Why Women Need More Omega-3’s

Why Women Need More Omega-3’s

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid & Krill OilMost people get too many omega-6 fatty acids in their diet in the form of processed oils and fast foods and not enough omega-3s. Because of this, the majority of Americans suffer from an imbalance of omega-6s to omega-3s. The ideal balance of omega-3s to omega-6s is 1:1 to 1:4, the typical American ratios range from 1:11 to 1:30. That imbalance can lead to health concerns in your body.

Antarctic Pure Krill Oil is a marine oil of pure krill that uniquely and synergistically combines antioxidants and omega-3s.

Unlike standard fish oils, pure krill oil carries omega-3s in the form of phospholipids, that deliver the fatty acids directly to your body’s cells.

Unfortunately, standard fish oils (and inferior krill oil brands) lack this phospholipid complex. Instead they contain omega-3 fatty acids in the less-beneficial form of free triglycerides.

Why are Phospholipids Important?

Phospholipids are the building blocks for your cell membranes, regulating cellular transport by functioning as ‘gate-keepers.’ In this role, they protect cell membranes from free radical attack.

This unique relationship between the phospholipids and omega-3 fatty acids greatly facilitates the passage of the fatty acid molecules through your intestinal wall. Pure Krill oil makes the omega-3 fats significantly more bioavailable than those in standard fish oil by allowing EPA and DHA to directly enter your cells. These two fats, DHA and EPA found in omega-3 oils are crucial to your health. Plus this relationship improves your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio as well.

Your brain is a huge consumer of DHA. Antarctic Pure Krill Oil is made from Neptune krill with health-promoting DHA and choline, which are absolutely essential not only for adults, but also for normal fetal and infant brain development!

Choline is the precursor for the vital neurotransmitter acetylcholine (which sends nerve signals to the brain) and for trimethylglycine, a recognized liver protector. It also boasts a full complement of necessary antioxidants not seen in standard fish oil or cod liver oil.

You can find Pure Krill Oil for Women on Dr. Mercola’s website. Here are the many ways Krill Oil for Women Supports Your Female Health:

* A healthy heart
* Support for concentration, memory & learning
* Blood sugar health
* Healthy joints, with an increase in joint comfort
* Fighting your signs of aging
* Healthy brain and nervous system function and development
* Protection for cell membranes
* Cholesterol and other blood lipid health
* Healthy liver function
* Relief of normal PMS symptoms
* Bolstering your immune system
* Healthy mood support
* Optimal skin health
* Improved quality of life when compared with fish oil

To Find out more about Krill Oil for Women or to place an order, go to Dr. Mercola’s website >>

More Dr. Mercola articles:
Is Krill Oil 48 Times Better Than Fish Oil?
Fish Oil Capsules Are as Good as Fish

 

These 6 lifestyle changes are your first line of defense against heart disease

These 6 lifestyle changes are your first line of defense against heart disease

Heart in your handLast week, my 78 year old Mother had Open Heart Surgery unexpectedly after a heart attack that came seemingly without warning. Her heart attack only showed up as a burning sensation in her chest so she actually wasn’t sure what was happening to her because she had no idea she even had heart disease. Other than having high blood pressure and being on blood pressure medication, she was living a healthy lifestyle.

So what happened? And why aren’t women more aware of heart disease? From what I have learned it’s all about a lack of awareness and sometimes even denial.

“A recent national study conducted by the American Heart Association showed that fewer than 50% of American women know that heart disease is their leading killer.” – AMA website

“Heart Disease remains the number one killer of women in the U.S., and younger women are twice as likely to die after suffering a heart attack as men of the same age. – Vogue magazine (Nov 2011 issue)

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States and it claims the lives of almost 500 000 women each year. There is more awareness and media exposure for about Breast Cancer which claims the lives of about 30,000 women each year.

I have seen denial about health issues first hand with my own family. My mother admitted she ignored the warning signs and how her body was feeling. She thought being tired all of the time, having a hard time sleeping and shortness of breath were just “signs of aging”. Having lived a healthy holistic life she is “shocked” she has heart disease. Like a lot of women she thought she was doing everything right.

Nieca Goldberg, M.D. a cardiologist at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, says, “Women don’t have what I call the Hollywood heart attack that men have – severe chest pain, for instance. They might be tired. They might just feel uncomfortable.”

Denial is common in heart disease

Denial is common in women with heart disease.

Surveys suggest such denial is common in women with heart disease.

 

Now after an emergency 5 Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery which saved her life, my mother is asking the big questions. Why did I get this and why didn’t I know I had heart disease? And as her daughter, I am asking those same questions too. Both of my parents now have had heart disease, a genetic predisposition could be one of the risk factors of heart disease.

But noted genetic researcher Dr. Robert Hegele, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Lecturer at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2009, says “When it comes to heart disease, lifestyle usually trumps genetics.”

Dr. Hegele’s work is unraveling the nature vs. nurture debate that has intrigued scientists for years. He says that for about five per cent of patients, the effect of genetics is so strong there is little they can do, but that 95 per cent of us can override our genes by following a healthy lifestyle.

“To be sure diabetes, a result of the obesity epidemic, factors heavily in the recent increase in the heart disease, but there has also been a devastating lapse in awareness, particularly among women. Studies show, for instance, that women today are much less likely to call 911 and more likely to delay going to the hospital than they were just 5 years ago.”

“And yet any hesitation”, notes Elsa- Grace V. Giardina, M.D., a cardiologist and the director of the Center for Women’s Health at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons, only makes matters worse. “ When you finally do get to the hospital, there’s been a lot of damage.”

Plus there has been a spike in deaths among younger women in their 30’s and 40’s.

When a heart attack strikes a young woman, she is likely to suffer debilitating damage or die. In a study that looked at gender differences among heart attack victims, researchers found that heart attacks were far more likely to be deadly if the victim was female. In fact, when Dr. Viola Vaccarino and her colleagues looked only at patients under age 50, they found that twice as many women as men died in the days following a heart attack.

Part of the explanation for this frightening statistic is that young women with heart attacks often get either no treatment or they receive delayed care. Sometimes women, and sometimes their doctors, miss the attack because they don’t realize that the symptoms of a heart attack may vary with the patient’s gender, says Vaccarino, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Medicine.

ekg graphic

EKG Electrocardiogram

Compared to men, during a heart attack women are much more likely to experience back pain, indigestion and nausea and/or vomiting, rather than chest pain, as their symptoms.

But, while doctors are at a loss to explain why heart attacks occur in otherwise healthy young women, they have pinpointed a group who are at an elevated risk. Women who smoke, are obese, have diabetes and/or high blood pressure are more likely than others to have a heart attack.

My mother had high blood pressure as an elevated risk, but she didn’t smoke, wasn’t obese or have diabetes. Having never taken medications in her life, she is now on a smorgasbord of medicines including a blood thinner called Coumadin,.

The following symptoms could signal heart ills:

1. Angina (chest pain). Can also include back pain or deep aching and throbbing in the left or right bicep or forearm.
2. Breathlessness. Also may include waking up having difficulty catching one’s breath.
3. Clammy perspiration.
4. Dizziness. Unexplained lightheadedness, even blackouts.
5. Edema. Swelling, particularly of the ankles or lower legs.
6. Fluttering. Rapid heartbeats.
7. Gastric upset (or nausea).
8. Heavy fullness. Also may include pressure-like chest pain between breasts and radiating to left arm or shoulder.

If you are experiencing these symptoms please do not wait, contact a doctor immediately for your own safety.

Being aware of personal risk and treatment options can empower a woman to live a long and healthy life.

Heart Healthy Cooking

Heart Healthy Cooking

These top 6 Lifestyle Changes are your first line of defense against heart disease:

1. Stop smoking cigarettes and avoid secondhand tobacco smoke.

2. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. See CrossFit >>

3. Blood pressure is optimal at less than 120/80 mm Hg. If there’s a slight rise in pressure, the first line of self-defense is to improve your lifestyle habits.

4. Cholesterol levels are important for women to know. Total cholesterol optimally should be less than 200 mg/dL; LDL (bad cholesterol), less than 100 mg/dL; HDL (good cholesterol), more than 50 mg/dL; and triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), less than 150 mg/dL.

5. Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, fish, legumes, and sources of protein low in saturated fat (such as, poultry, lean meats, and plant sources). Limit intake of trans fatty acids such as those found in hydrogenated oils.

6. Maintain a healthy weight, balance the calories you eat with the amount you use up each day. Diabetes (high blood sugar) is becoming more common in the United States. Unhealthy eating habits and gaining too much weight are leading causes of type II (acquired) diabetes.

Overwhelming evidence suggests that heart disease can be prevented in women.
Every woman should know what her risk level is and her prevention goals and the best way to reach them.

Need more ideas for Cooking Healthy Meals, then check out: The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook The Healthy Urban Kitchen is a simple, step by step system for shopping, cooking and eating the world’s healthiest foods. It was created for busy people who want to improve health, have more energy, and prevent disease.


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The Top 10 Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

The Top 10 Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

For thousands of years, indigenous cultures worldwide have understood that cooked & fermented foods are more feeding & nourishing to the body than raw foods.

Raw foods are cleansing and detoxifying to the body because they are harder to digest. Whereas, cooking foods breaks down their cellular structure, making them easier to digest. Our ancestors developed methods to make foods more digestible through cooking and fermentation that have more nutritional value then many modern foods.

Asian cultures ferment kimchi (fermented cabbage), kefir, miso, sake, pickled ginger and shubat (fermented camel milk). India and the Middle East have fermented chutneys, various yogurts, and torshi (mixed vegetables). Europeans fermented sauerkraut, kefir, crème fraiche, and rakfisk (salted, fermented trout). In South America, kombucha, and cacao beans which must be fermented first before use. In the Pacific, they have poi (fermented, mashed taro root) and kanga pirau. And in the U.S., we used to ferment sauerkaut & make relish, pickling, & ketchup. My Austrian grandfather kept barrels of fermented pickles, sauerkaut & pigs parts in his cellar in upstate New York.

Today foods such as sauerkraut and pickles, contain no live enzymes and are poor substitutes produced quickly for mass consumption. Commercial sauerkraut and pickles, are preserved in vinegar instead of the traditional and naturally occurring lactic acid forming bacteria.. Unless the producer adds bacteria, store bought sauerkraut is usually pasteurized and void of taste and nutrients. Lactobacilli contribute to the protection of the body against infections and stimulate the immune system. Probiotics have become popular today because they add back into our digestive system those microflora that our gut needs to prevent allergies & infections.

To heal your digestive system, you can Buy Probiotic Enzymes or Make Real Fermented Foods.

The Top 10 Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

1. Fermented foods are instrumental in healing & restoring the balance of gut flora in our bodies. Lacto-fermented foods normalize the acidity of the stomach. In the not too distant past, people who ate traditional, whole foods diets ate this bacteria on a regular basis did not have a severe gut deficit that we do today.

pickled-red-cabbage

Pickled Red Cabbage

2. The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods are very potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals. Molecules in the bacteria grab hold of mercury, lead, aluminum, arsenic, and other toxins, which are then removed through stool. Fermentation removes phytic acid from grains, nuts and seeds, which otherwise would block mineral
absorption and lead to deficiencies. Eating improperly prepared grains is a major cause of
osteoporosis in our culture.

3. Lactobacilli converts starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits into lactic acid, a natural preservative that inhibits putrefication and also act as anantioxidant, and anti carcinogenic agent, reducing cancer precursors known as free radicals.

4. Sauerkraut contains large quantities of choline, a water soluble nutrient. Choline must be consumed through the diet in order for the body to remain healthy and it may lower the risk for breast cancer in women and also helps to lower blood pressure. Sauerkraut also contain acetylcholine, which reduces blood pressure, slows the rate of the heartbeat and promotes calmness and good sleep.

5. You only need to consume small amounts every day in a greater variety to get the optimum amount of microorganisms possible. Steer clear of pasteurized versions, as pasteurization will destroy many of the naturally occurring probiotics. Most of the “probiotic” yogurts you find in grocery store these days are not recommended. They’re pasteurized and they also typically contain added sugars, high fructose corn syrup, dyes, and artificial sweeteners.

Buy Probiotic Enzymes

6. Consuming traditionally fermented foods will also help you absorb more important nutrients such as vitamin K2, which is important for preventing arterial plaque buildup and heart disease. It also facilitates the synthesis of certain vitamins, such as vitamin C, and B12, which can only be produced in the presence of lactic bacteria.

7. Probiotics have been shown to help optimize your intestine’s immune system. With eighty percent of your immune system located in your digestive system, your gut is a major focal point on your way to maintaining optimal health. Buy Probiotic Enzymes

Pickled Cucumbers - Cultured Vegetables

Pickled Cucumbers – Cultured Vegetables

8. Save money by eating real foods rather then supplements. Fermented foods can contain 100 times more probiotics than a supplement. A cost effective strategy would be to eat a small amount of fermented foods with each meal to replace some of the supplements you are  now taking.

9. Aging decreases your body’s supply of enzymes, but fermented foods are rich in enzymes, and so can help offset this shortage. Eating an enzyme-rich diet reduces the stress on your pancreas, and therefore could reduce your risk of many different chronic diseases. Warding off enzyme depletion, can help you live a longer, healthier life.

10. Fermentation preserves food. Fermentation organisms produce alcohol, lactic acid and acetic acid, all “biopreservatives” that retain nutrients and prevent spoilage. Captain Cook conquered scurvy among his sailing crews by bringing large quantities of sauerkraut, which is very high in Vitamin C, on his lengthy voyages. Not a single sailor got scurvy and the last barrel of kraut was still perfectly preserved after 27 months.

More Resources on Fermented Foods:

Places to BUY Fermented Foods:

Buy Probiotic Enzymes


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Oh No! I’m Sick. What do I do Now?

Oh No! I’m Sick. What do I do Now?

leaf-and-herbal-bottleThere are many things you can do to recover, too many to put them all in this blog, but I will list a few of my favorites for you.

1] Go to Bed!

YOU NEED REST FOR YOUR BODY TO WIN! The sooner you give yourself what you need, the quicker you will heal. It’s really that simple.

2] Food:

Eat light broth, vegetable soups with a bit of meat (like fish or chicken, not red meat). Throw in scallions and lots of garlic; they are great for fighting colds and flus. You can also have room temperature fruit like apples, pears, melons, papayas. Please no fruit juices; it’s just a glass of sugar. Your body needs access to solid nutrition without having to work hard to get it. Do not eat dairy, fried foods, or wheat products – they are mucus factories.

3] Herbal Medicinal Teas:

Besides drinking a lot of room temperature water. Medicinal teas are your super cold and flu ass-kicking arsenal.

Rosehip Plus – This tea is my personal favorite that I will start drinking immediately if I feel anything coming on. You will be amazed at its effectiveness. Drink cup after cup, the more, the better. Here are the incredibly simple ingredients. Please use organic wherever possible, since pesticides do not help you beat a cold or flu. [ How to Dry & Store Rose Hips for Rose Hip Tea ]

    • 4 Tbsp. dried rosehip pieces.
    • 2-4 slices of ¼” fresh ginger.
    • Juice of ½ a fresh lemon.
    • A whopping big tablespoon of raw, organic honey. (Note: Not suitable for infants.)
    • Boil 6 cups water and add ingredients in a steeping teapot, steep for at least 10 minutes, more is even better. Drink one cup right away, then simply reheat the tea for additional cups.
    • I use the same batch of rosehips and ginger slices for two teapots, and I let the second pot steep longer. Just add more lemon and honey to the second batch and off you go again.

grinding-herbsCustom Medicinal Blend – I will make a custom blend of ingredients to address different symptoms. There are too many herbs to list them all here, but I’ll give my favorites and their functions. You can pick and choose which ones you want and create your own healing blend of tea. It’s actually fun to make your own medicine! You can put together any of the ingredients listed below, and follow the same steps as described previously for Rosehip Plus Tea. Always sweeten your tea with raw, honey which has loads of antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic properties in it and a lot of nutrition besides. These teas are for older children 4+ and adults, do not give to infants, mother’s milk is best for their immune system.

Rosehips:

    • Actions include: antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antispasmodic, expectorant, blood tonic, menstrual regulator, kidney tonic, digestive stimulant, sedative, cleansing, and increases bile production, astringent.
    • Pretty gosh darn amazing herb. I put it in all of my cold and flu herbal teas.
    • I usually use 3-4 tablespoons per batch.

Echinacea:

    • Actions include: antibiotic, immune stimulant, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-allergenic, lymphatic tonic.
    • Echinacea is fabulous for boosting your body’s ability to fight off colds and flus and infections and inflammation of any type.
    • It’s expensive, but I add it to all of my cold and flu herbal teas along with the rosehips.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Meadowsweet:

    • Actions include: anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, soothing digestive remedy, diuretic, promotes sweating.
    • Meadowsweet is used to reduce inflammations and fevers. Although meadowsweet contains salicylic acid, like aspirin, this herb modifies the action of salicylic acid and actually protects the digestive tract. Long use of aspirin can lead to gastric ulceration and bleeding, but meadowsweet does not show these side effects, and is actually a gently digestive remedy for acidity and some types of diarrhea.
    • If you have a fever add meadowsweet, it will also help to reduce the aches and pains associated with colds and flus.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Yarrow:

    • Actions include: febrifuge, promotes sweating, relaxes peripheral blood vessels, digestive stimulant, and as a menstrual system restorative.
    • Yarrow is another good herb to add for reducing fevers.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Coltsfoot:

    • Actions include: relaxing expectorant, reduces phlegm, antispasmodic, demulcent.
    • Coltsfoot leaves and flowers are great for coughs and reducing phlegm, acute or chronic.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Mullein:

    • Actions include: expectorant, demulcent, mild diuretic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, sedative.
    • Mullein is great to use for coughs and to soothe a sore throat.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Hyssop:

    • Actions include: expectorant, promotes sweating, reduces phlegm, antispasmodic, carminative, and relaxes peripheral blood vessels.
    • Hyssop is another great herb for coughs and phlegm. Great in combination with mullein.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Chamomile:

    • Actions include: anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, sedative, anti-emetic.
    • I add chamomile to help reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with a cold or flu. It helps one relax and sleep, and it soothes the stomach and reduces nausea.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

These are just some of my favorite herbs that I keep stocked all the time, there are many more. I encourage you to do a bit of research and discover your own favorites to add to your herbal pharmacy. It’s a great feeling not to run to the pharmacy for drugs when you’re not feeling well, but instead to start a pot of a good medicinal herbal tea brewing! You can find these wonderful organic herbs offered in my cold and flu first aid kits on my website at www.inspirewellnesscenter.com.

4] Medicinal Herbal Formulas

If you do start to come down with a cold or flu, there are some fantastic herbal formulas you can use in addition to your medicinal teas. They are a MUST HAVE for your herbal medicine cabinet.

Gan Mao Ling:

This is one of my two first line of defense formulas. It can be used as a cold or flu preventative when you’ve been around already sick people and don’t want to come down with anything. It may just stop a cold or flu dead in its tracks before anything happens. However, if you do start to feel any of the symptoms associated with a cold or flu such as fever with chills, headache, sore throat, red eyes, stiff neck and back, nasal discharge, cough, swollen lymph glands and general aching. Start taking Gan Mao Ling as directed on the bottle or package.

Gan Mao Ling is especially good to use when a cough or sinus congestion is present at the onset of a cold or flu. Gan Mao Ling is safe for children to use, but don’t use on children under four.

Yin Qiao Wan (or sometimes spelled Yin Chiao):

This formula is my other first line of defense formulas. It’s similar to Gan Mao Ling in that it can also be used as a preventative if you’ve been exposed to others who are already sick or you can even take it before you go on a plane trip as added protection from all those airborne germs.

    • If you come down with a cold or flu and feel any of the symptoms associated with a cold or flu as listed above in the Gan Mao Ling description you can use Yin Qiao Wan. The difference between this and Gan Mao Ling is that Yin Qiao is stronger for helping the sore throat. If you wake up and your throat is killing you, just run for the Yin Qiao Wan.
    • For added punch – Gan Mao Ling and Yin Qiao Wan are great to use together, no problem.

Zhong Gan Lin:

This formula is the big guns of the terrific trio. If you’re symptoms are advancing and now you’ve got a severe head cold or flu with headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, fever and chills add Zhong Gan Ling to the group. You can use it alone or with Yin Qiao and/or Gan Mao Ling depending on whether the congestion or throat is bothering you more. All three are fine to use together, the herbs complement each other.

I keep all three formulas on hand, and they are a must to bring along whenever you travel. Again, for convenience, I do offer Gan Mao Ling, Yin Qiao, and Zhong Gan Ling on my website at www.inspirewellnesscenter.com.

5] Remove stress from your environment:

To give yourself the best fighting chance to recover. Relax, let go of your worries, it’s not helping. You’re stuck in bed for the moment, so take it like an adult, and relax. Listen to soothing music, watch a movie that leaves you feeling good, or just sleep. Please no brain work outs while you’re sick. That means NO working in bed either. This is a time to surround you with a pleasant, happy, healing environment. The more you do to help yourself recover, the faster it will happen.

Cold and Flu First Aid Kits

If you don’t want the bother of trying to find the herbs and putting all the formulas together for yourself, I’ve designed several ‘cold and flu first aid kits’ that are perfect to take care of your medicinal needs. They include all the formulas and herbs for the medicinal teas that are mentioned above. Plus, the herbs are organic. They are the Cold and Flu Prevention Kit, the Cold and Flu First Aid Kit, the Deluxe Cold and Flu First Aid Kit, and the All-In-One Deluxe Cold and Flu Kit. You can pick and choose the ones you feel best suit your needs. Again, you can find these indispensable natural and holistic first aid kits on my website at www.inspirewellnesscenter.com.

Wrap-up:

Well, I hope this little cold and flu primer has been helpful for you, and gives you more tools in your wellness toolkit. One note of caution, however, is that if your symptoms persist for longer than two weeks or you feel you’re getting worse, not better, than by all means take your health care to the next level and consult an acupuncturist or western medical professional. As a special note, several of these herbs are not suitable to take if pregnant. Please consult myself, or another acupuncturist or herbalist for herbal remedies suitable for pregnancy.
holly-reeseWritten by: Holly Reese, MSOM, L.Ac. She is an acupuncturist, herbalist, wellness coach, food-healing expert, founder of the Inspire Wellness Center, which specializes in natural and holistic health alternatives for the recovery of chronic illness. Holly Reese is also author of Rising from the Abyss: My Journey into and out of Chronic Illness a gripping memoir that details Holly’s personal descent into and eventual rise from a nearly fatal auto-immune disorder using all the natural and holistic health methods that she espouses and uses for her wellness practice. Feel free to contact her at: holly@inspirewellnesscenter.com.