Monthly Archives: May 2012

Spirulina Explained: Here’s What You Need to Know About this Healing Superfood

Spirulina is one of the oldest life forms found on earth to this day. It’s actually an a algae – a microalgae to be exact. It’s fascinating to learn that it actually assisted in the formation of our atmospheres oxygen billions of years ago.

Today there are lots of superfoods you hear about. Some really are superfoods, while others are just part of a new diet or supplement that’s being promoted, but spirulina is truly a superfood. The very first one if you think about it. The original. In fact, you could live on a diet of water and spirulina.

Spirulina a Powerhouse of Nutrients

There have been literally hundreds of studies done on spirulina. The information we have on it is so overwhelming and makes you wonder why we don’t hear about it more often. It contains ALL 8 essential and ALL 10 non-essential amino acids that provide the basis of a healthy body. That means it has up to 70% proteins… yes, that’s providing more than soybeans, chicken, beef, you name it.

The amount of nutrients found in spirulina isn’t comparable to any other plant, grain or herb you can find on earth. Consider these facts:

  • It’s easily absorbed and digested by your body
  • It naturally protects your immune system
  • It reduces your cholesterol
  • It has iron, vitamin B12 and other important nutrients
  • It helps your body absorb minerals
  • It was used for centuries by historical populations, including the Aztecs

It’s easy to understand how spirulina is very likely the most nutritious food ever known by man. Some consider it to be the original source of life energy. Those who add it to their diet report an overall improvement in their health and an increase in energy. It can help protect you from everything from the mumps to AIDS.

The Omega Fatty Acid Fish Connection

You know that fish is an important food source for getting the omega fatty acids that you need. It helps reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, high cholesterol and arthritis – just to name some. If you think about it, why do you think that is? Why do you think they’re such amazing sources for it? It is very likely due to algaes in the water like spirulina. Why not go straight to the source?

The list of benefits seem to never end. Spirulina contains vitamins K, D, B and E. It has magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc, selenium and copper. All this means it can:

  • Reduce inflammation (inflammation is very often the underlying cause of diseases)
  • Boost a slow immune system
  • Balance an overactive immune system
  • Improve digestion
  • Slow down aging
  • Fight off free radicals
  • Reduce appetite and help with weight loss
  • Improve production of white and red blood cells
  • Cleanse blood of impurities
  • Improve skin appearance (age spots, acne and more)
  • Balance blood sugar levels

How to Get Spirulina

Spirulina has to be harvested from the warm water it grows in. It’s often processed into flakes, powders or pills. The flakes and powder can be added into drinks, but most people don’t like the taste of it. The most popular form of spirulina supplements is in capsules or tablets.

Other Notes

Spirulina can help when the body is exposed to radiation. In fact, the children from Chernobyl were given Spirulina.

One of the most common concerns about supplements, for good reason, is potential side effects. Spirulina has no side effects. It does have iodine in it, so if you’re allergic to iodine talk to your doctor before you start taking it. Of course, if you haven’t detoxed recently, start slowly. Detoxing too fast when you aren’t used to it can always lead to some ill feelings.

Always do your homework on a supplement before you take it. With spirulina, it can be harvested from the wild or it can be farmed in a controlled environment.

Considering its amazing benefits and the fact that it provides pretty much everything you need to survive besides water, this is the perfect item to stock up on and put away in your survival kits.

 

Foods, Supplements and Other Tips to Fight Fatigue

Fatigue is something we’re all plagued by from time to time. It doesn’t matter if you’re working, at the movies or just trying to run errands, when fatigue sets in it makes anything a true challenge. You can feel mentally wore down. You can feel like you’re trying to lift a building with every step. To speak frankly, it sucks.

A lot of the time, when you’re suffering from fatigue you probably go for the closest energy drink or quick-fix pills. Right? That’s understandable. But it isn’t going to help you much long term. It works because it’s simply covering up the real issue and not dealing with the true cause. Unfortunately, sometimes it can even be detrimental to your health.

The better thing to do is to find and understand the root cause. What is it that’s dragging you down? Many times, fatigue stems from one of the following:

  • Dehydration
  • Not enough sleep
  • Not enough exercise
  • Not eating right

So how do you deal with it once you know what the problem is? Here are some tips for the above common causes of fatigue:

Treat Fatigue with a Better Diet

There are many foods that are known to trigger fatigue. They include starchy and sweet foods like cake, doughnuts, white bread and anything else with processed bleached flour or lots of sugar. They might provide a bout of energy, but it’s short lived. When that energy dissipates  you come crashing down. Instead, try to eat foods that will give you steady, longer lasting energy without the sudden crash.

What foods do that? Unprocessed, complex carbs. Some great foods that provide this are plums, nuts and quinoa. You also need to make sure you’re getting plenty of protein.

Treat Fatigue with Exercise

If you don’t get enough exercise, several things happen: your metabolism slows to a trickle and your body starts storing away fat for energy. If you’re overweight and suffering from fatigue, that’s common. If you aren’t getting any exercise, just adding a tiny bit per day can have dramatic results. Not only do bouts of exercise boost your metabolism, but it improves poor circulation which is actually another cause of fatigue.

Treating Fatigue with Hydration

A lot of people don’t drink enough water. Unfortunately, this can often lead to fatigue and is not normally identified as the culprit. Not only can it lead to fatigue, but a whole slew of other problems like:

  • Joint pain
  • Overly dry skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Commonly occuring bloating
  • High blood pressure
  • Build up of toxins in the body
  • Weight gain

Luckily, this is the easiest root cause to treat – drink more water! You should try to get at least eight glasses a day.

Fighting Fatigue with Supplements

There are also supplements that can help you fight fatigue. just be sure you’re treating the real cause first. Then by adding any of the following to your daily routine, you can really give yourself a boost:

  • -Ginseng
  • -Bee pollen
  • -Chlorella
  • -Magnesium
  • -Longan berries
  • -B vitamins

Less Common Causes of Fatigue

In some cases, your fatigue may not be caused by natural things outlined above. There are external factors that can contribute to fatigue:

  • Stress
  • Illegal drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Prescription drugs

 

Little-Known Superfoods You Should Know About

There are new superfoods being found every year. Those that we’ve become accustomed to get replaced by even better ones that we discover. Some of the ones that you may not have heard about are cloves, maqui berry and baobab fruit. But what is it about them that make so powerful and beneficial for your health? Read on to find out…

Maqui Berry

Maqui berries will remind you of blueberries the first time you see them. Recent berries that hit superfood status, like acai and goji berries are having to make room for the new addition of maqui berries. These little berries originate from Patagonia, which is found in southern South America.

Tests that measure the effectiveness of antioxidants in foods prove that they’re a valuable source of antioxidants. This test, knows as ORC (oxygen radical absorbency capacity) has been used to test various other foods in the past. The ORAC test says that maqui berries are ten times better than blueberries and that they might be able to aid in weight management.

Acerola

Ever heard of Amazon cherries? If so, then you’ve heard of acerola. They’ve also been marketed as barbados cherries. Native to the South American and Central America regions, they pack an amazing amount of vitamin C – as much as 40 times the amount you get from oranges. Again, this is a food that’s a valuable antioxidant source. If you try to find them in your local grocery store, you’ll probably have a hard time. The easiest way to add them to your diet is to use the supplements created from them.

Baobab Fruit

This is another new superfood and luckily, it’s just very recently been approved for export. Originally growing in Africa, it has a really interesting texture to it. How many fruits do you know of that has a powder-like texture? Yep, not very many… if any! Like the acerola, you likely won’t be able to find it in your local grocery store. We hope that it’ll become more widely available once all the exportation details are settled. But for now, you might be able to find it in yogurt.

Cloves

Cloves is something you’ve surely heard of. But it wasn’t until recently it was discovered just how healthy they are for you.Thanks to Spanish research, we’ve learned about some very strong antioxidant properties in them. Experts believe, and hope, that we might be able to take that and use it VS synthetic ones that we commonly used as a food preservative.

 

Making Weight Loss Fun!

When you’re trying to lose weight, exercise is pretty much a must. But if you’ve never gotten into any kind of exercise routine then you probably haven’t discovered something that you enjoy. All exercise might seem like work. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is literally an unlimited variety of exercises out there, so there’s bound to be something that you will enjoy.

If you like the outdoors, you could:

  • jog
  • walk
  • swim
  • roller blade
  • play with your dog in the park
  • go whitewater rafting
  • ride a bike

If you aren’t fond of the outdoors, that’s ok too. There are tons of indoor activities you could including:

  • dance classes
  • aerobics (at a gym or at home)
  • martial arts
  • roller skating
  • weight lift
  • basketball

Try doing different things each week so you don’t get bored with one thing. Yoga is really good for both toning your body, while also reducing stress. Try to substitute that in once a week and you’ll feel great. Regardless of what you choose to do, just make sure you’re doing something several times a week for half an hour at a minimum. Remember that that half hour doesn’t always have to be all at once, either. If you walk for ten minutes, then later in the day play with your dog at the park (actively) for twenty minutes then you’ve gotten in half an hour of activity that day.

The secret to exercising more is finding things that you like to do. So keep trying different things until you find something that’s fun for you. Don’t let it get old and boring once you do, either. If you start to get bored with it, then start trying other things again and come back to it.