Probiotics balance the spectrum of live organisms that naturally colonize the human GI tract. Probiotic bacteria is essential for healthy digestion, ensures the intestinal lining stays up to par and aids in the detoxification process.
Immune Support – Did you know that 80 percent of your immune system is located within your digestive system? Simply put: a healthy gut equals a healthy you! Without a good probiotic, your body cannot absorb fiber, sugars or starches. The good bacteria in your GI tract converts carbs into energy and nutrients for your body.
Childhood Allergies – A recent study found that women who took probiotics during pregnancy had a 30 percent reduction in the instance of childhood eczema (an early sign of allergies) in their infants.
Weight Control – Stanford University researchers found that obese people had different gut bacteria than those whose weights fell in the “normal” range. Weight factors including metabolism, hormones and inflammation are all influenced by gut health andprobiotics can help restore this system back to balance.
Women’s Health – Probiotics play an important role in maintaining balance and preventing bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections in women. Also, L. acidophilius can not only help prevent infection but can help manage active ones.
Urinary Health – If you suffer from frequent UTI then you need a probiotic, stat! The good bacteria may help fight off bad bacteria that can invade your urinary tract.
Infant Health – Colicky babies can benefit from a probiotic. According to Italian researchers, infants given probiotics during the first three months of life appear to have fewer bouts of colic. And it can also help with constipation and acid reflux in babies.
This webinar will focus on defining what genetically modified organisms are, how to avoid them and how they might be found in foods and supplements you consume each day. You will also learn about the Non-GMO Project’s practices for GMO avoidance.
Autism awareness has come very far since it was first diagnosed in the 1940’s. Autism spectrum disorder or ASD is a term used for a group of complex disorders that develops early in childhood. It’s characterized by varying degrees of abnormalities in social interaction, verbal as well as non-verbal communication, and repetitive behaviors, interests or activities. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the rate for autism is currently around 1 in 68. Research also shows that the disease is four to five times more common among boys than girls. While the actual etiology of autism at this point is unknown there are many speculations to its cause, some of which include genetics, abnormalities in brain structure or function, obstetric complications, exposure to environmental toxins or prenatal and perinatal infections. Regular screening of infants and toddlers for autism is imperative because early interventions can greatly increase positive outcomes for children with ASD. Autism itself is a very complex disorder and treatment is difficult. Just as there may be no one cause of autism, there is really no one treatment approach and it seems that a multidisciplinary approach may be best. Below are some recommendations for management of ASD.
Special Education, Speech, Behavior, Occupational and Physical Therapy are all critical in the management of children with autism and parents should seek help from therapists as soon as a diagnosis of autism has been made. Parents may experience challenging behaviors from their child and these professionals can offer effective ways to help modify those behaviors.
Diet is a topic that goes hand in hand with autism. There are many diets such as the Ketogenic Diet, Feingold Diet, GAPS Diet, Specific Carbohydrate Diet and Low Oxalate Diet that claim to help children with autism. There has been limited anecdotal evidence that suggests that dietary measures may be helpful. However, in my practice I have seen that diet may play a key role in the intervention of Autism Spectrum Disorder and some of its key symptoms. One of the most talked about dietary intervention in these children includes the removal of gluten and casein from their diets. Gluten is the protein found in wheat and casein makes up the protein found in dairy. While gluten and dairy removal may have noticeable impact on behavior in some children with autism not all families report benefits. When removing gluten or dairy from your children’s diets to see if it is beneficial, it’s important to have 100% strict removal for at least 6-8 weeks.
Many children with autism are not meeting the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals. Research has shown that nutritional imbalances in children with autism are common and some may be very important. It’s important to consult with a trained health care provider who can help you assess your child’s diet and supplement intake to make sure they’re meeting proper recommended intake of nutrients. Below are some common supplements that may be helpful in children with autism. When choosing supplements, make sure they are gluten and dairy free, have no added sugars, limited added fillers/excipients, and are free of artificial colors, dyes, and flavors.
A lot of research has been done in recent years that shed light on the importance of vitamin D. Vitamin D is actually a hormone that has the ability to turn on and off genes. Researchers have begun to look at the role of vitamin D deficiency in children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. There was a case report out of China that showed improved symptoms in a child with low vitamin D levels after treatment with vitamin D. One research article found an increased prevalence of autism in the USA in regions of greater cloud cover and rainfall. Also in the US the rate of autism for children 6-17 years of age is highest in regions with the lowest solar UVB. These are both factors that influence vitamin D levels in the body. More research is needed and currently being done on the connection between vitamin D and autism.
There is a great deal of research that associates abnormal intestinal or gut flora with ASD development. Therefore, probiotics may play a crucial role in helping to regulate intestinal flora and restore normal gut flora in children diagnosed with autism.
We know fatty acids are essential for the development and proper function of the brain. Several small-scale studies looking at fish oils containing the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have shown that these supplements may lead to improvements in children suffering from ASD. Specifically fish oils may improve hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors and socialization.
Glutathione made up of three amino acids (cysteine, glycine and glutamine), has many functions in the body, one of which is detoxification. The body’s detoxifications systems are important in protecting against both internal as well as external toxins. It is believed that the concentration of reduced glutathione is decreased in children with ASD as well as other factors associated with methylation. According to one study, supplementation with methylcobalamin, the preferred form of supplementation for vitamin B12 and Folinic Acid (a folate derivative), increased concentrations of cysteine, cysteinylglycine and glutathione. The study also found that although the mean metabolite concentrations improved significantly the levels remained below those of the neuro-typical control children.
While there are certainly other supplements that may help improve symptoms of autism these are just a few to start and build a foundation. As always, it is important to consult your child’s health care provider before starting supplementation due to the potential for interactions and side effects.
Low fiber intake may lead to many health issues. Fiber is very important for proper function of the digestive system but yet some people eat very little fiber.
Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal issues caused by insufficient intake of fiber and liquids but there is one product that can really help aid constipation and we are talking about psyllium husks.
Psyllium husks are portions of the seed of the plant Plantago ovata, and this bulking agent swells considerable when added to liquid, helping to support healthy gastrointestinal function. Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative and is high in both fiber and mucilage. Psyllium seeds contain 10–30% mucilage. Psyllium forms a gelatinous mass that keeps feces hydrated and soft, provided it is taken with sufficient water. The resulting bulk stimulates a reflex contraction of the walls of the bowel, followed by emptying. It is important to maintain a high water intake when using psyllium.
In addition, psyllium husks can provide additional health benefits as its high fiber content is effective in relieving the symptoms associated with diverticular disease as well as lowering total and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Some people with IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, may benefit from bulk-forming laxatives as regular intake of psyllium products may help regulate normal bowel activity and improved symptoms. Adding some psyllium fiber to your diet might lower your chances of developing a set of risk factors for the heart disease called metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome are at significantly higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke and developing diabetes than people without the condition. A review of studies conducted over the past 32 years showed that taking a psyllium supplement helps decrease the risk of developing metabolic syndrome as it seems to improve blood sugar levels, insulin, and blood fats.
Adrenal fatigue is a collection of symptoms when the adrenal glands function below the necessary levels. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, it can also arise during or after respiratory infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia. People suffering from adrenal fatigue have a difficult time getting out of bed, feel tired at all times, and are always in need of stimulants such as coffee or energy drinks to do basic activities. Supplements can be very helpful to reduce adrenal fatigue, particularly products developed with a combination of ingredients to support adrenal function. Other herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals are also important to maintain proper function in the adrenal glands.
Ashwaghanda may be the most popular herbal supplement for adrenal. Known as an adaptogen, ashwaghanda helps adrenals adjust to stress, producing stress hormones when you need them and stop producing them when you don’t.
Vitamin C is also essential for adrenal function as it can lower the amount of cortisol, norepi, and epinephrine produced in response to physical stress when taken in adequate amounts. Additionally, B vitamins are important to boost energy levels and can be helpful to reduce adrenal fatigue. Vitamin B5 and Vitamin B12 contain a variety of adrenal-boosting nutrients that can help improve adrenal function.
Lastly, magnesium is an important element in adrenal function. Magnesium deficiency increases anxiety and depression, which may lead to improper adrenal function. Plus, if you get stressed out, you tend to lose more magnesium then normal. Maintaining healthy magnesium levels is vital to regulate proper adrenal function.
Hawthorn is a shrub from the rose family which grows throughout the world. Its leaves, berries, and flowers have been used medicinally for years to treat several different health conditions. As we look into the most popular uses of this amazing herb, we present you 3 health benefits from hawthorn.
1. Heart Health
Hawthorn berries, leaves and flowers are a good source of heart-protective antioxidants like oligomeric procyandins and quercetin. Hawthorn supplements may help to treat diseases of the heart and blood vessels such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain, and irregular heartbeat. Plus, hawthorn can help improve the amount of blood pumped out of the heart during contractions, widen the blood vessels, and increase the transmission of nerve signals.
2. Cholesterol Control
Hawthorn products can lower cholesterol, low density lipoprotein LDL, or “bad cholesterol”, by increasing the excretion of bile as well as triglycerides, the fats in the blood. The properties of this herb seem to lower accumulation of fats in the liver and the aorta, the largest artery in the body.
3. Blood Pressure
Hawthorn also seems to have blood pressure-lowering activity, according to researchers. Studies have shown that hawthorn may be used to treat both low blood pressure and high blood pressure. This herb promotes relaxing of the blood vessels farther from the heart due to a component in hawthorn called proanthocyanidin.
Considered by many health experts as the most important nutrient needed by the human body, vitamin D is essential for good health. Known as the sunshine vitamin, D is important to maintain healthy bones as it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from food sources.
We obtain most of our vitamin D from sunlight exposure but when the sun is not out, people may have problems maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.
It’s widely known that the lack of sunlight causes vitamin D levels to significantly drop during the winter months. Research suggests that very little if any vitamin D can be synthesized in the skin from November through February at latitudes north of 37 degrees (see image) as the sunlight does not have enough UVB radiation. Vitamin D supplements are a great alternative to avoid vitamin D deficiency during the winter months.
Alternatively, some foods are good sources of vitamin D particularly fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Meat and eggs also contain good levels of D and a variety of products such as milk, yogurt, and cereals may have added vitamin D.
2016 is almost here. For many people, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions. Some people say planning is (almost) everything and one has to agree that for every great project, a ton of planning is needed in order to succeed. It’s no different for resolutions.
Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthy, or start exercising, start planning your resolution right now and you may increase the odds that this year, you will stick with your resolution until you accomplish your goals.
First, it’s important to focus on your goal and line up a few different methods to accomplish it. One of the reasons many people fail at resolutions is a lack of a “plan B”. So, right from start, having an alternative way to reach that goal can be helpful. For example, your goal is to exercise three times a week and you are committed to walking or running. After a couple weeks, your feet are sore, or your leg muscles are hurting. What most people do? They stop, or take a week off, only to never resume exercising again, and the resolution is gone. OK, if you do have pain from exercising on your lower body, have a upper body workout back-up plan, just in case this happens, you can still exercise your upper body for one week or until your lower body is healed and ready to resume your original workout.
Second, believe in yourself. Quitting smoking may be one of the hardest resolutions but it can definitely be accomplished. Many people have tried to quit smoking several times and fail at it every time. Why should this year be different? Time to believe in yourself, time to believe you can do it. One great tip is to spend time with family or friends who are very positive, who encourage you to achieve this goal. Find a little reward for every week, month, you have spent without smoking and perhaps this year will be the one.
Lastly, don’t give up. The most important advice for any resolution. If you fail, start over again, if it’s difficult, find ways to make it easier, if you can’t do it yourself, find help, but don’t give up. 2016 can be the year you finally stick with your New Year’s Resolution!!!
Whey is derived from milk and made up of a combination of protein, lactose, and minerals. Not just for body builders, whey contains all nine amino acids and is easy to digest. Most usually think of whey as a supplement for getting lean and fit, but most people don’t realize that its benefits go way beyond the gym!
Lose Fat & Gain Muscle – When added to a healthy diet and exercise regime, replacing carbohydrate snacks with whey protein helps shed weight and fat at a higher rate. Whey contains leucine, which contributes to protein synthesis and burns calories quicker. This amino acids also aid muscle building and growth, too!
Lower Blood Sugar – Post-meal blood sugar spikes can clear a path for diabetes to take root. Researchers from Tel Aviv University found that whey protein shakes can help prevent the blood sugar fluctuations that are common after larger meals.
Feel Full Longer – A research study in Australia focused on 28 obese men who were asked to consume four different drinks. Those who consumed the beverage containing 50 grams of whey had significantly reduced levels of ghrelin (a hormone that tells your brain you’re hungry) up to four hours later.
Prevent Muscle Loss About 30% of people 60 and over are afflicted sarcopenia, an age-related muscle deterioration disease that increases the risk of falls and disability. Consuming whey protein helps combat this affliction by minimizing body protein loss during the aging process.
Cancer Prevention – Studies in animals have demonstrated that, when compared with other dietary proteins, whey is more effective at battling cancer and hindering its development. This is attributed to whey’s high content of cystine/cysteineand gamma-glutamylcysteine dipeptides, which helps raise the body’s glutathione levels. This amino acid detoxifies carcinogens and ensures a competent immune system!
Recent years have seen a significant spike in the number of kids who suffer from food allergies, especially peanut and tree nut allergies. These tips should help keep your next party or playdate fun, healthy and safe.
The most common childhood food allergies are to milk, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs and soy. However, it’s nut allergies that are really on the rise. According to a FARE-funded study, the number of children in the U.S. with peanut allergies more than tripled between 1997 and 2008.
When someone has a nut allergy their body produces antibodies in an attempt to protect itself. The antibodies release chemicals like histamine when “invaders” enter the body and cause the allergy symptoms to appear in the form of coughing, wheezing, congestion, stomachache, vomiting and itchy hives.
So, what do you do if your child has a bestie with a peanut or tree nut allergy? Before they come over, you’ll want to confirm with their parents WHAT nut they are allergic to and ensure that they bring whatever medication they might need with them. Not all nut allergies are created equal. For example, a peanut is a legume, but a tree nut allergy would include almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and pistachios. If you’re planning on serving a store bought snack, carefully read the label and make sure it reads, “Produced in a nut-free facility.” The morning before the playdate make sure that you have a nut-free breakfast. The last thing you want is a nut crumb lurking around on the counter. Lastly, put away the dog food. Many of our furry friends’ food is produced in a facility that contains nuts.
Try whipping up these amazing muffins when hosting your nut-free playdate. With fall and back to school right around the corner, go apple picking at your favorite local orchard and make these yummy treats that the kids are guaranteed to love!
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup applesauce
1 cup oatmeal
1 T chopped crystallized ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped apple (skin on)
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking powder
2 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350
Cream butter and sugar
Add eggs and remaining ingredients minus the flour and baking powder
Fold in flour and baking powder, mix to combine
Add mixture to a lined cupcake pan and bake for 15-20 minutes
Did you know that a good number of household cleaners contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful to you and your family? Many conventional products use powerful toxic ingredients which are carcinogens and endocrine disrupters. Natural cleaning products can clean as effectively as their petrochemical counterparts without polluting your home as well as the environment. So, next time you shop cleaning products, check all ingredients on the labels and make sure they do not include any of these 5 cleaning agents to keep away from your home.
1. Ammonia: found in bathroom cleaners, polish products for sinks and jewelry, as well as in glass cleaners, ammonia is a powerful irritant that can develop serious health issues such as chronic bronchitis and asthma. Ammonia is also known to cause irritation to eyes and mucous membranes, breathing difficulty, wheezing, chest pains, pulmonary edema, and skin burns. High exposure can lead to blindness, lung damage, heart attack or death.
2. Phthalates: air fresheners, dish soap, toilet paper, and other fragranced cleaners may contain this dangerous ingredient. If you see the word “fragrance” on a label, there’s a good chance phthalates are present because, by law, companies do not have to disclose what’s in their scents. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. Although exposure to phthalates mainly occurs through inhalation, it can also happen through skin contact with scented soaps or other personal care products.
3. Phenols: found in toilet bowl cleaners, disinfectants, and other household products, phenols are toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems. This chemical is still used in the United States but because of the threat posed to the environment by nonyl phenols, the European Union has banned this harmful ingredient from all cleaning products manufactured or used in the EU.
4. 2-Butoxyethanol: commonly found in window, kitchen, carpet, and multipurpose cleaners, 2-butoxyethanol/ ethylene glycol butyl ether can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and may cause blood disorders, as well as liver and kidney damage. May also cause reproductive damage with long-term exposure.
5. Chlorine: widely used in toilet bowl cleaners, mildew removers, laundry whiteners, and even in tap water, the health risks from chlorine can be serious. Chlorine is a respiratory irritant at an acute level and is listed as a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
If you are still using regular deodorants, it’s time to consider making a switch to natural products. The majority of deodorants are designed to stop you from sweating, a normal and healthy function that allows your body to release toxins. So, when you use a deodorant that contains harmful ingredients, you are applying these ingredients directly to the skin and leaving it there. How dangerous is that? If you are still not sure about switching, we give you 5 reasons to switch to natural deodorants.
1. Concern about Aluminum
Leading off the list is aluminum. This ingredient negative health effects’ are scary. Aluminum is found in antiperspirants and works to completely stop perspiration. Most antiperspirants contain a warning to discontinue use if you experience irritation from its use, and a good number of people are sensitive to these aluminum salts. Aluminum has been linked to a number of health issues including seizures, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, bone formation disorders, and kidney problems.
2. Protect the Environment
Deodorant sprays are the worst choice from an air pollution standpoint as these products have the highest amount of volatile organic compounds, which contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a key component in smog.
3. Avoid Parabens
Parabens are found in a good number of personal care products including deodorants. Used as a preservative, parabens mimics estrogen in your body and can affect your body’s hormonal balance. This may cause a variety of health issues such as increasing your risk of hormonal cancers, early onset of puberty, and even birth defects in your future children.
4. Prevent Thyroid Issues
An ingredient commonly found in deodorants may cause thyroid issues. Triclosan is an antimicrobial that kills bacteria, fungus, and other microbes. Classified as a pesticide by the FDA and a probable carcinogen by the EPA, triclosan has been linked to a number of different health problems including disruption of the endocrine system, particularly thyroid function, and increased risk of cancer as well as allergy symptoms.
5. Maintain Healthy Skin
If you want to maintain healthy skin, switching to natural deodorants is an essential move. Conventional products may contain propylene glycol, a neurotoxin and skin irritant use to increase absorption and help keep substances from drying out. Thus substance was originally formulated to be used as an anti-freeze and now is a personal care ingredient. Propylene glycol may also cause damage to your central nervous system, heart, and liver.
Milk thistle is not just a pretty flower. Also known as silymarin, this flowering herb is related to the daisy and ragweed family but did you know that milk thistle offers a variety of health benefits. So, here is a quick list of 3 health benefits from milk thistle.
1. Liver Support
The most known use of milk thistle is as a natural supplement to help in the treatment of liver problems. Silymarin is the main active ingredient in milk thistle and studies have shown that it is both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It may offer benefits for people whose liver is damaged by industrial toxins, such as toluene and xylene. Milk thistle supplements may help liver problems such as cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis, and gallbladder disorders.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Medical research has suggested that milk thistle supplements may help people who have type 2 diabetes. Silymarin may help stimulate a decrease in blood sugar levels and an improvement in cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, researchers have found that milk thistle improved insulin resistance, a key characteristic of type 2 diabetes.
3. Cholesterol Support
Milk thistle may also be beneficial for heart health. Studies have shown that silymarin can provide heart benefits by lowering LDL bad cholesterol levels and decreasing the chance of developing heart disease.
Make sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
You may have not ever heard of it but yacon is a health booster item you may want to consider adding to your diet. This South American root looks like a sweet potato or a yucca root but it has actually a sweet taste, more like an apple. Yacon has a slight molasses flavor, although it is not as sweet but this fruitlike tuberous root is made into a mildly sweet syrup that has a lower glycemic index than traditional sugars
Yacon has been enjoyed for its health boosting properties in South American cultures for thousands of years as it contains inulin, which promotes healthy probiotics. The syrup is extracted from yacon roots that have been washed, peeled, double filtered, and flash pasteurized to preserve the nutrients.
Yacon is high in fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which can satisfy sweet tooth cravings without spiking blood sugar levels and contributing to empty caloric intake. Yacon syrup contains half the calories of sugar and promotes the production of healthy bacterial colonies in the digestive system, which can contribute to better absorption of nutrients.
The sugars in Yacon are mainly fructooligosaccharides, which are not processed and stored by the liver and do not cause an insulin surge. Yacon is both naturally low-calorie and low in mono and disaccharides with less than 1 gram per serving of the sugars that rapidly elevate blood sugar levels. Yacon root syrup has little influence on the glucose tolerance curve and is dramatically less glycemic than honey, agave, or maple syrup.
With so many options available, shopping for a natural lip balm product may be difficult. If you are not sure which natural ingredients you should be looking for in their formulas, we present 4 great natural ingredients for lip balms.
Beeswax is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, an anti-oxidant, and contains Vitamin A. This moisturizing ingredient is also a great emulsifier, locking the moisture in and preventing dry, cracked lips. Many lip balm products contain beeswax for its ability to soothe pain caused by dryness or dehydration. Moreover, beeswax helps created a protective layer on your lips that can shield them from harmful UV rays.
2. Shea Butter
A variety of lip balms contain shea butter for good reasons. Shea butter can help protect the skin of the lips from the sun and damaging free radicals, resulting in moisturized lips and preventing dryness. Plus, shea butter contains important antioxidants such as vitamins E and A, which also help protect the lips from the free radical damage that can make them look prematurely aged, thin, or lined.
3. Vitamin E
A well-known antioxidant, vitamin E is included in many lip balm products is for its abilities to prevent skin cell damage caused by free radicals. Beyond its effects as an antioxidant, vitamin E also is believed to protect skin from damage directly caused by ultraviolet rays.
A popular ingredient for lip balms, honey has the ability to help lips retain moisture, preventing dry and cracked lips. It acts as a moisture barrier, protecting the lips from exterior factors that would strip the skin of their natural moisture. In addition to keeping lips moisturized, honey has natural antibacterial properties and can also provide protection against infectious agents.