When you’re looking for a bit of refreshment on a hot day, you might not immediately think about tossing back a cup of vinegar. Yeah, it sounds a bit weird at first. Still, drinking vinegars seem to be the newest obsession among people who want to revitalize their bodies.
While drinking this pungent liquid is not an appealing prospect to many, the people behind the brands of drinking vinegars currently lining the shelves have taken some great considerations to make the beverage more palatable.
If you still find yourself shaking your head, you are not alone. Many publications have been discussing how odd this beverage trend seems at first glance and pointing out that many celebrities are getting into the fad (1). Though drinking the tangy beverage might seem unusual, people also turned their noses up at kombucha when it first hit the market. Nowadays, kombucha is a very popular fermented drink for health enthusiasts (2), and it seems like drinking vinegars might be following the same path.
If you want to determine whether drinking vinegar should be a part of your daily routine, here’s everything you need to know.
We know vinegar is mainly comprised of acetic acid and water, but what else is inside the bottle? Vinegar also contains chemicals called polyphenols. These chemical compounds are naturally found in plants and help them to fight off predators, enhance pigmentation, and strengthens flora against potential infections (3). Beyond these functions, polyphenols have also been shown to be incredibly resistant to rot, whether found in a natural form or within a processed item like vinegar.
Research on polyphenols over the years has revealed some impressive benefits. While there are a number of different types of polyphenols found in the various plants of the world, the types found in vinegar are excellent when it comes to protecting and preserving the functions of the gut. Specifically, drinking vinegars help to strengthen the gut microbiota found along the lining of your stomach and intestinal tract. By using vinegar to keep this bacteria present and active, you are likely to experience improved digestive functions (4).
Gut microbiota aside, you might be wondering why people are drinking vinegar when there are so many other sources of this chemical chain readily available in nature. Polyphenols are just one of several antioxidizing components of vinegar. That’s right, vinegar is packed with antioxidants (5). While you’ve been hunting down blueberries and acai extract, there has been a great antioxidant source right in your pantry!
Now, to clarify, you probably should not just grab any bottle of clear vinegar from your kitchen, toss in a straw, and see what happens. In fact, you have to go for the right kinds of vinegar to see the benefits. Of the household varieties of vinegar out there, apple cider vinegar is your best choice. You probably have heard that gargling with apple cider vinegar is good for your throat and the same is true of drinking a small amount and feeling a difference in your gut.
If you want to test out the drinking vinegar craze, you’re not limited to sipping on the same apple cider vinegar you use to cook with. There are a variety of exciting brands currently on the market made with fruits, herbs and spices. Instead of plugging your nose and hoping for the best, you can explore a wide range of flavors and ingredients, including honey, ginger, turmeric, pineapple and pomegranate.
Whether you jump on the bandwagon or not, there is a lot of science behind the act of drinking vinegar for health. Look more into polyphenols and see what foods and beverages you can find these chemical chains in. If vinegar isn’t for you, then there’s bound to be another option to provide your body with some helpful antioxidants.
You can’t count how many times you have struggled to zip up your skinny jeans or caught a glimpse of your four-month-pregnant-looking belly in the mirror. Blame bloat.
Digestive bloating is caused by air, fluid or gas in the digestive tract. It makes your belly look and feel swollen or tight. While bloating is normal, it can also be uncomfortable.
Whether it happens occasionally or every month during your period, follow these seven tips to prevent stomach bloating and improve digestion.
Regular exercise can help keep you regular. One study found that physical activity helped participants move gas and ease their symptoms (1).
Remember, “Movement of the body is good for movement of the bowels,” notes dietitian Lona Sandon, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Dehydration is a common cause of constipation, which worsens gas and bloating. Drink plenty of water each day to help keep your stool soft and easier to pass through the colon, Sandon advises.
Steer Clear of Artificial Sweeteners
Certain artificial sweeteners, including high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol and xylitol, are linked with bloating. “Artificial sweeteners are poorly absorbed in the intestines,” explains Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and author of A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach. “If you’re having increased bloating, check food labels for artificial sweeteners.”
The faster you eat, the more air you swallow (and the more gas you create). If you struggle with bloating, Wolf suggests slowing down during mealtimes. Eating more frequent, smaller meals may also help.
“A larger meal will take longer to empty out of your stomach and that can leave you feeling bloated,” says Wolf, who is also an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Avoid Carbonated Drinks
The fizz in your favorite drinks can cause bubbles to build up in your belly. “Carbonated beverages are a huge trigger for bloat,” Wolf warns. Instead of soda or seltzer, choose flavored water or green tea. A 2016 study also found that peppermint helped alleviate bloating (2).
Focus on Fiber
Foods high in fiber and sulfur like apples, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, onions and garlic are harder for your gut bacteria to break down, according to Sandon. These are also really nutritious foods, so you don’t want to cut them from your diet. In fact, Sandon notes, “The more you eat them, the better your bacteria are likely to get at breaking them down.”
Cook fruits and vegetables to soften them. (Your gut has to work harder to digest raw fruits and veggies). Sandon also suggests switching to canned fruits packed in their own juices or water, or applesauce if eating raw fruit triggers bloating.
Get OTC Relief
Although diet and lifestyle changes can reduce digestive bloating, you may need to reach for an over-the-counter remedy for immediate gas relief. Your doctor may also recommend supplements to improve digestion, such as probiotics or digestive enzymes.
With the right lifestyle changes, you can beat bloat and start feeling better.
There are a lot of conflicting opinions out there about what to do when you start developing the symptoms of a seasonal cold. Everyone has a recipe or suggestion for what will get rid of your sniffles and help you to feel well again. For the most part, Vitamin C is a popular choice. Though many studies show how helpful Vitamin C can be for the immune system, it is not the best supplement for shortening a cold.
To take full advantage of the power of Vitamin C, one must take the right level of the supplement before the onset of a cold. This helps to shorten the presence of the symptoms, though it is not effective at changing the overall duration of the sickness. To fight back in a more effective way, consider these three helpful supplements that might pack more of a punch.
The downside to Vitamin C is you have a very limited window for taking it in order to see the results you’d like. With other supplements like elderberry, the experience is a bit different. The extract of the black elderberry plant has been used for medicinal purposes for a long while. Native Americans first used the plant as a way of combating fevers brought on by various conditions. Nowadays, black elderberry extract can be found in a multitude of cough syrups and lozenges.
Elderberry is effective at treating both the symptoms of the common cold as well as the symptoms brought about by influenza. About a day after experiencing the aches and pains of being sick, taking an elderberry supplement should help. Studies show this extract is incredibly useful at eliminating some of the more frustrating symptoms of a cold, including sore throat, coughs, and aches of the head and body. The next time you feel a cold coming on, see what this supplement can do for your situation.
The common cold tends to appear the most prevalently in the winter. Since this has been the case for most of human history, a large chunk of remedies for colds contain ingredients that are bountiful in this season. This is especially true when it comes to ginger root. This spicy and delicious root is used in everything from cooking, to baking, to brewing teas and other elixirs. The anti-inflammatory agents in ginger assist with relieving the many pains associated with the common cold, including calming down a sore throat.
When one is suffering from a cold or the flu, it can be incredibly difficult to feel comfortable. Hot flashes and cold chills can rock the body and cause a person to feel as if he or she is completely disconnected. Ginger is useful here because it can help a body to return to normalcy in regards to temperature. Ginger can easily warm a person up when consumed in the form of tea, which can be perfect for anyone dealing with terrible chills throughout the duration of a cold.
Finally, there is zinc. Though ginger and elderberry are far better at helping a person get through the stages of a cold, zinc plays a slightly different part. Various studies over the years have concluded a person taking zinc during a cold helps to prevent the virus from multiplying and spreading throughout the body. This can be a huge help in fighting the cold but there is little to suggest it can prevent a cold outright.
Before taking zinc it is important to remember that there are side effects. Many people who take zinc supplements complain about nausea, which is something to stay alert of. Whenever a supplement you are taking is making you feel ill, stop taking it right away and consult with your primary care physician. This is the best way to get the most from your health without causing any adverse effects along the way.
Article written by Joe Palinsky
Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.
Hearing a lot of talk about your gut microbiome lately? There’s a lot of information circulating around the wellness world about how important it is to keep our microbiome balanced…but what exactly is a microbiome? In short, it’s the complex ecosystem of microbes—bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc—located in our bodies, the majority of which live in our gut and digestive system.
Why it’s important to keep your gut healthy
So far, researchers have found poor gut health as a root cause for a number of diseases, ailments and health issues. The Standard American Diet (SAD) has been linked to the state of our of digestive health, so what we eat greatly impacts our microbiome. As additional studies about the microbiome continue to surface, we are learning more and more about the different ways our gut can have a serious affect on our overall health.
1. Vitamin production and nutrient absorption
It makes sense that nutrients need a healthy environment to do their job! Research shows that bacteria live in the gut and feed off undigested food, and in turn produce vitamin K for the body to use, as well as B vitamins that help generate and maintain energy. Microbes also help with the absorption of nutrients such as antioxidants, helping the body to fight free-radicals and inflammation.
2. Immune system regulation
According to studies like this one, 80% of our immune system greatly relies on the functionality of our microbiome. Because of this, researchers are able to deduce that autoimmune diseases like IBS, type 1 diabetes, lupus and arthritis can be traced back to an unbalanced and unhealthy microbiome.
3. Mental health and brain function
While not responsible for deep thoughts and understanding, the second brain (a.k.a your gut) is responsible for housing 95% of our body’s serotonin levels. Researchers say there is actually an elaborate system of neurons embedded in the walls of our gut, which can explain why gastrointestinal distress can affect our mental health and create mood swings.
4. Weight management
Some research shows that the condition of our microbiomes can greatly affect weight gain and our ability to lose weight, and obesity has also been linked to an unbalanced gut. Our microbes appear to have influence over appetite regulation, and our diet is crucial in determining the type of bacteria, good or bad, that develops in our gut.
What we can do to keep our gut healthy and balanced
If you have concerns about your digestive health, talk with your doctor about the best approach. Every person’s microbiome is different, so work with a physician to create a plan that suits your specific needs. Below are a few tips to offer guidance and help start a conversation with your doctor.
1. Be wary of inflammation
We are learning more and more that diet and lifestyle play a huge role in maintaining good gut health. Staying away from foods that cause inflammation, like refined vegetable oils, refined carbohydrates and sugars and trans fats can help keep your gut in check. Dairy can cause inflammation and many people find they have sensitivities. Making sure to incorporate high-antioxidant foods and anti-inflammatory foods like cruciferous vegetables, healthy fats, and probiotic-rich foods.
2. Be mindful of stress levels
Too much stress weakens your immune system and causes inflammatory responses in the body. Chronic stress throws off the balance of bacteria in your gut, and when your body thinks it’s in danger you become more susceptible to infections. Try working in some mindfulness meditations in the morning. Even just 10 minutes a day can help keep your stress levels in check.
Speaking of stress relievers, exercise is extremely helpful in reducing the stress that can cause damage to your microbiome. Research shows that exercise is critical for balancing your gut, and sitting at a desk all day can actually negatively impact your gut flora. Try to get up, walk around and stretch every 20 minutes or so, and make an effort to work more intensive exercise into your schedule.
4. Supplement when advised and necessary
When paired with a healthy diet that reduces inflammation and the amounts of bad bacteria in your gut, probiotics can replace the bad with the good. Talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regiments, and make sure to get a good quality probiotic. Getting a healthy amount of antioxidants in your diet is a great way to help to prevent free-radical damage from disturbing your microbiome.
Want to know more about prebiotics and digestive health? Learn more from our ND, Dr. Jeremy Wolf!
At the heart of Organic India is their commitment to be a living embodiment of consciousness in action. They work with thousands of family farmers in India who cultivate thousands of acres of organic farmland. Organic India actively promotes sustainable agriculture and pays a premium market rate to their farmers. All of their products promote wellness and are certified organic. Each product you hold in your hands is one link in a chain of love, respect and connectedness between their farmers and you. By choosing Organic India you are completing this chain, which gives training and a living wage to the Indian farmers, creates a sustainable environment and brings happiness and well being to you.
Lucky Vitamin is happy to introduce a revolutionary product to our customers: Boost Oxygen.
Boost Oxygen offers a unique supplement used to enhance sports recovery, alleviate high-altitude effects, remedy fatigue, and otherwise promote a heightened sense of personal health and well-being. These portable, lightweight, 95% pure oxygen canisters have used by people visiting high altitude locations, professional and amateur athletes, senior citizens, and famous celebrities alike. Founded in 2006, Boost Oxygen is currently the best-selling and most trusted oxygen canister brand in the world.
Boost Oxygen is all-natural, safe, and provides pure oxygen in a convenient, non-prescription form. Unlike stimulants and energy drinks, Boost Oxygen does not contain caffeine and sugars that can actually harm the body over an extended period of time. Considered by many as nature’s body supplement, oxygen is obviously required to sustain human life. When deprived of oxygen, performance of the body and mind can suffer. At sea level, the average oxygen content in the air is 21%. At altitude, it can be much less. Boost Oxygen provides a convenient source of 95% pure oxygen.
Oxygen is more than a life sustaining element. Studies have shown that the right amount of oxygen can significantly impact mental acuity, muscle strength, blood flow, organ vitality, stress abatement, and overall well-being.
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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.
Exercising is great for your health and it can be a lot of fun too. Unfortunately, one common occurrence in physical activities isn’t fun and can significantly affect your health: injuries.
Ligament damage is one of the most common injuries particularly for people who play sports such as football, soccer, and basketball, but it can also happen to runners and during many other activities.
One way you can “support” your body is trying to prevent these injuries by wearing a brace, tape, or sleeve in certain areas of your body such as knees, ankles and calves.
Braces can be extremely beneficial especially for those who have suffered an injury before. Not only it can help prevent another injury but it can also help healing the previous injury. Knee braces can help you keep playing your favorite sport, minimizing injuries as well as pain and discomfort during and after activity.
Same can be said about calf sleeves. Many people have injuries in the calf area when playing sports. These injuries can range from mild to very severe. One of the most common injuries is a calf strain, a tear of the muscle fibers of the muscles at the back of thelower leg. A pain relief sleeve can help increase blood flow to your skin and muscles, reducing pain, stiffness, swelling and fatigue.
Lastly, let’s not forget about ankle injuries. One of the most common injuries in indoor sports, ankle injuries can happen in many ways such as sudden movements where the foot is perpendicular to the direction of movement or when the foot tilts too far inwards or outwards. Most ankle injuries happen when ankle ligaments, mostly the relatively weak outer ligaments, are stretched or torn. An ankle brace or even taping the ankle area can help to accelerate healing and reduce the risk of re-injury.
Technology has improved personal care products throughout the years and if you haven’t heard of Radius toothbrush, it might be a good time to learn about this innovative product. Lucky Vitamin is proud to introduce this revolutionary toothbrush to our customers.
Radius offers one of the most uniquely shaped brushes, which featured a wide handle designed for an easier grasp and a large, shoe-brush shaped head packed with bristles. The company is fully committed to develop revolutionary, elegant and eco-friendly personal care products, designed to make you smile.
Radius unique and different design is the result of years of research to develop a functional and enjoyable toothbrush. Research indicates that the major problem in oral hygiene is that people don’t use toothbrushes for long enough and tend to keep their toothbrush for too long. Dentists believe that with diligence, teeth and gums could be perfectly maintained for a lifetime. The average brushing time is from 31 to 65 seconds, and the average toothbrush is thrown away after 10 months.
Radius aims to make the toothbrush comfortable, enjoyable and effective. With a mass of very soft bristles, a large head area for low pressure, Radius toothbrushes have a wide oval brush head designed to improve gum health and reduce the risk of gum disease by massaging the whole mouth, leaving you with that tingly-fresh feeling. The first revolutionary Radius product is now displayed at the Smithsonian Institute National Design Museum.
Insect repellent is commonly called “bug spray” and is a necessary product in many regions during the hot summer months. Bug sprays can be applied to skin, clothing, or other surfaces which discourages insects to land, protecting your skin. Insect repellents help prevent and control the outbreak of diseases such as malaria, lyme disease, dengue, and West Nile fever.
However, one question always comes to mind: are these products safe or do they contain dangerous chemicals? Reading the ingredient list of any bug spray product is essential to ensure you are not applying a potentially dangerous product to your body.
Most bug repellents contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) as their active ingredient. DEET works well to repel bugs but this ingredient has been known to cause multiple health issues. DEET is absorbed through the skin and enters the bloodstream fairly quickly. Symptoms of swallowing sprays which contain DEET can go from breathing difficulty, coughing, loss of alertness, and upset stomach to nausea, vomiting, tremors, and seizures.
Additionally, DEET may cause a variety of skin reactions such as hives or mild skin redness, as well as more severe skin irritation such as blistering, burning, and permanent scars. DEET can also trigger temporary burning and redness of eye. If DEET is sprayed into these parts of the body, wash the area immediately to prevent further damage. High usage of DEET bug sprays may also result in more serious issues including low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and insomnia.
A variety of natural ingredients can be effective to keep the bugs away. Essential oils have been shown to work efficiently and several oils are highly recommended including neem, cedarwood, citronella, clove, lemongrass, tea tree, mint, lavender, rosemary, grapeseed, jojoba, almond, olive, and witch hazel. Lemon eucalyptus essential oil has been reported to be an excellent natural substitution for DEET in repelling insects. Soybean oil-based products also work fairly well providing on average 1.5 hours of protection from bites and are non-irritating to the skin.
Allergies are an immune response by the body to various substances—many of which aren’t necessarily harmful. However, because the body thinks these substances are damaging, it develops a response to inhibit the substance from advancing further into body and attempts to rid itself of the substance as quick as possible. This is why a person has symptoms like swollen tissues, sneezing, congestions, and runny eyes and nose. These symptoms are the body’s defense led by the chemical histamine.
In order to treat the symptoms, some doctors and medical professionals suggest medicated nasal sprays that have decongestants, antihistamines, or a steroid, aimed to treat symptoms. They block histamine, impede mucus production, or constrict blood vessels to decrease inflammation. All of this may help to reduce symptoms and help a person feel better.
However, relieving the symptoms doesn’t get rid of the cause of the problem—the allergens. In fact, medicated nasal sprays go against the body’s natural defenses. If the allergens are allowed to stay in the system, then the body can still react to them, and when the medication quits, the symptoms could come back. Some medicated nasal sprays can actually make symptoms worse after you stop using them or even be habit-forming. The body becomes even more congested unless the decongestant is used consistently.
Luckily there’s an alternative to the medicated nasal spray, Xlear Nasal Spray. Xlear works with the body to rid itself of contaminants and relieve congestion due to allergies. Xlear is a hypertonic solution, meaning it pulls the extra moisture out of swollen, inflamed tissues. This opens up the airway. The additional moisture and saline also thin the mucus, which traps the contaminants, helping it to leave the body more quickly. Since the contaminants are out of the body, it doesn’t produce histamine and you don’t have the unwanted symptoms. Xlear is natural and non-medicated. It can be used as much as needed, by anyone of any age.
Along with Xlear Nasal Spray, the Xlear Sinus Care line also has a neti pot, and rinse bottle so you can have the benefits of the patented Xlear solution in a more thorough cleanse. Enjoy outside again. Breathe better with Xlear.
There are plenty of alternatives for a healthy breakfast but some foods are often a reason for the endless debate: are they really healthy or not?
Muesli is one of them.
Muesli is often regarded as a healthy breakfast cereal but some people may beg to differ. Normally made up of oats, flakes, nuts, and dried fruit, muesli may also contain other ingredients such as wheat, rye flakes, honey, and spices. With a ton of varieties available, one must check the ingredients before claiming muesli is a healthy option or not.
Muesli typically has less sugar and calories than most breakfast cereals on supermarket shelves and is known for its high amount of fiber which can support the digestive system. Fiber also helps to regulate cholesterol levels and is essential to avoid digestive problems such as constipation. A potent source of antioxidants, muesli is also a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids as long as it contains nuts.
Additionally, muesli can aid in weight-loss as its high fiber content has the ability to make you feel full, which is ideal for a morning meal. Fiber absorbs water and swells up, filling up your stomach and making you feel less hungry during the day. On top of that, it contains B vitamins which help to break down fat in the body.
Most muesli products are more natural and contains less calories and sugar than granola, which usually has more added syrup to aid in the toasting but be careful: some muesli products may have very high sugar amounts. So, look for products with limited dry fruit which are high in sugar. Plus, aim for varieties containing under 20g of carbohydrates per serving.
An allergy is a result of an overreaction by our immune system to a foreign substance or “allergen.” We may be exposed to these substances through the foods we eat, the air we breathe or the medications we take. With all the different possible allergens in our environment, it is no wonder that an estimated 50 million Americans today suffer from all types of allergies. Allergies are the 5th leading chronic disease in the U.S. among all ages, and the 3rd most common chronic disease among children under 18 years old. However with proper prevention and nutrition allergies can be managed.
Tips For Preventing Allergies
Use impermeable pillows and mattress covers.
Remove carpets and try to vacuum on a weekly basis.
Don’t wear shoes inside.
Wash bedding in hot water.
Prevent build-up of allergens with an air filter.
Remember to clean your air conditioning filters often.
Limit travel time during peak pollen times.
Keep car windows closed when traveling.
Stay indoors when humidity is high and winds are gusting.
Shower after extended hours outside to wash off the pollen on your skin.
Wear sunglasses to help keep pollen out of your eyes.
Don’t hang your clothes outside to dry.
Supplements For Allergies
Vitamin C– is an essential nutrient that cannot be synthesized by humans. Therefore it must be obtained through diet and supplements. Vitamin C has anti-histamine properties and some preliminary research suggest it might aid in reducing allergy symptoms due to its role in our immune system and anti-inflammatory properties.
Urtica Dioica – commonly known as stinging nettles, this herbal plant has the ability to reduce histamine in the body. The nettles leaves are very good for all types of allergies and may help to reduce the sneezing and itching associated with seasonal allergies.
Quercetin – a bioflavonoid found in red wine, grapefruit, onions, apples and black tea. Research has shown that it stabilizes parts of the cells that release histamine, the major chemical responsible for allergies thus reducing triggers for allergic symptoms. It can also reduce production of other chemicals responsible for inflammation and airway constriction.
Bromelain – a proteolytic enzyme found naturally in pineapples. Part of the reason it’s great for allergies is due to its anti-inflammatory and mucolytic properties. Meaning it helps reduce inflammation associated with hay fever and breaks down mucus. Bromelain also aids in the absorption of quercetin, one of the key supplements used for allergies.
Probiotics – contain live beneficial bacteria. It is believed that the presence of these beneficial bacteria in the gut can help decrease the incidences of allergies and allergic rhinitis.
Hot chili peppers, horseradish and other hot mustards work well as decongestants. In fact, a 2009 study showed that nasal sprays containing capsaicin improved nasal allergy symptoms.
Daily netti pot use with filtered water and/or saline is also a helpful way to prevent allergen build up in the sinuses.
When I think of peppermint, I think of the small red and white mints you get when leaving a restaurant. But did you know that using peppermint oil can do more than just give you minty fresh breath? As I’m reading more into the use of peppermint essential oil, I’m thinking it’s a necessity in the medicine cabinet. Why? Read on to find out the best and most beneficial uses for this healing oil.
Colds and Congestion. The menthol in the peppermint plant provides a cooling sensation and eases discomfort which makes this oil particularly helpful in providing relief from the common cold. It’s often included in natural chest rubs to help with congestion, but can also be easily made at home. To make an at-home chest rub, mix a carrier oil (i.e. almond oil) and peppermint oil, since peppermint oil can be too intense on its own.
Digestion & Upset Stomach. Of all the things peppermint oil is known for, digestion help is probably the most well-known. Help curb feelings of nausea, upset stomach or motion sickness with this herb. It can be massaged onto problem areas such as the abdomen, but it’s also easy to digest with peppermint tea.
Headache. If you are prone to headaches, this is a great addition to keep at your desk or in your purse. Use a small amount of carrier oil (i.e. almond oil) with a drop of peppermint oil and rub on temples, forehead and the back of the neck. The cooling sensation of menthol can work wonders!
Energy. Peppermint oil can help improve mental clarity and energy levels which is perfect for those mid-afternoon slumps. Instead of reaching for the coffee, trying rubbing a drop of peppermint oil under the nose for alertness, applying to the back of the neck and shoulders for energy levels, or diffuse into a room to improve concentration.
Sore Muscles. Peppermint oil has been found to be a natural painkiller and muscle relaxant, especially for sore backs, muscles, and cramps. It’s a great ingredient to include in natural massage oil or even in the bath to decrease stiffness and promote relaxation.