antioxidant

Demystifying Antioxidants

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Everyone has heard of the importance of an antioxidant rich diet. Companies use it as standard marketing fare these days, promising benefits of antioxidants on everything from snack bars to breakfast cereal. Television personalities, journalists, and your next door neighbor urge you to increase your antioxidant intake. But, when you strip away all of the buzz, what exactly are antioxidants? Why should you be so concerned about them? Read on to demystify all the questions you may have about the all important antioxidant.

 

What Is an Antioxidant?

An antioxidant is anything that helps to neutralize the oxidizing effects of free radicals in the body. As the name implies, antioxidants stop the oxidizing effect that free radicals play on cells in the body.

 

Where Do We Get Antioxidants?

Antioxidants come from a variety of sources. Vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and other key nutrients provide sources of antioxidants. In general, fruits and vegetables are some of the best sources of antioxidants. However, some sources of antioxidants exist that are not thought of as readily. For example, the blue-green algae spirulina is a tremendous and powerful source of antioxidants.

 

What Does an Antioxidant Do?

Sure, antioxidants fight against free radicals, but how does that help with health and well-being? By neutralizing harmful free radicals, antioxidants fight against disease, the effects of aging, and environmental harm. Continuing with the example of spirulina, this potent antioxidant source has been shown to boost energy levels and help the immune system, among other benefits.

 

How Do We Get Enough Antioxidants?

Thankfully, it is relatively easy to get more antioxidants into your diet. Focus on eliminating processed foods because they offer few to no antioxidants. Instead, focus on eating a rainbow of produce colors. Add antioxidants to your foods with a scoop of spirulina or simply take a spirulina supplement. Additionally, you may choose to take a multivitamin to fill in any gaps you may have, though with a varied diet and spirulina supplement you will naturally minimize any nutritional gaps.

Need some great recipes that show how to work spirulina into your diet?  Take a look at this Pinterest board on easy and healthy spirulina recipes.

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My Stress Busting Secret Weapon

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Have you ever felt like you need to be three places at once? Finishing a project in the office while dropping the kids off at soccer and cooking dinner and loading the washing machine? Life can be stressful. Constant stress can be damaging to both our physical and mental health. When people become incredibly stressed out, they often begin to experience chronic anxiety. Chronic anxiety can lead to panic attacks and inability to handle even the most casual social situations. I’ve experienced stress and anxiety before, but after years of trying everything, I’ve finally found a few natural treatments that work even better than prescription medication without the harmful side effects.

Rhodiola rosea is a yellow flowering plant that grows wild in the Siberian Mountains. Known for it’s stress busting capabilities, I started taking rhodiola rosea capsules to combat my anxiety. After a few months on the supplement, I no longer experience panic attacks or social anxiety. I am able to effectively handle stress. I have also found that rhodiola rosea gives me more energy without causing jitters or anxiety like coffee.

This amazing little plant is considered an adaptogen herb meaning that it has the ability to adapt to the body’s needs. If you are stressed and anxious, rhodiola works to calm you down. If you are tired, rhodiola works to boost your energy and vitality. Whatever is ailing your body can be benefited by an adaptogen herb. These herbs are also side effect free, safe, and natural. Rhodiola rosea is a much safer and more effective alternative to prescription stress and anxiety drugs that can cause a host of unwanted side effects.

To find the best rhodiola rosea, looks for a product that contains 100% pure rhodiola rosea extract standardized to 1% rosavins and 3% salidrosides. This is the most beneficial ratio. Remember to always buy supplements from a brand you trust and to consult with your doctor before starting anything new.

 

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8 New Ways to Eat Spirulina

spirulina3I love spirulina. It so nutrient dense and it truly makes me feel like a super hero! I love adding it to my smoothies and I’ve even added it to baked goods like muffins. I love spirulina so much and eat it so often that I am always looking for new spirulina recipes. Whenever I find a new spirulina recipe, I usually get right to the kitchen to try it for myself. Unfortunately, many spirulina recipes simply don’t make the cut.

I recently found 8 stellar spirulina recipes and I am so excited to share them with you! I’ve tried this recipe and many others on the list but I am yet to try them all. As I try them, I will report back with my favorites. I wouldn’t want to steal credit by posting the recipes here, so follow the link back to the original post.

The spirulina recipes found in this post include a spirulina shot, a spirulina smoothie, spirulina honey, spirulina salad dressing, spirulina pesto, spirulina toast, spirulina guacamole, spirulina hummus, spirulina pancakes, and spirulina seasoning salt. So far, I think my favorite recipe is the spirulina seasoning salt- YUM!

I can’t wait to try the rest of the recipes! If you try any of these spirulina recipes, make sure you let me know whether or not you liked them! It can be very difficult to find good recipes, but so far I’ve tried about half from this website and they have all been delicious! If you have any amazing spirulina recipes, feel free to share them with me! Remember, when buying spirulina, or any supplement for that matter, try to buy USDA organic and always remember to read the labels!

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My Top 5 Supplements

fishoilcapsulesPeople always ask me about what vitamin pills and supplements I take to stay healthy. I decided to write this article about my top 5 favorite supplements. These are the supplements that I feel have done the most to boost my health.

1. Probiotic Supplements

Probiotic supplements works to replenish the amount of “good” bacteria found in your digestive system. This is the type of bacteria that wards off sickness and boosts emotional well being. A good probiotic supplement can even reverse certain digestive system health concerns.

2. Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil, especially when wild caught and traditionally fermented, is an excellent source of vitamins A and D as well as many important omega fats. The nutrients found in cod liver oil work to boost overall health, fight off disease, fight inflammation, and boost emotional health.

3. Algae Supplements

Superfood algae such as spirulina and chlorella can do wonders for detoxifying the body and boosting overall health. In this day and age, we live in a very toxic world. Spirulina and chlorella bind to those toxins within our body and work to remove them.

4. Adaptogen Herbs

Adaptogen herbs such as cordyceps and rhodiola work to normalize any aspect of the body that isn’t functioning properly. Both rhodiola and cordyceps work well for balancing my energy levels. For example; if I am low energy, adaptogens work to give me a boost, but if I’m stressed out, adaptogens work to calm me down.

5. Super-Fruit Supplements

Last but not least, I love super-fruit supplements acai and baobab. I buy the powder versions and add them to smoothie for an added boost of nutrients and antioxidants that work to boost my energy and overall health.

There you have it! These are the supplements I take on a daily basis to stay healthy and active. I believe these five supplements have done the most to improve my overall health and wellness.

Healthy food

Four Steps You Can Take Today to Make Your Life Healthier

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For those of us who have long had the goal of making our lives healthier, there is good news that we can actually make significant strides towards that goal today. Four uncomplicated steps can set your goal in process today.

 

  1. Go for a Walk: Many people erroneously think that they must have an extreme workout regime to gain any benefits. In reality, as little as 20 minutes of brisk walking is beneficial to your health. Best of all, walking requires no special equipment or gym memberships. So instead of watching reruns after dinner tonight, consider lacing up your sneakers for a quick walk around the block.

 

  1. Include a Supplement: Try as we might, few of us have a perfectly balanced diet. In your quest to achieve a balanced diet, you may find that adding a supplement may be a great help. Avoid supplements that are filled with artificial ingredients or make exaggerated claims, and instead seek out a plant-based supplement. One good choice is a fermented kale powder. These kale powders can boost your diet with all the detoxifying, disease-fighting powers of kale in the easy, concentrated form of a powder.

 

  1. Add and Subtract: It can be overwhelming to think of changing your entire diet at once. Rather than overhauling everything at once, choose one food you can subtract from your diet and choose one new food to try adding to your diet. For example, consider cutting out sugar for a couple of weeks and note how you feel. At the same time, try something new like Greek yogurt. With little pain or effort, you will soon have given your diet a healthy make over.

 

  1. Wear Sunscreen: Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you are not at the beach means you don’t need sunscreen. Sunscreen is a powerful tool in the fight against skin cancer. All exposed skin should be covered in sunscreen each day, even the cloudy days. Choose a mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

 

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3 New Ways to Use Coconut Oil

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Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard of all the amazing health benefits coconut oil has to offer. In the kitchen, it can easily be used to replace butter and other cooking oils for healthier, and vegan, dishes. Coconut oil when consumed can boost immunity, benefit weight loss, improve skin tone and texture, and promote over all health and wellness. You may not know that coconut oil has TONS of uses and benefits completely outside of the kitchen. Here are a few of our favorite uses!

1. Make-Up Remover

Coconut oil can easily be used as a make up remover. Simply warm a bit of coconut oil between your hands until it becomes a liquid. Then, using a tissue, cotton ball, or make-up pad, gently rub the coconut oil in small circles until your make-up becomes loose and starts to rub off. When the make-up is mostly removed, simply rinse your face with cold water and the soap of your choice. If you do not wear a lot of make-up, or if you wear organic/homemade make-up, you may not even need to use soap.

2. Facial Moisturizer

Coconut oil can also be used as a facial moisturizer. After you have washed your face, warm a bit of coconut oil in your hands. Smooth coconut oil over face and massage gently into your skin. There is no need to rinse the coconut oil when using it as a facial moisturizer. Oily, dry, and combination skin will all benefit from the use of coconut oil as a moisturizer. Worried about putting oil on your face? Coconut oil is antibacterial and actually prevents acne!

3. Lip Balm

Coconut oil can easily be used as a lip balm. We recommend melting coconut oil and pouring the liquid into an old lip balm tin. Keep the tin in a cool place (> 75 degrees) so that it remains solid. Simply use a finger to apply the coconut oil to your lips. The coconut oil will keep your lips smooth and it will also naturally protect your lips from the sun.

These are simply 3 of my favorite used for coconut oil. Believe me, there are hundreds of uses for coconut oil- I just don’t have time to write about them all! In my experience, I have found that for hair/body purposes, it is best to keep a large jar of coconut oil in your bathroom. When using the coconut oil on solely your face/eyes, I recommend coconut oil coconut oil softgels to prevent contamination. Simply pierce the capsule with the sharp end of tweezers or nail scissors and squeeze the coconut oil onto the palm of your hand. I hope you have enjoyed this article and I look forward to writing more articles for you in the future.

 

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An EASY Alternative to Liver & Onions

Got picky eaters? I certainly do. I work tirelessly each and every day to provide my family with the nutrient dense foods that their bodies need. Nothing is more frustrating than serving your family a nutrient dense meal that they simply refuse to eat. This is my family’s problem with liver and onions. Beef liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world, but that doesn’t help me if my kids refuse to eat it! Luckily, I have found an alternative.

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My family now takes desiccated liver pills! Well, my husband and I knowingly take the capsules. For the kids, I simply empty the capsules into foods like soups, stews, broths, and sauces. The trick is to stir in the powder AFTER the food is finished cooking and just before serving. Heating the beef liver powder will destroy some of the nutrients so it is best to add just before serving when the food has cooled to a temperature safe for eating.

Grass-fed beef liver is packed with nutrients and you can give your family these same exact nutrients in the convenient form of a capsule supplement. A typical serving of the desiccated liver capsules that my family takes contains 2.8mg of naturally occurring iron, 969 IU of naturally occurring vitamin, and 5.5mcg of vitamin B12. These nutrients keep my family healthy and energized on a daily basis.

Grass-fed beef liver is a lot like cod liver oil; it doesn’t taste great but I know that my family needs it. Thankfully, I can find both beef liver and cod liver oil in convenient and tasteless capsules. This has been a great option for my family. How do you get your kids to eat the nutrient dense foods that they are not very fond of? Let me know!