Five Reasons to Add Cranberries to Your Daily Diet

by Cindy Gray

Growing scientific evidence shows that it might be a good idea to add cranberry juice to your shopping cart the next time you see it in the supermarket.  Known for their bold, tart taste, cranberries have gained an enviable reputation for a growing list of healthful properties. From their exceptional taste to their multiple health benefits, these delicious natural foods are truly one of Mother Nature’s superfruits.Add Cranberries to Your Daily Diet for Improved Health

Here are five great reasons to consider adding cranberries to your daily diet:

  1. Urinary tract health - not only do cranberries taste good, they are also good for you, especially when it comes to promoting urinary tract health. Cranberries contain powerful natural compounds called proanthocyanidins (PACs) that keep harmful bacteria from attaching to your cells and flush them away instead, helping to cleanse and purify your body.

  2. Heart health - cranberries are good for the heart because of their rich polyphenol antioxidant content. A recent study shows that children and adults who regularly drink cranberry juice have improved heart health profiles.

  3. Immunity booster - according to a recent study, people who drink a glass of cranberry juice daily experience a boost in their immunity and have fewer cold and flu symptoms than those who do not drink cranberry juice.

  4. Taste - cranberries are known for their unique flavor, vibrant color and ability to mix with flavors from sweet to savory. Cranberry juice can be sipped on its own or added to smoothies, cocktails, breads and desserts.

Adding cranberries to your daily life can be simple. Here are some simple, practical tips:

  • Breakfast - an energizing cranberry banana smoothie can provide a refreshing and nutritious start to your day. If you need something fast in the morning because you’re on the move, pour yourself a serving of cranberry juice instead.

  • Mocktail - refresh and refuel at the end of a long day by adding a splash of sparkling water and a touch of lime to an iced, tall glass of cranberry juice.

  • Dessert - transform your everyday cake mix with a dose of delicious cranberry juice.

Given their powerful health benefits, why not add cranberries to your daily diet today?



Five Reasons To Add Cranberries To Your Daily Diet


Can Supplements Offset the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle?

by Cindy Gray

According to a 2010 study, poor lifestyle choices, including a diet low in micronutrients and minerals, inactivity, smoking and excessive drinking, all add up to a massive increase in the likelihood of death.  Study researchers found that risk of ‘all-cause mortality’ (dying from any cause) rose 85% for people with any one of these risky health behaviors; and went up a massive 3.5 times in those who engaged in all four harmful activities.  In fact, the combination of all four behaviors prematurely aged a person 12 years, in terms of mortality risk!Can Supplements Offset the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle?

These results are not surprising, since each factor has shown an independent effect on mortality in prior studies. However, this study shows the heavy price people pay when they engage in two or more of these poor lifestyle choices.

On the positive side, even modest positive adjustments to any of these lifestyle behaviors are likely to have a significant impact on health.

This study analyzed results from the prospective Health and Lifestyle Survey, in which 4,886 participants aged 18 or older were followed over an average of 20 years. Individuals were scored for unhealthy behaviors, including:

  • Eating less than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day

  • Getting less than two hours of leisure time physical activity per week

  • Drinking more than 14 eight-gram units of alcohol per week for women or 21 units for men

Men were seen to be more likely than women to meet each of these unfavorable criteria.  The effect on all-cause mortality was weakest for a nutrition-poor diet. Physical inactivity, current smoking, and high alcohol intake scored the highest.  Cardiovascular deaths were higher with all four unhealthy behaviors, but significantly associated only with lack of exercise. Cancer deaths were significantly associated with both current smoking and inactivity.  The greater the number of unhealthy behaviors, higher the overall death risk as well as specifically from cardiovascular, cancer and other causes of death.

Of these four unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, a nutrition-poor diet is perhaps the most common. A diet of overly refined, processed, overcooked foods and not enough fruits and veggies can deplete your body of the micronutrients and minerals it needs to function optimally, making you more susceptible to infections, premature aging and chronic diseases.

Fortunately, one simple solution is to include a high quality multivitamin supplement every day.  Many unique formulas are now available that include natural probiotics and enzymes to help with digestion and overall metabolism; energy boosting ingredients; antioxidants to help fight off harmful free radicals; phytonutrients to balance pH and combat acid overload; immunity boosters to help your body fight off disease; and multiple anti-aging constituents to help you look and feel young again.

So why not include a daily multivitamin supplement in your routine, and take a positive step towards a healthy lifestyle?



Can Supplements Offset the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle?   


Nature's Natural Energy Boosters

by Health News

natural ways to boost energyIt’s a new year, and perhaps you’ve decided to start an exercise regimen, or maybe you want to step up the one you’ve been doing. Whether you’re looking to increase your athletic performance or simply find natural ways to boost energy and combat the post-lunch “crash”, here are some of nature’s most potent and proven botanical energy boosters:

Licorice. Licorice rhizomes are rich in flavonoids and saponins (antioxidants). In their book THE HERBAL DRUGSTORE published in 2000, Dr. Linda B. White and medicinal plant expert Steven Foster recommend licorice as a tonic for the adrenal glands and to increase energy.

Siberian Ginseng. Siberan Ginseng is known as an “adaptogenic” herb for its ability to combat fatigue and stress. In his 2003 book MEDICAL HERBALISM: THE SCIENCE AND PRACTICE OF HERBAL MEDICINE," clinical herbalist David Hoffmann states that Siberian Ginseng is useful in cases of prolonged stress, exhaustion and overwork and is safe to take on a long-term basis.

Astragalus. Astragalus membranaceus is a perennial herb found throughout eastern Asia. A potent immune enhancer, Astragalus is also a powerful weapon against fatigue. Dr. Linda B. White and Steven Foster suggest using Astragalus tincture, tea or capsules to combat fatigue and help digestion.

Ginger. Because Ginger is so helpful to the digestive system, it helps you get the most energy out of the food you eat, and helps you get that energy faster. Herbs that help you digest your food will inevitably give you energy.

Visit your local health food store to find the various forms of these and other energizing botanicals. Before taking anything new, be sure to consult with your health care practitioner to make sure the herbs you choose will not worsen any health condition or interact with any medicines you are taking.



Supercharge Your Immune System Before You Travel

by Health News

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, travel requires careful planning. That’s why we develop extensive to-do lists that include filling up the gas tank, making airline reservations, obtaining maps and packing suitcases. Unfortunately most of us make travel plans that provide little or no focus on the most important thing of all - our health. 

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

While maintaining a strong immune system is critical for vibrant health every day of our lives, it becomes increasingly important when we are on the move. Travel can compromise the immune system because it upsets the internal body clock that regulates sleep, hunger and digestion. (This can be particularly troubling when you cross time zones.) Many travelers fall into poor eating habits and consume more caffeine and alcohol than their bodies can tolerate. 

To further complicate matters, travel also means increased exposure to germs and viruses that thrive when people are hoarded together in cars, airplanes, buses or trains. Poor air circulation contributes to the spread of illnesses and doorknobs, counters, banisters and other surfaces are likely to be contaminated by germs.   

With a little planning you can supercharge your immune system so that you can enjoy your travels and protect your health. One of the best ways to prepare your immune system for travel is to take nutritional supplements before and during your trip. Supplements containing green tea and resveratrol are particularly important. Green tea contains an agent called catechin polyphenol that is considered “jet fuel” for the immune system.

Resveratrol is another potent immune system booster that can help keep you healthy before and during your travels. This powerful antioxidant, which is present in red wine, fruit and the skin of grapes, is associated with a lower risk of developing cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Because it would be difficult to obtain optimal amounts of resveratrol from food and wine, many people use resveratrol supplements. 

Many people also add probiotics to their daily regime before and during travel to prevent gastric distress. Probiotics, which are available from natural health stores, populate the intestinal tract with “friendly” bacteria that limits the growth of “bad” bacteria such as salmonella, clostridia and E coli. 

The next time you make travel plans, make sure you take your healthy habits with you. Supercharge your immune system so that you can enjoy every second of your trip.  

What do you do to stay healthy while traveling?


Strengthen Your Immune System Naturally

by Health News

As the temperature drops outside, it’s not unusual for our immune systems to take a nosedive too. Luckily, you can stop that dive in its tracks with good, old-fashioned blueberries.

Strengthen Your Immune System Naturally

According to a December 2011 study from Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, blueberries are a powerful immune booster. Not only did they increase natural killer cell activity, but also reduced inflammation and oxidation.

While you likely know how to incorporate blueberries into your diet, here are a few novel ideas:

  • Toss into a salad with a little goat cheese and sliced almonds.
  • Place frozen berries in high-speed blender with water and a touch of powdered stevia for instant sorbet.
  • Crush and add to mineral water for a healthy, alcohol-free cocktail.



Natural Ways to Prevent Cold and Flu

by Nancy Maneely

Natural Ways to Prevent Cold and FluAs flu season approaches, it’s a good time to assess your overall health regimen and adopt protective measures. The cold winter months are a time when we spend more hours indoors, surrounded by friends, family, schoolmates and co-workers with their myriad germs. Our exposure to sunshine often is diminished, which effectively depletes our body’s natural Vitamin D defenses.

Aside from frequent hand washing – recommended by health experts everywhere – there are steps you can take to support your body’s immune system in its constant battle against viruses and bacteria. Here are some suggestions:

Clean your stuff – Doctors and other health professionals know how important this is in preventing the spread of germs. Use an alcohol-based cleaning agent to clean surfaces you and your family frequently touch: doorknobs, countertops, faucet handles, kitchen appliances, cell phones, the TV remote. At work, make it a daily ritual to clean your computer keyboard, phone, and desktop.

Eat more onion and garlic – Both are rich in antioxidants and selenium, members of the Allium family known for its health-promoting effects. Garlic contains antibacterial and antiviral properties, so add it to your recipes in abundance. Supplements are a good idea, too.

Keep your head clear – Healthy mucus membranes and mucus flow help your body flush toxins. When your sinuses and throat feel dry, they’re more likely to attract and harbor nasty microscopic invaders. Avoid treating a stuffed nose with nasal sprays, which tend to dry delicate tissues (you can use a saline spray or flush with a neti pot containing a saline solution). Make good old-fashioned chicken soup a mainstay of your winter menu. Researchers are discovering what grandma suspected all along – the ingredients in chicken soup (stock, carrot, onion, and celery) might actually have a medicinal effect on the body’s immune system.

Get plenty of exercise – Just because it’s cold outside, that’s no excuse for cutting out your workout sessions. Exercise boosts the immune system by clearing out the lymph system. It also boosts mood which is a protective factor in the prevention of illness.

Cut down on sugar – Just a few grams can diminish your white blood cells’ ability to resist infections for several hours. If you must sweeten your food and beverages, choose stevia.

Sleep better – Keep your body’s melatonin levels in balance with regular, good quality sleep. The immune system works best when the body is well rested.

Keep stress levels in check – Another way to wreak havoc with your immune system is to walk around with high levels of stress and anxiety. Practice a few minutes of deep breathing several times a day. Laugh more. Play with your pet. Start and end your day with a brief meditation – there are many good books and CDs that will help you.

Helpful supplementsProbiotics attack pathogenic bacteria and support your body’s white cells in their reaction to invaders. Vitamin D3 will help balance appropriate levels to support immune system function. Echinacea and zinc help protect against colds. And Vitamin C is an essential year-round immune system booster.

What is your favorite tip for keeping winter colds and flu at bay?

Natural Society


Minor cut? Follow this advice to guard against infection

by Nancy Maneely

Many of us were shocked and disturbed at the news of a young woman in Georgia who contracted a deadly flesh-eating bacterial infection from a cut on the leg. The bacteria was believed to be from river water into which she fell after cutting herself in a zipline accident.

A properly functioning immune system will take care of most exposure to bacteria, and a case like this is very rare. However, it is still wise to know the proper steps for cleaning minor cuts and scrapes as a first line of defense against bacterial infection. Take a look at the following recommendations:

  1. Stop the bleeding. Minor cuts and scrapes usually stop bleeding on their own. If they don't, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. Hold the pressure continuously for 20 to 30 minutes and if possible elevate the wound. Don't keep checking to see if the bleeding has stopped because this may damage or dislodge the clot that's forming and cause bleeding to resume. If blood spurts or continues flowing after continuous pressure, seek medical assistance.
  2. Clean the wound. Rinse out the wound with clear water. Soap can irritate the wound, so try to keep it out of the actual wound. If dirt or debris remains in the wound after washing, use tweezers cleaned with alcohol to remove the particles. If debris still remains, see your doctor. Thorough cleaning reduces the risk of infection and tetanus. To clean the area around the wound, use soap and a washcloth. There's no need to use hydrogen peroxide, iodine or an iodine-containing cleanser.
  3. Apply an antibiotic. After you clean the wound, apply a thin layer of an antibiotic cream or ointment such as Neosporin or Polysporin to help keep the surface moist. The products don't make the wound heal faster, but they can discourage infection and help your body's natural healing process. Certain ingredients in some ointments can cause a mild rash in some people. If a rash appears, stop using the ointment.
  4. Cover the wound. Bandages can help keep the wound clean and keep harmful bacteria out. After the wound has healed enough to make infection unlikely, exposure to the air will speed wound healing.
  5. Change the dressing. Change the dressing at least daily or whenever it becomes wet or dirty. If you're allergic to the adhesive used in most bandages, switch to adhesive-free dressings or sterile gauze held in place with tape, gauze roll or a loosely applied elastic bandage. 
  6. Get stitches for deep wounds. A wound that is more than 1/4-inch (6 millimeters) deep (or is gaping or jagged edged and has fat or muscle protruding) usually requires stitches. Adhesive strips or butterfly tape may hold a minor cut together, but if you can't easily close the wound, see your doctor as soon as possible. Proper closure within a few hours reduces the risk of infection and scarring.
  7. Watch for signs of infection. See your doctor if the wound isn't healing or you notice any redness, increasing pain, drainage, warmth or swelling.
  8. Get a tetanus shot. Doctors recommend you get a tetanus shot every 10 years. If your wound is deep or dirty and your last shot was more than five years ago, your doctor may recommend a tetanus shot booster. Get the booster as soon as possible after the injury.

Reuters: Georgia flesh-eating bacteria patient breathing on her own


Top 5 Tips for Preventing Colds and Flu

by Health News

Many people mistakenly believe that colds and flu are inevitable when winter sets in. The fact of the matter is that there are many steps you can take to keep your immune system strong and your body healthy all year long.

1. One of the most important things you can do to ward off illness is to stay active. When it’s cold outside it’s harder to get motivated to go for a walk or for that matter, even a workout inside. But you can get exercise without having to endure the bitter cold. Check out your community recreation center for exercise classes or take a stroll at the nearby shopping mall.  Avoid direct contact with germs on surfaces; use a gloved hand (or your scarf) to open the doors when you enter or exit public buildings.

2. During a recent interview, a well-known naturopathic MD revealed his secret to avoiding colds and flu while traveling around the world. He attributed his good health to washing his hands often. It’s hard to believe that something as simple as washing your hands can protect you from illness, but it can.  So wash your hands often during cold and flu season.

Use warm water and soap; wash your hands, up to the elbows if possible, for 20 seconds. Rinse thoroughly to remove soap. Also, make sure the children in your life understand the importance of frequent hand washing. 

3. Drinking plenty of fluids is another “stay-well” strategy for winter. Fluids, especially water, flush out toxins. The beauty of water is that it is readily available and it has no calories, salt or sugar. Bear in mind that fruits are comprised of 80-90 percent water, so they can be an excellent source for increasing the fluids in your diet. 

4. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 percent of adults use some form of herbs, botanicals and enzymes to enhance their health and boost their immunity. Consider adding supplements to your diet. Look for these popular immune boosters.

  • Vitamin C is especially helpful in strengthening the immune system.
  • Vitamin D is an effective dietary supplement that infuses your body with all-natural vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for immune function and the metabolism of calcium. Without vitamin D, you would be susceptible to constant infection and your bones would be weak and brittle.
  • Zinc is a mineral that is needed for a healthy immune system and is often sold as an over the counter natural treatment for the common cold.
  • Echinacea is available as a dietary supplement that can be used to prevent or decrease the duration of the common cold. 

5. It may surprise you to know that one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy is to nurture your mind, body and soul. Make sure you take time to pamper yourself. Indulge in a massage, a hot bath or an aromatherapy treatment session. Spend some quiet time with family and friends. Get plenty of sleep. Smile and laugh often. Focus on the positive people and events in your life.


How to Boost Immune System

by Health News

Having a strong immune system is key to a healthy life. Being sick is no fun and during the How to Boost Immune Systemcolder months our immune system needs all the support we can give it. Certain natural supplements and vitamins are known to help counter bacteria and viruses and should play an important part in boosting your immune system this winter.

Provide Your Body with Good Nutrition
If you are undernourished, either generally or lacking specific groups of vitamins and minerals, your body will be susceptible to disease and sickness. Eat nutrient-dense whole foods and concentrate on eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Avoid sugars and processed foods as they are known to decrease the function of your immune system and should be avoided at all costs if you are on the verge of sickness. Also drink plenty of clear liquids every day – water and herbal teas are best – to keep the body flushing out any toxins.

Get Plenty of Sunshine or Vitamin D
There is compelling evidence showing that colds and flu are related to a deficiency in vitamin D. Spending ten minutes in the sunshine each day, exposing arms and legs, is sufficient to allow your body to produce its own vitamin D. If you live in an area where that is not practical, then make sure you take a vitamin D supplement daily.

Take Vitamin E
Vitamin E naturally strengthens the immune system by stimulating the production of immune cells that create antibodies to fight germs and disease. In a study on vitamin E supplements conducted by Tufts University in Boston, the patients who received 200mg of vitamin E for four months produced more antibodies in response to vaccines for tetanus and hepatitis B than those who were given a placebo.

Consider Echinacea
Studies in Germany are way ahead of the U.S. and in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies Echinacea users had less frequent virus infections and less severe symptoms than those taking a placebo. Echinacea is most effective if taken when you feel a cold coming on, when you are under extra stress or when entering a situation that will challenge the immune system, such as returning to school after a break. A 300mg dose taken three times a day will be an effective natural immune booster.

Keep Active
Exercise helps boost the immune system as the increased blood flow stimulates all the body’s cells. Regular exercise allows the immune system to counter bacteria and viruses before they can cause problems, resulting in less colds, sickness and flu.

Get Plenty of Sleep
Your immune system will function best if you are well rested. During the cold and flu season your immune system is at its most stressed, so make a special effort to get plenty of sleep.

Manage Stress
Chronic stress is known to suppress the immune system. Studies have shown that people living stressful lives have a lower count of white blood cells, an indicator of a poor immune system. Laughter helps lower the stress hormones that circulate when you are under pressure, so make sure you laugh with friends or have a few good comedies to watch to boost your immune system and ward off illness the natural way this winter.


Natural Immune System Boosters

by Health News

Natural Immune System BoostersA healthy immune system is the body’s first line of defense against microorganisms that can cause disease, so it is important to keep it strong and healthy.  As the immune system is not a single unit, but a complex group of components, this can sometimes be a challenging dance requiring balance and harmony.  There is still a lot to learn about how to naturally support the immune system, but there are strategies that one can adopt to give the immune system a boost naturally.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Make healthy choices.  Don’t smoke cigarettes, use alcohol in moderation, and eat a diet composed of fresh produce, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.  Make sure to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, keep blood pressure under control and get a sufficient amount of sleep.
If your diet is occasionally lacking in some nutritional components, a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement can be helpful. Here are several specific vitamins, minerals and other supplements that may be promising for their potential effect on immune system support. 


Vitamin A – Low levels of vitamin A have been linked with reduced immunity and an increased risk for infection.  However, one study found that supplementation with vitamin A without a deficiency had no effect on T cell immunity in a healthy group of older adults.

Vitamin B6 – Research suggests that deficiencies in vitamin B6 can weaken immunity.  Supplementation with moderate doses of B6 can restore immune function, but large doses provide no added benefit. 
Vitamin C - Scientists have examined immune-boosting effects of vitamin C, but many of the studies have been poorly designed.  It has been suggested however, that vitamin C combined with other nutrients may provide health benefits.

Vitamin D – Since it can be manufactured by the body with exposure to sunlight, this vitamin is really a hormone.  Researchers have found that vitamin D signals an antimicrobial response to mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium responsible for TB. Whether vitamin D has similar ability to fight off other diseases will be determined with further research.

Vitamin E – Research involving healthy individuals over age 65 has shown that an increase in vitamin E from 30 mg (RDA) to 200 mg raises post-vaccination antibody responses to hepatitis B and tetanus. However, these responses did not occur following the administration of diphtheria and pneumococcal vaccines.

Selenium -
Some studies have linked low selenium levels with a greater risk of bladder, breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers.  A comprehensive, multiyear study is currently under way which is examining whether a combination of selenium and vitamin E might aid in the prevention of prostate cancer.

Zinc - This is a trace element that is essential for immune function.  Low levels of zinc affect the ability of T cells to properly function.  A word of caution: an adequate amount of zinc varies from 15–25 mg per day, but too much can lower immune response.

Other Supplements
Garlic - In laboratory tests garlic has proved successful in fighting bacteria, viruses and fungi, but there haven’t been enough human studies conducted to know whether this benefits people. One 2006 study on consumption of garlic and onion in southern European populations found a link between the frequency of garlic and onion consumption and a lower risk of some cancers.

ProbioticsThe human gut is full of different types of “good” bacteria which aid in digestion.  Researchers are finding evidence of a link between these bacteria and the immune system.  It is now known that certain bacteria in the gut influence the development of the immune system resulting in an increase in certain T cells.

Probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are beneficial bacteria that have been added to many dairy products, beverages, cereals and energy bars. Unfortunately, a direct connection between consumption of these products and improved immune response has not yet been made. Nor is it known if taking probiotics will replenish good bacteria destroyed through the consumption of antibiotics.

More research is needed regarding the effects of various micronutrients on the immune system.  In the meantime, it is wise to maintain a healthy lifestyle and take a daily vitamin and mineral supplement.

What steps do you take to ensure that your immune system is healthy?



9 Benefits of Bee Pollen

by Health News

The natural health solution bee pollen has been touted for its health benefits. Ancient Greeks and Romans called it “ambrosia” and “life-giving dust,” and there are some today who believe that humans could live on bee pollen alone.

Pollen is the seed or grain of a flower blossom. There are two kinds of pollen grains - anemophile and entomophile grains. Anemophile grains are those that cause allergies in people, and these are not collected by bees. Bees do collect the heavier and stickier entomophile grains which are chock full of nutrients. When combined with special digestive enzymes and nectar, bee pollen is formed. 

Bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and it is a complete protein - packed with all 22 amino acids. It contains more protein per gram than fish or meat, which makes it a great choice for vegetarians looking for an all-natural supplement to boost protein consumption.

In addition to its “super food” status in terms of nutrition, bee pollen is said to be a natural solution for many health problems.

  1. It helps regulate the digestive process, and it contains a natural antibiotic that destroys harmful bacteria in the intestines.
  2. Bee pollen helps to flush poisons and toxins from the body.
  3. Important phytochemicals like lycopene and beta-sitosterol, as well as many flavonoids found in bee pollen have proven to slow growth of prostate tissue and reduce inflammation and pain.
  4. It is said that bee pollen helps reduce cravings for alcohol and other drugs.
  5. Bee pollen has been espoused to boost fertility in women and sexual potency in men.
  6. As an immune system booster, bee pollen helps prevent communicable diseases, such as the flu and the common cold. It is even believed to slow the aging process.
  7. Bee pollen is said to help reduce symptoms of depression.
  8. Because of its detoxifying properties, bee pollen helps to lower blood pressure. It flushes impurities from the blood, allowing oxygen to reach body cells, including those in the brain. 
  9. Lastly, many people swear by bee pollen’s ability to help relieve seasonal-allergy symptoms. Allergies cause the body to release antibodies or histamines. Bee pollen contains quercetin, which is known for its power to neutralize histamine response, providing relief from inflammation caused by hay fever and other allergies.

The Journal of Allergy reports:
74% of hay fever patients experienced an average 75% improvement in symptoms when supplemented orally with bee pollen.

17.8% of those with hay fever and 33.3% of asthma patients experienced marked improvement with oral bee pollen supplements.

A study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research in April 2009 studied mice that were fed bee pollen. The researchers from the Juntendo University School of Medicine in Japan found that active mast cells were reduced depending on amounts of bee pollen in the diet – the more bee pollen, the better the result.  Mast cells cause the production and release of histamines with exposure to allergens.  Histamines trigger inflammatory responses such as itching, runny nose, sneezing and coughing.

With so many potential health benefits, it might be wise to investigate bee pollen supplements, but always check with a health care professional in advance.


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?



Natural Vitamin Supplements: Spirulina

by Health News

Natural Vitamin Supplement: Spirulina A type of algae containing all eight of the essential amino acids needed by the body, spirulina is a complete, edible protein.  It is chock full of vitamins including E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, K1 and K2.  Spirulina also contains the minerals calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.  These healthy ingredients combined with immune-system boosters such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), chlorophyll, c-phycocyanin and zeaxanthin make spirulina an ideal anti-aging food and a potent natural health product.\

Spirulina can be found growing in alkaline, warm-water lakes.  With 60% protein content, there is a high demand for it as a natural food supplement, which has encouraged cultivation for commercial use.  As a result, many types of spirulina supplements are now available online and at natural health stores.  With multiple health benefits, spirulina is an obvious choice for an all-natural anti-aging supplement.

The human body does not easily assimilate animal proteins which can result in a buildup of waste products.  Therefore, spirulina is a great alternative to animal proteins in the diet.  Individuals who consume excessive animal products and refined foods, especially those who are overweight, diabetic, hypo-glycemic, cancerous or arthritic, can benefit from the high quality of protein found in spirulina. 

Spirulina is the only vegetarian source of vitamin B12 which is necessary for the health of red blood cells.  This natural health product can also help to lower blood cholesterol levels, enhance the absorption of minerals needed by the body, and suppress fatty accumulation in the liver.  In addition, all-natural spirulina supplements can supply needed nutrients during fasting in order to properly cleanse and heal the body while limiting hunger. 

A rich source of beta-carotene, spirulina is a member of the carotenoid family which gives plants their varied color.  Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in the body.  Vitamin A is known for its many benefits to the health including the promotion of healthy teeth, skin, hair and eyes. 

A potent antioxidant supplement, spirulina is full of specific anti-aging properties.  It contains enzymes which help to prevent tissue damage and wrinkling, and it promotes clearer skin and a smoother texture.  Spirulina also helps to offset harmful environmental effects caused by stress, UV rays, chemicals and pollutants.   Essentially, the health benefits of spirulina make it an ideal anti-aging food and all-natural supplement that is worthy of investigation.


The Wonders of Garlic

by Not in Use Not In Use

The word ‘panacea’ gets thrown around quite a bit, especially in the realm of nutrition and natural health. But if the word has any import or meaning, it lay in the substance of garlic. Garlic is widely recognized as one of the most important health supplements that can be found in the natural world. It promotes both the heart and immune system, with antioxidant properties, and helps to maintain healthy blood circulation. Indeed, one of garlic’s most powerful heath benefits is its ability to increase the body’s immune cell activity.

The potent aspect of garlic, that is to say its active component, is the sulfur compound allicin, which is produced when garlic is chopped, chewed, or bruised. Allicin is a strong antibiotic, and a powerful agent which assists the body to inhibit the ability of germs to augment and reproduce.

Garlic also contains Germanium, an anti-cancer agent, and garlic has more of it than any other herb. In lab tests, mice fed garlic showed no cancer development, while those mice which were not fed garlic showed some increase. In fact, garlic has been shown to slow tumor growth in human subjects in some parts of the world.

These are reasons enough to take garlic regularly; but these are merely a few of its desirable qualities. Garlic has proven one of the best immune system boosters, as the presence of all the antioxidants in garlic have a very positive effect on the immune system in general and can therefore protect the body against all types of bacterial and viral attacks, including cold sores, herpes and shingles.

Garlic also acts as a good cold medication, decongestant and expectorant. It is a surprisingly good source of vitamins C, B6 and the minerals selenium and manganese all of which have long been associated with immune system boosting as well as other benefits.

Antibotic, anti-carcinogenic, pro-immune system. And throw in helpful to the heart, and useful in losing weight, as well as other beneficial properties. Garlic is an essential part of a heathful and intelligent diet.


All Natural Health Product: Green Tea

by Not in Use Not In Use

What beverage tastes great, wakes you up, natural immune system boosters, reduces risk of cancer, keeps your teeth healthy, helps you lose weight and increases longevity of life? If you guessed the health supplement ‘green tea,’ you either read the title of this article, or you too have heard of the incredible healing properties of one of the best health supplement known to mankind.

The history of green tea goes back to ancient China, more than 4000 years ago. Initially invented to improve the taste and color of water, green tea was a common beverage, yet quickly became a method of traditional medicine in most of Asia. Today, modern medicine has conceded that there is much to the health benefits of green tea claimed by ancient Asians. Below, we outline just a few of these restorative attributes.

The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols. EGCG, green tea's active ingredient, is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter takes on added importance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.

Another key aspect of green tea is its ability to assist in weight loss. Researchers believed that the normal rate of burning calories from 8-10%, but when they experimented with the tea, they found results which reached up to 14%.

One of the reasons why green tea boosts the burning of calories is because it contains a special ingredient called catechin that prevents free-radicals from damaging your body after a heavy workout.

The beverage also has large quantities of potent antioxidants which help fight aging. These natural elements protect us from harmful diseases and illness while keeping our bodies fit at the same time. The benefits of green tea are too numerous to mention, but the benefits are only a sip away.


How to Improve Immune System - Naturally

by Health Tips

Health Tip:

To keep your immune system strong this spring don't forget to incorporate some of these natural supplements which may help to boost your immune system.

Echinacea and zinc are great natural supplements that have been shown to have properties that boost your immune system naturally.  Also be sure that your diet is rich in fruits and fresh vegetables high in vitamin C - most fruits carry a large amount of vitamin C naturally.

Another great energy booster and in turn immune booster is to ensure that you are receiving adequate amounts of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D! To improve your overall health and boost your immunity take a walk in the sunshine!

You can also help boost your metabolism by eating foods that encourage support of a healthy immune system, try things like garlic, onion, fruits, and green leafy vegetables!



Immune System Booster: Vitamin C

by Health News

Vitamin C has been considered one of the best natural supplement for boosting your immune system.

Vitamin C is loaded with antioxidants that have been scientifically proven to support immune health. Maintaining healthy vitamin C levels during cold and flu season can keep you healthier at a time of year when the immune system tends to be weaker. Taking vitamin C at the onset of a cold can reduce the duration and severity of the symptoms.

Vitamin C also plays a key role in the healthy growth, development and repair of body tissues and is essential to numerous bodily functions including the growth of collagen, the absorption of iron and the maintenance of bones and teeth.  

Vitamin C affects healthy brain function by aiding in the synthesis of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. Recent research suggests it might even lower cholesterol. 

Vitamin C can be found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables including citrus fruits, green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes broccoli, cabbage, winter squash and dark leafy greens. Unfortunately most of us don’t get enough vitamin C in our diets so it is a good idea to add vitamin C supplements to our health regimen, especially during the fall and winter months.

Deficiencies are most likely to occur in the elderly and in people who have a history of alcohol abuse. People who smoke and women who use oral contraceptives are also prone to have lower than normal blood levels of vitamin C.  High doses of aspirin taken over a long period of time can interfere with vitamin C absorption and may cause a deficiency.

It is more important than ever to keep our immune systems strong. Make sure your body has the vitamin C it needs to stay healthy during the coming months.