Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Healthy Happy Digestion During the Holidays

Holiday time is great isn't it? With all the colorful decorations, extra time off work, gift giving, family and friends around, and of course all the great food. But holiday time can also mean a lot of extra work and stress preparing for them, traveling in stressful weather conditions, and that great food isn't always in the healthy food category which can mean digestion problems like gas, bloating, diarrhea, heartburn and constipation. Between the types of food we indulge in and the amount of overeating we do, our digestive systems can't always keep up. As you are getting ready for your holiday fun, add taking probiotics and digestive enzymes to your list to help you get extra digestive support.

Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes work in your digestive system in conjunction with hydrochloric acid and bile salts to break down the foods you eat in order for the body to use the nutrients from them. Without enzymes doing the job of breaking foods down, the food would sit in the digestive tract which would negatively affect the immune system, create toxicity in the body, and cause digestion issues. There are particular enzymes that work to break down fats, proteins, sugar, starch, and other carbohydrates. Raw foods contain their own digestive enzymes, but these enzymes are destroyed by cooking foods at over 108 degrees. Your pancreas produces many of the enzymes the digestive system uses to break down foods, but we often overtax this organ and don't give it the nourishment it needs to keep up. When we eat a lot more than usual and especially eating foods that are cooked or that are not particularly healthy, we can give our digestive system some help by taking digestive enzyme supplements.

When selecting a digestive enzyme supplement you want to make sure it is plant based and will work under a variety of pH levels since the acidity and alkalinity differs so radically between the stomach and intestines. The primary enzymes to look for on the label when choosing a supplement include:

Amylase – used to break down starch and carbohydrates for energy and to relieve mental fatigue.

Protease – used to break down proteins into amino acid peptides needed for healthy cells, muscle tissue, skin, hair and energy.

Lipase – used to break down fat in the small intestine to retrieve vitamins from foods, support cellular structure, and for healthy skin and hair. A shortage of lipase can compromise the circulation and contribute to high blood pressure and high cholesterol and degrade the immune system.

Lactase – used to break down lactose and milk sugars to get nutrients from dairy for energy.

Glucoamylase – a different type of amylase that works on breaking down starches and carbohydrates.

Cellulase – used to break down the indigestible fiber, cellulose, in fruits and vegetables.

Taking enzyme supplements can help remove toxins, increase energy, aid in weight loss, decrease the possibility of allergy reactions, and help your body extract the nutrients it can use from foods. When you know you are going to be eating rich holiday foods, taking a high quality enzyme supplement just before meals and in between meals can help you avoid digestive discomforts and is a much better alternative than using antacids. Antacids neutralize stomach acid which the digestive system needs to break down food. Taking enzyme supplements in between meals gives you the added bonus of letting any not needed for digestion directly to help clean up any undigested food in your gut and to enter the bloodstream to clean up residual food particles that might be identified as foreign invaders by the immune system.

Probiotics
Having a good supply of healthy probiotics, the friendly bacteria that live in your intestines, in your system is another way to get the most out of the food you eat, keep your digestive system in good working order, and help out with the extra eating during holiday meals. They also help produce the B vitamins that we use up in times of extra stress and we know the holidays are full of that. Lactobacillus probiotics also help in the body's production of digestive enzymes. There has additionally been research indicating that probiotics can lower the risk of coronary disease by absorbing cholesterol. They also help combat those unfriendly bacteria that can make us sick including those that act on the nitrates found in some of our food sources converting them to nitroso-compounds that can lead to cancers. Overeating, especially of meat, together with too many bad bacteria in the intestines can produce an excess in ammonia gas that stresses the liver. Using a bifidobacteria supplement can help take some of that stress off. There are fermented foods that can help you build up your supply of probiotics, but high quality probiotic supplements can insure that you are getting the strains of bacteria you need without the extra calories or extra eating in the holidays. Acidophilus and bifidus are the most common probiotics to make sure you are adding to your system, but a full spectrum probiotic may also be needed especially if you have ongoing digestive problems.

Don't let your holidays be ruined by digestive problems. Go ahead and enjoy some of your favorite holiday foods, in moderation of course. Just take along your enzyme and probiotic supplements to give your digestive system a holiday too by not letting it get overworked.


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


Sources:
http://www.needs.com/product/NDNL-0812-01/a_Digestive_Enzymes
http://althealthworks.com/288/how-to-support-your-digestion-with-plant-based-enzymes-this-holiday-season/
http://treelite.com/articles/nf/digestive-enzymes-rapid-relief-for-indigestion-from-holiday-feasting.html
Abrams, Karl J., Algae to the Rescue!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Truth About Diets

by guest contributor Barb Swanson

Trying to figure out what a healthy diet consists of is hard. This article gives you a snap-shot on the Functional Nutrition viewpoint of truth vs. fiction in diets and supplements.

There are a dozen celebrities touting a dozen different "best" diets and weight loss programs. We have internet health gurus and social media influencers. Many have tens--or even hundreds--of thousands of followers. Each touts their philosophy (with matching product lines), always with claims of the best science, best ingredients, best results. Education on nutrition is equally complex! There are hundreds of studies, many of which seem to contradict the others. Finding your way to any single "truth" is nearly impossible.

False: Any diet advising you to eat mostly one or two macronutrient groups, or to completely stop eating any of them, has already missed the point of what your body needs for long-term good health.
Examples: The Keto diet, no-fat diets, high-protein diets.
Fact: We need all the forms of macronutrients--fats, proteins and carbs. Each type of food offers specific micronutrients, found mostly or even exclusively in that food group, upon which our bodies depend for good health. What matters most is that you choose healthy, whole foods instead of processed, nutrient-empty foods.

False: As long as you use the recommended multivitamin pills or drink, the diet you use will be fine.
Examples: Vitamin/mineral or vitamin/antioxidant tablets or drinks. Often, these are sold by the promoters of the diet you are doing.
Fact: It is micronutrients--elements we need in very small amounts--that determine whether the fats are good fats, if proteins are complete, and whether carbs build health or destroy health. We need approximately 50 essential micronutrients on a daily basis. No multi-vitamin or drink can begin to replace the healthy balances found in whole foods.

False: You get better health benefits using "proven" isolated nutrients.
Examples: Lab-created antioxidants like glutathione and NAD, or MCT, a type of highly-processed triglycerides.
Fact: Your body doesn't use isolated nutrients. We use whole suites of nutrients together, each building a part of our complex cells and systems. No lab-created formula or isolated nutrient can begin to mimic the hundreds of co-factors, intrinsic factors and nutrient interactions found in whole foods. No study on a single nutrient can answer to the myriad other health interactions whole foods support.

False: Foods that have studies proving their benefits are better than other foods.
Examples: Soybeans, corn oil, milk.
Fact: It is estimated that science has only discovered and examined 5% of the total number of nutrients found in whole foods.

Indeed, the very nature of a scientific test, with built-in narrow parameters, encourages single nutrient studies. This means not that whole foods are less effective than the nutrients isolated out and studied; but rather, that scientific studies, as they are practiced today, can't easily quantify the benefits of a whole food or whole food formula, which will contain dozens or even hundreds of nutrients, nutrient interactions and nutrient benefits.

These four facts point to one conclusion: The best way to support your entire body--cells, systems and all--is by eating the whole foods, or whole-food supplements, that are loaded with micronutrients.

It isn't that all diets are wrong. Certainly, learning the reasons a diet is effective may teach you better diet options. It isn't that you should never use a supplement. What is important is to understand that whole-food based supplements are going to offer dramatically more potential benefits than any lab-created or isolated nutrient. It isn't that all studies are wrong or bad. In fact, they offer important information for us all. However, remember that any isolated nutrient benefit is likely to be only enhanced by eating the whole food that has that nutrient (such as using coconut oil instead of buying MCT), or a whole food that helps your body to create that nutrient (like glutathione and NAD).

Bottom Line: Find foods that are fresh, local & organic. Look to history for foods that have a rich history of human usage. Current scientific proof or not, foods that have been eaten for hundreds, or even thousands, of years, are the most likely to give you dietary support for good health.


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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Simple Ways to Eat Healthy During the Holiday Rush

To many people the holidays mean food and to eat healthy is often a challenge. It's estimated that on the average most of us gain a pound over the holidays. I'm pretty sure in my case that is a low estimate. While that pound may not sound too bad, if you eat that way regularly those pounds add up. According to Dr. Oz, instead of paying attention to your waist size over the holidays it's better to concentrate on building muscle so that losing that weight afterwards is not as hard. Here are some holiday tips on eating to build up muscle, eat healthy and incorporate some fat burning foods into your diet.

  • Getting enough sleep helps curb craving for comfort foods and snacks and supports building muscle. 
  • Use spices, herbs, fruits and nuts to flavor dishes instead of butter and other fats. Garlic mashed potatoes are a great example and replace fatty sour cream dips with hummus. 
  • Eat a healthy protein or healthy fat snack before going to holiday parties so you are not as likely to overeat, especially if the party includes a buffet table. 
  • Substitute healthier snack choices that meet your food cravings. For example, if you crave a creamy sweet like ice cream have a cup of yogurt with fruit instead or at least go for a smaller amount of slow churned ice cream that doesn't have as much fat and can be half the amount of calories. If your food craving leans more towards the chips category because of the salt and crunch you get, you can easily rack up 1230 calories by eating an eight ounce bag. Carrots, celery, or baked whole grain crackers with a hummus dip can give you the crunch in a more healthy way without sacrificing flavor. 
  • Protein foods satisfy hunger longer and burn up more calories in digesting them than other types of foods. Quinoa makes a great side dish with a cup having 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber and fish is a good protein that is also low fat and gives you omega-3 fatty acids. Most adults need 45 – 56 grams of protein daily and more if they get regular exercise so food sources are usually adequate to provide the protein needed. If you have a really strenuous or active lifestyle or just don't take the time to eat right, protein drinks can help. To lose fat the best are the ones with not many carbs and mostly protein with only a touch of fat. Jose Antonio, chief executive officer and co-founder of the International Society of Sports Nutrition advises having a drink that is over 50% protein to lose body fat. 
  • Traditional holiday fare is always a temptation. We all have family favorites that maybe we've had since childhood bringing up fond memories. Instead of depriving yourself of these type goodies, limit the amount you'll eat. One bite of that chocolate fudge savored slowly can satisfy the craving so that you don't have to gobble up several pieces.  
  • Nuts are a food often served at parties and just sitting around as a snack food during the holidays. While nuts are a healthy snack, they also are a fatty snack so too much can put on the weight. A single cup of mixed nuts can be over 800 calories. Get nuts with shells that have to be cracked. That will take longer to eat than already shelled nuts that you can wolf down by the handful. 
  • Many people get a blood sugar drop in the middle of the afternoon and reach for a carb filled or sugary snack to regain energy. That adds on calories and the body burns those types of calories quicker. A snack with protein and complex carb will stabilize blood sugar and last longer. Healthy snacks to have around are ones that have less than 200 calories like yogurt with fruit, boiled eggs, and veggies with bean dip or hummus.  
  • Stress is abundant during the holidays so be careful of emotional or stress eating. Try going for a walk, meditation or a relaxing soak in the tub before turning to food to relieve stress.
  • A study in Appetite reported workers taking a 15 minute walk were 50% less likely to eat chocolate back at their desks than those that rested for those 15 minutes. So getting some exercise not only burns off some of those extra calories, but also can curb your craving for sweets.
  • When snacking on yogurt, pick Greek yogurt as it has double the protein of regular yogurts to help build muscle and keep you full longer. Your body also burns more calories digesting protein than it does digesting carbohydrates. 
  • Foods that have a high water content are great for curbing appetite as they make you feel fuller, are full of nutrients and are low calorie. Raw veggies and fruits fit in this category and also provide you with antioxidants and fiber. Oatmeal not only has a high water content, but is also rich in fiber, filling, and hot. Hot foods take a longer time to eat. Filling up on salad before a meal can also help you avoid overeating more fatty foods with the main meal. 


Here's to healthier eating over the holidays this year! Just being aware of ways to cut down your calorie intake can help you avoid overeating and make it easier to burn off those extra calories after the holidays.




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


Sources: 
http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/food-cravings-diet-wreckers?ecd=wnl_lbt_091014&ctr=wnl-lbt-091014_nsl-ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D
http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-fat-fighting-foods?ecd=wnl_wmhA_082614&ctr=wnl-wmh-082614_nsl-ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D
http://www.webmd.com/diet/protein-shakes?ecd=wnl_day_072814&ctr=wnl-day-072814_nsl-ld-stry_2&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3D
http://www.oprah.com/health/Dr-Ozs-Holiday-Secrets_1
http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/foods-weight-loss-and-prevent-cold-and-flu


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Your Immune System: 7 Ways to Avoid Putting it at Risk with the Flu

Flu season is upon us again and the best way to avoid getting sick with the flu is to strengthen your immune system. If you already eat healthy, take probiotics, get enough sleep and exercise, then chances are your immune system is in pretty good shape. The trick now is to keep it strong especially during flu season. Let's look at a few things you can do to avoid putting your immune system at risk and keep it strong to help you fight off flu.

What is the Flu?
The flu is caused by a virus just as a cold is. But flu symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms. You generally start seeing relief from cold symptoms within a week whereas flu symptoms can last a bit longer and you don't bounce back as fast. The worst flu symptoms may show relief after a week, but you can still be lacking energy and have milder symptoms for weeks. Symptoms of flu can include a high grade fever, achy muscles, headache, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue and possibly vomiting or diarrhea.

Keeping Your Immune System Strong
1. Get Rest
Not getting enough sleep reduces immune cell function and impairs the ability of your immune system to protect you from illness such as the flu. If you are feeling sick, then getting more sleep helps increase your immune system's fever response to fight off invaders. Getting extra rest also helps immune cells regenerate. Adults need to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night. This is especially important to make a priority during flu season to keep your immune system healthy.

2. Avoid Alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect your immune system function. Drinking too much alcohol can reduce white blood cells and prevent your body's absorption of nutrients. One study performed with mice reported those given large amounts of alcohol showed signs of the immune system being weaker. Flu season is an especially good time to hit the sack early instead of staying up late at parties or out drinking with friends.

3. Hand Washing
One of your best lines of defense against getting the flu is to wash your hands. Use soap and warm water to wash throughout the day and particularly after being out in public places where you have been touching things that could have picked up germs from others, after coughing or sneezing into your hand, after using the restroom, or touching your face. When you wash, make sure you wash thoroughly and for at least 20 seconds, then be sure to dry your hands completely. Using paper towels is also better for cutting down on germ exposure than using a cloth towel, especially if multiple people are using the cloth towel.

4. Immune Support Supplement
One way I have found to support the immune system is this supplement containing reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei mushrooms with astragalus, beta glucan and bluegreen algae. Pure, whole particle beta glucan helps with inflammation by mobilizing white blood cells to areas of injury or inflammation. These white blood cells (macrophages) remove damaged tissue quickly before it has time to trigger more inflammation. Beta glucan from yeast has been known to help fight off bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics, release chemicals that support immune cells, reduce cold symptoms, and help regulate the immune system. Beta glucans are not something the body produces naturally so we have to get them from food or supplement sources. Adding a single capsule of this immune support supplement each day to your diet can help give your body the nutritional elements shown to actively defend against invading germs, viruses and antigens by stimulating the macrophages into action, which in turn triggers an entire chain reaction of defense mechanisms in the body. Shiitake and reishi mushrooms have been found to have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties as well as being rich in beta glucans. Maitake, cordyceps and Turkey Tail mushrooms have also been found to contain a variety of substances that benefit your immune system.

5. Precautions Around Other People
Since the flu is contagious, there are certain precautions to take when around other people that will help reduce your risk of getting it. Even if you are around people that don't appear sick, they can have the virus and begin spreading it. Washing your hands after coming into physical contact with another (ie. – shaking hands with them) is one way you can cut down on your chances of getting the virus. If you can't immediately wash your hands then at least be sure to not touch your mouth, nose or eyes until you can wash. I know mom told us to cover our mouths when we cough and most people cover their noses when they sneeze, but sneezing or coughing into your sleeve instead of your hand can help cut down on the spreading of flu germs. Encourage those around you to do the same. During the peak of flu season, the safest course is to avoid crowded public places since the virus can be spread over quite a distance through the air. If that is not possible, some people wear filtering masks to reduce their risk of being affected. Others just stick with being contentious about washing their hands extra and avoid anyone that is showing symptoms of the flu.

6. Drink Water
Keeping your body hydrated helps keep all the systems including your immune system functioning at their peak capacity. Not drinking enough water also distracts your immune system as it deals with toxins in the body that are not being released from the body through urination. Drinking the right amount of water for you will leave your urine a pale yellow color. If your urine is darker yellow, then you are probably not drinking enough water daily. Drinking lots of water is also important if you get the flu as it helps flush the flu out of your system.

7. Don't Worry
Anxiety and stress can also reduce the function of your immune system. Stress reduces your levels of IgA, a protein that is part of the immune system and helps fight off infections by preventing invaders from getting into the body, leaving the immune system more vulnerable. Reducing stress or learning methods of coping with stress can go a long way towards strengthening your immune system. On a spiritual or energetic level, according to the Law of Attraction, worrying about getting the flu can actually cause you to manifest it or draw it into your reality. Take the precautions listed in this article and go on about your everyday life without worrying that you might get the flu. If you do get the flu, then you'll deal with it, but worrying about getting it will definitely not keep it away. Cut down on other life stressors or find ways to cope with them during the flu season too so that your immune system has the best chance of helping you avoid the flu.

The flu is nothing to fool around with. In some cases it can lead to hospitalization and even death. At best, it means time missed from work or school, family and feeling miserable. Give some or all these tips a try and get your immune system in top working order to help you fight off illness this flu season.

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Sources:
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20311978,00.html?xid=healthforwomen12092013

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Good Digestion for Even the Worst Junk Food Junky

I know and I'm sure you do too what is involved in healthy eating, but sometimes situations come up that get us off this track and we end up eating some kind of junk food. It may be a really hectic day where we drive through a junk food or fast food restaurant or a special family event or a party with lots of sweets, unhealthy fats and simple carbs. Whatever the reason, we can still balance out those times when we splurge. Extra calories in means taking the time to get in a little extra exercise to burn them off. The bigger problem is what junk food does to the digestive tract and the friendly bacteria that supports good digestion, immune system functioning, and helps us handle stress.

Digestion
Our digestive system is responsible for taking the foods we eat and breaking them down into forms the body can absorb and use to fuel itself and stay healthy. It starts in the mouth with enzymes in saliva that start breaking foods down in the chewing process and lubricating it for swallowing. The esophagus then takes the food you swallow and passes it on to the stomach where more enzymes help break down foods over about an hour. At that time hydrochloric acid comes into play in the stomach for more break down. The small intestine comes next and the pancreas supplies alkaline to neutralize the acid and digestive enzymes protease, lipase and amylase. In the small intestine nutrients are extracted, absorbed and passed on through the blood stream to various parts of the body. The food has now been broken down with proteins becoming amino acids, fats becoming fatty acids and carbs becoming glucose. The large intestine then absorbs water from food and passes out any remaining waste products.

Junk Food and Digestion
Junk food not only interferes with this digestion process with its extra fat, salt and sugar, but also doesn't give you the necessary digestive enzymes to help breakdown foods. It also doesn't have the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy and according to the Mayo Clinic can leave you feeling bloated, slow the digestion process down and contribute to gaining too much weight which is definitely unhealthy. The extra salt in these types of food are damaging to kidneys and increase the risk of high blood pressure. One study reported by ABC News found participants developed liver damage eating fast food two times a day for a month. Junk food and fast foods are also damaging to the friendly bacteria that live in the intestines and fight off disease as well as supply B vitamins that help us with stress. In addition to the bad things that junk food does to the body, it also doesn't do much good. The vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients the body needs to perform well just aren't available from junk food.

Supporting Digestion Through a Junk Food Binge
Even if we eat healthy most of the time, there are always times when we are likely to slip. Eating out with friends or family, stress eating, parties or family get-togethers are all places where it's hard to avoid some type of junk foods that don't have the good nutrition of your normal meals. A good way to help counteract those times when you know you will be attending a function where you are likely to encounter less than healthy foods is to stock up on digestive enzymes. This means eating a lot of raw foods before and after the event and possibly taking a digestive enzyme supplement. You can also make sure that beforehand you are extra conscientious about the other types of foods you eat and stick with a wholefoods healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats. Plan to continue this after the event too. According to San Francisco nutritionist, Michelle Davenport, junk food is addictive and once you start indulging it's hard to beat the cravings for more. To stick with your good nutrition diet, develop the mindset that junk food is merely a treat to indulge in occasionally sort of like Christmas. Most of us love Christmas but we can't have it all year round. We have to wait for it to come around again next year. To help ward off the junk food cravings you can also make sure you have lean protein and fiber with meals to slow digestion down in a healthy way and stabilize insulin, increase exercise to reduce stress hormones that increase cravings, and get enough good quality sleep which also reduces production of hormones that contribute to cravings. You can also support your body's nutritional needs during these times by taking these convenient packets of daily supplements that give you the all the necessary amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements from AFA bluegreen algae, probiotics for healthy digestive support and digestive enzyme.

Don't spend time beating yourself up when you slip off your healthy eating diet. Life is meant to be enjoyed and sometimes that means eating a little junk food with family or friends. Just don't make it an everyday habit and use some of these tips to help your body still get what it needs to function at its best.

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


Sources: 
http://www.livestrong.com/article/166549-fast-food-digestion/
http://kellythekitchenkop.com/counteracting-the-effects-of-junk-food/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/self/diet-and-nutrition_b_4683091.html

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Importance of Hydration

by guest contributor Barb Swanson

We Know We Need It...
For years, people have heard they need to get enough water. It is an accepted fact that 64 ounces, or 1/2 gallon, daily, is a good amount for most people. And people are now drinking bottled water in record-setting quantities. So why are 75 million of us still dehydrated?

Some say they simply can't handle drinking that much water a day. They simply had to urinate too much. And this can be true. Most work places frown on being in the restroom more than a couple of times a day or even at breaks only. And even when you do drink your 1/2 a gallon a day, you could still be dehydrated. Turns out, many dietary and lifestyle factors (examples include processed foods and heated homes) can interfere with water absorption.

I'd learned from my own experiments that using unsweetened green or white teas, or herbal teas, seemed to offer the benefit of less bathroom trips. I theorized that the minerals and nutrients in those teas would actually make the water better for your cells. Now, science is proving this is true. In fact, studies are showing that adding raw fruits and vegetables to your diet can be a superior way to get effective cellular hydration.

What is Gel Water?
Most water is H2O -- or so we thought.

Groundbreaking research from Harvard and Cornell has found that the water in our cells and in plant cells is actually H3O2. It's gel-like water that's been charged by electrolytes. This gel water acts as fuel "for every action of every cell," notes Gerald Pollack, PhD, head of the University of Washington's Pollack Water Lab.

The science is complicated, but it boils down to this: Minerals help to structure water so it is more bio-available for your cells. Water in our cells is crucial for metabolism and countless other functions. Gel water in particular, primes our cells to function optimally.

Eat Your Water!
European research shows that consuming plants rich in gel water -- including most raw fruit and ­veggies -- "is up to twice as hydrating as drinking water," says Dr. Dana Cohen. Gel water from plants passes more readily into our cells -- and it's denser and less likely to leak out of damaged or aging cells.

Tips to Get Your Gel On


  • Eat six servings of gel-water-rich foods--i.e., raw fruits and veggies--daily.
  • Add an extra serving for every dehydrating grain-based or meat-based food you eat.
  • Avoid processed foods, which siphon off fluid during digestion.
  • There's evidence that ghee and clarified butter are extremely high in gel water. 
  • Eat healthy fat. "Water enters cells through an oil-guarded membrane," Cohen says. "Good fats, especially omega-3s, keep membranes supple, increasing absorption."

Bottom Line...
Fresh fruits and vegetables offer us big benefits when eaten daily.

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Natural Solutions for Longevity

Throughout history mankind has longed for and searched for a fountain of youth valuing longevity as a treasure. It could be that you need look no further than your kitchen for lots of natural solutions as your own fountain of youth. Researchers studying populations around the world find that there are groups of people that seem to live longer on the average and much of this is attributed to their healthy eating habits. For example, compare the life expectancy in Okinawa found to be 81 years to the worldwide average of 67 years or the group Seventh Day Adventists studied showing a longevity of 4 to 7 years more than other populations in the U.S. or the people of San Blas islands where high blood pressure and heart disease are almost non-existent. When groups such as these are studied, their diet seems to be a major factor that researchers give credit for these longevity statistics. Diets with lots of low calorie, high fiber vegetables and low in saturated fats seem to be something they all have in common.

Healthy Food and Healthy Eating Habits
What else do you need on your plate besides fruits and vegetables to establish healthy eating habits that can add to your longevity? An equally important question is what you should not be eating that decreases your longevity. If your meals consist of lots of fast food, junk food, processed meals, high sugar, trans fat and simple carb filled foods, then you are taking a big risk with your health as this type of eating leads to creating an inflammatory state in the body which can result in many diseases including heart disease and diabetes. This type of eating increases free radicals in the body which damage cells and doesn't give you the antioxidants you need to help combat these damaging molecules or to repair the damage they do. Fruits and veggies are loaded with antioxidant protection making them the number one food items to include at mealtimes. Dark chocolate also has lots of antioxidants and researchers attribute the longevity of the San Blas islands group in part to the amount of it they consume. In fact, antioxidants have been extensively researched and found to help with everything from supporting heart health to brain health. The Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University has long been doing research on antioxidants concluding that they protect the brain from changes that can come with age that can result in memory loss and dementia. When looking to get more antioxidant foods in your diet, look for bright colored fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, pomegranates, tomatoes, carrots, squash, broccoli, grapes, sweet potatoes, and Bell peppers. When you can't get all the antioxidant protection you need from your diet, you can still get an antioxidant boost from a wholefood supplement such as this one.

Another consideration in looking at a longevity diet is how much salt you consume. Even if you don't use the salt shaker much, many processed foods contain high amounts of salt. Read labels and look for products low in salt or salt-free and use herbs or spices to flavor foods instead of salt. This will help you combat high blood pressure and new research indicates that it could help protect brain cells and lower the risk of memory loss as you age. As neuroscientist Aron Troen, PhD at Tufts University explains, the vasculature that sends oxygen and nutrients to the brain can sustain damage from high blood pressure and thus increase the chance of cognitive problems as we age.

For healthy eating habits that increase longevity, nutritional researcher Joel Fuhrman, M.D. encourages a diet of foods that have a high vitamin, mineral, phytochemical content and includes allium compounds, glucosinolates, aromatase inhibitors, flavonoids and lignans. That means eating healthy food like green leafy and cruciferous veggies such as kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, spinach, lettuce, and cauliflower, berries, beans mushrooms, onions, seeds such as flax, chia, and sunflower, and nuts. He also advises avoiding foods that are processed and have refined white sugar and flour, and high fat dairy and other high fat animal protein foods. His list of foods to avoid for healthy eating includes foods with trans fats, processed meats like sausage, hot dogs and lunch meats, fried foods, and foods with lots of refined white sugar, white flour, and that are high in salt.

Go With the Grain
Other important components to establishing healthy eating habits include adding whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins to your plate. Whole grains have been found to help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, stabilize blood sugar levels giving you more energy, help keep you feeling full longer and are slower to digest so they help keep weight down. They also help boost serotonin levels in the brain that help maintain feelings of calmness and happiness, can help you reduce your cravings for less healthy foods, help you get a better night's sleep, and help keep your mood stable.

Fatten Up Your Diet the Right Way
The right way to fatten up your diet is not by gorging on cookies, cakes, and chips. These are all full of trans-fats which increase free radicals in the body, increase LDL cholesterol levels, reduce HDL cholesterol levels, increase triglycerides, add to belly fat, and contribute to inflammation, cardiovascular disease and other unhealthy conditions. On the other hand there are healthy fats that the body and in particular the brain need to function. These types of fats include essential fatty acids, monounsaturated , and other unsaturated fats. Eating fatty fish such as salmon and tuna will help you add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet that research shows is particularly good for heart health, fighting depression and memory loss as you get older. Nuts, dark-green leafy vegetables, various seeds such as chia and flax, and oils such as flax or olive as well as AFA bluegreen algae are other good sources for omega-3's. For a cost-effective, convenient and easy way to not only get the powerhouse nutrition of AFA bluegreen algae, but also the probiotics and digestive enzymes to help your body absorb nutrients, these supplement packets offer a great natural solution.

Now that you know what healthy eating habits can add to your longevity and which foods to definitely avoid, you'll see why your own fountain of youth is right in your own kitchen. Making some dietary changes and including wholefood supplements to fill in the nutritional gaps can help you "live long and prosper" and there's no time like the present to get started on adding some of these natural solutions to your regimen.

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

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/eating-longevity
https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article13.aspx

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Best Healthy Foods for High Energy Workouts

Exercise is a key ingredient for a healthy lifestyle for everything from weight loss to aging gracefully, but did you know there are healthy foods that can help your high energy exercise workouts before and after? Whether you exercise a lot or a little, your body needs the right healthy foods to give it the energy to perform. For those who are really into doing high energy workouts or sports, this is even more vital. Here are some of the food categories to make sure you include in your diet to support your body for intense, high energy exercise.

Protein
You need protein to build strong muscle and maintain muscle integrity and strength. Protein also keeps blood cells healthy which is important for getting nutrients and oxygen to the muscles. Good proteins come from lean sources such as beans, soy, and dairy, whole grains, sprouts, nuts, leafy greens and if you need a meat fix then opt for white meat chicken, turkey, seafood or lean cuts of beef. Be sure to take the skin off the chicken before cooking as it contains lots of saturated fat. Whole grain rice combined with beans makes a tasty complete protein. The whole algae cell form of AFA bluegreen algae gives your body access to proteins necessary for physical energy. AFA bluegreen algae is not only a rich source of protein, but also contains all eight of the essential amino acids in perfect balance recommended for people. According to Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, sports nutrition expert, author and nutrition professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, consuming protein after exercise is best so that it can repair and build muscle.

Carbohydrates
Your body can only easily digest a certain amount of carbohydrates before it then converts those carbs to fat to store away so it’s important to eat the right kinds of carbs and limit them according to your activity level. Eating carbohydrates after a workout helps your body produce insulin which is needed for muscle building. They also help replenish your energy after an extreme workout by replacing glycogen and glucose. Many experts also recommend adding a lean source of protein such as chicken or dairy to your after exercise complex carb grain snack. Eating foods with carbohydrates from whole grains such as wheat bread, brown rice, and cereals can help increase levels of serotonin and are absorbed slowly by the body which means they help keep blood sugar levels stable and keep your energy level stable. Eating bread, cereals, rice, fruits or vegetables before exercise gives your body the carbs it needs for the energy to do a workout.

Fluids
Drinking lots of pure water helps flush toxins out of the body, replaces the fluid lost from sweating during exercise, and keeps the circulation and body organs working efficiently. Water is essential to every function in your body, and the more stressed your body is, the more water you need. So the more high energy your workout is, the more hydration you need. Since extreme physical activity can increase your body temperature, water is needed to keep your body temperature down to safe levels. Whenever possible, avoid chlorine and other additives to your water. Chlorine tends to kill the beneficial bacteria in the gut, your first line of defense against illness. Stay away from tap water and drink plenty of spring or filtered water to keep your body pure and detoxified. Drinking water during the day and then drinking extra 2 hours before a high energy workout will help your performance. Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD recommends sports drinks with carbohydrates and sodium for exercise or sports activities lasting over an hour in a hot and humid environment or for people who sweat excessively.

Good fats
Eating foods with monounsaturated fatty acid helps give you the energy needed for exercising, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps muscle strong. This is the type of good fats found in foods like peanut butter, olive oil, nuts, olives, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil and avocados. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are also in the "good" fats category and our bodies do need some fat in order to function properly. Fat is needed to dissolve certain vitamins that are vital for a healthy body. Research has found that eating MUFAS helps keep blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels stable, reduce buildup of plaque, support healthy blood circulation, reduce the risk of heart disease and help burn off belly fat. They are also more filling so you don't have to eat as much as with other foods to satisfy hunger. And really who wants to exercise when you are stuffed and bloated? PUFAS can help release fat, increase metabolism and the body burns them faster than saturated types of fat. PUFAS are found in fish and fish oils, bluegreen alage, nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of PUFAS and have many benefits for physical and mental health

Supplements
In addition to eating healthy foods for high energy workouts, we have a natural supplement solution that supports the body engaged in an active lifestyle, that exercises regularly, that participates in sports or that is prone to overdoing it physically. This set of products is combined to give you supplements to take before a workout and supplements to take after a workout. The capsules in these packets have a variety of ingredients already measured out for you that:

  • provide a nutrient rich, whole food source the body needs for physical energy
  • have amino acids found to reduce muscle damage
  • have anti-inflammatory properties
  • provide nutrition found to support joints and cartilage
  • have antioxidants to aid against damage from free radicals 
  • provide protein rich plant sterols known to support sports performance
  • provide cellular nutrition
  • nourish and protect the body from tissue breakdown resulting from the intensity of post-workout

Since this supplement is already measured and packaged for you, it’s easy to take with you to the gym, up a mountain, or anywhere you go. These capsules contain ingredients such as bluegreen algae, wheatgrass juice, cordyceps and Lion’s Mane mushrooms, bee pollen, turmeric, noni, vegetable-based glucosamine, chondroitin, bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase. Individually these each have their own benefits to support mental concentration needed during sports and extreme workouts, joint and cartilage support, and anti-inflammatory properties. Collectively they add up to a great whole food source for physical energy to prepare your body for a high energy workout and to support its recovery after a high energy workout.

Now that you have some ideas of what healthy foods your body needs before and after a high energy workout, get going! Eat well, hydrate appropriately and support your body so that whatever sport, exercise or activity you enjoy, you perform at your peak level.

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


Source: 
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/what-eat-before-during-after-exercise?ecd=wnl_wlw_071313&ctr=wnl-wlw-071313_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Easy Joint Health to Keep You Active

How often do you really think about your joints? If you aren't having problems with them, the chances are you don't think about them often and take for granted all the things they allow your body to do. But if you suffer with joint stiffness, achy joints, or the pain of arthritis, you may think about your joints a lot.

Importance of Joint Health
A joint is the place where two bones meet. They get support to keep the bones from rubbing against each other from cartilage and synovium which are smooth tissues and synovial fluid. Movable joints also use cartilage to help you move by allowing the bones to glide over each other. Taking care of your cartilage, ligaments, muscles and bones is important to keep your joints healthy and avoiding joint stiffness and achy joints. Aging, injury and being overweight can cause damage and wear on the cartilage and joints and can lead to arthritis. Arthritis isn't just for the elderly. Younger people can also be at risk for it. Osteoarthritis is the most common form and affects around 21 million adults. Rheumatoid arthritis, gout and Juvenile arthritis are some of the other forms that make up the conditions affecting over 50 million Americans. According to Sharon Kolasinski, M.D., an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, one-third to one-half of doctor visits are attributed to musculosketal problems.

Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis begins when the support around the joints is no longer providing the cushioning needed for protection. This occurs because of cartilage wearing down from things like aging, any type of injury whether big or little that has occurred to a joint, inflammation that damages cartilage, loss of muscle mass that happens as we age and the strain joints and cartilage endure from carrying around too much excess body weight.

You don't have to settle for joint pain and stiffness no matter what age you are. There are natural solutions you can use to help support joint health. Here are a few to consider.

Keep Those Joints Moving
To maintain good joint health and prevent achy joints and joint stiffness, the key is to continue moving them. Exercise is a big part of that, but also just not staying in one position for too long can help. If you work a lot at a desk, get up and move periodically. If you are sitting for a long period of time at least shift your position from time to time. Since extra weight puts a strain on joints and cartilage, weight loss exercise can also be important. Did you realize that studies show you put four times more stress on your knees for every extra pound you are carrying around? That's a lot of potential damage to your knee joints, not to mention the strain on hips and your back!

Stretching exercises are recommended by experts for keeping joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles fit. They do however warn that stretching should be done after some warmup exercise instead of on cold muscles. Low-impact exercises are preferable to high-impact to lower the risk of joint damage. Walking, bike riding and swimming are examples of low-impact exercise. Other helpful exercise includes strength training exercise since having strong muscles can relieve some of the stress to joints. Doing range of motion exercises can help keep joints flexible and lessen the chance for joint stiffness. Be sure to check with your health care provider before taking on any type of exercise program to make sure it is safe for you.

Nutrition to Support Joint Health
Eating a well-balanced healthy diet is important for building strong muscle and bone which in turn supports joint health. In particular, make sure you are getting omega-3 fatty acids into your diet as it adds a lot of benefits for your health. For joints studies have found that omega-3's can help reduce inflammation that can lead to joint pain. Omega-3 is found in foods such as coldwater fish like cod, mackerel and salmon, fresh fruit, dark-green leafy greens, AFA blue-green algae, seeds and nuts, and flax and olive oil. Your diet also needs to include those foods that will give you strong bones. That means making sure you are getting the right amount of calcium. Good food sources for calcium include milk products, broccoli, kale, figs, and fortified cereals. The calcium won't help you though if you don't get the right amount of Vitamin D to help your body absorb it. Some research has also shown that Vitamin D supports joint health by helping to reduce inflammation in joints. Our bodies create Vitamin D mainly from our exposure to sunshine so getting outdoors a little bit every day is important. If you are unable to do this, a Vitamin D supplement may be required. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider to see if this type of supplement is right for you. You can get Vitamin D from some foods such as dairy products, and fortified cereals or soy and almond milk. Muscles need protein to stay strong which means making sure you have lean protein foods such as white meat chicken, beans, legumes, soy, seafood and nuts in your diet. Your healthcare provider may need to be consulted if you are not sure what the right amount of protein is for your age and sex. Antioxidants are another important part of a healthy diet that can help with joint health as they help repair the damage done to the body by free radicals. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are the best way to get antioxidants into your diet.

Supplements to Support Joint Health
If you know you are not getting the right type of nutrition to support healthy bones, muscles, cartilage and joints, there are supplements that can help. Glucosamine is probably one of the best known. While more research is needed, there have been studies reporting glucosamine and chondroitin being used successfully to relieve joint pain. One study at the University of Utah School of Medicine reported glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate being able to give pain relief to those suffering with pain from moderate to severe osteoarthritis. Both glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally occurring in our cartilage. Check with your healthcare provider however before using supplements of this type as they may interfere or be harmful to take in conjunction with other medications you may be on such as blood thinners.

SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine), is another well-known supplement that has been found useful in coping with joint pain. SAMe is produced naturally by the body, but production decreases as we get older. There have been studies showing that supplementing with SAMe can work on joint pain much like anti-inflammatory drugs do. Turmeric, ginger and boswellia have also been reported to work as well as some anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce joint pain from osteoarthritis. Ginger in particular may thin blood so be sure to check with your healthcare provider to see if this is safe for you especially if you are on any blood thinner medications. 

One way to add glucosamine and chondroitin along with undenatured collagen, and organic AFA bluegreen algae is with this supplement. The same type of nutrition needed for the body to recover from heavy activity or exercise is also the same type that supports joint health. This supplement  combines a proprietary blend of plant-based proteolytic enzymes--bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, and organic AFA bluegreen algae to provide the nutrition necessary for the body to reduce the risks of inflammation and recover from physical exertion.

Laugh Your Way to Better Joint Health
According to Sebastien Gendry, director of the American School of Laughter Yoga in Pasadena, laughter can be used for managing pain. Research has shown that laughter has many health benefits and one of those benefits is giving a boost to the immune system. Laughing can also increase the blood circulation and reduce stress. Hasya, or laughter yoga, incorporates activities and breathing that promote laughing which causes a release of endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that give us a lift and make us feel better that Gendry believes can work like a natural painkiller.

Try out the natural solution tips that will work and be safe for your situation to relieve your achy joints and joint stiffness. Joint pain can be very restrictive for everyday life so taking care of your joints now will pay off as you get older. If you already suffer from joint pain or arthritis use some of these tips to get relief and if you don't have joint pain now, get a jump on it and don't wait until it sets in. Life can be more enjoyable and productive when pain-free.

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


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/ss/slideshow-keep-joints-healthy?print=true
https://office.newearth.com/ProductDetail.aspx?item=21601
http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/caring-your-joints?print=true
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02862/supplements-for-bone-and-joint-health.html
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Kids/healthy_joints.asp
http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/02/27/CL.joint.health/index.html?iref=newssearch
http://www.arthritis.org/programs-events/joints-in-motion/

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Chocolate Heaven: Good and Good for You

Next time you reach for a chocolate bar when you're stressed forget about the guilt and enjoy it. It turns out that chocolate is actually good for you. That doesn't mean you can eat chocolate to your heart's content since it does have extra calories, but eating equal to one square of a dark healthy chocolate bar daily can give you a lot of benefits.

How Chocolate is Good For You
PEA
Cocoa beans and some cocoa powder has Phenylethylamine or PEA which comes from the amino acid phenylalanine. PEA occurs naturally in the body and aids with energy, mood, feelings of well-being and pleasure, attention, and mental acuity. PEA triggers hormones like dopamine and norepinephrine that elevate feelings of pleasure. Some research indicates that PEA stimulates the same feelings we get from falling in love. PEA can also be found in cheddar cheese and AFA bluegreen algae or in supplement form. Getting Phenylethylamine from supplements has been reported to have more consistent benefits and can help lower stress, boost mood and boost metabolism for fat burning. 

Antioxidants
According to experts like Mauro Serafini, PhD, from the National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome, dark chocolate has antioxidants that help fight free radical damage. Free radicals are molecules in cells that weaken to the point that they lose an electron. This weakness results from things such as toxins in the body, exposure to UV rays, chlorinated water, pollution, and overcooked, fried and processed foods. These free radicals then take electrons from other molecules and create more free radicals causing damage in the body, including cells, enzymes, and DNA. This shows up in the body in ways like pain, inflammation, and chronic diseases such as heart disease. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals before they cause cell damage by replacing the missing electron of free radicals. Dark chocolate has flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, that helps fight off free radicals and the effects of inflammation and the resulting diseases. These antioxidants also help protect skin and give protection from skin damaging UV rays from the sun.

Fiber
Dark chocolate is also a rich source of fiber which according to Yale University's Prevention Research Center's director, Dr. David Katz, can help make you feel full and not eat as much. So while you may think chocolate should be banned from your weight loss plan, it actually may help you lose weight by keeping you from seeking out less healthy snacks between meals.

Heart Healthy Chocolate
Antioxidants help fight off the damage from free radicals that can lead to heart disease, but there are other benefits for the cardiovascular system that healthy chocolate can provide. Research from 2011 done in Sweden found that women eating more than 45 grams a week were at 20 percent less risk of stroke, than those eating less than 9 grams. Eating chocolate with its cocoa phenols regularly has also been found to reduce blood pressure levels and LDL cholesterol levels. And according to Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald cocoa works much like aspirin in thinning blood and protecting from blood clots.

Alternative to the Chocolate Bar
If you have a good quality unsweetened cocoa powder you can also get your chocolate benefits from drinking chocolate like they do in Europe. Just add nonfat milk, sugar or natural sweetener and cornstarch together in a pan and cook while stirring with a whisk until it boils.

Forget the bad things you've heard over the years about chocolate and let yourself enjoy a square daily. About 6 grams of chocolate a day on a regular basis will lift you up, and give you all the health benefits we've talked about here. The darker the chocolate the better and 70% or more cocoa content is optimal. What a great way to treat yourself and get an extra nutritional bang.

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

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/food/thick-rich-drinking-chocolate?ecd=wnl_dab_122814&ctr=wnl-dab-122814_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d
http://racetams.net/2014/07/23/phenylethylamine-chocolate-benefits/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/chocolate-health-benefits_n_1383372.html
http://www.webmd.com/diet/20030827/dark-chocolate-is-healthy-chocolate

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Gut-Brain Connection: How Healthy Food Affects Your Brain's Reactions

You can probably see how eating healthy food makes for a healthy body which includes making a healthy brain, but there may be more of a connection between what goes on in your gut and your brain. Recent studies have been showing that probiotics in the gut have an affect on brain activity when we are anxious, stressed, depressed or afraid. These studies indicate that there could be a reduction of these types of behaviors through the types of foods we eat that keep the probiotics in our intestinal system healthy. The other indication is that this communication between gut and brain goes the other way and that brain reactions can affect the population of microflora in the gut.

These studies indicate that one way of supporting brain health is to also support intestinal health. This makes sense if you think about there being two nervous systems in the body. There is the central nervous system that includes the brain and spinal cord and there is the enteric nervous system that is involved with the gastrointestinal tract. Both of these contain the same type of tissues and are connected by the vagus nerve. It is this nerve that facilitates the communication between gut and brain. Specific probiotics in the gut have actually been identified as being able to perform functions that affect regulation of neurotransmitters in the brain and that affect the corticosterone hormone which is responsible for reducing anxiety and depression type behaviors. Studies have also led to the discovery that serotonin such is found in the brain and controls mood, depression and aggression, is found in even greater amounts in the gut.

Studies have also found that an imbalance of gut flora can affect brain development and that low levels of these gut flora have a connection to symptoms associated with autism, ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, and other conditions. While all these studies are relatively new and more research is needed, preliminary results are promising that increasing the friendly bacteria in the gut can be beneficial for brain health.

There are many foods that have been shown to not only increase general body health, but are particularly good for brain health. These include foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids such as berries, nuts, olive oil, vegetables and coldwater fish.

I know you've heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it is absolutely true. Here's some high powered breakfast ideas that can help kick start your brain at the beginning of the day.

--Yogurt that has live active cultures is a good source of probiotics and protein and if you add some walnuts and berries to it, you get some omega-3 and antioxidants as well. Add in some whole grain cereal and you've got a breakfast that is also high in fiber which makes for slower digestion thus improving concentration.

--Make an omelet using olive oil instead of butter to get some extra omega-3s. The eggs will give you some protein as would adding some cheese. Put spinach and tomatoes on top before you fold the omelet over so that they end up in the middle and you'll be adding some good antioxidants. Get your fiber by putting the whole thing on a piece of whole grain toast. 

--Make a breakfast shake for a breakfast-to-go by blending yogurt, berries, a little milk and some flax or chia seeds. For an extra nutritional shake, you can add in this powered algae blend or a powdered algae blend with probiotics, enzymes, and sprouts

--Cereal is always a good quick breakfast standby if you don't have time to cook in the mornings. Mix a high fiber cereal with a whole grain cereal, add some walnuts, almonds or pecans, fruit and seeds, then get some probiotics added in by using keifer instead of milk. If you've got a little more time, oatmeal is also a good breakfast for brain health.

--When you've got a little more cooking time, whole grain waffles or pancakes topped with fruit and yogurt makes a healthy filling breakfast. For an extra boost, stir some nuts like walnuts into the batter.

Basically anytime you take some whole grains, add in berries and walnuts along with keifer, you are getting antioxidants, fiber, probiotics, omega-3, polyunsaturated fat, and protein all in one meal. Stir in some powdered blue green algae and you've really got a power breakfast or lunch going. Of course other nuts can be used and flax or chia seeds stirred in also, but the Journal of Alzheimer's Diesease has cited walnuts as contributing to better memory and increased brain functioning. They also attribute the antioxidants in walnuts as being helpful in reducing the chance of cognitive decline as we age.

We've talked about how probiotics in the gut are associated with brain health, but digestive enzymes are another gut aspect to consider when thinking about brain functioning. Digestion requires a lot of energy and the more energy it takes to digest food, the less there is available for other physical and mental activities. We've all experienced that afternoon slump especially after eating lunch. Taking high quality digestive enzymes can help support the digestive process. Enzymes are present in every cell, tissue and organ in the body and responsible for every chemical reaction associated with the metabolism of the body. Enzymes are critical to the proper functioning of everything from breathing to thinking to circulating the blood. .

Now you know how your brain and gut are connected and how adding healthy food and some of the natural solutions discussed can give you a boost for your brain. Giving your brain the support it needs to stay healthy no matter what age you are now will pay off in keeping you mentally sharp into your elder years.

Sources: 
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20120524/probiotics-exploring-the-gut-mind-connection?print=true
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201206/do-probiotics-help-anxiety
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/03/probiotics-impact-brain-performance.aspx
http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/DDW/32944
http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/breakfasts-jump-start-your-brain
http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/nuts-and-health-how-walnuts-can-improve-your-memory


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



Thursday, September 5, 2019

Mushrooms: Our Superfood Friends

by guest author Barb Swanson


Mushrooms & Optimum Health
Did you know that all mushrooms have powerful immune-system strengthening qualities, improving the ability of immune cells to kill invaders? Even ordinary mushrooms are highly nutritious, low-calorie food with immune health qualities.

Mice given a diet with a lot of Portobello mushrooms got a strong immune-system boost--just adding in culinary mushrooms.

One reason for mushroom's immune power are their complex sugars, called beta glucans (ß-glucans). ß-glucans turn on our immune cells in skin and our gut. In fact, studies show that our innate immune system doesn't operate at peak function unless there are beta glucans present.

Based on their effects on the immune system, mushroom ß-glucans have been proposed to act as "biological response modifiers" (BRM), enhancing the body's own use of macrophages and T-lymphocytes.

Certain mushrooms, especially reishi, maitake and multi-mushroom blends, can also dramatically increase the activity of natural killer (NK) cells and facilitate apoptosis of cancer cells.

NK cells are important components of the innate immune system, and are responsible for antiviral and antitumor defense.

Mushrooms can benefit gastrointestinal tract healing through their action as prebiotics.

Mushrooms also have the potential to improve a healthy immune response after initial exposure to an antigen or pathogen.

TONIC Mushrooms are also called medicinal mushrooms. Some culinary mushrooms are also tonic, but many tonic mushrooms are used primarily in supplement form. When buying a mushroom supplement, it is important to pay attention to quality control. Mushrooms are bio-accumulators. This means they will concentrate any toxins in their environment, making them unsafe for human use.

Best is to use an organic supplement such as this one or this one. If it has other 3rd party certifications, such as GMP for example, this is even better.

Tonic Mushrooms
Key Features & Benefits
Cordyceps was discovered in the mountainous regions of China and Tibet about 1,500 years ago. It was prized in the Emperor's palace in China. It is rich in proteins, plant sterols, polysaccharides, antioxidants, and nucleoside derivatives. Promotes longevity and decreases fatigue. It helps support healthy lung function & kidney function, a healthy heart, improves immune function and is particularly beneficial for use after chemotherapy.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is perhaps the most famous of all the scientifically researched mushrooms. Its wide-ranging health benefits stem from its high levels of beta glucans and its more than 130 identified triterpenoid compounds.  These compounds are anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive. The science on reishi is some of the most extensive in the mushroom literature, with many promising avenues of research and potential benefits. Reishi is a complete whole food, rich in amino acids, enzymes, minerals, and complex polysaccharides. Contains complex sugars that fight viral, strengthen immune, organic germanium for healthy immune. Lowers high cholesterol & blood pressure. May help maintain positive moods.

Maitake (Grifola frondosa) is a highly prized culinary mushroom that grows throughout the temperate forests of North America, China and Europe. Maitake contains a variety of beneficial phospholipids, unsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides, antioxidants, beta glucans, and plant sterols, such as the potent ergosterol. This adaptogenic mushroom promote wellness & vitality and helps your body cope with stressors. Benefits include helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It helps with losing weight. It promotes cardiovascular health.

Poria Cocos has been a traditional ingredient in Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years and was harvested by Native Americans as a source of food. It is a mind tonic, considered to prolong life because it keeps you calm. It is an anti-tumor, antiviral food.

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is a powerful tonic food. The compounds of this mushroom enhance our immune function. Shiitake is rich in cellulase and hemicellulose enzymes which destroy the cell membranes of opportunistic fungus. The antibacterial properties of Lentinula edodes are shown to be helpful in controlling other opportunistic bacteria.

Lion's mane (Hericium erinaceus) has the ability to protect and regenerate the intestinal epithelium, which is great help to repair the damaged intestinal walls (possible Leaky Gut Syndrome). 

Bottom Line: Tonic mushrooms offer us big benefits for even just a little bit of use.

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Five Simple and Cheap Ways to Recover from Stress

We live in a stressed out society. According to an annual "Attitudes In The American Workplace VI" Gallup Poll, 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress. Stress has become one the largest problems in our society, and regularly costs US industries more than $300 billion per year.

With today's uncertain economy, more and more people are feeling stress, even if they don't acknowledge it. The good news is that you don't have to be stressed out, even if everyone else is. Here are five simple and cheap ways to recover from stress:

Move Your Body
Taking a brisk 5 minute walk outside can release endorphins (those make you feel happy), increase circulation to the brain so you can think more clearly, and reduce the adrenalin and cortisol produced by stress (adrenalin and cortisol cause your body to store lots of fat). Moving your body also tends to move your mind, according to the spiritual principle of "as above, so below," so you tend to feel more relaxed and creative afterward. Taking a quick walk could result in some unexpected inspiration!

Vent for Five Minutes
If you're really stressed and you need to vent your frustration or anger, set aside five minutes and write everything down. Set a timer for five minutes and go. Write down everything you're angry, sad, frustrated, grieving, or generally stressed about. This is your five minutes to cut loose. When the timer goes off, you'll feel better and be able to think more clearly. The key to making this technique work is to stay disciplined. Don't allow yourself to get frustrated outside of those 5 minutes, and don't let yourself vent for more than 5 minutes.

Feed Your Brain and Body
When you're under stress, your brain and body need more nutrients to function. Taking in whole food nutrients can actually get rid of stress. Try blue-green algae, chlorella, or another chlorophyll-rich source. Fruits and vegetables, especially if freshly-juiced, also make a great source of nutrient-dense food that your body can use without a lot of digestive effort.

Breathe
When you're under stress, you stop breathing deeply and regularly. Studies show that when you take conscious control of your breathing, your level of stress decreases. If you're breathing consciously, you won't be stressed. Take three minutes and just breathe. You'll be glad you did!

Take Action
If you're stressed because you've been procrastinating about something, get moving and take some action. Procrastination is one of the biggest sources of stress--and it's also one of the easiest to take care of. Taking action and completing tasks can radically reduce stress!

The last thing you need to do when you're stressed is add more items to your to-do list. Instead, make stress relief simple. Take 5 minutes out of your day, here and there, to de-stress your life. You don't need to pay for an expensive gym membership or visit a shrink. Just take a little time to decompress and you'll be surprised at the positive results.

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.