While shopping for supplements or simply browsing your local grocery store, you may come across the words “folate” or “folic acid.” What are folate and folic acid, and do you know the difference between the two? Folate is the general term that refers to both natural folates found in food and folic acid—the synthetic, man-made form—used in supplements and fortified foods. Also known as Vitamin B-9, folate is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs to the B-Vitamin complex. Our bodies do not make folate so we must get it from the foods we eat or the supplements we take. So what is the best way to get folate? Should we be taking folate or folic acid or both? Read on to find out all the answers to these questions and more!
Benefits of folate
Supports mental health
Metabolizes amino acids.
Helps form red and white blood cells and platelets
Aids neurotransmitter production
Reduces the risk of neural tube defects during pregnancy
Assists in methylation—a process responsible for a number of functions in the body.
Where to find folate in food
Beans: lentils, lima beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas
Green Leafy Veggies: asparagus, broccoli, okra, brussel sprouts and spinach
Juices: orange and tomato juice.
Fortified Foods: spaghetti, cereals, white rice, and bread.
How much folate should you take?
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folate from the food you eat and the supplements you take in micrograms/day are as follows:
19 years and older
What’s in your folate supplements?
Folic Acid: A man-made form of folate not found naturally in foods. Though the body absorbs it well, it does not get used to its full potential. For maximum potency, folic acid needs to be absorbed and then transported through our blood via proteins to a receptor that allows it to enter our cells. Once inside the cell, folic acid needs to be converted to its active form to reap all the benefits mentioned above. Too much folic acid that isn’t utilized has the potential to block the natural form from getting into the cells.
Folinic Acid: A natural form of folate that is readily converted by the body into its active form. Plays a role in DNA-based productions.
Methylfolate: This has a variety of names including L-5-Methylfolate, L-Methylfolate, Methylfolate, 5-MTHF and others. Like folinic acid, this a natural form of folate that can be readily used by the body. Methylfolate supports methylation—a process responsible for turning your genes on and off, building neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine), building immune cells, energy production, preventing hormone imbalances, managing your stress response and a host of other functions.
Folate and pregnancy
Folate deficiencies during pregnancy have been associated with abnormalities in both the mother and baby, so adequate folate intake is necessary for healthy growth and development, especially of the neural tube where the brain and spinal cord form. Folate helps decrease the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus and may help prevent anemia and peripheral neuropathy in the expecting mom. Because the neural tube develops very early on in pregnancy, it’s important to make sure you start taking folate supplements before you even start trying to conceive. On top of neural tube defects, folate during pregnancy appears to also be beneficial in the prevention of congenital heart disease and oral clefts such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
Important tips about folate
A deficiency in folate may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.
The symptoms of folate deficiency are very subtle. You may see signs of Anemia, which can occur due to folate deficiency. Anemia may present as pale skin, shortness of breath, persistent fatigue, weakness and lethargy.
Folate works in conjunction with B12. So if you believe you are deficient in either, taking them together may bring better results.
Extensive cooking may destroy 50-95% of the folate in food.
New research has shown that some individuals may have antibodies that can either bind or block the folate receptor, which prevents folate from entering the cell.
Certain health conditions such as alcoholism or inflammatory bowel diseases can cause a folate deficiency.
*Disclaimer* There is a lot to understand about the different forms of folate and how they work in the body. Make sure to speak with your health care provider before starting a folate or any other supplements, as side effects and interactions may occur!
One of the hottest diet trends right now is the Ketogenic diet. Similar to the Atkins diet, although much stricter, the Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein and low-carbohydrate diet. The diet was first designed in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder as a treatment for those with epilepsy. However, many researchers are starting to look at the use of the ketogenic diet for disorders other than epilepsy. This includes other neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, migraines and autism. Even professional athletes and endurance athletes are catching on to this popular diet. The diet works by forcing the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is the result of ketones building up in the bloodstream when people eat a low or no carbohydrate diet. This is due to the body using fat as the primary fuel source, which then breaks down into ketones. The diet isn’t as simple as just cutting back on carbohydrates; there are specific calculations that go into figuring out the right percentage of fat to protein to carbohydrate ratio. Lastly, it’s important to remember that some fats are healthier than others. Read below to learn more about the ketogenic diet and click here to shop our ketogenic diet friendly page.
Benefits to consider:
May help with weight loss
May increase HDL “the good” cholesterol
May lower LDL “the bad” cholesterol
May lower total cholesterol
May decrease triglyceride levels
May lower blood sugar levels
May improve insulin resistance
May reduce seizure frequency
The Ketogenic Diet and Its Variants:
The Classic Ketogenic Diet – A calorie level is determined by a trained healthcare provider based on age and activity level of the individual. The classic diet consists of a ratio in grams of fat to non-fat (protein & carbohydrates) of 4:1 and 3:1. This means that there is 4 times as much fat as there is protein and carbohydrates combined. At each meal, a specific amount of each food variant is consumed. The total amount of carbohydrates allowed each day depends on the ratio that you are following.
Modified Ketogenic Diet – The modified ketogenic diet consists of ratios of 2:1 and 1:1, instead of 4:1 and 3:1.
MCT Oil Diet – Although not widely used in the United States, the MCT Oil supplement diet is more flexible and allows for a larger variety of food due to the higher carbohydrate and protein allowance. MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides and is a type of oil which produces ketones. Since the MCT oil produces ketones, less total fat is needed in the diet, which allows for more carbohydrates and proteins to be included.
Modified Atkins – This diet is a variant from the original low carbohydrate diet proposed by Robert Atkins. It is modified to allow for lower carbohydrate levels compared to Atkins’s recommendations and puts more emphasis on high-fat foods as required on the ketogenic diet. It is a less restrictive form of the diet and is primarily used for teenagers and adults.
Low Glycemic Index Treatment (LGIT) – The glycemic index (GI) measures the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. In general, carbohydrates that are digested slowly have a low GI, while carbohydrates that are digested rapidly have a high GI. This diet is a special high-fat diet similar to the ketogenic diet, however, it focuses on both the type and amount of carbohydrates in the diet as well as the glycemic index.
Healthier Fat Options While on a Ketogenic Diet:
Fatty fishes like salmon
Olives and Olive Oil
Nuts and Nut Butters
Recipe Ideas (These are just ideas and may not within the recommended proportions for you)
Breakfast – Egg omelet mixed with heavy cream and shredded cheese of your liking. For extra healthy fats, you can add an avocado as well.
Lunch – Greek salad with chopped gyro meat, black olives, avocado, feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and olive oil dressing.
Dinner – Teriyaki turkey lettuce wraps with ground turkey, chopped peanuts, gluten free soy sauce and shredded unsweetened coconut.
Tips to Consider Before Starting a Ketogenic Diet:
Heavy creams, butter and vegetable oils provide the necessary fat while on the diet.
The diet completely eliminates sweets such as candy, cookies and desserts.
All foods should be carefully prepared and weighed on a gram scale.
It’s best to start the diet gradually and increase to the full amount over a 3 to 4 day period or longer.
Certain vitamin and mineral supplements may be required to help meet nutritional needs.
Make sure you are staying hydrated and avoid unnecessary snacking.
*Disclaimer – While I can inform you on the elements of the Ketogenic Diet, this diet is not a perfect fit for all individuals. It’s best if you are evaluated by your health care provider before starting this diet and work under the supervisionof a trained professional while on it.
Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation and a distinct philosophy. Because of its historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy, yoga was once considered ancient practice. However, all over the world, yoga is gaining popularity. In America specifically, the growth of yoga is astonishing. Since 2012, the percentage of Americans aware of yoga has increased from 75% to 90%. In addition, approximately 37 million Americans practice yoga today, which is a significant increase from the roughly 20 million Americans reported to be practicing yoga in 2012. It’s not just consumers who are catching on to the practice of yoga. Therapeutic yoga programs are now in place in many hospitals and health centers. Why has this practice gained such popularity? It might be because yoga compliments other forms of exercise or maybe it’s simply because yoga is good for you.
Benefits of Yoga
Enhanced performance in other forms of exercises
May reduce fatigue and inflammation
May reduce low-back pain
May lower heart rate and blood pressure
May help to relieve anxiety, depression and insomnia
May improve quality of life
Common Types of Yoga
This is the term that is used to describe any type of yoga that teaches physical poses. Any Hatha class you attend will focus on postures. Most Western yoga classes are a form of Hatha yoga. These classes tend to be slower paced and more relaxing.
This style of yoga incorporates six poses broken down into a series and performed in a sequential manner. Each pose is connected and every movement is linked to a breath. It is a more rigorous and physically demanding style of yoga.
Vinaysa is a more active and movement-rich style of yoga that incorporates a sequence of poses. Unlike Asthanga yoga, the poses change from class to class depending on the teacher and what they have choreographed for that day. Similar in intensity to Ashtanga yoga, these classes are generally fast-paced, physically demanding and lively.
This type of yoga incorporates poses performed in heated studios at temperatures around 105 degrees Fahrenheit. In order for it to be truly considered Bikram, these classes must include a series of 26 unchanging scripted poses that were created by the founder Bikram Choudhury.
Yin is a quiet more relaxing and meditative form of yoga. The slow-paced style of yoga incorporates poses that are held for longer periods of time.
As the name implies, this form of yoga is for expecting mothers. It incorporates breathing, gentle stretching, poses and relaxation. This form of yoga is great for helping moms-to-be stay in shape, develop or maintain strength and flexibility and may even help prepare them for labor.
Yoga mats come in different sizes, depending on the amount of cushion you are looking for. For example, a 1mm yoga mat will offer less cushion between you and the ground than 3mm yoga mat.
Fitness Apparel – Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that is sweat-wicking and has stretch is ideal.
Yoga Blocks – These are intended to help support poses and aid alignment.
Yoga Straps – Like blocks, straps provide help with support, alignment and posture.
Mat Carrier – Some mats can be heavier than others, but all are awkward to carry by hand. Yoga mat bags and straps can make lugging your mat around much easier.
Tips to Consider if You’re Going to Start Practicing Yoga
You don’t have to incorporate yoga into your life every day at first. You can start slowly with one or two classes per week. You may even want to get started by just adding some poses into your cool-down routine after a run or workout.
If you have any medical conditions make sure you speak with your health care provider before starting any type of yoga practice.
Start by taking a beginners yoga class, although not as common as the classes above, many studios offer them.
Find a studio that is convenient and easy for you to get to.
Make sure to attend classes from experienced and certified instructors.
Educate yourself on the type of class you are taking before taking it.
Inform the teacher of any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries.
Go with friends or workout partners.
If practicing at home, find a clean and quiet area where you will not be distracted or bothered.
Everyone is different. Make sure to modify postures based off your individual needs and abilities.
Try out all different styles of yoga until you find the style that fits you.
A New Year’s resolution is a tradition in which a person makes a promise for self-improvement. The practice of making resolutions for the New Year is thought to have originated in Ancient Babylonian times, when Babylonians would make promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot. Nowadays, many people, approximately 45% of Americans to be exact, make a plan at the start of the New Year. However, self-betterment is not the only type of New Year’s resolutions that one can make. Other common resolutions include weight loss, stress reduction, better organization, getting more sleep, achieving financial stability, exercising more and quitting smoking. However, picking a resolution and actually keeping it are two completely different things. If you find yourself year after year picking the same resolution and not being able to stick to it, maybe it’s time to switch things up a little. It was the famous Albert Einstein who said, “The value of achievement lies in the achieving.” Below are some tips on how to pick a New Year’s resolution that will work for you.
What To Consider When Choosing a New Year’s Resolution:
Choose a goal that excites or motivates you. If you have had the same goal for the past couple of years, such as losing weight, it is most likely that this goal no longer excites you. Try selecting something that gets you excited, and that way you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Pick something that fits your current lifestyle. Researchers have found that one of the major reasons we aren’t able to stick to our goals is because we choose goals different from our current lifestyle. Pick one that fits within your lifestyle so achieving it doesn’t become even more difficult.
Choose a goal that fits your budget. Don’t stress yourself out financially because of your resolution. Choose something that fits your budget so you won’t have excuses not to achieve it!
Reflect on what has worked for you in the past. Take this into consideration as well as what matters most to you for the upcoming year. By doing so you may more easily be able to set goals that are well within your reach.
Focus on one goal at a time. Change doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. So it makes sense that you shouldn’t try to change everything about yourself at once and should only focus on one goal at a time.
Choose behavior-oriented goals vs. outcome goals. Instead of saying you want to lose weight or drop 10 pounds, say you are going to get to the gym 3 times per week, take the stairs more often or prepare healthier lunches throughout the week. Phrasing your goals in this way allows you to have something easier to achieve and measure yourself against.
Be specific and choose a clearly defined goal. Research has shown that you are more likely to succeed at accomplishing your goal if it’s clearly defined. This gives you clear direction for what you need to do to achieve your goals.
Tips For Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution:
Pick one resolution at a time
Have a back-up plan
Plan, plan and plan some more
Reward yourself for all your hard work
Anticipate set backs
Believe in yourself
From all of us at LuckyVitamin, we wish you a joyous holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year!
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You might not realize it, but certain foods may be the culprit to everyday problems such as daily headaches, joint pain, fatigue and digestive issues including gas, bloating or constipation. Did you know that often time these symptoms are your body’s way of telling you that what you are eating might be aggravating you? Even your food cravings may be a hidden sign of food sensitivities. If you’re an individual who is suffering from food sensitivities, an elimination diet, where you take out certain foods from your diet, could be a helpful tool to identify the causal factors.
This is an immediate immune-mediated response to a specific protein in food. This is what you would think of when you hear an individual say they are allergic to peanuts or shellfish. Common symptoms include itchy skin, hives, coughing or wheezing and swelling of the throat. Food allergies can be fatal and for that reason most of these individuals needs to carry epinephrine pens with them when they go out to eat.
Food sensitivities also refer to an immune-mediated reaction. While allergies are mediated by IgE antibodies, sensitivities are mediated by slower acting IgG antibodies. Typically food allergies occur immediately while sensitivities tend to be a delayed reaction occurring hours or days after ingesting the aggravating food. Symptoms may vary but typically include brain fog, fatigue, gas, bloating, constipation, mood disorders, joint pain and more.
Food intolerance occurs when the body can’t digest a food or food component properly. This type of reaction does not involve the immune system and is what you might think of when someone says that they are lactose intolerant. Normally the enzyme lactase is responsible for breaking down lactose into simpler sugars. If a person is lactose intolerant, this enzyme activity is low and the lactose sugar does not get broken down properly, which can give rise to symptoms of flatulence, pain and diarrhea. Unlike food allergies, individuals with food intolerances may be able to tolerate small amounts of these foods.
How to Perform an Elimination Diet
Before starting the diet you should consult your health care provider. Make a note of how you feel. Start at your head and work your way down towards your feet, jotting down any major or minor complaints. You can also work with your health care practitioner to help get a better understanding of which foods might be causing you problems.
The elimination diet is often times performed for a period of 3 weeks to 1 month. In general, adults and children can do an elimination diet. Make sure to pick out a time that works best for you where you can commit to completing the diet.
Below are the food groups most often recommended to avoid (this may vary person to person). When performing an elimination diet, choose one food group to avoid entirely. For instance if you think egg causes a problem, avoid eating eggs and anything that has egg in it. However, to rule out multiple possible culprits, I usually recommend people avoid all of the main culprits at the same time.
Since the elimination diet is a good time to help the body detox, it is also a good idea to avoid alcohol, caffeine, sodas and other sweetened fruit juices as well as any other foods you believe may be causing issues. Try to avoid processed foods, fast foods and simple sugars such as candy and sweets as well.
While on the diet, it is important to read the entire ingredients label before purchasing any foods. In order for the elimination diet to be successful, 100% elimination of these foods is a must. Don’t eat the foods whole or as ingredients in other foods. For example, if you are avoiding all dairy products, you need to check labels for whey, casein, and lactose so you can avoid them as well.
Once the elimination diet is finished, you will gradually reintroduce these foods back into your diet. It is best to do this one food at a time over a period of 3 days. You will want to eat that food during at least two of the three meals daily for those 3 days. The reason for doing this is because once you being to reintroduce foods back into your diet, you may notice your symptoms flare again. This is an important sign that means you are sensitive to that food. If you notice a reaction before the 3 days are up, stop eating the offending food. It is also important to wait until any reactions have subsided before re-introducing another food.
When reintroducing foods back into your diet pay attention to your energy level, any joint or muscle pain, skin condition, headaches, bowel function and gut symptoms or any symptoms you noted before starting the diet.
Summer is coming to an end and the beginning of school is right around the corner. For parents, it’s back to the school year routine. For a child, it commonly means a new teacher, new classmates, new routines, new thoughts and maybe even a new school. However, all this excitement can unfortunately bring some anxiety. While the cause of anxiety in children can differ, anxious feelings are normal and even expected as children make these important transitions in their life. I have found that when dealing with a fear driven thought, it’s important to walk through the fear in its entirety to help them problem solve. For instance, if your child is nervous about attending a new school and is afraid they’ll get lost or be late to class, don’t just reassure them that everything is going be “OK.” Instead, help walk them through the worst things that could happen and go through different scenarios of what to do if they get lost. Besides talking out the fears, I have found homeopathic remedies may be helpful in calming back to school jitters. These remedies can be taken as pellets and dissolved in the mouth. Below are just a few examples of some of the remedies that may be helpful. Remember it is always best to consult with a trained health care provider before starting to more accurately get the correct remedy and potency for your child.
This remedy is appropriate for a child that is very timid, mild and tends to have a yielding disposition. Often times they have a strong emotional bond with the mother and cling to them. They may display their anxiety by demanding excessive attention, weeping often and crying at almost everything. Generally their anxiety is worse in a warm room and they seek the open air.
This remedy is one of the first remedies that come to mind when speaking about anticipatory anxiety. Lycopodium is suitable for children who have an aversion to undertake new things, yet when they do so they go through it with relative easiness. A lot of the anticipatory anxiety is because they are afraid they will fail and look foolish. Most of these children try to conceal these insecurities with over confident mannerisms.
This remedy is often the first remedy considered when it comes to test anxiety and stage fright. One of the keynote symptoms for this remedy include anticipation of any unusual ordeal, such as appearing in public, public speaking or test anxiety that can bring on diarrhea.
This remedy is good for a child that is generally very sharp, alert and desires creative activities yet has many anxieties. In their anxious state they become fearful when they are alone and for that reason strongly desire company. They are very restless and fidgety and desire to be rubbed gently. When they are anxious they can bite their nails. Lastly, they have a strong fear of the dark and their anxiety is often time worse during thunderstorms.
This is a great remedy if your child is afraid to go to school because of undertaking anything new, such as new people, new classes, etc. This child is excessively shy, they oftentimes hide behind the mother, their hands or furniture as to not be looked at by strangers. They tend to lack self-confidence. If this type of child walks into a room with people laughing, they may assume the people are laughing at them. They easily get homesick because they feel a sense of safety in their home. Lastly, this child may also have some problems in the classroom with learning. They tend to be very forgetful and inattentive, and have a hard time learning and remembering new information.
Dietary and Emotional Health
Diet may also play a major role in emotional health. While sugar itself may not cause anxiety, researchers have found that it might worsen anxiety symptoms. In one study, researchers found that rats that binged on sugar and then fasted displayed anxiety-like behaviors. It’s important to limit the amount of sugar laden, processed foods in your child’s diets throughout the school year. This may not only help with keeping their anxiety at bay but also may help improve their overall health and immunity.
Other Tips to Consider
Role playing can help your children to come up with different plans for different scenarios that they may be anxious about.
Focus on the positives and help your children to redirect their attention from negative worries to positive thoughts. This could be getting to see friends they haven’t seen since the last day of school, focusing on a special snack in their lunch bag, or any other positive experiences you can come up with.
Pay attention to your own behavior. Remember, children are very aware of how parents react to situations. Even if it doesn’t seem like they are paying attention, they hear and see more then we think they do. Children also learn many cues and emotions from their parents. If you can show more confidence and less anxiety, your children are more likely to follow suit.
While back to school jitters are common, there are many tips to help tackle them before they get out of hand. Consider some of these tips the next time you are faced with a child who is experiencing anxiety around school and life. Best wishes for a happy and healthy school year.
It’s estimated that nearly half of the U.S. population is consuming less than the recommended amount of magnesium in their diets. Why is magnesium so important you ask? Low levels of magnesium have been linked with migraine headaches, stroke, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. This essential mineral is found throughout the body and acts as a cofactor for more than 300 different enzymes, meaning it is necessary for enzyme activity. It is involved in energy production, protein synthesis, cell signaling, muscle and nerve function, the release of neurotransmitters and even plays a structural role in the body. Roughly 60% of the magnesium in the body is found in our bones, 39% found in cells and 1% in our blood. Read below for some of the health benefits of magnesium as well as tips on what to look for when choosing a magnesium supplement.
Benefits To Consider
May help alleviate fatigue
Aids in the formation of healthy bones and teeth
Aids in muscle relaxation
May alleviate constipation
Helps prevent kidney stones
Assists in oil pathways to produce essential fatty acids
May help with detoxification as it is needed for glutathione synthesis
Helps insulin to enter cells and enhances insulin receptor sensitivity
May help improve metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
What To Look For On The Label
Any supplement label generally declares the amount of elemental magnesium in the product. However, because magnesium cannot be absorbed by itself, it must be bound to another substance to help stabilize it. The biggest difference in magnesium supplements isn’t the magnesium, rather the complex or complexes that it is bound to. Absorption of magnesium from different forms of supplements varies and some of the molecules or complexes that magnesium is bound to may have their own function in the body. Below are some of the most commonly used forms of magnesium:
This is one of the most absorbable forms of magnesium. This form may be more preferable as it is not likely to induce diarrhea and may have a calming effect on the body.
This name is commonly used for magnesium which is bound to citric acid. This form has good bioavailability, meaning that it is absorbed easily, but may have a laxative effect.
In this form, magnesium is bound to aspartic acid, which has been reported to enhance the uptake of magnesium into cells. Commonly in the form of potassium magnesium aspartate (a combination of potassium and magnesium), aspartate can act as an excitatory neurotransmitter.
This form contains magnesium bound to malic acid. Malic acid can act as a substrate in production of cellular energy.
Magnesium binds to taurine in this form. Taurine is an amino acid which may elicit a calming effect on the body.
In this form, magnesium is bound to orotic acid, which has good bioavailability. Orotic acid may be used for improving athletic performance/endurance as well as supporting heart health.
One of the most widely used magnesium preparations, magnesium oxide contains high amounts of elemental magnesium, which is well absorbed but may cause diarrhea or have laxative affect.
Also known as “Milk of Magnesia,” this form is highly unabsorbable and may have a laxative effect.
Probiotics are the living bacteria in our bodies (the good kind!) that help keep the bad bacteria in check. In this episode, Dr. Wolf explains how probiotics contribute to digestive health, and the other ways they function in the body.
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Even if you keep to a healthy diet, there factors that influence your body’s ability to absorb key nutrients. In this episode, Dr. Wolf delves into the different types of multivitamins, and how they interact with the body.
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With new superfoods and alternative health products popping up in the media every day, it’s hard to know what the cleanest, most effective product innovations really are. Dr. Jeremy Wolf N.D., Lead Wellness Advisor at LuckyVitamin.com, breaks down the trends and how to be a savvy wellness shopper this summer.
The beetroot movement is upon us, I repeat, the beetroot movement is upon us. Since 2009 beet products have quadrupled. Beets have attracted a lot of attention as a “functional food” meaning they not only provide basic nutrients, but may help promote optimal health and reduce the risk of disease. While this vegetable’s popularity has only recently gained back momentum, its use dates back to ancient Roman times. So why has it become so popular again? Beets are a source of nitrates and provide a natural means of increasing nitric oxide (NO) availability. Beetroot is a rich source of phytochemical compounds that include ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. Beets also contain a group of bioactive pigments known as betalains that are thought to have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beet products can be found in the forms of Beet Juice, Energy Bars, Sports Shots, Protein Powders, Veggie Packs, and Beet Crystals. LuckyVitamin carries a large selection of these products from top rated brands.
Skin is the largest organ in the human body and it serves several important functions. Nutrition is a key factor for skin health and its overall appearance. Maybe that’s why the saying goes “beauty comes from within.” This might also be why nutricosmetics, or using supplements to help improve skin health, is now a growing trend. At the forefront of the nutricosmetic industry is collagen. Collagen is the main structural protein found in animal connective tissue and can be found in our muscles, bones, skin and tendons. There are at least 16 types of collagen, but 80-90 percent of the collagen in the body consists of types I, II, and III. As we age, our natural ability to produce collagen and density of the dermis decreases leading to less structural support to the epidermis. The epidermis carries the blood vessels and supplies the skin with important nutrients for its functioning. A growing body of evidence shows that collagen peptides can improve skin health by improving skin moisture and preventing the fragmentation of the dermal collagen network, thus counteracting one of the key components of skin aging. Shop some of our top rated collagen products from brands such as Reserveage Organics, Youtheory, NeoCell, and Bulletproof.
COLD BREW COFFEE
With the summer months upon us and temperatures rising, the days of warming up with a hot coffee or latte are behind us. Iced coffee sales continue to explode and with this trend comes the era of cold brew coffee. While the cold brew coffee craze isn’t completely new, it’s finally become a mainstream trend. Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period of time to produce a smoother, less acidic coffee. This less acidic coffee enhances the many other flavors found in coffee beans and gets rid of the familiar ‘bite’. Not ready to make your own pot of cold brew? Don’t worry! LuckyVitamin carries a great selection of pre- packaged ready-to-drink cold brew coffees you’re sure to enjoy this summer. DIY extraordinaire don’t fret—we also have a selection of DIY cold brew kits for you to try.
Fiber masks, bamboo sheet masks, collagen masks, eye masks, peptide masks and mud masks, are becoming increasingly popular in the personal care and beauty world. These facial masks are easy to apply are a great conduit for delivering nutrients and other beneficial ingredients to the skin. Even trendier is the use of these in single serving pouches so the products won’t dry out and are more affordable. When shopping for any type of facial mask, look for products that are 100% organic and non-GMO as well as paraben, sulfate and phthalate free. Many masks also cater to vegans and are cruelty free. A great product to try is the Andalou Naturals Clarifying Instant Pure Pore Hydro Serum Facial Mask with Coconut Water to helps to hydrate and detoxify the skin, soothe inflammation and minimize pores for a clearer, healthy complexion.
The term superfood describes nutrient-rich foods that are considered to be beneficial for one’s health and well being. There’s yet another superfood craze you may not have indulged in yet, but chances are after reading this you will! Pulses, which are another name for lentils, chickpeas, beans and dry peas, have become one of the most talked about superfoods in the health and wellness industry. Pulses provide protein and fiber as well as vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium. In fact, a ½ cup serving of black beans has one and half times the iron of a 3-ounce piece of steak. Pulses are also packed full of saponins and tannins, phytochemicals which may possess antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic benefits. An article from the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that inclusion of pulses in a diet may be a beneficial weight-loss strategy because it leads to a modest weight-loss effect, although further research & future studies are needed. This summer, shop LuckyVitamin to incorporate your favorite pulses into your diet.
Most of us know about the buzz surrounding probiotics, live beneficial bacteria and yeasts for gut & immune health. Did you know that research shows that probiotics taken internally and applied topically may benefit the skin as well? Probiotics applied topically work in a variety of ways. First, they can provide a protective shield preventing the skin cells from seeing the bad bacteria and parasites that can cause problems like inflammation. Secondly, probiotics have antimicrobial properties. Lastly, when probiotics come in contact with skin cells they calm parts of the cells that may want to react to the presence of harmful bacteria. Common skin conditions that probiotics may be beneficial for include Atopic Dermatitis and Acne Rosacea. Some great sources of topical probiotics include Andalou Naturals, ACURE & Essential Formulas Dr. Ohhira’s.
Customarily used in Japanese tea ceremonies, Matcha is a type of green tea grown in the shade, and once harvested, the leaves are made into a fine powder. One of the reasons for its growing popularity is because matcha is rich in catechins, a subclass of polyphenols or antioxidants. In fact, one study found that matcha is at least 3 times higher in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a specific catechin that may boost metabolism and slow the growth of cancer cells, than regular green tea. Another reason that matcha is trending upward is because it also contains caffeine, similar to the amount contained in a cup of brewed coffee. Buy it in bulk, or try it in a latte, bar, or even moisturizer. This summer try making a refreshing & energizing matcha green tea smoothie by mixing ½ tsp. matcha green tea powder in 2 ounces of hot water. Stir the mixture and then combine 3 teaspoons of sweetener or sweetener of your choice. Add in 4 ounces of milk or milk alternative of your choice. Combine the mixture along with ice cubes into a blender and blend until smooth. For a little added refreshment try mixing in some organic vanilla extract.
Wellness bloggers and celebrity chefs have been talking about this trend for some time now, and its popularity continues to grow. Bone broth, or stock, is made by boiling the bones from the animal of your choice (commonly turkey, chicken or beef) with vegetables and spices. Part of the reason it’s becoming so popular is because bone broth is easy to make, relatively inexpensive and packed with vitamins, minerals and proteins. Some of the benefits may include promoting strong bones and reducing joint pain and inflammation. It may also help inhibit infection and seal your gut to promote healthy digestion. While it’s best to try and make your own bone broth, Pacific Natural Foods, Kettle and Fire and Osteobroth are great sources of convenient pre-made broths.
When it comes to fruits with health benefits, avocados are at the top of the list. They’re packed full of fiber, potassium and vitamins such as vitamin B6, B5, C, E. One of the most talked about benefits is the fact that it provides the body with “good” fats, also known as monounsaturated fats. These fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood, which in turn can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. One new and interesting use for avocado is avocado oil. Brands are using avocado oil to make all sorts of products, including cooking oil, avocado mayonnaise and avocado kettle chips. You can even find avocado oil in personal care products. Some great brands that use of avocado oil based beauty products include Peter Lamas, Giovanni, Now Foods and Baby Mantra.
Love the idea of growing your own garden, but worried you don’t have the time or space to grow and maintain it? Let LuckyVitamin help you! LuckyVitamin has a large selection of DIY garden accessories that make growing a garden easy, fun, affordable and even space friendly. One of my favorite products is Garden-In-A Can from Back to the Roots. The Back to the Roots Garden-In-A-Can gives you access to organic herbs that you can grow right from your very own windowsill. Another great DIY gardening kit is from the brand Noted. With Noted plants you simply start growing the plant in a natural jute bag. Once the plant is established you transfer the entire bag to your garden and then watch it grow. Check out more of our DIY garden accessories at LuckyVitamin.
LuckyVitamin is a leading online retailer of health and wellness, natural products, vitamins, herbal supplements, sports nutrition, natural and organic foods, beauty and skincare. Striving to bring good health to the masses, LuckyVitamin.com offers premium quality products at an exceptional value. LuckyVitamin is dedicated to empowering people to live healthier lives, as a source for thousands of brand name wellness products at the most competitive prices online. Learn more and shop online at www.luckyvitamin.com.