The Problem with Most Probiotic Supplements

Probiotic supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. Regular consumption of probiotic supplements is credited with everything from improved digestive tract health to, more recently, a link with lowering blood pressure. Like with most things in life, all probiotics are not the same. Some options are outstanding and offer everything probiotics are purported to have, but others have problems. Before you add a probiotic supplement to your dietary routine, read on to learn everything you need to know to make a good choice in your supplement selection.

The Problems. The term probiotic is only loosely regulated. A company that uses poor manufacturing and quality standards can use the term just as much as a company that adheres to only the strictest standards. Use a critical eye to distinguish the best options from the worst.

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Not Enough Probiotics. Some probiotic supplements and products have only a very small amount of probiotics in them. For example, many major yogurt companies market their yogurts as a way to supplement your diet with probiotics. The problem is that most of these yogurts do not have enough probiotics in them to provide benefits.

Not Enough Strains. Different strains of probiotics play different roles in the body. Unless you are looking at a probiotic to target only one very specific problem, you should be looking for a probiotic that offers many strains in order to get broad spectrum support.

Not Viable. To aid with food digestion, the stomach secretes powerful acids. These acids also have the power to destroy many probiotics before they ever have a chance to serve their role in the body. Weak lactic based strains of probiotics can be destroyed without ever helping your health.

The Solution. Good, high quality probiotic supplements are out there. Look for a supplement that has a probiotic count in the billions and multiple different strains of bacteria. To address the issue of surviving in the acidic environment of the stomach, choose a soil-based probiotic as they have been shown to survive better. Our favorite option for meeting these qualifications and more is Prescript-Assist soil-based probiotic.

The Top 3 Energy Boosting Herbs

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Why turn to dangerous energy drinks and synthetic supplements for a boost of energy when you can increase your energy the natural way? There are many natural herbs, superfoods, and supplements that are safer and more effective for boosting energy. Keep reading to find out more!

Cordyceps Sinensis

Cordyceps sinensis is an adaptogen herb meaning that it has the ability to adapt to your body’s needs. Adaptogens also boost overall health while causing little to no side effects. Each adaptogen has its own, unique, beneficial properties outside of the ability to normalize the body and boost overall health. Cordyceps specifically works to boost energy, endurance, and stamina. It also has the amazing ability to boost lung function and oxygen capacity. For all of these reasons, cordyceps benefits the body by boosting natural energy and vitality.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola rosea is also an adaptogen herb that works to boost energy. It does so by preventing fatigue by reducing the amount of stress hormones found in your body. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, leave you feeling worn out and foggy. By reducing the number of stress hormones found in your body, you can boost your energy, endurance, vitality, and focus. Rhodiola also causes little to no side effects.

Acai Berry

The acai berry is a wonderful energy booster because it is packed with antioxidants that boost vitality and slow the process of aging. Since I started taking acai, I feel years younger and my energy is through the roof! I always notice how tired I am on the days that I forget to take it. The antioxidants found in acai prevent free radical damage that can leave you feeling worn out. Other good energy boosting berries include blueberries and goji berries- YUM!

Secrets to Health Food Shopping Like a Pro

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Browsing through the web pages or aisles of a health food store can be invigorating. The choices are seemingly endless and each product seems to offer health benefits more impressive than the last. So, how do you shop with confidence and leave with only the best and most worthwhile products? Follow along with the example of shopping for a spirulina supplement to learn how to shop like the nutrition experts shop.

 

Consider the Source. Where a nutritional supplement comes from matters greatly. Whether you are shopping for food, drink, or supplement, the manufacturer should always reveal the source of the product. In our example of spirulina, a health professional would verify that the spirulina came only from clean, fresh, uncontaminated waters to prevent any pollution or contaminates from tainting the quality of the spirulina.

 

Quality Counts. Dieticians will tell you to choose organic options whenever possible, especially if it is something like a spirulina supplement that you will be consuming on a regular basis. Pesticides and toxins are absorbed by spirulina and other food sources and then passed along to the people who consume them. To be certain you are not consuming these toxins look for only organic products.

 

The Fine Print

When reading the labels on a spirulina supplement, look to make sure there are no additives. A quality spirulina supplement will contain only spirulina—no chemicals, no additives, ever. Nutrition professionals know added ingredients are unnecessary and potentially harmful. Quickly abandon any spirulina supplements with such additives as it is a clear indication of a subpar product.

 

Promises, Promises

Finally, note that with any product, food or otherwise, you want a company who stands behind its product. Search product labels for a satisfaction guarantee. Ideally, you will never need to use it, but when a company refuses to stand behind their products experts know that company may not be reputable or trustworthy.

 

The Top Four Natural Ways to Boost Energy

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These days it seems like we could all use a little more energy. Sugary, caffeine packed drinks fill the marketplace, but their effects are brief and end with an energy crash that can leaving us more lethargic than before. Instead, try some of these natural energy boosters for a lasting, healthy energy boost.

 

  1. Get Some Exercise. It may sound counterintuitive to expend energy to gain energy, but exercising is a great way to increase energy levels. Exercise increases adenosine triphospate (ATP) levels in the body, which is the body’s source of energy. In fact, exercise is so effective at giving energy that you should avoid exercising within a couple of hours before bedtime to make sleep easier.
  2. Consider a Supplement. Rather than heading to convenience store products to keep you alert, consider an herbal supplement. In particular, Rhodiola Rosea is a great choice to help with this goal. This ancient herb has been used for centuries to help with overall health, energy levels, stamina, and stress levels. Best of all, unlike gas station energy drinks, studies have shown no serious side effects associated with Rhodiola Rosea consumption.
  3. Limit Caffeine. While caffeine in moderation is fine for most people, caffeine overloads can actually work against improving your energy levels. When caffeine is consumed too late in the day it disrupts sleep patterns leaving you less well rested and more lethargic the next day. Cut off caffeine consumption a minimum of four to six hours before bed to improve sleep quality.
  4. Get Up at a Consistent Time. When you are exhausted, little sounds as appealing as the thought of sleeping in as late as possible. The problem with this is that it leaves your body in a state similar to jet-lag. Instead, get up within an hour of the same time each day and catch a 30-minute power nap to rev up.

Want to learn more about Rhodiola Rosea and how to find the best Rhodiola supplements?  Watch this Rhodiola Reviews video.

10 Ways to Use Coconut Oil to Improve Your Health

coconutWCoconut oil is an amazing superfood and supplement with literally hundreds of uses. Coconut oil usually comes in a jar in it oil form, but you can also buy coconut oil in softgels for us as a dietary supplement.  Here are 10 ways to use Coconut Oil…

1. Cooking Oil

Coconut oil has a very high smoke point, much higher than olive oil, which allows you to cook at higher temperatures. Coconut oil is also considered a healthy fat and much healthier option when compared to conventional cooking oils.

2. Butter / Margarine Substitute

Coconut oil can be used to replace butter, margarine, and shortening in most recipes. Because coconut oil is vegan, it is often found in vegan dishes in replace of dairy.

3. Weight Loss Aid

Coconut oil has the amazing ability to promote natural weight loss by reducing fat around the midsection, boosting metabolism, and preventing overeating. Take 1-2 tbsp. before each meal to experience the metabolic effect and reduce your chances of eating too much.

4. Energy Boost / Pre-Workout

A spoonful of coconut oil provides enough energy for a quick pick me up when you are feeling tired. Many athletes take coconut oil prior to their workouts as it easily metabolized and burned as energy.

5. Moisturizer

When applied directly to your skin, coconut oil softens and strengthens the tissue. It also prevents stretch marks, scarring, eczema, and other skin conditions.

6. Hair Mask

If you leave coconut oil on your hair, it strengthens the follicles in the same way that it strengthens the tissue of your skin. It is deeply moisturizing and able to penetrate the follicles for optimum health.

7. Mouth Wash

Many people swish coconut oil around in their mouth which is a process known as oil pulling. Oil pulling improves oral health as well as many other conditions.

8. First Aid Treatment

When you apply coconut oil to minor wounds, it speeds up the healing process and works to prevent permanent scarring.

9. Coffee Creamer

If you blend melted coconut oil with coffee, the liquid and the oil emulsify which makes a rich, frothy, latte-like beverage. Adding coconut oil to your coffee boosts focus and energy, and may contribute to healthy weight loss.

10. Sun Screen

Last but not least, when you apply coconut oil to your skin before sun exposure, it works to prevent burning with a natural SPF of 4. It also helps your skin tan evenly.

 

 

 

You Are What You Eat

fruitsveggiesScience is proving the old adage “you are what you eat” is not just a cliché, but actually full of sound health advice. As researchers continually release studies showing the impact that what people eat and drink has on their overall health and well being, the wisdom in this simple phrase is proving to be true and valuable advice. Each sip or bite ingested has the power to either positively or negatively affect a person overall– from skin conditions to chronic illnesses.

Detrimental to Health

Some foods and drinks people eat are known for causing a growing waistline, but they can actually also be damaging to one’s overall health. Two of the biggest culprits are sugar and refined grains. Studies show both of these foods cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, which results in inflammation in the body. According to a study out of University California-Davis the consumption of sugar is linked with an increased risk of heart disease. Other studies show consuming these foods contributes to increased risk of Type II diabetes, metabolic disorder, and many more health problems.

Beneficial to Health

Thankfully, improved eating habits can also improve health and well-being. In particular, antioxidant rich foods may play a powerful role in fighting disease and improving health. Foods such as like blueberries, sweet potatoes, coffee, and walnuts are antioxidant-packed allies for gaining greater energy and possibly helping to prevent many diseases. By neutralizing free radicals, these foods may help ward off a variety of maladies and diseases that are prevalent today.

Applications

The takeaway point for people to remember from this old adage is simple: eat healthy foods and you will very likely be healthier; eat unhealthy foods and your of being unhealthy goes up quite dramatically. There is hope for people who can’t eat perfectly all the time. Because of the deficits people may have in their diets, it may be worth considering using nutritional supplements to improve an individual’s nutritional intake. Many physicians and researchers recommend taking a daily multivitamin. Recently we have heard from a number of news reports that coffee consumption is healthy, but many people do not drink coffee either because they do not like the taste or because the acidity in coffee upsets their stomachs. But, for those people who do not drink coffee for whatever reason, they may consider taking a green coffee bean extract supplement. Some researchers believe the beneficial chlorogenic acid found in this extract is responsible for many of coffee’s benefits. People should aim to eat the foods that are most beneficial for their bodies but also may consider using certain nutritional supplements for additional healthy benefits.

How to Make a Green Smoothie

sinachWhen people ask how I got healthy, the first thing I usually tell them is that I moved to New Mexico. Now in reality, the move gave me the push I needed to change my lifestyle, but the move in itself did not make me any healthier. The first step I took on my journey to health was incorporating green smoothies into my diet. In this article, I’ll explain how and why I make a green smoothie for breakfast every morning.

Green smoothies seem to be the latest health craze and for good reason. Nutrient dense smoothies are an easy way to get all of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that your body needs in a quick and easy meal. Most people in this country do not eat nearly enough green vegetables, and green smoothies are a delicious and easy way to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs.

So how do I make my green smoothies? I simply take some ice, some almond or coconut milk, some fresh fruits, and some green vegetables and blend them until they are fully combined. There are hundreds of different flavor combinations that I have experimented with and most of them are absolutely delicious.

Sometimes I run out of fresh green vegetables. This is when I turn to nutrient dense, whole food, green supplements. I buy supplements such as chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass, and kale powder; all of which are USDA organic and free from all harmful ingredients. Organic green powders can easily be used in place of fresh raw veggies to make a nutrient dense green superfood smoothie.

I try to buy my fresh green smoothie ingredients from local farms, CSAs, and Farmer’s Markets. I buy my supplemental green powders online from supplement companies that I know and trust. Remember, in order for a green smoothie to be healthy you must use healthy ingredients.

How to Find the Best Desiccated Liver Supplement

1434067_21253739People always ask me what my favorite supplement is and I tell them that it is desiccated liver. Liver is great for building and maintaining lean muscle as well as boosting energy and endurance. It is also one of the most nutrient dense foods in the entire world simply dehydrated into a convenient supplement. I take desiccated liver every day which is why it is so important to find a good source for your desiccated liver supplements. This article is designed to teach you how to find the best desiccated liver supplement.

The best desiccated liver supplements come from healthy and happy cows. Healthy cows are 100% grass-fed. They do not come into contact with hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, GM feed, or any other contaminants. It is very important the cattle are grass-fed, as grass-fed beef liver has far superior nutrient profile compared to the livers of grain fed cattle.

It is also important to choose a desiccated liver supplement that is 100% pure. A desiccated liver supplement should not contain any fillers, flow agents, synthetic nutrients, or any other artificial ingredients. In fact, it should only contain desiccated liver within a capsule. The capsule should be made from non-gmo plant cellulose or (preferably grass-fed) gelatin.

Like with all supplements, it is best to buy an all natural desiccated liver supplement from a reputable company that you know and trust. It is also wise to consult with your doctor before beginning any new supplement regimen. Desiccated liver has improved my energy, endurance, and muscle mass. Simply use the tips outlined in this article to make sure you are getting the best desiccated liver available.

Don for New Mexico

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Hey there, my name is Don and I’m here to talk about your health! A couple of years ago, I was living in Ohio. I was sick, fat, and miserable with my living situation, so I decided to make a major change. I moved to New Mexico where I decided to start my life over. I started exercising and eating healthy, and I managed to find a career and make a lot of great friends along the way.

Remember how I mentioned that I found a career? When I lived in Ohio, I sold insurance, mostly on the phone, from my desk. I spent close to 40 hours per week sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen, and make phone calls to people who didn’t want to talk to me. When I moved to New Mexico, I fell in love with exercise and got certified as a personal trainer.

I now work at one of the first gyms I signed up with when I moved out here. I like to do a lot of functional movement training- my own special blend of crossfit and traditional body building I try to work out 3-5 times per week but I am always sure to give my body at least two days of rest.. My favorite exercises are dead lifts, lunges, and squats! For cardio, I prefer to get out of the gym with nice long walk or an exploratory bike ride. Treadmills are boring!

I now follow the Weston A. Price diet that consists of whole, home cooked, local and organic foods. I buy local and organic whenever possible. I try to avoid grains and all processed foods- ESPECIALLY processed sweeteners. I eat plenty of healthy protein and fats from grass-fed dairy, pastured meats, and wild caught seafood. I also eat plenty of vegetables and fresh fruit.

I plan to use this blog to keep myself on the right track and to help others join me. It took a huge change for me to get healthy, but I’m going to use this blog to share the little, everyday changes you can make in order to live a healthier and happier life.