Top Five Nutrients for Estrogen Dominance

by Health News

Estrogen dominance usually indicates an imbalance of hormones. It is not necessarily caused by an increase in estrogen levels, but rather by the sufferer having insufficient progesterone to balance the estrogen's effects on the body. Even someone deemed to have low estrogen levels can suffer from estrogen dominance symptoms simply because the compensating levels of progesterone are little or none. 

Vitamins and supplements play an important part in countering estrogen dominance

The term "estrogen dominance" was first used by Dr John R. Lee M.D. in his book "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Menopause". He describes the fact that our environment causes excess estrogen as we are exposed daily to plastics, industrial waste products, pesticides, carbon monoxide and many toxic products used in home furnishings and carpets.

These five nutrients are known to help keep hormones in balance naturally to counter estrogen dominance. 

  • Chasteberry
  • Lutein
  • Beta carotene
  • B Vitamins
  • Essential Fatty Acids

Vitex Agnus Castus, better known as chasteberry, is widely used for treating menstrual disorders in Europe. Many menstrual problems are caused by a deficiency in progesterone in the luteal (second) phase of the menstrual cycle, leading to estrogen dominance. Symptoms such as heavy periods, too-frequent periods or even lack of periods, can all be improved by chasteberry. It works by increasing luteinizing hormone production to boost progesterone levels, restoring the all-important estrogen/progesterone balance.

Lutein, found naturally in kale or taken as a natural supplement, can also have a balancing effect upon the body's hormones along with beta carotene. Present in kale and other fresh vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, squash, spinach, cabbage, cantaloupe and apricots, beta carotene is a precursor of vitamin A. 


Chlorophyll: Nature’s Remedy for Fatigue, Bad Breath & More

by Cindy Gray

If you struggle with fatigue, bad breath and excessive sweating your body might need to detox with chlorophyll. Foods containing chlorophyll can help neutralize and remove the toxins that cause tiredness and body odors. Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plants that collects energy from sunlight. Eating foods rich in these green pigments helps to cleanse the blood. 

If you struggle with fatigue, bad breath and excessive sweating, you may need to detox with chlorophyll.

Algae, seaweed and wheatgrass are among the most potent sources of chlorophyll. Other good sources include green leafy vegetables, sprouts, green juices and wild edible greens. Foods containing chlorophyll detoxify the body and work with the liver to restore vibrant health. They also absorb toxins from the intestinal tract and support the growth of “friendly” bacteria.

Some of the major benefits of chlorophyll include:

Neutralizes Body Odor:  Because chlorophyll cleanses you from the inside out, it can help reduce body odor. Chlorophyll has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that fight body odor at the source. It is so effective that it is often referred to as “nature’s deodorant.”

Eliminates Bad Breath: Foods containing chlorophyll fight bad breath because they cleanse the digestive tract.  Chewing on the leaves of parsley, dill, basil and cilantro can immediately freshen bad breath. Chlorophyll provides a natural alternative to chemical-laden mouthwashes and breath mints.

Related What Everybody Ought to Know About Liquid Chlorophyll

Removes Toxins: Toxic metals in the environment can take a toll on your health. Chlorophyll attaches to toxins and heavy metals and removes them from your body. It also increases your blood's oxygen-carrying capacity by stimulating red blood cell production. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of chlorophyll contribute to its cleansing effects.

Boosts Immune System: Chlorophyll-rich foods contain essential vitamins and minerals that are needed for disease prevention and vibrant health.

Speeds Healing: For the past 100 years researchers have studied the healing properties of chlorophyll. Studies show it speeds the healing process because it is a natural disinfectant and it fights inflammation.

Because it has so many beneficial health effects, many people use chlorophyll supplements to make sure they are getting recommended amounts. The supplements come in capsule, powder and liquid forms and can be obtained online and through natural health stores.

Boost your energy levels and eliminate embarrassing breath and body odors the natural way. Chlorophyll is a safe, plant-based detox method that can cleanse your body from the inside out. 


Three Vitamins to Improve Bone Density

by Cindy Gray

Most people are aware that as we age, our bone density decreases. Unfortunately the decline typically begins in our early thirties. It's important to know how to increase bone density from an early age, in order to preserve what you have and give yourself the best bone health in older age.

Curly kale is full of vitamins – an easy lesson in how to increase bone density

Family history, diet, and the amount of bone we amass as a teenager, are all contributing factors towards our overall bone density. The more bone mass we have, the less likely we are to succumb to osteoporosis in later life. Although you cannot alter your genetic makeup, you can learn how to increase bone density through your diet.

Along with calcium, these three vitamins are the key to bone health.

How to Increase Bone Density with Vitamin D

No matter how much calcium you include in your diet, what really matters is the amount of calcium your body is able to breakdown and use. Vitamin D is crucial for maintaining strong bones as it helps the body absorb calcium.

It’s easy to meet the vitamin D recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 600IU from any or all of the following sources. Around 15 minutes exposure to sunlight three times a week will help the body produce vitamin D. Make sure you eat plenty of shrimp, vitamin-fortified cereal, orange juice, sardines, tuna and eggs, and replace any possible shortfall with a vitamin D supplement.

Related:  Are You at Risk for Osteoporosis?

How to Increase Bone Density with Vitamin K

In tests, it appears that vitamin K works best in synergy with vitamin D. While vitamin D boosts calcium absorption into the bones, vitamin K reduces the amount of calcium the body excretes. Vitamin K is important for providing protein to maintain healthy bones, so make sure you get your daily quota of vitamin K from green leafy vegetables such as kale, Swiss chard, spinach and broccoli.

How to Increase Bone Density with Vitamin A

Another important vitamin for those wanting to increase bone density is vitamin A (retinol). The RDA is currently 2330 IU (700 mcg) for women and 3000 IU (900 mcg) for men. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin found naturally in carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, fish, liver and tropical fruits. In order to be absorbed, it needs to be consumed with some fat to make it effective. Vitamin A can be taken as part of a daily vitamin supplement, but this is one vitamin that should not be taken to excess. An excess of vitamin A can cause a decrease in bone density, similar to a deficiency of vitamin A, so use caution and stick with the recommended daily allowance for your gender.

It seems the key to how to increase bone density lies in eating plenty of leafy green vegetables, enjoying red/orange colored fruits and getting out in natural daylight. It's not too difficult! 


Bioflavonoids May Decrease Risk of Macular Degeneration

by IVL Products

Bioflavonoids have been linked to a decreased risk for age-related eye problems such as cataracts and degeneration. These immune-boosting nutrients provide much of the flavor and color in vegetables and fruits. In addition to their eye health benefits, studies have shown that bioflavonoids play a key role to play in the prevention of allergies, inflammation and cancer. 

The healing properties of bioflavonoids make it important to help reduce risk of Macular Degeneration.

Macular degeneration is the gradual, progressive destruction of the macular that limits the central vision which is needed for everyday activities. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 55.

More than 11 million people in this country are affected by some level of macular degeneration and that number is expected to increase as the population ages. Risk factors include advancing age, family history, cigarette smoking, obesity and hypertension. Oxidative damage caused by excessive UV exposure and environmental toxins can increase the chance for developing vision problems.

Related: What Foods Help Improve Eyesight?

Although there are some factors, such as age and family history, that you can’t control, there are many lifestyle choices you can make to protect your vision. Smokers have a significantly higher risk for developing macular degeneration and other eye problems because smoking damages the delicate blood vessels in the eyes. People who smoke double their risk for cataracts and nearly triple their risk for macular degeneration.  

Obesity is another controllable risk factor. Manage your weight with a healthy diet and regular exercise. If you have trouble keeping the pounds off, talk with your holistic health practitioner to develop a safe, healthy weight loss plan. 

Because bioflavonoids provide protection against vision problems and other health maladies, it is important to include them in your daily nutrition regimen. Research suggests that bioflavonoids and vitamin C complement each other, making them more effective when they are ingested at the same time.  Foods that are rich in bioflavonoids include red bell peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, green tea and buckwheat.

If you aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet, you might want to consider taking a nutritional supplement that contains lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. Supplements are available online and at natural health stores. Boost your eye health with a healthy diet and nutritional supplements to reduce your risk for macular degeneration or other vision problems that could affect your quality of life and ability to function. 


Put the Pressure on Menopause Symptoms

by IVL Products

Holistic treatments such as acupuncture and acupressure for menopause are growing in popularity as they provide physical relief for unpleasant symptoms that medications fail to provide. While acupuncture uses needles to relieve symptoms and provide pain relief, acupressure relies on gentle pressure from the fingertips.

Menopausal women find symptom relief through holistic treatments such as acupuncture and acupressure for menopause

Around 85% of women have problems dealing with the disruptive symptoms of menopause. Finding natural remedies for hot flashes, mood changes, depression, insomnia, loss of libido and other menopausal symptoms can help women through this traumatic stage of their mid-life.

Acupressure for Menopause Symptoms

Acupressure therapists are trained to apply pressure on specific points on the hands, feet and body to release energy blocks and restore the proper flow of chi. In the case of acupressure for menopause symptoms, this pressure is applied to specific points on the skin to stimulate the ovaries, uterus, pituitary, thyroid and parathyroid glands to produce hormones. This restores the hormonal balance and is one of the best natural remedies for hot flashes currently available.

Pressure points used in acupressure for menopause include points on the balls of the feet known as "Bubbling Springs", the bridge of the nose known as the "Third Eye Point", the "Elegant Mansion" points on the collarbone, the "Sea of Tranquility" between the breasts and the "Gates of Consciousness" at the base of the skull.

Related:  Five Tips on Staying Healthy and Fit During those Fabulous  Fifties

Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes

In research studies, acupuncture and acupuncture are shown to be particularly beneficial for relieving menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes as they produce no side effects, unlike the controversial hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

In a Chinese study, 300 women between 41 and 60 years old were treated for the symptoms of menopause using traditional acupuncture. After just three 20-minute sessions, the women showed an impressive improvement in symptoms. Over half the group (51%) said they were cured of hot flashes, 28% reported a marked improvement, 18% saw some improvement and just 3% felt that the natural remedies for hot flashes were ineffective.

A similar Swedish study into natural remedies for hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause found that the frequency of hot flashes decreased by half in women who received needle-inserted acupuncture treatment.

Women receiving acupressure for menopause symptoms report fast and lasting results, helping them manage early and premature menopause symptoms without the dangers of medicinal side effects. 


Why Aloe is So Amazing for the Reflux Diet

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Aloe vera has been one of nature’s medicinal remedies for centuries. As well as being effective in healing wounds, calming nerves, purifying the blood, reducing inflammation and promoting a healthy complexion, aloe vera now appears to be a key component in a reflux diet.

What is Aloe Vera?

The healing properties of aloe vera make it an important aid in any acid reflux dietAloes are spiky succulent plants with fleshy grey-green leaves. They grow wild in the Caribbean, southern USA and North Africa. The gelatinous extracts and juice from aloe vera have been used in herbal medicine for over 2,000 years.

Rich in vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids such as collagen and elastin, aloe vera is commonly used in beauty treatments to promote a youthful, healthy skin. Aloe vera also has natural antibiotic and anti-viral properties and boosts the immune system.

Related A Humble Houseplant Works Wonders with Skin Issues

Healing Properties of Aloe Vera

The excellent healing properties of aloe vera are well known. It effectively soothes burned skin, heals stomach ulcers, regulates the balance of intestinal flora and eases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

The alkaline juice from aloe vera can also aid digestion, making it an excellent component for those looking to counter troublesome stomach acid by adopting the Reflux Diet. Aloe vera contains beta-sitosterol to reduce bad cholesterol, campesterol to reduce the cholesterol absorption in the intestines, and lupeol which is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

What is the Reflux Diet?

The Reflux Diet is made up of foods and substances that naturally control heartburn and the unpleasant symptoms of acid reflux. Diets that are high in protein and low in fat are known to help reduce acid reflux. Taking aloe vera as a supplement is an important part of any Reflux Diet. Eating smaller portions and avoiding citrus or spicy foods can also help to naturally control the problem without having to resort to medication.

By taking aloe vera in supplement form, you can support a controlled Reflux Diet to improve your digestive health.

Here are 12 More Reflux Diet Foods that fight acid reflux safely and naturally.




Just the Flax for Menopause Symptoms

by Institute for Vibrant Living

The worrying health risks of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during menopause have led many women to look for a natural treatment for menopause symptoms. Studies showed that flaxseed appeared to reduce hot flashes and improve other symptoms.

Pour cold press flaxseed oil over breakfast granola as a natural treatment for menopause.

A clinical study was organized on a test group of 21 menopausal women. At the end of the six-week flaxseed-based natural treatment for menopause, results showed that the women who took flaxseed had a 50% decrease in the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Participants also reported major improvements in mood, joint and muscle pain and overall enjoyed a better quality of life.

How Flaxseed Works as a Natural Treatment for Menopause

Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. High in antioxidants, flaxseed has many health benefits for the cardiovascular system as it lowers the risk of heart disease. It is also the highest source of fiber (26%), easing constipation and irritable bowel disease. 

Lignans are plant-based phytoestrogens, making flaxseed mildly estrogenic. This means that it has similar properties to the hormone estrogen. These estrogen-balancing properties make flaxseed an excellent natural treatment for menopause symptoms.

Related:  Higher Serum-Lignan-Levels Associated with Increased Breast Cancer Survival

As well as reducing hot flashes, the estrogenic qualities of flaxseed help lower the risk of breast cancer. Excess estradiol is associated with hormonal cancers that commonly occur in postmenopausal women. The lignans in flaxseed exert a weaker estrogenic effect on the receptor cells than estradiol, blocking these harmful effects and protecting the breasts, uterus and cervical tissue from the risk of cancer.

Cold Press Flaxseed Oil

Like most health supplements, it pays to look for top quality flaxseed oil with high lignin content if you want the full benefit of a natural treatment for menopause. The best flax seed oil is produced from ground organic seeds using a cold milling process. This flaxseed oil should be stored in the refrigerator as it has a limited shelf life. However, the taste and benefits are exceptional.

Pour flaxseed oil lightly over your breakfast granola, add it to smoothies and shakes or drizzle over salads. This natural treatment for menopause has so many other health benefits; it should be taken by everyone, not just menopausal women!  


Three Benefits of Green Tea for Those who Can’t Lose Weight

by Health News

It is frustrating when you feel like you can’t lose weight no matter what you do. Try adding new healthy habits to your day, like sipping a cup of green tea with lunch and dinner. This helps you adjust to the unusual flavor of green tea, and will help you shed those pounds faster.

Green tea can help shift those stubborn pounds even for those who can’t lose weight easily

Green Tea Helps Those Who Can’t Lose Weight

A UK study on green tea and weight loss at the Anglia Ruskin University showed that participants who exercised and took decaffeinated green tea extract reduced their body fat by 1.63% more than those who exercised and took a placebo. The study pointed out that dieters are required to consume 6-7 cups of green tea each day to get the benefits of increased performance, increased fat oxidation and weight loss.

To make it more palatable, the study substituted green tea drinks for capsules containing 571mg decaffeinated green tea extract. They contained the equivalent of 400mg EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the active compound in green tea that is thought to have many health benefits. It is this “secret ingredient” that appears to help those who can’t lose weight to shift those unwanted pounds more effectively.

Related Green Tea: A Promising Anti-Cancer Superfood

Studies suggest that taking a green tea capsule containing 50mg caffeine and 90mg EGCG before meals, coupled with regular exercise, can help individuals shed up to 2.5 pounds of fat per month, even for those who can’t lose weight with dieting alone.

Green Tea and Cancer

Green tea is picked and dried in steam in a speedy process to prevent the normal oxidation associated with drying the leaves to make black tea. This faster process preserves more of the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which contain high levels of antioxidants. Green tea has high levels of catechin polyphenols which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties in studies on mice with tumors. Studies also report positive results for green tea playing a role in preventing the onset or development of breast, ovarian, lung, prostate, pancreatic, colon and esophageal cancers.

Green Tea and Heart Disease

Green tea has other health benefits, besides helping those who can’t lose weight. It appears to stop the absorption of cholesterol during digestion. A cup or two of green tea daily can lower cholesterol, reducing the risk of plaque build-up which leads to heart disease or stroke. 

It makes good sense to add green tea or a green tea elixir to your daily regimen. For those who can’t lose weight naturally, it can produce encouraging results as well as boosting overall health. 



Is Your Lack of Sex Drive Due to Low T?

by Health News

Testosterone may be thought of as a male hormone, but it also controls sex drive in women. Lack of testosterone during menopause is often the cause of a lack of sex drive. Once periods cease in menopause, 30 to 50 percent of women report a drop in libido, and this is due to lower hormone levels. When the ovaries stop producing estrogen, which triggers the symptoms of menopause, they also stop producing testosterone too. 

Bioidentical hormone therapy may treat lack of sex drive during menopause

Causes of Lack of Sex Drive in Menopause

For women, emotions are as important as physical sensations during sex. If they experience a lack of sex drive, which may be a gradual process after the onset of menopause, they describe it in several different ways. Some women recognize this lack of libido as a loss of interest in sex, while others say there is "something missing" from their relationship with their partner.

Other causes may be down to the more physical side of menopausal changes. Vaginal dryness is a common side effect of estrogen dominance during perimenopause. This can decrease arousal and may even make it painful to have sex, which in turns lowers sex drive still further.

Related:  Smart Supplementation Can Reverse Aging

Physical symptoms such as vaginal atrophy (loss of muscle tension) and lack of lubrication can be caused by a decreased blood flow to the vaginal tissues. Whether the lack of sex drive is a physical or an emotional problem, women lacking a sense of desire or arousal are unlikely to reach orgasm. This further exacerbates the problem.

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy for Lack of Sex Drive

Fortunately, supplements of bioidentical testosterone can significantly help boost libido. Bioidentical hormone therapy is often used after hysterectomy or during menopause to rebalance hormones. Once hormones are restored to natural equilibrium, the symptoms causing lack of sex drive will be relieved.

Saliva and blood testing is used to treat each patient individually for bioidentical hormone therapy, along with a healthy diet. While an overdose of testosterone may have undesirable side effects, such as male-pattern hair loss and acne, when given in the correct doses to counter hormone imbalance it can be an effective cure for lack of sex drive during menopause.


Is Your Bone-Building Rx Killing You?

by Cindy Gray

Years of research into osteoporosis led to the development of "bone-building" bisphosphonate drugs which were hailed a huge step forward in the fight against brittle bones. However, Boniva® side effects and the dangers of Fosamax®, two of the leading prescription medications, are now becoming apparent. 

Boniva side effects may add to the problems of poor bone density as we age.

How do Bone-Building Drugs work?

Time has shown that Boniva, Fosamax and other bisphosphonates may not be quite as effective as they were thought to be when it comes to treating osteoporosis and brittle bones due to aging.

These medications were believed to improve bone density, but studies now show that they simply prevent osteoclasts from breaking down old bone. Although this prevents bone loss, it doesn’t build new bone; instead it keeps worn old bone around longer than nature intended causing unpleasant side effects from Boniva, Fosamax and similar drugs.

Boniva Side Effects

The side effects of Boniva include several undesirable health consequences. These drugs are thought to cause arthritis, esophageal cancer, kidney problems and liver toxicity. The dangers of Fosamax are well documented and are similar to Boniva side effects, including atypical fractures, jaw problems (osteonecrosis), extreme bone and joint pain and esophageal ulcers.

In addition, orthopedic surgeons and bone specialists have noticed a rise in the number of unusual fractures in patients who have been using bone-strengthening drugs for years. Studies suggest that one of the side effects of Fosamax and Boniva is a higher risk of atypical fractures – precisely what the drugs were meant to prevent. The theory is that these drugs actually shut down the body's natural bone-renewal process, exacerbating the problem of old and brittle bones.

RelatedEating to Prevent Osteoporosis

In particular, women who have taken bisphosphonal drugs for more than five years are three times more likely to suffer fractures than those who don't. This means that the side effects of Boniva and similar bisphosphonates will affect millions of post-menopausal women.

Less serious Fosamax and Boniva side effects include nausea, stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes and eye problems.

How to avoid the Side Effects of Fosamax and other Bisphosphonates

The advice from a number of experts is that women should not start to take these drugs too early, and should not to stay on them for too long. Although the drugs are effective in the short-term for preventing osteoporosis, the dangers of Fosamax and Boniva become apparent with long-term use.

Many doctors feel that there is a justifiable need for bisphosphonates, but these drugs have been over-prescribed, leading to unnecessary side effects from Fosamax and Boniva for users who never really needed to take such drugs in the first place. 


Powerful Heart Benefits of Pomegranate

by Cindy Gray

Pomegranate is an undervalued super fruit with a distinctive fresh taste. Packed full of potassium, sodium and folic acid, the tiny bubbles of tart juice and seeds have also been found to be one of nature’s best high blood pressure remedies. Consumed as a fruit juice drink, pomegranate is full of antioxidants which counter harmful free radicals and are credited with preventing serious health issues such as heart disease and cancer. 

High blood pressure remedies include tangy Pomegranate

Pomegranate Juice is one of the Simplest High Blood Pressure Remedies

According to a UK study at Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University, drinking 500ml (16 fluid ounces) of pomegranate juice daily resulted in a significant lowering of blood pressure for 90% of the test group.

Other studies found that the punicalagin in pomegranates lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and reduces atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries). Patients with severe carotid artery plaque blockages were given one ounce of pomegranate juice daily for a year. Their blood pressure dropped by over 12% and plaque deposits were reduced by 30%. By comparison, the participants given a placebo saw their atherosclerotic plaque increase by 9% over the trial period. These studies all indicate that pomegranate juice is one of the best natural high blood pressure remedies around.

What is a Pomegranate?

Now that you know the health benefits that can be derived from drinking pomegranate juice as a high blood pressure remedy, you may be curious to know more about this tart fruit. Nutrient-rich pomegranates are high in flavonoids and polyphenols; in fact a glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries or even green tea.

Often mentioned in ancient Persian writings, this red fruit has a tough outer peel. When broken open, the inside fruit is a mass of red jelly-like seeds. The best way to remove the seeds is by soaking the broken sections of fruit in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Next, separate the seeds from the pithy membrane using your fingers under the water. The seeds sink, making it easy to drain off the water and collect the pomegranate seeds.

These can be sprinkled in salads, set in jello or added to cereal or yogurt to provide a delicious surprise when you bite into them and release the tangy juice. However, it is much easier to consume pomegranates in the quantities required for high blood pressure remedies as a tasty drink. 


Is There such a Thing as Early Menopause?

by IVL Products

Early menopause causes many unpleasant symptoms including moodiness and depression.According to the National Institute on Aging, the average age for the onset of menopause in American women is 51. Early menopause generally refers to cases where menopause begins before the age of 40, either naturally, in response to surgery such as a hysterectomy, or due to other medical reasons. 

Menopause symptoms include some or all of the following:

  • Cessation of periods
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Moodiness
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Depression/crying
  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle pain

Water retention may become an issue, along with cravings and weight gain. Generally, these symptoms are a sign that the ovaries are producing less estrogen.

Early Menopause or Premenopause

Many women who experience the symptoms of menopause may actually be in premenopause, not to be confused with peri-menopause.

Premenopause syndrome (PMS) is related to the menstrual cycle becoming upset, triggering some of the symptoms of menopause, but hormone levels remain stable.

Peri-menopause is the period of a woman's life immediately prior to her entering menopause. Those in peri-menopause and early menopause tend to have more severe symptoms than normal menopause sufferers, particularly anxiety, irritability, bloating and weight gain.

Related:  Natural Energy Boost with Green Supplements

Sufferers of early menopause (i.e. experiencing the symptoms of menopause under the age of 45) may experience irregular menstrual cycles causing problems conceiving. They may suffer brain fog, feel weepy and have problems concentrating.

When early menopause is triggered suddenly, due to surgery, illness or genetic issues, the rapid decline of estrogen, often referred to as an estrogen crash, causes the sufferer to enter menopause more quickly than the normal onset of menopause. In a post-surgical survey of early menopausal women, they all reported sudden development of many symptoms of menopause, such as mood swings, tiredness and hot flashes, all in quick succession. These problems were severe and lasted for more than eight years.

Those going through the stage of menopause, premenopause or early menopause, need extra understanding and support from family and friends. It's a time to lower stress as you deal with turbulent emotions and physical changes, but rest assured, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Learn more about the symptoms of menopause with this video blog.


How to Lose Weight with Five Berry Terrific Superfoods

by IVL Products

If you’ve been on a weight-loss program for a few weeks, or even months, you may be getting bored of “diet food” and feel everything tastes the same. Fresh berries, with their rich zingy taste, show you how to lose weight while still enjoying healthy low-fat foods that taste delicious.

Luscious berries offer a lesson in how to lose weight and still enjoy delicious food

Berries Are Your Secret Weapon for How to Lose Weight Naturally

Berries contain zero fat, cholesterol or sodium. They are low in carbohydrates, are an important source of dietary fiber, and are packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s important to eat berries raw to retain maximum antioxidants and nutrients that may otherwise be destroyed in cooking. You can even eat them frozen, and make a bowl of mixed berries last an entire evening.

A cup of strawberries has only 47 calories. Sweeten to taste with a natural sweetener such as stevia, and it makes a low-cal dessert that allows for multiple servings!  Knowing how to lose weight with simple healthy tricks like these makes dieting easier.

Soft juicy raspberries contain 65 calories per cup.  High in dietary fiber (8g), potassium and vitamin C (53% of your recommended daily value) they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, particularly if they are organically grown.

Dark Berries are High in Flavor and Low in Fat

Blueberries are a true superfood for those struggling to lose weight and still eat well. One cup of these dark berries is 85 calories, yet they deliver fiber, potassium vitamins, protein and fructose as well as being loaded with vitamin K, manganese, zeaxanthin and lutein for healthy eyes. Bilberries are very similar to blueberries as they are from the same Vaccinium genus of plants. These berries are high is resveratrol, another natural weight loss superfood.

Finally, top off your bowl of superfruits with blackberries. They provide 8g fiber, 2g protein, 50% pf your daily requirement of vitamin C, and unrivalled taste and juice for just 62 calories per cup.

When someone asks you how to lose weight and still enjoy food, let them in on the secret. Berries are a delicious low-calorie snack packed with vitamins, goodness and taste without breaking the diet.


Four Spices to Help Boost Sex Drive

by Institute for Vibrant Living

The phrase "spice up your sex life" could be taken literally. Several natural spices have been found to boost sex drive, reducing stress on marital relationships, and they work on both men and women. Enjoy some of these spices in a tasty dish as part of romantic candlelit meal that may stimulate more than just your appetite!

Cinnamon is one of several spices known to help counter lack of sex drive.


Cloves and clove oil are a natural aphrodisiac. Cloves heat up the body and prepare it for sex by stimulating the sexual organs in both men and women. Experts suggest that adding a small drop of clove oil to a drink of coffee or hot chocolate can give your sex drive a boost, countering a lack of sex drive that may be plaguing your relationship.


For centuries, cinnamon has been used to boost libido and increase sex drive. High blood sugar reduces the blood flow to the sexual organs causing erectile dysfunction, low sperm count and lack of sex drive. Cinnamon naturally lowers high blood sugar, reducing the possible cause of the problem.

Add cinnamon to chicken dishes or sprinkle it onto hot drinks for an extra boost.  Cinnamon is delicious sprinkled over a frothy latte.  However, moderation is important, so introduce cinnamon gradually to your everyday diet and over time you will see and feel the benefits.

Related:  Top Five Anti-Aging Tips


Who doesn’t love ginger? You can add it as a paste to your cooking or drink it as refreshing ginger tea! Ginger is a very effective spice for improving blood circulation as it naturally dilates the blood vessels, which incidentally is how Viagra works. Blood flow to the sex organs is essential for stimulating sex drive and overall sexual performance. Poor circulation is known to cause lack of sex drive, erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems, yet it can be rectified naturally with ginger. 


Nutmeg is another useful tool for spicing up an ailing sex life. It is particularly helpful for women, as it works by relaxing the body and parasympathetic nervous system. Nutmeg imitates the effects of serotonin, making sure you get sufficient sleep, a common cause of lack of sex drive. Far from slowing things down, nutmeg can create enhanced libido for females and improved sexual satisfaction.

Like nature itself, all these spices work slowly and take time, but taken regularly they will certainly help to counter a lack of sex drive and boost libido safely and naturally. 


How to Use Stevia in High Blood Pressure Recipes

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Low calorie sweeteners are big business as people concerned about their health and/or weight switch to low calorie alternatives to sugar. Unlike aspartame, saccharin and even xylitol, stevia is completely natural. There are several reasons why stevia makes an excellent sugar substitute in high blood pressure recipes.

Stevia plants are a natural sugar-free sweetener for use in high blood pressure recipes

Stevia has been used in China and Japan as a sweetener for many years. Stevia extract comes from a green leafy herb (Stevia rebaudiana), native to Paraguay and other tropical areas of the Americas. Stevia has two compounds (stevioside and rebaudioside) that are 250 times sweeter than sugar (sucrose).

Reducing Hypertension with Stevia

In clinical trials, researchers found that stevia can reduce high blood pressure and improve insulin sensitivity. This makes it an excellent sugar substitute for diabetics, those following a weight loss program, and those who wish to lover their blood pressure safely and naturally.

Related What are the Best Sugar Substitutes?

Stevia has also been found to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Unlike other artificial sweeteners that may be carcinogenic, stevia has no reported side effects or adverse reactions. However, stevia does have a slight aftertaste when used in some drinks and recipes.

High Blood Pressure Recipes Using Stevia

High blood pressure diets and natural remedies aim to lower hypertension by balancing the body’s acidity and removing toxins. By eliminating fatty junk food and substituting it with fresh fruit and raw organic vegetables, blood pressure levels can be effectively lowered.

One of the benefits of stevia is that it is pH-stable, so including it in a high blood pressure diet is important. Try drinking cranberry stevia lemonade throughout the day (a gallon if possible) and then check your blood pressure levels after 10 days. As well as boosting hydration, cranberry stevia lemonade helps balance acidity and removes toxins, which all help lower hypertension.

Fill a gallon jar with distilled or spring water  and add the juice of 3 organic lemons. Add one cup organic cranberry juice, a dash of liquid cayenne and liquid stevia to taste.  

Another excellent High Blood Pressure Recipe using stevia is to puree seedless watermelon in a blender with stevia to taste. Freeze in a shallow container overnight. Allow to thaw a little then break down the ice crystals with a fork and spoon the frozen fruit into paper snow cones. The combination of fresh fruits and stevia provide multiple benefits for those wanting to lower blood pressure naturally.


The Benefits of Eating an Apple a Day

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Who among us hasn’t heard the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Not only have these words been uttered for years, but they are, in fact, attributed to none other than Benjamin Franklin himself.

Seems like good advice. After all, whole foods are good for you. Fruit is good for you. And apples themselves are rich in vitamin C and certain B vitamins, as well as quercetin, which has been positively linked to reducing allergies, improving heart health, and even providing stress reduction by lowering cortisol levels.

But to really put this long-held adage to the test, researchers took a cross-section of nationally representative, non-institutionalized U.S. adults. Their study, which was published in May 2015 in JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at 8,728 such people age 18 and older who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. As a part of this group, the participants had completed a 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire and reported that the food listed was indicative of their usual daily diet.

Related Article:  Apples Contain a Bounty of Health Benefits

Researchers noted those people who were daily apple eaters versus those who were non-apple eaters. Next, researchers looked at number of visits to a physician in the past year, as well as successful avoidance of other health care services, including overnight hospital stays, visits to a mental health professional, and prescription medications.

They found that, among the apple eaters, 39 percent were able to “keep the doctor away,” while 34 percent of non-apple eaters also boasted no doctor visits. Once researchers adjusted for additional factors such as sociodemographics and health-related characteristics, the five percent difference was even less meaningful (or not statistically significant).

However, the researchers DID find that apple eaters did take noticeably fewer prescription medications than non-apple eaters.

The net takeaway? Mr. Franklin may have been on to something. While you may only slightly improve your chances of avoiding the doctor, your chances of bypassing the pharmacy are greater. 

And isn’t that the real goal, after all?


A Nutty Solution for Menopause Symptoms

by Health News

Nuts are a wonderful source of essential fatty acids, making them ideal snacks to help to counter the discomfort of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Almonds, walnuts and cashews are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which are not only good for your heart and cognitive function, but also for reducing unpleasant symptoms of menopause. 

Good foods for menopausal symptoms include walnuts.

Consuming healthy foods for menopause, such as a handful of nuts, have fewer side effects than resorting to hormone treatments, so it’s worth pursuing the natural option first.

One study on omega-3 fatty acids found that hot flashes could be reduced and other menopausal symptoms minimized by eating more omega-3s. Along with eating more nuts to control your menopausal symptoms, it is worthwhile reducing other foods that are known to trigger hot flashes. Caffeine, alcohol and some spices can trigger the familiar red face and profuse sweating that can be an embarrassing symptom of menopause.

Related:  Menopause and Weight Gain: Myth vs Fact

Nuts for Menopausal Symptoms

One way to find relief for the symptoms of menopause naturally is to eat foods high in isoflavones. They mimic the hormone estrogen and help reduce hot flashes and other menopause symptoms caused by the drop in estrogen production that triggers menopause.

Soy is one of the best foods for menopause, along with seeds, flax, ginger and all types of nuts.  Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on salads or add chopped walnuts and cashews to cereals and chopped fruit. Almonds and Brazil nuts make satisfying snacks and are far better foods for menopause than chocolate, cookies and other sweet treats.

By choosing foods high in EFAs, you will also be helping  to support a healthy heart, so once those unpleasant menopausal symptoms cease, eating a handful of unsalted nuts is still a good heart-healthy habit to maintain. 


History of Green Tea in Indigestion Remedies

by Health News

Can you guess what the second most consumed beverage on the planet is, after water? Surprisingly, it’s not cola but green tea! It is widely consumed in Japan and China as part of their traditional culture and is used in natural indigestion remedies.

Green tea is one of nature’s most effective indigestion remedies

Green tea has a long history, going back almost 5,000 years. In 2,737 BC, Chinese Emperor Shennong drank water that had accidentally been boiled with a dead tea leaf in it. From then on it was the chosen drink of Chinese high society. It was not until the 14th century that ordinary Asian people could afford green tea, and they drank it for its medicinal qualities.

Traders brought tea to Europe from Asia in the 16th century, when it quickly became Britain’s national beverage. Of course, the early American colonists continued to enjoy drinking tea. When Britain imposed a Tea Tax on the drink, it sparked a revolt known as the Boston Tea Party in 1773 which culminated in American Independence. Tea has a lot to answer for in history!

How Green Tea Differs from Black Tea

Green tea is higher than black or white tea in polyphenols and antioxidants, which may be what makes it so effective in indigestion remedies. Green tea comes from the same Camellia Sinensis plant as more popular black tea. However, green tea is made by drying freshly picked green tea leaves using steam or heat to prevent the oxidization process.  The oxidation process is what makes black tea black.

Related Green Tea: A Promising Anti-Cancer Superfood

The speedy preservation process used in green tea retains more polyphenols, including catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which is thought to have powerful health benefits.

Those who are affected by caffeine should look for caffeine-free green tea and green tea extracts to use as indigestion remedies; and people with existing liver problems should avoid taking concentrated green tea extracts.

Green Tea Indigestion Remedies

Green tea has been used effectively as a cancer prevention, particularly against skin, stomach, colon and esophagus cancers. In studies it appears to inhibit the growth of tumor cells in mice. Green tea has also been found to be one of the most highly effective indigestion remedies.

Drinking two to three cups of green tea each day is an effective aid to digestion without the chalky taste and dangerous side effects of antacids and other over-the-counter indigestion remedies. Green tea extracts also provide the same benefits by working in three ways:

  • Catechins slow down the digestive enzyme process
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties ease ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Green tea appears to affect fat oxidation and insulin sensitivity in the digestive process

You may want to learn more about green tea indigestion remedies in this informative article. 


Three Best Minerals to Improve Bone Density

by Cindy Gray

If you're concerned about how to improve bone density, the answer lies in three words: Calcium, Magnesium and Boron. These minerals are essential for building healthy bones and keeping them strong throughout the aging process. 

Dairy products and calcium-rich foods are nature's answer for improving bone density

The teens and twenties are the important years when we lay down the building blocks for bone density in later life. No one wants osteoporosis in their old age, yet it's almost too late to do anything about it once you reach middle age, or the age of menopause in the case of women. Here are three minerals that must be part of your diet for those who are serious about how to improve bone density.


Calcium is one of the key building blocks for the development of healthy bones and teeth. However, simply having a high-calcium diet is not enough to avoid bone density problems in later life.

Studies show that postmenopausal women who increased their calcium intake did not see an improvement in bone density tests. It is important to couple calcium with vitamin D to give the body the tools it needs to break down and use that calcium. Yogurt, cheese, milk, spinach and collard greens are the main sources of calcium and you should consider supplementing your recommended daily allowance with a combination of calcium plus D supplement.

Related:  How To Prevent Bone Loss Naturally


Green leafy vegetables provide magnesium which is needed in small amounts for healthy bones. Scientists are unsure why magnesium is so important for how to improve bone density. However 99% of the magnesium found in the body is in stored in the bones and just 1% is recirculated in the blood. 


Another trace mineral that appears to be important for maintaining healthy bones and countering osteoporosis is boron. Athletes and bodybuilders take supplements of boron to help build muscle mass and maintain strong bones. Boron balances pH levels, increases estrogen levels and balances magnesium, calcium and phosphorus by producing enzymes.

Those looking for natural ways to improve bone density may be interested to learn that boron is linked with the prevention of osteoporosis as well as maintaining muscles and boosting memory. Adults require up to 20 mg per day of boron which is found naturally in coffee, milk, beans, whole grains, nuts, grapes, oranges and berries.

Calcium, magnesium and boron appear to be nature's answer for improving bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis as we age. 


Four Foods to Reduce Stomach Pain and Diarrhea

by Cindy Gray

Do you, or someone you know, suffer from stomach pain and diarrhea after eating? By adding these four high-fiber foods to your diet, you can begin to feel the benefits almost immediately.

High fiber foods such as barley can help eliminate stomach pain and diarrhea after eating.

Common Causes of  Stomach Pain and Diarrhea after Eating

If your digestive health is causing you pain and discomfort, the most common cause is our modern-day diet. Inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, diverticulitis and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) are the most common causes of stomach cramps and diarrhea. It is worth changing your diet to include these high-fiber foods to help rule out common causes of stomach pain and diarrhea after eating, before seeking a medical opinion.

You can learn more about how to avoid stomach pain and diarrhea after eating in this IVL article on colon health.

Good Sources of Natural Fiber

It’s easy to add more fiber to your diet by adding the following ingredients to your diet. Stir them into your favorite breakfast cereal, sprinkle them on bananas and fresh fruit, add a spoonful on top of yogurt, or adapt your favorite muffin or oatmeal cookie recipe to enjoy them.

Related Indigestion Remedies: Top 10 Foods for Fantastic Digestion


Flax is grown commercially for polyunsaturated oil. Flaxseed oil is unsuitable for cooking but it makes a great salad dressing and two tablespoons of flaxseed contains 4g dietary fiber. High in omega fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin B6 and folate, flax seeds are highly nutritious. You can learn more in this article about flaxseed  to help avoid stomach pain and diarrhea after eating.


One cup of barley contains a massive 32g dietary fiber, making it one of the world’s healthiest foods. It helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as countering stomach pain and diarrhea after eating.

Rice Bran

Even higher in fiber, one cup of rice bran contains 60g fiber. It is sourced from the outer layer of the rice grain and is high in antioxidants.

Oat Bran

Oat bran delivers 14g fiber per cup. It is a good source of protein and iron and is low in sodium and cholesterol.

Armed with this knowledge, there’s no reason to suffer from stomach pain and diarrhea after eating. By improving your digestive process your whole body will benefit from increasing your intake of fiber for a healthier you.