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16
SEP

How To Perform An Elimination Diet

Filed Under: Ask The ND,Detoxification and Cleansing,Diet & Weight Loss,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Health Aids,Nutrition,Superfoods at 5:29 pm | By: Dr. Jeremy Wolf, ND & Lead Wellness Advisor
Healthy vegetarian meal

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.

Possible Benefits to Consider:

Food Allergy vs. Sensitivity vs. Intolerance

Food Allergy

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

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

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.

  • Main Culprits To Avoid: Gluten, Dairy, Corn, Soy, Egg, Peanuts and Tomatoes
  • 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.

 

Other Tips to Consider

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25
AUG

How To Calm Back to School Jitters

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.

 

Homeopathic Remedies to Consider

  • Pulsatilla
    • 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.
  • Lycopodium Clavatum
    • 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.
  • Gelsemium
    • 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.
  • Phosphorus
    • 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.
  • Baryta Carbonicum
    • 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.

 




28
JUL

“Support” Your Body

Filed Under: Exercise and Fitness,Health Aids at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
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 the lower 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.




14
JUN

Why Choose A Radius Toothbrush!

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Health Aids,Personal Care at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
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.

Smile and take advantage of Lucky Vitamin’s Radius sale and get an extra 10% on all items of this amazing brand. No code needed.




9
JUN

What to Look For In Natural Bug Spray

Filed Under: Green Living,Health Aids,Personal Care at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
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.

So, what are the more natural options? Which ingredients should you look for in a natural bug spray?

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.




2
JUN

Work With Your Body To Get Over Your Allergies

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Health Aids,Health Concerns & Ailments at 8:30 am | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
iStock_000039318340_SmallAllergies 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.




28
MAY

Muesli: Healthy or Not?

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Aids,Vitamins and Minerals at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
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.




16
MAR

How To Prevent Allergies

Filed Under: Ask The ND,Health Aids at 11:20 am | By: Dr. Jeremy Wolf, ND & Lead Wellness Advisor
In the park

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

Indoor Allergens:

  • 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.

Outdoor Allergens:

  • 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.

 

Other Tips

  • 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.




2
NOV

Uses For Peppermint Oil

Filed Under: Flower Essences,Health Aids at 3:48 pm | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
frisches Minzöl in einer Flasche / fresh mint oil in a bottle

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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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!
  1. 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.
  1. 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.




26
OCT

Elderberry And The Immune System

Filed Under: Ask The ND,Health Aids,Immunity,Supplements at 10:29 am | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
Dr. Wolf explains Elderberry’s effects on the body and our health in this episode of LuckyVitamin’s Ask The ND. He also gives tips on what to look for when shopping for different Elderberry Supplements.


Shop Elderberry at LuckyVitamin.com.

About The Series:

Watch LuckyVitamin’s Ask The ND series featuring 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.




21
JUL

Children’s Food: 5 Ingredients to Avoid

Filed Under: Baby and Child Health,Health Aids at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
FD

Checking the labels in children’s food products has become an essential task for every parent. The alarming number of potentially harmful ingredients used in kids’ products is a strong reason for parents to stay alert and prevent their little ones from ingesting and suffering side effects from these ingredients. Here is a quick view of 5 ingredients to avoid in children’s food products.

1. Food Coloring/Dyes

Leading off the list is food coloring added to children’s foods and drinks. Manufacturers usually use dyes to add and enhance color to colorless foods but these ingredients are also known to cause a variety of behavior effects such as hyperactivity and even ADHD. It is believed that the consumption of foods containing dyes may increase hyperactive behavior in children. Warning labels for synthetic food dyes are required in Europe and some countries have banned their use. However, a good number of products containing dyes are still sold in the American-market.

2. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

HFCS is a cheap substitute for sugar used primarily to sweeten beverages such as sodas and juices. HFCS has been shown to promote increased belly fat and insulin resistance as well as causing chronic diseases. The fructose in HFCS goes directly to the liver, where it converts to fat and can ultimately lead to heart disease. Additionally, sugars are known to cause a variety of health problems but high-fructose corn syrup is the worst in terms of cancer risk.

3. Gluten

Celiac disease and gluten intolerance have become increasingly common with nearly 8% of all individuals experience gluten intolerance. Children and adults with undiagnosed celiac disease have a much higher risk of ADHD than the general population. A gluten-free diet is the best way for kids to avoid these issues and improve behavior and functioning.

4. Aspartame

Aspartame has been linked to numerous adverse effects and behavioral disorders as well as headaches, anxiety, dizziness, convulsions and memory loss. High levels of aspartame can alter serotonin levels, which can lead to behavioral problems and other emotional disorders. In some studies, side effects were so severe that doctors were forced to prematurely end the studies.

5. Trans Fats

Vegetable oils are hydrogenated to transform them from a liquid to a solid fat, creating a desired consistency and increasing shelf life of foods. Trans fats raise your triglyceride and low density lipoprotein (LDL, the bad cholesterol) levels, and can lead to obesity even for kids as well as diseases such as diabetes and cancer.




10
JUN

How To Choose Sunscreen

Filed Under: Ask The ND,Health Aids,Personal Care at 10:00 am | By: Dr. Jeremy Wolf, ND & Lead Wellness Advisor
iStock_000067812871_SmallThe days of baking in the sun covered in baby oil using tin foil reflectors are over. While science and research has shown that the sun is the best source of vitamin D, too much exposure to its powerful rays can be harmful. Freckles, age spots and wrinkles are frequent results of overexposure to the sun, which is also the leading cause of skin cancer.

One of the best ways to protect against sun damage is by applying sunscreen. But not all sunscreens are created equal. What we put on our skin is eventually absorbed into our body, and new research shows that some chemicals in sunscreens can speed the rate at which cells become malignant. So while we try to protect ourselves, using the wrong sunscreen could do more harm than good.

Natural Sunscreens – Benefits To Consider

  • Minimal to no exposure to harmful chemicals
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Reflect UV rays instead of absorbing them
  • Eco-friendly, cruelty-free and organic options available

Different Types Of Sunscreens

  • Inorganic Sunscreens tend minimize chemical content and use other mineral ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These products work by reflecting UV radiation instead of absorbing it.
  • Chemical Sunscreens work by absorbing UV radiation and converting it into small amounts of heat. These products tend to contain toxic chemicals with side effects as described below.

What’s The Difference Between UVA and UVB?

  • UVA rays penetrate the skin on a much deeper level. They commonly contribute to changes associated with aging, such as wrinkling, leathering and sagging.
  • UVB rays are the causative agent behind sunburns and the increasing rise in skin cancer rates.

Ingredients To Know And Avoid

Hormone Disruptors:

  • Oxybenzone – This toxic chemical absorbs ultraviolet rays from the sun, easily penetrates the skin and acts like estrogen in the body. Allergic reactions can be triggered in the body when it’s absorbed. Studies have found it can alter sperm count in animals, and be associated with endometriosis in women.
  • Vitamin A – When taken as a supplement or used in night creams, vitamin A doesn’t seem to cause as much of a problem. However when applied to the skin and exposed directly to sunlight, “retinyl palmitate,” a form of vitamin A commonly found in sunscreens, seems to speed the development of certain skin tumors
  • Octinoxate – Although it has relatively high rates of skin reactivity, the most troublesome effect of this product is hormone disruption, due to its hormone-like activity. In animal studies, it altered the function of the reproductive system and thyroid gland.
  • Homosalate – Chemically-derived sunscreen often times needs to get absorbed deep into our skin layers to work. Homosalate helps sunscreen to penetrate deep into our skin. When this chemical builds up in our bodies, it disrupts hormones like estrogen, androgen and progesterone. If that isn’t bad enough homosalate can even break down into more toxic products.

Skin Allergens:

  • Avobenzone – Avobenzone offers the best UVA protection out of the chemical filters and is not as toxic as the other chemicals used in sunscreens. While there’s no evidence of hormone disruption, there are relatively high rates of skin reactivity and allergies to consider.
  • Octisalate – Overall octisalate is pretty safe and there’s no real evidence of hormone disruption or skin reactivity. If you see it on the label, it’s typically there to help stabilize avobenzone. It’s not broken down by sunlight, providing longer-lasting skin protection.
  • Octocrylen – Like octisalate, this ingredient is generally pretty safe and there’s no current evidence of hormone disruption. However, skin reactivity is fairly common.

How To Read What’s On The Label

  • SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and is a measure of how well the sunscreen protects against UVB radiation.
    • In general, if your unprotected skin would burn within in 10 minutes of being in the sun, then applying SPF 15 would prevent burning 15 times longer. So you could be in the sun for 150 minutes without burning.
    • The other way of looking at this is in terms of percentage.
      • SPF 15 filters 93% of all incoming UVB rays
      • SPF 30 filters 97% of all incoming UVB rays
      • SPF 50 filters 98% of all incoming UBV rays
    • The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.
  • Broad Spectrum on a sunscreen bottle means that it is intended to protect you from both UVA and UVB radiation
  • Expiration Date – Sunscreens past the expiration date are typically no longer effective. Most sunscreens last up to 3 years. If your product doesn’t have an expiration date, try writing the purchase date on the product to help ensure effectiveness.

Other Tips To Help Reduce Sun Damage

  • Being outside doesn’t have to mean being in direct sunlight – find shade, or cover your skin by wearing shirts, hats, shorts or pants
  • Choose cosmetics and contact lenses that offer UV protection
  • Wear sunglasses that provide extra UV protection
  • Sun strength varies throughout the day – avoid peak sun exposure between 10am and 2pm
  • Check the UV Index to prevent overexposure
  • Re-apply your sunscreen! Every 2 hours is standard, or more frequently if swimming or sweating
  • Know the signs of overexposure to avoid getting burned (redness, sore skin, blistering, dehydration etc.)
  • Consider loading up on antioxidants after a day in the sun




6
MAY

What’s New? SlimPlate System

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Health Aids at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Slimplate SystemLucky Vitamin is happy to announce the introduction of a revolutionary weight-loss system product to our customers: SlimPlate System.

SlimPlate System is a complete weight loss plan designed just for you. It includes high-quality china instead of cheap plastic plates, as well as silicone, stainless steel cutters to help keep your food in between the lines. This 13-piece set is a doctor-designed, easy way to lose weight.

SlimPlate System new generation weight loss system is different than all others because it provides a long term weight loss solution, it’s easy to use and maintain, and it allows you to lose weight the right way without changing what you eat. Users have access to a free weight loss coach, exercise videos, helpful hints, and emails that all help keep you on track to reach your goals.

SlimPlate System is a complete four stage weight loss solution. It builds a diet around your everyday food without letting you go hungry. For the price of less than 15 days of diet foods, SlimPlate System gives you the power to create your own diet using the food that you like. Not just simple portion control, but a four-step, progressive portion control of your entire food choices, so you don’t have to think about what to eat or count calories. SlimPlate System is the perfect set that has everything you need to get the right portions for almost any food. No calorie counting, easy-to-use, research proven, designed by physicians, no need to buy diet food, and no side effects, SlimPlate system is a weight loss plan that you can follow to look your best and slim down fast.

You can save even more when you shop SlimPlate System at LuckyVitamin.com. Just enter the promotional code MAY15NEW15 to save 15% of this revolutionary product.




18
DEC

What’s New? Seaweed Bath Company

Filed Under: Health Aids,Personal Care at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
SeaweedLucky Vitamin is happy to introduce another top quality brand of personal care products to our customers: Seaweed Bath Company.

Seaweed Bath Company offers a variety of skin care products to naturally help fighting dry, flaking and scaling skin, as well as managing severely irritated skin. With formulas designed with a combination of high-quality, all-natural ingredients, the company hopes to bring the ocean’s bounty into everyday life. Seaweed Bath Company was born from the belief that healthy hydration is the basis of true beauty. From the ocean’s nutrient-rich waters, the company discovered a special ingredient capable to revitalize stressed skin of all types.

Bladderwrack seaweed is an amazing ingredient rich in essential and non-essential amino acids found in your skin. The Seaweed Bath Company sustainably hand-harvests fresh bladderwrack seaweed from cold, mineral-rich waters off the coast of Maine to create the highest quality, all-natural products. Amino acids can help to hydrate dry skin and alleviate flaking, scaling and red skin often associated with certain skin conditions.

Seaweed Bath Company blends certified organic seaweed-based with pure Neem and Hawaiian Kukui oils for vitamin E and essential fatty acids, from oleic to linoleic and linolenic, plus natural anti-bacterial and emollient protection. For generations, cultures around the world have used the power of seaweed to help soothe irritated, flaking and scaling skin. Today, seaweed-based bath products are an integral part of both Thalassotherapy and Balneotherapy–holistic water-based therapies that help manage the skin conditions associated with psoriasis and eczema.

You can save even more when you shop Seaweed Bath Company products at LuckyVitamin.com. Just enter promo code DEC14NEW15 at checkout to save an additional 15% on all items of this new brand. Offer expires 12/31/14.




2
AUG

Preventing and Treating Swimmer’s Ear

Filed Under: Health Aids,Homeopathy at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Swimmers ear

Summer is the best time for swimming and playing in the water. A refreshing swimming pool or a swim in the ocean, river or lake may be one of the best moments of every summer season but it can also lead to not-so-enjoyable moments.

Otitis externa, popular known as swimmer’s ear, is an inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal. Along with otitis media, external otitis is one of the two human conditions commonly called earache. These earaches are the result of an inflammation of the skin of the ear canal, which sometimes can be secondary to dermatitis (eczema) only, with no microbial infection, or it can be caused by active bacterial or fungal infection. In either case, but more often with infection, the ear canal skin swells and may become painful or tender to touch.

Preventing and treating swimmer’s ear is easy and can be done in many different ways. Avoid inserting anything into the ear canal. For example, use of cotton buds or swabs is the most common event leading to acute otitis externa. Most normal ear canals have a self-cleaning and self-drying mechanism, the latter by simple evaporation.

Ear drops may be used and you may want to try homeopathic ear drops, which are often used for earaches.  Ear relief ear drops help clear water trapped in the ear and the homeopathic ingredients help stimulate the body’s natural ability to soothe the ear, decrease the ear’s sensitivity to external factors such as water, cold, and drafts, reduce the clogged sensation in the ear, and return the ear to a water-free and comfortable condition.

Earplugs are also helpful but make sure to get good quality products. Hard and poorly fitting ear plugs can scratch the ear canal skin. It’s highly recommended that you use disposable ear plugs to avoid contaminating the ear canal.