5 Best Immune Boosters for Kids

Boost their immune system and avoid the back to school bugs.

I can’t believe the Summer is almost gone! We had a blast visiting Hershey Park in PA and Scarborough Beach here in RI. The time flew by and now the kids are back to school. And all I can think about is how much the schools are a breeding ground for colds and other sicknesses. Time to start boosting their immune systems before they bring that crap home!

Best Immune Boosters for Kids

Wanna prevent or lessen the duration of sicknesses? Then check out this list of my favorite immune boosters for people of all ages.

Vitamin C from Real Food

Picture of Catie's Vitamin C Plus and Pure Radiance C supplements on a background of fresh berries.Vitamin C has been touted as a great immune booster and antioxidant for decades. But, not all vitamin C is created equal. Created is the key word there because lab synthesized vitamin C lacks the cofactors that help our bodies absorb and use it. Much of it just goes right through us without being absorbed. Yes, it is cheaper, but you literally might as well throw your money right into the toilet. You might ask “What about  Emergen C? That is supposed to be like a billion mg per serving. Won’t that help?” It has to have so much because so much just goes right through you. Yes, it does help some people, but it may also be doing harm. A friend of mine ended up with kidney stones because her body was taxed with flushing all the excess synthetic C from her system. Her very young children had colds and she was trying to be proactive and started taking 5000mg of synthetic vitamin C daily (Emergen-C) to stave it off. After a couple weeks of this, she was in terrible pain from trying to pass the stones. Her PCP said it was from her body eliminating all the unabsorbed synthetic C. The cold would have been preferable!

So, here at Nourishing World, we sell only vitamin C supplements from whole food and real food sources – the kind your body can absorb properly and effectively. My personal favorite is the Catie’s Vitamin C Plus. This is a powdered supplement that can be added to drinks or smoothies, yogurt, apple sauce or any super moist food. It cannot be cooked, so don’t add it to hot foods or drinks. It tastes like fruit punch, so you can mix it into your kids water bottles for school to keep their immunity high all day. If they don’t like the taste of this one, my next favorite is Pure Synergy Vitamin C. This is a super concentrated real food vitamin C supplement. The serving size is just 1/4 tsp or one capsule. Again the powder can be added to many foods. I take vitamin C every day not just for it’s immune boosting effects, but also because it is vital to helping our body absorb proteins. And, our bodies cannot produce vitamin C, no matter what we eat. We have to get it from outside sources, so if you don’t think you eat much vitamin C in a day, then a high quality vitamin C supplement is very important for you.

Medicinal Grade Manuka Honey

A picture of 100% Raw Wedderspoon Manuka Honey on a background of bees in honeycomb.While regular honey has some immune boosting properties, medicinal grade Manuka honey kicks it up a few notches. This is super easy to get children to take because it is sweet and tasty. It can be mixed into warm liquids (under 96° F), spread on crackers or bread, or mixed with your favorite nut butter. Again, avoid mixing it with hot foods or drinks. It is a fantastic supplement to have on hand for immune boosting and so much more. It is also great for the digestive tract and is a fantastic natural anti-inflammatory. And, Manuka honey is antibacterial and antimicrobial, so it is great to use on wounds and burns. I used a combination of this and emu oil on my stitches and resulting wounds after my ACL/MCL knee surgery. Both my doctor and physical therapist were amazed at how well I healed. And two years later I have only very faint scars.

Our favorite brand is Wedderspoon Manuka Honey because it is raw. Therefore it contains all the beneficial enzymes that many other brands cook out. You can read more about this fantastic supplement here. When my daughter has a mild cold, I send her to school with a couple of the Honey On The Go packets to take while at school to help keep her body fighting that cold all day

Superfood Antioxidant Acai

A picture of Perfect Acai powder on a background of acai berries in baskets.Size doesn’t always matter. Acai berries, while small, are the world’s most concentrated antioxidant source! And our favorite brand, Perfect Acai has an astounding ORAC value of 50,000 per 100 g – on average 50 higher than the competition. This is because Perfect Acai is organic and super pure with no fillers of flow agents. Aside from being a great immune booster, acai also has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to help regulate cholesterol levels and reverse free radical damage.

Perfect Acai comes in capsule or powder form. The capsules are great for older kids and busy adults who want to get their antioxidants quickly. The powder is perfect for adding to food and smoothies for young children or quick easy breakfasts. I put this in my morning smoothie to keep my immunity up all year round.

Improve Gut Health with Probiotics

Eat Dirt? Absolutely.Did you know that your gut houses 70% of the cells that make up our immune system? That’s right, so a healthy gut is crucial to a healthy immune system. One of the best and easiest things everyone can do for their guts is to take a really good probiotic. Probiotics can help our bodies maintain a good ratio of bacteria in our entire digestive system. All sorts of problems can occur when the ratio gets out of whack. I really can’t go into all the benefits of adding probiotics to your regimen, so to learn more about the benefits of probiotics, check out this article.

My all time favorite probiotic is Prescript Assist. This is a soil-based probiotic that is safe for people of all ages. If children cannot swallow the capsules, then they can be opened and poured into food or thick drinks. The powder won’t dissolve, so if you pour it into water or juice, it will float on top and stick to the sides of the glass. This is the probiotic I have been taking for years.

Boost Brain Power & Immunity with Coconut Oil

Picture of Perfect Coconut Oil on a background of coconuts.Coconut oil is a fantastic immune booster because of all the unique medium chain fatty acids in it, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. During digestion, these are broken down into monoglycerides and free fatty acids. The monoglycerides deter microbes from attacking our immune system. Monolaurin, from lauric acid, is believed to have the best antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial effect. Good coconut oil contains more naturally occurring  lauric acid than any other food besides breast milk. And it is great for brain power at school and work.

But, not all coconut oils are as good. Make sure you get a high quality, unrefined coconut oil if you want to get all the immune and brain boosting goodness from it. We sell two excellent quality coconut oils, Perfect Coconut Oil and Blue Breeze Coconut Oil from Green Pastures. Both are organic and cold pressed. Perfect Coconut Oil comes in capsules, too for those who like the ease of swallowing capsules.

Coconut oil can be added to oatmeal or any hot cereal, smoothies, or you can even make salad dressing out of it. You can stir-fry veggies with it or use it in baking. Adding one or two tablespoons a day to your children’s diet can help boost their immune system and their brain power.

Final Thoughts on Immune Boosting for Kids

This is a list of real food supplements that can be taken daily to help boost and keep our immune systems healthy. I know from experience that taking Perfect Acai and Vitamin C daily has helped me go from getting six or more colds a year to once or fewer. I also take more if I feel a tiny bit under the weather to help stave off colds before they take root. We have other great immune boosters, like cod liver oil, but that is much harder to get kids to take. The immune boosters on this list can be taken daily by people of all ages. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some and get it in yourself and your kids before they bring home something besides their latest art project.

 

How to Choose the Best Probiotic for You

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The benefits of probiotics have been known for thousands of years. The use of fermented foods for intestinal and digestive problems was written about in ancient Rome, the Middle East and Asia. People knew to use probiotics for health before they ever knew probiotics were the beneficial part of the fermented foods.

Today, information on probiotics is all over the internet. Some of it is conflicting information, so, how do you know which probiotic to choose? Below, we’ll discuss the different kinds of probiotics and what ingredients to avoid to help you choose the best probiotic supplement for you.

Probiotic Basics: The Tried & True

probiotic_foodsThere are many microorganisms that have the distinction of being probiotic. Many of these are native to our digestive tract, while others do a wonderful job once they get there. The first probiotics that were identified were the lactobacillus strains back in the late 1800s. These are found naturally in the human gut and fermented d foods like yogurt and sauerkraut. The Lactobacillus strains that are most prominent are L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. Casei, and L. johnsonii. Lactobacillus strains have been used to aid GI problems since their discovery. They are tried and true, but some studies show that they don’t often live through to the lower intestines, getting killed off by stomach acid and bile salts. For better longevity, make sure your Lactobacillus probiotics are combined with bifidobacteria and prebiotics.

Bifidobacteria strains are also naturally found in the human gut and were identified very early on in probiotic research. They are necessary for a healthy gut. As with Lactobacillus strains, the Bifodobacterium don’t have a great survival rate in the stomach Mercola_Complete_Probioticsand small intestines, so make sure to take a probiotic supplement with strains from both that also contains prebiotics for better survival in the upper GI. We like Mercola Complete Probiotics because it fits all these criteria, and is free of all potentially harmful fillers I’ll discus shortly. It contains 9 strains of Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium probiotics, along with prebiotics, and was formulated to be resistant to bile salt and acid breakdown.

Probiotic Basics: The Powerful Newcomers

In recent years, a new form of probiotic supplements has emerged that addresses the problem of survival in the stomach and small intestines. Within the last ten years, soil based probiotics have taken the market by storm. Soil-based organisms, or SBOs, are actually spores and are sometimes called spore-forming bacteria or spore-forming probiotics. Though they are not native to our gut, they develop a symbiotic relationship once there and have been shown to be very beneficial.

While soil-based probiotics have not been popular for long, humans have been eating SBO’s as long as there have been humans. Ancient humans used to ingest lots of SBOs in their diets naturally from eating fruit, vegetables, roots and whatever they gathered. Preindustrialized people ate freshly farmed food and worked and played in the dirt. The rise in processed food production, modern urbanization and the rampant use of pesticides have left our diets virtually devoid of these hearty, beneficial bacteria – so much so that a soil-based probiotic supplement is a very good idea.

The characteristic that put soil-based probiotics in the limelight over the past years is their ability to survive better into and through the intestines without any special treatment or coatings. Also, they are very shelf stable in heat and cold, which makes them easy to store and safe for travel.

Prescript_Assist_soil-based_probioticsAt Nourishing World, we sell a few very good soil-based probiotics. The one I take daily and the only probiotic I have ever tried that keeps me regular is Prescript-Assist. It contains 29 strains of microflora and prebiotics to ensure viability throughout the entire digestive tract.  Prescript Assist has been shown to:

 

 

  • Ease abdominal discomfort, nausea, and indigestion
  • Regulate bowel patterns
  • Keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy
  • Decrease bloating and flatulence
  • Restore healthy microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Promote overall health

Latero-Flora_soil-based_probioticsBecause what works best for one person may not for another, we sell a couple other soil-based and spore-forming probiotics. Global Healing Center’s Latero Flora is a single strain of microflora shown to naturally inhibit a number of pathogens including candida. Research shows that Latero-Flora has significant effectiveness in easing gastrointestinal symptoms as well as food sensitivities, while enhancing digestive efficiency.

just_Thrive_spore_forming_probioticsThe newest probiotic to grace our shelves is just Thrive Probiotic & Antioxidant. This brand is different because it markets itself as a spore-forming probiotic instead of soil-based. What’s more, it was formulated to stay in the gut for the entire 21 day life cycle. This means the microflora has time to colonize in the gut, where it can revitalize digestive bacteria, restore immune balance and aid in the creation of powerful disease-fighting antioxidants for a healthy body and mind.

What to Avoid in Probiotic Supplements

Because there are so many choices of good supplements on the market, it is hard to narrow down choices. Here is a list of ingredients to avoid when purchasing any supplement, including probiotics. I recommend avoiding these because they are questionable at best, and some have been shown to cause serious health problems.

Flow Agents – Look for magnesium stearate, steric acid, vegetable stearate and other stearates. Another flow agent to avoid is Magnesium Silicate. These are added simply to speed up the processing of supplements – without regard for the harm they may cause. There is a ton of controversy all over the web about their safety and their potential harm to humans.

Artificial Colors – I don’t think I need to discuss the many potential side effects of artificial colors. We try to avoid them in food, so try to avoid them in supplements, as well.

Titamium Dioxide – This is a metal used in supplements and cosmetics as a pigment. It has been linked to problems with immune function. Avoid any supplement with this ingredient.

Fundamentals of Taking Probiotics

People often ask what is the best time of day to take probiotics and is it best to take them with food or without. Taking probiotics at any time, with or without food is going to benefit you, but for maximum benefit, take it within 30 minutes of eating something with at least a little bit of healthy fat.

relaxing_yogaThe best time of day to take probiotics for maximum benefit seems to be individual. Ideally, you should take them when you will be able to relax and be stress free for a few hours. For many, this is around bedtime. But, some people may be early risers who get up and have a nice relaxing morning. These people may get the maximum benefit taking their probiotic supplement during their morning routine. I take mine in the morning because that is when it fits in my schedule. I notice the benefits when I do this, so I know it’s working. I rarely remember to take supplements at night, so even though that may be the best time of day for me to take them, if I forget to take them they do me no good. As I stated earlier, taking them at any time of day can be beneficial. With a little experimentation and some willingness to pay attention to your body, you can find out what the best time of day is for you. Or take them when it’s convenient – you will still benefit.

There are a couple things most experts agree on when supplementing with probiotics.

  1. Probiotics should be taken during and after a round of antibiotics. Antibiotics do not discriminate between good and bad microflora and kill off everything, leaving the body devoid of beneficial bacteria along with the infection. One article I read for this post said it can take over a year for our bodies to completely rebuild the healthy bacteria colonies after a single round of antibiotic treatment. With supplementation, this time frame can be greatly reduced.
  2. Don’t take probiotics within two hours of taking antibiotics (or supplements with strong antibiotic properties). Lets face it, if you’re taking antibiotics, your probiotics are not going to work optimally. Every time you take an antibiotic pill or the pink goo you will kill some microflora. To give the probiotics a fighting chance to get into your system for a bit, you want to make sure you have a two hour window on both sides. If you are taking antibiotics morning and night, then take probiotics two hours after the antibiotics so it has many hours to work before you take the antibiotics again.

Most people I know don’t eat fermented foods daily. I don’t eat fermented foods daily, so I take a good probiotic supplement (Prescript Assist) to help maintain a healthy digestive tract and improve my immune system. If you’re like me, and don’t eat fermented foods daily, then supplementing with a good probiotic is a good idea for you, too.

 

Feeling Crappy After Eating Poorly Through the Holidays? We Can Help.

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One of my biggest weaknesses are the desserts. I love desserts of all kinds and the holidays are usually loaded with all kinds of sweet goodies to try. Well all that sugar and flour has done a number on my system and I bet there are more than a few of you out there also feeling a bit off due to eating all kinds of stuff you don’t usually eat. Here’s a list of supplements that may help you feel a little better after all that indulgence.

Food & Inflammation & Your Digestive Tract

Most of those wonderful holiday foods are made with sugar and white flour. Many studies have shown that eating processed white sugar & processed wheat can cause all kinds of inflammation. And, furthermore, the overeating and, for many of us, consumption of alcohol, wreaks further havoc on our entire digestive tract. Here is a list of some good supplements that have helped many reduce inflammation as well as being great for the whole digestive system.

Walkabout Emu Oil – This high vitamin supplement can be taken orally or used topically. Many people report relief of inflammation when they take a good Australian Emu Oil. And, the Omega 7 in emu oil helps with digestion.

Raw Cod Liver Oil – Both Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Rosita’s Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil are raw and full of naturally occurring vitamins A & D, as well as lots of good omegas. And, as well as it’s anti-inflammatory properties, cod liver oil has been shown to be great for the entire gut.

Wedderspoon Manuka Honey – Manuka honey has a whole slue of potential health benefits including being anti-inflammatory. It has shown anti-bacterial & antimicrobial properties, as well as being good for digestion. And, if holiday stress has you feeling like you’re coming down with something, then this may help stave off a full-blown cold, too.

Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen – There is a lot of the amino acid glycine in a serving of Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen. Glycine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. A good collagen supplement may also help with food-related inflammation by helping to maintain a healthy stomach and aiding proper digestion.

Turmeric – Turmeric is a superfood growing in popularity recently due to its many health benefits. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful antioxidant. It has also been shown to help with digestion and aids in nutrient absorption from our food. Global Healing Center makes a powerful Turmeric Liquid Extract made from 100% certified organic turmeric roots.

Get Your Gut Back to Health

Feeling like it’s mainly your gut that needs help after all the indulging? Because it is the center of our bodies, gut health can dramatically affect many other parts of our bodies. Studies show gut health can effect weight, heart health, immune system & even brain health. (1) All the above are great supplements, but for powerful gut healing, you might want to try great probiotics or a gut specific supplement.

Prescript-Assist – These powerful, soil-based probiotics are combined with prebiotics to further boost their efficacy. Prescript-Assist is backed by more than five years of double-blind university clinical trials that show its effectiveness against a variety of digestive issues and other gastrointestinal diseases. It is my personal favorite probiotic and the one I take daily.

Restore – This is a liquid mineral supplement for gut health. It was developed to help repair the damage done by eating pesticides and GMO foods. Restore helps to minimize and eliminate the gaps they cause in the lining of the stomach. It has helped many with leaky gut and other digestive disorders.

Detox for Optimum Healing

January is an ideal time to embark on a good detox program. Many people take this time to help eliminate toxins from all the holiday indulgences and feel great after a few weeks of this. If you’d like to check out a variety of detox options, then check out this Spring Detox post.

Hope You Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

So, go ahead and enjoy your New Years’ celebrations, but stock up on supplements to help you feel better after.

 

  1. 5 Ways Gut Bacteria Affect Your Health

 

 

How to Stay Healthy While Indulging This Holiday Season

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Let’s face it: between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the opportunities for indulgence abound, and even the most committed of us sometimes stray from our normally healthy diets. I’m not going to be the one to tell you to give up your grandma’s special glazed ham or the amazing chocolate dessert party-goers are saying you just have to try. Of course it’s ideal to adhere closely to a healthy, minimally-processed diet, but the holidays are full of traditions and temptations, and making a gluten-free, sugar-free version of your family’s favorite dessert isn’t always feasible or even desirable. Go ahead, enjoy a bite — or two! But follow these tips to minimize the impact of a month or two of indulgences.

Prepare for Parties & Avoid Overeatingweight_loss_smoothie

If you’re headed out to a holiday party, don’t skip meals all day so you can binge all night! That’s a surefire way to ensure you’ll end up eating too much of all the wrong foods. Instead, keep your pre-party diet as healthy as possible. Eat a healthy, protein rich breakfast, like a quick smoothie or an omelet. Have a hearty salad topped with meat or nuts for lunch, drink plenty of water, and snack on fruits and veggies all day. When you arrive at the party, you won’t be starving or delirious from low blood sugar. You’ll be able to pick and choose the foods that you’ll truly enjoy and pass on the rest of the artificial-ingredient-laden fare.

When dinner is finally served, pause. Check in with yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Do you need a few moments of calm and quiet before joining the busy dinner? Are you angry about a cousin’s remark, and craving fried food to stuff down the anger? Pause. Halfway through the meal, as you’re shoveling in the mashed potatoes, pause. Are you really still hungry? Are you enjoying these potatoes, or just eating them because they’re on your plate? Are you worried about wasting food or offending the host? Pause. Make a deliberate decision to stop or continue eating. One of the truest maxims I’ve ever read is this: “Your body is not a trash can.”. If you’re hoping to avoid the average 5 pounds of holiday weight gain, check out some more tips from Dr. Oz for preventing weight gain over the holidays.

Weigh the Consequences; Then, Savor the Moment!

Try not to just mindlessly fill your plate with a bit of each option. Instead, think about how these foods will make you feel, which is different for everyone. Maybe enjoying fresh bread outweighs the slight chance of a stomach ache, while a meal containing dairy just isn’t worth the consequences. I myself need to be extra conscious of sugar, since too much refined sugar can make me feel sick both immediately and for days afterward. Indulging in a few unhealthy foods doesn’t mean you need to give up on all your ideals. Take some time now to plan out which dietary ideals are worth sticking to and which leave you with more wiggle room.

If you do decide to break your personal top diet rules, make it completely worth it! Take time to really chew and taste each bite. Focus on the food’s appearance, smell, texture, and flavor. Eat it slowly and mindfully. Ask your aunt how she made this delicious dish. Revel in the memories it brings back or the images it conjures up. And let go of the guilt; you can get back to your normal diet as soon as the holidays are over. Give yourself permission to just savor each moment and every bite.

Detox, Detox, Detox

No one’s likely to embark on an intense detox program a week before Christmas. But when your best intentions go awry and you wind up eating too much processed food, too much sugar, too much poiprescript-assist_probioticsson… support your body in processing and eliminating those toxins as quickly as possible. Taking probiotics is a simple way to alleviate some of the digestive distress that can accompany a sudden change in dietary habits. Drink a glass of water with the juice of half a lemon each morning to flush out toxins. In addition, these supplements gently draw toxins out without the time commitment or emotional investment of a full detox plan:

Perfect Liver Detox Support is a doctor-developed supplement designed to keep your liver performing its best. After all, the liver is the body’s filter for all those toxins coursing through your body. If it becomes overloaded, it can become sluggish and ineffective. Use Perfect Liver Detox Support which comes in convenient capsules loaded with milk thistle and other organic, detoxifying herbs, each day to help your body better process the chemicals, pesticides, sugars, and artificial ingredients in your holiday diet.

Perfect Chlorella is a powerful detox agent and also provides essential nutrients that your body may be lacking if you’re not prioritizing a healthy diet. High in chlorophyll and numerous vitamins and minerals, chlorella binds to toxins so that they can be safely eliminated. I recommend capsules for this busy time of year, but you can also opt for powder if you’re whipping up daily smoothies anyway. Get your chlorella along with spirulina in Perfect Aquatic Greens, for even more abundant and diverse nutrients.

Like chlorella, bentonite clay, too, binds to and draws out toxins as it passes through the digestive system. Start with a small amount — about a teaspoon — mixed into a glass of water. Make sure to eat plenty of fiber and drink lots of water to avoid constipation. You may need to add a bit of extra magnesium while taking bentonite clay if you find constipation is a problem for you. Bentonite clay also provides trace minerals that your diet may not provide during this busy holiday season.

Reduce Stress

Stress is good for no one, and a stressed body is much more vulnerable to toxins as well as illness. Fortunately, we have a great holiday stress guide featuring supplements and daily practices to help minimize the effects of stress on your body and mind. Simply getting outside for a short walk or taking a few moments to breathe or meditate can make a huge impact on your stress level, leaving you feeling healthier in both mind and body.

Six Supplements to Fight the Flu

Make a healthy lifestyle part of your flu fighting strategy.

Two weeks ago we posted a blog about all the potential risks associated with getting an annual flu vaccine. This week we’ll give advice on what you can do to boost your immune system and help avoid flus and colds. Remember, we are not suggesting you go buy everything listed below to start taking it all every day. But, by adding a few to your daily diet, you may find the combination that works for you to prevent or drastically shorten duration of illness.

Don’t Encourage Illness

You’re probably thinking “Well, duh!”. But, there are many things we all do in a day that encourage illness. Eating foods that have been grown in toxins, dealing with stress, and not getting enough sleep are just a few. All of this adds up, so the less we do in a day, the better it is for our bodies. So we need to do the opposite – encourage wellness. Focus on doing the things that make and keep us well and do more of those. A healthy diet, preferably organic, and regular exercise are excellent ways to encourage wellness. The following supplements also encourage wellness in our bodies, in many ways. But, for the purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on their immune boosting and virus busting properties.

Real Vitamin C

Get your daily vitamin C from real food supplements.I know, this one is a no-brainer. Everyone knows Vitamin C helps boost your immune system because it is loaded with antioxidants. But, did you know our bodies don’t produce it? So it has to be eaten every day in proper quantities to be effective against fighting flus and colds. Check out this post from September for lots of great information on Vitamin C. A whole food vitamin C supplement is a great way to make sure you and your family are getting all the vitamin C necessary to fight colds and flus. We have two great whole food Vitamin C powdered supplements from real food. They are Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C Plus and  Pure Radiance C from The Synergy Company.

Acai

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Many people have heard of acai for weight loss, but did you know it is loaded with antioxidants? It has twice the antioxidant power of wild blueberries and 10 times that of red grapes! And it has 10 to 30 times more anthocyanins than red wine! Anthocyanins are the pigments in red, blue and purple foods and have mega antioxidant properties. Back in 2009, Dr. Oz talked about acai on Oprah and it became an overnight sensation. He recommended taking it daily because it is a concentrated protein source and for it’s high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value. The higher the ORAC value, the better at immune boosting. We recommend Perfect Acai in capsules or powder form because it is organically grown, fairly traded & there are never any fillers or flow agents.

Colloidal Silver

Sovereign_SilverBelieve it or not, silver is a necessary element in our bodies. It has been used medicinally for over 2000 years because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. In the 1970’s, Dr. Robert O. Becker, MD, conducted research at Syracuse Medical University on electrically generated silver ions. He discovered that people with the lowest amounts of silver in their bodies were prone to frequent and severe colds, flus and infections, while the people with the highest amounts of silver in their bodies were the least prone to colds, flus and infections. What’s more, their illnesses were less severe and for a shorter duration. Colloidal silver can be taken daily to help boost the immune system and increase the amount of silver in our bodies, but taking too much can be harmful. We recommend Sovereign Silver Bioactive Silver Hydrosol because it never contains stabilizers, salts, compounds, proteins, or other questionable ingredients. There are only 2 ingredients, 99.999% pure silver and pharmaceutical-grade purified water.

Probiotics

Eat Dirt? Absolutely.It may seem kinda crazy, but so much of our health is tied to our guts. Did you know eighty percent of our immune system is located in the digestive tract? That information alone helps us see why probiotics could be very effective at helping to avoid cold and flu viruses. There was a study done on three to five year old children that was very convincing. The children took probiotics twice a day for six months. The probiotic users had fewer fevers, less coughing, fewer runny noses, and, amazingly, 64 – 83%  less antibiotic use. There are a variety of probiotics in our store, but my favorite is Prescript-Assist. It is a multi-strain soil-based probiotic. If you are looking for a more traditional probiotic, try Just Thrive Probiotic & Antibiotic blend or Mercola Complete Probiotics.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This one may not be so widely known, but drinking a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily can greatly reduce your chances of getting any flu or colds. This is because it changes the pH in our bodies to alkaline, which creates a hostile environment for viruses and infections. Essentially, they can’t grow well in an alkaline environment and it even helps to kill the bacteria and infection. It is important to use a raw variety with the mothers. I get mine here. Daily, I try to drink a concoction with 2 Tb apple cider vinegar, 1 Tb raw honey (I use medicinal Manuka Honey if I’m feeling stressed or feel like I’m coming down with something) and 100% organic pomegranate or cranberry juice. I can still taste the vinegar a little, but it doesn’t bother me so much. When I actually do end up with sniffles and sneezing because of sickness, I drink 2 – 3 glasses a day. I drink them slowly, so that there is a somewhat constant infusion of alkaline fluids entering my system. Recently my sister asked if lemon will do the same thing. And yes, lemons are also acidic but I haven’t found the correct amount to fend off my own colds. Apple cider vinegar works well for me.

Elderberry Syrup

Feel the effects of elderberry & honey home remedies.Many people report great success preventing and fighting colds and flus by taking a daily dose of elderberry syrup. The use of elderberry as an herbal medicinal goes way back. Folklore around the elder tree pre-dates christianity. More recently, research done at Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel shows how elderberry helps. They found viruses use specific enzymes to penetrate healthy cells in the nose and throat. Elderberry helps to block these enzymes, thus thwarting the infection before it starts. If it is taken after an infection is already present, it helps prevent the spread of the infection through the respiratory tract. There are many pre-made elderberry syrup supplements out there, but it is actually very easy to make and store at home for a fraction of the cost. Check out this blog we did last year for a recipe for homemade elderberry syrup and elderberry gummies. The recommended amount for prevention of flu is 1/2 to 1 tsp daily for children and adults during cold and flu season. Up this to at least 3 times a day if you already have an infection or feel one coming on.

Other Preventatives

I’m sure there are many other natural preventatives out there and welcome input from our readers. If you have a preventative that works for you, please share it with us so we can share it with the world.

 

Secrets of Aging Wisely

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“There has been an explosion of science in the field of aging. And I think the public doesn’t realize how far aging research has come. We have a lot of ideas about the mechanisms of aging, and tons and tons of pathways that can be optimized, tweaked, or activated to possibly extend lifespan. I think the public is probably about 30 years behind our thinking about aging. It’s as if we thought about cancer in the way we did in 1960.”  

Stuart Kim, Stanford University aging researcher

Are You Old and Wise, or Just Old?

Our culture tends to view aging as pathology. We fear it as though it is a dreaded disease. Most people believe that as we age we will become forgetful, incontinent, weak, fatigued, and senile. This leaves us afraid or depressed, both of which can further aggravate the downward spiral. Recently however, many doctors, researchers, and pro-active older people have begun to counter the prevailing wisdom about aging. Elders are speaking with knowledge and authority about their experience, and scientific research is redefining aging as a process. Our modern understanding of aging does not demand the end of health, pleasure, exercise, or mental engagement. Scientific inquiry has come a long way in support of ways to maximize vitality in our “golden years”.  We do not need to emulate our youth or negate our maturity. Instead we can learn the lessons from the science of physiology that enable us to take care of our bodies from the inside out.   It is possible to live a vital, honest expression of ourselves that honors the miles we have traveled.

The Physiology of Aging

Primitive people living in preindustrial cultures, whether in modern times or historical, show remarkable longevity and freedom from many of the chronic conditions that plague us today.   Weston A. Price, the esteemed dentist and nutritionist who studied indigenous people, found that tooth decay, cardiovascular disease, and obesity were virtually non-existent in these groups. He theorized that the vitamin rich, nutrient dense, non-processed foods that formed the basis of these diets held keys to the vital health experienced by those cultures. Today science is examining many of these same concepts and is able to analyze and define necessary foods and nutrients for a revitalized approach to health and aging. Today our wisdom is anchored in research and science.

Intelligent and Informed Aging

This cultural change in beliefs about aging can have tangible effects in how we experience life and what we feel our bodies are capable of. After all, it is pretty stressful to accept the definition of aging as decline. No one really wants to be “over the hill”! There are many common sense lifestyle factors that one can change as well as nutritional strategies for taking charge of one’s health as the years progress. Risk factors you can change include:

  • Poor Nutrition Habits
  • Smoking
  • Inactivity
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Obesity and being Overweight
  • Excessive Alcohol
  • Stress

Listen to Your Gut

Eat the foods that make you feel good for the long haul rather that for instant gratification. If you eat lots of empty calories or sugary snacks, chances are your energy will drop, you’ll feel emotionally drained, and your tummy might actually hurt. These are signals directly from your gut!  Our physiologies were designed to thrive on nutrient dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, pasture raised meats and eggs, and whole grains. Proteins and fats should be eaten together to maximize absorption. As we age, our systems produce fewer digestive enzymes. Adopt good gut hygiene by supplementing with digestive enzymes to assist with nutrient absorption and decrease inflammation and oxidation from undigested food. In addition, aging guts tend to lose one of the key probiotic species necessary for optimal colon function. The colon (or large intestine) is the site of most of the bacterial and fungal population that keeps metabolism running smoothly. Without Bifidobacterium, immune and nervous system functioning may be compromised. Bifidobacterium is therefore an essential ingredient in a senior probiotic. Look for Bifido species in Mercola Complete and Catie’s Proflora probiotics. Many of today’s most difficult diseases are the result of inflammation which begins when toxins make the gut lining become permeable. This is often referred to as “Leaky Gut”.  Restore is a revolutionary new supplement for the gut which strengthens and repairs the membranes in the intestines bringing the all the body’s systems back into a healthy homeostasis.

The mouth and teeth are the entry to the digestive system but are often overlooked when thinking about supplementation. Take zinc to help aging taste buds restore their sense of taste and pleasure. CoQ10 in the converted form of ubiquinol helps prevent tooth loss at the same time that it ramps up your immune system and your brain. Finally, consider giving the body a full 12 hours of overnight fasting to allow it to move all the remaining food through the intestines. If it is not bogged down with digestion it can move the probiotics further into the colon where they do their most good.

Bone Up

Bones are constantly being replenished although the process can slow as we get up in years. In order for bone synthesis to keep up with bone loss there are several critical factors. First, exercise that engages the muscles against the bone keeps the bones strong. Secondly, one must get enough vitamin D, which tends to be harder to absorb with age. The best source of Vitamin D may be sunlight, but whole food supplements such as cod liver oil ensure that the bones and immune system are getting what they need, even when the sun isn’t shining. Catie’s Raw Vegetable Calcium provides the third necessary ingredient in bone and tooth health. Calcium is particularly tricky to absorb in isolation making it all the more important that Catie’s is a raw, whole food calcium. It happens to be a good source of vitamin D as well. Vitamin K2 supports the metabolism of many other nutrients and is needed for calcium to be directed to the bones. K2 also contributes to heart health and is useful in preventing calcified arteries. Lastly, magnesium assures adequate strength and density of bones and teeth. It is necessary for many biochemical reactions in the body including absorption and utilization of calcium. Take Catie’s Whole Food Magnesium or combine your calcium and magnesium in a balanced 1:1 ratio with Natural Vitality CalMag.

Power Up Your Brain

A 12 hour overnight fast is not only good for the gut. It also benefits the brain. There is a strong connection between the intestines (or gut) and the brain to the point where stress can affect bowel movements and gut integrity.  Conversely, stomach problems can result in depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. A 12 hour overnight fast enables the brain to do repair work and eliminate unhealthy cells. The process is called apoptosis, and it happens most effectively when digestion is complete. Allowing apoptosis to occur regularly has the direct effect of clear thinking the next day and preventing cognitive decline for the long-term.

There are three powerful anti-aging supplements for the brain. One of them, CoQ10, reduced into its more bio-available form of ubiquinol, was also mentioned as a supplement for the gut. This is no accident. Ubiquinol is critical for the production of aerobic energy throughout the body. Many age related diseases are results of cellular dysfunction and oxidation both of which may be prevented by ubiquinol’s strong antioxidant action. This includes mental processes such as alertness and clarity of thought, which can be enhanced with ubiquinol. The second top anti-aging supplement is resveratrol. Resveratrol can improve blood supply to the brain, decrease the chance of blood clots or aneurysms, and support cellular energy. Resveratrol is not found naturally in the body, but can be found in grapes and Japanese knotweed. Supplementing with a quality brand of resveratrol such as Perfect Resgrape can provide what some researchers have referred to as the “Fountain of Youth”,  especially in regard to brain protective properties. The third highly beneficial anti-aging antioxidant is Acai. The Acai berry from Brazil is harvested sustainably from the Amazon palm tree locally known as “the Tree of Life”. Recognized for its ability to reduce stress, improve mood, and support memory into the senior years, Acai provides the omega fatty acids necessary for brain and cardiovascular health. It is a good source of fiber while being low in fructose thereby supporting digestive health as well.

A Blueprint for Aging

There are no ends to the lengths that people may go in order to look and appear younger. An entire market of products has built up around the demand for ways to combat the effects of aging whether it is beauty creams offering youthful skin, plastic surgery to mold and sculpt the aging body, or sexual enhancement pills offering hours of frisky action. By contrast, some promote the idea of aging gracefully. This seems to connote a degree of passive acceptance as we try to convince ourselves that we are now esteemed elders and can afford to look the part. Both of these perspectives seem to involve the belief that degeneration and loss of function is inevitable. Fortunately there is a third option for aging strategically. We can look to the experts in the fields of physiology, aging, and supplementation and decide what makes the most sense for us. What is applicable? What can be incorporated that could have critical life enhancing effects? We can design our own blueprint using the best that science has to offer.  Perhaps this is the truest way to wise and graceful aging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Truth about Fermented Foods

fermented_foods_supplements

Traditional cultures around the world have utilized fermentation in their diets for all of recorded history. Before modern times it was one of the best ways to preserve food, including meat and fish, without refrigeration. But fermentation has it’s own health building benefits which many traditional societies sought with production of such well known fermented foods as European kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut, Korean kimchi, and Japanese natto just to name a few. In fact, most primitive and traditional cultures devised some form of fermentation to increase the nutritional value of their foods.

What is Fermentation?

The natural process of using enzymes, bacteria, or yeast to begin the breakdown or pre-digestion of food is called fermentation. It is entirely different from rotting or putrefaction in which oxygen fuels the growth of pathogenic organisms. Fermentation is an anaerobic process, which serves to reduce any toxicity in foods such as vegetables or meat/fish. It creates a stable food that improves digestion through the creation of prebiotics and other beneficial gut bacteria. Fermenting reduces the food to its most nutrient dense form at the same time as making it more easily absorbed and usable.

Why Ferment?

Fermentation preserves food without the need for heat or cold. Cooking foods can destroy some of the delicate nutritional structures of the vitamins, amino acids, and other potent chemicals, thus rendering the food denatured. By contrast, fermenting generally increases the nutrient composition of foods, making it easier to digest, and improving absorption. Fermented foods help to optimize the immune system through better gut health thereby strengthening the sick and promoting the overall health and vigor typical of more traditional societies. Weston A. Price, the esteemed dentist and nutritional researcher of the 20th century, was one of the first to recognize the health building characteristics of more primitive diets. One of the consistent themes he reported was the high enzymatic content of lacto-fermented foods such as vegetables, meats, fish, dairy, fruits, beverages, and condiments eaten by these traditional cultures. Dr Price attributed the robust health of many primitive groups to a diet rich in fermented foods and high quality fats as well as “Activator X”, the vitamin we know today as K, which is found abundantly in fermented foods. For more information on the dietary revelations and fact based traditional knowledge of Weston A. Price, see the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Benefits of Fermentation

  • Increased nutritional density
  • Reduced toxicity
  • Added beneficial bacteria
  • Easier digestion and improved gut health
  • Increased absorption of nutrients
  • Optimized immune system
  • May help to control body weight
  • Supports mental health

Fermented Supplements

While fermentation is a natural process that has been utilized for hundreds of years, it also requires strict controls to ensure the outcome meets today’s safety and nutritional standards. The top quality manufacturers of fermented supplements employ stringent procedures allowing only beneficial microorganisms to flourish. Nourishing World sells fermented supplements only from brands that meet or exceed our high standards for quality and safety.

Perfect Supplements

Perfect Fermented Kale and Perfect 3 Grass Blend are two of Perfect Supplement’s premier products. By fermenting kale and a perfect grass blend of organic barley, oat, and wheat grass into easily consumed powders, they have made powerful foods even more potent. Both Perfect Fermented Kale and Perfect 3 Grass Blend are organic, vegan, gluten-free, and Kosher.

  • Perfect Fermented Kale powder contains vitamins K, C, beta-carotene, and folate, as well as many necessary minerals, and essential omega 3 fatty acids. When kale is fermented, beneficial enzymes and microorganisms are created that promote digestive health. Perfect Fermented Kale is easier to digest than raw kale allowing for better absorption of the nutrient dense richness.
  • Perfect 3 Grass Blend is loaded with vitamins B, C, and K, as well as protein, and the minerals magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium. Detoxifying, cleansing, blood sugar and blood pressure modulating, Perfect 3 Grass Blend is indeed a super fermented food.

 

Green Pasture

Green Pasture produces some of the finest and most strictly controlled lactic-acid fermented products available. Free of all synthetic vitamins or additives, and tested repeatedly for contaminants, Green Pasture products harken back to some of the most revered fermented foods in traditional cultures.

  • Green Pasture Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil is Green Pasture’s signature supplement. Packed with easily absorbed, vitamins A, D, E, and K as well as fatty acids for brain and nervous system health, Green Pasture Fermented Cold Liver Oil has been used to increase tooth density and reverse tooth decay. It has high anti-inflammatory action to help with everything from arthritis to skin irritations. A calming agent to the nervous system, Fermented Cod Liver Oil may be useful in treating depression and ADHD. Cod liver oil is an exceptional source of natural D3, which is known to be critical for a strong immune system. Fermented Cod Liver Oil can help regulate blood sugar, making it a necessity for diabetics looking for natural treatments. With all these benefits and more, Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil is one of nature’s most healing super foods.
  •  Blue Ice Royal Blend is made by Green Pasture of 1/3 X-Factor Gold High Vitamin Butter Oil and 2/3 Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil for ultimate healing power. Dr. Weston A. Price believed that butter made from cows grazing on fresh grass contained the miraculous “Activator X” which, when combined with Fermented Cod Liver Oil, was truly exceptional in its healing potential. Today we recognize the “Activator X” was pure and bioavailable vitamin K2. Blue Ice Royal Blend offers pasture butter oil and fermented cod liver oil in easy to swallow capsules or in a gel.
  • Skate Liver Oil is fermented by Green Pasture as an alternative to Cod Liver Oil for pregnant women primarily because of its extremely high DHA content which aids in fetal development. People with cardiovascular issues may also prefer Skate Liver Oil to Cod because it does not interfere with blood clotting. It is richer in vitamin E than Cod Liver Oil and is a terrific source of vitamin K, the “activator” vitamin discovered by Dr. Weston A. Price. It is widely used to help decalcify the pineal gland.
  • Green Pasture Blue Ice Calm Balm combines their signature Fermented Cod Liver Oil with X-Factor Gold High Vitamin Butter Oil and menthol camphor for fast penetrating pain relief. An all-natural sore muscle rub and topical congestion remedy, Calm Balm is enriched with essential oils, coconut oil, and shea butter.  It soothes aching muscles and joints as well as clearing stuffy heads from colds or allergies. Since it is an all-natural product, it is safe to use on children.
  • Green Pasture Beauty Balm is a healing cleanser and moisturizer. It combines Fermented Cod Liver Oil and High Vitamin Butter Oil with Blue Breeze Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and other emollients and essential oils. It can be used on the face and also on the feet, skin, and lips for all-natural hydration. Treat acne breakouts, wrinkles, sunspots, rashes, and eczema with Beauty Balm for smoother, naturally clean skin. Green Pasture Beauty Balm is a wonderful way to infuse the skin with nutrients since the vitamins and amino acids are absorbed through the skin. Treat yourself to glowing, healthy skin and a more even complexion with hypoallergenic Beauty Balm.

Fermentation Heals What Ails Us

Fermented foods offer us the intergenerational wisdom of traditional cultures who relied on these precious nutrients to strengthen and heal their bodies. With our modern diet so lacking in nutrients from poor eating habits as well as the degradation of our food supply, it has become essential that we add fermented foods into our diets again. Perhaps the easiest and safest way to do this is through supplementation with the highest quality fermented supplements. Nourishing World is pleased to be your source for fermented health solutions!