Fighting Fatigue with Green Tea – A Natural Fatigue Treatment

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Many new studies have made exciting discoveries about the positive effects of green tea on energy and fatigue. High in antioxidants, green tea has many health benefits including fatigue treatment. Green tea is known to raise the metabolic rate, which helps boost fat burning and weight loss, and this could also explain why it helps counter fatigue.

Green tea can be an effective fatigue treatment

Exercise and Oxidative Stress

Tannins are polyphenols in green tea that help the body to eliminate toxins, boost fat burning and increase metabolism. These antioxidants also counter the harmful effects of free radicals which are produced as a byproduct during natural body functions such as digestion and exercise.

During exercise, free radicals are produced in the body and they are neutralized by antioxidants. Although regular moderate exercise is known to boost health, strenuous exercise can cause oxidative stress. Studies show that this free radical production during exercise is what causes fatigue and consequently reduces endurance performance. 

Oxidative stress is when the amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced as a byproduct of burning energy threatens to overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defense.  If there are insufficient antioxidants in the body to detoxify the ROS, this leads to an undesirable level of oxidative stress. Free radical production is highest when exercise is exhaustive and therefore higher levels of antioxidants are required to neutralize them.

Related:  History of Green Tea in Indigestion Remedies

Study on Green Tea as a Treatment for Fatigue

The China University of Mining and Technology carried out a study on 40 mice into the effects of green tea polyphenols as a fatigue treatment. The mice were divided into four groups with one control group receiving distilled water. The other three groups received different amounts of green tea polyphenols, adjusted to each animal’s body weight.

The mice were given swimming exercises each week, carrying weights of 10% of their body weight to replicate the effects of strenuous exercise. After two weeks, the mice fed green tea polyphenols were able to swim for longer, indicating that the polyphenols were effectively acting as a fatigue treatment. The higher the dose of green tea polyphenols, the longer the mice were able to swim.     

Results showed that the green tea acted as an anti-fatigue treatment on the mice and allowed the mice to swim for longer with less fatigue.

Tips for Drinking Green Tea for Energy

  • Avoid ready-to-drink green tea as it does not have the same strength as freshly brewed green tea
  • Avoid decaffeinated green tea as it contains less than one third of the catechins found in regular green tea
  • Avoid green tea bags as they generally contain lower quality green tea than loose tea leaves
  • Use 4 grams of loose green tea per cup of boiling water (8 fluid ounces)
  • Do not add milk as this reduces the effect of the catechins
  • If you don’t like the taste of green tea, add honey, ginger, lemon or mint leaves to boost the flavor

You’ll find green tea is a refreshing drink and a great fatigue treatment when energy levels are low.


Are Statins Killing You? The Top 6 Dangers of Statins

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Are you part of the one in four Americans over the age of 45 who take statins? Statin drugs are prescribed to help lower cholesterol, but the dangers of statins and the truth about its efficacy are now being questioned. One of the hurdles in reversing the policy on statins is the fact that Big Pharma makes huge profits from the sales of statin drugs, with a reported turnover of $29 billion in 2013.

Studies are showing there may be hidden dangers to statins

The Dangers of Statins

Several surveys have reported results that show statins may be doing more harm than good when it comes to our health. Their results show:

  • Statins interfere with the natural production of Coenzyme Q10, which helps maintain blood pressure, supports the cardiovascular system and is essential for the immune and nervous systems
  • Studies have found a link between statin use and memory loss, possibly because cholesterol is essential to brain function. Some patients find they are unable to remember words while others develop serious neurological problems such as Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • Statins appear to weaken the immune system, so users are more prone to bacterial infections
  • Statin drugs promote inflammation due to the increased production of cytokines
  • Statin users are at higher risk of Parkinson’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), according to Dr. David Williams
  • In animals studies, statins caused 226% more muscle damage in animals when they exercised, compared to animals that were not on statins

And the list goes on and on. It’s a cause for reflection for those who take statins and are so far unaware of the dangers of statins.

Related:  Knock Down Bad Cholesterol with these Four Foods

When to Stop Taking Statins

Although studies have shown that statins help reduce cholesterol, which is thought to lower the risk of heart disease, it may not apply to those over the age of 50. A Japanese study found that high cholesterol is not necessarily associated to coronary heart disease in those over the age of 50. This study suggests that older people would actually be healthier if they stopped taking statins at middle age.

Harlan Krumholz at the Cardiovascular Medicine Department at Yale discovered that elderly people with low cholesterol were twice as likely to die from heart attack as those with high cholesterol, which contradicts popular beliefs about the need for statins into old age.

In addition to this, the University of Minnesota Epidemiology Department studied 68,000 deaths and found that low cholesterol was associated with an increased risk of dying from gastrointestinal or respiratory disease. This ties in with the above findings about the dangers of statins weakening the immune system.

While the debate continues about the dangers of statins, one message remains clear. By eating a healthy balanced diet based on meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, such as the Paleo diet recommended by Dr. Mercola, your body may balance its own levels of cholesterol, leading to a longer life, safely and naturally.


The Best Brain Supplements to Improve Your Memory

by Institute for Vibrant Living

It is natural to be concerned about memory loss as we age, but there are now some excellent supplements for memory support. We look at some of the best brain supplements on the market to help you make the right choice for your optimal mental health.

There are many supplements for memory support.

Nootropics is the term used for any product that improves mental capability such as concentration, memory and motivation. It covers both pharmaceutical drugs and natural brain supplements, which are proving to be equally effective at supporting brain and memory function as we age. Here are a few natural supplements for memory that you should consider.

Ginkgo Biloba

Popular as a memory booster in Europe, ginkgo biloba is one of nature’s best brain supplements on the market. It works by improving blood flow in smaller vessels and has shown promise in studies into the treatment of dementia. Sourced naturally from the ginkgo tree, ginkgo alters insulin levels and thins the blood, so it should not be taken in conjunction with other medications unless first approved by your doctor.

Related:  Effects of Overeating on Brain Health

Asian Ginseng

Asian ginseng is often used alongside ginkgo biloba as these herbs appear to work synergistically together. It helps counter physical fatigue and has shown promising signs of success in small group studies into supplements for memory support.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Sourced naturally from fish, plants and nuts, studies suggest that higher levels of omega-3, usually taken in supplement form, can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and are one of the best natural supplements for memory.


Popular with young gym enthusiasts, creatine is known to improve sports performance as well as improving memory and intelligence. Researchers found that taking a 5mg supplement daily for six weeks had a positive effect on improving memory.


Found in green tea and mushrooms, L-Theanine has been shown in various scientific studies to affect neurotransmitters in the brain. It appears to prevent beta-amyloid-induced brain dysfunction and improves cognitive performance.

Vitamin E

Recent studies have found that vitamin E can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and may help counter age-related memory loss. Recommended doses should be carefully adhered to as high doses may have harmful side effects.


This common amino acid has been found to help with memory problems and provides benefit to those with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Studies continue to look at the effectiveness of this natural ingredient in their search to find the best brain supplements for memory.

Other lifestyle factors that may help protect against memory loss include adopting a healthy Mediterranean diet high in olive oil, fish, vegetables and nuts. Moderate amounts of red wine and coffee many also help enhance your memory, although an excess of either can negate the benefits.



The Best Five Natural Alternatives to Fluoride

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Many people are aware of the dangers of fluoridation, but are reluctant to forego the protection that fluoride gives against cavities and tooth decay. We explore a range of natural alternatives to fluoride that will not only protect your teeth but will also safeguard your overall health from the side effects caused by fluoride.

Neem leaves are one of the best natural alternatives to fluoride


1. Coconut Oil

The most effective protection against tooth decay is regular brushing and flossing twice daily. This removes traces of food that may be broken down by bacteria in the mouth, creating the acid that rots enamel and causes cavities. If you want to do more, include regular daily use of a tongue scraper—a tool used in Ayurvedic healing medicine for years.  Also try using coconut oil as a fluoride alternative to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Use it as toothpaste or swish through the teeth like a mouthwash to reduce plaque. Its antibacterial properties detour the presence of bacteria which cause tooth decay. (Oil pulling is the traditional name for this technique, again, and Ayurvedic method of oral hygiene.)

2. Neem

Neem is another amazing natural alternative to fluoride. Look for a neem-based mouthwash to help reduce plaque buildup and counter gingivitis (gum disease). Another good way to use neem is with fluoride-free toothpaste which includes neem extract.

3. Vitamin D

Taking a supplement of vitamin D is good for your general health, promoting strong bones and teeth. It’s a safe and natural alternative to fluoride.

4. Myrrh

Myrrh extract is great for promoting healthy teeth and combating bad breath; the best way to include myrrh in your dental health routine.  There are several products available that are fluoride-free formulas containing herbs such as eucalyptus and peppermint which support oral health and reduce cavities.

5. Chocolate!

Clinical trials on a chocolate extract have shown it is more effective than fluoride for treating hypersensitivity due to thinning dental enamel or periodontal disease. The cacao extract was able to restore and repair enamel and dental occlusions in just seven days. This natural fluoride alternative re-mineralizes the tooth better than fluoride and without the toxic side effects.

With so many natural alternatives to fluoride, you can banish fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes and get natural tooth protection without the risk of dangerous side effects.



Facial Care Tips: Dos and Don’ts for Naturally Beautiful Skin

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Your skin reflects your lifestyle and health so natural beauty tips for face care are important. Too much sun, too little water, too much alcohol and too little sleep all take their toll on your skin.  However, plying your pores with more chemicals and oily lotions can simply make the problem worse. Here are our top beauty tips for face care naturally.

Top beauty tips for face care include using edible products


Cleanse and Exfoliate

If you wear makeup, always cleanse your face at night. It allows your pores to breathe and prevents clogged pores from turning into blackheads or zits. You don’t need expensive cleansers and tonics; just pour a drop of olive oil onto a cotton pad and gently massage into the skin to loosen and remove makeup, dirt and pollution.

You should exfoliate your skin once a week to remove the dead skin cells that accumulate. Mix powdered walnut with yogurt and apply to the face in gentle circular motions. The paste will loosen and lift layers of dead skin and the antioxidants will help promote a glowing complexion that feels smooth and soft.

Related:  Royal Jelly for Skin: Your Skin's Best Friend


Watch What You Eat

You are what you eat when it comes to skincare, so healthy food means a healthier complexion. One of the best beauty tips for face care is eating fresh green vegetables rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Salmon oil supplements are excellent for moisturizing the skin from the inside out. Things to avoid are sugary and fatty foods, salt and spicy foods.

Sun Protection Always!

Even on dull days the sun’s harmful UV rays are evident, so you should always wear a moisturizer with sunscreen to avoid wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer. Choose a quality product that is labelled “noncomedogenic” so that it does not block pores and cause acne. Don’t forget the chemical-free alternatives to sunscreen:  a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeved shirts, an umbrella—or sunbrella, and an all-natural moisturizer.

Hydrate Naturally

Your skin quickly shows if you are dehydrated, so drink plenty of water throughout the day. Hydrate your skin with a spritz of rose water to maintain pH balance and reduce puffy eyes in the morning.  Drink a shot or two a day of organic aloe vera juice to help hydrate your skin from the inside out.

Beauty Sleep is the Best

At the end of the day, you can’t beat a restful night’s sleep, one of nature’s basic beauty tips for face care. Pale, tired skin, dark circles and baggy eyes never look attractive so ensure that you wind down each evening with a calming routine that will ensure eight hours’ undisturbed sleep every night.

By following these top beauty tips for face, eyes and skin you really can look as healthy and energetic as you feel!




Ten Relaxing Ways to Disconnect from Digital Technology

by Institute for Vibrant Living

According to research, more people in North America use the internet than people in Africa, Asia and Latin America combined.  While computers, cellphones and other electronic gadgets offer numerous benefits, it’s important to unplug from technology from time to time.  Taking a break from the digital world allows people to unwind and better connect with themselves and others.  Here are ten relaxing ways to disconnect from digital technology. 

A myriad of methods help people disconnect from digital technology.

1.  Practice yoga.  Considered a mind-body practice, yoga blends mental and physical disciplines to create a sense of peace and tranquility.  In addition, yoga helps tone the body, promotes better balance and improves sleep.

2.  Introduce a weekly game night.  Spending time playing cards or board games allows family members and/or friends to connect in meaningful ways and enjoy relaxing conversation.

3.  Spend time in nature.  There is nothing like a warm breeze, a bird's song, and the beauty of nature to disconnect from digital technology.  What's more, sunlight helps boost the mood and encourages good bone health by providing the body with a daily dose of natural vitamin D.

4.  Purchase an adult coloring book.  Using colored pencils or markers to fill in intricate designs allows adults to channel their inner child.  Coloring keeps people focused on the present moment and promotes a sense of calm.

5.  Get a massage. Studies on emergency room staff show that a 15-minute massage can lower job-related anxiety from 65 percent in winter and 54 percent in summer to just 8 percent no matter the season.  Adding essential aromatic oils like chamomile and lavender make massage even more relaxing.

Related:  Discover the Benefits of Hatha Yoga for Stress Relief

6.  Enjoy a hot bath.  Sinking into a tub of hot water soothes the mind as well as the body.  People can use products like bath salts, bath pillows, and candles to make a home bathroom spa-like and tranquil.

7.  Take the dog for a walk.  A 20-minute walk can help reduce stress by boosting endorphins, the 'feel-good' neurotransmitters in the brain.  In addition, walking offers owners and dogs an opportunity for quality bonding.

8.  Meditate.  Studies show that meditation helps lower heart rate and blood pressure, and it doesn't cost anything to practice.  To experience calming effects, people just need a quiet, comfortable space from which to focus on breathing for ten minutes or more.

9.  Keep a journal.  Writing about daily problems allows many people to let go of them.  Others prefer to jot down things for which they are grateful.  Both techniques are therapeutic and calming.

10. Take a catnap.  Short periods of rest can reduce help reduce stress.  Naps of 20 minutes or less encourage relaxation without affecting nighttime sleep.  

While some people can't imagine taking a break from their electronic devices, unplugging is important for peace of mind and human connection.  Any of the methods mentioned above allow people to disconnect from digital technology in minutes at very little or no expense, and many offer benefits that go well beyond stress relief.



Why Fluoridation May Be Making America’s Lead Crisis Worse

by Institute for Vibrant Living

The stories coming from Flint, Michigan about children sickened by lead-contaminated tap water rapidly drew the attention of the rest of America. Now there is research piling up linking the decades old practice of fluoridation and a worsening of the lead poisoning crisis.

The combination of lead pipes and fluoridation in water: not a healthy mix.

Lead Pipes and Fluoride

Fluoride is one of the most abundant elements in the Earth’s crust and is found naturally in soil, water, foods, and minerals. It can also be synthesized in a laboratory.  What many people do not know is fluoride can leach lead from water pipes.

Lead pipes were banned in the U.S. in 1986, but millions of gallons of municipal tap water still travels through old lead pipes and lead-containing brass fixtures (like faucets.)  When fluoride is added to the drinking water supply it leaches the lead out of the pipes and into the tap water we drink.

Why Is Fluoride Added To Drinking Water Supplies?

Fluorosilic acid is a corrosive fluoride chemical that is obtained from the emission scrubbers used in the phosphate industry.  FSA is added to drinking water to help prevent tooth decay after scientists in the 1930’s discovered people living in areas with naturally fluoridated water had fewer cavities and tooth decay.

Fluoride is extremely helpful in preventing cavities because it protects teeth from the demineralizing effects of acids on teeth produced by the combination of sugars and bacteria present in people’s mouths.  Fluoride helps with remineralization, especially for children as they lose baby teeth and form permanent teeth.

Fluoride Makes Water More Acidic

In the past few years, water department engineers have found that adding FSA to drinking water increases its acidity.  This makes the water more corrosive and unhealthy for the body as acidity leads to many medical conditions and cancer tumors are known to thrive in an acidic environment. 

In the case of Flint, Michigan, drinking water was being obtained from the chlorine-laden Flint River which, combined with FSA, made the water much more corrosive and leached toxic levels of lead out of old pipes that provided water to its residents.

Though Flint, Michigan is in the news right now for lead-laden water, this is not a new problem.  Back in the early 1990’s, the water departments in Maryland and Washington noted a significant drop in lead levels after fluoridation programs were terminated.

The combination of old lead pipes and fluoridated water with lowered pH levels makes water dangerously corrosive and easily contaminated with lead.

RelatedWhat You Need to Know About Lead In Your Skiincare Products

Debate over Fluoridation Programs

Controversy rages on about the practice of adding fluoride to drinking water.  Supporters of the practice say the dramatic decrease in cavities and tooth decay especially among children makes it a good practice. They also say there is no concrete evidence that ingesting small amounts of fluoride is harmful; and that the lifelong health benefits to teeth make it a public health service.

Opponents of fluoridation say that adding fluoride to drinking water is unsafe because levels can easily change, leading to fluoride poisoning.  They also say it is just a money-making scheme for the phosphate industry, that instead of having to clean up their emissions scrubbers of FSA and properly dispose of it, they sell it for profit to cities for their drinking water.  Opponents of fluoridation also state that fluoride is a drug given to the public yet has never been approved by the FDA and that each household should be able to choose whether or not their water is artificially fluoridated or not.

The Deadly Effects of High Lead Levels in the Blood Stream

Regardless of what side you are on, there is no disputing the deadly effects of high lead levels in the bloodstream.  The long-term health consequences of lead exposure like headaches, sleep problems, diminished cognitive function, fatigue, anemia and even kidney failure are largely irreversible.  Since the CDC had conceded that fluoridation increases the acidity of water and leads to increased levels of lead in drinking water, parents should know the signs and symptoms of lead poisoning and stay informed about this public health crisis.


Fluoride Dangers: Myth or Fact?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

With a trend toward better health on the rise in the U.S, the topic of fluoride often makes the news.  Although some natural health advocates have concerns about fluoride safety, many dentists continue to advocate its use for reducing cavities.  Learning more about fluoride dangers and whether or not they are real can help people make healthier choices for themselves and their families. 

Fluorine combined with sodium makes sodium fluoride, a chemical found in many brands of toothpaste.

Fluorine is a natural gas that can irritate the eyes, skin, and respiratory system.  Combining fluorine with sodium makes sodium fluoride, the type of fluoride found in dental products, some foods, and drinking water in some communities.  Like any chemical, fluoride poses a health risk if people ingest too much of it.

Because it accumulates in plants and animals (including humans), fluoride can cause bones to become brittle and increase risks for skeletal damage if ingested in large amounts.  Skeletal fluorosis can change the structure of bones and cause limbs to bend.  It can calcify ligaments and result in stiff, painful muscles.  Extremely high amounts of fluoride can affect reproductive organs and fertility. 

While these are real fluoride dangers, very small amounts of the chemical have been proven to prevent cavities and tooth decay if used correctly.  Fluoride works to protect teeth by replacing lost minerals in tooth enamel and reducing the ability of bacteria to make acid.

The Debate over Fluoridation

The mandatory fluoridation of public water supplies has caused a great deal of debate over the last few decades.  While many studies show that small amounts of fluoride added to water can reduce cavities, others show that moderate amounts of fluoride in early childhood can lead to enamel fluorosis, a condition which causes teeth to become stained and pitted. 

Because of this, health professionals recommend that children under two years of age should not be exposed to fluoride when teeth are cleaned, and children from two to six should use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing teeth.

Due to mandatory fluoridation of many public water supplies, many grocery products like juices, sports drinks, sodas, beer, tea drinks, and even infant foods contain fluoride.  With more and more products containing fluoride, many people — particularly parents of young children — worry that fluoridated water might raise risks for over-exposure to the chemical.

Related:  Six Simple Tips for Preventing Cavities Naturally

Fluoride and Cancer

According to the CDC and the American Cancer Society, the majority of studies show no link between cancer and fluoride.  However, a study in 1990 found that male rats exposed to fluoridated water showed a higher incidence for a certain type of bone cancer.

While the American Dental Association, World Health Organization, and other groups recommend the regular use of fluoride for improving dental health, fluoridating public water still remains a hot topic for debate.  Fortunately, regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice per day is enough to keep tooth decay and cavities at bay.  Remember, children under two years of age should not be exposed to fluoride toothpaste, and kids from two through six years of age should use only a pea-sized amount when brushing and spit toothpaste out when finished.


Ten Interesting Sugar Facts You May Not Know About

by Health News

With numbers of overweight and obese individuals on the rise in the U.S., the topic of sugar shows up often in the press.  Not surprisingly, the news isn't good.  According to the American Dietetic and Diabetic Association, increased sugar consumption raises risks for the development of degenerative disease.  Sugar can trigger mood swings, cause irritability and changes in personality, and exacerbate asthma, arthritis, and heart disease.  

A number of interesting sugar facts gives people a new understanding of its danger to the body.

Here are ten more interesting sugar facts you may not know.

  1. Sugar is addictive…literally. When people consume sugar, an opiate-like substance is released that triggers the reward system in the brain.
  2. In the last ten years, sugar consumption in the U.S. increased by 23 percent.
  3. On average, each person in the U.S. consumes a whopping 61 pounds of refined sugar every year.  Twenty-five of the 61 pounds of sugar comes from candy.
  4. While it contains plenty of calories, refined sugar offers no nutritional value whatsoever.
  5. Although it may be hard to fathom eating 16 sugar cubes at one time, that is a little less than the amount of sugar hiding in one 20-ounce bottle of cola.
  6. Most people know that sugary soft drinks contribute to weight gain, but so do beverages containing artificial sweeteners.  A study from Purdue University showed that rats given liquids containing artificial sweeteners consumed more total calories than rats given liquids sweetened with sugar. 
  7. Low-fat often does not mean low sugar.  Many companies that produce low-fat products (like milk, cheese, and more) increase sugar levels for extra flavor.
  8. Through a process called glycation, excess sugar in the blood binds to collagen in the skin and makes it less elastic.  This can contribute to the formation of wrinkles
  9. Sugar makes the digestive system overly acidic.  This depletes the body of essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
  10. People with high-sugar diets who suddenly stop consuming it can experience withdrawal symptoms like depression, fatigue, and body aches.

Related:  Foods that Lower Blood Sugar:  Peanut Butter

Tips for Reducing Daily Sugar Consumption

After reading this list of interesting sugar facts, people gain a new understanding of how sugar harms the health.  A few easy tips can help individuals reduce their daily sugar intake and take better control of their health and body weight.

  • Read grocery labels, and cut down on hidden sources of sugar like fructose, glucose, lactose, maltodextrin, and dextrose.
  • Get sugar naturally through whole fruits, but avoid fruit juice, which contains concentrated amounts of natural sugar.
  • Use pure, organic stevia to sweeten coffee and tea.
  • Substitute sugary sodas or diet sodas with coconut water or ice water with a spritz of lemon.

Top 10 Benefits of Fructose

by Health News

Fructose has a bad reputation. It’s blamed for a host of health problems ranging from obesity to diabetes and cancer.  So is fructose a dangerous poison as some doctors have claimed?  Apparently, fructose has a sweet side after all.  Let’s take a look at the benefits of fructose.

What is fructose?  Let’s examine the benefits.

Fructose: What Is It Really?

Fructose is sugar.  It is a very simple sugar that occurs naturally in foods and what gives fruits a sweet taste, hence the name.  Fructose is quite a bit sweeter than your average white table sugar (a combination of fructose and sucrose) but fructose contributes far fewer calories.

Crystalline fructose is what you get from processed corn or sugar cane. It is mistakenly confused with high-fructose corn syrup, which has earned its bad reputation.  Fructose is 100% pure, when not mixed with any other sweetener; whereas high-fructose corn syrup is comprised of equal parts fructose and glucose. Glucose is another one of those bad kids on the block that spikes blood sugar levels—but it’s not fructose.

Top 10 Benefits of Fructose

1.  Fructose is sweeter than sugar so you need far less of it to achieve the same sweetness, which means you are ingesting fewer calories, but still enjoying your food just as much.

2. Fructose is low on the glycemic Index, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar levels leading to a whole host of health problems, namely diabetes.

3. Fructose is a great sweetener for cooking. You can use less of it to replace sugar and your food will still have the same sweetness and texture but with fewer calories.

4. Crystalline fructose makes glazes and dairy products creamier and more palate-pleasing than sugar.

5. Fructose prevents honey from crystalizing keeping it flowing from the container.

Related:  What Are The Best Sugar Substitutes?

6. Sprinkling fruit with crystalline fructose and letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight before you freeze it prevents ice crystals from forming in the fruit.

7. Since fructose has a much lower place on the GI, it won’t spike a rise in blood sugar levels like glucose or sucrose (white table sugar) without additional calories, making it a great sweetener for diabetics and anyone watching their weight.

8. Fructose has been shown in research studies to help significantly improve blood sugar control, almost to the equivalent of an oral anti-diabetic drug, again, making it an excellent choice for anyone with diabetes or at an increased risk for developing it.

9. Fructose can help with maintaining a health weight. Since it tastes sweeter than sugar but with less calories, swapping fructose for sugar in baked goods can help anyone trying to lose a few pounds or keep them off enjoy great tasting food with a pleasant texture and taste without driving up the number on the scale.

10.  When fructose is combined with other sweeteners like sucrose, saccharin or aspartame their perceived sweetness is greater than any of those sweeteners alone—and becomes a health danger like its counterparts.

Of course, excessive consumption of any sweetener, fructose included, can cause weight gain and other health issues, but when it comes to sweetening your food and watching your weight, there are certainly benefits of fructose, and it deserves your serious consideration. 


What Is the Difference Between Sucrose, Glucose, and Fructose?

by Health News

With a trend toward better health and fitness in the United States, many Americans have concerns about sugar consumption.  Sugar is the universal name for short-chain, soluble carbohydrates with a sweet flavor. While most think of sugar as the stuff used to sweeten coffee or cereal, there are actually three key types of sugarsucrose, glucose, and fructose.  Learning about the different kinds of sugar and the way they affect the body can help people make healthier dietary choices.

Three key types of sugar include sucrose, glucose, and fructose.

Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides, sugars that cannot be broken down into simpler sugars. Glucose is the type of sugar the body uses for fuel and is the kind measured when doctors determine blood sugar levels.  It is found naturally in honey, in fruits like grapes, apples, and oranges, and it is an ingredient in corn syrup. 

Fructose is also an ingredient in honey as well as molasses, agave nectar, and high-fructose corn syrup.  Types of fruit that contain fructose include apples, pears, and pomegranates. Glucose and fructose combine to make a disaccharide called sucrose, which is abundant in sugar cane, sugar beets, and other plants.  When sucrose is extracted from plants and refined, it makes table sugar.  

Although all of these carbohydrates provide roughly the same amount of energy per gram, the body processes fructose and glucose differently.  Fructose metabolizes in the liver, triggering the release of insulin and the production of ghrelin, which is known as the hunger hormone.   

When glucose is processed, it circulates through the body and triggers the production of leptin, a hormone that helps control appetite.  The body either uses glucose immediately for energy or stores it in the muscles or in the liver as glycogen for later use.

Related:  Are Artificial Sweeteners Dangerous to Your Health?

Fructose vs. Glucose

In a study from the University of California at Davis, researchers compared the effects of glucose and fructose consumption on 32 overweight or obese individuals.  Subjects drank a beverage sweetened with glucose or fructose that supplied 25 percent of their daily calories for 12 weeks.  Researchers found that both groups gained weight, however, the people who drank the beverage sweetened with fructose experienced a number of additional effects.  These included:  

  • Increased visceral fat (the hard-to-lose type of abdominal fat that surrounds inner organs)
  • Reduced sensitivity to insulin (one of the first signs of diabetes)
  • Increased production of fat in the liver
  • Higher LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol
  • Elevated triglyceride levels

Results showed that the people who drank the beverage sweetened with glucose experienced none of these effects. 

Most experts agree that whole fruit provides the best source of natural sugar, and it contains healthy vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Refined sugars deliver added, empty calories, devoid of any nutritional value.  To help ensure optimal nutrition and a healthy body weight, people should limit their intake of processed sugars, either in crystalline form or as an ingredient in foods, syrups, and beverages. 


What You Should Know About Excess Sugar and Yeast Infections

by IVL Products

Three out of four women will get at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. The burning and itching “down there” is unpleasant but not necessarily harmful.  What many women may not realize is the link between too much sugar in their diet and yeast infections.

The connection between excess sugar and yeast infections.

Yeast Infection Causes

Yeast actually grows naturally all over our bodies.  The most common type of yeast found on our bodies and in the vagina is known as Candida albicans, or Candida for short.  This fungus thrives in warm moist places like a woman’s vagina and can be caused by a variety of things like:

  • Low estrogen
  • Wearing synthetic fabric pantyliners
  • Vaginal eczema
  • Spermicidal condoms
  • Synthetic chemicals in feminine hygiene sprays
  • Poor diet

Related:  Fibromyalgia: Ten Possible Underlying Causes

Diet and Yeast Infections

Yeast loves sugar as much as you do. Too much sugar in your diet can give yeast a boost causing it to spread and increase, especially if your immune system is depressed from a lack of sleep or stress.  If you are prone to yeast infections, or feel one coming on, try avoiding the following:

  • Foods with simple sugars
  • Starchy foods like white flour products or rice
  • Foods fermented with yeast like alcohol

Alcohol is very sugary.  A few drinks, some highly refined foods like pretzels or candy at the bar makes for a perfect combination to feed yeast and help it spread.

Probiotics Can Help

Probiotics are living microorganisms very similar to the “good” bacteria in your gut essential for digesting your food. This so-called “good” bacterium is prevalent in your digestive tract and in other places on the body. If you take antibiotics for a bacterial infection, you can inadvertently destroy the good bacteria along with the harmful stuff, paving the way for yeast to overrun your already-battered immune system; and they begin to multiply.

Eating foods that contain probiotics can help keep yeast levels in check.  Yogurt with live and active bacterial cultures, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, or a daily probiotic supplement can help keep yeast infections at bay.

Avoid Acidic Foods

Candida thrives in an acidic environment. Acidic foods to avoid if you are prone to yeast infections are:

  • Nuts (cashews, peanuts and walnuts)
  • Seeds (pumpkin and sunflower)
  • Acidic fruits like blueberries, cranberries and plums
  • Corn oil
  • Sugar and sweeteners including molasses, maple syrup, honey and especially aspartame
  • Salt
  • Condiments like mayonnaise, soy sauce or vinegar

Once Is Enough

If you have ever endured the painful symptoms of a yeast infection you’ll agree once is enough.  Making a few simple dietary changes can help stave off yeast infections.  Try to consume less sugar and alcohol and eat more probiotic-rich foods—you’ll get a host of other health benefits to boot.


Good and Bad Sugars

by Health News

Most people are aware that sugar is bad for their health, causing tooth decay, inflammation and obesity. Although all sugars may taste the same to our taste buds, it’s important to differentiate between good sugar versus bad sugar.

It’s important to know the difference between good sugar versus bad sugar

Natural sugars such as fructose and lactose (found in fruit and dairy products) are good sugars, providing nutritional value as well as satisfying our sweet tooth. Sucrose, on the other hand, is often used as an added sugar. It provides “empty” calories and zero nutrition and is considered a bad sugar as we are healthier without it.

Free Sugars are Bad Sugars

The World Health Organization classifies sucrose as “free sugars” as they are free floating and are not bound with other nutrients. These bad sugars are instantly absorbed into the bloodstream causing a sugar spike. They are the most common source of added sugar in soft drinks, salad dressings, sauces, ice cream, candies and sweet pastries.   

Even honey, agave nectar and maple syrup fall into the category of free or bad sugars. Although they are natural sweeteners, they do not contain fiber, protein or vitamins and consequently add unnecessary calories to your diet and should be restricted.

Related:  Gymnema Sylvestre: The Sugar Destroyer

The Difference Between Good Sugar versus Bad Sugar

Simple sugars break down quickly into glucose. As they enter the bloodstream they stimulate the pancreas to release insulin. As the sugar is dissipated around the cells, the insulin remains, creating a craving for more sugar, and this is the danger of bad sugars. They create sugar “highs” followed by “lows” which quickly become cravings for more sugar.

Complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains are also broken down in the digestive process to create glucose. They take longer to digest than simple sugars and consequently have a low glycemic index. They enter the bloodstream gradually and do not create the rush of insulin and the subsequent sugar spikes and cravings for more sweetness. These complex carbohydrates also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which have high nutritional value, so they are considered to be good sugars.

Reducing Bad Sugar Intake

When you fancy a snack, treat yourself to tasty high protein foods such as nuts and seeds. When chocolate cravings strike, have a few squares of good quality dark chocolate with high cacao content (around 70%) and less sugar. For sweetening drinks and for cooking, replace bad sugar with natural stevia which is calorie-free, does not cause tooth decay and actually isn’t a sugar at all!


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!



Are Fish Oil Supplements Good For The Skin?

by IVL Products

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

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

How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Promote Healthy Skin

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

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

Related:  Supplementing Children’s' Diets with Fish Oil

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

Best Way to Get the Most Out Of Fish Oil

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

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

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

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

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


The Six Best Brain Foods

by IVL Products

Is it possible that some foods are better for your brain than others? Are some foods truly “brain foods?” The simple answer is yes, but the topic of brain health and nutrition is much more complicated than simply selecting the right foods. 

Those looking to gain the mental edge will want to try brain foods such as Wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, and nuts and seeds packed with omega-3 fatty acids.

In order to have a truly healthy brain, it is also necessary to avoid foods such as trans fats and reduce process food intake as much as possible. Processed foods contain brain and DNA damaging compounds such as artificial colors, preservatives, pesticides, sugar, artificial sweeteners and more. Avoiding harmful foods is the foundation of good brain health and good overall health. Let’s take a look at six amazing brain foods!

#1:  Wild Alaskan Salmon

Generally, what is good for the heart is also viewed as being a healthy choice for the brain. One of the healthiest brain and heart healthy options out there comes in the form of wild Alaskan salmon. The reason is that wild Alaskan salmon is packed with brain health boosting omega-3 fatty acids. It is vitally important to remember that the brain consists of fat and it needs the right kinds of fat to be healthy.

When selecting salmon, only opt for wild salmon and preferably wild Alaskan salmon, as it is generally seen as being the healthiest option. You should completely avoid farmed raised salmon, as farm raised salmon typically contains elevated levels of harmful chemicals.

Related20 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body and Soul

#2:  Sardines

Our second pick is also another fish. Sardines are true natural wonders. These small fish are low on the food chain and that means they bio-accumulate less heavy metals than larger fish such as salmon. Additionally, like salmon, sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Sardines are also low in calories and high in minerals such as calcium. In short, sardines are a true standout and one of the world’s top brain foods.

#3: Purified Fish Oil

Yes, our third brain booster is another fish product. Fish oil can be very high in important brain boosting compounds such as DHA and EPA; however, you should only consume fish oil that has been purified. Un-purified cod liver oil for example can harbor high levels of mercury and other heavy metals. In short, un-purified fish oil should be avoided. Purified wild salmon oil and sardine and anchovy oil is an excellent pick.

#4:  Walnuts

If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, don’t worry, as there are plenty of good brain boosting foods for you as well. At the very top of the list are walnuts. Walnuts are an excellent source of protein but that is only the beginning. Walnuts are also high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.

#5:  Nuts and Seeds

In addition to walnuts, all nuts and seeds have brain-boosting benefits. Nuts and seeds are high in vitamins and minerals, as well as compounds that boost overall brain health. Just remember that all most nuts and seeds, while packed with goodness are also packed with calories.

#6:  Blueberries

The fact that blueberries make the list often surprises many, but the simple blueberry is quite the winner. Blueberries work wonders for improving brain health and reducing oxidative stress. Studies have shown that blueberries are something of a superfood when it comes to protecting the brain. Don’t skip blueberries.

Besides, blueberries are super easy to add to any diet. A handful can quickly and easily be tossed into one’s morning cereal, oatmeal, shakes, smoothies and more.

Together these five brain boosters can help you guard your brain health and maybe even improve brain function. Our aging population is becoming increasingly concerned about neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s diseases. Luckily, nature has some great options for helping us protect brain health now and in the future.


Six Benefits of Bubble Baths

by Cindy Gray

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

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

1.     Bubble Bath Benefits for Relaxation

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

2.     Aromatherapy in the Bath Tub

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

3.     Deep Muscle Relaxation

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

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4.     Bubble Bath Benefits Include Detoxing

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

5.     Hot Baths Boost Immunity

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

6.     Bubble Baths for Healthy Skin

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

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

Healthy Living Starts Here... Free Resource Guide


Secret Names for MSG

by Health News

Why would anyone eat MSG flavor enhancers that are shown to cause obesity, fatty liver disease, fibromyalgia, liver toxicity, brain damage, and countless other serious health issues? The answer is that food producers can use up to 40 secret names for MSG, deliberately misleading consumers into eating this dangerous additive.

Almost all processed foods contain secret names for MSG additives

The Dangers of MSG

Monosodium glutamate, shortened to MSG, is a chemical created by adding an additional monosodium molecule to glutamic acid, an amino acid found naturally in many foods. It sounds harmless enough, but it can create a harmful toxic build-up if the body is unable to break it down.

In the 1960s, many people with sensitivity to MSG reported numbness, brain fog, chest pains and tingling in their limbs after eating Chinese food, which is typically laden with MSG. More worryingly, in the 1970s, researchers working on brain cells in the lab found that MSG actually killed the cells.

If you still remain skeptical of the dangers of MSG, the findings of John Erb, a research assistant at the University of Waterloo, may convince you. He began writing a book "The Slow Poisoning of America" after finding that rats used in diabetes studies were injected with MSG to make them obese. The pancreas in these MSG-treated rodents tripled the amount of insulin they produced, creating an addiction to food and causing obesity.

So, now you're convinced of the dangers of this addictive additive, why are we all still consuming it; because food manufacturers use many secret names for MSG to disguise its presence in their food.

Related:  Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) One Dose Causes Headache in Healthy Subjects

Why so many secret names for MSG?

The FDA only requires pure MSG to be listed on food labels. However, processing of the food may produce MSG, yet the product can still be labeled "No MSG" as it was not directly added to the food.

There are many commonly used secret names for MSG. These include terms such as:

  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
  • Textured Vegetable Protein
  • Yeast Extract
  • Glutamic Acid (E 620)2
  • Glutamate (E 620)
  • Monosodium Glutamate (E 621)
  • Monopotassium Glutamate (E 622)
  • Calcium Glutamate (E 623)
  • Monoammonium Glutamate (E 624)
  • Magnesium Glutamate (E 625)
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Yeast Food
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • Gelatin
  • Textured Protein
  • Soy Protein
  • Soy Protein Isolate
  • Whey Protein
  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Vetsin
  • Ajinomoto

To be doubly sure you are not consuming MSG, avoid anything with “hydrolyzed” or "…protein" in the name as these are all euphemisms or secret names for MSG.

If you feel there's nothing left that's safe to eat, consider switching to a whole food diet. Getting back to basics with unprocessed foods such as vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and organic dairy and grass-fed meats is the only way to avoid the hidden dangers of MSG, whatever secret names they choose to give it.


Ten Tips to Have Healthy Teeth for Life

by Cindy Gray

10 tips to have healthy teeth for lifeHealthy teeth are more than just cosmetic. Strong healthy teeth allow you to chew well for good nutrition and they mean no toothache, pain or gum disease which research shows is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Here are 10 ways to ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth.

1. Start Early

As soon as that first tooth appears at around six months of age, responsible parents should be encouraging good dental care. Clean baby teeth with a soft brush and supervise brushing when children start to brush for themselves, around the age of 2.

2. Dental Sealants

Protect your child's molars with a dental sealant.  Talk to your dental professional about the importance of this procedure for healthy teeth.

3. Protect with Fluoride

Check whether your water is fluoridated. If not, make sure you always buy toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride to support strong healthy teeth.  However, there is significant controversy over the safety of fluoride usage.  Do your own research and make dental health decisions based on what you learn.

4. Twice a Day Routine

Teeth should be cleaned at least twice a day – and that means using a toothbrush AND floss to clean between the teeth.  Don’t forget to clean your tongue with a tongue scraper, to remove bacteria and prevent bad breath.  Rinsing with warm water and sea salt is also a natural and healthy habit to include.

5. New Toothbrush

Find a toothbrush that suits your teeth and grip. Electric toothbrushes are thorough and easy to use. Remember that toothbrushes need to be replaced as soon as the bristles start to show wear; usually every six months.

6. Eat Healthily

According to Anthony M. Iacopino DMD, PhD., omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and lower the risk of gum disease, an important part of maintaining healthy teeth. Eating whole foods, grains, nuts, fruit and vegetables also support healthy teeth along with calcium from dairy products.

Related:  Could Your Dentist Be Your Most Trusted Health Source?

7. Avoid sugar

When sugars are dissolved in the mouth, they produce acid which erodes tooth enamel and allows tooth decay. Sugary carbonated drinks and candies are the worst culprits, so avoid or brush after consuming.

8. Protect teeth

Wear a mouth guard or full-face helmet to protect healthy teeth when you play contact sports or go skateboarding or roller blading. It will avoid disfigurement if you sustain a blow to your teeth.

9. Regular Dental Checkups

Regular visits to the dentist every six months allows any problems to be identified and corrected, long before they cause serious damage or decay which may mean fillings, crowns or even extractions.

10. Avoid Misuse

Heathy teeth are designed for chewing food, not for removing bottle caps, opening packaging or biting hard objects. Teeth can easily get chipped or broken and don't re-grow, so use your teeth for the purpose for which they were designed.  You won't get a third set!

Anyone can have strong healthy teeth for life if they follow the above tips. Don't let laziness and poor dental habits rob you of that healthy smile. 

Healthy Living Starts Here... Free Resource Guide


What’s Causing Your Memory Loss?

by IVL Products

A forgotten appointment, misplaced keys, or struggling to find the correct word during a conversation…some people might chock these incidents up to simple absentmindedness.  For those in middle age or older however, episodes of forgetfulness can be scary, conjuring worries of Alzheimer's disease or dementia.  Fortunately, according to the National Institute on Aging, memory loss is often treatable once a cause has been established.  Becoming better informed can help people determine whether their forgetfulness is cause for concern. 

A number of factors can contribute to memory loss.

Memory loss can strike at any time in life and is influenced by many factors.  Here are some of the key causes:

Sleep Apnea

Memory loss accompanied by headache and recurrent daytime fatigue may be related to sleep apnea.  This condition causes breathing to stop for brief but frequent periods in the course of a night.  Research shows that untreated sleep apnea can impair spatial navigational memory, which is the type utilized to locate objects like keys.

Related:  Five Natural Supplements for Brain Health


Some medications can impact memory and may need adjustment.  These include:

  • Medications for anxiety
  • Medications for diabetes
  • Medications for pain
  • Medications for reducing cholesterol
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Sleeping pills

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Because vitamin B12 is important for healthy nerve function, a deficiency can result in confusion, memory loss, and other dementia-like symptoms.  Good food sources of vitamin B12 include dairy products, poultry, beef, and fish.  To ensure proper daily amounts, people can also obtain vitamin B12 through dietary supplements.

Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

High levels of anxiety or stress can affect attention, focus, and memory, particularly when paired with sleep problems.  Techniques like yoga, meditation, guided imagery, or tai chi can help manage stress and improve sleep.  

If left untreated, chronic anxiety can lead to depression, which can also impact memory.  According to the National Institute on Aging, people can try certain types of medication and/or counseling to ease symptoms of depression.

Silent Stroke

Sometimes people have a stroke without being aware of it.  While a silent stroke doesn't exhibit any of the normal symptoms, it does cause changes in brain function, which can affect cognition and memory.  Vascular cognitive impairment from silent stroke can range from mild to severe.

Tips for Preventing Memory Loss

According to a study from the School of Medicine at UCLA, healthy lifestyle strategies can have a beneficial effect on memory and cognition.  Take advantage of these tips to help prevent memory loss.

  • Don't use tobacco products.
  • Eat a nutritious diet, and drink plenty of water.
  • Get regular physical exercise.
  • Limit alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one per day for women.
  • Manage stress levels.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise the brain with word, number, or jigsaw puzzles.
  • Boost brain power by reading books, learning a new language, or taking up a musical instrument.


People with concerns about forgetfulness should consult with a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis.  Sharing symptoms and submitting to any required testing can help doctors determine what's causing your memory loss.  A few beneficial lifestyle strategies help to promote a healthy brain and a strong memory.