Do You Need Nutritional Supplements?

Do you need NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS? If you eat a diet that includes products made with sugar and white flour, the answer is absolutely yes. Even if you eat a healthy diet, the answer is yes.
FOOD CHOICES that include sugar, white flour, caffeine, sodas and not enough whole grains and fruits and vegetables don’t have the correct nutrients to begin with, and to make things worse, they deplete other necessary nutrients. Some of the nutrients simply are not in the soil as a result of modern farming techniques. Other nutrients are not in the food by the time we eat it, since nutrition declines during transit time from field to grocery store or during the process of freezing or canning.
With the PLETHORA OF PRODUCTS available, how do you decide what you need? I recommend some basic categories such as a multi-vitamin and an omega 3 oil. You will probably need other supplements depending on your health and your health goals. Some of the choices include support for brain and nerve health, good digestion, healthy joints, hormone balance, bone health, energy, immune function, healthy eyes, varicose veins, sound sleep, etc.
CHOOSING good products is the next challenge. As with anything, it is buyer beware. Look for companies with significant research behind their products along with quality raw materials. Cheaper is usually not better.
For a MULTI-VITAMIN, I particularly like “food based” supplements with lots of trace minerals. The vitamin should include the correct form of nutrients in good amounts and good ratios. For FISH OIL, I recommend those that are purified and tested for contaminants.
If you are going to take supplements, take the best that you can afford. Part of what makes the BETTER SUPPLEMENTS cost more is product quality and product testing. Quality ingredients are the correct form and have the proper array of nutrients and phytonutrients. Better companies test both raw materials and finished products.
If you don’t know what you need, GET HELP. One of the services I offer is helping people prioritize what supplements they need – other nutritionists provide similar services. Supplements are expensive, so shop wisely.

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INDIGESTION – From gas and bloating to acid reflux – if you have it, you want to get rid of it. But don’t fall for something that just gets rid of the symptoms, look to address the underlying cause.
Most indigestion is the result of INSUFFICIENT ENZYMES and/or INSUFFICIENT STOMACH ACID. The most common remedy is some sort of acid blocker that makes proper digestion impossible. Antacids and acid blockers perpetuate the problems of indigestion. They neutralize or block stomach acid, preventing the stomach from digesting food. A vicious cycle is then set up since more acid is needed to digest the food; so, more acid is then produced in the stomach, then more antacid is needed, then the stomach produces more acid, etc.
GOOD DIGESTION is important. If you are wanting to be healthier, commit to fixing your digestion so that you do not need acid blockers. Many of the symptoms of indigestion will disappear when digestive enzymes are supplemented – especially those with betaine HCL, a mild form of hydrochloric acid (similar to what your stomach naturally produces.)
If ENZYMES keep you from getting indigestion, then your indigestion was an enzyme deficiency. Levels of enzymes available to digest food decline with age. Supplementing with trace minerals can help increase enzyme levels, but supplementing with enzymes is necessary if you are eating cooked and processed food. Raw food contains lots of enzymes. Cooking and processing food destroys enzymes.
Most ACID INDIGESTION is actually caused by not enough stomach acid. Again, this can be a problem of age. Supplementing with enzymes containing betaine HCL will be helpful as will raw apple cider vinegar.
FOOD SENSITIVITIES will also bring on indigestion. The two big offenders are dairy and white flour. Blood types also influence this – types A and AB do not produce as much stomach acid as the other types and will need to supplement with betaine HCL when eating meat. Look at your blood type diet to see if you are eating foods you should avoid.
A DAMAGED STOMACH LINING can also cause indigestion. Inflammation of the stomach lining is generally caused and/or aggravated by poor eating habits such as eating the wrong types of food, eating too fast, drinking too much liquid with meals, eating when upset or anxious, and/or eating too much. Chronic inflammation of the stomach lining can lead to h. Pylori and even ulcers.
You can REPAIR STOMACH LINING by taking supplements like aloe vera, slippery elm, and deglycerrhized licorice. It may also be helpful to take something to eliminate bacteria or parasites that are compromising the stomach lining. There are many good supplements on the market. I recommend one called Gastro Health.
Remember that YOUR HEALTH is directly tied to what you eat and how you digest it. Don’t assume that whatever you put into your mouth is going to be digested and nourish you if your digestive system is not working well. You are what you eat, assimilate and do not eliminate.

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1. EAT BREAKFAST. How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? It is, especially if you have low energy, headaches, and are stressed. What you eat for breakfast is important. Skip products made with white flour and white sugar – they will make you tired and more stressed. Make sure that you eat some form of protein – eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, leftover supper, protein smoothie, etc.
2. STAY REGULAR. Many health problems begin in the colon. Constipation is epidemic in America due to the processed nature of the typical diet. There are many natural solutions for constipation. One of the least well known is magnesium, which helps hydrate the colon and encourage regularity.
3. TAKE IN AT LEAST 25 GRAMS OF FIBER per day (you really need 30-40 grams, but you’ve got to start somewhere). This relates to #2 – however, fiber isn’t just a factor in regularity. Fiber is important for overall health. It helps absorb and carry waste such as excess cholesterol out of the body. It helps keep the colon healthy and reduce the incidence of diverticulitis. Read labels and add up the amount of fiber in your typical diet. If you are not close to 25 grams daily, supplement and/or change your diet.
4. DRINK WATER – not coffee, tea, sodas, sports drinks, etc. Water is the only effective liquid for properly hydrating the body. When it is combined with coffee, tea, sugar, etc., it loses its ability to hydrate the body. The average adult body uses between 2 and 3 quarts daily. Most adults need to drink at least 2 quarts per day at a minimum. Note: Drink water without chlorine, a known carcinogen that disrupts the balance of beneficial flora in our intestines.
5. EAT A SALAD or other raw vegetables at least once per day. Our bodies need the alkaline forming minerals from raw veggies to help us metabolize protein from meat and dairy.
6. TAKE A DIGESTIVE ENZYME. Our bodies have a limited ability to make enzymes which are necessary for many metabolic functions, not just digestion. The amount of cooked and processed foods that we eat exhausts our limited enzyme supply and causes our metabolic processes to malfunction which, over time leads to health problems.
7. FAST AND/OR CLEANSE periodically. Your body will thank you. Cleansing and/or fasting helps our organs and glands function better by removing accumulated toxins. There are many conditions that can be alleviated by periodic cleaning. There are many kinds of fasts and cleanses. Some are for the whole body and some are for specific organs and glands such as liver, kidney, etc.
8. IDENTIFY FOOD SENSITIVITIES AND AVOID THOSE FOODS. This will solve many health problems over the long run. Food sensitivities contribute to digestive problems, arthritis, allergies, diabetes and many other conditions. Everyone has food sensitivities. The most common are white flour, white sugar, white potatoes, coffee, sodas and peanuts.
9. AVOID CHEMICALS AND PROCESSED FOODS. One of my favorite book titles is “If God Didn’t Make It, Don’t Eat It”. Although I’ve never read this book, it makes me think about all kinds of “foods” that just aren’t natural. Read labels. If there is a paragraph of ingredients with long chemical names that you can’t pronounce, don’t eat it. Opt for things that don’t require labeling – like an apple (organic if possible).

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Get A Good Night’s Sleep – 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, blood sugar issues, 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.
BLOOD SUGAR imbalances will make you wake up in the night and not be able to get back to sleep. If you can’t quit eating high glycemic foods (that is those that make your blood sugar high) in the evening, then take something to help manage your blood sugar and you will sleep better.
HORMONE IMBALANCES make women prone to 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.
STRESS can cause sleep problems. If you can’t eliminate the stress, take supplements that will help balance your body for negative effects of stress. Since stress is so common, see different recommendations below.
Support for the ADRENAL GLANDS will help. The adrenal glands are responsible for part of out stress response – sometimes they get stuck “on” and we can’t relax – or worse, we wake up in the night wide awake and can’t go back to sleep. Taking a supplement to strengthen the adrenal glands can help with both stress and sleep.
Phosphorylated B VITAMINS taken during the day, 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.
Natural MOOD ENHANCERS such as 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.
And, when you just NEED TO SLEEP, there are many great products. I like something called Total Calm – it works as the label says in the day, and promotes more restful sleep at night. 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. There are so many combinations of Gaba, 5-HTP, Theanine,Valerian, Hops, Passion Flower, etc. that will help you sleep – find one that works for you.
Aromatherapy using LAVENDER 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.
HERBAL 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. All of the herbs in the teas come in capsules too. Again – find what works for you.
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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