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Spirulina Detox

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Healthy living tips often recommend a detox to eliminate toxins and metals from the body. Without healthy habits such as detoxifying regularly, the liver can become overloading with toxic substances that are filtered from the bloodstream. One of the main metals that find its way into our bloodstream is aluminum, and one of the best ways to cleanse the body of toxic metals is with spirulina.

Healthy living tips suggests ways to counter toxic metals such as aluminum.

The Dangers of Aluminum

Studies show that toxic metals in our environment cause oxidative stress which has been connected to degenerative brains disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. One of the most common culprits is aluminum, which at high levels has been found to cause diseases of the lungs, brain, bone, kidneys and nervous system. It has also been linked to birth defects, which is why many people adopt healthy habits such as a regular detox in their life.

Unfortunately, aluminum is everywhere – in antacids, buffered aspirin, antiperspirants, food additives, dental fillings and fireworks. Coal-fired power plants release traces of aluminum into the atmosphere and it is used in roofing, sidings and airplanes, so no amount of healthy habits can help us avoid some trace contamination.

Related: Sweat Too Much?  Four Ways to Stop Excessive Sweating

Most kitchens have utensils, cooking trays and rolls of aluminum foil. Food and beverage cans also contain this lightweight metal and aluminum is added to certain processed foods including baking powder, flour and anticaking agents. Aluminum salt is added to drinking water to remove suspended impurities in some areas so there is no escaping ingesting or coming into contact with this potentially hazardous metal. In fact, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry estimates that the average adult eats about 7-9 mg of aluminum without realizing it every day!

Healthy Living Tips include Regular Spirulina Detox

Spirulina is a simple micro-algae organism that is revered as a superfood by many societies. It is an effective chelating agent, which means it is able to remove harmful metals and toxins such as mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum and radioactive substances from the body.

A study looked at the protective role of spirulina, a blue-green algae, on mice treated for seven days with aluminum. The scientists measured the hemoglobin of the mice to measure their recovery over the following 90 days when treated with a spirulina supplement. The study showed that spirulina alleviated the toxicity of aluminum during exposure as well as enabling a better recovery afterwards.

This suggests that healthy living tips such as taking spirulina supplements can be a powerful detox which reduces the harmful effects of aluminum exposure, and possibly counters other toxic metals in our environment.

 

 

 

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Top Ways to Flush Out Toxins – The Benefits of Detox

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Every day the human body is exposed to trace amounts of over 80,000 industrial chemicals, toxins and pollutants, according to Brenda Watson, nutritionist and author of The Detox Strategy. We need to embrace the benefits of detox to help counter this daily assault on our system.  These insidious poisons include lead pollutants in the air, heavy metals in seafood, pollutants in the water supply, smoke in public areas; and a host of chemicals in household cleaners, perfumes, plastics and insecticides. It’s essential to give your body a chance to expel these dangerous toxins and recover with a concentrated detox program.

Drink more water and natural juices for top detox benefits

Here are 5 steps to help you reap the benefits of detox:

1.     Boost fiber intake

The colon can become clogged and sluggish on a modern diet of junk food, sugar and processed meals. An overload of fiber acts as a garbage truck, removing toxic waste and thoroughly cleansing the digestive tract. Try to eat 30-40 grams of fiber daily, starting with a high fiber breakfast to kick start your detox benefits.

2.     Drink More Juice

Cranberry or orange juice? The best answer is BOTH! These juices are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that fight free radicals and oxidative stress. Cranberry juice enables the liver to break down fat and acts as a diuretic, a key part of any successful detox program.

Related:  Five Reasons to Add Cranberries to Your Daily Diet

3.     Purified Water

Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water throughout the day, and use either filtered or distilled water to avoid the bacteria and chemicals found in bottled, spring and mains water. Water stimulates the kidneys to detoxify and helps reduce constipation from the increased fiber.

4.     Exercise Daily

Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system which is important for a strong immune system. Working up a sweat also eliminates toxins through the skin. Daily walks, jogging, swimming and other activities will be rewarded with many detox benefits as you feel an increased level of fitness and more energized.

5.     Exfoliate

Detox benefits can be stimulated from the outside as well as from within. Treat yourself to a full body rub with a sea salt scrub which increases perspiration. The salt increases detoxification and the scrubbing action helps to eliminate dead skin cells, opening the pores to allow more effective detox benefits.

An effective detox program will cleanse the whole body from top to toe, including the kidneys, liver and colon. You know it has done you good as you will feel lighter, healthier and far more energetic. Losing weight is another detox benefit, so keep up the healthy diet and exercise to shed those excess pounds. 

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Are Fish Oil Supplements Good For The Skin?

by IVL Products

What you eat may be more important to the look and feel of your skin than what you put on it.  Research shows that what you put into your body in the form of nutrients has a big impact on how your skin looks and feels.  One critical nutrient found in foods like, walnuts, flaxseed, and olive oil but most abundantly in certain fish is omega-3 fatty acids.  More and more research is piling up to support the benefits of omega-3s from fish oil for skin.

Exploring the benefits of omega-3s from fish oil for skin

How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Promote Healthy Skin

Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential acids because the body needs them to maintain the health of the cell membrane, yet cannot produce it naturally.  Our bodies rely on getting essential acids solely from our diet.  Cell membranes not only act as a barrier to keep harmful substances out of the cell, but also to transport nutrients in and waste products out of it.  The membrane is also what enhances the cells ability to retain water so that you have moist, soft supple skin cells that are more resistant to wrinkles.

Another way omega-3 fatty acids, found most abundantly in fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, cod, and tuna (so called “oily” fish) are beneficial is to help reduce inflammation throughout the body.  Insulin spikes from eating sugary, highly processed starchy foods, sun exposure and environmental toxins like cigarette smoke induce inflammation in the skin making it dry, flaky and red.

Related:  Supplementing Children’s' Diets with Fish Oil

Additionally, according to a study published back in 2003 in “Carcinogenesis,” omega-3 fatty acids such as those in fish oil contain properties that protect the skin from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays from the sun.  EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), a compound in omega-3s, was shown to be especially beneficial in reducing sunburn and ultra-violet radiation induced skin breaks.

Best Way to Get the Most Out Of Fish Oil

One of the best ways to keep your skin healthy and glowing is to eat foods rich in the omega-3 compounds EPA, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linoleic acid).  A few of the foods that contain the largest amounts of these substances are:

  • Fish –the cold-water or oily kind
  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oils
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli
  • Canola oil

Unfortunately it is difficult to get the amount of omega-3s needed for optimum health through food alone.  Taking a fish oil supplement is an easy way to get the most beneficial amounts of omega-3s into your diet.  

When shopping for a fish oil supplement be sure to read the label carefully and choose one with at least 30% EPA and DHA in it.  Also, look for the kind labeled “non-fishy” aftertaste.

The benefits of omega-3 fish oils for skin are numerous, plus they benefit many other parts of the body reducing your risk of cardiac disease, joint inflammation and can even aid in weigh loss.  Adding a fish oil supplement to your diet is a good idea if you would like to keep your skin looking and feeling younger and healthier. 

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10 Best Brain Games to Improve Your Memory

by Health News

You just can’t build your brain as you get older, right? The more scientists study the brain the more impressed they become. The brain is capable of growth and development throughout life. One of the best ways to improve overall brain health and improve memory is to challenge yourself through brain games. In this article we will examine 10 of the best ways to enhance your memory.

Chess is one of the top brain games.

#1:  Chess

Chess has endured for centuries and for good reason. Not only is chess one of the more complicated of brain games, but it also forces players to think ahead and remember a variety of possible moves; this also helps to make chess one of the top memory improvement games.

#2:  Action Based Video Games

Video games such as “shooters” and other action based video games might not seem like most people’s first pick for improving memory, but these kinds of games require players to remember where enemies are and respond quickly. The end result is a serious memory and reaction time workout.

#3:  Puzzle Based Video Games

Puzzle based video games such as the famous Tetris will definitely increase your reaction time and help boost your memory. For example, having to remember and instantly recall the shape of previous placed pieces is sure to help you give your memory a workout. There are literally endless puzzle based video games and the trick is to find the ones that are demanding and enjoyable.

Related:  How to Spice Up Your Memory with Turmeric

#4:Scrabble

Scrabble certainly has a lot of fans and as it turns out Scrabble is uniquely good at helping players exercise their memories and their vocabulary. Scrabble is fun and helps build one’s memory by exercising word recall.

#5:  Go

The ancient strategy game of Go really gives one’s mind a real work out. It is a strategy game that is very different than chess and requires players to work to acquire as much of the board as possible.

#6:  Sudoku

If you’ve never tried Sudoku, then you are in for a real treat. Sudoku gives your brain a workout but does so in a way that most people find quite new. Filling in the Sudoku boxes might seem simple at first but there is no doubt that Sudoku represents a true brain challenge.

#7:  Card Games

Remember the card matching games of childhood? Think that they are just for childhood? Think again, if you are looking for ways to proven memory improvement games then you’ll have a tough time topping what memory matching card games can offer.

#8:  Board Games

Board games are another way to boost your memory. In fact some of history’s most popular board games such as Battleship require players to remember the location of player’s fleets. Like chess, Battleship is another way to develop your logical and strategic side.

#9: Games Specifically Designed for Brain Building

There are several companies who have created games specifically designed to build one’s brain. One of the most popular is Lumosity, but there are others. There is some controversy as to how well these games work but many feel that these kinds of games can enhance memory.

#10:  The Games You’ll Play

The most important brain game is, of course, the ones you’ll play. If you are not enjoying a brain game, then simply keep trying new ones until you find the right fit!

These 10 brain game options offer something different for everyone. No matter what kind of games you like, this list should have something for you.

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Six Benefits of Bubble Baths

by Cindy Gray

For those who enjoy bubbly baths, you are about to learn about the mental and physical health benefits bubble baths provide. If you’re not one to indulge in a relaxing bubble bath, perhaps this will persuade you to change your mind and jump in the tub!

Who’d have thought there were so many bubble bath benefits!

1.     Bubble Bath Benefits for Relaxation

A warm soak in a comfortable bath provides the perfect environment for relaxing. As the scents and steam rise, they create a calming atmosphere, encouraging you to de-stress and forget about work, family and other worries, at least temporarily. Banish your cell phone and read a book or just lie back and enjoy your time free from interruption.

2.     Aromatherapy in the Bath Tub

Add a relaxing scent to your bubbly bath with a couple of drops of essential oil such as lavender, bergamot, vanilla or cedarwood will encourage natural relaxation. Avoid synthetic fragrances as they can affect the endocrine system and increase the risk of breast cancer.

3.     Deep Muscle Relaxation

The hot water encourages deep muscle relaxation to ease cramps, prevent tension headaches and improve muscle elasticity. Follow your bubble bath benefits with a gentle stretch of the musculoskeletal system to improve posture and reduce back problems.

Related:  Safe Anxiety Treatments: Rose and Lavender are Scents That Soothe

4.     Bubble Bath Benefits Include Detoxing

Make your bubble bath hot enough to produce a sweat to remove toxins from the body naturally. The increased circulation stimulates the lymphatic system which sweats out toxins and increases lymph drainage.

5.     Hot Baths Boost Immunity

The heat of the steam stimulates the immune system and improves health. An improved immune system will help your body fight bacteria and viruses which should mean less coughs and colds naturally.

6.     Bubble Baths for Healthy Skin

Bubble bath benefits include glowing, healthy skin. A warm soak increases blood circulation, providing nourishment to damaged tissue. In addition, using a loofah or natural sponge to slough away dead skin cells will leave you with soft, glowing skin. Use a pumice stone and give your feet a good exfoliating scrub too. Moisturize your skin after your bubbly bath with coconut oil or olive oil and you will quickly eradicate any patches of dry or itchy skin.

By using natural organic products, your bubble bath benefits will avoid any reactions caused by chemicals and artificial fragrances. With so many health benefits available from a simple bubbly bath, make sure you book a session in your “home spa” at least once a week! 

Healthy Living Starts Here... Free Resource Guide

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The Facts about Vitamin Deficiency Hair Loss

by Cindy Gray

Extra hair in the shower drain can cause some people undue stress and anxiety.  While there are a number of reasons for hair loss, sometimes vitamin deficiency is to blame.  Hair follicles need a steady supply of certain nutrients for optimal health, and a less-than-adequate diet can lead to excessive shedding.  Fortunately, vitamin deficiency hair loss is easily corrected with better nutrition and/or supplements.  

B vitamins, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin D are all important for correcting vitamin deficiency hair loss.

The Growth Process

Hair on the head sprouts from specialized follicles, forming strands of condensed cells.  Normal hair growth follows a cycle which includes an active phase, a transitional phase, a resting phase, and a new growth phase.  During the last phase, follicles push out the old hair, and it sheds.  A vitamin deficiency or other condition that disrupts any part of the growth cycle can cause more shedding than is normal. 

Vitamins Important to Hair Health

Due to busy lifestyles, many people eat on the run or skip meals.  Nutrient-poor fast food and not eating at all can add up, resulting in a vitamin deficiency.  Low levels of any of the following nutrients can affect hair health

B Vitamins

A number of B vitamins help guard against vitamin deficiency hair loss.  B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B7 (biotin), and B12 (cobalamin) all help promote stronger hair follicles.  In addition, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) makes hair more flexible and shiny, and B6 (pyridoxine) helps prevent dandruff.

Foods high in many B vitamins include dairy products, fortified whole grain cereals, leafy green vegetables, various meats, legumes, and nuts, but people can take a vitamin B-complex supplement to ensure adequate daily amounts of all of these nutrients and more.

Related:  The One Tactic that Can Stop Hair Thinning

Vitamin D

A study from Cairo University showed that women with Telogen effluvium (TE) and female pattern hair loss (FPHL) showed lower levels of vitamin D than women in a control group.  People can get most of the vitamin D they need through the sun, but inhabitants of northern regions or those who don't spend much time outdoors can benefit from foods rich in vitamin D and/or vitamin D supplements.  Wild-caught salmon, mushrooms, beef liver, and fortified grains are good sources of vitamin D.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Many people are deficient in omega 3 fatty acids, which help keep various parts of the body healthy, including the hair.  Good sources of these important fats include cold water fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines; and plant sources like walnuts and flaxseed. 

Iron

In addition to vitamin D deficiency, the study from Cairo University also showed low levels of iron for women with TE and FPHL.  Because too much stored iron can also cause health problems, people should get this mineral from foods in lieu of supplements, unless otherwise specified by a medical professional.  Good food sources include clams, oysters, red meat, fortified cereals, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, and spinach. 

Excessive hair loss can be distressing, but sometimes it's only a side effect of nutrient deficiency.  People can correct vitamin deficiency hair loss by simply changing their diet.  Because excessive shedding is a symptom of several conditions, people dealing with this problem should consult with a medical professional for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

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Lack of Appetite: Four Typical Causes

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Eating delicious foods can be one of the greatest pleasures in life, and a healthy appetite is a sign of positive wellbeing.  People who develop a lack of appetite lose their desire to eat.  They either experience complete disinterest, or the idea of eating makes them feel nauseous.  While a number of factors may cause appetite loss, four in particular are worth noting.

People who develop a lack of appetite either experience complete disinterest, or the idea of eating makes them feel nauseous

1.  Chronic Disease

Lack of appetite is a common symptom of a number of chronic diseases.  These include liver disease, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), dementia, HIV, hypothyroidism, gastroparesis, and kidney or heart failure.  People with cancer of the ovaries, pancreas, colon, or stomach may also find their appetite lacking. 

Nutritious snacks high in protein and calories help people with chronic illness or cancer maintain body weight while trying to recover.  Eating small amounts several times throughout the day and supplementing with liquid protein drinks can be helpful.  Supportive family members can keep favorite foods handy and record meals in a food diary for reference.

2.  Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is most common in women from 35 to 65 years of age.  It is a condition in which the thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone.  It causes a range of symptoms, including lack of appetite, fatigue, constipation, dry skin, and brittle nails.

A simple blood test can determine whether people suffer from an inactive thyroid.  Doctors usually prescribe synthetic T4 (levothyroxine sodium), in the form of a daily pill, to bring the thyroid hormone into the normal range.

Related:  Three Hormonal Causes of Depression

3.  Medications

Use of certain medications can affect the appetite.  These include:

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Codeine
  • Diuretics
  • Morphine
  • Sleeping pills
  • Tranquilizers

Regardless if it is listed above, people who experience a lack of appetite in conjunction with starting a new medication should consult with their doctor for solutions, which may include changing the drug or dosage.  People should not stop taking their medication without their doctor's approval.

4.  Depression

A change in appetite is one of the most common signs of depression.  For some people, depression increases appetite, and for others it leads to a lack of appetite.  When people experience appetite loss along with symptoms like sadness, guilt, disinterest in activities, digestive issues, sleep problems, or nausea, they should consult with a medical doctor or mental health care professional.

A healthy diet may help ward off depression.  According to research, a Mediterranean-style eating plan high in fruits vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and fatty fish can help lower risks for depression.  Studies also show that deficiencies in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and tryptophan can have a negative influence on mood.

While periods of appetite loss are normal, a persistent lack of appetite is not.  It can be a symptom of chronic disease, cancer, hypothyroidism, depression or a reaction to a new medication.  People should contact their health care provider if appetite loss is chronic or if they are shedding weight without trying. 

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How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes and What You Can Do About It

by Cindy Gray

People with diabetes are more likely to develop blinding eye diseases. However, recent studies show that ethnicities at higher risk for diabetes have a low awareness of this serious issue.  Since these findings indicate that many Americans may not be defending themselves properly against diabetes-related vision loss, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has shared valuable information about diabetic eye disease and dilated eye exams to encourage people with diabetes to take proactive steps to protect their vision.How to Protect Yourself from Diabetic Eye Disease

Hispanics and African-Americans are more likely to have diabetes than most other ethnicities in the U.S. However, a recent poll shows that only 27% and 32% percent of these ethnicities respectively know about diabetic eye disease.

In addition, while people with diabetes are recommended to have a dilated eye exam every year, a recent study found that among Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, or diabetes—all conditions that require annual eye exams—three-quarters of those who did not have an exam in five years were those living with diabetes.

It's alarming for health experts that so many people with diabetes or at risk for diabetes may be unaware of the damage this condition can do to their eyes. Outside of maintaining healthy blood glucose levels, having an annual dilated eye exam is the best first-line defense against vision loss from diabetic eye disease.

Further, many people are unaware that the term ‘diabetic eye disease’ includes a number of diseases and conditions that can cause blindness if left untreated, including:-

  • Diabetic retinopathy - affects 28.5% of people aged 40 years and older living with diabetes. It occurs when the small blood vessels in the eye change by swelling, leaking fluid, or closing off completely, blocking blood flow from reaching the retina. In its earliest stages, diabetic retinopathy does not have symptoms but can lead to changes in the eye such as macular edema, the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes. Treatment for diabetic retinopathy includes laser surgery, medical injections and vitrectomy surgery in which blood and scar tissue caused by abnormal blood vessels is removed.

  • Cataracts - occur when the eye's lens becomes cloudy, causing vision to become blurry, cloudy, or dim. While this happens in many people as they age, those with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts. Mild cataracts may be treated with eyeglasses, but once the cataract is advanced, it will require cataract surgery in which the natural cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial lens implant.

  • Glaucoma - is a disease that damages the optic nerve and peripheral vision. The damage to the optic nerve is usually caused by elevated pressure in the eye. People with diabetes are more likely to develop glaucoma, which doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Glaucoma can be treated with medication such as prescription eye drops or with surgery, but will inevitably result in blindness if left untreated.

Given the high risk for many adverse eye conditions, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people with type 2 diabetes should get a dilated eye exam at the time of diagnosis and every year following to protect their eyesight.

 

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How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes - And What You Can Do About It