular system. This is the type of fat found in avocados, nuts, olives and oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil. Studies have found that eating a diet high in grains, fruits, and vegetables along with nuts and olive oil can lower the risk of death from heart attack or stroke by 30%. Monounsaturated fats have also been found to lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels.

3. Vitamins and Minerals For a Happy Heart
Vitamin B3, Niacin, has been reported to have more effect on lowering LDL cholesterol levels than certain statin drugs, making it an important vitamin for a healthy heart. Vitamin D is another important vitamin as studies show that a lack of this vitamin can lead to doubling the risk of heart attack, stroke or other heart conditions as a result of high blood pressure and diabetes. We get most of our vitamin D by being out in the sun, but you can also get it from some fatty types of fish, eggs with the yolk included, and fortified foods such as dairy and cereals. For minerals that add to heart health, add foods rich in magnesium and potassium. For magnesium add in foods such as almonds, seaweed, whole grains, blueberries, dark chocolate, and leafy greens like spinach. You can add potassium to the diet by eating foods such as potatoes, avocados, oranges, tomatoes, bananas, beans and legumes.

4. Coenzyme Q10 For a Healthy Heart
Coenzyme Q10 also known as CoQ10 performs much like antioxidants and helps in adding to cells' energy production that all organs need to function properly, and lowering risks of blood clots. Studies on CoQ10 have reported findings of a decrease in the risk of death from heart attack, a reduction in the chances of additional heart attacks after an initial one and less chest pain afterwards by taking supplements with this coenzyme. The body does make a little of this coenzyme itself called ubiquinol, but if you are at high risk for cardiovascular disease it may not be enough especially if you take statins to lower cholesterol which can interfere with the body's ability to produce the small amount that it does naturally. This may be a case when supplementation could be helpful. This ubiquinol algae supplement not only gives you the good nutrition of AFA bluegreen algae but also 100mg of pure ubiquinol delivered in a blend of organic flaxseed oil, reishi and oyster mushrooms, and polyphenols from olives. You can also get small amounts of CoQ10 from eating fish, some meats, and whole grains, but not enough to significantly replenish the levels your body needs to produce energy for jobs such as the heart pumping blood, the brain to process information, lungs to process oxygen or for muscles to move.

5. Lean Protein for a Healthy Heart
Your body in general needs protein to function well and stay healthy, but many sources of protein include unhealthy types of fat that are detrimental to heart health. Plant sources of protein such as beans, lentils and peas can help solve this problem in your diet. Just look at one study reporting a 22% reduction in the risk of heart disease for those eating legumes a minimum of 4 times weekly compared to those eating them less than once weekly. These types of lean proteins can also help control blood sugar levels that can lead to cardiovascular disease.

6. Healthy Food: Fiber
Adding fiber to your diet is a great way to lower cholesterol levels as co-director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, Lauren Graf, explains that fiber absorbs cholesterol from foods in the digestive tract allowing the body to eliminate it instead of adding it to the bloodstream. Adding a minimum of 25 or 30 grams a day of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains such as oatmeal to your diet will help get you the fiber you need for a healthy heart.

7. More For a Healthy Heart
Other additions to the diet that can help with a healthy heart include red yeast rice as it contains compounds that act much like statins do in lowering cholesterol as well as being able to increase HDL cholesterol, hawthorn berry that can relax arteries for better circulation, and garlic with allicin that can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce plaque buildup in arteries. For an easy way to get a complete nutritional boost this wholefood supplement program gives you a blend of marine and freshwater algae, tonic mushrooms, sprouted grasses and grains along with the probiotics and digestive enzymes to unlock the benefits these superfoods provide all in packets of capsules to grab anytime, anywhere and on the go.

Just a few additions to your already healthy diet and some lifestyle changes like reducing stress and getting good cardio exercise into your week can make a huge difference on your heart health. So make sure you are not only giving your heart what it wants, but also what it needs when it comes to heart healthy nutrition and it will help you keep on keeping on and beat the statistics of cardiovascular disease.

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, November 8, 2018

How a Healthy Brain Equals a Quiet Mind

Sometimes I pity my poor brain as I fear I overwork it with all the things I have to remember, but usually it is able to keep up with me. In fact, sometimes it seems to work even harder than I do and I find it hard to turn it off. This is particularly inconvenient at times when I'm trying to relax or go to sleep. Whether you call it mind chatter, mind babble, or as a friend in a 12 step program refers to it "the committee has convened", we need to be able to have some times when our minds aren't running like a hamster on a wheel. Quiet, solitude, and silence are also necessary. Not only for the body to get rested and refreshed, but also the brain. Finding this balance of work and rest for the brain comes much easier to a brain that is healthy and well nourished.

Nutrition for A Healthy Brain
The brain is responsible for voluntary and involuntary body functions, including movement, personality, heart rate, emotions, mood, thoughts, and storing knowledge. It acts like our control center sending out signals to the body on how to react to situations and conditions. Like most other body cells, brain cells have mitochondria and about a third of these in the brain move on axons aiding neurotransmitters to pass on signals. The strength of these signals and good brain function depends on mitochondria being healthy. This means getting a balance of amino acids which produce about 10 to 15% of our metabolic energy. Amino acids are made when proteins are broken down making them able to pass through the blood brain barrier. Researchers have found that one of the highest and most balanced sources of amino acids is from bluegreen microalgae. Human brains need around 10 times more energy than other land mammals and in addition to the right balance of amino acids, they require fatty acids to maintain healthy brain function, especially DHA (docosahexanoic acid), which is the fat found most abundantly in the brain and absolutely necessary for neurons to function properly. It also requires that we get AA (arachidonic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) in the diet. These fatty acids are hard to come by in many foods, but are easily obtainable through marine and coastal food chains – that means food chains that start with microalgae. This is the reason fish is such a good brain food – fish eat algae. You too can eat algae with high quality supplements such as one that is produced with the cell wall removed to allow its nutrients to more easily cross over the blood brain barrier. In addition to a balance of amino acids and fatty acids, the brain also needs glucose which is its main source of energy.

Foods for a Quiet Mind
When we are stressed as a result of conditions such as anxiety, anger, or depression, cortisol is released in the body which raises blood sugar levels and blood pressure. This reaction can interfere with getting to sleep, can decrease our energy levels, cause memory problems and interfere with cognitive functions. A healthy brain is a well-functioning brain. Not only do we want our brains to stay sharp and working well, we also want to be able to shut them down at times and stop thinking. These are times to rejuvenate, get a break and reduce stress reactions. B vitamins, especially B-12, help us relax, soothe our nerves and help us deal with stress. When we are stressed, we tend to use up our body's supply of B vitamins just when we need them most and need to replace them. Having healthy probiotics in your gut can give your body a boost to keep producing these vitamins and help your body cope with stress. Good food sources for B vitamins include fish, meat, poultry, eggs, potatoes and peanuts. Vitamin D is another good vitamin to help with relaxation, sleep, and turning off a chattering mind. Research has shown that vitamin D can help in producing serotonin, melatonin and in regulating your circadian rhythm. Exposure to sunlight is a good way to get the vitamin D we need, but for those who don't get out enough you can also get vitamin D from fortified dairy products, salmon and other fatty fish, eggs, and fortified cereals.

Magnesium can also help you relax as it is a natural muscle relaxant. Whole grains, maca root powder, seaweed, almonds, dark chocolate, spinach and bananas are some of the foods you can add to your diet for magnesium. Bananas not only have magnesium to help your muscles relax, but also trigger melatonin and serotonin to be released to help you relax and get to sleep. Next time you are having trouble getting your mind to shut down so you can relax and get to sleep, try a cup of chamomile tea or a glass of warm milk. Milk has tryptophan, an amino acid which helps in producing serotonin and can help make you sleepy. You can also get tryptophan from almonds, pistachios, cashews, whole wheat bread, and turkey. Adding a baked potato to the mix helps get rid of acids known to interfere with tryptophan. Or have a bowl of oatmeal to help you sleep as oats increase your melatonin level to help you get drowsy.

Lion's Mane mushroom, also known as Hericum erinaceus, has substances such as erinacines that stimulate production of nerve growth factor and that will pass through the blood brain barrier. Research on Lion's Mane has shown it can help not only protect the nervous system and keep it healthy, but also can boost cognitive processes. An easy way to get Lion's Mane into your diet is with this algae and Lion's Mane supplement. Not only do you get the brain boosting power of Lion's Mane mushrooms, but also lots of antioxidant nutrition from noni and wheatgrass juice, bee pollen reported to have a high amino acid content useful for stimulating memory and concentration, and Gingko biloba which has been used for a long time to promote increased memory and mental concentration by increasing circulation and providing increased oxygenation of brain cells, as well as AFA bluegreen algae to feed the brain with essential fatty acids and other nutrients a healthy brain needs.

Quieting the Mind
Not getting enough sleep or quiet rest time can cause the brain's emotional centers to be 60% more reactive. This explains why we get grumpy, cranky and are more likely to snap at others when we are not well rested. We also have less energy leaving us less able to focus, solve problems, and make decisions that affects memory, and causes us to be less productive in general. Food is only one way to help your brain turn off and allow you to relax or go to sleep. There are other ways to quiet your mind. If you find your mind racing thinking of everything that happened during the day, try getting it all out before going to bed. That could mean journaling or talking to someone. Just get it all off your chest so you can put it aside for the night. If your problem is more thinking about everything you have to do the next day or week, spend some time making a list and possibly putting it on a timeline. With this written reminder you don't have to worry about forgetting everything you have to do and you'll have a plan of action waiting for you.

You can also work on training your body to know when it is time to be active and when it is time to relax and prepare for sleep. Set up your environment with signals such as dimming the lights at a certain time each evening, turning off the TV or any other stimulating activities, and you might include a mediation time or sitting in silence for a few minutes around the same time each night. Experts find that having a set bedtime and wake up time every night is also helpful. That includes the weekends. Include a routine of relaxing activities before going to bed and your brain can learn it and start signaling the body to get ready for sleep. Your routine might include a bedtime snack if you find hunger pains often keep you awake. If so, stay away from anything heavy, sugar filled or that has caffeine. A snack that includes complex carbs and dairy like cereal and milk or cheese and crackers make an excellent choice as they have nutrients that help bring on sleep.

You can't force sleep, but you can at least give your body some rest. If you find you can't go to sleep, don't turn on the TV or computer. If you can't fall asleep after around half an hour, try going to another space in your home and just sitting in silence for up to 20 minutes. Then go back to bed and start over. If you still can't go to sleep after another half hour, try again. This gives you a chance to disrupt the frustration and start the night over so to speak and if nothing else, at least your body physically gets some rest if not sleep. Another alternative from international speaker and author, Deborah Deras, is to take 60 seconds to close your eyes and breathe deeply to shift your mind from its chatter. She also advises paying attention to any negative chatter and look for the lesson in it instead of fretting and obsessing over it. Observe it, own it, learn from it and move on.

A healthy brain does equal a quiet mind and you need that quiet mind to get the sleep necessary to rejuvenate the body. So the next time your mind starts chattering away, give some of these foods and natural solutions a try. You'll find it's not as hard as you thought to turn down the mind noise so you can get the rest you need.

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 and Feel Bright

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Get Healthy with Baby Steps

We all have good intentions of getting more exercise and eating right, but then life happens and we find our well-meaning goals have been laid aside. Sometimes with everything else there is to do, it just isn't easy to take your health to the next level even though you know it will give you more energy to get things done and leave you feeling better. Maybe it's time to get off this merry-go-round and give yourself a break. You don't have to do it all at once. Baby steps are a way to start improving your health by picking just one or two simple things to commit to and then doing them. Pick something that will fit with your lifestyle and your schedule and you'll be more likely to succeed. Once you have these first baby steps worked into your day, then go back and pick another one or two. You can slowly build up to better overall health and healthy lifestyle habits without putting so much stress on yourself this way. Here's a few simple healthy improvements you can add to your daily routine that can help you get started making a difference in your health.

Get Some Extra Sleep
Not only do you not perform your best when you haven't had enough sleep, research also indicates that you are at increased risk of heart attack. A study out of Norway found that those waking up still tired were 27% more likely to be at risk for heart attack than those waking up rested and refreshed. They also found a 30% increased risk for people prone to waking up throughout the night and 45% increased risk for those that had trouble going to sleep in the first place. One theory experts believe explains this is the release of more cortisol associated with insomnia that can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes and thus to cardiovascular disease. We also tend to make poorer health choices when we are over tired. For example, if you are exhausted it is easy to skip exercise or opt for a take-out meal instead of cooking. If you have trouble winding down before bedtime, try starting a night routine that will signal your body that it is time for sleep. Some people find meditation helpful in clearing the mind and winding down and others find journaling a way to get out the stresses of the day and be able to relax. Whatever works for you, make a goal of getting to bed at a certain time and waking up at a certain time each day to get your body into a regular rhythm. You can also try a more relaxing way to wake up in the morning instead of being shocked awake by a noisy alarm. Leave your window blinds up so the sun can shine in on you. This will signal the brain to switch from producing melatonin to adrenaline for a slower more relaxed wake up call.

Boost Your Immune System
When we feel good, we have better days and get more done. When we are sick or feel drained the opposite is true. This is one good reason to give your immune system a boost since it is in charge of keeping sickness and germs at bay. Here's an easy tip for an immune system boost. Drink a glass of red wine as it has resveratrol and polyphenol antioxidants that can help reduce risk of chronic inflammation that can lead to heart disease and that help keep bad bacteria and viruses from taking over. You can also get resveratrol from the skin of red grapes, blueberries, and peanuts.

Get a Vitamin D Boost
Research is finding that getting adequate amounts of vitamin D is essential to health and that most of us are not getting enough. Getting enough vitamin D can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes, make asthma symptoms better and can even help reduce the risk of getting some cancers. Vitamin D is also needed for strong bones as it helps the body absorb calcium. It has been recommended that you get between 600 and 800 IU a day of vitamin D, but newer research is suggesting we may need as much as 4000 IU daily. Some foods are fortified with vitamin D, but the most common way we get it is by exposure to sunlight. If you aren't getting outside enough, make a goal to spend some time outdoors or if that isn't possible you may need to consult your healthcare provider about supplementation.

Your entire body needs to stay hydrated to work right and drinking water throughout the day increases your metabolism which helps you burn off calories. Water is calorie free and helps you feel full to avoid snacking on unhealthy foods. Your immune system also performs better when the cells are hydrated, your skin benefits when you drink lots of water, and drinking water helps your body flush out toxins and keeps your circulation going well. If drinking plain water all day doesn't appeal to you then try adding natural sugar-free flavorings like a squeeze of lemon, orange or strawberries or even some herbs like mint.

Healthy Joints Keep You Going
If your joints and muscles are aching, you are less likely to exercise or get out and enjoy yourself. It also makes it harder to just perform basic tasks and work that you need to get done. Using a natural anti-inflammatory can help if this is an ongoing problem for you or just for those times when you physically overdo it and are paying for it the next day. Curcumin, turmeric, boswellia, and ginger have all been found as effective as some prescription medications for pain relief. You can get these as herbal remedies or from food sources. Enzymes like bromelain found in pineapple have also been found to be effective at reducing inflammation. An easy way to get not only bromelain, but also the enzymes papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, and some wild AFA bluegreen algae for extra nutrition, is with this algae and enzyme supplement.

Make Time for a Massage
Getting a massage may sound frivolous to some, but according to research from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, you can increase white blood cells to help fight off germs with a 45 minute massage and reduce inflammation, allergy symptoms and asthma symptoms. A massage can also help you get some relaxation time and reduce stress which is detrimental to your health. So taking a little "me" time in the form of a massage is an easy health benefit boost to make.

Make a Weekly Meal Plan
If you plan out your meals for the week, you will be more likely to eat healthy and be in control of the nutrients you get. Without a plan, when life gets busy or stressful, it is too easy to order out for pizza or drive through for fast food. Include a variety of color in your meals when you are planning and go heavy on the veggies, fruits and whole grains. Add in lean protein that will also give you omega-3 fatty acids as they help with reducing inflammation, are heart healthy, and good for your brain. Think fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or mackerel or adding seeds or nuts to your meal as in walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds or go for adding leafy green veggies to your meal. Also include a lunch plan that lets you take healthy foods from home instead of eating out at work. You may find chopping up lettuce and veggies ahead of time for the whole week will help you stick to this type of lunch plan. And don't forget breakfast. Your mom was right, it is the most important meal of the day. Eating a good healthy breakfast in the morning helps curb the appetite the rest of the day and starts your day out with a boost for physical and mental energy. Good breakfast foods include yogurt, fruit, whole grain cereals, eggs, and try adding seeds, nuts and lean proteins in for an extra boost.

Add Some Protein To Your Diet
Lean protein added to your meals can help you take off some unwanted weight as protein builds muscle and your body burns more calories from muscle than it does from fat. A study at the University of Sydney reported that those eating low amounts of protein showed around 2 pounds extra weight gain a month compared to those eating more protein. Protein foods also many times have zinc and B vitamins that help you fight off colds and flus and boost the immune system. If you want to start getting more protein into your diet, start thinking of foods you eat now that you could switch. For example, instead of cereal with fruit, switch to low-fat cottage cheese with fruit, or switch out your mashed potatoes for baked beans.

Add Some World's Healthiest Foods to Your Diet
Whole Foods has a list they call the World's Healthiest Foods. They base these choices on criteria such as the foods being nutrient dense (nutrients compared to calories), organic if possible, not containing synthetic, artificial or irradiated ingredients, their availability in most places and their affordability. Some of the top choices are asparagus, avocados, beets, Bell peppers, Bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots in the vegetable category, apples, apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, figs, grapefruit, grapes, and kiwi in the fruit category, nuts and seeds that include almonds, cashews, flaxseeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts, grains that include barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa, rye and whole wheat and the beans and legumes category that includes black beans, dried peas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans and lentils. If any of these foods are ones you've never tried or that are lacking in your diet, pick one or two new ones to try adding on a regular basis to your meals.

Supplements For Extra Nutrition
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can't get in all the home cooked meals and lunches packed from home. This is when some wholefood supplementation can really help you out with getting the nutrients your body needs to function well with the convenience and ease of taking some supplement capsules. The easiest way I've ever found to get all the great nutrition that AFA bluegreen algae has to offer along with probiotics and digestive enzymes is with these convenient daily packets that I can grab on the go. For some extra energy I like to add in this algae ubiquinol supplement with pure ubiquinol (which is the active form of Coenzyme Q10 known to be especially good for heart health), reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and some wild AFA bluegreen algae. Then to make sure I'm getting the antioxidant protection my cells need I throw in this antioxidant algae supplement. Then I know that I have all my nutritional bases covered when life gets extra busy.

All of these suggestions are easy, affordable and can make a big difference in your health. So pick one or two and get started taking those baby steps towards improving your health and living a healthier lifestyle.

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.