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!

5 Tips To Stay Cool and Healthy in Hot Weather

hot weatherIt’s our favorite time of the year – long and lazy days, lots of sunshine and warm nights. What better could you ask for? But even if the hot weather is too good to be true, don’t forget that exposure to extreme heat and direct sun may lead to sunburn or even sunstroke. For some, especially little babies, pregnant or breastfeeding women and older people, these may cause a serious illness or worse.

But do not worry! We want to make sure you have all the insider tips on how to avoid sun damage and sunstroke, and still get the most out of a hot summer day. Here are our top five tips on how to stay cool and healthy in the summer heat:

 

Stay Hydrated!

hot weatherIf you’re feeling thirsty and that your mouth is dry, your heart beats rapidly or you feel a little dizzy, then you’re already dehydrated. And think again before you’re going to reach for that nice and cooling, but incredibly sugary soda (yes, this also applies to sugar-free sodas!). They can actually have the opposite effect on your body. Plus, excess sugar intake will deplete your body from essential vitamins and minerals.

It is recommended to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, but keep in mind that you will sweat when it’s hot outside, so keep the water flowing! In addition to water, vitamin water and sport drinks are also a useful way to combat extreme heat, because they’ll help your body restore vitamin levels. If you need a little flavor in your drink during a hot day, these are your go to drinks.

Tip: The color of your urine may tell you how hydrated or dehydrated you are. The darker the color, the more dehydrated you are. If you’re properly hydrated, the color of your urine will be a pale or a transparent yellow color. (Source)

 

Limit Coffee and Alcohol Intake

Think twice about how much coffee you’re going to drink in hot weather. Caffeinated drinks can flush out water that you’ve consumed. If you’d still like to enjoy your coffee or tea, have plenty of water with it to make sure you’re hydrated properly.

And what about a few cocktails by the pool or at the beach? The same applies here – alcohol flushes water out of your body (this is one of the most common causes of a hangover!). If you want to enjoy your occasional piña colada, make sure to drink water as well to avoid dehydration.

 

Protect Your Skin

Always, always, always use sunscreen. Even if it’s not sunny outside, you should still wear some level of sunscreen to prevent sunburn and sun damage to your skin. There are so many amazing natural products on the market that will protect your skin from sunburn and aren’t full of harmful chemicals. Even most of the liquid and powder foundations have SPF in it!

hot weather

PS! Wearing sunglasses will help to protect your eyes from UV rays as well.

A great tip to determine what level sunscreen you should use, is to check the UV (ultraviolet) index before you head outside. When it’s especially hot weather, it might also mean that the UV index is higher than usual. The bigger the number of UV index, the higher risk you have to be harmed from unprotected sun exposure. We can’t stress enough how important it is to protect your skin from sun damage. Not only for preventing wrinkles and saggy skin, but also to prevent skin cancer.

Tip: Apply sunscreen every two hours or every time after swimming or showering.

Moreover, SPF won’t give you 100% protection from harmful UV rays. UV rays can damage your DNA which may lead to premature aging in cells and the development of harmful and even cancerous cells in your body.

A great way to internally protect your skin is to supplement with Olive Leaf Extract or Lycopene. Both of these supplements have antioxidant properties that help prevent DNA damage and support your immune system. Another supplement to support healthy and glowing skin is Biotin. This will also help make your hair and nails grow faster and stronger!

 

What to Wear?!

It is obvious that in extreme heat you don’t want to wear your finest merino sweater or the tightest pair of leather pants you own. Instead, prefer loose clothing made from natural materials like cotton and linen. This way you let your body breathe and can avoid excessive sweating, which in turn depletes your body from vitamins and flushes out water.

Furthermore, if you don’t want to expose your skin to any sun at all, even loose fitting long sleeved blouses and long pants made from natural materials can help you stay cool in hot weather. It is also useful to wear a summer hat to prevent sunstroke.

 

What About Exercise?

Need to get your workout in, but can’t imagine getting through with it on a hot day? Try to plan your workout time for early morning or later in the evening to avoid heat stroke. Vigorous exercise in heat may lead to dehydration. If you need to work out in hot weather, keep an even closer eye on your water intake.

 

To conclude, it is absolutely possible to get through a super hot summer day and not get sunburnt or even a heat stroke. Just make sure to stay safe and healthy, keep in mind to not go overboard with tanning or exercising and drink plenty of water throughout the day. What are your top tips for staying cool and healthy in hot weather? Let us know in the comment section!

 

Olive Leaf Extract: Benefits & Uses

olive leaf benefits

We all know about the holy grail of healthy oils – olive oil. The cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil is widely known for its many health benefits. Olive oil and olives have a huge role in the much raved Mediterranean diet. Since ancient times, olive tree has been known for its many health promoting properties. It has been called The Tree of Life, The Immortal Tree and even the King of Trees.

But what might not be so familiar to everyone is olive leaf extract. The not-so-well-known little brother of olive oil that comes from the same tree. So what is olive leaf extract and why should you use it? Let’s dig in!

 

What is Olive Leaf Extract?

Olive leaf extract is made from the leaves of the olive tree also known as Olea europaea. Olive leaves contain lots of oleuropein. This is the beneficial compound that gives olive oil many of its valuable health benefits. It has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help protect your cells from oxidative stress and many other issues. Olive leaves have been used in traditional medicine for centuries.

Olive leaf extract contains up to 40 times more antioxidants than extra virgin olive oil. This way you’ll get all the valuable nutrients for your body without the need to consume unreasonably large amounts of olive oil. Although we still recommend you use olive oil in your cooking – it’s an amazing addition to almost every dish and it’s full of healthy fats. You can find olive leaf on the market as an extract, a powder or herbal tea.

 

Olive Leaf Extract Benefits & Uses

Powerful Antioxidant

Olive leaves have excellent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect us from harmful free radicals that have damaging and aging effects on our cells. Olive leaf extract’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help to protect cells from oxidative damage, they can improve brain function and prevent memory loss, protect skin and prevent premature aging and much-much more.

olive leaf extract benefits

Research has shown that the antioxidant effects of oleuropein prevent DNA damage that happens when your body is in oxidative stress. When your DNA gets damaged, harmful cells may start to develop in your body. A study conducted in 2011 showed that the compounds found in olive leaf extract can prevent and inhibit DNA damage. (source)

Some studies even show that olive leaf extract has a positive effect on brain function as it has the potential to prevent age-related brain disorders. Studies also suggest the connection between issues with memory and free radicals. The antioxidant properties of olive leaf extract may help relieve the damage done by free radicals. (source)

We’ve talked about free radicals many times in this blog post. So why are those free radicals such bad things? When your body is in oxidative stress, free radicals are damaging your cells. Your whole body consists of cells and when they get damaged, your body starts to age. Of course aging happens to every single one of us all the time, but why encourage it, when there are ways to prevent premature aging?! By the way, this also goes for the aging of your skin cells!

 

Strong Immune System

Your immune system defends your body against different microorganisms that cause colds and viruses. When your immune system has weakened you’ll be more susceptible to all kinds of diseases. Thanks to olive leaves’ antiviral, immune system boosting properties, olive leaf extract can be a useful supplement for preventing colds and viruses.

Not only can the compounds in olive leaves fight off nasty infections, they can even have antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria and fungi in your body. A study conducted in 2003 showed that olive leaf extract can even fight E-coli cells that are usually found in the digestive system, dermatophytes that cause skin, hair and nail infections and candida albicans that causes oral and genital infections. (source)

 

Cardiovascular Health Support

For centuries, olive leaves have been used to support cardiovascular health. When consumed regularly, olive leaf extract may help lower bad cholesterol, prevent high blood pressure and to support healthy blood sugar levels. Healthy cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels are essential for good cardiovascular health.

olive leaf benefits

Studies have shown that olive leaf extract can play a role in lowering blood pressure. In a research published in the journal Phytomedicine in 2011, participants were given 500mg of olive leaf extract twice a day for eight weeks. Results showed that participants’ systolic and diastolic blood pressure were lowered. (source)

Polyphenol compounds in olive leaves have been shown to prevent the formation of arterial plaques by reducing the production of the molecules that help plaque stick to your arterial walls. Not only! The polyphenol compounds reduce clumping and formation of clots in your arteries that can also turn into plaque (source). Doesn’t sound too dangerous? Think again. Plaque in arteries is a major threat to your health that increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Furthermore, olive leaf extract prevents the oxidation of bad cholesterol. As a result, oxidized bad cholesterol leads your body into state of inflammation that is damaging to your overall health and also to your arteries.

Olive leaf extract can help reduce and control your blood sugar levels by a number of different mechanisms. When your blood sugar levels are elevated, it triggers inflammation and oxidative stress that in turn leads to diabetes and premature aging in cells.  

 

Olive Leaf Extract Side Effects

Studies suggest that consuming olive leaf extract won’t have any serious side effects. But if you’re dealing with low blood pressure, olive leaf extract can lower it even further which in turn can make you dizzy. We always recommend you consult with your healthcare professional before taking any supplements. Especially if you’re pregnant or being treated for high blood pressure, diabetes or if you’re taking blood thinners.Olive Leaf

 

As you may know by now, olive leaf extract is truly a powerhouse of health benefits. Several studies have already proved it and olive leaves are gaining more and more recognition for its natural healing and health boosting abilities. 

The easiest and most effective way to get the benefits of olive leaves, is to consume olive leaf extract in capsule form. Make sure that the supplement you consume is a pure product without any added artificial ingredients. Our Olive Leaf Extract contains 20% of oleuropein. This is the highest amount you’ll find! Grab your bottle by clicking RIGHT HERE.