Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Way to Your Heart is Through your Gut: Understanding the Gut-Heart Connection

by guest contributors Barbara Swanson and Mark Segars

Much of modern medicine is based on treating each body part as separate from the rest of the body. You have a primary care physician; but if you have earaches, you go to an ear, nose and throat specialist. For digestive problems, they are likely to send you to a GI doc. If you have heart issues, they send you to a cardiologist.

However, every organ and system is connected to each other. To truly treat a root cause of any ill, view your body as a whole.

Most people today understand that probiotics are key to good digestion. However, these good bacteria do far more. 

The Role of Probiotics and Heart Health
Probiotics play a key role in the transportation and re-absorption of cholesterol. Cholesterol is an essential component of good health. It forms part of cell membranes, hormones, and detergents that solubilize consumed fats. Some types of our good bacteria create an enzyme that beneficially affect cholesterol absorption, and can lower LDL-C ("bad") cholesterol levels in blood.

Probiotics also are keyed in to our brain and benefit not only brain health but mood. They are essential for the production of serotonin, endorphins and much more. Want to feel more in love? Eat good bacteria!

What Are Probiotics?
The GI tract contains a multitude of resident microorganisms called "the gut microbiome". Throughout your gut live trillions of bacteria, fungi and viruses. The genes in these bacteria in our gut outnumber our human genes by 150 to 1! Human health is dependent on having a healthy gut ecosystem. Many essential processes, including making some vitamins, are performed by probiotics. Probiotics can improve digestion, metabolism, positively influence the immune system, and even affect the nervous system to control pain! Your gastrointestinal (GI) system and its microorganisms can also provide support for heart health.

In Summary
Ultimately, the role of beneficial bacteria as stewards of health extends far beyond the gut, into your blood, your liver and even your heart. As we move into the new year, adding probiotics can help protect your health from the challenges of the winter season and much more! Acidophilus is particularly beneficial for the small intestine. It supports healthy immune function and helps keep our internal ecology in balance. Bifidus will help keep you moving! It helps reduce gas and bloating, increases healthy elimination and is even a key component of healthy B12 absorption. This full spectrum probiotic is the best of all worlds. A proprietary blend of 12 probiotics and prebiotics, it will tone and balance your entire GI tract, something most of us need help with in a world filled with stress and less-than-ideal food choices.

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, February 26, 2019

Have an Active Lifestyle? Keep It Going As You Age

Ever think you have such an active lifestyle that sometimes you don't know if you are coming or going? Well, when it all seems too much to juggle, you might want to cut back a bit and save yourself some stress, but staying active is actually a good thing, especially as you get older. Once you hit your senior years, you'll find it especially important to keep an active lifestyle going and that it will pay off in health benefits. If you are not leading an active lifestyle now, it's never too late to start. Get up and get moving now and you'll find yourself at less risk later for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer. You'll also sleep better, be less stressed, have better cognitive functioning, avoid being overweight, and balance your mood. Sitting around on the couch or in your recliner watching TV all day on the other hand will do just the opposite as you age. If you are in the 40% of adults that report they don't engage in physical activity in their time-off, you'll be paying for it with your health in your golden years. Studies on participants engaging in an active lifestyle versus those not active found that inactivity contributes to 6% of heart disease statistics, 7% of Type 2 diabetes statistics, 10% of breast cancer statistics, and 10% of colon cancer statistics. Inactivity as you age is thought to affect the metabolism in ways that increase the risk of these types of diseases and conditions. So even if you are really bad about exercising, doing something to get active is better than sitting around doing nothing. Just taking a 30 minute walk everyday will pay off in health benefits. 

Stay Active - No Excuses
With everything else there is to do, I know it can be difficult sometimes to work in the time for exercise. The good news is that you can find lots of things to add into your day that count in being active. Mow your lawn yourself instead of hiring it done, ride your bike whenever possible instead of jumping in the car, use part of your lunch break to take a walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, take the dog for a walk, join a sports team or take up a new sport. All of these ideas and more can be worked into your regular day, get your regular chores done and will increase your activity level.

Then of course there is the excuse of the weather interfering with getting your exercise – it's too hot, too cold, or too rainy. There are also ways to get your exercise and physical activity in working around the weather. When the weather is bad or too hot, do your exercise in the house, or join a gym with air conditioning, take up sports that can be played indoors like racquetball, do your walking or exercise in the early morning before it gets too hot, take up water sports to stay cool and active at the same time, join a sports team with games in the cooler evening hours and go for a walk at a mall or department store. If you want to insure healthy aging, it's time to really think about making an active lifestyle a priority and get going with it. Where there's a will, there's a way, so get creative with looking for ways to stay active instead of excuses to skip activity. Besides the benefits for the future, you'll feel better, look better, and have more energy now.

Supplement Your Active Lifestyle
Your 75 trillion cells are constantly under attack from free radicals which results in aging. Free radicals can react with your cells' DNA and RNA, the blueprints by which your cells duplicate themselves causing heart disease, chronic pain, and other ailments related to aging. Your own natural adult stem cells have the remarkable ability to repair and regenerate your body. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a skin cell. New stem cells can migrate to the areas of the body where they are needed most as we age thus serving as a repair system for the body. You can give your adult stem cells a boost by keeping them nourished. One way to do this is by taking a stem cell support supplement  that has been shown to increase the growth of adult stem cells in in vitro laboratory studies, that supports the body's natural renewal system with nourishing ingredients, that provides nutrition that enables stem cells to flourish, and that protects existing stem cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.

Antioxidants also help in the fight against damaging free radicals. A good way to supplement your body with antioxidants is with blue green algae. Blue green algae contains a wide range of antioxidants in the form of specific trace minerals, amino acids, vitamins and especially pigments – an impressive variety of carotenes along with potent green and blue pigments. Replicated studies have shown the potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of phycocyanin which is found in blue green algae. (Bruno, Edible Microalgae)

Regular exercise and staying active also helps keep your digestive system working well. A healthy digestive system not only helps your body absorb nutrients it needs, but also boosts your immunity. To keep your digestive system in tip top shape requires healthy colonies of friendly bacteria or probiotics in your gut and digestive enzymes. Enzymes are necessary to aid digestion by metabolizing fat, proteins and carbohydrates and to be absorbed into the blood to clean long-term residual food particles. Most people don't get enough enzymes or probiotics from the foods they eat and this is where supplementation can help. You can get the nutrition of AFA wild bluegreen algae, probiotic power of acidophilus and bifidus and a high quality digestive enzyme all in one convenient packet for each day of the month. If you really want to up your enzyme intake, this enzyme/algae supplement gives you a combination of plant-based proteolytic enzymes, bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, as well as bluegreen algae. Not only do these enzymes help digestion, but bromelain in particular has been found to reduce inflammation. Enzymes make it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients it needs to function properly and help your body break down foods more quickly and efficiently, so your body doesn't have to work quite as hard to process your food. When you are feeling burned out or stressed, it is especially helpful to help your body save energy. With all this antioxidant protection, this supplement can also support the body as it deals with inflammation which can result from stress weakening the immune system.

If you lean towards a couch potato lifestyle, hopefully this article has given you something to think about in how important it is to get up and get moving. For those already engaged in an active lifestyle, good for you, keep it up. You're getting the health benefits now and investing in the benefits you'll have to slide into healthy aging.

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.


Edible Microalgae, Jeffrey Bruno

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Power of Micronutrients for Super Health

Think you have good health, eat right, get enough exercise? If you aren't getting enough micronutrients in your diet, you might be surprised at what you are missing and how this can affect your health. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture nine out of every ten Americans have a potassium deficiency, eight out of every ten have a deficiency of vitamin E, and half of all Americans have deficiencies of vitamin A, vitamin C and magnesium ( The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) cites vitamin D deficiency in half the population with the elderly being in the forefront by being 70% deficient in vitamin D. That's a lot of people not getting the amount of micronutrients from diet that they need to have good health.

What Are Micronutrients?
Nutrients fall into two categories: micronutrients and macronutrients. Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, bioflavonoids and antioxidants and our bodies need them to operate properly. There are no calories associated with micronutrients like there are with macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates and proteins). Many Americans eat a diet that is too high in macronutrients and with not enough micronutrients which leads to a takeover of free radicals that damage the body cells. This can lead to a variety of health conditions such as cancers, diabetes, and heart disease which we all know are in abundance in our society today. Why is it that we have such an epidemic of these chronic health conditions and diseases today? A big reason is the soil providing our food sources has become so depleted of essential minerals. This depleted soil grows plant based food for humans and for animal food sources. That translates to the fruits, vegetables, grains and meats we eat not containing the micronutrients we need for good health. If the food we eat doesn't have all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrition we need, where do we turn? Many health and nutrition experts, such as Dr. Oz, the AMA and Harvard School of Public Health, today are recommending adding multivitamin supplements to our diets.

What Micronutrients Do We Need?
Micronutrients our bodies need include 14 essential vitamins, 16 essential minerals and thousands of phytochemicals. Many experts believe that the phytochemicals are even more important to our health than the vitamins and minerals are. Some of the vital micronutrients our bodies need include zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, selenium, and vitamins C, A and E. Zinc can be found in red meat and dairy foods and among other important functions is necessary to metabolize our macronutrients. Magnesium food sources include spinach, beans, red meat and whole grains and is necessary for more than 300 chemical reactions the body produces. Calcium you probably know is needed for strong bones, but it also is important for muscles and nerve transmission. Green leafy vegetables, salmon, and dairy are some of the food sources that contain calcium. Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure, muscle and heart contraction, nerve transmission and balancing electrolytes. Food sources high in potassium include bananas, oranges, potatoes and beans. Selenium has antioxidant properties that help protect body cells from damage and is important to our metabolism, immune response and thyroid function. Brazil nuts, walnuts, tuna, cod, herring, beef and grains are all food sources for selenium. Vitamin A supports good eyesight and also supports immune system health to fight off infections, and is important for bone health. Dark green leafy vegetables, liver, sweet potatoes, carrots and eggs are all food sources with Vitamin A. Vitamin C helps build collagen and has antioxidant properties to protect cells from free radical damage. Bell pepper, oranges, strawberries and broccoli are all good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin E is another antioxidant that has many benefits including that it nourishes skin and eyes, and gives protection to the brain, heart and liver. Food sources for vitamin E include green leafy vegetables, nuts and eggs.

When Diet is Not Enough
Diets high in fresh fruits and vegetables can help provide us with many of the vital phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins we need, but if our produce is being grown in nutrient poor soil then we still are not getting enough. AFA bluegreen algae is rich in phytonutrients, plant-based proteins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, as well as a wide spectrum of micronutrients, making it a nourishing whole food that provides a broad range of benefits. The brain in particular can benefit from AFA bluegreen algae. The blood brain barrier allows only small micronutrients and fat-soluble molecules to pass through it, yet the brain requires huge quantities of nutrients and molecules. A hungry brain results in decreased mental alertness as well as affected mood. To feed the brain, you need to focus on specific foods that nourish the brain and can pass through the blood brain barrier. This bluegreen algae with the cell wall removed contains micronutrients that can pass through the blood brain barrier and actually support the health of our brain cells. Most macronutrients cannot pass through this barrier, and even though they may support overall body health, they aren't able to directly nourish our brains.

As our food sources alone don't seem to be providing the nutrition we need to prevent disease and chronic conditions, it is time to start thinking about supplementing our diets. When looking at supplements make sure you consider micronutrients into the equation. We believe you'll find that AFA bluegreen algae can help your body get all the essential fatty acids, proteins, complex sugars, vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, phytonutrients and micronutrients to make up for the deficit of these in our foods. After all algae is actually a food itself and at the base of our entire food chain.

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, February 12, 2019

Ready to Learn How to Have More Joy in Your Life?

Are you ready to figure out how to have more joy in your life? If so, then this is the article for you. Nope, this isn't an article about how to be more productive, how to be a better multi-tasker, or how to juggle your life more efficiently. Nope, this article is about the good stuff in life ... joy! Most of the time we write about how to live a healthier life by making practical lifestyle changes, but every now and then, we need to "go off script" and write about other stuff ... like joy.

After all, if you don't feel joyful in your life, why bother? We humans are not meant to be cogs in some great work machine. We are fully-functional emotional beings who are equipped to feel an entire range of emotions, from rage to boredom to joy. So today, we talk about joy!

How to Have More Joy -- Simple Ways
The emotion of joy often springs up unexpectedly in our lives, such as when we smell the sweet scent of spring flowers or when we hear some funny quote out of the mouths of babes. But we can also learn to live joyfully, on purpose, just as we can learn to laugh on purpose (you've heard about laughter therapy, right?). Check out these two simple natural solutions to a more joyful you!

Practicing Joy
Experts have actually studied the process of joy and written some great tips on how to have more joy in your life. Here are some links to web pages where you can learn about being joyful on purpose. These experts know what they are talking about ... and it can't hurt to try these tips. All you'll lose is a little time!

11 Things We Know About Joy
14 Ways To Find Joy
How to Find Happiness in Unexpected Places

Eating for Joy
In addition to practicing the "art of joy," you can also eat your way to a more joyful sense of being. It turns out that there is a chemical basis for the feeling of joy, mostly related to the health of our brains and our guts. Get the details in this article

So ... at the risk of sounding like a pun, follow these tips and "enjoy"!

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, February 7, 2019

How to Slim Down Without Working Out

Looking for how to slim down without working out? Me too! Of course I know exercise is good for me on many different levels and I'd love to have unlimited time to go to a yoga class, aerobics class, go for a long power walk or bike ride every day or work out at the gym, but the reality is I don't have unlimited time and it seems those activities always get put off. While I will strive to keep getting in as much physical activity and exercise as I can, there are other tips for how to slim down that we can all use.

Slow Down

This relates to eating your meals slower and to living your life with less stress. Overeating is often caused by eating too fast. Your brain and stomach are not communicating well as to when you are full. When eating, pay attention to what you are eating, how it tastes, smells, and feels instead of rushing through your meal. Chew each bite slowly and take the time to enjoy the food. Pause occasionally when eating and notice if your hunger has subsided. Many people are conditioned to eat until they are full or until their plate is clean. Start letting your body lead you to a different type of thinking in this regard and begin to notice when hunger is satisfied instead of being full.

Stress is known to contribute to weight gain. Find ways to deal with stress and slow your life down. This may mean prioritizing what is really important to you and saying no to other things. Or it may just mean you need to make time for that yoga class or meditation time for stress relief. See what works for you and make the commitment to slow down.

Get Some Extra ZZ's
A research study from the University of Michigan reported that 14 pounds a year could be lost just by getting an extra hour of sleep each night. Other studies show that the appetite is stimulated by not getting enough sleep. Less than 7 hours a night has been reported to increase appetite.

What Are You Eating?
Give some thought to where and what you are eating. How often do you eat out? How often do you eat vegetables, whole grains and fruits, versus how often do you eat fried, sugary, simple carbs and processed foods? You can eat more fruits and veggies with their fiber and water filling you up without the high calories. Whole grains are another way to get filled up with less calories. If you eat out, order an appetizer as your meal, order the half order size of a meal that many restaurants offer, see if you can order a child's sized meal or get the whole adult meal, but ask for a doggie bag at the beginning of the meal rather than the end. That way you can go ahead and put half away for lunch or dinner the next day. Another natural solution to how to slim down is to eat several smaller meals throughout the day rather than the traditional 3 big meals.

Meatless Meals
Meals with veggies, beans, lentils and legumes have lots of fiber that fill you up and don't have the fats found in meats. Magazines and the internet are filled with vegetarian recipes these days. Plan several days a week to have meatless meals. This might include doing breakfast without any sausage or bacon, having a sandwich with cheese and a variety of veggies, having grilled eggplant instead of meatballs with your spaghetti or eating a veggie burger instead of a hamburger.

Change Dishes
Actually changing the glasses and plates you use can be a way of how to slim down. Sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages are best to be avoided all together when trying to lose weight, but if you're not ready to let these go completely, use a smaller glass or a taller, skinnier glass. A smaller glass obviously means drinking less, but according to Brian Wansink, PhD at Cornell University, using a tall, thin glass causes people to pour less liquid into it. He also finds that using a smaller plate causes people to fill it with less food without feeling hungry or deprived.

When working on how to slim down, good digestion is a must. If food doesn't keep moving through the digestive system, it can become stuck which causes belly fat. Probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus help your body process and digest the foods you eat and keep them moving through the digestive system. Adding enzymes to your diet is another way to support digestion, keep your metabolism high and your fat content low. Taking a high quality enzyme supplement at meals and in between meals, gives your metabolism a boost, burns fat and cleans waste out of the body.

Adding antioxidant foods high in flavonoids to your diet can help improve metabolism and prevent belly fat. Green tea, dark chocolate, berries, pears, apples, onions, leeks, peppers and other bright colored veggies are good sources of antioxidants.

Healthy Snacks
If you need a snack between meals, reach for a piece of fruit, a low sugar yogurt or a green smoothie instead of a candy bar or chips. Popcorn is also a good alternative, but hold the butter and avoid the microwave varieties. My favorite healthy snack is this bar with blue green algae and sprouted grains. Delicious, convenient on the go and loaded with "good for me" nutrition.

Getting exercise is definitely good for weight loss as well as a wide range of other health concerns, but if you find yourself needing more help in the how to slim down department and just can't get in enough exercise time to get those extra pounds off, give some of these tips a try. You've nothing to lose by trying them out... except that extra fat.

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.