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The Best Seeds for Health: Super Seeds to Boost Your Salads

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Everyone knows having a salad on a regular basis is good for you. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vegetables for the average adult is three to five servings, after all.  If you are going to eat your greens why not add a little something extra to them now and then to boost their flavor and your health? Seeds make a great addition to many dishes especially salads. Read on to learn about the best seeds for your health.

The five best seeds for great health!

The Fantastic Five

1. Chia Seeds

There’s a whole lot of goodness packed into these tiny seeds that are native to South America.  The ancient Aztecs and Mayans relied on them as an important food source providing hydration and sustained energy.  Chia is actually the Mayan word for strength.  Despite being small chia seeds are mighty with:

  • 11 grams of fiber
  • 4 grams of protein
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Minerals like calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus
  • Vitamins B3 (niacin), B1 (thiamine) and B2
  • The ability to hold twice their weight in liquid

Chia seeds are also loaded with antioxidants, and can help reduce your risk of heart disease, from developing Type 2 Diabetes, promote bone strength and even aid in your weight loss efforts.

2. Hemp Seeds

While hemp seeds are from the same species of the much more famous and notorious cannabis family (aka marijuana) but they only contain trace amounts of THC, the compound that has a drug-like effect.  They have been a part of Chinese diets and medicine for the past 3,000 years, so their health benefits have stood the test of time.

Hemp seeds are a great source of two very important nutrients, the fatty acids omega-6 and omega 3. They are also a very good source of protein, vitamin E and minerals like phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.  Another nutrient from hemp seeds, amino acid arginine, has been linked to a reduced risk of developing heart disease. These bland looking little seeds have also shown in other studies to decrease inflammation in the body, help reduce blood pressure and decrease your risk of blood clots that can lead to a stroke.

3. Pumpkin Seeds

This year at Halloween when you and the kids carve your Jack-O-Lanterns don’t toss the seeds you scrape out of the pumpkin!  They are one of the best seeds for health and wellness.

Indigenous to the Americas (North, South and Central) ancient cultures called the flat green seeds pepitas. In Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and much of India and Asia pumpkin seeds is a dietary staple.

Pumpkin seeds are recommended by the World Health Organization and for good reason.  They are a plentiful source of diverse antioxidants like vitamin E, phenolic acids and lignans, compounds linked to helping women reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.  Pumpkin seeds also contain a healthy dose of zinc, a mineral essential for healthy red blood cells.

Once you remove the seeds from your pumpkin clean them off and let them dry overnight, then roast them for about 20 minutes at a very low temperature like 160 to 190 degrees for the most flavor.

Related:  Here’s a Quick Way to Get Soy-Free Protein

4. Flax Seeds

If you are looking for one of the best seeds for health, here’s the flax you need to know. 

Ancient Babylonians in the 8th century cultivated flaxseed for King Charlemagne who believed strongly in their health benefits.  Modern day research has shown consumption of flaxseeds is a good way to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes, according to health authority WebMD.

Plant-based omega-3 fatty acids called ALA, which are abundant in flaxseeds, have been shown to inhibit tumor growth.  Like pumpkin seeds they contain lignans that have been linked to decreasing the risk of breast cancer and are potent against reducing inflammation in the body.  Eating flaxseeds regularly may also help you keep your cholesterol levels in check and blood sugar levels steady to ward off diabetes.

5. Sunflower Seeds

A sunflower is a tall herbaceous annual plant native to Middle America but has since spread across the globe as a commercial crop in countries like Russian, China, Argentina and the United States. 

Sunflower seeds are delicious and crunchy little powerhouses of healthy goodness. Packed with essential fatty acids, high quality amino acids, natural antioxidants like vitamin E and folic acid, just a handful a day will help keep the doctor away.  They help lower your LDL levels of cholesterol, and provide essential minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, selenium and copper to keep your bones and red blood cell production strong.

Next time you whip up a salad be sure to sprinkle one of the fantastic five best seeds for health on top and enjoy!

 

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Are You Suffering from Vitamin C Deficiency?

by IVL Products

Vitamins and minerals play a significant role when it comes to obtaining adequate nutrition and staying healthy.  Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, contributes to cell growth and repair, circulation, and iron absorption.  It is also important for the production of collagen, a protein found in blood vessels, skin, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.  In most parts of the world, serious vitamin C deficiency (or scurvy) is relatively uncommon because vitamin C is found naturally in many foods and is added to other food as well.  However, smoking, excessive alcohol use, a compromised diet, or certain medical conditions can result in lowered levels of vitamin C in the body.

Foods like citrus fruits, papaya, bell peppers, and broccoli help prevent vitamin C deficiency.

According to medical center experts at the University of Maryland, vitamin C deficiency has been linked to various medical problems like atherosclerosis, certain cancers, gallbladder disease, and high blood pressure.  Animal studies also indicate that low levels of vitamin C can lead to biochemical changes in the body which affect behavior. 

A study from Vanderbilt University found that mice deprived of vitamin C showed depressive-like behavior, reduced movement and strength, and greater preference for sugar.  Behaviors returned to normal with restoration of vitamin C, with the exception of depressive-like symptoms.  

Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency

People with scurvy often develop anemia and swollen, bleeding gums.  Additional signs and symptoms that may indicate a vitamin C deficiency include brittle hair, easily bruised skin, and nosebleeds.

Related:  Vitamin E Deficiency

Sources of Vitamin C

Because it is water soluble, vitamin C is not stored by the body.  This means people need to get it through food or supplements.  Some excellent food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, mangoes, papayas, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, and kale.  Vitamin C supplements come in tablets, capsules, effervescent powders, and liquids.  People who depend on supplements for vitamin C should strive for 250-500 mg, twice a day. 

Vitamin C deficiency can result in a number of uncomfortable symptoms.  Fortunately, they can be prevented with the consumption of certain foods or supplements.  People who are concerned about a vitamin C deficiency should first consult with a health care professional to rule out other possibilities. 

30-Day Vibrant Living Challenge

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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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Discover How a Powdered Supplement Benefits the Health

by IVL Products

While many people strive to consume a healthy diet, it is nearly impossible to obtain adequate nutrients every day through eating.  Filling in nutritional gaps with quick and easy supplements helps.  According to research, a powdered supplement benefits the body over pills, tablets, and capsules by offering up to 95 percent absorption when blended into a liquid.  This is because nutrients in liquid form go straight to the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive process.  When it comes to pills, tablets, and capsules, nutrient absorption rates fall to around 10 to 20 percent.  In addition to offering better nutrition, liquid nutrients are much easier to swallow.  Three types of powdered supplements in particular make popular choices for supplementary nutrition.  

A powdered supplement benefits the consumer with ease of use and high nutrient absorption

Green Superfood Powder

Green superfood powder creates a beverage packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients when mixed with water.  This powdered supplement benefits the body in many ways with a combination of healthful green ingredients like alfalfa, chlorella, spirulina, and wheat grass and many extras like fruits, vegetables, enzymes, and probiotics.

An animal-based study published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that one green ingredient ─ alfalfa ─ offered protective effects for the livers of rats when given in tandem with a known liver irritant.  Animal studies have also shown that alfalfa lowers blood glucose levels in diabetic mice, and this is just one of many healthful ingredients available in green powdered supplements.

Related:  Studies Confirm Benefits of Maca for Women During Menopause

Maca

Originating in Peru, the maca plant offers a host of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein through its roots.  Research shows that supplementation with dried maca root powder may increase energy levels in healthy people and those living with various health issues.  In one study, researchers timed a group of healthy cyclists who completed a 40 km bike ride before taking maca and completed the same ride after taking maca for two weeks.  Results showed significant improvements in the completion times of the cyclists, which researchers attributed to increased energy levels.

Protein Powder

People who exercise regularly or who have trouble swallowing often appreciate protein powder that can be blended into a beverage.  Available in a wide array of flavors like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and banana, protein powder comes with varying levels of carbohydrates dependent upon what is needed by the user.  Different types of protein may include soy, rice, whey, or casein protein.

Conclusion

A powdered supplement benefits the body in many ways.  Whether people need the nutritional punch provided by a green supplement powder or the occasional energy lift offered by maca powder, supplementary beverages make a delicious and easy way to obtain valuable nutrients.  Supplement powders can be found at local whole foods and nutrition stores or conveniently ordered online through natural supplement websites. 

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Feeling Down? Try These Natural Remedies for Depression

by Cindy Gray

Everybody feels a little sad or depressed occasionally and often it is a normal reaction to loss or life’s inevitable struggles. For most people, the blues go away after situations are resolved. Others however, are not so lucky.  

According to the National Institute for Mental Health more than 14.8 million adults suffer from major depression which affects their health, relationships and ability to function.  Although there are many prescription medications that claim to help, most people prefer to seek out national remedies for depression.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sad, anxious feelings
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Digestive problems

People who are clinically depressed may look at external reasons for their sadness.  But in true clinical depression, outside factors are not often the primary reasons for depression.  Depression is influenced by the balance of brain chemicals and neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine.  The often-prescribed medications that are supposed to regulate neurotransmitters tend to be very expensive and most have side effects that range from unpleasant to dangerous.

Fortunately, Mother Nature has provided us with safe, effective natural remedies for depression. Recent studies have found a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is present in eggs and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Your body can make its own vitamin D after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, but that can be difficult depending on the time of year and where you live.

RelatedNatural Supplements and Vitamins--Why They are Important

Vitamin D has also been associated with a decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and it also contributes to bone health, immune function and muscle maintenance. Because it is so important, millions of Americans take vitamin D supplements to help ensure they are getting sufficient amounts. Vitamin D is available in tablet, capsule, powdered, and in liquid forms. The needed amount varies from person to person so ask your holistic health practitioner to determine the dosage that best suits your individual needs.

Consider adding nutritional supplements to your natural remedies for depression. It’s also important to adopt an overall healthy lifestyle that includes proper nutrition, moderate exercise, adequate rest, social interaction and stress reduction techniques.

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

by Cindy Gray

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

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

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

Some of the major benefits of chlorophyll include:

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

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

Related What Everybody Ought to Know About Liquid Chlorophyll

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

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

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

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

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

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Two Natural Arthritis Treatments to GAG On

by Cindy Gray

Natural arthritis treatments use two specific supplements to maintain and rebuild worn cartilage which is the main cause of painful arthritis in the joints. Glycosaminoglycans, conveniently shortened to GAGs, are long unbranched polysaccharides containing amino sugars (N-acetylglucosamine or N-acetylgalactosamine) and gluronic acid.

Glucosamine is an Important Natural Arthritis Treatment

Glucosamine hydrochloride has been shown to be an excellent natural arthritis treatment. Derived from lobster, shrimp and crab shells, when taken as a supplement it stimulates the manufacture of amino acids, sulfur and chains of sugars to restore the gel-like cartilage content. This improves joint mobility and restores worn cartilage which is the cause of severe joint pain for arthritis sufferers.

Glucosamine supplements also reduce inflammation, another factor for those suffering from arthritis. If you are taking a joint supplement for natural arthritis treatments, look for those which contain glucosamine to help joint lubrication and support healthy cartilage.

Chondroitin Sulfate for Healthy Joint Cartilage

Another type of GAG, Chondroitin Sulfate works synergistically with glucosamine for maximum benefit of these painful swollen joints. It makes up to 20% of natural cartilage tissue and helps rebuild cartilage and replace lost synovial fluid.

Related: Hyaluronic Acid Use for Joint Health

Chondroitin stabilizes collagen, another important component of healthy cartilage, and is particularly effective when taken with vitamin C. It is an important supplement for arthritis as it helps maintain the collagen fibers in the bone.

Even if you do not have arthritis or painful joints, chondroitin sulfate helps prevent the breakdown of cartilage, preventing painful joints and arthritis in later life. It works with the glucosamine to promote a steady flow of nutrients and fluid to maintain healthy cartilage.

Dosage for GAG Supplements

Glucosamine can be taken as a supplement in capsule, tablet, powder or liquid form. Recommended dosage is 1500 mg per day. It is most effective when combined with chondroitin.

The typical dosage of chondroitin sulfate is 1000-1200 mg per day. However, it is most effective when taken in three separate doses during the day, of up to 400 mg at a time. If you are taking these supplements as natural arthritis treatments, you should start to see results within one month with less pain and increased movement in the joints. 

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Enzymes Set the Stage For Vibrant Health

by Health News

Wondering how to gain energy?

Natural health products like enzymes are critical to tHow to Gain Energy: Enzymes Set the Stage For Vibrant Healthhe performance of virtually every process in the body. Although most people understand the vital roles that vitamins and mineral play in keeping us healthy and energized, many do not understand the importance of proper enzyme balance.

Enzymes serve as catalysts for the body’s essential chemical reactions that support health and vitality. They work their magic by breaking down the nutrients in our body so that the nutrients can pass through the intestinal walls and eventually be absorbed into the bloodstream. Vitamins and minerals are referred to as “coenzymes” which means that they require an enzyme in order to work.

Enzymes are the driving force behind tissue regeneration, proper digestion, cardiovascular health, kidney and liver function and many other life-sustaining processes. The powerful antioxidant properties associated with enzymes help protect the body from disease. When enzymes become depleted the body suffers. Chronic enzyme deficiency or malfunction can lead to serious and sometimes life-threatening health problems.

Most scientists classify enzymes into three main groups: metabolic enzymes, plant enzymes and digestive enzymes. Because they play such a pivotal role in our health, it is essential to get the proper balance of enzymes. Ideally, we should get many of the enzymes we need from food, but that is rarely the case. Fruits, vegetables and other raw foods are good sources but the average American diet contains very few enzymes. In today’s fast-paced world most people turn to time-saving convenience foods that are overcooked and over processed to the point that essential enzymes are destroyed.   As we age, it becomes more difficult for our body to produce the enzymes it needs to thrive, so older people are at a higher risk for significant enzyme deficiency.   

As we have learned more about the critical role that enzymes play in our overall health, more and more medical researchers are recommending daily enzyme supplementation. Enzyme supplements can be purchased at natural health stores and come in powder, tablet or liquid form. The supplements make digestion more efficient by enhancing the absorption of vital nutrients. For best results choose an enzyme supplement which contains a blend of different enzymes. Your holistic health practitioner can help you determine which natural supplements will work best for you.   

Elevating the enzyme levels in your body through natural supplementation will result in improved metabolic and digestive function that will make you look and feel younger. Keeping enzymes in balance will also make you less susceptible to serious diseases. Consider adding enzyme supplements to your “stay-well” plan so you can enjoy vibrant health throughout your life.

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Healthy Holiday Eating: What Makes a Recipe Healthy?

by Health News

Healthy Eating - What Makes a Recipe Healthy?

A trend toward health and fitness is on an upswing, and one important component is a nutritious diet that provides needed vitamins and minerals, is satisfying and naturally boosts energy throughout the day. What is it that makes a recipe healthy? Here are some questions to ponder when it comes to deciding whether a recipe is healthful or hurtful. These are particularly useful during the winter months for people who are concerned with healthy holiday eating.

What type of cooking method is used? Steer clear of recipes that call for frying or deep frying, and focus on the following methods instead. The healthiest cooking method is steaming, where food is placed in a perforated container and suspended above boiling water. Besides a light coating of cook spray, baking and roasting are healthy and typically do not require adding extra fat to a dish, and stir-frying and sautéing can be accomplished with a minimal amount of healthy oil. Grilling and broiling are healthy methods because they allow fat to drip away from food, and braising and poaching involve gently simmering an ingredient in liquid until cooked.  Avoid microwaving food.

What is the calorie count in the recipe? Whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain the weight you have, it is important to understand how many calories your body requires and find recipes that correspond to this amount. To determine the energy needed in calories to maintain your current weight, multiply your weight in pounds by 12. For a one pound per week weight loss, cut this amount by 500 calories per day. For a two pound per week loss, reduce the amount by 1000 calories per day. Note: It has been shown that two pounds per week is a healthy weight loss that has the best potential to be sustained.

Is the recipe made with nutritious ingredients? The healthiest ingredients include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and poultry, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and healthy fats like olive oil, nuts and avocados. Note: fats contain two times more calories per gram than proteins or carbohydrates, so it is important to keep portion sizes under control.

Unhealthy ingredients include sugar, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, sodium, white flour, processed foods and saturated and trans-fats. Trans-fatty acids occur naturally in meat and dairy products but can be artificially made (by hydrogenating oils) to boost the shelf life of some products. High trans-fat consumption has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and certain cancers. Read labels, and avoid any products containing partially hydrogenated oils. In place of table salt, use herbs and spices to season recipes, and if needed, try all-natural sea salt.

Here are some guidelines based on advice from the American Heart Association for a typical 2000 calorie-per-day diet. Remember to adjust values to your daily calories and divide by the number of meals you are eating per day to arrive at approximate amounts for each recipe.

  • Dietary cholesterol should not exceed 300 mg per day.
  • To keep full and satisfied, an individual should strive for at least 25 grams of fiber per day.
  • Proteins should be limited to 175 grams or less per day, total carbohydrates should not exceed 300 grams, and fats should be limited to 65 grams or less per day.
  • A healthy diet should contain at least 3,500 mg of potassium daily, but sodium intake should not exceed 2,400 mg per day (those on a low-sodium diet should limit each recipe serving to 140 mg or less).
  • Limit sugars to 6 to 10 percent of total daily calories.
  • For heart-healthy recipes use 3 grams or less total fat (with 1 gram or less saturated fat), 20 mg or less cholesterol, and 480 mg or less sodium per serving.

Take advantage of the healthy holiday eating tips above when looking for healthy recipes that are chock full of nutrients and packed with all-natural energy! Bon Appétit!

Healthy Aging starts with a healthy gut. Free guide to Healthy Holiday Digestion.

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What Everybody Ought to Know About Liquid Chlorophyll

by Health News

Liquid ChlorophyllChlorophyll is a green pigment found in some bacteria, algae and plants. It’s an extremely important biomolecule that is critically necessary for plants to absorb energy from sunlight.

Consumption of liquid chlorophyll has many health benefits, mainly because its molecular structure is absolutely identical to hemoglobin except for the center atom. In hemoglobin this is iron, whereas in chlorophyll it is magnesium.

Liquid chlorophyll helps to do the job of hemoglobin by replenishing red blood cells, boosting energy and improving wellbeing. It also cleanses the body, fighting infection, healing wounds and promoting the health of the circulatory, digestive, immune and detoxification systems.

Five health benefits of liquid chlorophyll consumption include:

  1. CANCER PROTECTION - Chlorophyll protects against carcinogens by blocking the metabolism of harmful chemicals known as pro-carcinogens that damage DNA in the liver and other organs.
  2. ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY - Liquid chlorophyll is packed with antioxidants, which are absorbed better since it’s in a liquid state. Antioxidants are important in neutralizing free radicals that damage cells. Liquid chlorophyll also contains high levels of vitamins A, C and E, and has been shown to reduce inflammation.
  3. RED BLOOD CELL FORMATION- Liquid chlorophyll increases red blood cell formation, improving circulation and utilization of oxygen in the body. It also helps to purify blood and regulates blood pressure.
  4. IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOSTER - Chlorophyll is a great immune boosting phytonutrient that fights against infection by killing germs.
  5. BYE-BYE BAD BREATH- Liquid chlorophyll is a deodorizer that eliminates odors in the mouth and throat. Regular consumption helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract, removing the underlying reason for bad breath.

Green drinks are an excellent, dense source of alkalizing, chlorophyll rich greens that are easily assimilated by the body. Also, green food in general, such as salads, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, Asian greens, green capsicum, asparagus, peas, beans, kale etc. contain chlorophyll - so eat up and empower your health today.

Sources: Health Benefits of Liquid Chlorophyll.

Superfood Recipe Smoothie Recipes

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The Health Benefits of Superfoods

by Health News

In the past few decades it has been determined that signs of aging like wrinkles and diminished skin elasticity are enhanced by oxidation, a process in which damaging free radicals begin to break down DNA.  Research is showing that we can slow the aging process with the consumption of antioxidant-rich foods.  Studies also show that the amount of antioxidants consumed is directly proportional to longevity.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eight to ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but not all of these have the same effect.  The effects of antioxidants are measured by a food’s oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC).

Health Benefit of Superfoods - Avacado

Check out these ORAC-rich fruits and vegetables, and implement them into your daily diet to generate a youthful appearance. 

  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Red Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli

Here are a few other superfoods that have shown great potential for enhancing a youthful appearance. 

Acai Berries – These tiny, purple berries can be found in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil.  In addition to boosting energy, this antioxidant-laden superfood is said to promote healthy hair, nails and skin.  Acai is available in supplement form in various powders and caplets.

Red Ginseng – A study published in the December, 2009 edition of the Journal of Medicinal Foods showed that red ginseng reverses wrinkles.  The study examined a group of female volunteers over the age of 40. The subjects took three grams of red ginseng extract daily for 24 weeks, and it was found that facial wrinkles were significantly reduced and collagen levels were increased.  Collagen is a product made from proteins in the body which is necessary for healthy skin.  Further, a gene that destroys collagen was inhibited and elastin, a protein that enhances skin elasticity, was increased.

Resveratrol - This important nutrient can be found in the skin of red grapes and in blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates.  Besides supporting cardiovascular health, resveratrol is said to promote a youthful appearance.  In addition to the fruits mentioned above, resveratrol supplements are available in whole foods stores and through natural supplement websites.

Sea Buckthorn Berries – This small, sour berry is found in harsh environments of Eastern Asia and is packed with vitamin C, providing 12 times more than an orange.  It is said to provide weight loss and immune system support and to foster good hair, nail and skin health.  Typically the fruit cannot be found in your local grocery store, but liquid and caplet supplements are available in stores and online.

Soy – Research that is soon-to-be-published in the British Journal of Pharmacology has concluded that soy can have positive effects on age-related skin changes in post-menopausal women. 

As adequate estrogen levels are required for youthful skin in women, an ovariectomy can accelerate aging of the skin.  This study examined the effects of soy on the skin of ovariectomized rats.  Researchers began treating rats six months after ovariectomy with genistein, a soy-derived isoflavone, for a period of 12 weeks.   At the end of treatment, the thickness of collagen and skin strength was significantly improved, which suggests that soy therapy might be a reliable alternative for age-related skin changes in post-menopausal women.

Healthy Aging - Superfoods Benefits

Everyone wants to look young for as long as possible and adequate nutrition is an easy fix.  In addition to a daily vitamin and mineral supplement, it might be worth a try to incorporate some of the foods above into your daily diet for a more youthful appearance.

Healthy Superfood Recipes

Sources:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article6986044.ece
http://theview.abc.go.com/blog/top-7-superfoods-women

Cho, S. et al.  Red ginseng root extract mixed with Torilus fructus and Corni fructus improves facial wrinkles and increases type I procollagen synthesis in human skin: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.  Journal of Medicinal Food, 2009 Dec;12(6):1252-9.

Polito, F. et al.  Genistein Aglycone, a Soy-derived Isoflavone, Improves Skin Changes Induced by Ovariectomy in Rats.   British Journal of Pharmacology.  2011 Aug 9. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01619.x. [Epub ahead of print]

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What are the Benefits of Avocado Oil?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that avocado oil is not only edible…but it is also very healthy for your skin?

Pressed from the fruit of the avocado, avocado oil is used for cooking as well as a salad dressing and garnish. With an unusually high smoke point, extra virgin avocado oil has a characteristic flavor and is excellent in almost any high heat cooking application - including baking, stir-fries, barbecue, roasts and sauté.

What are the Benefits of Avocado Oil?

In fact, extra virgin avocado oil has a similar monounsaturated fat profile to extra virgin olive oil, which protects it from breakdown during heating. 

‘Hass' cold-pressed avocado oil is a brilliant emerald green when extracted; the color is attributed to high levels of chlorophylls and carotenoids extracted into the oil, which add to its nutritious qualities.

Avocado oil is also extracted for cosmetic use. Valued for its regenerative and moisturizing properties, it easily penetrates skin and is rapidly absorbed. In fact, slicing open an avocado and applying its flesh directly on to skin is a very effective and natural approach to achieving a healthy facial glow or dealing with acne and dry skin. Simply apply the yellow pulp to soothe, protect and moisturize.

  • Avocados have very high vitamin E content. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals along with slowing signs of aging.  
  • Avocado oil has a natural hydrating ability, because of which it makes skin soft and supple. So if you’re suffering from itchy and/or dry skin, you can use cosmetics and lotions with avocado oil to remedy the situation.
  • Avocado oil contains sterolins. These are natural compounds which help to properly absorb fat and boost your immune system, along with making more skin collagen and reducing the incidence of age spots.
  • Avocado oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. These have been shown to be highly effective in protecting skin from UV radiation, along with lowering sunburn and skin cancer risk. Not only that, foods with omega-3 fats such as salmon, nuts, flax seed and avocados should be consumed regularly for good heart and brain health.

Avocado oil can be obtained either cold pressed in liquid for or directly from the fruit.

Source: Benefits of Avocado Oil for Skin and Health

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Liquid Health Vitamins: A Better Alternative to Pills?

by Health News

Liquid Health Vitamins:There are not nearly as many liquid nutritional supplement products on the market as there are those in the pill form, but their popularity is growing. What are some of the reasons for this?

They’re easier for people to swallow. While liquid vitamins might not taste as good, they are easier to swallow than pills or chewables. In fact, young children are particularly vulnerable to choking on chewable vitamins.  Older adults and those who have certain disorders that effect swallowing are also vulnerable to choking. To achieve the best of both worlds, liquid vitamin drops can be mixed in with a favorite juice drink.

They’re more readily assimilated into the bloodstream . It can take hours for vitamin pills to get into your bloodstream, but liquid vitamins are delivered in a fraction of this time. Depending on whether you drop it under your tongue or mix it into juice, liquid vitamins can start entering your bloodstream the moment you put the first drop in your mouth. When it reaches your stomach, there’s nothing to break down like there is with pills and capsules.

They’re easy on your stomach. Because there’s nothing solid to break down, they’re much easier to digest than pill supplements.

They’re convenient. You don’t need liquid to swallow them. If you keep the bottle in your purse or backpack, you can just take it whenever you remember, wherever you are!

They allow for dosing flexibility. Your dosage needs can change based on your age and health status. You can easily take more or less of a liquid without having to switch brands or break pills.

Talk to your health care practitioner and find out if liquid supplements might be a better option for you!

What do you think liquid vitamin supplements or pill form? Which do you take more often?

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Top 10 Men's Vitamins

by Health News

Looking for the best vitamins for men's health? Here is a list of the top ten vitamins that should be on every man's list.Top 10 Men's Vitamins

  1. Pumpkin Seed Oil may enhance prostate health. Components in pumpkin seed oil seem to immobilize this enlargement. Pumpkin seed extracts offer a higher concentration of healthy properties than the seeds themselves.
  2. Nattokinase may provide support of healthy blood pressure. Research has shown that nattokinase supports the body in dissolving blood clots and has been shown to be four times more effective than plasmin, which is an anti-clotting enzyme produced in the blood.
  3. Gymnema Sylvestre promotes healthy blood sugar. Gymnemic acids have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-sweetener properties. It is said to curb diabetes by impeding the buildup of sugar molecules in the body.
  4. Vitamin D is essential for proper absorption of calcium in the body and for maintaining calcium and phosphate levels in the blood which encourages normal mineralization of bone.
  5. Curcumin - a chemical found in turmeric - may help enhance brain abilities and avert the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Research has suggested that curcumin inhibits the growth of amyloid plaques which are harmful protein deposits found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease.
  6. Hyaluronic Acid is a component of synovial fluid which helps hydrate and carry needed nutrients to the areas of the body where it is manufactured including the skin, eyes and cartilage. Supplementation can improve the thickness of the synovial fluid in the skin, eyes and cartilage and reduce pain and swelling within the joints.
  7. Maca Root is effective for regulating the body’s hormone levels and enhancing both male and female libido. As opposed to synthetic hormones which can have hazardous side effects, Maca root is natural and has a long history of safe use.
  8. Wheatgrass can help to restore blood alkaline levels and therefore balance pH, which is defined as potential of hydrogen and represents the ratio of acid to alkaline in the body. This may help cells efficiently absorb needed vitamins and minerals and properly excrete waste.
  9. Pleurisy Root is an important supplement for men and women, as it is said to relieve chest pain and ease breathing problems. The herb is often used as an expectorant helping to force phlegm from bronchial and nasal passages.
  10. Liquid Vitamins and Minerals are great supplements for the immune system and overall health of men. They have a higher absorbency; the body responds and starts benefiting from them immediately.

Is there a vitamin that you take daily that isn't on this list?

 

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How Safe are Supplements and Natural Medicine? Part 1

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Dear Reader,

First let me welcome you to my first blog post. I am excited to share my thoughts with you. I look forward to our discussions and hope you enjoy my writings.

This subject of how safe supplements and natural medicine is is not an easy one. It's one of those things where if you ask six different people about it, you get a similar amount of answers. Personally, I've always believed in the healing power and the safety of supplements and natural medicine, if they are used correctly, with knowledge and common sense. The problem is, when it comes to people in general, there is a shortage of common sense. Common sense, unfortunately, has yet to be bottled and sold. But if it was, would the Food and Drug Administration approve it? It could be disruptive...

Let's first offer a bit of definition.
  
What are dietary supplements? The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), (created by the FDA) defines a dietary supplement as a product that:

  • supplements the food you eat;
  • contains one or more dietary ingredient (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids, and other substances);
  • comes in pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid form; and
  • is labeled as a dietary supplement.
Natural Vitamin Mineral Supplements - How safe are they?

There are different types of dietary, or nutritional, supplements. Vitamin and mineral supplements are types of dietary supplements containing micronutrients meant to help a healthy body function smoothly. Herbal (or botanical) supplements are dietary supplements that have a medicinal purpose. Herbal supplements generally support a specific area of the body’s health, such as the liver, bones or skin.

How do you determine which supplements or natural medicine treatments you take?


Tune in on Friday for Part 2 of my discussion on how safe supplements and natural medicine are....

 

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Mineral Supplements – Are You Getting Enough?

by Health News

There are 22 essential minerals that our bodies need in trace amounts on a regular basis. Those who participate in endurance sports such as running and marathon training need to be especially sure that they are getting enough essential minerals to obtain peak performance and endurance. Here’s the list of the most important dietary minerals and how to receive the daily-recommended levels of them all.

Vitamins Minerals Supplements IVL Products

Calcium
We all know that calcium is crucial to healthy bones, but it is also plays an important part in fat storage and muscle contraction. Runners in particular need sufficient calcium to develop strong bones to cope with the vigors of training as well as maintaining a lean body composition. The recommended daily intake is 1,000 to 1,300 mg which can be obtained with three servings of dairy or soy products per day, such as a cup of milk (8 fl.oz), low-fat yoghurt, soy beans, seeds and egg yolks. However, research suggests that calcium supplements, taken in conjunction with vitamin D, are more effectively digested for maintaining bone density than dairy products.

Iron
Iron is another essential mineral that our body needs. It helps produce red blood cells which carry oxygen to the muscles during exercise. Anemia, or lack of iron, is a common cause of tiredness and fatigue – the last thing an athlete wants to suffer from.

The recommended daily iron intake is 10 grams per day for men and 15 grams for pre-menopausal women. It can be found in beef, chicken and tuna and supplements are a good source of iron. However, you should not exceed daily recommended amounts without the advice of a physician as too much iron can be toxic.

Sodium
Sodium, commonly known as salt, is needed by the body to transmit electrical signals throughout the body such as contracting the muscles when required. As sodium is lost in sweat during exercise, athletes may need a slightly higher intake than non-athletes. However, daily requirements of sodium are 500 mg per day and the average American consumes seven times that amount in a typical processed western diet. The best way to keep sodium in balance for athletes is by consuming a sports drink during exercise, especially in the heat. This prevents the blood volume from decreasing through sweating and keeps cardiac performance at its optimum during exercise.

Zinc
Zinc plays many crucial roles in our body’s immune system and performance. It is a vital component of enzymes that helps remove carbon dioxide from the blood. Adequate zinc intake is essential for optimum health and is found in beans, nuts and whole grains. The recommended daily intake is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men.

Few of us have a perfectly balanced, unprocessed diet as nature intended and it is particularly important for athletes, those on a high-carb diet or suffering from lethargy to ensure their mineral intake is meeting the recommended amounts of those 22 essential minerals. The best way is by eating sensibly and taking a carefully formulated daily supplement, which tops up any shortfall. Try adding a few drops of a liquid mineral supplement to water to re-mineralize and re-energize your body for optimal health.

Do you currently take any mineral supplements?


Sources:
http://www.180nutrition.com.au/2011/06/19/essential-minerals-how-are-you-getting-yours/

http://www.healthyeatingworld.com/healthy-eating/5550-are-you-getting-enough-essential-vitamins-and-minerals

http://www.healthyeatingworld.com/healthy-eating/5550-are-you-getting-enough-essential-vitamins-and-minerals

 

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Natural Vitamin Supplement Echinacea

by Health News

Have you ever wondered what are the benefits and side effects of Echinacea, a natural vitamin supplement?

Echinacea, sometimes called cone flower, is a wildflower found mostly in meadows and wet valleys in the Midwestern United States. It is most known for its natural medicinal properties, but it is also commonly grown in gardens because it’s so pretty, with striking, purple daisy-like flowers. The natural medicinal properties of the plant are found in the flower, leaves and the root.

Echinacea’s Therapeutic Potential

Echinacea is a natural immune system booster. It stimulates white blood cells, which attack the viruses and bacteria that lead to illness or infection. Because of this, Echinacea is being researched as a potential benefit to people with AIDS, though it is not currently part of current AIDS treatment because its full effect on the immune systems of patients with AIDS is still not fully understood.

Echinacea is commonly used to treat acute respiratory ailments like colds. Some research has found Echinacea to be effective as an antiviral anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. In some parts of Europe, Echinacea is taken in an IV as supplemental treatment for some forms of cancer. Some European medical professionals also inject Echinacea to remedy urinary tract infections.

Many people have also used Echinacea externally to help skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and insect bites. It has also been used as an ingredient in hemorrhoid treatments and to soothe sunburn.

Echinacea Side Effects and Precautions
In rare cases, some people experience allergic reactions, including rashes, increased asthma, and anaphylaxis. In clinical trials, the most common side effects were intestinal discomfort (pain, nausea) and dizziness. These side effects were generally mild and temporary.

Echinacea is available in whole herb or extract powder or liquid extract, either by itself or as an ingredient in a nutritional supplement. Echinacea can be purchased in most health food stores and some drug and grocery stores.

Is Echinacea a natural supplement you would be interested in trying?

 

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The Benefits of a Natural Liquid Vitamin

by Health News

IVL Products Liquid Vitamins Minerals SupplementWhile liquid vitamin mineral supplements are readily available in stores and online, oftentimes people don’t think about taking these types of vitamins.  It goes without saying that if you have trouble swallowing pills, you should gravitate to liquid vitamin supplement.  There are many other benefits to liquid vitamins as well.  This article will discuss why you might want to consider incorporating liquid vitamins into your health regime.
 
First of all, there are currently a huge variety of types of liquid vitamins available. You can find everything from B Vitamins to Calcium in liquid form.  It is also possible to find liquid supplements that contain vital antioxidants and enzymes.  Some liquid vitamins are even a pill form that contains liquid.  Believe it or not, you can also buy liquid vitamins in powder form. 

In many cases, liquid vitamins are prescribed for older people who may have some more trouble absorbing nutrients than younger people.  In general, high quality liquid vitamins are absorbed very quickly into the blood stream, as they don’t have to go through the digestive process.  This means that your body can start receiving the benefits of the vitamins right away!

Unfortunately, many vitamins that are in pill form contain a variety of preservatives and fillers that are designed to give them a longer shelf life. Instead of trying to figure out how to process synthetic ingredients, the body knows how to process natural foods automatically.  Therefore, when you take a liquid vitamin, try to find one that comes from natural whole food sources like fruits and vegetables.

One important thing to note about liquid vitamins that make them different from regular pills is the fact that they often have a flavor.  In fact, sugar and other types of sweeteners can be added.  So if you are trying to avoid sugar, make sure that you are not accidentally getting too much in the form of your liquid vitamin.  Be sure to carefully read the ingredient list before you make a decision.

Do you currently take a liquid vitamins? If so please share your experience.

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Liver Health: 10 Tips for Optimum Liver Health

by Health News

Nourish and cleanse the body from the inside out by trying the ten tips below or natural liver and kidney health. Detoxification can eliminate impurities from the body allowing health and wellness to take hold and thrive.

The natural process of detoxification in the body involves the blood, bowels, kidneys, lungs, liver and skin. The liver filters and removes impurities from the blood, the kidneys and bowels eliminate harmful substances through wasting, the lungs filter dangerous particles that we breathe, and the skin removes impurities through the pores. A threat to any part of this process can affect the whole body. Here are ten ways to detoxify your body and keep it healthy – inside and out!

Eat a healthy, fiber-full diet!
Foods that are high in fiber act as natural cleansers and detoxifiers and slow the rate at which the body absorbs sugar, keeping blood sugar levels steady. Health professionals recommend consumption of 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily for good health. Good sources of fiber are whole grains, brown rice, organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and spices like cinnamon, basil, cloves and black pepper.

Cleanse with H2O!
If the body is not properly hydrated, the kidneys pass extra work to the liver and other organs causing stress, which compromises the process of purifying the blood.   Drink at least 64 ounces of pure or filtered water daily to enhance the health. Proper amounts of water can improve the complexion, boost digestion, relieve aches and pains, enhance the metabolism, and renew vitality and energy.

Limit your alcohol intake!
When ingested, alcohol is absorbed by the stomach, enters the bloodstream and travels to all body tissues. Large amounts ingested over time can cause damage to the brain and liver.  Women who drink during pregnancy can give birth to babies with fetal alcohol syndrome, which can result in mental retardation and other physical problems. In addition, a new study from England indicates that one alcoholic drink per day is linked to breast cancer in 11 of every 1,000 women, increasing with each additional daily drink. 

Give detoxifying herbs a try!
Herbal cleanses are a great idea when a specific organ needs detoxification. In addition, herbs provide vitamins, minerals and enzymes for optimum nutrition. Herbs can be purchased as teas, powders or extracts.

Balance your pH levels!
Look into alkalizing foods or supplements like wheat grass, barley grass and lemon grass to naturally balance the pH levels in your body. This helps to purify the blood and remove undigested fats and toxins from the liver. In addition, balancing pH levels can increase energy, improve the complexion and enhance digestion!

Try zeolite!
This is a porous mineral made from volcanic ash and sea salt which has tremendous detoxifying potential. Sold in liquid, powder and tablet form, this mineral contains cavities which attract and bind harmful substances and flush them safely from the body!

Clean the colon! |
This process clears large quantities of stagnant, toxic waste trapped on colon walls.  Many enthusiasts claim that yearly colon cleansing improves vitality in the body, boosts the immune system, enhances mental outlook and supports weight loss.

Eliminate pesky parasites!
Symptoms of parasite infestation include abdominal pain, constipation, anemia, fatigue, digestive problems, dizziness and joint pain, to name a few. To cleanse the body of parasites, try munching on pumpkin or peppermint seeds or try wormwood, pink root or black walnut supplements.

Purge the stress!
Stress triggers the body to release stress hormones into the bloodstream, which are deterrents to good health. Large quantities of these hormones can create toxins in the body and can slow the action of enzymes in the liver. Try meditation, yoga, or tai chi to purge stress from the body.

Give hydrotherapy a go!
This method detoxifies through the pores and supports a healthy immune system! Take a very hot shower for five minutes, and follow with the water on the coldest possible setting for 30 seconds. Repeat for two additional cycles and relax in bed for 30 minutes after.

 

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Is It OK to take Medicines and Vitamins Together?

by Health News

Taking medicines and vitamins together is likely to cause interactions. These may be beneficial or harmful, depending on the supplements in question. Medications are usually prescribed to replace something which is lacking, to block a symptom or to fight disease. When additional drugs, vitamins or herbs are taken as well, there may be an interaction which can be either good or bad.

For example, certain medications as a side effect cause the body to lose important nutrients such as calcium or folic acid. Boosting those lacking nutrients with a natural vitamin supplement would be a good thing, to avoid the health complications of a calcium or folate deficiency.

Is It OK to take Medicines and Vitamins Together?

Positive Interactions Between Medications and Vitamins
Some vitamins and drugs work even more effectively when they are combined. One example is that people taking Prozac will find that also taking folic acid increases the drug’s effectiveness. In the vitamin world our bodies find it hard to absorb calcium supplements, but if taken with vitamin D the absorption rate of the calcium is greatly increased. This same principle can apply to certain other medications and vitamins, so interaction is by no means always a negative thing. 

Those taking a diuretic such as furosemide will find that the drug depletes the body of some essential vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium and magnesium, causing cramps, fatigue and other symptoms. Taking a liquid mineral supplement can counter these unpleasant side effects of the medication. In other cases, taking certain herbs can help to lessen the unpleasant side effects from drugs.

The correct combinations of medicines and/or vitamins can sometimes make medications work better, so you should always speak with your doctor or search online for more information about each drug and vitamin you take to check for interactions.

Alkaline Health Recipe Book

Negative Interactions Between Medications and Vitamins
On the other hand, some vitamins or herbal supplements may reduce the absorption of certain drugs into the body, thereby reducing the drug’s ability to do its job effectively.  This can often be overcome by taking the medication and vitamins at different times of day, so one does not interfere with the efficacy of the other.

Those taking digoxin, for example, should not take the herb St Johns Wort (used to lift the symptoms of depression) as it may limit the absorption of the drug, reducing the effectiveness of the digoxin and making it a complete waste of money and effort as one cancels out the other.

Often the interaction is not obvious to the patient and it may take a blood test to evaluate whether certain nutrients levels are low. At other times a bad interaction can give unpleasant side effects or, at worst, stop the medication from doing its job.

The short and safe answer to combining medicines and vitamins is to make a list of them all and ask your doctor or pharmacist each time you want to consider adding a new supplement or medication to your diet.