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Top 4 Herbs That Promote a Good Night’s Sleep

July 15, 2019 - 5:40pm
Sleeping

We’re experiencing a worldwide lack of sleep. With people’s busy lives, sleep is not often a top priority and life can easily become overwhelming. Japan has the worst national average with just 5 hours and 59 minutes spent in bed. This statistic doesn’t take into account their propensity to take a quick “inemuri” in the middle of the day, however.

“Lack of Sleep Costs the United States over $411 Billion Annually”

 – Fortune Magazine

9 Foods with UV-Protective Effects

July 9, 2019 - 11:05am
iStock-1007786322

Evidence suggests that diet can significantly alter how the skin responds to sun exposure. The epidermis is a highly regenerative barrier that protects the body from the external environment, including protection from UV radiation and pollution.

Skin-healthy foods should be enjoyed raw (when possible) to benefit from their bioactive nutrients. Eating these nine foods will not only protect the skin from sun damage, they can also help heal skin that has already been burned.

Although these foods help naturally mitigate UV damage to the skin, reasonable precautions should still be taken on hot days, such as using sun cream, wearing a sun hat and UV protective clothing, as well as refraining from going out in the midday sun.

7 Ways to Promote Stem Cell Proliferation

July 1, 2019 - 2:23pm
Tag

From time to time, science is turned on its head by irrevocable, ground-breaking discoveries. In 2006, the Nobel Prize winners, Kazutoshi Takahashi and Shinya Yamanak, did just that, when they discovered that skin cells could be reprogrammed and become ‘induced’ pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). This opened the door for a whole new era of research into how pluripotent cells can be used to boost health. Somatic (pluripotent) stem cells are undifferentiated cells found throughout the body that divide to replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissues.

A stem cell must self-renew and be unspecialized, as well as be capable of dividing many times in the undifferentiated state. Stem cells are located throughout the body; however, they multiply more readily in the bone marrow (mesenchymal stem cells), brain (neural stem cells) and gut (intestinal mucosal epithelium). In other locations, stem cells require specific conditions to multiply.

9 Essential Nutrients for Healthy Skin

June 25, 2019 - 11:39am
iStock-943125896

An average adult has two square meters of skin covering their body. Not only is it the largest neuroendocrine organ in the body, it’s also the largest detoxification organ

The appearance of the skin mirrors physical and emotional health due to the gut-brain-skin connection. As with other areas of the body, oxidative stress and free radicals can cause premature aging. Dermatologically speaking, UV radiation is normally the most cited health concern. However, replenishing nutrient reserves and optimizing detoxification pathways also significantly improve skin health. We previously covered how the gut flora relates to the health of our skin, with some interesting findings relating to probiotics. In this article we explore nine other nutrients that help form glowing skin.

Where Does Gluten Hide?

June 18, 2019 - 9:00am
Label Reader

If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGC) but are still experiencing symptoms despite eliminating gluten from your diet, you could be getting exposed to gluten from hidden sources. It is easy to unknowingly consume gluten. It hides in a wide range of foods and products. Identification of gluten in products can be tedious and often label reading alone is not enough. To add to the confusion, wheat-free does not always equate to gluten-free. In fact, multi-ingredient products are the most common sources of hidden gluten. Depending on the product, regulations may or may not require labeling of gluten. Consuming even minimal amounts of gluten from one of the hidden sources below can illicit adverse effects in at-risk individuals.

STRESS: THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY

June 11, 2019 - 11:00am
Meditation

Stress is a condition that many (if not all) people encounter at least once in their life. Whether it’s because of school, work, or relationship, stress can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and even physical health. Although it can be tempting to simply ignore stress and go on with your life like it’s no big deal, there’s more to stress than just an expression of exhaustion. Stress can take a toll on the body in many ways.

Stress is the body’s normal biological response to stimulus. It gives your system a burst of energy that triggers the natural “fight or flight” response, enabling your body to react to situations accordingly. This condition can be classified into two types: good stress and bad stress.

STRESS: THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY

June 11, 2019 - 11:00am
Meditation

Stress is a condition that many (if not all) people encounter at least once in their life. Whether it’s because of school, work, or relationship, stress can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and even physical health. Although it can be tempting to simply ignore stress and go on with your life like it’s no big deal, there’s more to stress than just an expression of exhaustion. Stress can take a toll on the body in many ways.

Stress is the body’s normal biological response to stimulus. It gives your system a burst of energy that triggers the natural “fight or flight” response, enabling your body to react to situations accordingly. This condition can be classified into two types: good stress and bad stress.

Magnesium, the Master Mineral

June 4, 2019 - 12:06pm
Magnesium june 3

Magnesium is one of the most abundant intracellular cations in the body, second only to potassium. Foods such as spinach, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate are loaded with magnesium, but more than half of the U.S. population’s diet does not meet the recommended allowance for magnesium. So, how does magnesium impact normal body functioning? What can be done to support healthy levels of magnesium? I take a closer look at the answers to these questions, and more, below.

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in human biochemistry and general health. Present in all cells of the body, magnesium is involved in over 600 enzymatic reactions, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is also necessary for glycolysis, which is the first step in converting carbohydrates into energy—playing a highly important role in the body’s ability to maintain healthy energy levels. In addition, magnesium contributes to structural bone development and is necessary for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and glutathione. It also plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, critical to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, neurological health and cardiac function. Further, magnesium is considered a calming nutrient and helps support proper sleep. Research from the Biochemistry and Neurophysiology Unit at the University of Geneva Department of Psychiatry indicates that higher levels of magnesium help provide better, more consistent sleep.

Magnesium, the Master Mineral

June 4, 2019 - 12:06pm
Magnesium june 3

Magnesium is one of the most abundant intracellular cations in the body, second only to potassium. Foods such as spinach, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate are loaded with magnesium, but more than half of the U.S. population’s diet does not meet the recommended allowance for magnesium. So, how does magnesium impact normal body functioning? What can be done to support healthy levels of magnesium? I take a closer look at the answers to these questions, and more, below.

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in human biochemistry and general health. Present in all cells of the body, magnesium is involved in over 600 enzymatic reactions, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is also necessary for glycolysis, which is the first step in converting carbohydrates into energy—playing a highly important role in the body’s ability to maintain healthy energy levels. In addition, magnesium contributes to structural bone development and is necessary for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and glutathione. It also plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, critical to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, neurological health and cardiac function. Further, magnesium is considered a calming nutrient and helps support proper sleep. Research from the Biochemistry and Neurophysiology Unit at the University of Geneva Department of Psychiatry indicates that higher levels of magnesium help provide better, more consistent sleep.

Magnesium to Hack the Brain

May 28, 2019 - 12:42pm
Brain

The brain’s metabolism never stops. Even during a coma, the metabolism inside the brain only slows down by 50%. As such, the brain is a very resource-hungry organism that requires a great deal of nutrition and, in turn, creates a lot of metabolic waste.

The brain uses magnesium for hundreds of enzymatic reactions and deficiencies have been connected to a change in behavior in both humans and animals. Magnesium is also required to help the brain expel metabolic free radicals.

Magnesium to Hack the Brain

May 28, 2019 - 12:42pm
Brain

The brain’s metabolism never stops. Even during a coma, the metabolism inside the brain only slows down by 50%. As such, the brain is a very resource-hungry organism that requires a great deal of nutrition and, in turn, creates a lot of metabolic waste.

The brain uses magnesium for hundreds of enzymatic reactions and deficiencies have been connected to a change in behavior in both humans and animals. Magnesium is also required to help the brain expel metabolic free radicals.

Why Am I Allergic to Meat?

May 21, 2019 - 9:00am
Summertime BBQ

This weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer for many in the northern hemisphere. With summer, we get more glorious sunshine, but also pesky bugs. Although most bugs are harmless and even beneficial to our natural world, some have become synonymous with debilitating diseases.

Familiar tick-borne illnesses, for example, include Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Babesiosis. And, as recently as 2009, a new one has been added to the ongoing list -- alpha-Gal red meat allergy. Coming to the scene with a rising number of cases, it is not yet considered a reportable disease and many details about its pathophysiology are still unknown. Also, this alpha-Gal red meat allergy is challenging the existing paradigm of food allergies.

Why Am I Allergic to Meat?

May 21, 2019 - 9:00am
Summertime BBQ

This weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer for many in the northern hemisphere. With summer, we get more glorious sunshine, but also pesky bugs. Although most bugs are harmless and even beneficial to our natural world, some have become synonymous with debilitating diseases.

Familiar tick-borne illnesses, for example, include Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Babesiosis. And, as recently as 2009, a new one has been added to the ongoing list -- alpha-Gal red meat allergy. Coming to the scene with a rising number of cases, it is not yet considered a reportable disease and many details about its pathophysiology are still unknown. Also, this alpha-Gal red meat allergy is challenging the existing paradigm of food allergies.

Beet Your Way to Health

May 14, 2019 - 9:19am
iStock-698870126

Red beetroot (Beta vulgaris rubra) has been gaining popularity as a functional food that has potential to prevent disease and promote health. Beets belong to the chenopod family along with other foods such as chard, spinach, and quinoa. They have been used throughout history as a treatment for numerous ailments, and still evoke an emotional response from people who either love them or have an intense dislike for them. According to research, beetroot is being considered in the treatment of pathologies related to oxidative stress, inflammation, detoxification, cognition, and endothelial function. The betalains are not only what give beets their red color but also function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules. Beets are a great source of fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, Vitamin C, and nitrates. Unlike nitrites found in processed meats which are not healthy, nitrates found in beets are responsible for the health promoting benefits they provide. When beets are consumed, oral microbiota reduce dietary nitrate (NO3-) to nitrite (NO2-) where some of it is reduced to Nitric Oxide (NO) in the stomach and absorbed into circulation. Interestingly, spitting out saliva or using oral anti-bacterial mouthwash reduced the nitrate-nitrite conversion.

By increasing beetroot consumption, the body has a natural means to increase in vivo NO availability which relaxes and widen blood vessels, supporting blood pressure regulation.

Beet Your Way to Health

May 14, 2019 - 9:19am
iStock-698870126

Red beetroot (Beta vulgaris rubra) has been gaining popularity as a functional food that has potential to prevent disease and promote health. Beets belong to the chenopod family along with other foods such as chard, spinach, and quinoa. They have been used throughout history as a treatment for numerous ailments, and still evoke an emotional response from people who either love them or have an intense dislike for them. According to research, beetroot is being considered in the treatment of pathologies related to oxidative stress, inflammation, detoxification, cognition, and endothelial function. The betalains are not only what give beets their red color but also function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules. Beets are a great source of fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, Vitamin C, and nitrates. Unlike nitrites found in processed meats which are not healthy, nitrates found in beets are responsible for the health promoting benefits they provide. When beets are consumed, oral microbiota reduce dietary nitrate (NO3-) to nitrite (NO2-) where some of it is reduced to Nitric Oxide (NO) in the stomach and absorbed into circulation. Interestingly, spitting out saliva or using oral anti-bacterial mouthwash reduced the nitrate-nitrite conversion.

By increasing beetroot consumption, the body has a natural means to increase in vivo NO availability which relaxes and widen blood vessels, supporting blood pressure regulation.

Managing Inflammation through Gut Microbiota

May 7, 2019 - 11:35am
iStock-1076737852

Many factors influence one’s health and whether or not something supports or opposes a healthy inflammatory response is critical. While factors that may increase inflammation such as age and hereditary are out of our control, physical activity, dietary choices, and chemical exposures are within our control. Because inflammation can be at the root cause of many diseases, ranging from cardiovascular to neurological to metabolic, it’s important to downregulate the inflammatory response when we can.

Managing Inflammation through Gut Microbiota

May 7, 2019 - 11:35am
iStock-1076737852

Many factors influence one’s health and whether or not something supports or opposes a healthy inflammatory response is critical. While factors that may increase inflammation such as age and hereditary are out of our control, physical activity, dietary choices, and chemical exposures are within our control. Because inflammation can be at the root cause of many diseases, ranging from cardiovascular to neurological to metabolic, it’s important to downregulate the inflammatory response when we can.

Neurological Benefits of Green Tea

April 30, 2019 - 8:09am
iStock-1136814197

Common knowledge tells us that green tea is a healthy beverage, but evidence suggests that it may in fact have more natural brain benefits than most people realize.

Aside from water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world. It’s consumed by two-thirds of the world’s population. And while black tea accounts for 78% of total tea production, green tea is the variety that may have particularly powerful brain benefits.

Regardless of variety, black, green, oolong, dark and white teas all come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Black tea leaves are crushed after picking so they become oxidized. Green tea, on the other hand, is lightly steamed and carefully preserved to prevent oxidation. Both black tea and green tea contain the same beneficial flavonoids and free radical scavengers. However, green tea contains higher flavonoid levels.    

Neurological Benefits of Green Tea

April 30, 2019 - 8:09am
Neurological Benefits of Green Tea

Common knowledge tells us that green tea is a healthy beverage, but evidence suggests that it may in fact have more natural brain benefits than most people realize.

Aside from water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world. It’s consumed by two-thirds of the world’s population. And while black tea accounts for 78% of total tea production, green tea is the variety that may have particularly powerful brain benefits.

Regardless of variety, black, green, oolong, dark and white teas all come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Black tea leaves are crushed after picking so they become oxidized. Green tea, on the other hand, is lightly steamed and carefully preserved to prevent oxidation. Both black tea and green tea contain the same beneficial flavonoids and free radical scavengers. However, green tea contains higher flavonoid levels.    

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

April 23, 2019 - 6:56am
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During the past few decades we have been taught to be wary of the sun. For some reason, research that found sunburns to be linked to skin cancer morphed into warnings about any sun exposure. We are continually being told not to go out into the sun without SPF 99 sunblock and a UV ray-blocking shirt. The downside to this sun aversion, however, might be the reason for an estimated 40% of Americans who are vitamin D deficient. Also, worldwide, vitamin D deficiency exists is about 50% of the population. Wearing a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 reduces vitamin D synthesis in the skin by more than 95%.