Thursday, March 28, 2019

What is Inflammation? Answers That Will Surprise You!

If someone asked you whether inflammation is a good thing or a bad thing, what would you say? Most people way say that inflammation is a bad thing ... and they would be wrong, sort of. Actually, inflammation is one of your body's defense mechanisms, which is a good thing. It's just when the body gets confused and becomes inflamed at the wrong times or responds to the wrong stimulus that inflammation becomes a bad thing.

What is Inflammation Specifically?
When your body senses infection or certain chronic conditions considered "threatening," your body reacts by becoming inflamed. Specifically, your body:
  • increases blood flow to the affected area
  • moves white blood cells and other protective cells to act against bacteria and viruses
  • releases protective chemicals into the tissues around the affected area
These actions all sound good, and do in fact help your body fend off foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. On the other hand, all those chemicals, white blood cells, and other "protective" substances your body releases can cause you to notice symptoms such as redness, swelling, heat, pain, and excess nerve stimulation. The good news is that, if you are healthy, once your body has fought off the foreign invaders, you will no longer experience these less-than-pleasant symptoms of inflammation.

Unfortunately, the body occasionally becomes confused as to when it does and does not need to react defensively. For instance, some people experience a condition called leaky gut syndrome. What is leaky gut syndrome? It is the condition in which food is allowed to move through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream. Since proteins, starches, and fats do not belong in the bloodstream, your body naturally assumes these foreign substances are invaders, and reacts with inflammation. The result is often allergies, including both food and environmental allergies

In other cases, the body attacks itself with inflammation even when there are no foreign substances. Certain types of arthritis are good examples of the body mis-interpreting the need for defensive action.  These types of arthritis are called autoimmune diseases, in which the body's normal immune system attacks and damages its own tissues.

Can You Reduce Inflammation with Diet?
Research now shows that causes of inflammation can often be found in the diet. For instance, researchers now agree that the following dietary conditions can lead to inflammation:
  • the wrong ratio of omega-6 (found in fast food) to omega-3 fatty acids (found in algae and coldwater fish)
  • lack of phytochemicals (found in algae and dark leafy greens)
  • excessive fat, simple carboyhydrates, and red meat
  • too many refined and processed foods
... and this is just the short list!

So what can you do with your diet to support a more healthy lifestyle and help your body know when it should and should not react with inflammation? Here are 3 simple dietary changes that can really support your body's immune response:

1. Straighten Out Your Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Here are the sad facts about omega-6 fatty acids (the ones found in fast food and junk food) and omega-3 fatty acids is that most Americans have the ratio exactly backwards in their diets. Here's the deal:
  • To be healthy, you need 3 to 4 times as many omega-3's as omega-6's.
  • Most Americans get 10 to 20 times as many of the wrong omegas (omega-6's) as omega-3's.
See what we mean about the backwards part of the fatty acids? It's no wonder that so many Americans suffer from inflammation. The problem is that omega-3's are so much less available in foods than omega-6's. Eat any fast food meal and you will get plenty of omega-6's. But where do you get the much-needed omega-3's? Coldwater fish, fresh fruit, dark-green leafy greens, AFA blue-green algae, seeds and nuts, and flax and olive oil. Add just a bit of each of these foods to your diet to make a significant difference to your health. For people on the run, we find that adding AFA blue-green algae is one of the simplest ways to get the right ration of fatty acids because this form of algae has the exact ratio of fatty acids the human body needs (plus plenty of phytochemicals).

2. Choose Foods Wisely -- Not Difficult!
We get that not everyone is Rachel Ray or a cooking genius. But the truth of the matter is that you don't need to be in love with cooking to eat healthy. You just have to make better food choices. Do not stop at your local fast food joint for a quick meal fix. Instead, shop smart once a week at your local grocery store. Here's a quick rundown of an anti-inflammatory diet from Christopher Cannon, MD of Harvard Medical School (http://bit.ly/WjKq3w):

Breakfast 
  • steel cut oatmeal with berries or yogurt
  • coffee or green tea
Lunch 
  • tuna salad on whole grain bread OR
  • a smoothie with seasonal fruits
Snack 
  • an ounce of dark chocolate OR
  • about 4 walnuts
Dinner 
  • spaghetti with turkey meat sauce
  • spinach salad with oranges and walnuts
  • apple cranberry pie without butter
Now that doesn't sound too difficult, right? Who can't make oatmeal ... really!

3. Spice It Up
Research shows that spices like ginger and curry are natural anti-inflammatory spices. So add some of these to your foods when you're doing a little light cooking ... or even when you're not really cooking but just "throwing together" a healthy salad or meal. Now that's as simple as it gets!


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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Are You Ready for Better Energy? 7 Natural Solutions for Better Daily Energy

Did you know that Americans are among the most sleep-deprived people in the world, which means that almost every adult in this country could use better energy! The bad news is that most Americans turn to coffee and energy drinks to get going in the morning, and then need sleep medications to slow down at night. This continuous cycle of uppers and downers confuses the body, not to mention stressing internal organs such as the liver and kidneys.

The good news is that there are many natural solutions for improving your daily energy, and all of them are simple--even for the busiest of people! If you want better energy and you want to avoid drinking an entire pot of coffee to keep you going all day, read on. We offer 7 natural solutions that are daily energy boosters. Follow these tips and learn how to improve energy naturally, in tune with your body's natural rhythms.

7 Natural Solutions for Better Daily Energy
You may be surprised at the simplicity of these tips for how to improve energy. They include the foods you eat, the amount of sunshine you get, various ways to get your body moving, plus simple supplements that go a long way toward supporting your body's natural energy production. Ready for simple natural solutions for better energy that really work? Then read on, McDuff!

#1 Better Energy Through Diet
You are most likely familiar with the energy boost that you get from sugar or caffeine ... grabbing a candy bar is so simple when you hit that energy lull around 3 pm. More than likely, you are also familiar with the "crash and burn" that comes an hour or two later, when the sugar has worked its way through your system, and fatigue returns with a vengeance. Not good. Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee or a sweet roll, look for foods that keep your blood sugar steady and signal your brain to produce good-mood chemicals. For instance, whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread will feed your body over a long period of time. Plus, studies show that whole grains increase the production of "feel good" brain chemical serotonin. Cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts--all high in magnesium--play an active role in converting sugars into energy ... without a sugar crash later!

#2 Suck It Up -- On Cinnamon, That Is
Few people know about the many health benefits of cinnamon. Studies have actually shown that taking a whiff of cinnamon can make you feel more alert and increase your daily energy levels. Sucking on a cinnamon stick produces similar results. As a bonus, cinnamon has natural health-protective properties. If you don't have any cinnamon handy, suck on a peppermint candy instead. Peppermint has similar fatigue-fighting properties.

#3 Get Enough Sunshine
Want to know how to improve your energy in 10 minutes or less? Simple. Take a walk on a sunny day. Research shows that exposure to sunshine does everything from enhancing mood, memory, and even self-esteem. This is because exposure to sunlight increases the production of endorphins and serotonin in the brain. Getting enough sunshine is a simple natural solution for those who live in sunny states. If, on the other hand, you live in a state with fewer sunny days, you can still get enough sunshine into your system ... and just as easily. Just add foods rich in chlorophyll to your diet. Chlorophyll is that substance that captures sunlight and converts it to usable sugars and foods. Dark leafy greens are great sources of chlorophyll. AFA blue-green algae is also excellent, since this form of algae also increases the production of mood-elevating substances in the brain, including typtophan, endorphins, serotonin, and PEA. AFA blue-green algae is literally like sunshine in a capsule ... how neat is that?

#4 Sniff Some Good Stuff -- Aromatherapy as a Way to Better Energy
Just as sucking on a cinnamon stick can boost your daily energy, sniffing certain aromas can give you an energy boost. For better energy any time of the day, consider sniffing essential oils such as grapefruit, peppermint, or lime. These have been shown to have the effect of making you more alert for a certain period of time.

#5 Eat Light to Be Bright
One of the biggest "sins" when it comes to how to have better energy is to gorge yourself at lunch! Digestion takes a lot of energy, and if you eat a huge lunch you can expect to feel sleepy an hour or two afterwards. One natural solution for better energy is to eat a good breakfast, a lighter lunch, and an even lighter dinner. Research shows that people who eat less and follow this schedule of eating are healthier and live longer. To give your body additional support in the digestive process, take one to two capsules of enzymes with each meal. Enzymes help your body break down foods more quickly and efficiently, so your body doesn't have to work quite as hard to process your lunch!

#6 Have Some Chocolate -- In Moderation, Of Course!
Yup, that's right ... we said chocolate. Studies show that chocolate can give you better energy because it is a mild stimulant. Chocolate also has other health benefits, such as lowering cardiovascular risks and boosting your memory. But don't go crazy with the hot chocolate with the little marshmallows ... that will only result in a sugar crash later in the day. Instead, try mixing up a cup of unsweetened cocoa with stevia (as a sweetener) and skim milk (for protein). This healthy recipe will satisfy your sweet tooth, give you better energy, and help you avoid a sugar crash later.

#7 Stretch Yourself
Whether you sit behind a desk all day or do heavy manual labor, chances are that your muscles don't get enough stretching. Even those who have a very active physical lifestyle often neglect stretching their muscles. If you have been sitting in one position for long periods of time, a gentle 10-minute stretching routine will re-invigorate fatigued muscles, increase circulation, and bring oxygen to those muscles. For those who engage in heavy manual labor, stretching elongates muscles shortened by heavy labor. Either way, the increased circulation and oxygenation from stretching is one of the best ways to have better energy. Stretch multiple times per day to increase the benefits of this natural solution to daily energy.

Pick One Solution or Pick 'Em All
As you can tell, none of these natural solutions to better daily energy is difficult. In fact, they are downright simple, not to mention sheer common sense. So if you are one of those sleep-deprived Americans (and chances are you are!) then choose one of the solutions above for better energy ... or pick 'em all. Making simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference in the amount of daily energy you have. When you consider the above tips, how to improve energy is literally a "no-brainer"!

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Is Your Gut Junked Up?

You know junk food isn't healthy for you, but do you know all the damage this type of diet can do to your body? One consideration is how it affects your gut health in unbalancing the friendly bacteria you need for digestion and good health. Healthy digestion is a key element in overall good health. You probably know that heartburn, constipation and diarrhea can all occur if your digestion system is off, but poor digestion and an unhealthy digestive system can cause lots of other problems especially since the gastrointestinal tract is a very large part of your immune system. If it's not working properly your body loses that vital resource to fight off foreign invaders which can make you sick.

Good digestive health is dependent on a good, healthy balance of friendly bacteria in the intestines. These are also known as probiotics. These friendly bacteria do well in an acid environment and are able to make lactic acid from stomach acid to add to the acidic environment of the small intestine. A healthy supply of these probiotics is necessary to clean up toxins, help rid the body of waste, and kill off bad bacteria and yeast. Processed foods, sugary foods, junk food and fast foods can all contribute to killing off your good bacteria and feed the bad bacteria and yeast. Around 80 million people have too much yeast that has grown in the intestines which can lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, yeast infections, migraines, weight gain and other conditions. Junk food and fast foods are 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.

Junk food not only interferes with the digestion process with its extra fat, salt and sugar, but also doesn't give you the necessary digestive enzymes to help breakdown foods. 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 and stay healthy just aren't available from junk food and according to the Mayo Clinic it 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. Eating too fast, skipping meals, eating when upset, or on the go are all other nutritional habits that are not conducive to good digestion.

If your diet is too heavy on the junk food, consider making some changes to your diet or at the very least, go for the healthier alternatives many of the fast food type restaurants are now offering. Here are a few tips to help you get away from a junk food diet and start developing a healthier microbiome.

1. Cut It Out – Find ways to at least cut down on the amount of junk type foods you eat if you can't completely remove it from your diet. With parties, holidays, and other social events to attend, it can be hard to completely extinguish junk food, fast food, and fatty, sugary snacks from your diet and that's OK as the body has its own natural abilities to detox against the occasional junk food splurge. But continuing to eat this way on a regular basis has been shown in numerous studies to alter your gut bacteria to the tune of losing up to 1400 species of friendly organisms and lowering the population of those critical for general health.

2. Look for Healthy Alternatives – After cutting out as much junk and fatty, sugary foods as you can from your regular diet, start looking for healthier substitutions that will give your body the nutrients it needs to perform at its best. Healthier alternatives in foods include veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, wild caught seafood, and grass fed beef.

3. Give Your Microbiome a Boost – Another way to improve your gut health is to include high quality probiotic supplements to boost your digestive system by replenishing it with billions of friendly bacteria. This probiotic supplement is a great choice for adding twelve kinds of friendly bacteria to your microbiome.

4. Plan Ahead - 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 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.


Source: 
New Earth's Nourish - https://nourish.newearth.com/03-19-19/
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/PictureOfHealth/story?id=4286176&page=1
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/01/06/what-you-need-to-understand-about-your-digestive-system-to-improve-your-health.aspx

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Problems Sleeping? Turn Off That Blue Light and 5 Other Natural Solutions

Did you know that more than 60% of Americans report having problems sleeping (according to the Sleep Foundation)? Add to that the fact that at least 25% of people in the US take some form of sleep medication, and most still don't get enough sleep (6 hours or less).



All of these problems sleeping are not good for us, especially since sleep deprivation can result in:
  • 32% decrease in daytime alertness
  • poor memory and cognitive function
  • poor quality of life
  • stress in relationships
  • auto accidents--100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Yowza! Luckily, if you have problems sleeping there are natural solutions that can help you get the eight or more hours of beauty sleep that your body really needs to rest, rejuvenate, and recover each night!

Natural Solutions for People Who Have Problems Sleeping
So get this: blue light, such as the kind from smart phones or PDAs, have been shown by research to interfere with natural sleep. Of course, other types of light don't help, either, but in our modern society blue light is a big-time culprit when it comes to sleep problems. One way to get a better night's sleep is to turn off all electronic devices that emit a blue light (don't forget the television), and cover any electronics that you can't turn off. In addition, we have five other natural solutions that can help you get a better night's sleep!

Tip #1: Take Short Naps
Many people take naps when they hit that afternoon slump. However, research shows that naps can definitely interfere with sleep during the night. If you must nap, take a short 20 minute power snooze in your chair rather than going down for several hours. This may relieve your problems with sleeping at night. Better yet, instead of napping, go out for a brisk walk around the block or chat with a co-worker for 20 minutes or so to get yourself motivated again.

Tip #2: Take Bifidus at Night
Bifidus (also called Bifidobacterium) is one the friendly forms of bacteria that live in your large intestine. This form of bacteria not only helps you with digestion, but also produces the calming and soothing B-vitamins that can help you relax and wind down at night. Bifidus is one of the biggest sources of immunity during a child's first two years of life. It's no wonder that it is present in mother's milk as well as in the birth canal during birth. On a mental-emotional level, Bifidus is linked with feelings of self-esteem, as well as feeling supported and nurtured in life. All of these factors combined make bifidus a perfect natural solution for those who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Tip #3: Create Your Own Bedtime Ritual
Routine can make a huge difference when it comes to sleeping through the night. One of the ways to create routine around sleep is to come up with your own bedtime ritual. Whether you take a warm bath with aromatherapy oils, read something soothing, meditate, or drink a warm glass of milk, taking the time to intentionally create calm and peace before you go to bed will help you sleep better at night. If your mind just won't stop at night, some experts suggest writing down all your worries and jotting quick solutions or ideas next to each worry. Promise yourself that you will return to these thorny life issues tomorrow, and then go to bed with the full intention of sleeping deeply and waking refreshed. Your intention has a lot to do with how well you conquer your problems sleeping at night.

Tip #4: Skip That Heavy Meal
One mistake that many Americans make at night is eating a heavy meal right before bed. Digestion requires a lot of energy, and can definitely interfere with sleep. Not only will a heavy meal keep your body awake and working, you may also suffer from symptoms of indigestion like acid reflux, stomach discomfort, gas, or bloating. Instead, focus on eating a light and healthy dinner at least one hour before bed. To assist your body with digestion, you may also want to supplement your meal with extra enzymes. Extra enzymes reduce the workload on your digestive system, ensuring a good night's sleep.

Tip #5: Stay Out of Bed Except for Sleep or Sex
Some of the people who have the worst problems sleeping have the bad habit of bringing all kinds of activities to bed other than sleep or sex. For instance, many people watch TV in bed, work in bed, read in bed, work on the computer in bed, or talk on the phone in bed. All of these activities "program" your body to be active while in bed when what you really want to do is rest and unwind in bed (or have a good snuggle). To get a better night's sleep, reserve the bed for just two activities, and do everything else in your living room, den, office, or family room!

Try these simple lifestyle changes and see if they don't help you get a better night's beauty rest! These tips are simple, relaxing, and can help you better unwind from a stressful day!

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Stress Relief – Natural Solutions

Did you know that more than 20 millions Americans suffer from health problems related to chronic stress?

Or that 95% of visits people make to healthcare professionals are for stress-related issues?*

Are we a stressed-out nation or what? Luckily we are also a nation that has easy access to bunches of natural solutions that can relieve stress.

Natural Solutions for Stress Relief
There's something on the natural solutions menu for everyone. Consider these solutions:

++ B Vitamins from Probiotics: These are the vitamins, especially B-12, that help us relax and soothes our nerves. Unfortunately, when we are stressed we burn through our body's supply of B vitamins. You can replenish your body's B vitamins naturally by replacing the beneficial bacteria in your gut. These beneficial bacteria, called probiotics, produce the B vitamins in our bodies. When you take probiotics like acidophilus, bifidus, or full-spectrum mixes you basically give your body the ability to KEEP producing B vitamins, especially when you are stressed.

++ Healthy Protein: Stress also increases our body's need for protein, so you need to increase your protein intake when stressed. To avoid all the side effects associated with various protein sources, feed your body only "good proteins." These include whole grains, soy foods, sprouts, and blue-green algae. These good proteins support your body's ability to handle stress, both physically and mentally.

++ Antioxidants: Nothing makes you feel stress more than various aches, pains, and chronic health conditions. To avoid aggravating these conditions, take antioxidants. These "scavengers" literally go around your body cleaning up the toxins and substances that make your aches and pains worse during stress. Antioxidant-rich supplements include sprouts, coenzyme Q10, and vitamin C. In addition, many people find that avoiding wheat helps decrease general aches and pains.

++ Lifestyle Fixes: In addition to paying attention to nutrition and supplements, you can also decrease the effects of stress by getting plenty of sleep, drinking plenty of well or spring water, exercising regularly, avoiding caffeine, and calming yourself with a daily spiritual practice like meditation.

All of these natural solutions are simple to add to your daily regimen. Adding just one of these solutions to your life will improve your body's reaction to stress in ways that will amaze you!

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

March Healthy Tips: The Hidden Cause of Weight Gain

by guest contributors Barbara Swanson & Mark Segars

In America, well over 1 in 3 adults are overweight. We all know that overeating processed, nutrient-depleted foods is a cause of obesity, as is a lack of exercise. But a hidden cause, even in those with good diets and active lifestyles, is exposure to toxins. Both internal and external chemicals contribute to weight gain.

The Process
Because we create toxins as a byproduct of metabolism, the body has a lot of systems in place to remove them on a daily basis. These include our kidneys, liver, large intestine, lungs and skin. But when these channels fail, or are over-stressed, then we need another way to get the toxic trash out of our circulation and away from key organs.

One way the body does this is by increasing fat cells. A body with too many toxins to safely process and eliminate, makes new fat cells to store those toxins in them.

This process is:
1)  A form of self-defense against being poisoned
2)  A strategy to get toxins out of the circulation and away from major organs.

This means that some people will not be able to lose weight, regardless of how little they eat, until their internal toxic overload is addressed.

A Toxic World
The modern world is polluted with unprecedented amount of toxins. Air, water and soil are contaminated by thousands of tons of herbicides, pesticides and toxic waste residue from dozens of industries. And there are internal toxins--those we create via metabolism. Stress hormones are linked to weight gain. One of the most important causes of weight gain are bad gut bacteria. An overgrowth of bad bacteria within the digestive tract stimulates the formation of new fat cells and promotes weight gain.

HOW TO REMOVE TOXINS (and maybe lose weight!)

The following helps you remember how we cleanse on a daily basis.

Drink enough pure water. 
ALL our cleansing systems rely on water to function. While losing weight, this is even more important. Drink ½ your body weight, in ounces. Mild and appropriate herbal teas (peppermint is fantastic) are fine to use as well. Example: A 120 lb person needs 60 ounces of water. Make it simple: Fill three 25 ounce bottles daily.

Watch what you eat.
Ingested toxins which are proven to lead to weight gain include artificial sweeteners, preservatives, hydrogenated oils and refined sugars. Eat whole foods, which are nutrient and fiber-rich. Fiber is a broom, cleaning out toxins and metabolic debris. The nutrients in whole fresh fruits and vegetables support your entire body and enhance healthy weight loss and maintenance.

Move your body. 
Whether you dance at home or in a club, run or walk, or use a sauna, working up some sweat helps remove specific toxins that are otherwise trapped in the skin and circulatory system.

Take deep breaths.
Exercise helps us breathe more effectively, but even 30-60 seconds of deep breathing, a few times a day, helps remove carbon dioxide, pushes oxygen to the brain and enhances overall body health.

Use a great supplement program.
Probiotics can help support immune health, and produce chemicals that help us remove toxins. Antioxidants can help neutralize internal toxins and protect cell function. And other micronutrients are essential for healthy cell function on all levels. We like this supplement program that includes lots of nutrients and micronutrients, antioxidants, probiotics and more.

The Bottom Line
Make these simple changes--drink more water, eat great whole foods, move more and breathe more deeply; and you may find stubborn pounds finally melting off!

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.