Age Gracefully with Antioxidants!

ANTIOXIDANTS are for anti-aging. They help to retard the aging process, lower cholesterol levels, decrease risk of atherosclerosis, protect against heart disease and stroke, reduce risk of all types of cancer, slow progression of Alzheimer’s, suppress tumor growth, detoxify carcinogens, protect eyes from macular degeneration, defend the body from pollutants, and protect against COPD (pulmonary disease).
Antioxidants PROTECT against oxidation which is a result of normal metabolism. Free radicals are created when the body uses oxygen.
Free radicals become DANGEROUS when they accumulate and cause damage to the cell walls and also to the genetic coding of the cells. When the cells are damaged, they do not function correctly. When the genetic coding is damaged, the cells lose their ability to reproduce normal healthy cells.
Our LIFESTYLES contribute to an abundance of free radicals. Factors that increase free radicals include exposure to radiation (this includes cell phones and wifi), and exposure to toxic chemicals such as those found in cigarette smoke, polluted air, and industrial and household chemicals. Dietary sources that increase free radicals include foods fried at high temperature, foods charcoal-broiled, food preservatives, artificial sweeteners, nitrites, and cured meats.
STRESS is another major contributor to free radical damage. Stress triggers and intensifies the effects of all other causes of disease and aging and accelerates the use and depletion of nutrients needed for health.
ANTIOXIDANTS work synergistically. This means that it is better to take smaller doses of several different antioxidants than a large amount of only one. For example, a mix of natural carotenoids provides more health benefits than beta-carotene does alone.
VITAMIN antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E.
HERBAL antioxidants include bilberry, burdock, turmeric, garlic, ginkgo biloba, grape seed extract, green tea, milk thistle, and pycnogenol (pine bark).
MINERAL antioxidants include selenium and zinc.
Other SIGNIFICANT antioxidants are alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, glutathione, n-acetyl cysteine or NAC, and superoxide dismutase or SOD.
ALPHA LIPOIC ACID (ALA) is notable. It functions as an antioxidant on its own, plus as a recycler of vitamins C and E. ALA stimulates the body’s production of glutathione and aids in the absorption of coenzyme Q10. ALA has been used in Europe for almost 30 years to treat peripheral nerve degeneration and to help control blood sugar levels in diabetics. It also helps to detoxify the liver, block cataract formation, protect nerve tissues and reduce blood cholesterol levels.
COENZYME Q10 is also a very important anti-aging, antioxidant supplement. It supports both the cardiovascular system and the nervous system. For more information on Co Q10, please come back and read next week’s article.
SUPER GREENS and TRACE MINERALS are also worth mentioning here, as they both increase antioxidant levels in the body, in addition to the other good things they do.
Note that QUALITY really counts on all of these antioxidants – low quality versions end up creating more free radicals – so they defeat the purpose of taking them.

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Back to School – Naturally!

It is BACK TO SCHOOL time. Now is a good time to start a vitamin regimen to boost immunity and brain function. I have a basic three that I like for anyone school age (teachers can do this too.) It includes a multi-vitamin, a fish oil (brain food), and an immune booster.
Keeping kids HEALTHY is a common issue. School seems to be a breeding ground for all kinds of coughs, colds and flues. My all time favorite “keep my kid well” remedy is Elderberry Defense. Once we started using it, our son got perfect attendance – he only got a cough or sniffles when we ran out – that was 9 years ago.
There are other IMMUNE BOOSTERS. These include colostrum, echinacea, grapefruit seed extract, olive leaf, oregano oil, nucleotides, probiotics, astragalus and mushroom extracts. Pick what works for you. If recurring ear infections are a problem, there are also remedies that work well.
FOCUS and ATTENTION issues are also common issues. I take a fairly natural approach on these – I always ask about diet. For ADD and ADHD, one of the worst things to do is to serve a breakfast that is high in sugar and refined white flour with no protein. The blood sugar swings that result from this kind of food make it almost impossible for a child to behave and learn.
Supplements to help BRAIN FUNCTION should start with a good multi-vitamin and fish oil high in DHA. I have seen many kids that have done well with a change in breakfast foods plus this kind of basic supplementation. Most just need some really good nutrition. It also helps to cut out the junk food that has too many additives, dyes and preservatives. Sodas and other sweet drinks can be very hard on the brain.
For those that need a BRAIN BOOST, I like a product called Focus Attention. It works in all ages and comes in both powder and capsule. I also like Kid’s Calm – this is a liquid with everything in it and it works for adults too. And there are other combinations that will work.
Handling the STRESS of school can be an issue. There are great homeopathics and flower remedies for kids with anxiety. Sometimes the basic multi-vitamin and fish oil are all that is needed to calm the nervous system down so that the “stress” is manageable. Start the day with a good breakfast. Include something with protein – like sausage, egg or even peanut butter. Think about feeding foods that will last your child until lunch time without huge swings in blood sugar.
HEALTHY DINNERS will make your child healthier in the school year. Fresh vegetables and fruits are very important along with a balance of meat, beans and healthy grains. Limit sweet drinks – especially those made with high fructose corn syrup.
SOUND SLEEP is also important for health and brain function. If it is hard to wake your child up and get them going in the morning, make them go to bed earlier. A well rested child will function much better at school than a tired one. (This goes for adults too.)
I hope you and your families all have a great school year.

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Why Detox?

DETOXIFICATION is a basic principle of natural health. Any program of restoring the health and balance of the body includes getting toxins out of the body.
TOXINS accumulate over time because they store in our fatty tissue. Our bodies cannot eliminate toxins without some help. The fatty tissue that stores toxins is not just that roll around the middle – it also a form of fat known as phospholipids that are found in significant quantities in our brain and nerves. This accumulation of toxins over time can cause serious degenerative problems.
SYMPTOMS of toxicity include fatigue, lack of energy, headaches, high blood pressure, allergies and sensitivities, excessive mucus production, sinus problems, and bronchitis. They can also include mood changes, joint aches, arthritis, autoimmune issues, skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, forgetfulness and foggy thinking along with just not feeling good. If you have any of these symptoms, it may be time to clean up.
Toxins are EVERYWHERE – not to be paranoid or anything, but think about it. Much of our food is conventionally grown, meaning that they use chemical pesticides and fertilizers. To top that off, if they are processed in any way, they are treated with chemical additives to preserve texture, taste and shelf life. Our animals are also raised on conventionally grown crops and are fed hormones and sometimes highly processed food that is completely unnatural to their systems. These animals have the same trouble we do in eliminating unnatural chemicals – they store them in fatty tissues. The toxins you get from conventional meat may be the same ones that end up in your brain, prostate and breasts.
BREATHING allows toxins to enter our bodies through our lungs. Breathing any kind of chemical fumes allows toxins into the body. One commonly overlooked source of inhalant toxins is our cleaning products and air fresheners.
COSMETICS allow toxins to enter our bodies through our skin. Whatever we put on our skin goes into our bloodstream without being processed by our liver first. Many of our cosmetics and lotions have horrible chemicals in them and we don’t even think twice about the toxicity of them. Think about even Vaseline – also known as petroleum jelly. Yuck! Or baby oil – also petroleum based. How about nice substitutes made from olive oil and beeswax, coconut oil or sweet almond oil?
DETOXIFICATION is a way to help the body process out these stored chemicals and it helps lead to health and balance in the long run. I recommend all kinds of cleanses. One of the best is a 30 day whole body cleanse that cleans and supports all organs of elimination. If you are really serious about cleansing and restoring health to your body, there are other cleanses that are good follow-ups to the basic 30 day whole body cleanse. These include heavy metal cleanses, liver cleanses, parasite cleanses and more.
TRY a cleanse and feel better soon.


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STRESS & FATIGUE? Support Your Adrenal Glands!

If you are feeling STRESSED OUT and FATIGUED, then you may need a supplement that supports the adrenal glands.
The ADRENAL GLANDS help us handle stress and they make several important hormones that run many significant functions in our bodies.
ADRENALINE is our “fight or flight” hormone, that helps speed up metabolism and helps the body cope with danger. Over time, we lose our ability to distinguish between life threatening stress, such as almost having a car wreck, and situational stress, such as being stopped at a red light too long. The end result is stressed out adrenal glands.
General SYMPTOMS of adrenal stress include fatigue, headaches, anxiety, depression, weight gain and insomnia. There are also some specific signs. These include waking up tired, poor short-term and/or long term memory, inability to concentrate, learning disorders such as ADD, and dizziness when changing positions.
OTHER SYMPTOMS related to the adrenal glands include allergies, fainting spells, craving sweets and caffeine, shakiness between meals, muscle twitches, blood sugar problems, discomfort with bright lights, chronic upper-respiratory infections, hay fever, and asthma. The most common symptom of adrenal dysfunction is to have dark circles underneath the eyes that end underneath the pupil. Another very common symptom is to be very tired, but unable to relax or sleep.
To STRENGTHEN stressed out adrenal glands decrease stress (easier to say than to do ), balance your blood sugar by eating meals with plenty of lean protein along with salads and healthy vegetables, and avoid stimulants such as cigarettes, caffeine, sodas, sweets and starchy carbs. The difficult part of this is that initially you will be even more tired. You will know you are better when after 3 to 7 days you begin to feel more rested when you wake up and more energy throughout the day.
Eat a GOOD BREAKFAST. Note that this is generally not a cereal bar, waffle, pancakes, or skipping breakfast altogether. A good breakfast has some protein in it. The protein can be from eggs, cottage cheese, sausage, or protein powder – it just needs to be high quality and complete in all essential amino acids which typically come only from animal sources.
TAKING SUPPLEMENTS speeds recovery of imbalanced adrenals and also helps to alleviate the related symptoms. I recommend Adrenal Support or Cytozyme AD. Sometimes I recommend a multi-vitamin that really works with hypoglycemia and other adrenal symptoms. These all contain animal glandular, which is an old remedy that tends to really work. Think of the nutrients required to build healthy adrenal glands – where would they be located in a body? The answer is in the adrenal glands. With this kind of product, get the best quality you can. I prefer pharmaceutical grade from the best sources available.
If you are looking for VEGETARIAN options – try a herbal adaptogen blend.
Severely stressed adrenal glands require a lot of TIME TO HEAL, but some of the information here will help you get started.


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