We can’t help that we age, but we can help our skin to look healthier as we age. Skin changes are arguably one of the most visible signs of aging. Collagen, one of the most important building blocks of the skin, plays a huge role in keeping the skin looking young. It helps maintain skin elasticity, and provides structural support and strength for our bodies through our bones and connective tissue. Knowing that, it shouldn’t be surprising that collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body.
The production of collagen naturally declines with age (starting around 40 years old). This can cause a number of issues for our bodies. The skin loses elasticity, joints become weakened, and those pesky wrinkles start to appear. These changes, known as elastosis (degenerative change in elastic tissue), has people looking for alternate ways to make up this loss. Supplemental collagen can help moderate this breakdown process and promote the look of younger skin.
If you’re looking for a collagen supplement, consider NeoCell Laboratories. NeoCell started in 1998 in Newport Beach California with an extraordinary personal experience. After major surgery, the benefits of collagen were so powerful for one man, Al Quadri, that he was inspired to start a company, in the hope that he could help others with this amazing ingredient. And so NeoCell was born,as a small, research grounded family owned business that had the goal of introducing to the world the anti-aging and overall health benefits of a naturally- sourced collagen based supplement line. NeoCell is dedicated to providing premium collagen supplements for skin, connective tissue and joint health for consumers worldwide.
While they have grown considerably over the years, their commitment to finding the most innovative and effective nutraceutical supplements has never changed. Additionally, with their ongoing work with Vitamin Angels, an organization that saves children’s lives by providing essential micronutrients to infants and children in need, NeoCell has been able to help thousands of children get the nutrients they need.
Amino acids are both vital to health and serve as one of the building blocks of protein. Of the 20 amino acids our bodies are unable to produce nine of them on its own. These nine are commonly grouped together and referred to as the essential amino acids.
They are (alphabetical order):
Builds Cells & Repairs Tissue – The body uses glutamine, the most abundant amino acid, as a vital source of energy in response to external stress. In addition, glutamine is the primary fuel source for rapidly dividing cells and repairing tissue cells with its potent antioxidant properties.
Assists with Wound Healing – Did you know that you can speed the wound healing process with amino acids? Arginine (another amino) levels plummet after the body experiences a major trauma or sustains a heavy, serious wound. Large doses of arginine have been shown to increase tissue collagen content, which helps aid the healing process.
Increases Athletic Performance –Athletes and bodybuilders will already know how detrimental caloric depravation is to reaching their fitness goals, but what they might not know is how certain amino acids can help them get back on track. To prevent muscle loss, it’s best to supplement with one of the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine and valine.
Provides Efficient Protein Uptake — A lack of amino acids and protein can lead to protein-energy-malnutrition, or PEM. This occurs in parts of the world where malnourishment runs rampant and what little food is available does not supply the amino acids that the body needs. Severe PEM, also known as kwashiorkor, can cause liver deterioration, anemia and skin inflammation
Amino acids play a really important role in health but many people don’t really know what they are and what they do. The human body uses amino acids to produce proteins, perform critical metabolic functions as well as to produce energy. Food sources of amino acids are protein-rich foods. When you consume protein, your body receives a source of amino acids using combinations of 20 distinct amino acids to make up the protein in your cells. Sources of protein that contain every essential amino acid are called complete proteins, while sources of protein deficient in one or more essential amino acids are incomplete proteins. Failure to eat enough of any essential amino acid prevents your body from making the protein it needs to function.
Essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by the organism, and therefore must be supplied by diet. A total of nine amino acids cannot be made by the human body and are considered essential: phenylalanine, threonine, valine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, lysine, isoleucine, and histidine. Nutritionally essential, these amino acids are not optional as a lack of sufficient bioavailability has adverse health effects.
Additionally, six amino acids are considered conditionally essential in the human diet as their synthesis can be limited under special pathophysiological conditions, such as prematurity in the infant or individuals in severe catabolic distress. These six are arginine, cysteine, glycine, proline, glutamine, and tyrosine.
Lastly, five amino acids are dispensable in humans as they can be synthesized in the body. Nutritionally nonessential, these aminos can be made by the human body through various pathways of biosynthesis. These aminos are alanine, asparti acid, asparagine, glutamic acid and serine.
Amino acid deficiency may lead to a number of health issues such as developing frequent colds, slow recovery from physical exercise, constantly feeling fatigued, and slow healing from minor cuts or injuries.
Fish Oil and Omega3 – Rundown with Dr. Jeremy Wolf : Ask The ND
In this Ask The ND, Dr. Wolf tackles Fish Oil. Our body can’t make all of the good fatty acids that it needs, so we need to get them from the foods we eat and the supplements we take. Learn about the different types of Fish Oil that help deliver the nutrients your body needs.
About The Series:
Watch LuckyVitamin’s Ask The ND series featuring LuckyVitamin Dr. Jeremy Wolf for healthy information, benefits and facts about popular nutritional supplements and wellness topics. These quick guides are great educational resources to learn about a variety of wellness oriented topics from a trained Naturopathic Physician. View other videos from LuckyVitamin on our YouTube channel.
The debate never ends. Which one is better: fish oil or flax oil? As a source of essential fatty acids, both products can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet but what are the benefits?
Let’s start with fish oil. A great source of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid (LA), fish oil contains two other important omega-3 fatty acids not found in the other plant-based foods: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both famous for their health benefits. EPA is effective for inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis, asthma and eczema, as well as an excellent product for heart disease as it increases levels of good HDL cholesterol, and lowers blood pressure. DHA is important for brain health, vision, learning, cognition, and may help prevent Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Fish containing high levels of omega-3s include salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, and herring. You can also take fish-oil supplements, a great alternative if you don’t regularly eat fish.
Now on to flax oil. Also an excellent source of omega-3, flax seed oil may be the best source of plant-based omega-3 fats. However, omega-3 fatty acids are not all the same as the ones in flaxseed. The main difference is regarding EPA and DHA. The omega-3s fatty acids in fish oil contain EPA and DHA and these are the omega-3 fats most people need in their diet. The human body has an ability to take the omega-3 from flaxseed and them into EPA and DHA, but this is not an efficient process unlike fish oil. On the other side, flaxseed has other health attributes as it an excellent source of dietary fiber, an essential ingredient for a healthy diet. Plus, flaxseed contains high amounts of lignan, a phytochemical that may have cancer protective effects.
I know what you’re thinking: cooking with fish oil? GROSS!
Sure, it might not sound that appetizing on the surface, but believe me, once you try these delicious recipes below, you’ll think differently. When experimenting in the kitchen with fish oil it’s important to remember to keep it safely stocked away in the fridge, as heat and fish oil do not play nicely together!
– 1 tablespoon raw honey
– 2 cloves crushed garlic
1. In a small bowl, whisk the ingredients together.
2. Add salt & pepper to taste and enjoy on fresh greens.
Omega Green Smoothie
Have you ever tried to get a child to willingly take a spoonful of fish oil? Some oils do come in various kid-friendly flavors, but taken on its own, fish oil is fish oil no matter how you dress it up. Fish oil gummies might be a little more palatable for younger taste buds but these supplements can really wreak some havoc on teeth. That brings us to this deceptively nutritious smoothie recipe that kids will happily chug down without realizing where all of those healthy Omega-3s are coming from.
Lucky Vitamin is proud to present a simple but yet innovative way to get vitamins and nutrients from water: Karma Wellness Water.
Karma offers a unique product based on the simple belief that if you do something positive for others or for yourself, you’ll get something positive back in return. Like choosing a drink that transforms pristine spring water into wellness water, creating positive effects for your mind, body, spirit, balance, and vitality.
Vitamins deteriorate in water, so premixed vitamin drinks can lose their strength over time. However, Karma offers a one-of-a-kind cap, the patented KarmaCap, which keep the ingredients in until you’re ready to mix them. You’re able to enjoy all their benefits at maximum potency and peak freshness. When you think about it, it just makes sense: make good choices, and you’ll see and feel the benefits.
This truly enlightened product is the best way to transform your water into wellness. Karma contains three to six times the active ingredients of competing brands, 110% of the recommended daily allowance of seven essential vitamins such as vitamin A, B3-Niacin, B5, B6, B12, D, and E, and a variety of super-fruits, antioxidants, and nutraceuticals gathered from around the globe. Additionally, Karma is a great source of powerful and natural ingredients including everything from Acai Extract, Yerba Mate and Siberian Ginseng, to Zinc, Glucosamine, and Green Tea.
Colostrum supplements can really make a difference for newborns. Many people are not familiar with the potential health benefits from colostrum but a quick look into this amazing product might be important for the health of your little one.
Colostrum is the very first milk a mother provides for newborns. This unique type of milk is produced by the mammary glands in late pregnancy and for a few days after giving birth. On the other hand, colostrum supplements are made from milk collected from cows that have been vaccinated to produce antibodies in order to fight the bacteria that cause diarrheal disease.
The importance of colostrum for newborns is vital for the development of a strong immune system. Also known as first milk or immune milk, colostrum is rich in nutritious substances and compounds that aid in the building of the newborn’s immune system, protecting the body from a multitudes of unwanted infectious diseases. Colostrum is high in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, and low in fat. Newborns and babies have very small digestive systems and colostrum delivers its nutrients in a very concentrated low-volume form.
Supplementation of colostrum is recommended for children who have not received the mother’s breast milk. Children with flu, colds, bacterial and viral infections, or any other immune system related issues may take colostrum on a regular basis fortifying the body’s natural defenses.
In addition, adults may also take advantage of this incredible product as colostrum supplements as a medical food raise both general immunity and physical strength, providing the energy boost you may be looking for. Studies have showed that human consumption of bovine colostrum is beneficial to general health.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) – This pose eases tightening in the shoulders. It’s amazing for second trimester pregnancy back pain and sciatica. Just make sure your knee is directly over your ankle and that your heels are aligned on your matwhile holding this posture.
Bridge pose (Setu Bandhasanacan) helps strengthen knee muscles and is great for stress relief. It stretches the chest, neck and spine which can help with posture, as well. Use a yoga block during this asana for lower back support.
Bound Angle (Baddha Konasana) is a great hip opener that stretches the inner thighs. We suggest sitting on a blanket to raise your pelvic floor and pulling your heels toward your pelvis. Your knees should be out to the side as you open the soles of your feet like a book.
Triangle (Trikonasana) is great for building strength in the knees and legs which may help alleviate back pain. It tones the hamstrings, groin and hips while opening the chest and shoulders. While in this posture do not rest your hand directly on your knee. Instead try resting your hand on your chin or mat.
Staff pose (Dandasana) can be practiced against a wall to ensure proper alignment. Your head and lower back should not touch the wall — just your shoulder blades. It strengthens your core and improves posture which makes it a great pose for back pain sufferers.
This serious issue can target a particular area such as joints, skin, sinuses, prostate, bladder or gums. In some cases, inflammation can become a body-wide condition and may last for years, leading to wide range of health problems including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis as well as neurological degeneration, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
If you are dealing with inflammation, natural alternatives may help your body fight infection, promoting quick and effective relief with virtually no side effects. Fish oil and turmeric supplements are two very popular choices but you do have a few other natural options.
First, bromelain supplements have been used to efficiently treat inflammation for many years. Obtained from the stem and fruit of the pineapple, this protein-dissolving enzyme contain anti-inflammatory properties that help fight infection. Bromelain is good for an acute injury or inflammation caused by ongoing injury, such as osteoarthritis, with its ongoing damage to joint cartilage.
Quercetin is another great option as this anti-inflammatory product can reduce the production and activity of pro-inflammatory biochemicals and block the release of histamine, the biochemical that causes allergic symptoms like runny nose and itchy eyes.
Rounding up the field, curcumin supplements. This yellow turmeric spice found in curry contains anti-inflammatory properties which can prevent and support a variety of health problems including eye issues caused by inflammation such as chronic anterior uveitis and macular degeneration.
Imagine if your body had a secret pack of tiny ninjas that it could unleash on anything that threatened its sense of balance and well-being. Work got you stressed out? There’s a ninja for that. Feel a cold coming on? There’s a ninja for that. Feeling exhausted because you stayed up too late watching Netflix? There’s a ninja for that. Mother-in-law on her way into town? There’s a ninja for that too!
When you ingest adaptogenic herbs, it’s like you’re arming your body with a pack of super awesome mini ninjas. Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help your body deal with stress. Whether that stress is physical, mental, or emotional, they hold the power to support and balance your system, whatever that may mean for you. How neat is that?
Below are four fascinating adaptogens that we’ve included in Skoop A-Game Plant-based Greens Blend. These adaptogens are perhaps our favorite part of this super greens blend. When taken daily, the steady stream of adaptogens in your system sets you up to deal with life in a more energized, balanced, positive way. The stressors may still be there, but your response to them can improve, and the negative physiological consequences of stress can be diminished.
Astralagus is an herb, the root of which has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It helps your immune system function optimally and increases overall vitality. And get this–one of the many ways it accomplishes this is by increasing the activity level of Natural Killer cells–yes, this is an actual scientific term. (The ninja metaphor doesn’t seem so outlandish now, does it?) Natural Killer cells are able to bind to stressed cells or virus-infected cells, and essentially assassinate them on a cellular level.†
Here’s yet another bizarre but true fact: cordyceps is a fungus that grows on the back of a species of Chinese caterpillars. (Our particular cordyceps is cultivated using oats, without the use of caterpillars.) Can you imagine being the first person to try ingesting this stuff? Who knows how or why that came about. But we’re grateful to that adventurous soul, because this natural compound has the power to combat fatigue, increase resistance to stress, support aerobic capacity, and even, ehem, help things along in the bedroom.†
Reishi is a mushroom that prefers to grow out of the Japanese plum tree, but will settle for an oak tree in a pinch. This power mushroom has serious immune system-boosting effects that go way beyond just fighting off a case of the sniffles. It may even play a role in slowing down the aging process. And like so many of its adaptogenic cousins, its fatigue-busting properties can’t be beat.†
Rhodiola is a flowering plant that grows at high altitudes in Eastern Europe and Asia. This super-herb fights depression and fatigue and enhances mental clarity. It also boosts stress resistance in two different ways. Rhodiola can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol by supporting and balancing the system (the HPA axis) in our bodies that produces cortisol. It may also enhance the neurological mechanisms of dealing with stress.†
All of these adaptogenic herbs have more benefits than we can list here. Although they’ve been used safely and effectively for thousands of years within Chinese medicine, the western world is just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of utilising these astoundingly powerful natural remedies. If you’re looking for a positive boost, give Skoop A-Game a try and learn what it means to get your super on.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Snacking doesn’t necessarily have to be unhealthy but did you know that one of the most popular dips actually offers a ton of health benefits? Yes, that’s salsa. Fresh tomato salsa has several health benefits when made with fresh ingredients and low salt. The most common ingredients in tomato salsa are hot peppers, onions, lime, and olive oil. These ingredients provide a source of essential nutrients such as vitamins C, beta carotene, minerals, antioxidants and much more.
Fresh red tomatoes are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and contain the wonderful lycopene ingredient known to prevent heart disease and atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries.
Hot peppers such as jalapenos are often used in salsa and contain vitamins A, K and C, as well as folate and lutein. Jalapenos are also known to speed up the metabolism helping you burn fat more efficiently. Capsaicin, the chemical responsible for a pepper’s spiciness, plays a role in the treatment of some health conditions, and may help relieve indigestion and stomach pain.
Lime juice has antioxidant properties and may help to prevent infections. Onions contains vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Olive Oil is likely the best choice of oil to be used for salsa for its multiple health benefits as it contains mono and polyunsaturated fats, which unlike saturated fats, may help lower cholesterol levels in the blood, reducing your risk of heart problems.
Fresh tomato salsa is often served with Mexican dishes such as tacos, chips and fajitas but you can also eat it with healthier alternatives like chopped carrots and celery sticks, making a very healthy snack full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus, you can use salsa as a healthy garnish for grilled fish or chicken, boosting the meal’s nutrient content and adding flavor without the use of salt or fat.
Lucky Vitamin is happy to present another premium brand of supplements to our customers: Myotropic Innovations.
Myotropic Innovations offers a superior line of supplements created with cutting-edge formulas and utilizing both natural and high quality ingredients. The company believes in taking a holistic approach to living a healthy and physically active lifestyle.
With pure formulas and true results, Myotropic Innovations is on a mission to revolutionize the traditional approach in sports nutrition product development by creating pure specialized formulas catered to individuals seeking a natural approach to improve athletic performance, support overall well-being, boost recovery, build muscle, weight management, increase strength, or maximize strength.
One of the company’s best-selling items is Rzyme. This unique supplement contains the strongest enteric-coated proteolytic enzyme on the market, which supports the body’s natural ability to deal with the physical stress that may accompany trauma and other healing processes. Enzymes play a vital role in supporting and maintaining optimal health and may promote a variety of health benefits such as maintaining microcirculation, normal and healthy levels of fluid within the joints of the body, and improving blood, digestion, circulatory, immune and endocrine system functions.
Mineral X is another great supplement from Myotropic Innovations. Many people lack minerals from the diet and most multivitamins are very low in minerals. The importance of minerals cannot be overlooked as they are directly involved in immune function, protein synthesis, skeletal health, energy production and much more. Mineral X contains the perfect amount of all essential minerals in one product.
Establishing a good exercise routine isn’t easy but once that is accomplished, things just keep on rolling. Wrong! A couple serious issues can really put a stop onto your workout program: dehydration and injuries. Both can significantly affect your body but good news: you can quite easily prevent both of these problems.
First, dehydration is a serious matter. Many people don’t drink enough water on a daily basis as well as before, during, and after exercising. Thirst is the first sign that your body has had a significant loss of body fluids and replenishment is necessary. Other symptoms of moderate dehydration include dry mouth, decreased urine output, dry skin, and headaches. Dehydration can last a couple days and severe cases may lead to dizziness, fever, low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and in the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness. Drink plenty of water particularly when you exercise and during hot days. Sport drinks can also be helpful to avoid extreme thirst.
Second, injuries can be another issue to hamper your workout program. When people are trying to establish an exercise routine or trying to lose weight, they often forget about a very important part of any successful workout program: rest. The human body needs rest to recover and people need to ensure they add that into the plan. A good number of injuries are the result of a tired body in need of recovery. For example, muscle injuries are often caused by fatigue. Plus, fatigue also leads to that feeling of exhaustion, tiredness, weariness, and lack of energy to do other daily activities. Studies have shown that lack of rest and fatigue play an important role in muscle strain injuries which can be easily prevented with periods of rest.
So, two easy tips to keep your workout going: drink enough water and get some rest!
Are you looking for protein bars? Do they have to be delicious and made with nutritious organic ingredients? If you answered yes twice, Lucky Vitamin is happy to present a top quality brand of nutritional bars to our customers: Squarebar.
Squarebar offers nutritious organic bards created with only the most nutrient-dense organic and non-GMO foods. The company started in a San Francisco kitchen as a small family business with the idea of providing a healthy protein bar without inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, soy, and processed sugars. Squarebar was launched March 2012 at Natural Products Expo West and is now nationally distributed. The company growth is built on the belief that “ingredients matter most”, sourcing organic and non-GMO ingredients directly from farmers to ensure an ethical path from crop to bar.
All the ingredients used in Squarebar products are USDA organic and Non-GMO project verified as well as gluten-free certified, dairy-free and soy-free. Available in five different flavors, with 11g of complete plant protein and no added flavors, these delicious vegan bars can be your next favorite snack. Just give it a try!
Additionally, you can save even more when you shop Squarebar products at Lucky Vitamin. Just enter promotional code AUG15NEW15 at checkout to save an additional 15% on all items of this new brand. But hurry, this special offer ends 08/31/2015.