Thursday, May 30, 2019

There Are Fats and Then There Are Fats

The word "fats" often gets a bad rap. There are certainly bad fats to stay away from such as transfats which increase our LDL cholesterol levels, lower our HDL cholesterol levels and boost our triglycerides level, but our bodies and brains in particular need some types of fats to be healthy.

Bad Fats
There are bad fats which many of us in the United States get way too much of in our diets. These would be fats that fall in the transfats and saturated fats categories. These types of fats negatively affect our cholesterol, cause a buildup of fatty deposits in arteries and contribute to the risk of heart disease and diabetes. They also can add to an inflammatory state in the body and suppress your immune system function. Transfats are found in meats and dairy, but the very worst type comes from hydrogenated oils. These oils are in most types of baked goods such as cookies, cakes and donuts, as well as many processed foods like crackers, chips, and margarine, and fried, fast and junk foods. To avoid these types of fats in your diet, stay away from fried foods and processed foods that contain transfats and saturated fats. When eating meat, look for lean cuts of beef with fat trimmed off and eat more meats such as fish and poultry. Be sure when eating chicken to take the skin off before cooking since it has a lot of saturated fat. You can also go meatless for some meals to really cut out these types of fats and substitute beans as a protein alternative.

Good Fats
The good fats that can actually help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, help control weight, reduce blood sugar levels, increase metabolism, reduce inflammation that leads to clots that can cause heart attacks, reduce the risk of heart disease, and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These "good" fats are needed by the body for it to function properly such as to dissolve certain vitamins that are vital for a healthy body. Nuts like almonds and pistachios, peanut butter, olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil and avocados are good sources of monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are found in coldwater fatty fish like wild caught salmon, sardines, mackerel and halibut, and fish oils, bluegreen alage, nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that has many benefits for physical and mental health. Diets high in omega-3 have been shown in research to lead to a lower risk of dementia and stroke, and slower mental decline and enhanced memory as we age. Omega-3s can be found in chia seeds, dark-green leafy vegetables, avocados, various seeds, nuts, and flax and olive oil.

Omega-3 Versus Omega-6
Essential fatty acids are a necessary part of cell membranes and for our brains to function properly. They have to come from food sources as our bodies do not make them naturally. We need both omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids for good health. The problem is that we are genetically evolved from diets that are higher in omega-3 than omega-6 fatty acids, but today's diets have a reversed ratio of these. The typical diet in this country has a much higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, fourteen to twenty-five times more, which leads to higher risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory states in the body. Some amount of omega-6s are necessary for growth of hair and skin, to keep bones healthy, in regulating metabolism and for their role in the reproductive system. There are also types of omega-6 that don't promote inflammation like many of them do. Linoleic acid for example becomes gamma-linolenic acid in the body and is then broken down to arachidonic acid and can be used to reduce inflammation. GLA has been found to actually help with allergies, eczema, high blood pressure, diabetic neuropathy, and osteoporosis. The trick is to get a good ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s. In general to be healthy, you need 3 to 4 times as many omega-3's as omega-6's. Eating a diet such as the Mediterranean diet without a lot of meat and that concentrates mostly on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil is one way to get the right ratio. According to Jeffrey Bruno, PhD., microalgae is the primary source of essential fatty acids in the food chain containing EPA (eicosapentaenoic), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Adding AFA blue-green algae is one of the simplest ways to get the right ratio of fatty acids because this form of algae has the exact ratio of fatty acids the human body needs. The form of AFA with the cell wall removed is an especially abundant source of raw materials for enhancing activity in the brain with nutrients that can pass through the blood brain barrier and are necessary to feed the brain. AFA also has all the essential amino acids in a proportion nearly identical to that found in human breast milk, making it a complete and assimilable source of high-quality protein.

So don't avoid fat in your diet, just make sure you get the right types of fats. Your body and in particular your brain need those good fats. You just need to watch your diet and the ratio of the types of fats you are eating to support good health.

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 Ph.D.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

How to Reboot Your Sleep Cycle

If you're having chronic trouble sleeping it could be your sleep cycle is out of whack and needs to be rebooted. Having trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, or insomnia can be due to many things including stress, chronic pain, sleep apnea, and irregular schedules. Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night to maintain good physical and mental health and give the body time to recharge. Not getting enough good quality sleep can lead to difficulties like brain fog, trouble concentrating, lack of energy, heart conditions, diabetes, and fatigue. Sometimes though situations come up that make it impossible for us to get enough sleep and we get off our regular sleep schedule. If you're losing sleep on a regular basis, it's hard to make it up later with just some extra napping. Once the sleep cycle is interrupted you need to re-establish a regular schedule of sleep. Making some pattern changes and diet changes can help your body get back on schedule and help encourage sleep.

Lifestyle Changes to Encourage Sleep
When trying to re-establish a sleep schedule, set your bedroom up for successful sleeping. Ways to do this include saving the bedroom for sleep only and not using it for working, reading, talking on the phone or watching TV as these type activities can decrease melatonin levels and make it harder to get to sleep. Some people sleep better in a quiet environment and others do better with some type of soft routine noise like a fan or soft music. Make the room as dark as possible with light blocking curtains. You can also train your body to know when it is sleep time by establishing a bedtime routine. Find what is a relaxing activity for you such as reading, meditation, or a warm bath and do the activity before going to bed for sleep each night. Exercise done on a regular basis can help with sleep too as long as it's not done within 3 hours of bedtime. Avoid caffeine before bed and for some people taking a nap in the afternoon will interfere with being able to sleep at night. A little experimenting with all these different tips will help you find which of these work for you and which you should avoid.

Diet Changes to Encourage Sleep
When re-establishing your sleep cycle, there are dietary changes that can also help. According to Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., CEO of the National Sleep Foundation, some foods aid sleep and other foods make it harder to wind down. There are foods that trigger the release of brain chemicals that make us drowsy and others, such as caffeine, that are stimulating. If you regularly drink a lot of coffee, tea, or soda with caffeine or take medications or eat lots of chocolate with caffeine this could be interfering with your ability to fall asleep at night as this stimulates the central nervous system. If this sounds like you then start cutting down on the amount of caffeine you have each day, but be careful not to just stop the caffeine completely all at once as caffeine can be addictive and stopping can lead to withdrawal. Many people believe that having alcohol before bed helps them sleep, but it doesn't help with getting good quality sleep. The alcohol is soon metabolized and studies show it actually interferes with the sleep cycle by you waking up throughout the night. Eating spicy foods can also keep you awake at night. Not only are they likely to cause heartburn, but studies have shown that spicy food can interfere with getting to sleep and with the quality of sleep you experience. Dr. Rosenberg also cautions against eating protein foods before bedtime or adding a carb food to the protein so that your body is able to focus on sleep rather than digestion.

Now that we know some of the foods to avoid for better sleep, let's take a look at foods that will promote sleep. According to New York City registered dietician Keri Gans, cherries have melatonin which is difficult to get from most natural foods. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain that tells the body when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in foods like milk and turkey and is a precursor to serotonin, the brain chemical that helps us relax and become drowsy. Complex carbohydrates, such as wheat, barley, or quinoa are sleep helping foods and make cereal with milk a good choice for a bedtime snack. Add some banana to that recipe to get some extra magnesium and potassium which help muscles relax. Bifidobacterium, or bifidus, one of the friendly bacteria in the large intestine, helps with digestion, but also helps in producing the calming and soothing B-vitamins that can help you relax and wind down at night. Bifidus plays a key role in immunity during a child's first two years of life and 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 and a high quality bifidus supplement can help you be sure you have enough of this probiotic working for you.

If you find yourself dragging due to not enough sleep, reboot your sleep cycle with some of the lifestyle change and dietary change tips listed here. Establishing an environment and routine to support good quality sleep, avoiding stimulant food and drink before bed, having a snack that will support good sleep and taking some bifidus before bedtime are all ways you can try to get your body back on track and get your much needed Zz's.

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, May 23, 2019

Doing a Cleanse? Don't Do it Without This Supplement

Whether you are doing a cleanse for the colon, liver, kidney, candida or some other type there is one important step that many people neglect that a simple supplement can provide. A cleanse usually is used to improve one's health by getting rid of toxins, waste, and organisms that can be harmful in the body. For example, when toxic elements build up in the colon, the result can be digestive and gastrointestinal issues, weight gain, allergies and even infertility. Doing a cleanse can boost energy levels, help the digestive system operate more efficiently, reduce unhealthy food cravings, and boost the immune system. Cleanses can be a very useful tool to keep the body running at tip top condition, but the problem for many people comes after the cleanse. There are millions of bacteria and microorganisms that live in the intestinal tract that are considered "good" or "friendly" organisms and are vital to the immune system and digestive system. When a cleanse is done, it is not able to differentiate between the good and the bad and wipes them all out. This creates an imbalance in our good organisms or probiotics and can leave us feeling fatigued, craving sugary foods, constipated, having diarrhea, create skin conditions, leave us susceptible to yeast infections, cause acid reflux and other digestive conditions, as well as leave us unprotected from cold and flu germs. Without the proper balance of probiotics we also do not get the nutrition from foods that we need to feed our bodies.

The Simple Solution
The solution to all this is simple. During and after doing a cleanse, resupply your body with probiotics and the prebiotics needed to feed them and help them flourish. This is sometimes referred to as a probiotic cleanse and differs from the usual cleanse that helps the body get rid of unwanted things. This type of cleanse is replacing instead of ridding. So how do you build your supply of probiotics back up? Simply by eating foods with probiotics such as good quality yogurt and kefir with live active cultures, eating prebiotic foods such as fruits and veggies, oats and whole grain rice, and by taking a high quality full spectrum probiotic supplement that has live active cultures. This full spectrum probiotic supplement gives you 12 key good bacteria including acidophilus, bifidus, and casei, the prebiotic inulin and some AFA bluegreen algae for extra nutrition. As you are rebuilding your probiotic supply to get the benefits of probiotics, be sure that you aren't killing them off at the same time. This means you need to avoid foods that are processed, contain sugar or wheat, have hydrogenated fats or high fructose corn syrup and alcohol. These types of foods create toxicity and allow unfriendly organisms to grow that will be in competition with the friendly organisms you are trying to promote.

A simple solution is very refreshing to find in our complicated, fast moving world. This one is about as simple as you can get. If you use a cleanse to clear out toxins and waste from your body, just remember to rebuild those necessary and vital probiotic colonies. Eat your yogurt, take your probiotic supplement and avoid foods that kill of probiotics and you're on your way to increasing not only your supply of probiotics and receiving the health benefits of probiotics that are strong and healthy, but your overall health will benefit as well.

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Have a Pain in the Anywhere? Try These Steps

If you are one of the over 100 million adults in the U.S. that has chronic pain then you know how constant pain can interfere with your life. The American Chronic Pain Association cites 35% of Americans with having some type of chronic pain from migraines to arthritis to back pain. Most of this pain is attributed to inflammation. According to David Maine, MD, director of the Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, inflammation that targets a specific injury or infection is how the body is supposed to work to heal itself, but chronic inflammation can be destructive to health and cause ongoing pain. No matter where your pain lives though there are superfoods you can add into your diet that can help with chronic pain. Here are some that can help with pain and how they work.

Turmeric has curcumin that not only fights inflammation but has properties that protect tissues and nerve cell function.

Found in hot peppers, capsaicin triggers endorphins which the body uses to block pain signals. It also reduces the enzyme that releases substances that can increase pain.

Gingerols are phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory properties found in ginger. Ginger also contains paradols, shogaols and zingerone that work on pain much like NSAIDs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. According to Kari Kooi, RD, one study reported ginger to be as effective as NSAIDs for soreness from exercise. The University of Georgia study reported a 25% reduction in muscle pain from exercise for participants using ginger.

Not only does garlic have properties to fight the swelling and pain of inflammation, but also has antibiotic properties, increases immune system functioning, and helps increase T helper cell production.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Including a balance of fat types in the diet can help act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Most people get enough omega-6 fatty acids already and too much can cause more inflammation. Transfats can also contribute to inflammation. It is better to concentrate on getting the right ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids which is 3:1, and getting a balance of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats One way to be sure you get the exact ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is taking AFA blue-green algae. Fatty wild caught fish like salmon is a good source of omega-3 as is chia seeds, dark-green leafy vegetables, various seeds, nuts, and flax and olive oil. Salmon also gives you vitamin D which some studies show not having enough can contribute to chronic pain. Olive oil also has antioxidant polyphenols like oleocanthal that according to researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia can act like NSAIDs and that acts as an anti-inflammatory. The American College of Sports Medicine reported that omega-3 fatty acids could reduce joint pain of rheumatoid arthritis.

Red, Purple, Blue Fruits
Cherries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and red grapes all have anthocyanins with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These antioxidants help fight free radicals that play a role in inflammation and block enzymes that can inflame tissues.

Supplements for the Diet
When fighting chronic pain from inflammation there are supplements that can also deliver the nutrition your body can use. This enzyme algae supplement gives you the nutritional value of AFA bluegreen algae as well as plant-based p proteolytic enzymes--bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase. These enzymes have been found helpful in supporting joints, circulation and overworked tissues as well as fighting cellular oxidation from free radical damage. This antioxidant and algae supplement has wild blueberry, green tea, carnosine, along with AFA bluegreen algae for an extra antioxidant punch. Adding an algae joint support supplement with a blend of vegetable glucosamine, chondroitin, and bluegreen algae can also help deliver the extra nutrition to support those active lifestyles that sometimes bring on chronic pain.

You can fight back and take control of your chronic pain from inflammation. Research backs up the results certain foods can give, but until you give them a try for yourself, you won't know how they can work for you. Try adding some of these superfoods and supplements to your diet and see what results you get. Getting any amount of pain relief with these healthy foods will be worth the effort.

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, May 14, 2019

Been Venting your Spleen? That's Probably Why You Are Tired

Ever hear that old phrase about "venting your spleen"? When I was growing up that phrase referred to people getting angry and venting... a kind of cathartic process that helped them feel better afterward. It made sense to me. I started to think that the spleen was the organ responsible for anger, venting, release of frustration, and so forth.

Then I went to school to become a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, and learned that the phrase should actually say, "venting your liver." The liver is actually the organ responsible for anger, ambition, passion, drive, and so forth. When the liver--always an organ easily stirred to irritation--gets out of balance, you end up with the whole cathartic shouting, arm-waving, venting process. But, the liver actually isn't to blame in the first place. For that, we have to go back to the spleen.

The Spleen and the Liver: A Big Difference
The spleen is actually the organ originally responsible for the liver getting out of balance. The spleen is the organ responsible for mental activity, such as thinking, planning, cogitation, and so forth. In today's workaholic society, everyone uses spleen energy like it is going out of style because everyone works way more than they should. At the same time, they take far too little time for rest, recreation, and rejuvenation.

As a result, the spleen gets burned out and stops working. At that point, the liver steps in and tries to do the spleen's job. While the spleen is truly good at supporting mental and creative activity, the liver isn't so good. The liver relies on drive, ambition, anger, and pushiness to get the job done. What's the result? A bunch of really tired burned out people who turn to anger and pushiness to get the job done--and end up venting their livers. Added stimulants like caffeine only make the problem worse. The end result is a lot of cranky people working together, apparently energized (by anger, caffeine, and the desire to just "push through it") but in actuality dead tired underneath all the buzz.

Yowza... how is that for workplace harmony?

Getting Your Daily Energy Back
If the above description sounds like you then you probably need to start supporting and nourishing your spleen. When your spleen is nourished you feel totally different than when you operate from liver energy. Liver energy is like a caffeine buzz--you have energy, but there is also a constant low hum of irritation, and you are ready to snap at any time.

Spleen energy, on the other hand, springs forth from within as vibrant creative energy that needs no pushing. When your spleen is working properly, then your work goes well, too. You feel moved from within to work, do, play, accomplish, and enjoy life. There are no Monday Morning Blues, nor do you have to wake up each morning with one or more cups of coffee. The spleen provides you with all the daily energy you need to do the mental and creative and thinking work that makes up the modern digital society.

So how do you support your spleen? There are many different ways, including but not limited to:
  • herbs
  • acupuncture or other forms of alternative healing
  • time off for rest and rejuvenation
  • supplements that support the spleen
  • light exercise
  • spleen-supportive foods
For herbs and acupuncture, seek the help of a recommended Doctor of Chinese Medicine in your area. While there are many patent herbs on the market to support spleen qi, it is much better to have a personal consultation, then have a herb formula made specifically for all your conditions.

Taking time off, getting plenty of sleep at night, and sticking to light exercise are all under your own control. By changing your lifestyle habits to accommodate these factors, your spleen will be much more likely to recover. These habits are not much in alignment with our workaholic society, but they will prolong your working life as well as your overall life span.

When it comes to diet, avoid raw and cold foods, as well as refined sugars, fruits, and fruit juices. Stick with steamed vegetables like carrots, beets, and yams. Cooked greens and whole grains are also good choices, as are onion and garlic.

Supplements that support the spleen include those that support healthy digestion as well as those that support mental and physical energy. My favorite supplement is actually a daily packet of supplements that includes supplements for all of these supportive functions. Each packet contains the beneficial bacteria acidophilus and bifidus to assist with digestive health, as well as enzymes, which also support digestion. In addition, there are two types of AFA blue-green algae. One form provides daily energy for the physical body while the other offers daily energy for mental activity. What I love most is the simplicity of having all of those supportive supplements in a single convenient packet.

So... the next time you notice yourself venting your, ahem, liver, consider some of the natural solutions mentioned above to support your spleen. Once your spleen is supported and nourished, your liver will once more be a happy camper and go back to doing its real job!

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, May 9, 2019

The Science of Superfoods

by guest contributor Barbara Swanson

Superfoods & Optimum Health
Superfoods are a special category of foods found in nature. By definition they are low calorie and nutrient dense, meaning they pack a lot of punch for their weight as far as goodness goes. They are superior sources of antioxidants and essential nutrients – nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves.

Need Specifics?
Superfoods can be divided into 3 core food groups with benefits above and beyond normal foods. This means they are recommended, as well as have been used historically as part of a larger longevity diet.

These groups are:

  • Edible microalgae & sea vegetables
  • Tonic mushrooms
  • Sprouts (living foods germinated from the seeds of various plants)

Researchers have found that compounds in these 3 groups pack life-extending benefits. People notice that their appearance, energy, over-all energy, appetite and even mood are all more stable and even.

Microalgae & Sea Vegetables

Greens are good, Microalgae are Great!
Nature's first superfoods, edible microalgae, have an incredible ability to benefit health. Because they are ancient foods, our cells--even our DNA--can easily access and utilize the many micronutrients they contain. Studies indicate Chlorella can remove toxins and bind to heavy metals, including radioactive materials to usher their prompt removal. Spirulina packs more complete protein than red meat and is typically used as part of a weight loss program. AFA, the only edible bluegreen algae that can be wild-harvested, is shown to help boost mental clarity, mood, memory, and ability to focus. It has bio-active B12 that is highly assimilable; every micro mineral we need; all the essential amino acids; and many unique nutrients. These three all contain powerful antioxidant pigments--some of the strongest found in nature.

Seaweed Nutrition:
The Ocean's Superfood - Sea vegetables are a critically important source of minerals, including iodine for vegans and vegetarians. They are a powerful source of electrolytes as well as blood purifying chlorophyll and polysaccharides that act as natural detoxifiers of heavy metals and other toxic substances. Sea vegetables have been shown to help improve digestion, decrease LDL cholesterol, increase bone density, lower blood pressure and to help reduce excess body weight.

The Mushroom Advantage
There is a vast amount of research on the beneficial health properties of tonic mushrooms. They improve health, preserve youth and increase longevity and boost life energy. As a defense against bacterial invasion, mushrooms have developed natural defenses, which also happen to be effective immune-supporting nutrients for us humans.

Sprouted Superfoods
It is said that sprouts 'represent the miracle of birth'. They are alkaline, whole natural foods that contain up to 30 times the nutrition of organic vegetables. Sprouts allow your body to extract more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fats from the foods you eat. Through chromatography, modern science can demonstrate the immeasurable properties of life force energy existing within these sprouts. The increased enzymatic activity gives someone eating these living foods the perfect boost to  a healthy, active and fit lifestyle.

Why we choose Superfood Nutrition
Some things about life and how long we get to enjoy it, are out of our control. But the latest research in nutrition, as well as data collected from people in their 90s and beyond, shows what, when, and how we eat has a profound influence on how long we live. Healthy habits start at home. Parents and grandparents can pass down a healthy legacy to their children and grandchildren. And adding these food groups can help the next generation of Americans lead better, longer and healthier lives.

Ancient foods offer us big benefits with even just a little bit of food.

You can find supplements that contain the superfood goodness of algae, mushrooms, and sprouts all at

What Happened After One Family Went Organic For Just Two Weeks 2015/05/14/the-organic-effect_n_7244000.html
Antibiotics that kill gut bacteria also stop growth of new brain cells releases/2016/05/160519130105.htm

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, May 2, 2019

Mood Boost: Getting and Staying Happy

Food can be one of the keys to staying happy. You may think sacking out in front of the TV with a bag of chips or a greasy pizza or burger makes you happy, but this kind of happiness is fleeting. There are foods however that can give you a physical mood boost and support good health which makes you feel better in the long run and leads to happiness. As Travis Stork, MD says, the food we eat can support the ability the body has to heal itself. There are also foods that stimulate chemicals in the brain that are responsible for mood boost and our feelings of happiness.

Foods for Mood Boost
Foods that give you a mood boost are those that provide you with lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that create sustained energy levels and those that have the nutrition to affect chemicals in the brain that are responsible for mood and that help you get good quality sleep which is important in the staying happy formula.

Omega-3 fatty acids - When looking for foods to add to your diet that fall into this definition, those that have omega-3 fatty acids are at the top of the list. Studies show that having a diet lacking in omega-3's can be linked to depression and low mood. One study done with bipolar participants was scheduled to go for nine months and stopped after four because of the mood improvement brought on by omega-3's. Other studies have documented a decrease in depression and suicide risk due to omega-3's added to the diet. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, flounder, haddock, and herring, shrimp, dark-green leafy vegetables, various seeds like flax, chia and hemp, nuts, olive oil and AFA bluegreen algae are all rich in omega-3. Omega-3's have also been found to help stiff and painful joints and when you are pain free your mood is definitely better.

Foods for better sleep - Not getting enough sleep can certainly leave you cranky, fatigued, irritable and in a bad mood. Tart cherries are full of the hormone melatonin that can help with better sleep. The older we get the less melatonin we make naturally. Stress can also affect melatonin production. Tart cherries have the added benefit of anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce pain and soreness from physical work-outs. A diet lacking in copper has also been found to contribute to poor sleep. Bananas, avocado, potatoes, oysters, kale, shiitake mushrooms, and chickpeas are all good foods for adding copper to your diet. Not only do cherries aid in better quality sleep, they are also a good source of antioxidants that fight off the damaging free radicals that can affect the brain and its mood boosting chemicals.

Whole grains – Carbs from whole grains give you a boost in serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the brain chemical that produces feelings of calmness and happiness, reduces cravings for less healthy foods, aids sleep, and regulates mood. Whole grains have tryptophan which helps in producing serotonin. The fiber in whole grains also helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you more energy. Amaranth is an especially good grain with lots of antioxidants, minerals, fiber and iron. According to Elizabeth Somer, RD, Food & Mood author, protein foods can reduce serotonin levels because the amino acids they have keep tryptophan from getting to your brain. So when eating whole grains for a mood boost, eat them separate from proteins. Whole grains have the added advantage of lowering your chances for reflux as according to Ronald Primas, MD, Mount Sinai Hospital instructor of medicine, eating foods high in fiber keeps food moving through the stomach so it doesn't have the chance for food and acid to come back up.

Vitamin D – Mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light are full of vitamin D that helps in giving you a mood boost. Vitamin D affects the neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine that all affect mood. It is estimated that more than half of all Americans don't get enough vitamin D and studies show there is an increased risk for depression due to lack of vitamin D. A single cup of mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light can give you 100% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin D. Mushrooms also have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and give your immune system a boost. The healthier your immune system is, the less likely you are to contract colds, flus and other illnesses that do nothing for your happiness level. We also get vitamin D by exposure to sunlight and not getting enough time in the sun can lower production of serotonin and dopamine. Vitamin D is also essential for good bone health as it helps the body in absorbing calcium.

B vitamins - Another vitamin important to serotonin production is B9 or folate. Folate aids the brain in producing serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine which are all brain chemicals affecting mood. Folate can be found in dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach and in Brussel sprouts, beans such as pinto and garbanzo, asparagus, peanuts, soybeans, liver, lentils and sunflower seeds. Low Vitamin B6 levels can also contribute to depression. Foods high in Vitamin B6 include papaya, oranges, tuna, chicken, turkey, rice and wheat bran, garlic, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.

Chlorophyll – Adding foods rich in chlorophyll to your diet is another way to boost mood. Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plants that captures sunlight and converts it to usable sugars and foods. Chlorophyll is effective in rebuilding the blood and has also been shown to stimulate liver function and excretion of bile, strengthen immunity, and detoxify chemical pollutants. Numerous recent studies have also indicated that chlorophyll has anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties. Eating green foods can help replenish red blood cells thus boosting energy. The immune system particularly benefits from the chlorophyll in green foods since it is able to kill off bacteria and viruses and replenishes red and white blood cells which are part of the immune system. Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, cereal grasses like wheat and barley grass are great sources of chlorophyll as is AFA blue-green algae. AFA bluegreen algae also increases the production of mood-elevating substances in the brain, including tryptophan, endorphins, serotonin, and PEA. AFA has the lipopolysaccharides and C-phycocyanin that stimulate your natural stem cell activity and macrophages which support your immune system function. It is loaded with antioxidants in its trace minerals, vitamins, and pigments and has all the essential amino acids humans require. The amino acids in this form of AFA in particular provide the building blocks of healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters vital for proper brain function The deep blue pigment in this algae comes from PEA (Phenylethylamine) which is a precursor to an amino acid functioning as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. For an added boost to the immune system this algae/enzyme supplement provides the nourishment of plant-based proteolytic enzymes to combat stress of cellular oxidation and support the body's natural healing abilities.

As Hippocrates, stated way back in 431 BC, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Find your way to good health and happiness through these types of foods and you'll discover the secrets to staying happy.

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