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!

Stress Can Kill You

stress managementAll of us have experienced stress at some point in our lives, some of us more, some of us less. But there’s a reason why stress is called The Silent Killer. Excessive and chronic stress may lead to serious health problems and drastically reduce the quality of your life.

In this blog post we’ll talk about what is stress, why and when is it important to manage stress and how can you do it. Keep reading.

What Is Stress?

Stress is a normal reaction that we all experience. Some of us are stressed at work or because of a tragic incident, whereas others barely ever feel stressed out. Even noise and big crowds can make some people feel stressed. All of us are differently affected by stress, but it happens to everyone.

stress Feeling moderate stress from time to time is a completely normal thing. It can even be positive and motivate us to work harder or keep us more alert. However, when it becomes a chronic occurrence then it’s time to change something.

We talked a little bit about stress in our hormonal balance blog post. Your adrenal gland produces a hormone called cortisol. It is also known as the stress hormone because it regulates your body’s reaction to mental and physical stress.

When you’re in a highly stressful situation, your body will start producing more cortisol to deal with the ‘threat’. After this your cortisol levels should go back to normal. If that doesn’t happen and your cortisol levels are constantly high, you’re being exposed to a number of health risks like inflammation and premature aging.

Chronic stress puts a lot of strain on your body and mind and can affect all sorts of physical and psychological processes. Most common symptoms of stress are headaches and chest pain, problems with memory and concentration, fatigue, allergies, high blood pressure, but also anxiety and moodiness. Furthermore, constant stress may lead to heart disease and mental illness.

How To Reduce Stress?

There’s no way to ignore occasional stress. Rather, pay attention to your body and mind. How you react to different situations and how are you really feeling. Here are our top tips on how to manage and reduce stress in your life:

1. Give yourself some quiet time

If you’re constantly feeling stressed by everything and everyone around you, start (or end) your day away from all the distractions. Find yourself at least 15 minutes a day to relax – meditate, pray or just be alone in silence to gather your thoughts.

If you start your day in a relaxed state, it will carry you throughout the day. Don’t underestimate the value of starting and ending your day right and what it can do to your health.

2. Get Moving

stressDid you know that exercise has been proved to reduce stress? Even if you don’t have hours to spend at the gym, go for a brisk walk or find some free workout videos on YouTube – there are a lot of those available by the way! Better yet, find a sport that you really enjoy doing. It can be hiking, swimming, snowboarding, basketball, a Pilates class or whatever you like.

Physical activity helps you clear your mind and has so many amazing benefits for your health. It reduces the risk of heart diseases, regulates hormones, elevates your mood and helps reduce anxiety.

3. Get Enough Sleep

You’ve probably heard this one a lot. Getting enough sleep can be quite a bit of an effort. All of us have so many responsibilities that need to be taken care of, and often we disregard the need for good quality sleep.

On the contrary, you’ll be ready to roll when you’re well rested. When you’re tired, you’ll lack of energy and will most possibly feel sluggish, even irritated and not at your best. Make sure to sleep at least 7 to 9 hours each night.

If possible, go to bed and wake up at the same time every single day to really get into a good routine. Our bodies like to work in a stable rhythm, and messing your whole routine up is a lot easier than it seems.

4. Organize

how to reduce stressMake a schedule and prioritize what you need to be doing. This helps you to stay on top of your responsibilities and feel less stressed out when you have a lot going on. And do not procrastinate! Instead of feeling bad that you’re procrastinating, start doing!

This also goes for the previous point about getting enough sleep. Be organized about your sleeping schedule and make it one of your top priorities.

5. Take A Break

Get away from your computer, look out of the window, have a brisk walk or just a nice cup of coffee – whatever floats your boat. If you find yourself feeling stressed, take a quick break to relax and unwind. Even 5 minutes away from your work desk can do wonders.

6. Nutrition

Eating healthy and nutritious food provides your body a lot of nutrients that play an important role in managing stress. Good quality carbs and proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables are a great source of stress relieving nutrients.

Moreover, healthy diet removes waste and toxins from your body, makes your immune system stronger, improves mood and brain functioning and of course helps manage weight and reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Tulsi Leaf ExtractAvoid processed and fast foods, excess alcohol and drugs to stay healthy and stress free. All of these will deplete your body of beneficial and essential nutrients.

Adding natural remedies like food supplements to your diet is a great idea if you’ve been feeling stressed for a longer period of time or when there’s a stressful situation ahead. Our Holy Basil Leaf Extract is your new go-to supplement to reduce mental and physical stress. It’s been used in the Ayurvedic medicine for centuries because of its protective properties against health problems stemming from stress.

In addition, supplementing with Magnesium and Selenium can be helpful in combating excessive stress as well. These essential nutrients are key players in regulating your hormones and reducing stress, irritability and fatigue.

7. Control Your Emotions

Try to stay positive. It’s so important that you try to see the sunshine even during the ugliest day. Laugh a little, have some fun and enjoy the small things in life. Don’t sweat the small stuff like sitting in traffic or dealing with an annoying neighbor. Take control of your own emotions and reactions and you’ll soon notice how things don’t seem so bad at all.

To Conclude

We can’t avoid stress, but we can learn how to manage it to live a happier and healthier life. We hope that these small but powerful tips will help you deal with stress better as well. What are your top tips to reduce stress in your life? Let us know in the comments!

Click HERE to learn more about our new Holy Basil Leaf Extract.

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.

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 ExtractBlack 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!

Selenium & Thyroid Health

thyroid healthSelenium has an important part to play in many different processes taking place in our bodies. Did you know that your thyroid is the organ with the highest amount of selenium per gram of tissue?! (Source)

In this blog post we talk about the mineral selenium and focus on its benefits for supporting thyroid health and helping prevent different thyroid problems.

 

What is Selenium?

Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a key role in metabolism and many other physiological functions in your body. It is naturally found in the soil, many fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. Selenium atomic number is 34 and the atomic symbol is Se.

Selenium exists in organic (selenomethionine and selenocysteine) and inorganic (selenate and selenite) forms. Plants convert the inorganic selenium from the soil to organic forms of selenium.

Fun fact: Your body absorbs more than 90% of selenium as selenomethionine, whereas from selenite and selenate you’ll only absorb around 50% of selenium. (Source)

 

What Does Selenium Do?

Selenium is most commonly used to support the thyroid health, reproductive and immune systems. So is selenium good for you? If you eat lots of fast food, sweets and not enough fruits and vegetables, you’ll probably benefit from adding selenium in your diet. Not only are fast foods low in selenium and other nutrients, consuming excess sugar and fats will actually flush good nutrients out of your body.

It can support the proper functioning of your thyroid gland by helping the thyroid properly synthesize hormones. Issues with thyroid can result in some very unpleasant symptoms like stress, constant fatigue, irritability and even thyroid diseases that need medical intervention.

Some studies have shown that selenium may be a useful addition to your diet when trying to conceive. Selenium can significantly improve sperm motility and good blood flow (Source). Furthermore, several studies have shown that supplementing with selenium reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women (Source). So if you’re planning to expand your family, perhaps try getting more selenium in your diet. But first make sure to consult with your doctor or health care professional!

Selenium is also widely used in manufacturing. Industrially it is used to decolorize glass, color glass red and make the pigment China Red.

 

Signs of Selenium Deficiency

Generally, selenium deficiency is not very common in the Western world. Chances are that you’re getting enough selenium when you’re eating a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables and quality animal products like meat and dairy. However, if your body doesn’t absorb nutrients from food properly, you may not be getting enough selenium that your body needs for functioning. Another thing that has an effect on selenium levels in your body is your geographical location and how much selenium is found in the soil there.

thyroid health

Most common signs of selenium deficiency are hair loss in large amounts and all over your body, skin and nail discoloration. Also fatigue and low energy levels caused by oxidative stress or thyroid issues, hypothyroidism and other thyroid diseases. And even fertility issues in men and higher risk of miscarriage in women. Furthermore, selenium deficiency can in some cases lead to some serious health issues like Graves’ disease and Keshan disease.

Selenium deficiency alone might not cause any serious health issues. But it may lead to nutrient imbalances in your body that can actually have negative effects on your health and expose you to the risk of developing various diseases. For example, selenium deficiency will make your body lose iodine more quickly which in turn may lead to the development of iodine deficiency disorders. (Source)

Another thing to note is that you consume the exact amount of selenium that is recommended by your doctor. Especially if you already eat foods that contain high levels of selenium to prevent the selenium toxicity. Although this occurs rarely it is still important to be careful, because that as well can have negative effects on your health. Side effects of selenium intake can again be hair loss (also a symptom of selenium deficiency!), lethargy, dizziness, motor weakness and paresthesias (Source).

 

Selenium and Thyroid Health

Selenium plays an important role in the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Thyroid is part of the endocrine system in your body. It produces hormones that regulate your body’s metabolic processes and growth. Selenium is essential to several enzymes, including some antioxidants that help support the thyroid to synthesize hormones. Several studies have shown that selenium does in fact have a big impact on thyroid health.

A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2015 investigated whether the prevalence of thyroid disease differed in two otherwise similar areas in China, but where the concentration of selenium in soil and crop was very different. The results showed that in the area that’s adequate in selenium, the prevalence of thyroid issues like hypothyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism, autoimmune thyroiditis, and enlarged thyroid was significantly lower than in the low-selenium area. (Source)

Another study that was published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2007 examined whether supplementing with selenium during and after pregnancy would influence the thyroidal autoimmune pattern and function. Pregnant women who are positive for thyroid peroxidase antibodies are in risk of developing thyroid dysfunction and permanent hypothyroidism after pregnancy. Over 2000 euthyroid pregnant women participated in the study, 7,9% of them were positive for thyroid peroxidase antibodies. Results showed that supplementing with selenium reduced inflammatory activity in thyroid and the occurrence of hypothyroidism. (Source)

Research conducted in France in 2003 investigated the relationship between selenium status, thyroid volume and thyroid gland echostructure. Research suggests that selenium may protect against the abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland that is also known as goiter. They concluded that selenium is related to thyroid echostructure and that it may protect against developing autoimmune thyroid disease. (Source)

Furthermore, a literature research published in 2016 in Thyroid: official journal of the American Thyroid Association identified 3366 records on the topic and after thorough assessment of the texts, picked out 16 controlled trials to include in their systematic review. The authors found that selenium can reduce the autoantibody levels in patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis. (Source)

An article published in the International Journal of Endocrinology in 2017 performed a thorough review of the literature on selenium’s role in thyroid function. Based on their findings, they suggest that adequate levels of selenium is essential to support thyroid health, prevent thyroid diseases and promote overall wellbeing. Results show that the most preferred form is organic selenium because of its efficiency. (Source)

 

How To Get Selenium and How Much Should You Take It?

As we mentioned above, if you eat a healthy and balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, grains and quality animal proteins, you probably are getting some selenium in your diet. Selenium rich foods are brazil nuts, seafoods like tuna, halibut, sardines and shrimps, organ meats like beef liver.

thyroid healthHowever, it is important to keep in mind that the amount of selenium in fruits, vegetables and other plant sources depends on how much selenium is found in the soil where the food is grown. Thus, you can’t be sure of the amount of selenium you get from these sources and if you unknowingly consume too much of it, you may experience adverse side effects.

If you eat a lot of processed foods, don’t eat animal products or are located somewhere with low levels in soil, you might need to add a selenium supplement to your diet. As we found out, the organic forms of selenium (selenomethionine and selenocysteine) are better absorbed by your body. By the way, NutriONN Selenium supplement is organic!

Fun Fact: selenium supplements can have a distinctive smell that some people may find unpleasant. This is because the organic form of selenium, selenomethionine, contains methionine. Methionine is also found in other smelly foods like garlic, onions etc. This amino acid can help support your liver function. (Source)

How much selenium is too much? Safe intake of selenium is around 50-400mcg (Source). We always recommend to keep an eye on your selenium intake. For example, if you’re taking a selenium supplement, do not exceed the amount stated on the bottle. But the first thing to start with would be paying a visit to your doctor and have your body’s nutrient levels tested to figure out the exact amount your body needs.

 

Recommended Dietary Allowance for Selenium (RDA) (Source)

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
Birth to 6 months 15 mcg* 15 mcg*
7–12 months 20 mcg* 20 mcg*
1–3 years 20 mcg 20 mcg
4–8 years 30 mcg 30 mcg
9–13 years 40 mcg 40 mcg
14–18 years 55 mcg 55 mcg 60 mcg 70 mcg
19–50 years 55 mcg 55 mcg 60 mcg 70 mcg
51+ years 55 mcg 55 mcg

*Adequate Intake (AI)

 

In conclusion, selenium has a key role in supporting thyroid health. Multiple studies have shown that selenium levels are related to different thyroid issues and diseases. But it’s also an important mineral for your overall health and wellbeing.

If you’re looking for an organic form of selenium, we’ve got you covered! You’ll find our yeast free, pure Selenium supplement by clicking here.