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23
MAY

Is Hemp the Secret for Anxious Pets?

Filed Under: Health Aids,Pet Care,Supplements at 12:38 pm | By: Paula Fitzsimmons

Living with an anxious dog can be a struggle. You hate seeing your canine companion in distress, and naturally want him to receive immediate relief. Pinpointing an effective treatment is not always straightforward, however.

“They pick up on our anxiety, little changes, so sometimes it takes a while for us to figure out what is actually causing that. And that can be frustrating for a pet parent to not have an obvious answer right away,” says Dr. Casara Andre, founder of Veterinary Cannabis – Education and Consulting, based in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

Pet parents have a number of available treatment options, including prescriptions, behavior therapy, supplements and essential oils. Hemp-based products—generally available as chews, or in liquid form given orally or added to food—are another increasingly popular option. But do they work, are they safe, and most importantly, are they right for your anxious dog?

Hemp for Dogs

Hemp is essentially the same plant (Cannabis sativa) that marijuana comes from, says Dr. Gary Richter, a veterinarian who practices at Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland, California. “Except legally speaking, hemp plants are only allowed to contain, at most, .03 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC is the compound that triggers euphoria). So there are effectively no issues as far as drug abuse.”

Pet supplement manufacturers use flowers from the hemp plant to extract cannabidiol (CBD), the primary compound coveted for its health benefits, he says. “CBD can have a very positive effect as it pertains to stress, anxiety and a number of other medical conditions. It’s a pretty good pain reliever, too.”

Most of the research for veterinary use is in its infancy, he says. “We’re just starting to see some studies come out looking at the use of CBD to treat arthritis in dogs (1), but with regards to studies for stress and anxiety, there’s all types of evidence when it comes to humans, but not just yet in the vet field.”

Despite the lack of research, experts say hemp is generally safe for pets. “There really is no such thing as CBD toxicity,” Richter says. “Worst case scenario is if a dog gets too much, he might get too sleepy, and every once in a blue moon you might see a dog with a tummy upset, and they may have vomiting and diarrhea. And if that happens, you just stop giving it and they get better.”

Vets say most concerns about hemp-based products for pets relate to quality control (for example, products containing too much THC).

Can Hemp Calm an Anxious Dog?  

As with any supplement or pharmaceutical, hemp is not a cure-all, and it doesn’t target any specific issue, such as separation anxiety or noise phobia.  “It may be effective on its own for some dogs or for some conditions, or work better in combination with additional treatments in other cases,” says Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinary writer, editor and consultant based in Fort Collins, Colorado.

What hemp does do is make behavior therapy easier to administer, Richter says. “If you think about it in terms of humans, you cannot medicate an anxiety order away. At best, a medication or supplement like CBD will calm dogs down enough to where they can pay attention to training and behavioral modification, and in many ways that’s what you’re hoping to do,” he explains.

“If you can change the situation from them being in an absolute blind panic to them being able to focus enough to pay attention, then you can start to change their behavior with training and other methods,” Richter continues. “But it’s never going to be just about the supplement or just about the medication.”

It’s also not as simple as giving your dog a hemp chew when he’s in the midst of an attack; treatment is an ongoing process. “Whenever you give an animal something for anxiety, you have to start from before they’re actually having the anxiety,” Richter says. “If you can get the dog before they get all worked up, then sometimes you can prevent it from happening, and CBD can certainly help with that.”

When Should I Give My Dog Hemp? 

Experts strongly recommend giving dogs hemp only under the guidance of a vet. The challenge here is that vets can seem evasive on the subject of hemp, and with good reason. The DEA—the agency that licenses a vet’s prescription-writing ability—classifies all cannabinoids, including commercially-available hemp, as Schedule 1 substances, Andre says.

The legal concerns surrounding hemp can be confusing. A company that’s certified to grow hemp in its state can produce cannabis as long as it remains at .03 percent THC, Andre says. “Tracking the ‘correctness’ of this is often difficult, but it does take advantage of loopholes in the law and differences between state and federal regulations,” she says.

In multiple places, the policy contradicts itself. “However, between written policy and verbal stances by the DEA, no veterinarian can prescribe or recommend any cannabinoid,” she says.

Vets can provide education, however. “Vets can absolutely educate pet parents to promote harm reduction, and to make sure the animal is safely using CBD,” Andre says. If you’d like to consider hemp as a treatment option, still talk to your vet, but be aware that the information you receive may be limited by necessity.

If you keep your expectations about hemp-based products for pets realistic and use them in conjunction with behavior therapy, your furry family member may benefit. Whether or not hemp is suitable for your dog and situation is a decision that should be made by your vet.




10
MAY

5 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Vitamin D (and How To Fix It)

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Nutrition,Supplements,Vitamins and Minerals at 10:26 am | By: Joe Palinsky

Summer’s arrival means more time spent outside. If you are headed outdoors, you have to take steps to protect yourself from the sun. Though responsible for allowing life on Earth to thrive, the rays of the sun are also a cause for concern. Consistent exposure to sunlight without wearing sunscreen or a similar layer of protection can lead to skin damage and other more serious illnesses (1).

Now, the frustrating part of this is that you also need to expose your body to sunlight in order to get a healthy dose of vitamin D. Produced by the human body after it is exposed to sunlight, vitamin D ensures heart health, creates strong bones and helps the nervous system to function at its best (2). If you’ve spent more time indoors than out in recent months, then your body might not be producing the right amount of vitamin D. To remedy this, pay attention to the signs your body sends when it requires more of this essential vitamin.

1. Feeling Sleepy

Do you feel tired, like, a lot? Plenty of people do. When you work long hours, have an active social life and binge Netflix all night, feeling a bit tired can seem normal. Of course, you also could be feeling exhausted because you aren’t getting the right amount of vitamin D. One of the easiest signs to spot when your body needs a boost of this vitamin is fatigue (3).

Research suggests that working indoors for long periods of time can lead to a vitamin D deficiency. Nurses, for example, were reported to suffer from a lack of vitamin D. Due to the nature of working as a nurse, many of the people in this profession assume feelings of fatigue stemmed from the long hours and physical demands (4). In truth, a lack of vitamin D was to blame. If you’re a nurse, be sure to take supplements to ensure your body is getting ample vitamin D to keep up with all the amazing work you do.

2. Chronic Pain

Living with pain is definitely not enjoyable. Unfortunately, millions of people all over the world deal with persistent pain on a daily basis. Though there are numerous reasons why a person could be suffering from this sort of lasting discomfort, some studies suggest the pain could be linked to a lack of vitamin D (5). Since this vitamin is responsible for helping the body absorb calcium, having less of it in your system can weaken your bones and teeth. This makes it easier for bones to break when you fall or bump into a piece of furniture.

Low levels of vitamin D might also lead to chronic back pain. According to one study, people with vitamin D deficiencies tended to experience lower-back pain more often than people who got ample amounts of vitamin D (6). If you feel like you’ve been living with mysterious pain and want to know why, visit with your physician to determine whether more vitamin D is the solution. In the meantime, play it safe and start your day with a big glass of orange juice. Fortified drinks like OJ and milk contain a healthy dose of vitamin D.

3. Losing Hair

Do you ever feel so stressed out that you just want to pull your hair out? Maybe that’s a bit extreme, but you probably know the feeling. While you might not be yanking out your own hair, losing follicles could actually be a sign that you need more vitamin D in your diet (7). Various reports have revealed that a vast majority of women suffer from nutrient deficiencies without realizing it (8). Usually, it takes a more extreme sign like hair loss to alert one to the fact that something is wrong.

Don’t panic, you most likely won’t lose significant chunks of your hair because of a lack of vitamin D. Still, you definitely don’t want to allow this to persist. Protecting your hair is important to ensuring its longevity. Salmon can do wonders when it comes to restoring your vitamin D levels, though you need to make the fish a weekly meal to see lasting benefits (9). This fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids, perfect for encouraging hair growth and giving your locks a chance to shine.

4. Experiencing Depression

Feeling depressed can also be a warning sign you need a bit more vitamin D. There’s a good reason being exposed to sunlight makes people feel happy and alive. Not getting enough of this vitamin can encourage symptoms of anxiety and depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2016 (10). If you are prone to depression and feel like your symptoms have gotten worse recently, you might find some relief by adding more vitamin D to your diet.

Oatmeal can be a perfect way to boost how much vitamin D you get each day. Though somewhat bland at first, you can customize this morning dish in a number of ways to make it more appealing. Top your oats with some chia seeds, fresh berries or slices of banana, and treat yourself to something delicious while helping your body. Be kind to yourself when you feel low and be sure to speak to a professional should your depression become more severe.

5. Sweating Buckets

Some people sweat more than others. It might be gross, but bodies aren’t always the most pleasant things. If you suddenly begin to sweat more than normal without engaging in additional physical activity, then your body could be telling you something important. In most cases, it is the forehead that will see increased sweat production. Adding more egg yolks into your diet can help to balance your vitamin D so you don’t have to constantly wipe down your brow (11).

Though a majority of people would prefer spending their days outside in the sunlight, most lifestyles won’t allow for it. When you notice any of these symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, be sure to take action by improving your diet or taking the appropriate supplements. Should symptoms persist, be sure to visit with your doctor as soon as possible.




23
MAR

4 Ways to Heal Adrenal Fatigue

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Supplements at 2:55 pm | By: Jodi Helmer

If you have symptoms like exhaustion, body aches, depression, irritability, dizziness, and poor concentration, a controversial condition called adrenal fatigue could be to blame.

Your adrenal glands are small, triangular-shaped glands located on top of each kidney. They produce hormones that control your immune system and regulate metabolism and blood pressure. The adrenal glands also secrete cortisol (the stress hormone) and regulate the stress response (1).

Natural health practitioners believe that chronic stress taxes the adrenal glands, rendering them unable to keep up with a constant state of fight-or-flight (2). In 1998, chiropractor and naturopath James L. Wilson coined the term “adrenal fatigue” to describe the stress-induced condition (3).

There are no blood tests to confirm adrenal fatigue—proponents argue that standard blood work is too insensitive to detect small declines in adrenal function. Naturopaths take saliva samples to test cortisol levels.

Without a definitive blood test, conventional medicine does not support adrenal fatigue as a medical diagnosis. A 2016 meta-analysis claimed that “adrenal fatigue does not exist” and highlighted several studies with inconsistent or unfounded claims (4).

Natural health practitioners disagree. Online support groups with thousands of members who have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue (or who suspect they have the condition) are looking for answers and embracing strategies to feel better.

Here are four strategies to help heal adrenal fatigue:

Eat Right

The foods you eat are believed to play an integral role in alleviating adrenal fatigue. The recommended diet for adrenal fatigue includes a combination of fat, protein, and complex carbohydrates to avoid dips in blood sugar and provide energy throughout the day (5). The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians also suggests a diet rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium to help with adrenal fatigue (6). Processed foods are best avoided (7).

Take Supplements

Your naturopath might recommend a combination of supplements to boost energy and ease exhaustion. Research shows that ginseng regulates the immune and hormonal responses to stress and controls hormones in the adrenal gland (8). Additional research found that ginkgo biloba had a similar effect on cortisol (9). Another study reveals that a botanical called Rhodiola rosea has been linked with lower levels of stress-induced fatigue (10).

Manage Stress

Because chronic stress triggers adrenal fatigue, stress management is essential. A 2017 study published in Frontiers of Human Neuroscience reported that practicing yoga and meditation had positive effects on stress resilience (11). Deep breathing exercises and journaling can also help keep stress in check (12, 13).

Prioritize Sleep

Both stress and adrenal function can take their toll on sleep. If you struggle with insomnia or feel exhausted throughout the day, establishing regular sleep and wake times can be helpful. Avoid staying up too late at night or waking up too early in the morning and steer clear of caffeine, sugar, and alcohol (14).

As the controversy about adrenal fatigue rages on, it’s important to remember that whether you believe the condition exists or not, these are all science-backed, common sense strategies for healthier living that are beneficial regardless of the status of your adrenal system.

Graphic by Josh Carter




20
MAR

Introducing: LuckyVitamin Pure Collagen!

Filed Under: Beauty,Exercise and Fitness,Supplements at 11:35 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Keep skin, hair, nails and joints healthy with LuckyVitamin’s Pure Collagen. It provides your body with essential building blocks for tissue growth and repair so you can look and feel your best. This flavorless powder easily mixes with water, coffee, juice or your favorite smoothie!

Subscribe to LuckyVitamin’s YouTube Channel!

 




7
MAR

Why Zinc Matters

Filed Under: Sports Nutrition,Supplements at 9:30 am | By: Guest Blogger

SOS Hydration Drink Mix Powders now contains 20% RDI of Zinc, an important nutrient that helps your immune system and metabolism function. Of the trace minerals, Zinc is second only to iron in its concentration in our body. The addition of this essential micronutrient means SOS can give you even more of what your body needs to get the most out of being active.

What does it do?

Zinc is an essential micronutrient for numerous cellular processes. It’s found in cells throughout the body and is required for the immune system to work properly. It also plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates.

Evidence suggests that when taken after cold symptoms appear, oral zinc supplements may shorten the length of a cold.

Deficiency in zinc is quite common in the developing world, but even in the United States about 12% of the population is probably at risk for zinc deficiency, and perhaps as many as 40% of the elderly due to inadequate dietary intake and reduced absorption.

If you’ve got an upset stomach, the preponderance of evidence also suggests that zinc supplementation reduces the severity and duration of diarrhea. That means SOS can help you get back on your feet after a cold, flu or stomach bug.

Food Sources Of Zinc

Animal proteins are a good source of Zinc, as well as nuts, whole grains, legumes and yeast. Fruits and vegetables are not good sources, given that the zinc in plant proteins is not as available for use by the body as that from animals. As a result, diets low in protein and vegetarian diets tend to be low in zinc.




24
FEB

Can You Kick Seasonal Allergies Naturally? Our ND Explains

Filed Under: Ask The ND,Health Concerns & Ailments,Homeopathy,Supplements at 12:48 pm | By: Madeline Reiss

What’s the telltale sign of spring for you? Is it the weather finally breaking and the trees starting to bloom? Or is it relentless itchy eyes and a runny nose that has you reaching for the antihistamines?

To put it simply, allergies are an immune system overreaction to allergens. This triggers the annoying puffy eyes, sneezing, and congestion that can leave you stuck inside on gorgeous spring days. While conventional drugs may relieve allergy symptoms, they don’t address the root cause and often come with side effects—like heavy drowsiness that can leave you nodding off at your desk.

So what’s the solution? We talked to our ND, Dr. Jeremy Wolf, about a few natural remedies to help keep you from sniffling through an entire season!

Treating allergies through diet

When it comes to diet, Dr. Wolf says, “natural substances such as quercetin, stinging nettles, bromelain, vitamin-C, and omega 3 fatty acids may help kick the allergy symptoms. You can find many of these ingredients in every day foods such as onions and berries for quercetin, salmon and fatty fish for omega 3’s, citrus fruits for vitamin c and pineapple for bromelain.” Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods can help keep your immune system strong so it can help fight off common allergies.

Try homeopathic formulas

“There are some homeopathic remedies that are more commonly used for allergies than others,” says Dr. Wolf. “One of these is Allium Cepa, a formula made from onions. If you think about the symptoms you experience when chopping an onion (burning and watery discharge from the eyes and nose) it makes sense that this may be used to combat allergies.” This follows the homeopathic principle of “like cures like.”

You can also try combination remedies “which include a variety of single remedies that are commonly used to treat allergies. The idea is if you take a variety of different remedies, your body is likely to react to one of them.”

An important note from Dr. Wolf: “there isn’t one homeopathic remedy for allergies that trumps others, as it depends on the individual and the symptoms a person is experiencing.” This is why you should always talk to your physician before starting a new supplement or treatment.

Can eating local honey prevent allergies?

A common practice touted in the wellness world is taking a tablespoon of local raw honey every day in the weeks prior to allergy season. When asked about this, Dr. Wolf replied “The thought process behind that treatment is if you eat local honey, you might be ingesting local pollen, and over time you may become less sensitive to pollen which could result in fewer allergy symptoms. This is similar to using allergy shots or sublingual drops to desensitize the body to the allergens.”

He continues to say “It’s hard to know exactly how much pollen you’re actually ingesting. I don’t recommend this to my patients as I don’t think there is any research that currently proves the honey trick to have actually worked.”

You don’t have to stay stuck indoors this spring! Talk with your doctor about your options, and consider taking a natural route to allergy prevention this season.




6
FEB

MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil: Is There A Difference?

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods,Supplements at 11:09 am | By: Guest Blogger

Recently, there seems to have been a huge spike in the popularity of coconut oil. Though this oil has been used for a variety of purposes for a considerable amount of time, it is important for consumers to understand a few basic points in order to make informed purchases. By learning a few basic facts, you are more likely to understand which oils are more likely to offer you the most health benefits.

Long Chains

Coconut oil is said to be beneficial because it is comprised of medium-chain triglycerides. Known commonly as MCTs, these chemical compounds can provide a number of benefits to the body including safe weight-loss and increased energy. Unfortunately, pure coconut oil also contains long-chain triglycerides. These compounds can have a negative impact on your body, slowing down digestion and making it easier for the body to store fat cells. The presence of long-chain triglycerides in coconut oil has led to the development of MCT oil.

MCT oil is a synthetic oil created out of pure coconut oil. Palm oil is often involved in the process, as it allows the finished product to contain higher levels of MCT. By taking the long-chain triglycerides out of the equation, the MCT oil is able to highlight the best benefits coconut oil can bring without the same drawbacks.

Interesting Discoveries

Since MCT oil was first developed, a number of studies have shown some interesting benefits. While the oil had already been known to help improve digestion, further research has suggested it can help to lower a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Another study points to MCT as a way to help with patients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. While the oil is not a way to prevent dementia, the studies suggest it can prove helpful in easing the symptoms in individuals already suffering from it.

What is very important to keep in mind is that coconut oil does not produce the same results. When the long-chain triglycerides are present in the oil, it prevents a great deal of the health benefits from emerging. This means anyone looking to try involving coconut oil in their daily routines might want to weigh out whether or not MCT oil might be a more practical fit.

A Variety of Uses

MCT oil is not used in all of the same ways as coconut oil, though there is a bit of overlap. Many people love to bake or cook with coconut oil but this is not possible with MCT oil, due to its composition. Instead, MCT oil is perfect as a nutritional boost in a smoothie or protein drink. By using the oil to enhance your current diet, you are likely to see a number of the metabolic effects in no time.

When it comes to cooking, you may still want to consider coconut oil. Though MCT might offer a few more advantages in some departments, coconut oil seems to have far more health benefits than other cooking options like olive oil. Coconut oil can even be swapped out for butter if you are considering vegan recipes. While coconut oil offers some benefits, remember to use it sparingly as the fat content is still quite high.

Final Thoughts

Both coconut oil and MCT oil offer advantages depending on the situation. When you are simply looking to add some extra nutrients to your daily intake that can help to improve your energy, digestion, and cardiovascular health, MCT oil is the way to go. For cooking and baking, coconut oil is still a safe bet.

 

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.




2
FEB

3 Ways To Boost Collagen Naturally

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,Health Foods,Supplements at 4:26 pm | By: Guest Blogger

When it comes to the health of your skin and bones, collagen is incredibly important. If you would like to maintain a fresh and vibrant appearance at all times, your body needs to continuously produce the correct amount of collagen. Sadly, factors like being out in the sun for too long or smoking cigarettes can have negative impacts on your body’s ability to produce the right level of this useful protein.

If you believe your skin could use a bit of a boost in regards to collagen production, now is a wonderful time to consider a few useful tips. Taking the right supplements and engaging in healthy daily practices can do wonders for enhancing your body’s natural ability to produce collagen. Consider these ideas and see what tactics might be the most useful for your goals.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a vitamin with a lot to offer the body, assisting with the functions of the immune and digestive systems. On top of this, Vitamin C has also been shown to have a huge effect on repairing and restoring specific tissues. When your body does not seem to be producing collagen at the rate you require, then you might find it useful to consider Vitamin C supplements.

Not only does Vitamin C aid in the process of repairing sensitive skin tissue, it can also provide an improved level of protection against certain environmental elements. Sun damage is one of the larger concerns to stay mindful of when it comes to the health of your skin. Though you should always use sunblock to protect your skin from conditions like melanoma, taking Vitamin C supplements can be the extra line of defense your skin requires.

Snooze Away

Most people understand how important sleep is to health and wellness. As you drift off into slumber, your body begins a restorative process to counteract the damage done throughout the day.  When you do not get enough sleep, it dramatically decreases your body’s ability to tackle this goal. Those who do not get a full night’s rest of about eight hours are likely to see an increase in inflammation from increased stress hormone production. These hormones are produced when the body is struggling to stay awake and can stand in the way of your body generating or repairing collagen.

The answer here is clear: get consistent and appropriate sleep. Your body will produce collagen naturally but you definitely need to do some of the work yourself. While you might feel like you have too many obligations and responsibilities to hit the hay at a normal hour, you will find that it is far more beneficial to your health to make the time to get a full night’s rest.

Balanced Diet

This might seem a bit obvious but what you eat is also going to hold sway over your body’s ability to generate collagen. In order for you to see the glowing skin you desire, you are going to need to make sure that you are getting the right nutrients in your daily meals. Lycopene is an antioxidant that has been shown to counteract some of the damage done to the skin by environmental factors like pollution. Often, the skin takes on damage simply by being exposed to polluted air.

Eating foods rich in lycopene can help to keep your skin fresh, so be sure to stock your cart with tomatoes the next time you hit the grocery store. You can also explore lycopene supplements if you don’t think you’ll be able to swing extra fruit in your daily diet. It might also be a good idea to focus on foods containing Vitamin A. This vitamin is responsible for keeping organs functioning properly and your skin is considered the largest organ of your body. Sweet potatoes are a delicious and effective source of Vitamin A.

 

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.




19
JAN

Going Vegan? Make Sure You’re Not Lacking These Nutrients

Filed Under: Nutrition,Supplements at 4:39 pm | By: Guest Blogger

Switching to a vegan diet can have a number of positive impacts on your body. For some, the idea of eating meat and animal byproducts can be an off-putting proposal. If you are the type of person who would rather consume plants and grains than once-living flesh, now is a great time to think about the pros and cons of the lifestyle. Veganism is said to have a number of scientifically-based advantages, though it is imperative you go about the switch in the correct manner to actually see these benefits.

While going vegan might seem like a healthier option on the surface, this is not always the case. When you are used to eating meat and animal byproducts, your body is used to receiving certain nutrients. Switching to a vegan diet can take away some of those important vitamins. Luckily, you can ensure that your body is getting everything it needs by paying attention to a few key supplements.

B12

Though consuming large amounts of meat can have an adverse impact on your body, there are a number of essential vitamins and minerals found in most animal products. One of the more important vitamins you receive through meat is B12. This amazing vitamin can be found in everything from beef to fish to cheese to eggs and helps the body in a number of crucial ways. Consuming foods rich in B12 can help to improve your body’s production of blood, mental capacities, and nerve function.

Switching to a vegan way of eating means you are no longer going to be receiving the amount of B12 your body has become accustomed to. One way to get the B12 your body requires on a vegan diet is by exploring your options with milk alternatives like soy or almond milk. Still, this might not be an adequate daily amount for your body. Anyone looking to make the change to a vegan diet should look into the importance of B12 supplements.

Iron Challenge

Meat also tends to contain high amounts of iron. As most people know, iron is an essential mineral needed for oxygenated blood to be evenly transported around the body. Iron deficiencies can lead to anemia and other serious blood disorders. All people have different iron requirements, with adults often needing somewhere between 19 and 27 milligrams per day depending on other dietary considerations. While meat might be rich in iron, there are a number of alternative sources to consider for your diet.

Greens like spinach and broccoli should be found in your daily meals to keep your iron levels in a good place. Lentils, potatoes, black beans, and raisins are also worth adding to your daily diet. Getting enough iron is incredibly important, so be sure to think about adding an iron supplement to your routine should you discover your body requires a bit more of this nutrient to stay functional.

Calcium Deposit

Finally, going vegan means you need to think about how your body will receive a daily dose of calcium. For many, a glass of milk is an excellent source of calcium. When you remove animal milk from your diet, finding an easy source of calcium can become a bit of a challenge. Almonds are a great snack when you need to give your body an energy boost and many studies show that this nut can keep your body supplied with the calcium it requires. Other foods worth considering for calcium include oranges, kale, and tofu.

To safely make the switch to a vegan lifestyle, you need to know which vitamins and minerals your body will be lacking. Discover which supplements will be the most useful for your new way of eating and see the greatest odds of success on your new path.

 

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.




16
JAN

5 Signs You Might Need a B-Vitamin Supplement

Filed Under: Supplements,Vitamins and Minerals at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak

Vitamin B supplements have been top-selling products for many years for a very important reason. Lack of vitamin B can cause various health issues including some that you may not be aware of. Do you know how to find out if you are low on B vitamins? Let’s check 5 common signs you might need a B-Vitamin supplement.

1. Feeling Tired

If you are always feeling tired, you may need more vitamin B12. Lack of energy and fatigue are common signs of B12 deficiency as this important vitamin is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body, leading to energy production.

2. Hair Loss

Hair loss is often caused by a combination of factors and lack of vitamin B is definitely one of the reasons people start losing hair. Biotin, vitamin B6 and B12 are considered essential vitamins to maintain healthy hair and prevent hair-loss. B-Complex supplements are an excellent choice to prevent or reduce hair-loss as they contain high amounts of biotin (vitamin B7) which is known to strength your hair follicles. Plus, lack of vitamin B may cause your hair to thin, get dry, become brittle and break.

3. Constipation

People often think constipation is directly related to some food they ate but it may be the result of other issues such as stress or low intake of vitamin B12. Vitamin B is known to help maintain a healthy digestive system and it can also protect against heart disease by curbing and improving unhealthy cholesterol levels.

4. Poor Memory

A deficiency in vitamin B12 can caused illnesses like poor memory, depression, and headaches. Vitamin B helps in healthy regulation of the nervous system, which in turn may help reducing depression, and stress.

5. Skin problems

Vitamin B is essential for healthy skin and nails as it helps in cell reproduction and constant renewal of the skin. Research has proved that vitamin B can benefit our skin, both when ingested and when applied topically, preventing common issues such as skin irritation, redness, and dermatitis, signs of a skin lacking vitamin B3.




12
JAN

Why You Should Try Silica For Joint & Bone Health

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Nutrition,Supplements at 10:40 am | By: Guest Blogger
woman runner hold her injured leg on road

If you’ve been experiencing joint pain, silica supplementation may be the key to finding relief! Several studies have examined silica for its ability to provide the body what it needs to boost collagen and form healthy connective tissue. Silica is a critical component in the substances that make up bones, muscles, joints, cartilage, ligaments and tendons, so how can supplementation benefit you?

Silica for your joints

Collagen is the steel chain that unites our tissues. It’s more resistant and is present in all parts of our body, but especially in our joints. Therefore, our body’s collagen levels affect the way our joints perform.

Healthy, youthful, well-nourished collagen is flexible, strong and rich in silica. As we age, overwork our joints and neglect our nutrition, our collagen starts to deteriorate. This can manifest as limited mobility, sore and inflamed joints, tendonitis and more. By supplementing silica, you can help offset the decline in collagen levels and promote healthy cartilage

Silica for your bones

Calcium and vitamin D alone are not enough for healthy bone growth, density, strength and flexibility. Research data suggests excessive calcium intake can actually accelerate the deterioration of bone minerals, leading to osteoporosis and similar diseases that affect the joints and connective tissues.

Silica has a unique function that supports the calcium and phosphorus that make up our bones, and is required to re-mineral the damage and wear and tear they face as we age.

Experiments in which a silica deficiency is induced demonstrate the importance of silica for the healthy development of connective tissue and bone. Deficiency always produced deformities in joints and bones often characterized by poorly formed joints, defective bone growth, reduced cartilage and low calcium, magnesium and phosphorus levels

Why Living Silica

As we age, silica naturally decreases in the body, slowing functions that are essential to health. Living Silica is a doctor-formulated, professional-grade supplement that boosts your biological collagen production. Increasing your daily intake of silica with this safe but potent supplement can improve your quality of life, athletic performance and make beauty concerns a thing of the past.

The active ingredient in Living Silica ™ contains a breakthrough Si molecule, created through a proprietary process that locks silica in its most active form. Living Silica has the highest bioavailability which helps you to absorb silica into your body more effectively.

An independent comparative study published in the British Journal Nutrition was conducted to investigate the bioavailability of Si from eight different sources. Living Silica ™ was found considerably higher than for other known silica supplements.

 

chart

Source: The comparative absorption of silicon from different foods and food supplements. Supannee Sripanyakorn, Ravin Jugdaohsingh. 2009.

Are you ready to feel more energized, flexible, and healthy? Get your Living Silica daily supplement to make aches and dullness a thing of the past!




10
JAN

Vitamin C Won’t Shorten Your Cold, But These 3 Supplements Might

Sick young woman at home on the sofa with a cold, she is covering with a blanket and blowing her nose

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.

1.) Elderberry

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.

2.) Ginger

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.

3.) Zinc

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.




20
DEC

3 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Magnesium & How To Fix It

Filed Under: Supplements,Vitamins and Minerals at 1:16 pm | By: Guest Blogger
Stressed fashion-designer thinking over new project

Getting the right vitamins and minerals can make a big difference in the way you feel each day. When you are lacking in a specific area, it can take its toll in peculiar ways. Studies from the past decade or so have suggested that a vast majority of people are living with health conditions brought on by a lack of magnesium. These same studies point to the fact that diets these days consist of less magnesium than the human body needs.

Focusing on improving your daily dose of magnesium can be a good move for your health. To determine whether or not you could benefit from extra magnesium, look over a few of these signs of a deficiency. Once you have an idea of what you’re dealing with, you can start making steps towards improving your situation.

1.) Muscle Cramps 

Muscle cramps can happen for a variety of reasons. Still, consistent cramping is considered one of the strongest signs of a magnesium deficiency. When you are experiencing muscle cramps in your legs on a regular basis, there is an easy way to see what is to blame. Eating a food rich in potassium is usually a surefire way to cure a cramp. When potassium does not have an impact on the cramp, it means magnesium is most likely to blame.

To get the best results from this test, try eating something rich in magnesium when you have a cramp. A good choice here would be a handful of almonds or pumpkin seeds. If this solves the problem, then your body is most likely telling you that you’re not getting enough magnesium in your diet.

2.) Stressed and Awake

Being able to keep the pace of the demands of the modern world can be exhausting. Maintaining an active social life while juggling familial and professional responsibilities can cause a person to take on a lot of stress. People also tend to drink more caffeinated beverages when they are trying to take on a lot in a small period. Unfortunately, consuming caffeine can cause your body to use up all of its magnesium. This, in turn, can worsen the stress you are experiencing and create a violent cycle.

The more stressed you feel, the more difficult it will become to sleep. Ironically, magnesium is also required to provide your brain with the stimulation its neurotransmitters requires to help the mind find a state of rest before sleep. Relieving this stress and finding a way to sleep again might be possible simply by boosting your magnesium. Consider supplements or increase how much spinach and tofu you consume to make a difference in your magnesium levels.

3.) Tired and Depressed

While a magnesium deficiency in your body can make itself known by causing you to lose sleep and feel stressed, it can also have a dramatically different impact. For some, a lack of magnesium can create tired or sluggish feelings. This lack of energy can lead to feelings of depression and prevent a person from working up the motivation to carry out simple daily tasks. If you are feeling more tired and depressed than you are used to, magnesium might be a good choice.

Kidney beans, brown rice, and broccoli can all be excellent sources of magnesium to add to your diet. By making a dish loaded with magnesium-rich ingredients once a day, you are going to start noticing a difference in your overall energy levels. Magnesium aids your body in the creation of ATP, which helps to energize your cells and keep your body functioning to the best of its abilities.

 

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.




19
DEC

The 4 Best Tips To Strengthen Your Immune System

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Supplements at 6:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak
Sick young woman at home on the sofa with a cold, she is covering with a blanket and blowing her nose

1. Supplements

Want to enhance your immune system? Multivitamins and supplements may help. During the winter months, your body may require a little bit of help getting all the nutrients it needs to stay strong. Even for those who eat well, it’s difficult to get enough nutrients from diet as a good number of foods have been depleted of various vitamins and minerals. For example, vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc supplements can help boost your immune system defenses. Plus, probiotic supplements are a great addition as well as adding healthy bacteria stimulate the intestine’s immune system and slow the growth of infectious organisms in the digestive system.

2. Fresh Air

Some people tend to think that one of the best ways to avoid getting sick is stay inside and avoid going outside in the cold winter days. That’s a common misconception as fresh air can be great for your immunity. Of course, walking by a busy road or in downtown areas isn’t the best choice for quality fresh air, but a walk in a park or along a lake can be a great boost of fresh air for your body.

3. Diet

A healthy and well-balanced diet is obviously essential to fortify the immune system. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of fluids, particularly water and juices high in vitamin C. Try to avoid skipping meals as lack of nutrition is one of the reasons our bodies feel weak and are less likely to prevent diseases.

4. Lifestyle

Making healthy lifestyle choices can drastically affect your ability to keep illness at bay. A few simple lifestyles changes such as exercising regularly, reducing alcohol consumption, and limiting caffeine, and sugar. Walking, stretching and promoting relaxation daily are great ways to minimize stress, which often affects immune system function, and can potentially make the body less able to fend off bacteria and viruses.




30
NOV

Is Melatonin Safe For Children Struggling to Sleep?

Filed Under: Baby and Child Health,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Supplements at 9:30 am | By: Guest Blogger
Royalty stock photo of 3 years old girl during daytime.

Article written by Joe Palinsky

Sleep is a luxury that not everyone can afford. Try as they might, there are countless people across the planet who toss and turn in their beds until sunrise. Though this is a common problem in adults, it is also an issue many children experience on a regular basis. If your little ones are unable to sleep through the night, it’s a good idea to consider your options.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. It is responsible for helping regulate one’s cycle of sleep. Though the body produces this hormone naturally, melatonin supplements are a common solution for adults who are not sleeping well. While this may seem like a practical idea for an adult, you might be hesitant to offer your children the same answer when they have difficulty catching some shut-eye. To understand whether it is right for your kids, be sure to look over what the experts are saying.

Starting With Dosage

Many drugs and supplemental products are problematic for children to ingest. Though these pills are fine for adults with fully-developed systems, a number of chemicals found in specific pharmaceuticals can inhibit growth in a child. With melatonin, this is the main argument made. Though there are still no concrete findings on whether or not melatonin impacts children in a negative way, medical experts believe it is better to approach this task from the right perspective.

Adults tend to purchase melatonin over the counter from pharmacies or health supplement establishments. This is fine for grown individuals but it can prove trickier for kids. To get the best solution, you need to first visit with your child’s pediatrician. Speaking with a healthcare professional can open you up to all possible solutions to the problem. If the doctor believes melatonin is the answer, then he or she can prescribe a specific dosage that works appropriately. Prescription melatonin comes in smaller dosages, allowing it to work its magic without overloading your child with too much melatonin.

Serious and Simple

Though melatonin is one of a number of solutions available to parents who are trying to get their children to sleep, it is important to take a closer look at when you should avoid using it altogether. When the summer has come to a close and school is around the corner, you might notice that your children are having a difficult time hitting the hay. This could be due to the excitement of the coming school year or nerves about seeing friends for the first time in months.

Situational sleep problems like this tend to come and go. Once your child has gotten back into the swing of the school year, he or she should return to normalcy with sleeping. Short-term sleeping problems usually resolve themselves and are caused by environmental factors that are not always present. When you first notice your child is not sleeping right, do not take immediate action. Allow this to carry on for a few days to see if it persists. If so, you need to contact your child’s doctor to start finding an appropriate solution.

Ultimate Answer

Melatonin is a wonderful option for adults who are struggling with insomnia or other sleep-related ailments. For children, it might be best to examine alternatives first. Take a look at your child’s habits and see what might be causing the sleepless nights. In many cases, diet and exercise can change the way a child falls asleep. According to most experts, children need to be up for around twelve hours each day and need to be physically engaged for at least one hour. Inactive children who do not get outside often might deal with insomnia from not getting out enough.

Sleep is incredibly important to the human mind, body, and spirit. When you’re dealing with children who don’t seem to fall asleep, you might need to take action. Examine your child’s habits and see how long insomnia persists. When you feel like all of your options have been exhausted, visit with your child’s primary care physician and learn more about what melatonin might be able to offer.

 

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.