Category Archives: Body

Top 3 Must Have Tips For Getting The Most Benefit From A Probiotic Supplement

Happy Couple Outdoor. Jumping Family on Green FieldTaking a probiotic supplement can have a significant impact  on a person’s health.    

There is no longer any doubt that taking a probiotic supplement can benefit health, no matter what age a person is. Science confirms this point with new studies on a weekly basis, some studies showing surprising results and unexpected benefits. But there are a few things that can be done to increase the effectiveness.

1. Limit consumption of refined sugars. All sugars, even those found in fruits, can have an effect on the digestive system. Because they contain many necessary nutrients and vitamins, fruit can, and should, be eaten on a regular basis. Refined sugars carry no nutritional value. These include soft drinks, cakes, cookies, syrups, alcohol, etc. Corn syrup is widely used in processed foods and is high in fructose, which is shown to promote cancer cell division.

While the human body is designed to metabolize glucose, there are no such mechanisms to manage fructose resulting in decreased insulin sensitivity. This increases risk of diabetes and weight gain.

2. Increase the amount of vegetables and fibre in the diet. Vegetables add many nutrients and vitamins that help the body fight disease, promote good digestion, and adds a feeling of fullness without extra calories.

When shopping for vegetables and fruit, organic is the way to go. Pesticides and herbicides used on food have become a dangerous, toxic cocktail that disrupts the body’s ability to remain in a healthy state.

3. Add Chia seeds to the diet. These tiny seeds from Mexico and Guatemala were once a staple in the diet of the ancient Aztec. They are packed with nutrition, fiber, essential fatty acids and much more. When moistened they develop a gelatinous coating that works very well in the digestive tract, slowing digestion and regulating blood sugar.

Victoria Playfair of Savi Wellness, a company selling a top quality probiotic supplement says, “As with any health supplement, a probiotic can only do so much. If a person is making poor food choices on a daily basis and is not giving the body the nutrition and support it needs, then the supplement may not make as big an impact on overall health.”

A staunch believer in feeding the body on mainly natural, unprocessed foods, Ms. Playfair goes on to say, “If, however, the person is seeking out hormone free, antibiotic free meat, organic produce free from pesticides and herbicides and drinking treatment free water, it does make a difference, not only in the digestive tract, but to the health of the entire body. Our goal is to help people reach their health goals by providing products that enhance healthy living.

We believe a probiotic supplement is as important on a daily basis as a vitamin supplement. People need to understand that they do have many ways to choose a healthier lifestyle. It does not have to happen overnight. Simply adding a salad a few times a week and eliminating a few sodas per week is a good start to healthier digestion. Empowered living at its finest.”

Probiotic Supplements and You

Belly Dancer in a Hot Pink Costume Shaking her Hips Probiotics are one of the most important supplements to help you along in your quest for optimal health and wellness. Feeling great is key to deriving the most enjoyment out of your life.

And it all starts in your gut. Yes, the gut or digestive tract is one of the most important systems in the entire body. It is the place where 80% of your immune strength comes from and can be thought of as the brain’s best friend. And sometimes communication between the best of friends gets confused and derailed. This is what happens when the bad bacteria in the gut becomes overgrown and overtakes the good bacteria.

The gut is like the brain’s rather ugly, but much loved, twin. They are symbiotically connected and when one is out of balance the other cannot function effectively. The messages concerning the inflammation response, allergy response, immune response and others do not transfer properly.
Molecular Thoughts

This miscommunication between the brain and the gut is very detrimental to our overall health, balance and wellbeing.

The overgrowth of bad bacteria can be caused by our diet,  antibiotics, stress, illness and many other factors.  When we begin to suffer from digestive issues, brain fog, anxiety, multiple colds and flu and many other complaints, it may be our body telling us that we are out of balance.

A good multi-strain probiotic supplement to restore balance to the intestinal tract is the first step in healing and strengthening our bodies defences.

Check out our pages to discover, not only the benefits of a probiotic supplement, but many ideas you can use to live your life more fully on every level.

3 Great Ways To Enjoy A Fun, Healthy Summer.

Happy Family Having Fun at the Beach. Vacation concept Summer is my favorite time of year. We have 5 months of winter, 4 months of muddy, cold weather that is bad for gardening or skiing so we are left with 3 lovely months of sun, green grass and summer fun.

But our diet can suffer through those months. Even though we have an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies, we also have numerous parties, travel plans, and other activities that can wreak havoc on our digestive system and the delicate balance of the bacteria that keeps it healthy.

Here are my top 3 ways to keep that microbial balance at its optimum level and still enjoy all those great summer activities.

1. Manage stress. Yes, as much fun as summer is, stress can be a factor in planning all those activities. Take some time for yourself each day. Even if it is only 15 minutes hiding in the bathroom, just take that time to practice some nice deep breathing into the belly. This belly breathing calms the nervous system and actually help eliminate negative thoughts.

A short meditation is always beneficial. There are many on youtube. Find something that makes you laugh. A good belly laugh is excellent medicine.

2. Summer makes it easier to watch what you eat. With the amazing variety of fresh fruits and veggies, salads are always on the menu. There are many salads you can make up ahead of time so they are handy. Limit the amount of creamy dressings and when it comes to treats, just eat of little bit of your very favorite ones. And be sure you drink lots of water. Stay hydrated and your body will love you for it.

3. I always make sure I take probiotics. This way I know I am doing my best to maintain that crucial balance in my intestinal tract. This helps support the immune system, avoid digestive problems, keep my energy levels up and reduce inflammation issues in joints and muscles.

Probiotics are my go-to supplement and I love them.

Cashews – 5 Ways This Versatile, Tasty Nut Can Boost Your Health

Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen (1887) Cashews are making a name for themselves not only because of how delicious and versatile they are, but because of the numerous health benefits that are being discovered.

Cashews are actually the seeds that are attached to the bottom of a fruit called the Cashew Apple. Although we don’t use Cashew Apples a lot in North America, they are considered a real treat in the Caribbean and their native Brazil.

Here are 5 ways that including cashews in your diet can help give a boost to your health.

1. They are very good for your heart. Cashews contain high amounts of monounsaturated fats, the kind that are good for your heart, that can help reduce high triglyceride levels.

Studies show that 4 servings of nuts, such as cashews, per week, might possible reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by a possible 36%!

2. As we age, our bones and our body’s ability to rebuild bone tissue, becomes compromised. Cashews contain large amounts of magnesium helping with bone structure.

3. Research indicates a reduction in the formation of gallstones by at least 25% may be attributed to the consumption of an ounce of cashews or other nuts per week.

4. Cashews contain a high level of copper, helping your body get rid of free radicals, retain elasticity of joints, blood vessels, and bones, as well as regulating heartbeat. Maintaining the proper levels of copper in our systems is also linked to increased ability to resist infection, proper absorption of iron and restoring the balance of LDL to HDL cholesterol levels in the body.

5. Cashews can help you lose weight. Because of their lower than average fat content, they are the perfect choice to add to your weight lose plan. They can be used in curries, added to salads or just eaten as a snack. And cashew nut butter can be added to a smoothie in the morning or a mid-morning snack with celery sticks.

It’s important to look for nuts that are organic, untreated and raw for the best results. So head on down to your local health food store and stock up on these yummy, healthy treats today!

Boogie Your Way To A Healthier You

45613-photo(252).jpg If you’re like me, you love to dance. It’s one of a my all-time favorite things to do and I am so happy I married a great guy who loves to dance as much as I do. We’ll dance to almost any kind of music but we do like rock, old and new, the best.

Because we love dancing so much, we never really considered the health benefits. It’s an added bonus to find out there are many. Did you know that shaking your booty can:

  • strengthen your cardiovascular system and heart
  • keeps our brain active
  • burns loads of calories
  • reduces stress and increases confidence
  • strengthens core muscles
  • slows agin process by keeping us moving and our joints lubricated
  • keeps bones strong, preventing osteoarthritis
  • strengthens and tones legs
  • develops poise and balance
  • And dancing makes us happy.

Dancing is also great for the brain. The intricate steps of ballroom dance create new neuron pathways, keeping the brain nimble and sharp. Dancing can make you smarter.

Not only are there incredible benefits to dancing the night away but when you are out for a night on the town, just being with friends can has a positive impact on your health. Laughter releases endorphins, companionship raises mood levels and shifts our state of being.

There are many ways to get our exercise, shift our mood and take charge of our health. But one of the funnest ways to accomplish this goal is to get out of the house and go dancing.

5 Painless Ways To Improve Your Diet Today.

Fresh, organic vegetables in the basket Food, wonderful food. We crave it, we sacrifice for it, we wash with it, we love it and hate it.

Food evokes such emotion in us humans. As soon as we can’t have something, we suddenly need it more than we ever thought possible. And many times, that thing we crave is the food we really shouldn’t be indulging in. Eliminating these foods from our diet can seem like an impossible challenge. How do we change from bingeing on a bucket of ice cream to nibbling carrot sticks?

Well, it doesn’t have to be as drastic as that. Here a 5 easy ways to add changes to your diet today without going through withdrawal hell.

1. Don’t look at changing your diet all at once and don’t think of it as taking away the things you love. Look at it from the perspective of what can you add in. Add a pre-dinner salad with a light dressing. Don’t load on the high fat Ranch or Ceasar. A little olive oil and balsamic vinegar or garlic vinaigrette will do nicely. This serves to not only bring in some fresh veggies but it also takes up some room in your stomach so you don’t eat as much.

2. Add yummy green smoothies to your day. I try and replace one meal with a green smoothie. I will usually try and make it my breakfast. I think it’s easy on the stomach, nice and fresh and it seems like a good way to start the day. Mind you, today it was 30 below Celsius and today my body wanted something hot and filling. So I made the smoothie for lunch. Perfect.

Some days work out and some don’t. I hadn’t been a fan of green smoothies until the last few months. Now I love them. If you are already a fan of fruit smoothies, that’s great. It’s simply a matter of adding in a bit of baby kale, some cilantro or parsley, a couple pieces of celery or cucumber and you won’t believe how yummy it is.

3. I love stirfries. My wok is one of my favorite kitchen essentials. But many recipes call for sauteing in oil. I have found that using chicken broth or a bit of water works just as well for me. Once it’s all cooked up and I add the sauce, I then add in that yummy toasted sesame oil, just a few teaspoons, and it is just delish. And a wonderful bonus…..stirfries are loaded with yummy veggies, a little bit of meat and very little fat. Good for you and yummy, too.

4. Drink your water. Yes, this is something so easy that you can add into your daily diet that will make a difference throughout your body. Did you know that our body is made up of at least 65% water? And did you know that roughly 95% of people are chronically dehydrated? That’s bad. Your body needs to be properly hydrated to have all systems functioning properly.

You need at least 8 8oz glasses of water per day. And one lovely little “diet” trick is to drink one or two glasses of water before you eat. You won’t be nearly as hungry, you will have given a nice boost to your digestive system and your skin, brain, joints, organs and various other body parts, will thank you.

5. When you look at the number of diets that are out there for you to choose from and how each one will give you any number of foods that are bad for you, is it any wonder that you are so confused? I am, too. So my plan has been to:

a) decrease the amount of gluten in my diet (although I do enjoy a slice of garlic bread or a big plate of homemade pasta once in a while). Gluten really is somewhat damaging to the lining of the intestine and can cause microscopic cuts that allow larger pieces of food to be released into our system where they should not be. This is called Leaky Gut and although the pieces of food are still incredibly tiny, they can still cause damage.

b) eat lean meat. I have never been a big fatty meat eater anyway, but I am now a bit more conscious of it now. And it hasn’t really changed the way I eat. To me, the meat tastes better and, in some of my recipes, the fattier meats just wreck the recipe.

c) add more organic foods into my diet and increase the amount of fresh fruits and veggies. I do love a huge salad made up of different greens, purple cabbage, red pepper, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli and drizzled with my favorite balsamic; a Raspberry Chipotle Reduction. Oh my!!! ( Yes, I love George Takei’s facebook page. )

Easy Peasy!! Simple things you can add to your diet can make a world of difference to your health and enjoyment of life.

How To Find The Best Probiotic Supplement For You

Digestion conceptProbiotics have made the news and judging from recent research, there is good reason. Studies are now showing the importance of having a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract. Your overall health, physically, emotionally and mentally depends on it.

But how do you choose between all the new brands that are popping up everywhere? How many billions of good bacteria should you look for? How many different strains should be listed on the label? Does it really matter where they are manufactured?

You want to be sure your probiotic supplement is not manufactured in China. Many corporations have taken their business overseas and the quality is, oftentimes, doubtful. You want to be sure your probiotic is created with the best ingredients available under strict quality guidelines.

Experts recommend at least 5 billion CFU (colony forming units) as a minimum but 10 billion per day or more is preferable. It may take a few days or a few weeks for these amazing little bugs to colonize and restore balance to your gut. Once you notice a positive difference in how your feel, how regular you become and how the bathroom smells when you are done, you will know that those friendly bacteria have done their work.

When looking for a probiotic, how do you decide which one to choose? Some have 20 strains, some have 1 strain and there seems to be a huge range in between.

Think of it this way. If you are building a house, do you want your framer to do the electrical? Or would you like your plumber to also do your tile work or build your kitchen cabinets?

No. Each contractor has an area they specialize in. It is the same with probiotic supplements. There are different strains and they have different jobs in different areas of the digestive tract. It is recommended to look for a probiotic with at least 5 strains that number in the billions for each one.

L. Acidolphilus works to adjust the PH level in your body, destroying pathogenic microbes.
L. Casei promotes the growth of L. Acidophilus and helps with protection against pathogens
Bacillcus Subtillus activates the human defence systems, fighting off viruses, yeast overgrowth and pathogens
L. Plantarum protects against yeast overgrowth from antibiotics, both prescribed and from the meat we eat.

Other probiotic strains to look for are L. Rhamnosus and B. Breve

How Important Are Probiotics To Your Unborn Baby?

Unborn baby in pregnant belly

Have you considered adding probiotics to your maternity supplement routine? Why would they be important?

Here are 5 reasons to begin today:

1. Your overall wellbeing is important not only to you but to your baby, as well. If you are in your best physical health your pregnancy will be much more enjoyable. You will experience less stress, which, new studies show, can transfer to your growing baby. A well balanced bacterial environment throughout the body can reduce inflammation, increase brain function and fatigue and support your hormones during pregnancy.

2. Digestive issues are a common complaint during pregnancy. We can suffer from gas, bloating, constipation, heartburn and cramping. Not much fun when you should be at your happiest. Probiotics are known to help combat all of these and make being pregnant just that much more enjoyable.

3. Emotional upheaval is one of the many issues pregnant women have. The hormones are going every which direction and some days you don’t know whether you are Jekyll or Hyde. If you begin taking probiotics today, this will go a long way in regulating your hormones on a day to day basis, even if you are not pregnant. And while mood swings are very common during pregnancy, you will at least know that you have done everything you can do to prevent them from being over the top.

4. infections are uncomfortable at the best of times. If you suffer from chronic yeast infections or any type of urogenital infections, this is a common sign that your digestive system has been overrun by bad yeasts and bacteria. If this is the case, taking probiotics becomes very important for you. Probiotics contain billions of friendly bacteria. As they colonize in your gut, they begin to eliminate the bad bugs, (leaving some, as they do have their uses), re-establishing a healthy, supportive environment that will help you keep those infections at bay.

5. Most importantly is that your bacterial balance can have an effect on your child’s health all through its life. Although new research is showing that the baby may contract some bacteria in utero, it mostly relies on your bacteria to begin colonizing on its skin and within the intestinal tract. If the bacteria in your birth canal, where baby picks up the micro-organisms, is overgrown with unfriendly bacteria and yeasts, it can have an effect on your baby’s health. There may be problems with eczema, allergies, infections, ability to assimilate nutrients, weakened immune system functioning and many other issues.

So start your probiotic supplement today and make your pregnancy one of joy, happiness wonderful health.

Probiotics And Your Immune System

Smiling baby, cute faceA strong immune system equals a strong body.

There are many components that make up our immune system, the intestine being on the front lines of defence against pathogens, infection and disease.

Part of the intestinal wall is the mucosal membrane, vital for a number of reasons.

As it lines the intestine, it creates an incredibly tough, resilient barrier. This not only assists with the absorption of nutrients from the food you eat, but protects the intestinal wall from tiny tears as food moves through it. These tiny tears can allow larger particles of food, fats and proteins that should be part of your waste, to be released into the intestine creating a toxic mess. This is called leaky gut syndrome and can lead to many autoimmune disorders including Crohn’s Disease, Asthma, rheuaetoid arthritis and others. Symptoms of leaky gut include bloating, gas, fatigue, joint pain and abdominal pain, to name a few.

The body’s immune system uses both learned responses and built-in responses to protect your body from viruses, pathogens and other invaders. Both learned and innate responses come very early on in our lives. From the moment we begin moving through the birth canal we are exposed to bacteria that is essential to our health throughout our lives. If this bacteria that we first encounter is not optimally balanced, our health and immune responses are compromised. As infants, we may already have an imbalance of friendly to unfriendly bacteria. But this can be corrected with the use of probiotics for the mother before birth and a children’s probiotic supplement given to the child after birth. Consulting with your health care professional can help you make the best decision for both you and your baby.

It must be said that several things contribute to the GI tract imbalances that we are all facing. Our modern lifestyle, even with all our modern conveniences, is stressful. Anxiety and worry follow many of us around like a black cloud. It is crucial to our overall health and wellbeing to get a handle on our stress levels. This can be done through meditation, making time to nurture ourselves, establishing boundaries and priorities.

Physical activity is also effective at decreasing stress levels while increasing those ‘feel good’ hormones that are important for our bodies. Taking up yoga, tai chi, hiking, martial arts, dancing, aerobics and any other physically active pursuits will also help, not only the stress level but that physical movement that keeps your body happy and healthy.

It may be strange to say, but our obsession with cleanliness and eradicating all bacteria from our homes and lives, comes with a price. You see, our immune system is like an army, very well trained, ready to fight off invaders that may damage our health. But, as with any army, they need to stay in shape. As we become more ‘skilled’ at cleaning away bacteria and germs, we are actually removing the opportunity for our immune system to learn what an real invader looks like. When this ‘learned response’ is removed, our ‘army’, which has forgotten who they are fighting, will actually start to over react and attack things that normally occur in our day to day lives, which can cause allergies or our own bodies, resulting in autoimmune disorders.

We all recognize the importance of having a strong immune system. It protects us against, not only the common colds and flu that plagues us, but against many other health issues, as well. Approximately 75% of our immune function lies within our gut. It is the first line of defense. Probiotics are a common sense first step in restoring our immune system to optimal health and allowing our digestive tract to begin to function normally, once again.

Get Moving

2006_0813Image0102Here are three great ways to get yourself moving while you are getting your kids in the habit of being more active.  There are so many ways to have fun that you will forget it’s exercise.

1.  Take a hike.  Yep, get out and enjoy Mother Nature with the kids.  Take a book with you to help identify plants, birds, trees, mushrooms or whatever interests you.  You will discover a whole new world out there and your kids, who might complain the first few times out, will learn to love it.

2. Take the kids and a ball down to the school yard, soccer field or beach and just have fun kicking the ball around.  Kids of any age love this, from the littles tykes to your all-star soccer kid.  It gets you moving and it’s great fun for the kids to see if they can outrun, out-kick and out-smart you on the field.

3. Remember Hopscotch or Red Rover, Red Rover or Kick the Can?  Games you played as a kid…..before video games had you sitting on the couch all day. Wouldn’t it be fun to pass these games down to your kids?  Or maybe you are learning them for the first time, yourself.  You might want to start working out a little before you bring your kids in on the games.  Just so they don’t beat you too badly.

So now you see how easy and fun it is to get yourself and your kids moving again.  Get out the door and enjoy life.