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Understanding Balance & Tips To Stay Steady On Your Feet

by Institute for Vibrant Living

We take many aspects of life for granted, such as the ability to balance. Healthy habits are important for maintaining many everyday activities such as walking on an uneven sidewalk, stepping off a curb to cross the street, or getting out of bed without falling over. Let’s look at how all the amazing parts of our body work together for perfect balance, and pick up some healthy living tips to keep it that way.

Healthy habits help maintain balance

 

Understanding Balance

Balance is defined as the “ability to maintain the body’s center of mass over its base of support.” We need perfect balance to stand upright, see clearly as we move around, and live a normal healthy life.

Related:  Natural Remedies for Balance Problems

Lack of balance is shown by a range of symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo and the inability to walk steadily in a straight line. These can cause nausea, feelings of disorientation, and problems with sight, hearing, concentrating and remembering things. It takes a combination of systems all working synergistically together to maintain balance.

Balance requires:

  • Muscles, bones and joints that provide motor control. Movements and postural adjustments that help us stay balanced are driven by the brain through sensory receptors and motor impulses. Information from the joints and body relay information to the brain.
  • Vision to provide sensory input through sight, giving a sense of distance and proportion. Rods and cones in the retina provide fine detail and visual information about how the body is orientated in relation to other objects.
  • The inner ear contains semicircular canals filled with fluid that detect turning movements. It sends sensory information to the brain to make compensatory adjustments to the rest of the body
  • Nerves are used to detect changes in the body as we move around. For example, pressure on the front soles of the feet tells the brain that you are leaning forward. Movement in the neck tells the brain which way you are looking. All these allow the brain to make fine adjustments so that the body remains upright and balanced through an ongoing series of large and small movements.

Healthy Living Tips to Support Balance

Fortunately, all these activities go on subconsciously or proprioceptively, allowing us to think, move and get on with life while the body and brain control the task of keeping us upright and safe.

As balance requires a coordinated combination of several systems, if one component ceases to function correctly, it is likely to affect our balance. Disease, injury or aging can affect sight, muscles, joints, the nervous system and the brain, resulting in imbalance.

Balance also depends on other more subtle factors.  Make sure to get enough sleep, as being tired can affect your balance.  Side effects of prescription drugs can dizziness and a feeling of being imbalanced and off-center.  Having a clear mind also helps with balance, therefore stress can impact your ability to remain balanced.  Hatha yoga is one of the best ways to safely and naturally improve your ability to be balanced.  

By taking care of the body holistically, we can support the interaction of different components that allow us to balance. Healthy habits include taking supplements that support vision, active cognitive function and supple joints and bones. If just one part of the whole becomes incapacitated, your balance is likely to suffer as a result.

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What are the Top Ways to Improve Your Eyesight Naturally?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

How to Improve Eyesight Naturally | Institute for Vibrant LivingHave you ever wondered how you could improve your eyesight naturally, without the help of corrective lenses or surgery?

If you have - you should know that while not all health experts agree that eyesight can be improved through natural means, there are some things you can change about your lifestyle and dietary habits that might help boost your vision.

For example, you could make sure your eyes get all the nutrients they need to function properly.

Foods that help you improve your eyesight naturally include leafy greens such as kale, chard, broccoli, collards and spinach. All of them contain lutein, one of 600 naturally occurring carotenoid antioxidants that are critical for healthy eyes.

Lutein is also found in egg yolks and animal fats - which also contain zeaxanthin, another eye-healthy compound.

Along with lutein, zeaxanthin forms a protective yellow pigment in the retina of the eye which lowers risks for cataracts and macular degeneration by filtering out harmful UV radiation. In fact, low lutein consumption has been found to be a risk factor for age-related macular degeneration. 

Which is why including a daily dose of lutein and zeaxanthin is guaranteed to help you improve your eyesight, naturally and efficiently.

Not only that, a daily dose of will give you -

  • lipoic acid - prevents cataracts and increases the potency of vitamins C and E, both of which protect the eyes from harmful UV radiation.
  • zinc oxide - reduces risk of macular degeneration by nearly 25%.
  • vitamin E - prevents or delays cataract growth.
  • bilberry - helps improve night vision along with strengthening blood vessels in the eyes.
  • grape seed extract - helps improve night vision and slow down premature aging of the eyes;

And much, much more!

Other dietary components that boost eyesight include omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fatty oily fish like sardines, tuna, salmon and in fish and krill oils. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit and non-meat protein sources such as pulses, beans and nuts are also important for eye health.

Smoking can lead to macular degeneration and cataract formation later in life. Like smoking, too much exposure to UV light can also damage the eyes, so make sure you wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays when you venture out into bright sunlight.

For guaranteed improvement in eye health, today to improve your eyesight, naturally.   

Source: How to Improve Your Vision, Naturally.

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Video Blog: Vision Health: How to Improve Eyesight Naturally

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Watch the latest video blog from the Institute for Vibrant Living.
Dr. Christine Horner explains tips and tricks to help improve your eyesight and slow down the deterioration process of the eyes naturally.
Click the link below to ask Dr. Christine 

http://www.ivlproducts.com/pages/Forum-Signup/

 

Read these related blog posts:
Natural Ways to Strengthen Your Eyesight

5 Tips For Improving Your Eyesight Naturally

Improve Your Eyesight With Nutritional Dietary Supplements

Eyesight Improvement with Vitamin D

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What Foods Help Improve Eyesight?

by Health Tips
Protecting your eyes begins with what you eat.What Foods Help Improve Eyesight | Institute for Vibrant Living
 
Studies have shown that nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E protect the eyes and help to ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
 
Health experts recommend you regularly consume these 10 foods to maintain good eye health: 
  1. Cold water fatty fish like salmon, tuna and other oily fish - an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which make cell membranes in the eyes and brain more stable.
  2. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens which are rich in carotenoids and especially lutein, a yellow pigment which protects the eye.
  3. Fruits and vegetables - contain the important vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene. Yellow colored vegetables are extremely important for daylight vision.
  4. Garlic and onion - rich sources of sulfur, necessary for glutathione production - an important antioxidant for the eye’s protection.
  5. Soy - contains essential fatty acids, vitamin E and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  6. Eggs - rich in cysteine, sulfur, lecithin, amino acids and lutein. These components, plus vitamin B2, also found in eggs, help to prevent cataract formation.
  7. Bilberries and grapes - enhance night vision.
  8. Carrots, oranges and other citrus fruits and bell peppers - rich sources of vitamin C and vitamin A, two very powerful antioxidants which have been shown to specifically protect the eyes.
  9. Nuts and berries - high levels of omega-3s stabilize cellular membranes in the eyes. Berries also contain flavonoids, natural antioxidants which protect the eyes. Zinc, present in nuts, but also in eggs, sardines and shellfish, plays a key role in the release of vitamin A from the liver. Vitamin A is critical for eye health.
  10. Dairy products - also rich sources of vitamin A; vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness.
  11. Smoking and obesity/overweight are risk factors for poor eyesight and increase your chances of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
On the other hand, eating a well-balanced diet and regular exercise both help to maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your risk for these unwelcome health conditions.
 
Read this other blog posts on the same topic:
 
 
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What's the #1 Supplement Every Man Should Take?

by Health News

What's the #1 Supplement Every Man Should Take

One of the most important things men can do to stay healthy and energetic is to take an Omega 3 supplement. Now, fish oil is nothing new to you.  It’s so well-researched and documented that even the American Heart Association suggests you take fish oil supplements too—and for good reason.
 
Fish oil owes its health-boosting power to two compounds your cells crave.  They’re called Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), also known as Omega-3 fatty acids. And they are the fundamental building blocks of virtually every organ, tissue and cell in the body.
 
Dozens of studies over the years reveal that Omega 3's are capable of almost mind-boggling health benefits.  They help boost levels of healthy HDL cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.  Omega 3’s can improve mood and cognition, reduce joint and muscle aches and keep your heart beating long and strong. They can boost blood flow and support healthy digestion, too!
 
Promotes Healthy Triglyceride Levels
 
According Mid-America Heart Institute, Omega 3’s can lower triglyceride levels anywhere from 25% to 30%.  Another study reported in the American Journal of Cardiology found that high levels of Omega 3’s reduced triglycerides as much as 38% and increased levels of HDL (good) cholesterol by 24%.
 
[retrieved from: http://www.oilofpisces.com/cholesterol.html.  Harris, William S. n-3 fatty acids and serum lipoproteins: human studies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 65 (suppl), 1997, pp. 1645S-54S.
 
Cullen, Paul. Evidence that triglycerides are an independent coronary heart disease risk factor. American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 86, November 1, 2000, pp. 943-49]
 
Eases joint pain
 
Fish oil is great for your joints, too. Several studies show that patients taking Omega-3 fish oil experienced less stiffness and fewer joint aches than they had without taking the capsules. In a study of patients with joint problems, 53% of the patients in the Omega-3 group showed significant relief of their symptoms compared to only 10% in the placebo group.
 
[Geusens, Piet, et. Al. Long-term effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on active rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, Vol. 37, June 1994]
 
Protects your brain from “aging”
 
Plus, research suggests that Omega 3's can actually help keep your brain and memory young! A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that Omega 3 fatty acids slow the aging of the brain by supporting healthy inflammation response. Dr. Lawrence Whalley of Aberdeen University in Scotland stated, "The results suggest that … aging of their brain is being slowed down by a year or two."
[http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Fish-oil-supplements-slow-ageing-of-brain]
 
Other research suggests they can protect against age-related vision loss, support healthy blood sugar levels, and even reduce inflammation in the lungs that causes shortness of breath.
 
So How Much Omega 3’s Do You Need?
 
When it comes to Omega 3's, the rule is: the more, the better. The recommended daily amount of Omega 3 is 1,000 mg per day of EPA and DHA combined.  If you’re concerned about your heart or brain health, you should probably take about 2,000 mg of Omega 3 fish oil per day. Unless you eat several meals of fish every week, your dietary intake probably doesn’t come close to that. That’s why it’s best to take supplements.
 
However, not all fish oil supplements are created equal.  To keep prices low, many fish oil suppliers get their stock from the cheapest possible sources.  Other manufacturers use unstable commodity oils that begin to oxidize – or rot – as soon as they’re exposed to oxygen, light, and heat.  That’s why so many fish oil supplements may give you an upset stomach or that uncomfortable fish burp after taking them.
 
The richest sources for essential EPA and DHA are small cold water fish such as anchovies, mackerel and wild sardines. These small fish contain the ocean’s highest natural oil content. Plus, they are usually free of the pollutants and toxins found in larger species of fatty fish.
 
Also, make sure the fish oil you buy includes antioxidants to help maintain stability and protect against a fishy aftertaste.
 

 

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How a Healthy Diet Can Improve Your Vision

by Health News

Improve Eyesight Naturally Vision ClearImprove your eyesight naturally by eating a diet that is high in fruit, vegetables, fish and spices. This will provide  your body with vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and essential fatty acids. Of course, supplements for eyesight improvement are also readily available to complement the nutrition that you get from your food.

Spices - Turmeric, parsley and oregano are highly recommended. The good news is that spices are easy to incorporate into your diet and are virtually calorie free.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Most people eat seafood for their main source of Omega 3s. In particular, wild Alaskan salmon and sardines are recommended. You can also get Omega 3s in nuts and seeds, in particular, flaxseeds, walnuts and pistachios.

Antioxidants - Foods that contain beta carotene are also beneficial for the eyes.  For example, pilots are often fed carrots to help with their night vision, as carrots contain a high percentage of vitamin A.  In general, eating the mostly brightly colored fruits and vegetables will be the ones that are best for your eyes.

Lutein - most commonly found in egg yolks.  If you don’t like to eat eggs, you can also commonly find lutein in supplements for vision. It also is available in green vegetables like spinach and broccoli.  Lutein is actually found in the retina of healthy eyes and it acts as a shield against blue light, which is a harmful part of sunlight.

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Improve Eyesight Naturally with Fennel

by Health News

Impreove Eyesight Naturally with FennelNatural fennel, the deliciously exotic and fragrant spice that delights your senses in Indian food and in many breath-freshening preparations, is just full of surprises. Did you know that there is strong scientific evidence that this sweet, tasty plant contains compounds that can improve your eyesight naturally and help prevent vision loss on a couple of different fronts? Feast your eyes on this:

In 2008, researchers at the Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research determined that fennel may reduce eye pressure (high ocular pressure is the hallmark of glaucoma, a disease that can cause blindness). For this study*, researchers induced high ocular pressures in rabbits. They evaluated the effects of fennel seed extract on reducing these pressures. They ultimately concluded that fennel did have a beneficial effect on the pressure. This is compelling information, but the Glaucoma Research Foundation does not currently recognize fennel (or any other food) as beneficial to patients with glaucoma. Further evaluation is required in order to establish whether the benefit seen in rabbits is also seen in humans.

A more recent study**, led by researchers from the Department of Biochemistry at the Shivaji University in India strongly suggests that a compound in the fennel seed may prevent diabetic retinopathy (which is responsible for vision loss in diabetics). The researchers isolated a compound from fennel called trans-anethole. Trans-anethole blocks the conversion of sugar to sorbitol in the blood. How does this help the eyes? When blood sugar gets too high, as is often does in diabetics, the excess sugar is converted to sorbitol. Too much sorbitol trapped in the cells of the retina leads to retinopathy, cataracts, and eventually blindness.

Source:*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18831355

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Eyesight Improvement with Vitamin D

by Health News

You’ve probably heard what recent studies have concluded about vitamin D boosts you immune system naturally, and how it can be an invaluable ally during flu season. And you’ve no doubt heard the more recent news that vitamin D might protect against the ravages of type II diabetes. But here’s another amazing benefit this vitamin might offer: strengthen your eyesight as you age.

Eyesight Improvement with Vitamin DDr. Glen Jeffrey and other researchers at the University College of London Institute of Ophthalmology in the UK conducted a study* in which they treated middle-aged mice with vitamin D for six weeks. For the treated group, one-year-old female mice were injected with safflower oil containing 0.9 micrograms of vitamin D every three days.  One mouse year is roughly 50 human years.

After six weeks, tests measuring the electrical responses of retinal cells showed significant improvement in the vision of the treated mice. So, what is the mechanism behind these very promising results? According to Dr. Jeffrey, it has to do with the reduction in amyloid deposits and inflammation in the blood vessels—a finding that could have even broader implications beyond those gleaned from this study.

“Finding that amyloid deposits were reduced in the blood vessels of mice that had been given vitamin D supplements suggests that vitamin D could be useful in helping to prevent a range of age-related health problems, from deteriorating vision to heart disease, " says Dr. Jeffery.

Ask your health care professional about the best way to incorporate this important nutrient into your supplement regimen.

*http://www.neurobiologyofaging.org/article/S0197-4580(11)00519-7/abstract

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How to Strengthen Your Eyesight with Supplements

by Health News

How to Strengthen Your Eyesight with Supplements Many of us take the strength of our eyesight for granted. It’s easy to do when you’re young and there are so many effective and permanent options for treating things like myopia (poor distance vision). But as we age, our eyes are subject to a plethora of possible problems such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and type II diabetes. Fortunately, there are nutritional supplements that you can take every day to help strengthen your eyesight. 

Here are a few of them:

Bilberry. This antioxidant rich fruit has demonstrated in at least one scientific study* that it is effective in preventing cataracts and macular degeneration (a leading cause of blindness in people over age 50). There is also strong anecdotal evidence suggesting it helps improve night vision by increasing the production of a pigment that helps the eyes adapt to light changes.

Vitamins C and E, beta carotene and zinc. A 2008 study** published in the Archives of Ophthalmology showed that subjects at high risk for macular degeneration who took this nutrient combination had significantly lower rates of macular degeneration when compared to those taking a placebo. The study concluded that people who are at risk for developing macular degeneration, as determined by their ophthalmologist, “should consider taking a supplement of antioxidants plus zinc such as that used in this study.”

Ginkgo Biloba. Ginkgo biloba protects against free-radical damage in the retina and improves blood flow in the optic nerve. This is a good thing because the retina requires a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients. In one study***, people with normal tension glaucoma who took 40mg of ginkgo biloba extract three times daily for four weeks showed “a significant improvement in visual fields indices.”

Want to add these natural, eye health supplements to your regimen? 

*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16075680
**http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11594942?dopt=Citation
***http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12578781

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How to Improve Vision Naturally

by Health News

Bilberries may actually improve vision naturally on a few different fronts. While no solid studies have yet demonstrated this to date, there is significant anecdotal evidence to suggest that bilberries improve night vision. For example, during World War II, British Royal Air Force pilots noticed that when they ate bilberry jam before flying their nighttime missions, they were able to see more clearly, even on the darkest of nights. How does bilberry help with night vision? The anthocyanidins found in bilberries boost the production of a pigment that helps the eyes to adapt to lighting changes.

How to Improve Vision Naturally

There is also evidence that bilberries help protect the eyes against macular degeneration (a major cause of blindness in people over age 50) and cataracts. While more research needs to be done to determine how helpful bilberries are for humans in this area, a Russian study* using rats, published in the journal Advanced Gerontology in 2005 suggests that long-term use of bilberry extract is helpful in preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

So if you’re interested in improving your vision naturally, talk to your health care practitioner about adding bilberry to your nutritional supplement regimen. Bilberry extract is available in many health food and mainstream grocery and drug stores as a stand-alone product and in combination with other nutritional supplements.

*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16075680
 

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Eyesight Improvement: Supplements May Reduce Risk of Macular Degeneration

by Health News

Learn how all nautarl supplements can help reduce the risk of Macular Degeneration.

Macular degeneration is a condition of the eye in which the cells in the macula slowly deteriorate and affect healthy vision.  The macula is a small area located near the center of the retina.  As vision is the sharpest in the macula, deterioration affects central vision, which impacts the ability to read and write, drive, and distinguish faces.  Macular degeneration does not have an effect on peripheral vision.

There are two forms of macular degeneration:  dry and wet, with 90 percent of people having the dry form.   With this version, small, yellow spots (or drusens) form underneath the macular.  These are believed to be a byproduct of a lack of antioxidants which control impurities in those with healthy vision. The drusens cause progressive breakdown of the cells in the macular which result in distorted vision.  Dry macular degeneration can lead to the much more serious wet form. With this form, atypical blood vessels appear and begin to grow toward the macular, causing swift and severe loss of vision.

It is believed that macular degeneration stems from oxidation caused by free radicals, which are a product of metabolism and are formed when ultraviolet and blue sunlight rays pass through the crystalline lens of the eye.  Macular degeneration has also been linked to heredity, poor digestion and nutritional deficiency.  Those afflicted with macular degeneration are often lacking in nutrients that are essential to eye health.   Certain nutritional supplements for vision have been shown to prevent or help stop the progression of macular degeneration.

According to a study published in the 2001 Archives of Ophthalmology, antioxidants and zinc are supplements for vision that appear to be an effective treatment for macular degeneration.  It was shown that high levels of these supplements can significantly reduce the risk of advanced macular degeneration and resulting loss of vision.  The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that treatment with high doses of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and zinc reduced the risk of developing advanced AMD by 25 percent in those within a high-risk group.  People within this group have intermediate AMD in one or both eyes or have advanced AMD in one eye. Subjects with early AMD or no AMD did not significantly benefit from the antioxidant and zinc treatment.
 
The study shows that nutrition plays an essential role in helping to maintain healthy vision in people with a high risk of developing advanced AMD.  Other important supplements for vision and possible prevention of macular degeneration are vitamin B-complex, vitamin D, lutein, taurine, zeaxanthin, omega 3 fish oil, selenium, and plant extracts like gingko biloba and bilberry.

Do you currently take any of these supplements?

Sources:
http://www.naturaleyecare.com/diseases.asp?d_num=8

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/amd-prevention.htm

Age-related eye disease study group. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss. Archives of Ophthalmology. 2001.

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Super Berries for Super Memory Enhancement for Older Adults

by Health News

Natural health researchers have discovered the health enhancing power of berries. They've found that good old-fashioned dark berries have been shown to have more potency and antioxidant power than any other source.

Research has shown that dark berries are indeed superberries, loaded with more health promoting and enhancing capabilities than researchers ever considered before. It's common knowledge that fruits and vegetables have always been a superfood team designed to feed your body with health-giving powers, but dark berries have been proven to provide super compounds such as age-defying antioxidants, fiber, phytochemicals, flavonoids, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids—more than any single food source under the sun. You may be wondering specifically what kind of berries I'm talking about. Here they are: 

These amazing superberries include: Black Cherry, Black Raspberry, Cabbage Palm (acai), Blackberry, Black Currants, Blueberry, Cranberry, Lycium (goji berry), Acerola, and Bilberries.

Black Cherry is famous for its ability to reduce pain and inflammation...so much so that studies tell us that these same compounds found in Black Cherry may also reduce the risk of colon cancer. 

Super Berries for Super Memory Enhancement for Older Adults

The extremely dark pigment of Black Raspberry has been shown to be high in antioxidant power, and a warrior against disease. This superberry helps to fight heart disease, improve vision, preserve memory, and help fend off stroke, Alzheimer's, arthritis, and other age-related health concerns.

The superberry called Acai (ah-SAH'-ee) comes from the Cabbage Palm, and packs 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and about 30 times more anthocyanins than red wine! Together they target harmful free radicals and help to stop premature aging by improving cell growth and regeneration. The disease fighting properties of this superberry have been talked about on MSNBC News and even discussed on The Opray Winfrey Show because the acai berry is considered to be the world's number one superfood. 

Blackberry is another superberry, known to be heart friendly by reducing oxidative stress and keeping the entire cardiovascular system at its best. Black Current stays busy as a powerful cholesterol buster, especially the LDL bad cholesterol—and is believed to be more effective than fish oil supplements. Don't forget the delicious Blueberry...shown to clear brain fog and boost memory and mental capacity. Cranberry has been used for centuries to protect and support the bladder, particularly helpful throughout the years. 

Super Berries for Super Memory Enhancement for Older Adults

Lycium or Goji berries has a long history as a powerful blood tonic. Herbalists have relied on Lycium (Goji) to help with symptoms such as ringing in the ears, blurred vision, male sexual problems, and irritability. Into this delicious mix is the

Related Article: How the Antioxidants in Superfruits Keep You Healthy

Acerola superberry—known to put the brakes on aging, help reduce inflammation and kill pain, provide mineral salts and proteins, and generally gives a glowing complexion, from the inside out! 

Bilberries contain flavonoids that studies show help to strengthen capillaries, improve circulation, reduce and even reverse blood vessel deterioration and inflammation. Bilberries are so potent that they help reinforce the entire vascular system and improve night vision! History tells us during WWII, pilots in the Royal Air Force used to eat bilberries to improve their night vision! 

These berries are the most powerful superberries on the planet, and when consumed regularly they can help you to feel better and age with grace and ease of mobility. The antioxidants found in these berries have shown to offer more brain boosting power and memory enhancing capabilities than any other source of antioxidants available. And they are a safe and easy way to provide all the health benefits you need to protect your brain, mind and memory as you age. So it's prime time for you to get to work on protecting and enhancing your brain!