Choosing Foods that Reduce Stress Improves Your Health

by IVL Products

When feeling stressed out and anxious, people often reach for vending machine junk food, huge, sugary coffee drinks, or head for the drive through of the nearest fast food joint.  That is the absolute worse thing you can do because highly processed, high fat, sugar-loaded foods can actually increase your stress levels.  Learn to easily reduce this by eating foods that reduce stress. This simple change can greatly improve your health.

Stress Mess

Caffeine found in coffee, sodas and energy drinks are a stress bomb.  The caffeine stimulates your nervous system, which responds by flooding your body with cortisol. The sugar in highly processed foods and drinks sends your blood glucose levels soaring, which causes more cortisol to start zipping through your body.

Sugar can have another wicked effect on the body by shutting down the adrenal medulla, the adrenal gland that helps your body cope with emotional and physical stress.

Related:  Does Stress Impair Memory?

Next time you are feeling tension or a little anxious, head off a full blown stress mess by avoiding the vending machine or trendy coffee shop and selecting foods that reduce stress.

Fruits and Vegetables

Asparagus - rich in folate, B vitamins in asparagus convert to folic acid and have a calming effect on the nervous system

Swiss chard – full of magnesium, chard can help the body balance cortisol levels in the body.

Bell Peppers – especially red, orange or yellow in color, these stress busters are rich in vitamin C, which helps produce neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, the feel good hormones

Spinach – rich in folate, spinach also contains iron and helps with keeping your immune system strong

Berriesberries are ideal foods that reduce stress, as they are full of the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that will give you a natural energy boost without an ugly sugar crash

Avocados –their creamy texture is a great source of heart healthy fat that keeps you energized and feeling full with vitamins and minerals to boot

Oranges – have vitamin C, folate and vitamin B6, all nutrients that help elevate your mood and keep you calm and relaxed

Dried apricots- they are rich in magnesium, which helps keep cortisol levels in check

Fruits and vegetables will boost your mood by providing hydration and nutrients that won’t send blood sugar levels soaring only to crash in about an hour.  The filling fiber staves off hunger so you can maintain focus and manage problems without sending you running for the nearest vending machine.

Additional Foods that Reduce Stress

Many other foods can help you manage stress and keep cortisol levels in check. Avoid fast food burgers and fries in favor of salmon, lean chicken or lamb, all of which have calming B vitamins.

Bread labeled multi-grain does not always contain whole grains and can cause your glucose levels to rise dramatically. Optimally, go for the gluten free grains like quinoa, millet, or rye because gluten is known to stimulate cortisol secretions in the body.

If you want to sweeten your green or chamomile tea, two natural stress-reducing beverages, reach for xylitol of stevia based sweeteners instead of chemical based ones.

Chocolate is actually one of the best foods that reduce stress. It can actually help you reduce your stress levels. A mere ounce of the dark organic kind provides potent antioxidants to help the body fight off stress damage.

Food for Combat

In the war on stress choose your weapons wisely.  Highly processed, sugary caffeinated drinks and foods that are low in fiber but high in white sugar calories are your enemies. They cannot be counted on to save you from a stress meltdown and are traitors once inside the body.

Instead, call a truce: go au natural. No, not naked, but with foods in their most natural state like raw fruits and vegetables. 

Nuts like almonds and cashews can help calm cravings and relieve stress, so keep a small pack of them around with an ounce of dark chocolate and you’ll stay cool as cucumber.


Healthy Foods That Taste Better Than Junk Foods

by Health News

Ice cream sundae or sugar-free jelly?  Chocolate brownie or granola bar?  Kettle chips or green salad?

It's often very difficult to stick to choices from your healthy foods list, since junk food, snacks and sweet treats invariably look and taste better than a healthier low-calorie option.  But just to prove that wrong, here are 10 foods that somehow manage to taste even better than junk foods—plus they help teach your body how to reduce food cravings.

Fruits rank high on the healthy foods list

1. Strawberries

Brimming with antioxidants and phytochemicals, it’s hard to beat the taste of a fresh sun-ripened strawberry. These lush summer fruits are high in vitamin C, carotenes, calcium, fiber and minerals yet are low in calories. Eating three or more servings a week of strawberries and blueberries is certainly no hardship, yet they provide a 32% lowered risk of heart attack.

2. Watermelon

Lycopene is normally associated with tomatoes, but it's present in watermelon, too. On a hot day there's nothing more refreshing than biting into a crisp triangle of juicy water melon—and that's a great tip for how to reduce food cravings too!

3. Mangoes

Mangoes are so versatile. Add them to fruit salads, eat fresh in slivers or make a delicious sugar-free dessert with them. They contain calcium, iron and lots of trace minerals as well as 17 of the 20 amino acids in the human body.

4. Almonds

Did you know that almonds are an excellent source of protein? The skins are high in antioxidants that are normally associated with fruits and vegetables. In fact, a one-ounce serving of almonds has the equivalent quantity of polyphenols as a cup of broccoli, but their calorie content is five times higher, so portion-size is the watchword!

5. Avocados

Another food where a little goes a long way is avocado. Low in fructose and high in healthy monounsaturated fats for energy, avocadoes are particularly high in potassium and B-vitamins.

6. Blueberries

Packed with fiber and antioxidants, blueberries contain high levels of nitric oxide which dilates the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure safely and naturally. What better fruit to add to your healthy foods list?

Related:  Healthy Eating Habits

7. Sweet Potatoes

It’s the beta-carotene antioxidant that gives sweet potatoes their healthy color. As well as countering the aging effects of free radicals, sweet potatoes also support the immune system.

8. Cherries

Sweet cherries are high in quercetin, the most potent type of antioxidant, along with fiber, vitamin C and anthocyanins which are important for cancer prevention. These glossy fruits should be top of your healthy foods list when they are in season.

9. Pistachios

Containing the same healthy oleic acid found in olive oil, pistachios are known to naturally help lower blood pressure.  High in lutein and beta-carotene (both good for ophthalmic health), pistachios are a good snack for dieters as they take time to shell and nibble slowly.

10. Dark Chocolate

Eating high-quality dark chocolate in small portions (1-2 squares per day) can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes. It helps control hypertension and fasting glucose levels and is a great snack choice for those looking for how to reduce food cravings. 

So maybe it’s not so difficult after all to stick to choices from your healthy foods list!  Choose a delicious and healthier low-calorie option from this tasty list of 10 foods that really do taste even better than junk foods!  

28 Superfood Recipes for Everyday


Seeing Green for Anti-Aging

by Cindy Gray

An anti-aging diet must contain a lot of greens.  Immediately you might think about broccoli, lettuce, peas, green beans, etc. Well, these are all great green foods to have in your diet, but there are a few others you might be interested in that are nutritional powerhouses and should also be a part of your regular diet.


Called the King of Grains, alfalfa’s not just for cows anymore. This remarkable plant shoots its roots 20 to 30 feet down to draw out minerals from the soil not available near the surface.  It is a rich source of vitamins, A, B1, B6, C, E and K, which are critical to maintaining a health immune system.

Alfalfa also helps prevent heart disease, the number one killer in this country, by preventing the absorption of cholesterol in the gut.  That makes it a good green to toss into your next salad.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It also has long been known for its skin healing and softening effects as a treatment for sun burns, eczema and psoriasis, just to name a few.

Recent clinical evidence suggests that this gel-filled plant is highly effective at fighting tumors that can cause colorectal cancer.  Its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to lower cholesterol and relieve constipation make it a good green to add to your diet. Since aloe vera does not occur naturally in foods, you will need to enjoy it juice or gel form, or take it in supplement form.


Spinach is a unique plant; chock full of iron and vitamin C.  Iron is more readily absorbed into the body when accompanied by vitamin C, so it is perfectly packaged to deliver maximum anti-aging compounds.  Research shows that in addition to the powerful antioxidants it contains, spinach also helps protect the lining of the intestinal tract. This makes for a healthier immune system to help fight off colds and quickly rid the body of toxic bacteria.

Men, take note: Spinach also helps reduce the risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer, so add this dark leafy green cancer fighter to your anti-aging diet.

Related:  Seven Green Super Foods with Cancer Fighting & Heart-Healthy Benefits


Astragalus is known as an adaptogen.  An adaptogen is something that helps the body “adapt” to the damage of physical, mental and emotional stress more quickly, before it can harm your cells and overall health.  Astragalus contains antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory compounds to help you avoid getting frequent colds, bladder infections and it helps to stimulate the immune system.

As a powerful antioxidant, astragalus also lowers cholesterol, improves heart function and protects the kidneys from disease.  Look for supplements made from the root of the plant, where all the medicinal properties are contained.


Compounds in seaweed so closely resemble human plasma that it is a great blood purifier. It also has chelating properties, meaning it converts heavy metal pollutants in our bodies to harmless salt that we can easily excrete.  Compounds found in seaweed called lignans have been shown to help treat and prevent certain types of cancers.

Seaweed is high in iodine, which stimulates the thyroid to help keep your metabolism humming along, making it a good weight loss green. The minerals in seaweed act as electrolytes to break the chemical bonds sealing fat cells, allowing excess fluids and waste trapped there to escape and be excreted from the body.

Since seaweed can be hard to find in standard grocery stores, here is a quick list of the types you should be adding to your anti-aging diet:

  • Nori
  • Kelp
  • Dulse
  • Arame
  • Kombu

Seeing green is a smart way to take charge of your health and add variety to your diet and lifestyle!


The One Tactic That Can Stop Hair Thinning

by Health News

Scientists have recently discovered a new ally in the search for effective hair loss remedies – green lipped mussels. Known as Perna Canaliculus, these delicious mussels are brimming with vitamins, proteins and minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and enzymes. While research into the health benefits of green-lipped mussels was in progress, doctors discovered that these shellfish are one of the most effective hair loss remedies in nature's medicine cabinet.

To a degree, hair loss is governed by genetics, but hair thinning treatments can prevent unnecessary hair loss, as well as treating those suffering from alopecia or other hair loss problems.

Natural hair loss remedies for thinning hair include green-lipped mussel extract

History behind the Health Benefits of Green Lipped Mussels

The indigenous Maoris of New Zealand rarely suffer illness, despite their physically demanding lifestyle in a cold and damp climate. Scientists noticed that the Maoris never seemed to be afflicted with swollen joints, aches, back pain and arthritis that most Westerners suffer from as they age.

Doctors began studying the traditional Maori diet, which consists mainly of seafood, in particular green-lipped mussels. They found that the mussels were high in anti-inflammatory properties, making them a natural replacement for aspirin and ibuprofen. Another unexpected side effect of eating green-lipped mussels was that it boosted hair growth, providing a natural hair thinning treatment.

One of Nature's Most Effective Hair Loss Remedies

Further studies into green-lipped mussels found that the shellfish are exceptionally high in several components known to be effective hair loss remedies.   Shellfish are an excellent source of omega-3s and mussels contain even more powerful fatty acids than standard fish oil. As well as lowering cholesterol, supporting a healthy heart and reducing joint pain, omega-3s are known to improve skin, hair and nails. They can slow down or even restore hair loss by keeping the scalp lubricated and promoting the production of hormones responsible for maintaining a lush head of hair.

Green Lipped Mussels and Zinc

Zinc is another vital mineral that is an important ingredient in hair loss remedies. Zinc deficiency is known to cause hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hair loss is a common symptom. If you are suffering from hair loss (alopecia), a boost of zinc from green-lipped mussels or a supplement of green mussel extract may be one the simplest and most effective hair loss treatments for you.

RelatedHair Loss:  Causes and Solutions

One final benefit found in green-lipped mussels is the high content of mucopolysaccharides they contain. More commonly known as glycosaminoglycans, these sugar molecules have been found to stimulate hair growth in clinical trials. They lengthen the anagen (growing stage) of hair follicles, producing the same effect as chemical hair loss remedies.

If your hair is thinning and in poor condition, take a tip from the Maoris and eat more green-lipped mussels. Alternatively, add a mussel extract to your daily diet and look forward to receiving those compliments about your thicker head of hair soon. 


Three Surprising Seafood Sources of EFAs

by Health News

Unless you’ve been living on another planet, you’ve heard about the health benefits of essential fatty acids like omega-3s.  Their long list of health benefits include:

  • Decreased risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Healthier skin and hair
  • Less risk of depression and other mood disorders
  • Better immunity

Essential fatty acids can be super health boosters

Essential Fatty Acid Foods

Our bodies cannot produce the essential fatty acids omega-3 (EPA and DHA) or omega-6, but they are essential to the healthy functioning of all the tissues.  Therefore, we must get these critical nutrients from our diet.

Omega-6 fatty acids are easily obtained through animal foods like beef, chicken and pork. It is also plentiful in corn oils. Our western diet is over-saturated with omega-6 sources of food, which is not good for us since it promotes inflammation.

Taking fish oil supplements has been touted as a way to get those essential fatty acids like omega-3, but researchers have come to discover that the fish oil used in supplements is often too unstable to be of any real benefit to our bodies.  If you have been choking those giant capsules down and suffering fish-tasting burps, stop! There is a better way.

Related:   Could Fish Oil One Day Take the Place of Statin Drugs?

What we need to be eating more of is omega-3 rich foods.  It’s pretty well known that fish like salmon and trout have a lot of omega-3s. However, you have more choices than you may realize when it comes to getting more essential fatty acid foods in your diet.

There are three surprising seafood sources of EFAs that you should start eating.


Sablefish are also known as wild Alaskan cod or black cod.  This cold-water species is generally less contaminated with mercury like king salmon and abundant in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.  In fact, Sablefish has more of the essential fatty acids than most other fish except king salmon.

Since it lives in very deep cold water, sablefish accumulate more fat which makes them easier to prepare and less likely to dry out with a little overcooking.  You can bake it, sauté it or put it on the grill and it usually turns out melt in your mouth tender.


American Shad fish is hard to find if you don’t live on a coast.  They can be found along the coast from Alaska to Mexico and all along the East coast.

American shad are loaded up with omega-3 laden fat, but they are also very bony.  It takes some practice to prepare and eat them but it’s worth the effort.  To prepare them it is easiest to poach or smoke them then flake out the meat. It makes a great addition to a salad even cold and is full-flavored enough to pair with strong garlic and chili pepper sauces.


These dull shellfish are full of healthy surprises.   They contain high levels of:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamins A, E, C and B12
  • Minerals zinc, iron, calcium selenium

Oysters taste the best in colder weather. They spawn May through July, which affects the taste somewhat.  You can incorporate them into a variety of stews and soups and easily get more EFAs into your diet.

It’s also worth noting that oysters are considered an aphrodisiac due to their high concentration of amino acids that trigger the release of sex hormones.  Choose farmed over wild and grind up the shells for your garden to help balance the pH of the soil.

Now you know about some main dish options to go along with the plant foods you have been eating that supply a lot omega-3 fatty acids.  Enjoy.



Royal Jelly: How the “Queen’s Food” Can Improve Your Health

by Institute for Vibrant Living

If you are experiencing a lack of sex drive, bees could help. When your libido bottoms out, a substance called Royal Jelly—produced by these remarkable bee-ings—has been shown to enhance sex drive in humans.

Why Royal?

Honeybees secrete this gel-like substance to feed the hive’s new larvae for three days. They produce it in copious amounts and store it in the honeycomb in specially constructed “queen cells” to be fed to one female bee who will eventually become the queen of the hive. 

Royal jelly has a variety of health benefits including helping to counteract lack of sex drive.

A substance called royalactin is believed to be the most potent single protein in Royal Jelly and the way it benefits female bees can also help humans with adrenal problems, boost immunity and reverse a lack of sex drive.  

What It Does

In addition to royalactin, Royal Jelly is mainly composed of crude proteins, amino acids, simple sugars, fatty acids and water.  It also contains some trace minerals, enzymes with antibacterial and antibiotic compounds, along with the B vitamins pantothenic acid (B5) and pyridoxine (B6). It also has a bit of testosterone and vitamin C. 

The combination of these compounds greatly enhance the size, lifespan and fertility of one particular female bee, making her the queen who will outlive all other bees and the only female with active ovaries to lay eggs. 

How Royal Jelly Can Improve Your Health

Adrenal Glands

Malfunctioning or under-performing adrenal glands can lead to a host of health problems like fatigue, a lack of sex drive and other more severe disorders.  Royal Jelly has been shown to boost the important hormones the adrenal gland produces that control blood pressure, circulation, blood sugar levels, protein and sugar metabolism and sexual activity.

Related Idea That All Fats Make You Fat Is A Myth


Japanese researchers discovered in a 2010 study that Royal Jelly’s antibiotic and antibacterial properties greatly improved immunity in research participants.  It shortened the healing time for wounds and improved allergy symptoms as well. 

Fat Metabolizer

Royal Jelly can help you metabolize fat more efficiently due to its ability to suppress lipid peroxidation, which causes harmful fatty acids to form in the body. This helps regulate the amount of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood stream, both of which can lead to heart disease and stroke when at high levels.

Increased Libido

Queen bees are the only female bees with active ovaries capable of producing eggs. Increase in libido is probably due to the trace amounts of testosterone it contains and the fact that it boosts adrenal gland function, which secretes hormones that regulate sex drive.

Bee Sexy

A lack of sex drive does not mean you are doomed to be a lonely heart or forced to take artificial hormones or medications like Viagra.  Try adding a little Royal Jelly to your diet and see how the fat loss benefits, increased energy, boost to your immune system, and shot of the testosterone can greatly enhance your libido and overall health.


Top Five Magnesium Rich Foods for Constipation Relief

by IVL Products

If like millions of Americans you suffer from occasional or chronic constipation, then you are probably anxious to find safe and natural constipation relief. A mineral that is crucial to heart health can also help to relieve the symptoms of the bowel disorder and fortunately, is found in abundance in several foods. 

constipation relief depends on magnesium

What mineral keeps your ticker in top shape and offers constipation relief?  Magnesium.

An Essential Mineral

Magnesium is critical to several functions in the body and being deficient leads to an entire host of health problems. Besides increasing your risk of developing heart disease and being linked to constipation, being deficient in magnesium can also lead to:

  • Muscle Cramps
  • Migraines
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Facial Tics

These are just a few of the side effects of not getting the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.

The Food Fix

When it comes to constipation, food is essential.  Since magnesium cannot be produced in the body, we need to replenish our stores daily.  Eating magnesium-rich foods is an easy way to avoid the health problems associated with magnesium deficiency. If constipation relief is what you seek, then start seriously considering these five foods that offer a healthy dose of magnesium along with several other important vitamins and minerals.

  1. Kale – this dark, tough leaf can seem a little intimidating.  Don’t be scared away.  One cup of cooked kale offers 6% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium.  It also contains vitamin B6, which helps with the absorption of magnesium.

Related: A Guide to Healthy Living

  1. Pumpkin Seeds – These Halloween bystanders, often discarded from the innards of pumpkins turned into jack-o-lanterns, offer your body a sweet treat in the form of magnesium.  You can score a healthy dose of the mineral that offers constipation relief along with other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  2. Wild Salmon – while magnesium tends to be in higher concentration in plant foods than in animal, wild caught salmon is a great source offering about 59 milligrams in one fillet.  It’s also a great lean protein that has a lot of selenium, a nutrient critical for the proper absorption of magnesium.
  3. Avocado – The lovely green butter pear, as is it is also known, makes for a great source of magnesium.  They also offer other electrolytes like potassium, and some much needed hydration.  Keeping your fluid and magnesium levels at a healthy level is an easy way to find constipation relief too.
  4. Greek Yogurt – there are so many good reasons to eat this creamy dairy delight, with magnesium being just one of them.  If you are looking for relief from constipation, food can help.  The high water content, magnesium and probiotics make eating it regularly a wise dietary decision.

Constipation Relief with No Side Effects

Before you turn to drugs or despair because of constipation, seek relief with these five magnesium super-star foods.  They are healthy for you in many ways and should be a part of a healthy diet.


Five Fish Full of Omega 3 for Skin Health

by Cindy Gray

Genes play a part when it comes to healthy skin, but lifestyle habits like a nutritious diet also make a big difference.  Wholesome foods offer the best anti-aging skin care by diminishing lines and wrinkles and enhancing the complexion.  Omega 3 fatty acids like eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) found in certain types of oily fish offer a number of skin-boosting benefits including reducing sensitivity to UV rays, preventing inflammation, keeping pores clear, and helping skin retain moisture.  Five fish in particular are full of omega 3 for skin health and offer a number of additional health benefits. 

Discover five fish that are chock full of omega 3 for skin health

1.  Wild Alaskan Salmon

Types of wild Alaskan (or Pacific) salmon include red, king, pink, silver, and dog salmon.  In addition to offering an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids, all types of Pacific salmon make a high-quality source of protein, vitamin B12, and minerals like potassium and selenium.

2.  Anchovies

Found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, anchovies are small oily fish packed with essential fatty acids.  In addition, anchovies contain vitamin E and selenium, both of which promote skin health.  Anchovies also offer a rich source of vitamin A, which is important to vision, reproduction, cell division, and healthy bones.

Related: Can Omegas and Vitamin D Help Prevent Alzheimers?

3.  Mackerel

The most common types of mackerel include Atlantic, cero, king, and Spanish mackerel.  A deep water fish found in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans, it is also called lacento or maccarello.  While mackerel offers benefits to the skin, it is most famous for promotion of good heart health and purifying the blood.  A rich source of protein, mackerel also contains important minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and selenium.

4.  Halibut

Considered a lean fish, halibut does contain some omega 3 for skin.  What's more, it is low in fat and calories and makes a high-quality source of protein.  Halibut contains important B vitamins including B6, B12, and folic acid, which help to curb homocysteine levels and prevent inflammation.  Magnesium found in halibut helps boost blood flow, which keeps the whole body ─ including the skin ─ supplied with nutrients and oxygen.

5.  Rainbow trout

While it is one of the healthiest fish to eat, farmed rainbow trout is a better option than wild lake trout because ponds are protected from environmental contaminants.  One 3-ounce serving contains roughly 981 mg of EPA and DHA plus 21 grams of protein making it one of the best anti-aging skin care options available.  In addition to offering cardiovascular benefits, essential fatty acids may also help prevent neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease, bipolar disorder, dementia, and depression.

Additional Lifestyle Habits for Healthy Skin

People looking to enhance skin health may want to consider a few more healthy habits:

  • Don't smoke
  • Limit daily consumption of alcohol to one drink for women and two drinks for men
  • Drink at least 64 oz. of pure water each day

Use organic sunscreen whether sunny or cloudy


Snacks to Increase Your Energy Naturally

by Health News

It’s 2:00 in the afternoon. Lunch was delicious and satisfying, but now you can hardly keep your eyes open. Before you reach for the usual, nutritionally-hollow caffeinated beverage that will just leave you tired later, consider one of these healthy, pick-me-up snacks to help pull you out of that afternoon slump and power you through the rest of the day:

Bananas. A banana is a delicious, sweet treat that is high in potassium—a mineral that helps maintain normal blood pressure and heart function. Bananas are satisfying and will help propel you out of that afternoon lull.

Snacks to Increase Your Energy Naturally

Pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. They also contain a fair amount of protein, but because they are lighter than many nuts, they won’t slow you down.

Organic Dark Chocolate. This non-guilty pleasure not only satisfies your sweet tooth, but it won’t deplete you of energizing B-vitamins the way many starchy dessert snacks will. For best results, get non-dairy, organic dark chocolate because it contains the highest levels of powerful antioxidants. There is some sugar in it, so limit portion size to 1-2 ounces a day.

Natural Energy Boosters

Lemon water. It might not sound like much of a snack, but if you’re tired, it could be just the medicine you need. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of fatigue, and lemons are a potent source of vitamins and enzymes. Furthermore, the smell of lemons is believed to increase energy and promote productivity!

Snacks to Increase Your Energy Naturally

Celery. Celery is satisfying because it’s crunchy and flavorful. It’s also loaded with energizing B-vitamins. It is a gentle, natural diuretic that helps balance electrolyte levels and flushes excess water from the body. Celery is perfect to pair with hummus, another healthy snack!

Easy Healthy Recipes



Seven Antioxidant Vegetables for an Arthritis Diet

by Institute for Vibrant Living

There is currently no cure for arthritis, but scientists, doctors and sufferers have found that what you eat can greatly affect joint pain. Certain foods are known to curb inflammation, which is what causes arthritis. Put the arthritis diet to the test for yourself by trying these seven antioxidant-rich vegetables for one month, and monitor the improvement in your arthritis pain.

Vegetables are an important part of the arthritis diet

1.      Tomatoes

Filled with the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are an excellent aid to countering inflammation in the arthritis diet. Eaten raw in salads or as a side vegetable, or cooked in tomato sauce and ketchup, tomatoes are a powerful way to counter free radical damage and oxidation, suppressing pain-causing inflammation.

2.      Avocados

Avocados for arthritis! Foods high in unsaturated fats, such as avocados, are often high in antioxidants too. Full of heart-healthy polyphenols, avocados should be eaten as part of a balanced diet for arthritis pain management

3.      Kale

Kale is growing in popularity as its antioxidant benefits are widely recognized. Tackle your arthritis pain by adding chopped kale leaves to salad for an appetizing mix of green leaves filled with carotenoids, lutein and beta-carotene antioxidants.

Related: Why is Kale So Healthy?

4.      Bell Peppers

This colorful low-calorie vegetable adds a rainbow of color to your arthritis diet with their green, yellow, orange and red colors. Red peppers, also known as sweet peppers, have the highest content of beta-carotene, quercetin, capsanthin and luteolin, making them the best choice for lowering arthritis inflammation.

5.      Brussels Sprouts

As well as lowering cholesterol, Brussels sprouts contain a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients along with protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. If you don’t like the smell of boiled sprouts, lightly stir-fry them with bacon pieces and onions for a crunchy side dish.

6.      Cauliflower

Packed with vitamin C, cauliflower is one of the world’s healthiest foods. It contains folate, vitamins C, K, B2, B1 and B6 and is a good source of choline and biotin. Eat raw as a dip or cook and mash for a creamy side dish to accompany any main meal.

7.      Zucchini

Zucchini is a versatile vegetable; it is an important part of any arthritis diet. It is a good source of those all-important antioxidants with high levels of vitamins C and A as well as lutein and zeaxanthin.

Vibrant Living Challenge. Free 30-Day Challenge Download.


Five Foods for Boosting Immunity

by Cindy Gray

Do you feel like you have a weakened immune system? Our immune systems are constantly under attack from the endless bacteria, toxins and viruses we are exposed to as part of daily life.  This amazing system must remain hyper-vigilant at all times and be ready to strike at the first sign of an invading bacteria or virus.

Booste Immunity with these Five FoodsLack of sleep, stress and poor diet weaken your immune system making it tough to do its job.  Hitting a yoga class or meditating, calling it a night 30 minutes earlier and incorporating these five foods into your diet can help you keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

The Fabulous Five

Lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and dairy products can have a beneficial effect on a weakened immune system.  However, five foods in particular have shown to be especially beneficial in keeping your flu-fighters lean and mean.


Also known as a butter pear, this creamy, green, nutty flavored fruit (yes, fruit) provides a lot of immunity-boosting nutrients.  The amino acids, antioxidants and healthy omega-3 fats are good for the entire body. Avocados are rich in glutathione and phytonutrients that kill off free radicals. 

Current research is studying the effects of those phytonutrients on cells, telling them whether to grow, live or die.  These guacamole super-stars also help reduce inflammation, which lessens cold and flu symptoms.  They are packed with B-6 vitamins, vitamins A, C and E, minerals like zinc, iron and selenium, which are crucial to the formation of healthy immune system cells that attack invading pathogens.

Related: Boost Your Immune System With Garlic’s Healthy Benefits


This spicy, flavorful root has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is known to help break down toxins in organs, and contribute to a clean lymphatic system, the one that disposes of cellular wastes.  Ginger also helps regulate your immune system to keep it from over-reacting (allergy attack) and helps to activate T-cells. Those are the white blood cells that are virus and tumor-killing ninjas.


Gravi what!?  Graviola is a fruit that grows best in a rainforest climate and can be found abundantly in South America and many tropical islands.  This heart-shaped green fruit is also known as a Brazilian paw paw, soursop or guanaba and has been used by ancient peoples to modern times for a variety of health reasons. Graviola has been used to keep the liver healthy, reduce swelling in the mucus membranes, and reduce cold and flu symptoms.  Modern researchers are studying a substance in them called annonaceous acetogenins that tend to attack cancer cells. Graviola supports a healthy immune system by killing off parasites and reducing inflammation in the body.


These weird looking, chewy fungi are immune-boosting powerhouses, thanks to being loaded with the powerful antioxidant ergothioneine.  It survives cooking and quickly enters the blood stream to shore up your immunity by helping remove heavy metal toxins from your tissues and destroy free radicals that harm healthy cells.

Mushrooms are also a rich source of selenium—low levels have been linked to more severe flu symptoms.  They also provide the B-vitamins riboflavin and niacin and have antibacterial and antiviral properties, and may be effective in killing tumors.


There are just so many good things to say about eating oatmeal regularly.  For your immune system, oatmeal provides a healthy dose of three minerals critical to keeping it functioning at optimum levels.

  • Zinc- essential for the growth and function of the immunity cells that recognize and destroy invading pathogens.

  • Selenium – which we already discussed as an essential component to a healthy immune system, and it’s nice to know you can get it in a variety of foods. Its ability to bind with proteins to form seleno-proteins help regulate the immune system so it responds quickly to invaders but does not go overboard when it senses a harmless pollen (i.e. an allergy attack).

  • Iron – those with low levels of this mineral often have a weak immune system. It is a critical nutrient in the formation of healthy immune system red and white blood cells that eradicate invading pathogens.

Oatmeal also contains a soluble fiber called beta glucan that supports immune function and reduces susceptibility to infection.

Eating a diverse diet rich in all kinds of fruits and vegetables will help keep your immune system strong.  Be sure to add in the fabulous five to help you survive and thrive during dreaded cold and flu season and generally stay healthy year-round for life.










Prevent Decreased Muscle Mass in the Grocery Store

by Cindy Gray

The great thing about natural medicine is that most vitamins and supplements can be obtained from a grocery store rather than from a pharmacy. To be more exact, most health foods can be found in the produce department where fresh fruit and vegetables provide a ready supply of vitamins, minerals, natural fiber and antioxidants.

Prevent Decreased Muscle Mass in the Produce AisleYou may be aware that these foods are the key to weight management, balancing blood sugar and supporting a healthy heart, but scientists have also found they are essential for preventing decreased muscle mass.

What is Sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia is a medical term that refers to a steady loss of lean body mass, specifically muscle and bone loss. It affects around 45% of older adults and generally starts at the age of 40 and accelerates in the mid-late 70s. Although it is most severe in those who are physically inactive, it also affects people who remain fit and active into older age.

Although sarcopenia affects older people, it may be an avoidable consequence of aging, as a recent Korean study showed.

Related: 3 Healthy Foods That Support Healthy Aging

Study on Sarcopenia and Diet

Scientists at Ajou University in the Republic of Korea looked at whether foods high in antioxidants, such as fruit and vegetables, could be associated with sarcopenia in older people. The study focused on data provided by 823 men and 1,089 women who were aged 65 and above. They used questionnaires to obtain information about the participants' diet, along with physical measurements including height and body mass.

The study found that men who had a high dietary intake of both fresh fruit and vegetables had a significantly lower risk of sarcopenia than those who ate fewer fruits and vegetables. In women, they found that those who had a high consumption of fruit showed a lower risk of decreased muscle mass/sarcopenia. The scientists concluded that a high consumption of fruit and vegetables was inversely associated with the presence of sarcopenia in older people.

Risk of Muscle Loss

The natural aging process means that we generally move more slowly as we age and there is a decline in muscle strength. When extreme, this loss of muscle increases the risk of injury from a fall due to weaker leg muscles, and it can eventually affect the ability to live independently.

Decreased muscle mass is related to bone loss (osteoporosis) as healthy muscles create a positive stress which keeps the bones strong and healthy. A decline of muscle through sarcopenia can start a vicious circle: less lean body mass causes decreased mobility which in turn results in yet more muscle loss.

Sarcopenia has other implications for general health too. The body stores reserves of proteins and metabolites in the muscles. The reason many frail elderly people do not survive a fall, major surgery, or illness such as influenza, is due to their lack of metabolic reserves in their muscles to support their immune system and aid recovery.

Although our western diet provides plenty of protein to fight the decline of muscle and bone mass, studies increasingly show that this must be accompanied by plenty of fruit and vegetables to provide the necessary antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are also needed to age healthily.

Next time you visit the supermarket, make sure you visit the produce aisle and top up your health reserves to stave off sarcopenia before it’s too late.








Green Tea: A Promising Anti-Cancer Superfood

by Cindy Gray

For centuries, green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat everything from headaches to depression.  Depending on how it’s made, tea can either be green, black or Oolong, all of which are harvested from the leaves and buds of the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Differences in production methods change each tea’s chemical composition and oxidation levels, which is why they taste and smell so uniquely different from each other.

According to Dr. Christine Horner, green tea is a true superfood, defined as a nutrient-dense food with unusually high levels of healthful ingredients such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatory compounds and others.Green Tea Show Promise as an Anti-Cancer Superfood

Many studies suggest that green tea consumption may protect against heart disease and some types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Most of the health benefits of green tea are thought to be due to powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, which include the catechin, although exactly how they benefit our health remains unknown.

Roughly one-third of a typical cup of green tea is made of catechins. Of these, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most prominent catechin and has been studied in great detail in terms of its health potential.

Laboratory and animal research on the effects of green tea in prostate cancer have been promising:

  • EGCG blocks the stimulating effect of androgen (male sex hormone) on human prostate tumor cells, slowing their growth and spread and increasing the rate at which they die.

  • Human prostate cancer cells pre-treated with EGCG were more likely to die when exposed to radiation than cells not treated with EGCG before radiation.

  • Mice bred to develop prostate cancer that were given green tea catechins for 24 weeks did not develop prostate cancer; in other words, green tea catechins appeared to delay the development of prostate cancer.

  • Mice given green tea polyphenols at different ages to match different stages of prostate cancer were tumor-free longer than water-fed mice; and mice that consumed green tea the earliest benefitted the most. Further, these polyphenols caused high levels of cell death, possibly limiting cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.

So far, population studies and clinical trials on humans have shown mixed results: 

  • Of 60 men with high-grade prostatic neoplasia treated with green tea catechin capsules for a year, nine men in the control group were diagnosed with prostate cancer compared to one man in the green tea catechin group; suggesting that green tea catechins lowers risk of prostate cancer in high-risk patients. A two year follow-up showed that this effect was long-lasting.

  • Patients scheduled to undergo radical prostatectomy were given green tea, black tea or soda five times daily for five days. Prostate cancer cells treated with blood taken from patients after they drank tea grew and divided more slowly relative to cells from patients before they drank tea.

Given the powerful anti-cancer potential and other known health benefits of this centuries-old superfood, isn’t it time you added green tea to your diet today?

28 Superfood Recipes

Source: Green Tea: A Promising Anti-Cancer Superfood


Can Vitamin D Work Without Magnesium?

by Cindy Gray

According to extensive research, vitamin D deficiencies play a major role in the development of breast, prostate and colon cancer as well as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, psoriasis and mental illness.  While people are now beginning to realize the full extent of health benefits that vitamin D has to offer, they may not be getting the benefits of this vitamin without supplementing their diets with magnesium.

In order to receive the health benefits of vitamin D, its cofactors must be present, including magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A, zinc and boron.

Does Vitamin D Work With Magnesium?Magnesium is a vital nutrient because it converts vitamin D into its active form. In fact, the effectiveness and benefits of vitamin D are greatly undermined in the absence of adequate magnesium in the body, yet most Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this important mineral.

The importance of magnesium as a nutrient required for proper vitamin D metabolism has been recognized by several studies as follows:

  • Magnesium is necessary for vitamin D metabolism

  • Magnesium influences utilization of vitamin D by activating cellular enzyme activity. All the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium

  • Magnesium has a possible role in vitamin D's effect on the immune system. Low magnesium has been shown to lower production of vitamin D's active form

  • Several studies show that magnesium is also necessary for vitamin D's beneficial actions on bone

  • Vitamin D inhibits calcium deposition in arteries, and magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form so that it can prevent calcium buildup into plaque in arteries. The combination of magnesium and vitamin D helps to prevent clogged arteries by drawing calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into bones, where it is needed to build healthy bone structure and prevent osteoporosis, some forms of arthritis and kidney stones.



Can Vitamin D Work Without Magnesium?


Can Vitamin D Benefit You Without Magnesium?

by Cindy Gray

You may already know about the many powerful health benefits of having sufficient levels of vitamin D in your body. However, you may not be getting many of these benefits if you suffer from magnesium deficiency.

Vitamin D is made by skin cells in response to sunlight. It is also found naturally in fatty fish, fish liver oils and egg yCan Vitamin D Benefit without Magnesium?olks; as well as in fortified grains and dairy products.

Along with helping to build strong bones by maintaining proper calcium and phosphorus levels in the body, vitamin D also appears to protect against many other health problems.

For instance, having adequate levels of 25-hydoxyvitamin D (the biologically active form of vitamin D) can lower the risk of a first heart attack and peripheral vascular disease, along with reducing risk for many cancers.

Low levels of 25-hydoxyvitamin D are associated with increased likelihood of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure (BP). Many studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency also plays a major role in the development of breast, prostate and colon cancer, as well as arthritis, osteoporosis, psoriasis and mental illness.

Increasing vitamin D intake to about 800 international units (IU) per day has been reported to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 30%.

While more and more people are learning about the powerful health benefits offered by vitamin D, they may not be getting many of these benefits if they suffer from magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form. It acts with and is essential to the activity of vitamin D. In fact, vitamin D’s effectiveness is significantly reduced without adequate levels of magnesium in the body. However, most Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this important mineral.

Nutrients act to enhance each other. To get the health benefits of vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A, zinc and boron must also be present in suitable amounts.

The importance of magnesium for proper vitamin D metabolism has been confirmed by several studies as follows:

  • Magnesium is essential for the metabolism of vitamin D

  • Magnesium influences how the body uses vitamin D

  • All enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium (enzymes are special proteins that carry out chemical reactions in the body)

  • Magnesium may play a role in vitamin D's effects on the immune system

  • Magnesium is necessary for vitamin D's beneficial actions on bone structure

Last but not least, in its active form in the presence of magnesium, vitamin D stops calcium from being deposited in arteries, interfering with plaque formation or atherosclerosis, the first critical step towards developing heart disease.

Magnesium and vitamin D work together to draw calcium out of blood and soft tissues back into bones, where it is needed to build a healthy, strong bone structure; thereby preventing osteoporosis, some forms of arthritis and kidney stones.

If you feel you’re not getting enough vitamin D or magnesium, it may be a good idea to look for a supplement that gives you both of these vital nutrients and add it to your daily supplement regime right away.



Can Vitamin D Benefit You Without Magnesium?


How to Improve Blood Circulation with Alternative Medicine

by Health News

Low Blood Pressure Natural Treatment - Improve Blood CirculationPoor blood circulation can have a serious impact on one’s overall health.  For example, poor blood circulation means less blood flowing to your brain and typically means you have low blood pressure. This alone comes with a variety of significant symptoms, such as dizziness, problems thinking or even headaches.  In fact, poor blood circulation can impact every organ in your body and may even explain tingling and a lack of sensation in your arms and legs.  In short, poor blood flow can be quite serious.  Luckily, there are many natural health solutions that one can take in treating poor circulation.  In this article, we will examine a few of these low blood pressure natural treatments and natural health products.

Bonito Peptide

The bonito peptide is one natural dietary supplements that is currently being used for improving blood circulation.  This supplement is believed to contribute to general heart health and may have the ability to help regulate one’s blood pressure.  This compound is derived from the bonito fish.


L-carnitine is a compound derived from the amino acids methionine and lysine.  It plays a vital role in the metabolism and has enjoyed great success as a nutritional health supplement.  Generally considered to be safe, L-carnitine is often used to treat heart conditions.  It is believed that L-carnitine can be used to increase blood flow as well, which could make it a potentially useful supplement for those with blood circulation issues.


Enzymes are vital for life and can provide a wide variety of health and medical benefits.  For example, the bromelain enzyme derived from pineapples can be a very effective anti-inflammatory.  Likewise, nattokinase is another enzyme with a variety of interesting properties.  This enzyme is extracted from a food called natto

Natto is a Japanese food made from fermented soybeans.  Nattokinase is often used as a blood thinner, and its role in overall heart health is being explored.  However, nattokinase is not for everyone and has been known to have negative interactions with aspirin.  Anyone considering taking nattokinase should consult with his or her doctor.


You might be tempted to believe that there is little that garlic can’t do!  Garlic has been sought after for generations as a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal agent.  Garlic is, in fact, so complex and beneficial that it literally has different properties depending on whether or not its been cut or crushed.

Additionally, garlic is believed to even have anti-cancer properties and is high in an assortment of vitamins and minerals.  It should come as no surprise that garlic may even be a heart healthy food as well.  A great deal of attention has been given to garlic’s potential as a heart healthy food, as it may protect the heart from oxidative damage and might lower bad cholesterol levels.  Further, garlic has the ability to positively impact artery walls.  All in all, garlic is a great pick for those looking for a natural way to increase blood flow.

Of course, following a healthy diet comprised largely of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat protein choices will do wonders for your health, regardless of whether or not you have any heart or circulation issues.  Following a diet rich in these foods will not only keep your heart healthy and your blood flowing, but will also give your body the nutrition and anti-oxidants it needs to fight off aging and disease as well.


7 Green Superfoods With Cancer-Fighting, Heart-Healthy Benefits

by Cindy Gray

SUPERFOODS FOR CANCER-FIGHTING, HEART-HEALTHY BENEFITSEat your greens! How many times have you heard that growing up? Well, it turns out green foods really are some of the healthiest foods on the planet.

For instance, these seven green Superfoods are chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavor - so they should always have a place of honor at your table:

  1. Brussels sprouts - are a cruciferous vegetable, related to cabbage. Rich in vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, these high-fiber vegetables are also a good source of amino acids and are considered delicious roasted with olive oil.

  2. Green tea - is brimming with cancer-fighting antioxidants and supports heart health, helps digestion and speeds up metabolism. Tea experts swear by loose-leaf teas for the best flavor.

  3. Avocados - are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol and keep you feeling full for longer. They are a good source of vitamins E and C, potassium and lutein. You can add avocados to a salad, use them to make guacamole, or simply eat them plain.

  4. Kiwi fruit - contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps with digestion and conveys feelings of fullness. It has double the vitamin C content of an orange and is very high in potassium. It’s also a good source of vitamin E and folate. Kiwi fruit has a delicious tangy flavor and is ideal for a fruit salad.

  5. Spinach - has double the fiber of other greens, making it a great choice for health-conscious eaters. It’s rich in vitamins A and K and is a good source of iron and folate. Spinach provides antioxidants like beta-carotene, which supports heart health, fights cancer and keeps your eyes healthy. Raw spinach is delicious in salads, or you can add a few handfuls to scrambled eggs, soup or pasta. You can even drink spinach by tossing a handful into a fruit smoothie or a green drink!

  6. High-fiber kale - along with being a good source of vitamins A, C and K, kale also contains calcium and heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Kale is rich in carotenoids, which help protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Most people prefer to lightly steam or cook kale.

  7. Broccoli - is a great source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate and calcium. Like all cruciferous vegetables, it’s also rich in cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Broccoli is very high in fiber, which helps with satiety and supports weight maintenance. It's delicious when lightly steamed or roasted with olive oil and a dash of salt.

However you like your greens - whether raw, cooked or mixed into soup, it’s important that you make them a part of your daily diet so that you can fully benefit from their cancer-fighting, heart-healthy properties. And don't forget, an easy way to add "green superfoods" to your diet is with a quality green powder supplement. 

Go green today and you will look and feel great every day!

28 Superfood Recipes for Everyday


5 Fats You Should Be Eating

by Health News

Do you know the idea that all fats makes you fat is really a myth?

Most people believe that low-fat and fat-free products are healthier, but it’s simply not true. On the other hand, some fats are healthy and may even hold the secret to how to increase energy levels and promote weight loss. 

Women Health Tips

Your body requires fat in order to function properly. Not only that, many necessary vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. This means your body can only absorb them in the presence of fat.

These good fats will not only will you feel better - they will also satisfy your hunger without depriving your body of essential nutrients:

  1. Nuts are chockfull of amazing nutrients, healthy fats and protein. They are also rich sources of protein and unsaturated fats as well as concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and powerful anti-aging antioxidants. They are also one of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a heart-healthy plant omega-3 fat. Nuts are also rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that boosts immune function, promotes wound healing, improves blood vessel function and helps lower risk of heart disease. Further, they contain soluble fiber and vitamin E. Fiber helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels, while vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant essential for proper immune function and healthy skin.
  2. Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps cleanse and protect your body by detoxifying, removing heavy metals and fighting free radicals. Glutathione helps maintain a healthy immune system and slows the aging process. Avocados are also rich in folate, which lowers the incidence of heart disease and stroke. They are also the best fruit source of Vitamin E.  Foods with omega-3 fats such as salmon, nuts, flax seed and avocados should be consumed regularly for good heart and brain health.

Healthy Fats - Avacados

  1. Coconut products offer a wide range of health benefits. Coconut oil offers antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-cancer properties along with improving digestion, nutrient absorption and intestinal health. It also provides cardiovascular benefits and helps manage type 2 diabetes. Coconut oil promotes kidney and liver health and boosts the immune system. It also benefits metabolism, energy and weight management.
  2. Saturated fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides, which can be easily metabolized and used as energy by the body. Research suggests that these fatty acids may boost metabolism, promote weight loss and increase HDL, the ‘good’ protective cholesterol in the body.
  3. Olive oil is a very healthy oil to use when sautéing, baking and making salad dressing. This fantastic oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and antioxidants such as chlorophyll (which accounts for part of the color in olive oil), carotenoids, and vitamin E.  Olive oil is great for reducing blood pressure, cancer prevention, managing diabetes and lessening the severity of asthma and arthritis. Researchers from the Seven Countries Study found that monounsaturated fats in olive oil were mainly responsible for the low rates of heart disease and cancer on the Greek island of Crete. Olive oil also contains polyphenols, which are powerful anti-aging antioxidants. Including olive oil in the diet can also help to maintain a lower, healthy weight.
  4. Seeds contain beneficial fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and protein. They are also packed with health-promoting minerals such as magnesium, selenium and zinc, as well as powerful antioxidants, fiber and minerals.