Natural Health – It Doesn’t Really Seem Natural!

Natural Health is almost anything but natural to most of us. How can taking supplements be natural? And why does is matter what brand you buy? And do I really have to change the way I eat?
But, you have to ask yourself – what is natural about our lifestyle today? Am I really healthy? How good do I really feel? Then make some choices.
You might find that you need more information. So you might want to start with some blood work. Most of America has problems with blood sugar as evidenced by the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides – I know we call this a “cholesterol” problem, but more than likely, it is a blood sugar issue. You may not be diabetic, but you are probably in that in-between range where you are not processing sugars correctly and you make lots of cholesterol. If your fasting glucose is above 90 but you are not diagnosed as diabetic, then you are in this range. If you are in doubt, look at your belly – need I say more?
Note that high cholesterol can be a more complex issue, but a good 85-90 percent of it is blood sugar and diet related.
Back to the issue of supplements – our diet is lacking essential nutrients. (There is lots of research to support this – just not space in this article.) To fix the issue of lack of nutrients, you have to supplement somehow. Now the question is do you believe that you can get these nutrients at big box discount stores? It is heartbreaking to see the amount of money spent on the wrong stuff – even if it is cheap stuff.
My theory is that if you want to take stuff that will make you healthier, buy the best quality you can afford. A few supplements of the best quality will help you more than a lot of supplements of the lowest quality.
Remember when you are taking trace amounts of nutrients that you expect to work, take the right form with a delivery system that will work. Quality products are the correct form and have a good delivery system. Cheap products typically are not the right form and are bound in calcium carbonate with fillers and dyes – this is a mixed blessing, because if the product is that cheap, you don’t want to absorb it anyway. But my point is why buy it in the first place?
If you do not know if a product is good quality, or the right form, get some help from someone that knows. Stores that stock quality products actually have people that you can find to ask questions – and these people can usually answer those questions.
Also consider when taking supplements, a natural health approach works best when you address the underlying cause. Consider nutritional deficiencies and excesses.                                                                                                                                         And consider whole body cleanses. The body cannot work correctly or heal itself if it is bogged down with residue from years of bad habits. There are great cleanse products. I recommend a whole body cleanse at least one time per year – preferably twice.

Be informed and make good decisions for yourself – this includes diet, exercise and natural supplements. And be healthier naturally!

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Natural – It’s a Lifestyle

Natural health is a lifestyle.  All too often, I meet someone who just wants a pill to fix this or that.  Occasionally there is something that works that way, but usually a diet or lifestyle change is an important part of restoring health.

Natural health is about a lifestyle of healthy habits.  When I give advice to someone about their health, it may include nutritional supplements to help balance their diet, but it always includes recommendations about what to eat and drink and what not to eat and drink.

America is plagued with deteriorating health.  Look around you.  The sick just get sicker.  Does anyone ever get well?  By well, I mean really well as in feel good, with all their organs and glands intact and don’t need prescription medications.

I am not against the medical profession, I just have an opinion that they are not truly about health and wellness; rather they are a system of disease care – which is definitely necessary.  They manage diseases by prescribing pills that control symptoms, but very few, if any of the pills actually restore health and wellness.

I hear all too often from the medically oriented that there is no cure for such and such or so and so.  It is easy to get taken in by this kind of thinking, but remember, the body can heal.  I have met many people who have changed their diets and gotten well from so called “incurable” things such as cancer, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and more.  Those people believed that wellness was possible and were willing to change their lifestyle.

Lifestyle changes account for most of the success of any natural health program.  If everyone could eat a good diet and live a stress free life, there would be no need for nutritional supplements.  However, this is America.  We like to process and preserve our food to death.  Much of our everyday food tends to disagree with most of us.  Yet when I suggest someone give up white flour products or sugar or coffee, they think I must be a lunatic.  Those that follow the nutritional advice usually come back and tell me how much better they feel, while those that don’t – well they may come back in, but they want a pill to make them feel better.

Think about that – food as medicine.  Hippocrates said “let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”   Think about your lifestyle and how you can be healthier.  Most people know what in their lifestyle is bad for them and what could be better – they tend not to have time to make better choices.

My basic tips to cope with a typical American lifestyle are:  Take a high-quality multiple vitamin that is tailored to your specific needs.   Take an omega 3 oil supplement.  Take a digestive enzyme at each meal.  Take a green food supplement to make up for the minerals and the vegetables that are not in your diet.  And make sure you eat a good breakfast that includes some form of protein – this does not mean cereal or cereal bars.

And most importantly – cleanse regularly.

Remember, your health is a direct reflection of what you eat, assimilate, and do not eliminate.

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Longevity Genes Can Make You Healthier!

Genetics have lots to do with who we are and what our health is like, particularly as we age.  We tend to put up with arthritis, high blood pressure, a little weight around the middle, etc. because we see them as symptoms of age as determined by our genes.

Scientists are discovering more and more about our genetic makeup – and more importantly, how to control it, or at least limit the worst aspects of it as it applies to our health.  One interesting aspect that has come out of this research is the ‘longevity’ genes or sirtuin genes which decrease chances of heart disease, diabetes and other inflammatory processes.  

These longevity genes are turned on and off by certain factors in our diet and environment.  The favorable condition is to have these longevity genes turned on and active.  Calorie restriction has long been understood to increase the chances of a long and healthy life, and now has also been found to turn on certain longevity genes.

The exciting part of this research has focused on how to turn these genes on without starving. This does not mean that you can take these supplements and eat anything you want to.  The longevity genes are turned off by certain factors such as smoking and eating too many refined carbohydrates, so a healthy lifestyle is still recommended.

Several of the super antioxidant nutrients such as green tea, co-enzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, resveratrol, and vitamin E that is high in gamma tocopherol seem to turn on these genes.  Supplements containing these ingredients help us age more gracefully, store less fat, decrease inflammation and decrease risk of heart disease and diabetes.  One supplement specifically formulated to turn the sirtuin gene on is called Vasculo-Sirt – a multi-vitamin that includes the super antioxidants.  

Resveratrol has been the most important supplement in this research.  It is naturally contained in fruit skins such as grapes – red wine contains small amounts of resveratrol.  You would have to drink about 100 bottles of wine per day to equal the amount of resveratrol in a 100 mg. capsule.

The research of these longevity genes is big business.  Pharmaceutical companies are now trying to create a synthetic resveratrol that will be more effective at activating the sirtuin genes.  So far, the synthetic version has over-stimulated the gene, resulting in a increased tendency towards cancer.  The natural version does not have the same negative effect, but it cannot be patented either, so drug companies do not promote the natural resveratrol.

As with any supplements you take for health, quality is of the utmost importance.  Cheap, poor quality ingredients may be more affordable, but they do not have the specific components necessary to work as effectively as the higher quality, pure ingredients.  Know your sources – especially when working on the genetic level.  Only the highest quality ingredients have been shown to be active enough to repair DNA, while poor quality ingredients actually cause further damage to DNA.

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Sleep Better Naturally!

Insomnia plagues many of us. With some, it is chronic, with others it is a short term. There are many causes. Among these are stress, indigestion, mineral deficiency, vitamin deficiency, hormone imbalance, too much caffeine, prescription drugs, etc.
Restless leg syndrome is a common form of insomnia. In many cases, it is caused by a pH imbalance in the body and can be helped by supplementing a balanced calcium/magnesium formula. Other cases may be deficiency related and usually respond well to potassium, magnesium, iron or folic acid.
Some of my favorite remedies for insomnia are homeopathic. Homeopathics are extremely dilute natural substances such as herbs or minerals that don’t have negative side effects and do not interfere with prescription medication. These tend to work well for short-term sleeplessness such as travel, worrying about gas prices, or concern over your mother’s surgery, etc. Another form of homeopathic is known as flower remedies which are effective particularly in small children that are afraid of the dark or have nightmares.
Many women complain of insomnia around mid-life. A common problem is too much estrogen in relation to progesterone. Natural progesterone is a very calming hormone and many women find that insomnia along with other hormonal related problems will disappear with the use of natural progesterone cream. There are other supplements that help balance hormones while also helping balance insomnia.
Another favorite for sleep is PheniTropic. This product is relatively new – it works like GABA, but crosses the blood brain barrier. It helps with relaxation and sleep.
St. John’s Wort, 5-HTP and SAM-e also work for better sleep. They regulate serotonin levels and help you feel less stressed during the day and sleep more soundly at night. All of these can be used for both mild depression and insomnia.
My personal favorite is phosphorylated B vitamins. These are the “B’s” that are natural to the body that help reduce stress while at the same time giving an energy boost during the day. A symptom of this B vitamin deficiency is waking in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep.
Aromatherapy using lavender essential oil is another good sleep remedy. The smell is very soothing. You can use a few drops of the oil in a warm bath before bedtime or use the drops in a diffuser or on a cotton cloth placed under your pillow.
There are also herbal remedies for better sleep. Teas with chamomile and passion flower are nice; however, if you are allergic to ragweed, stay away from chamomile since it belongs to the same family. Also, there are herbal capsules that you can take. Good herbs for sleep include valerian, hops and passionflower. If stress is the reason you aren’t sleeping well, there are also herbal stress remedies that help strengthen and soothe the nerves.
Last, but not least, melatonin is the hormone that sets the body clock. As we age, we produce less of it – so, it can be a great supplement for some people.
Good health begins with a good night’s sleep, so take something natural and get to sleep.

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