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Why a Multivitamin is Important for Your Child

Importance of kids multivitamins
Importance of kids multivitamins

Good nutrition is important for a child’s healthy growth and development. Along with smart food choices, many parents do their best to ensure their children receive their recommended, daily dose of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. But getting your child to eat right all the time can be challenging, as we live in a world filled with foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats, and low in nutrients. Today, studies show this scenario has created the dual burden of a population that is overfed but undernourished.

Providing kids with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables along with healthy proteins and whole grains will help them meet many daily nutritional requirements. And to get an extra boost, adding a high-quality multivitamin to a child’s daily diet can help fill any gaps, so you don’t have to worry.

Good Nutrition and Growing Kids

Unlike adults, kids are continuously growing. They tend to experience growth spurts scattered throughout their childhood, but the process in continuous. Their bodies are working hard as their bones are becoming dense and strong, the brain is developing, the heart is growing, and muscles are filling out. Keeping up with their nutritional needs can ensure your child’s body can grow and develop with healthy cells that are less likely to succumb to health problems. The following is a breakdown of the many reasons why kids need balanced nutrition.

Growing Bones – Skeletal and bone development are part of growing, and the right vitamins (nutrients) can ensure healthy bone density and size. Some habits like exercise help develop strong bones, but some habits like soda and sugar consumption, can create a nutrient deficit leaving the body starved for nutrition. Our bones are made of living tissue that requires nutrients like vitamin D and calcium, and a steady supply of the right vitamins and minerals helps bones grow strong.

Brain Development – Our brains are constantly changing and updating, but a child’s brain is more than twice as active than the adult brain. (1) As they learn and grow, the brain is constantly making new connections, which is why learning and stimulation are important. However, nutrition is important too, because iodine, iron and vitamins like A, B12, D and folate are crucial to support brain development.

Immune Health – Kids play with other kids, pets, and dirt. That’s why it becomes even more important they get their daily dose of nutrients to support their immune health. The immune system is a vast network of organs and vessels, but when the body is supplied with adequate amounts of Vitamins A, C, D and E, it has a much better chance at keeping up with an active child and ward off potentially harmful pathogens.

Sugar – While many parents strive to feed their children healthy foods and teach them good habits, treats like cookies or cakes can find their way into your child’s life. When kids consume too many treats or food and drink with hidden sugars, their bodies need more nutrition. Extra nutrition will not stop the effects of unhealthy foods, but it can help limit some of the damage that excess sugar may cause.

Strong Muscles – As a body grows, muscles need fuel for healthy development. While we often think of protein as the nutrient muscles rely on most, they also need vitamin D for growth, biotin to help muscles use protein and vitamin C for fuel. The right nutrition is important, so your child has all the energy they need to play and recover, and if your child is an athlete, proper nutrition becomes even more important. A wide array of vitamins is important for healthy muscle development.

Healthy Means Happy – Good physical health is important for kids to remain healthy and active, but it is also important for their emotional health. In fact, diets that are rich in B vitamins like folate and B-6 are known to help anyone maintain a positive outlook. On the other hand, a poor diet that is deficient in adequate vitamins and minerals can leave kids feeling tired and cranky.

Top Vitamins for Growing Kids

  • Vitamin A is important for healthy eyes and to support the immune system. It is mainly found in dairy products and liver as well as some vegetables like carrots and broccoli. Those who cannot tolerate dairy may have a difficult time getting enough of this vitamin.
  • B Vitamins include biotin, folate, pantothenic acid, and more. This array of vitamins is important for a healthy body and provides energy that kids need.
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant and top vitamin for immune support, but it also contributes to healthy hair and skin, among other things.
  • Vitamin D supports strong bones and is important for the growing child.
  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect the body and cells from free radical damage. And while we usually don’t think of kids needing this protection, it is just as important for them as it is for adults.
  • Iodine supports growing bodies and may support the endocrine system and brain health.
  • Zinc is a nutrient found throughout the body and may help support the immune system and metabolism.

Ingredients Matter

Diet is the best source of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that children need, but sickness, stress, and active lifestyles can create a need for more. For those who want to support their child’s health with a multivitamin, it is important to know that ingredients do matter. Not all vitamin sources are created equal and some added ingredients like extra sugar just aren’t necessary.

A multivitamin can be a part of a healthy diet. Organic ingredients and high-quality vitamin sources will provide the extra support and fill in any nutritional gaps that parents often worry about. Keep up with your kid’s nutrition to help them stay happy, healthy and fit.

References:

1 Osawa M, Konishi Y. [Developing the brain–proposal to child neurologists: how to nurture and stimulate brain development]. No To Hattatsu. 2003 Mar;35(2):113-6. Japanese. PMID: 12661091.

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

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The Healthy Benefits of Zinc

the healthy benefits of zinc complex

Minerals and trace minerals are nutritional elements that our bodies use for a host of functions including building bone tissue, converting food into energy, brain and heart health. Zinc is one of the more important nutrients, and is considered essential because the body does not produce it. Because of this, zinc must be consumed through diet, and when diet fall short, many turn to supplements to help keep the body balanced.

What is Zinc and Why do We Need it?

Zinc is an essential trace element that is required for healthy enzyme function and metabolism, among other things. Even though it is found in every cell of the body, it is not stored by your body, which means you must get a steady supply through diet to ensure healthy levels. But how much is healthy?

It is recommended that men consume 11 mg of zinc per day, women consume 8 mg, pregnant women consume 11 mg and breastfeeding women consume 12 mg each day. Even children need up to 8 mg per day, with teenagers requiring up to 11 mg each day.

The continuous supply of zinc is important for daily living and necessary body functions that keep us alive. Zinc is required for enzyme activities, which are the chemical reactions that support digestion, metabolism and even muscle repair. Some of the main functions that are supported by zinc include the following:

  • Support enzyme activity
  • Metabolism of nutrients
  • Skin health
  • Immune health
  • Protein and DNA synthesis
  • Wound healing
  • Growth and/or tissue repair
  • Healthy sense of taste and smell
  • Support vision
  • Protect cells from stress

Zinc works best when used with other trace minerals to help maintain a healthy balance. Some of these minerals are magnesium and copper, both of which support muscle and nerve health. When used together, these three important minerals can also support health of the immune system, nervous system and even promote healthy aging.

Trace minerals are nutrients that are crucial for good health, but we only need a very small amount each day, usually between .2 and 15 milligrams. And while many foods contain them, some people may find it difficult to get all the minerals through diet, since some minerals may be destroyed by food processing or cooking. Some of the trace minerals include:

  • Chromium for healthy blood sugar levels
  • Iron for oxygen-rich blood
  • Manganese for enzyme health
  • Selenium as a powerful antioxidant to protect the cells

The above is not an exhaustive list, but provides insight into the importance of trace minerals in the daily diet. Ensuring you get a well-rounded balance of these nutrients can ensure your health is also balanced.

Zinc and Your Immune System

A healthy immune system relies on a variety of nutrients to stay strong. Because the immune system has many parts that work together, nutritional balance is important so that our immune response is ready when needed. But nutritional balance may not come as easily as it seems.

A balanced diet includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. And while you may think you are getting nutrition through your diet you might be in for a surprise.

The food supply today is rife with highly processed foods and produce that may be grown in less than desirable soil. Unfortunately, processing foods can destroy important vitamins and minerals, lowering the nutritional count to below dietary recommendations. At the same time, vegetables and fruits rely on nutrients from soil that is often depleted, due to overuse of fertilizers, increasing salinity, soil runoff and other environmental factors.

Luckily, you have the power to take control of your health and be proactive when it comes to supporting a strong immune system. Exercise is a known immune system modulator that can support natural antibodies. Regular exercise helps the lungs flush pathogens while keeping stress hormones like cortisol in check.

Diet is another way to support good health, and focusing on whole foods with plenty of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins can help you stay strong and healthy. Avoid foods high in sugar and trans fats, fried foods and other harmful foods, as they all interfere with immune health. And if you know that your diet could use support, add a zinc and trace mineral supplement to your daily health regimen.

Zinc Deficiency

Zinc deficiencies are not common, but some people are more susceptible including mature adults, pregnant women and those who are nursing. Digestive issues like ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome can also cause problems with zinc levels as the body may not be able to absorb all the minerals from the foods that are eaten. When added to a deficient diet, the case for supplementation strengthens.

Some vegetarians and vegans also seem to have lower levels of zinc. (1) This may be because fruits and vegetables are not a primary source of zinc, while foods like seafood and cheese that are higher in zinc might be avoided. Other conditions that may increase risk for a zinc deficiency include:

  • Alcohol addiction
  • Chrohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Low zinc levels can lead to some health concerns such as a loss of appetite and thus, unwanted weight loss. Other signs of a zinc deficiency include:

  • Hair loss
  • Skin sores that heal slowly
  • Brain fog
  • Diarrhea
  • Lowered immune response

Zinc and mineral supplementation can help maintain a healthy nutritional balance, which may improve overall health.

Zinc Rich Foods         

Some foods are a naturally rich source of zinc and can help boost your zinc levels. Some of these foods include oysters, beef and crab. Other sources that are rich in zinc include whole grains, legumes and cereals, but these also present a problem when it comes to bioavailability of certain minerals.

Whole grains, legumes, beans, seeds, nuts and fortified breakfast cereals also contain phytates, or phytic acid, which are compounds that can bind minerals like zinc, iron and manganese. This means that when you eat these foods, your body will have a difficult time absorbing them, potentially leaving you nutritionally deficient. And while cooking the foods can reduce the phytic acid, it can also destroy some minerals.

Luckily, phytic acid can be lessened, which can remove the barriers to nutrient absorption. Most of these foods can be soaked in a solution of water and vinegar or water and salt to lessen the phytates. Soaking nuts and beans also make them more digestible, leaving less problems like gas and bloating.

A zinc supplement can also fill in some nutritional gaps. Because zinc is found in every cell of your body, it is the second most abundant trace element behind iron, which shows how important this versatile nutrient is. Supplementing with zinc can help ensure you take advantage of the benefits like immune and blood sugar support, healthy skin and cardiovascular support.

Magnesium and Copper

Magnesium is a mineral that helps convert food into energy and supports the health of the nervous system, muscles and numerous chemical actions of the body. Some people use magnesium supplements to get better sleep, while others use it to help them relax after a stressful day. Getting enough magnesium into your daily diet is essential for good health, especially for those with digestive issues and mature individuals.

Copper is an essential nutrient that the body uses for numerous functions like immune support, and it plays a role in the generation of ATP, your body’s main source of energy. (2) Copper deficiencies may lead to issues such as weakness and digestive issues. And while the body only requires a small amount of copper to maintain health, it is important to get enough into your diet, since your body cannot produce it.

Ensuring you get a healthy supply of all nutrients is essential, as benefits are recognized when they are used together. For example, research shows the combination of zinc, copper, magnesium and calcium supports bone health, especially in mature adults. In fact, at least one study has shown that postmenopausal women who supplemented with this combination of minerals experienced less bone loss than those who took a placebo.

It is possible to get both magnesium and copper through dietary sources. Foods that contain copper are similar to those that contain zinc, including oysters, nuts and seeds. Other foods that are a source of copper include:

  • Liver
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Lobster
  • Leafy greens
  • Dark chocolate
  • Spirulina

Foods that contain magnesium include:

  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cashews

Some of these foods share the phytic acid issue, but soaking them will allow you to take advantage of the nutrients while avoiding digestive issues.

Trace Minerals

Many people are familiar with vitamins and minerals that are part of a healthy diet, but micro or trace minerals are less commonly discussed. Minerals, or macro-minerals, include calcium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium, to name a few. Minerals should be consumed in amounts of at least 100 milligrams, depending upon the mineral, to maintain good health. But trace minerals are just as important, even though they are lesser known that the rest.

Trace minerals are the microminerals that are required by the body. They are labeled as trace minerals because only small amounts are needed for good health, but they work “behind the scenes” to ensure your body functions at an optimum level.

Trace minerals play many roles including the synthesis of DNA, metabolism, ensure enzymes are active and helps keep hormones balanced. They provide support for your immune system, digestion, growth and repair of the body. Here are some ways the body uses these micronutrients:

  • Protect cells from oxidative stress
  • Support immune function
  • Support brain function
  • Support nervous system
  • Healthy digestion
  • Strong enzymes
  • Metabolize macronutrients
  • Help body rejuvenate itself
  • Support tissue repair

Because of the many roles and functions of trace minerals, it is important to maintain a healthy balance by consuming mineral rich foods that contribute to health. If you have digestive issues, take medications or are vegan, you might benefit with a trace mineral supplement.

Consuming foods that are rich in minerals can support your body’s levels of trace minerals, especially if you  consume the recommended 7 – 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Eating a variety and including foods that are lightly cooked while soaking those with phytic acid can keep your digestion strong, so you absorb enough to keep you healthy. Organic produce is another way to ensure you get the most nutrition from the foods you eat. And ensuring your diet includes a variety of healthy foods also ensures you get a variety of nutrients, too.

Trace ionic mineral supplements are becoming more popular among health enthusiasts as synthesized fertilizers and overuse of farmland depletes the soil. The result is that minerals essential to our wellbeing do not get replenished in the food supply, but supplements can help fill any nutritional gaps.

Zinc Complex

Fortunately for our health, Balanced Health has created Zinc Complex with zinc, magnesium, copper and trace minerals. This is the perfect combination to support the immune system as well as ensure healthy and balanced levels of minerals for every part of the body including muscles, bones and skin.

The right combination of minerals in the right balance means the nutrients are digestible and bioavailable for the body. They are easy to assimilate, which means your body can use them as required. And because they are highly digestible, they are the perfect supplement for those who have digestive issues and for those who simply need to fill in their diet.

Feel the Difference

While zinc deficiency may be rare, zinc inadequacy may not be. Some indications of low zinc include acne, hair loss, poor vision and slow healing from wounds. Many people supplement with zinc to overcome acne and provide immune support, especially during cold and flu season.

Balanced Health’s Zinc Complex is easy to digest and highly absorbable. Regular supplementation can support balanced nutrition, a healthy immune system and healthy aging. And you can feel safe knowing it is free of wheat, yeast and dairy, and manufactured in the United State. Zinc Complex makes it easy to be proactive, so you can live healthy.

References

1 Freeland-Graves JH, Bodzy PW, Eppright MA. Zinc status of vegetarians. J Am Diet Assoc. 1980 Dec;77(6):655-61. PMID: 7440860.

2 Medeiros DM, Jennings D. Role of copper in mitochondrial biogenesis via interaction with ATP synthase and cytochrome c oxidase. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2002 Oct;34(5):389-95. doi: 10.1023/a:1021206220851. PMID: 12539966.

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

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This Super Probiotic Supports Weight Control and Immunity – In One Small Bite

This Super Probiotic Supports Weight Control and Immunity
This Super Probiotic Supports Weight Control and Immunity

Today, people around the world know how important diet and nutrition are to overall health and well-being. A healthy and wholesome diet provides the necessary nutrition to support digestive health, central to energy levels, the immune system, and even emotional health. Furthermore, at the core of good digestion is a healthy and balanced gut microbiome.

The gut microbiome is an environment within the digestive tract where trillions of microorganisms thrive. Composed of various bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, and other gut microbiota, a healthy balance of these organisms is crucial for good health.

The balance of the microbiome relies on microflora to support the digestive and immune systems. Beneficial bacteria play essential roles in the production of neurochemicals that regulate mood and weight. The gut microbiome is key to weight control, while an imbalance is linked to obesity and metabolic health. (1)

Scientists now know that certain bacterial species directly influence health, having an important role in maintaining optimal health. Humans need a wide range and variety of microflora to impact various areas of our health positively. Fortunately, studies show that diet directly affects the health of the gut microbiome. Therefore we can influence our microbiome and our health.

Probiotics and Gut Health

Probiotics are beneficial or helpful bacteria that, when ingested, have a positive influence on the gut microbiome. Each strain of probiotic has unique characteristics and qualities in regard to their influence on our health. Some beneficial bacteria aid in food digestion and crowd out pathogens that may be harmful, while others help produce vitamins such as B12 and vitamin K.

Everyone is susceptible to digestive issues, but athletes are more prone to digestive distress and lowered immunity because of it. Regular exercise is associated with better health and even improved digestion. However, athletes that undergo intense and prolonged training, such as endurance athletes, are prone to weaker digestion, which leads to immune suppression, risking our best health.

Current research on probiotic supplementation indicates that certain probiotics positively affect immunity. In other words, some probiotics can boost the immune system. Not only that, the right probiotics lead to improved nutrient absorption and improved immune response.

Unfortunately, some beneficial bacterial strains found in probiotic supplements, and foods like yogurt may not survive the digestive process long enough to influence digestion and gut health. However, some strains are proven beneficial, such as Bacillus subtilis, also known as DE111.

Bacillus Subtilis or DE111, the Superior Probiotic

DE111 is a more soluble probiotic with unusually high heat tolerance and can withstand pH extremes such as those found throughout the human digestive tract. This particular strain positively influences health by supporting the immune system and healthy digestion, and studies show it may help improve occasional constipation. (2)

With the unique ability to form a protective barrier or spore, this probiotic is resistant to the stomach’s extreme acidity and the human body’s intense heat. While many microbes found in dietary supplements may not be efficient or even destroyed upon ingestion, DE111 experiences optimal growth and activation at the same temperature as the average human body. This winning combination makes it a robust probiotic and a reliable strain beneficial for use in natural supplements.

Some beneficial bacterial strains may survive the digestive process but are only activated in lower temperatures. That means that as they must exist in the human body at a higher temperature, they may be rendered helpless. B. subtilis, on the other hand, has an optimal growth temperature of 37° C, so the heat of the human body will activate it, contributing to a healthy digestive tract.

According to another study on athletes, female athletes who incorporated a dietary supplement of DE111 for ten weeks with a healthy post-workout diet improved body composition. Body composition is the analysis of the core components like muscle, fat, water, minerals, and protein. Improved composition occurs when lean muscle increases of body fat decrease and both are associated with improved fitness levels.

An exciting benefit of DE111 is its ability to enhance the intestinal tract cells and help prevent harmful pathogens from attacking the gut lining. When it comes to health, this means less internal inflammation and the ability to support healthy immune function. That is because DE111 can support and even stimulate normal microflora in the gut microbiome, leading to healthy digestion, which is the basis for overall health.

How Much Does It Take?

Probiotics are measured by Colony Forming Units or CFUs; in other words, how many viable bacterial colonies are found in a controlled environment, such as a dietary supplement. This matters when it comes to using food or nutritional supplements to boost health by balancing digestive health.

In the case of Bacillus subtilis, studies show that this particular organism supports a healthy GI tract and digestive health. When used in a dosage of 1 billion CFU, it supports healthy gut function and normal bowel movements, both of which are an indication of overall health. DE111  taken at 5 billion CFU also supports exercise recovery, improved strength training performance and results, optimal body composition, and even normal fat metabolism.

DE111 aids digestion by assisting in the breakdown of sugars and fats into small chain fatty acids, which are the primary source of energy for the colon. These fatty acids are important for the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats and may lower the risk of health issues like obesity and heart disease.

The results of these beneficial actions lead to a healthy functioning digestive tract with the improved ability to break down food into useable nutrients and energy, which may be used for muscle recovery. Better digestion leads to improved health, less chance of constipation, and other digestive issues.

DE111, in a dosage of 5 billion CFUs, is also known to promote urinary tract health. When the gut microbiome is out of balance, harmful bacteria known as uropathogens may grow in abundance. When left unchecked, these particular pathogens lead to an unhealthy microbiome. (3) DE111 supports overall health, normal gut microflora, and healthy gut function, which may be why it supports a healthy urinary tract.

How Can I Get Some?

If you are like many other health-conscious people, you may be taking a myriad of daily dietary supplements already. Supplement manufacturers know this and are ready to meet the challenge by offering different and more exciting routes of delivery like probiotic gummies.

When something tastes delicious, it’s easy to remember to take your daily dose. Since DE111 is a highly digestible and resilient strain of probiotics that can survive the trek through the digestive tract, it makes perfect sense to add this probiotic to a gummy supplement. And this is what Balanced Health did when they combined the Adult Gummy with 5 billion CFUs of De111. The combination is almost ironic because the gummy tastes like a treat, but instead of suppressing the immune system, this treat will support it.

What is a Gummy Supplement?

Gummy supplements are similar to candies like the popular gummy bear. They come as small, chewy bites that may be made with gelatin and corn starch as well as natural flavors like cherry, lemon, and orange. They are often sweet and chewy, making them an easy way to take a daily supplement and help children support their health, too.

One of the main benefits of a gummy supplement is that it may be more digestible than a tablet or capsule. That’s because chewing stimulates digestive enzymes in your mouth while your teeth break down the food at the same time. When paired with this highly digestive probiotic, you are supporting your digestion, immune system, and your health. This makes taking daily probiotics easy for adults and kids, even picky eaters.

Balanced Health Adult Gummy is a delicious combination of fruity flavors enhanced with Bacillus subtilis. With 5 billion CFUs of DE111, this probiotic dietary supplement will support exercise recovery, normal fat metabolism, and of course, healthy immune function. And when it tastes this good, you will be happy about adding this treat to your daily health regimen.

References:

1 Patterson E, Ryan PM, Cryan JF, Dinan TG, Ross RP, Fitzgerald GF, Stanton C. Gut microbiota, obesity, and diabetes. Postgrad Med J. 2016 May;92(1087):286-300. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2015-133285. Epub 2016 Feb 24. PMID: 26912499.

2 Cuentas AM et al., “The effect of Bacillus subtilis DE111 on the daily bowel movement profile for people with occasional gastrointestinal irregularity.” Journal of Probiotics & Health, vol. 5, no. 4 (2017): 189

3 Akgül T, Karakan T. The role of probiotics in women with recurrent urinary tract infections. Turk J Urol. 2018;44(5):377-383. doi:10.5152/tud.2018.48742

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

Balanced Health Adult Balanced Biome Probiotics

NEW! Adult Balanced Biome Probiotics

Kids Balanced Biome Organic Probiotic Gummies

NEW! Kids Balanced Biome Probiotics

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Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea purpurea is a species of flowering plant that has been used as a traditional medicine for centuries. It is commonly used today in herbal remedies for seasonal challenges, and possibly for good reason. The echinacea plant contains an array of active compounds like phenolic acids, polyacetylenes and caffeic acid, many of which are linked to health benefits including reduced internal inflammation response and immunity support. 

Echinacea, as it is commonly called, is high in antioxidants like rosmarinic acid and flavonoids. Antioxidants have numerous roles in our bodies and protect your cells from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that may come from external sources or internal metabolic processes. Antioxidants are needed to help neutralize or eliminate these, which supports the overall immune system. 

In addition to antioxidants, echinacea also contains alkamides that support the existing antioxidant network. They can help renew spent antioxidants, transport antioxidants to where they are needed and enhance their activity. 

The nutritional properties of echinacea may be why Native Americans used it for everything from health issues and even insect bites. Today, some pharmaceutical companies use it to mobilize certain white blood cells among other things. (1) No wonder this versatile plant seems to find its way into many modern herbal remedies. 

Immune Support 

Echinacea is most commonly used as an herbal remedy to support the immune system. It is said to boost immunity naturally. A review of studies did indeed find that it helped reduce the risk of seasonal challenges.  So there may be something to this home remedy. 

Support for Healthy Skin 

Echinacea has been found to be antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Because of this, some beauty products add it to the ingredients as it was found to reduce wrinkles and improve skin hydration in one small study. (2) It was noted that it has a short shelf-life, which may be why some health experts advocate oral consumption instead. 

Echinacea as an Anti-inflammatory 

Chronic internal inflammation response is a risk factor for many diseases, but may also be a condition caused by possible chronic disease. A pilot study looking to ease inflammation and pain due to bone and joint issues showed that patients who did not respond to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs did respond to echinacea. In this study, it was found that when used with highly standardized ginger, echinacea did show improvement in pain and swelling. 

Conclusion 

When other methods fail, herbal remedies offer great promise. And by standing the test of time, echinacea purpurea is definitely one of the herbs to add to your home remedy rescue kit. 

References: 

1 Manayi A, Vazirian M, Saeidnia S. Echinacea purpurea: Pharmacology, phytochemistry and analysis methods. Pharmacogn Rev. 2015;9(17):63-72. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.156353 

2 Yotsawimonwat S, Rattanadechsakul J, Rattanadechsakul P, Okonogi S. Skin improvement and stability of Echinacea purpurea dermatological formulations. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2010 Oct;32(5):340-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2009.00559.x. PMID: 20384903.

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

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Vitamin C Supports More Than Immunity

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin and a powerful antioxidant. Essential vitamins are those the body cannot make on its own, so to take advantage of the potent benefits, we have to get it through our diet.  

While many foods like citrus fruits, sweet potatoes and tomatoes contain vitamin C, it may not always be available in the foods we eat. This is a water-soluble vitamin, so is sensitive to heat and light and may be destroyed during food preparation.  

This nutrient is stored in only small amounts in our body and excreted through urine, so continuous intake is important. On the bright side, these same traits also make it very difficult to have too much in your system, and supplementation can help fill the nutritional gap if you don’t eat enough vitamin C rich foods. 

Benefits of Vitamin C 

Antioxidant Protection – As mentioned, vitamin C is not only an essential nutrient, but also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are molecules that support the body’s natural defenses, as it boosts antioxidant levels in the blood. In fact, at least one study showed that supplementation with vitamin C significantly increased blood antioxidant levels.  

Immune Support – Vitamin C has long been a staple nutrient and dietary supplement to the diet of those who want to ward off colds and flus. Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C is known to increase the strength and protection of an organism, which supports immunity. (1) 

Iron Absorption – Lack of iron leads to fatigue and weakness, and possibly anemia, which is low blood iron. Vitamin C happens to be an important nutrient that enhances iron absorption. (2) Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, and hemoglobin helps carry oxygen to your muscles, making it an important nutrient for your overall energy. Therefore, ensuring you get enough vitamin C may be an important factor in preventing iron deficiencies.  

Collagen Synthesis – Collagen is a protein that is part of the structure of our skin, bones, and even ligaments. It gives our joints flexibility and makes our skin plump and youthful. More important, collagen helps reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, keeping metabolism intact. And it turns out that your body needs vitamin C to make collagen. In fact, a recent study showed that vitamin C enriched gelatin was important for tissue repair and injury prevention when added to an exercise program. In addition, vitamin C is a favorite in the aesthetic industry for beautiful skin and hair. 

Protect Your Heart – Heart disease has many risk factors including high blood pressure and an imbalance of good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). At least one study confirmed that vitamin C supplementation of at least 500 mg/d significantly decreased LDL.  Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that high blood concentrations of vitamin C through diet may reduce heart health issues.  

Conclusion 

Vitamin C is an important nutrient that impacts our health, how we age and how we feel. Luckily, it is an easy nutrient to fit into our diet through both food and supplementation. Be sure to get your daily intake so you can reap the benefits this super nutrient has to offer. 

References: 

1 Sorice A, Guerriero E, Capone F, Colonna G, Castello G, Costantini S. Ascorbic acid: its role in immune system and chronic inflammation diseases. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2014 May;14(5):444-52. doi: 10.2174/1389557514666140428112602. PMID: 24766384. 

2 Hallberg L, Brune M, Rossander L. The role of vitamin C in iron absorption. Int J Vitam Nutr Res Suppl. 1989;30:103-8. PMID: 2507689. 

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

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Purified Silver for Health

Purified silver is used as a health remedy by millions of people around the world. Its main use is as an antibiotic, but today it is also incorporated into household products, cosmetics, and herbal remedies. Some take it internally while others use it topically, with many health advocates touting the benefits. 

Purified silver is created by chemically combining silver nanoparticles with purified water to create a solution that ensures the silver will not fall out of suspension. The particles are believed by some to be effective against pathogens by damaging the cell walls. The result is an effect similar to antibiotics without causing bacteria to mutate into a superbug. 

Antioxidant activity has been reported in a study using silver nanoparticles. In this study, it was found that using silver increased activity of the enzymes, catalase and superoxide dismutase. Both are important enzymes that helps combat oxidative stress. When left unchecked, oxidative stress can lead to numerous health issues. (1) 

Research also reports that silver nanoparticles are used in a wide applications including burn and wound treatment, as antimicrobials and to treat infections. The use dates back to ancient times, and medical uses indicate it is still a viable ingredient for many different remedies. 

Today, fans of purified silver as a home remedy still applaud the benefits. It is believed to include a number of health supporting advantages, and so advocates use it in many ways, such as: 

  • As an antibacterial that can mitigate harmful bacteria throughout the body 
  • As an antiviral, as it is believed to bind with virus molecules to inactivate them 
  • To destroy yeast and fungus 
  • To support the immune system, due to the antibacterial and antiviral activities 
  • Purified silver is used by people around the world every day to help with seasonal health challenges 
  • As an acne treatment in many holistic remedies  
  • Silver is used in eye drops to help clear bacteria 

Due to the many concerns of using silver in self-help remedies, manufacturers ensure they incorporate the safest methods for use and delivery. More studies are being done on the safety and effectiveness of silver, including a study that showed nanoparticles of silver did exhibit antimicrobial properties with fewer toxic side effects than another type of silver. (2) 

Conclusion 

Thanks to modern technology combined with the test of time, purified silver is proving to be a product that may support health. This is why many today still look to silver for natural healing properties and kept in the home medicine cabinets of many health enthusiasts. Just like any supplement, follow the instructions for safest use and if you take medications always check with your doctor before using any supplement. 

References: 

1 Marambio-Jones, C., Hoek, E.M.V. A review of the antibacterial effects of silver nanomaterials and potential implications for human health and the environment. J Nanopart Res 12, 1531–1551 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11051-010-9900-y 

2 Brandt O, Mildner M, Egger AE, Groessl M, Rix U, Posch M, Keppler BK, Strupp C, Mueller B, Stingl G. Nanoscalic silver possesses broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities and exhibits fewer toxicological side effects than silver sulfadiazine. Nanomedicine. 2012 May;8(4):478-88. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2011.07.005. Epub 2011 Aug 10. PMID: 21839058. 

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

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Health Benefits of Thyme

Commonly found in the kitchen of many chefs, thyme is an herb and member of the mint family, although it doesn’t share the flavor of mint. It is also a common garden herb or can be found fresh or dried at your local market. And thanks to its many therapeutic effects, it is also distilled into an essential oil that many use for anything from infections to skin problems

Timely Thyme Benefits 

Immune Boost – Thyme is packed with vitamin C, which is well known to support immune function. It is also is a rich source of vitamin A as well as copper, manganese and iron, providing more nutrients for all body systems, including the immune. 

Antimicrobial and Antioxidant – Thyme has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties thanks to the thymol and carvacrol, which are the health promoting oils that give thyme is scent. This herb is also a rich source of antioxidants that help the body defend against oxidative stress due to free radicals. 

Intestinal Health – Thyme has been used in traditional remedies for centuries to support intestinal health. Some believe this may be due to the effect of thymol, which may help neutralize certain bacteria. 

Respiratory Health – The essential oil of thyme and thyme tea are used by many health enthusiasts as a natural remedy. One 2013 study from the European Respiratory Journal found that thymol had a positive impact on receptors of the mouth and throat.  

Skin Health – When applied topically, it seems that thymol inhibited the effect of bacteria that may aggravate skin issues. A study showed that thymol was potent enough to be a candidate for management of severe skin issues. This may have implications on the ability of thyme to support skin health in many areas. 

Anxiety Reduction – Many holistic and alternative practitioners advocate thyme essential oil to help reduce anxiety. This practice has withstood the test of time as it has been used for thousands of years and is still recommended today. 

More Health Benefits 

Hippocrates, also known as the father of medicine, promoted thyme for respiratory related issues in his time, around 300 BC. In the 1340’s, thyme was worn around the neck as protection from the Black Death. Today, thanks to the nutrients, phytochemicals and oils this plant contains, thyme is still used by many for home remedies for things like: 

  • Ear discomfort 
  • Stimulate appetite 
  • Healthy inflammation response 

Advocates and health practitioners each recommend different ways to incorporate this healing herb into a health routine. Internal use is considered very powerful as it may promote digestive health and as we have seen, research backs up topical use, as well. Thyme oils and supplements are recognized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as GRAS or generally recommended as safe, so enjoy getting enough thyme for your health.  

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

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Ginger Root Extract

Ginger has long been a home remedy for digestive issues like nausea, gas, and irritable bowels. It is even used by some pregnant women to ease morning sickness and for relief of nausea due to certain medical treatments. It’s no wonder that health promoters have jumped on the opportunity to condense it into an easily digestible form of ginger root extract. 

Ginger root extract is the extract of the ginger plant rhizome, which is the horizontal stem from which ginger roots grow. It is considered to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, among other benefits. Ginger contains a host of polyphenols that are thought to be beneficial to health, which has led to numerous clinical trials to study the effects. 

Health Benefits of Ginger 

Nausea – The main reason many people resort to ginger as a natural remedy is to relieve nausea. In fact, a systematic review of clinical applications found that 43 clinical trials showed high quality evidence that ginger may be effective for improvement of nausea, among other things. 

Another review found enough evidence that ginger should be a viable adjuvant treatment for nausea and vomiting. It is believed that bioactive compounds found in the ginger plant  may boost a healthy inflammation response and improve gastrointestinal mobility, which may be behind this effect. 

Interestingly, ginger is also implicated in helping those with chronic indigestion, or ongoing discomfort in the upper area of the stomach. Delayed emptying is thought to be partly responsible for this, and the effect that ginger has on gastrointestinal mobility may play a role in helping to alleviate the problem. 

Fight Infections – Ginger contains a phytochemical known as gingerol, which is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Gingerol, found in concentrated form in ginger extract, has been found to prevent the growth of certain bacteria. (1) 

Another study found the anti-viral effects of ginger were shown to help cells counter viral infection. (2) This may be why ginger is added to the Traditional Chinese Medicine called Ge-Gen-Tang, long used as a remedy for upper respiratory health concerns. 

Antioxidant Protection – Ginger root contains very high levels of plant antioxidants and seems to decrease age-related oxidative stress markers. In at least one study, ginger seemed to protect from kidney damage due to reperfusion injury. 

Conclusion 

Along with these clinically supported benefits, other indications of ginger include protection from blood sugar issues. Studies and reviews are encouraging and continue to show promise. Since it is an herb with a long history of use in folk remedies, it seems to be a safe addition to any daily regimen to support health. 

References: 

1 Gull I, Saeed M, Shaukat H, Aslam SM, Samra ZQ, Athar AM. Inhibitory effect of Allium sativum and Zingiber officinale extracts on clinically important drug resistant pathogenic bacteria. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2012;11:8. Published 2012 Apr 27. doi:10.1186/1476-0711-11-8 

2 Chang JS, Wang KC, Yeh CF, Shieh DE, Chiang LC. Fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) has anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jan 9;145(1):146-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.10.043. Epub 2012 Nov 1. PMID: 23123794. 

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Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract is a tincture made from the leaves of the olive tree. While it is the same tree that provides the health-giving olive oil, olive leaf extract is distinct in that it has its own set of health benefits and qualities. 

Olive leaves have been used in traditional remedies for centuries to help with season immune challenges and digestive issues. The hype may be due to the benefits of the known polyphenols, or plant compounds, that are abundant in the leaves, including oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. 

What Are Polyphenols? 

Polyphenols are plant compounds that are believed to offer health benefits. One of the main polyphenols found in olive leaves is oleuropein, which is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants are important compounds our bodies use to ward off the damaging effects that free radicals have on our cells. And when a compound is anti-inflammatory, it may help reduce internal chronic inflammation that is a result of free radical activity, among other things. 

The other main polyphenol in olive leaves, hydroxytyrosol, which has a unique set of health benefits. Recent studies show it might offer protection from heart health issues and immunity issues. It is thought these health effects may be due to it’s potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects as well as protection from LDL, or “bad” cholesterol buildup. 

Other research points to the effects of both polyphenols as having antiviral and antibacterial properties. This may be why it is associated with helping to lessen the duration of symptoms of respiratory illness among high school athletes. Because of this, supplementing with olive leaf extract is believed to have helped athletes return to play sooner than without it. (1) 

Olive Leaf Extract Benefits 

Because olive leaf extract contains the above-mentioned polyphenols, it may offer the same health benefits, such as protection from other health issues and quicker healing time from upper respiratory illness. But there are some other benefits, too, which may be why it has historically been used as a traditional medicine. 

Olive leaf extract may help protect those with high blood pressure. In one 8-week study, participants with stage 1 hypertension were administered either 500 mg of olive leaf extract or 12.5 to 25 mg of a blood pressure medication called captopril. Blood pressure was lowered in both groups, indicating that olive leaf extract was just as effective at lowering blood pressure as the medication, captopril. (2) 

In another study, a study of 46 overweight, middle-aged men were given either a placebo or olive leaf extract. After 12 weeks, the olive leaf extract group showed improvements in pancreatic responsiveness as well as improvements in insulin sensitivity, as compared the to placebo group. This indicates that it is effective at helping to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Conclusion 

Olive leaf extract seems to have protective properties that can contribute to health. This dietary supplement can be a healthy addition for anyone who wants to improve their health. As with any supplement, talking with your doctor is recommended, especially if you take medications. 

References: 

1 Somerville V, Moore R, Braakhuis A. The Effect of Olive Leaf Extract on Upper Respiratory Illness in High School Athletes: A Randomised Control Trial. Nutrients. 2019;11(2):358. Published 2019 Feb 9. doi:10.3390/nu11020358 

2 Susalit E, Agus N, Effendi I, Tjandrawinata RR, Nofiarny D, Perrinjaquet-Moccetti T, Verbruggen M. Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract effective in patients with stage-1 hypertension: comparison with Captopril. Phytomedicine. 2011 Feb 15;18(4):251-8. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.08.016. Epub 2010 Oct 30. PMID: 21036583. 

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Citrus Bioflavonoids and Hesperidin

Hesperidin is a plant chemical that is part of a group of citrus bioflavonoids. These compounds are mainly derived from citrus fruits, along with other plants, and are believed to support the activity of antioxidants while acting as an antioxidant itself. 

Citrus bioflavonoids are plant compounds that often are the source of color for some fruits. Bioflavonoids are a group of antioxidants that are used in herbal remedies and pharmaceuticals for their health benefits. Some well-known citrus bioflavonoids are dosmetin, tangeretin, naringin and hesperidin, and while each has unique properties, they share common benefits such as: 

  • Antioxidants – Citrus bioflavonoids work with vitamin C to help protect cells from free radical damage. 
  • Immune Support – The combination of vitamin C along with citrus bioflavonoids seems to provide powerful immune support. 
  • Protection from AtherosclerosisStudies show that citrus bioflavonoids may protect against the buildup of fatty plaque on the inner walls of arteries, thus improving circulatory health. 

Health Benefits of Hesperidin 

Hesperidin is a citrus bioflavonoid found in fruits like tangerines, oranges, lemons and grapefruits, and has its own set of protective benefits. Many herbal remedies use hesperidin to help improve circulation, reduce internal inflammation, seasonal relief and may assist with high blood pressure issues. 

Research for hesperidin is promising. One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that regular consumption of hesperidin helped lower blood pressure in overweight men. In the four-week study, healthy but slightly overweight men were given orange juice and a hesperidin supplement, resulting in significantly lowered diastolic blood pressure. 

Another review of both animal and human studies showed strong evidence that hesperidin does have an effect on antioxidant activity, helps lower internal inflammation and may improve aerobic performance. (1) While each study in the review was different, the commonalities included supplementation for four weeks and even though exercise protocols varied, performance in each was improved. 

And yet another study with older adults showed that daily consumption of orange juice enriched with extra flavonoids increased cognitive function. (2) The researchers went on to conclude that this is further evidence that consuming fruits and other flavonoid-rich foods provides protection from neuropsychological disease and age-related cognitive decline. 

Lastly, a review of clinical evidence showed that supplementing with hesperidin has a significant impact on brain health. In particular, it improves antioxidant defense functions, improves blood flow to the brain, memory and cognition. 

Conclusion 

Fruits and vegetables have a significant impact on improving health, and the more you consume, the healthier you will be. Just like each category for fruits, citrus fruits have individual and specific health benefits that cannot be obtained from other food sources. To enjoy the benefits such as heart health and brain health, these fruits should be included in everyone’s daily diet. And for those who cannot consume fruit on a daily basis, research shows that citrus bioflavonoids and hesperidin supplementation have a beneficial impact on health. 

References: 

1 Martínez-Noguera FJ, Marín-Pagán C, Carlos-Vivas J, Rubio-Arias JA, Alcaraz PE. Acute Effects of Hesperidin in Oxidant/Antioxidant State Markers and Performance in Amateur Cyclists. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1898. Published 2019 Aug 14. doi:10.3390/nu11081898 

2 Alharbi MH, Lamport DJ, Dodd GF, et al. Flavonoid-rich orange juice is associated with acute improvements in cognitive function in healthy middle-aged males. Eur J Nutr. 2016;55(6):2021-2029. doi:10.1007/s00394-015-1016-9 

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/