How To Maintain Good Eye Health?

How To Maintain Good Eye HealthWhile we’re awake, our eyes are in use all the time. To live a fulfilled and comfortable life it is crucial that we keep them healthy and do everything in our power to maintain good eye health.

In this blog post we give you a few tips on how to maintain good eye health and prevent further damage. Small changes can do wonders for your health in the long term. They’re super simple and super achievable, so let’s dig in!

Diet & Supplements

You can effectively support your vision with healthy and nutritious food. Several studies suggest that eating foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids like chia seeds, flaxseeds, herring and salmon have a reduced risk of developing various eye conditions (Source). If you don’t get enough omega-3 from foods, then adding some Black Currant Oil into your diet will do the trick.

Lycopene Softgels

Lycopene Softgels

In addition, foods containing antioxidants like selenium, zinc, vitamin C and lutein are great for naturally supporting your eye health (Source). You’ll get a kick of selenium from brazil nuts, beef, poultry or tuna. And if you need a little bit more, Selenium capsules are such an easy way to get some additional selenium in your diet.

Vitamin C can be found in lots of fruits like oranges and grapefruit, but also in bell peppers and tomatoes. Our Lycopene supplement is made from 100% natural tomatoes, so these little bad boys will give your eyes their daily dose of antioxidants.

Furthermore, blackcurrants are an amazing source of vitamin C. Our Black Currant Oil gives you lots of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C, but not only! Our Black Currant Oil and Borage Oil supplements also contain high amounts of GLA (gamma linolenic acid) that’s great for eye health, as it helps reduce inflammation and the symptoms of dry eye disease. (Source)

Moreover, zinc is another antioxidant that helps keep your eyes healthy and reduces the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts (Source). Zinc is most commonly found in seafood and oysters, dairy, beans, read meat, nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds. Our Pumpkin Seed Oil softgels are a rich source of zinc. It’s not only important for your eye health, but also supports your immune system, cell formation and skin.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is a huge risk factor of developing different types of eye diseases like optic nerve damage, age-related macular degeneration, Dry Eye Syndrome, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts (Source). Smoking puts you at risk of developing any of those diseases about three times more likely. Something worth to keep in mind!

Just quit that nasty habit. Your eyes AND your body will thank you! If you’re struggling with smoking, we recommend that you read our blog post: Supplements To Help You Quit Smoking.

Rest

Support Your Eye HealthMost of us are almost always looking at their computer and phone screens. When we finish our work day at 5 PM, we continue staring at our phones and TV screens in the evening. It’s not uncommon that younger and younger people, even children, struggle with their eyes being tired or watery more often.

Give your eyes some rest. Staring at luminous screens can be harmful for your eyes. If your work requires looking at the screen a lot, take 5 minutes every hour to give your eyes some much needed rest. If your kids have smartphones or tablets, make sure to limit their screen time to prevent eye conditions that might trouble them for the rest of their lives.

Wear Sunglasses

Proper good quality sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. More importantly, never look directly into the sun! Even when wearing sunglasses. Looking directly into the sun might just feel a bit uncomfortable, but in the long term it’s very damaging to your eyes. In addition, reflections of sun can also harm your eyes, so if you’re in the water, around snow or sand, make sure to have your eyes protected at all times.

When buying sunglasses, look out for the ones that have a high protection level of UV rays. Anti-reflective sunglasses and polarized lenses can provide an added protection.

In conclusion, it’s very easy to dismiss the dangers of the things that we’re surrounded by at all times. Keeping your eyes healthy should be something that you’re always aware of and take active steps towards. Protect your eyes with foods containing antioxidants and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, use high quality food supplements, quit smoking, give your eyes rest after looking at screens and protect your eyes from the sun.

Do you already protect eyes? Let us know in the comments!

Seasonal Allergy Remedies 101

Seasonal Allergy Remedies 101Spring has arrived almost unnoticed – the sun is suddenly shining all the time, the weather is getting warmer and no need to wear endless amounts of layers and layers of clothing all the time. But this also means that all the gorgeous plants are blooming, pollen is in the air and our eyes start to water unstoppably.

Here are our top tips on how to naturally relieve seasonal allergy symptoms.

Allergy Types & Symptoms

There are different types of allergies that a lot of us might struggle with. More than 50 million Americans experience allergies every year. The main types of allergies are seasonal allergies, food allergies, skin allergies, dust and mold allergies, pet, animal and bug allergies and drug allergies.

Please note that in this blog post we’re not discussing anaphylaxis. This is a serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that needs urgent medical attention.

Natural Allergy ReliefMost commonly in spring, summer and fall we deal with seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies occur because of the increased pollen in the air that’s caused by blooming plants, grass, trees and flowers. Furthermore, warmer and more humid weather helps mold grow quicker, which is another trigger for allergies.

Moreover, with the warmer weather we are bound to encounter more insects as well. As we briefly mentioned above, getting bitten or stung by a bug can also cause an allergic reaction.

The most common symptoms of allergy are runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes, sneezing, itching (also in throat, nose and eyes), skin rash or dryness, hives, swelling, increased mucus production, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, fatigue, headache and in some cases asthma.

How To Combat Seasonal Allergy

There are lots of over the counter and prescription medications to relieve allergy symptoms. Not to mention the creams, lotions, nose sprays and eye drops that can all help combat the symptoms of allergies. However, we do believe that you shouldn’t only rely on dealing with the symptoms, but rather get to the bottom of the issue.

Commonly the issue lies within your immune system. Your body reacts to an allergen because your immune system is already weakened and isn’t functioning the way it ideally should be. Long story short – your body reacts to normal substances found in the environment around you with a strong reaction, as if it was a serious threat to your body and your immune system.

One of the best ways to support your immune system is to reduce excess inflammation in your body. When your body is experiencing chronic inflammation, you’re likely to suffer from allergies more often and with more severe symptoms.

One of the easiest ways (but also the hardest – we know the struggle!) to keep inflammation at bay is to eat a healthy diet and limit the amount of foods that may trigger inflammation in your body. For a lot of us it may be dairy and wheat products, excess meat or nut consumption, eating too many processed foods and sugar.

Balance is key – if you eat a balanced diet consisting of various food groups that your body needs, and won’t go overboard with meat, wheat, nuts and dairy, you can naturally reduce inflammation. If you’re already exposing yourself to too many allergens, you’re most likely to experience more severe allergy symptoms during the pollen season.

Likewise, if you’re struggling with seasonal allergies, make sure to limit the exposure to allergens like pollen. Wash your hands and face after spending time outside, use a salt spray or make your own to clean out your nostrils, drink lots of liquids like water and tea to help clean out your system and use HEPA filters to reduce allergens in your home.

So what about natural food supplements? Bromelain is our top choice to help reduce inflammation, swelling, but also combat the symptoms of allergies like sneezing, excess mucus production and a runny nose. The added bonus is that as it helps reduce swelling, it also helps to improve breathing to combat shortness of breath.

Another great supplement is Lung Support. It’s designed to help cleanse your lungs from waste and toxins, including common irritants like blooming, dust, air pollution or household chemicals. Furthermore, it helps support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Black Currant Oilborage oil supplement is another great natural supplement to combat allergy symptoms and support your immune system. It contains a ton of vitamin C that’s not only great for reducing inflammation, but it’s also a powerful antioxidant and helps strengthen your immune system.

The same goes for our Borage Oil supplement – it supports your immune system and reduces inflammation naturally. Plus, it helps support your respiratory system. As a powerful antioxidant, it plays a key role in managing oxidative stress, which is linked to allergies.

In addition, Lycopene and Olive Leaf Extract are amazing sources of antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress and strengthen your immune system. And now the one that you’d least expect on this list – Psyllium Husk. Because it forms a protective layer on your stomach’s lining, it helps support your immune system.

In conclusion, seasonal allergies are a common problem that a lot of us unfortunately have to face every year. But there are so many things that you can do to relieve the symptoms and enjoy a carefree pollen season. Eat a balanced diet, strengthen your immune system, try to limit the exposure to allergens and use natural food supplements to get to the bottom of the issue.

Click HERE to shop our natural food supplements!

Supplements To Help You Quit Smoking

natural ways to quit smokingWe all know that smoking is one of the biggest risks you can impose on your health. Unfortunately, nicotine is highly addictive and a lot of smokers out there find it too difficult to quit because of the withdrawal symptoms and a severe habit.

Smoking usually starts because of seemingly innocent reasons – wanting to fit in as a teenager or a college student, not wanting to miss out socially or being stressed at work or because of difficult relationships. However, addiction will sneak up on you very easily and getting rid of it is going to be a long journey requiring some serious effort.

Nonsmokers might find it very hard to understand the addiction. In contrast, if your family member or loved one is struggling, you should keep an open mind and a calm approach, because they need all the help and support you can provide.

Increased Health Risks Of Smoking

Around 480,000 deaths in the United States are caused by smoking every year. This is 1 in every 5 deaths. Smoking causes even more deaths every year than HIV, alcohol or drug use, traffic collision injuries and firearm-related incidents all combined. (Source)

Smokers are at a much higher risk of developing heart disease like coronary heart disease, stroke, damaged blood vessels, blood clots and high blood pressure.

how to stop smokingFurthermore, smoking damages your lungs and puts you at a risk of respiratory diseases like chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Sad fact: smokers are about 12 times more likely to die from COPD than nonsmokers.

And of course the most feared disease of them all – cancer. Not only does smoking increase the risk of developing lung cancer by 25 times, it can cause cancer in almost all parts of your body.

It’s especially important to quit smoking if you’re a woman. Not only when you’re pregnant, but also when you’re already trying to conceive. If you’re a smoker, you’re at a higher risk of developing different issues like premature birth, ectopic pregnancy, membrane ruptures and an early separation of placenta.

You’re also more likely to have a miscarriage, stillbirth and at a higher risk of birth defects and sudden infant death syndrome. Keep you and your (future) baby safe and seriously consider all of the risks associated with smoking.

How To Quit Smoking & Treat Withdrawal Symptoms

Nicotine addiction is both physical and mental. Pulling through the physical withdrawal symptoms requires a very strong mindset. Nevertheless, the longer you’ve steered away from cigarettes, the easier it will get to manage those cravings and over time your withdrawal symptoms will get smaller and smaller.

Exercise

If you’ve developed a strong smoking habit, it will be very hard to figure out ways to do with that time instead. Try to get your mind off of smoking as much as possible. Studies have shown that all types of exercise (from yoga and Pilates to HIIT workouts) have positive effects on reducing your cravings to smoke.

smoking cessationNot only are you keeping yourself occupied, you’re actively helping your body to get rid of the toxins you’ve put in it. You’ll also feel that you’re not out of breath every time when taking the stairs or running to catch the bus, because your body is getting used to the physical activity.

If you’re used to having a cigarette after a meal, when driving your car or drinking coffee or alcohol, it is extremely important for you to replace your smoking habit with a healthier one. Try walking up and down the stairs for around 5 minutes, or go for a quick walk. This helps to distract your mind, reduce cravings and also get in a small workout!

Another tip is to practice deep breathing whenever you feel a craving. Some studies have shown that if you do it every 30 minutes, you’ll feel less cravings to smoke and it helps you manage withdrawal symptoms like irritability and anxiety.

Diet & Supplements

Healthy and balanced diet is extremely important if you’re trying to quit. Smoking reduces the amount of nutrients in your body, which in the long run can be very dangerous.

Fun fact: Meat can make cigarettes taste better. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables make cigarettes taste a lot worse, so try incorporating more fresh foods into your diet.

black currant oilAdding foods high in antioxidants to your diet is crucial. Antioxidants help fight free radicals and prevent further cell damage in your body. Cell damage leads to premature aging, but also makes your body more susceptible to harmful cell growth. You should also eat plenty of foods containing vitamin C like bell peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, blackcurrants and more.

Some of the foods that contain high levels of antioxidants are dark leafy greens, blueberries, carrots, eggplant, broccoli and many more. You can also add high antioxidant supplements to your diet like CoQ10, Black Currant Oil, Lycopene, Borage Oil, Olive Leaf Extract or Organic Ceylon Cinnamon to boost your healing process even more. These supplements will help prevent DNA damage and give your body lots of nutrients.

Tip: If you feel that drinking coffee is a huge trigger for you, try replacing it with green tea. It’s high in antioxidants, makes your metabolism work faster and gives you energy!

Another great supplement is our Lung Support 30-day detox program. It’s designed to help cleanse your lungs from waste caused by smoking, environmental toxins and air pollution. In addition, it helps reduxe inflammation and production of mucus. Say hello to comfortable breathing again!

Furthermore, as we already mentioned, smoking puts you at a much higher risk of developing heart disease. If you already struggle with any, supplementing with high quality Citrus Bergamot, Berberine, Organic Ceylon Cinnamon or CoQ10 will help protect your heart.

But what about stress, anxiety and irritability? Our Holy Basil will take care of all that. Also, take Magnesium Glycinate to help manage stress even better and get a good night’s sleep. These are also great if you’ve started doing more exercise after quitting – they help your body adapt to stress and Magnesium (but also Electrolytes!) will help reduce muscle soreness and promote recovery.

pineapple enzymeTo get rid of the mucus and coughs that might’ve been worrying you, supplementing with Bromelain is a great way to naturally cleanse your body and reduce inflammation.

And if you’re feeling tired all the time (this is a common withdrawal symptom!), start your day by taking a few MCT Oil capsules. These will give you instant energy, because those fatty acids will be immediately burned for energy and not stored as fat.

Likewise, there are plenty of small tricks to get you off of cigarettes. Download an app where you can track all the money you’ve saved since you quit, and track the days for how long you’ve been cigarette free. Try to pay more attention to what’s around you and enjoy life without the need to smoke cigarettes.

To conclude, nicotine addiction is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. Make the decision to quit now and use everything in your hand to get rid of it. You and your loved ones will all win. The trick is to be positive, make a proper plan (and stick to it!) and remove all tobacco products from your life.

If you have quit smoking successfully, share your best tips and tricks in the comments!

Hormonal Balance: What, Why and How?

hormonal balanceMost of us have heard about hormones and the importance to keep them balanced. But what are hormones exactly? Why is hormonal balance important? And how can you do it? Let’s find out!

What Are Hormones?

Your body consists of many different types of hormones that all have their purpose. To put it simply, hormones act as messengers in your body that control major important bodily functions. Hormones help communicate signals between organs and tissues that makes your body act a certain way – this includes physical and mental processes.

Hormones are part of the endocrine system and the endocrine glands produce hormones. Some of those glands are: adrenal, hypothalamus, pancreas, parathyroid, pituitary, pineal, thyroid, thymus and gonads (ovaries and testes).

The most commonly known hormones are:

    • Testosterone, estrogen and progesterone – testosterone is the male sex hormone and estrogen and progesterone the female sex hormones;
    • Cortisol – a k a the stress hormone that regulates how your body responds to physical and mental stress;
    • Adrenaline – another stress hormone that helps your body respond to stress;
    • Ghrelin – this is the hunger hormone that sends signals to your brain when your body needs more food for energy;
    • Insulin – helps move sugar into cells where it can be used as a fuel for energy;
  • Melatonin – helps you sleep better because of its increased levels when it’s dark.

Why Is Hormonal Balance Important?

We partly answered this question in the last paragraph, but let’s clear it up a little. Hormones regulate your body’s functions. When your hormones are properly balanced, your body should work like a charm. The cooperation between different hormones in your body is crucial for hormonal balance.

However, when your hormones are imbalanced, there’s too much or too little of some hormones in your body, it can cause serious health problems that might actually need medical intervention. This happens because your body can’t or will falsely send out signals to your organs and tissues that ultimately has negative effects on your health and well being.

Some of the symptoms of hormonal issues include:

    • Fatigue or difficulty sleeping;
    • Muscle weakness and pain;
    • Different skin problems like rashes, acne or dry skin;
    • Hair loss;
    • Changes in heart rate and blood pressure;
    • Weight gain or sudden weight loss;
    • Digestive issues, bloating, chronic constipation or diarrhea;
    • Changes in appetite or thirst;
    • Decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction and infertility;
    • Stress, depression, irritability and anxiety;
  • Bad PMS and menopause symptoms, breast tenderness.

Usually the symptoms from hormonal issues are revealed over time. If you’ve noticed that for a prolonged period of time you’ve been struggling with some of the symptoms we covered above, or there’s some other chronic issue that you can’t find an answer to, make sure to see a doctor who can take further tests from your saliva, blood or urine.

How To Balance Your Hormones?

The first thing to start with is a proper review of your habits and lifestyle. You should eat a healthy and balanced diet consisting of greens, protein and healthy fats.

hormonal balance

It is normal that when you age, some hormones start to act differently as well. For example women during menopause, puberty, being pregnant, giving birth and breastfeeding or during menstruation all go through natural periods of hormonal imbalance. So ladies, if you’re reading this, make your life easier and provide your body the nutrients and exercise it needs.

For example, some fats like Black Currant Oil and Borage Oil contain a high amount of gamma linolenic acid (GLA) that is an essential fatty acid and such a helpful way to balance hormones naturally. Also, GLA may help support your adrenal gland activity (Source), and another study showed that MCT Oil can be a great way to promote insulin sensitivity (Source).  

Holy Basil Leaf Extract also helps regulate your hormones, including the stress hormone called cortisol. Thus it promotes hormonal and mental balance. In addition, Calcium D-Glucarate is amazing for those struggling with high levels of estrogen as it helps your liver remove the excess estrogen from your body.

Furthermore, studies have shown that consuming a proper amount of protein helps inhibit the hormone ghrelin that we mentioned above. If you eat enough protein, you’ll feel satisfied longer and your body won’t start sending signals about being hungry too early. (Source)

And of course you know that a healthy lifestyle includes regular physical activity as well. I know, I know! It’s boring and tiring and who has the time anyway?! But even walking every day will help! Or go for a swim, hike, run, or pump some iron at the gym. Switch it up if you feel that you need some variety, so you wouldn’t get bored of it. Exercising regularly helps reduce high insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity (Source).

Another common cause of hormonal imbalance is being overweight. Therefore, it is so important that you move regularly and avoid processed and sugary foods. Not to mention, they deplete your body of Magnesium, which has an important role in regulating hormones. For instance, magnesium has shown to help with melatonin production, so you could sleep better, and lower cortisol a k a the stress hormone in your body as well (Source)! Another good source of magnesium is our Pumpkin Seed Oil.

hormonal balanceEven more, stress can be a symptom of hormonal imbalance, but also the cause of it. If you’ve noticed a big pimple on your face right before an important meeting or event, or feel so irritated after working 60 hour weeks for two months then it’s time to take some time for yourself to just relax and destress.

Selenium has also been shown to play an important role in supporting thyroid health. Selenium helps reduce inflammation in your thyroid and reduce the risk of hypothyroidism (Source). It protects your thyroid gland from abnormal enlargement (Source) and is said to be an essential mineral to support thyroid health, prevent thyroid diseases and promote overall well being (Source). You can read more about Selenium from this blog post.

The Takeaway

I think we can all agree that hormonal balance isn’t just another health fad, but a serious issue that should be dealt with. Start with prevention by exercising regularly, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and don’t forget to destress and relax.

I also mentioned some of our natural food supplements that all have a way to promote hormonal balance. Those were Holy Basil Leaf ExtractCalcium D-Glucarate, Black Currant Oil, Magnesium, Borage Oil, Selenium, MCT Oil and Pumpkin Seed Oil. Click on the links to read more about them and see what would work best for you!

However, if you already suspect there might be a serious hormonal imbalance in your body, please make sure to see your doctor and get all the necessary tests done. This is the only way to determine what might be the issue and how it could be solved.

Click HERE to shop all of our hormonal balance natural food supplements!

Can Black Currant Oil Help with Weight Loss?

Black currants have lately been making headlines and a true comeback to the health and fitness industry. And it’s no surprise! They’re truly something you can call a superfood. Black currants are one of the best sources of vitamin C and antioxidants. Its seeds contain lots of gamma linolenic acid (GLA). So how can black currant oil help with weight loss? Continue reading to find out.

What is Black Currant?

black currant oil weight lossThe black currant plant, a relatively small shrub, is widely known for its deep purple sour berries. It’s native to Europe, northern Asia and New Zealand, where the highest quality black currants are being grown.

Black currants have been used as a traditional herbal medicine in Europe for many centuries to treat different health issues and support good health. Because of the high content of vitamin C and antioxidants, black currants are ideal for supporting the function of your immune system.

You can eat raw black currants, use them in cooking or consume them as supplements. Most common forms of black currant supplements on the market are black currant oil and black currant extract.

What is Black Currant Oil?

black currant oil weight lossBlack currant oil is extracted from the seeds of black currants. Higher quality oils have been extracted using cold-pressed, chemical free method. However, there are many products on the market that are extracted using hexane. This is a highly flammable chemical commonly extracted from petroleum and crude oil. That doesn’t sound really healthy, does it? (PS! NutriONN Black Currant Oil softgels are cold-pressed and no hexane or other chemicals have been used!)

Black currant oil is an amazing source of gamma linolenic acid. This is an omega-6 fatty acid that regulates your body’s hormonal balance. Plus, it’s a great anti-inflammatory agent. About 70% of black currant oil is made up of essential fatty acids that have an important role in regulating your hormones. Not to mention all the antioxidants and high amounts of vitamin C that make sure your immune system is strong and ready to fight whatever comes its way.

Can Black Currant Oil Help with Weight Loss?

So, what are black currant weight loss benefits? Firstly, the high amounts of gamma linolenic acid a k a GLA has various health benefits that can attribute to a healthy weight.

black currant oil weight loss

Study published in “Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology” in October 2000 showed that GLA helped decrease the accumulation of body fat. Another study published in “Journal of Nutrition” in June 2007 showed that people who have undergone a major weight loss, will regain a lot less weight when using GLA than the people who didn’t take additional GLA.

Furthermore, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology in April 2018, black currants enhance fat oxidation during exercise, meaning that black currants help your body burn more fat while you’re working out. The study showed that taking 600mg of black currant extract for 7 days helped female participants burn an average of 27% more fat while exercising! Dr Sam Shepherd, who conducted the research, told that this kind of increase in fat oxidation usually happens after 3-4 weeks of regular endurance training. This is definitely something noteworthy!

Conclusion

In addition to all of the amazing health benefits black currants can offer, multiple studies have shown that they can be a great way to support healthy weight. As most of us already know – (unfortunately) there is no miracle pill for weight and fat loss. But, taking a good quality black currant supplement accompanied by moderate exercise and healthy diet will probably help you shed that stubborn fat much quicker than without it.

Interested in trying it out yourself and see if it’s worth it? Try out our high quality, cold-pressed and hexane-free Black Currant Oil softgels.