Power Couple – The Importance of Taking Vitamin C and Collagen Together

Bottles of Pure Radiance C, Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen, and Catie's Vitamin C Plus along with a bottle of organic juice blend and organic coconut milk

Until recently, collagen was not commonly discussed in the context of mainstream nutritional terms. Perhaps some had heard of it in the context of skin health, but little else. The popularity of the paleo diet has made the importance of collagen in terms of health and wellness come more into center stage. Yet even as people begin to better understand the importance of collagen, a critical component of collagen synthesis remains under recognized. In order to properly synthesize collagen, the body must have vitamin C. Let’s take a closer look at vitamin C and collagen

What Is Vitamin C?

Though most people could quickly list vitamin C if they were asked to name a list of key vitamins, it can be harder for people to name all that this vital vitamin is and does. Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that our bodies cannot produce on their own. It is this inability to produce vitamin C innately that led researchers such as Linus Pauling to advise that all people take vitamin C supplements on a daily basis (1).

Roles and Benefits of Vitamin C:

Vitamin C plays numerous key roles in the body. This antioxidant is known for the benefit of strengthening the immune system, but this crucial vitamin’s jobs extend far beyond its role with the immune system.

  • iron absorption
  • protects vitamins A and E from the harsh effects of oxidation
  • offers protection against heart disease
  • aids in proper blood flow
  • prevents and cures scurvy
  • plays a critical role in collagen synthesis (2)

Optimal Sources of Vitamin C:

Vitamin C can be obtained through dietary sources or high quality supplements. Top food sources for vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, bell peppers, and more (6). It should be noted that due to vitamin C’s delicate nature, it can be easily destroyed by things such as cooking. For this reason it can be challenging to get enough vitamin C each and every day. A high quality, real food supplement can be one of the best ways to assure that the body has enough vitamin C to aid in the production of collagen as well as its other jobs.  We suggest Catie’s Whole Food Vitamin C Plus or Pure Radiance C from The Synergy Company. Choosing a real whole food supplement gives the body the full benefits of all factors of vitamin C, rather than one isolated element as is found in synthetic ascorbic acid vitamin C supplements (7). For more information on why real vitamin C is better, read our last blog post.

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is one of 14 proteins the human body contains. It is so abundant that it is found in the body in greater quantities than all the other proteins combined. As a significant component of connective tissue, collagen is found throughout the body. It is in bones, teeth, skin, hair, eyes, and other organs (1). Though the body can create collagen, consuming collagen helps the body to have more of this important substance. The body first takes in collagen through dietary sources, then breaks it down to rebuild it in order to use it in the body. This continual process requires both the intake of collagen as well as vitamin C (4).

Roles and Benefits of Collagen:

Not only is collagen abundant, it is also a critical protein. Collagen serves to strengthen the walls of blood vessels, keep organs in their appropriate places, and more. Like glue binds objects together, collagen acts as a sort of binding agent within the body (3). When the body lacks sufficient collagen, muscle tissue and bone density will begin to decline. Additionally, blood vessels are weakened, increasing the risk for heart disease (5).

Collagen is also acclaimed for its ability to heal the gut. When the gut becomes inflamed, it is difficult to impossible for nutrients to be fully absorbed. Nutritional deficiencies can then develop. This inflammation can also lead to what is known as Leaky Gut Syndrome, an autoimmune problem where tiny particles of food can escape from the gut and be treated as invaders by the immune system. Collagen can serve to heal the gut, reducing inflammation and healing the tiny holes that allow Leaky Gut Syndrome to develop (8).

Optimal Sources of Collagen:

Dietary sources of collagen come from animal bones and connective tissue. Oftentimes people will use animal bones to make broths and stocks in order to get the collagen from the bones. Because it can be difficult to get enough dietary collagen through these sources, it is wise to consider taking a collagen supplement. Various collagen supplements are available, but it is important to look for a hydrolyzed collagen powder, the most easily absorbed and utilized by the body (5). Supplements such as Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen have already been broken down into the smaller peptides that the body can readily absorb and use. We recommend Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen because it comes from grass-fed, pasture raised cattle living happily in Brazil. Adding a whole foods vitamin C supplement along with the hydrolyzed collagen supplement assures that not only is the body getting the collagen it needs, but that it will be able to properly use it.

The Crucial Relationship

It is easy to see that both vitamin C and collagen are necessary for a healthy life, but what is often not talked about as frequently is the fact that vitamin C and collagen actually work very closely together, forming an interdependent relationship. Without vitamin C, collagen production is disrupted and cannot be completed. Vitamin C is used to add hydrogen and oxygen to the amino acids to create a substance called procollagen, a necessary substance to the creation of collagen (3). When collagen production is disrupted, people suffer significant negative consequences. For this reason, it is prudent to take a real food vitamin C supplement like Catie’s Whole Food Vitamin C or Pure Radiance C from The Synergy Company along with a high quality, grass-fed collagen supplement like Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen.

The Best Protein Shake

This is one of my favorite recipes for a quick breakfast or snack. I love the Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen – my nails have never looked better! I mix it with Catie’s Whole Food Vitamin C Plus and Catie’s Organic Greens or Catie’s Gluten Free Organic Greens. This combination is my meal replacement combo. I almost always have coconut milk on hand, so that is my normal base, then I add 100% organic juice, whatever is in the house, and YUM!

I make my own prepared coconut milk from canned coconut milk because I don’t like all the additives in milk alternative coconut milk. Just put one can of organic coconut milk, not light, in a blender with one can of water and one tsp powdered natural calcium supplement. You can also add 1 tsp vanilla extract, but I usually omit it.

Ingredients:
6 oz prepared organic coconut milk
6 0z 100% organic juice of choice
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
1 tsp Catie’s Whole Food Vitamin C Plus
1 tsp Catie’s Organic Greens or Catie’s Gluten Free Organic Greens

Directions:
Put all ingredients in a BPA free shaker bottle, leaving the collagen for last. Put in the agitator (good shakers will have one), and shake, shake, shake. Enjoy!

Works Cited:

  1. http://www.vitamincfoundation.org/collagen.html
  2. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/vitamin-supplements/vitamin-c1.htm
  3. http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/vitamin-c-and-collagen/
  4. http://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/collagen-connection/
  5. http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/problems/treating/naturally-boost-collagen1.htm
  6. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/foods-high-in-vitamin-c/
  7. http://www.vitamins-nutrition.org/vitamins/natural-vitamins-synthetic.html
  8. http://guthealthproject.com/the-powerful-supplement-you-need-to-heal-a-leaky-gut/

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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Rehydrate with Super Summer Slushes!

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AAAAAAAHHHH!!!! Nothing is better on a hot afternoon than a cold wet slush. Below are some recipes to help you and your kids rehydrate and fuel up for more fun in the sun. Read on for some basic recipes to get you started. I’m sure you will come up with more of your own.

Nutrient Boosting Add Ins

The fresh and frozen fruit in the recipes is great, but adding Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen will boost the protein content from almost nothing to a whopping 10 gm per scoop. That turns this frozen drink into a filling afternoon snack!

The last recipe already calls for this, but adding  Pure Radiance Vitamin C Powder gives it a huge antioxidant boost and turns any fruit drink into a super sour slush. If someone in your family is coming down with a summer cold, then this can help knock it right out of them.

Adding 1/4 tsp Walkabout Australian Emu Oil per serving will give everyone loads of beneficial nutrients like Omega Fatty Acids, Vitamin K, Vitamin D3, and CLA.

Frozen Fruit Lemonade

This recipe has been an extended family favorite for a few years now. It can be made with any frozen fruit you have available. Kids love it! For this round of taste testing, we used blueberries, but, we’ve done it with strawberries, mango, pineapple, and raspberries in the past. If you’re in a hurry, you can eliminate the fresh squeezed lemon, but I find it adds some POW to the overall flavor.

2 cups lemonade
2 cups frozen fruit
juice of 1 fresh lemon
couple handfuls of ice

Directions:
Blend all ingredients on high until desired consistency. Makes 3.

Fizzy Cantaloupe Lime Frozen Refresher

For this recipe, you want to cut up and freeze the cantaloupe in advance, a couple hours will do to freeze melon cubes.

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen cantaloupe cubes
1 cup unflavored seltzer
Juice of 1 lime
Couple handfuls of ice

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree to desired consistency. Add more ice or seltzer if needed. Makes 2.

Tropical Fruit Coconut Water Slush

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut water
1 cup fresh watermelon
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/4 cup 100% white grape juice (for a sugar free sweetener)
1 handful ice

Directions:
Blend all ingredients on high until desired consistency. Add more ice, or grape juice as needed. Makes 2-3.

Grapefruit Raspberry Sweet Tart Slush

This one was my favorite of this bunch. Very refreshing for a hot summer day!

1 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup 100% pink grapefruit juice
2 Tbs honey
1/2 cup coconut water
1 handful of ice

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until nice and smooth. Add more honey, coconut water or ice if needed.

Cucumber Lime Mint Slush

This might seem like a weird combination, but was rather tasty. Probably better for adults than children, and maybe with a shot of rum!

1 cucumber
Juice from 2 limes
8-12 large mint leaves
2 Tbs honey
Couple handfuls of ice

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until desired consistency. Add more honey or ice if needed. Makes 2

Sour Strawberry Melon Slush

Combining two of kids’ favorite summer fruits makes this recipe a crowd pleaser. This recipe requires the watermelon to be cubed and frozen at least two hours prior to making, so make sure to have plenty on hand for the whole neighborhood!

2 1/2 cups cubed frozen watermelon
3/4 cup fresh strawberries
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut water
Handful ice cubes
2 Tbs Pure Radiance Vitamin C Powder

Directions: Combine the first 4 ingredients in a blender and blend on high to desired consistency. Add more ice or coconut water as needed. Then add the Vitamin C Powder and blend for a few seconds. Makes 3.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat More Nutrient Dense Kale!

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By Lynn Gamwell

You have heard it many times. Eat your greens! Eat more kale! But some days if I have to face one more kale juice or smoothie or plate of steamed kale I think I will just quit! Fortunately I have a few tricks up my sleeve for turning one more bunch of kale into a quick and yummy salad that is beautiful and exciting enough even for guests. Get ready for massaged Kale!

Health Benefits of Eating Kale

Kale is one of the most nutrient dense but low calorie foods around.  This cruciferous (cabbage family) leafy green is packed with flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in which many diets are deficient. Containing exceptionally high levels of vitamins K, C, and beta carotene, kale also delivers potent B vitamins, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids. It provides high levels of the minerals potassium, calcium, manganese, and magnesium, as well as others at lower amounts. All this nutritional power translates into lower cholesterol, increased eye health, prevention of atherosclerosis,  decreased susceptibility to tumors, and many more benefits. These unassuming looking green leaves have everything your body needs to boost immune health, decrease inflammation, and prevent disease. Suffice it to say that adding kale to your diet is like taking your daily multivitamin in whole food, bioavailable  form.

Massaged Kale Salad

Kale leaves are tough and fibrous so it is often cooked (which can sacrifice some of the vitamin content), juiced, or blenderized into green smoothies.  Surprisingly, few people seem to know that Kale can be massaged into tender, delicate deliciousness. The combination of salt and a couple of minutes of working the kale tissues with your hands will break down the chewy fibers leaving you with a smaller bunch of slightly wilted looking leaves. It is this salty, softened kale that becomes the base for your ingredients. I am giving you my favorite additions below with more complete instructions for how to turn your tough raw kale into tender, sublime, and still raw salad!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 large bunch kale
  2. 1 tsp. salt
  3. 1/3 cup sunflower seeds (toasted or raw)
  4. ¼ cup red onion, diced
  5. 1/3 cup dried cranberries (preferably fruit juice sweetened)
  6. 1 apple, diced
  7. ¼ cup olive oil
  8. 2 TBSP natural and unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  9. Handful of sliced almonds (optional)
  10. Gorgonzola or feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Directions:

  • Use a large bunch of kale, ideally around 20 big leaves. If you have less, adjust salt accordingly.
  • Wash kale leaves and de-stem. Pat dry with a towel.
  • Shred leaves into long slices or chiffonade.
  • Put kale into large bowl with the salt.
  • Massage the kale with your hands, working the salt into the fibers. You will know you are done when the quantity has reduced by approximately 1/3.
  • Move kale to a clean bowl getting rid of any excess liquid.
  • Stir in onion, sunflower seeds, apple, and cranberries, and (optional) almond slices.
  • Toss with oil and vinegar to taste. Adjust salt if more is desired.
  • Top with gorgonzola or feta cheese crumbles if it pleases you!

We Have Options!

Now you know the secret for serving healthy raw kale without all the tough fibers to chew through. A little massage and it melts into submission!

Some days are super busy, so I make this salad ahead of time. It keeps really well for several days in the refrigerator. Or for days when kale preparation is not possible, try Perfect Fermented Kale Powder rehydrated in the liquid of your choice. You will get all of the vitamins and antioxidants in kale with the added benefits of fermentation which makes it easily digestible and absorbable.  Or Catie’s Organic Greens smoothie powder will supply your kale along with other green super foods.  It’s always good to have options!  So now there is no excuse not to “Eat your kale”!

 

Solutions for Seasonal Health Hazards

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by Lynn Gamwell

Get Set for Spring

The buds are bursting into bloom, and the world is coming back to life as warm weather approaches. Spring and summer are the times we all long for with thoughts of outdoor fun, gatherings with our favorite people, and perhaps even some vacation travel. But just as the warmth brings carefree attitudes, it also brings it’s own safety concerns. Nourishing World has you covered for all your seasonal safety needs so that you can just relax and have fun!

Sunscreen

Just the other day I was able to eat my lunch outside for the first time this year!  What a delight to feel the sun on my skin as I watched the robins pecking for worms in the grass and noticed plants poking their winter weary shoots out of the ground. The warm sun was so enticing that I shed a few excess layers of clothing. Perhaps 20 minutes later I was surprised to go indoors and realize that I had fresh tan lines! The sun’s UV rays are already strong despite the early spring oscillation between warm and winter weather. UV rays cause sunburn along with hazards such as skin cancer and premature wrinkles. We often don’t know we are endangering our skin until it’s too late and our skin is damaged!

We are as likely to get sunburned now as we are in August when the warmth reminds us of our need for protection. So don’t be fooled by the cool weather. Now is the time to rev up our sun protection habits for the season. While we can’t reduce the damage of previous sun exposure, we can decrease the likelihood of developing skin cancer by protecting ourselves as time goes forward. Babies and children are especially vulnerable to sunburn and should always be lathered up with sunscreen. Fortunately Nourishing World has all natural, non-toxic, highly effective, mineral barrier sunscreens for your whole family. Be sure to stock up on Thinksport and Thinksport Kids 50 SPF broad spectrum sunscreens that block UVA and UVB rays with non-oily, easily absorbed formulas. They have been consistently top rated by the Environmental Working Group’s guide to the safest sunscreens of the season. All Thinksport products contain the highest allowable sunscreen SPF per the FDA while still being safe and effective. Or choose Dr Mercola’s Broad Spectrum Sunscreen in SPF 30 or 15 for it’s nourishing, moisturizing, lighter protection. It is rated “1” in the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep list for safety and efficacy! We wouldn’t sell you anything we wouldn’t use on our kids and ourselves. We want no artificial fragrances, no nanoparticles, and only non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic ingredients and we know you do too!  Look no further, we’ve done the research for you and these sunscreens are the best!

Bug Spray

Have you ever noticed that as soon as the weather warms up even slightly the bugs come out?  Somehow I forget about those pesky, irritating creatures when I am longing for spring. But they are more than annoying. Mosquitoes carry serious illnesses such as West Nile Virus and ticks can carry Lyme disease. Unfortunately the list of bug born illnesses grows longer by the day. Until recently, highly toxic DEET was the main insect repellent available commercially. Thankfully we now have 100% natural and non-toxic Mercola Bug Spray, which is free from the nasty neurotoxins and chemicals of mainstream repellents while having been proven to repel bugs just as effectively as DEET.  The oils of citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, and vanilla give Mercola Bug Spray a light, lemony, pleasing scent. Use Mercola Bug Spray on your whole family. Spray it on your pets too. They would thank you if they could!

Supplement Travel Tips

Warm weather, kids out of school, and I get restless to go somewhere!  Soon we will be packing our bags and heading out of town for some well deserved vacation time.  At home I am conscientious about eating well, getting my daily greens, and taking my supplements.   But vacation demands a more laid back approach allowing our normal structure and routine to be forgotten for a while. But who wants to come home from vacation feeling rotten?  Fortunately there is no need to feel either restricted in our vacation meals or guilty about letting our good habits slide for a little while. All that is needed is a little pre-planning. Do you like your protein shake in the morning?  Count out the number of days you will be gone and take just that number of scoops of your favorite protein powder in a small jar or bag to be mixed with almond or coconut milk, juice, or even just water in a pinch. (Try Perfect Plant Protein Powder for vegetarian protein, Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen for grass fed protein, and Goatein Milk Protein Powder for an easier digested form of dairy. Compare all our protein options at Nourishing World to find the one that is best for you.)  Don’t forget your shaker for easy mixing! Or if you just want to be sure to get your daily dose of veggies, take along the necessary number of scoops of Perfect Aquatic Greens powder or take the capsules instead.  You will know you are not neglecting your health should you choose to indulge a bit on vacation. And let’s face it; what is vacation without a little indulgence?

Get Ready, Get Set, and Go!

Now that I have reminded you of all the hazards of summer, don’t fret.  Just get your sunscreen, bug spray, and supplement supplies stocked.  Soon you’ll be ready to jump into warm weather with all your bases covered!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take Perfect Collagen for Aches, Pains, & Joint Relief

Hydrolyzed_collagen_for_aches_pain

If you suffer from the aches, pains, and soreness of chronic conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, you know how hard it can be just to complete ordinary tasks and get through the day. Don’t despair, though! Perfect Collagen may be just what you need to provide your body with the nutritional support to heal. Some benefits of taking a hydrolyzed collagen supplement for chronic aches and pains include:

  • Less pain
  • Reduced stiffness
  • Increased joint elasticity
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Reduced swelling
  • Improved mobility and function

Why would collagen help reduce pain?

Collagen is critical to the body, as it comprises nearly one-third of the proteins in the human body. Collagen is one of the main components of muscles, bones, joints, skin, cartilage, and connective tissues. As we age, our collagen levels tend to decline, contributing to loose skin and wrinkles as well as aches, pains, and bone loss. Some conditions known for causing chronic pain are associated with low levels of collagen. Therefore, collagen supplementation may be a natural remedy for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain disorders, and even osteoporosis.

Collagen is rich in amino acids, the “building blocks of life,” which, among other roles, are essential for growth and repair of body tissues. One particular amino acid in collagen, methionine, helps the body to produce sulfuric compounds. Those with arthritis have been found to have sulfur levels three times lower than their healthy counterparts. Methionine has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as stimulate cartilage production.

Research has found that collagen is more effective than glucosamine and chondroitin for relieving the pain of arthritis. MRI studies have found that those taking a collagen supplement for arthritis experienced a regrowth of collagen instead of the deterioration found in their non-supplementing counterparts. Muscle biopsies have noted that those with fibromyalgia have lower levels of collagen in the muscles, so collagen supplementation may benefit fibro sufferers as well. Another study found that those with fibromyalgia and temporomandibular joint pain experienced significant improvement in pain levels after 90 days of collagen supplementation. Other research suggests that supplemental collagen can improve the inflammatory response and, in effect, teach the body to control the T-cell reaction to prevent the breakdown of cartilage and connective tissues.

Collagen vs. Gelatin

Collagen is simply uncooked gelatin. While gelatin only dissolves in hot liquids, collagen dissolves in either hot or cold liquid, doesn’t change the taste, and doesn’t thicken. This means you can add it to plain water, any kind of milk or juice, coffee, tea, smoothies, and more. Another big advantage of collagen is that it’s lower molecular weight makes it easier to absorb than gelatin. Those suffering from chronic digestive issues may have a hard time breaking down the molecules in gelatin or bone broth, so collagen is an excellent, easy alternative.

How do I choose the best collagen supplement?

When choosing a collagen supplement, you’ll want to make sure the one you select is made from grass-fed, hormone-free cattle. The cows used to make Perfect Collagen feed on clean, green, pesticide-free pastures in Brazil. The cows are never given hormones or antibiotics. Perfect Collagen goes through a natural enzymatic process to break down the collagen into its most absorbable, bioavailable form. This process is called hydrolyzation. No chemicals, preservatives, flow agents, or fillers are added — only pure, pastured collagen.

Get the most out of your collagen supplement

  • Vitamin C is a cofactor for collagen production, so this is an important supplement to take alongside collagen.
  • You may also want to consider a B Complex supplement, as B vitamins support methionine in producing sulfurs in the body.

Does collagen have any side effects?

Collagen supplements are extremely well tolerated. Potential side effects include mild diarrhea or a slight rash, but most will experience no side effects from collagen supplementation. There are no known dangers or drug interactions associated with collagen.

What other natural remedies help with aches and pains?

  • Emu oil is excellent for achy joints and sore muscles. An oral emu oil supplement provides anti-inflammatory omega fatty acids. Topical emu oil can be rubbed right into the aching joint to reduce inflammation locally.
  • Calm Balm soothes sore muscles with menthol camphor and healing oils. This is a great natural alternative to Icy Hot.
  • Magnesium is also extremely important for easing aches and pains, as it aids in the nerve response plus muscle contraction and relaxation.
  • There is growing evidence that turmeric is as effective as aspirin in relieving pain — but without the gastrointestinal side effects
  • Avoid sugars and excess carbohydrates in your diet, as these may contribute to inflammation in the body.

 

By Ali Wetherbee