Articles

Is Coronavirus Weighing You Down?

Is Coronavirus Weighing You Down?

Life changed a few months ago, many of us are working from home or without a schedule.  Many have temporarily lost their income, and some are looking at long term job loss.  Quite suddenly our lives changed, gyms and group exercise classes are shut down and we have been asked to slow down.  We are faced with stress, boredom, abnormal schedule and we are being comforted by our fridge.  Add the uncertainty of availability at the grocery stores and we find ourselves stocking our cupboards and pantries fuller than usual with comfort foods.  Social media memes are telling the story of people overindulging in food and alcohol, home baking and not getting enough exercise.

Are you concerned about your waistline?
It may be time to get back on an eating plan like the keto lifestyle which can support good health and help you manage your quarantine body.  A healthy keto diet combines a low sugar/carbohydrate and a moderate protein intake with up to 75% of the diet from healthy fats.  High blood sugar and refined sugars in the diet can cause food cravings, create inflammation and lower immunity, while a lower sugar diet keeps insulin levels balanced and allows the body to burn stored fat for energy.  A higher fat diet keeps you fuller and more satisfied for longer periods of time between meals.  A keto diet may be the right choice to both help reduce snacking and keep your immune system working optimally.

Keto can support your immune system
A recent study, published in Nov 2019, reveals a Ketogenic diet can also fight off the flu. Here is the exciting news from The Department of Comparative Medicine, from Yale School of Medicine. Researchers fed mice infected with the influenza virus a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, which resulted in a higher survival rate than compared to those on a normal high-carbohydrate diet.

Their team found the ketogenic diet triggered the release of T cells (immune system cells which produce mucus in the cell linings of the lung), trapping the virus before it became worse – while the high-carbohydrate diet did not produce these benefits. This study demonstrates that the way the body burns fat to produce ketone bodies can fuel the immune system to fight flu infection. We are just beginning to understand this previously unrecognized immune effect. (1) Also, the increased levels of ketone bodies such as β-hydroxybutyrate have shown to be protective of injury by oxygen reactive species. (2)

4 Tips to get you on track

1. Get back into your routine
We are faced with an uncertain time ahead, but we can control our day to day schedule. Try to stay on your “normal” schedule.  If you got up at a certain time, made coffee, walked and fed the dog, had a shake, took your supplements before coronavirus happened then get back to it.  This may be an imperfect system if you no longer need to leave your house but the closer you can get to your normal schedule the more in control you will feel.

2. Have a plan
Plan what you are going to eat during the day and even prepare food ahead of time. Eating on a plan can help reduce total intake and will contribute to reduced stress.  Stress increases cortisol and causes your body to store fat.  Schedule time to; move your body, get a good sleep, when and what you eat, when you need to work and when you can unwind and do something fun.

3. Get your pantry game right
Eating on a plan can save money on groceries and can make sure your pantry is stocked with foods that support your goals. High fat foods like MCT Oil powder, coconut oil, nuts & seeds and peanut butter are convenient sources of nutrition that are shelf stable and can fill your pantry with fast snacks.  Keto friendly protein powder with added MCT oil makes fabulously rich, creamy, smoothies as well as convenient shake-and-go meals.

4. Support your diet and immune system with good nutrition
Generally, a keto diet is low in fruits and vegetables due to the carbohydrate content.  Choose leafy greens as often as possible or use nutrient dense greens powders like spirulina and chlorella to add complete vegan protein sources and needed vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients.  These food powders can be added to smoothies, soups, crockpot meals, baking and so many other recipes to keep your body fit and strong.  KetoGreens with MCT oil powder supports ketosis and flavour profiles.

Try our recipe for Keto Coco Balls for something to satisfy your sweet tooth that will keep you in ketosis.

 

Keto Vegan: Coco Balls

Stay in your Keto Zone with these delicious Keto Coconut fudge balls!

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil (solid)
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ½ scoop Prairie Naturals Chocolate KetoPro Vegan
  • ½ teaspoon Prairie Naturals Organic KetoGreens
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon stevia powder extract (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • ½ cup finely shredded coconut (reserve ¼ cup for coating Fudge Balls)

Directions:

  1. Mix together all ingredients (except ¼ cup shredded coconut) in a bowl until smooth and well mixed. If the fudge mixture is too soft to work with, refrigerate it for 30 minutes until more solid.
  2. Pinch off small portions and roll into balls.
  3. Roll each ball in coconut and place on a flat plate.
  4. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat & allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

References:
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7051856/ Ketogenic diet activates protective γδ (gamma delta ) T cell responses against influenza virus infection. Sci Immunol.2019 Nov 15;4(41).
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7051856/ Ketogenic Diet: A Role in Immunity? Pediatr Neurol Briefs. 2020; 34: 5.

The Power of Nutrition

The Power of Nutrition

For millennia, humans have relied upon the innate wisdom of food to promote health and longevity. From supporting muscle development through a protein-rich diet to curbing the harmful effects of scurvy or rickets with citrus fruits and dairy products; we’ve learned to respect the power of nutrition. Even in today’s fast-paced society, full of grab-and-go meals, over-refined snack foods and produce grown in often less-than-ideal conditions[i], our need for these vital nutrients is arguably at an all-time high. For this reason, many people are choosing to augment their dietary needs through the use of natural supplements, like protein powders, vitamin C and vitamin D. But among the expansive array of nutritional supplements currently on the market, one compound in particular is still largely flying under the radar of the general public, despite both thousands of years of faithful use as well as thousands of clinical studies. That compound is curcumin.

Derived from the spice turmeric, and comprising roughly three percent of the plant[ii], curcumin’s long history of traditional use began in India, where it was, and continues to be, relied upon for addressing everything from joint pain and allergies to asthma support[iii]. Of course, when brought under the light of scientific scrutiny, many potentially helpful substances begin to fade, as they fail to live up to the hype. However, in the case of curcumin, the decades of research into this extract’s purported benefits seem to only heighten its potential use for many of today’s most common (and concerning) ailments. In addition to the previous claims of alleviating chronic inflammation and supporting immunity, curcumin has also proven to be a powerful antioxidant[iv], with ongoing research exploring potential roles in many health conditions.

If this all sounds too good to be true, well, for many curcumin supplements on the market, it may be. The “catch” in all of this is that despite its plethora of potential health benefits, curcumin has very poor bioavailability. This means that when ingesting a standard curcumin supplement, very little of the extract actually gets absorbed and reaches the blood stream to exert its effects. This is because curcumin is a fat-soluble compound, meaning that it has a hard time being efficiently digested and absorbed when in a largely water-based environment. To work around this, some supplement companies package their curcumin capsules with a small amount of black pepper. Just as adding a little pepper to your food helps you digest that steak dinner, so, too, does it enhance absorption of curcumin. To a degree. Sisu’s Full Spectrum Curcumin approaches the issue a little differently. With its exclusive Nova SOL® curcumin extract, the absorption barrier is addressed through the use of a patented process whereby 95% curcumin powder is encapsulated into tiny, water-soluble spheres called micelles[v]. This allows for enhanced bioavailability, consequently unlocking the antioxidant power of this incredible nutrient[vi].

Unlike many other highly-touted “natural remedies” on the market, curcumin truly does offer a unique combination of traditional use and scientific merit. However, like many other supplements, its usefulness appears largely dependent upon using a high-quality form. With Sisu’s Full Spectrum Curcumin, you can get the best of both worlds.

 

[i] Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004;23(6):669-82.

[ii] Tayyem RF, Heath DD, Al-delaimy WK, Rock CL. Curcumin content of turmeric and curry powders. Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(2):126-31.

[iii] Ammon H.P., Wahl M.A. Pharmacology of Curcuma longa. Planta Med. 1991;57:1–7. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-960004.

[iv] Pulido-moran M, Moreno-fernandez J, Ramirez-tortosa C, Ramirez-tortosa M. Curcumin and Health. Molecules. 2016;21(3):264

[v] Purpura M, Lowery RP, Wilson JM, Mannan H, Münch G, Razmovski-naumovski V. Analysis of different innovative formulations of curcumin for improved relative oral bioavailability in human subjects. Eur J Nutr. 2018;57(3):929-938.

[vi] Dei cas M, Ghidoni R. Dietary Curcumin: Correlation between Bioavailability and Health Potential. Nutrients. 2019;11(9)

Soothe Stress with Ashwagandha

Soothe Stress with Ashwagandha

Stress. It’s something that all of us experience, regardless of job, geographic location or family situation. Stress is the body’s response to environmental stimuli (stressors). It’s natural and healthy to a degree; stress can motivate us and move us forward in life. Too much stress and an inability to manage it, however, can have dramatic health consequences for an individual.

In Canada, statistics reveal the prevalence of stress in our modern society. Almost three-quarters of Canadian workers report being “stressed.” Of those stressed workers, more than one-third consider themselves “highly stressed.” Although there are numerous sources of stress, 60% of highly stressed individuals cite work as the primary cause.1

 

The cost of high stress levels to the Canadian economy is crippling. An estimated $20 billion per year is spent or lost in dealing with stress issues. An incredible 75% of short-term work disability is due to stress. 2

 

The dark side of chronic stress

Stress triggers adrenaline and cortisol production in the body allowing the individual to react to the stressful situation. Heart rate, body temperature, endocrine response and anxiety all increase. Productivity increases for a short time, but fatigue and exhaustion can follow and if the stress is prolonged, health issues can occur.

 

Chronic high levels of stress are associated with mental health issues. The Canadian Mental Health Commission reports that anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue as well as alcohol and drug abuse occur more frequently in those under extreme stress.3 These states can lead to memory loss, poor brain performance, anxiety disorders and accelerated aging. Further, with the mind-body connection in humans, stress issues can go beyond mental to physical disease. Heart disease, arthritis, joint conditions, diabetes, respiratory issues, migraine headaches, metabolic syndrome, obesity risk, poor sexual performance and weakened immunity all increase in the shadow of long-term stress.

 

Solutions for managing stress and anxiety

The pharmaceutical industry offers a wide selection of drugs to help individuals cope with stress. Some common prescriptions are anxiolytics (tranquilizers) (e.g. benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax), beta blockers for anxiety symptoms or sleeping pills to assist with sleeping. The downside of these medicines can be dependence, decreasing effectiveness with regular use, memory loss, cognitive decline and withdrawal symptoms. Dependence can occur in just two weeks with some medications.4

 

To avoid the potential risks of pharmaceutical medications when dealing with stress and anxiety, there are a number of lifestyle adjustments suggested by the Canadian Mental Health Association to help the mind and body cope:5

  • Identifying the source of stress and establishing a plan for reduction
  • Sufficient sleep (7 hours per day) to allow the mind and body to heal
  • Regular vigorous exercise helps to release stress
  • Yoga, deep breathing and massages help to calm the mind and body
  • Eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meat, protein
  • Begin the day with a good breakfast and drink water throughout the day
  • Adopt a positive attitude and optimistic view on life
  • Surround yourself with supportive family and friends

 

Natural supplements can also assist the body and mind in coping with stressful conditions. Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and magnesium have been shown to be helpful. Traditional herbal remedies also have a history of assisting the body to perform when under mental or physical stress.

 

Adaptogens – Natural stress resistance

Herbs that can enhance one’s capability to deal with stress are classified as adaptogens. These are plants with medicinal components that can help normalize the body’s functions during periods of mental and physical stress to rebalance and rejuvenate an individual. A number of herbs are classified as adaptogens. The best herbal adaptogens are those that have the following traits6:

  1. Decreases stress-induced damage
  2. Safe and beneficial even at higher than normal doses
  3. Free from negative effects, such as withdrawal
  4. Avoids impacting normal body functions more than necessary

 

One herb that satisfies all the requirements of a true adaptogen is Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Its name, Ashwagandha, means “smell of horse” owing to its distinctive odour and its ability to give one the “strength of a horse.” The root of Ashwagandha has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years as a rejuvenative herb for enhancing the performance of multiple body systems: the neurological, immune, energy-production, endocrinal and reproductive systems.

 

Ashwagandha has had a long history of use as an adaptogen and even some basic clinical trials showing promise. A unique, full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha has now been tested in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the full potential of the herb to assist humans to manage stress and anxiety. This Ashwagandha, branded as KSM-66®, has been called “the world’s best Ashwagandha.”

 

KSM-66® – Ashwagandha for mental stress

KSM-66® is a superior Ashwagandha extract for several reasons. It is a root-only extract for one. Only the root extract is used in Ayurvedic medicine, not the leaves. KSM-66® has the highest concentration active withanolides at 5% of any root-only Ashwagandha extract. KSM-66® is a full spectrum extract that contains the complete profile of nutrients found naturally in Ashwagandha. But most importantly, the KSM-66® extract is backed up by extensive clinical studies for its many benefits.

 

Researchers believed that Ashwagandha’s ability to reduce blood cortisol levels was the primary reason for its effectiveness against stress and anxiety symptoms. During stressful mental or physical situations, cortisol can rise as much as 20 times normal levels due to excess adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretion.12 Elevated cortisol leads to increased heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar. High cortisol levels for short periods can save our lives, by focusing all body systems on survival. High cortisol levels for long periods can have detrimental effects on anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, memory and concentration impairment.13

 

Clearly, KSM-66® Ashwagandha is proven to be an effective adaptogen, with research continuing to document its wide applications. Users of this special herbal extract will quickly understand why it was recently selected as the “Best Botanical Ingredient” by Engredea at the Natural Product Expo – the world’s largest natural health exhibition.

 

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Crompton, Susan. “What’s stressing the stressed? Main sources of stress among workers.” Statistics Canada. April 2014.
  2. “Balance your life with Cyracos®” 2011. Page 26.
  3. Canadian Mental Health Association. “Stress”. ca.
  4. Chandrasekhar, K. et al, “A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha Root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults.” Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. Vol. 34, Issue 3, Jul-Sep 2012.
  5. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Chronic stress puts your health at risk.” org. July 11, 2013. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art20046037
  6. Choudhary, S Bakhtiar, MD, PhD. et al. “Efficacy and safety of a Full Spectrum Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Improving Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Healthy Athletic Adults.” I. Hyderabad Spice Clinic, Hyderabad, India. AYU – An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda. 2015.
  7. Wankhede, Sachin. “Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract (Withania somnifera) on Muscle Strength, Size and Recover, Testosterone, and Body Fat in Health Adults.” Sports Medicine and Doctors Fitness Zone, Pune, India
  8. Vijay, R. Ambiye, et al., “Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 571420, 6 pages.
  9. Swati Dongre, F MAS, “Efficacy and safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) root extract in improving sexual function in women: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.” Trupti Hospital & Santati Fertility Center, Mumbai. Lopez, Dr. Len. “The stress infertility connection.” http://www.cbn.com/health/nutrition/DrLen_051

 

Build Strength and Beauty

Build Strength and Beauty

Build Strength and Beauty

A youthful, vibrant body, at any age, must have a strong structural foundation — meaning your skeleton. However, one in four women and one in eight men over the age of 50 have osteoporosis. In Canada, more women die each year as a result of osteoporotic fractures than from breast and ovarian cancer combined. Between 45 and 75 years of age, women lose 30 percent of their skeletal structure and men lose 15 percent.

You are what you absorb

Part of the osteoporosis problem is Calcium absorption. It has been estimated that children absorb 75% of the Calcium they eat, and adults less efficient digestive systems, absorbs 30%.

Enerex OSTEO CAL:MAG offers highly-absorbable chelated Calcium and Magnesium, along with co-factor nutrients, Boron, Silicon and Vitamins D and K2 that are vital to bone formation. The superfood raw organic kale is added to combat acidity in the body — which is thought by some researchers to be the missing link to osteoporosis prevention.

Calcium can’t get into bones on its own. It needs co-partners (co-factors): Magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and trace minerals — Magnesium must be supplemented with Calcium for a healthy balance in the body; Vitamin D3 helps Calcium to be absorbed; Boron helps to prevent loss of Calcium and Magnesium (excreted in the urine), and Silicon helps Calcium to be absorbed by the body.

Vitamin K2 the “key differentiating factor”

Vitamin K is important for a healthy bone protein called osteocalcin, which makes the thick web-like structure, or matrix, that holds bones together. Lack of Vitamin K may reduce the function of osteoblast cells (bone-forming cells in the body) which affects bone mineral density. Enerex’s Osteo contains Microencapsulated K2. The Microencapsulation is the key factor in the efficacy of this formulation. As a matter of fact, Vitamin K2 is neutralized by Calcium mineral in the formulation, thus it is necessary to separate these two ingredients by Microencapsulating the K2 in order to preserve

each ingredient’s bioactivity. Any formulation that places Calcium and non-microencapsulated Vitamin K2 together, is sure to be ineffective.

Chelated CAL:MAG

Combining Calcium with a protein (in a process called “chelation”) Enerex’s Osteo Cal:Mag creates an organic chelate bond. As a result, studies show that 75% more Calcium is delivered to the bones, and 87% more Magnesium delivered when they are both chelated.

Stay Youthful Inside and Out 

Bamboo Silica is an essential metabolic mineral, especially for calcium and increasing the density of bones, teeth, and gums. It forms the basis of connective tissue that holds organs and tissue together as well as maintaining the stability of ligaments and tendons to keep joints flexible. Silica helps keep arteries pliant and as a building block it helps build tissue such as our skin and help remedy skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Why do you need Silicon? Here are 6 good reasons.

  1. Silicon helps nutrients called chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid to be deposited into cartilage, and aids in forming collagen, a major component of ligaments and tendons that helps to maintain joint strength and elasticity. This has important implications for managing arthritis but also for exercising.
  2. It is essential for bone development and may help to prevent osteoporosis and re-calcify bones.
  3. It plays a role in mineral absorption, and enhances the function of Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Boron in the body.
  4. It improves elasticity and permeability of arteries. (Atherosclerosis can occur as a result of Silicon deficiency. In studies, Silica was found to be up to 14 times more abundant in arteries of people with no heart disease.)
  5. Silicon is called the “beauty nutrient” because it helps to create healthy, toned skin by providing strength and resilience to collagen and elastin.

 

Enerex BAMBOO SILICA is the richest known source of natural Silicon, containing over 70% organic Silica. This is more than 10 times the level found in the Horsetail plant (Equisetum) that contains 5% to 7% Silica. To increase the effectiveness of Bamboo Silica, we added 200 mg of Calcium citrate to the formula. Calcium absorption in the bones and other areas is enhanced by the presence of Silicon, and like Calcium, Silicon is involved in normal bone development. Like Silicon, a deficiency of Calcium may also speed the skin’s aging.

 

Healthy Liver = Healthy Hormones

Healthy Liver = Healthy Hormones

Healthy Liver = Healthy Hormones

Stress, aging, exposure to pesticides, man-made chemicals, too much or too little exercise, or improper nutrition can all affect the delicate balance of hormones.  One of the most prominent causes of PMS related symptoms, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease; and breast, uterine and ovarian cancer is excessive estrogen exposure from xenoestrogens which are synthetic estrogens from the environment.   This is most often referred to as Estrogen Dominance.  Two major sources of these exogenous estrogens are oral contraceptives (birth control pill) and hormone replacement therapy.  These hormones are considered “foreign” which the body does not recognize to be identical to its own hormones.

The liver is considered a key player when treating hormone imbalances.  Many of our hormones, such as estrogen pass through the liver and are broken down into their respective metabolites.  The problem arises when xenoestrogens pass through the liver because they often create very damaging by-products and harmful estrogen metabolites, which can put a lot of additional stress on the liver as well as disrupt our normal hormone pathways.

Other major sources of xenoestrogens are environmental toxins found in pesticides, plastics, household cleaners, and many of our personal hygiene products and cosmetics. These toxins are structurally similar to estrogen and have the ability to mimic the harmful estrogens in the body.  Research has shown that both “good” and “bad” natural estrogens exist in the body; for example, 16α-hydroxylated estrogen metabolites are stronger and associated with a higher risk of breast cancer compared to 2-hydroxylated estrogen metabolites, which are considered friendly and protective estrogens.

To help maintain healthy hormone balance eat organic foods, use clean body care products which are free from xenoestrogens including parabens and sulfates, and ask for a natural formula to support healthy liver detoxification at your local health food store. Liver supportive ingredients such as milk thistle and curcumin are essential for supporting those detoxification pathways. Milk thistle is a well-researched botanical extract that contains potent antioxidants that protect liver cells from free radical damage and support detoxification pathways. Calcium-d-glucarate, indole-3-carbinol, and sulforaphane help the liver metabolize excess estrogens from the body.  Green tea extract has been shown to reduce excess testosterone levels and to control high levels of insulin.  It is also a potent antioxidant along with lycopene and rosemary extract.

Antioxidants help bind onto free radicals during the detoxification of harmful substances, thus protecting the body from environmental insult.

Our liver is one of the most important organs in the body for detoxification.  Keeping the liver healthy and supporting its ability to break down hormones efficiently is essential for healthy hormone balance.

 

 

About the Author: Dr. Marita Schauch, ND

“Marita

Dr. Schauch is a naturopathic doctor based in Victoria, BC who specializes in holistic healthcare. She believes in taking the whole individual into account when looking at their ailments, and getting to the heart of every health problem. To learn more about WomenSense please visit womensense.com

 

What is D-Mannose?

What is D-Mannose?

What is D-Mannose?

D-Mannose is a simple sugar that occurs naturally in some plants, including cranberries, blueberries, peaches and apples. Mannose exists in two forms, alpha and beta. The alpha form is mild and sweet, while the beta form is bitter. The natural manufacturing methods for mannose result in a mixture of these two forms, yielding a product that is mildly sweet with a slight bitter aftertaste.

Although small amounts of D-Mannose are metabolized by the human body, much of it is rapidly excreted in the urine. Limited in-vitro research has demonstrated that in the bladder, D-Mannose can adhere to undesirable foreign substances, such as E. Coli., preventing them from sticking to the lining of the bladder. Mannose helps to maintain healthy mucosal surfaces in the bladder and supports normal elimination. Therefore, many individuals have used D-Mannose to manage urinary tract infections (UTI’s) and promote general urogenital health. Mannose is a pleasant, mildly sweet tasting, simple sugar molecule that is closely related to glucose. But D-Mannose is not readily metabolized by the body. Because insubstantial amounts of D-Mannose are used by the body, it may not interfere with blood sugar regulation, making it an alternative option to sugar-filled solutions such as cranberry juice for UTI’s. Diabetics should still monitor their blood sugar and watch for potential fluctuations as each individual is different in how they may respond.

 

D-Mannose Research

Several studies have shown effectiveness of D-Mannose. A 2013 study evaluated D-mannose in 308 women who had frequent UTIs. D-mannose was almost as effective as the antibiotic nitrofurantoin for preventing UTIs over a 6-month period. In a 2014 study, D-mannose was compared to the antibiotic trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole for treatment and prevention of frequent UTIs in 60 women. D-mannose reduced UTI symptoms in women with an active infection. It was also more effective than the antibiotic for preventing additional infections. A third 2016 study tested the effects of D-mannose in 43 women with an active UTI. At the end of the study, most women had improved symptoms.

 

It should be noted that D-Mannose has no antibiotic properties and may not kill existing infections. If you have persistent burning and/or urgency symptoms, it is recommended to seek professional medical evaluation to determine if these symptoms are caused by a urinary tract infection.

 

How to Use D-Mannose

D-Mannose can come in different forms – as a powder that can be mixed into water or added to juices, or in supplemental form such as capsules. In some cases, it will be mixed with cranberry concentrate powder for synergistic effect. For use as a preventative, the recommended dosage is 2 grams (2000 mg) taken once daily. Since D-Mannose is a simple sugar, it does not have to be taken with a meal. It is best to take with water only to reduce sugar load, but it is acceptable to mix with juices. Usually 1 to 2 cups of fluid are recommended to increase fluid intake to help flush the system regularly. If you are suffering from or suspect a UTI, it is recommended to increase the dosage 1.5x (3 grams) daily, ideally taking 1.5 grams twice daily for 14 days, or 1 gram 3 times per day for 14 days. It is best to consume immediately after mixing for best results. Having pills available at home and/or work, or to carry along, can help make sure you don’t miss a dosage if making a drink is not convenient or missed. Be sure to drink plenty of water if using the pill form to help flush the bladder and kidneys. Most individuals do not suffer any side effects, but some individuals may experience loose bowels or diarrhea. Safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not fully been established, so it is recommended to consult a health care practitioner prior to use. Also, D-Mannose may be safely used with other recommended natural remedies such as Vitamin C and probiotics. NOW® Pure D-Mannose has a caloric value of four calories per gram, which is similar to other sugars. Therefore, a one teaspoon serving providing 2 grams will deliver only 8 calories.

 

Consider the Quality of your Mannose

At NOW®, our mannose is carefully analyzed to determine its purity. This is to ensure there’s no dilution with other sugars, such as dextrose or sucrose. NOW specifies that our mannose will exceed 99% purity and taste mildly sweet with the slightest hint of a bitter aftertaste. We add no fillers, flow agents, or excipients, so you receive pure D-Mannose in our powder products. We provide both powder and vegetarian capsule versions to fit your lifestyle.

Prevent Blue Light Damage

Prevent Blue Light Damage

Prevent Blue Light Damage

Can you guess what has recently popped up as one of today’s most concerning health hazards?

Hints: We are all exposed to it every day.

It’s not a contagious virus or bacteria but it’s more frequent than the common cold.

It’s called “blue light” and scientists are warning us that it poses very serious risks to our eyesight.

What is Blue Light? Blue light is that ubiquitous aura that constantly emanates from the screens of our various electronic devices. We are bombarded with it. Our cell phones, tablets, TVs, laptops and interior LED lights emit this perpetual glow that we now know, with absolute certainty, wreaks havoc on our eyes and vision.

What are the Dangers of Blue Light? Even more prevalent than sunlight exposure, blue light has emerged as the foremost threat to our vision by penetrating and damaging the retina and other parts of our eye. Our cumulative daily exposure to blue light is often far greater than we realize. Blue light exposure significantly increases our risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults.

How Does OcuBlue Protect Against Blue Light? Healthy eyes have their own protective layer of pigment-saturated cells called the retinal pigment epithelium. These pigmented cells are naturally rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, and other carotenoids provided by an antioxidant-rich diet. Recent scientific research shows that daily supplementation with the specific antioxidant phyto-nutrients used to formulate OcuBlue prevents and mitigates the damaging effects of blue light. The three super-potent, natural source carotenoid antioxidants in OcuBlue act synergistically as cellular protectors and rejuvenators for our eyes. Encapsulated in an easy-to-swallow soft gel, the antioxidants in OcuBlue are suspended in a base of olive oil for optimal absorption.

What are the Ingredients in Prairie Naturals OcuBlue?

Astaxanthin – Derived from the marine microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis, scientists have found that astaxanthin, a red-hued member of the carotenoid family, crosses the blood barrier of the brain and defends our cells from every potential assault. Our eyes especially benefit from its versatile and all-encompassing antioxidant properties. Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, neuropathy, and inflammatory eye diseases all respond to the positive effects of astaxanthin’s cell-protective properties, making it the most powerful eye nutrient known! Its natural red colour comes from xanthophylls, a carotenoid pigment that colours salmon, crab, krill and lobster with their distinctive vivid red hues. In particular, these xanthophyll carotenoid pigments deposit in the macula of the eye, protecting our eyes from the damaging risks of blue light.

Lutein & Zeaxanthin – From the Latin word “luteus” which means “yellow”, lutein and its sister nutrient, zeaxanthin, are naturally occurring pigments in the carotenoid family. While every part of our body benefits from the intake of these two fat-soluble antioxidants, our eyes probably benefit the most from lutein and zeaxanthin. Their pigments (derived from marigold flowers) literally deposit in the retina and macula to protect eye cells from oxidative damage and the effects of blue light. Recent published human studies show that supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin boosts visual function in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

More About the Protective Carotenoids in OcuBlue

Certain carotenoids, including Astaxanthin, Lutein & Zeaxanthin have a unique molecular structure that enables them to soak up intense blue wavelengths, thereby preventing damage to the delicate rod and cone cells in our eyes that convert light energy into electrical impulses. These protective carotenoids provide early prevention against age-related macular degeneration and promote retinal health.

5 Tips to Prevent Blue Light Eye Damage

  • Take one OcuBlue softgel daily with a meal.
  • Eat more antioxidant-rich SuperFoods every day.
  • Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Turn off all your electronic devices two to three hours before bedtime.
  • If you work at night or use electronic devices at night, wear blue-blocking glasses.

 

Magnesium – The Original “Chill Pill”

Magnesium – The Original “Chill Pill”

Magnesium – The Original “Chill Pill”

Phew! Man, what a day? While you were feeling stressed out you may have sought out comfort and energy in a cup of coffee and a buttery baked good. According to research you may be better off reaching for a handful of nuts or a salad that is rich in magnesium. Okay, agreed – these options are not as tasty as your coffee shop treats but the science on magnesium is hard to ignore. Here’s the scoop…

Magnesium may help squash that jolted, stressed out feeling. Like a gatekeeper, magnesium works to help control how often a receptor in the body is triggered. The receptor is called the N-methyl-d-asparate (NMDA) receptor. Interestingly, blocking the NMDA receptor is the target of a group of antidepressant drugs. In the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2014, researchers found in their test rodent model that magnesium does appear to have anti-depressant abilities. Ah-ha! Magnesium has happiness potential. Now that you’re smiling, let’s give you a reason to chuckle – some witty scientists refer to magnesium as the original “chill pill”.

Foods rich in magnesium are commonly under-consumed in the diets of busy, North American people: leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 reactions in the body, including nerve function and energy production. So, are you getting enough?

Maybe tomorrow when the photocopier jams right before your big presentation you’ll breathe a sigh of relief knowing your lunch box is filled with magnesium-rich foods. But, if you think you can’t get enough magnesium from your foods, magnesium supplements are an option.

Health First Magnesium Supreme is a pure and potent source of magnesium. Each capsule contains 125mg of magnesium glycinate. Health First Magnesium Supreme, also available in an Extra Strength formula, helps prevent magnesium deficiency and maintain proper muscle function.

Think you might be magnesium deficient? Some of the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency in humans are confusion, insomnia, accelerated heartbeat, seizures, muscle weakness and twitching, chronic pain and fatigue, and a host of cardiovascular issues. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any of these issues!

 

Make Healthy & Sustainable Choices

Make Healthy &  Sustainable Choices

Choosing plant-based ingredients means more than being “vegan” or “vegetarian”. Choosing to support Certified Organic, Non-GMO or Truly Grass-Fed products surpasses simply “eating clean”. What you choose to purchase and consume goes beyond what it does for you – what do all these choices do for our earth? Opting for plant-based proteins or whole food-sourced supplements, seeking out third party certified products or B-Corp certified brands, choosing to reuse or recycle packaging, and eating seasonally are sustainable habits that prioritize your health and the health of our planet.

A Daily Mantra: “Plants before processed, bulk over plastic”

Processed foods not only contain more added salt, sugars, fats and preservatives than their natural counterparts, but they also require more energy, more operational systems and more excess packaging to be created1. In a recent Canadian study, it was shown that 87% of plastic waste ends up in landfills or the environment, and 47% of this waste comes from packaging2. From the fruits individually wrapped in cellophane or prebagged in the produce aisle and the endless supplies of plastic bags at the checkout, plastic is everywhere. “What’s one plastic bag going to do?”, said 7-billion people. To prioritize sustainability, try choosing fresh fruits and vegetables before reaching for a snack bar with hidden sugars that is wrapped in plastic. Additionally, hand pick your produce and bring your own bag for smaller loose items, like nuts or seeds, and avoid the pre-wrapped and pre-bagged options.

 

“A B C, it’s as easy as seasonality” …

Being able to buy berries in the winter or squash in the summer is a nice idea, however, producing these fruits and vegetables out of their natural growing season requires a few not so sustainable elements: more pesticides, more fertilizers, more artificial heating or lighting, and more fuel emissions from international transport. A benefit to eating seasonal foods is long term reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and unnecessary pollution, proving to be more sustainable in farming as soils remain nourished and air quality remains clean. Buying seasonally is not only cleaner and more sustainable for the earth, but it’s more sustainable for your wallet! Local and seasonal fruits and vegetables are found to be not only cheaper but fresher and better quality. Compared to imported or out of season produce, they are more likely to be organic and free of growth and ripening chemicals.3

 

Be on the lookout for B-Corps!

To become B-Corp Certified, a brand must ensure transparency with their manufacturing products and practices, and their subsequent environmental and societal impact. Therefore, supporting a B-Corp Certified brand gives you complete assurance that the company is following strict standards for both environmental sustainability and societal welfare.4 Choose B-Corp Certified brands to keep your body and our ecosystem healthy.

 

 

All-in-Ones: All the Nutrients in One Package

On-the-go? Didn’t have time to meal prep? Hungry and fatigued mid-day? Store bought snacks and to-go meals often don’t sustain you the way you need nor are their plastic or foil wrappings (and ingredients) sustainable for the environment1. Your ability to fuel your energy and nutrient stores, as well as reduce waste from excess packaging, can be achieved by turning to a nutritional meal replacement shake. Simply shake a scoop into a shaker cup or bottle and have all the nutrients you need – without the extra cost or waste.

 

You don’t have to say ‘No Way’ to Whey

Not everyone was made equal and therefore not everyone can handle the fibrous content of legumes and grains, therefore making it harder to rely solely on these plant-based sources of protein. The good news is that you can still practice sustainability and ensure you are getting the cleanest ingredients by seeking out a Non-GMO and Truly Grass-Fed Certified whey protein powder. Grass-fed or pasture-raised animal protein sources reflect a higher quality nutrient profile, with more omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, while producing less agricultural chemicals and antibiotic residues5.

 

Make a Fresh Start with a Detox

Make a Fresh Start with a Detox

Make a Fresh Start with a Detox

Detoxification or cleanses are one of the basic foundations of natural healing. A good detox program cleanses the intestinal tract, the urinary tract, the liver, gallbladder, the blood and lymphatic system. It should include a wholesome diet focused on alkaline forming foods. It must also include lots of pure water and moderate exercise.

 

The advantage of a detox diet or cleansing program is:  You can eat like royalty. You can eat as much as you like, as long as you stick to an alkaline diet. All foods can be classified as acid forming, neutral or alkaline-forming. Since many health problems result when our bodies are overly acidic, a good detoxification program addresses the acid-alkaline balance of the blood. This means several dietary restrictions. A detox program restricts flour products: cakes, cookies, breads, pasta etc.; dairy products: milk, cheese, yogurt, (butter is OK). Tropical fruits, dried fruits sweets, processed food or preservatives are not allowed. A complete dietary list should accompany any detox program that you purchase.

 

Some of the built-up toxins will be neutralized and excreted in urine and feces. The detox should contain supplements meant to actively cleanse the whole system. These supplements along with the diet will encourage the body to release waste materials and toxins that have accumulated in the system since the last cleanse. A full body cleanse should help to eliminate heavy metals, chemical toxins, microbial compounds and the breakdown products of protein metabolism.

 

The Herbal D-tox that we use has three sets of tablets (for the intestinal tract, liver/gallbladder and blood/lymphatic system) and a tincture (for the urinary and lymphatic system). Two of each type of tablets and 30 drops of the tincture are taken twice daily. We often suggest the addition of digestive enzymes: 1 to 3 capsules per meal, (depending on the size of meal) to ensure complete digestion. Many people follow a general detox with a LiverD-tox.

 

Detoxification programs are safe and can be done 2 to 4 times per year by almost anyone. Detoxification is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.

 

Terry Willard, CIH, PhD, is a practitioner, teacher, director of the on-line Wild Rose College of Natural Healing and author of 12 books.

You can follow:  Dr. Willard on his twitter @willardterry or his Blog: DrTerry

1 2 3 13 Next →